Paul's Passing Thoughts

Religious Tyranny: A Case Study; Chapter Six, Elders Behaving Badly

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 22, 2016
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    Sometime between 1994 and 1998 while Russ Kennedy was a pastor in Illinois, the associate pastor of the Chapel, Rick Wilson, was called to a pastorate in nearby Beavercreek, Ohio. Though he didn’t have Street’s pulpit skills, he made up for it via personal likability.

    Therefore, when Kennedy became pastor of the Chapel, an ongoing exodus began from the Chapel to Wilson’s church because several people at the Chapel didn’t like Kennedy. This was the first wave of exiters who were aware of Kennedy’s heavy-handed leadership style which was antithetical to the likable and persuasive Rick Wilson. Why was there a second wave? Because something was going on vastly different from Street’s ministry and Kennedy’s transition team would not come clean about what was going on.

    For example, the preaching was totally different. Street, like his mentor John MacArthur Jr., applied a verse by verse exegetical method to the Bible as opposed to what Kennedy was doing, viz, covering large bodies of text in one sermon, at least one whole chapter or more. This was referred to as “fly-over preaching” by many Chapel parishioners who were becoming increasingly disgruntled in regard to that issue.

    In one instance, Kennedy covered the book of Romans in sixteen messages and no one knew what to make of it while Kennedy’s transition team was overtly aloof in regard to what was going on. This led to more people leaving. It was obvious that Kennedy wasn’t being transparent about the changes taking place, and his posture during the time he was being considered as Street’s replacement did not suggest in any way, shape, or form that big changes would be brought about. It was fairly obvious that he played coy until he was installed as pastor.

    This was/is standard protocol for the movement. Remember, this movement is a modern-day crusade. Curiously, however, the movement, for the most part, doesn’t invest in separate startup ministries, but engages in covert takeovers. More than likely, this comes from their mentality that run-of-the-mill evangelicalism that lost sight of the true Reformation gospel is an undeserving usurper unrightfully using God’s resources in the name of Christ. Hence, this movement deems it necessary to seize ill-gotten resources for the true gospel. In fact, this suggested analysis is a very safe bet. If its Dominion theology seeks to take over “every corner of God’s creation,” and it does, how much more the institution that God has supposedly appointed to be His authority on earth?

    This tsunami-like movement is a return to original Reformation orthodoxy in regard to soteriology, interpretation of reality itself, politics, eschatology, ecclesiology, and methodology in regard to interpreting the Scriptures. It is a plenary reconstruction of church identity that spanned the past 200 years. And why is the movement enjoying total success? Because the original tenets of the Reformation gospel have always been running in the background like Windows 7 on your PC. The institutional church has always been primed for a return to the original article.

    And what is that original article? First, salvation is a process, and not a onetime finished work in the believer. The new birth is redefined and denied according to its biblical definition.

    Secondly, “present sin” still needs to be atoned for by the same gospel that saved us. In other words, we must continually return to the same gospel that saved us in order to keep ourselves saved. “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.”

    Thirdly, this efficacious forgiveness for present sin can only be obtained by faithfulness to, and attendance in the institutional church. If one is not a member in good standing at a local church, an individual appeal to God for forgiveness is utterly futile and invalid.

    Fourthly, God has ordained church elders to oversee His salvation on earth and the taking over of the world for His glory. In this regard, they have been given all authority by God.

    These are the fundamentals of the original Protestant gospel that also underpin every denomination that has ever flowed from Protestantism including Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, etc., etc. Protestantism in general, even though it integrated Enlightenment ideas into Reformation dogma, has always functioned according to these ideas while denying them intellectually. While denying that one is saved by church membership, what do evangelicals act like? While denying that pastors have all authority over their souls, what do parishioners act like? While denying that the church is needed in order to obtain heaven, why are churches protected and given a pass on every ill behavior known to man? This is why the Neo-Protestant resurgence is successful; the churches are already primed for the original article. As the saying goes; “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” The Neo-Reformation is merely bringing a consistency to the original tenants, function, and intellectual testimony.

    Consequently, like in all other church cases, Kennedy couldn’t have openly announced his agenda on day one—the Chapel would have been emptied. Nor could he have been honest in his doctrinal statement and philosophy of ministry while being considered for replacing Street—he would have never been installed as pastor. Like in all other instances, the protocol is to obtain the leadership position through deception, nuance, and doublespeak. This is because Kennedy knows what all proponents of the modern rebirth of the Reformation know; for the most part with little exception, a Protestant, whether Baptist or otherwise, doesn’t know what a Protestant is. Kennedy, like all of the other new crusaders, believes that the means justify the end when the goal is saving the church for the glory of God.

    But don’t miss the major point: their assertion is absolutely correct despite the means. This movement has merely exposed the Protestant Reformation for what it really was. For some reason regardless of historical instance like Nazism, Westerners believe we are immune to widespread cultural deception.

    We may now examine how religious business is conducted at the Chapel, but it is the same behavior exhibited by the original Reformers minus the force of state. John Calvin’s Geneva was a theocratic police state; yet, it is undeniable that New Calvinists publically opine in regard to the lost glory days of Calvin’s Geneva as if the average parishioner is unable to read history for themselves. Actually, they are able, but choose to believe everything that comes from the mouths of Protestant elitists as gospel.

    In contrast, not owning your individual understanding about everything is ill advised because in the end only one person and one person alone will be culpable before God…you. The elders of the Neo-Reformation want to have all authority in your life, but you alone will answer to God—they claim all of the authority with no responsibility for the outcome. A common truism in Germany during WWII was that Hitler’s authority needed to be believed by faith as a matter of the heart and not reason. In the end, Hitler committed suicide and left the German people holding the bag. Accordingly, the postwar suffering inflicted upon the German people is all but unspeakable. Yet, this call to dichotomize reason from faith is a common theme in the Neo-Reformation movement.

    Again, while most Protestants would deny this intellectually, it is not only the way they function in their fondness for paradox, but the very first doctrinal statement of the Protestant Reformation was Martin Luther’s 97 Theses against the use of reason in theology. Most Protestants will now say that they have never heard of the 97 Theses, but only the 95 Theses. This drives home the point entirely. It may also be noted that Kennedy authored a book titled “Perplexity” which posits the idea that Christians cannot know anything definitively, but offers help in how to bring our perplexities to God while rejoicing in not knowing anything. The front cover of the book is even adorned with a depiction of Plato’s cave. Catch the drift? The great unwashed evangelicals cannot know anything and must trust God’s anointed philosopher kings to “save his people from ignorance.” Of course, the primary ignorance is the idea that people can know things. Evangelicals are constantly bemoaning biblical illiteracy in the church, but such illiteracy is by design according to Reformed presuppositions regarding mankind. Again, Protestants don’t know what a Protestant is…they even think they aren’t Catholics; yet, Martin Luther stated the following in the conclusion to his 97 Theses:

In these statements we wanted to say and believe we have said nothing that is not in agreement with the Catholic church and the teachers of the church.

    One element of behavior that is going to be common in the movement is the use of disfellowship or so-called “church discipline.” It is well documented that church discipline no longer addresses parishioners behaving badly, but parishioners questioning the authority of the movement’s leaders while decadent behavior among the congregants is ignored. In one particular case at the Chapel, a parishioner was brought under discipline for questioning doctrine while other parishioners who were practicing open and public sin were ignored. It has truly come to pass in the movement that the only sin is questioning the authority of the church. In regard to real sin “we are all just sinners saved by grace” and need ongoing forgiveness for “present sin” anyway. However, threatening the credibility of the movement could destroy or otherwise diminish the only means on earth to obtain heaven; the institutional church. The integrity of the old raunchy bus must be defended because it is the only bus going to heaven.

    This authoritarian logic produces a gargantuan record of religious tyranny and spiritual abuse, and such a record is by no means absent from Clearcreek Chapel or any other church that is part of the Neo-Reformation movement. Please note: the outrageous and bizarre behavior of the Clearcreek elders is well documented and also irrelevant to the rest of the evangelical community.

    Why is this? That is our topic in the next chapter.

Chapter Seven: Those Who Protect Them, and Why

 

Religious Tyranny: A Case Study; Chapter Five, The Transition Team

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 20, 2016
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    During the return of Russ Kennedy to the Chapel in 1998, an influx of men loyal to the new Reformation crusade started showing up at the Chapel. It is unclear how Kennedy knew these men, but their arrival and the timing of it was by no means a coincidence. They were radio personality Chad Bresson, Greg Cook, Dale Evans, Dan Turner, and others less significant. The stage was set for a classic New Calvinist hostile takeover that was being replicated worldwide at breakneck speed. These events shared identical fundamentals that drove the movement and still does till this day:

The core “leadership team” understands the truth of the new Reformation, but also readily recognizes that the great unwashed evangelicals are not ready for this new, hard truth, and must be progressively indoctrinated. They must be fed according to what they can bear at any given time.

Hence, the transitions (takeovers) must be covert.

The transition team possesses the authority of the original Reformation; ie., God has granted full authority over the souls of men to Reformed elders. This is stated Protestant orthodoxy and evident to those who partake in a cursory observation of Protestant literature. The original Reformation borrowed this authority from Catholic dogma through a shared identification with St. Augustine who ironically is the doctrinal foundation of Protestantism and Catholicism both—and nobody even blinks. Augustine insisted that salvation can only be obtained in the institutional church and faithfulness to it accordingly. Augustine also insisted that men be compelled by force to submit themselves to the clergy.

Hence, who are the confused parishioners to argue with God’s anointed? This mentality leads to a very heavy-handed leadership style that describes Russ Kennedy to a “T.” And, is a hallmark characteristic of the movement in general. The movement’s excessive use of church discipline was even written about in major secular publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine. Evangelicals are perplexed en mass regarding this phantom force-like movement that has transformed the churches. Unbelievably, while this movement strives to return to the tenets of the original Protestant Reformation that was marked by tyranny, the recognition of an ideological connection to the same behavior does not compute in the minds of average parishioners.

The revival-like experience produced by the biblical counseling movement in the 90’s is summarily dismissed as “creating better Pharisees” and ridiculed as, “behaviorism” and “moralism.” Not only is the Adams biblical counseling revolution dismissed as a pseudo-revival, but is utterly disdained by these crusaders drunk with visions of grandeur.

Because original Protestantism no longer has state authority to enforce its orthodoxy, it must use creative means to control people. Most evangelicals do not understand that the Protestant gospel was formulated around a church-state and for the express purpose of a church-state. And therefore, principles of persecution for dissenters are part of Reformation doctrinal statements such as the Westminster Confession. Persecution is in the contract.

Consequently, when authority and control are innately part of a gospel, but there are no means of forcible control (because of Americanism’s separation of church and state), the only possible outcome is cultish behavior.

   These elements identify the movement that has all but taken over the Protestant church and uniquely exemplified by Clearcreek Chapel. It is authority as gospel. It is a plethora of other mediators apart from Christ. But for the purpose of this study, file this very important word in the back of your mind for now: A-U-T-H-O-R-I-T-Y.

  In addition, as this movement covertly infected the churches worldwide like gangrene, the 1980’s saw the emergence of reconciliatory organizations like Peacemaker Ministries. These organizations seek to protect the resurgence movement and keep its host churches from being sued. These organizations were a response to the pushback from the movement’s rampant spiritual abuse. These organizations are necessary because justice can never be found within the church, but why?

  All of the aforementioned contemporary events fit together. What do these transitions look like at ground level? What happened at the Chapel that continues to take place presently? Why does it happen? Why is this behavior protected by other churches and what should we do about it?

Chapter Six: Elders Behaving Badly

Chapter Seven: Those Who Protect Them, and Why

Chapter Eight: Will the Real Protestant Gospel Please Stand Up?

Chapter Nine: The True Gospel: “You Must Be Born Again”

Chapter Ten: The Way Home

Conclusion

Religious Tyranny: A Case Study; Chapter Four, The Arrival of “Ravenous Wolves”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 20, 2016
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    Throughout the 1990’s Clearcreek Chapel was riding high atop the biblical counseling movement. Tenets of the movement framed Clearcreek ministry overall and Dr. John Street’s pulpit ministry as well. For many it seemed that the Chapel was a place where church was finally relevant. However, with this said, something needs to be qualified.

  The power of God and the changed lives experienced at the Chapel during that time were due to a brushing against a small element of God’s truth; specially, what we might call intelligent life-application of God’s word. Simply stated; an emphasis on rightly applied obedience. Until this time, the church had a confused and complicated relationship with obedience; in the church, obedience and trepidation always walked hand in hand. This resulted in a church that lived by biblical generalities in regard to obedience and sought outside experts for help with the deeper problems of life. Church was alright for dealing with everyday problems, but the deeper problems of life were labeled as medical problems requiring outside experts. This, in reality, marginalized any difference between secular life and church life.

    As we will see in more detail further along, this is due to authentic Protestantism’s singular perspective on obedience, sin, and law. Instead of a literal new birth changing the relationship of these three to the believer, original Protestantism denies a biblical definition of the new birth and the relationship of these three remain unchanged in regard to the believer. Therefore, Adam’s model was merely an improvement on an already confused model of Christian living that was a hybrid of authentic Protestantism and Americanism. Yet, because Adams’ counseling model was closer to the truth, it yielded a revival of sorts. It also made the model vulnerable to accusations of “legalism.”

    Nevertheless, aggressive sanctified living was working well at the Chapel and life was good. Street founded the Chapel in 1985, and his ministry peaked along with the biblical counseling movement during the 90’s. But there was a glitch of sorts sometime between 1992 and 1994. The glitch has a name: Pastor Russel Kennedy.

    Kennedy was born in 1956 and was raised by missionary parents in the Congo. He would later follow in his father’s footsteps and become a pastor. According to Kennedy, he pastored a church in Germany from 1985 to 1991 before returning stateside in 1991. He began attending the Chapel a short time later and was given opportunity to teach Sunday school. Initially, his teaching was a big hit among the Chapel congregants until he began teaching on predestination. Street’s ministry style avoided controversial subjects that have a history of being unsettled. While Street didn’t avoid controversy per se demonstrated by the fact that he openly opposed the use of Psychology by Christians, he did avoid subjects that rarely end with definitive conclusions that people agree on such as election and end-times prophecy.

    Clearcreek was a startup church from the General Association of Regular Baptists which is not lacking in the Reformed tradition, but congregants at the Chapel claimed that it wasn’t so much the topic of predestination that caused a stir, but Kennedy’s rude approach that supposedly belittled anyone who disagreed with him on the finer points of election doctrine. At any rate, long story short; Kennedy caused a controversy that threated to split the church. Coincidentally perhaps, he was offered a pastorate in Illinois during that time which he accepted. But, the Clearcreek sendoff wasn’t a pleasant one. John Street and the associate pastor at the time, Rick Wilson sternly rebuked him and assured him the offer in Illinois was very good timing.

    Kennedy lasted in that position about three years. After his move to Illinois, he became a follower of Dr. John Piper and consequently a rabid adherent to the Neo-Protestant resurgence. John Piper is one of the more notable leaders in the movement sometimes referred as “New Calvinism.” Some refer to Piper as the “elder statesman of New Calvinism.” It is unclear as to whether someone at the church in Illinois converted him or he was converted through an outside source.

    We will pause here to reiterate a major characteristic of the movement: the movement was a true return to the original Protestant gospel that had been lost after being integrated with Enlightenment ideas of individualism; what has been formerly referred to in this study as “Americanism.” When these ideas were integrated into Protestantism after the American Revolution, Protestantism became a confused hybrid of individualist and collectivist ideas manifested in a contradiction between function and intellect.

    For example, a typical Protestant would proclaim once saved always saved while yet proclaiming himself a “sinner saved by grace.” A “sinner,” according to the Bible, is an unregenerate person. So, if one is still a sinner grace is an ongoing need. “I am [present tense] just a sinner [unregenerate] saved by grace” [a sinner who obviously needs continual grace, viz, salvation]. This implies an ongoing need for salvation which is stated Reformation orthodoxy. Once saved always saved implies that salvation is a finished work in the believer and is closer to biblical truth about the new birth. The new birth fared well with enlightenment ideas because it suggested a strong enablement of the individual. As promised, this will be articulated later in the study, but the main point for now follows: the real Reformation gospel, in fact, had been lost, and reintroduced to the Christian community at large by the Australian Forum. A detailed account of how the Australian Forum came about can be found in the book, “The Truth About New Calvinism” (TANC Publishing 2011).

    All of that is said to say this: the New Calvinist resurgence is nothing less than a crusade. Its proponents rightfully claim that they are returning the church to its true roots. This reality invokes a specific character exemplified in most adherents of the movement. It is a modern-day crusade that takes no prisoners. Hence, when Kennedy was sent packing back to Springboro, Ohio for plagiarizing a John Piper sermon from the pulpit in Illinois, he came back to the Chapel in 1998 and began exhibiting aggressive behavior after he manipulated his way back into leadership positions at the Chapel.

    Plying what respect was left for him at the Chapel previously and endearing himself to the rest as a new and improved Russ Kennedy, he created a divisive atmosphere amidst the leadership culture at the Chapel. Primarily, he created animosity towards pastor Street among the core leaders. This culminated into an accusation that Street was misappropriating church funds for his own personal use. This not only greatly offended Street, but it was during a time when he was being aggressively recruited by Pastor John MacArthur’s church in California. Street accepted a position at MacArthur’s Master’s Seminary and fulfilled his dream of ministering with his longtime mentor.

    Once the vacancy for senior pastor was created upon Street’s announcement that he would be accepting a position in California, he was appalled to learn that Kennedy was being considered for his replacement. This is where the disrespect for Street that had been sewn behind the scenes became evident; the leadership ignored Street’s literal pleadings, some public, to reject Kennedy as a possible candidate. Kennedy was subsequently installed as the Chapel’s senior pastor in 1999. Shortly thereafter, Kennedy began to implement his plan for making the Chapel a major headquarters for saving the church from the false gospel of evangelicalism that had strayed from the true Reformation gospel. In essence, the Chapel would quickly become the face of religious tyranny.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves – Matthew 7:15

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock – Acts 20:29

    Chapter six will describe the ravaging of the Chapel’s flock that took place after Kennedy’s appointment as pastor, but first, chapter five will describe his transition team. At some point, we must examine why Protestant parishioners remain faithful to such overt tyranny.

Chapter Five: The Transition Team

Chapter Six: Elders Behaving Badly 

 

Religious Tyranny: A Case Study; Chapter Three, The Calvinist Civil War Named “Sonship”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 18, 2016
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Thank you! I am receiving a lot of help through comments and email. Adjustments will be applied later as I am focused on getting the big picture of the book written out.

  Protestantism is perhaps the most uncommendable religion on earth because few Protestants really know what a Protestant is. The same can’t be said about Catholics and Muslims; you may disagree with them, but at least they know what they believe and can defend their position with consistent logic. You may disagree with the logic, but the fundamentals are logically consistent. For the most part simply stated; man cannot know reality, so God appoints mediators to rule over the great unwashed to prevent the self-destruction of humanity. This is the basic prism that drives most religion. Once one wades through all of the window dressings blocking the window and looks out, this is the least common denominator that has plagued mankind from the beginning of civilization.

 Protestant scholars are very fond of claiming historical precedent, but a contemporary event that took place in the 1990’s proved the following: the contemporary brain trust of the Protestant Reformation had no idea what the Protestant Reformation represented. Obviously, if the scholars of Protestantism don’t even know what it is, neither do the parishioners. So, why does that concern us in regard to this study? Because the tenets of true Protestantism explain all of the interpretive questions presented thus far. Authentic Protestant orthodoxy is founded on tyranny, lack of assurance, a rejection of the new birth, an utter rejection of individualism, and is the propagator of one of the most aggressive caste systems ever developed for religious purposes. Regardless of any outcry against this seemingly outrageous accusation, the evidence will be presented in this chapter.

    Tyranny at Clearcreek Chapel came about, and in fact, is still thriving at this writing, because of the resurgence movement previously introduced. This study represents a like narrative that has taken place worldwide in regard to the tenets of authentic Protestantism and how they drive events in the local churches. The Chapel was a forerunner and on the cutting edge of the resurgence movement and is also the same story retold by thousands of other lives and churches. That’s why this study is important for those who really want to know the truth and what to do moving forward.

    Until the American Revolution, Protestantism was little different from other caste religions, but for whatever reason, integrated Americanism into its doctrine more than any other religion. However, the authentic tenets (traditions) have always been running in the background. Its tradition predicates its functioning, but the integration of Americanism formed much of its intellect. This is why Protestant scholars are so fond of the word, “paradox.” Authentic Protestantism and Americanism are contradictions made consistent by the magic concept of paradox.

    An example, perhaps the best one, is the traditional order of worship in Protestant churches versus their statements of faith. The order of worship typically found in any given Protestant church on Sunday represents the church-state that it was prior to the American Revolution and its institutional salvation—not personal salvation. Protestant intellect says, “Once saved always saved,” but the order of worship represents a continued need for salvation found only in the Protestant institution. Cry out against this accusation if you must, but this assertion represents stated Protestant orthodoxy in no uncertain terms.

    This reality is no better demonstrated by examining the Calvinist civil war fought in the 1990’s over the Sonship movement that invaded Presbyterian circles. At the head of the charge against Sonship was Dr. Jay Adams while also presiding over the escalation of the biblical counseling movement during the same time. How relevant was the Sonship debate? It incited several formal public debates, and several books defending positions for and against Sonship. In fact, Adams wrote one such book himself titled, “Biblical Sonship: An Evaluation of the Sonship Discipleship Course.” In that book, he refuted the idea that Sonship was of the Reformed tradition.

    Nothing could be more polar opposite from the truth; Sonship was, and still is an accurate representation of the Reformation gospel. This debate brought the following fact into the light: contemporary Protestant scholars were clueless in regard to the true tenets of Protestantism. Those who claim historical precedent didn’t even understand the precedent to begin with—a longstanding historical precedent is irrelevant if you don’t even know what it is, and even more irrelevant if it’s a false precedent from its conception.

    Where did the Sonship doctrine come from? It came from the Australian Forum which, as previously mentioned, was the think tank that truly rediscovered the authentic Protestant gospel. Its theological journal, Present Truth, was the most widely published theological journal in the English-speaking world during the 1970’s. Key is the fact that this journal was widely distributed at Westminster Theological Seminary, a foremost bastion of Reformed theology in Western culture. Three key figures in the historical scheme being presented here were professors at Westminster; Jay Adams, Dr. John “Jack” Miller, and Dr. David Powlison.

    Adams was recruited by Westminster to formulate a biblical counseling curriculum in the 1970’s which eventually became the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). Some time later the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors was initiated (NANC, now ACBC; Association of Certified Biblical Counselors) as an accreditation institution for biblical counseling. Adams is often referred to as the founder of this organization which isn’t true. To his credit, Adams wanted the biblical counseling movement to be a laity affair and resisted professional accreditation.

    Adams was a professor at Westminster at the same time that Dr. John Miller was. Dr. John Miller was the father of Sonship theology. Even though folklore claims that Miller devised Sonship during a sabbatical in Spain, it shares the exact same tenets prorogated by the Australian Forum; ie., the idea that one must return to the same gospel that saved them perpetually to maintain salvation. Miller merely put a different twist on it and was the one who coined the mantra, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.”

    Adams rejected the notion of spiritual growth in the Christian life through returning to the same gospel that saved us perpetually, but Adams also seemed to be oblivious to the much larger point of Sonship; the Christian life is the progression of salvation which means it must be lived out by faith alone in order for salvation to progress towards a final salvation. This is a pillar of the authentic Protestant gospel that Adams rejected with prejudice. Much to the consternation of Adams, the Australian Forum was actually invited to Westminster to meet with the faculty, a meeting that Adams skipped in protest. However, he made sure that someone served pork at the gathering to mock the Adventist connections to the Forum. Also, note that Adams never recognized a connection between Sonship theology and the Forum.

    A mentor of Dr. Miller who also taught at Westminster was Dr. David Powlison who became the executive director of CCEF. As a result, another civil war developed in the Reformed community; specifically, within the biblical counseling community. Surprisingly, Adams missed the connection between Sonship theology and the growing contentions over methods of counseling within the biblical counseling movement. Adams missed the fact that Powlison brought Miller’s Sonship with him to CCEF and integrated it into biblical counseling via a program named, “Dynamics of Biblical Change.” This counseling model later became “Theology of the Heart.”

    Adams missed the connection because he was the face of a severe pushback against Sonship that seemed to have destroyed it, but this was not the case at all. The Sonship movement merely changed its nomenclature to “Gospel Transformation.” This was a calculated move by Powlison and others mentored by Dr. Jack Miller.  Adams thought the movement had been effectively put down, but it really went underground and reinvented itself in the biblical counseling movement. Adams did not recognize the connection and went on to see the biblical counseling civil war as a separate and new issue. The two sides of this conflict have been distinguished by the terms, “first generation biblical counseling” and “second generation biblical counseling.” Of course, most believe this is an argument about counseling method which is a lie. The conflict has always been about two different gospels; the confused evangelical gospel of our day, and the authentic Protestant gospel that proffers a progressive salvation through faithfulness to the church institution.

    Eventually, Adams was all but completely driven out from the biblical counseling movement. The reworked version of Sonship theology by Powlison et al was so masterfully nuanced that Adams couldn’t figure out why he was being persecuted by his own counseling community for the better part of seven years. Sonship went underground in 2000, and the biblical counseling civil war raged from the year 2000 to 2007. During that time and to the extent that it was even noted by the secular world, the evangelical community was being transformed against its own will by what seemed to be a phantom force. The best anyone could make of it was the idea that it was some kind of Calvinist resurgence. Shortly before the movement was named “New Calvinism” in 2008, some called it “Gospel Sanctification.”

    Ironically, even though this movement has completely taken over the Protestant church in our day, many within the church testify that they have never even heard of “New Calvinism.” This follows the movement’s MO of avoiding interpretive labels. Nevertheless, the vast majority of all evangelical teachers in our day connect themselves to Dr. Jack Miller by vigorously promoting his, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.”

    Meanwhile, back to Clearcreek Chapel circa 1995. Dr. John Street, before he was a doctor, attended CCEF in order to obtain his Doctorate degree in “Theology of the Heart.” As a sitting elder at the time, this author actually approved of the church paying for his degree. Around the same time, another man mentored by Dr. Miller, Jerry Bridges, was a guest speaker at the Chapel. When I heard him say, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day,” like everyone else I thought, “Well yes, I agree, we don’t ever want to forget the gospel that saved us.” Behold the use of assumptions to slowly indoctrinate people who are already dumbed down by design. The fix was in, and no one had a clue what was going on.

    With that said, Street was more of an unwitting participant in the gradual indoctrination. While his close friend Jay Adams was contending against Sonship, no one made the connection between CCEF, Theology of the Heart, and Sonship. And certainly, the connection between the Australian Forum and Sonship was not even on the radar screen.

    Then, during this time of unwitting participation, the Chapel was visited upon by a resurgent purist, an early foot soldier of the movement that fancied itself as the very rebirth of the Protestant Reformation. This man was the effective reincarnation of medieval Protestant tyranny. To know him and the leaders he developed was a unique opportunity to interact with a tyranny of old.

    When one believes they are ordained by God to save the church and bring it back to its true gospel, by the way, 200 years later, unfathomable arrogance lingers close by.

Chapter Four: The Arrival of “Ravenous Wolves”

 

Religious Tyranny: A Case Study; Chapter Two, The Insurgency

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 17, 2016
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    As shared in Chapter one, Clearcreek Chapel was a church endowed with changing people because its ministry in general, including the pulpit ministry, was driven by Dr. Jay Adams’ biblical counseling construct. The framework focused on in-depth application of scriptural wisdom to life as opposed to merely living by “biblical generalities.” It rejected a medical model of sin and insisted on people “owning their sin” and taking responsibility for their failures. As we will see as this study progresses, the powerful living displayed at the Chapel during the 90’s was due to this model being partially correct in a biblical sense while maintaining too much fatal orthodoxy.

    Said another way, until this time in church history, the church had a confused and tepid relationship with the concept of obedience, but the biblical counseling movement merely emphasized it more than it had ever been emphasized before. Of course, this is because Adams witnessed the cause and effect results demonstrated by Mowrer and applied it to biblical counseling while at the same time summarily dismissing Mowrer’s model as humanistic. As stated in the first chapter, we will be revisiting this major point with all zeal.

    Protestantism has always had an uneasy and confused relationship with obedience because its most monstrous and evil nemesis, salvation by works, has its own application for obedience. As a result, obedience has always been seen as a possible Trojan horse whenever it presents itself in the church. The biblically intelligent obedience of Adams’ construct that was yielding change in the church was the elephant in the room. Everyone loved what was going on, but were privately uneasy when they heard, “The power is in the doing.” Adams, nor anyone else in the movement ever clarified why it was alright to believe that obedience is curative. How is obedience to the law for salvation not obedience to the law for salvation in Christian living? What’s the difference? How is obedience sanctified for Christian living? These questions were never answered because in reality most Protestants don’t even know enough to ask the question to begin with. One thing had not changed with the advent of the biblical counseling movement; the traditional Protestant confusion over the Holy Spirit’s role in the Christian’s life.

    At this point in the study, we will unveil one of its major theses that begins to answer our stated interpretive questions: after the American Revolution, authentic Protestant orthodoxy became very confused. The fact is, the doctrine of the Protestant Reformation, at least according to the philosophy it was founded on, was extremely consistent and all ideological dots connected with a logical premise and conclusion. Yes, Reformation soteriology was a masterpiece of intellectual consistency. But moving forward post-Revolution, it became a mixture of original tenets and other ideas; hence, Protestantism became a morass of functionality that contradicted its intellectual proclamations. For example, many Protestants would become indignant in regard to the idea that people are saved by church membership, but the way “Christians” function in regard to that idea is altogether a different story.

    In essence, freedom happened. In the same way that the Protestant Reformation made chaos of Catholic orthodoxy, the American Revolution made chaos of Protestant orthodoxy overseen by the Puritan theocracy that had ruled over the colonies. Post-Revolution and moving forward, Protestant orthodoxy became a paradoxical nightmare held together with specific talking points. These talking points sounded intelligent and pious, but if thought out to their logical conclusions—utterly mindless. The Adams biblical counseling revolution only fixed part of this problem with a stronger nod towards intelligent obedience. But as stated earlier, it was an uneasy coexistence. It was a revival with doubt running in the background.

    Now we come to one of the more significant events in all of contemporary church history. In the exact same year that Jay Adams unleashed the biblical counseling movement, another movement was born and the significance of this other movement is historically profound. Though the history of how this movement came about will not be addressed in this study, its proposition and advent will be. The theological think tank that spawned this other movement was dubbed “The Australian Forum” and its primary thinkers were comprised of two Anglican theologians, a Seventh-day Adventist theologian, and a Reformed Baptist.

   What was their proposition? Namely, that the true Protestant Reformation gospel had been lost. Furthermore, contemporary Calvinists were deemed guilty of swaying away from the true Reformed tradition, and evangelicalism wasn’t even in the gospel ballpark. This movement led to a worldwide insurgence known as the New Calvinist movement. It boasted, and still does, a return to the true Protestant gospel more than 500 years after the fact, and labeled all church as lost in a “sea of subjectivism” and falsehood.

    And, in regard to what the Protestant Reformation was really about, they were, and are, exactly correct in that assertion.

    This unequivocal fact stands as a monument for all time: the who’s who of contemporary church scholarship has all but admitted that it was wrong for more than 200 years, and the church was saved by a Seventh-day Adventist in 1970 although they like to leave out the Seventh-day Adventist part. This led to a massive covert insurgency movement within the church from 1970 to the present. In Sothern Baptist circles it has been decried as “aggressive Calvinism” and “high controlling churches.” But what is it really?

    The Clearcreek Chapel story is a perfect microcosm of this worldwide church event because the insurgents of this movement who came to the Chapel were early foot soldiers of the movement. The Chapel study therefore gives us insight into the real Protestant gospel and its fallout when practiced in the milieu of life. It is the face of religious tyranny and cultism, and the Clearcreek Chapel story is the story of innumerable people and church events. It is the prototype of the New Calvinist meta-narrative. It is also instructive regarding the way home to true freedom in our beloved Christ.

    But before we delve into the Chapel narrative further, what is the proof for this outrageous proposition? Contemporary church history is the proof; specifically, the Calvinist civil war.

Chapter Three: The Calvinist Civil War Named “Sonship”

Chapter Four: The Arrival of “Ravenous Wolves”

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