Paul's Passing Thoughts

A Comprehensive Essay on the True Gospel

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on July 3, 2017

Man Does NOT Have a “Sin Problem”
That is a scandalous statement and one that contradicts everything you have probably heard in church your whole life.  It would seem to be a logical conclusion that the Bible teaches that man’s problem is sin, but let us reconsider two primary assumptions:

  1. Does man indeed have a problem?
  2. Is that problem sin?

The Bible teaches that there are only two kinds of people in this world; those who are “under law” and those who are “under grace”.  To be “under law” means to be subject to the Law’s condemnation, which is death, and ultimately the Lake of Fire.  Every person ever born into this word is “under law” and is therefore condemned because at some point in his life he has broken the Law in one way or another.

Even if a person has no knowledge of God’s Law from scripture, the Bible tells us that every man has the Law of God written on his heart, which is the conscience (Romans 2:14-15).  The conscience is what gives man knowledge of right and wrong.  One day, every person “under law” will be judged by God according to the Law, whether that be God’s law as recorded in scripture or by his own conscience.  So clearly, man does indeed have a problem.

 

What about Sin?
The Bible describes Sin as an entity which seeks to wield control over others. (Genesis 4:7)  Sin’s desire for control is manifest in man’s subsequent desire to wield control over others.  Ironically, Sin obtains its power of control over others through the Law (1 Corinthians 15:56).   Sin uses the Law to control others by provoking man through desires to break the Law.  Once there is a law that governs some behavior, Sin uses that same law to provoke a desire to rebel against what that law requires (Romans 7:7-8).

Without the Law, Sin has no power.  Therefore, where there is no Law, there is no Sin.  Any person who is “under law” is not only provoked by Sin to break the Law, but he is condemned if he does.

So the problem then is not with Sin, rather it is the reality that any man “under law” is under condemnation.  The solution then is that man needs a way to get out from under the Law’s condemnation.  Man needs a new relationship to the Law.

 

Man’s New Relationship to the Law
When the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas how to be saved, their response was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved…”  Belief means faith.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  A person is born again (literally “born from above”) when he hears about Jesus and believes what he hears.  Hearing implies a cognitive process of allowing oneself to be persuaded by a reasonable argument.  So we understand then that “faith” is more than just an assenting to the facts, but it has to do with being thoroughly convinced in your mind that something is true.  Furthermore, having been persuaded, there comes a point where one must make a conscious choice as to whether or not one wishes to accept the reality of the gift freely offered to him and the ramifications that come along with that decision.

God made it possible for man to get out from under the Law’s condemnation through the New Birth.  When a person believes in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the “old man” who was “under law” dies.  Laws have no jurisdiction over dead people.  Dead people cannot be condemned.

When the “old man” dies, a new creature is reborn in his place.  This new creature is born of God.  He is the literal offspring of the Father.  This new creature is not born “under law”.  The Law has no jurisdiction over him.  This means the Law CANNOT condemn him.  And since there is no Law to condemn this born again new creature, there is no Sin.  The one who is born of God CANNOT sin!

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” ~ 1 John 3:9

Notice, the apostle John does not say the believer “won’t sin” or “chooses not to sin”.  He says he CANNOT sin.  He is not ABLE to sin.  Why is the one who is born again not able sin?  Because sin has to do with Law.  You cannot condemn one of sin when there is no Law under which to accuse him.  Think about it; if there was no 55 mph speed limit on the highway, and you were driving 56, would a patrol officer be able to write you a citation for speeding?  Of course not.  Why not?  What law could he use of which to accuse you?  There would be none.  So it is with the one who is born again.  The believer is no longer “under law,” therefore there is no Law that can be used to condemn.  The believer has a new relationship to the Law.

Since the Law can no longer condemn, the Law’s original intent can now be realized: to show love to God and to others!

This is why believers strive to obey.  It is not a means to merit some right standing with God The believer is already righteous because he is God’s offspring.  The believer obeys because he wants to show love to God and love to others.  Love is the fulfillment of the Law.  In fact, the Bible teaches that those who love God have a natural love for the Law as well.

“O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” ~ Psalms 119:97

“I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.” ~ Psalms 119:113

“I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.” ~ Psalms 119:163

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” ~ Psalms 119:165

Even if there was no speed limit on the highway, would you still drive as fast as you possibly wanted?  Hopefully not, because you would recognize the inherent danger, not only to yourself by driving recklessly, but also to the other drivers on the road.  You would drive in such a way as to preserve your own life and the lives of others.  You would be functioning according to the Law of Love.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” ~ Romans 8:2

This new relationship to the Law through the New Birth is offered as a free gift to any who believe on Jesus’ death on the cross for the forgiveness of their sins.

 

How does Jesus’ death on the cross forgive sin?
In Old Testament times, when God codified the Law for Israel with Moses, the Law took Old Testament saints into protective custody.  During this time, believers were preserved from condemnation upon their death because sin was imputed to the Law.  This was the “covering” aspect of the Law, and the ceremonial observation of the “Day of Atonement” was a recognition of Israel being under the Law’s protective custody. (Galatians 3:22-24)

This protective custody was in effect up until the time of Jesus’ death on the cross.  Jesus’ death was the fulfillment of a promise made to Abraham.  When Jesus died, He ended the need for the Law’s protective custody.  When the Law ended, all sins that had been imputed to the Law were taken away with it.

The picture of the “scapegoat” in Leviticus 16:21-22 describes what Jesus’ death on the cross accomplishes.  The priest would lay his hands upon a live goat, a symbol of sins being imputed to the Law.  That goat would then be delivered into the hands of a strong man who take that goat into the wilderness and release it.   Jesus is that “strong man” who took away the sins imputed to the “scapegoat” of the Law.

“…Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” ~ John 1:29

In essence, Jesus is both the “Lamb” and the “strong man”.  He is the Testator of the Old Covenant, the One of whom the Law speaks, the One to whom sin is imputed.  The death of the Testator brings an end (fulfillment) to that covenant, thereby taking with Him all sins which had been imputed to Him. (Hebrews 9:15-17)

Since the Promise of Christ has come, there is no longer a need for a guardian.  The “covering” aspect of the Law is no longer needed. (Galatians 3:25-26)  This is true for every person who believes in Jesus Christ for salvation.  The New Birth puts the old man to death.  All those past sins are forgiven.  They were taken away when the Law was ended for him upon his New Birth.  There is no ongoing need of forgiveness for “present” or “future” sins because the believer CANNOT sin.  There is no Law to condemn him, therefore there is no sin.

 

Why do Christians still “sin”?
Man is and always will be a free-will agent.  His behaviors are governed by choices that are the logical conclusions of assumptions.  Man was created by God to be a rational, thinking, creature.  It is how man is made is God’s image.  In this way, man is good.  To say that man is “good” means to be good existentially, or that which is intrinsic to the nature of his existence.  It means man has the capacity to act in accordance to the purpose for which he was created; to think, to reason, to live, to BE.

Because a man may make a choice to do evil does not mean that he IS evil.  Conversely, that man may make a choice to good is not what MAKES him good.  Man’s ability to even make a choice is what makes him “good”.  He is functioning according to how God designed him to be.   Do not misunderstand – “goodness” should not be conflated with “righteousness”.

It is not man’s choosing to do evil deeds (or lack of good deeds) which condemns him, no more than it is a believer’s choosing to do good deeds (or lack of evil deeds) which saves him.  Unregenerate man is condemned because he is “under law”.  A believer is saved because he is born again and NOT “under law”.  Therefore, because one who is born again is not “under law”, there is no such thing as “sin” for the believer.

Nevertheless, this does not preclude the fact that a believer can still choose to not obey the Law.  At the same time, this does not give a believer license to ignore the Law.  While failure to obey the Law no longer condemns the believer, it is still a failure to show love.  One who is the offspring of the Heavenly Father ought to behave in a manner that is consistent with his righteous state of being.

The Bible says the flesh is “weak”.  Weakness does not mean evil.  The apostle Paul said that the treasure of our righteous new creature-hood is contained in “clay pots”.  So even though a believer is righteous, Sin still seeks to control him through the weakness of his flesh.  And because man is a moral agent capable of free-will decisions, a believer can still choose to give in to fleshly desires provoked by Sin.  But it is important to understand the distinction; such an action does not condemn!  It is a failure to show love.

Perfection is not the issue here.  This is why it is so important to understand that righteousness has nothing to do with law-keeping.  There is a reason Paul and the other apostles bent over backwards to make this case throughout the New Testament.  Righteousness is apart from the Law. (Romans 3:21, 28)  Believers are righteous because they have been born again and are no longer “under law”.  Whether or not a believer obeys the law “perfectly” is irrelevant to his righteous state of being because there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1)

This reality is incredibly freeing, because now a believer can aggressively pursue love without fear!

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:” ~ 1 John 4:18

A believer no longer has to worry about what laws he has kept or hasn’t kept because the threat of condemnation has been removed.  That possibility is no longer hanging over his head like some impending doom.  Now he is free to focus on just loving God and loving others, and the way he shows love is by striving to obey the Law.

“‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'” ~ Matthew 22:36-40

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” ~ Romans 13:8

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” ~ Galatians 5:14

 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” ~ John 14:15

A false gospel has only one perspective on the Law, which leads to a misunderstanding of the Law’s purpose.

 

A Misunderstanding of the Law
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Jewish religious leaders had come to believe that keeping the statutes in the Torah was what made a person righteous.  But because they made the assumption that man was metaphysically evil, this assumption meant that man was disqualified from being able to understand the Law’s requirements.  This is turn meant that if man could not understand the Law then man could not keep the Law.

The Jewish leaders believed it was necessary for some mediator to dictate to man the requirements necessary for righteousness.  To accomplish this, they crafted their own interpretation of the Torah for man to follow.  Since man could not understand the Law, he could only obtain righteousness by following the interpretations of the Jewish leaders.  This interpretation is what was known as their “traditions” or orthodoxy.

There are a number of problems with this, not the least of which is that the Bible teaches that righteousness is apart from the Law.  As already mentioned, the apostles went to great lengths to make this point clear.  For the Jewish religious leaders to hold this perspective, it was indicative of their egregious misunderstanding of the Law’s purpose.  The Law was never intended to be for the purpose of obtaining a righteous standing with God.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” ~ Galatians 2:21

“Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” ~ Galatians 3:21

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” ~ Romans 3:20

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” ~ Galatians 2:16

The Law is the means by which man shows love to God and others, but making the Law the standard for righteousness actually circumvents love.  How does this happen?

The Jewish religious leaders replaced the Law with their orthodoxy.  The people were taught that since they could not keep the Law, it was pointless to even try.  By replacing the Law with orthodoxy, the Jewish leaders effectively took away man’s only means of showing love to God and others.  Rather than striving to show love to God through obedience, they became preoccupied with adhering to Jewish orthodoxy.  Their lives were no longer characterized by love but fear.

When the standard for righteousness is perfect law-keeping, fear is always the result.  Fear is the result of condemnation.  Condemnation comes from being “under law”.  Any system that makes Law the standard for righteousness keeps man “under law”.  The Jewish system of perfect law-keeping by adherence to orthodoxy kept the people “under law” and took away their means of showing love.

This is exactly what Jesus accused the Pharisees of doing.

“… Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition [orthodoxy].” ~ Matthew 15:6

“And he said unto them, ‘Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition [orthodoxy].’” ~ Mark 7:9

“Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition [orthodoxy], which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” ~ Mark 7:13

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” ~ Matthew 24:12

The word translated “iniquity” in Matthew 24:12 is the Greek word ανομια (anomia).  It literally means “no law”.  This is the Biblical definition of antinomianism.  It means to take away the law.  Jesus said Himself that taking away the Law would result in love growing cold.  And why wouldn’t it?  If you take away the Law, you take away the only means man has to show love to God and others.

Jesus spoke these words as a prophesy, but the end result of this logical progression of thought is always the same: taking away the Law results in a lack of love and lives characterized by fear.  Be sure to understand the distinction.  The Jewish religious leaders misunderstood the Law’s purpose.  They thought it was for the purpose of meriting righteousness.  But righteousness is apart from the Law.  Righteousness comes through the New Birth.  The Law is used as a means to show love to God and others.

What was true of first century Judaism is also true of every religion that ever existed or still exists today: it makes some form of law-keeping as the standard for righteousness.  Every religion begins with the same root assumption: that man is metaphysically evil, making him disqualified from being able to understand truth.  Since he cannot understand truth he must have truth interpreted for him.  Religious orthodoxy is nothing more than truth repackaged for mass consumption.  It is therefore adherence to this interpretation of truth that brings righteousness.

Protestantism is no different!  But Protestantism’s version of orthodoxy is obfuscated under the pretense of “faith alone”.  On the one hand, it will acknowledge that righteousness is apart from the Law; that man does not merit righteousness by keeping the Law.  Then on the other hand, it will insist that Jesus keeps the law for us.  In other words, since man cannot keep the Law, Jesus must do it instead.

How is it proposed that man is able to benefit from this so-called perfect law-keeping of Jesus?  By living by “faith alone”.   You see, if at any time you find that you are performing a work of obedience to the Law “in your own efforts”, you are attempting to rely on your own strength to merit salvation instead of “resting” in Christ to do the work for you.  (Notice that the assumed motivation is to merit salvation instead of showing love.)

It should be blatantly obvious that regardless WHO is keeping the law, even if it is Jesus keeping the Law in our stead, it is still a righteousness that is based on perfect law-keeping.  This is NOT a righteousness apart from the Law.   Moreover, to rely on Jesus doing the works of the Law for us so that His righteousness can be imputed to us is nothing more than works-based salvation.

For over 500 years, Protestantism has been perpetrating a fraud and a contradiction of epic proportions!  Like every other religion that has come down the pike since the beginning of time, Protestantism is based on a faulty assumption that results in a willful misunderstanding of the Law.  It is a religion of antinomianism that circumvents a believer’s ability to show love through obedience.  It makes obedience nothing more than a subjective experience that Christ supposedly performs through the believer.  It defies the believer’s natural inclination to love God’s Law.  It defines righteousness as perfect law-keeping.  This unwittingly puts the believer right back “under law”, the Biblical definition of an unsaved person.  Protestantism views believers no differently than the unregenerate.

Most importantly, the false gospel of Protestantism robs the believer of assurance.  The Christian life becomes one of constant introspection of whether one is living by “faith alone” or not.  Protestantism’s single perspective on the Law means the believer is in constant fear that he might come under condemnation.  He is not free to love others.  He is not free to love his Heavenly Father.  He can never know for sure if he really is saved.

Dear Christian brother, know this.  The Bible says that we CAN know for sure that we are saved.  When we understand that our righteousness comes by virtue of the fact that we are the literal offspring of the Father, everything becomes so simple.  It does not matter if we fail.  Perfection is not the point.  There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!  Believers are no longer “under law”.  Where there is no law there is no sin.  This is a wonderful reality!

This is the Gospel news that believers need to bring to a world that needs to be reconciled to God.

The world is full of unsaved people who do very good deeds.  Whether he realizes it or not, every time man shows love to another, he is fulfilling the Law.  It does not matter if the person is saved or not.  Unsaved man has the ability to show love to others just as much as one who is saved.  But it is not that expression of love that saves.  It is not a fulfilling of the Law that saves.  For even though an unsaved man might obey the Law of Love, he is still condemned because he is still “under law”.  That is the whole point.

Man does not have a “sin problem”.  He has a relationship to the Law problem.  This is why Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.”  The exhortation to you, dear brother in Christ, is this: Go out this day and show forth your love to God and others.  You are God’s righteous child.  Pursue obedience and fulfill the Law of Love!

~ Andy

Bad Marriages and the Simple Side of Tyranny

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on August 16, 2016

Originally published August 18, 2015

The Bible isn’t complicated; to the contrary, its simplicity often escapes us as we look for something more complicated in the text. The journey in understanding the Bible begins with the stepping stones that you understand. You are simply looking to increase your understanding by building truth with one objective fact at a time. Pieces that fit together in the jigsaw puzzle lead to the fitting of more pieces. For some, the pieces take longer to find, and the journey is longer, but what they really know is more than most Protestant scholars who are ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth. They are blind guides leading the blind.

Be sure of this: scholars make the Bible complicated because they want to control you. When it gets right down to it, “You have no need of anyone to teach you.” Teachers are gifted people who accelerate your learning; they are not seers or mediators between you and truth. If they ask you, “Did God really say…” you are to answer, “Yes, that’s exactly what He said.”

Hence, the simplicity of a very important fundamental truth found in Genesis:

4:6 – The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why do you look so unhappy [has your face/countenance fallen; 4:5]? 7 If you do things well [correctly; appropriately], I will [will I not…?] accept you, but if you do not do them well [correctly; appropriately], sin is ready to attack you [crouching at the door]. Sin wants [desires to control; 3:16] you, but you must rule over it” (EXB).

We also know from the New Testament that sin is a master that pays death wages, while Christ came to purchase us with His blood from that master. We are now free to serve another master who only pays life wages. A slave that dies (through the baptism of the Spirit) is no longer under the authority of the sin master, and is a new creature resurrected to life and free to serve another (Rom 7:4).

But lest we are careful, the simple truths of this passage and a wiser life will escape us. Sin is described as an entity that has a desire; specifically, a desire to control others. One of the fundamental characteristics of sin is a desire to control others.

Secondly, in this verse, sin’s means of doing so are also described: sin is crouching at the door waiting for us to fail. Sin then seeks to exploit that sin for purposes of control. At least to some degree, sin seeks to use the failure to destroy a true self-assessment and make a case for needed lordship. Certainly, this is how the serpent approached Eve. He wanted to convince her that she was unable to understand God without a mediator. Has God really said…?

At this point, this truth needs more development, but here is a basic building block that we can be sure of: the sin master uses condemnation to enslave, and pays death wages for one’s work:

1 Corinthians 15:56 – Death’s power to hurt [sting] is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But we thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 So my dear [beloved] brothers and sisters, stand strong. Do not let anything move you. Always give yourselves fully to [excel in] the work of the Lord, because you know that your work in the Lord is never wasted [not useless/in vain] (EXB).

no-condemnationThis is why Christ came to end the law. Sin crouches at the door waiting to seize the opportunity to condemn, and the more law, the better. The “law of sin and death” empowers sin because the power of sin and its ability to pay death wages is condemnation. When Christ died to end the law, He stripped sin of its power to enslave and pay wages.

Don’t misunderstand; being in Christ does NOT mean that we are not under a law, but it is the “law of the Spirit of life.” Why is it called that? Because the new Master pays life wages for the obedience of love, and that has never been any different:

Deuteronomy 30:15 – “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

Nothing has ever been different in regard to the law. When we serve God, it is the law of love that brings life wages; when we “serve other gods” it is the law of sin and death that pays death wages accordingly…

Romans 6:16 – Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

With all of this said, consider the lion’s share of bad marriages. It never fails. Two people, at war, and each with a laundry list of the other’s faults. Check that. Better said, a condemnation list. And of course backed up with many Bible verses; the Bible is either the law of sin and death that condemns, or the law of the Spirit of life that loves.

What’s going on? Answer: sin, and its desire to control using condemnation.

Genesis 3:16 – “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

This is the same exact grammatical construction found in Genesis 4:6 concerning sin’s desire to control Cain. Sin will manifest its desire in marriages by each spouse desiring to control the other, and using failure to do so. When the failure of a spouse presents itself, the other spouse will use it to make a case for ruling over the other spouse. In essence, “Since you are stupid, I should be running the show in this marriage.”

In Reformed circles, elders make a case for being the rulers because we are all…what? Right, “totally depraved.” Same deal.

If you know this simple Bible fact, you know more than most “expert” counselors. In most bad marriages, both spouses need to repent of being tyrants. They need to stop using the Bible to condemn each other, and start using the Bible to love each other. After all, “love covers a multitude of sins.”

Go and do likewise…you are now an expert Bible counselor.

paul

Condemnation Claims Another Casualty

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 23, 2016

ppt-jpeg4I was deeply saddened to hear of the recent suicide of Keith Emerson, the keyboard mad scientist of Emerson, lake, and Palmer. My teenage years took place while ELP dominated the progressive rock scene. The depths of their talent created enchanting songs like “Lucky Man” and “From the Beginning.” Their unique brand inspired many rock icons that would follow.

In reading accounts of his suicide and comments from close friends cited in various articles, we find THE familiar theme: fear. If you have been following our recent series on depression from a biblical perspective, you know that I am beginning to suspect ALL, or at least most depression flows from condemnation. Obviously, one who commits suicide has condemned themselves. Perhaps the premier example is Judas. Of course, this doesn’t include other forms of suicide that are in the minority.

Always in every kind of depression and mental illness, and this according to mental health professionals, anxiety is present. In other words, “fear.” Biblically, this makes perfect sense. According to the Bible, the law condemns leading to fear of death and judgement. The conscience also condemns, and you can also add fear of failure and loss of life-purpose to the ugly mix. Granted, present fears of this life may override fear of death, and depending on one’s beliefs, death may be a desperate escape.

However, let me point out that God is not the primary proponent of condemnation. The primary proponents of condemnation seem to be man himself and the kingdom of darkness. Adam and Eve are the ones that chose to hide from God because of what? Right, read it for yourself: fear. God didn’t tell them to hide; in fact, He went looking for them. And what “accuser of the brethren” gets thrown out of heaven in the book of Revelation? And who throws him out? Toward the end of Revelation, who are the ones outside of the holy city? Right, the fearful.

Couple this with the Bible statement that God did not send Christ into the world to condemn the world, but to save it. God does not seek to condemn, he seeks to save that which is lost…mankind. But it doesn’t stop there: He sent His only Son because He wants to save mankind in order to make us His very family for all of eternity: He is the “Son of God” and the “Son of Man.”

The great hope that we represent is escape from condemnation and fear. Sin condemns, not God. He not only hates sin, but He hates condemnation. He sent His only Son into the world to defeat death, sin, and condemnation. Beware of any religion that makes condemnation part of God’s repertoire; God and condemnation are mutually exclusive, and death is the final enemy that He will defeat.

Condemnation is the source of death and fear. God is the source of life and peace. That’s the good news…that’s the gospel.

paul

Sola Scriptura?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 1, 2015

What’s Really Behind “White Guilt”?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 2, 2015

ppt-jpeg4While watching The O’Reilly Factor last night, I heard journalist Bernard Goldberg state, “There are no limits to white liberal guilt.” He also said that if you understand that sentence—you understand everything happening in our mainstream media culture right now.

If you watched Dinesh D’Souza’s America you know that slavery is far from being a black thing only, yet one gets the idea that slavery is synonymous with black victimization only. When we think, “slavery,” we think, “black.” This is not reality by any stretch of the imagination. Furthermore, “slave master” being synonymous with “white” is also a steroidal misnomer. In fact, to cite proof on this point is to state the obvious.

Yet, how and why have we arrived at this perception of reality? Contrary to the belief that the Bible is a mysterious book difficult to understand, the simplicity of its answers often escapes us. Often, biblical answers to seemingly complex social issues are shockingly simplistic, and this issue is no exception.

A particular problem mankind has dominates biblical subject matter: the need to control others. This need originates with sin. According to the Bible, sin is characterized by a desire to have mastery over others:

Genesis 4:6 – Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why are you looking down? 7 Will not your face be happy if you do well? If you do not do well, sin is waiting to destroy you. Its desire is to rule over you, but you must rule over it” (NLV).

Sin has a desire to rule over others. And note what it uses to destroy people and gain control over them: failure or not doing well (good). Sin gains control over others through condemnation. The major tactic for controlling others is the destruction of self-esteem. By self-esteem, I mean an honest assessment of one’s personhood; in other words, self-esteem is earned. A bank robber has no right to think well of himself. My grandmother, like many wise grandmothers, set the bar at doing one’s best in every endeavor.

Why do some people want to control others? It’s simply what sin does, and according to the Bible, it makes its appeal through “sinful desires.” Those desires are often lustful and selfish. The Bible also states that the fulfillment of sinful desires increases the intensity of the desires otherwise known as “addiction.”

In addition, according to the Bible, the following of these sinful desires leads to all kinds of temporary and eternal deaths. This isn’t very complicated; an example would be a desire to smoke cigarettes and the consequences following. This is why Christ died on a cross: to pay the penalty of sin defined as law-breaking and thereby ending condemnation. Without condemnation, sin is stripped of its power to enslave through condemnation:

Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

1Corinthians 15: 56 – The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

My wife Susan and I have opportunity to do counseling from time to time, and we see this concept on every level of human existence, especially marriage. Most bad marriages are the result of two people trying to control each other using condemnation. In almost every case, both spouses come to counseling with lengthy condemnation lists, but the Bible says “love does not keep a record of wrong.” In marriage counseling we often hear: “He/she will NEVER change!” Of course not, that’s the ammo one needs to beat the other spouse down in order to control them. Change is not acknowledged, and improvement is met with new accusations/faults that rain down condemnation for purposes of control.

This is why most formal religion is predicated on sin, especially Protestantism. The whole idea of the total depravity of man is a naked control ploy. But let us now apply the same principle to the politics of “white guilt,” and its kissing cousin, “white privilege.”

It’s the politics of control, and many think it got President Obama elected, and I think there is some merit to the charge. If you will notice, America is given little or no credit for its core ideals that overcame slavery. It’s little different from the spouse who will give no credit to the other spouse for change because that takes away one’s ability to control through condemnation. No matter what the other spouse does, it’s NEVER good enough. Why? Because control and domination is the goal—not love. Likewise, you can always tell what the agenda of an administration is when the House or the Senate cannot agree on anything. Partisan politics equals us against them and the artillery is condemnation.

The effectiveness of this strategy is at times astounding. Many will compromise and alter their good behavior to avoid being condemned or slandered. Has there been anyone who has employed this tactic more than Hillary Clinton? Her incessant drumbeat in regard to the “war on women” and her recent comparison of Republicans to terrorists and Nazis belongs in this category of control tactics.

White guilt is indicative of sin’s successful work. It’s a misrepresentation of true character in order to condemn and control. Obama’s apology tour was designed to break the will of the American public accordingly. It’s literally the oldest trick in the book that started with the serpent convincing Eve that she lacked understanding. She bought into a false assessment of her ability and how she esteemed herself.

And America would be ill-advised to follow her example.

paul

%d bloggers like this: