Paul's Passing Thoughts

When Christian Husbands Should Ask the Divorce Question

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 18, 2016

TANC M2The Protestant church is returning to its medieval orthodoxy. This transition is very subtle but causing controversy and conflict. The transition is extraordinarily efficient because Protestantism is already primed for it. A misguided (from a true Protestant perspective) historical-grammatical interpretation of the Bible created a Protestant hybrid for about 200 years, but the rediscovered true Protestant gospel has returned.

And that means Protestant pastors claim all authority on earth over salvation and people’s lives. That’s just plain black and white Protestant orthodoxy. Before Protestants became confused between 1776 and 1970, they were just another warring faction among all the other church-states and pagan-states that ruled the world. Part of the confusion was integrating Americanism with Protestantism, but in reality, the two are mutually exclusive.

So, this is what our ministry deals with; contentious Protestant marriages over the authority issue. One spouse subscribes to pastoral authority while the other doesn’t. This post primarily focuses on husbands—probably because three out of the four situations we are presently dealing with involve husbands that are seeking counsel.

In these situations, the wife has a problem with the husband because he “doesn’t respect the elders” or “refuses to submit to the elders.” If a husband is guilty of this grave sin, he has lost all credibility as a husband and the right to be one…while in most cases he is yet paying the bills.

Even though the wife has completely stripped the husband’s status as leader of the home and given it to the elders of the church, we hesitate to counsel any husband to file for divorce, but we do think that it is time for the “divorce conversation.”

Due to the fact that the wife has ignored the clear teachings of Ephesians 5:22-33 and 1Corinthians 11:3, and has chosen to listen to mere men instead, she may be treated as if she is an unbeliever. Her authority is men, not Christ. This is when the husband needs to have the “divorce conversation” to ascertain whether or not the wife is pleased to remain married to said husband. The conversation could go something like this:

Husband: Do you want a divorce?

Wife: No, why would I want a divorce?

Husband: Because you have taken away my role as a husband and given it to the elders of the church, that is, except for paying all of the bills. This is an unacceptable existence.

Wife: But you should be willing to submit to the authority of godly men.

Husband: No, I will submit to Christ and no other, so what do you want to do?

Based on the outcome of this conversation, the husband may encourage the wife to put feet on her beliefs and file for divorce (1Corintians 7:15). This is because she will never respect her husband as a husband until he obeys men rather than God. That’s a huge problem, and frankly, not reconcilable.

This puts the wife in a position where she has to verbalize a position instead of having it both ways. “yes, I totally disrespect you because you will not obey the elders, but I still want the financial security that you supply and occasional sex.” If she will not admit it, verbalize it for her and let her present a case of denial. But at any rate, it can be pointed out that the elders get to be the boss while not putting their money where their mouth is. They and the wife are picking and choosing what role the husband is allowed to execute. It’s an absurd state of affairs.

As a ministry, we are treading new territory in regard to utterly rejecting the authority of Protestant orthodoxy. Christ’s assembly is a body that operates via organized gifts, not via the glory of arrogant men. There is ONE head of the body…period. Perhaps this “divorce question” conversation is a sound beginning to needed solutions.

paul

 

Overcoming the Protestant Divorce Mill

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 22, 2015

ppt-jpeg4The unregenerate normally do life better than the religious because they believe God made the world to work in certain ways. In contrast, if much of life is self evident, what do we need witch doctors for? Most religions are predicated on the idea that reality is not self evident to the masses.

Catholicism gave birth to the second great super-cult of the ages: Protestantism, and like most cults, marriage is seen as something that contributes to the control strategy. As Protestantism comes more into its own through the Neo-Calvinist movement in our day, the rearranging of marriages for the benefit of the institution will become more and more evident. In Neo-Protestant speak, it sounds like this: “We want marriages that look like the gospel.”

Over the past couple of years, Susan and I have had opportunity to counsel several people in regard to their marriages of misery as well as some premarital counseling. It’s interesting, they want to talk to us regardless of our confession that as recovering Protestants, we know little about living for the kingdom. In regard to premarital counseling, we focus on the few things that we have learned and are certain of, and after that they are on their own. They need to be pioneering disciples and teach us a few things.

Here is what we know through God’s word and what we have learned through counseling others stuck in a marriage of misery: the marriage is miserable because of sin, but don’t miss the main point of such crass simplicity. One must consider a primary essence of sin. Sin seeks to control others through condemnation, and if others don’t supply enough ammo for condemnation, the controller will make some up, usually through assumptions or outright slander. But in almost every counseling situation involving a horrible marriage, both spouses come with their condemnation lists. If only he or she would do this or that, or believe this or that, our marriage would be healed. Nope.

“Christians” stuck in a bad marriage because there is no biblical premise for divorce are indeed stuck, unless they go to a Neo-Calvinist church, and since Neo-Calvinism has completely taken over the American church, they probably do. The movement, through its para-church counseling industrial complex, is dolling out sanctified divorce right and left. But even the world knows that divorce does not reduce life’s misery scale. While the church is rearranging marriages through sanctified divorce and remarriage, the unregenerate are finding happiness in their marriages through state sponsored marriage workshops. This ministry endorses such because we do not believe that happy unbelievers are necessarily blinded to the gospel. Protestants, like all cults, feel threatened by happiness outside of their realm of belief. As the Protestant Gnostic Paul David Tripp asserts, happy unbelieving spouses are simply “feeding each others’ idols.”

Really? Or are they simply wiser about life? This is the crux: the world will only begin to listen to our gospel if it looks like we know more about the life our Father supposedly created than they do. Beware of the whole deep things of God routine which often translates into… “I understand things that you cannot understand so you need to let me control you.” Or, “Since God spoke to me in a dream/vision, and he doesn’t speak to you directly, you need to submit to me.” Or, “Since I completed the seminary test course that validates philosopher kings, you need to obey me, and if you do, it proves that you are saved.”

This is the true reality: believers, or Christians stuck in a bad marriage have three choices: divorce your spouse and find someone more compatible, stay married and remain miserable in the marriage, or stay married and be happy in the marriage. The Bible is explicit about how the third option is obtained. And this is important to know because it is the same principle for unity in home fellowships. Basically, you allow your spouse to live according to their own conscience, and also allow time for them to be convinced in their own minds about life and truth in general. This doesn’t mean persuasion is excluded, but it does mean control as an agenda is excluded.

What about “submission”? Same deal. The Bible states that it is of no benefit to individuals when they refuse to obey truth, and they need to be given room to figure that out on their own. In a marriage counseling situation where the husband is obsessed with the “submission” of the wife, his words are often telling. He thinks she should “obey” him for what reason? Because God has ordained the husband as head of the wife, the woman sinned first, and therefore…etc., etc., etc. Apparently, in God’s grand scheme of things, the husband understands things that the wooooman cannot understand and she should therefore obey him. And since we are in America, he can’t beat her, or set her on fire for daring to disrespect his authority, so the next best thing is to get her into counseling where a philosopher king tells her to obey lest her salvation be revoked by John Calvin’s “power of the keys.”

This simply won’t work, unless for whatever reason the wife capitulates and becomes a living manikin in both life and the bed. For certain, control freaks (really sin freaks) embrace any sexual satisfaction perceived as a cut above masturbation in the same way they are aroused by the respect of others. The husband as head of the home is a goal—not a caste system. How convenient: Christ is the head of the man, and the man is the head of the woman, but when it comes to the man being dealt with by Christ, that’s of the invisible realm. Per the usual, in all caste systems, it’s a bitch being a serf, or in this case, the serf is the bitch.

So what is the answer? Lots of wisdom that we do not yet have in this Protestant dark age, but we must start someplace. Husbands must learn the art of leadership, and they must know that authority is a cheap shortcut. They must live with their wives according to knowledge, regardless of the wife, and remember, authority doesn’t need any knowledge other than one’s own brute instincts. Husband, if you are a believer, your wife is also your sister and joint heir in eternal life. If you have a bad marriage—you lack knowledge. And that’s a starting point in your miserable marriage: “We have a bad marriage because we both lack wisdom. And that lack of wisdom is presently being passed on to our children. I am going to do my best to fix this, and the judge will be our love for each other, or at least my love for you.”

Wife, likewise, your husband is not always going to get it. Unless you have biblical grounds for divorce, your goal is to live with him on common ground and in love. Simply refuse to discuss issues where you cannot find common ground. The more you master the art of respecting him for his truly good characteristics, and not dwelling on his faults, you will learn to love him. If he responds in a negative way, your conscience is clear, and that is where you are ultimately going to find peace.

The gospel? Your children are not stupid. If God can’t fix a marriage—He can’t fix a soul. Get it together. Your longstanding bad marriage is a living bad news of hopelessness to the world. God is bigger than your bad marriage—figure it out for the sake of the gospel. In some cases, that may mean sleeping in the same room again, which will get the attention of your children big-time. And when they ask, and they will, tell them that dad and mom don’t have all of the answers, but this one thing is what you both know: God is bigger than your bad marriage. That’s common ground even if nothing happens. That’s a beginning, and that’s the gospel. And if your spouse is a Protestant, you may even make him/her late for Sunday school, which is also helpful.

A beginning truce is fairly painless: “Is it all about us, or something bigger? And does that mean we do everything your way, or my way? Or is there another way?”

paul

An Open letter to Dr. Heath Lambert, Executive Director, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on July 9, 2015

To Dr. Heath Lambert

Executive Director: Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

2825 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40280

From Paul Dohse, TANC Ministries

58 West Harbine Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385

mail@ttanc.com 937.478.1201

The purpose of this letter is to bring attention to certain facts concerning a pattern that has developed in the counseling network that you oversee. As testified by my own case in circa 2009, and many who have contacted this ministry and shared the same description of events, this pattern of behavior within your organization has become epidemic.

Again, what happens, and the procedure followed by the many churches under the auspices of your counseling organization is almost exact. What is the testimony that this ministry continues to hear at an alarming rate? It follows:

A spouse, usually the husband, seeks counsel from a church certified by your organization. In many cases, it’s not a bad marriage per se, but one of the spouses or both are seeking improvement. On average, eight months later, the couple find themselves in divorce court.

The clear pattern that is emerging begins with one of the spouses showing themselves “unteachable.” As these events go unchecked, church leaders are less and less ambiguous and are plainly stating, by letter, that one spouse is “insubordinate” to the authority of the church leaders. The unteachable and insubordinate spouse then becomes the focus of fault resulting in the other spouse being counseled separately.

In that separate counseling, the church leaders become the authority in the household. The “teachable” spouse then becomes a mole for church leaders in building a case for “church discipline” against the “unteachable” spouse. The subordinate spouse is then routinely communicated with apart from the other spouse and without knowledge of the meetings.

Again, let me preface all of this with the fact that this pattern has become epidemic within the network of churches associated with your organization, and these facts are well documented.

As this procedure unfolds, the unteachable, and at this point alarmed spouse, will usually submit a letter of membership resignation to the church leaders while there is no discussion of “church discipline.” In most cases, this results in the spouse being placed under church discipline after the fact.

The unteachable spouse is then given an ultimatum; either they remain a member and enter an in-house church counseling program, or they will be excommunicated publically in a future church meeting. In almost all cases, the “sins” of the spouse are not announced at the meeting under the auspices of avoiding legal action and gossip, but the result (whether intentionally or unwittingly) leaves the congregation to their own imaginations, even though the actual “sin” is frivolous in context. In my own case dating back to circa 2009, members at Clearcreek Chapel in Springboro, Ohio still assume that I committed adultery, or worse.

Other procedures to discredit the unteachable spouses and disenfranchise them from the congregation are practiced in like fashion among your network of churches. There are many documented examples that are egregious, and this one will be shared from recent events: at a meeting between an insubordinate spouse and church leaders, security guards were employed by the church to be present at the meeting regardless of the fact that there was absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that this spouse was a danger to anyone.

In other instances, unneeded monetary collections are solicited to send the message to congregants that a family is not being supplied for financially. This is usually condoned through the perspective of the high income zip codes that ACBC functions in exclusively. Also, in cases where a spouse works out of town, the situation is framed as abandonment. These false narratives are conveyed subtly in many different ways, and usually during the midweek home fellowships as precontrived by the board of elders who oversee them separately.

If targeted spouses concur with the leadership about the default accusation used in most cases, e.g., “not loving your wife like Christ loved the church,” and promise to act upon it, said spouses are still required to enter a program where they are examined by church elders over several months. Only then will they be eventually “released” from church membership. If they refuse to enter in-house counseling or fruits of repentance inspection they face public humiliation via excommunication.

Obviously, in most states, this is a criminal act under Coercion penal codes. You cannot prevent any person from conducting legal activity by threatening to harm their reputation. In short, this protocol is an attempt to return to traditions that were formed in a church state culture, but let me remind you that this is the United Sates in 2015. This procedure is not only immoral in general, but offends civil and criminal law on almost every level.

Once an unteachable spouse is publically declared an “unbeliever,” the marriage is then deemed mixed in regard to saved/unsaved spouses. And according to a narrative already set in place, the insubordinate spouse is dubbed “an unbelieving spouse that is not pleased to live with the believing spouse.” The “green light” is then given to the subordinate spouse to divorce the “unbelieving” spouse who has committed “abandonment in their heart.”

In addition, financial support is offered as well, usually at the hands of unwitting congregants who trust the church leaders. At the public church discipline meeting, congregants are allowed to assume that the spouse attempted to vacate membership in the midst of a serious issue, and that the spouse committed sin of the baser sort.

Your attempts to deny this emerging pattern will prove futile. It is well documented, and in essence, ACBC has become a divorce mill.

Dr. Lambert, this ministry has begged you and your organization on many occasions to desist from referring hurting people to these counseling programs that have unresolved conflict with many, many families. Yet, you are indifferent and arrogant. If this continues to stand, it will not be because of any lack of effort on our part.

You, your associates, and the organization you represent are acting as cultic unbelievers and you will be treated as such. We will research legal options for those who continue to contact this ministry for help.

May God grant us grace in standing against the injustice of your egregious behavior against fellow believers.

Paul M. Dohse

TANC Ministries

TANC Press Release 7.9.2015

The New Calvinism Divorce Mill

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

https://paulspassingthoughts.com/The purpose of this post is to merely state the facts—you can draw your own conclusions in regard to motives. As predicted by this ministry several years ago, divorces overseen and endorsed by Reformed churches has now become an epidemic. That’s an understatement.

From several testimonies to us over time, we have concluded that the unfolding of these divorces share an identical storyline.

It all begins with couples seeking to improve their marriage via the formal counseling of the Reformed biblical counseling movement. The consistent testimony that we constantly hear follows: in the milieu of the issues, the counselors gravitate to, and take sides with the spouse who is willing to submit to church authority. Then, the unwillingness of the other spouse to submit to church authority becomes the primary issue and fodder for potential church discipline.

Once the church discipline has been executed, the “unteachable” spouse is declared unregenerate, and the marriage is now a mixed marriage. Usually, the excommunicated spouse doesn’t worry about it all that much because after all, he/she is “pleased to live with the ‘believing’ spouse.”

But not so fast. Protocol doesn’t limit “abandonment” (“if the unbelieving spouse departs let them depart” 1Cor 7:12-15) to a physical leaving; yes, there is also an “abandonment of the heart.” No, the spouse hasn’t left physically, but the actions and words of the spouse show that they are not really “pleased to dwell with the believing spouse and are staying for ulterior motives.” Of course, as ascertained by the “expert” biblical counselor.

The “believing” spouse is now given the green light to divorce the “unbelieving” spouse. The judgement regarding the salvation of either spouse is based on a willingness to submit to church authority. And obviously, there are many words or actions that can be used as proof to deem the other spouse as unpleased to dwell with the other. The judgment is subjectivism on steroids.

As this ministry has documented, the Reformed biblical counseling movement is nonexistent in zip codes where the average income is below $50,000 per year. Because the church where the counseling takes place offers support to the believing spouse in the midst of the decision to divorce, that spouse will almost always join said church and faithfully tithe 10% of the alimony as New Calvinist churches are now routinely disciplining people for not tithing at least 10%. In some cases, the submission of financial statements is part of the membership covenant.

And sadly, the word is out on some of these churches: it’s a place you can go to get sanctified permission to dump your spouse. Somebody play 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Simon and Garfunkel.

And even sadder, some of the counseling starts with a couple merely wanting tips on tuning up their marriage and getting the most out of it; a year later they are in divorce court.

This ministry is primarily recommending Marriage Works through the state of Ohio. It’s not counseling, but rather workshops on practical things that improve a marriage. We also reluctantly recommend the Institute of Nouthetic Studies (Jay Adams). Because Jay will not make a complete break with New Calvinist minions such as Lou Priolo and Martha Peace, we recommend extreme caution. Nevertheless, aspects of Jay’s counseling are a major help. Susan and I offer counseling as a third option.

paul

Child Centeredness: The Silent Killer

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 29, 2014

Nothing wreaks more havoc on society in general and the family unit in particular than little Johnny as god. The only justice in the sordid affair is that it will eventually kill Johnny as well, but rarely until Johnny has left his unique brand of scorched earth on his sphere of existence. In many instances, it is a silent killer of marriages because both spouses are equally invested in the worship. They wrongly interpret their misguided priorities as a good marriage. Johnny is the only tie that binds. Even in the bedroom, does the good sex flow from an intimate friendship, or because Johnny won the spelling bee?

Things happen for a reason, and people do what they do for a reason; always. Whenever you hear of a couple getting divorced after say, 35 years of marriage, it will almost always be in conjunction with empty nest syndrome. Both spouses will end up knowing little about each other, but will be experts on Johnny’s every want and need. Is your dinner with the Johnsons awkwardly silent? Start a conversation about little Johnny and the dinner will soon take on the excitement of a drunken orgy.

One of the most errant ideologies known to man is the idea that children “complete a marriage.” In contrast, it is the marriage that is to be “one flesh” between two people, not three, four, five, and for damn certain, not 19! Dominion theology doesn’t make a biblical marriage—that is completely messed up. Little Johnny is to “leave and cleave” when the time comes, and unfortunately, many marriages are a Three’s Company sitcom between newlyweds and mommy.

So, child centeredness is a major cause of dysfunction within the family, and will spread throughout the family tree like gangrene, and also affect society at large. Two parents who have made a child the center of their life send a clear message to that child that he/she is also the center of the world. They have grown up in a sphere where they are the center of all priorities, and when they go out into the world, they will assume the same. We have all worked and gone to church with such. And nothing pictures a doomed marriage destined for divorce or mere coexistence more than four or five miniature narcissists sitting between a husband and wife on a church pew.

Strong marriages make a strong family and strong contributors to society at large. This is a short food for thought post, but let me close with some basics. You should NEVER know your child better than you know your spouse. NEVER invest more in your children than your spouse. If you do, as you grow further apart from your spouse, the children themselves will fill the void and a downward spiral of marriage-death will occur.

You should NEVER model anything in the home that represents a flawed view of how society works. Child-centered parents will often display a propensity for not holding their children accountable. I can also tell you this if I know nothing else: the primary cause of teenage rebellion is the realization by the teen that they are able to drive a wedge of disagreement between parents. The teenager recognizes that he/she can obtain a perceived want by pitting one parent against the other. This in and of itself often leads to divorce, and then the child actually uses the parental guilt in regard to the divorce to further the same agenda. I have seen this at work firsthand.

Children must see an ironclad marriage that is the primary priority. I understand that this is a vast body of applicable wisdom, but are there some simple principles that can help us stay in a mindset that will continually cultivate a marriage-first environment? Yes.

One time, I was invited to a Southern Baptist pot luck dinner. When it came time to get in line for the buffet, the front of the line was populated with the children, followed by the dutiful parents, and the back of the line was populated with seniors, many donning walkers and canes. Need I say more? Are we so saturated with a child-centered culture that I would have to expound on this picture further? I hope not. I will only say this: the clueless seniors in the rear, smiling, were the parents of the clueless parents behind the homegrown narcissists in the front of the line.

All in all, marriages don’t have a life of their own, you must feed them. Family relationships must be in proper perspective in order to have a healthy family.

paul

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