Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Truth About the Gospel Project Part 3

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 5, 2016


Link: Listen to program or download audio file.



Alpha 1 citation

Smile, your evil.

To the Ruling Elders of Southwood:

On September 4, 2011, our daughter and her family from Atlanta were here and we attended the Sunday worship at Southwood.  After the service, our 13 year old granddaughter, who is well grounded in scripture, stated that she was very confused by the message.  She had come away hearing that every good thing she does is wrong.  Why would she believe that?  We have gone back and listened again to that message, entitled “Duh,” and here is what we found:

The message is from Galatians 3:1-6. Paul is chastening the church for falling prey to the persuasion of the Judaizers, exhorting them again that God’s love for them was not by any of their own works but through the miraculous work of Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Jean seems to take the written word beyond its intent.  He subtly changes ‘God’s love’ to ‘God’s favor.’  He changes legalism to performance. He takes Jewish law and extends it to almost any action one does.  Here are some paraphrased quotes from the sermon.  “To keep God’s favor, the Galatians were believing they needed Christ and a dash of obedience which looks like those things called Christian disciplines. Christian walk Christianity is from the Devil. Faithfulness is feeling condemned for work you haven’t finished (as contrasted with faith: resting completely in Christ). Faith is a litmus test for teachers and leaders; the difference between faith in Christ alone and faithfulness is like the difference between truth and falsehood, between Heaven and Hell. Faith alone is all we will teach.” (Here Jean says this is what Paul is teaching but he gives no supporting scriptures to support his interpretation.) “Discern as false any book, sermon, or Bible study where you hear a dash of self justifying obedience.  Self justifying obedience is from Satan.

Jean’s statements, combined with the tone and inflections in his delivery, imply that he is scornful of Christian disciplines, preachers, Christian writers, the Christian walk, obedience, faithfulness, good works, and an individual’s efforts.  This message can lead to the conclusion that everything we do is evil and, by extension, that God and the Holy Spirit can do nothing through us.  The message lacks balance and leaves sanctification out of the equation.  A new believer under this teaching would be moribund after accepting Christ, hidebound in fear that he can do nothing right.  While it is true none of us have all pure motives, it is also true that God commands us to go forward and that the Holy Spirit will be with us.  God says we are His instruments for spreading the Truth.  We cannot do this if we are strapped by guilt; we can do this if we seek partnership with the Holy Spirit.

From here Jean goes back to Paul saying “…since you were 100% depraved when you were brought into the Kingdom by the Holy spirit and by no works of your own, why are you trying to be perfected by your own human efforts?  You are being deceived by the Devil.”  I believe Jean is paralleling Paul in this.  Jean then goes on to “We are like alcoholics ; we use Bible study, prayers, small groups, etc. as a crutch and the church rewards our ‘addiction’ with its approval.  How would you know if you were addicted?  Stop everything.  If you feel anxiety, then you are afraid of leaving your ‘fix.’”   So we ask: what does God have us do?  Jean’s answer is “rest totally in Jesus.”  So in turn we ask, what does Scripture say about resting totally in Jesus?  But we hear no clear answer from the pulpit.

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LifeWay’s “Gospel Project” Will Keep Children From Entering the Kingdom

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 14, 2013

ppt-jpeg4Proponents of New Calvinism’s false gospel of progressive justification are targeting children through LifeWay Publisher’s Gospel Project. The church now stands silent as this massive program will prevent untold thousands of children from entering the kingdom. And I have news for American pastors: your ignorance on this issue will not excuse you before Christ in regard to the eternal wellbeing of Children, especially if you are soliciting them to attend your VBS.  Spiffy teacher’s manuals with the word “gospel” on them doesn’t equal truth-driven gospel.

Much could be said biblically about God’s preference for children, but it’s interesting to note that God made a specific covenant between Himself and children, and New Calvinism seeks to interfere with that covenant. The apostle Paul explains the covenant as follows:

Ephesians 6:1 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

The fifth commandment is the command with a promise, and the four after it are uncharacteristic of the first five in regard to being short statements. This means they probably relate back to the fifth commandment: children dishonor their parents by stealing, etc. New Calvinism circumvents this covenant (which is obviously still in force or Paul would not have referred to it), and thereby circumvents the promises to children associated with it, circumvents their ability to honor their parents, and circumvents their ability to love God.

How so? New Calvinism’s gospel-centered theology is progressive justification and sanctification by faith alone. The “big picture” method of “Bible learning” is the vehicle for enabling Christians to live by faith alone in their Christian lives. This is nothing new and is the mentality that James pushed back against in his epistle. The Bible becomes a tool for gospel contemplationism, and whatever we see in the “gospel story” is imputed to our lives. This imputation is always accompanied by gratitude (fueled by the “crosswork” that we see in the Bible), joy, and a willing spirit. All obedience out of duty is “obedience in our own efforts” which would include anything that we don’t feel like doing. Ya, teach that to kids. Brilliant.

Kids will be instructed to see all of the commands in the Bible as works that Christ accomplished for us while He lived on earth. That’s what the term, Christ for us means. We are still totally depraved  and unable to keep the law in sanctification, so Christ lived for our sanctification and died for our justification. As we see all of the commands in the Bible that Christ kept for us, that obedience is imputed to our (justification) account by faith alone.

Note: we supposedly have a salvation account that needs continuing forgiveness and righteousness deposits to keep us saved. The Bible is then a tool that enables us to “see” what Christ has done, not anything we do. This is a supposed increase of faith that only perceives without any direct acts of love which would be deemed a “rightousness of our own.”

Instead of Christ obtaining our salvation by “one act” of obedience, we must contemplate his many “saving acts” (John Piper) in all of the Bible so that those acts will be continually deposited in our salvation account. Salvation is not a finished act according to this false gospel.

Worse yet, it makes the standard for justification a perfect keeping of the law; therefore, part of Christ’s salvific works was perfect obedience during His life on earth so that His works can be imputed to our sanctification by faith alone—the same way we were saved. This effectively keeps us “under the law” which is a designation for the lost throughout the New Testament. For all practical purposes, we are still under the law and that’s why Jesus must obey for us. Since sanctification finishes our justification (really progressive justification), if we don’t live the Christian life by faith alone—we are toast. Supposedly. Children will be taught that “making every effort” (2Peter 1:5-11) to obey mommy and daddy is works salvation.

Hence, there is really no choice to obey “in our own efforts” and therefore no way to love God and please Him. Supposedly, If we really love Jesus, it shouldn’t take effort. As Francis Chan states: “If it feels like work—it’s work. If it feels like love—it’s love.” There are just no words for the vileness that is behind the efforts to teach this to our children.

Moreover, it’s plainly a false gospel that denies the new birth. In the new birth, the “Helper” enables us to appropriate the fact that our minds are now enslaved to the law rather than sin (Romans 7:25). The ability to obey the law and please God is the very definition of a born again believer (Romans 8:7).

Of course, these doctrinal ideas will be assimilated into their minds by methods that teach on their level of understanding. The production is also top notch and designed to mesmerize children.

But this will be the result: the ability for our children to use the Bible to love God and others with all of their heart, soul, and minds will be circumvented. And our view of sanctification reveals what our view of justification is. We are either free from the law to serve another with our actual obedience, or enslaved to the law which necessitates a substitution for our loving acts using the Bible for the mere purpose of gospel contemplationism.