Paul's Passing Thoughts

Mom Wants to Know: Why I Don’t Like Mike Huckabee (and Other Adorable People)

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on January 6, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published February 10, 2014

I am very busy and need to combine eight posts into one which is not difficult because it’s all related. I need to write about Mike Huckabee, Joni Eareckson Tada, Boz Tchividjian, K-Love, stuff happens theology, plumbing, Communism, and of course John Calvin, but not necessarily in that order.

Let’s start with a conversation that occurred over at my mom’s house about former Governor Mike Huckabee. Susan and I were over at her house overseeing the repair of her furnace. My study of medieval religion has given me a robust appreciation in regard to American ingenuity and technology. A working furnace is critical for someone my mom’s age in sub-zero weather. The furnace was repaired by a competent young man within hours of us calling, and let me add that he also laughed at my jokes.

Plumbing

When all was accomplished, Susan and I said farewell to mom and then received a call on my cellphone about four miles from her house; she reported a funny hissing sound in the kitchen. We returned, and concluded that a frozen water pipe had broken under the kitchen floor. This was totally unrelated to the furnace repair. There we were, the day well spent, and a broken water pipe shooting out gallons of water by the minute underneath the shallow crawl space of the kitchen.

Another competent repair man to the rescue, even at that hour? Maybe, but my mom is long retired and lives on a limited income. I went down to the basement and turned off the main water supply to the house and also observed the following: much cost was spared in installing shutoff valves, but the kitchen was an isolated run of two copper pipes easily accessible before entering the long and shallow crawl space under the kitchen. It became apparent that those two pipes could be sealed off and the rest of the house would have water until the broken pipe was fixed. The trade of a dishwasher and one faucet for flushing toilets etc. in the rest of the house would be a good trade indeed.

I have some past limited background in plumbing, so Susan and I drove to the nearest Lowes to buy sand paper, a propane torch, two copper end-caps, solder, flux, a small brush, a hack saw, and inner pipe brush. Then we talked to a delightful young man that informed me that American plumbing had indeed changed since fifteen years ago when I was dabbling in it here and there as a builder. He informed us that we would only need two “push fittings” and a mini pipe cutter, and about five minutes.

“Uh, let me get this straight. I just cut the pipe, and push this thing on the end of it, and I am done? ‘Right.’”

Now visualize me looking at the guy like he is the Lowes version of John Calvin as he explained how the simple contraption worked. Remember those weaved tubes that we used to put on our friends’ finger when we were kids back in the days of extreme political incorrectness? The tightness of the device around the finger increased with pull. It was the initiation ceremony of choice for all neighborhood club houses. In this case, the pipe is the finger and the water pressure is the sadistic adolescent.

Huckabee

All of this is why I don’t like Mike Huckabee. After the plumbing repair, we hung around awhile and watched the Mike Huckabee show on the Fox News channel. I informed mom and Susan that I don’t like the guy. Like many, they were astounded that anyone of Christian stripe could dislike that cornball.

“Why don’t you like Huckabee?!”

I really didn’t have an answer at the time. But I thought about it all night and realized that the answer was right under my nose the whole time—so I hereby write.

Tada

Huckabee had the mega storied Joni Eareckson Tada on his show. Both of these people are impressive and adorable. Tada has been a paraplegic since her teen years, but her life accomplishments are over the top. Both are the epitome of American pie and conservative Christianity. The reason Huckabee had Tada on his show was to discuss the “Academy’s rescinding of its Oscar nomination for ‘Best Original Song,’ which appeared in the inspirational American colonial epic, ‘Alone Yet Not Alone,’ when it was discovered that the composer, Bruce Broughton, had sent a short email bringing the song to the attention of Oscar voters.” Tada was the vocalist.

Christians en masse stand in awe of Tada, and Huckabee added to her mystique with his mainstream Christian appeal. And this is the problem with Huckabee: he doesn’t get it. Huckabee is the poster child for the Christian metaphysical treadmill. Tada is very much a part of the New Calvinism movement which is a return to authentic Reformation ideology.

Communism   

It is nothing more or less than Communism dressed in Bible verses. This is where the Huck doesn’t get it; as a political/religious conservative, he is representative of many in Christianity who allow their principles to fornicate with contrary ideology. This leads to a never ending endeavor to change society while unwittingly giving credence to the very ideologies that are the source of the problem.

In the same show, Huckabee, prior to Tada’s segment, criticized the opening ceremonies at this year’s winter Olympics in Moscow which promoted the virtues of Communism. He commented that Lenin’s murderous legacy was conveniently left out. Meanwhile, in the next segment, here comes Joni Eareckson Tada who represents a return to John Calvin purism. Granted, Tada’s extensive education came from seminaries that don’t teach the significance of how philosophy progressed through history and how that applies to the doctrine she embraces. Long story short, this leads to a contradictory motif in her own life as she benefits from an array of technological advances that has made much of her success possible (more on that later), but the larger point is that Reformation theology and Communism came from the exact same ideological source along with its presuppositions concerning mankind.

Hence, Huckabee partakes in the same hypocrisy that he criticizes. The Reformers were NO LESS murdering despots than Lenin—that’s conspicuous history plain and simple. In fact, in most cases, Lenin had people shot in the head while the Reformers wouldn’t have tolerated such a quick and painless departure by those whom they disagreed with. Huckabee is the epitome of the well-polished American do-gooder that refuses to come to terms with the fact that the Pilgrims, the Puritans, and the Reformers are not part of the ideology that made America; they are in fact part and parcel with Communist ideology. Putin needs ratings no less than Huckabee does.

The progression of philosophy and how it affects humanity is magnified in the differences between America and Russia. Huckabee, again, in the same show, pointed to the poor quality of life in Russia that is hindering the Olympics. What he doesn’t realize is that it would be much worse if it wasn’t for America. You have to have technology to eventually destroy the Great Satan, but if Russia ever succeeds, technology goes bye-bye, and the mass graves become filled with the Joni Eareckson Tada’s of the world because they can’t “contribute to the greater good of the group.” This is why Russia’s technology will never rival that of American ingenuity: Communists see technology as a necessary evil, Americans see technology as a means to accomplish good.

Really, this can be summarized in the living contradiction that is Joni Eareckson Tada. While promoting Luther’s worm theology and making one statement by God to the apostle Paul the whole enchilada, she continually pontificates, “God’s power always shows up best in weakness.” Communism asserts that the masses are hapless and incompetent; Reformation theology asserts that man defaces the glory of God through his own accomplishments. Both share the same presuppositions in regard to mankind. Tada points to her disability as set against her accomplishments as proof of Reformed doctrine while completely dismissing God’s use of technology invented by those who in many cases could care less about God. Tada has a lot of education in regard to what others told her is in the Calvin Institutes, and conveniently missing are Calvin’s vast discussions of Plato and Aristotle. I dare say that the Reformation had more to do with those two men than “justification by faith alone.”

And by the way, the Reformation wasn’t about that either; it was about cutting man completely out of the salvation process because of Plato’s philosophical presuppositions concerning mankind. This later morphed into Gnosticism.

Stuff Happens Theology

Can we summarize this dilemma with T-shirt theology? “S— Happens.” No, stuff doesn’t just happen (there is a logic that drives everything). And that’s how Huckabee functions because of his metaphysics: stuff happens and you have to relentlessly address that stuff until all of the stuff has been refuted. No, you have to stop fornicating with the logic that creates the stuff. The apostle Paul stated it this way: “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” If Huckabee wants unleavened bread, he needs to take some culinary philosophy classes. And if you don’t like what you learn, stop criticizing the Communists for editing history.

And by the way, what scares the bejeebers out of me is that the average Communist on the street understands these issues as opposed to American Christians. They know exactly why their country stinks; because mankind and life stinks. Get with the caste program or it will stink even worse. It’s about the best world hospice care possible. The fray between Americanism and Communism really began when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. That’s where the rewriting of history for us began as well; “Pilgrim” is a soft term for “Puritan.” These are people who saw the likes of Benjamin Franklin as troublers who stir up the anger of the gods with their big ideas. Now they have to use those same ideas to put an end to the egregious idea that man has worth. That’s Joni Eareckson Tada metaphysics.

Hence, supposedly, technology doesn’t enable us to do more ministry. It would have been better to replace my mother’s furnace with a wood burning stove. It would have been better if my mother would have had to write me a letter about the broken water pipe instead of calling me on my cellphone. See, if we were like the Russians, we wouldn’t need plumbing anyway. For Tada, technology is a necessary evil to spread the word that we all suck. If she thinks that is an absurd evaluation of her metaphysics, she should stop promoting men who believe just that in no uncertain terms. She would know this if her reality wasn’t completely formed by the likes of John MacArthur Jr.

The Republican Party and Mike Huckabee in particular need to wake up to a new reality: New Calvinism has made the American church the New Communist Party. Again, stuff doesn’t just happen; there is a reason why many well-known New Calvinist pastors voted for Obama. Sure, they don’t agree with his stance on abortion and other issues, but there is agreement on the bigger issue at hand: mankind needs the best hospice care possible; unfortunate collateral damage can be dealt with when Calvinism is back in bed with the state. This is why the institutional church is the institutional church and partakes in many things institutional like movie production, formal education etc., etc., ect. The state gave it birth, and it will always gravitate back to its mother. This is why Christ’s assembly was never an institution.

The Boz

Let’s continue now with stuff happens theology and the adorable Boz Tchividjian aka the Boz. The Boz is another impressive guy. How can we criticize the Boz? For crying out loud, he left his station as a district attorney who prosecuted child abusers to start G.R.A.C.E, an acronym for, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment. The Boz bemoans “the continued culture of silence and protection [for child abusers] in American Evangelicalism.” This is a reality—stuff happens. No, stuff doesn’t just happen. Read the history for yourself. Seriously, people have actually written this ministry and stated, “Evangelicalism is beginning to look like Catholicism in regard to child abuse.” This is stuff happens theology.

Catholicism was founded on Platonism, and Protestantism came from Catholicism, and never left it. Augustine, an avowed Neo-Platonist, is both the father of Reformed theology and a Doctor of Grace in the Catholic Church. Later, Baptists became Protestants when the issue of infant baptism became a “secondary” issue. Apparently, after all of the Anabaptists of the home church variety were executed by a joint effort of Catholics and Protestants, the institutional breed of Baptist was accepted. After all, they paid the tithe tax. In regard to Catholics and their bastard children, there is no heresy more egregious than tax evasion. Evangelicalism became a necessary addition to Protestantism when people could no longer be compelled by force to attend church and tithe.

Again, we criticize the Communists for propaganda, but yet colonial America was a Puritan theocracy that executed people for being theologically incorrect and jailed people for not attending church and tithing. The Puritans were the first to bring slaves to America at Jamestown. The American Revolution was a pushback against colonial tyranny. While the Boz seeks to rectify the child abuse stuff in “Evangelicalism,” he holds fast to the same presuppositions concerning mankind and the divine right of kings that flows from it. He wants to rid “Evangelicalism” of the behavior, but continues to fornicate with the ideology that produces it.

This ministry, which understands Reformed ideology, has therefore continually stated that G.R.A.C.E. cannot help victims of child abuse in the church. This is because the Boz, like all of those in a Calvinist mindset, sees all of humanity as being in the same boat. Peruse if you will all of the G.R.A.C.E . literature, I was not able to find the word “justice” anywhere. And yet, didn’t the Boz come from a justice system? Though God himself demands justice for the maltreated, Calvinism holds justice in contempt because it assumes humanity deserves NOTHING more than eternity in hell.

I have written extensively on the problem of dealing with abuse in the church with Reformed ideology. The difference is the mindset that puts as much value on one life as it does all of life versus collectivism which sees the individual as expendable for the benefit of the group. This is known as collectivism. This is a big player in the Reformation’s Platonist roots. This is about philosophical metaphysics—not the Bible. While the Boz deplores the behavior of child abuse, his remedy requires that the victim and the abuser both recognize that we are all just “sinners saved by grace.” In at least one sense, he believes that the abusers would repent if the victims would admit that they are no better than their abusers. Example: while the Wartburg Watch blog portends to be an advocacy for the spiritual abused, they partner with Pastor Wade Burleson, a Calvinist, who suggested that abuse would be greatly reduced if the church was not guilty of failing to pray for abusers. Here we have yet another example of attempting to bake unleavened bread while adding leaven to the dough.

Furthermore, discernment blogs, like the Boz, have a common goal of purifying the institutional church. This gets right back to collectivism which is always dependent on the state. Plato’s Republic was about the best hospice care for humanity: government must own man and truth so that humanity can be as comfortable as possible while dying. To the contrary, Christ said He came to give eternal life and life more abundantly in the here and now. And the Christian has no fight with those who believe in a limited government that assures humanity’s right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness. This is closer to the priesthood of believers that devalues church as an institution. This is why the New Testament church was primarily home based before being driven underground in oppressive countries by necessity. To the contrary, the American church functions primarily in institutional venues: higher learning; corporate expression; missionary organizations; political organizations; and even movie making. Discipleship and citizenship to the glory of God is barely on the radar screen.

Therefore, the institutional church will always be one step away from a liaison with state. The institution is what the institution does—it collects taxes and tithes, and doesn’t much care for those who don’t contribute to the group.

Yes, all of the above is why I was able to predict the inevitable outcome of G.R.A.C.E.’s involvement in the Bob Jones University abuse scandal months beforehand. It’s a Reformed institution investigating a Reformed institution. Don’t be fooled by the good cop bad cop routine. They are all cops when it is all said and done. BJU’s final sentence of their statement in regard to firing G.R.A.C.E. after the smoke was clear says it all:

We grieve with those who have suffered abuse in their past, and we desire to minister the grace of Christ to them. Our prayer for the abused is that God will be their refuge and strength.

Yes, they ministered G.R.A.C.E. to them alright, and that message is loud and clear lest the discernment bloggers and victims cannot yet see it:

Justice isn’t the issue; who in the hell do you think you are? You think you deserve justice? If you had a smidgen of spirituality you would seek refuge in God and not the justice of men! How dare you threaten the institution wherein salvation is found because you will not accept the will of God! You were raped, big deal! Jesus hung on the cross for your sins! You are the unmerciful servant who received forgiveness but will not forgive!

K-Love

 …is a radio station that plays contemporary Gnostic Christian music. Here is what my missionary son in law posted on Facebook a couple of days ago:

We have been listening to the newest Christian music on K-Love as we travel and I am noticing an odd trend: there are several songs that ask for God to break someone or make them lonely with the expected result of being a better person. Having been broken and very lonely a couple times in life I am pretty sure they are not really aware of what they are asking for. You don’t have to be broken in order to listen to God’s voice and indeed if you learn to listen to His voice you will not break or be broken even when you do face difficult times.

It’s not odd really, but is part of the whole all reality than can be perceived with the five senses (which of course includes us) is evil and only the invisible spirit realm is good metaphysics dressed up in Bible verses. We have to understand the ideology that drives all of this stuff and stop focusing on the stuff. It explains the madness behind the music, why a pastor would vote for Obama, why someone like Tada endowed with all sorts of technical power and influence would glory in her “weakness” while being far more empowered than most Americans, and for that matter, why a Buddhist monk would set himself on fire just to make a statement.

John Calvin

…is the epicenter of all that is going on in Christianity right now, and the key to understanding the significance of Calvin and his cultural impact has little to do with the Bible and everything to do with the fact that his ideology is the premise that drives a lot of stuff across the spectrum of life and society.  Focusing on the stuff will only delay the inevitable. And per the usual, people will continue to focus on the stuff, because stuff happens, and we like to talk about it—it’s like rubber necking to get the best view that we can of a traffic accident—it’s like flirting with the voluptuous vampiress that just might bite our necks and suck all of our blood. There is no thrill in solutions like traffic safety or a silver bullet.

And what would Mike Huckabee talk about on his show? But others have a choice; we don’t have to strive in baking unleavened bread while allowing leaven. We don’t have to give mere platitudes to the suffering…

we can set them free with real truth, and be a blessing in our own little corner of the world. And when you stand before Jesus, as we all will, it’s better that way. Jesus said that whatever we do for the least of the little ones we do unto Him. With Jesus, love is about the individual—not the collective good.

paul

The Gospel According to Joni Eareckson Tada

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on December 19, 2014

PPT HandleOriginally published October 21, 2013

Though Joni Eareckson Tada has experienced monumental life setbacks, namely, quadriplegia and breast cancer, she has lived a life of experience and accomplishments that others can only dream of. Also, it cannot be denied that she has propagated a gargantuan mass of good works that has benefited much of the world.

And she is a self-proclaimed Calvinist. THEREFORE, her good works and her life testimony have become an endorsement for Calvinism, because that is what she has proclaimed herself to be. Good works are not a pass for who you are, or how you define yourself, they endorse what you believe. And Tada believes Calvinism. She has even proclaimed that all of her good works, even a smile that she might give someone, flows from her Calvinistic beliefs (Crystal Cathedral: Hour of Power ; May 3rd, 2009).

That’s my point here. Everything Tada is, in turn, sells what she believes—that’s the choice she has made. So, the question/issue becomes the following: is Calvinism true?

The very definition of a Christian is someone who loves the truth (2Thessalonians  2:10).  In reality, and regardless of appearances, only truth sanctifies (John 17:17). The greatest errors are closest to the truth, and every landfill full of the dead is located at the end of a road paved with good works.

Tada has stated that shortly after her tragic diving accident that left her paralyzed, she was looking for answers (Scott Larsen: Indelible Ink ; Waterbrook Press 2003, Joni Eareckson Tada, chapter 1):

That was when Joni asked a friend to help her understand God’s sovereignty. Wisely, he gave her meat to chew on~hers was no simple, slightly uncomfortable situation~and started her on Berkhof’s Systematic Theology and John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. Still just a few years out of high school, Joni found Calvin too heavy, so her friend replaced it with Loraine Boettner’s The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination.

“Somewhere in its pages I realized I was reading something mansized. Rather, God-sized. Perhaps it expressed the unspoken desire of my soul: to encounter towering biblical doctrine like the Himalayan peaks that rise to the breathtaking height of Mount Everest. To apprehend a God who was much, much bigger than I ever imagined when I was on my feet.”… “I realized that my suffering was the key to unlocking the hieroglyphics of God’s foreordained will. I was about to embark on the adventure of my life.”

Calvinism might have given Tada answers that invigorated her will to live on, but one searches in vain for her concern that Calvin taught a true gospel. And he didn’t. Calvin’s view of God’s sovereignty was the issue, not his gospel. Is there a difference? Obviously there is. Calvin believed that God is completely sovereign, and also believed that we have to ask for forgiveness of daily sins in order to keep ourselves saved:

Secondly, this passage shows that the gratuitous pardon of sins is given us not only once, but that it is a benefit perpetually residing in the Church, and daily offered to the faithful. For the Apostle here addresses the faithful; as doubtless no man has ever been, nor ever will be, who can otherwise please God, since all are guilty before him; for however strong a desire there may be in us of acting rightly, we always go haltingly to God. Yet what is half done obtains no approval with God. In the meantime, by new sins we continually separate ourselves, as far as we can, from the grace of God. Thus it is, that all the saints have need of the daily forgiveness of sins; for this alone keeps us in the family of God (John Calvin: Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles; The Calvin Translation Society 1855. Editor: John Owen, p. 165 ¶4).

Calvinism is no different than any other Christ + something else false gospel. In the case of Calvinism—keeping ourselves saved by perpetual re-repentance for sins in sanctification that remove us from grace:

In the meantime, by new sins we continually separate ourselves, as far as we can, from the grace of God… Thus it is, that all the saints have need of the daily forgiveness of sins; for this alone keeps us in the family of God.

Oh, and by the way, Calvin said such forgiveness can only be found in the institutional church and administered by ordained pastors (CI 4.1.21,22). This Protestant absolution was exemplified by Tada confidant John Macarthur Jr. during the 2013 Shepherds Conference. During a general session, MacArthur shared that a young Aids victim requested that MacArthur seek forgiveness for sins on his behalf. MacArthur agreed to the request accordingly.

During the aforementioned message at Crystal Cathedral’s Hour of Power, Tada stated that God brought said grievous trials into her life so that she would live by the cross daily:

And so God, bless his heart, forces us down the road to Calvary where we are not humanly inclined to go. It’s not our natural inclination to go to the Cross every day. And so God gives us suffering like a sheep dog. It is a sheep dog snapping at your heels, driving you down the road to the Cross where otherwise you might not normally go. You’re driven there by the overwhelming conviction that you just have nowhere else to go. And so God permits the broken heart. He permits the broken home. He permits, he allows, he ordains, he plans even the broken neck until we become broken… Even Jesus himself said blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God. Who are the poor in spirit? Those who come to Jesus every day in empty-handed spiritual poverty, asking him to show them the reason for living that day. Because we’re all richer when we recognize our spiritual poverty.

Come now, are born-again Christians spiritually impoverished? We need to seek God’s purpose for our life daily?  Our smiles are not even our own smiles, but we have to get them from God?

“I have no strength for a smile for this woman who’s going to come to the bedroom door in just a moment, and I’ve gotta give her a smile. And Lord, I don’t have a smile… So God, please give me your smile. I have no smile for this woman, but you’ve got a smile. May I please borrow your smile?” And not but a moment goes by and I have a smile. It’s already a miracle. I’ve experienced a miracle before 7:30 a.m. when my girlfriend walks to the door and I can smile, not in spite of my paralysis but because of it. My paralysis has driven me every single morning to the cause of Jesus Christ where I tell him how much desperately I need him. And so that smile is already hard-fought for and hard-won by early morning. That’s the first nugget of wisdom. Begin your day needing Jesus Christ desperately (Ibid).

Is this really the essence of the Christian life? We have to plead and beg God for even a smile? It is, if we also have to go back to the cross daily to beg God for salvific forgiveness. That’s Calvinism; daily resalvation. You have eternal security IF you beg God for smiles every day, and IF you were elected.

You are elected IF you practice a daily application of Christ’s death on the cross. You are elected IF you believe that even the slightest sin in your Christian life separates you from grace.

Tada is sacrificing her stellar life on the altar of Calvinism. Her good works point people to John Calvin who plainly taught a false gospel. What she believes and what she does cannot be separated. There is time to go back to the beginning and once again look for answers.

This time, pick up a Bible, not the Calvin Institutes.

paul

Mom Wants to Know: Why I Don’t Like Mike Huckabee (and Other Adorable People)

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 10, 2014

ppt-jpeg4I am very busy and need to combine eight posts into one which is not difficult because it’s all related. I need to write about Mike Huckabee, Joni Eareckson Tada, Boz Tchividjian, K-Love, stuff happens theology, plumbing, Communism, and of course John Calvin, but not necessarily in that order.

Let’s start with a conversation that occurred over at my mom’s house about former Governor Mike Huckabee. Susan and I were over at her house overseeing the repair of her furnace. My study of medieval religion has given me a robust appreciation in regard to American ingenuity and technology. A working furnace is critical for someone my mom’s age in sub-zero weather. The furnace was repaired by a competent young man within hours of us calling, and let me add that he also laughed at my jokes.

Plumbing

When all was accomplished, Susan and I said farewell to mom and then received a call on my cellphone about four miles from her house; she reported a funny hissing sound in the kitchen. We returned, and concluded that a frozen water pipe had broken under the kitchen floor. This was totally unrelated to the furnace repair. There we were, the day well spent, and a broken water pipe shooting out gallons of water by the minute underneath the shallow crawl space of the kitchen.

Another competent repair man to the rescue, even at that hour? Maybe, but my mom is long retired and lives on a limited income. I went down to the basement and turned off the main water supply to the house and also observed the following: much cost was spared in installing shutoff valves, but the kitchen was an isolated run of two copper pipes easily accessible before entering the long and shallow crawl space under the kitchen. It became apparent that those two pipes could be sealed off and the rest of the house would have water until the broken pipe was fixed. The trade of a dishwasher and one faucet for flushing toilets etc. in the rest of the house would be a good trade indeed.

I have some past limited background in plumbing, so Susan and I drove to the nearest Lowes to buy sand paper, a propane torch, two copper end-caps, solder, flux, a small brush, a hack saw, and inner pipe brush. Then we talked to a delightful young man that informed me that American plumbing had indeed changed since fifteen years ago when I was dabbling in it here and there as a builder. He informed us that we would only need two “push fittings” and a mini pipe cutter, and about five minutes.

“Uh, let me get this straight. I just cut the pipe, and push this thing on the end of it, and I am done? ‘Right.’”

Now visualize me looking at the guy like he is the Lowes version of John Calvin as he explained how the simple contraption worked. Remember those weaved tubes that we used to put on our friends’ finger when we were kids back in the days of extreme political incorrectness? The tightness of the device around the finger increased with pull. It was the initiation ceremony of choice for all neighborhood club houses. In this case, the pipe is the finger and the water pressure is the sadistic adolescent.

Huckabee

All of this is why I don’t like Mike Huckabee. After the plumbing repair, we hung around awhile and watched the Mike Huckabee show on the Fox news channel. I informed mom and Susan that I don’t like the guy. Like many, they were astounded that anyone of Christian stripe could dislike that cornball.

“Why don’t you like Huckabee?!”

I really didn’t have an answer at the time. But I thought about it all night and realized that the answer was right under my nose the whole time—so I hereby write.

Tada

Huckabee had the mega storied Joni Eareckson Tada on his show. Both of these people are impressive and adorable. Tada has been a paraplegic since her teen years, but her life accomplishments are over the top. Both are the epitome of American pie and conservative Christianity. The reason Huckabee had Tada on his show was to discuss the “Academy’s rescinding of its Oscar nomination for ‘Best Original Song,’ which appeared in the inspirational American colonial epic, ‘Alone Yet Not Alone,’ when it discovered that the composer, Bruce Broughton, had sent a short email bringing the song to the attention of Oscar voters.” Tada was the vocalist.

Christians en masse stand in awe of Tada, and Huckabee added to her mystique with his mainstream Christian appeal. And this is the problem with Huckabee: he doesn’t get it. Huckabee is the poster child for the Christian metaphysical treadmill. Tada is very much a part of the New Calvinism movement which is a return to authentic Reformation ideology.

Communism   

It is nothing more or less than Communism dressed in Bible verses. This is where the Huck doesn’t get it; as a political/religious conservative, he is representative of many in Christianity who allow their principles to fornicate with contrary ideology. This leads to a never ending endeavor to change society while unwittingly giving credence to the very ideologies that are the source of the problem.

In the same show, Huckabee, prior to Tada’s segment, criticized the opening ceremonies at this year’s winter Olympics in Moscow which promoted the virtues of Communism. He commented that Lenin’s murderous legacy was conveniently left out. Meanwhile, in the next segment, here comes Joni Eareckson Tada who represents a return to John Calvin purism. Granted, Tada’s extensive education came from seminaries that don’t teach the significance of how philosophy progressed through history and how that applies to the doctrine she embraces. Long story short, this leads to a contradictory motif in her own life as she benefits from an array of technological advances that has made much of her success possible (more on that later), but the larger point is that Reformation theology and Communism came from the exact same ideological source along with its presuppositions concerning mankind.

Hence, Huckabee partakes in the same hypocrisy that he criticizes. The Reformers were NO LESS murdering despots than Lenin—that’s conspicuous history plain and simple. In fact, in most cases, Lenin had people shot in the head while the Reformers wouldn’t have tolerated such a quick and painless departure by those whom they disagreed with. Huckabee is the epitome of the well-polished American do-gooder that refuses to come to terms with the fact that the Pilgrims, the Puritans, and the Reformers are not part of the ideology that made America; they are in fact part and parcel with Communist ideology. Putin needs ratings no less than Huckabee does.

The progression of philosophy and how it affects humanity is magnified in the differences between America and Russia. Huckabee, again, in the same show, pointed to the poor quality of life in Russia that is hindering the Olympics. What he doesn’t realize is that it would be much worse if it wasn’t for America. You have to have technology to eventually destroy the Great Satan, but if Russia ever succeeds, technology goes bye-bye, and the mass graves become filled with the Joni Eareckson Tada’s of the world because they can’t “contribute to the greater good of the group.” This is why Russia’s technology will never rival that of American ingenuity: Communists see technology as a necessary evil, Americans see technology as a means to accomplish good.

Really, this can be summarized in the living contradiction that is Joni Eareckson Tada. While promoting Luther’s worm theology and making one statement by God to the apostle Paul the whole enchilada, she continually pontificates, “God’s power always shows up best in weakness.” Communism asserts that the masses are hapless and incompetent; Reformation theology asserts that man defaces the glory of God through his own accomplishments. Both share the same presuppositions in regard to mankind. Tada points to her disability as set against her accomplishments as proof of Reformed doctrine while completely dismissing God’s use of technology invented by those who in many cases could care less about God. Tada has a lot of education in regard to what others told her is in the Calvin Institutes, and conveniently missing are Calvin’s vast discussions of Plato and Aristotle. I dare say that the Reformation had more to do with those two men than “justification by faith alone.”

And by the way, the Reformation wasn’t about that either; it was about cutting man completely out of the salvation process because of Plato’s philosophical presuppositions concerning mankind. This later morphed into Gnosticism.

Stuff Happens Theology

Can we summarize this dilemma with T-shirt theology? “S— Happens.” No, stuff doesn’t just happen (there is a logic that drives everything). And that’s how Huckabee functions because of his metaphysics: stuff happens and you have to relentlessly address that stuff until all of the stuff has been refuted. No, you have to stop fornicating with the logic that creates the stuff. The apostle Paul stated it this way: “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” If Huckabee wants unleavened bread, he needs to take some culinary philosophy classes. And if you don’t like what you learn, stop criticizing the Communists for editing history.

And by the way, what scares the bejeebers out of me is that the average Communist on the street understands these issues as opposed to American Christians. They know exactly why their country stinks; because mankind and life stinks. Get with the caste program or it will stink even worse. It’s about the best world hospice care possible. The fray between Americanism and Communism really began when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. That’s where the rewriting of history for us began as well; “Pilgrim” is a soft term for “Puritan.” These are people who saw the likes of Benjamin Franklin as troublers who stir up the anger of the gods with their big ideas. Now they have to use those same ideas to put an end to the egregious idea that man has worth. That’s Joni Eareckson Tada metaphysics.

Hence, supposedly, technology doesn’t enable us to do more ministry. It would have been better to replace my mother’s furnace with a wood burning stove. It would have been better if my mother would have had to write me a letter about the broken water pipe instead of calling me on my cellphone. See, if we were like the Russians, we wouldn’t need plumbing anyway. For Tada, technology is a necessary evil to spread the word that we all suck. If she thinks that is an absurd evaluation of her metaphysics, she should stop promoting men who believe just that in no uncertain terms. She would know this if her reality wasn’t completely formed by the likes of John MacArthur Jr.

The Republican Party and Mike Huckabee in particular need to wake up to a new reality: New Calvinism has made the American church the New Communist Party. Again, stuff just doesn’t happen; there is a reason why many well-known New Calvinist pastors voted for Obama. Sure, they don’t agree with his stance on abortion and other issues, but there is agreement on the bigger issue at hand: mankind needs the best hospice care possible; unfortunate collateral damage can be dealt with when Calvinism is back in bed with the state. This is why the institutional church is the institutional church and partakes in many things institutional like movie production, formal education etc., etc., ect. The state gave it birth, and it will always gravitate back to its mother. This is why Christ’s assembly was never an institution.

The Boz

Let’s continue now with stuff happens theology and the adorable Boz Tchividjian aka the Boz. The Boz is another impressive guy. How can we criticize the Boz? For crying out loud, he left his station as a district attorney who prosecuted child abusers to start G.R.A.C.E, an acronym for, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment. The Boz bemoans “the continued culture of silence and protection [for child abusers] in American Evangelicalism.” This is a reality—stuff happens. No, stuff doesn’t just happen. Read the history for yourself. Seriously, people have actually written this ministry and stated, “Evangelicalism is beginning to look like Catholicism in regard to child abuse.” This is stuff happens theology.

Catholicism was founded on Platonism, and Protestantism came from Catholicism, and never left it. Augustine, an avowed Neo-Platonist, is both the father of Reformed theology and a Doctor of Grace in the Catholic Church. Later, Baptists became Protestants when the issue of infant baptism became a “secondary” issue. Apparently, after all of the Anabaptists of the home church variety were executed by a joint effort of Catholics and Protestants, the institutional breed of Baptist was accepted. After all, they paid the tithe tax. In regard to Catholics and their bastard children, there is no heresy more egregious than tax evasion. Evangelicalism became a necessary addition to Protestantism when people could no longer be compelled by force to attend church and tithe.

Again, we criticize the Communists for propaganda, but yet colonial America was a Puritan theocracy that executed people for being theologically incorrect and jailed people for not attending church and tithing. The Puritans were the first to bring slaves to America at Jamestown. The American Revolution was a pushback against colonial tyranny. While the Boz seeks to rectify the child abuse stuff in “Evangelicalism,” he holds fast to the same presuppositions concerning mankind and the divine right of kings that flows from it. He wants to rid “Evangelicalism” of the behavior, but continues to fornicate with the ideology that produces it.

This ministry, which understands Reformed ideology, has therefore continually stated that G.R.A.C.E. cannot help victims of child abuse in the church. This is because the Boz, like all of those in a Calvinist mindset, sees all of humanity as being in the same boat. Peruse if you will all of the G.R.A.C.E . literature, I was not able to find the word, “justice” anywhere. And yet, didn’t the Boz come from a justice system? Though God himself demands justice for the maltreated, Calvinism holds justice in contempt because it assumes humanity deserves NOTHING more than eternity in hell.

I have written extensively on the problem of dealing with abuse in the church with Reformed ideology. The difference is the mindset that puts as much value on one life as it does all of life versus collectivism which sees the individual as expendable for the benefit of the group. This is known as collectivism. This is a big player in the Reformation’s Platonist roots. This is about philosophical metaphysics—not the Bible. While the Boz deplores the behavior of child abuse, his remedy requires that the victim and the abuser both recognize that we are all just “sinners saved by grace.” In at least one sense, he believes that the abusers would repent if the victims would admit that they are no better than their abusers. Example: while the Wartburg Watch blog portends to be an advocacy for the spiritual abused, they partner with Pastor Wade Burleson, a Calvinist, who suggested that abuse would be greatly reduced if the church was not guilty of failing to pray for abusers. Here we have yet another example of attempting to bake unleavened bread while adding leaven to the dough.

Furthermore, discernment blogs, like the Boz, have a common goal of purifying the institutional church. This gets right back to collectivism which is always dependent on the state. Plato’s Republic was about the best hospice care for humanity: government must own man and truth so that humanity can be as comfortable as possible while dying. To the contrary, Christ said He came to give eternal life and life more abundantly in the here and now. And the Christian has no fight with those who believe in a limited government that assures humanity’s right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness. This is closer to the priesthood of believers that devalues church as an institution. This is why the New Testament church was primarily home based before being driven underground in oppressive countries by necessity. To the contrary, the American church functions primarily in institutional venues: higher learning; corporate expression; missionary organizations; political organizations; and even movie making. Discipleship and citizenship to the glory of God is barely on the radar screen.

Therefore, the institutional church will always be one step away from a liaison with state. The institution is what the institution does—it collects taxes and tithe, and doesn’t much care for those who don’t contribute to the group.

Yes, all of the above is why I was able to predict the inevitable outcome of G.R.A.C.E.’s involvement in the Bob Jones University abuse scandal months beforehand. It’s a Reformed institution investigating a Reformed institution. Don’t be fooled by the good cop bad cop routine. They are all cops when it is all said and done. BJU’s final sentence of their statement in regard to firing G.R.A.C.E. after the smoke was clear says it all:

We grieve with those who have suffered abuse in their past, and we desire to minister the grace of Christ to them. Our prayer for the abused is that God will be their refuge and strength.

Yes, they ministered G.R.A.C.E. to them alright, and that message is loud and clear lest the discernment bloggers and victims cannot yet see it:

Justice isn’t the issue; who in the hell do you think you are? You think you deserve justice? If you had a smidgen of spirituality you would seek refuge in God and not the justice of men! How dare you threaten the institution wherein salvation is found because you will not accept the will of God! You were raped, big deal! Jesus hung on the cross for your sins! You are the unmerciful servant who received forgiveness but will not forgive!

K-Love

 …is a radio station that plays contemporary Gnostic Christian music. Here is what my missionary son in law posted on Facebook a couple of days ago:

We have been listening to the newest Christian music on K-Love as we travel and I am noticing an odd trend: there are several songs that ask for God to break someone or make them lonely with the expected result of being a better person. Having been broken and very lonely a couple times in life I am pretty sure they are not really aware of what they are asking for. You don’t have to be broken in order to listen to God’s voice and indeed if you learn to listen to His voice you will not break or be broken even when you do face difficult times.

It’s not odd really, but is part of the whole all reality than can be perceived with the five senses (which of course includes us) is evil and only the invisible spirit realm is good metaphysics dressed up in Bible verses. We have to understand the ideology that drives all of this stuff and stop focusing on the stuff. It explains the madness behind the music, why a pastor would vote for Obama, why someone like Tada endowed with all sorts of technical power and influence would glory in her “weakness” while being far more empowered than most Americans, and for that matter, why a Buddhist monk would set himself on fire just to make a statement.

John Calvin

…is the epicenter of all that is going on in Christianity right now, and the key to understanding the significance of Calvin and his cultural impact has little to do with the Bible and everything to do with the fact that his ideology is the premise that drives a lot of stuff across the spectrum of life and society.  Focusing on the stuff will only delay the inevitable. And per the usual, people will continue to focus on the stuff, because stuff happens, and we like to talk about it—it’s like rubber necking to get the best view that we can of a traffic accident—it’s like flirting with the voluptuous vampiress that just might bite our necks and suck all of our blood. There is no thrill in solutions like traffic safety or a silver bullet.

And what would Mike Huckabee talk about on his show? But others have a choice; we don’t have to strive in baking unleavened bread while allowing leaven. We don’t have to give mere platitudes to the suffering…

we can set them free with real truth, and be a blessing in our own little corner of the world. And when you stand before Jesus, as we all will, it’s better that way. Jesus said that whatever we do for the least of the little ones we do unto Him. With Jesus, love is about the individual—not the collective good.

paul

The Gospel According to Joni Eareckson Tada

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 21, 2013

ppt-jpeg4Though Joni Eareckson Tada has experienced monumental life setbacks, namely, quadriplegia and breast cancer, she has lived a life of experience and accomplishments that others can only dream of. Also, it cannot be denied that she has propagated a gargantuan mass of good works that has benefited much of the world.

And she is a self-proclaimed Calvinist. THEREFORE, her good works and her life testimony have become an endorsement for Calvinism, because that is what she has proclaimed herself to be. Good works are not a pass for who you are, or how you define yourself, they endorse what you believe. And Tada believes Calvinism. She has even proclaimed that all of her good works, even a smile that she might give someone, flows from her Calvinistic beliefs (Crystal Cathedral: Hour of Power ; May 3rd, 2009).

That’s my point here. Everything Tada is, in turn, sells what she believes—that’s the choice she has made. So, the question/issue becomes the following: is Calvinism true?

The very definition of a Christian is someone who loves the truth (2Thessalonians  2:10).  In reality, and regardless of appearances, only truth sanctifies (John 17:17). The greatest errors are closest to the truth, and every landfill full of the dead is located at the end of a road paved with good works.

Tada has stated that shortly after her tragic diving accident that left her paralyzed, she was looking for answers (Scott Larsen: Indelible Ink ; Waterbrook Press 2003, Joni Eareckson Tada, chapter 1):

That was when Joni asked a friend to help her understand God’s sovereignty. Wisely, he gave her meat to chew on~hers was no simple, slightly uncomfortable situation~and started her on Berkhof’s Systematic Theology and John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. Still just a few years out of high school, Joni found Calvin too heavy, so her friend replaced it with Loraine Boettner’s The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination.

“Somewhere in its pages I realized I was reading something mansized. Rather, God-sized. Perhaps it expressed the unspoken desire of my soul: to encounter towering biblical doctrine like the Himalayan peaks that rise to the breathtaking height of Mount Everest. To apprehend a God who was much, much bigger than I ever imagined when I was on my feet.”… “I realized that my suffering was the key to unlocking the hieroglyphics of God’s foreordained will. I was about to embark on the adventure of my life.”

Calvinism might have given Tada answers that invigorated her will to live on, but one searches in vain for her concern that Calvin taught a true gospel. And he didn’t. Calvin’s view of God’s sovereignty was the issue, not his gospel. Is there a difference? Obviously there is. Calvin believed that God is completely sovereign, and also believed that we have to ask for forgiveness of daily sins in order to keep ourselves saved:

Secondly, this passage shows that the gratuitous pardon of sins is given us not only once, but that it is a benefit perpetually residing in the Church, and daily offered to the faithful. For the Apostle here addresses the faithful; as doubtless no man has ever been, nor ever will be, who can otherwise please God, since all are guilty before him; for however strong a desire there may be in us of acting rightly, we always go haltingly to God. Yet what is half done obtains no approval with God. In the meantime, by new sins we continually separate ourselves, as far as we can, from the grace of God. Thus it is, that all the saints have need of the daily forgiveness of sins; for this alone keeps us in the family of God (John Calvin: Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles; The Calvin Translation Society 1855. Editor: John Owen, p. 165 ¶4).

Calvinism is no different than any other Christ + something else false gospel. In the case of Calvinism—keeping ourselves saved by perpetual re-repentance for sins in sanctification that remove us from grace:

In the meantime, by new sins we continually separate ourselves, as far as we can, from the grace of God… Thus it is, that all the saints have need of the daily forgiveness of sins; for this alone keeps us in the family of God.

Oh, and by the way, Calvin said such forgiveness can only be found in the institutional church and administered by ordained pastors (CI 4.1.21,22). This Protestant absolution was exemplified by Tada confidant John Macarthur Jr. during the 2013 Shepherds Conference. During a general session, MacArthur shared that a young Aids victim requested that MacArthur seek forgiveness for sins on his behalf. MacArthur agreed to the request accordingly.

During the aforementioned message at Crystal Cathedral’s Hour of Power, Tada stated that God brought said grievous trials into her life so that she would live by the cross daily:

And so God, bless his heart, forces us down the road to Calvary where we are not humanly inclined to go. It’s not our natural inclination to go to the Cross every day. And so God gives us suffering like a sheep dog. It is a sheep dog snapping at your heels, driving you down the road to the Cross where otherwise you might not normally go. You’re driven there by the overwhelming conviction that you just have nowhere else to go. And so God permits the broken heart. He permits the broken home. He permits, he allows, he ordains, he plans even the broken neck until we become broken… Even Jesus himself said blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God. Who are the poor in spirit? Those who come to Jesus every day in empty-handed spiritual poverty, asking him to show them the reason for living that day. Because we’re all richer when we recognize our spiritual poverty.

Come now, are born-again Christians spiritually impoverished? We need to seek God’s purpose for our life daily?  Our smiles are not even our own smiles, but we have to get them from God?

“I have no strength for a smile for this woman who’s going to come to the bedroom door in just a moment, and I’ve gotta give her a smile. And Lord, I don’t have a smile… So God, please give me your smile. I have no smile for this woman, but you’ve got a smile. May I please borrow your smile?” And not but a moment goes by and I have a smile. It’s already a miracle. I’ve experienced a miracle before 7:30 a.m. when my girlfriend walks to the door and I can smile, not in spite of my paralysis but because of it. My paralysis has driven me every single morning to the cause of Jesus Christ where I tell him how much desperately I need him. And so that smile is already hard-fought for and hard-won by early morning. That’s the first nugget of wisdom. Begin your day needing Jesus Christ desperately (Ibid).

Is this really the essence of the Christian life? We have to plead and beg God for even a smile? It is, if we also have to go back to the cross daily to beg God for salvific forgiveness. That’s Calvinism; daily resalvation. You have eternal security IF you beg God for smiles every day, and IF you were elected.

You are elected IF you practice a daily application of Christ’s death on the cross. You are elected IF you believe that even the slightest sin in your Christian life separates you from grace.

Tada is sacrificing her stellar life on the altar of Calvinism. Her good works point people to John Calvin who plainly taught a false gospel. What she believes and what she does cannot be separated. There is time to go back to the beginning and once again look for answers.

This time, pick up a Bible, not the Calvin Institutes.

paul

Strange Fire Conference: Exalting Human Suffering is a Reformed Family Tradition

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 17, 2013

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“Here is what people don’t understand: the Reformation didn’t just herald a new gospel, it called for a whole new way in interpreting reality.”

“This is clear: He who does not know Christ does not know God hidden in suffering. Therefore he prefers ,works to suffering, glory to the cross, strength to weakness, wisdom to folly, and, in general, good to evil. These are the people whom the apostle calls »enemies of the cross of Christ« (Phil. 3:18), for they hate the cross and suffering and love works and the glory of works. Thus they call the good of the cross evil and the evil of a deed good. God can be found only in suffering and the cross, as has already been said Therefore the friends of the cross say that the cross is good and works are evil, for through the cross works are dethroned and the »old Adam«, who is especially edified by works, is crucified. It is impossible for a person not to be puffed up by his »good works« unless he has first been deflated and destroyed by suffering and evil until he knows that he is worthless and that his works are not his but God’s.”

~Martin Luther: Heidelberg Disputation; Theses 21

Martin Luther was a Platonist who despised human existence. The 95 Theses indeed launched the Reformation, but Luther’s Disputation to the Augustinian Order in Heidelberg six months later laid the foundation of Reformed doctrine. The Heidelberg Disputation argued for the interpretation of all reality through mediation on man’s evil, and God’s holiness. In other words, all reality is to be interpreted by a deeper and deeper understanding of our sin as set against God’s holiness. Like many Eastern epistemologies, anti-types give deeper meaning to each other; light defines darkness, and we wouldn’t know what light is without darkness etc.

This became known as Luther’s Theology of the Cross. Here is what people don’t understand: the Reformation didn’t just herald a new gospel, it called for a whole new way in interpreting reality. It called for reality to be interpreted through a new take on Eastern dualism; in essence, the serpent’s knowledge of good and evil. This is the foundation of the Calvin Institutes stated in 1.1.1.:

Our wisdom, insofar as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.

Remember that Calvin believed mankind was the essence of all evil (totally depraved), so the math on this is not difficult. In the very next sentence Calvin posits the Eastern concept of anti-types in this dualist construct:

But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other.

Incredibly, all of the Calvin Institutes are founded on, and flow from the first sentence. The second sentence is the very first building block in Calvin’s massive metaphysical application. The Calvin Institutes are NOT primarily about the gospel, it is a metaphysical treatise on reality. Again, people don’t get this. We ignorantly wallow in the election debate while functioning in a church world reinterpreted by murdering mystic despots. This must amuse Calvin and Luther, if indeed they are in a place where amusement can be found.

I have come to believe that the kingdom of darkness has not swayed from what first worked best. Adam and Eve only knew good. But Lucifer had brought evil into reality. It was true, as the serpent said, God was keeping half of reality from them; specifically, the knowledge of good and evil both. While the apple may be a befuddling concept, the goal of the serpent to deceive the first couple into disobedience is not. They sinned and therefore became privy to both good and evil. Every false religion following has made that construct their epistemology. Instead of using that wisdom for change in the here and now, it is a method for birthing the spiritual into a horizontal experience. Part and parcel with this dualism is the idea that matter is evil and only spirit is good. The here and now is a waste. Man is utterly incompetent, totally depraved, and lives in a world that is utterly evil. Suffering weakens his evil physical body, and better defines the spiritual which enables him to experience it. What he/she understands is imputed through manifestations that are experienced.

This is the crux of the Heidelberg disputation. It is a treatise that exalts suffering. And this fact can be seen today in John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference. It is apparent that MacArthur’s primary beef with Charismatic theology is its assertion of promised blessings, “Your Best Life Now.” In the Heidelberg Disputation, that is the “glory story.” Joel Osteen et al are the antithesis of the “cross story” that embraces human suffering and rejoices in it. Luther considered any self-consideration at all to be subjective and the “glory story.” On the other hand, to the point that we empty ourselves, despise ourselves, and rejoice in the suffering that God pours out on us, we experience the “cross story” and its glory, not ours. In theses 17 of the Heidelberg Disputation, Luther argues that this incessant self-depravation is not cause for despair, but results in a “grace” experience known in contemporary Reformed theology as “vivification.”

Hence, the new poster child for the contemporary Reformed movement is the storied Joni Eareckson Tada. The purpose for inviting her to the conference is made evident via an article written by Tim Challies:

She went on to speak of the chronic pain that lasted for many years and the stage three cancer that followed it and expressed how she has learned to be grateful for the suffering because of the way it keeps her longing for Christ. The suffering that results from sin in the world, God now uses to get rid of sin. There is nothing sweeter than knowing the joy of the Lord Jesus in the midst of suffering and all the while she holds on to the hope and the confidence, that in heaven, the big deal won’t be getting a new body that works, but a glorified heart that no longer twists truth, becomes anxious, manipulates others, and all these other manifestations of sin.

The particular point the conference wants to make was also made by Tada according to Challies:

Even today she often has well-meaning charismatics who come up to her and pray for her healing. Though she never says no, she does always ask them to pray for specific things and then highlights character issues. Will you pray for my bad attitude? Will you pray for my grumbling? She means to show them that she is far more concerned with indwelling, remaining sin than chronic pain and legs that do not work.

Tada, who has embraced Gospel Sanctification at some point in the past, usually gets a pass from me because of the respect her life demands. She will continue to get that pass for the most part here, but let me point out what is missing in her testimony: the goodness within. Is that true or not? Is that biblical or not? Christians have remaining sin, but is that epistemology, or a fact that calls us to put off that remnant of the old self and put on the new goodness within? Is God’s “seed” in us or not? What’s with everything being about the sin within and not the goodness within born of the new birth? Is Tada’s storied life a free pass for presenting this imbalanced view of reality/sanctifcation?

Also missing is conversation regarding the technology that has vastly improved her quality of life and reduced the degree of suffering she has experienced. Is God also not responsible for that? Why would he want to decrease suffering? Furthermore, the Reformers despised the idea of competent reasoning that led to the technologies that greatly improve quality of life. If not for the Enlightenment Era, Europe would be no different than Eastern and Middle Eastern third world countries that are products of the selfsame Platonist ideology.

Charismania? MacArthur et al are merely the other extreme. Like Calvin and company, they do not want to partake in the rigors of a many faceted sanctification. Everything is either the glory story or the cross story. This enables them to push the easy button on everything—especially “biblical counseling.” They do not want to invest in this life because they are not in control of the results. They posit the idea that trusting God is to check out of this life altogether and deem it worthless.

Not so. Trusting God is to never become weary in well doing. And to believe that we are responsible for the sum and substance of our own life. A responsibility for the life that bears our name, the name that God gave it. The Bible never states that Christ will stand in our stead at any judgment. We will be standing there ourselves….

and Christ’s response to those who only return what was originally given because of fearing works is well stated.

paul

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