Paul's Passing Thoughts

Blank Check Forgiveness Equals Zero Sum Life

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on June 13, 2018

Originally published May 2, 2016

Completely absent from forgiveness mania among dumbed-down Christians is any kind of understanding in regard to how justice figures into the forgiveness equation. While insisting that “we forgive others the way God forgave us,” the formula presented for doing so is in no way, shape or form indicative of how God in fact forgives us. This is just one more example in the midst of myriad in considering how confused and illogical evangelicals are. While clamoring about with much indignation in regard to abortion’s devaluing of life, Christians witlessly ply blank check forgiveness and its default zero sum life equation.

Again, the contradiction is justice—justice only exists for the sake of life value. Invariably, injustice and zero sum life walk together hand in hand. It is no surprise that blank check forgiveness comes from the Protestant tradition as the Reformers believed that injustice only occurs between man and God. They considered horizontal injustice (injustice between people) a metaphysical anomaly. Hence, one never gets what he/she deserves in this life as everybody deserves eternal hell. And, to not forgive automatically makes you better than the person you are not forgiving. This is also where moral equivalency, blank check forgiveness, injustice, and zero sum life are all members of the same motley crew.

Blank check forgiveness devalues life by not holding people accountable for sinning against you or others. We don’t hold dogs accountable because they don’t know any better as animals of mostly instinct. And in essence, the same reasons are given for blank check forgiveness among people; they are “totally depraved” and enslaved to sinful instincts. In fact, John Calvin deemed humanity as nothing more than “worms crawling on the ground” while Martin Luther thought that description too charitable in regard to human nature.

Withholding forgiveness keeps the sin of the offender ever before them, and upholds life. Remember, sin is framed as a life/death paradigm in Scripture. This does not mean we do not leave revenge to the Lord, it means we uphold life by demanding repentance from each other. The opposite of revenge is loving our enemies, but in many instances, blank check forgiveness is the opposite of love.

It often reflects our view of others and the value of life in general.

paul

Blank Check Forgiveness Equals Zero Sum Life

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 2, 2016

ppt-jpeg4Completely absent from forgiveness mania among dumbed-down Christians is any kind of understanding in regard to how justice figures into the forgiveness equation. While insisting that “we forgive others the way God forgave us,” the formula presented for doing so is in no way, shape or form indicative of how God in fact forgives us. This is just one more example in the midst of myriad in considering how confused and illogical evangelicals are. While clamoring about with much indignation in regard to abortion’s devaluing of life, Christians witlessly ply blank check forgiveness and its default zero sum life equation.

Again, the contradiction is justice—justice only exists for the sake of life value. Invariably, injustice and zero sum life walk together hand in hand. It is no surprise that blank check forgiveness comes from the Protestant tradition as the Reformers believed that injustice only occurs between man and God. They considered horizontal injustice (injustice between people) a metaphysical anomaly. Hence, one never gets what he/she deserves in this life as everybody deserves eternal hell. And, to not forgive automatically makes you better than the person you are not forgiving. This is also where moral equivalency, blank check forgiveness, injustice, and zero sum life are all members of the same motley crew.

Blank check forgiveness devalues life by not holding people accountable for sinning against you or others. We don’t hold dogs accountable because they don’t know any better as animals of mostly instinct. And in essence, the same reasons are given for blank check forgiveness among people; they are “totally depraved” and enslaved to sinful instincts. In fact, John Calvin deemed humanity as nothing more than “worms crawling on the ground” while Martin Luther thought that description too charitable in regard to human nature.

Withholding forgiveness keeps the sin of the offender ever before them, and upholds life. Remember, sin is framed as a life/death paradigm in Scripture. This does not mean we do not leave revenge to the Lord, it means we uphold life by demanding repentance from each other. The opposite of revenge is loving our enemies, but in many instances, blank check forgiveness is the opposite of love.

It often reflects our view of others and the value of life in general.

paul

Why Church is the Perfect Storm of Evil: Carte Blanche Forgiveness, Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 16, 2015

project-2016-logo-4However, the quality of the judge, or conscience, is determined by how it is informed. The law determines the judge. Therefore, how does carte blanche forgiveness inform the collective conscience of the institutional church? In failing to hold the offender accountable, the conscience is not appealed to. In this case, the law informing the judge states that all victims are just as much of a sinner as the offenders, and therefore obligated to forgive. Moreover, demanding consequences supposedly reveals a need for revenge, so we can’t have that either. Hence, why would a person enslaved to sinful desires go anywhere else but the church for purposes of performing their evil deeds?”

In part one, we examined presuppositions regarding mankind that makes justice irrelevant. In essence, only God has a right to demand justice because He is the only one that’s good. We also looked at the resulting illogical idea that anger over sin will destroy a person, while guilt is posited as a healthy emotion leading to “humbleness.” No surprise then that a popular adage in the church is…“We don’t forgive for the sake of the offender, we forgive for ourselves.” Supposedly, if we don’t extend forgiveness, anger, leading to “bitterness,” will destroy us. Forgiving isn’t for the other person, it’s for you, as if the other person’s guilt will not harm them. And supposedly, a decision to “forgive” will vanquish anger and prevent bitterness.

This circumvents a very important biblical principle; specifically, the solidifying of heart decisions through action. If someone repents and seeks reconciliation, you can put feet on that by fellowshiping with them. We also experience this principle in real life; many find that they have come to enjoy a task that they previously disliked by doing it. Blank check forgiveness rarely offers a sane or practical way to apply the heart decision to forgive someone. For the most part, blank check forgiveness calls for one to merely emote, and data reveals the fact that it simply doesn’t work. People badgered into blank check forgiveness eventually end up as broken, miserable people deprived of all relief. Isolated and alone, they feel like the world is indifferent to their suffering, and frankly, in a world without justice, that is true. Victims of violent crime gain some relief from seeing others angered by what happened to them. In the most severe cases, justice and time will supply enough relief to make life tolerable while reconciliation added to that can bring about total healing in most cases. A basic love for life, and self, also adds to potential healing. The Bible also recommends that one seeks out whatever goodness is left in the world as opposed to defining one’s life by a tragedy that happened to them. Purpose also comes into play: the Bible states that they can help others who have experienced the same tragedy. However, to primarily seek relief in only one of these options will limit the healing.

The Bible actually commands that we be angry about sin and advocate justice. The apostle Paul said, “Be angry and sin not.” The Bible instructs us on how to deal with anger. We are to always leave revenge (justice) to God and His ordained authorities. Nothing resolves anger like the repentance of the violator who seeks reconciliation and compensation if possible. If the violator is unrepentant, punishment, or justice, gives some relief. And of course, we know that God will settle all accounts in the end. But at any rate, the Bible never says that we will be destroyed by anger. The emotion of anger and its energy can be funneled into useful purposes while the Bible is clear as to what guilt will do to people (Judas Iscariot et al).

Also in part one we looked at conscience. This is a judge that either excuses or accuses through guilt. A guilty conscience can be a very powerful and vexing judge. However, the quality of the judge, or conscience, is determined by how it is informed. The law determines the judge. Therefore, how does carte blanche forgiveness inform the collective conscience of the institutional church? In failing to hold the offender accountable, the conscience is not appealed to. In this case, the law informing the judge states that all victims are just as much of a sinner as the offenders, and therefore obligated to forgive. Moreover, demanding consequences supposedly reveals a need for revenge, so we can’t have that either. Hence, why would a person enslaved to sinful desires go anywhere else but the church for purposes of performing their evil deeds?

And the proof is in the pudding. Consider an article written by Boz Tchividjian.1 In the article written for Religious News Service,2 Tchividjian bemoans a reality in the institutional church that he calls, “Mob forgiveness” and “selective grace.” This reality is absolutely commonplace in the institutional church and is the obvious result of blank check forgiveness. If the victim doesn’t agree to forgive the perpetrator regardless of any circumstance, he who doesn’t show grace should not receive grace.

We need to revisit this reality in more detail in part 3.

paul

1“Boz” is a former child abuse chief prosecutor and is the founder and executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). Boz is also a Professor of Law at Liberty University School of Law, and is a published author who speaks and writes extensively on issues related to abuse within the faith community. Boz is the 3rd-eldest grandchild of the Rev. Billy Graham. He is a graduate of Stetson University and Cumberland School of Law (Samford University).

2 Boz Tchividjian: An Unholy Alliance: When Mob Forgiveness Meets Selective Grace; Religion News .com, 12/11/2015 | http://boz.religionnews.com/2015/12/11/an-unholy-alliance-when-mob-forgiveness-meets-selective-grace/

Predestination and Fatalism: “How Much?” is the Question that Only Leaves Two Choices

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on January 26, 2015

HF Potters House (2)

Originally published May 30, 2014

“This speaks to conditional and unconditional promises by God, cause and effect, and hope. What is at stake is our very understanding of reality itself.”

“What am I saying? A am saying that predeterminism is not a paradox in and of itself, I am suggesting that we consider the idea in our study that predeterminism is a slippery slope to making all of life a paradox. In other words, it makes objective truth unknowable.”        

This is part 6 of our series on predestination. We are in the process of evaluating predestination from the viewpoint of love, promises, judgment, cause and effect, hope, commandments, obedience, fear, foreknowledge, freewill, choice, ability, total depravity, evangelism, the gospel, Bible doctrine, paradox, and salvation. In most cases, determinism creates a strained understanding of what some of these words mean to us in real life.

For instance, if God loves the world and man does not have the ability to choose, why does God choose some and not others? He is impartial, no? Why will God judge those who never had a chance to escape judgment? Would God really command us to do things that He knows we are not able to do? How is God’s love really defined? Paradox is a reality, but to what extent do we except paradox as a replacement for the common understanding of life concepts and the words that describe them? Are the simple concepts of commands, love, and choice really a paradox in spiritual matters but necessarily taken literally in the milieu of life? Does whosoever will really mean whosoever has been chosen? And if it does, why doesn’t God simply state that accordingly?

In part one, we established an important starting point: the doctrine of predestination has always been primarily framed and assimilated by Reformed theologians. That’s a problem because they had/have the gospel wrong. This is a matter of simple theological math; they were on the wrong side of the law and gospel. Therefore, the doctrine must be reexamined.

In part 2, we examined God’s will in regard to the lost and the relationship of evangelism and paradox. Evangelism is another word that becomes paradoxical in light of predestination. Obedience is a paradox, love is a paradox, judgment is a paradox, and evangelism as well because the legitimacy of the offer of salvation is called into question. Whosoever will becomes whosoever has been elected. If election is a paradox, all of the concepts connected to it are paradoxical as well.

In part 2, we established that God does not desire that any person perish. He does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Which brings up another paradox: does God plead and exhort man to be saved while knowing that he is unable to respond? When God states, “come, let us reason together,” is he saying that while knowing that man is unable to reason?

At any rate, we concluded in part 2 that God does not desire the death of the wicked—He desires that all would be saved.

In part 3, we established that predestination was not unique with the Reformers. In fact, determinism is an ancient concept that has dominated human history. We also examined the historical bad fruit produced by its ideology, and biblical contradictions as well.

In part 4, we looked at the means by which God seeks man. Man is created with intuitive knowledge of God, man begins life in the book of life and must be blotted out if he/she perishes, and Christ died for all men, not just the elect. Though not in the study, the fact that all sins are imputed to the Old Covenant, and belief in Christ eradicates the Old Covenant and all of the sin imputed to it, it implies a readiness and desire of God to vanquish one’s sin. The imputation of all sin to a covenant is sort of the opposite of starting life in the Book of Life; God wants to keep you in the one book and get rid of the other one.

Moreover, God sent the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin and the judgment to come while the works of God’s law are already written on the heart of every person. On the one hand, God has set up a gargantuan infrastructural reality to facilitate the salvation of man, but in all of this, who enters in is ultimately predetermined by Him. Why all the drama? Why all of the paradox? Why all of the confusion? Yet, another paradox that could be added is the Holy Spirit’s warning in regard to judgment along with all of God’s prophets; why offer this incentive to escape judgment to those who are unable to respond? This speaks to conditional and unconditional promises by God, cause and effect, and hope. What is at stake is our very understanding of reality itself.

In part 5, we begin to answer the question, “How much?” Let’s say that man is unable to choose God initially, but what about post new birth? Is man then able to make choices? Curiously, the Reformers say, “no.” We looked at the Reformed redemptive-historical hermeneutic that interprets all reality as a gospel metaphysical narrative. We simply put ourselves in the narrative by believing everything in life points to a truth about Christ and is predetermined. We called this plenary determinism. Also, while discussing this, we introduced the possibility that certain things are predetermined by God, while other things are not. We used the following chart to illustrate this:

Election Final Draft

Granted, we want some things to be predetermined by God. We want a happy ending. We want justice. We want the good guys to win. We want everyone to live happily ever after. In times of danger, we want our fears tempered by knowing that God is control. In the book of Revelation, for certain, the opening of the six seals will make it seem like the earth is in complete chaos and spinning out of control, but the fact will be that God is in control of every bit of that. Will that temper the fear of those who know that at the time? Sure it will.

But is everything predetermined? Does man have any role in reality at all? The main source for predestination doctrine has always been the Reformers, at least in Western culture, and they disavow choice in both the saved and unsaved state. Consequently, from an eschatological view, there is only one judgment in which both believers and unbelievers stand in to determine one’s eternal fate. Opposing eschatological views posit a separate judgment for believers and unbelievers, one for reward (believers), and one that condemns (unbelievers).

Obviously, the idea of reward strongly suggests that the reward is for something earned by making a right choice. In Reformed circles, rewards spoken of in the Bible are attributed to salvation (the reward[s] is salvation), but now we have yet another paradox because it is not really a reward that we get for something that we did! What am I saying? I am saying that predeterminism is not a paradox in and of itself, I am suggesting that we consider the idea in our study that predeterminism is a slippery slope to making all of life a paradox. In other words, it makes objective truth unknowable.

However, the Reformers state that truth can be known, and that there is no paradox at all: Man and history were created to glorify God. Everything that happens is predetermined by God (cause), and everything that happens is for God’s glory, and in fact, does glorify Him (effect). Hence, man has no ability to choose in being the cause for anything that happens. Judgment reflects God’s glory alone in simply revealing what God has preordained via good or evil. If this is not true, then how much choice does man have? That must be determined. If true, then how much choice does man not have? This must be determined as well.

At the T4G 2008 conference, John MacArthur stated the following:

The sum is that man is evil and selfish, unwilling and unable because he is dead. He loves his sin. He loves the darkness. He thrives on selfish lust. He’s happy to make a god of his own, manufacturing and convinced himself that he is good enough to satisfy that god. He may see his sin in his sin, but he does not see his sin in his goodness, and he does not see his sin in his religion, and it is his sin in his goodness that is most despicable for there is the deception and it is his sin in his religion that is most blasphemous because there it is that he worships a false god…

The contemporary idea today is that there’s some residual good left in the sinner. As this progression came from Pelagianism to Semipelagianism and then came down to sort of contemporary Arminianism and maybe got defined a little more carefully by Wesley who was a sort of a messed up Calvinist because Wesley wanted to give all the glory to God, as you well know, but he wanted to find in men some place where men could initiate salvation on his own will. That system has literally taken over and been the dominant system in evangelical Christianity. It is behind most revivalism. It is behind most evangelism. That there’s something in the sinner that can respond.

Notice how MacArthur combines ability with goodness. Ability is made to be a moral issue. Why does an ability to choose something, or make a wise choice, or desire to have something that is rooted in anthropology, have to be an issue of inherent goodness? If unregenerate man can make wise choices, or at least correct choices, and certainly he can, why couldn’t one of those wise choices be that of salvation? Yes, certainly the Bible teaches that man’s inclination is away from God, but once God seeks him out and confronts him, does he have the ability to be persuaded? Why is man able to choose to stop at a red light (cause) to prevent an accident (effect), but unable to choose God?

Throughout the same message, MacArthur asserts the following like points:

Wesley wanted to give all the glory to God, as you well know, but he wanted to find in men some place where men could initiate salvation on his own will.

Here, MacArthur makes an ability to choose equal with initiating the means of salvation and initially seeking God. Our previous lessons assert that man doesn’t initially seek God, but once God seeks him by various means, man has the ability to choose. Man has many abilities that are morally neutral, even in his weakness, why can’t the ability to choose be one of them when he/she is aided by God and convicted by the Holy Spirit? In Scripture, we have instances of men being nearly persuaded (Mark 12;34, Acts 26:25-32); what are we to surmise from this, that man has the ability to be partially persuaded, but not the ability to be fully persuaded? James suggested that some men can believe in God, but fall short of believing in a saving way (2:19). This means man has an ability to believe in God intellectually, but is unable to understand saving truth about God and make his own choice? Why would man then have the ability to believe in God at all?

According to MacArthur,

A new wave followed as people struggled to hang on to human freedom which said that Adam’s sin had “in some measure” affected and disabled all men, but sinners were left with just enough freedom of the will to make the first move of faith toward God. And then God’s grace kicked in. But sinners made the first move, and that’s what became known as semi-Pelagianism. Some would call it prevenient grace. There’s a component of grace in all human beings that gives them in the freedom of their own will the ability to initiate salvation. The idea is that depravity is real, but it is not total. Saving grace from God then becomes a divine response rather than the efficient cause of our salvation. This view is denounced, as you know, by several councils starting around 529.

How does an ability to choose equal the initiation of salvation? How does an ability to choose, or the freedom of the will to choose equal us making the first move? We by no means made the first move! Clearly, God made the first move by supplying the means of salvation, and the second move by calling all men unto salvation. After this, how does our abilty to choose constitute the “first move”? It’s not the first move, it’s a response to God’s love. And in regard to the point of our first lesson, throughout his message, MacArthur validates his points by citing St. Augustine; that is very problematic in and of itself. MacArthur then moves on in the same message to make the new birth synonymous with our ability to choose. If we have an ability to be persuaded, that is supposedly like giving birth to ourselves:

When the Bible speaks about the condition of the sinner, with what words does it speak? Well, when the Bible speaks of the sinner’s condition, it is usually in the language of death, sometimes darkness, sometimes blindness, hardness, slavery, incurable sickness, alienation, and the Bible is clear that this is a condition that affects the body, the mind, the emotion, the desire, the motive, the will, the behavior. And it is a condition that is so powerful no sinner unaided by God can ever overcome it… John 3, you are very familiar with it, Nicodemus, and no one is going to be able to see the kingdom of God unless he’s born again, Jesus said in verse 3, very interesting. Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” He is not stupid. He’s a teacher in Israel. He’s speaking metaphorically. He’s picking up on Jesus’ born again metaphor and asking the question, how does that happen? How does it happen? You can’t do it on your own. You can’t birth yourself. That’s his point. He gets it. He understands that man has no capability to bring birth to himself. Jesus follows up by saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit,”

First, MacArthur’s concession, perhaps unwittingly, that “it is a condition that is so powerful no sinner unaided by God can ever overcome it” is exactly what we are saying, and not by any means that man can choose God solo. God supplies the means of salvation and seeks after man with the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the word of God. But in the end, man is able to neglect this great salvation, and to his own eternal detriment. Also, the new birth is part of the means of salvation totally out of man’s control; the new birth is a promise to those who believe, and obviously not man giving birth to himself.

When you start thinking about these things apart from Reformed orthodoxy, some observations become interesting. MacArthur used the following proof texts to make one of his points:

But let me just work you through John for a minute, John 1:12-13. “But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become the children of God even to those who believed in his name who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of men, but of God.” That is unmistakable. Unmistakable. Salvation being the work of God.

First, notice that man’s role is simply to receive, and then man is “given” the “right” to become the children of God. Then MacArthur bemoans the following:

It is behind most revivalism. It is behind most evangelism. That there’s something in the sinner that can respond. And this is sort of like the right in a free country. You have to have this right. This wouldn’t be fair if God didn’t give the sinner the right to make his own decision so that the sinner unaided by the Holy Spirit must make the first move. That’s essentially Arminian theology. The sinner unaided must make the first move. And God then will respond when the sinner makes the first move.

This is exactly what the proof text that MacArthur stated says, that those who receive Christ do in fact have the “right” to become part of God’s kingdom. Also, in stating his Reformed logic in another way, he suggested that hearing the gospel message and receiving it was the same thing as preaching ourselves:

What can remedy that? We do not preach ourselves, verse 5, we preach Christ Jesus as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. We preach the gospel of Christ as lord and ourselves as slaves. And what happens? Verse 6, God who said light shall shine out of darkness, that’s taking you back to creation, God who created, who spoke light into existence is the one who has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Aside from the fact that having the ability to be persuaded is not preaching ourselves rather than Christ, note that MacArthur equates creation with the gospel which insinuates that the fall was built into creation itself. This is part and parcel with the supralapsarianism that we discussed in previous lessons.

But the thrust of this lesson centers on the “how much” when it comes to any role at all for man in salvation and the logical end of it, and in the final analysis how God’s love is defined. This is a sobering consideration. In both the 2013 Shepherds’ Conference and T4G 2008, MacArthur presents the idea that John 3, regarding the new birth, is something that is done to the individual without any participation on the part of the believer. The clear message in both cases was that any decision or belief on the part of the believer was excluded also. It was very much like the following rendition of the same text:

When we consider the great teachings of Scripture, they are not there just to give us information and they are not to teach us what we can do in our own strength. In Musings 34 (http://www.godloveshimself.org/?p=2018) we looked at how believing that the doctrine of justification is true is not the same thing as being justified. The new birth was also mentioned at the end. In the passage above (John 3:3-5) Jesus speaks pointedly and with power in a way that reflects on the issue being mused on here. Jesus did not tell Nicodemus that he must know the truth about the new birth in order to enter the kingdom. Jesus also did not tell Nicodemus that he must believe the truth about the new birth in order to enter the kingdom. Instead of that, Jesus told Nicodemus that he must actually be born again in order to enter the kingdom. There is a huge difference between believing what is true and what is true actually happening to you.

If we take this as a picture or even as an example of the teachings of Scripture, we can view what it means to believe something with different eyes or with a different perspective. Neither Jesus or Paul declared that a person must believe the facts about justification in order to be justified, but simply that a person must be justified (God Loves Himself .wordpress .com: Musing 35; February 10, 2014).

So, if reality is a prewritten metaphysical narrative for the sole purpose of glorifying God in all that happens in the narrative, it only stands to reason that God is motivated by self-glorification and self-love as the highest purpose for all that he does:

Perhaps this concept that Edwards gives just above cannot be stated too strongly or emphasized too much since all true Christianity depends on the truth of it. If God is not centered upon Himself and He does not do all for His own glory, then God Himself is not holy and acts against the perfection of His own nature, wisdom, holiness, and perfect rectitude. If God Himself does not love Himself and do all He does out of love for Himself (as triune), then He does not keep the same standard that He commands all others to do. If God does not love Himself and do all He does out of love for Himself, then the both the great Commandments and the Ten Commandments are not a transcript of the character of God. If God Himself does not love Himself and do all He does out of love for Himself (as triune), then He does not do what He requires of others in the first three petitions in the Lord’s Prayer. If God Himself does not love Himself and do all He does out of love for Himself (as triune), then He does not do all in His own name as He requires others to do so. If God Himself does not love Himself and do all He does out of love for Himself (as triune), then He does not do all for His own glory which He requires others to do (God Loves Himself .wordpress .com: Edwards on the God Centeredness of God; 11 December 7, 2013).

Add yet another paradox in regard to love. God didn’t send His Son to the cross because he loves mankind, he sent His Son to the cross because He loves Himself. The list of commonly understood words in a grammatical reality that have been redefined by the doctrine of determinism is now very lengthy. Why indeed did God even bother to write the Bible in a grammatical format? No wonder that Rick Holland, a former associate of John MacArthur has stated that good grammar makes bad theology. No kidding? Add yet another paradox: the idea that God is not a God of confusion. Of course, the Reformed would say that there is no confusion at all—ALL things are predetermined for God’s glory and completely out of our control—end of story.

Let’s pad this point a little more with some quotes from John Piper:

I would like to try to persuade you that the chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy himself forever. Or to put it another way: the chief end of God is to enjoy glorifying himself.

The reason this may sound strange is that we tend to be more familiar with our duties than with God’s designs. We know why we exist – to glorify God and enjoy him forever. But why does God exist? What should he love with all his heart and soul and mind and strength? Whom should he worship? Or will we deny him that highest of pleasures? It matters a lot what God’s ultimate allegiance is to! (Desiring God .org: Is God for Us or for Himself?; October 23, 1984).

Actually, the Bible states that the chief end of man is to obey God, and that God takes more pleasure in obedience than sacrifice (Ecc 12:13,14 1Sam 15:22). I am not sure that the Bible ever states any “chief end” of God. Really? God’s life has a primary purpose that we can understand? And its narcissism?

Though there seems to be many Scriptures that bolster determinism, it requires the redefining of many commonly understood word meanings, and inevitably leads to an unavoidable illogical outcome. If the doctrine of predetermination in and of itself was the only paradox, that would be different, but the problem we see here is that it makes all of reality a paradox unless you accept the mythological Reformed metaphysical narrative.

Redefinitions

14 Basic Fundamentals of the True Gospel and 12 Anti-Gospel Presuppositions

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 2, 2014

I. Justification

Used synonymously with “righteousness.” It is the declaration and imputation of righteousness to the believer. This is the very righteousness of God. This is also the salvation of the soul. God NEVER declares anyone righteous unless He makes them righteous. This is not a position only, the person is actually made righteous.

II. The New Birth

Normally, sanctification would be discussed next, but it is important to understand how we are truly righteous—yet we still fall short of God’s standards in this life. The new birth takes place in time when we believe, and is a spiritual reality that lacks the experiential evidence that we would expect, yet the Bible is explicit about what takes place. Our old spiritual self dies a literal death “with Christ,” and we are born again with an incorruptible seed. This is pictured in water baptism. We are new creatures. We do NOT have two natures, we only have one nature.

III. Flesh

Is the human body. It is not inherently evil, what God created that was good originally became weak in the fall, like creation, but is not inherently evil. This is why we are actually righteous, but fall short of God’s glory: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

IV. Sin

Sin was found in Lucifer, an angel created by God. It is described in the Bible as a master. Sin masters those who are not saved, but is hindered by the conscience God created in every being. God also wrote His character traits on the hearts of all people because we are born in His image. Unbelievers are not completely mastered by sin because they are born in God’s image. Unfortunately, unbelievers often confuse the image of God with their own righteousness.

When a believer sins, it is a violation of the Bible, but is considered to be sin against God and His family directly or indirectly by bringing shame on God’s name. For the unbeliever, violation of the law leads to eternal condemnation while sin for the believer can lead to chastisement and loss of reward.

V. Sanctification

It means to be set apart for God’s purposes. The gospel is really a call to kingdom living. Escape from eternal judgment is a positive by-product. See Andy Young’s TANC 2014 sessions on sanctification.

VI. Kingdom

The earth is presently ruled by Satan. It is the kingdom of darkness. God’s kingdom is NOT on earth nor is the earth being gradually transformed from one kingdom realm to another via the collective Christocentric psyche of the church. We are ambassadors of God’s heavenly kingdom. Christ will return, destroy Satan’s kingdom, and set up His own. Christians are to make as many disciples as possible until that day. The church has no task in bringing forth God’s kingdom on earth. We display the will of the kingdom, and call people to it, but have NO task in bringing it to earth.

VII. Hell

Hell was not created for man, but for Satan and the demons who were never offered salvation. A loving God sends no one to hell, people merely choose what kingdom they want to belong to. The gospel is a call to escape the earthly kingdom and its slavery to sin, and be transformed into God’s kingdom of light.

VIII. The Bible

“Law,” “scripture,” “holy writ,” “the law and the prophets,” “the word,” “the law,” etc., are all interchangeable terms for the closed canon of  scripture. The Bible is God’s law and wisdom for life and godliness. It is also a full-orbed metaphysical treatise. It defines reality.

IX. The Law of Sin and Death

It’s the Bible’s relationship to unbelievers. It describes how the unbeliever will be judged in the last day for every violation of conscience.

X. The Law of the Spirit of Life

It describes the believer’s relationship to the Bible. The transformed heart of the believer now desires to obey God, is no longer enslaved to sin, and cannot be condemned by the law. The Bible is a manual for our kingdom citizenship.

XI. Judgment

There are two: one of condemnation for those who chose the kingdom of darkness, known as the great white throne judgment, and a separate one for eternal rewards known as the bema judgment.

XII. Redemption

This is the other salvation. It is the redemption of the body at resurrection. This salvation is often confused with justification, or the salvation of the soul.

XIII. Justice

Justice is of paramount importance to God and He is angered when it is not practiced by people whether lost or saved. Fairness matters to God.

XIV. Rest

The Christian life is NOT a rest. John Calvin believed sanctification is the New Testament version of the Old Testament Sabbath rest. Because Protestantism only sees ONE application of the law, to judge/condemn, Christians must supposedly rest while Jesus fulfils the law for us.

Unwittingly, this defines Christians as “under law.” Who keeps the law is irrelevant, it can’t give life, and it can’t justify. Protestants must wrongly assert this because they reject the two applications of the law and make it strictly for condemnation only. In contrast, Christians can use the law lawfully because it can no longer condemn them. In Protestantism, the condemnation of the law is not removed for the Christian.

12 Anti-Gospel Presuppositions of Protestantism

1. God declares people righteous without making them righteous. “Sinner” is not past tense.

2. Perfection is defined as perfect law-keeping in this life.

3. The new birth is defined as a realm or ability to see/experience something that is not our own essence as believers.

4. “Flesh” is inherently evil, not merely weak.

5. “Earth” is not merely weak, but inherently evil.

6. “Sin” is the essence of the material world, and not a “master” separate from it.

7. Sanctification (the Christian life) is a rest. John Calvin believed New Testament sanctification is the Old Testament Sabbath rest. It is the belief that the Christian life is a rest from works because all works are still under law.

8. God’s kingdom is presently on earth.

9. Hell was also created for man.

10. A single relationship to the law for both believers and unbelievers.

11. One judgment.

12. Salvation of the soul and body happen at the same time.

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