Paul's Passing Thoughts

Church Discipline? What Church Discipline?

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

ppt-jpeg4This post is about another Protestant delusionary concept supposedly exegeted from the Bible. Along with myriads of other fantasies including their doctrine of salvation this one goes something like this: Matthew 18:15-20 teaches that members need to be disciplined from time to time by the elders. Supposedly, Matthew 18:15-20 describes the disciplinary process conducted by the elders. Yes, Matthew 18:15-20 is about “church discipline” and how the elders are supposed to conduct it.

Let’s begin with some basics as a way to segway from the fundamental absurdities of this concept to the multiple absurdities regarding the practice of so-called “church discipline.”

First, the term “church discipline” is not found in this passage nor is it found anywhere in the Bible. Furthermore, elders are nowhere to be found in Matthew 18:15-20. They just aren’t involved in the subject of the passage at all; they are totally absent from the process, and any argument that they are is predicated on pure assumption.

The Bible does describe two specific disciplines. There is discipline by the Lord inside and outside of the church (Hebrews 12:5-11, 1Cor. 11:30), and self-discipline by believers (1Cor. 11:31,32), but there is no “church discipline” practiced by elders or the church. If the real process goes south, the church assembly of Christ ceases to have fellowship with the individual which results in the Lord’s discipline not anything the church actually executes. This is not an insignificant point; historically, the idea that the church executes the discipline has resulted in “heretics” and the “slothful” being burned at the stake, hanged, and drowned.

Such activities fall well short of the Lord’s mandate for Christ’s assembly. Here is another important point on the execution of church discipline: the Protestant practice and its interpretation of Matthew 18:15-20 was contrived under the auspices of a church-state during Medieval times; America is a representative republic. Hence, churches that practice elder discipline merely replace the burning stake and gallows with things like slander, revoking eternal salvation, false prosecution, instructing the disciplined person’s family to not associate with them, counseling a spouse to divorce them, and financial ruin to name a few.

Then there is the issue of how many Protestant elders are defining “sin” worthy of church discipline. The consensus among them seems to be that ANY sin is game for church disciple. In other words, church elders can bring you under church discipline for any reason they see fit.

Also, according to what has become the norm for application, this so-called church discipline is a process that can go on for months and even years. One can be “in the discipline process” until fruit inspecting elders “release them from the process.” Of course, the plain sense of the Matthew 18:15-20 text shows forth the real context: it is a short process for conflict resolution between everyday run-of-the-mill saints.

In the Holman Christian Standard Bible which includes commentary throughout by well-known evangelicals, Pastor Mark Dever states that church discipline has two categories. This is in reference to Matthew 18:15-20 on page 1649 of the HCSB. He states that the teaching received at church is preventative discipline, or “formative discipline.” This implies that the average saint has a propensity for sin and is therefore always under discipline as a preventative measure which hopefully negates the necessity for “corrective discipline.” In other words, any Christian who joins a Protestant church is automatically under discipline. If this concept seems creepy to you, it should.

Again, this is just another example of how Protestants torture Matthew 18:15-20 for control purposes. Notice that the emphasis is not instruction for loving God and others, but rather “prevention.” This is a sad commentary in regard to how Protestant elitists see the laity that supports their extravagant lifestyles. Moreover, notice how Dever replaces the two biblical disciplines, the Lord’s discipline and self-discipline with the errant orthodoxy of “formative discipline” and “corrective discipline” exclusively applied in-house by the elders alone.

All in all, Matthew 18:15-20 is the best argument there is for home fellowships attended by members of Christ’s body practicing their gifts and encouraging each other unto good works as opposed to an institution. One reason Protestant scholars take so much liberty with this passage is because the simplicity of it will not work in an institutional setting. In a mega-church of say 5,000 people, how do you “tell it to the church”? And how then is the offender supposed to “hear” what the whole church has to say about it? This is exactly why most churches do not follow this passage as written; an institutional setting prevents it, so the protocol must be changed. But now apply this passage to a small home fellowship setting; it works perfectly.

But apply the text as written apart from the whole concept of church discipline because such in not in Matthew 18; nor is it anywhere in the Bible.


9 Marks

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 10, 2016

Food for thought…

I will be writing a post on this video in the near future. According to John Calvin’s doctrine of the church, Dever effectively removed these people from salvation. Calvinism attributes this kind of authority to Reformed pastors, and this is the kind of authority that Mark Dever et al think they have.

In the post, I will be citing Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion and the writings of Martin Luther.


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Calvinism and the Cultural Spoon Feeding of Control and Tyranny

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on January 26, 2016

potionOriginally posted January 22, 2015

I inadvertently stumbled upon the fact that Mark Dever’s 9Marks blog has pulled down their post on John Calvin’s power of the keys. The article* was an accurate rendition of the Reformed doctrine, but apparently not nuanced enough. One of the classic marks of cultism is truth on the installment plan or a bite at a time. You don’t actually show the pie in all its glory, you feed the pie to folks in truism-size bites until they become the pie without realizing it. It matters little to Calvinists if you understand how you are controlled, just so you are controlled.

Said another way, you never see the bottle of Christocentric potion, you only open wide and let Mark Dever et al spoon-feed it to you. So, as a service to inquiring minds that want to know, I dug up an article that I wrote about the overly overt Calvinist article. Enjoy.

9Marks Keys

Leeman’s article supplies the Cliff Notes to his book and explains something that I have seen among New Calvinist groups for a long time: they believe elders have the authority to determine/declare the salvation of a person. Whether they are right or wrong is irrelevant, God will honor it. I have seen firsthand how this teaching enables New Calvinist leaders to control parishioners. You see, I only write articles like “New Calvinism and Hotel California” to keep my sanity, but there is more truth to it than I like to admit. Unless you want to lose your salvation, you’re not leaving a New Calvinist church unless they say you can. And contending against their doctrine, well, that’s not for the faint of heart.

Leeman states the following in the article:

If the sinner still does not repent, round 4 ensues, which involves removing the individual from the covenant community—treating him like an outsider. Sometimes this is called “church discipline” or “excommunication.”

Jesus then invokes the keys of the kingdom again: whatever the church binds on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever the church looses on earth will be loosed in heaven. And Jesus is not addressing the apostles or the universal church here. He’s envisioning a local church. The local church, it appears, has been given the apostolic keys of the kingdom. As a result…

The local church has heaven’s authority for declaring who on earth is a kingdom citizen and therefore represents heaven.


Jesus has authorized the local church to stand in front of a confessor, to consider the confessor’s confession, to consider his or her life, and to announce an official judgment on heaven’s behalf. Is that the right confession? Is this a true confessor? It’s just like Jesus did with Peter.

And, when do new Calvinists have the authority to do this? According to Leeman:

Matthew 18, which is filled with even more earth and heaven talk than Matthew 16, presents a crystal clear picture of this authority in the context of church discipline. But the ability to remove someone from membership presupposes an overarching authority to assess a person’s gospel words and deeds and to render a judgment. This authority begins the moment a person shows up in the church building doors claiming, like Peter did, that Jesus is the Christ.

In case you missed it: “This authority begins the moment a person shows up in the church building doors claiming, like Peter did, that Jesus is the Christ.” Told ya. In a New Calvinist church, they think they have authority over you whether you’re a member or not.

And what if they are wrong about their declaration? According to Leeman:

Will the local church exercise the keys perfectly? No. It will make mistakes just like every other authority established by Jesus makes mistakes. As such, the local church will be an imperfect representation of Christ’s end-time gathering. But the fact that it makes mistakes, just like presidents and parents do, does not mean it’s without an authoritative mandate.

Oh well, stuff happens, right?

Leeman ends the piece, like all New Calvinists do with a back door of escape in case somebody who matters calls them out on such outrageous teachings:

Does all this mean that what a local church does on earth actually changes a person’s status in heaven? No, the church’s job is like an ambassador’s or an embassy’s. Remember what I said about visiting the U.S. Embassy in Brussels when my passport expired. The embassy didn’t make me a citizen, it formally affirmed it in a way I could not myself. So with a local church.

This statement completely contradicts everything he said prior. If Christ binds it in heaven, WHY WOULD IT NOT CHANGE THE STATUS OF THE BELIEVER? Is it bound or not?

Of course, the message he wants parishioners to get is the authority part and the supposed fact that an elder declaration concerning a person’s salvation carries some hefty weight. But his contradiction makes my point. In Matthew 18, there is no such authority even being discussed, that’s why Leeman necessarily contradicts himself. By the time you get to the fourth step, several people are involved in what’s usually a messy situation. Several different scenarios could be in the mix here. Why did Jesus go from telling it to the whole church to discussing two or three people? I believe that Jesus is saying that heaven will honor the ones in the situation that are conducting themselves truthfully—even if it is only two people. I don’t think Jesus is assuming that church discipline always goes well.

Regardless of how weak you think that argument is, clearly, the salvific status of the person is not in view here. Only fellowship status is in view; they are to be treated “like” an unbeliever, NOT DECALRED AN UNBELIEVER. How do we know this? Because in the situation at Corinth regarding the guy that committed a sexual sin of the baser sort, Paul assumes that he is a believer, even in the midst of his excommunication:

1 Corinthians 5:5

Hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

If one examines the Scriptures carefully, there is really no such thing as “church discipline” to begin with. There is self-discipline and the Lord’s discipline. We change a believer’s fellowship status so that the Lord will discipline them, but the church does not do the discipline. This point is much more than mere semantics and keeps so-called “church discipline” in proper perspective. There is much woe in the church because many elders think they do the discipline and not the Lord.


*As it turns out, we found it uploaded to pdf format.  Thanks to whomever did that! ~~Pearl

Calvinist T4G Orthodoxy: Library Size Matters

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on January 25, 2016

Originally published July 6, 2013

What do you think of the T4G gang and their “Study Tour”? This is where the key speakers associated with T4G conferences past and present show off their vast libraries. I have posted the video links at the end of this article.

Think about what this is saying. It clearly emanates the idea that vast para-biblical knowledge is needed to understand God’s word. It is also saying that unless you have the money to purchase such a library, you aren’t qualified. These guys are to be revered, respected, and obeyed because they have the knowledge. It’s spiritual caste on steroids.

This is clearly a power play to control people through intimidation—if you’re not a thinker. Basically, if you have a Bible and the internet, your access to information and the efficiency thereof makes their libraries look like an outhouse. But again, the most egregious idea that stems from this is that the Bible doesn’t contain adequate information in and of itself for life and godliness. In order to really grasp the Bible, you need all of that information from guys who lived in medieval times and had the compassion of alligators.

Can you imagine the Apostles putting on such a display? What are these guys thinking? Do they really want a pastor from Harlem seeing this video? What should he make of it? Good grief! These videos speak for themselves as these men flaunt their resources before the world in arrogance that staggers the imagination.

Al Mohler:

Ligon Duncan:

Mark Dever (This video is particularly disturbing):

CJ Mahaney:

John I used to teach the truth MacArthur:

Mark Dever: Church Membership is First Category of Church Discipline

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on January 23, 2016

Dever_bwOriginally posted January 28, 2015

Apparently, if you are in a Calvinist church, the pastor’s job-one is training you up in the way you should go so you won’t be brought up on church discipline. I have known for some time that Calvinists consider counseling the first step of church discipline, but must admit I was unaware that they also perceive church membership as a first phase of discipline.

According to Dever, all teaching is discipline, and seen as preventative medicine against “corrective” church discipline. So be advised: when you are sitting under the teaching of your local Calvinist pastor, listen carefully and take heed so he will not have to deal with you as a wayward adolescent in the future.

In the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible, yet another Neo-Calvinist translation in addition to the ESV, Dever states on page 1649 that there are “two categories of church discipline.”

Aside: there isn’t even one to begin with. Nowhere does the Bible teach a discipline carried out by the church that affects salvation status. For the seven biblical procedures to resolve conflict in the church download this free ebook.

Another aside: there isn’t a one size fits all “church discipline” procedure as practiced by Reformed churches. The commentary by Dever is adjacent to Matthew 18 in the study bible. Matthew 18 is treated as a protocol for handling every wayward situation when the Bible describes six other procedures for dealing with conflict within the church.

Dever frames all church teachings and examples set by the leaders as “formative discipline.” Think about how these guys perceive you! You are such a spiritual loser that the only thing that will keep you from getting excommunicated is training you up in the way you should go. You are not being taught as a fellow heir, you are perceived to be a petulant little sinner poised to wreak havoc on the church at any moment. Everything modeled and taught to you is “preventative.”

This is Dever’s attitude towards people who work like dogs to pay his salary. Unbelievable, but hardly uncommon among the Reformed.