Paul's Passing Thoughts

Heroes are Hard to Find in the Days of Noah

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on July 23, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally posted January 30, 2012

I’m past it now. Most of my spiritual heroes have fallen. I am now ready for the rest of them to fall if they do— the few that are left, which include the dead.  It’s a good test for one’s faith—do we follow men or Christ?

They cross my path now and then—those who are going through what I have gone through. Some are in the denial stage—others in the disillusionment stage that will draw them closer to Christ and give them more resolve for the truth. They will be ok; after all, every Christian is born again with a little bit of Noah in them.

Have you ever thought about what it must have been like for Noah? He was one of the few Christians left on the face of the Earth, and beyond him, only family members. Noah was a follower of God and didn’t follow the crowd, and in this case, the “crowd” was the whole world. And remember, we may assume that religion and false teachings were very much a part of that landscape as well. Peter also states that Noah was a “herald of righteousness.”

In our day when evangelism is at an all-time low and compromise at an all-time high, more Noahs are needed, especially since Christ said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Of course, in our day, many cannot draw encouragement or solace from the life of Noah because after all—whether or not those events are true is neither here nor there—what those narratives say about the gospel is the point. It’s not about Noah, it’s about Jesus.

Neo-evangelicalism’s First Major Trophy: Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse

I have been writing lately about Neo-evangelicalism. Its connection with Neo-orthodoxy and New Calvinism will be discussed in volume two of The Truth About New Calvinism. Basically. NE  rejected the idea of  separation to maintain doctrinal purity. At some point, Dr. Barnhouse succumbed to how uncomfortable things become when you stand for the truth. His capitulation triggered a tsunami of disillusionment and denial. As recorded by Christian Author MJ Stanford:

CRUSHING COMPROMISE: In November of 1954 Dr. Barnhouse completely capitulated to his denomination, and especially to his Philadelphia Presbytery. Christians throughout the world were astounded by this seemingly sudden surrender. The Philadelphia Bulletin for November 12, 1954, reported:

“A 22-year-old breach between the Presbytery of Philadelphia and Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse has been healed by the latter’s recent appearance before the Presbytery expressing the desire for closer fellowship with the alienated group. Presbytery immediately responded in an open-armed gesture of welcome…. Dr. Barnhouse said, “I have come to realize that some of my personal relationships have suffered because of these past differences, and I now recognize that this has been a mistake. For my part I want to work in much closer fellowship with you in the Presbytery.”

Can you imagine those same words coming from the mouth of Noah?:

I have come to realize that some of my personal relationships have suffered because of these past differences, and I now recognize that this has been a mistake. For my part I want to work in much closer fellowship with you in the Presbytery.

Thereafter, Barnhouse’s  compromise is credited with greasing the wheels of the Progressive Adventist movement and Neo-Pentecostalism/Oneness Theology:

SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISM ACCEPTED: It was in 1956 that Dr. Barnhouse’s ecumenical love-stance included cultic compromise. At that time he and Dr. Walter Martin entered into “sweet fellowship” with masters of deceit–the leaders of Seventh-Day Adventism! As a result there appeared an astounding series of articles in Eternity, beginning in September, 1956.

While not agreeing with some of their “screwy doctrines,” of as he put it, he insisted that “they are as orthodox on the great fundamentals of the Person and work of Christ as anybody in the world could be.” (I for one, then, am out of this world!) In these fateful and disquieting disquisitions Dr. Barnhouse went all out in an effort to convince Christians that Seventh-Day Adventists were safe and sound evangelicals and should be accepted into full fellowship.

This irresponsible sponsorship brought forth a storm of protest all over the world, with thousands writing in repudiation of the sheep-stealing and doctrinally deviant cult. Dr. Barnhouse was untouched. As a friend of his used to say of him, “He was dogmatic about any subject even when he was totally wrong.”

SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISM ACCEPTS : The wily Adventists were quick to take advantage of Dr. Barnhouse and his pandoric patronage. As early as October 2, 1956, the Adventist monthly, Signs of the Times, came forth with an editorial entitled, “Adventists Vindicated.” “Vindicated” before the vindication was even published!

Their statement contained this telling sentence: “As to the effect of Dr. Barnhouse’s courageous reappraisal of Seventh-Day Adventism, we are convinced that it will not only create a sensation in evangelical circles, but it will lead thousands to restudy the ‘message’ which Seventh-Day Adventists feel called to give to the world in these last days.”

QUESTIONABLE “QUESTIONS ON DOCTRINE”: Just a few months later, early in 1957, the SDA denomination published an official 700-page volume entitled, Seventh-Day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine. The primary purpose of this tome was to convince evangelicals, hand-in-hand with Dr. Barnhouse and Dr. Walter Martin, that theirs was an evangelical body.

PREPOSTEROUS PENTECOSTAL PERCENTAGE: 1957 also witnessed Dr. Barnhouse and Dr. Martin entering into “close fellowship” with the Pentecostalists. Eternity for April, 1958, reported the visit with the leaders of the Assemblies of God at their headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, stating, “We found total disagreement of two percent of our doctrines, and absolute agreement of 95 to 98 percent.” Again, believers were strongly exhorted to enter into fellowship with this anti-security, tongues and healing group.

It was at this time that the Pentecostal plague was beginning to break loose and infect the larger denominations. The Barnhouse-Martin open door policy substantially contributed to the present-day charismatic errors that are rending the Body of Christ.

Here the promoters of oneness gave their blessing to the most divisive and dangerous element of all! An ex-Pentecostal leader stated, “The denominations that are accepting and tolerating the Neo-pentecostals also exhibit tendencies toward Neo-orthodoxy, Neo-evangelicalism, and Neo-morality.” To this day, Dr. Walter Martin frequents the Pentecostal platforms of the country.

Hero Gone Bad: John MacArthur Jr.

The present-day compromise of John MacArthur Jr. is reminiscent of Barnhouse. MacArthur has no shame in regard to who he gives credibility to. MacArthur was corrupted via his friendships and associations with the likes of John Piper and Michael Horton. Though elders are to be beyond reproach, for seven straight years including this one, he will appear on stage with serial sheep abuser and hypocrite extraordinaire, CJ Mahaney. MacArthur came completely out of the closet when he wrote the Forward to Uneclipsing the Son, written by New Calvinist Rick Holland. In the Forward, JM plainly rejects the significant role of the Father and the Holy Spirit in salvation and sanctification.

Biblical Counselors Gone Bad: The National Association of Nouthetic Counselors

Peaking in the early 90’s, this organization could not have found warehouses big enough to archive the stories of changed lives for God’s glory. Through training in this program, I myself was able to prevent a suicide with the  Lord’s help. In 1992, a NANC training center in Ohio saw twelve solid conversions to Jesus Christ in one year. Unfortunately,  NANC allowed the infiltration of other “biblical” counseling organizations via teaching and board members. Today, NANC is responsible for leading thousands down a path of destruction.  Former stalwart members such as Lou Priolo and Martha Peace now drink the kool-aid of New Calvinism and serve it to thousands daily by books and speaking engagements.

Disillusioned Followers of the Always Bad John Piper

A reason for Piper heroship is extremely wanting. He was initially educated in humanistic Philosophy before attending the epicenter of Neo-evangelicalism: Fuller Seminary. Fuller Seminary frequently hosted the likes of Karl Barth during the time that Piper was a student there. The same year that he graduated from Fuller, he went to Germany to study under Neo-orthodox theologians. Though Piper’s pedigree is suspect to say the least, his popularity is unprecedented. Many of Piper’s followers are clearly in the denial stage; chief among them, the former Christian recording artist Steve Camp. Camp has written several articles on his blog that vent his perplexity regarding Piper’s behavior—peppered with statements like, has anybody seen the real John Piper lately? Steven, Steven, Steven, face it—John Piper was never real. Camp also wrote a lengthy article concerning a bizarre concoction by Piper and CJ Mahaney known as “The Scream of the Damned.” Apparently, it taught that Christ was condemned to hell as part of the atonement. One wonders if Piper and Mahaney themselves are amazed at what they get away with.

Christians need to remember that a love for the truth is a particular part of the salvation gift ( 2Thess. 2:10). When it gets right down to it, every Christian has the stuff Noah had—even if they are the last ones on earth to stand for the truth. It’s there, you will find it if you want to. Others have followed in the way of Noah. During the time of Constantine, a notable teacher stood against the onslaught of Arianism and was forced into exile. His name was Athanasius. Someone once said to Athanasius that the whole world was against his uncompromising stand; to which he replied, “Then I am against the world.” This is where the saying Athanasius contra mundum (“Athanasius against the world”) comes from.

He was like Noah. When it gets right down to it, we all are. Compromise only delivers a truce tormented by a nagging conscience. It’s not worth it.

paul

The New Calvinism Divorce Mill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

paul

Why ACBC Christian Counseling Cannot Help People: Bad Soteriology; Revised and Edited

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 28, 2014

Note: ACBC; Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

Predominate in Christian circles is the idea that Christ’s  death on the cross “covers” the sins that we commit as Christians. This not only sounds logical, but is something I bought into most of my Christian life. One of my favorite Christian songs, formally, states the following:

I know someday I will be free

The weight of sin shall be released

But for now He covers me

In a lesson taught by counseling guru Martha Peace (ACBC advocate and speaker), she states the following:

The Bible teaches us that when God saves someone, he cleanses them from their sin – past sin, present sin, and future sin as the Lord Jesus Christ “bore our sins in His body on the cross” (1 Peter 2:24).

Let’s think about this for a moment. If Christ died for our future sins, does this not necessitate the reapplication of His death to sins committed by Christians?  Whether your answer is “yes,” or “no,” that is the assertion and logical conclusion of the soteriology that dominates the American church in our day: Calvinism. Furthermore, it is the soteriology that dominates the present-day Christian counseling culture.

The result is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on Christianity since a counseling session between Eve and the serpent. Christians en masse go to “Christian” counseling centers for personal change, but most often, they are being counseled by those who believe most Christians are not ready for the hard truth of the Protestant Reformation gospel: people don’t change; people can’t change; they can only glorify the works of Christ in the gospel while experiencing joy in the midst of circumstances no matter what they are. It’s reversed self-esteem: feeling good about ourselves because we are doing good is sin, but feeling good because we are totally depraved is God’s glory.  We see a hint of this in the aforementioned lesson by counseling queen Martha Peace:

This aspect of Sanctification begins at the moment God saves you and “progresses” throughout the rest of your life. It is a life-long process of being transformed into more of Christ’s image.

Notice that we don’t really change, but are “transformed” into an “image” of “Christ.” Do we change personally as new creatures in Christ, or are we merely transformed into an “image”? Though Peace’s lesson is peppered throughout with lingo suggesting a colaboring with God in sanctification, her deception, whether deliberate or witless, is revealed in her citations of the Reformed Mystic Walter Marshall:

True holiness understands that we are by nature totally powerless and unable to live a holy and righteous life that God requires [viz, perfect law-keeping].

Notice that “true holiness” is NOT something we DO, but something that we “understand.” In a myriad of Protestant contemporary writings, sanctification is framed as an “experience” and a “knowing.” The DOING aspect is continually fustigated in clever ways that suggest well-doing in sanctification necessarily equals an attempt to earn our justification (because a requirement of perfect law-keeping remains as the standard for justification; not the new birth and God’s indwelling seed). And this, my friends, is the crux of the soteriological issue. If Christ’s death must be applied to Christian sins, the logical conclusion is that justification is not a finished work and further atonement is needed for future sins. This makes the “means” of holiness in sanctification critical. And what are those means? Peace continues:

True holiness understands that God will not help you live a holy life unless you use the means God has given you to pursue this holy life – salvation and sanctification that will give Him all the glory.

Notice that “salvation” is the “means.” Hence, the same salvation that justified you also sanctifies you. Does that sound familiar? And that’s Calvin as well. I wish not to belabor the point as I cite the Calvin Institutes extensively to establish this fact, especially in It’s Not About Election and The Reformation Myth. If you wish, you can read 3.14.11 in the Calvin Institutes for a primer. It is basically preaching the gospel to yourself daily in order to keep future sins “covered” by Christ’s death on the cross.

So, what makes this sanctification covering biblically illogical? Primarily, a proper understanding of biblical law and gospel. Again, I have written extensively on this and do not wish to belabor the point, but will summarize it.

Christ died for sins committed “under the law.” “Where there is no law, there is no sin.” Unbelievers are “under the law” and “enslaved to sin.” Believers are “under grace” and “enslaved to righteousness.” Along with the contrary slaveries, there is also a freedom to do the contrary. No unbeliever sins perfectly, and no believer obeys perfectly. Even though Christians sin because they are free to succumb to the desires of the flesh, Christ is the “end of the law,” and therefore there is “no condemnation.” Clearly, again, CLEARLY, in Protestantism, the so-called “believer” remains under the law and its condemnation.

Furthermore, the old self that was under the law was crucified with Christ and no longer lives; so, see Romans 7, the new us is no longer married to the old us that was under the law. But unbelievers are still under the law, and will be judged by that written law and the law of conscience—that will not go well.

Believers are righteous even as they are righteous—they have God’s seed abiding within them (see 1John 3). Regardless of being clothed in humanity, believers are truly righteous beings who are able to please God by their obedience (see Romans 8). Sin resides in our mortality and weakness, but no longer enslaves us. However, all in all, our new direction is indicative of our righteousness while we are NOT judged by a perfect keeping of the law for we are under grace. “Under grace” is NOT being under the “righteous demands of the law” as the often heard buzz-phrase goes among Protestant pastors and elders.

Therefore, with proper biblical guidance, we are able to change in order to please God. We do not merely contemplate God’s grace and watch for a “transformation” of an “image.” Rather than depending on a finished work for a glory manifestation, we “move on to maturity” by learning how to “control our own bodies in holiness.” Contrary to Peace’s Reformed idea that the finished work of justification must continue to cover future sins by “revisiting the gospel afresh” (Michael Horton via Calvin),  we apply God’s truth to our lives, and when we see the results, it makes us more and more sure of our “calling and election” because it indicates that we are no longer enslaved to sin and its desires. On the flip side, disobedience can cause a believer to doubt his/her salvation because they continually violate their consciences. Also remember that unbelievers are not concerned with assurance issues.

In contrast, Peace asserts in the same lesson, as Jerry Bridges and many others, that assurance comes from the belief that we can do nothing to please God in sanctification:

True holiness is produced in someone who is assured that they are forgiven and reconciled to God.

In other words, effort in sanctification supposedly shows that we are not resting in the continued salvific work of Christ. This is Calvin’s Sabbath rest salvation that I discuss in detail in chapter 4 of It’s Not About Election. In chapter 5, I discuss why this doctrine robs Christians of assurance. Biblical assurance comes from knowing that justification is a finished work that ended sin and its condemnation, not the idea that our sin is merely covered via “returning to the gospel afresh.” The ending of sin is good news, not a perpetual cover-up. In fact, many like Kevin DeYoung testify to the difficulty of assurance because, supposedly, the closer we get to God, the more we see how far we are from His holiness resulting in the need to be proclaimed saved by elders. 

“But Paul, what about sins that we commit in our Christian life?” Well, we hate it, and therefore long to be saved from these mortal bodies of death, but we are not enslaved by it, nor can it condemn us. Assurance comes from the fact that justification and sanctification are totally separate; one is a finished work that ended condemnation,  and the other increases our joy by an increased ability to please God by what we DO in kingdom living. We love God—He doesn’t love Himself  by transforming us into an image of Himself IF we continue to live by faith alone in sanctification. James condemned that doctrine in his letter to the 12 tribes of the dispersion. Neither should we feel good about our supposed total depravity. Total depravity is not the source of joyful assurance because it increases our gratitude for our original salvation through a deeper and deeper understanding of how evil we are.

This, and many other reasons is why contemporary biblical counseling will not help Christians, but will rather destroy them.

paul

Satire: New Calvinists Start 12-Step Program for Righteous Christians

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

ppt-jpeg4New Calvinists, firmly in control of Christian counseling in our day, have started a 12-step program for Christians addicted to righteousness. According to David Powlison’s research and development team at CCEF, the addiction begins with a literal translation of the Bible. Apparently, the addiction is most prevalent among lower income Christians who can’t afford CCEF and NANC materials that keep Christians updated in regard to the latest Christocentric metaphysical interpretations. This marks a new focus by CCEF towards the ignorant laity.

Powlison joins colleague Paul David Tripp in this new program that targets the longstanding problem among Christians of not interpreting the Bible in its “gospel context.” Consequently, the writings of the apostle Paul are interpreted literally in regard to his assertion that Christians are “enslaved” to righteousness (ROM 6:17,18) and able to please God by obeying Scripture. Particularly troublesome is Paul’s message to those who are obeying: do it “more and more” (1THESS 4:1). While Powlison acknowledges that the enemies of the “vertical church” have been sufficiently neutralized, there is an unfortunate remnant suffering in the shadows caused by obedience in our “own efforts” that eclipse the Son.

As Paul David Tripp explains on page of 64 and 65 of How People Manifest the Saving Works of Christ in the Spirit Realm, Christians are still enemies of God, spiritually dead, alienated from God, suppress the truth in unrighteousness, and “enslaved.” The problem, asserts Tripp, is that many well-meaning Christians confuse that Christocentric reality with the apostle Paul’s description of the unregenerate throughout the New Testament.

PPT has obtained a tape of a weekly meeting associated with this new program:

Group leader: “We have a new visitor with us tonight. Jake, would you like to introduce yourself?”

Jake: “Uh, uh, I, uh, Hi, uh, my name is Jake, uh, I, I, I, I am righteous.”

Group: “Hi Jake.”

Group leader: “Is there anybody here who might encourage Jake?”

Group member: “Hi Jake, I’m Kippy, and I have been righteousness-free for five years now. You can do it Jake! Like us, you can stop trying to be the gospel and instead let Jesus show forth His righteousness in your realm.”

Applause from group.

PPT has also obtained the 12 steps associated with this new program:

1. Admit that you are righteous. Overcoming denial is the first step.

2. Begin using the Bible to plunge the depths of understanding in regard to your wickedness.

3. Burn all to-do lists at home, work, and at church.

4. Buy and read all new releases by John Piper.

5. Join a gospel-centered church.

6. Obey the elders for weekly absolution.

7. Tattle on anyone seen frowning during a sermon.

8. Stop hanging on to anything that gives you joy other than Christ. Most New Calvinist churches have covenants that allow you to sign all of these things over to the church.

9. Avoid all persons who are addicted to righteousness as you once were. Remember, bad company corrupts good orthodoxy.

10. Refute challenges with a list of quotations from 45 Reformed dead guys. This list can be obtained from your local New Calvinist elder.

11. Ignore guilt associated with unrighteousness, this is the flesh tempting you to focus on something you may do rather than what Jesus has done.

12. Preach the gospel to yourself daily. As you then partake in deep repentance, the works of Jesus are offered to the Father and you are once again justified.

paul

Reformed Theology’s Rightful Place

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 9, 2012

It is my prayer that Reformed theology will one day be recognized in its rightful place among the cults. That Luther and Calvin will be spoken of in the same breath as Joseph Smith and Jim Jones. A day when Elyse Fitzpatrick and Martha Peace will be categorized with Mary Baker Eddy and Ellen White. This is the rightful place for the false gospel of progressive justification.

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