Paul's Passing Thoughts

Calvinist Husbands Need to Shape Up or Be Shipped Out

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

Written by  PPT/TANC Publishing ghostwriter one

1Corinthians 7:10 – To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Susan and I, for some time, have been presented with opportunities to counsel women married to Calvinists. Not confused Calvinists who are often confused enough to be good guys, but Calvinists that really understand what a Calvinist is and act like one. Nor are we writing about women who are Calvinist queens and couldn’t be happier. Happiness is a good thing; we are called to it. Look, if some gal is happy being married to an ISIS guy, more power to her—life is about choices. Don’t misunderstand me, that is only an analogy; I am not sure, but I don’t think I have ever compared Calvinism to ISIS.

Rather, we are referring to women in marriages where Calvinism is the crux of the issue. In some of these situations, the wife has been brought up on church discipline and declared an unbeliever. That is totally unacceptable, and grounds for immediate biblical divorce. Let me explain.

The thing that I like most about my life is that I am constantly learning, and would like to think that learning is leading to change. Something strange also happens when you are in a learning mode; you are completely comfortable not knowing stuff. If you are in the process of learning, you know what you don’t understand will come into focus eventually. So, we are about to look at 1Corithians 7:10-16, and some of it I understand, and some of it I don’t. This is about what I do understand.

What I do understand came together through these counseling experiences, my recent gig as an HHA, and the word of God. My recent experience as an HHA caused me to take a closer look at 1Corinthians 7:13 in context with the rest of the chapter. In recent history, “’deinstitutionalization,’ the policy of closing state mental institutions,” has led to mental patients being dumped into the realm of HHA care. Hence, HHAs are often saddled unawares, perhaps because of medical disclosure laws, with individuals who would have been institutionalized in the past.

My first two clients where Bipolar ODD/PAPD individuals. That’s Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder. Basically, every minute of the day, anything that involves conversation is a debate. These people suck the peace and civility out of every environment that they enter into. When these people were institutionalized, psych aids could deal with them because they were labeled and everyone understood why they (patient and aid) were in the situation and what needed to be done. The aid could simply ignore their verbal abuse and was not obligated to please them in any way, shape, or form because the institutionalized individual’s rights were taken away.

In context of HHA care, the aid is obligated to please a serial abuser, and their job will probably depend on it. I have already heard the horror stories of young single women suffering the verbal abuse day after day in order to support their children. In my own experience, these people have wreaked havoc on my own personal wellbeing. When you are with these clients, you walk on eggshells the whole day, and any conversation =’s conflict. You don’t sneeze, you don’t yawn, you don’t use their bathroom, you don’t chuckle because of something they are watching on TV, you don’t say that you like their dog, or their cat, everything you say or do is an issue or the rewriting of the Declaration of Independence.

And here now, finally, is my point in context: one such client is a faithful church attender and professing Christian husband married to another professing Christian. I never met her as she works a lot of hours; go figure. Apparently, she found a job as a live-in nanny somewhere. Well, I would imagine. As a professing Christian, is she biblically obligated to remain married to this man? I don’t think she is for four biblical reasons:

  1. She may treat him as an unbeliever because of his fruit that obviously comes from a bad tree.
  2. He is only pleased to live with her for unbiblical reasons.
  3. She is called to peace.
  4. She does not know for certain that she will ever be able to lead him to the Lord, and is not obligated to sacrifice her call to peace accordingly.

Please don’t misunderstand me; I don’t think I have ever compared a Calvinist to someone Bipolar or ODD/PAPD. However, on the flip side, the idea that a spouse who has been brought up on church discipline not having any rights as a spouse does sound familiar.

The windcock of this conversation is verse 13. “If” in this context is a conditional noun used with “and” stating two conditions: an unbelieving spouse that is “pleased”(KJV) to live with a believing spouse. It’s a conditional clause—if the opposite is true, so is the condition, and the imperative. However, in this case, “not enslaved” (v.15) denotes liberty, and not an opposite imperative. Even though the believing spouse is not obligated to remain married to the unbeliever if he/she is not “pleased,” “willing” or “happy” (NET) to live with the believer, divorce is a matter of liberty and not a command. However, if the unbeliever is pleased to live with the believer, he/she “should not divorce.

“Divorce” is the decision at hand. But, in regard to a decision to stay with the displeased unbeliever, one of the benefits is NOT “the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” While I do not know exactly what this benefit means, I do know that in context it does NOT apply to a displeased unbelieving spouse, but only to a pleased unbelieving spouse. In other words, this benefit will not be reaped by the believing spouse sacrificing the following: “God has called you to peace.” This benefit only takes place in a peaceful situation.

We now hone in on the word, “consent” (ESV). Uh, this kind of puts forth the idea that the unbeliever may agree to live with the believer for a myriad of different reasons and the believer is thereby enslaved to the marriage. In regard to the idea put forth by the word “consent” in context, and in regard to how I have counseled women in the past, I now say, “nope.” This is another thing about learning mode, admitting you were wrong isn’t as hard. Let’s look at the actual word:

4909 syneudokéō (from 4862 /sýn, “identity with” and 2106 /eudokéō, “seems good”) – properly, to consent in a “hearty” (personal) way, in keeping with the close identification involved (note the syn);enthusiastically agree to cooperate with a partner to reach solutions, i.e. to achieve the things both have committed to do together.

This is why the word is often translated “pleased” or “happy” in many English translations. It’s the idea of being in agreement with each other. It has the idea of being happily on the same page regarding life in general. This does not include any sordid reason under the sun that an unbeliever might “consent” to living with a believer.

But, isn’t this qualified by the unbeliever deciding to divorce? “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases, the brother or sister is not enslaved.” I believe that “But” marks a contrast and comparison between a qualified situation and the likely mentality of a believer: “If I endeavor to stay with this person no matter what, God can use me to save them.” Paul’s answer to that is, “For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” yes, it could happen, as it did with my grandmother 36 years later, but it’s not guaranteed.

Furthermore, it is very questionable as to whether or not “But” is the actual first word of verse 15 which seems to qualify the deciding factors for verses 12 and 13. In most interlinears, verse 15 abruptly begins with another “If” denoting another situation altogether. This is a situation where the unbeliever is obviously displeased about living with the believer, and decides to divorce or separate. A few English translations note this and leave out “But” in exchange for “Yet” (ERV) and “If” (WNT). The YLT even adds more delineation by adding “And” before “if” in the beginning of the verse. This puts forth the idea of an additional situation altogether rather than further qualifying the previous situations. I believe the YLT has it right.

Now let’s apply this to a situation where a married couple are at doctrinal odds, and the doctrine, in this case, Calvinism has created un-oneness in the marriage. The spouse, in most cases the wife, refuses to submit to the authority of orthodoxy. False doctrine promoted by any group is defined in the Bible as “heresy” or sectarianism; meaning a person or group that divides with false doctrine.

First, the wife is in fact married to an unbeliever because the husband believes a false gospel. Like in all cases, this doesn’t mean she knows his heart for certain, but because he professes a false gospel, she can treat him “like” an unbeliever. In only one of many qualifying examples, authentic Calvinism is almost always part and parcel with the doctrine of double imputation which is a blatant gospel aberration.

Second, especially in cases where the husband has had the wife brought up on church discipline, which isn’t in the Bible to begin with, it is apparent that he is not pleased to live with her. And additionally, in considering the texts used to support a phrase found nowhere in the Bible, “church discipline,” these verses demand a separation of fellowship. Uh, really? While you are still like, married? Does this mean that Matthew 18 is probably not meant to be applied to marriage? Ya think?

Nevertheless, the Calvinist, ie, unbeliever, has in fact left the wife via church discipline because the verses used in the orthodoxy of it, in fact, call for separation and disfellowship. Hence, the Calvinist, ie, unbeliever, is consenting to live with the believing wife who has rejected his false gospel for unwarranted and unbiblical reasons. She is free to divorce him immediately unless he repents posthaste. And additionally, she should take him to the cleaners financially. Well, that might be a little harsh.

However, all in all, the Christian spouse, whether husband or wife, should never violate their conscience if it is not yet at peace with this exegesis. If a spouse then says, “I have been in turmoil and walking on eggshells for _______ years and I am totally at peace with this exegesis,” alrighty then. The Calvinist needs to shape up or be shipped out. You are called to peace, not a false gospel.

Marriage is about oneness, peace, and love—not law.

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.

paul

The Problem with Authority

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 18, 2016

hitler1I was reminded just yesterday why believers must begin taking a much closer look at the subject of authority. A client of mine complained that her adolescent’s social services counselor actually suggested that her son should sue her! This immediately brought back to mind something Susan, my wife, had shared with me concerning outside counseling that one of her sons had received prior to our marriage that was also divisive.

Authority is bad for the family unit. A major theme of TANC Ministries of late has been the love versus authority issue. If you give the subject serious thought, it would almost seem like authority is a necessary evil. Remember, the undisputed greatest nation in history, America, was founded on less governmental authority in exchange for individual liberty. It was founded on the idea of self-governance. Until America, freedom of the individual was greatly feared and thought to be a sure catalyst of chaos that would bring an end to human existence.

But authority divides, and can only bring about conformity and nothing else. The apostle Paul said it best:

1 Timothy 1:5 – The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions. 8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine…

The law is used lawfully when it is used for love. Love fulfills the whole law (Rom 13:10, Gal 5:14, Jms 2:8, Matt 22:40). The law asks, “Did you sin today?” Lawfulness asks, “Did you love today?” Authority asks, “Did you do what I told you to do?” Love asks, “What do you need today?” One seeks to outdo each other in meeting needs and honoring one another (Rom 12:10 ESV), the other seeks to outdo each other with control. I have been around long enough in pastor clicks to know that the pastors who are respected most “run a tight ship.” The famous Jack Hyles, the “best preacher since the apostle Paul,” once displayed his pastoral savvy by ordering a deacon to stand up and sit down upon his command of which said deacon obeyed on cue. Parishioners sought Hyles’ permission to go on vacation and buy new cars.

The scope of authority and its true usefulness in this age is extremely narrow. Governments are God’s ministers only when they fulfill His purposes of rewarding good and punishing evil. But Romans 13:1-10 reveals something astounding: we owe the government payment for such services before God, but we only owe each other love. Government is an institution—God’s people are a body. We give money according to the needs of others, not an authoritative religious establishment.

However, the main concern of this post is how outside authority divides families and marriages, especially religious authority. In general, when there is strife and division, authority is always lingering in the shadows someplace. And most troubling is the assertion that “If everyone would just obey the Holy See there would be perfect unity.” But herein is the glaring problem: God will judge individuals—NOT institutions. Even in this present age, how many have been hanged on the gallows of justice for following the orders of those in authority? During WWII, an adolescent could totally circumvent their parents’ authority by joining the Hitler Youth movement. The authority of parents over their children was completely usurped by the state.

Likewise, due to the New Calvinist movement unmasking the true orthodoxy of the Protestant Reformation, the present-day institutional church openly claims authority over the family unit and labels husbands as sub-elders over their families. Wives who don’t buy in are stripped of their salvation by the completely bogus concept of “church discipline.” Whenever I challenge someone to find “church discipline” in the Bible, they always cite verses that invoke… “Ok, so, where is church discipline in this passage?” Take Matthew 18 for example: where is church discipline in that passage? And for that matter, where are the elders? Most absurdly assert that “tell it to the church” refers to the elders. But in regard to the way “church discipline” functions, it’s always the elders informing (telling) the congregation. So, in order to make Matthew 18 about church discipline, the church is the elders, but when it comes to applying the concept, the elders tell the church. Sigh.

And unfortunately, many husbands are all too eager to buy into the sub-elder concept. As long as they agree with the church’s orthodoxy, the wife either obeys or supposedly loses her salvation. And many of these men have the gall to object to wife spanking that is more prevalent in the institutional church than we would like to admit, but pray tell; what is the logical conclusion of all of this nonsense? Wife spanking or not is merely the difference between authority pizza toppings, plain cheese or supreme.

And it also cuts both ways. Wives who want to get rid of their husbands for whatever reason only need to become Reformation queens. Once they establish themselves as a present-day Joan of Arc, the church would not dare deprive them of having a Reformed Kool-Aid drinking husband. Hence, church sanctioned divorce is presently an epidemic.

Once one is tuned into the authority issue, the senses are flooded with data in the milieu of our culture. After hearing what the client shared with me yesterday, I came home and was channel surfing while eating dinner. A documentary about “conscience” on the EWTN channel (Catholic) caught my attention. It went something like this:

So, there are some things wrong by their very nature…So conscience, since it is a judgment of reason, and not the voice of God, can err…To avoid error, conscience must follow the teachings of the Church. Vatican II did not change this. In Constitution on Divine Revelation #10: “The task of authoritatively interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on [Scripture or Tradition] has been entrusted exclusively to the living Magisterium of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.

But again, we stand before Christ individually. I have actually heard people say that they will not stand in the judgment before God, but Christ will stand in for them if they obey the church who represents Him. So, “This is my Son…hear ye Him” is now “Hear the church.” This seems like a really bad idea to me, and obviously results in a plethora of interpretations accordingly. Even if everyone obeys an authority, there will be disagreements among the authorities.

We call that “war.”

paul

Elders

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

Cowardly Husbands and the Protestant Super-Cult: Elder Authority Over the Family Unit

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 26, 2015

ChandlerI have written some articles recently about elder authority. Where is it? When it gets right down to it, the gift of eldership (no, it is NOT an “office”) is specifically spoken of in the New Testament four times, five if you want to argue for Hebrews 13:17 regarding “leaders” which assumes eldership.

Furthermore, where tradition assumes “church discipline” is a ministry tool for the express use of elders, they are not even mentioned in Matthew 18 nor is there anything in the chapter that lends any notion towards an argument for such an idea. Moreover, where do we even find “church discipline” in the Bible to begin with? Where is the idea in Matthew 18 or anywhere else in Scripture?

In books of correction and apologetics, as well as major doctrinal statements on justification such as the book of Romans, elders are not even mentioned.

Also, ministries traditionally attributed to elders such as counseling are specifically earmarked for congregants at large and the Scriptures specifically call on them to fulfill those ministries as a matter of obedience.

This brings us to the supposed authority of elders in the home. Ephesians 5:22-6:4 and 1Peter 3:1-7 speak specifically tothe-village-church authority in the home and guess who are totally absent from the conversation? Right, the big bad elders.

How have those of such little relevance in the Bible come to rule over the church with a spiritual iron fist?

This brings me to yet more drama going on in the institutional church. At Matt Chandler’s church, a well-known Neo-Calvinist, the elders have brought a wife under church discipline for divorcing her husband who was caught with child porn. If she goes to Chandler’s church, she has heard often about how people cannot change save their perception of just how sinful they really are leading to an increased “gratitude” for “what Jesus has done, not anything we do.”

You do the math. Unless the wife is mentally catatonic, she has to figure she is married to a man that is infatuated sexually with little children, but cannot change. But trust me, she has something going on upstairs because she asked the elders in essence, “Who gave you the authority to tell me I can’t divorce my husband?” Good question, and the answer is… “nobody.” Also, redemptive church discipline proffers the idea that the elders have the authority to “declare her an unbeliever.” How do we get from the aforementioned biblical facts to a bunch of guys who have authority over your salvation? Have we totally lost our minds? In addition, preventing someone from performing a lawful act under threat of public defamation is a felony in most states. It just so happens that the practice of redemptive church discipline is technically a serious crime.

And let’s talk about the tragedy of Chandler’s teachings and how they created the situation to begin with. The Bible makes it clear that anyone can be inflicted with “sinful desires” of all sorts. This is an affliction and the source is sin. The source is also the old self that was crucified with Christ which means that the desire has no power over the believer—the believer is able to say “no” to that desire, and if he/she doesn’t, it will bring death in one way or another.

The blood of the situation is totally on the hands of Chandler and his elders due to errant teachings on sanctification, and the divorce is merely part of the death process that her husband is now experiencing. In this case, the death of a marriage along with whatever else is he is going through.

It is amazing to see how husbands are relinquishing their families to these doctors of death. This return to authentic Protestantism will continue to implode more and more until something gives. The destruction of families is ongoing and incalculable. As I have mentioned in other articles, I continue to get testimonies that family situations are greatly improved by virtue of the fact that the families simply leave the institutional church.

Cultism will never make a situation better, only worse.

paul

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