Paul's Passing Thoughts

Franklin Graham’s Cluelessness Concerning American Culture is Indicative of Most Evangelicals

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 14, 2015

FRANKLIN GRAHAMSecular bad; Christian good. How did Christians come to think this way? And why are they willing to pay people like Franklin Graham so much money to protect us from the secular boogey man? Graham, like the vast majority of evangelicals, gets his information from other people. No people group can pass superstition and folklore from generation to generation like evangelicals and their information networks established by seminaries and local churches. Truly, the evangelical brain trust of our day must marvel that they can continue to get away with this in an information age. Nevertheless, the likes of evangelical superstar Dr. Albert Mohler often bemoan the evils of internet access. All of this is a long version of saying I think Protestants are brainwashed.

This post is about the Protestant mainstay of secular evil; Christian good. It was once again shoved in my face, as it is daily, and this time by an article in Decision magazine typed by Franklin Graham. The article was picked up and summarized by Michael Chapman @ cnsnews.com:

Reverend Franklin Graham, son of world renowned evangelical preacher Billy Graham, said that America is increasingly embracing a “culture of death” that echoes what has occurred in Europe, and which stems from a “sinful, godless worldview that rejects Christ.”

A further problem in America, he added, is that “Christianity is constantly under siege from the halls of government and education, which seek to suppress any public expressions of faith.”

“In places like Europe, where Christianity has been in decline as the deceptive forces of secularism and materialism have spread across the continent, it’s not surprising to find the practice of euthanasia so entrenched,” said Rev. Graham in a commentary for the January issue of Decision magazine. “Earlier this year, Belgium became the first country in the world to allow child euthanasia with no age limit.”

“I’m concerned that America is not far behind,” said Rev. Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.  “The euthanasia movement—disguised now as ‘death with dignity’—is gaining ground in a number of states. And for every 1,000 live births in the United States, 219 pregnancies end with a murdered child, through abortion.”

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that this rise in the culture of death in our own country coincides with the embrace of an immoral, sinful, godless worldview that rejects Christ,” he said.  “Christianity is constantly under siege from the halls of government and education, which seek to suppress any public expressions of faith.”

Sigh. Ok, let’s take this a paragraph at a time. We like to say that America was founded by Christians who fled Europe for religious freedom, right? That’s the foundational premise of the American Protestant myth. First, the Pilgrims were Puritans who were Calvinists who were also Augustinians like Luther who were Platonists. So let’s clear that up to start with. Secondly, they didn’t come here for religious freedom—they came here to start their own socialist theocracy based on Plato’s The Republic. Thirdly, the foundation of their Protestant orthodoxy was/is death.

So, if Graham wants to say America was founded on European Christianity, he cannot also say that “America is increasingly embracing a ‘culture of death.’” Excuse me, the foundational document of the Protestant Reformation in regard to doctrine was the Heidelberg Disputation written by Martin Luther. It is a doctrine of death. In fact, Luther stated in the document that all true knowledge must be obtained by suffering. And being a Platonist, he rejected the idea that the common man can reason because of his addiction to the material realm. Luther merely made Christ Plato’s trinity; the true, good, and beautiful, and made the suffering of the cross the epistemology to obtain wisdom from the invisible realm. Luther’s “theologian of the cross” is Plato’s philosopher king.

Ok, so Graham also states that America is becoming more and more like Europe in this regard; well, ya think? That’s where it came from. Duh! And…

America is increasingly embracing a “culture of death” that echoes what has occurred in Europe, and which stems from a “sinful, godless worldview that rejects Christ.”

No, no, no. The Pilgrims, who were Puritans, who were Calvinists, and also Lutherans, who were Augustinians, who were followers of Plato, who was the father of Western socialism, made death the Christocentric epistemology of the church—it was by no means a rejection of Jesus, or at least their version of Him. This is why an instrument of death, the cross, is the regnant icon of the Protestant church.

The next statement by Graham lends opportunity for further clarification.

A further problem in America, he added, is that “Christianity is constantly under siege from the halls of government and education, which seek to suppress any public expressions of faith.”

“In places like Europe, where Christianity has been in decline as the deceptive forces of secularism and materialism have spread across the continent, it’s not surprising to find the practice of euthanasia so entrenched,”

“Christianity,” viz, Protestantism, has been in decline in Europe, um, where it started, and we are becoming like them, and guess what? The authentic version of Protestantism displayed in New Calvinism straight from the Heidelberg Disputation has been all but totally running the show in American evangelicalism for twenty years. Graham needs to look in the mirror if he wants to see the real problem.

And to further clarify, America was founded on political secularism—NOT European Protestantism. Excuse me, but the American colonies were originally socialist theocracies on steroids. Many of our founding fathers were motivated to act by the Puritan tyranny they experienced growing up. For the first time in human history, a government was formed that separated force from faith. The American Revolution was against European tyranny, but that same tyranny expressed itself in colonial Puritanism which was also tied to Europe politically in many cases. Ten years after the American Revolution, the Puritans tried to weasel their way back into control and James Madison had a total conniption fit over it. Keeping Platonist mystic despots out of government was what the American Revolution was all about. The Puritans were part of American history as enemies, not friends of freedom.

And this statement by Graham reveals the unfortunate and mostly unknown DNA in every Protestant:

…the deceptive forces of secularism and materialism have spread across the continent, it’s not surprising to find the practice of euthanasia so entrenched,”

The deceptive forces of secularism and materialism? Note how secularism is deemed as inherently evil. If it’s not Protestant, it’s evil. Be sure of this my friends: this idea is rooted in ancient dualism that deems the material (or “materialism”) as evil and invisible as good. It is also one of the philosophical pillars of Platonism and Gnosticism which wreaked havoc on the apostolic church.

Furthermore, we must remember that Protestantism was clearly founded on anti-reason which put the Puritans at odds with the founding fathers. Yes, many of the founding fathers were good Christians, but they were Christians who emerged from the Enlightenment Era. They were (not all) Biblicists who rejected dualism and also embraced empirical reason. This is where the discussion falls egregiously short when we discuss the Christianity that this country was founded on: Plato or Aristotle? If you think you can understand and partake in American cultural discussion without understanding these philosophies, you’re sadly mistaken. And please, don’t be like Graham—keep your mouth shut because you don’t know what you are talking about.

If you want to finally get a grip on these realities, I refer you to the university level lectures that John Immel has done in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 TANC conferences. This is world philosophy as it relates to contemporary American Christianity. We offer his lectures online for free, and trust me; this is an education that you would pay thousands of dollars for at a Christian college, and most of it would be orthodox myth to boot.

As Christians, we don’t think enough about what is exactly meant by “secularism,” and how it supposedly distorts our worldview. Also, when talking-orthodox-heads use the word “materialism” we should not assume they are talking entirely about hedonist money-lust; and moreover, when they subtly connect materialism to the “American dream” it should ignite fear of the socialist god within us. Dissing the American dream without qualification is presently in vogue among the New Calvinists who control at least 90% of American evangelicalism.

This is why atheism is on the rise bigtime in America.  American Christianity is now totally defined by the Puritan ethic which disavows the material world expressed in quality of life and the average person’s ability to reason. Without the iron fist of a sanctified central government, chaos will supposedly ensue.  For the Puritans who really understood what they were about, musings of self-governance was the epitome of folly and arrogance. The New Calvinist movement has successfully defined Christianity in this way resulting in a cultural pushback that rejects a reason-hating god who demands that all knowledge come through suffering. As a Christian thinker, I often seek dialogue with atheists, but find that I am rejected out of hand in every case. Why? Because “Christian” has become synonymous with spiritual oligarchy, and perhaps rightfully so, for what well-known Christian fails to speak well of the Puritans?

In addition to what is cited in this post from Graham’s editorial, one may ask Graham: why wouldn’t secular governments push back against the Neo-Puritan movement expressed in New Calvinism? Their dominion theology is well documented. By their own pronouncement they seek to dominate the world!!! Constantly we hear Mike Huckabee et al espousing the need for “Christian government” coupled with events like New Calvinist John Piper in Dubai  proclaiming that Christianity is going to bring down the Burj Khalifa tower!

Really, am I here right now? Secular government is pushing back against a semblance of theocratic Puritan resurgence? Ya think?

Lastly, what about the fruits of death culture that Graham is speaking of? Throughout history, the bulk of death culture has always come from collectivism. What’s that? It starts with the idea that man cannot reason. And by the way, dear Christian, you can wuv somebody with your entire faith-filled intellectual thimble until the cows come home, but if they catch wind that you think they are unable to interpret reality—see ya—you’re history.

Since man is unable to reason and needs those with the gnosis to rule over the masses for the collective good, man is not only perceived as property of the state whether the state is religious or otherwise, man’s worth is defined by his ability to contribute to the greater societal good. In other words, to sing the praises of Puritanism while fustigating the evils of death culture is an oxymoron. Either way, whether secular or Protestant, both feed the death culture. Protestants don’t like voluntary exit strategies because who’s to say you won’t become one of them in the future; atheists simply have no hope because the only Christianity they see is jihad with some sugar on top.

Graham et al remind me of race-baiters like Al Sharpton. With Al, the boogey man is the white man; with Graham the boogey man is the secular materialist out to destroy his definition of Christianity. However, in regard to Graham, I think most of his mentality in this regard comes from ignorance, for many others like John Piper and Al Mohler—not so much.

In the same way liberals think we should ask, “Why do terrorists hate us,” Christians should ask why we are deemed a threat to secular society. We don’t need to ask the terrorists that; we know they believe that Sharia law is the key to world peace. But an answer to our question to those evil material secularists might be revealed in a snippet of Graham’s editorial not cited above:

Life is short. Eternity is long. Do not tarry for you do not know when you will die. Choose sin and you will face eternal damnation, said Rev. Graham. But choose God and you will gain eternal life.

This also applies to our institutions, our laws, our society.  “Wherever Christianity flourishes, there is a vibrant culture of life, not death,” said the reverend. “When the precepts of the Christian faith are faithfully taught and followed, there is an abundance of selfless, sacrificial living and giving.”

Do you hear the intellectuals running away as fast as they possibly can? You should. Protestant theocracies have a track record of a “vibrant culture of life”? Oh my, are you kidding me?

Let me explain something. Not long after the Renaissance, Platonism split into a secular expression that later became Marxism. Until then, collectivism was primarily a religious animal. From there, remnants of collectivism have always defined political underpinnings one way or the other. In contemporary America, we bemoan the nanny state mentality found primarily in the Democratic Party. Self-governance? They don’t even think we can choose the right way to wipe ourselves or buy lightbulbs. Often we ask when they make absurd statements, “Do they think we are stupid?” Well, not exactly, it’s just that they don’t think you can properly interpret realty.

Likewise, does Graham think we are stupid? And does he really think we can reach the lost with statements like this that are first degree felonies against reality in broad daylight?

Ya, follow us, believe in Jesus, our idea of a “vibrant culture of life” is Calvin’s Geneva and the Salem Witch Trials. John Piper even went to Geneva to proclaim the next phase of his ministry. During the promotion, he proclaimed the coming of Calvin’s Geneva as “Post Tenebras Lux”—“After Darkness… Light.” Geneva was an early version of communism that just didn’t work, and it didn’t work for colonial America ether.

Yes, trust Franklin, these contradictions only seem outrageous because you don’t comprehend reality—let Graham et al do the thinking for you. Stop supporting abortion and the like—burning witches is much better. “Besides, even though we think the Puritans were absolutely wonderful, if you put us in power, we won’t be like them in every regard. Really, we promise.”

Any takers?

paul

New Calvinism’s Silent and Dramatic Reshaping of American Politics

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 17, 2014

Pundits of American politics are likely missing a major philosophical shift among the voting public. Traditionally, it has been safe to assume that the evangelical vote tends towards American values. After all, the Pilgrims first settled in America seeking religious freedom and much of American heritage is rooted in that narrative. The ultra-conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has even written a children’s book about the Pilgrims (Puritans) presumably to preserve this rich heritage that underpins American values.

Hence, evangelicalism is assumed to be one in heart with freedom and liberty for all. Furthermore, they are responsible folks with deep convictions, viz, a large percentage of them vote, and vote conservative. The who’s who of American conservatism openly proclaim their love for God and country. When election time is near, this paradigm is a given for the political prognosticators.

But it shouldn’t be. The silent equation that everyone seems to be missing is the New Calvinist movement. This movement has all but completely taken over American evangelicalism, and will result in two things regarding the evangelical vote: low turnout and a shift towards socialist leaning candidates.

Consider: who are the New Calvinists? One is Dr. Albert Mohler, the president of Southern Theological Seminary which is the flagship seminary of the largest evangelical denomination in the world, the Southern Baptists. Consider, in 2009, Time Magazine named New Calvinism as one of the top ten ideas changing the world in our time. That was almost six years ago, and the movement’s tsunami-like growth has not relented in the least.

And consider, there is an ever increasing theme emerging in their massive publication machine of blogs, radio, pulpit, conferences, and books: anti-American sentiment with the primary whipping post being “the American Dream.”  Why?

New Calvinism is a return to the Reformation basics—they are Reformation purists, and few really understand Martin Luther’s worldview that founded Protestantism in its authentic form. Luther, like his Reformation compatriot John Calvin, were rabid followers of Saint Augustine who was an avowed Neo-Platonist. Luther was a friar in the Augustinian Order, and Calvin quoted Augustine over 400 times in The Institutes of the Christian Religion. Let’s skip the specific worldview shared by Plato, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, and instead point out the inevitable social prescription that it demanded as articulated in Plato’s Republic.

Plato denied that the common people could perceive reality, or what Reformation purists refer to as “total depravity.” Therefore, this idea called for elitist philosopher kings to rule over the masses with a standing army just in case citizens get the idea that they can actually know something. The sole purpose and sum value of a citizen is determined by ability to contribute to the “common good” and society at large. A comment regarding a blog post on New Calvinism stated it well:

In fact Calvinism strikes me as being antithetical to American cultural norms; such as, the notion of the American Dream and all men being created equal…I can see how Calvinism would have been bred in a European society with its history of class [caste system], but it would be a hard fit for America.

The reader rightly assessed with that comment. When the Puritans (who were Calvinists) came across the pond, they brought a European caste mentality with them. The primary goal was to start their own theocracy, what they called “New Zion.” This is why the first Bible to land on the eastern shore of America was the Geneva Bible. Geneva is the place where John Calvin earned the nickname “Pope of Geneva.” Nearly every detail of life was regulated there, including mandatory church attendance where Calvin’s elders tortured people with linguistic drones that lasted for hours. In addition, people were jailed for talking or sleeping during sermons, and Geneva law enforcement patrolled the streets searching for those not in attendance. Penalties for bad behavior were harsh as demonstrated by the fact that a public execution occurred at least once per week.

Please take note that the “elder statesman” of New Calvinism, Dr. John Piper, recently went to Geneva to produce a video announcing the newest phase of his ministry; i.e., to spread Calvin’s  Post Tenebras Lux (after darkness light) throughout the whole world. Like the socialism of the ages, there is always an excuse why the light has never worked—this time it will be different and mankind will finally be saved!

Much could be written on this wise and there is not sufficient room here to do so, but for purposes of this post, we should focus on the question of individualism. The American Dream is a construct that limits government to the task of freeing the individual to pursue all that they can be or want to be. Materialism is a mere result, the American Dream is not materialism—it’s an idea. Another natural result is the collective wellbeing of society. Happy and free individuals make a happy and free society.

This all boils down to the question of individual competence. We know how socialism answers that question while aggressively foisting a nanny state upon the American people more and more. They want to control how we travel, what we eat, and even how we wipe ourselves after using the bathroom. This is more than an annoyance; the horrifying and real question becomes, “Who owns man?” Does man own man, or does the state own man? If man cannot self-govern, and needs government to rule over his being via elitist philosophers or religionists, man becomes property of the state by default.

Is this not the crux of the conflict that we see in American politics? Regardless of the obvious, “you didn’t build that” because “you” are not competent. It only looks like you built it because the government made it possible. And even more horrifying is the idea that all wars would end if the masses would just finally agree to be owned. Yes, then all of Plato’s children could come together and agree on the best way to manage people. Terrorists are really not bad people; actually, they know something very important that Ronald Reagan never figured out: people cannot self-govern.

But yet, there is something even more horrifying: the masses who have bought into the idea of their own incompetence and the incompetence of mankind in general. This is fear of chaos. This is looking to the elitists to protect us from ourselves. Though the recent riots incited by socialists in America over whatever excuse was stumbled upon at the time seem to be pointless, really they are not pointless. The riots serve the following purpose:

See! See! See what happens when people own themselves? Chaos! Oh my! The streets are aflame! What will become of us?

Riots are designed to incite fear and send people scrambling for hasty answers—terrorism likewise. This is all an epic battle for the ownership of mankind. And where evangelicalism stands in that fight is now abundantly clear; they stand with the religious version of socialism: Post Tenebras Lux.

This is a huge reality lurking behind the curtain of America’s political stage. The New Calvinist movement (circa 1970) has created a massive religious subculture with significant sway over millions of evangelicals and has crossed all denominational lines to some degree. Presently, the movement is producing a mass of anti-American propaganda depicting the American Dream as steroidal selfism that is destroying the fabric of our society. Many notable New Calvinists, not excluding the aforementioned Al Mohler, are even writing articles defending terrorism and stating, one man’s terrorist is another man’s patriot. In one article, Mohler equates Nelson Mandella with George Washington. Other articles posted by notable New Calvinists object to the “exaggeration” of atrocities committed by ISIS. If you think this eerily similar to Hillary Clinton’s latest call to better understand terrorists, you rightly assess.

And this article cannot be concluded without mentioning New Calvinism’s latest wave of socialist propaganda: the virtues of slavery. That’s right. In fact, mega evangelical and New Calvinist Dr. John MacArthur Jr. wrote a book in 2010 titled Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ. The theme, also posited by numerous articles flowing from the gargantuan New Calvinist propaganda machine, is that man is metaphysically enslaved and the concept of freedom is a misnomer. In the reality of being, there is no real freedom. Hence, according to the general theses, Christ didn’t see slavery as a bad thing per se because men are enslaved anyway, but probably took exception to naughty slave owners.  Trust me, Hillary Clinton would go to church to hear that sermon and would be in the amen row to boot while promising to be one of those good slave owners that Christ thought well of.

So, what is the new mentality of the evangelical in the voting booth? First things first: vote for who gets it—vote for the candidate that understands man is enslaved by his own incompetence whether he knows it or not. The New Calvinist philosopher kings can go to the negotiating table later with their sphere of influence as a bargaining chip. Remember, the people always outnumber the philosopher kings and the warriors by significant margins. The New Calvinists bring a significant sphere of influence to the table. With any nation, it’s ALL about what people believe, and people can believe particular things that render government force powerless. Ultimately, ideas win wars.

The New Calvinists deem Capitalism little different from that of Islamic terrorists. Job one for them is to get rid of the American Dream by any candidate possible who understands the total depravity of man and the incompetence of the masses.

And political pundits of the patriot stripe would do well to adjust their evangelical equation accordingly.

paul

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