Paul's Passing Thoughts

Does the Law Really Lead People to Christ by Revealing Sin Only?

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on January 16, 2016

PPT HandleOriginally published October 14, 2013

The insanely celebrated return to our Reformed roots teaches the following about the law:

We are unable to keep the law perfectly. And since a perfect keeping of the law is the standard for righteousness required to live with God forever, our inability to keep the law perfectly leads us to Christ who must keep/fulfill it for us. As Christians, we continue to use the law in this way to “preach the gospel to ourselves.” The more we use the law to show our innate sinfulness, the more we experience “vivification” (a joyful, perpetual rebirth).

The bogus idea that perfect law-keeping is justification’s standard aside, the most popular text that supposedly supports this idea is Galatians 3:24 –

So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

To make that verse work, “guardian” (paidagōgos) is often translated as “tutor.” That’s a stretch. The word is better translated “protector”:

Among the Greeks and the Romans the name was applied to trustworthy slaves who were charged with the duty of supervising the life and morals of boys belonging to the better class. The boys were not allowed so much as to step out of the house without them before arriving at the age of manhood (Strong’s Dictionary).

Furthermore, the Reformed gospel teaches that the law is used by the Christian for this same purpose in our Christian walk—to continually lead us closer and closer to Christ by showing forth sin. This blatantly contradicts the context of the passage:

Galatians 3:25 – But now that faith has come, we are no longer [added] under a guardian,

Reformed doctrine clearly teaches that Christians are still under the law’s purpose to show us a deeper and deeper need for Christ and His grace as we see our own sinfulness in a deeper and deeper way. In other words, for Christians, God’s word still has a redemptive purpose. This is the basis for Historic Redemptive hermeneutics. However, even in regard to the lost, the showing forth of sin is only one purpose for the law, but far from being the only one.

Primarily, the law shows forth life. This is by far the primary theme of law throughout the Scriptures. The law shows forth the wisdom of God, and the wellbeing (blessings) of those who follow it. The law is also framed in the context of promise much more than it is judgment.

This gets into the major crux of the Reformed false gospel; the fusion of justification and sanctification concepts. The blessings of law-keeping can be experienced by unbelievers and believers alike, but such cannot obtain eternal life. The point is that the law shows forth life as much as it does death. It shows both. Again, this is a constant theme throughout the Scriptures. Who will deny that unbelievers will have a higher quality of life to the degree that they follow God’s law? No, it can’t gain salvation for them, but the law brings horizontal blessings by virtue of its wisdom.

Point in case:

1Peter 3:1 – Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.

In this passage, the husband is not won over by the wife demonstrating how sinful we are and our subsequent need for Christ; she is showing forth the blessings of being a believer. These are blessings that he is also experiencing because the home is sanctified by her presence:

1Corinthians 7:14 – 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?

So, there is a sense in which the unbelieving spouse is blessed by the believing one. The law not only shows forth sin, but also shows forth life. The latter is the way the law leads people to Christ just as much as the former.

paul

The False Protestant Gospel of “How Much?”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 10, 2015

“At any moment, any lost person can choose to have their sins ended. It is not a question of whether or not they are elected, it is a question of whether or not they are under the law—and they are.”      

The Protestant gospel effectively denies the biblical interpretation of the new birth. Because of its Platonist metaphysical presuppositions, it denies the treasure of God’s seed dwelling in weak vessels. Hence, the new birth is redefined and confined to the ability to perceive realm manifestations apart from any ability to do a good work of any kind. As stated by some, “Sanctification is done TO you, not BY you.”

In the biblical good news schema, Christ does ONE act of obedience as His part in God’s reconciliation plan. There is no question of “how much?” because His death was all that was required.

Now enter the heinous “Reformation” gospel of confusion. A cursory observation of Reformation history reveals that the dust-up between Rome and the “Reformers” was over metaphysics first. The very first and foundational doctrinal statement of the Reformation contained 12 theses of philosophical metaphysics. Luther was miffed that Rome was moving away from its Augustinian/Platonist roots and coming under the spell of Thomism. This shift began in the 13th century via St. Thomas Aquinas and eventually incited the Reformation. The assertion that the Reformation was driven by sola scriptura is absurd.

Martin Luther introduced his metaphysical answer to Thomism and foisted his theses that supported it onto Scripture. The centerpiece eventually came to be known as double imputation. To Luther’s credit, he created a timeless soteriology based on metaphysics that continues to turn the world upside down. John Calvin articulated Luther’s foundation in the Institutes of the Christian Religion. Both were dedicated to returning the church to its Augustinian roots.

What is double imputation? Basically, it’s the idea that Christ’s role in the gospel of first importance (as set apart from God’s full counsel which is also good news) was twofold as opposed to ONE single act. This was necessary as a “biblical” doctrine that keeps the material being of man separate from Plato’s trinity: the good, true, and beautiful, ie., the invisible. The true gospel turned dualism philosophy completely on its head by infusing good into weakness and defining the true definitions of God’s creation and the state of being.

The idea that God infused His righteousness into the being of mankind is repugnant to the Reformed mindset. How repugnant? The colonial Puritans executed Quakers for even asserting an errant view of the idea.

Therefore, distorting Christ’s role in God’s elected plan of reconciliation was necessary. Christ’s redefined soteriological role removes all goodness from mankind proper and “Christians” in particular. Christ not only came to die for the sins of particular persons preselected by God, but He also came to live a perfect life in obedience to the law so that His obedience could be imputed to the “elect.”

Now the questions are begged: “How much suffering was necessary to pay the penalty for sins committed by the preselected, and how much obedience was necessary for righteousness to be imputed to the preselected as well. When a false doctrine is predicated on errant presuppositions, not only do these kinds of questions arise, but the attempted answers give rise to more questions.

And displays of nonsense. An example is the weird and embarrassing ad lib “Scream of the Damned” propagated by John Piper and CJ Mahaney at a conference hosted by John MacArthur Jr.’s Grace Community Church.* The sheer weirdness of it all even raised eyebrows within Reformed circles by the likes of Steve Camp. The premise was an adolescent-like attempt to explain how much? in regard to Christ’s death. Imagining the response from my older than dirt and probably dead father in the faith, Pastor Richard Peacock, put me on the floor rolling around while laughing uncontrollably. Only the thought of thousands of attending pastors supported by the hard work and sweat of the laity watching without a blink shocked me into the horror of reality and put an end to my shameless response.

When are people going to stop and say to themselves, “Wait a minute here; what drives this stuff? This kind of stuff just doesn’t happen for any or no reason.”

Likewise, in regard to how much?, how long did Christ have to live and how much of the law did He have to obey for the elect? Theories abound because the question itself flows from the false presuppositions of Platonism foisted on the Scriptures resulting in the doctrine of double imputation.

Christ did ONE thing to secure reconciliation for mankind: He died. How much? Answer: enough for ALL mankind. How? Answer: by ending the law. How is that possible? Answer: because all sin is against the law and imputed to the law, and Christ died to end it. Sin is not covered by Christ’s law–keeping; no, sin is not covered, it is ENDED. At any moment, any lost person can choose to have their sins ended. It is not a question of whether or not they are elected, it is a question of whether or not they are under the law—and they are.

What else did Christ do to secure our reconciliation? Answer: nothing. But wasn’t He resurrected? Answer: yes, but He didn’t do that, that was the Holy Spirit’s role in God’s plan of reconciliation. The fact that Christ would be resurrected was a promise made TO Christ and Abraham BY God. That surprises many Christians who don’t read their own Bibles for themselves, viz, most.

In other words, this is the gospel: Christ DIED to END sin. The Spirit resurrected Christ as the first fruits of those who would also be resurrected to new life and justification which is NOT merely a legal declaration, but a metaphysical fact. It does of course have a legal aspect, but it is adoption court where the Holy Spirt bears witness with us that we are the children of God. Christ  was “resurrected” for our justification” by the Holy Spirit. “Forensic Justification” does have a legal aspect, but not only in the halls of criminal court, but just as much in the court of adoption with the Holy Spirit appearing as a witness.

Obedience to the law by Christ does not justify us, the new birth justifies us because we are in fact righteous. The resurrection justifies us, not law-keeping by anyone including Christ.

True resurrection with Christ is “under grace,” but that by no means states that we are no longer under a law. It means that we are no longer under a law that condemns us. This is what strips sin of its power. This is what strips death of its sting. We must remember that the law is the Spirit’s law. He will use it to convict the world of sin and warn of the judgment to come, or he will use it to sanctify God’s children. The law is a savor of death to those who do not believe, and a savor of life as we walk in it as God’s children.

The time has come to stop dwelling in the Protestant metaphysical narrative of death, and to follow Christ in our duty to write a narrative of life.

How much? That will depend on OUR obedience as children of God. The Spirit gave us life and opportunity to use His law to love God and others. “Do’s and don’ts” are not the issue, LOVE is the issue. We do not stay at the foot of the cross while Christ loves for us; we will be rewarded for the narrative of life that we write by using the gifts granted to us when Christ sat down beside the Father and rested from justifying all who will believe in Him.

We zealously write our narrative of life without fear of condemnation because of Christ’s love for us. And our love will never be enough because of the freedom we feel. The freedom purchased by His blood that freed us from the condemnation of the law and the Master empowered by it, and the freedom to love by obeying the law of the Spirit—the perfect law of liberty. When God looks at us, He sees more than Christ, he sees one that Christ is not ashamed to call a brother—He sees one of His children. Christ doesn’t cover us, He presents us.

He is not ashamed of us. His death was enough for our life.

paul

* “Apparently, they got the concept from RC Sproul, who used to be rock solid, but now it would appear that senility has opened his mind to the nonsensical theological acrobatics of our day. Likewise, the same consideration might apply to John MacArthur who spoke at the conference and also sponsored it; he is getting up in years as well. I offer this as a possible excuse for both of them though the vision of my heart longs to see them as the gray-haired stalwarts of the faith that I thought they were.  Here is what Sproul said:

‘Once the sin of man was imputed to Him, He became the virtual incarnation of evil. The load He carried was repugnant to the Father. God is too holy to even look at iniquity. God the Father turned His back upon the Son, cursing Him to the pit of hell while on the cross. Here was the Son’s ‘descent into hell.’ Here the fury of God raged against Him. His scream was the scream of the damned. For us’ (Tabletalk magazine, My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? April 1990, p. 6).

Steve Camp, on his blog, wrote a tame but thoroughly convincing argument against such a notion. But the fact that Camp thought such a significant expenditure of effort was needed is indicative of our day; surely, only ten years ago, such a thesis would have invoked a horrendous outcry among God’s people” (The New Calvinist License To Kill: And Did God Really Condemn Christ To Hell?, Paul’s Passing Thoughts blog, Paul Dohse, Sr., September 2, 2011).

Why Church Can’t Help People

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 18, 2014

My daughter sends me some articles from time to time written by Reformed academics who have completely taken over the institutional church in this country. What’s left of the church doesn’t possess any discernment and feeds off the who’s who of Christian academia. Historically, there have been about five Reformed resurgences like the one we are presently experiencing that always die out, and the reason they die out is very simple: it’s a false gospel. This post addresses the article because it is indicative of why Protestantism is a false gospel, and since authentic Protestantism presently dominates the American institutional church, there is no help to be found in it. To the contrary, it will rob hurting people of any hope they had left because many believe church is Christianity. Church is not Christianity.

Protestantism was founded on the false gospel of progressive justification. That false gospel produced a tradition of worship practices that survived a purist Protestant doctrine, but invariably paved the way for a return to the original article. In other words, Protestants come to a better understanding of the gospel, but continue to practice the traditions that came from the original article, which feeds the weakness of the original back into the church. So, Protestant Light gets blamed for the mundane, and the solution is to “return to our original roots that we have strayed from.” The original article dies out, but again, the traditions that came from the original continue; i.e., solemn observance of the Lord’s Table, alter calls (Absolution Light), “gospel” everything, ungifted pastors who buy their pastorate from institutional seminaries, heretics vaunted as spiritual heroes, the perpetual regurgitation of Reformed orthodoxy as truth, weak sanctification, avoidance of the difficult issues of life, canned worship services, an institution focus, canned gospel presentations, a program for everything, endless committees, little emphasis on individual gifts, the making of saved people and not disciples, doctrinal illiteracy of shameful proportions, etc.,  etc., etc.

In said article from The Gospel Coalition blog, the author proffers a solution for helping Christians who struggle with homosexuality. It is fairly easy to see that his solutions flow from the original Protestant gospel of progressive justification. Salvation has a beginning, a progression, and a “final justification.” Since salvation progresses, what they deceptively call “progressive sanctification,” we must supposedly progress in our salvation in the same way we were saved, by faith alone.

Hence, “desires” like homosexuality are completely out of our control. God may eradicate the desire, and then again, He may not because sanctification is of faith alone just like our salvation. To say that we have a role in change is the same as saying we have a role in our salvation according to the Reformed viewpoint. Remember, according to Reformed thought, the Christian life is a continuation of our original salvation; as we often hear, “Salvation is of grace from beginning to end.” This makes the Christian life part of the salvation process. However, salvation is not a process; it is a onetime event—the Christian life is completely separate.

Therefore, the author’s solution is a community that embraces a “theology of  unfillment.”

This is the normative Christian experience— to live with incompletion, unfulfillment, and an awareness that the gospel’s imperatives will challenge and frustrate our natural impulses in many ways.

If we’re going to summon people to sexual chastity, we should be welcoming one another into a community in which we are all wrestling with unsatisfied desires that will only fully and finally be met in Christ. Such a community will help create a plausibility structure in which our same-sex attracted friends living with daily unfulfillment see that they are not the only ones.

Of course, this contradicts the biblical promise that God will give us the desires of our heart if we put Him first. But moreover, it follows the Reformed tradition of denying the new birth. The gospel is not a mere mental assent to the facts of the gospel, it is following Christ in death and resurrection. The old self dies, and is resurrected as a new creature, “behold, all things are new.” The new Christian will have new desires. Sometimes, the old desires will die off quickly and will be replaced with new desires, while in other cases the old ways will linger.

But, the Bible is clear, if remaining sin provokes us with desires that oppose the Spirit, we are not enslaved to those desires even though it may feel like it. The born again Christian is able to say “no” to those desires. Also, saying no to errant desires will rob the same desires of “provisions.” Obedience to sinful desires will enslave us to those desires, and for the Christian, that is totally unnecessary. In contrast, our inclinations as Christians will be enslavement to righteousness:

Romans 6:16 – Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

This is true because…

Romans 6:1 – What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.

If a professing Christian has conflicting desires, or a desire to overcome passions that are contrary to God’s will according to the Bible, that is a very good sign, and he/she can do it—it’s a promise from God.  This is why the institutional church cannot help people; it denies the new birth and disregards the Bible’s role in sanctification.

paul

Why Deathbed Terror is a Reformed Family Tradition

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 1, 2014
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“Now we must consider the huge problem with Reformed theology and a tradition of deathbed terror among them—especially the Puritans…The Bible is not flipped by the new birth from death to love. There is only ONE law of condemnation.” 

The Bible states that the source of death’s fear is judgment.

1John 4:18 – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Hebrews 10:19 – Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

The big contrast here is love and judgment: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love….”  The Christian life is all about love. The Bible is the law of the Spirit that teaches us, counsels us, and instructs us on how to love God and others. Christ died on the cross for one primary purpose: TO END THE LAW. Same law, but until we trust in Christ’s death on the cross, we are “under law” and not “under grace” (Rom 6:14).

Christians do not sin in respect to justification because there is NO law to judge us, and the old us who was formally under the law died with Christ. Our major concern is love, NOT judgment. Christians should totally associate fear of death with being under the law and judgment. Fearing judgment in this life as a consequence for sin is another consideration altogether.

1Corithians 15:56 – The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ ended the law for righteousness on the cross, and where there is no law there is no sin, and where there is no sin, there is NO sting of death, and where there is no law, sin has no power over us.

Now we must consider the huge problem with Reformed theology and a tradition of deathbed terror among them—especially the Puritans. It’s not complicated: the Reformed gospel keeps “Christians” under the law. This is why Calvinism needs to be totally rejected out of hand as an egregious false gospel. The Bible is not flipped by the new birth from death to love. There is only ONE law of condemnation.

The Reformed notion of double imputation keeps people under law with the selfsame need for ambiguous absolution found in the Catholic Church…there is no difference, and lots of fear.

My friends, it’s not about election, Calvinism is a false gospel and the reason is very simple—we are not under law, but under grace.

paul

12 Anti-Gospel Presuppositions of Protestantism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 8, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VIII.  God’s kingdom is presently on earth.

IX.  Hell was also created for man.

X.    Single relationship to the law for both believers and unbelievers.

XI.  One judgment.

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

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