Paul's Passing Thoughts

What’s Wrong with the Protestant Church? This Says it ALL

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on April 3, 2018

Originally published April 28, 2015

As I was reviewing this blast from the past I noticed that Mr. Peeler referred to the Jewish religious leaders as “control freaks”, yet he didn’t seem to have any problem in desiring control over me when I challenged him on his observation.  Notice in his comments how he equates being a “true believer” with things such as “church membership” and “being under authority.”   Needless to say, Mr Peeler hasn’t had me on his Facebook friend list for quite some time now.  I’m not losing any sleep over it, though.

~ Andy

OneTwoThreeFourFive

Church “Covenants” and How You Should Behave in a Protestant Church

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on September 29, 2016

Originally published July 23, 2015

https://paulspassingthoughts.com/One endeavor on the long list of objectives here at TANC ministries is to get solid legal insight into what has become protocol in evangelical churches. That process began yesterday during a consultation with a local attorney. As documented here at PPT, the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and its network of churches has become a virtual divorce mill. The pattern that this ministry continues to be made privy to is documented in an open letter to the executive director of ACBC, Heath Lambert.

Simply stated, New Calvinism, which is a return to the original church polity of the Reformation, does not have the force of state to compel church members to follow its orthodoxy. So, it improvises. Instead of simply burning heretics at the stake, or burning a hole through the tongues of those who ask questions in a challenging way, they ruin names and finances.

We must remember, the orthodoxy of the Protestant Reformation was tailored for a church state. America was originally founded by the Pilgrims who didn’t like how the Church of England did church-state, so they came to America and founded “New England.” The name is not happenstance. The American Revolution put an end to the Pilgrims’ theocracy that dominated the colonies. Actually, “Pilgrims” is a soft term for “Puritans.” And please, spare me the emails about the differences between the Pilgrims and the Puritans—the differences are insignificant in the whole scheme of things.

That brings us to the discussion of soft terms. First, the original Protestant Reformation was a simple church state, but in reality, the definition of “cult” comes into play when church states had to improvise in order to control people because of the American Revolution. A cult is defined as follows: it is any religious organization that controls people by means other than a church state. The etymology of the word “cult” does not become significant until post American Revolution.

In other words, without the force of the state to compel people to obey its orthodoxy, it must resort to manipulation and brainwashing to control people. Yes, church states also emphasize brainwashing because murdering people is costly in its implementation, and fewer people amounts to less resources, but brainwashing becomes even more important and refined when the final solution has been outlawed in an open society.

So, let’s state a definitive definition of cult: it is any religious organization that controls people by means other than a church state, and combines faith with authority. Like its church state predecessor, it assumes that the nature of man cannot obtain unity for a given cause without being ruled by those with superior knowledge of realty.

After the American Revolution, churches became a hybrid of orthodoxy and enlightenment thinking. It became an alphabet soup with a broad range of attitude concerning the ability of man to rule self. But, this never resulted in the full-blown focus on individual responsibility mirrored by the 1st century assembly of Christ. The concept of “church” spawned in the 4th century has always permeated the American church psyche, i.e., orthodoxy being a storybook form of truth written by church “Divines” that the saints can understand, and enforced for their own wellbeing.

With that said, soft terms become vital to the American church as we know it today. Church polity is a soft term for church government; church discipline is a soft term for Unam sanctam, or John Calvin’s power of the keys that gives church authority to decide someone’s salvation on behalf of God. It goes without saying that you obey someone that can take away your salvation.

And, “church covenant” is a soft term for “church contract.” Basically, when you sign a church covenant church contract, you are signing away your right to be heard. In most of these contracts, you agree to obey the leadership and to be “teachable.” Hence, from now on, when our ministry hears, “Gee whiz, all I did was ask questions and now my life is being destroyed,” the subject will mostly likely hear, “No, what you did is breach of contract so take your medicine.”

Note: in many churches that deem themselves congregational, the parishioners unwittingly circumvent that reality by agreeing to a revised church covenant prepared and presented by the elders. See how that works?

Moreover, these third party contracts often negate rights found under civil and criminal law. This ministry, more specifically I, stands corrected in my assertion that coercion is being used to control parishioners. In fact, it is not coercion, but according to what the parishioner has agreed to and signed, especially regarding permission to leave church membership. It’s a contract—you signed it, so shut up, nod your head, say amen, and put your money in the plate. It’s all good; if the elders like you—you will more than likely “be able to stand in the judgement.”

What are the redeeming facts here, if any? Education: NEVER sign a church contract. It’s NOT a “covenant” bolstered by your signature—it’s a CONTRACT. This is why TANC does what it does; education, then solution/alternative.

Is there a way to get justice after signing our rights away? Perhaps, because apparently, marriage is also a contract. Rather than burning you at the stake and burying you in the church yard under a stone edict condemning you to hell, which of course is against the law presently, they will begin by ruining your name, and then destroy you financially via divorce.

The process goes something like this: you break your contract and stop being “teachable.” This tells the leadership that you no longer see yourself as a sinner, and you have become “insubordinate.” A dozen or so respected leaders and their wives start telling your wife that you are no longer “humble” and whether she realizes it or not, she is married to an “angry man.” And hark, behavior that your wife formerly assumed not to be abusive, in fact is abusive. Yes, she is married to a man who “doesn’t love her like Christ loved the church.” It’s all downhill from there.

Apparently, legally, this is interference with a marriage contract. Damages would be determined by a jury if the situation ends in divorce. Also, the idea that ACBC could eventually be subject to a class action lawsuit is not all that farfetched.

However, this is just more evidence that the premise and foundations of the institutional church is egregiously flawed and was designed for a church state to begin with. The solution is the cooperation of spiritual gifts, not authority, and fellowship—not membership.

Meanwhile, if you do not like the solution, behave yourself in the Protestant church. Stop going to discernment blogs and whining—you signed the contract, shut up and live by it.

paul

Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on June 2, 2016

Gut Check for Evangelicalism: Control, Despair, and Fear IS the Specific Protestant Orthodoxy

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

51nAtlMzT7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgOne of the memories burned into my psyche is the big picture narrative book that my dad bought me when I was a young boy about the NFL titled, “The First 50 Years.” One of the subtitles in the book is, “Pain and Injuries are in the Contract.” Of course, those who love the game know that’s one of the downsides of the game, but hardly the focal point. In boxing, pain and injury is obviously the focal point; the objective is to knock the opponent unconscious.

Here is what “Christians” need to start considering: Protestantism is boxing, not football, and that’s in the contract.

There is a book recently written by Dr. Marlene Winell titled, “Leaving the Fold – A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion” wherein she coins the term “Religious Trauma Syndrome” (RTS). In the book, she writes, “I think we can acknowledge we have a subculture now – a group of people who were once religious but have left and are reclaiming their lives. This group is special and identifiable. It’s not just exChristian; it’s exMormon, exMuslim, ex-Jehovah-Witness, ex-cult, and ex-authoritarian.” And, “Religious indoctrination can be hugely damaging, and making the break from an authoritarian kind of religion can definitely be traumatic. It involves a complete upheaval of a person’s construction of reality, including the self, other people, life, the future, everything. People unfamiliar with it, including therapists, have trouble appreciating the sheer terror it can create and the recovery needed.”

There is perhaps something that Dr. Winell herself does not understand: these very symptoms (at least in regard to Protestantism) qualify these people to be religionists par excellence. Fear, pain, and misery are in the contract. And here is something else many understand not: cultism is defined by authority and subsequent control. Ironically, most people think of cults as loosey-goosey splinter groups lacking authority structure when the opposite is true; cultism and authority ALWAYS walk together. At any rate, a pity so many leave the institutional church when they have finally come to where the church wants them: on the verge of a nervous breakdown or in the spectrum of personality disorders born of orthodoxy. Obviously, they misunderstood orthodoxy from the very beginning.

Protestant orthodoxy states in no uncertain terms that RTS is a description of the perfect Christian. This religion is one of the largest in the world, and fundamentally representative of most, especially regarding the authority issue. The founding doctrinal statement of the Protestant Reformation, the Heidelberg Disputation, insists that all life meaning must be found in suffering and death. I would cite specific theses among the forty, but every thesis in the document states such. As with most of us, it might escape Dr. Winell that the paramount icon of the Christian faith is an instrument of death and torture, the cross. The Heidelberg Disputation’s major theme gave birth to this icon for the ages as Christianity’s foremost representation. But somehow, we find the results profound in some way and in need of much research.

John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion articulated the Heidelberg Disputation. In that work, Calvin stated that constant fear of condemnation was efficacious to remaining saved and growing in one’s salvation (3.3.3-7). Furthermore, according to Calvin, if one has assurance of salvation, such fear is of no necessity and puts one’s soul in peril (3.24.6). For both Martin Luther (the author of the Heidelberg Disputation) and Calvin, the redeeming trump card is periodic experiences of joy gifted to us by God for recognizing our depravity, but both warned that these joyful experiences should not give one affirmation of future glory. This is the official Reformed doctrine of mortification and vivification. You do the math.

Yes, there is a mass exodus taking place from the institutional church because many misunderstand the premise of their faith…

…fear and pain are in the contract. And it is not just a downside, it is the name of the game.

paul

Utterly Shameless: Egotism of Local Pastors Far More Important Than People’s Lives

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

CCCRegardless of the outrageous behavior of Clearcreek Chapel located in Springboro, Ohio, local pastors continue to associate with the Chapel elders and participate in its “ministry.” The well documented creepiness of the leadership aside, first and foremost is the concern regarding reports that this ministry still receives from people who have entered the “biblical” counseling program at CCC. The Chapel elders, particularly its director Greg Cook, continue to snuff out marriages that arrive there as smoldering wicks. And apparently, Cook is still living up to his reputation for verbally abusing counselees. Cook’s penchant for rubbing his eyes while aping a baby crying as a way to mock husbands continues to be a report that we hear of since circa 2007.

At issue is their view of church authority: they clearly believe they have authority over families who have been referred to them. Imagine a pastor counseling a wife alone and telling her that her husband’s theology is “180 degrees” from the truth. No pastor, I repeat, no pastor has the right to diminish a woman’s view of her husband in any way, shape, or form. Any counselor worth their salt knows that spouses need little help in that area, and it is not beneficial to any marriage in any way.

The pattern over eight years has become abundantly clear: the CCC elders first ascertain which spouse is going to submit to their authority, and then work to separate the “foolish” spouse from the other. Sadly, some go there seeking to merely make their marriage better, and end up on the verge of divorce six months later. The errant spouse who would dare question the CCC anointed, usually the husband, is then slandered in various and malicious ways to gain assumptions from the congregations that are involved.

One of their favorite tactics is to ask flock groups for a love offering on behalf of the poor abused wife when no such financial need exists. Obviously, it sends the message that said husband is not supporting his family. Existing side by side financial documentation supports this accusation, and I assume CCC continues to use this ploy. This was employed by Greg Cook in 2008 against a counselee while he himself was indebted to the IRS for, according to one source, 180,000 dollars. Another favorite tactic is to exaggerate family problems and suggest that a family member live with a parishioner for awhile. Particularly when it is a daughter, the assumptions that result are evident. And of course, no repertoire of sanctified slander would be complete without the public “unspoken prayer request” for the spouse chained to another who does not appreciate the superior mantle placed on Reformed elders by the Almighty.

In short, the CCC elders have a long and documented history of character assassination that would have made Adolf Hitler blush. At least in two cases, husbands took their families and fled the state of Ohio while two other attempts by others failed. In these attempts to get one’s family away from CCC, the CCC elders counter by claiming abandonment. These are wicked tyrants who should be avoided at all cost.

The CCC elders enjoyed evangelical fame as a counseling center for many years after the departure of the founding pastor, Dr. John Street who built the ministry on Jay Adams so-called first generation biblical counseling. After Street’s departure, Russ Kennedy (CCC pastor of “spiritual vision”) and company quickly moved to totally gut and reconstruct the counseling program. A group of families who had come to CCC to covertly take it over quickly moved into leadership. This group was led by the creepy New Covenant Theology guru and cultist Chad Bresson. This group, behind the scenes, despised John Street and were waiting to pounce upon his departure. The covert persecution of those whom they perceived as a threat was relentless. This is a leadership that has amassed numerous unresolved conflicts with many, many professing Christians, and the lending of credibility to them by other pastors is unconscionable.

In addition, and in true CCC form, they still allow counselees who come there to believe that they hold to Jay Adams first generation counseling when in reality, they despise Adams. As one who had breakfast with Greg Cook every Monday morning for the better part of a year, you can trust me on that one.

So then, following is a list of local pastors who insist on supporting CCC and their continued destruction of families. I deem it my duty to warn others about them because birds of the feather flock together. These pastors are endeared to CCC for one reason or another. More than likely, they are just feeding their egos on what is left of CCC’s status in biblical counseling circles, but at any rate, their associations with CCC make them a concern to the well being of hurting families.

Tim Pasma, pastor at LaRue Baptist Church, LaRue, Ohio. Continues to support CCC’s bogus counseling program.

Jim Koerber, pastor at New Covenant Life Church, Blanchester, Ohio. Continues to support the counseling program at CCC.

Danny Wright, Greenville Grace, Clayton, Ohio. Will speak at a conference hosted by CCC in March of 2016.

Joe Godwin, pastor at Patterson Park Church, Dayton, Ohio. Will speak at a conference hosted by CCC in March of 2016.

Greg Birdwell, pastor at Providence Bible Fellowship, West Chester, Ohio. Will speak at a conference hosted by CCC in March of 2016. Greg Birdwell is well aware of the numerous controversies surrounding CCC and their unreconciled status with many Christian families.  Yet, he unabashedly fellowships with them and supports them. Lest these men would pass on any opportunity to mock God, the theme of the conference hosted by CCC is, “Cultivating Companionship.”

Paul Dohse

TANC Ministries

12/10/2016

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