Paul's Passing Thoughts

Church Re-Crucifies Christ and Puts Him to an Open Shame

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 17, 2016

ppt-jpeg4My original salvation experience was very powerful and full of joy as I sought to add to my faith with much zeal. Initially, a lot of sin that formally enslaved me seemed powerless, and many of the former sinful desires had disappeared. Then church happened.

While seeking for the “right” church to “worship” in, my interim experience between saving faith and seeking out a place of worship, as aforementioned, was marked by joy, zeal, and power. As I invested more and more in church; more and more confusion, doubt, and fear ensued. Church made me a pathetic, joyless, and broken person. And by the way, most churches will tell you that is a good thing! In fact, most churches are clear in regard to that being their very goal! This makes you see your need for more salvation. They say it plainly all of the time.

As I read my Bible more and more…more and more of my church experience failed to add up; particularly, the incessant weekly re-visitation of the gospel. And keep in mind this was well prior to the Neo-Calvinist movement. “Why are we always talking about the gospel at church? Aren’t we already saved?” I would often ask myself. If I would have only known way back then that the answer to that question is, “NO.”

Yes, according to orthodoxy, Protestants aren’t saved. Church is a “race of faith” and the prize for winning the race is salvation. And, the race only takes place at church. Sure, sure, they will tell you that you are already saved according to the Protestant doctrine of, “already—not yet.” What’s that? IF you are entered into the race by being faithful to church, you have hope that you are already saved, but not yet because you have not finished the race of faith alone in which the prize for winning the race is “final justification.”

If you are a freewill churchian, you earn your salvation by “continuing in the gospel” by faith alone. If you are a Calvinist churchian, you do the same for some measure of comfort, but you will only persevere in faith alone if you are God’s elect. Those in the church who do not persevere are only “the called” who do not persevere in faith alone. So, sure, churchians are “already” saved, but “not yet”: one must wait for the final judgement to obtain “complete salvation.”

This, in and of itself would be humorous if not so sad, but it gets better. Pastors, and this according to their own precious orthodoxy; in black and white, and in no uncertain terms, have authority to proclaim you an alreadian. Yep, this is the “power of the keys” doctrine that will bind in heaven whatever the church binds on earth, and the same for the loosing stuff as well. Do adults really fall for this stuff? Yep. Is this why pastors are so revered in the church and placed on a pedestal? Ya think? Ultimately, they decide where you spend eternity, and they are your wildcard that bypasses the uncertainty of Protestantism’s “already not yet.” Supposedly, there are two things standing between you and a wrathful God that hates humanity: Christ and His “undershepherds.”

Well, this is nothing new. Church is a mirror image of every foul thing that God’s prophets fought against as documented in the Scriptures. Before we go on, what is “church”? Church is the institutionalization of Christ’s assembly that occurred in the 4th century. Simply stated, it moved the temple of God from the bodies of believers to brick and mortar temples making worship a place, not a practice of truth wherever a believer is breathing. The fellowship of Christ’s body was replaced with authorities other than Christ operating in corporate temples. Authority replaced leadership, and membership replaced fellowship. “Follow me as I follow Christ” was replaced with “Obey God’s anointed or we will take your salvation away.”

So, there is a reason why you go to church and hear about the same gospel that saved you week, after week, after week. Whatever you might be instructed to do is “by grace” or in truth minus the nuance, “by salvation.” There is a reason why the Lord’s Table is a solemn ceremony marked by self-denigration. There is a reason for alter calls. There is a reason why the pastor speaks from a fancy podium on an alter raised above where the congregants sit. I like the alters where the other important dictators of the church sit in gaudy chairs behind the podium. It’s crazy; this stuff does not cause people to ask what in the heck is really going on.

Scriptural examples abound, but this post is about Hebrews 6. Let’s set the table. As Christ’s assemblies meeting in private homes (because we are God’s family not members of a corporate temple named Salvation Inc.) moved forward in true discipleship, they endured persecution from the pagan-state and Judaism. In essence, they were getting flak from every angle in regard to the culture of that time, but primarily from Judaism which was clearly salvation by temple ritual. And by the way, most of the persecution from the pagan-state was instigated by the Jews politically.

Hence, many Christ followers were hedging their bets and playing both sides of the fence. Like today’s institutional church, excommunication meant the loss of salvation, and in many cases, difficulty in obtaining financial income. Be sure of this; likewise, as the economy weakens in the U.S., many cling to the institutional church for career connections, viz, financial security. There is absolutely no new thing under the sun.

This is what the Hebrew writer was addressing specifically: the continued sacrifices for maintaining salvation versus the sacrifice of one’s own holy body in love (Rom 12:1). A return to the same gospel that saved us denies the new birth and the holiness of the believer. The holiness of the believer is part and parcel with “moving on to maturity” (HEB 6:1). A return to the basic, or elementary principles of salvation harkens back to the shame of the cross which Christ despised (Heb 12:2) and denies the purpose for which he endured it: the glory which was set before; ie., bringing many sons to glory. By striving for maturity and adding love to our faith, we fulfill the purpose for which Christ endured the cross. But, returning to the cross…

“seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”*

Shockingly, in spite of Scriptural clarity on this issue, many Protestant scholars brazenly endorse a return to what Christ despised, and make that the replacement of the very purpose for which He endured the cross; to make many holy for purposes of offering themselves in love many times as opposed to worshiping what Christ despised. Offering our own holy bodies in love is our worship, or our “logical service.”

Hence, worship is redefined by returning to the basic principles of salvation in a temple, rather than the worship of offering ourselves as holy sacrifices in sanctification wherever we are found breathing. We then meet together to encourage each other in this worship (Heb 10:25). The Hebrew writer addressed those who ratcheted back from meeting in the home fellowships because of persecution from the temple worshipers.

And that’s church. And that’s what you do every time you go there: you sing praises to what Christ despised, and disparage the purpose for which He endured the shame.

And for some insane reason, you pay 10% of your income for the privilege.

paul


*”Those who cannot be restored to repentance” pertain to that time when they witnessed the power of the Spirit being manifested firsthand. Being exposed to the full light of the truth in such dramatic fashion and then afterward returning to a ritual of re-justification made it doubtful that they would ever be fully persuaded.

 

Maturing in Sanctification

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on January 11, 2016

“Prove all things;
 – hold fast that which is good.
 – Abstain from all appearance of evil.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

The word translated “appearance” is the Greek word ειδος (ei-dos), and it refers to a view or a form. In this sense, “appearance” does not imply, “something that seems to be”, as if one might say, “that appears to be evil”, or, “that seems to be evil”, as if one were making a speculation. Rather it implies something that manifests itself as such.

We are commanded to test (prove) all things. As a result, we should be able to discern good from evil. Having properly discerned, we are further commanded to take action. Hold fast (seize onto, secure tightly) the good things, and hold off from (stay away, avoid) everything that proves to be evil.

God wants his people to exercise discernment. It is a skill that must be learned and perfected (matured).  This implies growth.  Spiritual growth – part of the sanctification process.

“And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.” ~ Leviticus 10:10-11

“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy (distinct) and profane (common or ordinary), and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” ~ Ezekiel 44:23

Conversely, God strongly rebuked His people and their leaders when they at the very least failed to teach discernment, let alone practiced a laundry list of spiritual abuses against their own people. Consider the entire chapter of Ezekiel 22. Notice the parallels between Israel and its religious leaders and the contemporary religious establishment of Protestantism:

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, “Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations. Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself. Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries. Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed. Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood. In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow. Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths. In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness. In thee have they discovered their fathers’ nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution. And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour’s wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in thee hahumbled th his sister, his father’s daughter. In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.

“Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee. Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it. And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee. And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.”

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, “Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you. Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you. “

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, “Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD,’ when the LORD hath not spoken. The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

“Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.” ~ Ezekiel 22:1-31

This ought to be a stern warning to those in the institutional church – judgment begins at the house of God! (1 Peter 4:17)

Andy

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