Paul's Passing Thoughts

Pope Francis’ Culture of Death is Looking a Lot Like Protestantism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 22, 2015

TANC 2015 flyer

“Dear Christian parents, will you save your children from this philosophical culture of death?”   

The real difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is philosophical, and by no means a biblically based theological argument. If you want to discuss the difference in regard to orthodoxy for the serfs, there is no difference—both are progressive justification. Both propagate a need for the church to get people from salvation point A to salvation point B.

The functions of both camps are really determined by spiritual elitists who think they are above logic and all things material. Catholic philosopher kings tend to think knowledge beyond the material realm is within every being while Protestant philosopher kings believe all true knowledge is outside of the person.

Both appeal to Christ consciousness as the only immutable true form of goodness and truth. When it gets right down to it, you can barely slip a playing card between their definitions of faith.

Catholics seem to believe that the inner light gives everyone some potentiality for being good, while Protestants believe Christians can only see good and experience goodness that remains completely outside of them. They can experience it, but it is not a part of them. Man cannot be partially good enough to participate in his own salvation; it is a total work by God alone from beginning to end.  Catholics believe that people can have enough goodness in them to participate in the finishing of their salvation.

In both cases, salvation is a process that needs the church to finish it. Catholics believe people can be made good enough to participate in the finishing while Protestants reject the idea that man can possess any goodness.

The point here is that they share a common belief that salvation is a process overseen by the church, and that affiliation with the church is efficacious to being saved.

Of late, and more and more, they also share a belief in Martin Luther’s doctrine of death. Both interpret all reality from the standpoint of the cross; i.e., “all wisdom is hidden in suffering.”  Both see true discipleship as a complete emptying of self. Both see material as evil and only the invisible as good. Catholics believe inner goodness enables us to see ourselves as worthless, while Protestants believe faith enables us to see ourselves as worthless because we are worthless. Catholics believe good people will want to die to self and this material world, while Protestants believe we ought to die because we deserve nothing but death. But either way, it’s a culture of death.

Also, both believe that self-sacrifice shows forth the glory of the cross because all choices to sacrifice self are “living by the cross” or “walking according to the cross.” Self-denial and self-death demonstrate God’s cross-love and this is when the gospel is presented to people with power from on high. We hear this rhetoric in Protestant circles constantly.

So, what in the world inspired this post? Keep in mind that the following video is a Catholic production, and prepare yourself to be dumbfounded.

The same mentality can also be seen in Pope Francis’ collectivist views on economics and financial equality. Francis, who is loco popular with the Millennials, is leading a whole generation of our youth into socialist ideas. On the other side of the fence, the same. Collectivism gauges the total worth of people based on their ability to contribute to “the group” which is Platonic lingo for society at large.

Another aspect of death culture is the rising popularity of environmentalism among Catholic and Protestant youth.  If you are a good Catholic, you know that your evil material body exhales carbon dioxide which pollutes the air, but the good trees absorb the carbon. If you are Protestant, you assume trees are better than humans because humans are totally depraved. In this video, it is suggested that we errantly worry more about ISIS killing people than saving trees.

The video was posted on my FaceBook page by a young Christian, and this was my response:

Well, wouldn’t worry about it too much. Apparently, shortly before the return of Christ there is plenty of earth left to destroy because God destroys it. I also find the notion that trees compensate for human pollution via breathing somewhat disturbing. It’s the idea that trees are important because they filter out the product of human living: trees good–humans bad. Fact is, what we exhale is only about 4% carbon. Also note the unqualified moral equivalency between those who kill people (ISIS) and those who cut down trees. lastly, if those who propagate this message really cared about the environment rather than their ulterior political motives, they would point to the science and example of Israel who have turned that desert terrain into a rich agriculture.

Dear Christian parents, will you save your children from this philosophical culture of death? This May, I will be teaching a series on Martin Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation on Blog Talk Radio. We will exegete this foundational document theses by theses. Let me also recommend our 2015 TANC conference where we delve into these issues as well.

paul

Take a Bite Out of Orthodoxy

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 9, 2015

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

An Answer to Run of the Mill Calvinist Oligarchy

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 25, 2014

Romans 9 explains it all but please don’t whitewash it. The “it does not depend on man’s effort….” The “it” IS salvation. Jesus said you did not choose me but… etc. New Testament is heavy on “Calvinism” at least the salvation part of Calvinism.

Esau was not loved by God, period. Conditional love is all there is. Personally I don’t believe unconditional love makes since. God does not love those he throws in hell and he does not allow those he loves to throw themselves in hell, yea I guess I’m kinda Calvinistic. Every time I hear a preacher say God loves everyone there is a little voice from the back of the church where I’m sitting “except Esau.”

I do get weary of the constant rejection of Calvinism. The question is predetermination with or without free choice towards salvation. God allowing a free choice of rejection and not stopping it would still be predetermined if he knows the outcome and allows it. Plain and simple logic.

Chuck Hulsey

Chuck,

What is plain and simple logic, as far as we can understand it, and for certain the most logical paradox if you want to call it one, is the answer to the question “Why would God allow evil in the world?” Answer: freewill is an important pillar of metaphysics. And let’s be clear, predeterminism is not unique. Predeterminism has been the dominate philosophy driving the vast majority of all civilizations since the beginning of time. In the secular realm it is “fate,” “destiny,” etc., in religious realms fate and destiny are personified.

Freewill and predeterminism are the two trees of philosophy, and the fruit of each are historically apparent; predeterminism has brought nothing but slaughter and misery upon the earth. It is the driving force behind slavery, poverty, starvation in third world civilizations, communism, Islam, and geographical oligarchy in general.

Its kissing cousin is authority. Predeterminism began in the garden when the serpent suggested to Eve that she couldn’t really understand God without his superior metaphysical insight. He was the supposed authority on God. In contrast, the linchpin of human wellbeing is the following: God speaks to man directly without human mediators. God seeks reconciliation with all people individually. The only authority is what God says to individuals, not what other men say he is saying.

But in regard to those who want to claim they speak for God, and in most cases rule in God’s stead, what is their proof? God has rarely come to earth and ordained certain individuals. This is where predeterminism comes in. As church historian John Immel well notes, every religious leader who has ever claimed authority over God’s people has done so in accordance with “preordination.” They are “called” of God. Every pastor, pope, and snake oil salesman who has ever lived has his/her own story of how God revealed their “calling.” Verily, God had his hand on them before the foundation of the world.

Others use education, intimidating massive institutions built on the backs of serfs, and the sword to affirm what God has supposedly preordained.

Somewhere in time immediately after man was kicked out of the garden, spiritual caste was devised, and it was predicated on select individuals ruling over the great unwashed masses in God’s stead. These are preordained individuals who ask their own rhetorical question to the masses, “has God really said…?” It is grounded in the grand presupposition of man’s total inability.

This system was articulated by Plato in the 4th century BC via The Republic, but there has scarcely been anything other than his philosopher king/soldier/producer caste system from the beginning. Calvinism is just one more worn-out bloody song and dance of determinism in world history.

That’s what is “logical” my friend if you wish to go there. Pick the tree you like by its fruits.

Moreover, if you want to further explore what is logical, predeterminism requires the redefinition of many, many, many words that have commonly understood, if not intuitive, definitions. I could name many, but the primary one is “hope.” By determinism’s very definition, hope cannot be objective. And if it is not objective, how can it be hope? No one can know for certain whether they have hope or not. The only hope for mankind is that some have hope, but no one will know for certain who has hope until the end. Hence, Protestants can claim until the cows come home that they value life, but their fundamental logic states otherwise, and frankly, their historical fruits bear that out.

Calvinist Oligarchy2Now, in regard to your orthodox regurgitation of Scripture interpretation flowing from the belief that you are unable to ascertain truth for yourself, your appeal isn’t really to Scripture; it is to what Protestant philosopher kings say that Scripture means. Your problem with me is that I think I can know truth. Per the theme of this year’s “Liberation” conference featuring the who’s who of Neo-Calvinism, going to the Bible for “information” is “evil” and “nasty theology.” Neo-Calvinists are now plainly stating what Calvin stated from the beginning: you must continue to receive ongoing grace to remain saved, and that grace can only be found under the grace-giving Christocentric preaching of Reformed elders. Mainline Calvinists are now saying this publically in no uncertain terms. How can one even take Protestantism seriously, and Calvinism in particular?

Calvinism is a laughable naked emperor. It has survived all of these years by distracting the masses with election Scripture-stacking contests when its fundamental soteriology is clearly grounded in progressive justification. Predeterminism is the root of the  poisonous tree of progressive justification bearing the rotten fruit of antinomian behavior.

After all, if justification is finished, what do we need the philosopher kings for? We don’t, and nothing strikes more fear in them than the possibility of people investigating the cause of all the smoke they want to discuss to keep people from their dirty little secret…

…they replace Christ as the one mediator between God and men with their Christocentric progressive justification false gospel.

The Saving God, Tears of Joy, and the Gospel of Freewill

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 12, 2014

“They are purchased slaves remaining under the dominion of their present master by their own choice.”

John Immel makes one particular statement at every TANC conference each year: Calvinism is the most disastrous body of doctrine ever perpetrated on mankind. He speaks primarily from a societal viewpoint, I speak primarily from a theological viewpoint, and Susan speaks primarily from a life experience viewpoint. That’s how our roles in the TANC endeavor operate. We now have Andy as well who represents a grammatical life application of the theological ramifications, and to a point, the societal implications as well. If you don’t attend the conferences—you are missing out.

But back to John. The yearly statement which is now a tradition is unlike many traditions, in that one’s understanding of the statement grows every year. So, when John makes that statement, there is a marked, deeper refection than the year prior.

When I initially received Christ, the music of the gospel made me cry. Then I became acquainted with the only thing one can be acquainted with in the institutional church: orthodoxy. When orthodoxy became synonymous with truth in my mind, that’s the day the music died. Think what you may of John Immel, but his first series of talks at TANC 2012 introduced me to a unique challenge: orthodoxy as intermediate truth, and church polity as a soft term for the fusion of faith and force. That challenge led me on a journey that has resulted in the enablement to hear the sweet music of the gospel once again.

A combination of circumstances, including my marriage to Susan, enabled me to say to God, “No more listening to men, help me to take these words in Romans at face value. You are not a God of confusion, what is Paul plainly saying?” Pray tell: how do we make two laws, plainly stated as such, two realms? Answer: orthodoxy.

The music is back. My sins are not merely covered, they are ended. My salvation has no judgment. There is no law to be found. There is no condemnation. All I can see now in regard to condemnation is our loving Lord hanging on that cross in unimaginable suffering saying, “It is finished.” We are untouchable. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Christ came to end the law of sin and death for those who believe, and set them free to obey the law of the Spirit of life without fear of condemnation.

When one stops listening to experts and really believes that God rewards those who seek Him, a particular God emerges from the truth: a God who predetermined a means for reconciliation, and pronounced it irrevocable, an irrevocable calling that will stand till all things are new. It’s called, “hope.” It is knowing that a good ending is predetermined. No one can take it from us. We also see a God that seeks man in his weakness and sin, shoving him to the precipice of His kingdom, but stopping short of making the decision for him. Certainly, when Adam sinned, he did not immediately seek God out for a solution—he hid. But God sought him out and reasoned with him, and so it goes in history.

God ordained the means of salvation; put His law on every man’s heart with an internal judge; sent His son to die, and thereby drawing all men to Him; sent the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin; imputes all sin to the law of sin and death that has already been ended and awaits those who want to be free of sin’s condemnation; and mandates His kingdom citizens to implore all to join God’s kingdom as well. “TURN AWAY! TURN AWAY! WHY WILL YOU DIE?” Moreover, Christ did not come to condemn the world, but to save it.  Hell was not created for man, but for the kingdom of darkness. Consider…

And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

Note that an unregenerate person can have wisdom. Note that they are drawn to the kingdom’s door. The unregenerate can know truth. The unregenerate can be persuaded. They have the law written on their hearts.  They have an internal convicter, an outside convicter, the love of a Savior, the witness of love among His followers, and the testimony of creation.

We are told that God does all of this, but is just sporting with man, for in the final analysis, it is His choice alone. God is within His right, because of His righteousness, to send all to hell. Yet, in contrast, the Bible states that His righteousness is manifested by supplying a way of salvation. Christ didn’t come to obey the law perfectly to display the righteousness of God. Men were declared righteous apart from the law well before the first coming of Christ. Supplying a way to be reconciled with man put His righteousness on display. Christ did not come to condemn, and God desires that all men would be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.  God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

At the 2008 T4G pastors’ conference, John MacArthur Jr. took opportunity to announce to the Reformed community that he was one of them in the truest sense. He asserted that total inability has always been the dominate teaching of the church from the very beginning. This, of course, is an outright, blatant lie and an attempt to rewrite church history. Free will was the position of many church fathers and theologians of the post apostolic church. But either orthodoxy can be bad and we need neither.

There will be weeping in eternal hell because they will know they had a choice; they “neglected the great salvation.” They said “no” in the face of a God who bankrupted heaven to call them. They will not be weeping because they had no choice. To believe that you have no choice is a choice.

The strongest indictment against predestination of individuals is the source itself, the Reformers…of the Catholic Church. Calvin, in league with the Eastern transcendental meditation that Reformed theology is predicated on, believed that there are three classes of elect: the non-elect; the partially elected; and those given the gift of perseverance. Yes, Calvin taught that some people are temporarily illumined, but God, apparently in conjunction with what He has predetermined, takes away their election and condemns them to a greater damnation. Only those “given the gift of perseverance” are the truly elected. This coincides with Eastern religion and the idea that some are hopelessly enslaved to the shadow material world (and enslaved to empirical reason) while some are partially able to see beyond the material. The third class is completely free from interpreting reality in the shadowy material world.

Because of the kinship that the Reformers had with Eastern mysticism, they were hard pressed to explain how Christ came to earth as a man in the flesh. I have received reports from some in Reformed churches that pastors are teaching the following: Christ did not have the same kind of flesh that we have. This should be of no surprise if you understand the true roots of the Reformation. Martin Luther taught that Christ came as a man to supply an epistemological gateway of understanding into the invisible. He equated ALL works with the material world, and insisted that Christ came to replace all works with suffering. Hence, Luther defined the essence of the Christian life as an endeavor to escape the material world through suffering and a deeper knowledge of Christ’s suffering in life and on the cross. The kinship to Eastern thought here is evident. This led to the cross being the paramount icon of Christianity.

The point here is that part and parcel with these ancient and Eastern ideas from the cradle of civilization is the concept of predeterminism. Predeterminism dominates Eastern thought and is very prevalent in Islam. Yet, in the same message at T4G 2008, MacArthur propagated the well-traveled idea among the Reformed that predetermism is unique to the Reformation. This is a blatant aberration from true history; to the contrary, predetermist ideology saturates human history and has been the fabric of the vast majority of religious and secular movements throughout history.

What has always been rare, and unique to the point of extinction is the idea that man is able. America is unique in history because it is founded on the insane idea that man is able to govern himself. This so grates against the mentality that has dominated world history that America is despised regardless of the steroidal goodness produced by her. In reality, the world lusts to see the American experiment fail, and this by no means excludes the present-day Neo-Calvinist movement. The Reformers, past and present, have sold their package well: the idea that freewill is the common mentality of humanity is perhaps the greatest myth that has ever been propagated upon mankind.

How can a loving God send people to an eternal hell? He doesn’t. They choose to go to a place that was never created for them, but rather for the Devil and his angels. They choose between two kingdoms.

Sin was “found” in Lucifer, either because God was complicit in the creation of sin, or because freewill is a righteous element of His creation power. But if freewill existed before man’s fall, and obviously it did, nothing in Scripture indicates that freewill no longer exists.

I understand that isolated Bible verses seem to propagate predeterminism, but that doesn’t equal plenary determinism, nor are ignorant Protestants qualified to draw conclusions from orthodoxy. The jury is still out because the fruits are from a poisonous tree. To what degree does God intervene and predetermine, and how much does the historic predeterminism running in the background reflect on certain statements in the Bible?  For instance, God talking to the disciples in parables so that others could not understand…

“See, that’s because He didn’t elect the others that were listening.”

Then why any fear of them understanding something? Jesus was pushing back against the Gnosticism of that day which propagated the idea that religious leaders only had saving knowledge. He spoke in parables in front of them, and then reveled the meaning of the parables to His disciples later. This was a direct, in-your-face push-back to the Gnosticism of that day, and taught the disciples to stop taking the religious leaders of their day seriously. We would do well to follow that lesson in our own day.

But in the final analysis, this post points to our freedom in Christ. Christ died to purchase all men from the slavery of sin that rules the kingdom of darkness. They are under a law that condemns them, but also protects them in case one day they would follow Christ. The heavy load of law breaking on their shoulders is a law that has been ended if they would only believe in Christ. They are purchased slaves remaining under the dominion of their present master by their own choice. They are also written in a book of life from which God does not desire to blot them out.

If we are in Christ we are free indeed. We are free from condemnation. We must not only tell the world that they serve the master of sin, its king, and its kingdom, but that they have been purchased by the king of glory. They are slaves by choice. This is where Calvinism must claim limited atonement; the idea that Christ only purchased the chosen with His death. The idea that Christ purchased all men from the slavery of sin brings much question upon the idea of individual election. Yet,

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

God prepared the means of salvation and predetermined that the application of it would be undeterred. Mankind is convicted in regard to sin and the judgment to come from within and without. Within by conscience, a judge that administers the law written on their hearts, and without by the Holy Spirit. Christ came to save the world, not condemn it, and to draw all men to Himself. He seeks after all men, initially writes them in the Book of Life, and has purchased them from the master of this world. Even the law that condemns them imprisons their sin until faith comes. It is a law that leads them to Christ, but will indeed condemn them if they do not repent. He also calls on His church to implore all men to be “reconciled to God.”

He does everything but make the choice for us. This is far more compelling than the worn-out un-novel idea of determinism used by every sect and band of religious gypsies that have ever come down the pike. It sets us free from confusion and compels us to glorify God by sharing our life of joy that is able to love God and please Him. It rejoices in the freedom of loving God by loving others without fear of condemnation.

Calvinists only rob us of our freedom in Christ to love by warning us that such zeal could be a mere attempt at self-righteousness. But we know that righteousness is a finished work, and we will not submit ourselves again to the fear of condemnation…

…for there is no fear in love.

paul

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