Paul's Passing Thoughts

Religious Tyranny: A Case Study; Chapter Five, The Transition Team

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 20, 2016
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    During the return of Russ Kennedy to the Chapel in 1998, an influx of men loyal to the new Reformation crusade started showing up at the Chapel. It is unclear how Kennedy knew these men, but their arrival and the timing of it was by no means a coincidence. They were radio personality Chad Bresson, Greg Cook, Dale Evans, Dan Turner, and others less significant. The stage was set for a classic New Calvinist hostile takeover that was being replicated worldwide at breakneck speed. These events shared identical fundamentals that drove the movement and still does till this day:

The core “leadership team” understands the truth of the new Reformation, but also readily recognizes that the great unwashed evangelicals are not ready for this new, hard truth, and must be progressively indoctrinated. They must be fed according to what they can bear at any given time.

Hence, the transitions (takeovers) must be covert.

The transition team possesses the authority of the original Reformation; ie., God has granted full authority over the souls of men to Reformed elders. This is stated Protestant orthodoxy and evident to those who partake in a cursory observation of Protestant literature. The original Reformation borrowed this authority from Catholic dogma through a shared identification with St. Augustine who ironically is the doctrinal foundation of Protestantism and Catholicism both—and nobody even blinks. Augustine insisted that salvation can only be obtained in the institutional church and faithfulness to it accordingly. Augustine also insisted that men be compelled by force to submit themselves to the clergy.

Hence, who are the confused parishioners to argue with God’s anointed? This mentality leads to a very heavy-handed leadership style that describes Russ Kennedy to a “T.” And, is a hallmark characteristic of the movement in general. The movement’s excessive use of church discipline was even written about in major secular publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine. Evangelicals are perplexed en mass regarding this phantom force-like movement that has transformed the churches. Unbelievably, while this movement strives to return to the tenets of the original Protestant Reformation that was marked by tyranny, the recognition of an ideological connection to the same behavior does not compute in the minds of average parishioners.

The revival-like experience produced by the biblical counseling movement in the 90’s is summarily dismissed as “creating better Pharisees” and ridiculed as, “behaviorism” and “moralism.” Not only is the Adams biblical counseling revolution dismissed as a pseudo-revival, but is utterly disdained by these crusaders drunk with visions of grandeur.

Because original Protestantism no longer has state authority to enforce its orthodoxy, it must use creative means to control people. Most evangelicals do not understand that the Protestant gospel was formulated around a church-state and for the express purpose of a church-state. And therefore, principles of persecution for dissenters are part of Reformation doctrinal statements such as the Westminster Confession. Persecution is in the contract.

Consequently, when authority and control are innately part of a gospel, but there are no means of forcible control (because of Americanism’s separation of church and state), the only possible outcome is cultish behavior.

   These elements identify the movement that has all but taken over the Protestant church and uniquely exemplified by Clearcreek Chapel. It is authority as gospel. It is a plethora of other mediators apart from Christ. But for the purpose of this study, file this very important word in the back of your mind for now: A-U-T-H-O-R-I-T-Y.

  In addition, as this movement covertly infected the churches worldwide like gangrene, the 1980’s saw the emergence of reconciliatory organizations like Peacemaker Ministries. These organizations seek to protect the resurgence movement and keep its host churches from being sued. These organizations were a response to the pushback from the movement’s rampant spiritual abuse. These organizations are necessary because justice can never be found within the church, but why?

  All of the aforementioned contemporary events fit together. What do these transitions look like at ground level? What happened at the Chapel that continues to take place presently? Why does it happen? Why is this behavior protected by other churches and what should we do about it?

Chapter Six: Elders Behaving Badly

Chapter Seven: Those Who Protect Them, and Why

Chapter Eight: Will the Real Protestant Gospel Please Stand Up?

Chapter Nine: The True Gospel: “You Must Be Born Again”

Chapter Ten: The Way Home

Conclusion

Religious Tyranny: A Case Study; Chapter Four, The Arrival of “Ravenous Wolves”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 20, 2016
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    Throughout the 1990’s Clearcreek Chapel was riding high atop the biblical counseling movement. Tenets of the movement framed Clearcreek ministry overall and Dr. John Street’s pulpit ministry as well. For many it seemed that the Chapel was a place where church was finally relevant. However, with this said, something needs to be qualified.

  The power of God and the changed lives experienced at the Chapel during that time were due to a brushing against a small element of God’s truth; specially, what we might call intelligent life-application of God’s word. Simply stated; an emphasis on rightly applied obedience. Until this time, the church had a confused and complicated relationship with obedience; in the church, obedience and trepidation always walked hand in hand. This resulted in a church that lived by biblical generalities in regard to obedience and sought outside experts for help with the deeper problems of life. Church was alright for dealing with everyday problems, but the deeper problems of life were labeled as medical problems requiring outside experts. This, in reality, marginalized any difference between secular life and church life.

    As we will see in more detail further along, this is due to authentic Protestantism’s singular perspective on obedience, sin, and law. Instead of a literal new birth changing the relationship of these three to the believer, original Protestantism denies a biblical definition of the new birth and the relationship of these three remain unchanged in regard to the believer. Therefore, Adam’s model was merely an improvement on an already confused model of Christian living that was a hybrid of authentic Protestantism and Americanism. Yet, because Adams’ counseling model was closer to the truth, it yielded a revival of sorts. It also made the model vulnerable to accusations of “legalism.”

    Nevertheless, aggressive sanctified living was working well at the Chapel and life was good. Street founded the Chapel in 1985, and his ministry peaked along with the biblical counseling movement during the 90’s. But there was a glitch of sorts sometime between 1992 and 1994. The glitch has a name: Pastor Russel Kennedy.

    Kennedy was born in 1956 and was raised by missionary parents in the Congo. He would later follow in his father’s footsteps and become a pastor. According to Kennedy, he pastored a church in Germany from 1985 to 1991 before returning stateside in 1991. He began attending the Chapel a short time later and was given opportunity to teach Sunday school. Initially, his teaching was a big hit among the Chapel congregants until he began teaching on predestination. Street’s ministry style avoided controversial subjects that have a history of being unsettled. While Street didn’t avoid controversy per se demonstrated by the fact that he openly opposed the use of Psychology by Christians, he did avoid subjects that rarely end with definitive conclusions that people agree on such as election and end-times prophecy.

    Clearcreek was a startup church from the General Association of Regular Baptists which is not lacking in the Reformed tradition, but congregants at the Chapel claimed that it wasn’t so much the topic of predestination that caused a stir, but Kennedy’s rude approach that supposedly belittled anyone who disagreed with him on the finer points of election doctrine. At any rate, long story short; Kennedy caused a controversy that threated to split the church. Coincidentally perhaps, he was offered a pastorate in Illinois during that time which he accepted. But, the Clearcreek sendoff wasn’t a pleasant one. John Street and the associate pastor at the time, Rick Wilson sternly rebuked him and assured him the offer in Illinois was very good timing.

    Kennedy lasted in that position about three years. After his move to Illinois, he became a follower of Dr. John Piper and consequently a rabid adherent to the Neo-Protestant resurgence. John Piper is one of the more notable leaders in the movement sometimes referred as “New Calvinism.” Some refer to Piper as the “elder statesman of New Calvinism.” It is unclear as to whether someone at the church in Illinois converted him or he was converted through an outside source.

    We will pause here to reiterate a major characteristic of the movement: the movement was a true return to the original Protestant gospel that had been lost after being integrated with Enlightenment ideas of individualism; what has been formerly referred to in this study as “Americanism.” When these ideas were integrated into Protestantism after the American Revolution, Protestantism became a confused hybrid of individualist and collectivist ideas manifested in a contradiction between function and intellect.

    For example, a typical Protestant would proclaim once saved always saved while yet proclaiming himself a “sinner saved by grace.” A “sinner,” according to the Bible, is an unregenerate person. So, if one is still a sinner grace is an ongoing need. “I am [present tense] just a sinner [unregenerate] saved by grace” [a sinner who obviously needs continual grace, viz, salvation]. This implies an ongoing need for salvation which is stated Reformation orthodoxy. Once saved always saved implies that salvation is a finished work in the believer and is closer to biblical truth about the new birth. The new birth fared well with enlightenment ideas because it suggested a strong enablement of the individual. As promised, this will be articulated later in the study, but the main point for now follows: the real Reformation gospel, in fact, had been lost, and reintroduced to the Christian community at large by the Australian Forum. A detailed account of how the Australian Forum came about can be found in the book, “The Truth About New Calvinism” (TANC Publishing 2011).

    All of that is said to say this: the New Calvinist resurgence is nothing less than a crusade. Its proponents rightfully claim that they are returning the church to its true roots. This reality invokes a specific character exemplified in most adherents of the movement. It is a modern-day crusade that takes no prisoners. Hence, when Kennedy was sent packing back to Springboro, Ohio for plagiarizing a John Piper sermon from the pulpit in Illinois, he came back to the Chapel in 1998 and began exhibiting aggressive behavior after he manipulated his way back into leadership positions at the Chapel.

    Plying what respect was left for him at the Chapel previously and endearing himself to the rest as a new and improved Russ Kennedy, he created a divisive atmosphere amidst the leadership culture at the Chapel. Primarily, he created animosity towards pastor Street among the core leaders. This culminated into an accusation that Street was misappropriating church funds for his own personal use. This not only greatly offended Street, but it was during a time when he was being aggressively recruited by Pastor John MacArthur’s church in California. Street accepted a position at MacArthur’s Master’s Seminary and fulfilled his dream of ministering with his longtime mentor.

    Once the vacancy for senior pastor was created upon Street’s announcement that he would be accepting a position in California, he was appalled to learn that Kennedy was being considered for his replacement. This is where the disrespect for Street that had been sewn behind the scenes became evident; the leadership ignored Street’s literal pleadings, some public, to reject Kennedy as a possible candidate. Kennedy was subsequently installed as the Chapel’s senior pastor in 1999. Shortly thereafter, Kennedy began to implement his plan for making the Chapel a major headquarters for saving the church from the false gospel of evangelicalism that had strayed from the true Reformation gospel. In essence, the Chapel would quickly become the face of religious tyranny.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves – Matthew 7:15

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock – Acts 20:29

    Chapter six will describe the ravaging of the Chapel’s flock that took place after Kennedy’s appointment as pastor, but first, chapter five will describe his transition team. At some point, we must examine why Protestant parishioners remain faithful to such overt tyranny.

Chapter Five: The Transition Team

Chapter Six: Elders Behaving Badly 

 

Religious Tyranny: A Case Study; Chapter Three, The Calvinist Civil War Named “Sonship”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 18, 2016
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Thank you! I am receiving a lot of help through comments and email. Adjustments will be applied later as I am focused on getting the big picture of the book written out.

  Protestantism is perhaps the most uncommendable religion on earth because few Protestants really know what a Protestant is. The same can’t be said about Catholics and Muslims; you may disagree with them, but at least they know what they believe and can defend their position with consistent logic. You may disagree with the logic, but the fundamentals are logically consistent. For the most part simply stated; man cannot know reality, so God appoints mediators to rule over the great unwashed to prevent the self-destruction of humanity. This is the basic prism that drives most religion. Once one wades through all of the window dressings blocking the window and looks out, this is the least common denominator that has plagued mankind from the beginning of civilization.

 Protestant scholars are very fond of claiming historical precedent, but a contemporary event that took place in the 1990’s proved the following: the contemporary brain trust of the Protestant Reformation had no idea what the Protestant Reformation represented. Obviously, if the scholars of Protestantism don’t even know what it is, neither do the parishioners. So, why does that concern us in regard to this study? Because the tenets of true Protestantism explain all of the interpretive questions presented thus far. Authentic Protestant orthodoxy is founded on tyranny, lack of assurance, a rejection of the new birth, an utter rejection of individualism, and is the propagator of one of the most aggressive caste systems ever developed for religious purposes. Regardless of any outcry against this seemingly outrageous accusation, the evidence will be presented in this chapter.

    Tyranny at Clearcreek Chapel came about, and in fact, is still thriving at this writing, because of the resurgence movement previously introduced. This study represents a like narrative that has taken place worldwide in regard to the tenets of authentic Protestantism and how they drive events in the local churches. The Chapel was a forerunner and on the cutting edge of the resurgence movement and is also the same story retold by thousands of other lives and churches. That’s why this study is important for those who really want to know the truth and what to do moving forward.

    Until the American Revolution, Protestantism was little different from other caste religions, but for whatever reason, integrated Americanism into its doctrine more than any other religion. However, the authentic tenets (traditions) have always been running in the background. Its tradition predicates its functioning, but the integration of Americanism formed much of its intellect. This is why Protestant scholars are so fond of the word, “paradox.” Authentic Protestantism and Americanism are contradictions made consistent by the magic concept of paradox.

    An example, perhaps the best one, is the traditional order of worship in Protestant churches versus their statements of faith. The order of worship typically found in any given Protestant church on Sunday represents the church-state that it was prior to the American Revolution and its institutional salvation—not personal salvation. Protestant intellect says, “Once saved always saved,” but the order of worship represents a continued need for salvation found only in the Protestant institution. Cry out against this accusation if you must, but this assertion represents stated Protestant orthodoxy in no uncertain terms.

    This reality is no better demonstrated by examining the Calvinist civil war fought in the 1990’s over the Sonship movement that invaded Presbyterian circles. At the head of the charge against Sonship was Dr. Jay Adams while also presiding over the escalation of the biblical counseling movement during the same time. How relevant was the Sonship debate? It incited several formal public debates, and several books defending positions for and against Sonship. In fact, Adams wrote one such book himself titled, “Biblical Sonship: An Evaluation of the Sonship Discipleship Course.” In that book, he refuted the idea that Sonship was of the Reformed tradition.

    Nothing could be more polar opposite from the truth; Sonship was, and still is an accurate representation of the Reformation gospel. This debate brought the following fact into the light: contemporary Protestant scholars were clueless in regard to the true tenets of Protestantism. Those who claim historical precedent didn’t even understand the precedent to begin with—a longstanding historical precedent is irrelevant if you don’t even know what it is, and even more irrelevant if it’s a false precedent from its conception.

    Where did the Sonship doctrine come from? It came from the Australian Forum which, as previously mentioned, was the think tank that truly rediscovered the authentic Protestant gospel. Its theological journal, Present Truth, was the most widely published theological journal in the English-speaking world during the 1970’s. Key is the fact that this journal was widely distributed at Westminster Theological Seminary, a foremost bastion of Reformed theology in Western culture. Three key figures in the historical scheme being presented here were professors at Westminster; Jay Adams, Dr. John “Jack” Miller, and Dr. David Powlison.

    Adams was recruited by Westminster to formulate a biblical counseling curriculum in the 1970’s which eventually became the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). Some time later the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors was initiated (NANC, now ACBC; Association of Certified Biblical Counselors) as an accreditation institution for biblical counseling. Adams is often referred to as the founder of this organization which isn’t true. To his credit, Adams wanted the biblical counseling movement to be a laity affair and resisted professional accreditation.

    Adams was a professor at Westminster at the same time that Dr. John Miller was. Dr. John Miller was the father of Sonship theology. Even though folklore claims that Miller devised Sonship during a sabbatical in Spain, it shares the exact same tenets prorogated by the Australian Forum; ie., the idea that one must return to the same gospel that saved them perpetually to maintain salvation. Miller merely put a different twist on it and was the one who coined the mantra, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.”

    Adams rejected the notion of spiritual growth in the Christian life through returning to the same gospel that saved us perpetually, but Adams also seemed to be oblivious to the much larger point of Sonship; the Christian life is the progression of salvation which means it must be lived out by faith alone in order for salvation to progress towards a final salvation. This is a pillar of the authentic Protestant gospel that Adams rejected with prejudice. Much to the consternation of Adams, the Australian Forum was actually invited to Westminster to meet with the faculty, a meeting that Adams skipped in protest. However, he made sure that someone served pork at the gathering to mock the Adventist connections to the Forum. Also, note that Adams never recognized a connection between Sonship theology and the Forum.

    A mentor of Dr. Miller who also taught at Westminster was Dr. David Powlison who became the executive director of CCEF. As a result, another civil war developed in the Reformed community; specifically, within the biblical counseling community. Surprisingly, Adams missed the connection between Sonship theology and the growing contentions over methods of counseling within the biblical counseling movement. Adams missed the fact that Powlison brought Miller’s Sonship with him to CCEF and integrated it into biblical counseling via a program named, “Dynamics of Biblical Change.” This counseling model later became “Theology of the Heart.”

    Adams missed the connection because he was the face of a severe pushback against Sonship that seemed to have destroyed it, but this was not the case at all. The Sonship movement merely changed its nomenclature to “Gospel Transformation.” This was a calculated move by Powlison and others mentored by Dr. Jack Miller.  Adams thought the movement had been effectively put down, but it really went underground and reinvented itself in the biblical counseling movement. Adams did not recognize the connection and went on to see the biblical counseling civil war as a separate and new issue. The two sides of this conflict have been distinguished by the terms, “first generation biblical counseling” and “second generation biblical counseling.” Of course, most believe this is an argument about counseling method which is a lie. The conflict has always been about two different gospels; the confused evangelical gospel of our day, and the authentic Protestant gospel that proffers a progressive salvation through faithfulness to the church institution.

    Eventually, Adams was all but completely driven out from the biblical counseling movement. The reworked version of Sonship theology by Powlison et al was so masterfully nuanced that Adams couldn’t figure out why he was being persecuted by his own counseling community for the better part of seven years. Sonship went underground in 2000, and the biblical counseling civil war raged from the year 2000 to 2007. During that time and to the extent that it was even noted by the secular world, the evangelical community was being transformed against its own will by what seemed to be a phantom force. The best anyone could make of it was the idea that it was some kind of Calvinist resurgence. Shortly before the movement was named “New Calvinism” in 2008, some called it “Gospel Sanctification.”

    Ironically, even though this movement has completely taken over the Protestant church in our day, many within the church testify that they have never even heard of “New Calvinism.” This follows the movement’s MO of avoiding interpretive labels. Nevertheless, the vast majority of all evangelical teachers in our day connect themselves to Dr. Jack Miller by vigorously promoting his, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.”

    Meanwhile, back to Clearcreek Chapel circa 1995. Dr. John Street, before he was a doctor, attended CCEF in order to obtain his Doctorate degree in “Theology of the Heart.” As a sitting elder at the time, this author actually approved of the church paying for his degree. Around the same time, another man mentored by Dr. Miller, Jerry Bridges, was a guest speaker at the Chapel. When I heard him say, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day,” like everyone else I thought, “Well yes, I agree, we don’t ever want to forget the gospel that saved us.” Behold the use of assumptions to slowly indoctrinate people who are already dumbed down by design. The fix was in, and no one had a clue what was going on.

    With that said, Street was more of an unwitting participant in the gradual indoctrination. While his close friend Jay Adams was contending against Sonship, no one made the connection between CCEF, Theology of the Heart, and Sonship. And certainly, the connection between the Australian Forum and Sonship was not even on the radar screen.

    Then, during this time of unwitting participation, the Chapel was visited upon by a resurgent purist, an early foot soldier of the movement that fancied itself as the very rebirth of the Protestant Reformation. This man was the effective reincarnation of medieval Protestant tyranny. To know him and the leaders he developed was a unique opportunity to interact with a tyranny of old.

    When one believes they are ordained by God to save the church and bring it back to its true gospel, by the way, 200 years later, unfathomable arrogance lingers close by.

Chapter Four: The Arrival of “Ravenous Wolves”

 

Religious Tyranny: A Case Study; Chapter Two, The Insurgency

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 17, 2016
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    As shared in Chapter one, Clearcreek Chapel was a church endowed with changing people because its ministry in general, including the pulpit ministry, was driven by Dr. Jay Adams’ biblical counseling construct. The framework focused on in-depth application of scriptural wisdom to life as opposed to merely living by “biblical generalities.” It rejected a medical model of sin and insisted on people “owning their sin” and taking responsibility for their failures. As we will see as this study progresses, the powerful living displayed at the Chapel during the 90’s was due to this model being partially correct in a biblical sense while maintaining too much fatal orthodoxy.

    Said another way, until this time in church history, the church had a confused and tepid relationship with the concept of obedience, but the biblical counseling movement merely emphasized it more than it had ever been emphasized before. Of course, this is because Adams witnessed the cause and effect results demonstrated by Mowrer and applied it to biblical counseling while at the same time summarily dismissing Mowrer’s model as humanistic. As stated in the first chapter, we will be revisiting this major point with all zeal.

    Protestantism has always had an uneasy and confused relationship with obedience because its most monstrous and evil nemesis, salvation by works, has its own application for obedience. As a result, obedience has always been seen as a possible Trojan horse whenever it presents itself in the church. The biblically intelligent obedience of Adams’ construct that was yielding change in the church was the elephant in the room. Everyone loved what was going on, but were privately uneasy when they heard, “The power is in the doing.” Adams, nor anyone else in the movement ever clarified why it was alright to believe that obedience is curative. How is obedience to the law for salvation not obedience to the law for salvation in Christian living? What’s the difference? How is obedience sanctified for Christian living? These questions were never answered because in reality most Protestants don’t even know enough to ask the question to begin with. One thing had not changed with the advent of the biblical counseling movement; the traditional Protestant confusion over the Holy Spirit’s role in the Christian’s life.

    At this point in the study, we will unveil one of its major theses that begins to answer our stated interpretive questions: after the American Revolution, authentic Protestant orthodoxy became very confused. The fact is, the doctrine of the Protestant Reformation, at least according to the philosophy it was founded on, was extremely consistent and all ideological dots connected with a logical premise and conclusion. Yes, Reformation soteriology was a masterpiece of intellectual consistency. But moving forward post-Revolution, it became a mixture of original tenets and other ideas; hence, Protestantism became a morass of functionality that contradicted its intellectual proclamations. For example, many Protestants would become indignant in regard to the idea that people are saved by church membership, but the way “Christians” function in regard to that idea is altogether a different story.

    In essence, freedom happened. In the same way that the Protestant Reformation made chaos of Catholic orthodoxy, the American Revolution made chaos of Protestant orthodoxy overseen by the Puritan theocracy that had ruled over the colonies. Post-Revolution and moving forward, Protestant orthodoxy became a paradoxical nightmare held together with specific talking points. These talking points sounded intelligent and pious, but if thought out to their logical conclusions—utterly mindless. The Adams biblical counseling revolution only fixed part of this problem with a stronger nod towards intelligent obedience. But as stated earlier, it was an uneasy coexistence. It was a revival with doubt running in the background.

    Now we come to one of the more significant events in all of contemporary church history. In the exact same year that Jay Adams unleashed the biblical counseling movement, another movement was born and the significance of this other movement is historically profound. Though the history of how this movement came about will not be addressed in this study, its proposition and advent will be. The theological think tank that spawned this other movement was dubbed “The Australian Forum” and its primary thinkers were comprised of two Anglican theologians, a Seventh-day Adventist theologian, and a Reformed Baptist.

   What was their proposition? Namely, that the true Protestant Reformation gospel had been lost. Furthermore, contemporary Calvinists were deemed guilty of swaying away from the true Reformed tradition, and evangelicalism wasn’t even in the gospel ballpark. This movement led to a worldwide insurgence known as the New Calvinist movement. It boasted, and still does, a return to the true Protestant gospel more than 500 years after the fact, and labeled all church as lost in a “sea of subjectivism” and falsehood.

    And, in regard to what the Protestant Reformation was really about, they were, and are, exactly correct in that assertion.

    This unequivocal fact stands as a monument for all time: the who’s who of contemporary church scholarship has all but admitted that it was wrong for more than 200 years, and the church was saved by a Seventh-day Adventist in 1970 although they like to leave out the Seventh-day Adventist part. This led to a massive covert insurgency movement within the church from 1970 to the present. In Sothern Baptist circles it has been decried as “aggressive Calvinism” and “high controlling churches.” But what is it really?

    The Clearcreek Chapel story is a perfect microcosm of this worldwide church event because the insurgents of this movement who came to the Chapel were early foot soldiers of the movement. The Chapel study therefore gives us insight into the real Protestant gospel and its fallout when practiced in the milieu of life. It is the face of religious tyranny and cultism, and the Clearcreek Chapel story is the story of innumerable people and church events. It is the prototype of the New Calvinist meta-narrative. It is also instructive regarding the way home to true freedom in our beloved Christ.

    But before we delve into the Chapel narrative further, what is the proof for this outrageous proposition? Contemporary church history is the proof; specifically, the Calvinist civil war.

Chapter Three: The Calvinist Civil War Named “Sonship”

Chapter Four: The Arrival of “Ravenous Wolves”

Religious Tyranny: A Case Study; Introduction and Chapter One

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 16, 2016
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Cover: Religious Tyranny; A Case Study

Preamble

I need another project right now like I need a hole in the head; nevertheless, recent events have impressed upon me the immediate need for this work. As I accomplish each part I will be posting it here on PPT and making all readers part of an editing committee. So, comment here, email me here mail@ttanc.com, and pass judgment on content, grammar, style or whatever else editors do. The compilation will be available in a free ebook or hardcopy book form that can be purchased.

Thank you for your input.

paul

Introduction

“…I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” – Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, September 23, 1801

   This book flows not from the winepress of sour grapes, but rather from thankfulness. Whether secular or religious tyranny, these endeavors always yield freedom. Tyranny was a usurper into God’s creation and challenges man’s innate need to be free. Therefore, sin finds itself in a quandary; it is utterly driven by a lust to enslave, but this will eventually drive men to a fight or flight. Tyranny is affliction, but it will always awaken man to his freedom duty. For this, we can be thankful.

    This book is an in-depth look into religious tyranny using Clearcreek Chapel in Springboro, Ohio as a case study. However, this case study is a story that reads like most church experiences in our day, and the personal testimonies read the same as well. The information written within will come from the author’s firsthand experience and the testimonies of others, but there is no need to focus on a few people when this is the like testimony of many. Hence, the study will focus on common experiences and not particular individuals.

    Most people are saved according to the experience described by the apostle Paul in 1Thessalonians 1:5,

For our gospel came not to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as you know what manner of men we were among you for your sake (KJV).

Yet, most professing Christians doubt their salvation, and furthermore, most professing Christians know there is something fundamentally missing in church; something isn’t right, but they can’t put their finger on it. The present mass exodus from the institutional church is well documented while most people leaving the church don’t know specifically why they are leaving. They are leaving because something is missing, but they are not sure what that something is. The salvation that came with much power and assurance has faded into doubt and indifference.

    On the other hand, the church, whether Catholic or Protestant, seems to be supported by many others who are unwavering despite tyranny, illogical contradictions, hypocrisy, and evils not even spoken of in the secular world. How can this be? How can a church like Clearcreek Chapel now embrace beliefs that would have been rejected out of hand with extreme prejudice by the same Chapel parishioners twenty years prior? How can the present leadership behave in a way that would not have been tolerated for a moment twenty years prior by the same people who now embrace it wholeheartedly?

    This study proposes to answer all of these questions in no uncertain way, but one final question needs to be answered to complete the study; once the indictment is clarified, what should our response be? What is the solution?

    So then, how can we have full assurance of salvation? What is wrong with church? Why is tyranny acceptable? And what should we do about it?

Because only truth sanctifies (John 17:17),

Paul M. Dohse Sr.

Chapter One: The Chapel’s Unique Place in Church History

    Clearcreek Chapel in Springboro, Ohio played an important and telling role in contemporary church history. Founded by a young Dr. John D. Street in the latter 1980’s, it sought to be relevant in contemporary culture. Dr. Street often described the church at that time as “ministering to the present culture while wearing bellbottom pants.” Street also patterned the Chapel ministry after his mentor, Pastor John MacArthur Jr.

    Dr. Street also made an emerging movement at that time a hallmark of the Chapel ministry; the biblical counseling movement founded by Dr. Jay Adams. The advent of said movement began with Adams’ controversial book, “Competent to Counsel” (1970). The Chapel became a training center for the biblical counseling movement founded by Adams, and in large part a face of the biblical counseling movement.

   Adams, a Presbyterian minister, was provoked by his own confession that he was unable to help people with serious problems, and indicted the church as a whole in the same way. What made this indictment painfully obvious was the integration of secular Psychology into religious thought during the 1980s. This integration was a movement that peaked in the 80’s. Help could not be found in the church so people looked for help outside of the church. The biblical counseling movement peaked in the 1990’s and this is when it experienced a true biblical revival, and Clearcreek Chapel was one of the epicenters of that spiritual awakening.

    It is now very important to explain what that revival looked like because the implications are profound. This is the first point in beginning to answer the questions presented in the introduction: what’s wrong with church? Why do so many Christians doubt their salvation? Why do so many embrace churches that practice open tyranny? And lastly, what should we do about it?

    If most Christians are honest, they see very little progressive change in the people they attend church with. If most Christians are honest, they admit people who are saved from the outside secular world into an enduring life testimony are very few and far in-between. Yet, this was not what was going on at the Chapel during the 90s. In one year (1995) as a result of the biblical counseling focus, twelve people were saved in 1Thessalonians 1:5 fashion and stayed the course. During this time other churches influenced by the Chapel shared the same testimony.

    But let’s back up for a moment; Jay Adams’ testimony is startling. As one who came from the elitist hallowed halls of Protestant brain trust, he openly admitted himself that he was clueless in regard to helping people with real life problems. Furthermore, this was his indictment against the church at large as well. We must pause and ponder this fact soberly; after more than 500 years and oceans of Protestant scholarly ink, it was commonly accepted that most ministers were unable to take the word of God and help people with serious problems. There is a very simple answer in regard to why that was the reality and still is, and we will arrive there in due process. But before we move on, it is interesting to note that while the Protestant brain trust openly confessed its inability to help people with deep personal problems, it wailed and screamed in sackcloth and ashes that the void was filled with secular Psychology.

    The brainchild of Adams’ biblical counseling construct is even more startling. In beginning his quest for helping people with real problems, he sought out none other than O. Hobart Mowrer, a notable secular Psychiatrist who fathered a kind of responsibility therapy movement championed by the likes of Dr. Phil McGraw and Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Adams wrote in the introduction of Competent To Counsel,

Reading Mowrer’s book The Crisis in Psychiatry and Religion, as I said, was an earth-shaking experience. In this book Mowrer, a noted research psychologist who had been honored with the Presidency of the American Psychological Association for his breakthrough in learning theory, challenged the entire field of psychiatry, declaring it a failure, and sought to refute its fundamental Freudian presuppositions. Boldly he threw down the gauntlet to conservative Christians as well. He asked: “Has Evangelical religion sold its birthright for a mess of psychological pottage?”

In Crisis, Mowrer particularly opposed the Medical Model from which the concept of mental illness was derived. He showed how this model removed responsibility from the counselee. Since one is not considered blameworthy for catching Asian Flu, his family treats him with sympathetic understanding, and others make allowances for him. This is because they know he can’t help his sickness. He was invaded from without. Moreover, he must helplessly rely on experts to help him get well. Mowrer rightly maintained that the Medical Model took away the sense of personal responsibility. As a result, psychotherapy became a search into the past to find others (parents, the church, society, grandmother) on whom to place the blame. Therapy consists of siding against the too-strict Super-ego (conscience) which these culprits have socialized into the poor sick victim.

In contrast, Mowrer antithetically proposed a Moral Model of responsibility. He said that the “patient’s” problems are moral, not medical. He suffers from real guilt, not guilt feelings (false guilt). The basic irregularity is not emotional, but behavioral. He is not a victim of his conscience, but a violator of it. He must stop blaming others and accept responsibility for his own poor behavior. Problems may be solved, not by ventilation of feelings, but rather by confession of sin.

From my protracted involvement with the inmates of the mental institutions at Kankakee and Galesburg, I was convinced that most of them were there, as I said, not because they were sick, but because they were sinful. In counseling sessions, we discovered with astonishing consistency that the main problems people were having were of their own making. Others (grandmother, et al.) were not their problem; they themselves were their own worst enemies. Some had written bad checks, some had become entangled in the consequences of immorality, others had cheated on income tax, and so on. Many had fled to the institution to escape the consequences of their wrongdoing. A number had sought to avoid the responsibility of difficult decisions. We also saw evidence of dramatic recovery when people straightened out these matters. Humanistic as his methods were, Mowrer clearly demonstrated that even his approach could achieve in a few weeks what in many cases psychotherapy had been unable to do in years.

I came home deeply indebted to Mowrer for indirectly driving me to a conclusion that I as a Christian minister should have known all along, namely, that many of the “mentally ill” are people who can be helped by the ministry of God’s Word. I have been trying to do so ever since.

This experience was the breakthrough that launched the biblical counseling movement and its subsequent success. Without Mowrer’s observations, the biblical counseling movement never happens. Nevertheless, Adams then states the following in the same introduction:

Let me append one final word about Mowrer. I want to say clearly, once and for all, that I am not a disciple of Mowrer or William Glasser (a writer in the Mowrer tradition who has become popular recently through the publication of Reality Therapy,a book that has confirmed Mowrer’s contentions in a different context). I stand far off from them. Their systems begin and end with man. Mowrer and Glasser fail to take into consideration man’s basic relationship to God through Christ, neglect God’s law, and know nothing of the power of the Holy Spirit in regeneration and sanctification. Their presuppositional stance must be rejected totally. Christians may thank God that in his providence he has used Mowrer and others to awaken us to the fact that the “mentally ill” can be helped. But Christians must turn to the Scriptures to discover how God (not Mowrer) says to do it.

All concepts, terms and methods used in counseling need to be re-examined biblically. Not one thing can be accepted from the past (or the present) without biblical warrant. Biblical counseling cannot be an imposition of Mowrer’s or Glasser’s views (or mine) upon Scripture. Mowrer and Glasser have shown us that many of the old views were wrong. They have exposed Freud’s opposition to responsibility and have challenged us (if we read their message with Christian eyes) to return to the Bible for our answers. But neither Mowrer nor Glasser has solved the problem of responsibility. The responsibility they advocate is a relative, changing human responsibility; it is a non-Christian responsibility which must be rejected as fully as the irresponsibility of Freud and Rogers. At best, Mowrer’s idea of responsibility is doing what is best for the most. But social mores change; and when pressed as to who is to say what is best, Mowrer falls into a subjectivism which in the end amounts to saying that each individual is his own standard. In other words, there is no standard apart from God’s divinely imposed objective Standard, the Bible. Tweedie is correct, therefore, when he rejects Mowrer’s “projected solution” to the problem of sin as an “acute” disappointment.

During the years that followed, I have been engrossed in the project of developing biblical counseling and have uncovered what I consider to be a number of important scriptural principles. It is amazing to discover how much the Bible has to say about counseling, and how fresh the biblical approach is. The complete trustworthiness of Scripture in dealing with people has been demonstrated. There have been dramatic results, results far more dramatic than those I saw in Illinois.

    In light of the entire context stated here, Adams’ paradoxical twist on Mowrer is both stunning and perplexing, but don’t miss the much larger point; Adams’ perspective as documented here is profoundly indicative of what is fundamentally wrong with church. Yes, it is the something that is wrong that few are able to put their finger on. However, we are still in the history stage of our study. In regard to why Clearcreek Chapel is a paramount case study for religious tyranny, we are still laying the historical groundwork.

Chapter Two: The Insurgency