Paul's Passing Thoughts

Why the Protestant Gospel Cannot Save: Todd Friel Defends Josh Duggar

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 24, 2015

f2f8c-wreTodd Friel is a Reformed radio host and also MC for some very prestigious Reformed conferences. The name of Friel’s radio show is simply “Wretched.” The title is predicated on authentic Protestant soteriology: the new birth ONLY changes a person’s ability to see how wretched they are.

It’s not that the person doesn’t change per se; their ability to see the depths of their depravity improves. However, the saved person possesses no righteousness; ALL righteousness remains outside of the saved person. This is Martin Luther’s alien righteousness.

Because Protestantism is a super-cult that uses deceptive communication for the sole purpose of deceiving, Luther’s alien righteousness is often framed as “having no righteousness of our own.” Hence, the hearer is allowed to assume that “our own” denies that the means of righteousness originated with the believer. The biblical definition of the new birth is therefore deliberately skewed. The gift of new life is framed as an ownership issue rather than a supernatural embodiment of new being. To believe we are righteous is to make ourselves equal with God.

At any rate, and via many truisms, Protestants seek to keep the new birth in an ambiguous light. To say that we have “the righteousness of Christ” can be interpreted many different ways in regard to the new birth, and that is the idea. The goal is to keep people in a sliding mode of assumption until they are fully indoctrinated. This is Cult 101. For example, the assumption that Protestant pastors talk about the gospel every Sunday “because there might be some lost people present or members who are self-deceived.” Eventually, this assumption leads you to where they want to take you—you need the gospel every day to keep yourself saved and the gospel is only legit in the institutional church.

Another favorite deceptive truism is the idea that we focus on our depravity so that we will appreciate our salvation more, and then all obedience is sanctified and flows from “gratitude.” This seems perfectly logical, but wait a minute, what is the nature of the obedience if we are totally depraved to begin with? If a totally depraved person can obey, doesn’t that make them at least partially righteous?

Very good question, but most Protestants have been conditioned to not think that deeply, and are temporarily satisfied with such an answer until they are fully indoctrinated.

The citations from Friel’s defense of Duggar speak to what I am saying above. Yes, the disaster here, according to Friel, is not that the Gentiles have cause to blaspheme God because of the molestation of children, but rather…

There are two groups of people who should not be shocked to discover that a member of the Duggar family is a sinner: Christians and non-Christians. Surprisingly, both camps seemed to be surprised by this revelation.

That is what makes the Josh Duggar story a disaster.

Remember, this guy is not a Reformed lightweight by any stretch of the imagination, and often partakes in ministry projects with the likes of John MacArthur Jr. and RC Sproul.

He continues…

Based on his own admission, Josh sinned, repented and got saved. Why in the world would Christians be appalled to discover an unregenerate 14-year-old boy acted wickedly?

According to Josh himself, “I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life.” Sounds like a pretty typical conversion story to me.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (I Cor.6:9-11).

Have we forgotten that the Apostle Paul was a murderer before God saved him?

It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life (I Tim.1:15-16).

Stop right there. Notice how Friel proffers an angle that we would all agree with: what the guy did was horrible, but it led to his salvation. He even cites verses that speak of the behavior in the past tense. But then watch what he does in the very next sentence,

Josh is no worse than the Apostle Paul. Josh should not be shunned by Christians; he should be comforted by Christians who are just as wicked and just as forgiven as he is. Josh is nothing more, and nothing less, than a story of God’s amazing grace.

See how he slides from the past tense to the present tense without a transition? Something changes, but obviously NOT our nature. People are left to assume what the specifics of the changes are. Folks, this is classic cultic communication.


This might be the bigger tragedy of the Josh Duggar story: unbelievers consider it a bombshell when it is discovered that a Christian has a shameful past. This ought not to be.

If we Christians were doing our job proclaiming that the Gospel is for sinners, of whom we are the foremost, the world would yawn when it discovered that Josh was a hound dog.

If Christians were as loud about the Gospel as we are about being the moral majority, I suspect there would be five results:

  1. Unbelievers would not see Josh Duggar as a hypocrite; they would see him as a typical born-again believer who is forgiven by an amazingly gracious God.
  1. Unbelievers would not see Christians as a mere special interest group that seeks to impose values on other people.
  1. The Gospel would be shining brightly.
  1. Somebody might get saved.
  1. Josh Duggar and his family would be going about their business today as a typical Christian family saved by grace alone.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that any of those things are happening. I don’t blame the world; I blame us.

Is it possible we have become so obsessed with imposing our values on unbelievers that the world sees us as self-righteous Pharisees and not as blood-washed sinners?

Have we been so consumed by the culture wars that we have failed to engage in the spiritual battle for souls?

Notice again how Friel confuses the past condition of Christians with the present. A difference is delineated, yet it’s not defined; the change that takes place is ambiguous, and the logical conclusion cannot assume an actual ability to be righteous. Really, it boils down to a mere positional status rather than an actual change of being.

However, in his closing paragraph, Friel leaves no doubt as to the identity of believers in Reformed soteriology:

Josh tendered his resignation to the Family Research Council and they accepted it. While none of us know all of the details, if Josh were in my employ, I would not have accepted his resignation.

I would have shouted from the rooftops, “If you think Josh is wicked, you should meet the rest of us! That is why we are Christians! We need forgiveness for being wretched, vile, wicked rebels. If you are a rebel too, Jesus died for you! Run to Jesus! Join the wretched club.”

Let’s not squander this opportunity to share the great good news that Jesus died for perverts, liars, thieves, drunkards, abortionists, Wall Street fat cats, skid row bums, suburban housewives, blue collar workers and every sinner who will come to Him in repentance and faith.

Josh Duggar’s story is more than a Gospel tragedy; it is a Gospel opportunity. Don’t waste it.

This gospel cannot save, and will only attract those who do not want to undergo the radical change of new birth. It will only attract those who think they can sin all the more so grace will abound.


Why Calvinism is Wretched in 5 minutes

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 15, 2014

Calvinism’s Law Problem in 5 minutes

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 15, 2014

Related: (John Piper’s law problem .com).

The Language of Calvinist Progressive Justification and No Assurance of Salvation

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 22, 2014

ppt-jpeg4In the following clip, notice that Calvinist Todd Friel includes Christ’s “perfect life” as being part of the atonement. Problem is, God was “pleased” with Christ when he was baptized by John and lived about three years after that. If God was pleased with Christ at that point, obviously a perfect life wasn’t required. Christ didn’t have to prove that he was the perfect Lamb of God—He was the Perfect Lamb by virtue of who he is. Since when does God prove that He is God?

Furthermore, if Christ had to live a perfect life as part of the atonement, that’s not a righteousness manifested apart from the law (Rom 3:21), and posits the idea that there is a law that can give life (Gal 3:21). These are the two 3:21s that decimate the blatant false gospel of Calvinism. It doesn’t matter who keeps the law, “apart” means apart, and the law can either give life or not give life…for justification.

But the error goes deeper than that. This is the double imputation version of Calvinism. Supposedly, we (Christians) must live life in such a way that our sanctification (Christian living) is by faith alone in Christ’s perfect obedience to both the cross and the law. IF we do that, Christ’s perfect obedience will be imputed to our Christian life, and we will REMAIN justified. It’s salvation by Christ plus antinomianism.

That’s why Calvinists redefine antinomianism as a belief that the law is not needed at all in the Christian life, and they are supposedly “friends of the law” because they believe it is the standard for justification. However, in the final analysis there is no difference; either way, the law isn’t for us to keep (“uphold” Rom 3:31) for any reason. An obedience supplied for us must be applied to our Christian lives by faith alone; the same way we were saved.

Since living by faith alone, as opposed to being declared righteous by faith alone is really tricky business, assurance of salvation is ambiguous and their verbiage reflects this. Salvation finality is usually framed in the future tense, or at least implied that way. Freil states, with an added tonal emphasis, that like unbelievers, “WE” don’t have to die either (versus we will not die). Following the Friel clip, I have a visual illustration from a Piper video clip that also reflects the uncertainty of salvation.



No John Piper; He has already taken our place; no John Piper; His righteousness already counts for me; no John Piper; He is already my solid ground.

Which Jesus do you believe in? The one who has already taken your place? Or the Calvinist Jesus that might take your place IF you do something this way, that way, or the other way?