Paul's Passing Thoughts

A Reply to the Mommy-Saver Whitney Capps, and Her Open Letter Decrying Church Whiners

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 28, 2015

capps“I state all of this because it summarizes most of her post. Yes, let’s not focus so much on WHAT she wrote, but rather WHY she wrote it.”   

The bio for Whitney Capps on Faith-It .com reads as follows: “Whitney Capps is a national speaker and writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries, in-the-trenches Mom to four little boys and wife to her CEO. Fabulously flawed and happily transparent, Whitney offers hope to the too-tired Mom.”

Capps posted an article on Faith-It titled An Open Letter to All the People Writing (And Sharing) Open Letters About What’s Wrong with The Church. In my eight years of researching Protestantism, I have never read a more intellectually dishonest article, but it also neatly organizes the specific problems with the black heart of Neo-Reformed orthodoxy.

Capps is “fabulously flawed,” “happily transparent” about her sin, and “offers hope” to the “too-tired Mom” who offers, as stated by a well-known Neo-Reformed pastor, her “obedience-stained garments” as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God.

Like ALL of the Neo-Reformed, Capps offers the hope of focusing on our sin which enlightens our gratitude for our original salvation resulting in whatever obedience manifestations Christ chooses to sovereignly display. We must focus on our sin, sin, sin, sin, even the, according to the Neo-Reformed, “sin beneath the sin.” Like ALL highly paid Neo-Reformed mommy-savers, Capps offers the hope of John Calvin’s Sabbath sanctification rest. Instead of Paul’s exhortations to not become “weary in well-doing,” and his exhortations to obey “more and more,” Capps offers “too-tired” mommies the hope of rest.

And, happy transparency…about our sin. Isn’t that sort of the “rejoicing in evil” that Paul said was antithetical to love? No, not sort of, that’s exactly what it is.

Like all good orthodox authentic Protestants, Capps redefines biblical love as rest when the fact is Christ rested from His works so we can love. Christ died to end the law and put those to death through the Spirit who were under the law. After Christ was resurrected, He accepted the promise of the Spirit who resurrected Him from the grave and sat down at the right hand of the Father. Christ then bestowed the promise of the Spirit that He received, and His immense power on God’s people.

When the Spirit comes, he puts believers to death and resurrects them to new life in the way of the Spirit. He releases them from the law of condemnation because He put their former selves to death that was under that law, and resurrects them with Christ to a life that is now guided by the law in loving God and others. This is why obedience is love, and Capps, like all of the Neo-Reformed, rejoice in their own evil. She said, happy transparency, not me; those are her words. And unless she repents, her condemnation will be just.

I state all of this because it summarizes most of her post. Yes, let’s not focus so much on WHAT she wrote, but rather WHY she wrote it. What happens in “the church” is neither here nor there because we can’t do any good works anyway. Capps, like all of the Neo-Reformed, is decrying those who complain about things in the church that aren’t really any of our business. As Martin Luther stated in the Heidelberg Disputation, it is neither here nor there whether a Christian does a good work or not because it is not us doing it anyway, while bad behavior should be expected.

This is why Luther and Calvin both scoffed at the idea of justice among mortals; because such a concept assumes meritorious works on the part of mankind; i.e., you can’t have deserved punishment without deserved reward. Luther and Calvin both believed humanly perceived good works were only worthy of condemnation because even Christians cannot do a work that has any merit with God. Therefore, Luther and Calvin believed the concept of justice was an absurd anomaly.

Hence, in light of serious problems within “the church,” Capps addresses them in a classic Neo-Reformed cultic communication technique: classify ALL “problems” under a single category and prescribe a one-size-fits-all solution for that category. Then, use trivial examples to describe the category. No one has described it better than John Immel in Blight In The Vineyard: “It is a vague truism that all churches have their problems. But that doesn’t mean they should have problems or that all problems are morally equivalent. Just because some churches fuss over the color of the sanctuary carpet does not absolve the Catholic leadership of molesting little boys.”

In Protestantism, absolvement isn’t demanded, but a recognition that bad behavior is the only thing that can be expected is demanded. “Why are you getting exercised? Are you any better? Don’t you understand what you have been forgiven of? If you don’t, maybe you don’t really understand grace. Your ‘righteous indignation’ is very disconcerting.”

What isn’t understood is that bad behavior isn’t love. Capps, like all of the Neo-Reformed, believes freedom is defined by rest in sanctification from the law. Her cause is to set the too-tired mommies free. That’s making obedient love in sanctification the same thing as condemnation apart from sanctification, and frankly, a denial of the new birth that makes love in sanctification possible. In her estimation, mommies must be free from the new way of the Spirit and rejoice in still being under the condemnation of the law. Focusing on our “fabulously flawed” lives reminds us that Jesus obeys the law for us, and as many among them say, “It’s not about what we do, but what Jesus has done.”

In contrast, Jesus did what He did so that we could do something; namely, love God and others apart from any condemnation. He finished His justification work so that we can work in sanctification, and sent the Spirit to help us. Jesus is a master that purchased us from the Sin master that used to use the law to provoke us and condemn us, and Jesus will return to see what we did with the talents given us for the purpose of loving.

Capps, like many others, leads the delegation who has hidden their talents in the ground and will give Jesus the exact same gospel that He gave us when He returns. Because they fear that they might “have a righteousness of their own” they have buried their talents in the ground and taken up John Calvin’s Sabbath sanctification rest. Christ will indeed call it what it is: “lazy…wicked[ness]” that fears condemnation from a harsh master and not free to love.

Again, we will focus on WHY Capps wrote what she did and not WHAT she wrote. This brings us to her constant reference to “the church” as the vessel used by Christ to secure our salvation. Throughout the article, Capps makes the institutional church synonymous with the body of Christ. Using her own marriage as an example, you live with the marriage or you are not married; no marriage is perfect and no church is perfect. Going public with complaints about “the church” according to Capps would be like going public about her husband’s flaws. See how silly you are thou church whiner?

Of course, the major problem with this is Saint Augustine’s “the church” as Bride of Christ, and that being just plain wrong. This theology goes hand in glove with the Reformed concept of perpetual re-salvation/re-forgiveness for sins committed in sanctification in order to remain justified. The big three of Reformation doctrine, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, believed that progressive forgiveness needed to remain saved can only be found in the institutional church and under the authority of pastors/bishops. Foundational to the Reformation was the idea that pastors have the authority to forgive sins and declare people saved. This same idea initiated the founding of “the church” circa 4th century. Before then, “the church,” NOT a biblical word or concept, did not exist. For 300 years the assembly of Christ or called-out ones were networks of non-authoritative home fellowships.

And Augustine’s posture towards those who didn’t support God’s ordained salvation institution, those who did not pay the temple tax, is well documented. Why am I bringing up all of this history? Because it’s Capps. What she is really defending in the post is the authority of the institutional church. The black heart of Reformation authority is plainly seen therein.

I will probably smile and pray for grace while imagining throat chopping you, in the name of Jesus of course.

There is only ONE thing separating Capps and all like her from only imaging that and actually doing it: the American Revolution. How many statements like this do we have to hear from the Reformed who’s who before we finally realize that something is behind it? Like all before her, those who would threaten God’s salvation institution and discourage souls from it are worthy of nothing less than death. But because they are merciful souls, they will often only chop you in the throat, run you over with a bus, or catapult you into the next county.

She was right about one thing in her post. She accused the church whiners, e.g., discernment bloggers as well, of wanting to save the institution. Amen to that my pseudo-sister. You are spot-on about that for certain. And you are also right in a wrong way about that, being very misguided—the institutional church has wreaked death, rape, persecution, false soteriology, sectarianism in every social strata, and extortion on humankind in the name of Christ since its grotesque 4th century birth.

In case you haven’t noticed, posts like this are very prevalent lately. Is the Neo-Reformed resurgence feeling the pinch? Perhaps, but the home fellowship movement should be encouraged. After 40 years, and ten of those years being complete domination of American evangelicalism by the Neo-Reformed, we have the “Dones,” the ‘Nones” and a whole bunch of blessed whiners.

Blessed are the whiners—they just want answers, and white is the harvest thanks to the Neo-Reformed movement. And unfortunately for them, we’re in the Information Age.