Please, mind my tone. I apologize in advance. I’m passionate, not angry. Like so many of us, my “tone” often gets lost in the blogging shuffle for obvious reasons inherent to the written word. Please understand that, no matter who you are, I love you, I do not hate you, even though you may hate me…and though we may disagree, and our disagreement may be heated, remember, even though you may reject my words and my views, I do all this because I love human beings. Those whom God loves, who He created out of love, and saved out of love…human beings, who are relevant and can please God in ways that no other created thing can. Human beings whom God thinks very much of, saved or unsaved, who are not totally depraved, and not necessarily inclined to sin, but are created in His likeness, born in freedom and free to be who they are and to do what they do, apart from any possession of any other force, and worth the sacrifice of the innocent Christ, who died to bring us back to our position of innocence, who (that is, man) before the Fall and after was and is God’s most precious creation.
[Note: In my blog I will often use the noun “man” when speaking about humanity. This is an all inclusive term I use when I’m referring to “humanity” in general.
Incidentally, my official position is that men and women are of equal worth before God, and neither is created to be in submission to the other, and both are free to pursue any and all interests or roles in their lives, with talents and desires that span the broadest ranges, given grace to pursue by God, even to the work of Christ in ministry, and that nothing but man-made tradition and poor exegesis of scripture pose a stumbling block to the inherent freedom of women. I further believe that this view strengthens our witness and living-out of the the Gospel, and does not hinder it. To use doctrine as a means to relegate a human being to a “role” or a “title” is oppression, and counter-productive to the Christian faith.]
What I intend to do here is prove that reformed theology, in particular Calvinism (and many ideas or beliefs that stem from this kind of philosophy, which many currently take as given, and even perhaps believe it is NOT reformed at all, but merely “biblical”), is simply theologically and philosophically false. I do not offer merely an opinion, but I seek to offer ideas that are better because they are true and reformed theology is not. These ideas are going to understandably be hard for many people to swallow (e.g. the Bible is neither inerrant nor infallible; there is no such thing as biblical or spiritual “authority”, and that any such philosophical understanding of authority is false. All authority is is the power of one to force another into doing something against their will. Authority then in the spiritual sense is lie…there is only freedom and force; thus, any such talk of authority only implies force, and force is never given to compel spiritual agreement in the Bible. There is no obligation, only willing acceptance that the outcomes of one idea are better than another. Obligation, if it is to be obligation at all, is still dependent upon the willingness of the one to whom obligation is implied. The individual decides whether or not they are obligated, not any “authority”, and whether or not consequences outweigh the cost of obedience. God never forces or possesses, thus, any MAN proclaiming his right and power to do this is a liar. So when your local Calvinist pastor or elder (or whatever term in vogue is at the moment) makes a plea for his authority, recognize this as a lie and ignore it. Reject any claims to false philosophical ideas that have nothing to do with being a Christian).
I’m not trying to sensationalize. I’m not trying to shock people. I’m simply unraveling the theological ideas that have for far too long been accepted as orthodoxy and biblical when they are not, and which serve only one useful purpose: destroy the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of human beings, and thus to destroy humanity in service to “doctrine”.
Yes, I intend to use lots of words. Yes, I heartily intend to nitpick to death ideas and themes. Yes, I do admit that the philosophical ideas I will be discussing are hard to understand; but, still, I accept them as axiomatic, and further (in the Enlightenment vein of this blog) I maintain that reason is the only way we can relate to God and ourselves, and therefore, if our understanding of our faith contradicts what is rationally shown to be true in real life, it needs to be re-examined and a new conclusion drawn. I utterly maintain that our faith was meant to be reasonable; and I reject the idea that any core doctrine of the Christian faith resides in contradiction.
To end this introductory post, here are two quotes:
“When the ancient world was in its last throes, the ancient religions were overcome by Christianity. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to rationalist ideas, feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie. The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge.”
-Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, “The Communist Manifesto”
“Thus, it would seem that both the Communists and the Calvinists agree: Christianity is incompatible with the American concept of liberty, which is based on the philosophy of the Enlightenment. I agree that they both fully believe this, and that their philosophy supports this argument; I also agree that it is false.”