Excellent post. You are very right about the whole “check your brain at the door” mentality. The irony is that Calvinism appeals to smart people. Many of my friends in SGM are quite bright and successful. How they can apply rational thought to their jobs, for example, and yet completely throw up their hands in the face of theological nonsense is a mystery to me…except to say, I did it too; and my excuse was that I just didn’t think about it too deeply. I think on a superficial level, Calvinism has done such a good job of creating such HIGH face value, that people just assume the theological fundamentals must be just as sensible. I guess what I’m trying to say is that people can readily grasp the inconsistencies and the non-logic when they are faced with it; the problem is that they rarely are; and thinking about it for themselves is not something that really appeals or occurs to them. Occasionally, something will explode, like Brent’s wikileaks bag of flaming poop thrown at the figurative door, and a few people will step back and take pause and take a gander at the doctrinal premises. But even then, it is rare that people actually challenge the presumptions. Look at the anti SGM blogs…practically NO ONE is questioning the doctrine. And I mean NO ONE. Why?! Well…seems to me that they are still listening to their pastoral “authority”. One of the first things Detwilier did when he hypocritically attacked his spiritual superior is categorically deny doctrine had ANYTHING to do with the rank abuse and corruption of the SGM leadership (because if he concedes doctrine is at fault, he knows he then becomes culpable for the very corruption he is railing against; so for Brent, it literally CANNOT be the doctrine, or he’s never pastoring again). So…a pastor said it, he’s the authority (even subconsciously), and so, , viola! Guess what? It’s not the doctrine. Because the Calvinist says so. The SGM churches leaving…well, THEIR pastors say or imply that they are being doctrinally consistent, so, voila!! And guess what? It isn’t the doctrine…again, because the (twice hypocritical!) Calvinists say it isn’t. Those who have EVERYTHING to lose by blaming doctrine are the ones who are believed when they say “It’s not the doctrine…” and “You are the worst sinner you know” doesn’t mean what you think; it means what WE think, and what we think will change depending on the situation; so we’ll tell you what it means and when. You can just show up and nod and tithe.”
Gross me out, people.
The surreality just keeps going and going. It’s still the same old story. There is only a problem if the Calvinist PASTOR says it’s a problem. If they say it’s not the doctrine, then it’s not the doctrine, despite aaaaaaaaalllll of the in-your-face evidence that proves it IS the doctrine.
Whatever. That’s why I started this blog. I got so fed up with being told “don’t debate doctrine here…there’s more pressing matters to attend to”. So, I’ll debate doctrine on this blog, even if it’s just me and a few others. It doesn’t matter where doctrine is discussed…it must be discussed. DOCTRINE is what must be dismantled, everything else is just a symptom. That’s a fact. Mark my words, in SGM, nothing will change. In the churches leaving, it will be even worse than it was before they left. Unless they renounce the doctrine, they are twice hypocrites and they WILL be twice as corrupt. If you are sill in SGM and you want to keep your doctrine, my advice is to go to an SGM church that is still in SGM. You’ll be better off.
In terms of Genesis 3…yes, I have thought a lot about that. It seems to me that the problem arises when Adam and Eve know “Good and Evil”, as you mentioned. I wrote about this in my large essay (of which I’m posting bits and pieces here on this blog). I won’t go into too much detail because I’ll make the whole subject a post eventually once I get through the election/free will bit, but for me, it has to do with the fact that, once they were aware that there was in fact GOOD and EVIL and that that “law” comprised the moral nature of their existence, then good and evil became FUNCTIONALLY real to them…that is, from that point on, they were no longer judged by their innocence of the law, but by their obligation to it. They lost the moral “neutrality” of NOT knowing good and evil…and it is that kind of morality, the mere GOOD in the absence of any EVIL that is God’s standard because it is what defines HIS moral existence. So, even if Adam and Eve were to do GOOD, it is only good insofar as the EVIL they understand via the moral law gives GOOD its goodness (its contextual meaning). So, as judged by the law, there is always good AND evil implicated in everything they do. Again, even if they were to do only good, that good is not morally neutral, it is only good insofar as it is given meaning via to the existence of evil…doing what you are supposed to do is DEFINED by what you are NOT supposed to do…they are inexorable, and vice versa. Thus, the sacrifice of Christ restores man to his position of moral neutrality…or innocence. Which is the morality of God: GOOD only, absent ANY reference of EVIL.