Like I said, I think on the surface, it (Calvinism) makes so much sense. And because of that, people generally judge a book by its cover. They don’t need to go deeper in discovering the logical fallacies, because they are so sure that there is a good answer for it. To go thinking about it just proves you are prideful and not trusting that God knows more than you (even if you disagree…who are YOU, Oh man….to judge God?). When we decide that our reason MUST be how we have faith in God (and it MUST…I don’t care what they think), they throw you out as a heretic.
I would never be accepted back in my old SGM churches. I consider this a badge of honor.
John Immel was the one who said first that Calvinism appeals to intelligent people. I added that it appeals to good and humble people, too. That’s what makes it so insidious and hard to dismantle. So many smart people who love to humble themselves before their “benevolent” gnostics. Exhibit A: Bret Detwiler. Clearly a good man, humble, leader, and rank doctrinal hypocrite. But people give him a past on the hypocrite bit because he SEEMS so good and humble. Those that approve of Brent are functionally no different than those who approve of CJ. They NEVER question the metaphysically and epistemologically irrational doctrine, thus, they wind up no better than they were before. They leave the church, or the church leaves SGM, and the WAYS never change. Abuse is still there, it only takes a little longer to manifest itself because people are at the moment hypersensitive to the OUTCOMES of heavy handed application of the doctrine. But not the doctrine. So, the frog jumps out of the boiling water into cold water, which then slowly starts to heat up again. The frog never understands that it is the WATER that is the problem, not the heat. The boiling is the natural evolution of the water itself when the “heat” (doctrine) is applied. The frog needs to understand that to avoid the boiling, he or she needs to avoid the water altogether.
Also, on a side note…sorry I haven’t posted more on election and free will. I am wrestling withe the time conundrum. I mean, I feel my theory is sound, but in pursuing the time question, I stumbled upon something that has occupied my thinking. I have a good friend who is an astro physicist in the field of relativity, and I want to run it by him. It would explain why the universe is expanding in physical, not necessarily metaphysically terms (but, there IS some metaphysics implied)…this is not some pipe theory. I think it has merit, but I need to make sure it is theoretically possible before I post more on election/free will. I need to be sure that my definition of how we view time is correct according to physics. This takes TIME! Ha, ha. In the mean time, I think I’ll post a bit more on my views on SGM and Calvinisms hypocrisy in general, as a function of their poor metaphysics. That is ALWAYS fun.
6 thoughts on “Another response: the problem is the water, not the boiling”
Calvinism made sense to me because I thought it answered the hard questions about sin. But as I studied more and took certain doctrines to their logical conclusions, I realized that it only made God a criminal! They are actually teaching that evil is good when it comes to the divine determinism. And you can kind of see how this plays out historically in man. There is a reason Calvinism ebbs and flows throughout history. It either dies out or goes liberal. It is very hard to maintain the focus of this determinist God in any sort of free/enlightened society. It rarely makes two or three generations from what I can see. I often chuckle that Aaron Burr is a close descendent of Jonathan Edwards. And another descendent becamse a female pastor in the Presbyterian church.
Those who love it, say that only means man is too sinful and society is getting worse. But there are ways we have gotten better. We don’t burn heretics. We do not accuse women of being witches because they tried to alleviate labor pains. (Puritans)
What scares me is the willful ignorance of those who promote the Puritans, Calvin and others. They often use the Nuremburg defense for them not realizing what they are really suggesting. I fear that so many young men are so blind as to what they are doing going down this road of bondage and cruelty. Yes, I do fear tyrants. And it blows my mind that even in the SBC so many young men have as their hero’s history’s tyrants.
I try to keep up on survivors but can barely read there much without getting very discouraged.
Looking forward to the time post. Try to keep it simple for us simpletons. :o)
I did point out the Calvinism appeals to the intellectual… but not because they are smart … but because it is cohesive.
Most people wander through life grazing the vast smorgasbord of ideas with no thought to contradictions, evading their caloric intake and pretending that a few hours on the Sunday morning tread mill listening to some guy behind Plexiglas is sufficient to become an expert in all things Authentic Christianity.
And for the most part they get what they pay for: Erratic outcomes, inefficient actions, and inexplicable emotional upheavals.
But there is a segment of people for whom this is unacceptable. They want consistency. They want to understand the causal relationship between the primary elements of life.
(well, we all want that, but some are willing to work to get it)
Because man gets his internal energy from philosophy … that is effective, integrated ideas … ideological systems have huge appeal. The power of Calvin’s theology is its cohesion. It is the systemic presentation that makes it so palatable. The “Intelligent” as a rule have the tools to wade through the heavy lifting to extract the parts of the system that fit together.
So the appeal is the integration. Argo… this should ring a bell with your comments on Job.
Thanks for your observations. I want to agree with you on one of your points: the claims that society is “Going to hell in a rocket ship”. The things they site are sanctimonious appeals to 19th century sexual politics. And the things that really ARE getting worse, like the rise of the philosophy of altruism, and the power of the government to use threats and force to compel our “one big happy worker’s paradise” are hardly philosophies that true Calvinists can find fault with. What is Calvinism if nothing else but Marxism in robes and “phylacteries”? I don’t care how many of them appeal to Constitutional values…deep down they crave kind of power that autocracies wield. Calvinists have no high regard for the Constitution…it is completely contrary to their doctrine. How is it possible to square TULIP with the Bill of Rights? The Bill of Rights demands that humans possess abilities that TULIP declares rank heresy.
If you need further proof, read SGM’s newest bullet to the brain of individual freedom: their paper on church polity. This travesty is simply a formalization of the tyranny they’ve been INFORMALLY perpetrating for years. All they’ve done is canonize it! It’s nothing new! It is the commandeering of civil authority by the local “church” to use threats, punishment, and propaganda to force members into ecclesiastical servitude.
Yes…I totally agree with you on Survivors. I am sympathetic, but my sympathy has extended itself as far as it can go. I’m only allowed to breach the surface of the doctrinal argument, then I’m whack-a-moled by the “powers that be” back into my virtual hole in the ground. I have decided that the moderators–for all the good they do–in refusing to look at the seed of the problem, have declared that their sympathy only extends but so far also. I am so flummoxed at the number of the abused that still cling to the doctrinally insane idea that it’s just a bunch of meanie pastors. On the on hand, they demand justice. On the other, they concede the doctrine that declares they couldn’t recognize it if it was offered. And since they are ALWAYS, according to their doctrine, “doing better than they deserve”, who are they to crave “justice” anyway.
Thank you for correcting my understanding. I understand the difference now between “intellectual” and “intelligent”.
I really liked how you expressed that in the post of yours I read it in. I had always assumed that it had to do with people simply not wanting to think for themselves. But that seemed to easy as I sat in SGM and looked at some of the very bright and successful people around me. These were not the type to let others be their own minds. So, though I think their is SOME attraction to the ideas in Calvinism that say all you have to do is practice Christian hedonism (which, read: do absolutely nothing but sit around and be a lazy-ass “elect” person; contemplating how you are A. Too wicked to deserve salvation and B. Despite this, God is OBLIGATED to save you, and C.Maybe you are right, that you don’t deserve salvation, which is why, according to “election” you really aren’t saved at all…because a rescue from nothing is not a rescue. By definition…) I do agree that their is something more to it.
“And for the most part they get what they pay for: Erratic outcomes, inefficient actions, and inexplicable emotional upheavals.”
Yes, yes and yes. The brand of Calvinism SGM practiced had these exact outcomes with me. It destroyed my faith; I mean, WRECKED it. What had been a great relationship with the Lord became a nightmare of inconsistent images, contradictory thoughts about myself and God, and faithless prayers.
John, can you explain what you mean by Calvinism is cohesive?
Calvinism is cohesive ….
What I mean is… Calvin’s institutes are a comprehensive philosophical statement. This means he starts with a Metaphysical foundation and then establishes an Epistemological standard…
The logic flows from the foundations and builds systemically offering interconnected answers to the questions he poses: from each premise flows the next correlated conclusion.
The philosophical power of Calvin’s Theology is that it is internally consistent … or as I originally said cohesive.
This is what most people find so compelling… it gives them a place to hang their integrated philosophical hat
The things they site are sanctimonious appeals to 19th century sexual politics.
What is Calvinism if nothing else but Marxism in robes and “phylacteries”?