Monthly Archives: December 2012

On The Nature of Chance, revised

If you have already read the post on “chance” below, please re-read it, if you don’t mind.  This morning I realized that the initial post required some significant additional information.  I’m not sure it makes it easier to understand, but it makes my argument more cohesive and coherent.

Thanks!

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A Devil’s Question: On the nature of “chance”

“If you agree than an innocent child goes immediately to heaven for all eternity when they die, and you also agree with the commonly held position that only a minority of adults become Christians and make it to heaven, then, especially in an unbalanced mind, that could justify killing children. An ill individual could easily believe that they are actually doing a good thing, ensuring that those children receive a life of bliss at Jesus side that they might not otherwise have.

I am not trying to be cruel or insensitive, but if you are going to look for answers or possible reasons then no idea should be automatically excluded because it is unpleasant.”

The assumption of the preceding question is that since there is a real chance that a child might NOT accept Christ, then by murdering them you do good, because you eliminate the chance of non-acceptance and ensure their entry into heaven.

This may sound reasonable, but like the philosophical atrocity of Calvinism, it is only reasonable until you employ actual reason; and then, frankly, its truth is revealed; and the truth is that this is a false, and therefore bad assumption.

What exactly do we mean by chance?  What is chance, exactly?

Is chance real?  Or is chance merely a theoretical construct based retrospective analysis; looking at what actually was in order to determine what might be; a mathematical formula shown to predict with varying degrees of precision, depending on the formula and the situation in question?  I submit, yes…THAT.  The latter.  It is not real.

In the grand scheme of reality and existence, I submit that the entire idea of chance is untenable because it has ultimately a fatal flaw, and that is the fact that it deals with the hypothetical–it is not even a verifiable TRUTH, like a natural law, or some other repeatable event. In other words, when you say “chance shows”, and you point to evidence, you are really pointing to something else as the proof of the predicted outcome.  Chance, by definition, means only “possibly“.  And possibly does not equal causality…ever. Chance produces nothing.

Let me explain, lest you think I’m denying math.

I’m not denying math, but I do believe that the math of chance cannot, in fact, declare something that is not, an IS.  Chance does NOT cause, and it does not create reality.  It predicts.  Nothing more.  Chance is the mathematics of prediction, it is not the creator of the present before it is the present.  It is never the cause in the cause and effect relationship of abstract truths.  Thus, to use chance as the primary functional premise for…well, anything is not reasonable.  How much more unreasonable for murder.  How much MORE unreasonable for the murder of the morally innocent.

Again, literally and existentially speaking, chance is NOT in fact, real.  It IS merely theoretical—for nothing IS or has come to pass until it IS and has come to pass, by definition, and so invoking chance is always invoking the purely hypothetical, and is merely making assumptions and guesses (some more “scientific” than others, of course) about what does not yet exist at all—and as such, it should never be used as a foundation for the larceny of anything, but in particular, the human body.  In other words, the idea of murdering the morally innocent to save them from the chance of hell is akin to saying that you will steal a thing from someone to avoid the chance that they might have that thing stolen.  This thinking is patently absurd, but is precisely the argument we make when we argue that killing a child removes the chance that they might not go to heaven.  Chance isn’t in any way real (e.g. tangible; or even a “truth”)…and what you are actually doing by seeking to head off chance at the pass is merely creating a new circumstance which is based on nothing that can be verified as actually true.  Since chance is mere prediction, it doesn’t really exist, and so it cannot be used as a rationale for creating a new circumstance in order to avoid the circumstance which now has, by definition, NO chance of occurring.  Once the circumstance and/or context is changed, chance becomes irrelevant to the entire scenario from beginning to end.  And so it is impossible to invoke chance as the rationale for CHANGING the context.  Again…I stole the thing so that there is no chance the thing could be stolen.  In other words, acting upon “chance” means you remove the chance from the equation; and once that is done, chance is no longer an excuse for doing what it is you did.  You REMOVE chance, so that it no longer applies.  And what I’m saying is that when you do that, then murder is simply murder, removed from chance, making it merely what it is: a brutal, senseless act.  You cannot PROVE chance until you can see the outcome, and then it is no longer chance at all (more later on that); when the outcome is impossible because you changed the context, chance no longer applies.  And to invoke it as a rationale becomes redundant non-logic. Chance is irrelevant unless the circumstance is allowed to come to pass so that what happens can be seen so that chance can be quantified.  And then, once it is quantified, it is by definition, no longer chance.  So…chance CANNOT be PROOF that what you did was morally, legally, or logically JUST, ever, because it is a false idea at the core.  It has only the illusion of efficacy.

Even more, chance is NOT, by definition, even theoretically applicable if we murder, because in murder we seen the utter removal of the life of the person beyond the moment of their death.  There is in fact zero chance that they could not choose Christ, or choose Him, or eat a hamburger, or read a book, or stand on their head, or cluck like a chicken.  Without LIFE, chance is moot.  So—to give another illustration— to declare that we will murder a child in order to avoid the chance that he or she will deny Christ is like saying I will paint the fence white so as to avoid the chance that I will paint it black.  If I paint it white, then there is no chance that I have painted it black.  And also,  if I painted it white then there is, retrospectively, ZERO chance that I could have painted it black.  Chance is, again, a mathematical illusion.  And the danger of using it as an empirical tool is clearly seen in this disturbing scenario.

Ahhhhh…yes, you see it now, don’t you.  What I talked about waaaaaaaay back in some long buried post.  Retroactive Inevitability of Choice (RIC).  And it is precisely this theory of mine that is relevant to this discussion, among others.  Chance, in actually, is a lie…a construct that means nothing ultimately.  There are cause and effect laws, and there are verifiable events and outcomes which have been observed.  But chance itself is really a fantastical construct.  Mathematics makes it seem much more literal and “real” than it is; but remember, the math relies solely on what has already been, and can be verified and observed.  The math is always retrospective; it never observes future events.  Why?  Because the future does not actually exist.  Chance itself can be a useful way to predict, but it is NOT itself causality.

In other words, going back to the fence illustration,  to use chance as a rationale for painting the fence white lacks any fundamental logic at all, because, once I painted it white, I could not have ever painted it black (but the mathematics of chance assume that I could; but I couldn’t, so chance, again, is merely an illusion…predictive, possibly, but never creating reality).  How do I know this?  Because I can clearly see that the fence is white. There is the proof, right before my paint splatter glasses, that chance is an illusion.  Choice is real, yes!  Choice is actual.  You CAN do this or that.  But once done, you could NEVER have done anything but what you CHOSE to do.  But you can never know what it is you inevitably chose to do until and after you chose to do it.

And again, the choice is in fact real. Because the choice is the cause.  The white fence is the effect.  The proof that the choice is real is seen in fact that the white fence exists.   It is a result of the cause, which was the choice. If the choice was not real the fence could not exist because the fence, being the effect, cannot exist by definition absent the cause…that is the law of cause and effect.  It is impossible for the effect to stand APART from the cause, by definition.  And incidentally this is the argument we make when we try to argue determinism via predestination.  We argue that all effects exist without causes, which is metaphysically and physically impossible.  The fact that there is an effect is proof of the choice that is the onus for the cause.   If we argue determinism, we argue effects without causes, which is impossible if we believe that we are predicting what will happen, because what will happen has not, by definition, happened yet.  How does it exist?  Because the cause generates it.  And if the cause generates it, then we must concede that the choice is real.  The choice to paint the fence black or white is real, and the white fence proves it.  The choice is real because it is the cause; if it is not the cause, it is an effect, and an effect cannot generate another effect (I know what some are thinking; let me say that the effect must become a subsequent cause…to argue this further is purely semantics and irrelevant).  So if the choice is not real then the fence is not white. But the white fence also proves that chance is a lie, ultimately.  Because it is white, there is no chance it could ever, ever have been black.

So more to the point, if the children are dead, there is NO chance of them doing anything, by definition; so what, exactly, are you avoiding the chance of?  If a child accepts Christ at some point in their life, then there is NO chance that they could not have not accepted Christ.  As far as you know, because you cannot observe and verify the veracity of your assumptions of “chance” for the person involved—because, among other reasons, the child’s life is terminated—every child you murder DID, in fact, choose Christ, and so you murdered for murder’s sake alone, and risked your own salvation (and I submit that you do forfeit it if you persist in your false assumption that violating God’s command is in fact “good”) by violating a direct command of God for no real altruistic good, no matter how you twisted the logic.  To say that you have murdered only children who have accepted Christ is ultimately just as reasonable as saying there is a “chance” that some were not in fact going to choose Christ.  Because you removed the context where the outcome could be seen, you cannot know anything real.  Murder, again is simply murder.  For literally no reason.  Unless the thing with which we are regarding chance is actually SEEN or NOT SEEN then chance is completely irrelevant (perhaps, mathematical precedence is something to be considered, but never regarding moral decisions…why? because chance is not in fact real, and thus it makes a very poor moral and metaphysical foundational assumption).  So, you are not murdering for chance at all.  You are murdering for murder’s sake, nothing more.

This is the metaphysical and moral truth.  And if you were to persist in the wickedness of murdering the innocent of God, your soul would be in very real mortal danger.  You would have sacrificed your own salvation for rebellion in the form of murder as a philosophy.

Is there anything more wicked?

A Devil’s Question

Recently, on a blog that I read and comment on regularly, a very astute atheist (I’m not being facetious; this person is actually quite intelligent, and I appreciate all his/her questions and contributions) posted the following during a discussion of the recent moral catastrophe at Sandy Hook Elementary:

“If you agree than an innocent child goes immediately to heaven for all eternity when they die, and you also agree with the commonly held position that only a minority of adults become Christians and make it to heaven, then, especially in an unbalanced mind, that could justify killing children. An ill individual could easily believe that they are actually doing a good thing, ensuring that those children receive a life of bliss at Jesus side that they might not otherwise have.

I am not trying to be cruel or insensitive, but if you are going to look for answers or possible reasons then no idea should be automatically excluded because it is unpleasant.”

Allow me to boil that down to its functional premise for you.  This particular atheist is asking the age-old question (for those of you who are not adherents of contradictory Calvinist soteriology) “Since babies and little children are morally innocent, and so go to heaven, why not just kill them while they are young, rather than risk the chance that they might not accept Christ once they are morally culpable?”

(NOTE:  For the record, I indeed believe that babies and children who have not reached the age of self-awareness–with regards to a mature and complete synergy between the Ability to Reason (their soul, as I define it) and a full awareness of the moral Law of human existence—do in fact go to heaven.  I reject categorically the Calvinist TULIP construct and all of its assumptions, facets, and implications.  So, for me and what I believe as a Christian, this is a good and reasonable question.  It is vile and wicked because of the solution for evil and suffering it is, in fact, implying; nevertheless I want to make clear that I’m in no way impugning the person asking the question.  I assume the best of that person…that he or she is not in actuality suggesting that the solution for evil is what the question implies, but is merely asking Christians to defend their ideas.  And this is a good thing.  Anytime we can get Christians thinking more individually, the better.   And I thank this atheist for having the courage to bring it up.)

I have read and listened to the responses to this question, and however good they might be, all of them seem to me to miss the metaphysics and existential assumptions of the insanity of the question.  That is, they rightly point out that this is a terrible thought, and render it dangerous indeed.  However, it rarely goes much deeper into the nature of human and divine existence and just what it means for one Consciousness to create another.

To be honest, I admit that my own first thoughts in response to the question only touched upon the metaphysics.  I initially thought something along the lines of:  If we kill the children, then who grows up to be adults, to then continue killing children?  At some point we’ll have to risk the “chance” that some people will not accept Christ and will thus go to hell, and that this is “good” because it is good that one go to hell so that another will go to heaven; which…makes us hypocrites because we will have conceded that good is also found in the precise OPPOSITE of doing good; that is, letting live is as morally right as letting die.  And if we are morally right in taking the chance for some, what is the rationale for not taking the chance for the others?  By what standard do some get the chance to live and others must die in order that they may not get that same chance?  Why is the same chance not not afforded or afforded to all?  Unless, of course, we are assuming the extinction of the human race as the inevitable and desired outcome, and so we’ll just kill all the children and then let the adults die off, as it were.  And if we thus are okay with making the explicit assumption that the only good of man is to be found in his NOT existing, then we are assuming that God is of course a fool for creating.  And if this is our assumption about His nature, we must ask ourselves:  is this the kind of hypocritical Being we want to worship in the first place, and perhaps we should— instead of killing all the children in order to “save” them—examine the rational and metaphysical possibilities of such a Creator actually being God in the first place.  And if the metaphysics prove that it is not, in fact, possible that such a Being who would be so foolish as to create life that can only be good in ANY sense (morally, rationally, logically, philosophically, etc.) if it does not exist at all could be God…well, then we do not need to murder the children in order to save them from a God who does not and cannot possibly exist.  Do we?

No.  We do not.

And…well, I think the logic of this argument is sound, and sufficient to prove the inability of the question to reconcile reasonably the creation of man by God in a way that the question still bears any logical consideration at all (it doesn’t).  And to be sure, this is not a bad way to argue.  But still…it seems so incomplete.  Why is it incomplete?  Well, it is incomplete because there are more things that can and should be said in response to such a vile question; but the primary problem is that my initial response lacks a discussion of love.  Surely, it is full of pragmatic truth, but that’s not really the crux of it, is it?  It answers the logical nonsense, I mean to say, but not the EVIL.  That is, the real reason the idea of murdering children to grant them heaven is so unspeakably horrific is because it is, in reality, stripped bare and cold to the bone of anything even remotely in the same universe as love.

So, in the forthcoming posts I will present three bullet points in response to what I have come to call the Devil’s Question, because I can think of no other place that such an implication (murder of innocents as the solution to man’s moral failings) could be conceived of first except inside the mind of the grand Demon himself.  I could be wrong about this…for man has a way of rivaling even the Devil in wickedness of thought and action; but, in order to get the full effect of the abominable nature of the implicit idea at the core of this question we must first understand that it is an idea that is categorically contradictory to the mind of God and Love.  And, even without any argument of any kind, it can be understood to be just that, and rejected at the face value of it…rejected upon its utter self-evidence.

Bullet one will look at the false presuppositions implicit in the question regarding the nature of “chance”.  Two will look at the divine purpose of human existence; that is, the WHY of God creating man.  And the last will focus heavily on why the idea of murdering innocent children for “heaven” is so unloving by looking at what exactly murder robs one of eternally; what is assumed by man (and even many Christians) to be regained by the murdered person, which will not and cannot in fact be regained, which is why murder is so reviled by God, I would argue, and given its own specific divine injunction.

The Trinity plus One: More on the deceptive and false idea of biblical infallibility

Infallible.  Inerrant.

Take your pick.

Frankly, it’s all the same to me.

I understand that there are those who love to parse meanings and use technicalities in order to obscure the real issue.  The neo-Reformed movement fancies themselves experts at this; and historically they are.  Today, however, without the force of the civil sword in their hands its not as easy, and after a few volleys with a Calvinist in a debate of ideas it soon becomes apparent that it is VERY difficult for them to both say and NOT say at the same time.  Which is too bad, because it really is upon this presumption that their “sound doctrine” depends.

But I digress.

The real problem is that these words–infallible/inerrant–are used at all, regardless of which, to describe the cannon of Scripture that has been organized over many thousands of years into what we know today as the Protestant’s handbook:  our version of the Holy Bible (and the Catholics, of course, have theirs; and before that, it was infallibly in Latin; and before that, infallibly Aramaic, infallibly Greek, infallibly Hebrew…take your pick.  Will the real infallible bible please stand up? I mean, what is infallible exactly, and how can there be another “version” of infallible?  How can there be an improvement on “WHOLLY useful and true”?  Does this not seem logically contradictory right off the bat? But never mind you, sinner, about what you THINK is contradictory.  For those who make their treasures and fortunes off of “revealing” such “truths” are in positions of the divine; straddling the boundary between human and deity.  An apparition is all you can comprehend when you seek to comprehend spiritual things.  You will be told; and then you will be compelled.  Welcome to the neo-Reformed movement.)

But I digress.

I use these terms interchangeably because the doctrine behind them regards them as functionally the same.  The Bible is, in and of itself, utterly perfect.  That is the root assumption.  I don’t care what they tell you it “really” means.  I don’t care what source they cite.  By now we should all understand that what a Calvinist says and what they mean/really-want-to-say are almost never consistent.  So, again, what biblical infallibility means is that the bible needs no help from anything outside of itself; it is as God.  And what I mean by that is that it is its own definition, like God; it is its own proof of truth.  What is the bible?  The bible is that which is considered the bible (of itself).  Why can we trust the bible?  Because it is the bible.

Oh.  Okay.  Well, who the heck needs God then?

I do not particularly care how Calvinists like to cull you with a myriad of heady-sounding technicalities, or appeals to mere “humble” and “innocent” meanings.

Them:  “Why, all infallible means is that we think the Bible is a helpful thing.”

Me:  “Then how is the bible different than a cook book?”

Them: “Because it’s the bible.”

Me:  “Huh?”

Them:  [shrug]

Behind all the equivocating is a false doctrine; a deception, and a hermeneutic tool used to separate the bible from other books, in order that it may be transformed into a hammer of the gnostic overlords.

But the problem is that the bible is just a book, and it is so obviously just a book that even a child will rightly define it thus.  Sooooo…the only way (and a creative way; reminiscent of the old mystic, shamanistic religions) to make it not just a book is to ascribe to it some kind of trait particular to a consciousness.  And since the Holy Spirit, it is declared, is its author, then that trait is, essentially, perfection.  The bible is infallible because it cannot do anything wrong…in and of itself lay the perfection of God.  Within its covers one finds utter completeness of TRUTH.  Because it is not just a book, it is the essence of God Himself.  Which, er…is God Himself.

In other words, the Bible is God in book form.  THAT is the only way the bible can be MORE than just a book.  Yes it is.  And the problem with that should be totally obvious by now, because I just wrote it:  this makes the Bible GOD.  And if the Bible is God, then it is to be worshiped.  It is to be served.  Anything in it about man is really God; all of it is the same thing; for there can be no interpretation, understanding, application beyond itself.  It is wholly USELESS to man, because it all is God, and means God, and there is nothing thus beyond it.  All meanings and interpretations point to a conclusion that is of no use to man’s context because, by definition, God is outside of Creation’s context.  If the bible is God, then there is NOTHING of man in it.

You cannot understand an infallible bible.  You can’t even begin to know it.

So who can?  Can you guess?  Is the whole point becoming clear?  Do you understand just who now stands to gain, and gain immeasurably from such a doctrine?  Think!  Think!  You’ve seen them, up there, behind the plexiglass.  Tie-less, khakis, sipping water, joking about sports, feigning humility and proof-texting.  Many of them rolling in a treasure and luxury that you could scarcely imagine; all the while telling you to “give until it hurts”.

Those who gain from “sound doctrine” generally gain what they crave the most:  money.  But that’s another story.  We shall examine the equivocations and excuses behind the vast earthly riches of the neo-Cal movement later.  For, now, let’s continue to put into the grave the false doctrine of biblical inerrancy/infallibility.

Regardless of which definition we choose to use, or where we pull it from—Wikipedia, Oxford, Webster’s, our ecclesiastical oligarchs in the stead, our devoted Calvinist friends—what we are really doing, I say again, when we declare the bible infallible is ascribing a living consciousness to it.  That is, the very consciousness and power and will of God’s Spirit BECOMES the written code, making the bible itself equal with God.  The Holy Spirit as a Spirit becomes a divine middle man, serving no real purpose at all, being the “author” of Himself, which is metaphysically impossible and redundant, because there then can be no interpretation of the bible other than what it says, because if the bible is the written Word (capital  W), then the bible is God, and there is no interpretation of God besides God.  The Holy Spirit didn’t write the bible, He became the bible.  Asking Him to become a tool for the profane (man) to then “apply” is utter blasphemy.  All of this, and more, you get in the mix of biblical infallibility.

In this sense, we should make clear–if we decide that we will continue to defend the idea of biblical infallibility regardless of the impossible and contradictory premises–that an appeal to biblical infallibility, and demanding an acceptance of it by our church members, is truly blasphemy at its root.  For if indeed the perfect essence of the Spirit of God is in the bible itself, then there is no need for the Holy Spirit at all, for the bible IS Him.

To be frank, and putting away all “whimsy” (don’t you love the neo-Cal lexicon; it is the most upbeat of all tyrannical propaganda) there is only one inevitable, practical, and logical reason to implement the concept of biblical infallibility:  the subjugation and destruction of man in service to the power and wealth of gnostic overlords.  For if the conviction and guidance of the Holy Spirit (what is necessary for the truths of the bible to be revealed as consistently true and efficacious in their application to man’s contexts) is removed by making it redundant and unnecessary via the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, then that leaves only one ultimate arbiter of TRUTH when people are disagreeing amongst themselves as to the interpretive definitions and root meanings, which, in light of infallibility can only be defined thus: they are what they are.  The only thing left to do when two people disagree, in other words, about what the bible really says, is not to look at outcomes or appeal to the guidance of the Spirit, but to defer all understanding and interpretations to the gnostic ecclesiastical authorities.  Man cannot understand God, and the Spirit cannot reinterpret Himself, and so only one thing remains: a “gifted” man, standing in the stead, will interpret for you.  He, as shaman, will proclaim the will of the gods in every situation.  Put your bible away, for he will tell you (and, you will even see this theme today in mainstream neo-Cal churches and movements:  apply sermons more, read the bible less), and he will explain what it says, depending on the day, time, person, and event.  What you see as capricious revelation, is merely the “authority” bestowed upon gnostic powers to tell you how to live, what to think, and what to do, since the bible, by definition, cannot.  You see, God tried to reveal to you…but the best he could do was recreate Himself on paper; and unfortunately you are too depraved to see Him.  In such a case, only the divines can interpret God’s will.  Only divines, by a mysterious power from on high, can read God’s thoughts from the incarnate pages and turn them into applicable and practical meaning for each and every person.

And so which makes more sense:  Worship God?  Or worship the man who can actually and pragmatically BE God to you?  Worship the One who cannot know you, and you cannot know Him? Or worship the one who can meet all your earthly needs by telling you just what is best for you in this life, and the next, without needing to consult God, because he himself is, according to his calling as divine interpreter, equally infallible…and yet, wholly one with whom you can relate, because he likewise is merely a poor, depraved sinner, saved by grace? (You see?  There it is again.  The IS/IS NOT dichotomy of Calvinist theology; impossible contradiction rearing its head again.)

The answer to that is still up in the air.  Of course the neo-Reformed/Calvinist pastors will declare this to be utter nonsense.  They’ll spurt and sputter their (feigned) astonishment at such a heinous and ridiculous accusation. Why, it’s mere sensationalism…a taking out of context; a building and burning of a straw man of my own angry, bitter, and excommunicated device.  Of course, worship only God, they will say.

Ah yes, but the truth and meaning behind their words lay in this question:  Who is God? Is it the one on whom your depraved prayers are wasted?  Or the one who is able to affirm or deny your every thought and action in this life which will lead you to the next?  In the IS/IS NOT dichotomy of Calvinist theology, the real truth is that there is NO difference between themselves and God.  So when they declare “Worship God!”, you must understand that this is functionally the exact same thing as submitting yourself to everything they are and declare.

Hmmm….

Ask them, and at best, I suspect you will find the a very muddy answer.  Only about as clear as a tyrant without the civil authority to kill and imprison can make it.  But the sword has a wonderful way of toning down the ambient noise.  Look to Calvin’s Geneva, and see just who it was men and women really worshiped and feared.  And, let’s be honest, no one gets away with a travesty of theological and metaphysical doublespeak like the Heidelberg Disputation unless they are pretty sure they have the divine right to institute “church discipline”.

So, according to the doctrine of biblical infallibility, the bible is the essence of the Spirit, Himself.  And so, if you are not getting it right, it is because you are, by Calvinist and neo-Reformed definition, unable to grasp the truth of the Spirit.  Indeed, your pervasive depravity is to blame if you have not “been given the grace to perceive” (-C.J. Mahaney on his “sins”).  But then, how is it that you can ever know if you have been given grace to perceive the infallible truth of the Spirit bible? Well, by definition, you can’t, can you? You, being wholly fallible and pervasively depraved, can never, by definition, be given or possess the grace to perceive any such thing as infallible truth, and so the only thing you can do  is accept the interpretation of your neo-Reformed pastor-in-the-stead. (NOTE:  By the way, “in the stead” means “instead”; that is, the pastor is God instead of God, is what they are saying; and this makes it a little less appetizing, doesn’t it?)  Any deviation from this, any different conclusion that you might draw from the text is merely proof that you have, indeed, not been given grace to perceive the infallible truths of the infallible bible.  And because you are depraved, you will never perceive them.  For that kind of perception is the privilege of the gnostic few.

How very convenient.

Another facet of my argument in service to dismantling heady-and-humble-sounding-yet-oppressive-doctrines-of-the-neo-reformed,-and-their-hammer,- the Calvinsts, is an appeal to rank logic:

The bible is an IT.  A created thing; inanimate, paper and ink, many translations, the linguistic representation of God’s revelation TO man about man and about God, through the context and perspective of its human authors.  Now, for the moment, let us assume that we all agree that the scriptures as we know them are, in fact, “utterly inspired” by the Spirit; that is, let’s not take the time right now to parse the definition of “inspired” and just what is meant by that term (e.g. I submit that many Christians, when they read “inspired”, think “dictated”).

The bible is an IT, as I said.  The Spirit is a HE.  The bible is inanimate.  The Spirit has a conscience.  The bible sits.  The Spirit moves.  The bible declares.  The Spirit thinks.  Man asks.  The bible states.  The Spirit answers.  The bible is static.  The Spirit acts.  Man grows.

If our definition of infallibility is the seemingly innocuous idea of the bible not being able to “lead astray”; incapable of error; utterly efficacious and useful in all it declares and counsels…then, if we are going to ascribe these attributes, which are decidedly a function of a living, selfaware conscience, then, by logical extension, we must apply them to ALL written works.  For if consciousness is no longer the worker of these ideas and actions, but they are now accepted as imputed to inanimate objects, like books (for all books are books; it is impossible that a thing can be a book AND something else, at its root, at the exact same time, even if the book is the bible), then what separates the infallibility of one inanimate work of literature from another?

The answer is:  nothing.  For there can be nothing.  If it is the WORK itself which we are declaring infallible, then there can be no delineation of “infallible” between one book or another, regardless of what kind of book it is.  For the intent, the purpose, Spirit, author, heart, etc., etc., no longer has any relevance to the work, but it is merely the work itself which is utterly complete; the summary definition of itself, encompassing all that it ever was, is, or will be.  THAT is the metaphysical problem when we invent redundant doctrines.  We make a mockery of God AND His Creation.  When we make the BOOK infallible, and not the Spirit, we make every book infallible, by definition, and the author and “inspiration” wholly irrelevant and redundant.  If a book is no longer a book, then there is nothing to prevent this idea from being “logically” applied categorically.  But if we argue that it is the Spirit which makes the book infallible, and his inspiration, then we concede the error of the entire doctrine.  We admit that no longer is the source of infallibility the bible itself, but the Spirit; and we have therefore agreed that the doctrine of biblical infallibility is redundant, and thus, unnecessary; and inconsistent with God and the faith. Which is great, because…well, truth wins.

And thus, there can be no appeal to biblical infallibility, then, that is not ultimately an appeal to idolatry at its root.  All infallibility is, is idolatry, because it infuses PERFECT consciousness and self-awareness, and the requisite implied characteristics —omnipotence, omniscience, omnipotence—to what is ultimately an inanimate work of man’s hands.  For it is man, not God, who is the literal author of the bible.  This is a fact that is not in dispute (the dispute I have is typical of my concerns for all of reformed thinking: the constant requirement that believers accept, yet again, that a thing IS and IS NOT, simultaneously; for example, man is, but is not the true author of the bible; the Holy Spirit is, but is not, the true author of the bible; man is both, the Spirit is both, and yet neither…and, again, metaphysical impossibility defines “sound doctrine” to the detriment of human beings everywhere).  If not for MAN, the bible would literally not exist nor have any meaning or truth whatsoever, because it would have no context…and this is what I mean by a work of man’s hands.  So, if you do not believe this imputing of conscious omnipotence and divine perfection to a work of man’s hands is idolatry—ascribing divine consciousness to a created inanimate thing—then I suggest (facetiously) you re-read the Old Testament, in particular, and allow the men who knew God well before you did to explain just what He felt about such things.

Beware of sweet-sounding false doctrine; that which the itching ears of the Calvinists and the power-hungry and the cognitively and spiritually lazy crave, which speaks to exploitation and lording.  Beware the holy facade of biblical infallibility, for it is the first doorway, behind which lies the foyer leading into the broader deception.

Only God is God.  There is nothing else which is an utter and complete IS apart from Him.  Anything else strips Him of his rightful place.  The doctrine of biblical infallibility makes the scriptures a talisman of elder-worship.

Response to Lydiasellerofpurple: The Reformed/Calvinist goal of destroying the moral code of biblical GOOD and EVIL

Recently, the very excellent and wise commenter on this and other blogs, Lydiasellerofpurple, directed me to a link where presumably a neo-Cal, or one who has apparently accepted certain reformed premises as “orthodox”, essentially claimed that they could not condemn Adam Lanza because, doctrinally, their sin was equally condemnable as his was.

Translation:  Just what I said in my post “Christianity: Cult of death, etc.”  If we accept Calvinist theology, WE are are no better than the man who murdered 20 innocent children and 8 innocent adults.  Who are we to judge?  Because but for the grace go I, right?

This is my response, with some editing changes and some additional thoughts blended in.  It was so long, I thought it would make a good post.  At any rate, it clarifies and emphasizes my points on this issue:

Thanks for that link, Lydia. Exactly. I already knew that this was what was going through their reformed minds. “How can we condemn this act? Why, just the other day I thought about stealing a paper clip from work…I am as depraved and wicked as he is.”

CJ Mahaney had a saying, it was my personal favorite because it illustrated so perfectly the lunacy and dysfunctional moral logic from which the theology proceeds:

“Mother Theresa has more in common with Adolph Hitler than with Jesus Christ.”

Now, on the some level, he isn’t wrong. There is a huge distinction between Creator and created. But that’s NOT what CJ means. No, this statement has one point, and it is to make a MORAL comparison; to say that Mother Theresa has more in common, in her moral desires and decisions, with Adolph Hitler than with Jesus Christ.

Now, how can anyone who is not insane make this kind of proclamation. Easy, the kind of person who sees morality in BEING. Mother Theresa’s sin lay precisely in the fact that she is NOT God. Thus, her sin is like yours and mind, and her sin is that she exists at all.

What I mean to say is that neo-Cals blur all moral, metaphysical and physical lines, so that man can make no distinction between them whatsoever. The resulting theological slop is thus parsed into neat little piles, with a ton of semantic gymnastics and redefining of terms, of cohesive and metaphysically impossible black and white (what I mean is that the “black and white” delineation is merely a very good illusion). One pile = God, the other = man. God is good. Man is evil. The IS is what links sin and goodness. Anything else about man is irrelevant because his very existence is his depravity and is why he can do no good. Why he is born condemned, and why he must be elect, and afterwards, compelled into sanctification. His entire existence is defined by an external power beyond himself. Sin nature or God, depending on his elect status. And this is due, again, to the fact that he exists at all.

This of course destroys morality completely, which is exactly what Calvinism is designed to do so that “good” and “bad” may be thus declared to be whatever the gnostic ecclesiastical leadership says it is. Once you are categorically convinced that you have no claim to yourself or your mind because you are depraved and wicked merely by being awake, you can be owned by anyone claiming special divine dispensation. And, really, who in the hell are you to argue? The only “good” you an remotely do, since your sin is that you are awake, is to go back to sleep.

This is what this is all about by declaring none of us any better than Adam Lanza. We exist, so did he, and that is why we are evil.

In addition, the idea of “any sin is equal sin” is also designed to destroy the concept of an objective morality that man can know; that is, kill the idea of good and evil. Think about it, if one sin is as equally heinous as any other, then the converse of that should be true, no? If one sin can condemn to hell, even if it’s something like lying about your weight to your friend, then one act of good should be grounds for your utter vindication before the Lord, right? I mean, if we are being consistent, one act of good, even if it is telling your friend that she or he looks particularly attractive that day, should be as equally righteous as Christ’s perfect morality.

So, why the double standard?

Well, there is no double standard, really, because the idea of “one sin is equal to all sins” has nothing to do with convincing us that we need Christ. It is ALL about destroying the idea of morality altogether so that gnostics can CREATE it for us. All sin is equal because in reality, there is NO such thing as sin. You can do NO good because your very existence is what makes you wicked. There isn’t any chance for a double standard because you can NEVER do any good at all, because all you do is a function of your existence, and your existence is the root of your evil.  And even salvation cannot change the status of your existence, so guess what?  You know all that Calvinist talk about preaching the Gospel to yourself everyday?  Staying at the “foot of the Cross”?  Well, now you know why.  Hard to stop sinning if your definition of sin is “I think, therefore I am…totally depraved” isn’t it?

There is obviously nothing in the faith or the bible to support this abominable lie. If existence itself is sin then that makes the Creator the author of evil. The fact is that man’s existence is GOOD, and has always been GOOD and it is man’s very consciousness, his reason, that allows him to acknowledge good and evil and thus cultivate volition and action in full awareness of the moral code. This means that sin and good are, in fact, existing in degrees. And they must, because the degrees of sin and goodness are the observable plumb lines for progress and regress; to know and understand when we are drawing to and away from God. They allow God to be at the center of what we do, and how we know where we stand relative to morality with regards to our individual context, and to recognize how God is working with us and how we are aware of what our relationship is with Him at any given moment and what we can expect and how we can grow. Once you destroy degrees, you destroy morality at its root.

And that is their goal.  Destroy the biblical code of good and evil so that they may capriciously re-write it.  Daily.  “Whimsically.”  Oh yes…THAT is the whimsical gospel.  Morality becomes whatever THEY say it is.

This is no recipe for good.

 

The Bible IS just a book: God is the I AM

This is a brief post on the ongoing battle between those who want to make the Bible God and those of us who declare that God is God, and that the Bible is, in fact, just a book.  It is an important book; yes, for it holds the revelation of God to man.  But it is a book in this sense:  that its meaning and truth are contextual to man.  It is first and foremost a true story about man.  And its efficacious meaning is revealed in how man applies the truths of the story to his own unique context, under the guidance of the only infallible thing:  God, as His Spirit.

This afternoon I spent some time thinking about how you reconcile “infallible” with “truth”.  After a while, it dawned on me that the two ideas are mutually exclusive to one another.  That is, they are completely separate concepts, and putting them together is like mixing sardines and cinnamon cereal.  There is no point, and forcing a point makes only a strange, incongruent, and ultimately confusing and ridiculous spectacle.  The cynic in me says that men do this to consolidate their selfish and wicked power over the barbarian masses.  This is not true in all cases, of course, but the bloody history of the Christian church indicates that it is true A LOT.

Truth and infallibility are incompatible ideas; it is senseless to put them together.  There is no such thing as infallible truth, there is just truth.  Truth doesn’t need to be infallible, it just needs to be true.  So then what we are really proclaiming when we appeal to biblical infallibility is a “special” sort of truth; an infallible truth, which isn’t really truth at all; it is God.

Infallibility is God.  And God just is (the I AM).  He is what He is.  Our appeal then to biblical infallibility means that we want to declare this of the Bible as well.  But that makes a created thing on par with God; meaning God has a created equal, which is metaphysically and physically impossible.  The Bible is either true, or it is not.  Infallibility can have nothing to do with it because infallibility can only be ascribed to God.  And again, if the Bible is indeed infallible, then it is the fourth member of the “Trinity” and as such, is useless to man, because man cannot apply God to his context because God is what He is apart from man; God creates man, man does not APPLY God to his own existence, then, he applies his knowledge about God, and that knowledge comes from a revealed truth ABOUT God; God HIMSELF is NOT the revelation; the revelation is the revelation.

When we say the Bible is infallible we declare falsely that the Bible also becomes an I AM.  Which means that it cannot be revealed or inspired by the Spirit, because it IS the Spirit, which makes it redundant, because the Spirit has no need to reveal Himself by recreating Himself.  The concept of biblical infallibility is therefore as ridiculous as it is impossible.

The Bible is how man can know how to live and who he is in light of his existence and God’s.  It is nothing more than that.  It is not divine in and of itself. It has no special powers.  It IS just a BOOK.  It is a book put together and written by MAN, canonized and organized in its present protestant form (speaking of the protestant churches) based on the actions and will of man, based upon what God has told him; a recreation in written language of God’s revelation. 

It is not supernatural, it is not to be worshiped, adored, followed AS God, idolized, or served.  It is not God.  It is a revelation of the truth of God.  And its meaning and relevance rests entirely upon the existence of, and application by man to man’s unique, individual context, guided by the Holy Spirit, who is the reason why the Bible does not need to be infallible, and furthermore, CANNOT be infallible.

Infallibility is a red herring issue, really, and that is my primary problem with it.  It can only confuse the faith, never clarify it. The idea of inerrancy or infallibility is, ultimately, completely irrelevant to our faith.  That is, in an attempt to say something about what we believe, we create a doctrine that is false because, among other things, it is simply not relevant to what we believe.

Christianity: Cult of death, culture of death, and its contribution to our society of death

In times of national tragedy like this, where 28 innocent human beings are shot dead in cold blood in the middle of the day, in the middle of an elementary school—a time where words cannot describe the horror and evil on display—we are tempted to turn to the Christian faith in an effort to assuage our fears, our sense of helplessness, and to offer hope and peace to those directly affected by such horror.

However, I think perhaps we must first ask ourselves, as good Christians, is this really a good idea?

I mean, in light of the marching hoards of reformed churches, with a heavy and heavy-handed emphasis on Calvinism, even to the point where traditionally non-Calvinist churches are accepting certain reformed doctrines specific to that faith as being utter, God-breathed TRUTH…yes, in light of this, we must ask ourselves again:  Is this really a good idea? Does Christianity in fact have anything to offer those who have suffered?  Or, have we reached a point where the secular society, even atheists perhaps, show rank common human decency and compassion beyond what any “Christian” can offer?  I submit that, yes, this is indeed the case.

This is the case because Christianity, in embracing the reformed premises of total depravity, original sin, and election, biblical infallibility, and scores of other metaphysically and morally impossible and hypocritical doctrines, has become, in fact a cult of death.

What do I mean by this?

I mean that what Christianity means today is:  if you are a human, you just aren’t worth anything.  Indeed, your sin is your existence.  God doesn’t like you.  God only likes Himself, and since you are not Him, He hates your guts.  Now, and forever.  He laments your very existence.  Any good in you is Himself, thus the only thing about you he can possibly love is Himself. If you are not elect, he doesn’t care if you are slaughtered, because, again, your existence is your sin.  If you are elect, He still doesn’t like you, but if He shows you favor, know this:  it is not you He favors, but Himself.  You he hates, and so if you happen to be gunned down by a madman, rejoice in your suffering.  For the pain is the plumb line of truth.  For believer and non-believer alike, the more you suffer, the more you are doing the only “good” you can do.  The more the pain, the more you realize the TRUTH of your existence.  That you are an abomination, and your sin is that you are awake.

This, my friends, is Calvinism; this is the root of reformed theology.  And this is why those who suffer need to run from Christians, not to them.  It is sad, but we have no hope, no comfort to offer.  Nothing.  God hates them.  What else is there to say?

You think I’m horrible, don’t you.  You think I’m a heretic.  You might not personally burn me a the stake for my apostasy; my vile wickedness; my rejection of God; my lack of faith and my lack of suspending my disbelief to proclaim that God can in fact both love and hate sinful, depraved, horrible, wicked humanity at the same time…no, you might not do it.  You might even deign to pay lip service to the fact that it would be wrong to do such a thing.  Vengeance is the Lord’s and all that, right, says your infallible bible.  But, if it happened, if I was led to the bonfire, with my blog and my words burning at my feet like Michael Servitus under the “great reformer”, John Calvin, you wouldn’t care so much, would you?  Deep down, you wouldn’t protest.  I got what I deserve, so this must be God’s vengeance.   For I told people to not turn to Jesus in a time of national tragedy.  And for that, I deserve to die the heretic’s death.

I know.  I know.  It’s okay.  If you are a Calvinist, it is in perfect keeping with your beliefs.  But know this:  whatever hate God has for me, he has for you.  Whatever loathsome thing He finds in me, He finds in you.  I could say even worse things, and I still it would be doctrinally consistent to declare that I may be the elect one and you may be the damned one.

Your righteous indignation at me amounts to nothing; it is all filthy rags.  You must know this.  You have no collateral against me to show to God.  For according to your own doctrine, you are NO BETTER THAN the one who slaughtered 20 innocent children.

Yes, know this before you condemn me.

But you will condemn me anyway, because your doctrine is based on utter contradiction and inconsistency.  You will condemn because you have no choice, because in your mind, your Calvinism only applies to others.  You are one of the gnostic few…a divinely gifted one.  You have the keys to the kingdom, and your condemnation of me, though you are a depraved worm, is proof that God has gifted you to condemn .  Oh, the irony…the impossibility of this thinking.  But that is you.  It is how you can function from day to day.  If you were consistent, you would not be a Calvinist.  And if you ceased to function by impossible contradiction, you would collapse into a heap of useless bones; spontaneously combust inside your own doctrinal funhouse.

It is okay for you to kill others and claim you do it out of righteousness because you have no standard of reason or truth.  All you know is you react; and all of it is God’s will, by your doctrine of divine determinism.  Your indignation at my words is not of you, because it is righteous, so it must be of God.

But how do you know?  You don’t.  You are spiritual and literally insane.  And so you can do anything you want.  Even to the point of becoming hypocritically indignant at people who point out that what you believe destroys life, and cannot save it.

You still doubt me.  I know you do.  These words of mine…shock value.  Nothing more.  I’m a smart-ass, capitalizing on death to make a point.

John Piper says this tragedy reminds us of how depraved our souls are.  The translation of this is simple:  God hates you as much as He hates the man who did this, because to Him, there is NO difference.

Within seconds of this tragedy hitting the news, I bet there were thousands of people (indeed, I read it myself on some blogs) declaring:  Who can understand the mind of God?  Who can explain why this was in His plan?

Folks, this is called “determinism”, and it is decidedly reformed.  This is “God controls all things”.

The translation of this seemingly sympathetic statement is this:  God wanted this to happen. He didn’t just allow it, HE did it.  Nothing happens outside of His Will, you see, and so this was planned; pre-ordained.  It could not have gone any other way.  He wanted those beautiful innocent children to die at the hands of a madman; to remind us that we are all likewise horrible, and hated by God.

So, declaring this a lesson in total depravity and determinism means this to me:  God hates your soul, and He will kill children to prove it.

In this way, Christianity is no different than the secular culture of our times, which says that individuals exist to be slaughtered.  We see it in movies, in games, in our altruistic mindsets.  Christianity confirms this, in its own way.  Sure, people can be killed; for that is their greatest good…suffering, death, slavery, subjugation, servitude.  But leave the killing and the autocracy where it belongs:  in the hands of the neo-reformed mystic despots.

The problem is, of course that this is a total lie.  God doesn’t hate you, or those children, whose innocent souls were so NOT depraved that John Piper, stuck in the stocks of his Calvinism, cannot even possibly begin to sympathize with their parents or offer anything in the way of hope or comfort.  He is dead, by his own doctrinal definition.

So we will ignore Piper’s theology of death, after condemning it for the wickedness it is, and turn to what we know is really true of God.

God loves these children.  He LOVES them.  He grieves.  These innocent children are in heaven.  They are with God; and He is telling them now that this was NOT the plan He had for them.  It was not His will.  It was never His will.  His will is life, not death.  His will is for people to be, not to die.

He is happy they are with Him.  He loves them, and they will dwell and sing and play and live with God forever and ever, in His fields of flowers, rolling with angels, protected by God, and are in such great comfort and bliss that you and I cannot even imagine.  God is telling those children that He is moved to tears by such horror; that this is not what He wanted for them.  He never intended this, and He longed to see them grow and live and love and be.

But He is happy they have come to Him.  It’s early, but He is prepared.  They are taken in and all is ready.  Parents, people:  God loves these children, and they are in bliss with Him now.  This is a fact, and no one will harm your little ones ever again.

God and Christ love us all.  God did not plan this.  Prayer helps this.  Prayer can prevent this in the future  because there is power to move reality through prayer, based on our will and our right understanding of what is good.  There is a relationship with Christ that is real; that is not determined, and that is rooted in love and life, and says that it is impossible for man to exist if it is God’s will that he should die.

And until this is the message of Christians, Christianity will continue to be a cult of death.

The Stocks of Christ: The “grace” of God means John Bradford already went, not that he didn’t.

I suspect a LOT of people entrapped within the neo-Cal juggernaut feel outside themselves, trapped, and strangers to who and what they are, lost and in a perpetual state of terrified uncertainty (they can’t even know if they are really saved); even some of those who may be its most outspoken proponents. It isn’t that they necessarily deny their feelings. It’s that they really think that those feelings are wicked; that the lack of joy cannot possibly be rooted in the fatalistic determinism which drives the theology, but must certainly be instead due to their ongoing depravity and their deep seated inability to be anything other than horrible people, and “but for the grace of God go [them]” (with all due respect, Mr. Bradford, there is something else besides grace that can keep one from the noose; NOT committing a crime) and all of the rest of the incoherent metaphysics . They put up with the torment because they think that this is their cosmic, divine duty. The more miserable they are the better; they are getting their just desserts for being born, after all. And they count themselves lucky!! They think that no matter how terrorized they are in their spirits, no matter how destructive the sum of the neo-Cal doctrine is to humanity, surely it’s better then “what they deserve”…for what they “deserve” are the gallows that John Bradford’s criminals got, even though they likely have as much in common with those convicts as with a spinning toad stool. Whatever…more neo-Calvinist sensationalist propaganda designed to confuse people about who and what they worship, and what God’s love really IS and what it ISN’T.  Doesn’t the bible say that the civil authorities wield the sword of punishment for society’s evildoers?  Why then such fatalistic determinism about a fairly clear biblical truth about the cause and effect of doing evil deeds and getting caught by the cops?  Why this “but for the grace” bit?   Well, I’m guessing that John Bradford copped to the idea that we are all going to burn regardless of what we do, because there really is no TRUTH except that the existence of man is the root of his evil, and so doing or not doing is not only irrelevant, but functionally impossible, really, because we are all bound by some inexorable sin nature that is outside of us, controlling us, usurping us, and yet,WE are still to blame somehow because our inability to choose is based on the choice we made to have a sin nature…and that, whether a criminal or not, but for the grace of some categorically arbitrary “election” process by God, via a cosmic game of eeny-meeny-miney-moe, all of our asses are doomed.

But yes, this is what these poor tortured souls suffering under the boot of Calvinist tyranny really think.  They are just so doggone lucky God isn’t REALLY giving them what for…why He oughta just…and they’d better smile while it’s happening, too.  Why, if they got what they deserved, they might be like those well-adjusted and happy humans who actually think God loves them…yes, they’d be deceived like those poor happy doomed souls. Ah, if only those happy “sinners” knew the depth of their sin (who foolishly think that because THEY accepted Christ that they are saved; when the truth is that most are probably not elect at all, you know…poor bastards). If only they knew that they needed to really just stop being so doggone in love with God and thankful that He loves and cares for them and answers their prayers and instead would just go to the cross, everyday, and get re-saved over and over and over again, to the point where the cross becomes the wooden stocks of puritanical self-deprecation and rank self-hatred and rank hatred of humanity in general until they all but declare God a fool or even creating such a person as they are; and they sit in the Stocks of Christ all day every day while the world throws rotten tomatoes upon their depraved souls because of course, their very existence warrants the abuse…they deserve the spit and rotten broccoli in the mouth because they breath, and even that is done in “sin”. But hey…at least they are elect.

Unless they aren’t.

And,again, they can’t really know one way or the other, because by definition they must deny every thought and deed as filthy rags. For even their hope is sin. So…they wait in the stocks and let the world pass them by and hope that in the end it is all worth it.

And sanctification?  Well, that’s a laugh now, isn’t it.  If you are a person who really believes all that the Calvinists say about you, do you honestly think there is even a shred of the smallest mite of a point to considering just what YOU can do to be good?  I didn’t think so.  And neither do you.  If you happen to smile and forgive the person that got you right in the eye with that moldy turnip, well then, you can just thank God that but for the grace you didn’t go to…the…er…uh…but wait.  There you are, in the stocks, so, where is God’s grace, exactly?  It seems that you actually did go to the place that John said you didn’t go but for God’s grace so…  Oh, who cares, right?  We are all good Calvinists here.  Why quibble over little details like metaphysical, doctrinal, and rational consistency.

At any rate, the smile or the forgiveness in your heart must be of God and never from you because, after all, you’re in the stocks, and you are there for a reason, and it sure as hell isn’t because YOU can do good.  You were born to be there, and so what on earth makes you think that you can sanctify yourself away from the daily torture of the Stocks of Christ?

Sanctification!  Ha, ha.  Yeah.  That’s funny stuff.  As if.

Now, let’s be honest and just grab our courage and our sense and call this what it is: spiritual madness and gnostic tyranny of the worst kind.  This kind of thinking is insane and it cannot possibly be from God.  Here’s the real reason you cannot earn God’s love, and it doesn’t have a thing to do with the false doctrine of pervasive depravity, and certainly nothing to do with the fatalistic determinism wrapped up in the notion of “but for the grace of God go I”.  The reason people cannot earn God’s love is because He has ALWAYS loved them. He doesn’t think they are depraved; He thinks they are good because HE is the author of their reason, and reason, being the CORE of man’s ability to BE, thus must be GOOD.  Man is GOOD, and his existence is GOOD; and His work is good.

I can already hear your thoughts.  But Jesus said “Only God is good.”  Yes, in context, Jesus is absolutely right.  Only God is good because only God is good outside of anything else.  That is, God is synonymous with good because beyond anything else, there will always be God, and God thus MUST be perfect, and thus any proclamation of good by God means that He, Himself is the perfect embodiment of it.  I’m not suggesting people are good in that way.  What I’m suggesting is what I’ve already said.  Man is good because his reason is of God.  His reason is how he can know TRUTH, and God is TRUTH.  If man was really totally depraved he could never, ever know God, and so God could not have created him in the first place.  God would not be known, not because of some fictional depravity, but because man wouldn’t be around to have a thought in his head.  Man’s existence is the very testimony to man’s goodness.  Man is the pinnacle of God’s creation; a creature that is self-aware and free to pursue God in spirit and truth, which is how God pursues Himself.  A being with this inherent Ability CANNOT be totally depraved.

But, one of the reasons the Calvinists get away with their humanity-razing and self-serving theology is because, in a way, they say the right things. They say, for example, that we all need Jesus. They say we cannot earn God’s love. All those things, yes, sound so biblical and true; but see, they are never questioned as to just what they MEAN. And by the time you actually figure out that what they say is so different than the what the truth is, you are already ten miles down the road, confused, nodding and declaring them your overlord “standing in the stead” (and this is just what happened to me; but I blame myself). But once you realize that the premises behind the “orthodox” sounding words is completely contrary to what God actually thinks about man, then the whole false front collapses. The point is: never concede or agree with a Calvinist until you understand what the basis of the point is. NEVER concede a premise. NEVER nod your head when they say something like, “Well, surely we can both agree that God is good.” Because the minute you do that, they have got you on the rails that lead inexorably to THEIR gnostic conclusions, and before you know it, your into the cohesive theology so deeply you can’t ever remember where you started (but they will remind you by simply saying: Just remember, you are awful…so “God is good”, becomes, YOU are awful, and that’s all you need to know).

Because, while yes, God certainly is good, that isn’t the POINT. God’s goodness isn’t a proclamation of TRUTH coming from a Calvinist, because if it was, they’d understand it can only mean: therefore, YOU should CHOOSE to follow Him, because this is wise. But that’s not what they mean. When they say God is good, they mean: you CAN’T possibly follow God because you are evil. The point of God is good is merely to remind you that YOU are not. And that is not the Biblical implication of the truth “God is good”. So, the Calvinists get away with their heresy because they use Biblical language as slight-of-hand. God is good doesn’t mean, God is TRUTH, or God’s work is perfect, or God craves the salvation of all people because He loves them. No, God is good means: man is vile, obey us.

Creation is God’s Labor; General Human Existence is GOOD; the Soul of Man is GOOD

ALL men and women have worth and value to God, inherently, as a function of their very EXISTENCE. Whether they are saved or not does not mean, necessarily, that God loves them less than He loves you or me, it is that they are separated by the chasm of the loss of innocence. Salvation, then, is all about US freely accepting HIM, not vice versa, because it is for us, not for Him. Our very existence is the implicit divine concession that He ALREADY accepts people; that is, He already loves them and declares their creation GOOD. Because if they weren’t good, He could not have created them, by definition of his very perfection. Salvation then, is born out of the inherent LOVE God has for all people as evidenced by their existence, and He offers them a way to regain their innocence of the Law so that they can co-exist with Him in eternity. Total depravity is a lie because God cannot create evil. People can DO evil, but they cannot be created as inherently so; and that means that the evil they do is volitional, and not compelled by an external force they were born with.

Now, I don’t mean to say that salvation is of ourselves…of course not. But there seems to be this pervasive understanding that God doesn’t love people; that the loss of innocence means that God stopped loving his Creation; that it stopped being good. And that just isn’t the case at all. Existence did not stop being good after Adam and Eve; but that is not what the Calvinists believe. They believe that God’s first and foremost reaction to man is not love, is not a declaration that man is good, because his very existence is what is evil about him. And in light of this, it is not hard to understand just why Calvinists still see humans as primarily despised by God, even after salvation; and indeed, within five minutes of a conversation, I mean LITERALLY, with almost any Christian I run into I’m being told how horrible they are, and how they just cannot understand why God didn’t smite them before morning coffee. They think that merely waking up in morning is an act of apostasy! Imagine the living hell life is for these people! And, when you ask them “why is that?”, or “why do you say that?”, or “why do you believe that about yourself?”, the only consistent sin they can really ever cohesively define, that I can see when I organize the confusion and contradictions in their theological explanations, is their existence. And we wonder why evangelizing the lost is so anemic it is practically a corpse today in the American church. It isn’t so much the doctrine of “election” (but that’s a big part of it), but…who in their right mind would wish this “faith” on even their worst enemy, let alone their neighbors and friends? I hated the thought of telling people about Jesus when I was a Calvinist. I couldn’t bear to think of these nice people having to live with the soul-sucking self-loathing inherent to the “sound doctrine”. It seemed, ironically, so heartless.

So…I know this is confusing, but what I’m trying to say is that if you are a Calvinist, then God despises everyone, saved or unsaved, because, according to their doctrine, He must, because there is no good in man, so God has to do everything for him; and that means that any good they ever do is really HIM doing it. So there is nothing ever to love. There is zero inherent worth to people. Their sin is simply their existence, period. Because, since the only thing people can can really do of themselves is BE according to Calvinism, then, again, existence is the root of what God hates about man. I know people think I’m exaggerating; its all hyperbole; and no one’s pastor actually believes or teaches this. But that is only because, inherent to their belief system is the cessation of thinking and asking questions. A depraved person cannot think, and so there is nothing to ask. If people start thinking, and asking, the primrose path will inexorable lead to this conclusion: God hates you because you exist. You have no right to BE, and that is why WE WILL own you.

And yet, He is the Creator, no? Yes He is. So then what are we saying? God hates existence. And if God hates existence, of which HE is the summary definition, then He hates what He has done: Exist and Create–the sum of His perfection, indeed, are found in these two things. So, in other words He hates what He does (His labor), which means He hates Himself (one IS his labor). Thus, a hatred of man (via that scapegoat of “sinful nature”), is a hatred of God. And this is why this theology is so evil, It denies God on every level. It denies His perfection. It supplants God with gnostic nihilists.

Now, contrast that with what you and I believe, via LOVE, which is the root of the two greatest commandments. If God loves us as believers, then He must love all people. Because what drives the gift of Christ is LOVE. Love exists before and after salvation. And if God loves human beings, without respecting persons, then existence truly IS and always will be GOOD. And this is what must form the root of our Christianity if we are to truly love as God loves: the existence of people is GOOD, period. People are GOOD to BE. The divine right of Man is the right to exist.

Complementarianism: Who is superior, and who is not; and does it really matter anyway?

This is one of my recent comments that was published on the very excellent site Wartburg Watch.  I’m copying it as a post on my blog because it establishes a point that needs to be made clear, and consistently acknowledged, I think, for all of us who are struggling, or did struggle under the boot of neo-Reformed/neo-Calvinist religious despotism in the modern American Church:

The issue of who is inferior and who is superior in the male/female dichotomy is irrelevant. It is a slight-of-hand tactic the neo-Cals use in order to draw attention away from the real issue. They may be right that, strictly speaking, there is no greater than/lesser than relationship between men and women according to their teachings on the subject (and, really, who among the pervasive depraved is superior except for the gnostics “standing in the stead”?). But, again, that’s not the real issue. The real issue is that the whole complementarian doctrine is simply another way for church leadership to monopolize the power constructs and to enslave the laymen for their own benefit.

Anyone with even a base knowledge of neo-reformed teaching understands that the crux of their orthodoxy rests upon the idea that you do not belong to you, but you belong to them (because they are God to you). All doctrines are built around this idea: that YOU are irrelevant to your life, your salvation, and to God. You are worthless; and the only true good you can do is acknowledge that you must be a bystander to yourself and allow the proper ecclesiastical authorities to tell you who you really are and what you are really allowed to think and do as a proxy of the “Holy Spirit” (themselves, playing God)…assuming you are actually one of the elect; it is impossible for you to really know until you die. The false and fabricated doctrine of complementarianism is wholly devoted to this endeavor. By demanding that women and men (for men are equally tyrannized by this doctrine) fulfill “roles”, they demand that you accept that you are not who you want to be, or who you are, but who THEY want you to be and who THEY say you are.

So the problem has nothing to do with the subterfuge of “superiority”; the problem is that by demanding women fulfill their “proper biblical roles” (a lie), they effectively, as with other doctrines, remove humanity from itself. By agreeing that we are obligated to a role based solely on THEIR interpretation of what is “orthodox”, we agree that they OWN us. We are slaves to the ecclesiastical authority. Our “God” is no further than the random neo-Cal despot behind the plexiglass.

You think this is hyperbole. After all, your neo-Cal pastor has never said such a thing. They love women; and value them.

Wrong. They hate women, they hate men. The love they have for humans extends no further than whatever “role” they demand people fall into. Look at every point of TULIP. Every single one boils down to this premise:

You have NO RIGHT to YOU. You are a troublesome bit of filth which constantly stands in the way of some external force (either God or sin nature) which, by divine “election”, claims true, biblical right of ownership of your soul, mind, and body.

So, for those arguing that complementarianism doesn’t advocate superiority of roles…well, first, that’s a lie and you know it. Because all of the “greater gifts” are, for the reformed crowd, a men-only club. So stop lying and at least have the guts to say what you really mean. And second, it doesn’t matter anyway because the inherent evil in your doctrine isn’t with a definition of one human being being superior to another (which IS evil, and which is exactly what complementarianism defends) it is the lie of “biblical roles”.