Monthly Archives: February 2013

Various Anti-Calvinist Metaphysical Points, and Some Dispute on the Nature of Time

Recently I have been engaging heavily in the arena of ideas over at the wonderful and informative and necessary site, Wartburg Watch.  If you’ve not visited this cite, I highly recommend you do so.  The two self-described “Blog Queens” over there bravely and unabashedly tackle some of the biggest problems and controversies in Christendom today, not the least of which is the false doctrine and heresy of what some describe as “new Calvinism” (which I submit is really simply Calvinism, but instead of a robe or brown friar frock, its Khakis and button ups…or, for the more “hipster mega churches”, 40-plus-year old gnostic tyrants looking weird and creepy dressed up as 21 year old college boys (nothing says mid-life-crisis-as-an-attempt-at-upper-middle-class-mass-appeal like saggy eyes, grey hair (or receding hairline, or no hair, if you are Josh Harris) and tight jeans and a track jacket.  My former SGM despot-in-the-stead was probably late fifties and wore flip flops with blue jeans–gross–but at least not when he was demagoguing…er, I mean, “preaching”).

At any rate, that’s what’s been keeping me from posting for so long. And I wrote so much over at Wartburg that I decided that instead of writing a new entry for my site I would simply edit (for clarity and brevity…well, okay, it’s me, so probably not much brevity) and post a portion of what I wrote over there, over here.  After this I’ll return to my normal programming with the series on “A Double-Minded God”.  After that, I’ll eventually get around to addressing some hard core metaphysical issues that will be sure to raise some eyebrows.

But, fair warning, I have recently been treated to some Calvinist double-speak…er, essays, I mean…regarding what they call the “heresy” of Pelagianism.  I actually hadn’t heard of Pelagius and, seeings as he was condemned as a heretic by BOTH the Catholic Church in general and Augustine, the “philosopher king” gnostic, himself,  my interest was immediately piqued.  Apparently, the Calvinists have an affinity for calling Arminians “semi-Pelagian” as a means to denigrate Arminian theology.  Well, after reading up on Monk Pelagius I have concluded that I do in fact share in many of his doctrinal ideas, most notably the denial of Original Sin and Predestination.

Though I do not wish to label myself, because, really, I haven’t found anyone yet who shares my metaphysics–they are my own–I would describe myself as not semi-Pelagian, but rather semi-semi-Pelagian.  Why “semi-semi”?  Because that’s how much I really like this guy.  He was calling out the gnostic insanity almost two thousand years before any of us.

So, my point is that if you’ve been on the fence as to whether or not to label me a heretic for denying all five points of TULIP, the impossibility of God knowing the future and past, that women are every bit as qualified to be pastors as men, that I deny “biblical roles” as false doctrine which is nothing but oppression of women, that the Bible is not inerrant nor infallible and sometimes the guys who wrote it simply didn’t understand things…well, now’s the chance to run away with your conscience clear.  Officially, according to both the Catholic Church and just about every church which sprung into existence from the Protestant Reformation, I am, in fact, a heretic.

But keep this in mind:  any group which the CALVINISTS and the CATHOLICS (both of whom, by the way, are either guilty of or seriously suspected of fairly recently covering up multiple counts of child sexual abuse) declare heretical must, by utter logical necessity and default, be given a fair hearing.  I hereby request that my few loyal readers stay with me and hear me out.

But if you choose to hop, skip, and jump from this harmless little old heretic…well, I can’t promise to understand.

But, it’s a free country.  And I’m not a Calvinist tyrant, so you won’t need to assume I’ll be drawing up “church discipline” papers on you.  We’ll leave that for the real heretics, shall we?

Anyway…next up, the first post on various anti-Calvinist points made during the past week, by me, on Wartburg Watch.  Interestingly, I was engaged in debates with those who are, in fact, harshly critical of Calvinism.  But the problem even with non-Calvinists is that SO MANY still insist on holding to the root doctrines that force them to cede the debate to the neo-Reformers every time, almost without exception.

For example, as soon as you agree that Predestination and Free-Will are, in fact, “paradoxical”, and that you “really don’t understand it…and we were just not meant to know certain things”, you have lost the debate. For IF predestination is either not outright rejected as the incomplete understanding or faulty metaphysics of the writers of the Bible, or re-interpreted so that it is utterly consistent with free-will (and I believe that you can do the latter, but I honestly have no problem with the former…predestination, in the grand scheme of Christian doctrinal and theological and world-view application can have NO bearing on what we do or what we think or how we live or what we tell people because it simply confuses the issues, muddies the waters, and makes Christianity look like Eastern mysticism).

So, I found myself in the strange position of having both Calvinists and non-Calvinists riled up at me.  That?  Was kind of weird.  But, hey, irrational metaphysics and logically impossible explanations of “faith” are bad no matter who thinks them.  It doesn’t matter who prepares it, you can’t give a person a good meal from rotten meat, regardless of how good the intentions of the chef are.

Coming soon, in audio form, my first post from my discussions/arguments/tugs-of-wars/hate speech (just kidding) from this past week on Wartburg Watch.

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The Lie and Confusion of “Inclined Towards Sin” Explained

Have you ever noticed how much time Calvinists spend trying to convince you that TOTAL depravity really doesn’t mean TOTAL at all?

Their “explanation”  is really nothing more than nonsense and doublespeak used to clarify and qualify more nonsense and double speak.  Either something is TOTAL or its not, and if it is not, why call it TOTAL depravity in the first place?

Why?  Because TOTAL is precisely what they mean.  They are lying when they declare TOTAL does not mean TOTAL.  Because if they defined TOTAL as TOTAL then they understand that the flock (usually more qualified, better educated, and more astute than many of their “teachers and preachers”) will quickly realize that they have been subdued by mysticism propagated by gnostic overlords who think that the “sheep” are mindless, wicked barbarians that are to be beaten, cajoled, blackmailed, threatened, pushed, shoved, or even tricked, coddled, wooed into “right position” with God; whom they alone have real access to.

And that is precisely why they use and mean TOTAL when they are formally labeling the doctrine (complete, utter, absolute, a whole quantity, an entirety…unless my dictionary is lying). When they say TOTAL, they mean TOTAL.

But if they seek to “clarify” it for you when you logically and rightly discern that the practical implications of TOTAL depravity are desperately wicked and destructive, they do not really mean what they are telling you TOTAL really means.  They are either ignorant of the logical inconsistency of what they are arguing, or they are deliberately trying to mislead you.  It is always one of the two.  It cannot rationally be anything else.  Like, for example, TOTALITY cannot rationally be “inclined”.  Why? Well…

“Inclined:  Having a preference, disposition, tendency”

Two different words; different meanings altogether.  Think of it this way.  Suppose you are going to have lung cancer surgery.  Do you want a doctor who is TOTALLY qualified, or a doctor who is inclined to be qualified?  One who is completely and utterly qualified to cut you open with a long sharp object, or even better, a LASER, or do you want one who tends to be qualified?

Yeah.  Me too.

Why do I mention “inclined”?  Because that is the Calvinist spin-word for TOTAL.  They say this means that you can choose Christ, but you never will.  Now the key word is NEVER…they do not even claim an exception to “prove” the rule that humans are really “inclined” towards sin as opposed to wholly devoted to it unto blindness which is what TOTAL means (e.g., an exception could be:  I’m inclined to like chocolate, but on occasion I have picked vanilla for this or that reason).  For if a human NEVER will choose, and NEVER has chosen Christ of their own free will, then there is no sense at all—no reasonable purpose—to claim that what they, the Calvinists, mean by TOTAL is “inclined”.  The word inclined presumes that at some point, the inclination can a be overcome by the wholly separate faculty of WILLPOWER, or self-will, that man is on some level a separate entity from whatever he might be “inclined” towards, and this is what is meant by the exception that proves the rule.  To prove an “inclination” rather than a resolute, innate disposition, it must be reasonably shown that there are exceptions to a behavior that warrants the use of a lighter term like “inclined” instead of “indefatigably restricted by”.  In the case of free will/choice/moral action, the only reasonable way one can use “inclined” is by seeing an exception.  By seeing someone make a “free choice” for GOOD.  And if they do that, well then man is obviously not totally depraved.  Man, in general, must have free will.  And if man is free to choose Christ, by the exception shown to indicate that man is indeed “inclined” towards sin, rather than imprisoned by it TOTALLY, then man cannot be said EVER to be TOTALLY depraved…that is, having no separation between himself and sin.  And if man is not totally depraved, but truly merely inclined, then men and women in general are free to choose (for if ALL men are “inclined”, then NONE are bound), and rather, are actually quite culpable for their OWN moral behavior.  And if we concede that, then we must concede that the moral law is something that is outside of man, and is something that he must SEE and APPREHEND of his own ability.  And if the moral law is outside of man that he should use his faculties given by God to know it, see it, and do it, according to his ability, then we must admit that man, as a created being of God is GOOD in and off himself; and that this GOOD is what is redeemed by Christ.  That he is free to walk in his INNATE GOODNESS (innate by very definition of his EXISTING; man’s existence is GOOD) because God has, by Christ’s sacrifice, redeemed man to a place of moral purity, or in a sense, an a-moral absolutism, where his existence is once again defined as a creature of God, and thus is GOOD, and is not longer defined by the knowledge of Good and Evil; that is, the understanding that when man is separated from God, his morality is not a function of his innate GOOD existence as a created thing by God, but is a function of the dualistic nature implied and imputed, a combination of good AND evil, by a self-aware consciousness that has freely decided to recognize a moral existence APART from God.  Thus, no matter how much GOOD a person does, the GOOD is only defined by the EVIL which constitutes the inexorable reciprocal meaning of that GOOD.  Put simply, Christ removes the EVIL part of the equation so that man’s fundamental moral definition is simply: IS, or EXITS.  And THIS is GOOD.

So, with that said, there can then be only one practical reason to use the word “inclined” to describe TOTAL depravity.  And this should be obvious by now:

To deceive.

They want to have their metaphysical cake and eat it, too.  They want to be able to play both of the free will/totally-enslaved-to-sin sides of the coin when it suits them.  The want to declare total depravity when they demand your submission or your property, or loyalty or your propaganda on their behalf; or when they get caught in their own sin or abuse or criminal activities…oh yes, then it’s all “but for the grace of God go I; we are ALL just sinners saved by grace, so don’t judge me, don’t leave my church, don’t stop giving your money to me; you are TOO DEPRAVED to even see your own evil, let alone judge me, take the log out of your own eye, sinner!”  But if there is some kind of direct fallout in their churches from the heretical and abusive doctrines they teach; some child is abused by a man in the congregation, some wife beaten, some blackmail covered up,  then they looooooove to point and say “He did it!  It was him, ALLLLLL the way!  It’s not us!  We never taught that…we only counseled that they not go to the police, we only counseled that they not go see a real psychiatrist, so don’t accuse US; he made HIS OWN CHOICE; HE HAS FREE WILL; HE IS ONLY INCLINED TOWARDS SIN!”

Case in point:  All the self-righteous churches leaving Sovereign Grace Ministries.  They are hypocrites.  Exactly what I am talking about.  They are playing the free-will trump card on CJ now that it looks like too many rodents are jumping ship, or one loud first officer (Brent Detwiler) decides to commit the seminal act of doctrinal hypocrisy and dump a thousand pages of sin sniffing all over the internet.  CJ is guilty because he “freely” acted in a way that the HE should not have acted in.  According to their own belief in total depravity, they can ONLY forgive CJ and let him continue to do whatever he wants until the Lord “allows him to see”.  CJ’s sins can never be his fault, by definition.  They use the free-will trump aspect of “inclined” to accuse him and jump from one sinking doctrinal ship to another.  And why?

I’ll leave that up to you.  Is it because it is the right thing to do; are they convicted?  Or, is it something more convenient?

In the end, Calvinist despots define TOTAL just like I do, except they need people confused about the truth of this carefully and purposefully selected word of Calvin’s–TOTAL.  But the fact is that if you can choose, but never will, because you are inclined to sin, then “inclination” simply becomes a euphemism for being totally bound to your innate nature so that you can never, ever resist it because it is impossible for you to find anything in your very being by which to resist it; and even more, you could never even WANT to resist it because it is YOU that would have to resist it.  And you ARE sin. So, you are irrefutably and helplessly bound to follow the dictates of your “inclination”

In other words……you’re totally depraved.

A Double Minded God: How the neo-Reformation’s silver tongue is neutralizing faith and morality beyond the confines of its own seductive mouth (Part 1)

“The same God who brings the storm to your life is the same One who will rebuke it.”

Said the quaint little old man.  Sounding rather like a shaman more than a pastor.  Well…no, not really.  He sounded rather like a neo-Reformed mystic, which is the way the church is sounding in general these days.  Christianity stripped of its Jewish philosophical foundations and pressed, mashed, hashed and crushed into the square hole of Greco-Roman gnosticism; with a little flavoring of the hyper-conservative political middle finger thrown in for good measure, to give it the illusion of solidarity with Libertarianism (or, rather, Enlightenment liberalism, which is what this Republic was founded upon).

In the end it is merely one thing really.  Destructive evil.  I have often said it and I will continue to say it:  The greatest strategic move of the Enemy was to remove the Jewish roots of Christianity and replace them with European paradoxical mythology-as-philosophy instead. This move has removed man from himself, made God a hypocrite, and Jesus irrelevant.  And at the same time, having found really cohesive and heavily bound damed-if-you-don’t form in Calvin’s Institutes (as well as a little help from the fear-mongering, authoritarianism, and stake-burning of his friends Luther, Knox, Edwards, the Puritans, and so on and so forth) it is so hard to see.

Anyway…

You remember the story, right?  From Matthew.  The Disciples, a boat, a hearty storm, fear, and a pleading for a rescue.  An asking of the Son of Man, “Do you not care if we perish?”  And something tells me that they weren’t being facetious or rhetorical.  That was a real question, born out of real fear from a real storm that they knew and understood posed a real danger to their lives.  They saw the danger and they were afraid.  Cause and effect, nature and man doing what they do, according to their ability to act…according to their ability to exist, which means that they cannot in fact BE God, they must be themselves.  If they are themselves, then they act according to themselves, not according to God’s control, nor according to God’s predestination, nor His foreknowledge.  But wholly and utterly of themselves alone.  Because a Creation that is controlled by God is determined by God, and that makes Creation redundant.  For God cannot create a thing to do something He can do better Himself, which is everything, by definition, because He is everything that HE needs to be.  And thus if Creation exists it exists for itself, not FOR God, meaning that God created Creation in order that it DO and BE apart from God, not under his direct control, and it must have its own purpose, and its own ways of achieving that purpose, that involves a relationship with the Creator, but not a possession by Him.  Because if it was necessary that God control Creation, then Creation becomes merely an extension of God, which is redundant, and metaphysically contradictory, and this is impossible.

But, though they like to think they use reason and logic to argue their reformed points, they could not be further from the truth.  For contradiction can never be equated with “reason”; I don’t care how smart R.C. Sproul thinks he sounds.  When you argue that Creation must be possessed by God in order to exist, you are in fact basing your “logic” on metaphysical mutual exclusiveness.  God is God and Creation is Creation.  If one becomes the other in any way, then neither can exist according to reason.

Along with Sproul, the sweet little guest preacher (at my “non-Calvinist” church) didn’t understand this either.  And, well…I suppose that when you are as overly-certain as the neo-Reformed group is, your tend to check your reason at the bathroom sink in the morning, every morning.  You begin to confuse the theoretical and the abstract with concrete reality.  And, presto, you have reformed “logic”.

The same God who brings the storm to your life is the same One who will rebuke it.”

That was the quote with which he started the sermon.  The story of the Jesus rebuking the storm on the water was his Scripture passage of choice.

Now, let’s stop being afraid to confront the madness and insanity and call this what it IS:  That statement makes no sense at all.  It is, by flagrant definition, circular and meaningless.  What it effectively says  is this:

God rebukes Himself.  God does a thing for the sole purpose of UNDOING it.  God creates misery in order to assuage the misery, in order to teach man to…what, exactly?  Well, really, that he is simply the vessel for both.  That man has the string which God pulls to illicit the proper “response” to His capricious ways.  That what man does or thinks is irrelevant outside of the appropriate response to the pain or pleasure, for God is the one who is in charge of both the evil and the good in man’s life, and God will do what He does regardless of man’s thoughts, desires, and yes, faith.  That man’s only role is to bring forth the appropriately mindless emotional response.  Man is to either submit to either pain or pleasure, depending on the circumstances the Lord sovereignly brings. And that to resist the proper response is, in fact, akin to resisting God, as the One who brings both GOOD and EVIL.  Man’s mind and will is irrelevant.  Submission to the whims of God is all that man can do, which makes man functionally non-existent.  The purpose of man then becomes to deny that he IS himself.  That he was purposefully created to not exist.   And this makes God, thus, the hypocritical worker of meaningless-ness.

Yes, that one little statement says all that.

Think I’m reaching?  Think I’m exaggerating?  Ah…I know.  I’m full of it.  What I just said makes no sense.  How did I get that from that?

You think you’ve got the answer, don’t you?

But I’ve already anticipated what you are thinking.  How did I do that?  Because I WAS you, Calvinist, for fifteen years.  I begin every post with what I know YOU will say. What YOU will declare not true about what I post is precisely how I organize my argument.  I’m not as obtuse as you assume, and that will always be your weakness when entering the arena of ideas.  You never prepare because you assume that your superficial arguments are, in fact, full of depth and readily apparent reason.  Which they are not.  Reason is merely wrapping.  What is underneath is decidedly insane.

You are saying that this is not true.  That God is bringing pain in order to teach faith in the midst of adversity.  That He will reel in the pain when your faith reaches the appropriately lofty realm of ether.  That you will be strengthened the  next time a painful circumstance arrives that is NOT God’s doing.  That God teaches you so that at that time, you’ll be prepared.

Prepared to do what?  Prepared to weather the storm that God may not relieve me of next time?  Prepared to concede that the storm which God did not bring is under no obligation to relent regardless of my faith?  Yes, that, really, and more as well.

That God is not in a position to answer prayers or faith in either case, because in the first instance it is God doing and God relieving and thus, by definition my faith can have nothing to do with it (for if God brought the storm He is under no obligation to relieve it except at his arbitrary good pleasure, in which case, my faith is irrelevant…for if rebuking his own perfect work is contradictory and irrational, how much more then is God rebuking His own perfect work as a function of MAN’S imperfect “faith”, which is even more subjective, if that were possible?). And in the second instance the pain is brought by blind nature who cannot by definition respond to man’s faith.

In both cases man’s faith, his mind, is irrelevant.  HE is irrelevant.

And then you might be tempted to say that God brings the storm so that next time, when it is not Him bringing the storm, you’ll have built up your faith to the point that He can intervene.

But think about what you are saying.  God can somehow intervene according to my faith, but if not for my faith He could not intervene.  And yet He can bring a storm of His own power and freely rebuke it in order to teach me faith.  By purposely ignoring my faith and rebuking Himself apart from me somehow is supposed to teach me that my faith will be efficacious for circumstances which have nothing to do with God.  That God will intervene on behalf of a faith that was never relevant to the equation that God used to teach me faith in the first place (remember God brought the storm, and God rebuked it…there is no mention of man’s faith having anything to do with it).  That irrelevant faith is supposed to magically become relevant when the circumstance is not of God; and if my faith is not “real”, then I will be left to the mercy of the circumstance because God cannot intervene. Why?  Because of my lack of faith.  Which I was supposed to learn from a situation where faith could not possibly matter at all.

And further, I would argue of faith:  It is a faith that God can rebuke the storm…but you have only learned faith by watching God both bring and rebuke storms that HE is generating.  But how can one build faith for what is not being shown; what is not being made evident.  Your faith that God can rebuke storms that HE controls cannot be logically and rationally translated into faith that God can rebuke storms that He is NOT in control of.  It is, in fact, BLIND faith, that is, faith based on no evidence whatsoever.  Not only that, but based on no reason, no rational meaning.  How can a faith based on one thing be applicable to something entirely different and yet MEAN anything rational?  It cannot.  The only way you build faith in God being able to thwart the storms in your life is to see Him do it consistently knowing that the pain (storm) is NOT of God.  That nothing outside of God can subvert His will.  But if your faith is based purely on seeing God create something in order to rebuke it (call it evil, needing to be UNDONE), and you acknowledge that God is perfect, then not only will any faith you “learn” from such a scenario be false (that is, blind and arbitrary…for, again, what does your faith have to do with what God has already decided to do and does in spite of YOU and CREATION, by design) but it will be blasphemous as well.  For how is it possible to call faith righteous when it is based upon trusting that a perfect God will purposefully subvert His own  perfect will?  The very concept is nonsensical.

The only possible purpose to my faith then,  in this scenario, “The same God who brings the storm to you life is the same One who will rebuke it”,  is to understand that ALL that happens to me is of God and from God, and thus my faith, my thoughts, my self, my consciousness, my feelings, my will are all categorically beside the point.

Please…please, reader, I beg you to see this.  Please, please be someone who sees this, for I fear that I will find no one who can grasp this, whose thinking allows them access to the fact that there is no way around it.  Those who hold to these mutually exclusive ideas MUST believe them if they proclaim them and yet I have found only one or two that will apprehend it.  This kind of thinking is determinism, plain and simple.  It is the modus operandi of all of Calvinist theology.  The idea that YOU are beside yourself as a self-conscious soul.  That your very ability to be aware is WHY you are wicked and hated by God.  But more than that–for that is merely the moral point to Calvinism–is the fact that according to their metaphysics you cannot possibly exist at all.  You are forever bound to forces that are outside of you, either God or your “sin nature”.  That what you think is categorically irrelevant, for your thinking cannot ever equate to a will that is efficacious for bringing about anything at all.  That all that happens to you is in spite of you.  There is, in fact, NO YOU anywhere.  YOU are an illusion. Your very thoughts right this minute are determined actions that have already been pre-ordained for you, and which are inevitable and thus have existed always even before they existed at all; that there is no real cause because the event is categorically, singularly determined to BE what it is ALONE…for that is precisely what determinism is; a denial that any CAUSE is real.  Things are singularly determined already events, the only real cause can be whatever has ordained them; and really, not even God can be the cause, for DETERMINED means precisely that it MUST exist, and there is nothing and no one that can ever make it NOT exist.  Not even God’s own will can be called the cause of what is wholly, utterly determined.  If anything caused it, even God’s free will, then it is not determined, it is an effect, and thus, was never determined. A thing cannot both be inevitable and NOT inevitable at the same time.  If it was ever NOT inevitable, then it is NOT determined.  When we declare things determined by God then we must proceed to the logical conclusion of that statement and concede that God Himself is determined, and thus, like us, is not Himself either, but is at the mercy of what?  Of determinism.  God is not God.  Determinism is God, and determinism thus itself must then be determined…and on and on we go, a never ending, self-contradictory and eternally self-perpetuating equation that has no rational end in sight.  All reality being a black hole of determined events that cannot have really be determined by anything at all.  A black hole of universal nothingness…pointlessness.

Welcome to Reformed Theology, my friends.  Lawless, pointless, useless God and man and universe.  This is the soul-sucking “faith” that has so many otherwise rational people convinced that they are really “alive” in Christ, when their very doctrine demands that the only reason they have for existing is to roll over and play dead.

But, alas…this is hard to grasp.  And yet if we are consistent in our logic, then we must concede that things happen because other things freely act.  Free acts upon free acts is the very premise of Creation.  But very few people will concede that, for it is so very difficult after so many years of rejecting the blatant free will premises of the Old Testament.

At any rate, at best, it cannot matter even if your thoughts and acts were “free” even on some kind of micro, limited level; the idea that anything can be truly free is completely outside of reformed theology when you take the thinking to its logical conclusion.  Which is where Calvinists should start, but never do.  Because if they started at the conclusions, no one would ever listen to them. They would laugh them out of their loft ivory towers.  And the world is laughing, really.  The world is rejecting religion in droves and this theology is why.

Remember, the core weakness of Calvinism is that it makes everything an illusion.  They can NEVER be right because according to their own theology (and this is true, incidentally, of scientific determinists as well) they cannot KNOW anything.   

More to come, hopefully less fragmented.  But, we’ll see how I feel like rolling.

Peace.

A Double Minded God: How the neo-Reformation’s silver tongue is neutralizing faith and morality beyond the confines of its own seductive mouth (prologue conclusion)

I sense that somehow I still haven’t convinced you.

Well, that’s okay.  It’s still the prologue after all.  I haven’t yet arrived at the theology of the matter, the sweet, smooth soma of false humility, uttered by the bumper-sticker sound-bite mouthfuls of our modern attention deficit disordered culture.  A culture, incidentally, that is perfect for the propagandizing and fear-mongering roots of Calvinist theology, which requires the masses be much adverse to thinking.

Oh sure, they will say they are lovers of good old 1950’s nuclear family tradition, in the vein of the black and white utopia of values-oriented sitcoms of the time.  But inside they understand that it is THIS kind of culture–masses adverse to engaging too deeply in anything beyond what is required of them to secure financial stability (i.e. their jobs)–that is the fertile ground for a decidedly illogical and insane doctrine.  That’s why they spend so much time discussing sports, metaphorically, allegorically.  The meaninglessness of sports and team loyalty sets the tone for their teaching.  Calvinism is in many ways like rooting for a sports team.  We spill our emotions out all over the place with screams and chants and often declare undying fealty to an idea that ultimately doesn’t make any difference in our lives in any serious way.  We go on to our end thinking that what we believe about our team really makes any difference at all, and yet when faced with one good, serious question, we fall back on raw emotion, devoid of any reason to defend our sacred mythology:  “Well, I grew up there.”  “Well, it’s who my dad liked when he was a kid.” “I have a buddy that went to school there.”  “I went to school there.” “I like the mascot; colors, cheerleaders, they always win, they have a great legacy”…all of it devoid of any real substance.

Which is fine.  For sports.  But…

Welcome to Calvinism and the neo-Reformation.  Faith without reason.  Devotion to the death of the rationally untenable; the only practical purpose being  to secure the financial and authoritative power of a few gnostic overlords.  Which, in the end, secures you, the believer, nothing at all.

Have you noticed that many of the neo-Calvinist pastors start each sermon with a trite little joke? Or some silly meaningless story?  Of course.  It sets the tone for the entire sermon.  With one little inane aside they set the tone for their theology.  A silly story, a joke, is of course the antidote-the heading-off-at-the-pass–to serious thinking.  They sweep you off your inquisitive feet and keep you there.  You see, you don’t ever try to guess at the punchline of a joke, or a silly story.  You simply sit and wait for the point to come.  It is handed to you, and you accept it for what it is.  A given conclusion that was, is and always will be totally out of your hands, out of your mind, your reason, your grasp, your input, your understanding…you, meaningless.

Welcome to the neo-Reformed sermon.  Sit and wait for the ending.  Accept it for what it is.  Like a joke (and often the sermon is more of a joke than the joke itself) you ask no questions.  You raise no objections.  For there are none to be had.  It’s a given, granted axiom.  It is what it is. It is is solely dependent for its effectiveness on raw, pure emotion.  Its purpose is to elicit a response that precludes critical injunction.  The theology is likewise.  All of its meaning is purely emotional.  But emotions are often more powerful than reason.  And indeed, as we can see by the hundreds of thousands that flock to the conferences of scary mystic propaganda put on by the gnostic organizations that have grown as adept at doing them as the Third Reich, we can see that truly emotion, no love nor reason, rules the day in Calvinism Land.

And the real  joke, of course, is always on you.

But you still think this is hyperbole, don’t you?  You continue to think me merely the Don Quixote of doom, charging at the windmills of my own fabrication.  My own device; my own hyper imagination.  I’m projecting my angst…the tangible manifestation of someone who was obviously hurt by some sad Calvinist who was just “not doing the doctrine right”.  It wasn’t the doctrine itself,  obviously.  How could a thousand years of gnostic paganism be wrong when made “gospel-centered”.  Gospel-centered gnosticism is still GOSPEL, after all.  And the Westminster Confessions are on par with Scripture itself, of course, and who am I to argue with great men of faith who authored them?  The Westminster Confessions are the Protestant Reformation’s New Testament, with Luther’s 95 Theses and Calvin’s Institutes vying for the position of OT.

I’m simply whoring myself out to the very mystic and overwrought style that the Calvinists I pretend to disdain employ…a vain attempt to cull.  A bad version of Chaucer.  A pointing to the wind and crying “beware!”

Forgive me if I don’t agree. Rule number one in this fight:  Refuse to concede their premises, no matter how “Christian” they sound.  MAKE them defend them rationally.  This way, the fight stays very short indeed.

Oh…you think this is fun for me.  That I’ve got nothing better to do than to point out the logical and metaphysical fallacies of the men (no women, of course; not biblical) who make their living by deception.  Even worse, some of them think they are doing the LORD’S WILL!  They think that by propagating a theology that removes man from himself and in so doing makes God a hypocrite and a divine cosmic nihilist, and in so doing strips God of his omnipotence and ability to create, and in so doing removes God from Himself makes them GOOD CHRISTIANS!

And I’m seen as the crazy one.  I’m seen as the one who needs to get a grip; to employ reason and temperance, as if the Calvinists can find even a shred of either in their doctrine when it is held to scrutiny.

But, it is always this way when dealing with narcissism.  The victims are always painted by the silver-tongued devils as the ones with the real problem.  Narcissists are very, very good at sounding reasonable.  Calm, collected and righteous.  It is the cold, psychopathic empathy of those who love themselves alone and, convinced of their utter omnipotence and perfection, fear no reprisal from God or man.

These men are cold, intelligent, energetic, and…kinda funny and likeable.  In short, to those who have been trained that thinking is a sin, I’m screwed.  I’m bound to sound like a lunatic.  They speak from an opulent mega-church.  I speak from a sad little blog.  I’m bound to look look like a yipping Chihuahua.

Unless.  Unless…unless there is something by which I can prove that I’m not.  And they are.  And the proof is found in revealing the FACT that is this:  Their categorically contradictory theology.  Theology that cannot POSSIBLY be true.  Reveal that, and you reveal who the madman really is.  It doesn’t matter how much the church’s real estate is worth.

But let’s start with the fallout from their “sound doctrine”.  What is really the result of believing that about God which cannot possibly be true?

Ask the abused.  Ask them, and what they will tell you will sound like this:

“My whole life, terrified.  I didn’t know God.  ALL was His will…all the pain and all the torment.  Only the pain was truth.  I could no longer really trust my Lord…not really.  For I realized that to be certain of anything of myself or God was an outworking of pride.  To pretend to know anything was proof that I was still dripping in wicked , self-centered arrogance.  Depravity…to think that I could actually discern the mind of God from the pit of my sin nature.  And so I knew that I could no longer trust my Lord, because trust was merely a manifestation of some kind of knowledge of MYSELF, and that was pride.  THAT was sin.  And since I could no longer trust, I could no longer claim to have faith, because, in my depravity, I was forced to acknowledge that I could do nothing at all. If I felt faith, it was trust, and rooted in the pride that sinfully told me I could actually know anything about God.  Jesus, like everything else GOOD, had to be my faith for me.  My faith at best was irrelevant, and at worse, was wretched pride, and proof of my ongoing rejection of God. My sin.  Even going to the Cross everyday didn’t help, except to enforce the status quo:  That I could do nothing on my own except feel lost and helpless.  And indeed, this utter removal of my own mind and thoughts from my life and very self was the only “proof” or “peace” of my acceptance by God.  And even that, in light of the doctrine, was meaningless.”

“So I could no longer trust my Lord.  The  more I trusted the more I told myself, ‘You don’t deserve to trust.’ The more I attempted to find joy the further I was from God, because to be joyful meant I could somehow trust.  Which I knew I could not, because that was sin…I could only trust that I could not really KNOW, and thus, could not really trust.  And so going to God meant there could be NO joy at all.  Again, if there was any joy, I would have to trust that it was Jesus doing it for me.  And again, whatever had the word “I” or “me” in it was meaningless anyway.  So I just tried not to think at all after a while. Because the one thing in common all my thoughts had was:  me.”

“I ran to God and found that He hated me.  And when I tried to win His affection I was accused of bringing filthy rags, even though inside myself I tried and tried and tried to actually do what He commanded me to do, all the while not understanding why He would ask of me things knowing I could not do them, and then condemn me for not being able to do what He precisely ordained and purposefully designed me not to be able to do.  And that I had to accept that this was God’s righteous justice, and not capricious evil.  And they quoted Spurgeon at me to make everything all right.  And I nodded in agreement with the quotes of their lofty heroes, trying to ignore–for fear that stating the obvious would condemn me to hellfire–the fact that everything the preacher said could not possibly be both true and just at the same time.”

“Soon I realized the inevitable conclusion of their doctrine:  pain was the the only measure of TRUTH.  The more miserable, the more blind, unloving and abused I was the more I could be sure that I was properly denying myself, removing the log, and finding favor with my fickle Lord and Savior.  I realized that my misery was the manifestation of His love.  My anguish at not being certain of anything of myself or God, not even of my salvation, was the “peace that passes understanding”.  And with this, I had to accept that for all my misery I could still be going to hell.  Because the choice was not mine, it was God’s, and it was completely and utterly arbitrary. And it could be no other way but arbitrary because there was nothing in me or anyone else by which to choose; because simply existing is the mortal sin of man.  And yet, contradictorily, I had to acknowledge that I was the worst sinner I knew.  This kept me going to my pastor for answers; answers that never helped because, for all the words, I was still and only ever would be the WORST sinner.  In light of this, I understood that I could really, in the end, ask nothing, seek nothing, knock for nothing, receive nothing, expect nothing, hope for nothing, and find nothing.  There was no me, so what did I expect to receive?  Being NOT me was the only shred of hope, and so I learned to keep my mouth shut.”

“But still I had a life to live.  It was still, practically and applicably speaking, MY life.  My pastors, for all their claims to be God in the stead, their sermons tantamount to God’s very own words, could not live my life for me, no matter how much I prayed for this (realizing that on my own, apart from the only human wisdom I could possibly access, and even that meaningless to me if I tried to use it for MY good…yes, on my own, I was neutered; moot; pointless, blind).  I was tied to the church for my very LIFE, and yet, 99% of the time, I was on my own.  And so I found that I was constantly trying to channel THEM and remove me.  I needed a body to live my life, and since Christ wasn’t here in the flesh, I found myself trying, striving to BE my pastor in my life, just so someone could be there to live it.  For I knew that that someone could not be me.”

“So I went through my week, being there and doing, and yet, not me, but my church, my pastor, my doctrine…anything and anyone I could claim fealty to besides my own worthless, sick, and selfish SELF.  I tried to do my job, raise my kids, love my wife, care for my property while removing any “I” in the process.  Refusing to find joy and happiness in any of it, fearing that any sense of happiness was proof that I was seeking my own glory and not God’s.”

“It was a monstrously suffocating way to live.  For how do you live outside yourself, finding “joy” in your inability and hopelessness and blindness and uncertainty about your eternal fate, whether you are ever loved by God or not…yes how do you live outside yourself when it is precisely YOU that life commands to think?!  To act?!”

All the above is based on a true story.  It is the recollections and musings and outright confessions of countless numbers of former and current Christians languishing under the impossibly evil and philosophically brutal Reformed theology.

And it all started when this old, sweet, and unassuming, gray-haired little guest pastor came with his soothing voice and preached a “special” sermon on a “special” Sunday to my non-Calvinist church.  He stood up behind the dark and knotty podium, took a sip of water, smiled gently and offered this little gem of decidedly irrational and metaphysically impossible insanity:

“The same God who brings the storm to your life is the same One who will rebuke it.”

And I sat back and in my mind I said…

‘Stop.’

A Double Minded God: How the neo-Reformation’s Silver Tongue is Neutralizing Faith and Morality Beyond the Confines of its Own Seductive Mouth (Prologue, part 2)

Picking up where we left off in this series, we continue as follows.  A little melodramatic…perhaps a bit biting and sarcastic, this post.  But in order to get the full effect of just how aggrieved we should be at the disastrous panoply of doctrinal assumptions in neo-Reformed heresy, I wanted my tone to be suitably full of angst.  Thanks for bearing with, as always.

The neo-Reformed/Calvinist hoards are relentlessly on the march, the energy and rigid ideology and demagoguery of the Young, Restless, (Rich, if you are lucky enough to be a mega-church pastor), and Reformed (YRR) seem to know no limits.  They will not suffer their ideas to be challenged; they will not accept compromise (they firmly declare that the earth is really only 10,000 years old…if that gives you any indication of the kind of intellectual “objectivists” we are dealing with; really, it’s kind of a joke); they will not accept that you have any say over your own mind.  You belong to them, or you do not really exist as a human.  You are an animal, and you shall be treated like one.  You are a sheep (mutton on which they feed), or you are a wolf.  And the wolves will be wooed only so long.  Then, if they bay or bark one too many questions, they’ll be shot with extreme prejudice.  It’s okay.  The wolves obviously weren’t of the elect.  If they were, they would have sold their souls to their neo-Reformed God incarnate-in-the-stead.  The fact that they dared to hesitate to give their undying and unquestioning devotion to a mere man with less intellectual integrity than the average third grader is proof that God created them for destruction.

If their doctrinal insanity has yet to breach the four walls of your own church, count yourself lucky. Well…at least count yourself lucky for now.  Unless they can be met and defeated by men and women who are not too terrified or cowed by hundreds of years of impossibly contradictory metaphysical assumptions that have surreptitiously invaded their own theology and undercut it at the root, making their life’s work but so much chaff before the winds of the conceded reformed premises…yes, unless people who will not accept that metaphysical (and, by extension, doctrinal) contradiction can defeat metaphysical contradiction—that this is by definition a zero sum game, the winner being the one with the ostensibly bigger God, and this is always the Calvinists—then the hoards of the neo-Reformed darkness will eventually find their way to you.  In your cozy, unaffected little innocent church, with you innocent elders and sweet old folks singing The Old Rugged Cross you will hear uttered, from the musty and worn pulpit, likely from a gentle and pleasant-looking “guest pastor”, a logical and theological impossibility, an affront to both God and man and the Bible.  But it will be said in such a way and couched in such terms that unless prepared with rank reason and pure trust in your ability to THINK and trust in your own senses, it will pass into your metaphysical presuppositions and into your doctrine without so much as a question or a raised hand.  Soon, with spiritual throats cut, starting with your church’s leadership (who naturally want to stay “hip” with the latest doctrinal “truth”) you will no longer be alive to offer any alternative or fight to such egregious spiritual mysticism.  You’ll nod and shrug and give your money and property away and concede your hard earned reputation and life and love to your gnostic spiritual authority, safe and sound in the knowledge that ALL, no matter how evil it is or terrible the outcomes, is God’s will in the end.

The neo-Reformed eyes fall on your doomed soul and they pronounce in your hearing words which feign humility and sensibility and comfort and worship.  Trust me…for a loooong time you will swear that I’m full of it; I’m exaggerating, or outright lying and slandering.  The love-bombing is so powerful in neo-Reformed circles that it takes a suit of armor and a gouging out of one’s eyes and ears to not get sucked into its seductive false warmth.  You will SWEAR that I must be the instrument of the devil, impugning such sensible and obviously Godly doctrine.  Of COURSE, God is in control of us.  Of COURSE we are too depraved to ever seek Him.  Of COURSE all praise is to be for God for any good we do, because of COURSE it can’t possibly be us doing it.  It must be God doing FOR us. Because He loves us so much.

I know.  I know.  I scarcely believe that I’ve come so far to see the truth.

All of it is lies.  It doesn’t matter what you believe or think.  After a while, look around.  See that pain has now become the plumb line for TRUTH.  See how people force themselves into smothering little roles and lives, terrified to take a step out into the real world, dead in love, no care for the lost, evangelism the purview of a narrow band of “fringe members”.

Open your eyes and let yourself see, and I won’t have to prove anything to you.  You’ll do all the work for me.  Look in the mirror.  Ask yourself who you really serve.  Your own interests or those of the “church” in ALL you do?  Have your interests (personal, occupational, familial) become subservient ultimately to their interests?  Do you recoil to believe that YOU can even have your own interests?  Does saying the words “my own interests matter” in your mind fill you with dread of condemnation and God’s bitter ire?

If it does, then you are following false teaching.  You don’t HAVE to think or believe that way.  You can disagree with me, but know this:  you are miserable because you CHOOSE to be.  You CAN choose not to be.  You are following pagan mysticism; it has little to do with the philosophy that gave us Christ.  If you want to taste true freedom in Him, you need to stop enslaving yourself to gnostic liars who only want you for what you can feed them.

But anyway….

Yes, their words are sweet like frosting, with about as much nutritional value.  Words that mask the truth of what is really a theology harboring a deep disdain for God and man and the rest of Creation.  A theology which is only superficially organized, coherent and consistent, but, when submitted to true rational and even biblical scrutiny (that is, biblical scrutiny that is not based on proof-texting), is adrift on a raging and evil sea of confusion; a spiritual nightmare of incongruent and unsettling thoughts.  Thoughts and ideas that you can’t really see, can’t really put your finger on.  A fantasy land or hall of smoke and mirrors where nothing is as it seems or as it is spoken.  And when “practically” applied, brings only pain, misery, exasperation, cold love, often anger and agitation and abuse,  and a loss of control over one’s own mind and life…for it cannot save you.  Its sole purpose is to bleed you, consume your possessions and then kill you inside.  It is axiomatic that the same doctrine that tells you that YOU don’t exist cannot possibly save you.  But they will lie and tell you it can.

You will notice after a while that there are no longer opposites in the doctrinal equations.  No longer GOOD and EVIL, GOD or MAN, SALVATION or DAMNATION.  For it is boiled down to one thing and one thing only.  GOD.  If you are not GOD, you aren’t you, because it “all about God” (lie…it’s all about God AND man; the Bible exists because man exists, thus, it cannot be “all about God”, by definition).  The best you are is despised; fit for death.  All is One; and all that is not part of the One is unconscious, evil…to be exploited, used, chastised and blamed for things that it can never–according to the reformation’s VERY OWN teachings– possibly be culpable for, because it has no mind of its own.  And who is part of the “One” is determined solely by the Gnostic overlords, the neo-Reformed pastors.  Yes, they who hold the Keys to the Kingdom; which simply means that they get to say who is saved and who isn’t.  It has nothing to do with YOU.  EVER.  But the dark secret is that it has nothing really to do with God, either.   Yes, the dark secret is that not even GOD can exist in the twisted maze called reformed hermeneutics.

But none of this matters, for you are unable to see it through the poetic and melodramatic, teary-eyed sermons that are sweet across your brain like the deadly goodies baked by the witch in the Gingerbread House in the woods.  You sit there and nod.  Yes!  Finally!  You declare in your mind.  Someone who GETS the SEVERITY of SIN.

Pretty soon you are in the pot with Hansel and Gretel.  Boiling, with no way out because its all “God’s will”.  God is in control, right.  He has a plan.  Whatever happens, happens.  You’ll boil alive in the stew of neo-Reformed assumptions before you’ll ever dare take a step out of the water.  For these people really GET SIN, and you now understand that YOU are THAT SIN.  And so, better to let “God’s will” kill you and and torture everyone else around you than dare to believe that you are capable in your own mind and of your own volition of calling evil, evil.  Morality is relative, you see, when God is in control of everything.  When it’s all according to God’s plan, then GOOD and EVIL are merely different words for the exact same thing.  When “but for the grace of God go I” is your doctrine, you pretty much concede that you can’t say a damn thing.

Oh, they get sin alright.  Be happy if this is your bag.  You will never hear the end of it.  You can’t move beyond the cross.  You can’t DO anything.  That’s the point.  You can’t do anything because you don’t really exist.  YOU are irrelevant.  So, if you love hearing about your sin (as you lick the boots of the pastor and quiver in your jeans when he deigns to smile upon you …oh, thank GOD you finally have a God you can truly worship; and he looks so nice in his button down shirt and khakis and hip loafers; so royal, and yet so humble, up there behind the Plexiglass), the neo-Reformation is the right place for you, my friend.

You are blind with terror; but you pretend that this terror is proof of your acceptance.  You tell yourself that the abject terror at being sure of absolutely nothing about yourself or God is really the “peace that passes all understanding”.

You are compelled onward.  Unable to stop, but also unable—blitzed out of your mind on spiritual soma and repetitive, superficial, banal worship music, and full blown blubbering histrionics on stage—to see, to hear, to understand.  The drum line of gnostic overlords and their Vaudeville act has you in its talons.  You go to them for your each and every move, following along in the traveling show, and then your next move, too.  And the one after that, and so on and so on.

And then the cycle of terror and confusion, masquerading as “sound doctrine”, begins again for another poor soul. And so on and so on.

What Does Jesus Do For Us as Sacrifice? Ask the Torah!

This is just a quick blurb I wanted to post…it is a re-post from a comment I left on Paul Dohse’s site, paulspassingthoughts.com.  Starting tomorrow I will promptly return to my series on “A Double-Minded God.”

Forward to the post:

I have more to say on the issue of Jesus’s sacrifice in light of the Old Testament’s ‘s description of Hebrew sacrifices, as well as the metaphysics implied and/or overtly declared in the first few chapters of Genesis.  This is an important issue for me because the more I read, study, and think the more I am convinced that modern Christians, both protestant, Catholic, and all in between, understand very little about who Jesus was as the sacrifice for our sins in light of his utter Jewish-ness, Israeli philosophical and theological precedence; and, further, in light of the moral definition of man which God originally intended before Adam and Eve chose to eat the forbidden fruit according to their own ability and will.

What I mean to say is that the first step in properly understanding the position of Christ in our theology is to recognize that His sacrifice was NOT in fact a part of God’s original intention for man.

Of course, this fact can only be realized by moving away from the false presumptions of neo-Reformed/Calvinist metaphysics, which are rooted in impossible contradiction.  When we stop assuming that God is “in direct control”, or “knows the future” (the “future” being merely an abstract construct created in the mind of man in order to quantify movement through existence), or “has a plan” (read utter determinism”) for everything that comes to pass, we can begin to grasp our existence and God rationally.  This is why I spend so much time on reconciling utter physical existence with man’s cognitive constructs and his quantification/qualification of his environment which is done so easily and so instinctively that he assumes what are purely functions of his self-aware brain are actual THINGS that REALLY exist outside of himself.  Which they are not.

But anyway…as I was saying: the first step in truly understanding Christ, of getting to the TRUTH about why He had to subject Himself to Roman bloodletting, is to recognize that His sacrifice was not God’s initial intention when He created man.  God’s initial intention was essentially, Genesis, Chapter One.  And no further.

There was no original divine intention for a Second Adam.  Since God already had the first untainted and morally innocent First Adam, a second one is unnecessary.  To hold to the idea that two Adams were always and inevitably intended makes God, again, the originator of redundant action, and thus, a hypocrite.  God-as-perfect must include rational and logical perfection according to OUR existence (which is our only frame of reference with which to recognize God…which is just fine, because man’s reason is empirical and is precisely what God requires in order to reveal Himself), which means that if there was a First Adam, God could not have simultaneously harbored plans for a Second One.  Christ came because of the fall of man, which was a product of man and his free volition.  Christ is certainly an act of supreme love and mercy, but let us not think that Christ was intended at first.  Christ is a divine solution to a human problem that man could not solve.  For if Christ was originally intended (that is, His sacrifice), then man could not have been created in the first place.  God would have held in His mind mutually exclusive and redundant ideas about the metaphysical ability of man and Creation to exist; He would have held contradictory ideas regarding man’s inherent morality, and would have, in creating man, been  functionally determining him, thus hypocritically and unfairly declaring man’s moral depravity before man had a chance make a decision according to a moral knowledge apprehended of his own free will, which would then justly condemn him, and make him culpable for his sins and legitimize his need of Christ.

You see, man cannot be born already having made a moral choice which condemns him, by definition.  No choice is made until it is made, and if man is morally culpable for his sin and thus needs Christ, he could not have been created, nor can he be born, without moral innocence first being imputed to him initially by God as a function his ability to exist.  In order for God to create man, man must be inherently morally perfect.  As a creation of God, morally speaking, man HAS to be perfect in order for God, who cannot create evil nor cause sin, to have made him.  By definition ANY creation of God must be fundamentally GOOD at the root.  NOT fundamentally EVIL.  It is not a matter of spiritual “faith”, or theology, or doctrine….it is a matter of plain reason.  In other words, if man is NOT born morally innocent, then he cannot exist at all.  It is a metaphysical impossibility. Moral failing must be a function of free choice; it cannot be innate.  Christ is useless to him because he cannot be redeemed back to a position that he never held in the first place.  The core of a thing cannot change and still have the thing be the thing.  This is axiomatic.  Black cannot become white.  It can only ever be black. It is contradictory to say that one can make black, white…black cannot be what fundamentally causes it to cease to exist.  In the same way, if man’s root morality is depraved upon birth, as a function of his very existence, then “redeeming” man destroys him.  He is replaced with something else; he is no longer himself.  He becomes irrelevant to the existence equation.  The “Fall” requires that man had a place from which he fell from. You cannot fall to the bottom of a cliff unless at one point YOU were at the top of the cliff.  If you are born at the bottom of the cliff, then by definition, you did not FALL there.  If man is born morally depraved, then technically he is innocent of all God’s charges, and does not need Christ. He cannot sin if he never fell.  In essence, the idea of Total Depravity really means moral innocence.  Again, the Calvinists contradict themselves.  They are good at that.  One is born morally innocent.  Knowledge of good and evil is what positionally enslaves man to sin.  You cannot be born with this knowledge.  It is metaphysically and biologically impossible.

So, if it is true (and it is)–that man is born morally innocent and with free will by which to exercise it that it may be manifestthen Christ could NOT have been in God’s original plans.  Christ is redemptive of man’s morally innocent state; He does not IMPUTE it.  He does not declare man ALREADY depraved before man has the ability to become this way by his own ability.  Again, if man is born or created already morally condemned, then God is the Creator of sin.

Christ is God’s mercy…a divine solution to man’s self-imposed problem.  And what was the problem?  Man’s loss of moral innocence.  When man disobeyed God and ate the fruit he declared himself the author of his own moral truth; his own moral dichotomy…that his existence is defined morally by HIMSELF, not by God as a creation of the Divine.  When this happened, no matter how much GOOD man did (and he CAN do good), he was still enslaved by sin, because EVIL, in the moral dichotomy of a creature who is not God, is the other half of the equation.  This means that man can do no GOOD outside of the law of both GOOD and EVIL, because all GOOD in the moral dichotomy is always and only the other half of the good/evil coin.  That is, what is GOOD is precisely defined by what is NOT GOOD…there is no GOOD that does not get its definition of goodness by looking at what is NOT GOOD.  Thus, all of man’s moral existence is, in a way, a perpetual moral function of sin.

When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, what happened was that man’s morality ceased to be a function of himself, as God’s creation.  Meaning, that man could not longer just BE, and as a result BE GOOD, and let that goodness of being define his moral existence.  Remember, God’s morality is simply himself.  Man’s morality was originally intended to mirror this.  Existence = GOOD.  However, when man recognized a standard of GOOD and EVIL; when he saw that some things were “good” and some “evil” as a function of his moral reality as a creature APART from God (not OF God, which is his moral position apart from the “knowledge” of “good” and “evil”), he became enslaved to that moral definition.

As the bible states, there is no sin where there is no law.  Once man saw the law, man was enslaved by it.  It isn’t that all men MUST sin, as in “act sinfully”; it is merely that man, understanding good and evil as a moral function of themselves as creatures apart from God, are always inexorably bound to the evil, because good and evil are an inseparable part of man’s existential dichotomy apart from being defined simply as existing WITH God (which is moral innocence).

This is precisely why young children are not condemned to hell.  Where there no “law” (meaning, in this case, no awareness of good or evil, but just an innocent understanding that some things are this way and some things are that way), there can be no judgement for sin. Young children are not born “sinners”, they are, on the contrary, sinless, until such times as they become aware of the moral law of good and evil as a function of their existence.

After recognizing that Jesus was not “intended all along” by God, we can see Him afresh.  We can start to see that the entirety of man’s existence, especially revealed by the Bible, is a give-and-take relationship with God.  It is truly man interacting with God as a self-aware, self-willed entity, and that the revelations of Scripture are not all part of some preordained, hospital-cornered cosmic plan of God, but in many ways a disorganized, confusing, philosophical and theological slog-fest as man in his weakness attempts to interact with a God who is trying to love and redeem him without breaching the necessary metaphysical and ethical boundaries of his Perfection (omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence).

The second thing I think is important to recognize (and this is not something I’ve fully organized in my mind or have yet unequivocally accepted) is that the covenant made with Israel was intended to be salvific for those who followed it.  That obeying the Law was, in fact, intended by God, and within the Israeli ability to perform, and was intended to both save and sanctify.  The fact that the Israelis ultimately showed that the Covenant was untenable does not negate the fact that it was a way for the Jews to regain their moral innocence before God and thus be saved.  In other words, the Jews who died before Christ died saved because they had the Law (remember “Salvation is of the Jews”).  I have found nothing in the Old Testament where God declares that the Law He intended the Jews to obey could not actually be obeyed.  On the contrary, God issues dire warnings for disobedience.  The reason?  The Law was to lead to righteousness.  Not figuratively.  Literally.  Thus, the Covenant, the Old Testament, was not merely a sign pointing to Jesus, as the Calvinists often melodramatically blubber.  It was the way God made for the Jews to once again dwell with God in moral innocence.  Its failure to bring about full and lasting fellowship is the fault of man, not of God.

Christ came as an act of mercy, not because God knew that the law really wouldn’t work.  For God to create a law, command that man follow it while simultaneously knowing that man could not in fact follow it, makes God the worker of redundancy and a hypocrite.  We must be very, very careful in what things we decide were not really intended to do and be what God actually SAYS they were intended to do and be.  As Christians these days, buffered on both sides by false reformation theology and pagan Greek and gnostic philosophy, we make a lot of doctrinal assumptions that put God in the position of playing a blasphemer to Himself.  We need to stop this.  I cannot image that the very doctrine calling God a hypocrite is that which He would consider “sound”.

Thus, we must stop conceding the neo-Reformed heresy “all the Bible is a sign pointing to Jesus”.  This is simply false.  The Bible is the chronicling of man’s interactions with God, and the defining and elucidation of the subsequent metaphysical and moral truths which naturally arise from such a relationship; a relationship between Creator and self-aware creation.  It is not a story, a play, or a “plan”.  It is God existing in the here and now of man, and trying, and re-trying, out of love and mercy, to rescue man from his fall into destructive awareness GOOD and EVIL.

Finally, as I have said numerous times before, the Bible is about man, ultimately, not about God. It is about man’s existence, and the tragic fall from God’s originally intended creative purpose.  And let me just add that for all the talk of “biblical infallibility”, it is important to remember that God’s initial desire was that the Bible needn’t have been written at all. 

Finally, without further ado, here is my comment from Paul’s site:

“All the bible is about Christ is only true insofar as the bible is a revelation about God’s relationship to man in light of their separate, individual existences. This includes ALL of God, including Christ. But, more than that, the bible is MAN-centered, not God centered. If it not for man, the bible is irrelevant. It is all about how we are to exist as separate entities from the Creator. This involves our moral innocence if we expect to commune directly with God (think Adam in the Garden). Christ re-establishes our perfect moral “being” as creatures of God. This allows us to derive our meaning as God’s creation, not OUR OWN creation, which is moral condemnation by virtue of the fact that a dualism, man vs. God, ensues when we reject His authority to declare what is GOOD. If we decide WE will declare GOOD, we inevitably function by both good AND evil…thus, our moral “goodness” or “righteousness” is as much as function of evil as it is good, even if we do good (which we can, even before salvation). THIS is why we all sin, not because we have no choice.

Through Christ we regain our moral innocence apart from the law; but because we acknowledge that it is the fact of EVIL in the moral dichotomy of man apart from Christ that enslaves us to sin without Him, we are obligated to pursue the GOOD that God has declared…because this GOOD is the totality of God’s moral character. That is, without evil, the GOOD is still just as GOOD, and so we are obligated to do it.

If we accept Christ and yet still do evil as is objectively defined by God in the Bible, then what we declare is that we are not really interested in moral innocence at all. To consciously pursue evil amounts to a rejection of Christ. This is why Christ fulfills the law and Christians delight in it. By the law we understand what we are to love and to DO (hello James; the neo-Cals could stand to brush up on James)…and do it now, in Christ, with the understanding that the GOOD now derives its meaning from God, not from sin (man, apart from God).”

Statement on the Need for the Quantification of Morality

(NOTE:  Sorry I haven’t posted for over a week.  I came down with the flu.  That…was not fun.)

A thing that exists can only exist relative to something else; that is, nothing in Creation exists as solely a definition of itself.  Well…caveat:  except, I would suppose, the fundamental subatomic particle of Creation.  This, I would think, must be solely comprised of itself, its own space, time, location and material;  for any particle that has some kind of reference point from which to derive its meaning or at least an aspect of it, even if found in itself,  cannot be the singular particle of existence.  For example, it cannot be the sole creative particle if it has parts, because parts are relative to one another, giving those parts their very meaning.  E.g. the right side of a ball versus the left side; the top verses the bottom; THIS part as opposed to THAT part.  If this is the case, then there must also exist something besides the particle.  For in order to have a top and bottom, left and right, the object must exist in some kind of space external to itself, and this space must then obviously be a completely separate thing from the object.  And if this is true, then the object could not have come before the space,which means that the object is NOT the singular creative particle.  The particle must precede space and time, thus, it cannot occupy or consume any amount of either. What I am suggesting is that space and time must be creations of the root subatomic particle and not the other way around.

At any rate…it is the exception that proves the rule.

But, aside from the singular subatomic particle, without a reference object also “being” according to equal existential reality (it is, and the other object also is, according to the same universal principles), then the first object simply cannot exist.  There is no object that can lounge in an existential vacuum.  It must derive its meaning and thus its very being (and I mean literal being) from another relative object.  Meaning is not simply an abstract concept, I should mention.  Meaning is an inherent fact of existence.  It is impossible to exist without meaning, even if that meaning is just:  it IS.  But it cannot BE without something else to declare that it IS by, even if that something is “space”.  If it IS, then this fact must be relative to IS NOT, and it is impossible to make that distinction by a single entity alone. IS and IS NOT cannot in fact be determined without RELATIVE existence, and that means that nothing exists alone.  Existence is fundamentally dualistic; and yet, a third party is required for this dualism to be manifest.  IS and IS NOT is a dualistic construct, however, this construct requires a separate plumb line by which to measure the degree of either.  A thing can be IS or IS NOT, but it must be so relative to a separate standard, and this standard must be a tangible thing that also exists, even if that thing is merely “space”. 

So, existence must be relative…that is, an object is always given its fundamental meaning by the existence of a separate something else.  There is no such thing as existence without relativity.

Now, I posit that this is true for the physical, and also, in equal measure, for  human consciousness.  Man’s consciousness cannot be at any one time singular in its existence; every thought of man is at every moment relative to another mental construct/idea/abstract truth.  This is the root truth of morality, of ethics.  Therefore, just as we can find the true duality between the physical things of the universe by measuring (i.e. via quantification; mathematics…the “physical laws of nature”) their relative relationship to other things, we can and I would say must concentrate on pragmatically determining  and philosophically quantifying the duality of man’s self-awareness, which is to say, declare the law of right and wrong/good and evil/preference and demurring and then construct a “proof” of these moral “laws” .

My motivation for doing such a thing is not to usher in some kind of legalistic, external moral police handbook.  Not at all…I would argue that the first law of morality which can be philosophically quantified is that man comes into existence as a single entity; and thus, ownership of one’s self, and his or her mental and physical product, is the FIRST natural law.  But what I am submitting is that the metaphysical truths which guide the human mind are as pragmatic, with outcomes and consequence as predictable, observable, ubiquitous and consistent as the physical truths that explain the relative interaction of objects in creation, and which also guide the human mind in its biology.

Now, those who would suppose that the human consciousness and physical/natural law are in fact one and the same…that human self-awareness is merely the result of physical (in his case, biological) laws are determinists at heart, and they are in the unenviable place of having to defend their idea from a positional reality that cannot possibly be true given the very idea they are defending.  This positional reality from which they proceed, despite what they are arguing, is that they can actually know anything.  What I mean by this is:  if all of their thoughts are merely the inevitable outcome of the laws of nature, then there is nothing they can truly know.  Why?  Because all thoughts are likewise inevitable effects of a sea of cosmic inevitable effects, which neutralizes man’s consciousness, an makes his self-awareness an illusion.  This makes their argument self-contradictory at the start.

On the contrary, the FACT must be that when human self-awareness is birthed, is realized, even if it is the effect of the biological, then that self-awareness, in order to be real, must be ascribed its own, very literal and separate ability.  If a person can conceptualize themselves as separate from themselves and the rest of Creation, which is precisely the definition of self-awareness, then the ability to do this must be declared as operating in spite of, outside of, and/or contradictory to the laws which guide the strict biological functioning of the mind.

As far as quantifying morality goes, I would argue that the only way (and indeed, by definition, it is the only way if objectivity (TRUTH) is what we seek) to truly quantify morality is to utilize only those parameters of thinking that are based in reason: logic, empiricism, and observable cause and effect outcomes.  Contradiction, paradox, and blind faith should be discarded except in cases where they must be used to support some rational conclusion, which would otherwise not be rational.  For example:  God’s omnipotence cannot be “proven”, but it can, and further must, be accepted as a logical premise if we concede that such a One exists; and by this we can safely say that, because of God’s unquantifiable power and perfection, He cannot succumb to redundancy or irrelevancy as they are objectively defined according to our reality, which is our only reference perspective for God, and thus must be always considered, by divine design.  Thus, an axiom of morality would be that no metaphysical redundancy or contradiction can form all or part of a moral law.

Understand, I am not proclaiming that I am close to creating such a standardization of morality, but merely opining that real metaphysical truth, spiritual/theological/doctrinal TRUTH cannot come by avenues which have no root in man’s existence as verified by observable, knowable, repeatable cause and effect relationships like the ones we see in the physical sciences.  Given that the one paradigm which both the metaphysical and the physical share is the NEED for relative meaning (that is, existence of anything depends on another thing from which to declare that it IS or IS NOT), I would argue that doctrines and philosophies which are opposed to empirical verification as defined by reason are ultimately untenable, and should be rejected.  Real faith has nothing to do with inconsistent and contradictory “faith”.  Indeed, if it is rationally contradictory, it isn’t faith at all.  It is insanity.