Monthly Archives: March 2013

INTRODUCTION–The Boy Stranger: A free novel (Can you spot the allegory…er, metaphor…er, both?)

South Dakota Begins

She rode her horse with her father and her older brother along the thin trail, both each on their own horses.  Canyon ridges were above them on both sides, and more than once father and brother drew their guns on several Lakota faces that peered down on them with a look of forlorn resignation combined with solemn, weary acceptance.  They were not angry faces, but they were not friendly faces, either.  Guns were a good hedge against these kinds of faces, especially in South Dakota.  And usually, the more guns one had the fewer faces one had to deal with.  This much the girl knew.  But her father and brother only brought one gun each.  Her father a rifle, her brother, the pistol.  But it was enough.

They came to an opening at the end of the canyon trail and there was a clearing.  The thin rocky path gave way to a wider path of trampled grasses.  Harder to see the trail, but easier to see the unfriendly faces.  Unfortunately, this did not matter in the end.

The four men who appeared behind the group were shadowy.  They wore long gray coats, and dark hats were low over their faces…or what the girl imagined were faces.  She couldn’t see anything except hats, coats, and the horses that plodded along at a slow, yet relentless speed.  The men stayed behind the girl and her father and her brother.  They kept their distance, never gaining, never losing ground.  The girl’s brother turned around and hollered at them, and waved his hat and said “Hello!” in a friendly way, but the men did not respond.  Their long gray coats flapped silently in the wind, though there was no wind.  And their heads stayed down, their faces never there, but hidden, and the black horses plodding along like machines.  Never gaining, never losing ground.

Father turned around and as her brother did.  He took off his hat and waved it in the air.  He said “Hello!” in a friendly way, and waved again.  And then he said something else too, something friendly, but still the four men behind them did not respond.  They made no sound, they showed no faces, and their horses plodded at the same slow and steady speed.  Like machines.  Never gaining, never losing ground.

At this point father looked a bit frustrated.  No…the girl thought.  Frustration…bravery, that was a mask.  The real face of father was fear. And she greatly understood why.  Normal men did not act like the four men who were following them.  And without faces, it was hard to tell just who these men were or what they wanted.  Men without faces, the girl thought, must want everything…or nothing at all.  And in either case, this was not good for the girl and her father and brother.  Yes…regardless of what they were after, it all or nothing at all, these men had the smell of death on them.  They didn’t really see father, or brother or the girl.  They only saw South Dakota, and South Dakota was all they were ever after.  This much the girl knew.  This, and that men who see people but do not see people are the most dangerous men of all.

They didn’t make noise, and there were no features of which to really see and remember.  But the smell could not be more real, and more visceral.  And though there was no wind, the men’s gray coats flapped silently, and the smell of their death floated towards the girl and her father and brother, as if it had been carried by the wind indeed.

This time father stopped and turned around to face the four men. His mask of bravery was strong now, and he meant to brandish it at these four strange men.  Brother stopped and put on his mask, too, and brandished it alongside of father.  The girl stopped just a short way behind her father and brother.  She watched the four men in fascination.  There was no mask of fear on her.  Just fascination.  These men were South Dakota, she thought.  Then, it all made sense to her.  Their faces were all around them, for there was not singular face to see beneath those hats.  There was no wind, yet wind; there was no noise, yet the noises were all around.  Yes, truly, she understood now.  South Dakota was after them, and South Dakota meant to have them. Her eyes widened at the thought.  What have they set out to accomplish, she thought.  Her and her father and brother.  She loved them both, but they were fools, and dullards, with imaginations like the bottoms of still puddles.  She watched in fascination as the black horses continued to plod, never gaining, never losing ground.  Even though she and her father and brother stood still, the men never reached them, but never fell out of reach either.

Eventually, the four men did gain ground, or rather, the ground brought them to her.  By the time the four faceless men arrived on their black horses, the girl’s father and brother were already dead, and the three horses dead as well.  The lifeblood having spilt out upon the ground of South Dakota from holes in the backs of their heads.

“What have you for us?” the first man asked.

The girl said nothing.

The first man nodded to the second man. “Search them”, he said.

The second man diligently slid down from his horse and searched the bodies of brother and father.  “Not much,” he said.  “A few dollars.  A flask.  Spectacles.”

The first man nodded.  He looked at the girl and said, “Where is the gun?”  And he drew his and pointed it at her.   She opened her overcoat and revealed nothing underneath.  There was nothing.

The first man nodded again.  “Come with us,” he said, and held his hand out to her.  “We’ll take you to see him.”  Then he turned to the second, third, and fourth man.  “Let’s go,” he said.  “Forget the gun.  She’s hidden it, and more besides.  But it doesn’t matter.  Get the money and the other things, and let’s go back to camp.”

“I’ve already seen him”, the girl whispered into the ear of the first man as she rode behind him on his horse, her arms around his waist.  “What will he tell me?”

The first man said nothing for a while.  Then, “He doesn’t care about you.  He only wants whatever you can give him.”

The girl looked surprised, then nodded.  Her face looked like the faces of the Lakota she had seen earlier in the canyons.  She sighed. “Fine.” She said.  “I suppose it is always this way.  The East isn’t enough, men also want the West.  South Dakota isn’t enough, and that is strange.  Because South Dakota is all there is.”

The first man said, “Truly.”  And his voice was cold and sad.

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Election, Inerrancy, and Losing Salvation: A short post on the false Christian ideas which depend on the premise that man actually isn’t himself at all

Christians just love to invent pneumatic ideas out of thin, contradictory air in order to support their own subjective interpretive premises.  This, of course, is designed to give them the illusion of objectivity.  Which these ideas are not and never can be, because in order for something to be objective it needs to conform to observable quantification; and, absent that, it at the very least needs to be logically and rationally consistent.  But, these days, “sound” doctrine all too often finds the root of itself in vehemently proclaiming that TRUTH is found in ideas that are at categorical odds with man’s universe and, indeed, his ability to even exist at all.  And behind this, I submit is:  fear.  There is great fear in suggesting that even God Himself must conform to man’s understanding of what is possible and what is not.  This somehow gets interpreted as “claiming to understand God”; or ever worse, “claiming to dictate to God the terms of His relationship with Creation”.  This, of course, is rank nonsense and speaks to that most popular of all Christian traditions:  passive thinking.

All I am suggesting is that, since all of man’s relationship with God MUST occur within the context of MAN, because, by definition, man can never understand nor form a frame of reference to God’s context, because His context is HIMSELF, that all of how God interacts with man and all of what is truth and what is relevant between God and man must indeed be thoroughly and objectively attainable to the human mind.  And the way we can then objectively declare truth then is found in consistency of reason.  ANYTHING that is antithetical to man’s existence, or what is contradictory to God’s ability to have created a consciousness that is NOT GOD, demands that it must be thoroughly rationalized according to MAN’S objective reason before being accepted.  This is why I currently deny, vociferously, the popular understanding of election and biblical inerrancy…and, every point of Calvin’s despicable TULIP, among others.  Any doctrine which declares man wholly irrelevant to the relationship in deference to God’s sovereignty denies the essential logical truth that enables man to exist:  IF man is NOT fully the function of His will, then He is at the mercy of something else NOT man.  If this something else is God, God then becomes the Creator of sin; or, evil is a lie because there can be no moral distinctions if everything IS GOD.  If this is some other force, such as “sin nature” or “God’s election”, or “justification”, or “positional righteousness”, then man cannot be judged morally culpable for anything, because there can be no rational boundary between  man that is man and man that is some other FORCE.  Any time man is operating under the control of something outside of himself, he can never be held accountable for his actions, period.  Either man is ALL free will, or he is all OTHER FORCE.  It is a zero sum equation.  Man is either himself or he is not, and there is only one context:  existence.  There isn’t a “justification” context and a “sanctification” context whereby God views man practically and functionally different.  Both are aspects of a free relationship predicated upon the idea that each participant freely consign themselves to it as a singular function of their very ability to THINK.  Man cannot be divided up into areas where he IS, while occupying the same a place he is NOT at the same moment.  Just as God is ONE, so is man merely one; there is man, period.  Man is what he viscerally is.  Anything that denies this claims abstraction as physical reality.  And this idea of a separate man being in the “justification” realm and another being in the “sanctification” realm makes man a mutually exclusive schizophrenic.  And this is where the Calvinists, for all of their false and abysmal ideas, are at least consistent.  They understand that man cannot be outside himself in justification, and inside himself in sanctification.  Even they see this as the rational nonsense that it is. They thus simply yank man out of the equation altogether, and this is why they are so damn abusive.  You can’t abuse people because people aren‘t real.

But I choose to go the opposite way.  The way that is rational, philosophically provable, physically quantifiable/observable…the way that is legitimate to LIFE.  The way that says man must be categorically and completely a function of his OWN sovereign will, all the time.  At any point he is not, man is not himself, and the whole faith crashes to the ground with the smacking of abused and dead carcasses like the birds upon the Israelites in the desert.  No matter how good the intentions.  My idea is not fusing justification and sanctification.  This is observing existential reality.  My idea recognizes both concepts within the framework and context of a single, fully functional human being.  That is, the concepts are separate, but MAN, the arena of application, is not.  And that being the case, BOTH concepts are dependent on man’s free and unfettered WILL.

Man cannot be, by definition, partly in full control of his fragmented but complete will.  This is pure nonsense; but there are those who “church it up” to make it sound convincing and logical.  This is the very old mystic art of propagandizing one’s perspective. I mean, sure, it sounds great to declare: “No one can lose their salvation”, and “Anything that makes man’s salvation dependent on anything involving him is “works” salvation”, but it just isn’t true. I agree that man cannot “accidentally” lose his salvation, or “sin his way” out of his salvation.  Truly, as long as a person WANTS his or her salvation she or he has it because she or he is no longer a function of the Law.  There is no “law” they can break to lose their salvation.  But if  salvation is consciously rejected as a function of the volitional will, then salvation ceases to apply because if it did it could only apply at the EXPENSE of the person involved; or IN SPITE of them, not FOR or BECAUSE of them.  There is no way to save a person who has willfully, purposefully rejected salvation because then it can no longer be for that person.  It has to circumvent the person in order to save them.  And this is metaphysically impossible.  Because you cannot SAVE what is NOT THERE.  

Man is a conscious being, is self aware, and ALL things thus involving HIM must involve his very consciousness.  His very consciousness rests in the metaphysical necessity that is his ability to WILL; to apprehend, to abstract, to desire, to choose.  Not even election can trump that.  The nature of the relationship between man and God is always and forever under the auspices of each one’s personal WILL and CHOICE, from now unto eternity.  ANY theological premise or doctrine which denies this is logically false, and thus MUST concede contradiction as its foundational argumentative premise.

The Folly of NOT Engaging in the Election/Free Will Debate: Response to Paul Dohse

Paul,
I have great respect for your intelligence, but in this issue your logic is flawed.  What you are trying to suggest is a metaphysical and physical impossibility.  You are suggesting that election has everything to do with man, yet has really nothing to do with man.  Again, you must concede that your argument rests solely upon the idea that you accept contradiction (what some call “paradox”) to define your theology in this matter.
You are right in your assessment that all of life is DOING something, for even merely being is doing.  There is, in reality, no such thing as NOT doing; for that is merely an abstract way to qualify the doing, the abstract opposite of a particular action.  Since that is the case, everything having to do with man must involve man’s doing.  That is, man, IF it is truly HIS life, MUST logically be complicit in anything involving him.  Even “election”.  For  it is, again, impossible that God can do anything involving man that operates utterly outside of man’s doing/moving/being/existing, which is precisely what your definition of election (or your framing of the election/free will debate) attempts to do.  That constitutes a total contradiction in terms; a mutually exclusive idea that makes, again, man moot (which is ALWAYS what the doctrine of election does, I might add, because “election” always seems to get divorced from man, the OBJECT of the election. Which makes little sense).
Even in the most oppressive dictatorships the subjects to the leader/leaders must be complicit in their will.  They can resist, or comply.  There are consequences, truly, but nothing ultimately happens outside of man’s free choice in any matter, even if the choice is life or death.  Therefore, even in his “election” man must agree freely to the relationship, and this freedom can by no means and at no time become moot.  Man must freely engage his relationship with God, of his own will and choice, forever.  This is the faith that saves.  This is the faith that says that man is actually involved in a relationship with his God, and is not at any time compelled against his will, which is man’s VERY ESSENCE.  If the end of man is not his free ability to always been himself, then he cannot possibly exist. To say that God compels man outside of man means that God, in fact, usurps man’s very existence, possesses him, and becomes him, in order to save him.  This of course, as I have often said, a metaphysical impossibility.  This puts man outside himself, and this is what reformed theology also does.
Unfortunately, and no offense, but your view of election is much closer to that of the Calvinists that you seem to think.   The root of the argument is free will/election and how we reconcile them.  If you get that wrong, then, as I said before, it ultimately boils down to whose irrational theology is more…er, rational.  If at any point we cede man’s will to God, then man ceases to be relevant.  And thus, man ceases to exist.
And it isn’t a matter of who is going to hell for their theology, necessarily.  If you decide what you believe based on “will I go to hell for thinking this”, then I would argue that EVERY belief should be thoroughly analyzed, the logical consistency found, and ideas based on rational conclusions.  Otherwise, you really cannot be sure what is truly “disputable” or not.  We cannot take “won’t go to hell for this” at face value.

Square Peg in a Round Holy Bible: The dilemma of forcing reality into the pit of abstraction (Part 2)

It’s LIVING and BREATHING they shriek at me, either out loud or in their minds (I’ve had both kinds of responses; the first is your classic “You idiot! It’s living and breathing…see? If it goes into cardiac arrest you could give it CPR, it’s living and breathing so literally!”; and the second is more like turning a shade of green, vomiting in their mouths, and googling “need an exorcist”).

But again…there goes the metaphorical language that makes the Bible so interesting.  Wave goodby to it as it spirals down the fundamentalist black hole that is their flawed metaphysics.  Flushed away, and simmered down to a steaming pile of rigid fundamentalist dogma.  Unbending, unmoving, smashing the backs of all who would come to it; devoid of any poetic or artistic color.  A stark, cold users’ manual for human failure.

It’s ALL God, you see.  Well, of course, it would have to be, now wouldn’t it?  If the Bible is inerrant, humans are screwed before they even pull it out of the pew in front of them.  As a human, you…well, you can’t possibly amount to anything, or add anything or any worth to the Bible.  It is perfect precisely because it can have nothing to do with you.  Which…makes no sense seeings as how if it wasn’t for man the Bible wouldn’t exist, as I’ve often said.  Hard to argue that something is as perfect as God because of man.  But it is equally as hard to argue that something which would not exist without man is as perfect as God.  So…it’s a paradox.  I know.  Everything always boils down to paradox (i.e. contradiction) with the neo-Reformed “genius”.  And, frankly, I’m almost tempted to say the western church in general thinks this way, for even hard core anti-Calvinists I know still ultimately appeal to paradox when they actually engage you long enough to get pushed into that corner.  Engage them on “election” or “predestination”, or even THIS topic, Biblical inerrancy, and I’m telling you that ten times out of ten you the most they will ever concede is:  “Look, it’s just true because it’s in the Bible.  No one can possibly know how it works.  It’s just God being God, [shrug].  It’s His “mystery.  For who are we to understand the greatness of His plans, and the enigma of His mind, and blah, blah, blah”. Gee, for possibly the greatest philosophical tradition in the history of the world (Judea-Christian) to simply concede impossible contradiction as the root of their faith for the last two thousand years and still exist as a force in the world to be reckoned with?  Wow.  THAT’S why I believe in the Jewish God.  God would HAVE to be involved with such a crowd of bleary-eyed passive thinkers for them to continue to function as a religious movement; even one as fractured as it is.

Well, I suppose it is a great way to never lose a debate:

“I don’t base my beliefs on what can be true, according to any rational understanding of the world and universe around me.  I base my faith on the opposite of reason. On ideas which are shimmering paragons of mutual exclusivity.”

“Er…oh well, then.  That’s game.  You…win?”

I would submit to you that if there is anything “living and breathing” about the Bible going on that that reference is to its application to HUMAN lives, which are quite literally living and breathing.  That is, the life and breath of God is found in the bodies and the minds of those human beings who are in the process of applying His truth to their lives.  The Bible lives and breaths through them, as they walk it out in their individual lives and in their individual contexts.  The Bible on the bookshelf has no life at all.  It is like any other book:  collecting dust and turning a bad-mayonnaise shade of yellow inside and reeking of grandma’s closet. The Bible, apart from MAN is merely a lifeless THING.  But it is the application of God’s revelations by mankind that makes the metaphor “living” and “breathing” applicable.  Apart from man, it is as pointless as any other book that has no reader.  Any book that can be “perfect truth” apart from the human reality, and apart from living and breathing human beings to read it, understanding it, and integrate it is a book that cannot possibly be written.  In other words, a Bible that is inerrant is a Bible that cannot exist because it could not have been written by God, nor written by man.  Even if it was written by God for man.  It still is NOT inerrant, because man is the functional TRUTH behind the Bible, not God (remember, God’s truth does not need the Bible, man’s does).  MAN’S context is the context of the Bible, and if that is true, then it cannot possible be inerrant, because it must conform to man’s life and environment.  And a thing that IS perfection–remember, inerrant, infallible is an IS; it cannot change because change is antithetical to inerrancy–cannot possibly conform, as the primary purpose of its existence, to the context of the errant.  And again and furthermore, inerrancy is an abstraction.  A literal thing cannot be abstract

Once more, gaze upon the shackled and ugly specter of neo-Reformed “paradox”. 

Now, the other way Christians either consciously or unconsciously bulwark and propagandize their false idea of biblical infallibility is to CONSTANTLY, INCESSANTLY, NAUSEATINGLY, and INCORRECTLY referring to the Bible as God’s Word…capital “w” Word.

Well, that pretty much settles that now, huh?  If it’s God’s Word, well, then it IS God, because…what do you think the capital “w” Word refers to? You read the beginning of John’s Gospel?  Do you realize that God cannot be defined by abstract ideas like “language”, “work”, “love”, etc….that there an be NO functional separation between what God does–that is, how He moves–and His utter and complete self?  God is ALL in ALL, He is I AM, and therefore ALL He does (including saying, working, loving, hating, etc.) IS God.

So then, what can the neo-Reformed mysticism possibly mean by referring to the Bible as God’s Word?  What is the underlying and could-not-be-more-obvious point behind that little grammatical wonder?  Yeah…the Bible IS God, Himself.

And…well, okay, point taken.  Can’t get much more infallible than that, by definition.

Of course, as with so many other neo-Reformed absolute “truths”, that description is nowhere found in the normal little old fallible Bible that the rest of us on planet Earth have.  Even Moses doesn’t put a capital “w” when referring to God’s words that he heard God speak.  You know, like the actual, audible words of God that Moses heard on the Mount when he spent the more than two months directly in His presence.  Those words…only garner a small “w”.  Yeah, even God’s words, literally heard by human ears, apparently aren’t as infallible as the Bible, which is a whole lot of other dudes’ words.  Ooops…sorry, Words.

Part of me says that the apostles might have a problem with being told their letters to those ragtag bands of confused churches who have trouble finding “sound doctrine” while in the presence of  real apostles (as opposed to the fake neo-Cal ones, like the Sovereign Grace Ministries hucksters) are actually THE Holy Spirit.

Yeah…something tells me there might be a forehead smack or two upon hearing that one.

But, whatever.  As with every other reformed “truth” the means, no matter how false or destructive, always justify the ends.  And the ends are usually found just over the pile of dead bodies and lost innocence.  But then, something has to give if the real truth of “inerrancy” of scripture (read, interpretive opinion) is to be found.  Death must always be the means to the truth in this case.  The greatest proof that God is perfect, it seems, is to sacrifice the imperfect to His “truth”.  For if man actually succeeds in attaining and effectively applying “truth”, then how perfect can this truth really be?  So, since humans are NOT perfect, at the end of the day there is only ever going to be a perpetual war between them and what IS.  And of course, by definition, humans MUST lose.  And that is precisely why it is just fine with so many neo-Reformed “leaders” and followers if men and women and children are abused and destroyed in service to “sound doctrine”.  Their destruction is just more proof that they are NOT good and God is; that they are NOT inerrant and the Bible is.  Indeed, and again, to their minds, the greatest proof of God’s perfection is an endless sea of corpses. 

Square Peg in a Round Holy Bible: The dilemma of forcing reality into the pit of abstraction

Infallible.

Inerrant.

Hmm.  Have you ever stopped to consider just how curious those adjectives are, describing an inanimate object?  That object being, of course, the Bible.  Which is a book…with pages, and ink (even in the original manuscripts, by the way), and a cover, and a whole lot of gold leaf which never lasts very long.  Have you ever stopped to think about it?  Or did you, like me, just nod and swallow, like a fish on a hook.  Out of water, wriggling and raging, although not wholly conscious of it…fighting for life at the end of the church “authority’s” long and indifferent and rigid and hard and cold rod, forever and ever, fulfilling your role as stupid animal, compelled to eat the hook and be led around by it.  And, like me, you did, and do, because the hook is sweet.  Because all of that delicious, “Holy” goodness is like a box of chocolate to your spiritual ears.  Deep down you know you hate it.  But deep down is too deep to see clearly, and there’s nothing there but your black, blind depravity anyway, so you never trust the voices screaming at you from the pit the neo-Reformers helped you dig.

Of course the Bible is “inerrant”, and gulp, down the barb goes.  In fact, the hook is so delicious that many people refuse to vomit it up, no matter how much they bleed internally.  Oh…eventually they will see to an extent and will snap the line, and flee the false fishermen castigating and deploring and condemning and inventing at the podium.  But they leave the hook in.  The hooks all remain.  Original sin.  Total depravity.  Predestination and election.  All of the hooks continue to dig and dig and dig.  And people simply refuse to cough them up.  They have likened the hooks which first trapped them to the very TRUTH of what they believe.  The fisherman was the problem and that guy is gone, they say.  The hook…well, that’s simply God, seeking you first and choosing Himself for you, because you, ironically, are a blind worm.  And so you rightly forsake the false fisherman, yet continue to eat his hook.  And so it is, that even as you proclaim your “freedom” your are now just a new slave.  A  slave now to the master of abstraction.  And that master can NEVER be forsaken.  Because that master is in your own head.

Infallible.  Inerrant.

Yes.  Very curious adjectives to describe an inanimate object like the Bible.

And there of course is the rub.  Because I understand that there are those who will immediately protest.  I’m a fool, they say.  I cannot see the obvious.   The Bible isn’t “inanimate” they screech (like those guys who insist that the American Flag must be treated like a living thing…that’s just, er…weird to me).  It is alive!  Haven’t I read the Scriptures?  For it is written, “living and breathing”, they remind me.

And once again, the grammatical tool of the metaphor is lost on the Christians.  But I understand where they are coming from.  In a strange, irrational way, it makes perfect sense.  You see, if the Bible is infallible it simply cannot be metaphorical.  It MUST be perpetually literal.  LITERAL is as close to “infallible” as it can practically get.  And so everything, again, must be taken at utter face value.  If the Bible says that it is living and breathing, then it IS.  LITERALLY the book is living and breathing.  It is a living thing, it is not a metaphor.  In other words, the Bible is GOD.  And that is precisely why it is called inerrant and infallible…because there is NO difference between the Bible and God Himself.  This way of interpreting scripture AS a LITERAL abstraction (which is an oxymoron) is the only way you can even approach practically applying the Bible as God and not as the inanimate object that it really is.

The problem is that this still does not solve the problem.  At the end of the day, the application of even a literal Bible must still be wholly subjective.  The reason is this:  the Bible is for man.  Man is the only reason it exists.  So it does not matter how infallible you might think the Bible is, because since it must be applied contextually, the functional outcomes of its truths will always look different depending on the person.  There will never be a way to objectively prove your “literal” interpretation; the “inerrancy” will be lost in a sea of individual lives, cultures, contexts, experiences, and abilities.  If the Bible’s doctrines have a singular literal interpretation that is defined solely within its perfect self, it is impossible that it can be found in the context of man.  The root of  what is “inerrant” about the Bible is thus, totally open to subjective interpretation.  And that is precisely why this idea of inerrancy always leads to spiritual abuse in some degree.  Only ONE subjective opinion can be declared the “objective” and literal truth, and so what then becomes the the single greatest advantage which so deftly serves those who define what this singular interpretation is?

Force.

Violence.  Threats.  Excommunication.  Intimidation.  Fear.  Murder.  Death and tyranny.   He who has the most force gets to decide.  Period.  Physical destructive force, which is decidedly NOT abstract, becomes the TRUE infallibility of Scripture.  And that is the deadly little deception about this doctrine, found in almost every statement of faith in protestant Christendom.

You see, if the Bible is inerrant and infallible, then the believer has no use for the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit cannot help apply, interpret, or add to what is already as perfect as HE IS.  And when you create a doctrine that drives out the Spirit from the words the believer reads in the Scriptures, then you have destroyed the faith.  You have separated the believer from his or her literal LIFE LINE to God, and replaced it with a pile of papers in the glittery wrapping of a subjective, MAN-MADE abstraction.

People, we must see this, and must not be afraid to concede that even the most well-meaning doctrines, if they are not rooted in REASON, are doomed to become the tools of mystic destroyers. 

So, back to my first point…hyper and irrational literal interpretation is the only apparent plumb line, then, for interpreting the Bible.  And almost to a man/woman those who espouse “inerrancy/infallibility” declare that the Bible “has only one TRUE meaning” and that it “says what it says”, we just need to figure it out and “apply it right”.  Thus, the Bible has the same almost invincible philosophical defense against indictment as the Calvinist despots have.  If there is abuse and destructive fallout from its “inerrant” singular meaning, then, well…it’s man’s fault.  Obviously they just didn’t “do it right”.  Obviously it was their pride, stupidity, sin, lack of faith, and on and on that is to blame.  It could not be the Bible.  No, the Bible is inerrant you see.  If the human suffers, then it MUST be the human’s fault.

Where have we heard this before?  Anyone keeping up with the chain-gang of spiritual abuse news pouring out of Sovereign Grace Ministries (has there ever be a more hyper-Calvinist name for a church?) would understand this devious argument very well.  Oh yes…the “leaders” did nothing wrong of course.  Why, how dare you accuse your divinely-appointed church authorities of wrong-doing; of sin and abuse.  Who are YOU to judge your spiritual superiors, you totally depraved idiot!  Monster!  Steeped in sin from birth!  Obviously, the problem must be you, the sheep. For the sheep are obviously too depraved to discern anything.

So…, well, [shrug] if what they teach leads to the protection for serial child sex predators in the church, well, obviously the sheep just didn’t understand.  They were too stupid, stubborn, sinful, prideful, shameful, haughty, rebellious. The leaders are God in the stead.  They are, well…inerrant.

How convenient.

You see how easy it is to loathe and destroy flesh and blood when you hold it up to a perfect, absolute ABSTRACTION.  Like the infallibility of Scripture; like the pastors standing in the stead, and church “authority”.  Or ANY authority.  And this is why putting abstractions before objects is so backwards to reality.  It is a nightmare fantasyland where imperfect people are cajoled and punished in the name of fictitious perfect absolutes.  From spiritual tyrants to atheist egg heads, all humanity falls short of the inerrant abstractions that are the real masters, the REAL truths that we all must serve; which push us, control us, determine us. 

All of humanity exists solely to be perpetually in service to an IDEA.  A figment of man’s ability to abstract; to organize cognitively his environment.  Yes, they are slaves to the metaphor, the simile, the grammatical tool, the figurative example, the mathematical equation.

Now, of course, we are all conditioned early on to never mind that, like so many other “truths’ and “sound doctrines”, the Bible never describes itself as infallible or inerrant.  But, whatev….for people who should be terrified to add to the Bible, Christians do it incessantly.  Just recently I had a conversation with a person (I admire, actually) who was using the Trinity as proof of God’s mystery; proof that logic and reason could not be used as a THE solid premise for faith.  Now, of course, the doctrine of the Trinity is nowhere to be found in the cannon of scripture except via some seriously forensic speculation.  But again, it is like the old saying goes: repeat something long enough, and people begin to believe it, whether it is true or not.  There is no Biblical way to prove the Trinity, and yet…it is absolute.

Inerrant.  Infallible.  Nowhere to be found in Scripture.  And the same goes for “original sin” (nowhere in the Bible), or “expository preaching” (nowhere in the Bible), “total depravity” (nowhere in the Bible), or “Biblical Manhood/Womanhood” (nowhere), “Biblical roles” (nowhere), gospel-centered (nowhere), “God’s prophet John Piper” (NOWHERE).

Now, for the record, I DO deny the Trinity, in case that last part had you wondering (I’m already a heretic, in admitting my Pelagian concessions, so what’s the difference at this point)…BUT, let me qualify that.  I DO believe that God has at least three perfect attributes that are ALL God, 100%, in and of themselves.  But I also believe God has more attributes than just three, and they are ALL equally God.  Like God’s “work”, God’s “will”, God’s “knowledge”, God’s “love” (God IS love…love has GOT to be part of the “Trinity”), God’s power and His Peace.  Each and every functional attribute where human beings find themselves engaging God  as a function of OUR existential context are, actually and rationally, ALL God Himself.  There can be NO abstract part of God.  ALL of God is utterly and literally part of the real, and tangible, visceral, perfect and categorically existing I AM.  Thus, any aspect of God MUST be ALL God.  You cannot have a “part” of an I AM.  You cannot have something partly perfect; partly God.  It is a metaphysical impossibility. 

More later.  Oh…believe me, I’m nowhere near done destroying the false idea of Biblical inerrancy.

A One-Sentence Summary of What Is the Source of Rational Scientific and Metaphysical Truth

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I posted.  I broke my laptop’s LCD and it took exactly one million years for me to get it back from the shop.

So, after that unfortunate hiatus, and now that we all are a little older and closer to death….

After over a year’s worth of thinking and writing (not just on this blog…you should see the piles of notebooks; I write almost everything freehand first because, well, I actually LIKE writing, as in the act of it) I have finally concluded what the root of my philosophy is.  In one sentence, all of my views can be boiled down to a singular idea, so simple that I’m kicking myself for not realizing it sooner.  I could have saved myself a lot of literal headaches by just proceeding from what I realize is the ONLY rational truth to ALL of existence, and I mean universally.  Grasp this, and you have the foundation to explain just about anything…if not actually everything.

Hubris?  Well…you can judge for yourself, fellow thinkers.  We all have brains after all, and they can lead us to amazing places if we let them.  Assuming, of course, we refuse to put them on the head of the horse before which dangles the carrot of mystic despotism.  Otherwise known here as Reformed Theology, and its chummy wicked stepsister, Calvinism.

So, here is the cornerstone of rational TRUTH (which is the only kind that matters):  The tangible, visceral, and actual is always and only the source of the abstract. 

Or, put another way:  Objects are the source for all law, natural, metaphysical, or otherwise, which are used to qualitatively and quantitatively define them. 

The egg always comes before the chicken, I suppose you I might say, meaning there must be a real SEED before the product of the seed can be observed.  And I also say, grasp this truth and you are perpetually pointed north.  But as soon as you concede the opposite, which is precisely what every false idea and despotic religion and political school of thought does, that abstract laws are the SOURCE for the objects which exist according to them (which is actually a total lie; an impossible logical fallacy, for law can only be descriptive and predictive, never proactive…that is, without first the object, there can be no law or other abstraction by which to describe its existence.  There must be something before you can say something about it).

This is obvious logic that always seems to elude the smartest and brightest of our theologians, philosophers, and scientists.  It is why the lie of determinism in any form rules the metaphysical and physical day and night, and why even rank atheist scientists are some of the worst mystic shamans around.

Their determinism, interestingly enough and as an aside, is always based on the idea that “if you were God, you could utterly know just how everything would act by the very laws we, the eggheads, have so astutely discovered and quantified by the utterly abstract concept of mathematics; and these mathematics prove that YOU are merely a function of  this LAW…you see the law IS you; YOU are the abstraction, and as such there is nothing that is not utterly knowable, if you have the capacity to know it”.

Funny how the very obviously reply, “But we are not God, and so there will always be a lot of stuff going on that we cannot possibly predict” is never given anything other than a wave of the hand and practical lip service.  The functional outcome of this fact IS GOING to be a random existence of some sort ALL the time.  To try to live in a world where nothing is random and yet it always WILL be is a psychological mind-f**k that I just don’t care to live with every day.  It is almost as bad as Calvinism.  I choose to deny determinism.  And it’s the better choice, trust me.

The other problem is that “If you were God, you could know what WILL be”, is a metaphysical ditch, because by definition the way God knows is NOT by predicting, but by being everywhere at every time (or, God is in all space time, for our physicists), thus He “knows” because He DOES it, not because He made a law.

Thus, if natural law truly determined all of reality, then it could have nothing to do with God, for any mind able to grasp the concept of law so utterly and universally from now unto eternity has absolutely no use for it.  It would be redundant for God to create law in order to determine the path of all Creation.  He wouldn’t need to determine it by law.  He would simply circumvent determinism and just make it that way at every instant.  He would be, as R.C. Sproul declares, in perfect control of each and every molecule.  That’s NOT determinism.  That’s BEING Creation.  And thus, by definition, natural law isn’t law at all.  It’s an illusion.  A lie.  But even more salient, it is impossible that Creation is created by God so that God can BE Creation.  God is utterly complete, of course, in Himself, and so, if God needs Creation in order to possess it, He’s not God.  And if He is God, He would never create a separate thing for the sole purpose of BEING that thing.  He would never bother to create that thing the first place.  Thus, if He created anything, it can only be so that it can exist to be ITSELF, apart from God.  And this means that that which is Created, namely objects–real THINGS–must act for themselves.  And THIS is where any mathematical “laws” are born:  from things doing for themselves, whether conscious or unconscious things.  And if that is the case, then determinism must be false, for nothing existing by doing what it does of itself can be determined by anything other that IT, and that is not determinism.  That is free will; the freedom of Creation to exist and to be its own thing, or things.  Like, you can’t have a rock if a rock isn’t a rock.  Meaning, if a rock is functionally some LAW, then we’d have no rocks because the abstraction of the “law of rock” (I like the way that sounds) is absolute by definition (all abstractions are absolute, by the way).  Logically, you cannot add a rock to the law of rock because, of the two, the law of rock is the absolute perfect essence.  The rock itself is a dualistic thing:  rock/not rock.  The law of rock is only this:  rock.  Rock is the beginning and end of itself, to add anything else voids the truth of the law, and reduces it to a mere figment of man’s consciousness.  But of course this is precisely what it is, and so, logically, you have to have a rock before you can have the “law which begets rocks”.  You can’t have a law which begets rocks without first a rock.  This is a fact.  So…all you scientists believe what you want.  But stop bringing God into it.  I know you love looking smart…so, with that in mind, you may want to fear a little more treading into the metaphysics side of the pool.  You aren’t wired for this kind of thinking.  Sorry.

Anyhow, the point is that even those who claim to be “objective” must at some point concede that contradiction forms the core of their assumptions, no matter how much math they throw at the blackboard.  And that contradiction is that IF all is determined because LAW guides and creates the reality that IS objects, then no one can truly “know” anything, discover anything, predict anything, or declare any kind of truth.  All reality is an illusion.  And so, how can you really argue anything?

You can’t.  So to say that you can KNOW that all life and creation is determined for any reason is a categorical contradiction in terms. The fact that you can know anything must be proof that determinism is false.  Knowing is based on reality, and if all is determined, then all is an abstraction.  Your very “knowing” of this or that  is an idea of about as much density and substance as evaporating dew, because your very mind is merely the abstract product of an abstract “law”.

But again…rational metaphysics is of no more use to the sciences, it seems, as it is to Calvinism.  And this?  Is rather depressing.  Even our smartest aren’t smart enough to realize that according to their own philosophy, their “smarts” have nothing to do with them, or you, or me…because there is no them or you or me.  It is nihilism, plain and simple.  Does that help you sleep?  Our brightest scientists in the world have a functional world-view of “everything is meaningless and existence is merely evading the point”.

Yeah.  Me neither.  These are the men who design atomic bombs.  Gross me out.

My philosophical ideas are in stark contrast to this.  For the determinists, all reality…that is, all that is observable by the senses is really the illusion.  The “laws” or the “doctrines” are the objective force behind the illusion of life.  I deny this.  All truth, meaning, law, and doctrine, can only be a function of what is observable to the human senses.  What can be seen, touched, felt…etc (why Jesus spent so much time convincing people that He had the authority to forgive sins by doing SIGNS that people could touch and observe).  That is how we know what and all we know.  Nothing is determined because abstractions are NOT REAL.  They are merely ways of qualifying or quantifying those REAL things that we observe exist; and, specifically, how they move.  To say that some law determined an outcome of an object is to declare the object to be an extension of the abstract.  The arm of the invisible “force” which owns it.  It is like saying “I’ve always dreamed of owning a Porsche, and now I have one; thus, my actual dream is precisely how this car got into my garage.”

That seems crazy, but it is no different than saying:  the law of thermodynamics, or the mathematics of angular particle spin are precisely how the objects do this or that.  No.  The object acts; the law is how the action is measured.  It produces an effect in another object by THAT object reacting, and its reaction is thus likewise measured.  And from this, we can now reasonably predict, and thus organize our days, weeks, theories, reality, plans, dreams, wants, wishes, environments, Bon Jovi tour dates, movie times, school closings, trips to the doctor, to the parole hearing, to AA, to Bombay…by understanding how OBJECTS act.  But once we put the cart before the horse…that is, once we reverse the roles of what is real and what is  abstract then all manner of destructive philosophy boils over.  Once we concede that real objects are merely the disposable tools of unseen forces, we have opened the floodgates for human destruction.  This may seem hyperbolic, but I assure you, the carnage from this kind of determinist thinking is only beginning.

Human beings exist in service to the political collective.  Human beings exist in service to the economic bottom line (e.g. chattel slavery).  Human beings are a product of evolutionary forces (I actually believe in evolution, by the way), thus, survival of the fittest is the only objective morality.  Human beings are merely the products of genetic laws, and so sterilizing criminals is the best way to control crime.  Euthanizing the cognitively impaired is morally justified because their brains aren’t functioning properly, as our “laws” of biology prove, and thus, they aren’t really human.  Gassing a generation of Jews is morally sanctioned because they are the product of their own determined existence, their own inevitable fault for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being who they are, and thus murdering them isn’t murder, it’s a “solution” to a “natural” problem.  Sacrificing the lives and psychological health of children sexually abused in SGM churches is okay because the “greater good” must be served; the doctrine must be protected.  Murdering the individual for the cause of abstract laws of economics, social protocol, or the group cohesiveness must be done.  For, as Spock said to Kirk, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one”.  But isn’t it strange how Spock doesn’t explain what he means by “needs” and who exactly gets to define these “needs”.  “Needs” in itself is often ambiguous, and abstractly used as  just another excuse to pillage life and/or property from another human being.

An object is never the product of a law.  The object is what it is.  If there is any “law” by which to describe it, the only hint of that law’s actual reality is found in this admission:  the the object IS the law.  Separating the law from the object is rank ideological larceny.  All objects own themselves.  In other words, to get to my by-now obvious allusion:  all human beings own themselves.  And thus we must only deal with other people as they exist completely in and of themselves by the real flesh and blood and thoughts and feeling which comprise them, as well as their property and their dues (e.g. wages, legal entitlements like retirement accounts/inheritance; and you can read the Old Testament if you don’t believe me; all I can say is I thank GOD for the Jews…they saved us from a horrifying existence of spiritual insanity, and gave the philosophical mind a rudder in the storm of mankind’s madness…unless you’re Calvinist, then your pastor ate your rudder).  To treat them as a stepping stone to the pursuit or realization of the abstract “truth” of some external “law” is to rape them; to deprive them of their inherent, divine right to BE.  The only true moral law is that which says “love others as you love YOURSELF”, and yourself, incidentally, is SINGULAR.  And the reason why this law is true is because it specifically links moral worth TO the human being.  Jesus does not separate the two greatest commandments from the OBJECTS which create them.  God and man ARE the two greatest TRUTHS.  THEY are the truth from which all morality and objective thought grow.

We must stop putting abstractions in place of objects as the plumb line for moral and existential truth.  No matter how altruistic these abstract ideas may seem, they can only lead to death.

“Biblical inerrancy/infallibility” is such an abstraction.

And in the next post I will once again attempt to dismantle this destructive idea.

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 3)

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

-Christian Pastor, speaking in pagan western European mystical terms to describe Jewish metaphysical TRUTH.  This of course is appalling; and made more so by the fact that Greek-inspired gnostic contradictory philosophy comprises a significant portion of Protestant “Statements of Faith”.  These statements should be regarded as merely the interpretive assumptions of men; for the most part, they have little or nothing to do with God’s rational work in relating to man, and vice versa.

Now, when the Calvinist pastor (who, ironically, may not THINK they are Calvinist; they will laud “free-will” when you confront them about it, and then proceed to wring man and his relevancy to God and Christ clear out of the scriptures like so much dirty dishwater…and this is what is scary:  so many “pastors” just simply don’t know the difference between what is “true” and what is “suspension of disbelief”…to them, if an opinion is based on the Bible, then it’s just true, no matter how rationally impossible)…anyway, when the Calvinist pastor refers to God bringing the “storms” to your life, it is important to understand that the word ‘storm’ is, of course, a metaphor for whatever pain or struggles or suffering you may be enduring. You see, before, in the world of rational metaphysics, suffering and pain was a consequence of willfully opposing God (either by man or the devil and his demons)…it was seen as something which, was justly reaped by free opposition to the existential reality of man’s moral obligations to pursuing love and purity and reverence, especially to his fellow man.  And this, incidentally, is how man shows his love to God and his willingness to pursue true personal freedom; his sole purpose for existing…and so, yes, though pain was justly reaped it is decidedly NOT and never WAS God’s desire to inflict pain.  Indeed, the entirety of scripture seems to reveal a God who promises not to bring pain, but to act as a divine hedge against it, assuming man uses his free mind and will to pursue those moral truths that allow God to grant such protection and blessing, as opposed to forsaking God’s omnipotent protection and fend for one’s self in the sea of capricious worldliness; which may be fine or, given the historic trends of men and women left to themselves, may be not.

I submit that we need to understand that human beings are really at the sole mercy of their own ability to WILL and to DO, and never at the mercy of God’s “control”; which simply makes man an extension of God; and this of course is impossible for God because to be the “ability” of man and Creation makes God a total hypocrite and pretty much invalidates the entirety of the testimony of Moses, the Prophets and Jesus.  Therefore, IF we decide we must rationally be the authors of our own moral dichotomies, then we accept the existential truth that we will rise and fall with our choices.  And, really, this is precisely HOW we can exist at all…that WE create OUR OWN reality, physically and morally; meaning that our actions are OURS, of OUR WILL, and thus we justly reap the consequences, be they blessings from God, blessings in the form of worldly reward, or pain and destruction (mind you, I’m not speaking of salvation right now, I’m speaking of man’s practical living here in the world, in THIS reality).

And again, this may be fine, or it may not be.  The point of God is not to frustrate or torture those who refuse Him, but to leave them to their own devices.  For that is their prerogative, and metaphysically, He cannot and will not stop them (though there may be consequences…but this is NOT control; and divine consequences, frankly, are really rare and MUST be specifically revealed as such to more than just one person…and even then they are likely going to be subjective; for really, practically ALL of faith and morality is subjective empirically speaking…you cannot “prove” necessarily GOOD; and Christians are just going to have to accept this, and stop demanding hypocritically that the government tell two law-abiding citizens that they will go to jail if they marry and are the same sex; and on the other hand declare that the solution to the issue is to send these people to clinics to “make homosexuals straight”.  The tyranny and irony (the truth shall make you “free”) and lack of empathy implicit in this kind of thinking is a byproduct of attempting to make moral GOOD, objective, without the ability to objectively define it.  I’m not saying that Christians must accept that homosexuality is right, and I’m not saying that I support it.  What I am saying is that Christians should be, having TRUTH, the the epitome of rational thought because our God is decidedly rational, decidedly TRUE, and decidedly NON-arbitrary.  Thus, we must seek to restrict our use of FORCE in opposition to people’s personal moral choices unless we can show rationally beyond a reasonable doubt to ALL, believers and non-believers alike, that any moral truths we wish to enforce by threat of criminal prosecution are going to result in measurable, observable societal outcomes with regards to PERSONAL freedom of body, mind, and property.  In other words, let’s go to the government to help us keep people from murdering others, or stealing from them, or raping them, or beating them, or bullying them, and resort to winning over other moral objections with superior IDEAS, not threats of stake-burning, banishment, or prison.  Let’s leave that behavior to rank heretics like John Calvin and Martin Luther, who perfected either the propaganda or implementation (or both) of such action.

Yes, sooner or later Christians should recognize the importance of thinking.  And unless we want to give all our “pastors in the stead” machine guns and licenses to kill on our behalf, we will need to start using our brains and defend our ideas at some point in a way that doesn’t make our faith seem about as deep and wide as a post-it note or “Vote for Jesus” bumper sticker. 

So, getting back to our topic:  the “storm” is a metaphor for all suffering. Which now, instead of being contrary to God’s divine Will–s a reflection of his love and affection for man, and His desire to reach out to him in order to protect and care for him–God’s attitude toward the pinnacle of His Creation, man, is wholly opposite.  And now, God doesn’t simply WANT man to suffer, He purposefully ordains it, controls it, and intentionally brings it to bear.

Think about what that says about man’s chances of being relevant?  I would say exactly zero…and even less if there was a logical lower-value abstraction.  For IF God is the One who is sending out His “storms” to torment you, then your chances of resisting are, again, zero.  And if this is the case, then God MUST be the One who rebukes the storm, of His own utterly arbitrary/pointless will, timing, and pleasure.

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

Er…duh.

He would HAVE to be the One to rebuke it, if rebuking factors somewhere into the equation…which, given the insanity and the nonsensical nature of this statement, is certainly possible.  Hell, why not?  Let’s have God come down and do show tunes with Liberace in his “Back from the Dead” tour.  With Calvin’s philosophy, just about anything is possible…because nothing really means anything.  And by that I mean: nothing is based on reason.  If it is ALL contradiction (and reformed theology is), then ANYTHING can mean just about ANYTHING the gnostics (and God, apparently) say it means.  God doing show tunes with a diamond draped cape and eye-shadow has as much relevance to your spiritual walk in light of TULIP as God giving Moses the stone tablets or Jesus’s dying on a Roman cross.  It’s all nonsense.  Hell…really, as God-in-the-stead, Calvinist overlords are literally permitted, according to their doctrine, to keep writing books of the Bible (which really is kind of what their hermeneutics are, in essence…they call it “Systematic Theology”).  We can have Batman and Bugs Bunny sharing a scene in the Wilderness or at Goshen with Elisha, the Virgin Mary, and Captain Ahab.

So, yes…duh. If God brings the storm, then by definition man cannot resist it, so God must rebuke it, because…who the hell else is going to?  The only way for this scenario to work with “rebuking” coming in stage left is for God to rebuke Himself.  To declare that what He did was done for the sole purpose of arbitrarily undoing it.  That’s the only way this makes any sense at all and….

Wait.  Did we just declare that for this nonsense to make sense God has to rebuke His own work?

Does that really square?  I really…er…I just don’t think it does.  God’s work IS God; and so, if He rebukes His work, He rebukes Himself.  And that, my friends, is what we call here, outside of Calvinist Fantasy Land, a metaphysical contradiction in terms.

Unfortunately, I actually have friends who still insist “Nah…it’s just a paradox.”  And I say, “My Aunt gave birth to a bicycle.  Ten Speed.  I know, I know…it’s a paradox, man.  [shrug]  But with God, all things are possible.”

Stay tuned for part four…

It’s Not Paradox, It’s Contradiction: Thirty-three contradictions of Total Depravity and Election

The rational licentiousness of Reformation theology’s total depravity doctrine is this:  those who are totally depraved simply cannot be saved.  That is the metaphysical conclusion of this idea.  There is no man beyond his depravity, and implicit in this is the notion that the very core of man is wicked.  Calvinists will be the first to holler to their high “undeserved” heavens that there is not one sole molecule within man himself that is not hell-bound, and rejoicing in it.  There is NOTHING within man that is “good”.  Nothing.  The root of him is evil.  Man IS evil.  The only rational and logical conclusion of this belief is what I have said since the early days of my break with the rank heresy that is Reformed Theology:  Calvinism demands that the singular evil of man is his very existence; his creation.  This can be the ONLY conclusion about the nature of man from Calvin’s ideas.  IF there is NO good in ANY part of man so that he is totally depraved, then man’s very BEING, yes…even the very IDEA of man in God’s mind must logically be wicked.  If God speaks the word in order to create, and the word is “MAN” (“Let man be made in Our image”), then the very word of God by which man is made–man, who IS wholly and resolutely evil, perpetually turning away from God–is also then, logically to be considered the very inception of the evil itself.   And what does this say about God?  Things that should terrify anyone who accepts the doctrine of total depravity.

Do you see now the evil that is implicit in the thousands upon thousands of church “Statements of Faith” which affirm total depravity?  This wicked doctrine is found in almost every American church in the nation, and we wonder why, more and and more, Christians are becoming the pariahs of the world.  They have been duped into celebrating a God that created evil personified.

People, we need to run, horrified and reverent, from this dreadfully insane doctrine.

And do not be tempted to say to yourself, as the Calvinists do:  “I’m sure, that man was born pure, created good by God, but fell of his own volition.”  This bit of logical fantasy cannot hold water.  The fact is that if man is wholly and totally depraved then he could NOT have been anything else.  Ever.  By their own definition the very base and core of man is EVIL; his root existence thus is evil. He could no more have once been good than green could have once been red.  If the thing IS red, and that is the utter root essence of it, and it could not ever have been green.  Because, for obvious reasons of logic and common sense, the color red cannot become the color green.  (I know people fight me on this point; they cannot get their heads around it…they constantly think of a THING which is colored, instead of the color itself…the color being the utter end of the concept; there is NO thing beyond the color, is what I mean.)  An object which can be colored can be red and then become green, sure, but the color red itself ceases to exist if it is anything BUT red because the complete truth of this color is:  red is red.   Likewise, the truth of man who IS evil, according to total depravity is:  evil is evil; there is nothing beyond it.  But if we say good has now become evil, then the human being we are talking about, who forms the platform for the moral dichotomy, must be a separate thing altogether. That is, there IS something beyond the evil; and thus, man cannot be totally depraved.

So, again…to reiterate, because this MUST be understood:  If the root of man is evil, then he could never have been good.  For if, as the Calvinists say, man IS evil, it means that he could never have, by definition, been good.  If man was once good, but is now evil, then the root of man which can make this moral positional shift must be something else entirely.  And the truth is that at his root man is God’s child; his crowning omnipotent achievement.  Man’s creation by God is thus “good”, and “very good”.  This is the root of man: a child of God Indeed, Jesus is the Son of Man; not because man is evil, but because at his root, man is GOOD.   He is redeemed because he is supremely WORTH redeeming.  If man was worthLESS, he could not be God’s creation.

Man cannot be totally depraved at all.  For the root of man is man himself; his independent consciousness which is the pinnacle of his being; his very REASON for being created.  And the ability of man to be self-aware and to know and apprehend and grasp and see cannot be held morally accountable to any standard.  Ability is not subject to morality; only volition and desire and action.  All of these stem from man’s ability to be self-aware.  The ability of creation to do what it does is from God, and thus, the root of all in Creation, especially man, is GOOD.  NOT evil.  And the fact that man represents the singular object of our existential reality which God can LOVE means that man cannot ever be considered something God cannot love, as the Calvinists declare.  And this  means that anyone who proclaims total depravity as “sound doctrine” is a liar.  If man is totally depraved, the God is the author of evil.  There is no way around this logical conclusion.  Calvinism is the traditions of men, nullifying the commands and metaphysics of God by their irrational hermeneutics.

So, having said all of the above, we can now understand, following Calvin’s logic to its inexorable conclusion, that there is nothing in the totally depraved human to save, even if the Lord wanted to (which…why would He? because logically He would have had to CREATE man ALREADY totally depraved).  Yes, even if He wanted to save man, there is nothing in the human being which can do anything except reject God, hate God, regardless of anything God does, or even, ironically, regardless of whether man “wants” to hate God or not.  For not even God can change a totally depraved person into a good person–a worthy person–for the same reason, again, that green cannot become red.

Now, one might suppose that what we mean by a “new creation” in Christ is that God replaces the “elect” man with a “new man”.  And what is really meant by this is that the old one, being totally depraved, is destroyed so that the YOU that is elect is no longer really YOU at all; but you are irrelevant, a divine utter redundancy.  A cosmic, divine, perfectly determined MISTAKE.  And what I mean by this is:  God created YOU in order to destroy you to replace you with a new YOU, or a “new man” [and thus we have:  contradiction #1].

This “new man” just happens to look like you and have the same thoughts as you and the same consciousness as you.  So even though YOU were elect from birth…you, er, really weren’t [contradiction #2]; but the new YOU is really the one who is elect, and he/she then was somehow both predestined and foreknown from before birth and at the same time was not [contradiction #3] because this new YOU both is and is not YOU at all and so he/she both must have and could not have been elect from birth and predestined before time [contradiction #4].

Unfortunately this completely rational and vividly clear answer to the the question of how God saves the totally depraved (yes, that was sarcasm) falls short when we remember that, according to the doctrine, ALL men are equally totally depraved; so new man or old, they are both totally depraved by definition, and thus, new or old, neither can be saved because both are irrelevant.  The old IS the new and the new IS the old [contradiction #5].

Therefore the only possibly solution is that whether before you accept Christ or after, you are equally totally depraved.  Your salvation does nothing, in fact, to rectify your sinful nature.  Not even Christ can make YOU “good” positionally; instead Christ can…well, effect no change in you whatsoever.  You see, it’s really quite simple: you need Christ to realize that you don’t really need Christ at all, because you are totally evil at the core, and He cannot change this; and this is why you are elect, because you MUST be, because Christ’s sacrifice really can do nothing for you.  And because you are elect, your depravity, which somehow condemns you, doesn’t really condemn you…because you’re elect [contradictions #6, 7, and 8].  And, lo and behold, this is exactly what the neo-Calvinists of our day teach.  If you are a Christian, guess what?  You are just as horribly wicked, and devoted to and slavishly following evil as you were the day you were shaking your fists at God and declaring that you wanted nothing to do with him.  And even if you never really did this, you really did…because you are not you, you see, and your mind doesn’t know what you are doing because your mind is totally depraved, and you then are not you, but only whatever force is compelling you, so whatever good you think you did you must think you didn’t  [contradiction #9], and whatever evil you think you did not, you must think you did [contradiction #10].  But then if you agree that you only think you did good but did not really do good, you acknowledge that you did a good thing by reversing your thoughts about the good you could not possibly have done that you thought you did; and this of course is impossible because you cannot think anything good because you are depraved and thus cannot know good and so you must go back to believing that you did good instead of trusting that you did not, which is the good which you cannot do, according to your depravity [contradiction #11].  And so whether you think you are evil or think you are good, and both and neither, it is all irrelevant because whatever you think, you can’t possibly be really thinking [contradiction #12].  If you think that you think, then you are a liar.  And if you think that you don’t think, so that you are not really culpable for your evil thoughts, you are a liar [contradiction #13]. Your thinking is a lie.  And if you think that, you are a liar [contradiction #14] because you cannot think anything true, which means you cannot think.  And this is the obvious (?) and clear(?) and sound(?) doctrinal proof of your depravity.  So remember, believe in Jesus, and remember that you cannot really believe in Jesus, because you are depraved [contradiction #16].  And thus you are both you and NOT you, but merely your depravity, which isn’t you at all, because that makes you an abstraction [HUGE CONTRADICTIONS # 17, #18 AND #19…three points for this idiotic Calvinist doozy].

If man is totally depraved then there can be no “new man”, and this is my point.  Indeed, in light of the doctrine, we can only draw one conclusion.  God must BE man for man.  God must elect man for man, and must then sanctify man for man, because man is evil and does not and CANNOT change according to the very description of the doctrine by Calvinists themselves.  Okay…fine, you might accept that.  But what is so alarmingly common these days is the willingness of people to simply accept that the “logic” stops there.  That there is no other link remaining in the metaphysical chain.  People…this is just flagrant insanity.

I mean, think about the next step in the doctrinal equation.  Just think!  I’m not the only one who can see this, believe me!  It’s right there, in front of your face!  Stop looking at the stupid Calvinist trees and SEE THE FOREST.  What does it logically mean if God has to do EVERYTHING for man so that man, who is totally depraved, can be saved (which, he can’t BY DEFINITION because he was created fundamentally depraved).

Do you have it.  Yes?  Yes!  Great.

Okay, let’s see if you are right.  What I am saying is this:  only God can really be saved.  God came as Christ to save Himself, so that He may sanctify Himself, in order that He may dwell eternally with Himself, to make remission for His OWN sins….[contradiction #20].

Ahh…oops.  Sounds a littler, er…blasphemous-like, huh?

Yes, it does.  Why?  Because Calvinism is EVIL, and its acolytes are PHARISEES!

And the more you dig into this insane hole of morbid and putrid doctrine the darker and more incestuous the tunnel becomes.  What this crusty bit of reformed doctrine teaches, further, is that God creates wicked, evil man so that He may save Himself through the vehicle of that very same wicked, evil man.  Man is thus a created act of divine apostasy, determined according to the doctrine of unconditional election and limited atonement, and thus usurped from himself so that he may be utterly controlled by God, which, as a determined creation, was never really itself at all.  This means that depraved man is an extension of God, Himself [contradiction #21], which then somehow IS sin, and thus God sins against Himself, by Himself [massive contradiction #22] and sends Christ so that He may be saved by Himself [contradiction #23].  And thus God somehow, though determined, manages to “fall” away [contradiction #24], so that He might send Himself to die as a sacrifice for Himself; and the part that He is dying for was always elect to salvation, and thus not really in need of Christ at all, thus making the sacrifice pointless, [contradiction #25].

It is “reasonable” to conclude, then, that the “elect” part of God was always then fundamentally good, because God is, of course, good…but the problem is that even the “good” part of God is in man, and thus is also still totally depraved and wicked [contradiction #26]. But this doesn’t really matter because the depravity of the “elect” doesn’t lead to any sort of need to repent or change because they are both elect and totally depraved, both of which utterly preclude the possibility or even option of repentance or change [contradiction #27].

Further, we can “reasonably” conclude from Calvin’s peculiar doctrine that the part of God which is not elect [contradiction #28] is doomed to hell to be eternally separated from Himself [blasphemous contradiction #29].  For Christ, who came to save sinners, cannot really save sinners, but only the elect, because sin is irrelevant:  irrelevant for those elect before they were born (whether they repent or not they are still elect, by definition), and irrelevant for those who were already going to hell before they were born (whether they repent or not they are still going to hell, by definition); and so Christ cannot save the part of God which is unelect [contradiction #30], but only the elect part of Himself, which was always elect even before it accepted Himself [contradiction #31].  Thus, the elect part of Himself which He, Himself came to save, and for whom the sacrifice of Himself is alone efficacious, finds Christ, Himself, utterly irrelevant to Himself, because He must, unequivocally be saved by His own election, not His own sacrifice [contradiction #32 and #33].

Now…if that is “paradox”, then religion is for fools.

“Tell me, friend.  When did Saruman the Wise abandon reason for madness?”

-Gandalf the Grey

“The Cross does not make election possible, but election makes the Cross pointless.”

-Argo

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 2)

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

-Christian Pastor,speaking western European mysticism.

Ah yes…we were discussing the story in Matthew.  Or Mark, one of the two, anyway.

And then, Jesus rebuked the storm and all was well.  Except that there was little faith.

And then, again, the gentle pastor who is unfortunately taken to speaking in terms of impossible metaphysical contradiction founded upon pagan western European mysticism, and not on the empirical and rational philosophical foundations of the Jewish texts says:

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

Now, at this point, take yet another moment to ponder that statement, the insanity of it; the outright impossibility of it in light of what we understand of our reality and God’s inability to NEED to control ANYTHING He creates, by definition, because He is quite above it, and NOTHING can prevail against the Lord’s objectives, as a product of His omnipotence.  Indeed, if He controls Creation, then He is really rationally unable to rebuke or subdue it; it is merely Himself.  And as Jesus declared:  “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  This is an obvious metaphysical truth.  But the mystic despots deny truth and reason because they present a stark and unwelcome reminder of their spiritual treason.

And this is the crux of the whole irrational neo-Reformed matter:  God bringing a thing and then rebuking a thing is functionally the exact same thing as saying God brings Himself TO rebuke Himself…and even worse, this supposedly for your moral benefit.  As if God rebuking Himself is supposed to help Creation or man experience GOOD!  How can God be our ever present help in time of trouble if He is too busy rebuking Himself to actually help?  That does not make any sense.  On the logic scale of zero to ten…well, it cannot find the logic scale.

Hmm…interesting.  Very interesting…and oh, so telling a thing this little gem of “sound doctrine” is.  Do you remember how I once said that the doctrine of Calvinism and the neo-Reformation is designed to destroy the moral standard; to blur the lines between good and evil so that, pragmatically speaking, there is no true and reasonable difference?  And what I mean by this is that if man is ALL bad and God is ALL good then logically there can be no discernible difference between the two, because this paradigm equates morality with existence; thus, “anything man does is evil” is the mirror equivalent to: “anything God does is good”.  The doing becomes not a function of a moral standard but purely of being and thus, everything is a function of whatever IS, not moral GOOD/EVIL. And this is also the rationally impossible outcome of trying to synthesis God’s existential nature as the I AM with man’s existential nature as the I AM, RELATIVE TO THIS/THAT.

Incidentally, this is also why the concept of dualism cannot possibly lead to a standard of morality…yes, the dark side of the Force is just as good as the light side of the Force, and vice versa; there cannot be any TRUE moral standard imposed on either.  Each one is a law unto itself.  So, the way the “moral” construct looks is like this:  the darkness of the dark side of the Force is not relative to anything, or, if it is relative, it is relative to the light side of the Force–this of course, make no sense at all.  And the lightness side of the force is not relative to anything, or, if it is relative,  it is relative to the dark side of the Force–which also cannot stand the scrutiny of common sense.  For how can a thing’s moral standing be defined relative to its complete moral opposite; that is how good a thing is is measured by how bad another thing is; or how bad a thing, which cannot help but be bad, is NOT.  To put it another way: who declares how high a thing is by how low a separate thing is?  If there is no separate standards–like sea level, for instance–by which the height of two things are judged, then it becomes impossible to say just how high one thing is because you cannot define how low the other thing is.  Highness and lowness become undefinable; there is no functional difference between them because there is no objective standard by which to measure them.

And so the the moral and logical and metaphysical dilemma of dualism (e.g. Star Wars’ the “Force”) arises when one realizes that if both sides of the Force are relative to themselves, and there is no third party standard of “good” by which they both can be measured, then there is no rational nor moral way to conclude that the light side of the force is, in fact the “good” side.  For by definition, good and bad as far as practical definitions of morality go are irrelevant.  Goodness and badness, or rather, lightness and darkness are simply the innate essence of the existence of each side of the force , and as such, are both morally equal.   There is NO functional moral difference, then, between EVIL and GOOD.

This illustrates precisely the problem Calvinism presents for morality.  It is dualism, plain and simply, and thus it destroys any meaningful understanding of morality.  Man is evil, God is good equals ANYTHING man does is evil, and ANYTHING God does is good. This, again, is pure pagan dualism.  There is no standard beyond themselves.  They are relative to either themselves, or to the antithesis of themselves, which is utterly irrational and logically impossible.  For to declare an act/thought/desire by a thing actually good or evil, one needs to compare the act/thought/desire with an external plumb line by which the distance from it can be measured; and thus what we are saying is that the THING itself doing the act/thought/desire must be functionally separate from that moral standard, be able to recognize it and either act in accordance or contrary to it of its own free ability.   That plumb line cannot be simply EVIL, of course, for evil represents NOT the standard which GOOD is attempting to attain, but by definition the antithesis of itself; and vice versa.  And again, this amounts to nonsense.

For instance, again, if man is EVIL, then HE is the standard, and thus anything he does is evil; and this means that his evil is no longer a function of morality, but a function of his existence; and thus to condemn him for evil is unjust.  One can only justly condemn the creator of him, for the creator, in bringing about existence, brings about evil.  Except, really, you cannot even condemn the creator because again, EVIL in this case has NO moral implication.  God cannot be faulted for creating a moral atrocity because morality does not really exist.  Man just IS evil, and that’s just another way of saying, not that man is not good, but that man IS, period.  

So, yes, the end result of Calvinist “morality” is relativism; a blurring of the lines between good and evil so that every human’s relationship to morality basically consists of a constant state of confusion-the logical outcome of such a nonsensical definition of morality…which of course is utterly perfected in total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints…gnostic, dualistic paganism (Calvin’s TULIP acronym).  People know that they are supposed to do good and yet they know that they cannot do good and can’t even apprehend good because their very thoughts are vile and damned from the utter start; they have NO frame of reference for good except that they SOMEHOW know it is precisely ALWAYS and perpetually what they are NOT.  Remember, according to the doctrine, every single faculty by which humans are supposed to apprehend, organize, and interpret anything is totally depraved.  Thus, they cannot even really define good by definition, because it would have to be THEM defining it, THEM knowing it even if someone told it to them.  And the problem is that THEM is totally depraved.

Stay tuned for part three.

Which Comes First, The Law or the Object? (A bit more on dismantling determinism)

Note:  In this essay, the words “thing” and “object” refer to anything that part of the observable universe but is NOT abstract.  It might be easiest to assume some kind of tangible MATTER.  Or “body”, as it is referred to in Newtonian mechanics.

NOTE II:  Please understand that I do NOT deny God as Creator.  What this post addresses is the particular determinist aspects of that particular doctrine which are IMPLICIT within the Christian church, and which I deny as false.  I submit that God MUST create, yes; however, this creation cannot be a function of God’s “pre-known”, or “fore-known” will, but merely a function of His IS.  That is, Creation is implied because of God’s innate Self.  His WILL is not a separate component of Himself; thus, because God exists, Creation exists, period.  More on that later.

It is my submission that all of determinism, both scientific and Christian (via the epidemically false interpretation of “predestination” and “election”, as well as the well-meaning concessional nod towards the “paradox” of free will and predestination; which isn’t a paradox at all but a rank contradiction)…my submission that all of determinism can be dismantled by acknowledging one simple truth; and that is that the object precedes its laws (either physical/natural, or “pre-ordained/predestined” purposes/events/actions/etc.).  That the object which exists precedes any “law” that defines its existence by doing what scientists in particular LOVE to do:  attribute its ability to exist to something ELSE that is wholly separate from the object, and, even more illogical, ABSTRACT.  And this would be, again, some quantification (physical law) or qualification (physical law OR religious determinism).

This is not to say that physical laws are not real.  Well, by “real”, we must acknowledge that they are not real in the tangible sense.  They cannot be apprehended by the physical senses.  Truly, an object can be observed, and its movement or some aspect of its movement, but we are not witnessing the physical law, which is merely a mathematical construct designed to catalog “movement”.  We are not witnessing the law drive the object.  We are witnessing the object BE, and DO what it does.

The natural law is, again, merely man’s quantification of doing.  However, the law is in fact real in the sense that it can be organized according to a formula which can be tested and shown to have repeatable outcomes so that it can be accepted as a TRUTH in and of itself.  That alone, the description of the object’s movement in this way IS actually a real LAW unto itself, and one that exists apart from the object, and which derives its power FROM the object, while giving context and meaning and purpose to the object as witnessed by a third party observer.  And this useful in predicting outcomes of events and objects, and also in conscious beings organizing their environments for many obvious purposes.  One, of course, being: survival, for instance.  But we should never forget that outside of a conscious observer, the law is non-existent.  To the object, the law is nothing.  Indeed, you do not need a physics degree to know that if you hit your  shin on the coffee table, it will hurt, and so you turn the light off BEFORE you exit the living room.  But really, all physical law is, is a heady way to articulate the following:  the object moves in space.  And that is the sum total of what a thing needs to exist.  Indeed, the LAW of existence, which merely says that something IS, is a law that derives FIRST from the object.  Once a thing exist, laws inexorably follow.  The horse does indeed go before the cart.  The law cannot, as an abstract thing, possibly exist BEFORE the tangible object.  For without the object, the law is utterly untrue…it cannot be; it is irrelevant because it IS NOT.  But the converse is not true.  Indeed, there is no converse.  The thing exists first, period.  All “aspects” of its existence follow it.  In other words, the object creates its OWN existential realities as implicit in its very self.  Even its existence is from itself.  For logic demands that the existence of an object cannot precede the object.  One may argue that there must first be a “setting” for existence, or an “ability” of a thing to exist before it can exist.  I deny this because it is merely demanding that some kind of abstract “truth” or “law” is, in fact the CREATOR, of the tangible.  And I would even include—now, Christian friends, get ready to recoil in outrage—the “will” or “purpose” of God.  This is also nothing but an abstract “law” of existence; and as such, it is irrational to declare it truth; to declare that the abstract (that which can only be articulated by a conscious mind AFTER the object exists) generates the tangible.  That is saying that what does not exist creates that which does.  That is simply irrational.

To say that a LAW of existence must precede an object’s existence is untenable logic; nonsense.  There IS no existence apart from the object.  To say that an object comes into existence as the PRODUCT of a law is irrational.  It comes into existence as a product of itself; the physical law is the product, not the object.  The object IS its own existence; its own natural law.  The QUANTIFICATION of this can only come after the thing is observed.  A LAW of existence cannot CREATE a thing.  I am not suggesting that things exist in a vacuum.  I fully concede that objects can in fact beget other objects and affect other objects.  But this is NOT the function of a law, but a function of objects BEING; which is merely two things:  taking up space (or I would say “consuming” space) and moving.  Do laws do these things, or do the objects do these things?  It is obvious: the objects do these things.  Not according to natural laws, but according to their own ABILITY to BE; which is wholly a function of themselves.  Objects are the creative forces of themselves.  A thing exists because IT is ABLE to exist, period.  It exists because IT makes itself EXIST; its existence is an inexorable part of purely itself.  No law, and no determined divine act. There is nothing outside itself that drives this ability. There can be no FUNCTIONAL separation (that is, a separation that is not purely illustrative or abstract) between the object and its actions/natural laws.  And this is precisely why I argue that the FUTURE is NOT real.  It is ALWAYS and ONLY a product of man’s ability to quantify and qualify Creation’s movement.  Nothing more.

And if all this is true, and it is, then the only way determinism can be worked into the equation in any way is to say that a thing wholly determines itself.   For if the object must precede ANY definition of itself (which is what scientific determinism and Christian determinism DENY), then the object is utterly in charge of generating its own reality.  It is SELF-DETERMINING.  And if a thing is self-determining, it, by definition, cannot be determined by anything else.  Not God, and not Stephen Hawking.  And yes, my physicist friends, there is a difference.