The Masses-Applied Double Standard for “Teacher”: Marxism in communication

Once the facade is dropped, the double-standard is as clear filtered water.  You’ve heard it before…you’ve seen it before.  Shoot, even by a cursory glance at the Stockdale comments thread over at Wartburg Watch it is difficult to miss.  What is it?

The idea that if you have a perspective that is both logically unassailable and difficult for people to grasp, then you have some kind of obligation to-somehow, someway-make not your POINT the focus of your argument, but your “tone”.  In other words, not offending the delicate sensibilities of the masses subverts the entire discussion by crying “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”.

But if it is NOT what I say, then what difference does it make how I say it?  If it is untrue, state your reason…appeal to the logical fallacy.  Oh…they will say, we do that, but you are just so mean.

What they mean is that they do that—they argue their points—but when the other person does not concede on the grounds that their argument is not logically consistent, instead of dropping the discussion, they assault “tone”.

And once again, the Marxism and determinism implicit in so much of the evolution of Western thought breaches the surface like a lazy whale.  You see, it isn’t THEIR fault they aren’t able to effectively defend their ideas…no, no.  It is YOUR fault because you aren’t saying it nicely.  They are blinded by their offended egos…and the fault is yours.  YOUR meanness is such an affront  that it creates an insurmountable hurdle to their reason; to their communication.  YOUR tone has DETERMINED that they cannot possibly be responsible for not conceding what they might otherwise concede if you weren’t such a meanie.

If you were just nicer they would be able to engage their will, and perhaps might have their minds changed, or at least part amicably with an understanding that either they don’t understand, you are not communicating your point clearly, or that they are confident that you have not argued away their own ideas.

But it never ends there because what happens is that the implicit Marxism and its twin brother, determinism, ALWAYS have to have their say.  They ALWAYS need to remain the nucleus of ANY debate or discussion.  You see, if they agree that the communication is either not sufficient or that they are actually wrong…well, in either case, this implies two things:  Human culpability for actions; and that those in positions of “power” (intellectually or otherwise) are NOT actually obligated according to the morals of the Primary Conscience to FIRST consider the subjective well-being of the helpless and ignorant masses BEFORE making their point.

And in light of thousands of years of Platonist thinking culminating in Immanuel Kant and then finding its political footing (and inevitable human destruction) in the Communist Manifesto…these trends are not surprising.

Which…you know, it wouldn’t be so bad (well…okay, it would) if it wasn’t such a double standard.  A reading of the Stockdale comments thread over at Wartburg Watch illustrates this perfecting.  Look at the number of posts complaining that it isn’t so much that I don’t have a right to my opinions…no, this they concede.  But unfortunately this argument is made utterly moot by the explicit proclamation that I DON’T have the right to my way of communicating those ideas. And in this sense, again, the right to my opinions is moot.  For ideas are THINGS.  They have corners.  They have a premise, an argument for that and then an appeal to behavior modification in service to the premise.  They can be defined, dismantled, organized, applied, rejected, and modified with objective outcomes.

But this is impossible with DELIVERY.  Delivery or “tone” is massively subjective, and the power to interpret this is EXCLUSIVELY reserved for the listening party.  The person communicating knows the delivery; the person listening seems to reserve the categorical right to determine if the communicator is delivering it right or not. It’s all how the listener subjectively interprets it.  And if they are “offended”,  the debate is screwed.  It is no longer about ideas, it is about CONTROL.  And he who controls tone, controls content.

And that is exactly what Dee is doing at Wartburg.  She claims that ideas are fine, but if she doesn’t like your tone, you are summarily assaulted.  This is merely the functional equal of content control.  Which she has every right to do.  But don’t pretend ideas and tone are separate functions; are able to be “moderated” separately.  That is a false assumption.

The two (ideas and communication style) are inseparable in this regard.  IF one has the right to ideas but NOT the right to decide how to communicate them, then there is no functional difference between not having the right to communicate and NOT having the right to the IDEAS you communicate.  If they can control HOW you say what you say, they can control WHAT you say.  It is as simple as that…and it is the root of the first amendment, by the way.  This understanding of the impossible separation of the two.  (And here, understand, I am talking about communicating ideas; I am not suggesting that abusive language designed to only inflict psychological violence on the listener applies in this situation.  That is not communications.  Again, that is violence.  That is not what I am excusing.  I am referring to communication styles:  abrasive, perhaps; gentle, perhaps; frank, perhaps; roundabout, perhaps…etc., etc.)

The worst part though, is the double standards.  Look at the vitriol directed at me over there, without a peep from the moderators…and when I respond in kind (sarcasm for sarcasm; tongue in cheek for tongue in cheek), I’m lambasted by Dee and a host of other offended parties.  Why…well, because for some reason, by virtue of my surety of my ideas and the inability of other commenters to dismantle my reason, I am “privileged”.

And therein lay the Marxism.  The idea that the “haves” must sacrifice what they “have” in service to the poor masses…the have-nots.  If you are perceived to have some kind of position which is “superior”, and others are “subordinate”, you are on the hook for catering to their subjective needs first, and EVERYTHING else second.  In other words, say it the right way so that the “people” are happy.  Give the people whatever they want first, because this is the only morality a person of “privilege” can actually do.

Kill themselves, their ideas, their labor, their produce, their time, their profit and their status for the “good” of the masses.  Your death, your pain, YOUR sacrifice is the only good you can do.  The greatest good for you is to NOT be YOU so that what you have can be divided up among the “workers”.   You are nothing more than the collective; and you better get this straight.  Your ideas don’t matter, but only the subjective “good” of the people who, by virtue of your “superior” and “privileged” position claim the moral right to own you, and all you have and all you think.

And we think Calvinism is being confronted on these blogs.

Hardly.

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19 thoughts on “The Masses-Applied Double Standard for “Teacher”: Marxism in communication

  1. Just ignore them and say What you want to say How you want to say it. People in power, or people brainwashed by those in power, don’t want to know the truth or for anyone else to know it so they will use any excuse to silence it. You’ve got to get to the point where you don’t care what they say about you. That’s how THEY took over to begin with, isn’t it? They didn’t let any complaints about either the Content or the Tone of their message get in their way — why should we?

  2. The New Atheists and the New Calvinists are both extremely abrasive — so why shouldn’t the New Us be just as abrasive in dealing them with? Fire with Fire.

  3. Hey Argo, you are well loved, sorry if you felt attacked. Don’t go away. I’m going to re-read everything tomorrow & give you a better considered reply. I feel like you are part of my WW family & I don’t like it when Mummy & Daddy fight….sending love.

  4. Beakerj,

    Thank you! I love commenting there, and I so appreciate you taking the time to post here.

    Yeah…TWW can be a great place. Unfortunately, I’m noticing some disturbing new trends. Read my latest post. Dee commented yesterday “I have deleted two comments blaming Calvinism for sexual abuse”. This is tantamount to covering for the doctrine; and is just another way of conceding that humans are the problem; the ideas are never wrong. From here, it is a short walk towards absolutism, to authoritarianism, to despotism, to condoning abuse, to engaging abuse, to violence. And then, we are right back where we started.

    In my opinion, this all started when I and a couple others began taking Wade Burelson to task on his doctrinal beliefs seen both in his blog and in his sermons.

    It seems to me TWW is becoming less a place for the free flow of ideas to a place where the divinely-mandated authority is covered for.

    I’ve seen this before. It starts the same way. It’s a shame.

    Unfortunately, this new embargo on doctrinal criticism means that it’ll be extremely difficult if not impossible for me to really express any of my opinions because what I believe is 180 degrees OPPOSITE of the assertions in Dee’s statement, which is better read this way: I have deleted comments blaming the doctrine for the abuse that the doctrine condones, and even more so, demands.

    It always happens when the dividing line between good and evil is no longer the affirmation of human life verses the exploitation of it in the name of “sound doctrine” but becomes utterly morally and perpetually innocent “ideas” verses totally depraved (read insufficient to know “good” or “truth”) human beings.

  5. Have you ever noticed that sound doctrine to the ecclesiastic means the creeds, the metaphysics, the hairbrained systematic theology and soteriology, and yet when Paul uses the phrase it means moral teaching?

    1st Timothy 1:9-10 “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine..”

    Here, Sound doctrine = the moral Law.

  6. James, yes. The idea is very simple. Man comes first in any doctrinal equation or it is deterministic tyranny. It is as easy as that.

  7. “Here, Sound doctrine = the moral Law.”

    James, Your comment is right up my alley. Let me get your opinion on something. Do you believe God gave the Israelites the law knowing they “could not” keep it? (Notice I said “could not” instead of “would not”)

  8. “The idea is very simple. Man comes first in any doctrinal equation or it is deterministic tyranny. It is as easy as that.”

    Yes, and this goes back to creation. And our “value” as humans.

    Think of it, anything else devalues humans enmasse. (or the majority of humans— not the ones people have chosen to follow and listen to as they are not devalued from it but gain influence from it)

  9. Lydia,

    Not directed at me, but my answer: no

    I also do not agree that “people cannot help but sin”. If people cannot help but sin, then we are right back to “election”, which is merely determinism, which means that man is an extension of God…or something, and I say “something” because once you concede that man’s will is not absolute, but limited by an external agent somewhere, man cannot ultimately know anything, including whether or not he is worshiping the right God, or even if God exists, or even if man, himself, exists.

    The whole philosophy around Christianity needs to be re-evaluated. Reformed theology has wrecked truth. It cannot exist in the paradigm. Both man and God cannot ultimately be known.

    I think the entire problem in the garden had to do with man exchanging the primacy of existence (morality and truth OF and BY man), for the primacy of conscience (morality and truth OUTSIDE of man; becoming mutually exclusive to him by making moral truth abstract, instead of physical). Man’s will wasn’t effected is the WHOLE damn point.

    We continue to succumb to these ideas that somehow, things which don’t ACTUALLY exist “control’ man, or that man is somehow on the hook for a symbiosis with something that is by definition NOTHING. A moral LAW is an ABSTRACT thing. Man can no more keep an ABSTRACT law than man can shake hands with Superman. Thus, if God gave us things to “keep” to be righteous, the whole point of God’s is that, unlike the religions around the Jews, man actually possessed the ability to DO, in and of himself, what God asked him to do. And if he CAN obey, he CAN be righteous. He can know truth; and he then CAN act upon it, because the same will man uses to know is the same he uses to “act”.

    But this is what the neo-Cals categorically deny. “Because you CAN’T obey” is their death-worshiping swan song. Which means you can’t choose, because you can’t know…and because you can’t know, you can’t know TRUTH. Thus, the real “you” can only be found within “another” force OUTSIDE of you. Which is why I continue to say that if you look at all Calvinist doctrines, they ultimately focus on removing YOU from YOU.

    And the reason debates with neo-Cals go in circles is because they know they cannot reconcile the contradictions. As John Immel puts it so well, they merely punt the contradictions into the great “mystery” of the universe.

  10. Thus, if God gave us things to “keep” to be righteous, the whole point of God’s is that, unlike the religions around the Jews, man actually possessed the ability to DO, in and of himself, what God asked him to do. And if he CAN obey, he CAN be righteous. He can know truth; and he then CAN act upon it, because the same will man uses to know is the same he uses to “act”. ”

    This is exactly it. Only a monster god like Allah would give you laws to follow that you are not able to do in and of ourselves. I really like how you the last sentence. Yes, the same will we use to know truth is the same we use to “act” upon it or not.

    I really like the way James pointed out that sound doctrine is moral law. When in effect so many are teaching that sound doctrine is their interpretation of proof texts.

  11. “Let me get your opinion on something. Do you believe God gave the Israelites the law knowing they “could not” keep it?”

    Of course not. This is one reason I prefer the Paul of the pastorals and Romans 2 (the orthodox Paul) over the Paul of Romans 3-10 (the Gnostic Paul). I don’t know if they are different guys or just different personalities, but I like the one and not the other.

    1 Timothy 1:8 “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;” — and how does a man use the law lawfully? Verse 9 “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient” –what does that mean?

    I understand it to mean basically, in modern English: Look, the purpose of the Law is not to condemn the righteous. Its not a nitpicky standard of “na-na-na-boo-boo, haha you couldn’t keep it!” The purpose of the Law is to “instruct sinners in The Way,” not to condemn the righteous. The Law never required perfect obedience; it always allowed for repentance, for prayer, and so forth. The Law was not given to condemn, but to instruct. Now the righteous don’t so much need instruction since they’re already living right — those who really need instruction are those who are not. This is similar to Jesus saying “I came NOT to call the righteous [to repentance] but to call sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32) The previous verse is similar “They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick [need a physician].”

    You’ll note, however, that the personality who authored Romans 10 is arguing that the Law could not be kept, and he dares try and argue it from a very bad paraphrase of the very passage where Moses says the opposite, namely Deuteronomy 30 where Moses explicitly says the Law “is not too hard.” The KJV’s “not hidden from thee” is in the ESV and other more modern translations “not too hard for you.” The KJV itself may have been trying to “hide” something there.

    Deut 30 :11-14 “For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee [i.e. not too hard for you], neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”

    In Romans 10 the Gnostic personality takes the phrase “not in heaven” and applies it to Christ instead of the Law (“do not try to bring Christ down from heaven”), and “not beyond the sea” and makes it into Christ not being in “the abyss” (“do not try to bring Christ up from the dead”), and then he uses the final phrase “the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart” as if it were talking about his own doctrine rather than the Law, and of course, he leaves off “that thou mayest do it” since his doctrine is faith alone.

    Romans 10:4-9 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

    That is some bad twisting of the Old Testament right there.

  12. This is a bit off topic, but I was reading around a bit about the WCF and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. I wanted to find out who wrote them or what the history was concerning their development. Well, I was astonished at what I found. The Scottish and English governments (by way of Parliment) gathered ministers from the Presbyterian/Reformed world to come up with documents that could be used to “unify” the state religion. They wanted (under the auspice of “unity”) to require every citizen, age 18 and older, of Scotland and England to confess/adhere to these confessions. I HAD NO IDEA! This is “S”piritual “T”yranny at its worst. You can’t force Christ on people — UGH!

    Sorry for the outburst folks. I just had no idea . . . no wonder I never wanted to force children to recite catechisms and confessions 😦 I always had a sick feeling in my gut when elders started pushing this.

  13. Bridget, Yep, when you start reading the history surrounding this stuff it stinks to high heaven. Try some of the real early stuff, too, you will find while they were debating the Trinity is when the blood started to flow. It will turn you off creeds for the rest of your life.

    I once, just for grins, read the long preface to the KJV. That was an interesting exercise. I read it because I read the history surrounding the translation. That is not pretty either.

    Where was their Holy Spirit for these men?

  14. James, Thanks so much for your take. I have found your blog very interesting.

    “I understand it to mean basically, in modern English: Look, the purpose of the Law is not to condemn the righteous. Its not a nitpicky standard of “na-na-na-boo-boo, haha you couldn’t keep it!” The purpose of the Law is to “instruct sinners in The Way,” not to condemn the righteous. The Law never required perfect obedience; it always allowed for repentance, for prayer, and so forth. The Law was not given to condemn, but to instruct.”

    My thoughts exactly.

    I will admit I cringe when you mention different Paul’s (his Gnostic twin?) on Romans but understand where you are coming from. I think NT Wright has a good take on Romans which brings in the historical context and makes it much easier to envision the whole Jew/Christian elect dichotomy when the Jews started coming back into Rome during those turbulent times.

    I sometimes think if there were no Romans to interpret/proof text literally, Calvinism would fall like the house of cards it is.

  15. I understand its cringe worthy to speak of different Paul’s, especially coming from a fundamentalist background raised believing in inerrancy as I was. But its nothing weird or fringe or out of nowhere. (Aside maybe from my use of the term “Gnostic”which is almost always avoided by scholars because they know who butters their bread.) Modern Protestant scholarship is now essentially unanimous that the main epistles (Romans, Galatians…) were not written by the same person as the Pastorals (Titus and the Timothys). Anyone who doesn’t know anything about this should start with the Wikipedia article Authorship of the Pauline epistles. So from an academic perspective, its accepted fact there are at least two Pauls. Fundamentalists can rail against it (and they do) “by faith” and they can claim they have unseen evidence for the unseen perfection of the Pauline epistles, but I don’t want to deal with them. Scholars call the main epistles the “authentic” epistles and the Pastorals they call “deutero-Pauline” which is a fancy euphemistic way of saying “forged in Paul’s name.” They think the pastorals were written by a “Pauline school” or group of disciples of Paul. Their conclusion that the main epistles and the pastorals were not written by the same person is certainly sound. However, since they come from faith-onlyist backgrounds they simply assume that Romans is the be-all-end-all of Christianity, and therefore must be the most authentic epistle, the one by which to judge all the rest. So the main epistles are the main epistles, and are accepted as “authentic,” because they more or less agree with Romans. The pastorals are cast out as “deutero-Pauine” because they don’t agree with Romans…and Romans was chosen as the litmus test because it agrees with the scholars’ denominational beliefs (Lutheranism, Calvinism, etc.)

    It would make just as much sense to go the other way around, to assume that Titus is the litmus test, accept the pastorals as authentic, and cast out the “main epistles” (especially Romans and Galatians) as forgeries (i.e. deutero-Pauline). This is simply a matter of a different interpretation of the same facts. And which is more likely, that an itinerant missionary Paul really wrote the kind of convoluted and rambling doctrine found in Romans and Galatians (to congregations that were already riddled with enough problems) or that he wrote sound pastoral advice to colleges in the field like Timothy and Titus? I think the latter.

    Now if I had to give a name to the two Paul’s, I would call the one who wrote the Pastorals “orthodox” (many scholars do this themselves, since they assert the emerging “orthodox” party wrote these epistles in the 2nd century) and the one that wrote Romans/Galatians I would call “Gnostic” which scholars would not because they assume the real Paul wrote these. In my mind, its reverse from them. Its more likely the real Paul wrote the Pastorals and Romans/Galatians were forged or at least corrupted by 2nd century Gnostics like Marcion (who separated the two testaments into two gods, quite likely the author of some of Romans 3-4) and Valentinus (who seems to have invented predestination, possibly the author of Romans 9) and Ptolemy (a follower of Valentinus who believed in three gods, and was heavily into allegorical interpretation of the OT, possibly the author of Romans 10).

    You should be aware, all your pastors (if they were seminary trained) know of and accept the theory that the Pastorals are not authentic, and that’s why they don’t care to preach the kind of “sound doctrine” spoken of in those epistles. They steal the phrase “sound doctrine” from those epistles, but change it to mean the kind of convoluted doctrine taught in Romans. Because to them, Romans is scripture and Titus is not. When I argue essentially the opposite, they will say “Look! Look! He doesn’t accept the whole canon!” But they are hypocrites, because they don’t either. That’s the dirty little secret. They’re just smart enough to not admit it publicly…and I got tired of pretending to believe what I don’t.

  16. James,

    My take is that the inerrancy lie has caused too many people to totally ignore the Holy Spirit. I refer to seminaries as cemeteries. And I do not think it is a sin to discuss these things as many in evangelicalism seem to think.

    There are some interesting scholars out there I have come to appreciate like Peter Enns (I thought Genesis for Normal People was very interesting) and others who not afraid to take on the .
    evangelical circus. NT Wright who is mild was attacked by the Pipers, etc as unorthodox. (whatever that is)

    For me, our questioning the contradictions does not diminish God one bit. I am just more careful who I have such conversations with these days. Thankfully, Argo is very open about things here.

  17. I’ve been watching some videos on youtube lately of testimonials of people who left Christianity and converted to Judaism, and one recurring theme is always “I had so many questions, and I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about them. My pastor would accuse me of lacking faith, tell me to repent, but I just wanted an answer.” And then they go on and on about how much more open Judaism is to questions. In truth, Judaism may be a bit too open to questions. But one thing I think hearing this stuff is first how big of a mistake it is to always be so mean, and that’s what most church leaders are. They could at least try to give and answer rather than immediately jump to the “how dare you question” mode and accuse you of sin or lack of faith or “you’re not regenerate” or “you don’t have the Spirit” and the like. They’re running people out. But second, a lot of doctrine in Christianity requires a lot of covering, posturing, and casting of aspersions on the questioner because they don’t hold up logically or scripturally (primarily in light of OT scripture): Original sin, Predestination, the Trinity, the absolute necessity of a perfect human sacrifice before God can forgive…this stuff breaks down when you think about it too logically, and if you read certain passages in the OT you begin to wonder how anyone who is biblically literate could have ever come up with these doctrines. Judaism has its own problems, of course, but aside from shock at the genocides in the OT those are more related to the Talmud than the Torah, which is amazing considering the number of problems we have in Christianity with our primary document, our “Torah” if you will, I mean of course the book of Romans.

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