JeffS, Commenter at Wartburg Watch: A response to his very kind comment; why I’m not admitting I was wrong, and why I am still commenting on Wartburg, and what is the disturbing new trend

Last night on Wartburg Watch I received a very nice comment from self-admitted Calvinist, JeffS.  JeffS and I have gone a few rounds over there, and our dialogue is part of the reason for the new and improved  “moderated Argo” over there.  Apparently, I have a problem with “tone”.  And while I do not want to concede that my tone is “wrong”–for I maintain complete adherence to my last post on the matter–I did want to acknowledge that sometimes, in the interest of love, we make attempts to differentiate between the ideas we hate and the people–the human beings–we love.  And that might mean that you swallow your pride and you work with the system.  If the system has corners you do not agree to…well, you either modify your ways so that you can continue existing in it as best your can; or you jump off.  If you don’t own the system (like I don’t own Wartburg Watch), then you don’t make the rules.  It is as simple as that.

At any rate, my reply is still sitting in the corner with a dunce cap on, so it hasn’t appeared yet.  I’m sure it will in time, but just in case I never find my way out of blog jail I wanted to post it here so that JeffS doesn’t think I’m ignoring him.  I am not, and I appreciate his heart and his words.  I want him to know this as soon as possible.

JeffS said:

@ Argo:
I hope we are cool. I am glad you are still posting. And I know an earlier comment I made may have come off as judging your motives, which was not my intent. I reacted a little strongly to reading your statement that you didn’t care about TWW. I hope you can forgive any insult I might have given there.

I do believe you have good motives, even if we are completely opposed in what we think is good and right in terms of theology and philosophy. I do think you and I agree on what is good and right in action, though, and that is something (even the most important thing, in my view).

Argo said:

JeffS,

Totally cool. Thank you so much for your time and the dialogue.

And…yeah. I’m not really proud of that comment.

I’m walking a weird line here. It’s a bit surreal. A good learning experience. I mean…I’m not quite acknowledging that I was “wrong” in my “tone” per se; but I DO NOT ever want to get in a place where HUMAN BEINGS are sensing some kind of…hmmm, attack or assault or something. And I think that that means, though I might have my opinions as to the “wrongness” or “rightness” of my communication style, as A Mom put it, sometimes you just have to…well, deny yourself and keep trying.

I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant. I just mean I don’t ever want…uh…hmmm…technical “correctness”, or MY assumptions as to whether or not I did anything “wrong” to be the plumb line for loving others. Or empathizing with them. I want the affirmation of THEIR human worth to be the plumb line for empathy. In other words, the plumb line for love should be love.

But again, that doesn’t mean I will ever let up on the doctrine, LOL. (And I suspect you won’t either!! :-) ) Because I really feel that the plumb line for love in many doctrines is the doctrine. And what is wrong with that to me is self-evident. But that’s just me.

But the fact that someONE disagrees with me will not affect my love for THEM.

And that is where this whole communication thing takes us…what is the best way to communicate love for PEOPLE, while trying to communicate my disdain for their doctrinal assumptions which I strongly believe ultimately drives the abuse we see in so many churches, and which I have witness firsthand in SGM (and to communicate that this does not mean I assume that THEY are an abuser by default or something creepy like that…because that’s a TERRIBLE thing to suggest…and I think people think I’m suggesting this, and I can see why).

I understand that sometimes, I am not successful in making that distinction. And I feel terrible about that, because that? Is not my message.

And A Mom is right: it is at THAT place where you must make a conscious effort to defer to their needs. And that means, yep…toning it down so that you don’t subvert your own message by risking hurting someone on some emotional level.

It’s a tough line, but we’ll get there I think. :-)

I hope that makes sense.

Still, the Double Standard, and the Disturbing New Trend:

Now, like I said, I’m still working out the whole “communication” thing.  I am NOT…repeat NOT conceding Dee’s point, that you can separate delivery and message.  I’m not conceding that I was wrong to point out the double standard, because I think it is clear by even a cursory reading of the comments thread.  My ideas are called “silly”, I am “haranguing”, I am “forcing”, I am “equating trinitarians with suicide bombers”, I am “becoming unhinged”, I am accused of “telling others what to think”; accused of calling people “stupid”, and that my statements are “somewhat nonsensical”.  Still…no peep from the moderators.  Oh…sorry, there was some action taken.  The action was to dump all MY comments immediately into moderation.

Which is fine, as I said.  If I want to comment, I have to be a big boy about not making the rules.  And I have to work on my tone.  I’m okay with that because HUMAN BEINGS are worth the work.

But…

And here is a huge BUT here.  Recently (like, yesterday), Dee posted THIS very telling comment.  To say the least, it will certainly make it much harder, if not downright impossible (for not only reasons of logic but for reasons of conscience) for me to continue commenting there.  Dee wrote this:

“Last night I did not approve two comments which accused Calvinist theology of causing the sexual abuse we have been reading about.”

And then, she explains her follow up to those comments, which resulted in her ultimately deciding to “give up”:

“When I asked one of those people if they believed that Arminian theology can also causes abuse, I was told that classic Arminianism is Calvinism so that theology leads to child sexual abuse as well. I gave up.”

Now, this, to me, is nothing more than acknowledging that it cannot–not at all–be the IDEAS which drive abuse, because if two or more ideas lead to abuse, somehow the ideas cancel each other out and we are left with what…behavior?  Just bad people not doing the bad ideas “nicely”?  That good people, like Wade Burleson, doing the bad ideas right somehow proves that the ideas are not bad.  That two or more bad ideas means that bad ideas cannot exist, because if that were true then there would only be one bad idea and the rest would be good?  As if pointing to one bad doctrine as providing the mandate for abuse can be disproved by pointing to another bad doctrine?  That two wrongs make a right?

That’s like saying:

“The Nazis had some bad ideas”

“But what about Marxism…didn’t that lead to millions of deaths under Stalin?”

“Yes…because they share the same presuppositions about the state owning man.”

“What?  How can this be?  How can two different governments share the same destructive assumptions?  That’s impossible.  I can’t argue with you.  I give up.”

Honestly, I must say I’m struggling to understand just what Dee is saying here.

But what I do understand is that when you decide that criticism of ideas is off the table, it is a short walk to the end of the plank, or the firing squad, or the burning stake, or the gas chamber. 

This is nothing more than conceding the Primacy of Consciousness premise.  The belief that at their root, ideas are only “good”; and that destructive human behavior is NEVER and can NEVER BE the result of the ideas they filter all of their reality through.  The “logic” goes:  ALL ideas are good, ergo, if abuse occurs in the name of them, it is merely because humanity does not possess the capacity to employ them effectively, because humans are unable by default to ever do GOOD.  They are too “depraved” (or selfish, or evil, or lost, or stupid, or capitalist, or racist, or unenlightened, or bad at math…whatever the primary consciousness happens to be).  And this of course is a tacit acceptance of the “authority” of the “gnostics”.  Those special people divinely gifted to rule over the rest of us slobs. 

And this is why I submit that regardless of what they say, that people who will NOT confront ideas are really still utterly committed to the belief that man, fundamentally, IS the problem.  And thus the implicit notion is that it is therefore okay for “special” people to compel (force) them into right actions and thinking. 

If Calvinism cannot be called out for the destructive and abusive conclusions it INEXORABLY leads to (and I will debate anyone, anywhere, anytime on this), then what is being said is HUMAN BEINGS are the problem.  The VICTIM has no real recourse and the perpetrator can never be held accountable and the “authority” cannot be culpable for pushing the doctrinal assumptions which drove the abuse in the first place because the doctrine cannot be blamed, because the paradigm is: doctrine wholly GOOD, and human beings wholly EVIL.  And a wholly evil human can NEVER be expected to actually employ or behave in accordance with that which is completely beyond him. 

So, the VICTIM was merely the unfortunate target of a poor, depraved sinner, being taught his ideas by another poor depraved sinner.  And who then can really blame the poor sinner? For but for the grace of God go all of us, right?  So, let’s just get better gnostic in there who do a better job of getting these idiots to DO the doctrine right.

And maybe we do.  Maybe we get lucky and get a Wade Burleson in there. And maybe things are fine for a while because he isn’t “on fire” for the “truth” like SGM is.  He, because he may have some sense of human decency and love, refuses to take the doctrinal assumptions to their logical conclusions.

But sooner or later, Wade retires.  And maybe the next guy is okay. And the next.  But then…we get a guy who thinks, wait a minute.  I’M in charge here, and MY responsibility isn’t for the depraved masses, it is to GOD.  And God SAYS x, y, z…and “sound doctrine” is everything.  And “who are YOU o man, to argue with God, and His divinely called Authority in the Stead?  Who are YOU to judge your COVERING?!! And to the rapped three year old I say, FIRST take the log out of your OWN eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your rapist’s eye!!”

And all this from a little telling comment:

“I have removed two comments that blame Calvinism for abuse.”

Oh yes. For who are we to argue with God’s “infallible Word”.  Who are we to argue with ideas whose corpulence we are too busying crawling in the dirt like worms to grasp?

80 thoughts on “JeffS, Commenter at Wartburg Watch: A response to his very kind comment; why I’m not admitting I was wrong, and why I am still commenting on Wartburg, and what is the disturbing new trend

  1. “And that is where this whole communication thing takes us…what is the best way to communicate love for PEOPLE”

    Perhaps our culture plays a big part into this as we see it everywhere. Love is really seen as “agreement” or what they now call “unity” which is basically the same thing?

    “My ideas are called “silly”, I am “haranguing”, I am “forcing”, I am “equating trinitarians with suicide bombers”, I am “becoming unhinged”, I am accused of “telling others what to think”; accused of calling people “stupid”, and that my statements are “somewhat nonsensical”. Still…no peep from the moderators. Oh…sorry, there was some action taken. The action was to dump all MY comments immediately into moderation.”

    So basically some really did insult you but you were moderated for your “tone”. Was there not a “tone” with the personal insults? I think they did not like your ideas so insulted you personally?

    Perhaps Dee and Deb have set up an impossible environment. They want the free flow of ideas, opinions, etc but when they first started they made the point they wanted it to be a place where liberals were welcome. I thought that was good until I saw the liberals protected even after doing the same things the liberals were accusing more conservative commenters of doing. They seemed to get a pass. I used to comment there and now use a pseudonym because a few of the liberals became “unhinged” every time I commented and it just became impossible to communicate. You felt a censoring vibe each time. This sort of environment is one reason Cindy K and Junkster left a while back. So you are not alone in your confusion.

    Perhaps now the special group are Calvinists?

    If our problems do not stem from what we believe then what is it? I know quite a few Calvinists who are wonderful people. I know some fundy free will types who are horrible. But that does not negate that there are aspects of what they both believe that are so damning to people.

    So how can one separate discussing ideas without offending the person who holds them? I want to discuss and then defend my ideas but perhaps that is not the place for it? Or perhaps I just grew up in a debating type of home and find it invigorating to discuss, analyze and pick apart doctrines, ideas, etc.

    I am seeing that understanding root causes and knowing our value from God is a big part of the healing process for victims. NOt only that but really knowing God’s character. He is not a moral monster.

    Not being able to discuss how doctrines drive how we behave is a problem. I see a ton of cognitive dissonance in what Wade teaches and when questioned I find his answers confusing because he either agrees with you (negating what he just taught) or says you did not understand him. It is like he does not want to own what he just taught. Perhaps it is me and I just find him confusing. But at the same time, I find some of his teaching deathly to victims of abuse while he himself shows much compassion toward them. I find it all confusing. AS if his doctrine does not match his emotions or something. But then most pastors do not put themselves out there for interaction like that so I appreciate his effort in that area. More of them need to get used to it because I think eventually more people are going to require it of them if they are teaching.

  2. “If Calvinism cannot be called out for the destructive and abusive conclusions it INEXORABLY leads to (and I will debate anyone, anywhere, anytime on this), then what is being said is HUMAN BEINGS are the problem. The VICTIM has no real recourse and the perpetrator can never be held accountable and the “authority” cannot be culpable for pushing the doctrinal assumptions which drove the abuse in the first place because the doctrine cannot be blamed, because the paradigm is: doctrine wholly GOOD, and human beings wholly EVIL. And a wholly evil human can NEVER be expected to actually employ or behave in accordance with that which is completely beyond him. ”

    I saw an example of this at church today. I know it is only a matter of time before we are Calvinist. I can see it coming. One guy in his late 20’s was asked to pray to start off the service. His prayer was one of lament. (he is a long time believer) of how horrible he is and how he looks in the mirror and sees nothing worthy for God and only God’s grace chose him, this went on and on about how he is nothing and such a sinner and unworthy. (made me want to hide my wallet)

    I looked at my daughter and cringed as to what she might be hearing as some of these guys volunteer with the youth. Don’t get me wrong, they are extremely nice, loving, fun, etc. And peer pressure and wanting to fit in is extremely powerful. I do know there are some very smart folks there that are very concerned about the sin pounding that seems to crop up.

    (I find it sad these guys cannot know they can be New Creatures in Christ)

    But we talk about this a lot at home because it is everywhere here. She has to know that SHE IS RESPONSIBLE for her choices and behavior. God is NOT GOING TO MAKE HER OBEY HIM. That He has sent us the Holy Spirit to guide us but it is up to us to seek that guidance. And to never believe all sins are the same, etc, etc. She is well aware of what Piper teaches and the serious problems with it.

    I really do cringe for the fall out from this movement over the next 20 years. I think we are going to see tons of “ex Christians”.

  3. “You felt a censoring vibe each time. This sort of environment is one reason Cindy K and Junkster left a while back. So you are not alone in your confusion.”

    Lydia…you know, this is helpful. This has happened before at Survivors and Refuge. Very similar experience, and then other people saying “Oh, yeah. I left because all of a sudden I realized they were merely running blocker for the very doctrines they pretended to oppose; it became a mortal sin to state that people were acting upon the things they believed about God.

    They just left! Smart! And here I am naively thinking that somehow, any of my opinions will ever be tolerated again over there. Sigh.

    I should have seen it coming anyway after I started going after Wade’s doctrines. And when he’d “explain”, I admit, I got even angrier because I felt like he thought I was some kind of dumbass. None of his explanations could be rationally reconciled, and when I said as much…that was when I really started feeling like this was not going to end well. Dee quit responding to any of my posts;and then, all of a sudden in the Stockdale thread she was really…well, cruel.

    It may have nothing to do with it, but I feel like this all started when I went after The Pastor. You do not question The Pastor. Ever. We ex-Calvinists learned this lesson well. If you learn nothing else, the leadership LEADS. You? Shut your mouth.

    It’s quite a ubiquitous formula these days in churches. Glad to see e-church isn’t shocking people with too much change.

    “So how can one separate discussing ideas without offending the person who holds them? I want to discuss and then defend my ideas but perhaps that is not the place for it? Or perhaps I just grew up in a debating type of home and find it invigorating to discuss, analyze and pick apart doctrines, ideas, etc.”

    Well…this is the thing. I’m not convinced it’s possible. John Immel, a very wise man, has told me more than once to forget this avenue; it’s a lost cause. Trying to tailor “tone” and keep the message. He says the people who get pissed are going to get pissed regardless of how “nice” you sound. They don’t like what you have to say, period. How you say it is irrelevant. And when Dee posted yesterday that she deleted two comments blaming Calvinism for the sexual abuse scandals, I knew John was, once again, right.

    I mean, I guess you can be nicer…but in a way, why? If you are assaulting ideas, who cares about the “tone”? So, to me, if you want to deter clear verbal assaults/emotional or psychological abuse, then really TONE is besides the point. The WORDS are violent, and you are right to censor them on the blog. The tone isn’t the big problem, it is the evil words; the evil speech. Where does the bible say “evil tone”? So, again, controlling “tone” is nothing more than a vehicle for controlling content. Like I said in my post, he who absolutely controls the delivery of the message controls the message.

    The sad thing is that there are many wonderful people over at TWW. I really like a lot of them, and their victim-of-Calvinism status is well-earned, and I feel horrible about what the doctrine has done to them; and until doctrine became off limits, I thought that maybe they could actually find permanent healing at TWW. But if they can’t learn why doctrines affirming their moral worth are better because they are more RATIONAL, then they can’t ever really find complete healing. You don’t get a good omelet with rotten eggs. You can cover up the smell with a lot of hot sauce, but ultimately it’ll make you sick.

    But this “e-church”…hmm, this was probably the worst thing TWW could have done. They went from dismantling destructive ideas by at least listening to those who held doctrine responsible, to a full fledged denial that ideas are anything but tangential at best to the way people actually behave. Such a shame.

    I will continue to post about the inconsistent metaphysics and the logical inconsistencies of assumptions (except, now Dee has said she doesn’t like it when people call other people inconsistent…so, now I have to find another word to describe the fact that people believe things that are impossible to practically apply to affirming man’s LIFE) as long as I can, but I suspect my time there is quickly winding down.

  4. Thanks for the comment Argo. I know we’ve had, and will have, our differences. And I can definitely say I’ve grown from our interactions (probably not in the way you’d prefer, but hey, it is what it is!).

    I appreciate your graciousness- I know I must be a hard fellow to deal with for someone with your beliefs 🙂

  5. Here is a scary visual for you. The same guys who put out a statement supporting Mahaney.

  6. Argo,
    John Immel. Goodness gracious, I hope HE hasn’t given up. You all cannot quit on me. I am not happy. What in the world is going on with the towel throwing?
    My first question (and if you get to know me you’ll find I ask a lot of questions) is who are you talking to or thinking of when you comment? Who are you appealing to? Was it me, who chews on what you have to say as I go about my day, wrestling with your ideas? It couldn’t be, since I’d never commented before. Or you do, in fact, appreciate the “silents” out there reading & thinking? Maybe you limit yourself? Think about it….
    Who are the “people getting pissed”? Is that who you are appealing to or looking to get approval from? Are you looking in the wrong place? “If you look in the wrong place, you will always be let down”, A Mom said wisely. I see other commenters who are interested, but don’t understand, me included. You have a responsibility to your ideas, they expect much from you. Your ideas want to be shared. Grow a thick skin pronto. Your ideas will be happy with you.
    Inconsistent word substitution lesson. Easy. Answer if this is XYZ, then how can that be XYZ. Good grief, you’re smarter than that Argo.
    Persistence. Sow. Reap. Talent. Race. Trying to give Biblical reasons here.
    Look, you have 1 person, me, who is a very curious person who loves thinking and discussing ideas, I find it irresistible. Exciting. I even like the banter back and forth. I like a challenge and want to be challenged back. My mind is getting old, it’s rusty and it needs exercise – demencha prevencha. Is that not good enough for you?
    Argo, are you so easily daunted? Or are you afraid we will reject your ideas once we understand you? So better pack up before the show ends? You love your ideas. Any 3rd grader can see that. Step away from the keypad and think for a few. This is love meets the road time.
    Argo, are you so easily daunted? Or are you afraid we will reject your ideas once we understand you? So better pack up before the show ends? Let us understand, first. Then walk if you want to.
    You love your ideas. Any 3rd grader can see that. Step away from the keypad and think for a few. This is love meets the road time.
    Thank you for understanding ALL my comments in the spirit in which they were written. That’s maturity. I admire that. The bottom line is your brain is an idea factory. If you have worthwhile ideas, they should be heard. You need to be the biggest believer of that. And then act accordingly. That’s THE issue, this other stuff is not. Don’t be distracted.
    I sound like a broken record. No more from me about it. If you ever want to know what I think or need encouragement one day, go back and read my comments there and here.

    P.S. I am bifocal age almost, and this white type bugs my eyes out. It’s cool/hip though.

  7. Hey Mom,

    I saw my name in your comment but wasn’t sure what you wanted to know. Were those questions for me specifically or just a list of musings? I answered your last comment on the previous thread.

    Have I thrown in the towel? LOL. Me? Never. Hahaha…. I’ve been objecting the Calvinist construct for 35 years of my life, long before there was any such thing as blogs. I’ll be objecting to the roots of tyranny until they day I lay down this life.

    If you are interested in some high level stuff might I recommend my TANK session posted at http://www.SpiritualTyranny.com. The second session is an overview of the evolutions of Western thought, and the impact of that though on Christianity.

    John

  8. Hi A Mom,

    Yeah…the white type is weird. I use this template just because I thought it looked cool. But I might change it due to feedback like yours.

    Oh…no. I, like John, will never throw in the towel. I think I bring a unique perspective to the ideas because my main focus is on disproving tyrannical ideas based on REASON (that they are logically unworkable at the core); the understanding that real TRUTH is ultimately wholly reasonably ascertained by man. The senses feed information, and man’s ability to reason logically organizes ALL that is experienced so that ultimately what man WILL’S is rooted in consistent logical assumptions from back to front.

    In other words, I do not oppose Calvinism simply because it is despotic, but because at its root it is categorically IMPOSSIBLE. The premises which one must assume to be a “good” Calvinist are logically contradictory. I believe that Calvinism will eventually, once these contradictions are spelled out systematically and understandably (where I struggle LOL), be forced to implode under the weight of its own impossible metaphysics and ethics. I believe that you can cry abuse all day long like they do on the survivor blogs, but the REASON it is abusive is because it doesn’t LOGICALLY work at the philosophical level. And thus, when you apply it to the real world, all manner of destruction and human carnage ensue. It is like trying to peel an apple with a sledge hammer. Instead of neat and bite sized, easily consumed little slices, you get a big pile of disgusting mush.

    My concern is really about whether or not it is worth it to continue to comment on blogs which are ultimately more interested in PERPETUATING destructive doctrine, rather than confronting it. Like I said, moaning about abuse is fine and dandy, but if you concede that there is no real WHY behind it, except that people are innately incapable of getting the doctrine right, then all the moaning is nothing but a bandage on a guillotine victim. The bleeding stops…okay, but look! The guy’s head is rolling across the courtyard.

    Dee has flat out stated that she will not tolerate criticism of Calvinism.

    Well…if you cannot criticize the doctrines of a man who imprisoned people for leaving church early, burned to death at the stake a man who came to debate him on the doctrine of the trinity, and declared the wholesale, remorseless and merciless slaughter and oppression of Jews (from which the Christ message originates!!), then…well, shrug…what the heck is left to talk about?

    Abuse is bad.

    Raping children is bad.

    But…who are you, o man, to argue with God?

    See? It ALWAYS goes back to doctrine. Always.

    So when I talk, I want it to be about the doctrine. And if TWW won’t allow that, it is a waste of time.

    P.S. Yes…I really recommend John’s lectures from this years TANC conference. Please, please go watch them.

  9. Argo,

    “And maybe we do. Maybe we get lucky and get a Wade Burleson in there. And maybe things are fine for a while because he isn’t “on fire” for the “truth” like SGM is. He, because he may have some sense of human decency and love, refuses to take the doctrinal assumptions to their logical conclusions.”

    See here is the thing . . . I think you conceded to the hedge that most proponents of the Reformed Tradition, (AKA Evangelical Christianity AKA Calvinism) use to misdirect the conversation about the roots of the doctrine. You gave Wade Burleson credit for a virtue that he most certainly has not earned, and thereby absolved him of a moral vice almost as pernicious as the doctrine under discussion.

    (Brief disclaimer: I don’t know Wade Burleson but I don’t have to know him specifically to make my point. All I have to know is the doctrine.)

    The loose logic is: As long as Wade Burleson is INCONSITANT with the application of the whole doctrinal construct he is demonstrating “human decency” … he “loves” people . . . he operating at the highest ethical conduct.

    But notice what is really being said. As long as he abandons the principles of the doctrine he is being moral. This means at the root of his conduct he must CHEAT against the very standard he insists is God’s command.

    How is this morally praiseworthy?

    How can a man arrive at virtue by abandoning the source of virtue: If “Biblical Truth?” is ostensibly virtue, how can you abandon bible to get virtue?

    The answer is: he cannot. This is not virtuous action. He doesn’t get credit for selling out fidelity to the TRUTH in service to some vaunted love for humanity. Inconsistency is not morally praiseworthy, and explicit, open, inconsistency is called rational larceny. This means that Wade Burleson (and everyone else that wants to tap dance back and forth across the lines of Orthodoxy) is really a fraud.

    And this is the key point.

    People holding fast to the Calvinist construct MUST CHEAT to live. They must. They do not have a choice because the doctrine taken to its implicit conclusion is death. Its obsession is death. Its highest value is captured in a horrifying portrayal of tyrannical political destruction: the cross. Its root preoccupations are death. It is a cult of death as surely as the sun rises and sets.

    And so when Wade Burleson cheats on his own doctrinal solidarity to LIVE he is not displaying virtue. He is displaying vice. He is allowing a fundamental inconsistency to reside within his own existence. This is vice.

    So the people latching on to Wade Burleson as somehow the idealized version of the Reformed Sound Doctrine are NOT displaying moral values. They are really conceding that there is something wrong with the content of the doctrine but refuse to confront the error. They are DECEITFUL!

    And it is THIS deceit they can never escape. Somewhere, somehow, in small measures the abuse and tyranny and oppression that we read about in survivor blogs is already happening with those who must cheat to have their doctrinal Orthodox cake and LIVE too. It is just happening on a smaller measure, behind closed doors, in tiny ways . . .

    But it is happening because Calvinism cannot succeed without compulsion.

    I said this in the TANK conference …. Collectivism always ends in tyranny . . . .

  10. “Yeah…the white type is weird. I use this template just because I thought it looked cool. But I might change it due to feedback like yours.”

    I vote to change it. It is very hard to read especially on my iphone! Nothing beats black type on white for readability.

  11. ….and every time he steps into that pulpit he is potentially creating the ones who maintain the ovens.

  12. “In other words, I do not oppose Calvinism simply because it is despotic, but because at its root it is categorically IMPOSSIBLE. The premises which one must assume to be a “good” Calvinist are logically contradictory. I believe that Calvinism will eventually, once these contradictions are spelled out systematically and understandably (where I struggle LOL), be forced to implode under the weight of its own impossible metaphysics and ethics”

    And here is the thing, NICE Calvinists do not negate the root of what those beliefs are. Yes, there are variations of it. Some softer than others. That hardly matters because the roots of it are dualism/determinism. You cannot escape that part of it’s interpretation of God. How that is applied is different depending on the person but that is not an excuse to refuse to look at the root! The very truth about God is at stake.

    This is one reason I am thrilled that this doctrine is getting analyzed by us peasants. It is not just the scholars/seminarians debating then going out for coffee. The peasants are starting to ask about it’s “application” in real life…everyday. And quite frankly, without some coercion, this doctrine does not work well at all in real life. That is what we are seeing in the real live examples of it through 9 Marks, SGM, YRR movement as a whole. This doctrine also requires quite a bit of deceit as John pointed out above. One minute you are responsible for your sin but the next minute you cannot do any good. Man cannot know himself. Ever see that? Someone has to tell you about yourself for you.

    I have come to personally believe from studying history, the ebb and flow of this doctrine that what the YRR are doing is the REAL Calvinism. We can see from history this deterministic paradigm of God tends to come on real strong by certain groups then eventually dies out or goes very liberal but never acknowledging why it could not survive in it’s truest form. Just one example of this is the Puritans. What happened to them? Many of their descendants became Unitarians!

  13. BTW: I also believe the authoritarianism of Bill Gothard, the IFB and others also have their roots in dualism. Even though they do not espouse Calvinism, I do believe there are many similarities in how they “apply” their doctrine.

  14. John,

    That’s going to be a post! LOL

    Well, said.

    As I have often quoted on TWW, the only difference between a good Calvinist and a bad one is how far they are willing to take the doctrine to its logical conclusion.

    But your point is well made: the further they distance themselves from the logical conclusions, the more deceitful they are.

    That’s why the only way to really “live” with Calvinism is to categorically reject it, and every assumption which underpins it.

  15. Lydia,

    Indeed. And the reason people ultimately must be either FORCED into sound doctrine, and/or deceived/propagandized into it is because the lack of life-affirming efficacy is OBVIOUS.

    Take prayer…the first thing I noticed is that prayer no longer WORKED. The implicit dualism destroyed BELIEF; it destroyed faith. Also, since becoming a Calvinist (which obviously I have taken down along with the “high places” and burned), I haven’t converted a single person to Christ.

    Now, obviously this correlation I am making does not lend itself to objective verification of causation; but the impossible doctrine DOES. Via reason. And thus the thrust of my efforts.

  16. johnimmel,
    In one of Argo’s posts or comments he wrote:
    “John Immel, a very wise man, has told me more than once to forget this avenue; it’s a lost cause. Trying to tailor “tone” and keep the message. He says the people who get pissed are going to get pissed regardless of how “nice” you sound. They don’t like what you have to say, period. How you say it is irrelevant.”

    Forget this avenue? Say, like, Randy/Eli does? Or B4B? I don’t get that logic.

    Good, you’re in the game. What’s wrong with objecting where you can be heard?

    Your TANC season 2, book, blog, done. Well, still reading thru book, perused your blog, need to watch TANC season 1. You’ve done the work. I highly appreciate what you’ve done. I feel like I’m figuring stuff out with lightning speed, while walking at a snail’s pace. LOL Wish I could just scarf the whole elephant down at once. But I basically get it. Couple that with experience, I’m convinced.

    Argo, Fortitude.

    lydiasellerofpurple, what say you about fortitude? Based on your comments, it seems you know a little something about that. And the fruit from it.

  17. Argo, I commented on WB with some questions for you. Just letting you know (I put effort into it). No hurry though.

  18. I think Wade seems like a super nice guy with good character. That’s not in question. The doctrine, his doctrine, not good. His perpetuating this belief is bad. He calls out people like John Piper for practicing what they preach, so he’s disconnected. I read somewhere he is several generations into it. His Dad is a pastor.

    John Piper needs to be called out, and so does his doctrine.

    I had a Baptist (non-Calvinist) upbringing before becoming entangled in Calvinist belief. I think that has helped me (stuff didn’t sit well to begin with) reject it in the end.

  19. Hi, A Mom. Did you read John Immel’s take on Wade and his doctrine in a comment just above yours? He spelled out my issues with Wade perfectly. Incidentally, this is why I cry hypocrite when I see churches “vote” (yeah…as if the congregation will EVER be taken seriously there; it’s just more “the elders decide”, and then you can take it or find the door)…anyway, why I cry hypocrite when I see “good” and “repentant” SGM churches “vote” to leave SGM without RENOUNCING the doctrine.

    They are TWICE the sons of farce and abuse by preaching the SGM doctrine in the first place; and THEN compounding the sin by leaving SGM in outright VIOLATION of the very doctrine they continue to espouse. The doctrine which they should know means they can NEVER by definition of their total depravity and inferior position the “apostolic” (read “gnostic”) “covering” food chain call out CJ for any sins. For if CJ was not given “grace” to perceive his sin, then Bret Detwiler, for example…who the heck is HE to somehow think that God would give HIM grace to perceive CJ’s sins when by his own doctrinal admission he can’t even perceive his OWN without the Holy Spirit doing it FOR him?

    So now, all of a sudden Bret is divinely gifted to either know HIS sin as well as EVERYONE else’s; or somehow he is immune to the command that he “take the log out of his own eye”, and can perceive other sins without perceiving his own. In either case, the way the gnostic construct works is EVERYTHING flows through CJ. And there simply isn’t any rationale within reformed theology to deny this. It just doesn’t exist.

    CJ is the One who perceives. You? And me and Brent Detwiler and Mother Theresa and Johnny Appleseed? Submit to our infallible covering.

  20. Yes…thank you. I saw that and you make some great points and ask some great questions. I’m still working on formulating an answer. Sorry it’s taken me a while.

    LOL I am working through some heavy physics stuff and in the midst of perfecting my “theory of everything” as well as keeping up with the doctrinal fun house of neo-Calvinistic demagoguery and the back up singers of “survivor” blogs.

    At any rate, do you want o hear my “theory of everything”? Here it is: Argo’s Universal Truth number ONE:

    All that is ACTUAL are objects–either infinite “particles” or two or more infinite “particles” existing in an electromagnetic “standing wave” SINGULARITY of location–and RELATIVE movement.

    This explains classic laws of motion, quantum physics, gravity, space and time, God, the universe and everything. It is a perfect synthesis of philosophy and physics.

    I’m ready to defend my thesis. And then, the nobel prize. LOL

    Get ready!

    Oh…yes, still working on my response to your comment. Will be coming soon!

  21. “People holding fast to the Calvinist construct MUST CHEAT to live. They must. They do not have a choice because the doctrine taken to its implicit conclusion is death. Its obsession is death. Its highest value is captured in a horrifying portrayal of tyrannical political destruction: the cross. Its root preoccupations are death. It is a cult of death as surely as the sun rises and sets. ”

    I am not sure people really grip this. It is ONLY the cross story for them. Not the cross/resurrection story. (they have redefined the resurrection to stay at the cross)

    The young YRR guy at my church I mentioned before was propagating death and destruction to live by. He does not know that. He thinks it is piety and humble. He thinks he is glorifying God. He is lying about God because he leaves out the rest of the story!

    I asked my children after church what was missing in his remarks and trained well they said “the empty tomb” was missing from his talk. I am going to have to drill them because this culture of death is everywhere even outside the church. But to find it in the church is horror. Pure horror.

  22. “Take prayer…the first thing I noticed is that prayer no longer WORKED. The implicit dualism destroyed BELIEF; it destroyed faith. Also, since becoming a Calvinist (which obviously I have taken down along with the “high places” and burned), I haven’t converted a single person to Christ.”

    Oh yes. Back when I was involved in it, that became one of the most problematic things for me in application. How does one pray to a determinist God? Well, they said we are commanded to pray so we do. But that is meaningless. Even if you ask in His will it has already been decided. Seemed rather bizarre. Ok, then just praise God in prayer. That is what the Muslims do, too.

    This stuff can really mess with your mind. I was once told that I “thought too much about it” and thankfully that was a huge red flag I paid attention to. (thinking is now a sin?)

    You take that away from me, I am dead.

  23. A Mom said: “John Immel, a very wise man, has told me more than once to forget this avenue; it’s a lost cause. Trying to tailor “tone” and keep the message. He says the people who get pissed are going to get pissed regardless of how “nice” you sound. They don’t like what you have to say, period. How you say it is irrelevant.”

    Forget this avenue? Say, like, Randy/Eli does? Or B4B? I don’t get that logic.”

    Mmmm… well, Argo is summarizing my take on the overall Reformation doctrinal fight. Wading into doctrinal minutia is tedious. I described it in Blight in the Vineyard that it was akin to trimming thorns off a rose bush and at the end of the day, all the Calvinists end up doing is crying foul, complaining that they are being persecuted by Arminian’s with bad altitudes, and demand that I modify my tone.

    Argo’s previous post dealing with this issue was dead on. Tone is subjective. If I’m “rationally” obligated to modify my argument merely because someone got their feelings hurt, then we are not having a rational argument.

    This is me with my “Have lost your mind” face on. No, Homie John don’t play that game. They crawled into the shark tank all by themselves. They need to put on their big boy pants and pretend the issue is not their delicate sensibilities.

    I don’t mind arguing the real issue anywhere, but that is just it… the real issue is the overarching philosophical statement. But this is the very argument that Calvinists refuse to have because they cannot win that argument.

    And this is why I don’t care to argue with people like Randy/Eli or any of the other Me-Too Calvinist Aficionados. They are third rate thinkers at best. Most of them barely get the implications of their own doctrine. Most of them have never even read Luther or Calvin so when they start popping off about what “Calvinists believe” it is riotously hilarious to watch how fantastically ignorant they are of their own doctrinal foundations.

    Why mess around with the minions when I can go after the guy that created the construct?

    Make no mistake. Calvin operated at the highest level of philosophical development and he coupled that with a world class systematic mind that developed one of the most comprehensive philosophical systems ever. Luther operated at a level very close to Calvin but his genius was in conceptualizing a brand new rational for the source of “Christian” authority.

    So I ask again… why futz around with the Randy’s or Wade Burlson’s or the Brent Detwiller’s or the Wane Gruddem’s or the John Piper’s of the world when the heart of this mess is Calvin. If I can beat Calvin (and subsequently Kant) then I beat them without breathing hard.

    (And it must be defeated because if we fail, a new dark age is just on the horizon.)

    “Good, you’re in the game. What’s wrong with objecting where you can be heard?”

    Hahahah… oh… I’m heard. Trust me. They know exactly who I am.

    But my goal is not to persuade them. My goal is to get the minds of people just like you: People that have been exposed to the disaster, know that something is wrong but don’t have a clue where to start. It is my experience that when people like you get a hold of the whole picture they are unstoppable. Once they understand how this whole big fat deal goes together, they can run the arguments as fast and as well as I ever could. That is the goal.

    “Your TANC season 2, book, blog, done. Well, still reading thru book, perused your blog, need to watch TANC season 1. You’ve done the work. I highly appreciate what you’ve done. I feel like I’m figuring stuff out with lightning speed, while walking at a snail’s pace. LOL Wish I could just scarf the whole elephant down at once. But I basically get it. Couple that with experience, I’m convinced.”

    That is a great compliment . . . thank you so much. It matters.

  24. “ydiasellerofpurple, what say you about fortitude? Based on your comments, it seems you know a little something about that. And the fruit from it.”

    Ha! I wish. Right. I am a big talker hiding behind a pseudonym at TWW because I was run off a few years back by some liberals. Right. Fortitude! More like coward. :o)

    Perhaps everyone is at different places? Even Jesus took a break now and them from all the noise. It can wear you down especially when so many are against what you say and your very presence can set some off. If only we could find the right words or tone…they would treat us with respect…..I gave that up long ago because I saw that used in too many spiritual abuse/star chamber situations. That is one reason I hate it when someone uses the “you have been hurt:” and that is why you communicate that way. It totally marginalizes people.

    . I love a debate but people take it so personally. One of the things I think really helped me was growing up in a home where you had to defend your ideas and beliefs as a sort exercise at dinner. My dad would throw out things like should we be in Vietnam. Or should we price fix oil. Then you had to defend your view with reason and facts it did not matter if you were 10 or 16!. My mom did something similar with things from the bible.

    It helps to be able to keep your beliefs on a different level as if it is ok to take them out and analyze them now and then in the cold light of day. Many times changing our views on something is from growth not wishy washiness.

    It takes the patience of Job to put up with lots of people being offended if you dare propose that the number in the Trinity is something we are allowed to question and discuss. It seems like we cannot question anything anymore whether it is government social policy or biblical traditions of men. We have become a non thinking nation. Censoring works.

    The accusation of “you are mean” really works now. It shuts down any conversations. It gets old. If Argo had been insulting victims, telling them to grow up, I coujld get it. But his is a message of thinking for yourself, knowing your TRUE value as a human being. it is a message of thinking and LIFE.

  25. “But my goal is not to persuade them. My goal is to get the minds of people just like you: People that have been exposed to the disaster, know that something is wrong but don’t have a clue where to start.”

    Yes! And there are more and more of them everyday/. There are the types that know something is not right but they cannot put their finger on it. They are not blind followers at first some are sucked in with love bombing, others the pseudo intellectualism of systematic theology, etc. The church does not want them learning from anyone else so their covenants, care groups, pastoral authority works to suck them in and be committed before they start thinking too much to ask the right (wrong) questions. They want total commitment to the institution and authority of the pastor without you realizing it.

    That is why the Quiet Revolution by Resinger recommends pastors never divulge their plans or use terms like Calvinism, when they are trying to take over a church to Calvinism. It is pure deceit but they look at it as a Rahab lie. They know best and it is to teach people pure doctrine before they reject it based on ignorance. (I had one tell me that!)

    Just from casual conversations I have been able to warn 4 different people in the past week who brought up something taught they did not think made sense. You start to recognize these things after a while and that is from my reading of their blogs over the years.

  26. “I had a Baptist (non-Calvinist) upbringing before becoming entangled in Calvinist belief. I think that has helped me (stuff didn’t sit well to begin with) reject it in the end.”

    I have the same background which I think made the difference for me, too, as we had priesthood of believer and soul competency drilled into our heads at Training Union! That made a difference for me because I was taught at church growing up it was good to question.

    Then I did a ton of research on Calvinism both theologically but mostly historical. Just the historical results of this doctrine should be enough to make folks run. Go figure! Who ever thought a despot would be so popular? Sort of tells you were things are going. I think John is right about a new dark ages. We see it politically with not being allowed to question policy or you are a racist AND in the church. No questioning or you are mean.

  27. I hear what you’re saying & understand to a certain extent, but…

    All sin is not the same. That’s a Calvinistic belief.

    Evil and wrong must never be put into the same category. They are different. And need to be dealt with differently. We do not treat them the same, ever, in any situation, right?

    There is a difference between evil and wrong. I was wrong at one time. You were wrong at one time. Wade is wrong. We are not evil. Our actions attest to that.

    I figured it out. You figured it out. Wade can, too. Unless he’s depraved, but there’s no such thing, right? And he may not change his mind.

    There is to be NO discussion with evil. Ever. Evil needs to be stopped & answered with swift justice.

    Victims need our voices right now. They need help. They will not get it from evil doers. They are looking for answers, just like you and me (& I still am). Who is willing and able to help them? Any ideas?

    That’s my opinion.

  28. Argo, you just made me laugh, for the first time, in a good way. You’re a good guy. And you do possess fortitude. 🙂 I say, shoot for the prize. I’ll be cheering you on.

  29. I said, “Forget this avenue? Say, like, Randy/Eli does? Or B4B? I don’t get that logic.”

    What I meant was: Why forget this avenue? Randy/Eli, B4B don’t. They take up their cause. They are zealous, tenacious, unfazed. They don’t go away when moderated for tone. You don’t recommend the same for Argo?

    “They” may know who you are. But I don’t think many people like me do.

    Tone: I fully agree. Tone is not the issue. I was taught to hear the message first, tone not so much. For instance, if someone is screaming at me to jump out of the way because a piano is about to fall on my head, I don’t get offended, I thank them, if I care about myself. A friend tells me something I may not like, but it’s good for me. I would be unwise to shoot the messenger, and she would not be loving me if she cared more about my possible negative reaction than telling me the truth.

    Lydiasellerofpurple said, “I have been able to warn 4 different people in the past week who brought up something taught they did not think made sense.”

    Yes, That’s exactly the point, purpose I am trying to get across. I am not loving if I care more about reaction, I should still speaking up. There are those that want to hear.

  30. “There is to be NO discussion with evil. Ever. Evil needs to be stopped & answered with swift justice. ”

    Wiser words I have not heard in a long time. And you are right there is a difference between wrong and evil.

  31. Priesthood of believers, exactly. I thought it strange at the time – my Dad would never address the pastor as pastor, but always called him brother, the same as he addressed everyone else. Respectfully, but with no deference or special treatment. He would say, “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10). He read his Bible for himself, daily. His Bible cover had been duct-taped together several times before he passed away. He ministered to the homeless, in nursing homes and prison. He believed we could be born again, willing & able to do God’s good work, with the Holy Spirit living inside us. He loved God & others, including unbelievers. He would have loved to utilize the internet to study the Bible. I don’t even know if he believed in YEC or not. It wasn’t a pillar of his faith, but he probably had an opinion on it. He had an opinion on most things, but he knew what was most important. I never heard him complain.

    Authority over individuals is not church. Security teams, legal documents for church membership, shunning, stalking, suing, etc. Just look at the lifestyles: mansions, maids, airplanes, MTV Crib material. Shameful.

    John Piper is very articulate, a master with words. He weaves words together like a Pied Piper. He has utilized technology masterfully. He is the Steve Jobs of modern day protestant religion. Is there any churchgoer that hasn’t heard of him? He has had great influence, which is one reason why Calvinism is mainstream now, IMO.

  32. johnimmel, no LOL at TANC season 2 and TANC season 1 reference? I noticed you signed up for season 3.

  33. I don’t know how, A Mom, but you made me think of Ecclesiastes 11:1.

    “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” (Ecclessiastes 11:1)

    My new blogging strategy. I just say whatever I want and Calvinists come out of the woodwork to attack it. And non-Calvinists come out of nowhere to agree with it sometimes. I have no idea who is paying attention, and I like it that way. Much better than trying to hold a sustained argument with a known antagonist.

    And, I just realized Ecclessiastes 11 can be made into a homily on blogging against Calvinism.

    “Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.”

    Throw your knowledge up on the internet just so that others will have it when some great evil hits the earth and wipes you out, or the Calvinists finally take over the government like they’ve always wanted.

    “If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.”

    If I have something to say, I say it. And once its fallen out, there it is right where I left it.

    “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.”

    If you care what the Calvinists think about you, you won’t blog.

    “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.”

    God could be using you and you might not know it.

    “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.”

    You never know if anyone will listen or not, so just blog.

    “But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.”

    Remember the dark days when you were a Calvinist, or when you were in a church taken over by them, and realize how it was vanity.

    “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.”

    O Young, restless and reformed run full steam ahead and enjoy Piper’s Christian hedonism while it lasts, trusting in your carnal sight and the youthful ignorance of your heat (your inability to feel empathy for others) but know that God will bring thee into judgement for it.

    “Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.”

    Remove self-loathing and contemplating the “depths of Satan, as they speak” (Revelation 2:24, I mean total depravity), and cease saying “I know I’m saved because I’ve never done one truly good work,” and flee from being young, restless, and reformed, for it is vanity.

    And finally, skipping most of chapter 12, and jumping to 12:12.

    “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”

    Especially making many books about Romans! Oh what a weariness!

    “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

    And all God’s people said AMEN and AMEN. Wait…every work? Preacher, haven’t you read Piper’s latest book?

  34. Ha! He sounds like my mom. I heard “God is no respecter of persons” my entire childhood and now I have her old bibles worn and torn. Love them.

    I am so grateful for that sort of church life growing up. the pastor was one of us. We knew no different.

    Today, Christianity has become a caste system

    Have you seen Piper’s Geneva ?

  35. Hey Mom…

    I think we are talking about a couple of different things: The effectiveness on engaging Calvinists aficionados and the marketing necessary to communicate to those who are interested in the counter arguments.

    The first part I think I’ve answered but the second part …. Well… you are asking a great question that I don’t really have an answer for. I’m not good at marketing. I’m not good at spreading my own name around (and subsequently the ideas I discuss) Plus, I don’t have the capital to have it done for me. And while commenting on stray Neo Calvinist blogs sounds like it is a way to get the arguments out, most of those blogs have a very, very small readership. And the ones that do have a sizable audience … my comments are booted with regularity, or they don’t allow comments at all.

    So, idk … I don’t really have a solution to the marketing problem.

    “johnimmel, no LOL at TANC season 2 and TANC season 1 reference? I noticed you signed up for season 3.”

    Not sure what you are asking with the first question. No laughter at season 2?

    Yes … I do plan on speaking at the next TANK conference provided I’m still in the States or at a minimum have the money to travel back.

  36. james jordan, Do you only post on your blog and only comment on blogs that are favorable to your opinions?

    Context: Argo was thinking about not commenting on Wartburg. I initiated comments to let him know I thought that his idea was bad. I just realized my first comment was to tell you one of your ideas was bad, Argo! I find humor in that irony. LOL

    My point is, so stop commenting there because your tone isn’t liked? That sounds like giving up to me. Keep going, change the tone if you need to, even if you think it was okay. There are people there who want to hear you.

    Yes, tone can be a distractor. Intelligence says, change the tone, remove the distraction. And get about the business of idea exchange.

    P.S. Argo, Can’t wait for the screen change. Also, these threads are getting confusing. I like the straight-forward first to last. Maybe this method was great to keep track of a few comments. Not so great when there’s a bunch of comments. I don’t know if that can be changed either, but if you could that would make commenting easier, IMO.

  37. I think Wade seems like a super nice guy with good character. That’s not in question. The doctrine, his doctrine, not good. His perpetuating this belief is bad. He calls out people like John Piper for practicing what they preach, so he’s disconnected.

    Bottom line: All sin is not the same. That’s a Calvinistic belief.

    Evil and wrong must never be put into the same category. They are different. And need to be dealt with differently. We do not treat them the same, ever, in any situation, right?

    There is a difference between evil and wrong. I was wrong at one time. You were wrong at one time. Wade is wrong. We 3 are not evil. Our actions attest to that.

    Wrong: I figured it out. You figured it out. Wade can, too. Unless he’s depraved, but there’s no such thing, right? And he may decide not to change his mind.

    Evil: There is to be NO discussion with evil. Ever. Evil needs to be stopped & answered with swift justice.

    Victims need our voices right now. They need help. They will not get it from evil doers. They are looking for answers. Is the answer: stop commenting on blogs that aren’t 100% in agreement with you but will allow your comments, none the less?

    That’s my opinion.

  38. “Remember the dark days when you were a Calvinist, or when you were in a church taken over by them, and realize how it was vanity.”

    Oh yes!

  39. “Yes … I do plan on speaking at the next TANK conference provided I’m still in the States or at a minimum have the money to travel back.”

    This sounds intriguing. Are we moving abroad?

  40. Piper’s video: Burning at the stake & it’s the parents fault. Wow. Is he talking about children or Servetus?

  41. Finally. Yes, I’m breathing a sigh of relief now. Communicating to those looking for answers who are interested, that’s what prompted my first comment & subsequent comments. Isn’t the short answer to continue? Encourage Argo to continue? Above that, idk the solution either.

    Season 1&2 was a joke that fell flat.

    However, the discussion about tone has been good. My wheels have been turning.

    Someone’s tone should not be moderated, unless it’s extreme. Tone can be deceptive. The nicest, the most polite, may be far from it. That takes us right back to wolves in sheep’s clothing and more victims. Vicious cycle.

    Yes, don’t forget the tone of the individual, but also think past the tone and think about the ideas. Use both to discern. And you can’t use both to discern if the individual’s tone is restricted.

    Moderating for tone needs to die down on all blogs that are about open, free discussion of ideas/thoughts. Yes, victims are sensitive. But it may be healing for them when they see individuals coming to their defense. And when they watch how someone stands up for themselves and others, they learn how to do it for themselves. Victory.

    Tone helps tell us who someone is, where they’re coming from (unless they’re deceptive). We need to learn how to tell whether someone is passionate about their ideas for love of others, or whether they are control freak passionate. Or if they are naive, bullheaded, or a parrot. And that information (tone) can help individuals dialogue, understand & defend ourselves better against wolves.

  42. I post on Calvinist blogs, but generally the ones that actually post the comments. Wartburg just deletes them, so I don’t bother. In another post Argo mentioned that Dee said she deleted two comments blaming Calvinism for sexual abuse. Its probably more than two, because I know one of mine was deleted too. I said something like “Faith alone leads to abuse. Once saves always saved leads to abuse. Predestination leads to abuse. Teaching that pastors have real authority leads to abuse. In short, Calvinism leads to abuse.” That’s from memory, but I think its exactly what I said. And I got an email from Dee saying “I cannot post your comment as is. Could you please revise it? I think it is a stretch to accuse Calvinism of leading to abuse while giving a pass to Arminians, etc who also have the issue.”

  43. james jordan,

    Ahhh. I see. Thanks for answering my question. That clarifies things much.

    I agree with your every word, if that’s exactly what you attempted to comment on Wartburg.

    What you said has nothing to do with tone, either. It’s opinion.

    I haven’t studied Armenian beliefs. Do the beliefs themselves teach we are unable to do right, the actions of the elect don’t matter, is Comp their ideology, ESS, etc?

    I think individuals who are Armenian can be evil, wrong, or abuse as well.

    That doesn’t contradict my opinion about Calvinist teaching, that when acted upon, is disasterous, wrong and evil.

    Do they need to hear from more victims?

    How unfortunate.

  44. james jordan,

    Another question. Which Calvinist blogs do you post on that allow your comments?

  45. As I understand it, there are two types of Arminianism. There’s Classical Arminianism which is Arminianism as Jacob Arminius himself taught it. And then there’s “Arminianism” in air quotes which is really what is also called semi-Pelagianism. There’s also Armenians which are an ethnic group totally unrelated to the whole debacle who probably wish it would all go away.

    Classical Arminianism is just a modified Calvinism. Where Calvinism says you can’t believe until zapped by grace and enabled to believe, and that this zapping is only for the elect, Classical Arminianism agrees but claims to believe that this zapping is not only for the elect. How it really works, I don’t know. I’ve never yet found a Classical Arminian whose Arminianism didn’t quickly collapse into Calvinism when discussing the subject with them.

    “Arminians” or semi-Pelagians believe that God gave us all the ability to believe, and so when you hear the gospel you can believe it without God having to zap you with a special grace to enable you to believe. Imagine that!

    Either type of Arminian might believe in Once Saved Always Saved or might not. So, the fact of the matter is, quite contrary to Dee’s imagining, I did have a lot of Arminians covered there when I said “Once saved always saved leads to abuse.”

    As to which Calvinist blogs I post on, I’ll be honest, I don’t remember. I just go to google’s blogsearch and search for terms I know Calvinists love to use a lot like pelagius, pelagianism, pelagian, pelagians, and calvinism, and calvinists, and comment on any post I find there. And I subscribe to see if the comment gets posted. On blogger blogs, if you click “subscribe by email” first then post your comment, your comment is emailed to you when approved so you know it made it.

  46. A Mom, I deleted all my email last week. That’s one reason I can’t tell you what Calvinist blogs I’ve commented on recently. Other than SBCIssues which is actually a traditionalist SBC blog overrun with Calvinists. And Turretinfan whose blog is essentially dead. Most recently, I commented on this Calvinist blog http://jaredwellman.com/2013/07/22/jonah-and-hyper-calvinism/ This guy is trying to play “Hyper-Cavlinism” off as some kind of aberration which proves to me instantly he is a Calvinist without him having to say it. I posted my position that “Hyper-Calvinism is just Calvinism as it resides in the heart of the Calvinist; while Calvinism is the Calvinism they dare show the non-Calvinists. But sometimes they let the beast roam free and we see the true face of Calvinsm…” And he (without admitting to being a Calvinist himself, as is their custom) then says “There is a growing discord among believers today regarding Calvinism and Arminianism. It is my conviction that we not let our beliefs about God’s sovereignty in salvation cause us to call one another’s theology ‘beasts that roam free’…” Same old trick Calvinists and communists always use: pretend to be moderate and to have “balance.” Sorry, but “balance” between good and evil tips the scale to evil.

  47. james jordan (or anyone),

    Can you give me an example in the Bible when a covenant:

    man with man

    man with God

    can’t be broken by man? I know God keeps his promises, but I’m talking about man’s choice.

    An example besides the “once saved always saved” argument, that is.

    Maybe I should follow in your footsteps, and ask this question on Calvinist blogs. Just to make sure I don’t get a biased answer! 🙂

  48. “Arminians” or semi-Pelagians believe that God gave us all the ability to believe, and so when you hear the gospel you can believe it without God having to zap you with a special grace to enable you to believe. Imagine that!”

    James, your entire comment cracked me up! The reason? Because I have been reading SBC blogs for the last 2 years and that is all they talk about. Poor Pelagius— is all I can say. I doubt he ever knew he would be so imfamous in the 2nd millennium.

    Oh but what an insult those guys think it is to call one a Pelagian. or Semi Pelagian. Even Al Mohler hinted the people who signed the Traditional belief statement (which they thought was the opposite of Calvinism) were heretics. I mean, if it had been legal to burn at the stake I think some pyres would have been erected at SBTS and Al could have talked any YRR present to throw the faggot! They literally worship the ground he walks on.

    I had never seen anything like it. It was like little boys who learned a big grown up word at school and could not wait to label anyone with it if they did not totally agree with them! I never knew there were so many heretics on blogs. (wink)

    They were all quoting council decisions from the Dark Ages to prove this or that. It was positively medieval

    I am enjoying your take on things.

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