Truth as Purely a Function of Morality, With Morality Being Exclusive of Reason: The “soft” Gnosticism of Wade Burelson and The Wartburg Watch’s new false moral benchmark

Well, the disturbing trend continues over at that once shining virtual city on a hill, The Wartburg Watch.  Ever since the gnosticism of Wade Burleson became focus prime over there, this once great site where ideas and doctrines were vetted for clarity and held up to the scope of rational ideas with an end towards (at least in part) eliminating abuse in the modern American Christian church has now become a haven for hypocrites…for those who declare that the new moral standard which most exemplifies the “truth” of Christ is the tolerance of ideas…those doctrines, interpretations, opinions etc. which regard the wherefores and whys of biblical commands and theologies.

Except, as is common in these types of communes, the one idea they will absolutely not tolerate is the one which says that since ideas inevitably lead to action, only the idea which actually affirms and protects human individual life is worth staking your moral claim to and eternal peace upon as a blog site or as any entity, really.  Rejecting the evil ideas as those which destroy life is the real benchmark of Christian truth.  But not over there are Wartburg.  No…getting along, even at the expense of reason, is the new morality.

Oh…why yes, of course they still presume that once ideas, though wholly acceptable as ideas in man’s brain frame, manifest into destructive behavior then the behavior should be condemned.  And though this is all fine, and evil behavior should be condemned, the real question is what is the ACTUAL problem…the problem of all problems.  Is it that people act in service to ideas, or is it the ideas?  Put more simply, is it the behavior or the ideas that cause the behavior?  Which one is the head that most pressingly needs cutting off?

Now…I don’t want to be misunderstood.  Wartburg Watch does not tolerate ALL ideas…as I’ve already said, they won’t tolerate mine, for a start.  So right there is the exception that proves the rule.  I am the trouble maker because I DENY that Wade Burelson, for example, can hold to the doctrine he does and still be a good, life-affirming pastor.  There is no way I can accept that because my acceptance can only be engaged if I assume that Wade, though staunch and robust and relentless in support of his own ideas, will somehow refrain at all the right times from acting in service to their destructive logical conclusions.  Take, for example, his doctrine of “election”, which is utterly deterministic according to his own explanation of it (once you get past the contradictions and double speak, that is).  Wade concedes that men and women are “dazzled” and “spellbound” into acceptance of Christ, as a function of God’s election.  The implication being that God decides who He wants around in the New Heaven and then proceeds to bewitch them into some kind of gospel trance.  Which, by definition makes man’s free will utterly moot and thus not free at all, because you cannot describe that which cannot be shown to exist anywhere in the existence equation as being “free”.  And yet, Wade still proclaims, as if we are all idiots and the kind of third rate thinkers the neo-reformed seminaries are churning out these days, that we still have “the power” to resist Christ.

Here is  Wade’s direct quote:

“God makes His love for us so captivating, so alluring, so charming, so dazzling, so enthralling, so mesmerizing, so spellbinding (gospel comes from “good spell”), so magnetizing, so enrapturing, so gripping, so compelling, so hypnotizing, and so absolutely “sweep me off my feet” enamoring that I cannot, I must not, and I will not refuse, though I have the power to do so.”

You can access the entire comments thread here:  http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/08/16/a-tale-of-two-abusers/#comment-110775

I could go into a long description of the gruesome murder of logic which Wade perpetrates in this declaration, but it wouldn’t be anything you, my wise and handsome readers, can’t already see clearly for yourselves.  And…let’s be honest.  A blind road lizard can see the monumental contradiction in declaring a person who has been put under a “spell” and “dazzled” and who “cannot” resist as one who still retains the power to freely choose.

And besides that, Paul Dohse did a wonderful article on the egregious assumptions and twisted semantics of Wade’s idea already over on his site, paulspassingthoughts.com.  I invite you to check it out.  It’s very good.

But let’s get back to the new moral plumb line we are seeing over at the Wartburg Watch.  And really, truth be told, it is nothing more than a very old, very familiar, very Marxist moral plumb line known as: keeping the “collective” cohesive.  It is the presumption that the greatest moral good is found in maintaining the integrity, not of individual human life, but of the group (because in Platonism and Katianims, there is no such thing as an individual…the collective is absolute, and thus, you are only YOU if you are “part” of the collective).

Now, the group in this case is Dee and Deb’s very idea-xenophobic blog site.  They are the mama bears and they will protect to the death their subjects and their philosopher King(Wade), even though they have openly said that “God can shut down the site anytime He likes”…but God isn’t in the business of shutting down sites, Dee and Deb.  God is in the business of loving human beings and affirming and pursuing ideas that lead to loving actions and outcomes.  Whether you choose to run a blog site towards those ends is YOUR CHOICE, not God’s.  Don’t assume that the “success” of your site equals God’s affirmation of its assumptions.  That is extremely presumptuous on its face.

The sad thing is that Dee and Deb actually think that the “collective” at Wartburg Watch which they work so hard to maintain (yes THEY, not God) is real Christianity in general.  Why?  Because they think that this is the practical result of declaring that the greatest moral benchmark is found in accepting ALL ideas as “good” in service to maintaining the “peace” and “love” of “Christian” groups…the primary one in question being of course that which they have created at Wartburg Watch.  And as such, as a collective, they believe that they have the monopoly on Christian charity.

This could not be further from the truth.  When you declare that the greatest moral benchmark is the active acceptance of ideas which are utterly destructive to humanity, you share the guilt in the violent consequences.  It is that simple.  To attempt to disassociate the evil behavior from the evil ideas you DEMAND people accept as PROOF of their Christian charity is a murder of reason which does not go unnoticed by God nor those who are curious as to whether or not Christians really have something good and true to offer, or are merely just another bunch of irrational fanatics who worship books and make up their definitions as they go along.

So, again, only the acceptance of ideas is allowed (well, those ideas Dee and Deb have arbitrarily decided are “disputable” enough to maintain the peace and integrity of the Wartburg collective); and no deviation from their subjective assumption of moral purity will be tolerated.  Certainly, they rightly reject any obviously destructive ideas…but keep in mind, in keeping with full-on Marxist politics, it is the GROUP there that has the monopoly on truth.  And Dee and Deb and Wade, as the “authority” of the group…well, THEY will decide which people meet or exceed the benchmark of tolerance or not.  The ideas they reject do not have to be blatantly and frankly vile, they merely have to deny the right of the Marxist authority to declare what is “good” and what is “evil” absent a RATIONAL argument.  Which is why I am moderated into oblivion without the slightest sense of shame.

The hypocrisy is staggering. Once again, to declare that you care about the victims of abuse while ceding that the greatest moral good is found in the abject tolerance of the kind of fatalistic determinism Wade Burleson believes and TEACHES there…a doctrine which declares that human beings have NO right to EVER claim victim status because at the root of the doctrine is an utter denial of human existential integrity (i.e. YOU are not YOU at all) goes to the very core of why Christianity is dying and will soon be dead in this country (and, honestly, a good part of me believes that we have already passed the point of no return…I don’t think honest Christianity frankly exists in America in a pure form).  Wartburg Watch is a once great shining blog of hope now turned ugly hypocrite.

I don’t relish this, I weep over it.  I weep over the continuing slide of Wartburg Watch into moral relativism, all in service to the idea that morality is not a function of reason, but of blind tolerance.  But even worse than that is the altruistic and charitable charade which plays out like some macabre carnival where all the children are turned into meat patties on the way out.  It is a logic defying act of straddling the fence between ideas and behavior, as if there is some kind of stark delineation between them.  ALL ideas which do not upset the “peace” and “love” of the collective are acceptable, and yet the destructive behavior of these very same ideas is NOT tolerated .

The greatest moral action is cognitive moral relativism within the framework of “Christian charity” (as they define it)…to accept that everyone has a right to the ideas which they hold; and that the greatest moral affront is to deny that this is right.  But, again, they all want to draw the line at actions.

Okay, I get it that Ideas which fit your collectivist paradigm are fine, but when they manifest themselves into action that you somehow will denounce with a straight face and a firm, punitive resolution–without the slightest hint of irony–well, what kind of “reason”, pray tell, are you planning to have on hand to bulwark your accusations?  The kind that SGM churches who have left the corporation use?  The kind Brent Detwiler uses?  Deciding that the ideas are fine until someone gets hurt (and the someone is usually themselves, personally…which is oh so telling).  You are going to stand there with a straight face and an aura of arrogant moral superiority and decry the abuse despite your inexorable culpability?  Despite the rabid fact that though you are on the hook for never challenging the implicit (or even explicit) physical abuse which flies from every doctrinal proclamation of “election”, “depravity”, the “dazzling” and “spellbinding” gospel, “limited atonement”–ideas which deny the very SELF of human beings–because your moral plumb line is the tolerance of ideas YOU declare are acceptable so that your greatest moral action is found and maintained in defending the subjective integrity of the Wartburg Watch collective at all costs?

So again, what will be the counter argument when people like me call you a hypocrite for decrying the abuse but affirming the idea?

Here is the answer:  there can be none.  Your belief in the supremacy of tolerance will wash nothing at all in any whiteness of Christ’s righteousness when the innocent victims of the very doctrines you never challenge are piling up in ditches.  And it will certainly wash noting when you throw people off your site for challenging these doctrines because they always result in burning people alive, excommunicating God’s saints, and covering up the sexual abuse of children, and worse.

And this is precisely why a Calvinism resurgence in the world is seen again and again and again, and the abuse is seen again and again and again.  It is the Platonist and Marxist idea that somehow the ideas of the collective can protect and fit the paradigm of the individual human being.  Christianity is no longer about individuals being saved, loved, cared for.  Christianity is a collective.  And this collective is materialized in churches, communities, and now, blog sites.  And when moral truth becomes that which is utterly in service to protecting the peace and safety of the collective, people get hurt.  People get thrown out to the dogs.  People get murdered in the streets like Stephen.

Then people wake up for a brief moment, see the horror, and say they need to change.  And they do, for a while…but they never quite cross the rational line which demands that ideas and actions go together.  That what drives horror is the DOCTRINE.  No, somehow, the doctrine is NEVER wrong.  They change a few people, some churches separate, there is love, love, love and acceptance all around.  Tolerance becomes the moral standard of the day…and that is when the hoards of reformation despotism come marching right back in, and we like idiots hold the door open for them.  You see, they understand fully well that tolerance as the moral plumb line means that they can continue to preach “sound doctrine” until the cows come home, and they will never be challenged because that?  Would just not be loving. It wouldn’t be kind.  Why, after all, it’s that kind of rigid demagoguery we have fled from in the first place, no?

So back in come the Calvinist shills, proclaiming their “confessions”, and their “orthodoxy”, and their “inerrancy”, and if it weren’t for these dastardly human beings fucking everything up then we’d all be just fine.  We just need to get back to sound doctrine.  Oh…of course authoritarianism is wrong.  We shouldn’t have to COMPEL you to the “obvious” right-ness of our traditions, should we?  No, of course not.  If you are a REAL Christian, you will be dazzled and spellbound in to right understanding.  And, really, you should understand that my divine authority is not authoritarianism.  It is only that if you show yourself un-dazzled.  Then my mandate is to “protect” the church (read:  collective).

So, Calvinism comes in once again, perhaps a “soft” version, like Wade Burelson’s.  The ideas are accepted (they sound good…they aren’t overtly “evil” or “abusive”, there is a lot of grace talk, and after all, no one would actually TREAT another human being as if who they were and what they do don’t actually matter to a “sovereign” God)…and sooner or later, uh oh…someone decides that they must be “on fire” for God, and this inevitably means they must put their money where their mouth is.  They MUST stop just talking and ACT in service to the doctrine by openly engaging in–as a matter of pure got-me-love-for-Jesus faith; to prove their election–the logical destructive behavior. 

So then what happens is people like Dee and Deb and Wade and Brent Detwiler rush in to decry the abuse.  They proclaim love for fellow man.  This leads to the formation of new collectives around which this love is defined as “tolerance”.  This tolerance becomes the new moral benchmark, the “authorities” of the collective rush in at every turn to now protect the group in service to the the new and improved moral plumb line of tolerance.  Human beings then by necessity become secondary to the collective, which means they are secondary to the new abstract moral plumb line of “tolerance”.  Intolerance, then, towards persons deemed subversive is meted out in a tribal manner, meaning, reason is now no longer and nevermore the guide, but anything considered an affront to the “moral purity” of the collective is run out of town on a rail.  Eventually (which I submit is the stage we are at on Wartburg Watch) people who rule the new collectives finally realize that individuals are really the problem, and that if people just sacrificed themselves to the good of the group, all would be well.  Then these rulers finally realize that this fits the Calvinist/neo-reformed theological construct perfectly, and eventually the destruction and merciless abuse is doled out  liberally and enthusiastically in defense of the reformed doctrinal ideas…

…and so it goes again and again and again and again.

All because people like Dee and Deb, in the presumption of their own moral perfection of “tolerance” decide that ideas cannot possibly drive action.

And in this sense, the pagan Platonism shows its face once more as the Wizard behind the curtain.  Men do not exist, but only the “forms”…the source of the ideas, of the “truth”, which is the Primary Consciousness that only the gnostic overlords are privy to.  Therefore, there are no real “actions” of men; for men are nothing more than an extension of the absolute consciousness which controls and owns them, through the gnostic proxies.  The Pastors and Priests.

And humanity is once again nothing more than the universal pawn and scapegoat in a cosmic war of attrition between morally relative primary consciousnesses.

I ask, how is there anything of Christ in any of this?

This is now where Wartburg Watch stands.

Now, finally, to what I consider to be the soft tyranny of Wade Burelson, which is the exact same kind of tyranny found in the idea that morality can exist exclusive of and outside the individual human being.  That is, morality does not actually have to be premised on what physically IS, objectively, like individual people, but on what is wholly abstract, like tolerance, or collective, or in this example, whatever Wade decides it is going to be at the moment.  It is the idea that somehow, you, as the established “authority” (and in Wade’s case, I can only assume it is his role as resident Pastor over at the Wartburg Watch collective) get to declare just what is the benchmark for moral truth at any given moment, and thus force your opponent into submission by virtue of nothing other than your gnostic mandate to interpret reality anywhere and at any time for any reason.

And Wade swears he isn’t a Calvinist.  That is just rich.  This is precisely Calvin’s point.  The laity cannot be in a position to know anything, so it falls to the divinely chosen ecclesiastical “authority” to TELL them what to think.

The exchange took place on the same thread where Wade committed his rational larceny by declaring that God “dazzles” you into accepting Jesus Christ.  The topic of the debate is immaterial to my point, but you can access it at the link to the Wartburg Watch comments thread I provided above.

The recipient of Wade’s presumptuous moral superiority was a commenter who calls himself “Gene”.  This was Wade’s comment to him.  Please note that I have edited the comment so that only the relevant portions (to my point) are reproduced:

“I appreciate your comments and the spirit of interaction with those who have responded to your statements. I have been on the Internet for over eight years, writing blog posts, answering questions, and trying, in general, to help people…”

This is Wade setting the stage for his upcoming, but subtle, declaration that morality has nothing really to do with facts and reason, outcomes and observable issues, but with HIMSELF…that is, he starts by defining himself as the moral plumb line in the debate. The ideas being debated are besides the point.  Wade is setting the stage for his “truth” fiat by letting Gene know that HE is the “good” one here.  HE has eight years blogging, answering questions, blah, blah, blah. And, best of all, his motives have been to “help people”.  Well, this is all fine and good, but since when does any of this have to do with the discussion at hand?  The answer is, if you read the thread, it doesn’t.  It is a manipulation tactic.  It is Wade seizing the high moral ground simply because he is Wade.  And you must understand that in the neo-reformed construct, morality has absolutely nothing to do with reason.  Moral “good” is never a function of rational beliefs or logical cause and effect observations.  No, morality is purely a function of AUTHORITY, of FORCE, of GOVERNMENT.  This is why God, in reformation protestantism, can consign people to hell for nothing but arbitrary reasons, and can remain culpable for sin via the fatalistic determination which under girds the theology and yet still remain morally GOOD and categorically just and innocent.  His “authority” is proof of his goodness, period.  God is “good” simply because of who He is–as the supreme GOVERNOR–and not because He actually affirms life and ordains justice in accordance with objective reason which man can grasp via his own human context and observation.  And in this way, you cannot separate then moral truth from “truth” period.  They are one in the same.  He who gets to be GOOD is he who gets to be RIGHT.  And who is it that gets to be good and right, based on his divine authority in this debate, over at the Wartburg Watch?

Right.  Wade does.

The equation is simple.  Wade = authority = good = truth.

Wade starts off giving an ostensibly irrelevant and innocuous personal history of his life on the internet.  But it is relevant in this sense…that what Wade is doing is saying:  the plumb line for GOOD is ME, and since GOOD equals TRUTH in my “Christian” world view, then I, as the divinely chosen “authority” here on Wartburg Watch, get to be right, even before we start the discussion.

Yes, this is precisely how they always win these arguments.  They subtly proclaim their right to declare TRUTH for everyone else, and no one ever…and I mean EVER challenges them on this.  It is one of the primary reasons the Calvinist leadership is so damn resilient.

But the most offensive part of Wade’s e-mail is much, much worse.  Take a gander at what follows.  It is nothing short of a flagrant appeal to a categorically and ridiculously irrelevant idea as the sum and source of the moral truth in the whole thread and discussion.  But this is why these neo-reformed pastors are so terrifying.  The actually think that they speak divine TRUTH.  They actually believe that they just sort of get to declare that anything that catches their fancy in the moment absolutely forms the crux of divine moral and epistemological inerrancy.  Please note that I have put the most relevant parts in bold print:

“(a). You let us know that Dr. Patterson’s degree is from New Orleans, and then later you write, “I don’t care about the SBC or the politics of it.” In my experience, only those who truly care about the SBC and the politics of it would know where Dr. Patterson received his doctorate. Identifying yourself would help me know I am mistaken about you. And second,

(b). You write ” I don’t often read Wade because I don’t care about the SBC or the politics of it, but it seems that every time I see Burleson’s name come up, it is about his comment about politics in the SBC.” Shakespeare nailed it when he said, “Thou dost protest too much.” If you identified yourself, it would help us know that your statement about “not caring about politics” is truthful and will give us confidence to trust other statements you make.

I think asking you to identify yourself is fair. You know my background. My life is on display. However, you are anonymous. In my experience on the Internet, anonymous people on the Internet who make general assessments of someone else’s motives, are usually full of motive themselves. I could be wrong about you, but identifying yourself would help me clear up my misperceptions.”

Now, the utterly egregiousness of this comment should cause anyone who reads Wade, or listens to Wade, or has Wade on their blog site as the resident e-Pastor for the e-church, to feel a sour pang of uneasiness at the very least in the pit of their stomach.  Regardless of what Wade might think or say, I believe this to be nothing more than a rank tactic of despots.

What Wade essentially does is declare Gene to be a liar merely because Gene is uncomfortable revealing his true identity, as if knowing who Gene really is somehow relevant to a discussion that doesn’t actually involve Gene personally at all.  And, as an aside, with people like Wade Burelson in positions of authority, I’m not sure how anyone can possibly be comfortable giving out their real name. I mean, do you hold out your hand to a hissing snake just because you think it makes you morally pure?  It makes you somehow good, perhaps brave, to do something kind of stupid?

Wade equates anonymity with moral depravity, pure and simple.  Wade does not believe the best, as is commanded by scripture.  On the contrary!  He clearly lets it be known that he CANNOT assume Gene is being truthful unless Gene stops being anonymous!  As far as Wade is concerned, everything Gene says must be considered a lie because Gene has violated Wade’s arbitrary moral plumb line:  Thou shalt not post comments on the internet anonymously.

Read what Wade wrote one more time:

If you identified yourself, it would help us know that your statement about “not caring about politics” is truthful and will give us confidence to trust other statements you make.”

Again, what is TRUTH, according to Wade?  Wade is TRUTH, and Wade has made it a fact that by using his real name, He meets and exceeds the standard of moral perfection in this debate.  How convenient!  You see, Gene’s anonymity is proof of Gene’s depravity…his ethical wanting in comparison to the blinding righteousness of Wade.  It doesn’t matter WHAT Gene says, Wade gets to be right because Wade is NOT anonymous. Anonymity is EVIL, and evil cannot ever be right, because what is right or wrong is a function not of facts and reason, but of who gets to be the morally good side of the dualistic, relativistic gnostic coin.  Wade, as the authority-in-the-stead, gets to decide this.

And what about: “You know my background. My life is on display. However, you are anonymous.”

Once again, what is Wade doing here?  Declaring the plumb line for moral perfection, which is commensurate with TRUTH, and then declares that His dart lands squarely (by God’s divine anointing, of course) in the middle of the moral bulls eye.

And Gene responded…kindly.

Sigh.

I was aghast.  Here was a perfect opportunity to demand Wade answer for his moral relativism, his rape of logic, his authoritarianism, and his hypocrisy, and Gene merely gave a milquetoast, tepid response, answering Wade’s egregious and logically insane accusations without batting an eye.

This is the problem, people.  You have got to stop conceding what Wade thinks:  that HE is the divine authority who gets to demand that you defend your ideas against his moving-target of capricious morality and vapid, nebulous “wisdom”.

Instead, Gene played nicey-nice, and Dee (or Deb) predictably gave Wade a big old virtual smooch on the cheek for being oh so graaaaacious to actually come on the blog and hold a discussion with the depraved idiots who are tripping over themselves not to offend the sensibilities of the supreme PASTOR or the peace and security of the Marxist blog collective.

Here is my response to Gene, which saw the light of day over on the Wartburg Watch sometime after eight o’clock this morning, hours and hours and hours after I originally posted it last night:

 “Gene,

Wade’s questions were egregious. You were under no obligation to answer them.

 Notice the implicit equation in Wade’s comment: anonymity=deception and false witness. Basically, he called you a liar just because you don’t use your real name. How convenient. His assumption is that your hiding your identity can only mean that you must be morally corrupt.

 You should have ignored his questions and demanded he defend his irrational accusations.

 I believe that his entire message to you was a not-so-subtle way of declaring that since you are anonymous and he is not then he gets to assume the moral high ground. And since moral authority equals “truth”-as opposed to actually having a rational argument-in Wade’s construct it seems, he gets to declare your ideas false without ever actually having to defend his own according to logical premises and the facts at hand.”

64 thoughts on “Truth as Purely a Function of Morality, With Morality Being Exclusive of Reason: The “soft” Gnosticism of Wade Burelson and The Wartburg Watch’s new false moral benchmark

  1. The funny thing is… Gene (whoever he is) was right. It is a fantastic leap to suggest that this divorced woman was “abused” by Dr. Patterson’s doctrinal statement.

    (Which is its own brand of irony considering the disconnect between actions and ideas)

    Dr. Patterson was acting consistently with the substance of his doctrine… which by the way was an express of morality for moralities sake. A morality not based on human existence but on a primacy of consciousness plumb line.

    But the woman wasn’t abused in the “Aim a gun at her head” sense. Not even close. However narrow Dr. Patterson’s doctrinal interpretation might be, he didn’t abuse her. He merely made a qualifying distinction. As far as his employment criteria were concerned, divorce was a disqualifier.

    Maybe that is absurd but that is at no point abuse. are we going to then insist that everyone who is died a job–for whatever reason–is abused?

    that would be absurd on its face.

  2. Hi John,

    Oh, yes. I actually agree with Gene as well. But can you not clearly see the group think that has taken hold over there? Is that not a perfect example of everything that has gone pear shaped over there? I swear, it was not always like this. I really have seen a terrible change in the dynamics over there since Wade became resident pastor.

    Also, if you haven’t read my full article yet, that’s good…I had to add some stuff on the cycle of Calvinism to make it more coherent.

    What did you think of Wade’s “dazzling” comments? I was like…did he just say that?!!

    And not a PEEP from Dee and Deb. I mean, this is rank mysticism. This is hardly even biblical Christianity at this point, and yet…NO ONE criticizes PASTOR. I think they must have this in Wade’s contract because all the comments now are positive for the most part. Before, Wade was on the hook for defending his doctrine. No longer. Now TRUTH is merely whether you will accept the “difference of opinion” or not.

    It is so sad.

  3. James,

    For some reason your comment got put in the spam folder…I don’t understand it. Anyway, I hit delete and then realized that it was a comment from you. I was like…”hey, wait…no!”…like when you see your keys on the seat of the car as you are closing the door and you just can’t catch the door in time. LOL

    Anyway, can you please re post? Thanks!

  4. My own lack of tolerance is why I stopped posting over there, not that I ever said much. The constant praise and promotion of Wade is more than I can tolerate, considering the great harm his words to me on determinism have caused in my life.

  5. “What did you think of Wade’s “dazzling” comments? I was like…did he just say that?!!”

    LOL! Ditto. Once you wade (hmm, a pun?) through the ridiculousness, pure comedy shines through. For me, at least.

    Argo, by the way: I want you to know how much I love and appreciate your posts, in part because of how you clear away much of the fog by affirming logic, goodness, life and human beings. I may not comment very often, but I am always mulling over what you say and am a better person for doing so.

  6. Argo,

    I enjoyed reading your post. I agree with you that ideas (doctrine) drive one’s actions. I disagree with your judgment that the doctrine I believe drives me to inaction or actual abuse of others. Either you don’t truly know what I believe and how I actually treat others, or I am blind to what I really believe and how I personally treat others. Though we have never met, I’m not sure your views of me would change were we to meet. However, consistency with your belief that doctrine drives human action, it would seem to me an important aspect of your views that you attempt to get to now what one believes without making assumptions of what one actually believes.

    My post about Dr. Patterson and the woman was an attempt to honor the integrity of my friend (who was divorced), let her know that some Christians (like me) valued her as a person and respected the dignity of her life, and are unafraid to call out the person who fired her husband because of her divorce from an abusive husband.

    Would love to sit down and share a cup of coffee with you some day and visit, exchanging ideas. It was not my desire to offend Gene (not his real name) or you by asking him to share who he was, nor was I intending to set myself up as an authority or one with “moral superiority.” It was simply a desire to know Gene. It is my belief (or doctrine), that one who accuses another of having an agenda (something hidden and internal) is usually the one with an agenda.

    Wade

  7. Argo,

    Also, I respect your ideas. In summary, here is your doctrine (your words):

    “For self (me) to recognize other (God), they (me and God) must be existentially the SAME; utterly identical in existential WORTH and BEING. Everything that exists, exists equally. Period. THAT is the only truly objective moral statement.”

    Though I respect your doctrine and affirm your freedom to declare it as “objective truth,” I believe your doctrine and belief system ultimately destroys the human soul. You exalt man to the position of God and attribute identical “worth” and “being” to both man and God.

    Are you free to hold to your ideas? Absolutely.
    Are your ideas destructive to the individual human? Without doubt.
    Why? When a person exalts himself (or herself) to the position of God he (or she) commits the sin of pride, called by God the worst sin of all.

    I would enjoy getting to know you. I think you would find we could have an easy going friendship. I remind you: “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

    Ideas do drive actions. Your ideas drive a man see himself as God. That idea destroys the human soul.

  8. Wade,

    I appreciate your willingness to visit my blog and for commenting. Welcome. Allow me to explain where you are going wrong in your assessment.

    “Argo,

    Also, I respect your ideas. In summary, here is your doctrine (your words):

    “For self (me) to recognize other (God), they (me and God) must be existentially the SAME; utterly identical in existential WORTH and BEING. Everything that exists, exists equally. Period. THAT is the only truly objective moral statement.””

    Yes, I utterly accept this statement. There is no other rational way to look at existence, and thus morality as a function of that existence.

    First, existential reality IS a perfect one to one ratio. This cannot be disputed, as it is axiomatic to making ANY kind of argument in favor of ANY kind of idea. For YOU to have a point of view, YOU must acknowledge that YOU ARE. You must exist, and as such it is only rational then to acknowledge that YOU must exist as much as God exists…for by definition, you cannot exist LESS than God, for existence is an infinite absolute by definition. There is no such thing as only “partly” existing.

    So, the only “elevation of man” I am doing is merely a metaphysical one…and from this, morality directly stems. I do not concede that there is any OTHER kind of objective elevation. Man either exists or he does not. And if man exists, and God exists, then their existence is EQUAL, by definition.

    And if existence is equal by definition, the ALL value can only proceed from the inexorable SELF which is inherent in perfect and inexorable existence. Man cannot exists as equal as God exists and yet have a LOWER value to his SELF, for there is no objective way to express how much LESS man is of value than God. To suggest that man exists LESS than God is a rational impossibility.

    To say this destroys individuals lacks any basis in reason. If you acknowledge that YOU exist and God exists, then existence of self is equal; and if existence of self is equal then ANY measurement of that existence must also be equal. And in this case, the SELF, that is LIFE, can only be said to be equally valuable, be it man or God.

    This doesn’t destroy individual souls, this saves them from the neo-reformed worship of death. Reformed protestants want to declare that while God’s LIFE is the most important moral value to HIS existence, man’s DEATH is the most important moral value to MAN’s existence. This is nonsense, and it is why Calvinists are obsessed with notions of election and predestination and sacrifice of self to the “body” collective…because these doctrines are intended to deny man’s right to SELF…to say that YOU are not really YOU.

    But if you want to affirm human life Wade (and I believe you DO; but I do not agree that your doctrine leads towards this), then you must logically affirm that human life has equal VALUE to that of God’s life. Life is the greatest and only objective moral truth, then, because morality is nothing more than what OBJECT which exists constitutes the greatest VALUE. And that is, again, the self…of BOTH man and God. Equal existence means equal value. Equal moral worth.

    Not only are you wrong about your assessment of my doctrine destroying the individual, but I submit my doctrine is much, much more in keeping with God’s perspective than yours.

  9. Wade, I find the idea of dialoging personally with you pleasant.

    However, you must understand how uncomfortable I am around ecclesiastical leaders who believe what you believe. For in your theology, the only logical outcome of how leadership relates, based on my understanding of what they believe, is ultimately this:

    authority = moral good = truth

    Truth and good, in other words are defined by who God has “called” to be the “leader”. The “authority”.

    It is hard for me to foresee a constructive conversation within the parameters of this equation. You yourself have already admitted that you do not necessarily accept the equality of existence. God exists “more” because He is the supreme authority. His truth and goodness are nothing more than an extension of his power to FORCE.

    And you, as God’s proxy, then must exist “more” than me. If you are in the position of getting to define Good and Truth, then there is little point to a dialog. By definition, anything you declare would be truth.

    That isn’t dialog, it is dictatorship.

    I am sure you are extremely nice…and I do believe that you love people. But your doctrine, frankly, terrifies me.

  10. Argo, I just found this. Not sure how I missed it. Just a few thoughts:

    My problem with Patterson is his selective “conscious”. There is a pattern. I realize John Immel and even you are not that familiar with Patterson’s shenanigans over the last 30 years but they are legendary. He will have a lot to answer for in how he has treated many people over the years in the Name of God. I won’t recount them all here. It is just that he is totally inconsistent in his “obeying of scripture”. Gene seemed to be trying to let him off with some technicalities of what is sin.

    Wade, I think you are in the same conundrum most who believe in a determinist god find themselves in when it comes time to get out of the pulpit and engage.. Trying to straddle the fence of free will and determinism. And I think this happens because when one tries to apply the deterministic god to real life it becomes impossible. We cannot have both free will and a determinist god who affirms dualism. One must live in constant contradiction.

    I have to take into consideration that some who have been horribly abused have found some of your teaching and then explanations in comments seem to contradict what you have just taught. And that is the problem with the determinist god/dualism paradigm. It does not transfer to real life very well. And it creates moral chaos.

    And I don’t think people feel comfortable discussing this on TWW anymore. I will say you are a million times nicer that most who espouse the determinist god paradigm and I really appreciate it.

  11. Oasis,

    You are so, so more than welcome here. You are a treasure to the blogging world. Thanks for the comments. Not everyone has the same gift of the “vomit of the mouth” like I do. Believe me, that is NOT a weakness of yours, but a strength!

    LOL

  12. Argo, Your ideas are shocking. They completely override the ingrained thinking of dualism. They seem to elevate humans to godlike status.

    But if we analyze the Genesis account there is much truth in what you write before the fall. I am wondering to what extent Jesus Christ was to give value to our existence and reconcile us to God? Seems the Reformers do not see this at all.

    BUT the truth is determinism/dualism elevate SOME humans to godlike status. They are the ones with truth and the ones who can interpret the bible for us. they seem to have more Holy Spirit than the ones they are to teach. They are the Greek philosopher kings. They know best and the rest of us are prideful and ignorant. This has been the traditional thinking in Christendom since Augustine.

    I propose that when we see our true worth and value before God, many will not only see our responsibility to Him as Creator BUT our responsibility to others and this earth.

    In the Reformed determinist god/dualism paradigm the professing believer child molester can be saved WHILE molesting a child. They just sin and that is expected because we are not only guilty of Adam’s sin but are totally unable to do good unless God forces us to. Yet, the contradiction is they claim the sin is free will…man chooses to sin because he knows nothing else. yet man cannot choose to love and obey God. it is a total contradiction that wipes out any responsibility of humans to their creator or each other. There is no volition and humans are totally impotent and meaningless. There is no justice in that paradigm because we all deserve hell and all sin is the same. God arbitrarily choose some to be saved which means others not chosen are destined to hell. That to them is grace.

    What is missing big time in the determinist god paradigm is our ability to really live out the kingdom now. To live out the kingdom now we must practice justice, too. And unfortunately the Reformers have a different definition of Justice as they do with grace, love, Sovereignty, etc.

  13. “Ideas do drive actions. Your ideas drive a man see himself as God. That idea destroys the human soul.”

    This led to me think something through. Jesus was God in the Flesh. And people spent time with the Human/Godman. Especially some of the Apostles and women in their travels. One has to wonder if any of them thought they could ever be like Him in many respects.

    Would that be considered prideful?

  14. Lydia,

    Your comments were spot on. You are right…doesn’t the inherent Gnosticism in reformed theology by default elevate some humans to God like status. I heard CJ declare pastors as being in God’s stead! And yet MY theology elevates man?!!!

    Great point.

    You other comment: didn’t Jesus say they would do greater works than His?

  15. Lydia,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    Argo,

    You are uncomfortable with the idea that authority = moral good = truth

    So am I. Hitler had authority. Hitler was not morally good. Hitler missed the truth.

    However, if I may challenge your doctrine “if man exists, and God exists, then their existence is EQUAL.” I believe that doctrine leads to destructive actions.

    We can simply agree to disagree. I don’t think you are a lesser man because you believe the way you do, nor do I advocate your silence because we disagree — nor do I believe YOU are destructive – just your doctrine.

    Wade

  16. “My problem with Patterson is his selective “conscious”. There is a pattern. I realize John Immel and even you are not that familiar with Patterson’s shenanigans over the last 30 years but they are legendary. He will have a lot to answer for in how he has treated many people over the years in the Name of God. I won’t recount them all here. It is just that he is totally inconsistent in his “obeying of scripture”. Gene seemed to be trying to let him off with some technicalities of what is sin.”

    Hey Lydia…

    My comment was directed at validating the distinction that Gene was making. I thought it error to call Dr. Patterson’s actions abuse qua abuse. And this is of course what Gene was saying: that by calling Dr. Patterson’s actions abusive it watered down the definition of abuse to those who had say “had a gun pointed to their head” or had their teeth knocked out.

    Gene wasn’t letting him off the hook, he was advocating a distinction . . . a distinction that sailed right over most people’s heads. Gene at no point defended Dr. Patterson. But people were so emotionally invested in the story that they never saw that Gene had as much condemnation for Dr. Patterson’s actions as anyone throughout the thread.

    You are correct… I am not familiar with Dr. Patterson. I suspect he is worthy of all the ire people are inclined to foist on his Neo Calvinist soul. Calvinists are utterly destructive when given the power to impact people’s lives. This is no mystery nor is it a secret. But what people failed to grasp is that Dr. Patterson is being CONSISTANT with the interpretive methods the under the roots of Christianity’s doctrine of sin. Dr. Patterson is merely taking the ideas to their logical conclusion and then takes action on the conclusion i.e. he disqualifies a man for employment because of the “sins” of his wife. How does that surprise anyone? How is it they can object?

    Is this not the root presumption of Original Sin?

    Are we not all disqualified and subsequently condemned before God by the exact same logic?

    Because Adam “Fell” all men inherit his guilt?

    How then can we rail against Dr. Patterson for approaching people from the same perspective?

    Is it not the exact same rational construct: The woman’s first husband sins and she bears his guilt? And because she bears guilt, the new husband also now embodies the guilt handed down for sins that he did not commit?

    I mean if God thinks–and subsequently acts–in accord with this moral standard how can Christians object to how anyone is treated? How is their justice when men bear guilt for crimes or sins they did not commit?

    The answer is obvious.

  17. “Your comments were spot on. You are right…doesn’t the inherent Gnosticism in reformed theology by default elevate some humans to God like status. I heard CJ declare pastors as being in God’s stead! And yet MY theology elevates man?!!! ”

    yes, because SOMEONE has to interpret the determinist god for others because of the total depravity and guilt for Adams sin, they cannot see it for themselves. (the dualism)

    So, in that construct God “appoints” some to be His messengers to the ignorant. (paraphrasing Al Mohler)

    These would be Plato’s philosopher kings which the institutionalized church adopted this model by reconfiguring the function of pastors and elders as the philosopher kings appointed by God. ( Nowadays they are always “called” by God)

    I am always a bit taken back when it is taught that we are all totally depraved/unable to respond to God and guilty for Adams sin and we are going to keep on sinning because God imputed Jesus’ righteousness to us so no big deal……is taught by someone who thinks they should have credibility with us if it is true? I could never wrap my head around that one. Made me want to hide my wallet.

  18. “You other comment: didn’t Jesus say they would do greater works than His?”

    yes and why is it prideful to want to be like Christ? I don’t get that. Unless one sees Jesus as a lesser god of sorts.

    Did Jesus not treat those He was with as having equal worth? In fact, did He not treat Himself as the sacrifice INSTEAD of sacrificing others as Allah has done? Jesus made Himself LOWLY. Like the least of these here. He brought value to the most despised on earth. Why do we miss this when thnking of our value to God?

  19. BTW: I am NOT saying Allah exists. I am using the determinst metaphor which Allah represents.

  20. “Ideas do drive actions. Your ideas drive a man see himself as God. That idea destroys the human soul.”

    First, Argo is not advocating that men see themselves as God. This is a flawed understanding of Argo’s arguments, all-be-it a typical collectivist kneejerk reaction to an open advocacy of ethical egoism.

    Second, since the first sentence is in error it would follow that the summation is in error. But the comment does require a deeper look. “Ideas destroy men’s souls?”

    Hummmmm … I guess I’m confused how this is possible.

    Unless I am missing something, a central doctrine of Reformation Theology is the eternal nature of the soul? Is this not the sword of Domiciles dangled over every man’s head, that if he is immoral his soul will suffer eternal punishment? How can an “eternal” punishment be rendered on something that can be destroyed? To be doctrinally consistent it is absurd to discuss the destruction of the “eternal soul” therefor no amount of pride, no amount of error, can ever be said to contribute to the destruction of the human soul.

    Third . . . since man’s eternal existence is determined by forces beyond himself, how then can any human action be credited with any form of destruction?

    It doesn’t matter if we are offering a variation of Augustine’s soft determinism or Calvin’s hard determinism, the causal relationship between salvation/damnation and eternal location is solely the prevue of God’s intent.

    No matter what tap dance people want to play with human culpability in a determinist world, the inevitable conclusion is that morality does not exist, which means that the determinist construct is merely the flip side of the Antinomian coin.

    Antinomian = Man CAN act moral but I choose to reject morality as such.
    Determinists = Man CANNOT act moral therefore there is no morality as such.

    So there is no antecedent destruction because man has “Pride.” In a determinist world Pride is noun without a modifier because man has no volition of consequence.

    This of course destroys all of Man (not just his soul) because it eradicates man at his roots: Man qua Man. Man has no self because man is … nothing. Or as any good Calvinist will say, man is less than nothing, a personification of damnable evil fit only for God’s wrath.

    And since ideas do drive actions . . . I submit that if there was ever a body of doctrine that “destroyed men’s souls” it would be the Primacy of Consciousness Determinism of the Augustinian/Calvinist ideology.

  21. “And since ideas do drive actions . . . I submit that if there was ever a body of doctrine that “destroyed men’s souls” it would be the Primacy of Consciousness Determinism of the Augustinian/Calvinist ideology”

    Exactly. And how much more proof does one need than the evil bloody facts of church history?

  22. Wade, you said:

    “You are uncomfortable with the idea that authority = moral good = truth

    So am I. ”

    And I am glad you are uncomfortable, you should be. However, unless you acknowledge that moral GOOD is NOT a function of AUTHORITATIVE POSITION, then your discomfort is irrelevant

    What I am saying is that unless you accept that God MUST hold HIMSELF to the exact same standard of GOOD that man is expected to hold himself to (the reformed idea that man cannot actually do this apart from God doing it for him notwithstanding) then you DO accept the equation as I wrote it: AUTHORITY= GOOD = TRUTH.

    By denying man’s existential equality with God (life EQUALS life) I believe you think that God can change the script at any point in the conversation or relationship for any reason and He is just, or GOOD, to do so simply because He is God. If you agree with that, then you have agreed that truth and goodness are nothing more than a function of who has the greatest authoritative position; who has the most FORCE.

    But that is not what the Bible teaches. Truly, no man can judge God, but that is not simply because He is God–no, this has nothing to do with His “authority” at all– but it is because His entire existential integrity is utterly dedicated to LIFE, not DEATH. His integrity as God is innately predicated on the wholly complete affirmation of LIFE, of the SELF. God is LOVE. God is LIFE. And this means that His inherent nature is such that He is the sustainer of the only thing that has objective moral value: life. Because He is God, He cannot help but to affirm life; any contrary action to this is a denial of His very self, by Himself. Life and love is His ESSENCE. The standard is not one He gets to define capriciously, it is one He MUST keep because a denial of the objective GOOD of life is a denial of Himself.

    There is no real moral value except life, as I said. Life is good, life is truth…and no amount of positional authority can change that. This is the only logical conclusion. Neither you, nor I, nor God can destroy the TRUTH of life, regardless of our positional authority.

    This is why I say that all life is of utterly EQUAL value. God’s existential reality is not MORE than man’s. This is not the elevation of man to God, this is the acknowledgement that what God created, life, is actually a REAL SELF, and as such REALLY exists, and as such is REALLY GOOD. There is no subjectivity to the morality of life. But when you declare that man’s life, though a direct function of His Creator’s creative actions, is LESS than God’s, you make man’s life of purely a SUBJECTIVE value. And this kills love. How can you love that which you cannot actually value?

    And this is why the love of DEATH is so prevalent in reformed theology. Since man isn’t really REAL, but purely a strange amalgamation of deterministic dualist forces of “good” and “evil”, and the only real life that of God, then the only way man can possibly be reconciled with God is to DIE…is to cease to exist. He must be removed from the equation so that the purity of God’s goodness/life remains.

    Now, I have reasonably argued my side. Please explain to me reasonably why you think my ideas are destructive to man. Remember, you don’t get to declare positional authority here. It is only right and fair and for you to provide a reasonable counter argument.

    You said my ideas are destructive…and given the severity of that idea, you are obligated to explain rationally why. You cannot declare this and then say we should “agree to disagree”. How does that not show utter contempt for me?

    That said…Wade, you show integrity by willing to come on this blog and debate with me. I must and will acknowledge that. I don’t doubt your heart is for love…I just think that you arrive at that love by suspending the logical conclusions of your beliefs. Which is better than the logical conclusions, of course, in my estimation. However, I would prefer you would have better beliefs. Please, I mean no offense by this statement.

  23. “First, Argo is not advocating that men see themselves as God. This is a flawed understanding of Argo’s arguments,”

    John, yes…thank you for that. I am by no means confusion man with God. I am however saying that man’s life is of EQUAL moral worth as God’s because man’s life is just as existentially ACTUAL as God’s is. And you cannot, by definition, quantify LIFE…existence itself is an infinite absolute. If we ARE, then we ARE as much as God is. And since the only non-subjective morality must be rooted in what is ACTUAL…that,is, the only thing that can be truly GOOD is what truly EXISTS, then I submit that the SELF of man is as GOOD as the SELF of God.

    And how can anyone who believes that man was Created by God His very Self deny this. If you are a direct function of God, then surely it cannot be denied that you are equally as GOOD. If we are children of God, then we must possess the innate objective moral GOOD of life.

    How this idea destroys or counter-affirms humanity is beyond me. It is the exact opposite. I mean, I understand it is heretical in the context of historical reformation theology…but it is no secret that I utterly deny reformed theology BECAUSE i disagree with it on the aforementioned basis. I deny it because i can PROVE logically that it does NOT affirm the life of man.

  24. Lydia,

    Your INability to apprehend the doctrine rationally is merely proof that you are actually able to observe and apprehend reality…and recognize that Calvinist premises by no means comport. It is proof that you are a THINKER, and you will no longer allow any idea which does not pass the test of reason to pass for TRUTH.

    The day we begin to understand the fatalistic determinism of neo-reformed theology/Calvinism is the day we need to stop blogging and go become atheists. “Eat and drink and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die” will be our new religion.

  25. Lydiasellerofpurple,

    Any person who kills in the name of Christ is not of Christ. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    Argo,

    You wrote: “But that is not what the Bible teaches. Truly, no man can judge God, but that is not simply because He is God–no, this has nothing to do with His “authority” at all– but it is because His entire existential integrity is utterly dedicated to LIFE, not DEATH. His integrity as God is innately predicated on the wholly complete affirmation of LIFE, of the SELF. God is LOVE. God is LIFE. And this means that His inherent nature is such that He is the sustainer of the only thing that has objective moral value: life. Because He is God, He cannot help but to affirm life; any contrary action to this is a denial of His very self, by Himself. Life and love is His ESSENCE. The standard is not one He gets to define capriciously, it is one He MUST keep because a denial of the objective GOOD of life is a denial of Himself.”

    Beautifully said. May I ask you how your views work themselves out in practical ways?

    (1). Are you against abortions, at any time, because abortion is the destruction of life?

    (2). Are you against the death penalty for all crimes, including murder?

    (3). Are you a conscientious objector to war; meaning, were you ever to be drafted by a government to fight in a war, would you abstain for reasons of conscience.

    I am not being antagonistic, I am genuinely curious how your view of existential integrity works itself out in real life.

  26. John,

    You write: “Ideas destroy men’s souls?”

    Hummmmm … I guess I’m confused how this is possible. ”

    I was summarizing Argo’s argument from the post (or at least what I interpreted from his argument) when I wrote, “Ideas destroy men’s souls.” Here is what Argo wrote:

    “I assume that Wade, though staunch and robust and relentless in support of his own ideas, will somehow refrain at all the right times from acting in service to their destructive logical conclusions.”

    I assumed the destructiveness involved people, not things, so souls is used metaphorically for people and how ideas destroy them.

  27. ” it not the exact same rational construct: The woman’s first husband sins and she bears his guilt? And because she bears guilt, the new husband also now embodies the guilt handed down for sins that he did not commit?

    I mean if God thinks–and subsequently acts–in accord with this moral standard how can Christians object to how anyone is treated? How is their justice when men bear guilt for crimes or sins they did not commit?
    “”

    Excellent point and I missed it totally because I cannot stand Patterson inconsistency on applying the false principle. But it fits what I think Wade believes and teaches about God holding us guilty for Adam’s sin and our being totally depraved.

  28. “Thank you for your kind words. ”

    Thanks Wade but I am a bit uncomfortable you have not acknowledged what Oasis said:

    “The constant praise and promotion of Wade is more than I can tolerate, considering the great harm his words to me on determinism have caused in my life.”

    Not that an apology means anything but what the determinist teaching has caused pain from the heinous crimes against her as a child.

    Saying we care about victrms but then affirming a determinist god construct is incongruous.

  29. Wade,

    No problem. Those are very good and appropriate questions. I did not take them as being antagonistic at all. On the contrary…I would have assumed you were curious and are seeking for me to defend my ideas. That is completely rational.

    Here is my response:

    The question you are really asking is: can an action which leads to death be moral? That is, can an action which leads to death be done in service to SELF (which, the SELF is “life” by definition)…in service to the preservation of SELF, which is the only true objective moral value?

    The answer is: of course.

    Whether an action results in the death of someone is not the moral point. The moral point is what exactly is that action in service to? If it is in service to the affirmation of individual existence as the yard stick for moral GOOD, then the action is good, insofar as we can label any action “good”, with the understanding that this will always be somewhat relative (dependent on individual circumstance and context). Again, the only NON-relative GOOD is SELF…so, by extension, actions in service to SELF (not simply MYself, mind you, but SELF of ALL) can be reasonably labeled “good”, with the understanding that this, again, needs to be vetted via individual circumstance and context.

    But, Wade, here is what I want to make clear:

    There is a difference between human sacrifice and human physical death. Physical death CAN be in service to the affirmation of life…human sacrifice, a la the Calvinist construct of the utter denial of self in service to the primary consciousness of “sound doctrine” and the “body” collective and a determinist God is NOT in service to human life. It is wholly a culture of death. It SACRIFICES humanity, it doesn’t save it nor affirm it.

    But back to the idea of death in service to the affirmation of the SELF. Here are some examples. Remember, in my equation, self IS life.

    It is morally GOOD for Jesus to die in service to the affirmation of SELF.

    It is morally GOOD for God to destroy Satan and his demons in service to the affirmation of SELF.

    It is morally GOOD for me to reject the fatalistic determinism of Calvinism in service to the affirmation of SELF

    It is morally good to destroy Hitler and his barbaric hoards in service to the affirmation of SELF

    The point is that it is not logically possible to make ALL death the plumb line of morality, e.g. life is good, death is evil, therefore, there can never be a circumstance in which death of any sort can be considered morally good. Well…this would make the death of Christ an evil thing…which obviously is rank fallacy. And so I am NOT saying that ALL death is evil because all death is NOT ALWAYS a denial of the affirmation of SELF, as the above examples show. The affirmation of SELF/LIFE may indeed be revealed in an action that leads to death, as the death of our Lord on the Cross shows us…exhibit A, if you will.

    But here is where I think you need to be concerned about your own presumptions, and perhaps re-evaluate them.

    Wade, it is here we arrive at the problem with your view of man NOT as existentially equal to God…and thus, of lesser moral worth. IF that is true, then by definition GOD Himself is the plumb line for moral GOOD, period. Anything NOT God then, by definition, cannot possibly be GOOD. And this being the case, the death of ANY human being for ANY reason is always GOOD, because man in your construct must be evil by his very existence (evil being “of less worth”,because God’s SELF is the only GOOD), because God is the plumb line for Good, and God is morally HIGHER than man–of more moral and existential worth– then the only solution to man’s problem of evil is NON-EXISTENCE. Which is death. And this is why Calvinism is little more than a cult of death. Death…non-existence is the only way man can escape the inherent and inexorable moral failure of his very SELF, his very life.

    By this idea, it would be just and good to sacrifice human beings in service to God. You cannot condemn the child sacrifices of Molech because you have already conceded that man’s moral value—the value of his life—is beneath that of God, and BEING God is really the only truly moral good. Since man cannot be God by definition, man MUST be destroyed as a function of his inexorable and pervasive moral failing.

    This is precisely what Calvinism teaches, and precisely why I consider it a terrible evil.

  30. Determinism is an utter absolute. If we concede that God determines humanity/Creation, then we MUST ask… what determines God?

    Determinism is determinism is determinism…it does not have a beginning or an end. God cannot FREELY determine Creation. That is an utter contradiction in terms. If creation was determined as an inexorable part of is very being, then at NO time could Creation’s actions ever have been a free “choice” for God. If creation is determined, then God’s “choice” to determine it the way He did must also have been determined.

    This is axiomatic. Determinism cannot possibly be true.

    It is a rank failure of logic and reason, and an impossible onus for existence.

  31. Oasis,

    I understand a little of what you went through…but probably just a little. I had much love and respect for Dee and Deb, and when Dee turned around on me and began to impugn my motives and re-interpret my points to paint me in the worst light as possible…well, yeah, that was not fun. To be moderated into oblivion as if I’m some kind of third rate troll…I was genuinely hurt by that.

    But listen, please read my comment to Lydia down below regarding determinism. Really, it is a wholly false idea. Really. I promise you. You never have to worry about it again…God loves you, and you are free! You are free to be YOU and God loves what YOU are and affirms your very inherent innate WORTH as a person.

    You must remember this.

  32. I have another question. I do believe Wade is a conservative politically. I might be wrong on that but from my memory he is a lover of freedom, civil rights and self determination in the political sphere. So I am at a loss as to how some Calvinists can affirm self determination in the political sphere but think it sinful in the spiritual sphere?

  33. Wade, you’re guilty of the “Jesus is my girlfriend” heresy that destroys the human soul. Jesus’ love (in your view) is so amorous, so spellbinding, so captivating, so erotic, that every time you think about Jesus doing a spell with someone you do a spell by yourself. (I doubt you’ll get the Xander reference.)

  34. Sorry lydiasellerofpurple, I should read with better comprehension. I just now noticed my mistake. You have asked me to respond to Oasis comment:

    “The constant praise and promotion of Wade is more than I can tolerate, considering the great harm his words to me on determinism have caused in my life.”

    Just a couple of things: (1). I think when Oasis uses the phrase “his words to me on determinism” she is referring to what she believes I believe about determinism, and not my actual words. At least this is what I think since I cannot recall ever speaking to Oasis (or anyone else for that matter) on the subject of determinism. (2). I am unsure what Oasis means by “the constant praise and promotion of Wade.” I, too, would be uncomfortable with “constant praise and promotion of Wade.” I wish Oasis were clearer.

    However, I do think I understand the main point of Oasis words (based upon your comment Lydia, that Oasis is a victim of abuse). My heart goes out to Oasis. When I hear the pain from someone who has been abused, I am usually quiet. I believe it far better to show compassion and love to the abused than to try to rationalize their pain. All I know is God did not cause any abuse to occur. He can’t. He’s good in all His ways (this we both affirm).

  35. Wow, thank you, Argo! So sweet. 🙂 I read it and will do so again, and give it a lot of thought.

    As for being moderated into oblivion, I understand why that hurts. The whole thing still has me confused.

  36. No, I am referring to what I know you believe, based on your words to me and others on TWW some months ago, in an e-church thread. You said everything that happens, including abuse, is supposed to happen, is of God, every single detail designed and orchestrated etc.

    Just wanted to clear that up.

  37. Wow, again. Thanks! 🙂 I have been loving your comments over at Julie Anne’s blog. You said some good stuff there, and you were easier than usual to understand, at least for me, ha!

  38. Oasis,

    I would be delighted were you to show me where I said abuse was “supposed to happen.” When you can give me the time stamp, date, and actual words I wrote, I will be honored to seek your forgiveness and repent of my miswritten words on the thread. As is obvious in this thread, I can make mistakes.

    If I ever said, “Abuse is ‘supposed to happen'” (and I not believe I did), that would be a mistake. Abuse is NOT supposed to happen. Abuse is sin. Abuse is ugly. Abuse is destructive. Abuse is NOT of God.

    Abuse is caused by evil men or women in rebellion to their God. Argo believes God did not know it would occur, and as such, is as surprised by it as you were. I think my belief is God works all things (even the evil of abuse which He did not cause and was not supposed to happen) for the ultimate good of His people. As you know, my own family has experience with abuse. When I speak with a family member who has been abused, I don’t do much talking. I do a lot of listening. It’s the same when I speak with family members whose children have been murdered or killed in horrible accidents. I do a lot of listening.

    I am not attempting to instruct you here. I am simply acknowledging that the evil of your abuse is very, very painful. God had nothing to do with it, but can take your life and work good from every event that originates within the hearts of evil men and women.

    Again, find the words where I wrote “abuse was supposed to happen” and I will repent of ever writing them. I think you will have a hard time finding them.

    Blessings,

    Wade

  39. “Abuse is caused by evil men or women in rebellion to their God.” Yes, but since you’re a Calvinist you believe that “rebellion” against God is actually “obedience” to God’s decree that they rebel, and thus their rebellion is not rebellion at all. Sin ceases to be sin and becomes righteousness because by sinning they are really obeying God’s decree! This is precisely the problem with predestination, and it was pointed out to Paul by somebody with a brain nearly 2000 years ago. It would have saved us all a lot of trouble if he had listened instead of being so damn stubborn.

    You will say to me then, “How can God even find fault according to your scheme? For who can even rebel against his will if this is true?” (Romans 9:19 para)

    And what crappy answer does he give rather than listening:

    Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? (Romans 9:20 KJV)

    Nay, rather, Paul who are thou to ignore a solid argument that reduces your whole predestinarian scheme to absurdity and just truck on blaspheming God.

    Answering these questions with “I’m the authority — believe me or burn” doesn’t solve the problem Burly.

    You can pretend all you like that you have opposed the abuse by labeling it “rebellion” against God — but because your scheme makes “rebellion” into “obedience,” calling it “rebellion” doesn’t do a damn thing. And you know it — you’re just playing games.

  40. James,

    You write to me:

    “You believe “rebellion” against God is actually “obedience” to God’s decree that they rebel, and thus their rebellion is not rebellion at all.”

    ???

    I am at a loss. Discussion is difficult when someone else is telling me what I believe, when I have just written the opposite of what you say I believe.

    On top of this, you then quote the Apostle Paul and say he gave “a crappy answer.” I find it difficult to dialogue when I am so misconstrued and the Apostle Paul is so denigrated. I understand that you may not understand HOW I can say rebellion against God is free and voluntary disobedience to God, but I do say that (and so does Paul), and for you to write that we don’t doesn’t make it so.

  41. James,

    I have an immense amount of respect for your perspectives…and I really appreciate where you come from. I agree with you often, if not most of the time.

    However, let’s all acknowledge that Wade Burleson is, whatever we make of his philosophy, showing I think courage and integrity by being willing to come on the blog of a nobody and dialog with all of us on our own turf. As such, can I please ask that we keep our responses to Wade with the tone of respect that he, as a human, deserves. I think we all want to feel safe and encouraged to defend our ideas…and I certainly want that to be so here.

    If you look at John Immel’s and Lydia’s response to Wade, they are able to make their arguments strongly, forcefully, and unequivocally, without resorting to angry “tones”.

    I encourage you to make your cases strongly, forcefully as you like…but try hard not to sound belligerent, please.

    And please don’t be offended…I understand the disdain for tyrannical ideas, but I want to make sure that humaniity is affirmed at the same time ideas are destroyed and burned. Do do that, we must do the hard work of crafting our posts in a way that clearly separates the ideas from the physical person, even though we all agree I think that at some point, they two cannot be utterly separated. But for the purposes of maintaining a safe and utterly NON abusive (but not NON challenging) discourse, please err on the side of caution when it comes to choice of words.

  42. Wade, you said:

    “Argo believes God did not know it would occur, and as such, is as surprised by it as you were.”

    In the coming days I plan on doing a longer post on this issue, because the false interpretation of “predestination” and “foreknowledge” are the twin pillars of the destruction of the entire concepts of man and God. They are not only rationally irreconcilable, but they blaspheme God at His root, for the very reasons I mentioned in my latest post. If you haven’t read it, I strongly encourage you to, and please rebut it if you can.

    Your inference that I am saying God is “surprised” by events is incorrect. The reason this concerns me is that it misrepresents my point entirely, and distorts the situation (and, to me, passive aggressively suggests the OPPOSITE, that God knows abuse is evil, saw it happen before it happened, and did nothing to prevent it, thus making God entirely culpable for the tragedy…and this should concern you; God is NOT pleased with your concessions on this matter, no matter how hard you try to nuance them or contort your beliefs or chalk it up to “mystery”), for several reasons, the most egregious of which is that it speaks to the fact that you are not understanding my premise at all.

    I make no claim to know how God or anyone else reacts to events. “Surprise” is an emotion, and as such, people will react with “surprise” (or any other emotion on the huge human spectrum) to different events. You might be surprised if your wife brought you a chicken with peanut butter sandwich; I would not be surprised at all. How God reacts to abuse I cannot say…perhaps surprise, but given the tendency of men to inflict pain and torment and despotism and obliteration and oppression and burning and banishing upon one another with impunity, often in His own name–as I can show you with every single point in the TULIP construct–I would hardly expect God to be surprised at abuse.

    But perhaps. Who knows? I don’t. So your statement is false.

    But this idea of assuming that my doctrine leads one to assume God is “surprised” at how man acts is indicative of your lack of understanding of the whole concept of what the “future” actually is, in my opinion.

    Surprise is a REACTION to events…and as such, by definition, one cannot be surprised, or have any only kind of emotional response, until AFTER an event occurs. What this means is that surprise or any other emotion is not inexorably tied to an occurrence…that is, what you seem to suggest, which is if you don’t KNOW what is going to happen then you NECESSARILY will be surprised by it.

    This is a false linking to two separate concepts…action and emotion.

    This is not my point at all. What is my point is quite simple. By definition, the future is that which has NOT HAPPENED yet. Another way of saying this is the future is what is NOT. Meaning, that for the future to actually be the FUTURE and not the PRESENT (having already come to pass; being inevitable, being IS in categorical essence) then it cannot possibly EXIST. And the logical point I am making is simply that that which does not exist can be by definition NOTHING. It cannot be known because that which is NOTHING cannot have any attributes to KNOW.

    Therefore, not even God can know the future UNLESS He UTTERLY determines it (in which case, it isn’t the future, but IS the IS…the NOW, in essence, being inevitable) because there is NOTHING to know. God cannot know how you WILL act because if you WILL act it means that you have NOT YET acted…and as such the actions which you WILL do cannot be known because future actions are what? They are nothing! They don’t exist.

    Wade…with respect, you cannot get around this. You cannot make nothing, something without declaring utter fatalistic determinism. And this is the crux of where your doctrine goes seriously wrong. To declare God knows the future is to make Him the author of it…it is the only way to explain how a future can BE before it IS. This MUST make God responsible for every evil act. That is rank blasphemy! Why are people not terrified by this? They just shrug and say “mystery”…God is not amused.

    Please explain to me…you, or ANYONE, I am begging you; any physicists, mathematicians…anyone, please explain to me how you can know that which is nothing? Wade, how does God know what does not exist? How can the future exist BEFORE it exists so that it can be known?

    If you have no answer for this, you must concede you lose this debate. God cannot KNOW the future because the future, quite simply, isn’t REAL. It is nothing more than a abstraction.

    And if it is real, then how did it get there to be known? You and I didn’t do it, we aren’t in the future! That’s just axiomatic. So…who put the future in place, then?

    According to your definition of God’s sovereignty?

    Who orchestrates the future so that it is there so that He can know it. Obviously man cannot have put the future there, so…..that leaves. Er…who, Wade?

    Who then must have made the FUTURE abuse, if not man?

  43. The fact that you don’t agree with Paul’s interlocutor demonstrates you are a Calvinist pretending not to be in order to convert people to Calvinist-Lite.

    You can quote at me, if you want, that “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    But you’d be making a big mistake if you did. Because all three bolded words or phrases count against you and your Calvinism.

    First, Calvinists always argue that “All doesn’t mean All” except in dealing with this verse or “All have sinned” — if we’re talking about Jesus dying for “all” you want to reject that All means All.

    Second, I acknowledge that Romans 9 is “profitable” but not in the sense that we can just accept Paul’s false doctrine there. The profit is in the response of his erudite interlocutor who reduced the whole predestinarian scheme to absurdity by showing that it makes rebellion into obedience and thus makes sin a total fiction. The Christian is therefore duty bound to agree with the interlocutor, not Paul, in Romans 9.

    Third, what is “All scripture” supposed to be profitable for? To make the man of God “thoroughly equipped for every good work.” WOKRS???? Yes. Not to give the man of God an set of orthodox dogmatics, but to make him “thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Well isn’t that interesting.

  44. Remember, at one time, Paul was not yet a book. He was a man. He was no different than you or I. If he came to a church and taught what was plainly illogical, was it heresy to point out the flaws in his logic? Certainly not. And so it is still not heresy to do so. We are required to do so. God will hold us responsible if we don’t do so.

  45. Furthermore, I know what you mean by saying that it is both determined, and yet free, both obedience and yet disobedience. Lets unpack this hogwash:

    You Calvinists believe that God has a secret will and a revealed will. And you believe these two wills are in CONTRADICTION to each other. In other words, you assert that God’s will is CONTRADICTORY.

    Now everyone will acknowledge that God may will some things not revealed, yet nobody with any sense argues that he unrevealed will CONTRADICTS his revealed will. If they believed there were such a contradiction, it would only be because some book thought of as representing his revealed will was a fake (like the Book of Mormon, for instance), certainly not because God’s will actually CONTRADICTS God’s will.

    But you Calvinists say that God according to his secret will will will that a man rape a little girl. And yet, according to his revealed will, his commandments, he says to the man not to commit rape. Well, the secret will is the, what I will call, DECRETAL will, which it is not possible to disobey. But the revealed will is the PRETEND will which it is not possible to obey.

    So what happens? Well, the man can’t obey the revealed (i.e. PRETEND) will and not commit rape unless God also in his secret (i.e. DECRETAL) will also decrees the man to obey the revealed will. If God’s DECRETAL will decrees the man to break the PRETEND will, then the man is compelled to break the PRETEND will and there is no free will at all in this.

    So, Calvinism is nothing but one big blasphemy against God.

  46. You could also call the “secret will” in Calvinism the Evil Will or Satanic Will, because that’s what it actually is.

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