28 thoughts on “God Cannot Exist Without OTHER; God Cannot Exist in a Vacuum of SELF”
I have been reading Justo Gonzales’ History of Christianity and the section on Ireneous is interesting. He had a bit of your view but not to the same extent. He believed that God created us for relationship with him and we are of great value because we are in His image. The plan was to have complete interaction and relationship. Satan ruined it and the rest is God working toward establishing that again.
What is more interesting are the ones like Iraneous who were very concerned about the Gnosticism creeping into Christianity. I have often wondered why so many early church folks were ignored by certain scholars before Augustine, and now I see why.
God is more than power. Amen! God IS LOVE! The very definition.
Lydia said, “He believed that God created us for relationship with him and we are of great value because we are in His image. The plan was to have complete interaction and relationship. Satan ruined it and the rest is God working toward establishing that again.”
Wow, that’s exactly my view! That’s basically what I was taught as a young child in Baptist Church. And I’ve come full circle right back to it. Thanks for mentioning the book. You are a treasure trove of practical info! LOL
This view is the exact opposite of Calvinism!
“So, who should be more authoritative in Christianity? The guy who in 180 AD who decided we’re going to use all 4 gospels? Or John Calvin?”
James you are like a walking encyclopedia about this stuff. Reading Gonzales has only made me want to dive into more depth of who was saying what before Augustine. I have read a bit on some of them like Clement, Polycarp and others but not enough. Thanks for pointing this out.
“So, to be frankly base about it: spiritual “authority” is tied to being BETTER than you. Authority is nothing more than a claim to a greater right to EXIST, than you; of a greater and categorically higher moral WORTH than laity. God loves them more than he loves you because there is MORE of THEM to love…they have a greater cosmic/spiritual “footprint” than the laity. Since God by definition regards them more, then it is only logical to assume that there is more of them to regard. God “sees” them more than He sees you.”
Argo, This fits in with what I have seen on YRR blogs where they try and explain God loves everyone but has a “special love” for the “elect”. It fits because we know they think God has special power and love for the titled elect. :o)
What is your take on sanctification and justification? I am not convinced that many, if ANY get these two doctrines right. In short, the idea that justification has nothing to do with man, and only sanctification, bothers me. But I haven’t yet spent much time thinking about this.
Argo, from what I can gather reading his blog, James does not believe Jesus Christ was God in the Flesh (as I do) so I would be interested in his views on the subject, too.
If there is one thing I am trying to do is to stop thinking in terms of Systematic theology which can be just about any sound bite we have heard for years to explain something. :o)
James is like a walking encyclopedia when it comes to the OT. I absolutely think he is on to something that helps bring in the whole Hebrew way of thinking of God/man dichotomy.
That is interesting…that he doesn’t view Jesus as God in the flesh. But perhaps it is a derivation of my own belief: that Jesus was not a strange amalgamation of spirit and human, but was fully human. Not fully human AND fully God. But fully human WHILE fully God. This ties into my “answer to everything”: that existence is simply a one to one perfect ratio of “being” between “selves”; a “self” being that object which moves as a relative function of observable “space” between another object. What this means is that God is of no more value, metaphysically and existentially speaking than man, and as such, a human CAN be equal to God on every level…meaning Jesus was God, again, minus any implication tht his human-body was mitigated by the “spirit”.
My primary problem with justification is that it seems that it is done outside of man’s will and work (choice), and I just don’t accept that. If man doesn’t choose Christ, man is not saved. I man chooses to no longer want Christ, then man is not obligated to salvation. In this way, we have man a full fledged partner in his salvation. This is the only way justification does not become another example of Plato’s “forms”.
“Jesus was not a strange amalgamation of spirit and human, but was fully human. Not fully human AND fully God. But fully human WHILE fully God.”
I totally agree with this.
“My primary problem with justification is that it seems that it is done outside of man’s will and work (choice), and I just don’t accept that.”
I think it is hard not to view it this way if one was immersed in the Aug/Calvin construct. I am thankful I did not have that early on.
If our relationship with God (The One True God) is not synergistic, I am not sure what the whole point is for any of it.
James, how do you view the resurrection?
James, you “might” enjoy NT Wright who has written/talked a lot about the historical Jesus. He makes the point that there were many “messiahs” before and after Jesus coming to save Israel. It could very well be the Romans were simply lumping them all in together.
Reading history of that time one comes away thinking the Romans almost sound bored with all the “sects” among the atheists (as they called Jews and Christians). And I speak of occupied Palestine, not of Rome where it was a quite different. But Emperor worship made it’s way there, didn’t it.
But I do agree with CS Lewis that Jesus had to be a lunatic, liar or the Son of God. I believe the latter.
BTW: I wish I could remember the source as it was secular but reading that some Roman Emperors referred to himself as ‘the son of man”. When reading the history you see all sorts of parallels. There are also quite a few parallels with historical Ephesus and some of the issues mentioned in Revelation that are startling. It has been while and I wish I could remember all of them.
I believe in Jesus as God because such a notion is consistent with my existential equation: that all existence boils down to a perfect one to one value equivalency between “self”…meaning, that man is AS moral as God. That God is not morally GOOD and man then perpetually morally wicked…and I believe that the “fall” is a result of man forsaking his own inherent moral perfection as a child of God (or son of God) in favor of a Platonist view of TRUTH; that it is outside of us; that man is only good insofar as he functions as some kind of impossible extension of an external moral “code”–a morally relativistic dualistic notion of good and evil–which is ALWAYS outside of him. This was never God’s intention; God’s intention was for man to be in perfect balance as LIFE with God and his environment; as a perfect function of existential IS. Meaning, man IS Good for no other reason than because he EXISTS.
The fact that Jesus is God is difficult to dispute, I believe. For you would have to accept that all four gospels are forgeries and fairy tales; and you would need to take some liberty in interpreting Isaiah, for example, ch. 49. In addition, you would have to deny the virgin birth; and all of this from what amounts to yet ANOTHER interpretation of scripture and/or history. And that is just too convenient a way to argue for one’s point of view.
BUT if we use reason as our guide, which I maintain is the ONLY real way to ferret out truth from fiction–by appeals to rationally consistent metaphysical arguments–then I cannot see how to deny that Jesus is GOD.
However, I do acknowledge and have acknowledged that I do not concede that Jesus was anything other than a human being. I do not accept that he was “spirit” and “flesh”. He was a man…and he was 100% a man.
The point of this fact is not difficult to grasp if we get away from the false and contradictory/pagan assumptions of reformation protestant mysticism. The point is simply to proclaim that morality—moral GOOD/perfect existential value is NOT a function of the divine, nor its sole purveyor, but is a function of LIFE. As I said, Jesus proves that a MAN can be PERFECT because there is NO inherent imperfection in MAN, and Jesus being God who is a HUMAN, satisfies rational TRUTH on many levels. He satisfies the sacrifice for the Jewish sin offering, because as God his bodily life is perpetual and thus he serves as an eternal covering and fulfillment of the Jewish sacrificial law. He proves, as the Son of Man, that man’s morality is a function of man’s LIFE and that this is NOT to be seen as separate from his fleshly body, for ALL of man is GOOD at his root, being a creation and offspring of God. And he exemplifies in His earthly life how man’s devotion to purely external abstractions such as riches, labor, currency, title, ceremony, traditions, authority, etc., etc., deny man access to Him and to God by continually removing man from himself so that man cannot be known by either himself or by God.
My only problem with Jesus as God is, again, when this doctrine is accepted as the tyrannical historical Christian church orthodoxy has interpreted it: as a contradiction in terms (like they do EVERY doctrine), which is merely yet another way they get to declare that humanity doesn’t really exist except as some kind of cosmic primary-consciousness byproduct. Why Jesus, wasn’t really a man like you and I are a man…oh no, He was MORE a man than your or I. He was a GOD-MAN. He was a man, but more so. He was a BETTER man than you or I, and this is because he was DIVINE, as if somehow it is rational and possible to separate Jesus from His fleshly body (it is not).
Again, the best thing about Jesus is that his very existence crushes to powder the false and evil doctrine of Total Depravity, which is nothing more than Dualism in Christian trappings. IF man is really totally depraved, then there is no way Jesus gets to escape that. If man is absolutely depraved, then Jesus inherits this abstract monolith from his mother at the very least.
But His human-ness is proof that MAN is of moral WORTH…so much so, that God could EASILY come to Earth as a human being, without even the slightest trepidation on God’s part that this somehow puts Him on a level of absolute and perpetual moral corruption.
If you take Jesus as God away from Judaism, never mind Christianity, you have erased the most beautiful message of God since He declared Adam “very good”. That GOD is so convinced of man’s value and worth that He had no compunction about coming AS one. Jesus is PROOF that Calvinism and neo-reformation “sound doctrine” are as false as they are vile. You take away Jesus’s divinity, you hand the Calvinists the argument on a platter along with John the Baptist’s head.
“See! See! Even YOU must acknowledge, in your own pagan and un-elect and totally depraved and divinely eschewed way, than man is so pervasively and inexorably corrupt that God must renounce his very form. For God to come as man is to bring death to all mankind in the tradition of Uzzah.”
THAT was man’s choice, not God’s. Jesus is proof of that.
I have always said that the point of the Gospel is to declare the moral innocence of humanity as its functional metaphysical root, and that the only objective moral TRUTH is the affirmation of individual SELF to BE and to OWN itself. Jesus is the FIRST tangible and functional application of this utterly rational idea since Adam.
Having said that, I have no problem at revisiting the notion of hell…for I am not convince that the eternal conscious torment of people who have functioned according to this truth, regardless of who they are or what they have heard, is either just or biblical.
I never argued that Jesus is proof that “man can be like God”…you sound like Wade Burelson. I stated that Jesus is proof that morality is not purely a function of the SPIRITUAL, and as such, is not the sole purview of God, or the Divine. I concede that Jesus IS God, while FULLY man; not the contradiction that Jesus was “sort of human, and sort of God”, sorta rolled into one, but where one begins and the other ends is physically undefinable, because being God is absolute, and being a MAN is likewise absolute. So, what I mean is that being DIVINE…that is “perfect”, in the only objective sense (MORAL), is not a function of simply being God, as though a HUMAN being cannot be equally moral as God, because Jesus, obviously, proves this assumption false.
By your own logic, anyone who holds any assumption as true runs the risk of either being the direct source of, or indirect cause of, physically oppressive ideology. But here is a question: what is the difference between a Jew persecuting Christians for believing that a man is God (like Paul did) and Christians persecuting Jews for believing that a man is not God (like Martin Luther did). Answer: there is no difference, so your argument that believing Jesus is God automatically leads to oppression of non-conforming persons is rank hyperbole.
You seem to want to convince me based on this fast and loose logic that Jesus is not God, and you want to impugn the legitimacy of the ENTIRE new testament in order to do this. For if the gospels are a farce, then ALL of the NT must by extension be a farce. What I am saying is that you can quote your Encyclopedia of the Anal Retentive Annals of All Forms and Farces of Canonical History of the Races from A to Zion all you want, there is nothing irrational nor illogical about Jesus being God. It is not existentially contradictory; it is not metaphysically defunct; it is not even physically impossible since I concede that ALL that exists, including God, is utterly PHYSICAL, and that “spirit” is merely yet another way we qualify relative movement of physical material. Nor is it even redundant in the vein to the concept of divine Oneness, since in this case it is a metaphysical distinction of INFINITE self; but any notion of an infinite singularity MUST also include the notion of an infinite “number” (qualified observations of) of the infinite singularity. Meaning, if the one is truly infinite, then it has no “number”. It is One; it is Many. It can be observed in an infinite number of “ways”, “forms” and “motion/movement”.
The salvation of Jesus to me is the recognition that since “the life is in the blood”, the moral innocence of the Human Jesus is a perpetual restoration of man to moral innocence outside the Jewish law because the law is perpetually satisfied. Now, we can argue what the definition of “accepting Jesus unto salvation” is, but I maintain that there is NO way to argue that Jesus could not rationally be God in light of the truth of the need for sacrifice according to the OT, AND Pure Reason.
This is a topic that is not new to my brain, but it isn’t that old, either. I suppose you could say that for…hmmm, maybe just the past several months I have been wrestling with the idea of existence, and just how we should define it. I have concluded that existence is more than simply what IS; for I submit that you cannot have an IS without that IS being qualified as actually existing. And so again, the question is: what is existence. How is it qualified or quantified…by what standard?
Now, what IS, in the traditional metaphysical explanation (if I have correctly understood it) is concluded by comparing the thing that IS to what IS NOT. However, by definition what is not is, well…nothing at all. Meaning that the line between self and “nothing” is the definition of existence. For example, you are here, and before you were born, you were not here…so your being here is a direct function of nothing. But this is impossible because nothing cannot actually have a presence. So then it is quite impossible to compare what IS to what IS NOT, because you cannot make any comparison at all, by definition, if you are comparing one thing to NO thing (or nothing).
So, again, how do you know what IS? You cannot see where it is and where it is not, because where it is not doesn’t EXIST, by definition…because NOwhere is the same thing as NOthing. In other words, existence cannot logically be defined by NEGATIVE existence. Existence, like so many things we assume are NOT, is in fact its own abstraction; and here is Argo’s Universal Truth Number Ten (I think…I’ve lost count; but I don’t believe in numbers anyway, 😉 LOL): Any abstraction is infinite.
So existence, being an infinite concept, cannot then be defined by a limitation. Another way of saying this is that existence cannot be a function of NO existence. It is the same argument against the notion of a non-abstract/non-theoretical actuality of space and time. Space cannot be a function of NO space, by definition; and time cannot be a function of NO time, by definition.
Existence, like space, actually, is merely the “place” where an object “is”. But the PLACE where the object is “not” is not NON existence, it is merely NOT the object. Same with space. Space is merely the “place” where an object is not observed. Space is a metaphysical placeholder, like zero is a mathematical one…and this is a truth in spite of all the crying and whining about how metaphysics has no place in physics). But that doesn’t make space a thing, it is merely the observation of NOT the object.
The object is either observed, or it is NOT. But NOT observing an object does not then create an object that you can call the “object of NOT the object”, thus turning nothing (the “place” where the object is not) into something. Any given object is in the location of ITSELF. If we observe a place where it is NOT, our observation of a LACK of the object, does not create an actuality of “space”. That is, observing where an object is NOT, does not make space, which is nothing by definition, into something.
The same is said of existence. Simply observing where an object is not, doesn’t create NON-existence, because non-existence is simply like the abstraction of “space”…it is nothing, by definition. Observing nothing does not make nothing, something.
And incidentally, this is a huge logical fallacy in the science of theoretical physics (and why I have a huge distrust of science and math, and consider them forms of “useful” Platonism; I’m not sure which is worse, the hypocrisy or the logical contradictions), and why they will never, ever discover the “answer to everything” using the special, general, and quantum theories they currently employ (why have we heard so little about the “God particle” that was recently discovered? It is because, I submit, that they don’t have the first clue as to what the fuck they are really dealing with). ALL of these theories are rooted in the very Platonist assumption that nothing can be something. Which is of course complete nonsense. Still, Nobel prize winning scientists concede it as axiomatic. These are the best and brightest at the moment, so…upon the rabbit trail of intellectual recalcitrance we continue for the time being.
And so the point is simply this: that the IS, if it cannot be confirmed as being as opposed to something ELSE that is also being–the operative word being BEING –then there is no way to recognize the thing that IS is actually an IS at all. For an IS can only be known according to what it is as opposed to what something else IS, and not the idea that IS is defined by the “space” around it…where it is NOT, because non-existence is not a place; is not real any more than nothing (space) is not real. The point I am trying to arrive at is this: that if there is only one “thing” (like God, for instance) which IS (the accepted Christian presumption being, I think–at least according to most ALL orthodox ideologies), then by what tool of logic or reason can you declare that God exists? If God is all there is before Creation–a singularity; a “vacuum of self”, then there is no real way to define Him as God. He is what He is.
Existence is a relative term which MUST assume a location of two or more actual selves, so that what one IS can clearly be observed via what (not where) one is NOT. If there is no other object occupying a place (of SELF), juxtaposed to God, then how is God able to define Himself as God, exactly? What can He see to know that He is God? There is, by definition, NOTHING for Him to observe. As such, He cannot possibly abstract–be aware of–even His own existence. For He, I submit, can no more know He exists as God than a human being without a single solitary sense can know that he/she exists. Put simply: existence without a “sense” (observation) of an OTHER, is impossible.
What I am trying to say is that existence, as an abstraction and as a logical concept, cannot function in a vacuum…and that is precisely what sole, lone SELF, is. A singular self is not existence, a self in a vacuum is not a self…a singular self is the very definition of the abstraction of NON existence. A singular self cannot possibly BE, because a singular self can exist NO where, and NO when, and have NO parts, and thus cannot be said to be all powerful, because how in the hell do you define what “all powerful” even means? All powerful to do what? There is nothing to do if YOU is all that IS. All powerful to create? Create what? There is nothing to create because YOU is the only thing that is. Create out of what? Yourself. Then you can only get yourself. And you can’t even BE if you is all there is, because YOU cannot be defined at all.
A singular self becomes a circular concept of redundancy and irrelevancy. God, as a singular self, existing alone, is redundant, and irrelevant, and there is no way to qualify or quantify His existence, period. How can God say He exists, and is all powerful, if there is literally nothing but him. Beyond Him, the utter void of dark nothingness, which isn’t even real. And besides, when we declare that beyond the infinite self is nothing, well…how can an infinite SELF be a function of NOT self? It is again, impossible. How can a singular, infinite, solitary self exist in “nothing”? How can it exist in a vacuum? Impossible.
And here we get down to the final abstraction: self. And this is the axiom of all axioms. Self does not exist if self is all there is. Sounds like a contradiction, but no. Ladies and gents, welcome to the true paradox of the universe. Because “self” cannot be a function of NOT self, it can only be a function of ANOTHER self. Self, then, is an abstraction which can never actually be realized because the existence of such a thing, a lone, singular “self”, is impossible to observe, even by that very SELF. Self is infinite, all alone…and as such, it is VALUELESS. Meaning, it can have NO attribute whatsoever by which it can be known or observed…not even by itself.
And so I tell you again, God is NOT God without Creation. Which means that God has NEVER existed alone. In order for God to truly be God, there must be a perpetual material which has existed for eternity, juxtaposed to God, so that He may be known as God, via the direct observation of what is NOT God, which again, cannot be empty space…because empty space does not exist.
And this may indeed sounds like apostasy…but I assure you it is not. You must understand that this is precisely what we must accept if we believe that God is actually God. It is the ONLY way to declare that God is actually the Creator and Sustainer of our existence…because to create and sustain, He needs to have someTHING by which to act UPON in order that He is truly creating and truly sustaining, something, as opposed to nothing. For this is the only rational metaphysic…that God creates and sustains out of something; and this something then must be existentially infinite, but relatively finite. Meaning, that it must co-exist with another SELF (the other self, being God and other selves as well). God, by bringing together this infinite material in a mutual but relative and relatively finite relationship, can be said then to TRULY create. Can be said to truly sustain. For there is no creation of anything out of nothing, but since creation and existence logically MUST be predicated on the perpetual and eternal and infinite relative relationship between two or more observable selves, we declare that God is the essence by which SELVES (objects) which are singularly infinite and dimensionless can interact so that they are relatively–to one another–finite (via movement). From this we shall have TRUE creation and TRUE existence. We have the axiom that existence MUST involve the relationship between observable selves.
So, self, as a singularity is infinite–and this is true–however, because it observes and thus relates to OTHERS, it CAN exist because it can be relatively finite. It can be a knowable, observable SELF…it can exist, because it can clearly be discerned from itself not by “space” or “non-existence”, but by another SELF.
And this is, incidentally, precisely why I believe that the God particle (the particle which gives mass) is truly the GOD particle. This particle fits all the criteria for the actuality of REAL God. It is infinite. It is dimensionless. It can only (like all infinite particles) be defined as ITSELF, and it is said to give “mass”, which is nothing more than the observable relative relationship between two infinite objects. And frankly, God MUST show up somewhere in the quantum paradigm, because it is full of infinite particles which have no “sides”, no “parts”, and if this is true, then relationship between such particles is quite impossible aside from some other thing which allows the breach of existential infinity and give it a value. An infinite particle, which is only itself, cannot possibly co-exist without someTHING, some other self, making it possible for this massless, dimensionless, infinite particle (called “bosons”, I think) to observe another infinite particle and thus become an observable SELF, juxtaposed to another SELF, and then interact with this other infinite particle…which has now, thanks to God (I submit) become relatively finite. Relationship is predicated upon the idea of FINITE existence, which can only be relative, and must somehow be provided.
Enter the particle of…well, “observation”. Enter the God particle. Enter God.
I suppose it would be beneficial for me to define just exactly what I mean by “observation”, for I do not mean observation, as in sight, as in “seeing”. That would obviously be much too narrow a definition for the kinds of particle phenomenon I am talking about.
No, what I mean by “observation”, is the ability of a given object to be in some manner effected (effected upon) by another object without the violation of the existential integrity of the object itself. Put simply, observation is interaction of some kind while retaining the whole of the SELF. For this is really all “sense” is…the affecting of a self by an other. This can more broadly be defined as any interaction which results in a change in the self which directly stems from the equal existence of an other. This change can be physical, as in a physical interaction (an exchange of the abstraction of “energy”, for example), or it can be metaphysical…the mere change in the status of a self from infinite, to relatively finite, due merely to the presence (again assume existential equality) of an other.
And this is where I propose the God “particle” enters the metaphysical picture. The God particle is He which gives a VALUE to SELF, by allowing an infinite self to interact relatively finitely with respect to another self. God takes the functional value of “infinite” (or “no definable value”), which the self amounts to in its singular state, and changes that value to ONE, by allowing the observation (as defined above) of other, thus creating the existential equality necessary in order for “mass” (in the physical sense”) to accumulate (electromagnetic relationship), and “self” (in the metaphysical sense) to become actual.
So, in this sense, God is in fact He which “creates”…meaning, He is what allows for the actual existence of self; an existence which can be qualified because SELF can now be defined because OTHER can be observed. Existence, then does not occur without God, even though the material of Creation, the infinite particles which are merely infinite, and thus valueless entities preceding the application of the God particle, are infinite, and thus have always BEEN. In a sense, they are uncreated at their root, they are merely IS. God takes a valueless IS and makes it a SELF, with a value of ONE. This has the immense benefit of maintaining a stark and and frank metaphysical and existential line between God and Creation, which must exist for God to not contradict Himself, and allows for the necessity then of utter free volition of all that is NOT God, with all actions being totally rooted in the object which acts at the very core; and yet still pronounces God the right and and appropriate Creator, without conceding that He is an absolute which cannot then, by definition, create anything but Himself (Argo’s Universal Rule Number Seven: Anything proceeding directly from an absolute IS the absolute).
Thus, it is God’s existence, equally with other infinite IS’s, which “creates”. And this is not God “allowing” creation to occur…for if it is said to be an allowing, then God ultimately is culpable for ALL actions of Creation, which leads us straight back to the contradictions of reformed theology. It is God’s root infinite Self…His existence, for lack of a better word, which enables Creation to engage itself, of its OWN ability. This is not allowing, because God cannot “allow” or “not allow” his own existence, which is the catalyst for the integration of the infinite particles of creation into measurable selves. A singular self, like God, cannot be held culpable for its own being as a CAUSE which makes everything a direct function of it. God cannot help but to exist as GOD any more than YOU can help to exist as YOU. Because the only alternative to God is to replace Him with “nothing”, which is impossible. God cannot replace Himself with nothing because He is infinite and nothing is not actually real. “Nothing” is a metaphysical place holder; like zero is a mathematical placeholder.
Now, this entire post may look like a digression from the philosophical pilgrimage to destroy neo-reformed/Calvinist blunt-force dogma, but I submit it is extremely relevant. All the articles I write whereupon I get, like, zero comments and the stats drop to something approximating negative integers, are perhaps the most important ones to understanding the logical TRUTH behind all metaphysics, and really do provide the object-based (and thus REASON-based…and thus provable) rebuttal to Calvinist fatalistic determinism, which is fundamentally irrational at its root, and thus cannot compete with an argument which finds itself rooted in the axiom of actual, physical, human-being contextual existence. And so these long and confusing and tedious posts on reconciling the science of physics with NON-contradictory philosophical notions rooted in logic are the key, I propose, to developing a sound and reason-based metaphysical construct, which no longer relies on the idea that existence is somehow a function of some Platonic “form”; some external “law” of nature, or some other force beyond the scope of man’s cognitive and sensory apprehension. Indeed, my metaphysic is a complete 180 turn of phase from this Greek farce. My idea is rooted in the utterly logical and rational notion that existence itself is dependent on actual existential (and thus objective MORAL value) equality between everything that can be said to exist, including God. Meaning that man and God are of the exact same moral value…life is equal to life.
And this, you MUST understand is huge, because it is exactly what every Calvinist–indeed, every protestant, I submit–concedes as utterly beyond the scope of Christianity; is a flat out, rank heresy. To declare man as of equal worth as God is to, as Wade Burleson puts it, “elevate man to the level of God”.
And…well, yes, in some sense it truly does. It elevates the worth of man’s life and man’s SELF to that of his Creator, and indeed declares that at the root of man is in the singularity of infinite particle material which was NOT created by God, but has, instead, at its root, an UNCREATED self of its very own, and as such, cannot be declared of inferior material, because it is material that, like God, cannot be destroyed. This does not elevate it to the nature of God’s Self…meaning, it does not claim that it has the same “power” to act as God does, for indeed, God’s power is wholly different and a function of His unique SELF, just like Creation’s power is a function of its unique self.
But understand that this is the only logical explanation, if nothing else because someone HAS to at some point attempt to reconcile God as Creator with the fact that, a.) you cannot create something out of nothing; so in order for God to create, there must have been something there to create from; and b.) if God truly is the direct Creator of all that is; then man and the universe must have come from the “material” of Himself, and thus BE God, then, in accordance with my universal truth: anything which proceeds directly from an absolute IS the absolute. Which makes all of Creation, God. Which…is quite silly a notion, for this, again, makes God merely a cycle of irrelevancy. Not to mention it utterly destroys any concept whatsoever, not to mention morality itself.
By my perspective rips the assumptions from the tyrannical grip of the cold, dead-eyed, spiritualists and mystics who propagate this moral relativism by denying their authority structures in favor of knowable, provable, rational, observable, and physical TRUTH. It destroys their despotic leadership model of AUTHORITY = GOOD = TRUTH by relegating the notion of “authority” back to the ethereal fish bowl of abstractions where it belongs. Authority is no longer someTHING–like the “church” or the “pastor” or even “God”–or some other physical “entity” (and all of these, including God, are really abstractions if looked at literally…but that is fine; abstractions are not BAD…they are only bad when they replace the value of the individual SELF), but authority is rooted in that which can be said to have objective moral value. That is, the individual SELF. The SELF is the primary authority, and the only objective outworking of the abstraction. Which means it is the only legitimate outworking of “authority”, which means it is the only truly knowable/observable outworking of “authority”, which means it is the only morally GOOD outworking of the notion of “authority”. This means that SELF (not only YOURself, but other SELVES) are the root of objective moral good. Therefore, ANY one or anything which sets itself up against the individual SELF is a false authority; a liar, and a tyrant. There can be no real or valid authority claimed in service to anything other than the affirmation of the individual self to (and here it is) to OWN itself. The SELF, belongs first and foremost to ITSELF, and not to another. Any OTHER which claims ownership of the individual self sets itself up against the only thing which can be said to be objectively morally GOOD. And as such, this “authority” should be rejected.
And without their authority, the Calvinists are nothing more than troublemakers; outcast adolescents crying and throwing a tantrum because they can no longer compel people into the fires of their false gods. Without authority, they have nothing except their obvious lies, their unavoidable false doctrine, and their inexorable metaphysical madness.
IF life is truly GOOD, in other words, the Calvinists slip away into the quicksand of their “mystery”. This is why every doctrine…and I mean every doctrine of every neo-reformed/Calvinist manifesto is utterly designed to remove humanity from ITSELF. To declare humanity depraved and lost and wicked beyond recognition…beyond salvation, so that the ONLY salvation for the barbarian masses is the divinely called AUTHORITY of ecclesiastical hypertrophy mandated to headlock and burn and prod and cajole and bewitch all the laity into proper thought and behavior. This is why in the eyes of Calvinists, the only good human being is a dead human being. Preferably one who is only psychologically/spiritually dead, in order that he or she may be consistently fleeced in service to the body of Christ “collective”; but physically dead? If necessary. Death is the consciousness prime which rules the day, and any form of this divine Force will work for them if it means keeping the extremely lucrative “authority” business booming.
If God is existentially “better” than man, then the caste system rules the day. Pastoral authority is nothing more than a declaration that THEY are of greater value than you; they have a greater inherent right to EXIST than you do. You exist in service to THEM, because SOVEREIGNTY = ELECTION = CALLING = AUTHORITY (force) = GOOD = TRUTH. If they rule, then YOU die first when the dystopian society of their own making inevitably begins to crumble.
So, to be frankly base about it: spiritual “authority” is tied to being BETTER than you. Authority is nothing more than a claim to a greater right to EXIST, than you; of a greater and categorically higher moral WORTH than laity. God loves them more than he loves you because there is MORE of THEM to love…they have a greater cosmic/spiritual “footprint” than the laity. Since God by definition regards them more, then it is only logical to assume that there is more of them to regard. God “sees” them more than He sees you.
The right of authority is the right of OWNERSHIP rooted in the idea of caste; that Pastors are of a greater moral worth than laity. As such, they get to claim divine authority–which is absolute authority–over you.
My philosophy of the equality of existence rooted in the concept of the observation of OTHER in order that SELF can exist–and this axiom extended likewise to God Himself–denies any access to such tyrannical and evil doctrine. But…I cannot prove my philosophy rationally without engaging in the tedious work of dissecting the theories and assumptions of subatomic particle physics. Any truly moral philosophy which destroys the mystic caste systems of false and idolatrous religions must take into account the nature and movement of matter, of substance, of object physical existence. It is unavoidable. Any good and true metaphysic must start with an understanding of the nature of the physical…what is the root of what IS, and only from there can existence of anything, including and especially God and our relationship to Him, be properly understood.