“Please understand that I have no beef with any church and their selection of primary and secondary doctrine. I may disagree with the doctrinal emphasis or even the core theology of a particular church but I would vociferously defend their right to express and celebrate their beliefs. I would also “elect” not to attend a church that subscribed to the set of beliefs that are described in TULIP, etc. I would be unhappy. Also, given my propensity to verbally emote, in excruciating detail, my disagreements and affirmations, it would stand to reason that the church leaders would be dispirited by my presence as well.”
This is a quote of Dee’s. She is the moderator and one of the proprietors of www.wartburgwatch.com. Go ahead and read it…take a moment to think about it. Try to decide if you can figure out just what point Dee is trying to make here, because I must admit that I am struggling. Maybe we can think this through together and come up with something coherent.
Good. Now, let’s examine this intellectual puzzle, because Dee, if nothing else, is very prolific, almost prodigious, when it comes to pithy remarks that contradict multiple points in a single breath. Let’s look at this doozy. What did you come up with?
Here is what I got:
Dee somehow has managed in her mind to make a complete and practical distinction between a church “selecting their primary and secondary doctrine” and that same church actually practicing those doctrines. Meaning, if you read her quote, she is utterly in favor of, and would support any given church selecting whatever doctrine they want to teach and be taught, regardless of how oppressive and destructive to humanity it might be I presume; and yet at the same time she reserves the right to disagree with—which means oppose—the actual implementation (teaching) of that doctrine that she is so happy they selected.
Hmm…wait. No. That’s not it. Or is it? I’m so confused. She’s okay with them choosing what they believe, and yet she disagrees with what they believe. And that can only mean that she does have a problem with them believing what they believe. No…wait. She has doesn’t have a problem with their right to believe what they believe, but she has a problem with what they believe. But if they don’t actually choose it, then how can she know that any right has been exercised so that she can affirm the right? No…okay, let’s see.
Okay, here it is: Believing the doctrine is their right, it’s just that she doesn’t like the doctrine. She just likes that they believe it. Why? I guess because they have a right to believe it.
So…er. What in the hell does that have to do with anything? I mean, as far as I can tell, no one is threatening to impose martial law on the neo-Calvinist churches. In fact, the only ones interested in martial law are the Calvinists, I submit. If there is anyone who should be reassuring the opposition that they have no interest in denying anyone’s right to believe what they believe, it should be the fucking Reformed crowd.
Still, I’ve gotta work through this. Bear with me.
Hmm…you like the right but hate the belief; and yet there is no right without the belief, because rights are irrelevant and don’t functionally exist unless they are being exercised, and often times exercised in service to beliefs you hate. But there is no distinct dichotomy between rights and actions, so the real debate isn’t “right”. Rights are merely a vehicle for ideas. The ideas still need to be destroyed even if they are exercised as a “right”.
Yep…yeah. I think I’ve got it. The right to believe what you believe is totally irrelevant. Ideas are the issue. Not politics.
Of course, such pointless diversions aren’t, unfortunately, a joke. We aren’t discussing rights, we are discussing evil ideas which destroy humanity. It is this kind of thinking which kneecaps Dee, and many other discernment bloggers’ argument against abuse in the church. Talking out of both sides of one’s mouth makes for no effective rebuttal of a Reformed Orthodoxy that has been codified, systematized, synthesized, and fully integrated into Western thinking for going on 600 years. And this is why today Christianity has become little more than a collection of mutually exclusive ideas meant to convey a cohesive belief system which is good for nothing except propagandizing the masses in service to a theocratic Marxist “state”. Be it a full fledged theocracy collective like Calvin’s Geneva, or the tyrannical mystic Marxism of today’s Reformed “local” church.
Now, now…I know what you are thinking. All Dee is doing is proclaiming the right of people in this country to believe what they want, and the commensurate right of people to believe differently. Yeah, yeah…I get that. I am an Enlightenment-American (my new hyphenated label…you like it?), and utterly deny the right of government to enforce morality except in the cases of direct violations against person and property. That being said, I too, have no problem with people believing what they want; nor do I have any problem with standing up and expressing my opinion that what they believe is stark naked bullshit.
But here is the difference. First, I submit, after spending much time on a her blog, that Dee does not make a connection between what people choose to believe-their assumptions–and how what they believe drives abuse in the church. She doesn’t think that “celebrating” an evil, destructive doctrine will lead to human sacrifice in the form of all manner of horror. I think to her, “celebrate” means happy and nice and loving. And thus, “celebrations” of ideas always will lead to life, regardless of what those ideas are. So, the tyranny is only caused, not by celebrating or choosing ideas, but by meanies whose mommies just never taught them any manners. Could I be misreading Dee? I suppose, but I have not seen it myself. I still have not yet seen Dee make a connection between ideas and abuse. Just “bad people” and abuse. Or, people who are not “doing” the ideas “right”. Like, it can’t be the ideas’ fault, but if there is abuse, it must be in spite of the doctrinal assumptions, not because of them. If I am mistaken about this, please send me a link.
Second, and to emphasize my first point, by being completely comfortable with people selecting whatever doctrine they want, Dee, I submit, is again not seeing anything particularly wrong with IDEAS. The point is not whether people have a right to believe what they want…the inherent right of free thinking and free speech is irrelevant in this fight against the Reformed, neo-Calvinist juggernaut which is slowly coagulating Christianity into a violent, theo-Marxist altruistic hoard. The point is that ideas matter…more than anything. You can’t on the one hand be completely complacent about the fact that there is a growing denomination of Christian influence which is substituting life for death as the yard stick of man’s moral GOOD, and then turn around and condemn them on your popular blog for “celebrating” the very ideas you just said they have every right to implement…to foist at the point of oppressive “church discipline” upon the masses. You can’t condemn doctrine and laud it too, is my point, and this is exactly what I believe Dee does in her statement.
The fact is one cannot ever celebrate any group of people choosing to accept and teach a belief system which categorically concedes the singular premise that DEATH is GOOD. I don’t really give a shit if Dee thinks they have a right to believe what they want. Again, what does that have to do with anything?! You can believe that a friggin monkey built Disneyland…that isn’t the point of a “discernment blog”. The point is to confront abuse…the rape of children, the fleecing of innocent parishioners in service to a money-lusting Pastor, the installation of idiot twenty-somethings in positions of “authority” (force) over mature and seasoned men and women, the relegation of women away from their own self-perpetuation and self-fulfillment in a free society to a “biblical role” which denies them any natural right to pursue their own interests and talents as categorical human equals.
And you will never confront abuse by “celebrating” the fact that everyday another church falls prey to the mystic despotism which is sweeping through our great faith like the Orc hoards of Isengard.
So, sure…they have a right to choose their beliefs. They have a right to practice their beliefs. But the don’t have the right to tell me that it isn’t stark, raving rational larceny. And they don’t have the right to say it isn’t abusive. And they don’t have the right to deceive the communities of our great nation in service to their own will to power.
You know…hmm. I hate all this talk of “rights”. It’s just…well, it’s just fucking irrelevant, like I said. So, scratch that last paragraph as just ranting. Rather…again, their “right” is immaterial. Getting into this “rights” business is a red herring. Better said, they have an evil doctrine, and it should not be tolerated by anyone who concedes that morality is summarized best by doctrines which confess that God actually loves and inherently values his children for who and what they are. And the whole idea of they have a “right” to it is just pointless, immaterial blabbering. It is only useful for false humility.
Yes…that’s exactly what bothers me about Dee’s “you have a right” business and blah, blah, blah. It has the appearance of something disingenuous about it. Like…don’t be scared, I’m really a nice person. Of course you have a right to your beliefs, we can all get along. We just need to be nicer, okay? If you guys would just do it like Wade does, we could all go back to baking Christmas cookies, and my commenters could spend more time discussing their love of chocolate and sharing lasagna recipes.
It’s just…trying to assuage the very people who are exercising their rights in about the worst way possible. It’s totally besides the point. Your right to believe what you want. Here’s a newsflash for Wartburg Watch. THAT? Has never been the issue. And the fact that you are making it an issue tells me that you still don’t get it.
Abuse is ideas, not politics and not personalities. Abuse is doctrine. Period. Full stop.
And further: The Constitution allows us to have these debates. It is sad that it seems it has become yet another Wartburg Watch excuse for intellectual laziness.
8 thoughts on ““Winter Wartburg Follies”: The right to choose what people believe makes what they believe good? Another logical puzzle from our friends at the Wart.”
I would rather drink bleach than click on that link, but the quote you brought over here is dumbfounding. Vociferously defend the right to express and celebrate abusive beliefs…why? You are right, Argo. The right to believe what you want is totally irrelevant.
Well, then. Defend, and keep promoting the doctrines, too. Keep not getting it.
And be careful not to step on the bruised and bleeding victims of those doctrines, the ones you help create, as you run off to defend.
“Better said, they have an evil doctrine, and it should not be tolerated by anyone who concedes that morality is summarized best by doctrines which confess that God actually loves and inherently values his children for who and what they are.”
The beautiful, freeing, healing light at the end of the tunnel.
I am so glad that you find comfort in the ideas presented here. The affirmation of human beings and the proclamation of their inherent, universal worth is my intent. Until we accept that the only reasonable standard of truth and goodness is human life, we will never exchange our slavery for the freedom of Christ.
I am not looking to affirm any orthodoxy of the medieval past, but to challenge the roots of our understanding of morality not being found outside us, but infinitely present within us through our very creation and existence. The message of Christ is to reject outside standards and once again practice life by the law of love. And that is the wholesale affirmation of the cosmic worth and value of God’s conscious children.
This makes me few friends in this fight, so it is nice to see you “getting” it. Thank you.
I am going to write a bit more about this topic today. There is something g about Dee’s “I will defend your right to believe what you want” that still bothers me, and I think I have figured out why. Or at least, a better way of explaining why.
Argo, yes, I do find it comforting… I’m not going to pretend that I always understand everything you say, and I’m not sure if I sometimes embarrass myself when I comment… 🙂 But I appreciate your voice.
I’m a little worried, my bleach line was harsh…so I want to clarify that I’m comparing pain with pain here, and I’m going to be honest about it…
You have never embarrassed yourself…of that you can be assured. You are indeed a voice of reason in this sea of madness.
Believe me, those whose ideas you and I oppose are obligated to embarrassment, we’re not. And the fact that you can see the inherent contradictions and horror in Reformed and neo-Calvinist thinking puts you easily light years ahead of so, so very many, I submit. Both morally and intellectually.
On my latest post, I openly concede the confusing nature of a lot of my ideas…or at least in how I express them in writing. So I’m as much to blame as anyone for being a “stumbling block” to getting to the point. LOL
And…well, I’m a little concerned about what it might say about me after what you just said, but I found your bleach comment fricking hilarious. 🙂
Haha! Well, thanks, Argo. 😀
I told Lydia once (and I mean this in a good way!), that you remind me of a mad scientist, always formulating your thoughts and excited about sharing your latest ideas and discoveries! 😀 Hey, you do your best and we do ours!
Let’s use a dramati c example that makes everyone angry. Would you publicly defend Hitler’s right to preach Aryan purity? I mean, you would not want to see him locked up for free speech even if it is dasterdly. But what happens when he has power?
Also would you invite him in on a platform and say, hey, I don’t agree with him but he is a nice guy and cares about people. (Hitler was known for his love of Aryan children and even his generosity early on) Or, would you publicly argue his precepts as evil?
That is a drastic example, of course. Reformed doctrines are much more subtle and use the same words we do with different meanings, of course, and that means it is hidden better.. That is why, in the Reformed view, being delighted that evil is confronted becomes a sin. UNLESS you are in a caste system position to make the rules about it. And that is because at the end of the day, it is NOT about the victims of evil. It is about a nebulous concept called “God’s Glory” which is not about God’s glory at all. It is also about redefining sin to make confronting evil a possible sin!
The entire premise of NC/ Reformed doctrine is nothing but moral chaos.
Oasis, You are fine and should always feel free to express yourself. forget the bullies who don’t think you do it “right”. I get so tired of that!
Love your comment, Lydia. You got to the heart of the matter, and then you exposed an ugly underlying truth. Love it.
And thanks, I loathe to hurt people’s feelings, yet am naturally bold at the same time. So sometimes I get confused at what I’ve done, and needlessly worry about things that aren’t problems or that no one else cares about.