“Profanity” as Legitimate Communication and a Nod to the Moral Ideal

“Argo, Something to take or leave. It is your blog. What some might find offensive is the swearing. I know… the message is more important than delivery. Your audience is mostly the churched, I think. You will offend some who might have gone on to inspect your ideas & then approve of them. Also, some parents may want their kids to read your blog for it’s enlightening content, but at the same time not want them to read & implement the cussing. 🙂

You should know by now I value your ideas (and you personally) & think they should be heard. Why include a possible barrier in your writing? You don’t need to use swear words to get your ideas across. I know your audience is adult, but why limit your ideas to them? Why not include kids & teens in your audience? Kids CAN handle it. They actually have a good sense of right & wrong from the get-go.

Just giving you a different perspective, a Mom’s point of view.”

One of the highly esteemed commenters here, A Mom, offered this bit of advice.  A Mom is well known to me as a particularly sage personality, and her quick intellectual uptake and seemingly effortless ability to grasped what most of us would consider very difficult ideas with respect to unraveling the philosophical bloodbath which is Calvinism as it has evolved from metastasized Platonism–and all points in between–is much admired by not only myself but by others I have spoken to offline (see John Immel’s presentations from the 2013 TANC conference for a great review of the “in between”…they can be found at  http://www.spiritualtyranny.com).I will preface this post by saying that it is in no way a personal criticism of A Mom…and I pray and hope she understands this, because she is an absolute treasure of a soul, and her contributions here and on other blogs she frequents are salient and refreshing and beautiful and MUCH, MUCH, MUCH needed in the arena of ideas.

This is a touchy subject, and I am not unaware of it.  I am also not unaware that nothing I say can necessarily make people comfortable inserting, as Spock hilariously called them in Star Trek IV, “colorful metaphors”, into their vernacular.  Further, I am completely aware of the frequency of my use of the naughty words, and the possible offense they might cause even some of my “allies” in this fight against Reformation Theology re Calvinism re Collectivism re Altruism re Pure Irrationalism re raw naked evil.  I understand the apoplexy (not that A Mom is apoplectic, but some are) and confusion as to why I insist on poking the eye of basically every Christian out there, even those scarce few who might actually like me and/or what I have to say.

Is it a throwback to an early childhood trauma, you might ask?  Some strange clinical pathology which dissuades me from a healthy promotion myself and deep down irrationally foments a belief that I deserve to be made the universal pariah; that somehow, God doesn’t want me to be successful in any capacity, and so I routinely and stubbornly engage in self-destructive behavior designed to sabotage what little interest in my blog there is?

Is it because the truth is that I hate the faith; that my victim status as it relates to my time in the SGM spiritual tyranny juggernaut has corrupted my soul, seared my conscience, and relegated me to nothing more than a leprous howler and fist-shaker writhing in oozing misery at the gates of the King, of which so many people on the Wartburg Watch and other blogs have accused me?  Have I now turned Judas and despised the Christian calls for “purity” and “holiness” and have instead made it my goal to corrupt the weak-minded among God’s children; to lure them into a seedy trap of “unwholesome” speech.  To confuse and intimidate God’s “elect” so that they might be given over to the temptation to say “ass” instead of the prime-time television-acceptable “jackass”; or to say “shit” instead of “shoot”, or “hell” instead of “heck”, or “fuck” instead of “frick”…even though we all know that the heart behind these impostors is utterly identical, and further that what the fuss is actually all about is which phonemes we prefer to be produced by the human speech mechanism in service to “civil” communication…phonemes being merely molecular frequency variations as the air in between people is bunched in and out like an accordion in little sine waves as a function of the inverse square law?  Because we understand that it is totally consistent with our Heavenly Father–who declares that He desires mercy and not sacrifice, and that we shall wash the inside of the cup because that is where the real evil crouches–to care not so much about the heart as He does about whether the word is “dick” or “wiener”.

No.  It is for neither of those reasons.

So why so much cussing?  Why am I typing the f-bomb so often that I can barely make out the “f” and the “u” and the “c” and the “k” on my keyboard?

Well…because I LIKE to.

And because, yes, I think that “profanity” communicates my invective and other attitudes and temperaments and intentions quite clearly.  When I want to tell you what I think about Evel Knievel, explaining that he is “fucking awesome” is a much more precise representation of my attitude than simply saying he is “awesome”.  That when I say I hate Reformation theology for the flesh-eating evil it is, the most lucid declaration is that I “fucking hate it” rather than merely hating it.

You may not agree; but I find it hard to equivocate on one’s stance when the qualifier “fucking” is added before an emotional proposition.  It lets you know that there is NO equivocation to be had.  That there can be no doubt that the person who is willing to go so far as to offend genteel Christian sensibilities is completely convinced of his or her position on things.

*

Perhaps I am overcooking it a bit…making way too much of things, or over thinking the issue, which my wife sometimes accuses me of when I go on a binge rant after a particularly offensive neo-Calvinist spectacle at our “local church”…the spectacle cutely called “the morning teaching”.  I like to think of it as a gentler version of a Joseph Goebbels propaganda rally.

But I don’t think so.  After all, language is the only tool we have to communicate ideas, and I look at the communication and defense of ideas as the only efficacious weapon to be had against the onslaught of group-think socialist tyranny…that stark cliff upon which this nation teeters so precariously.  And as one who often struggles to find the right words to communicate ideas which are hardly mainstream, you can bet that I am going to make use of whatever I can scrounge up from not only the barrel, but the bottom of it, too.  I will scrape at it with bare hands if I must, tearing fingernails and bleeding out my callouses, using anything and everything I dredge up, from the f-word to slang to poor grammar, in order to get my point across.

And if I offend the audience of Christians…well, Christians of all people need a little fucking offending in this country, don’t you think? If anything the light shone upon the sick abuse perpetrated by the neo-Calvinist mystics has revealed it is that Christians need to learn to defend their ideas, their “sound doctrine”, reasonably.  And further it has revealed that this decidedly does NOT occur within the cultist collectives of modern “New Testament” churches, where the ethereal notions are never challenged and where the soma is spun by Reformed witch doctors who make fortunes doping up their tithers, inoculating them against the harsh realities of the dour and hard world and its demand for rational consistency, and its refusal to stake its future upon fairy tales and the “divine wisdom” of those who say “well, the world’s lack of agreement is proof of that it hasn’t been given the grace to perceive”.

What bullshit.

No?  You don’t think that that is EXACTLY the right word for what they believe?  Really?  And though you don’t say it, do you think it?

Of course you do.

Bullshit!  My gosh!  It spews from the plexiglass pulpits and from the windows and the doors!  You could fertilize the country and feed the cities with all the bullshit!

Bullshit!  Bullshit!  Everywhere!

My gosh!  Look at all the bullshit they believe!  Look at how we have exchanged God’s truth for a lie; and declared DEATH itself man’s greatest moral good; and have declared man, God’s greatest creative triumph, the incarnation of evil itself!  Look how we have exchanged reason for madness!

Look at how just this week the thirty-year-old Adult Sunday-School teacher stood up and told a classroom which included at least one US soldier that he could not say for sure that the American Revolution was a godly, righteous undertaking!  Look at how this same “teacher” declared that we must bow our knees in submission to any and every government which would proclaim sovereignty over us as individual human beings, because these governments are “instituted by God”…except for, he says, without a blush of shame for his rank hypocrisy and impossible logic, when they “cause us to sin against God”.  As if one can argue that God sovereignly and absolutely institutes governments and yet is absolved of all responsibility should those governments cause the citizens to sin…as though in Reformed theology any depraved human worm can ever possibly be in the position to declare right from wrong without the government wholly defining the terms for them.

Look at the hypocrisy!  Look at the vile teachings that millions upon millions of Christians are going to the polls with, voting the conscience of their “moral majority”!  Look at the kind of despotism which is bred when we casually observe our “spiritual leaders” speaking out of both sides of their mouths, declaring impossible ideas which destroy man’s epistemology and God’s very SELF with it (for the man who cannot know TRUTH cannot know God)…yes, declaring these debauched ideas the very WILL of God.  See the thirty-year-old Adult Sunday School “spiritual leader” declaring that God institutes evil governments which Christians are obligated to obey because to resist the evil would be to resist God, Himself…except when the Christians somehow decide that God’s sovereignly ordained government warrants their rebellion in service to God’s goodness, though they will simultaneously declare that the EVIL the government does is utterly purposed by God!  Who among these “teachers” will remain un-chastised by  the Almighty for damning His children to hell for such base thinking?!

And see the same “teacher” declaring that when the government decrees it, he will humbly, in service to God and to “sound doctrine”, march straight to one of the National Socialist collection centers and turn in his lawfully procured guns, because God calls us to obey any despotic regime in service to His absolute holiness, which apparently is no respecter of good and evil as it relates to government, because as this “teacher” says, “I can still be a Christian without my guns”.  As if full-on larceny is somehow good and righteous when it is committed by the state on “God’s behalf”…as if that is what the Apostle Paul meant when he declared that governments are appointed by God to punish the evil doers. I suppose evil doers are now defined by our noble Reformed “teachers” as those who have the motherfucking audacity resist the wholesale theft of their justly-earned property in service to the absolute power of the State, which does almost nothing and exists for almost no other reason than to argue with God over who has the right to own man.  And I suppose this “teacher” has totally considered the implications of his “well, I can still be a Christian if they take my X, Y, or Z, or do this, that, or the other thing in service to their absolute rule” theology.  I’m entirely sure that he has considered the logical conclusion of such a terrifying and utterly insane notion.  I’m sure that he has thoroughly contemplated and realized the fact that by his own reasoning he can merrily and enthusiastically point the Gestapo towards the nearest family of terrified and half-starved Jews hiding out inside a tiny, dank attic in Holland because he can still be a Christian whilst the State throws innocent men, women, and children into the gas chambers and ovens, to the numerical tune of six million plus.  Oh yes…he can still be a Christian, I declare, while the forces of darkness trample over the smoldering skulls of hundreds of thousands of babies because God has sovereignly ordained these governments to compel humanity to “holy and righteous” ways; because he and everyone else is too fucking depraved and too fucking stupid to be allowed to think for themselves or to EVER cast judgment on what God has ALREADY determined before anyone was ever born.

But…yes, the offense of delicate Christian sensibilities must be considered above all else.  Indeed, this is the mark of one who truly loves as Christ loved.  I should have realized.  I shouldn’t let the occasional superfluous “bullshit” or “motherfucker” get in the way of a good idea, after all.

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29 thoughts on ““Profanity” as Legitimate Communication and a Nod to the Moral Ideal

  1. Argo, Thanks for your response. I had an idea it would include lots of bomb-dropping. 😉 No need to hope & pray, even if it is a personal criticism. I am amused, not offended.

    But you didn’t answer my valid question about your audience, young & old. What about kids 10 & up? Or even 7 years of age? Nothing like bombing the kids with, say an “F…ing awesome” for clarity sake, aye? 😉 I can hear the convo now, “F…, no & H…, yes?”. Yeah, I cleared it up for my piano teacher, baseball coach, my best friend, & last but not least, you, Mom!”. Good gravy.

    “Is it a throwback to an early childhood trauma, you might ask?  Some strange clinical pathology which dissuades me from a healthy promotion myself and deep down irrationally foments a belief that I deserve to be made the universal pariah; that somehow, God doesn’t want me to be successful in any capacity, and so I routinely and stubbornly engage in self-destructive behavior designed to sabotage what little interest in my blog there is?”

    Potty mouth from that? Let’s see. I am willing to listen to trauma but will encourage your triumphs & ideas. I don’t believe it deserves center stage. You won’t catch me blaming your depths of despair, if you have any. For me to knee-jerk to baggage or to self-destructive depravity garbage because you might disagree with me on this topic in particular would be stooping low. That’s not me. I know from experience potty mouth feels good. Period. Full stop. 🙂

    Must you or I drop bombs to get our points across? I said nay in my 1st comment. I continue to disagree with you. You use them for influence, huh? Frankly, if used for influence, then the more they’re used, the less impact they have.

    “Is it because the truth is that I hate the faith; that my victim status as it relates to my time in the SGM spiritual tyranny juggernaut has corrupted my soul, seared my conscience, and relegated me to nothing more than a leprous howler and fist-shaker writhing in oozing misery at the gates of the King…”

    Very dramatic, I almost wish to go along with these tall tales just to see how it all ends. 😉 Alas, no. Not unless you picked your original font & background color choice for these reasons. Remember my suggestion about changing your cool/trendy yet harsh font color & background color, to make it easier on the eyes? You could have left it, I would still be reading (with wincing eyes). It is the same with this. I say it’s my suggestion & preference “alone”, it’s not about “the mark of one who truly loves as Christ loved”, as you said. So I remain (with wincing ears). LOL

    Your ideas are valuable to me, Argo. Now let’s see, did I get my ideas across without bombs? LOL

    Side note of light humor, your writings in this post remind me of the dramatic Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables. That’s a serious compliment, because I would have considered her a kindred spirit in real life.

  2. “Look at how this same “teacher” declared that we must bow our knees in submission to any and every government which would proclaim sovereignty over us as individual human beings, because these governments are “instituted by God”…except for, he says, without a blush of shame for his rank hypocrisy and impossible logic, when they “cause us to sin against God”. As if one can argue that God sovereignly and absolutely institutes governments and yet is absolved of all responsibility should those governments cause the citizens to sin…as though in Reformed theology any depraved human worm can ever possibly be in the position to declare right from wrong without the government wholly defining the terms for them.”

    As as aside I will stop reading here to make a point I made on John’s blog. Something that really bothers me. This comment prompted me to mention it here. You are so right about the above and I will take it a step farther when it comes to “discernment” blogs. I have been noticing over the years that many who leave the fundy/neo cal world tend to become lefties who think it a good thing for government to micromanage our lives. These discernment blogs also attract long time lefties who try so hard to do what the Neo Cals do—use illogical psuedo intelletualism to promote their brand of determinism (government controlling people)

    I am flabbergasted that more folks cannot see it or if they do are afraid to say so. AFraid of “offending”. Same old, same old. Might as well be in church! That is the sort of group think censorship one finds there.

    These leftists make the same mistake by not looking at the root assumptions surrounding control and authoritarianism. They have their own “experts” who are nothing mroe than the same old philosopher kings who know best for the rest of us.
    They trade one tyranny for another.

    Ok, back to reading

  3. The cussing is not about offending me at all. I cannot count the many times in my life the profane colleague turned out to be the most generous or sincere. While the outwardly pious turned out to be untrustworthy. Hee Hee. Sounds like church. It is a known truth to many you will find more generosity in the bar down the street than the church.

    I think the more vile terms devalues you and your message. The way to stick it to philosopher kings (both left and right) and their lemmings is to out think them and communicate the ideas.

    As my mom used to say to some of the inner city kids she worked with: Be clever and come up with more interesting and unusual adjectives. :o)

    I love reading your blog!

  4. “The cussing is not about offending me at all. I cannot count the many times in my life the profane colleague turned out to be the most generous or sincere. While the outwardly pious turned out to be untrustworthy. Hee Hee. Sounds like church. It is a known truth to many you will find more generosity in the bar down the street than the church.”

    Yes, that’s it. Nicely said. 100% agree.

    “As my mom used to say to some of the inner city kids she worked with: Be clever and come up with more interesting and unusual adjectives. :o)
    I love reading your blog!”

    As usual, Lydia can put all of it more clearly & succinctly than I.

    And it goes without saying that I love reading your blog as well & plan to continue.

  5. You guys are wonderful. I only wrote this post with the vicious sarcasm (at least in the beginning) because I knew you all could handle it!

    A Mom, you are a real sport, and I never doubted you for a second…LOL

    Thanks guys…I really, really appreciate you.

    More in response later.:-)

  6. Hey, I love viscous sarcasm and employ it probably way too much. I wear big girl panties. :o) But many don’t.

    You are a very astute thinker.

  7. “More in response later.:-)”

    Okay, I’ll brace myself for round two. LOL

    Glad you took my eye-poking response with good humor, in the spirit it was meant to be read.

  8. Had to share this! Movie is Hardcore with George C Scott explaining Calvinism.

    Bad word at the end.

  9. Lydia,

    I was writing a response to your video when, as commonly occurs, I ended up writing way more than appropriate for a comment. See my response as a new post either tonight or tomorrow morning.

    Already written…now I the hard work. EDITING!!!

    Hate. It.

  10. Also,

    Dee commented on a recent Wartburg post what I would consider to be a categorical concession of Calvinist doctrine. I was in the middle of a post on that, but I got sidetracked in my response to Lydia. Which is fine. This is the benefit of not getting paid to write a blog…no schedule, no particular order to my musings, no deadlines.

    But anyway, it think it is so funny that Dee has so often denied being a Calvinist and then this comment of hers:

    “dee UNITED STATES on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 02:21 PM said:

    Let me add one more part to the comment. You see, I want to keep the Law. I want to do everything that I know I should. I want to follow Jesus and be righteous. I want to keep the commandments, care for the poor, give everything away and on and on. But, I know I can’t and won’t. Oh, I’ll make a stab at it because I want to but I will fail. That failure could lead to depression, sadness, and hopelessness.

    Instead, because Jesus died and was resurrected, I am at peace. I still have the “want to” but I no longer need to be sad because I can’t do it all right, not will I ever. I am free because Jesus took care of the problem and gave me the solution. As one of my pastors said “We can now tell those who point out our faults that they don’t even know the half of it” and be joyful in that becaus of the greatest gift of forgiveness and freedom.

    My father had a deathbed conversion. His last words on this earth to me were “Its going to be alright now, dear.” And that is what Jesus says to all who follow Him. “It is alright now.””

    And…

    “dee UNITED STATES on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 02:49 PM said:

    Christy wrote:

    teach them to OBEY all that I have commanded you.”

    When you find a Christian who has been that obedient, let me know. In fact, my guess is that many of us are “cooking the books,” pretending we are “following the commands” yet knowing, deep down inside, that we aren’t faring well in the heart department. Or maybe it is just me. I know I am a screwup and I no longer have to pretend that I am not. And I find great peace in that.

    Perhaps there are awesome people out there who are doing a “bang up” job in doing all the right things. Perhaps their worst sin is driving 5 miles over the speed limit and eating two hot fudge sundaes at a sitting, or getting just a bit snippy with the DMV employee or being a continuationist because all “biblical” scholars know that is wrong. If anyone would like to witness to their ability to almost “conquering” it all, let me know. I will post their story.”

    I mean…forgive me, and I could be wrong, but this is something that Dee would NEVER had proclaimed before Wade became such a spiritual mentor to her and her blog. I mean, that has Wade ALLLLLLLLLL over it. This is pure SGM theology…this is PRECISELY the nonsense I was taught…this IS Calvinism.

    It is fully on Calvin…sycophant level “sound” doctrine. I think the love fest with Wade is finally working its way (like a cancer) into doctrinal cohesion over there.

    What she wrote is something along the lines of “none of us can be perfect, but thanks to Jesus, God doesn’t care”. That’s the gist. I will get to that post next. I just HAVE to parse her doctrinal delusion…

    Incidentally, I couldn’t help myself from responding. Of course my comment never saw the light of day…and I knew it wouldn’t because right now I’m just outright banned there, but her comment was so egregious that I couldn’t just keep “trolling”. Which I do often there. There are some great commenters, like Bridget, of course, and Headless Unicorn Guy is awesome, and Numo is really good to. I also like Orion’s Belt and Old John J the physicist, thought he stopped talking to me (physicists do that when you confuse them…that’s a position their poor little brains aren’t used to). But for the most part, the blog is just hilarious. It reminds me that truly there are a lot of people out there who in their effort to find relief from abuse, go straight back into the doctrinal pit of it. With Wade holding the door for them.

    I mean, why bother arguing with Dee. Wade’s way is just so much easier. You act nice and then wait for her to wander right back to where she started, happy, willing, and full of “faith” in the “good Calvinists” that are out there.

    Dee rejecting Calvinism? Pfft.

    I submit she is its bellhop.

  11. In all honesty, doesn’t all of orthodoxy end up at the same place? I don’t know that there is a church out there that wouldn’t end up at the same ending place.

    I don’t know that Dee claimed that God doesn’t care how we act. If he doesn’t care then there was no need for Christ . . . but I’d have to go back and try to find her response.

    I did see a comment from you, Argo. Did it disappear? It was directed to Dee, but her daughter got married today, so I don’t know how much she will be commenting over the next few days.

  12. Bridget,

    If obedience is not what merits our value before God, by what measure do we value humanity to him? If we are saved in SPITE of ourselves, and we are metaphysically unable to behave perfectly, and perfection is the plumb like, which is why Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us, then how can God possibly care about what we do? What we do is entirely irrelevant. This is precisely Dee’s point. I posted her very words in my comment above. That’s exactly what she is stating, I submit.

    Since we are saved outside of ourselves, because we are completely inadequate for achieving moral perfection as a function of our rote existence, nothing we do matters to God.

    If it cannot ULTIMATELY matter, meaning what we do can offer nothing to the goal of reconciliation with God, because we are “fallen”, and everything we do proceeds directly from our fallen being, then what we do can never ultimately matter.

    I agree that practically ALL “orthodoxy” arrives at this place, which is why Christianity has been the catalyst for all manner of moral atrocities for centuries.

    The solution? Reject all orthodoxy. Find a new interpretive premise. For if we concede God is God and God is good then everything and every idea which declares humanity metaphysically insufficient to moral perfection is a complete lie.

    If my response was posted on Wartburg Watch it has escaped me. I will look again.

  13. It is there now, Bridget. You are correct. One million years later. To me, that hardly even qualifies as “posting” my comment. But whatever, it doesn’t change the point: Dee has conceded the essential Calvinist doctrine: you are not really you. You are a function of an external determinist force. Sin nature or Sovereign Grace. The human him or herself is irrelevant. You can’t matter because you are too metaphysically flawed to matter.

  14. I went back and read the thread earlier. Her comment is full of total depravity as the Calvinists define it. It is full of imputed righteousness and penal substitutionary atonement. She can sin all she wants because Jesus took care of the problem and gave her the tools so she no longer has to feel bad about sinning.

    I am trying to figure out why they have a discernment blog if all this sinning is so normal and we can be at peace with it even though we ‘want’ to obey. Why would any Christian leader’s sin be a big deal? So what if they hurt people. They don’t have to feel bad about it if they want to be better?

    People can really get off track with what is sin and how all this plays out after resurrection. Why would eating two hot fudge sundaes be a “sin”?

    And yeah, it has Wade theology all over it. I mean where is the line drawn with this sinning business? The choices are not perfection or sinning is no big deal. That is why the definition of total depravity they use puts them on that road to cognitive dissonance. They cannot help but sin and sin and sin. And frankly I doubt if she does.

    It is a lighter version of Mahaney’s “I am the worst sinner I know.” Does she not see this?

    There is a horrible understanding of the law out there. I had it myself for a long time and kept feeling the cognitive dissonance because of it. It finally dawned on me studying the Gospels. Jesus called the Pharisees “lawless”. What? Yes He does! There is a lot of misunderstanding of what is being taught from Matthew 5-23, I think. It was the RELIGIOUS LEADERS of Jesus’ time who He said were “lawless”.

    I read one comment by her where she says something to the effect the Pharisees were bad because they tried to keep the law. I just remember it was confusing and a misunderstanding of the problem. In fact, it is opposite. They put heavy burdens on people that is NOTHING like the law.. But everyone wants to think Law means legalism when it doesn’t. They forget the law was given in juxtaposition to a very pagan culture. From Jesus the law is summed up: Love God love others.

    I also think translations really communicate what was being said to the Jews in the Gospels about the law, very badly

    How can we love others if it is ok to sin against them because Jesus hung on the cross so we are off the hook? It is ok because we “want” to do right but don’t?

    I don’t think people think this through. It sounds so good this radical grace but it is really cheap grace. And the seekers teach it, too. It is moral chaos to me.

    What on earth is so horrible about saying we are to obey God? His yoke is easy and His burden light. Isn’t that what following Christ is about?

    Argo you sure about Numo? One example: She was trying to censor (or shame out) the use of the words “left wing” even though “right wing” is used over there all the time and does not seem to bother her. She seems to be the censor queen over there deciding who can say what and how. She seems to be one who left the right wing/fundy and went to the left wing thinking it was the opposite? They are on the same coin. . Both are deterministic and about controlling others. The left wing has as many or even more philosopher kings (experts) as the right. Just different tactics/issues using government instead of the church to lead our lives for us and make our choices for us. She is the reason I left that blog.

  15. Argo, when they post it much later from moderation it shows up where you had it in line so most folks would miss it anyway.

  16. “In all honesty, doesn’t all of orthodoxy end up at the same place? I don’t know that there is a church out there that wouldn’t end up at the same ending place. ”

    I agree which is why most churches are not safe places and that goes back for centuries even longer. We are really just figuring this out because of the internet and the massive amount of information out there with people’s stories/experiences. And we get to see many pastors in real time and how they really are because of the internet. And in a free country not a state church country. That is what freaks me out. There has never been a time the institutional church was really safe. (in general if you get my drift)

  17. “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    Why would Jesus say something He did not mean and knew you could not do at all?

  18. Exactly. Excellent observations. The entire message these days is that you are totally depraved and this fact doesn’t matter. It’s isn’t your fault because it’s just “who your are”. What this really means is that “God made you that way”. And this implies that God is the Creator of sin.

    This is evil, and what we REJECT as a full on lie, and yet the implicit assumption that all “truth” boils down to “God’s mystery”–which is really saying that “truth” contradicts itself completely at the root–absolves the keepers of Reformed theology of their massive failures of reason.

    The denial of the human reality, the human SELF, both at the metaphysical and epistemological levels, is the logical outcome. You are a dichotomy of IS and IS NOT. You are somehow aware of God and can judge him rightly as GOOD, while at the SAME time completely unable to apprehend good because, as Glenn said, human reason is flawed; and completely unable to ACT in service to GOOD because your flesh is totally depraved.

    Dee, in those short comments concedes ALL of that madness and completely absolves every single person she has ever accused of abuse and intimidation and lying and wrongdoing of any responsibility whatsoever.

    Jesus came to make sin irrelevant, and all of its consequences morally neutral. It doesn’t matter when you “fail” because failure ceases to have any moral qualification with Jesus in the picture. That’s why she can so blithely say that her moral failures don’t matter. Jesus doesn’t eliminate sin, He simply redefines it according to the new determinative force: “grace”. Sin is now “good” in Christ. Where before it was “bad”. But notice how the BEHAVIOR of man remains UNCHANGED. Because man remains UNCHANGED. Because existential and moral inadequacy IS man.

    So Christians pay lip service to sanctification while conceding that obedience is irrelevant. By definition man cannot change, so, again his life is simply redefined. Even Paul Dohse, whom I adore, ends up in this cul-de-sac of reason. If God must BE man’s saving faith FOR him, everything regarding morality, including sanctification, is effectively meaningless, because man never changes. Behavior is redefined, not changed.

    Epistemological and metaphysical madness results, and this is how the discernment blogs return to their vomit.

    I know it sounds cruel, but denying the culpability of doctrine will only and ever AFFIRM and PERPETUATE human destruction.

    I don’t care how much dental work has been done on Wade’s smile.

  19. Well, you could be right about Numo. I trust your considerable judgment on that. I will read her comments more closely.

    And you are right, left wing and right wing are both versions of the same Platonist assumptions. Both want to legislate behavior. That’s why I lean libertarian these days…not fully, because as much as I like Objectivism, it has its own fatal flaws.

  20. Argo, I think it would be really helpful for us to discuss obeying God. I think people get this sense that it is a sort of legalistic Puritanism or something. You know scripture says that even lusting is sin so we all sin. BAM Fait accompli. People are actually offended if you say you don’t lust! Or they think any negative truth is “hate”. Or disagreement is hate. Or pointing out bad behavior, etc

    And people give tons of examples how we all sin all the time just because of thoughts. But we are also told to take every thought captive. Can people change their thinking? I think we can. I know I have in several areas over time. Much like quitting a habit– you replace it with a new one and it takes time. NT Wright calls this building good habits in not only thinking but doing because changing our thinking changes what we do. I think he is on to something with his views on Christian virtue. We have to practice them.

    Also there is this this idea that Christians are doormats or fluffy positive people all the time. And if not, then that is sin.

    One thing that really bothers me about the orthodox position is that there is no real justice on earth within the Body. We are told only in heaven or from the government. Within the Body we are told we are to take one for the team.

  21. I hate to be a blog hog but another thought. Recently ( a former elder of a seeker mega) someone I know real well asked me about my beliefs these days. this is someone I know leans toward this doctrine of cheap grace. I told him that my doctrine was the one that gives humans the most responsibility for their actions. He was not amused because cheap grace was his out for all the “great things he has done for Jesus” while having to “break a few eggs” to make the mega omelets.

  22. Yes, voting is such a drag anymore. I just vote for the ones I think (looking at the track record) will try to grow government and therefore control over me— the least! And hold my nose while I do it.

    Oh well. I doubt a true Libertarian could make it on any national level ballot. We have had too many years of socialistic public education grooming good little robots for the state and besides they would be eaten alive with accusations of wanting people to starve and hating children. Such is the level of any policy discourse today..

  23. Lydia, If you don’t mind my asking, where did you learn of this & the Calvin youtube video?

    Title is catchy. Have you read the book?

  24. A mom,

    I ran across both on Roger Olson’s blog. That is not an endorsement. I think he is Calvin lite. But every now and then I check it out because he has some interesting stuff. I tend to read all views because I find all the “sides” interesting. There is some interesting discussion on Peter Enns blog, too. I have not found a personal “side” and don’t plan to. :o) I am pretty much done with groups, movements, etc. I did my time. (wink)

    Have not read the book. It just came out. Not even on kindle yet. Doubt if I will read it but wanted to share it because I think we will see much more of this and it is giong to be interesting what plays out. People tend to gravitate toward movements so perhaps a new one is forming like ana baptist which has it own problems..

    From my reading around the meta, I am seeing more and more folks rethinking the whole YRR/Neo Cal movement. Does not mean they have dug into the root assumptions like Argo, John or Paul. This guy is in ministry so that makes it interesting to see what he is saying but I doubt very seriously he is giving up his positional Christianity.

    Greg Boyd invited a “former” YRR to preach at his church. He introduced the guy as former YRR and some reasons why he left. And the guy made sure he told the audience how much he respected the YRR movment and people but just disagrees with some of the doctrine and is now leaning toward Open Theism. Red flag. How can you respect that movement unless you have issues yourself? It is like when Wade praises Piper. What? Red Flag.

  25. Lydia, Thanks for the background. There is just so much I agree with you on, which I find very unusual & strange. Anyway, I’m not just talking about comments on this post but on other blogs. I’ve watched dialogue on them & have to agree with you & have noticed the same things.

    “…I am seeing more and more folks rethinking the whole YRR/Neo Cal movement. Does not mean they have dug into the root assumptions like Argo, John or Paul. This guy is in ministry so that makes it interesting to see what he is saying but I doubt very seriously he is giving up his positional Christianity.”

    Yes. And that can be troublesome because the fatalistic philosophy will still remain & folks will just serve/follow another man. The poison root needs to be dug out & replaced with following Jesus.

    The “root” of the problem reminds me of this song. Enjoy!

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