Monthly Archives: February 2014

Be Wary of Any Leader Who Puts God, Church, State, Society (any “others”) Before SELF; For That Person is a Despot

Most of you are familiar with this abstract  value hierarchy, or some variation of it:

1. God

2. Family

3. Work

With the meteoric resurgence of Calvinism in our churches today we find that the abstract value hierarchy has been expanded as:

1. God

2. Family

3. Church

4. Work

And at the neo-Calvinist church I  attended until recently, I noticed that the abstract value hierarchy had been, not expanded, but significantly altered to become thus:

1. God

2. Church

3. Family

4. Work

Notice the change?  Of course you do.  You notice how the “church” has risen up the ranks, promoted to its new office by those who have conceded that the “group”, which in this case is the “church”, is that which defines the life of the individual in all its aspects.  That is, the “church” is the Christian version of the Marxist collective from which individual man derives all of his mortal AND spiritual value.

Which is what makes the church collective among the most dangerous kinds, and why it is that when we hear the word “cult” we immediately think of mysticism.  As opposed to, say, the “cult” of Nazism or the “cult” of tribalism.  “Cult” has specific spiritual connotations, and they all lead squarely back to the implicit collectivism found in religion.  Even and especially Christianity, which forsook its Jewish philosophical traditions to play the harlot with Greek gnosticism starting most prominently and significantly with Augustine.  Who was, as you well know, NOT a protestant, but a Catholic.

Interesting, no?

What this means is quite simple and obvious.  In terms of philosophical roots, there is no practical distinction between Protestantism and Catholicism.  What Luther’s reformation was all about was merely a fight over who had the right to own everybody else; it had nothing to do with the altruism of freedom from tyranny.  Nothing whatsoever.  Luther had was under no illusion that mere man possessed any kind of inherent worth or ability to apprehend truth on his own, apart from a duly and divinely appointed ruler.  Luther simply thought that a different philosopher king was needed, instead of the Pope.  Why?  Well, from what I can tell, for no other reason than because HE decided, in contradiction to his own theological assumptions, that HE just didn’t happen to agree with the Pope.  Which is an act of pure arrogance even by his own doctrinal standards.

But notice that the metaphysical assumption remained unchanged:  man still needed a philosopher king.  Man still needed someone to force him into right thinking and behavior through violence mandated by God.   He just thought it shouldn’t be the Pope any more.  Of course, one can easily discern that once the need of a ruler who must inevitably resort to violence to compel the depraved and unwashed masses into “holy” compliance is conceded, further arguments concerning who gets to be ruler are merely superfluous.   The “who” doesn’t really matter.  It becomes nothing more than a pissing contest amongst tyrants.  But practically speaking it spells the same thing when all is said and done:

The masses are fucked.

*

Now, in my last post on the topic of abstract value hierarchies (and, as a side note, when I use the word “abstract”, know that “subjective” is also assumed concomitantly) I spent a goodly amount of time discussing the first reason for this, which is the natural and inevitable fusing of the Church with God, Himself.  (The second reason will come in my next post, where I will examine the Marxist assumptions in the hierarchy).  This is a perfunctory evolution.  Quite predictable, really.  Anytime man is told that he is fundamentally flawed at the root of his existence (the neo-Calvinists/Reformed call this Total or Pervasive Depravity) the inexorable assumption must be that he is also epistemologically flawed.  Epistemology deals with how man knows what he knows.  Epistemological failure thus means that man is utterly incapable of knowing TRUTH, and as such, he is incapable of any moral behavior, because he is by extension incapable of knowing GOOD.  In this sense, man cannot possibly be in any position to have any sort of efficacious or relevant relationship with God as an individual.  Thus, the Church then (which is the leadership…there are MEN who must proclaim themselves the incarnation of the collective) has no choice but to step in as God’s proxy…as “standing in the stead of God”…which is an egregious statement, granted, but I assure you is not unheard of in today’s Protestant churches, and indeed is utterly assumed by those who concede Reformation theology.  And thus, to the laity, there is no distinction to be made between the Church (i.e. the human leadership, culminating in the Senior Pastor) and God, Himself.  And if this is taken to its logical conclusion…well, it’s not hard to see how this fares for your run-of-the-mill pedestrian in society.  If you are not “called” to lead, you are “called” to follow.  And this is merely a euphemism for “owned”.  The Church owns you as far as God is concerned.  Which means that the cover charge for entry into the only place salvation is offered is, by definition, the DEATH of the SELF.  Which…it seems odd that DEATH and Salvation, literal opposites, can be part of the same existential equation, but there you go.  Welcome to today’s Protestant church.  It is a dreadfully dangerous place.

And as far as civil authority goes?  The church wants it, and wants it bad.  Mark my words.  The next evolution in the abstract value hierarchy is indubitably:

1. God

2. Church

3. State

4. Family

5. Work

And God/Church/State should be assumed to comprise one big, indivisible juggernaut of AUTHORITY, which is force, which is violence.  There can be and will be NO distinction made between these three spheres.  And this, incidentally, can be assumed for any totalitarian form of government.  Fascist, socialist, or communist.  Once the state assumes “divine” (absolute) authority, it IS God.  It is the singular author of all truth and all creation.  This is why religion is outlawed in communist regimes.  The State is God and the Church. They  just don’t make the hypocritical distinctions in their abstract value hierarchies like the Reformed Christian church does.   In this sense, they are much more honest; once again proving the curious irony that the secular despot has more scruples than the mystic one.  But, the point is that there is little and will be little difference between any Christian theocracy (theo-marxist entity) and a rank communist republic.

*

The natural assumption of any leader who assumes it is their divine right to compel by mandated violence the thinking and behavior of everyone else–to God’s glory, of course; and can there be a more noble goal?– is the right of absolute civil authority.  After all, this is the very reason they love to quote the Apostle Paul in the Bible as declaring that civil government has been instituted by God to wield the sword of justice and righteousness; to bring all evildoers to the reckoning.  And who better to do that than those called by God to stand in His stead?

Answer?

No one.

Thus, be very wary of anyone running for office on the platform of his or her “good Christian values”.  That person is quite possibly the Grim Reaper…the devil in disguise.

In fact, it is a good rule of thumb to be wary of any man or woman in any context who puts God or Church or Work or Family or State or anything else before individual SELF.  That man or woman is a full on collectivist (Marxist), and what they are really proclaiming is that the death of the SELF is the key to TRUTH.  And thus is the key to GOOD, which means it is the key to LIFE.  And the concession of this impossible contradiction in terms is inevitable despotism and destruction.  They are proclaiming that you are not really YOU.  And as such, you cannot possibly exist to YOURSELF; for YOU are an illusion.  The SELF, which no matter how we try to deny it…no matter how we “if”, “and”, or “but” our way around it, no matter how egregious an affront it might be to our “good Christian” humility or our “social justice” or our “sound doctrine” or the “loving of our neighbors”…yes, the SELF is the inexorable, infinite and singular source of anything that exist to you, meaning that YOU, YOURSELF is the absolute prerequisite to ANYTHING which exists, to anything which you proclaim is  good or bad or right or wrong or falsehood or lie or up or down or this or that.  Unless YOU are YOU first, then nothing can exist to you.  Which means, practically and relevantly speaking, nothing can exist period.  Thus, to proclaim that YOU are a direct product or function of something NOT you is in fact the categorical proclamation of your death (i.e. NOT you) as the root of being.

It is the single greatest contradiction in terms and full on rejection of the Creator to proclaim that TRUTH is a function of that which is wholly outside yourself, be it God, or Church, or any collective or group or ideal or abstraction of any kind.  For the denial of SELF in the metaphysical, epistemological, and moral sense in service to that of any  “other” is a full on denial of your Creation.  And if you were not created you could not have had a Creator.  You cannot know God because you are an illusion.

Thus, you have rejected God and have supplanted Him with a transient impostor.  A liar.  A charlatan who has seized God’s place by lies and fiat.  And how do you intended to answer for this crime of existence before the judgement throne?  Hm?  How are you going to mount a defense or appeal to your “Savior” as dying on a cross for you when you have categorically rejected your own existence…when you have no answer for God when He asks you simply, “Who are you?”.   If by your philosophy you have rejected your SELF, I ask you…who in the fuck is God supposed to save?  There is no YOU standing before Him, by your own admission!  All of your hope rests in the notion that if you deny your creation you can somehow receive God’ salvation.  But does that make any sense?  Will it make sense to God?  Of course not.  Because God is not an idiot.  And He certainly is no liar.  When He calls Himself the Creator of you, that means He created…YOU!  

 And thus you shall suffer the same fate as whatever collective to which you have sacrificed yourself.  You will  suffer the same fate as anyone who cannot answer the question “What is man?”  Or worse, anyone who answers the question with full on hypocrisy and in blasphemous prose,  “Man is nothing.”

Fine.

If you are nothing, then nothing is what you shall get from God.

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Resistance is Futile: The false logic of the Borg collective and why the church is just like them

A reader here, Jason Coates, left this excellent observation in the comments thread of the last post:

This the church is not: “We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”

Sitting at a church conference this weekend I was not surprised to hear the WOF/Hillsong preacher start babbling on about the believer not being separated from church and the importance of tithing and rightful submission to apostles. These guys are from the Delta quadrant after all.

*

Jason,

The Borg.  LOL.  That’s a good way of putting it.

The irony about the Borg…they say, as you quoted “we will add your…distinctiveness to our own.”  But the very fact that they feel it is their right to absorb you into their collective is proof that they, in fact, deny your distinctiveness.  They deny that you have any right to BE you, and instead declare that your existence is the sole property of them. That you don’t actually possess you; but that they possess you, which means that YOU don’t exist in the first place; which means that YOU, by definition, cannot be “distinct”.

Kinda like the local…

Wait.  Let’s think some more about this.  This is fascinating.  Jason, you’ve hit upon something here.

For all their “logic”, it came down to one thing only with the Borg:  force…which is violence.  They sounded impressive with their robotic voices and their unemotional waxing eloquent about their efficiency and power, but when the metaphysical assumptions are taken to their logical conclusion, the only thing the Borg really knew was that the the supreme ability to destroy is the root of existence.

That is…what they believed was that the destruction of all OTHERS is what leads to the perpetual existence of the SELF.  And what this really means is that death is the sole vehicle for life. That the creative process is accomplished solely via the banishment of what IS (in this case, YOU) into the endless chasm of what is NOT (in this case, NOT YOU, but them; that is, YOU are them, and as such YOU, strictly speaking, are NOT).

This is of course impossible; anyone with ten seconds of free time to spare mulling this over will realize that this is a rank a contradiction in terms. If OTHER is destroyed then how can one know the SELF?  Without OTHER by which to juxtapose the SELF, the SELF ceases to have any meaning.  In order to say I AM, one must be able to say I AM NOT.  If AM is endless and absolute, to the exclusion of all OTHER, then AM cannot have any definition. What is, is, goes the “logic”.  AM…or IS, becomes a circular and irrelevant concept. In other words, without an IS NOT, the IS means nothing.  There is no such thing as what IS unless there is also something which that IS, IS NOT.

It is hard to get your head around this, but give it a try.  Here, get ready for some fucking egregious discursive logic:

The point I’m trying to make is that without OTHER the SELF cannot be given a value.  The SELF is what it is, period…SELF is the sum and substance of its definition.  And if the sum and substance of the existence equation–where x is the SELF and SELF is infinite–is:  x = x, then x cannot even be qualified as existing in the first place.  You see?  Existence at its root is movement and movement is relative.  Think about it:  If there is no movement (and think of movement not only as directional (linear) but also as “existence through time”, or “temporal being” if that makes it easier) then there can be no relationship with OTHER; and if there is no relationship with OTHER then there is no inherent value to the SELFAnd if the value of the SELF is zero then existence is, by definition, NOTHING.  So, in order for the SELF to have any relevancy it must understand–via consciousness/self-awareness–how it is distinct from OTHER and then it must interact with OTHER in order that its efficacious-ness as a distinctive SELF can be realized (which is why God cannot simply create and then dash away as the deists believed).

Think of it this way:  What is consciousness without senses?  And I don’t simply mean sight; I mean all your senses.  No smell, taste, sound, nor touch either.

It is simple:  without sense, there is no way for the consciousness to realize that it is, in fact, conscious. And this makes consciousness what?  It makes consciousness, by default, unconscious.  Which is a contradiction in terms.  Meaning that sense and consciousness must exist in tandem or there is NO practical consciousness at all.  Now, I say “practical” because I am not suggesting necessarily that sense and consciousness are metaphysically one; that your consciousness is a direct function of your senses.  There is something interesting about, and something to be said for, the fact that even with all of your amazing five senses you cannot observe your own consciousness.  This makes your consciousness indeed the infinite singularity of your existence, which always IS, without any qualifiable or quantifiable location in “space or time”, which means that you cannot directly observe its relative relationship to OTHER.  Hmm…yes, very interesting.  You cannot look back in on yourself, so to speak.  So what I’m saying is not that the consciousness does not exist without the senses but that the consciousness cannot be defined as existing without the senses.  I know this seems like the same thing but I submit that their is a delicate difference.  The senses allow the infinite SELF to be aware of itself, by observing OTHER–which is a purely relative relationship–and thus acknowledge its “existence”.  Without the senses, existence cannot be valued or defined, and thus, it can have no practical application or efficacy…it is irrelevant.  And irrelevancy is FUNCTIONALLY–according to how we observe our relative existence with OTHER in our reality–the same thing as non-existence when practically applied.

This begs more thought, and warrants a post of its own at some later time

Wheeeeeeee….wasn’t that fun?

So, anyway…back to my point.  What are the senses for?  They are explicitly for making the SELF aware of what it is NOT in order that it may define itself.  And the definition of the SELF is the root of ALL existence relevantly and practically speaking…even for God.  And this requires the existence–the presence–of OTHER.  Which means that if we seek to integrate all OTHER(S) into the SELF, then we are, in fact, destroying the very SELF we think we are perpetuating.  And that is the great logical fallacy of the Borg.

Which is why the Borg were murdering thugs and nothing more; and this is evident from their rank philosophical hypocrisy.  They were murdering thugs for the same reason ALL murdering thugs are murdering thugs; for the same reason that ALL despots are despots:  They held irrational, incompatible, and irreconcilable root assumptions concerning the metaphysics of reality.

And you know what…

This makes the Borg a perfect metaphor for the theo-marxist collective known as the neo-Calvinist “local church”.

Well done, Jason.

The Irrational God-Church Distinction in the Reformed Abstract Value Hierarchy of: God, Chruch, Family, Work

Okay…where was I before I was so rudely interrupted by Wade Burleson’s attempt to pass off Reformed theology as a legitimate means to “love yourself”…as if that’s possible in a theology which doesn’t acknowledge the existence of YOU in the first place.

Oye…don’t get me started on that again.  As you all know, once I go down that metaphysical rabbit trail it’s almost impossible to get me off of it.  In either case, it’s best to avoid the detour right now.  Suffice to say, in my last post I think I made my point:  Wade will likely never understand what it really means to love because his frame of depraved reference is the utter antipode of love.  He is, according to his own theology, a perpetual vessel of wrath…and that vessel will only leak love, never contain it.  And this should terrify him if he really believes in God, but according to his own theology he cannot even DEFINE God; and its hard to fear what you cannot acknowledge as efficaciously actual.  “God” becomes whatever you make Him, and rarely do we fear what we create.  Because in that case, we claim omnipotence.  And that sounds harsh.  But…the truth hurts.  Well, it hurts the irrationally minded.

*

A couple of Sunday’s ago the very young, very neo-Calvinist conservative Sunday School teacher declared that the proper way to stack one’s spheres of life according to their relative value was as follows:

1. God

2. Church

3. Family

4. Work.

Now, for the sake of full disclosure, he did concede that perhaps “family” could come before “church”…but only after some of the less cowed members of this VERY soon to be neo-Calvinist monstrosity of a “local church” called him out on his (false) confusion.  After all, they have always been taught that family, next to God, is the most important aspect of life.  And in this area of the country you must understand that what they’ve “always known” and “always done” (to the great exasperation and chagrin of the poor hyper-Calvinist pastor who is desperately trying to drag them over the cliff of Reformed thinking just as fast as he can…for their own good, of course; its always completely altruistic and in accordance with God’s “mercy”, because if nothing else, the void of death is certainly merciful when compared to the dog days of a blue collar life, no? Well, if you are lucky enough to win God’s “election” lottery that is.  As for the rest of you?  I’ll see you in hell.  And if anyone wants to ride with me there is plenty of room in my hand-basket.  Lydia, you’ve got shotgun!)…so yes,  in this area you must understand that what they’ve always known and what they’ve always done is the equivalent of its very own chapter in God’s “inerrant Word”; and not even the handsome Reformed upstart with the great smile will deny what their pappy always taught them about the “proper” role of conceptual abstractions.  Roles which–in order to avoid the sheer orgy of sin that would most certainly result if anyone had the audacity to think that being an individual has anything to do with living one’s own life–must utterly govern the human being’s comings and goings.

Anyway, the young Sunday school teacher recanted and I remember thinking how strange this was.  Not necessarily that he did so…that he conceded that perhaps family could supersede church (as long as the pew sitting idiots were going to force the issue), but how quickly he did so.  I mean, I understand the power of tradition in an area of the country like this, but this young man must understand that if he has any aspirations of climbing the Neo-Calvinist Polity Structure  for Those Desiring to Lord Supreme Rule Over the Unwashed Masses as GOD, Himself, well…he simply mustn’t give in so easily.  To be sure, if he had really been studying his neo-Calvinist despot primer he would have understood that at the first hint of challenge; the first blush of disagreement; the first whiff of dissension he should have immediately appealed to his “authority” by directly moving into a proof-text of some Pauline epistle (which he would have had on hand for just such an occasion) while simultaneously insinuating that of all the people in the room, only he has been given the divine insight to interpret “God’s Word” properly.

I mean…sheesh.  How does this kid think he’s ever going to compel anyone into right thinking without bludgeoning a few skulls in the name of “standing in the stead”?  And you do this starting small, in Sunday school, or Care/Home group.  This is where you learn to sharpen your sword upon the basics of theological despotism…it is the primary school of the formal Oligarchy.  Sure, it’s small time, but cracking heads is cracking heads in the name of sound doctrine, you know?  Everyone is expected to start somewhere.  At the very least he could have made some kind of veiled reference to the dissenters’ obvious pride as he was reluctantly conceding that they might have a point.  And he should have made his reluctance more apparent, too, now that I think about it.

To be honest, I might have to bring this up with PASTOR (which is how he is referred to in our church…not “the pastor”; and this I find oh, so fucking creepy) and remind him that if he wants to create the neo-Calvinist collective utopia that always follows when “sound doctrine” is implemented–well, which follows once you shut up the little kids crying rape, that is, and blackmail their fucking parents–but anyway, if he wants to create the new Eden of the neo-Calvinist local church he needs to make it more clear to the larvae that they should not be despised for their youth and that they need to make more of an effort to stifle ALL challenges with swift force, no matter how benign those challenges may seem.

Even I know that much.  Even I know (and I should, of all people) that you, as a good neo-Calvinist authority in-training, cannot allow even the smallest challenge to your interpretive authority to pass without some consequence.  At the very least, if you don’t want to make a scene, you can pull the upstart bastard(s) aside after the meeting and offer to “discuss this further” with him or her, with just a pinch of smugness and unequivocal self-righteousness to let them know that that they are oh! so fucking wrong in their perspective and that if they only realized, if only God had given them the “grace to perceive” as He’s given you, they would be robe-tearingly ashamed to have even brought it up in the first place.

Hell…if the pastor wants, for a nominal fee, I’ll teach the kid myself.  I mean, I have the equivalent of a Ph.D. in Mystic Lording and Spiritual Tyranny.  I went the the foremost ivy league institution, as did John Immel: Sovereign Grace Ministries.  It doesn’t get any more fucking medieval than that.  And going medieval on barbarian asses is what Reformed theology is all about.  It’s ALL about authority, and literally NOTHING else; and authority is all about force; and force is all about violence.  And force can never co-exist with conceding the premises of the opposition.  Duh.  And make no mistake.  The laity IS ALWAYS the opposition.  Your job is to keep those fuckers in line.  Your job is to keep the sheep in pen so that the wool and the mutton can be harvested “to God’s glory” until Christ comes back.  In which case the slaughter will begin and you will be rewarded with 72 dead sheep to feed on forevermore.  And your job is absolutely nothing more than that.  You keep them in line so that they can tithe and serve.  And you don’t reach that objective by telling them that their fucking depraved and theologically blind family comes before the church.

The fact is that the kid was right.  Family, if you want to get properly Reformed about it, cannot possibly come before Church.

Why?

My readers, many of whom understand this kind of oppressive thinking as well or even better than I do, already know the answer to this.  It has to do with distinctions…or rather, the lack thereof.  The fact is that in Reformed theology there is NO distinction between God, Himself and the ecclesiastical authority of the local church, which IS the local church.  In other words, the Church IS God as far as the laity is concerned.  To parse out God and the Church is to make a distinction that simply doesn’t exist in the Reformed construct.  Since YOU, the layperson, are at your root pervasively depraved, you lack any kind of efficacious epistemology when it comes to the things of God, from which extends all “reality”.  As in the days of Plato’s philosopher kings, it takes a person who has somehow been given the ability to transcend his ( and it’s always a he, never a she…the penis is the receptacle of Reformed revelation; and yes, I do mean that the way it sounds, for I submit that there is a shitload of penis envy going on in neo-Calvinist circles)…yes, it takes a person who has somehow been given the ability to transcend his pervasive sinful  nature and “see” the “truth” that God has somehow, IN SPITE OF HIM, gifted him.

Really…it doesn’t make any sense so just go with it.

And that person must “stand in the stead of God”, a phrase I first heard from C.J. Mahaney–and why I didn’t walk out of that cult right then and there, I don’t know.  Just full of my own “humility” I guess.  If humility was, you know, abject pride and arrogance to the level of Premier Asshole.  Anyway, standing in the stead has one purpose only:  to compel those who have NOT been given divine absolution from their total depravity into right behavior.  And that “right” behavior, no matter how they couch it in heady-sounding and “God glorifying” terms must and shall always be of direct benefit to the leadership.

So, put simply, you exist to serve the wants and whims and comfort of the Church “authority” because they are God to you.  They are what you worship, and they are what has preeminent VALUE in your life, beyond the family and everything else.  It is all about doing “God’s will”, and God’s will has a strange and yet completely theologically defensible (Reformed theology that is) way of looking like the authority gets a categorical say as to what goes and what doesn’t, and gets to declare that their desires, no matter how indulgent or unnecessary they appear, are the most important thing to you.  THEY are the reason you get up in the morning, and work, and earn, and perpetuate.  You exist as a direct extension of THEM, because they are the God who is sovereign as far as you are concerned; and everything they think and do was ALWAYS what God wanted and what God intended because they hold to pure determinism as the root of material reality.  They can never be wrong and they can never ask enough of you because no matter what they say or ask or do it is as though it proceeds directly from the mouth of God.

You, in your natural state, cannot possibly know or hear or see God.  That is why they are there.  To be the bridge between filthy, mortal flesh (the shadow world) and the ivory-white and purely washed divine realm (the “forms”).  They have the gnosis…they have the revelation.  Agreement with and obedience to them is the only proof of TRUTH, and the only relevant sign of your “election”, even though it really means nothing in this regard; you can still qualify as elect even if you happen to be the most treacherous person in town.  In fact, one could argue that the greater your moral offense, the greater your ability to be aware of your own moral failure, which is the equivalent of pure gold in terms of being “saved” according to neo-Calvinism.  (For more about this, see Paul Dohse’s recent articles and videos at www.paulspassingthoughts.com).

But do you know the logical extension of all of this?  You probably already do.  I can assure you THEY–that is, the local church leadership–know.  Or at the very least they have the nagging inkling in the backs of their minds.  Trust me, it’s there.  The realization that this is what it ultimately comes down to.

The logical extension is this:  since your epistemology is dead and is ashes according to your absolute metaphysical and physical total depravity (and it IS absolute, no matter how they lie and say its not) you can never be in a position to apprehend even THEIR divine “wisdom” as they disseminate it to you via “care group” meetings and Sunday morning “messages/sermon series'”.  So all of that Sunday “worship” and “teaching” and all the hullabaloo with the raising of the hands and the swaying from the rafters and the desperate, soaring choruses is all nothing but standing on ceremony when all is said and done IF you concede neo-Calvinism and Reformed theology as the root of your theological and philosophical constructs.  It must be categorically meaningless in accordance with your total depravity, which wrecks your epistemology, which makes it impossible for you to define God.  And you cannot worship what you cannot know.

So, for those who are by nature unable to make distinctions of “truth” or “good” and thus know God there is only ONE thing which is effective in turning people to His will, to bringing them into compliance with His “divine purpose”…which is of course only and ever relevant within the context of the local church.  And that is…..?

Force.

And force is violence.  Force is punitive, it is NEVER instructive.  Because instruction is irrelevant to one who is deemed incapable of any real apprehension.  Because in Reformed theology, as I have said before, truth is only divinely bestowed, never learned.  Because humanity has no capacity to learn.  Because they are epistemologically broken.  Because they are metaphysically broken.

And now you know why there can be no legitimate distinction between God and Church.  Because God MUST have a means of compelling his “elect” to right thinking, and that takes violence, and that takes an earthly vehicle for the violence…a vehicle which can provide a visceral and fleshly/material frame of reference for the barbarians which need forcing , and that takes HUMAN hands, and that takes a collective ruled by a priest, and that means a local church on every corner where human lives can be relentlessly flanked and monitored.

So, if he was worth his salt, this young Sunday school teacher would have stood his ground on his presumption of the correct ordering of the abstract value structure.  In fact, he should have defiantly and aggressively asserted that not only is he right, but that the proper ordering of the hierarchy should really be: CHURCH, family, work.  And fuck you, he should have continued, if you really want to get technical about it, the hierarchy could be dissolved into a single term:

Church.

For the church is the collective which defines ALL reality for the masses in general.

More later.  We aren’t done with this.  We still need to examine the rational role of any abstract value hierarchy.  Which, spoiler alert…there isn’t one.

When Hate Deftly Attempts to Pass as Love: Consumed by his own Reformed theology, Wade Burleson blows his “love yourself” article on Wartburg Watch

I haven’t forgotten about my series on abstract value hierarchies.  But I had to get to this first.  Any time Wade is presented front and center on Wartburg Watch, apart from his usual Sunday e-church stint, I find that I am unable to hold my tongue.  And since it has been has been over eighteen hours since I added my comments and they are still in moderation oblivion (which always happens when they are about Wade, by the way), I figured a full on examination of the article was in order for my blog, where I cannot be censored to protect the neo-Calvinist leadership.

The proverbial wool of “sound doctrine” that constantly masquerades as the solution to human abuse and church dysfunction over at that blog is absolutely exasperating.  I know Dee and Deb are much smarter than this…but they fall for the trap over and over and over.  I submit they concede the evil premises because they cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that they could have been that wrong for that long (I had the same problem).  I submit that through Wade, they seek reassurance for the vile doctrine they used to accede.  I could be wrong, of course, but I just can’t see it any other way. They want to believe that it is as easy as spotting the few bad seeds, when the the reality is that these “seeds” are are really just men, like C.J. Mahaney, for instance, whose evil practices became so great that not even two thousand years of orthodoxy could run blocker for them anymore.  I mean…shit, when the children come out and start crying “rape!”, even a brilliant preacher like C.J. has to boogie on out of town.  Which, as you recall, is exactly what he did.

The hypocrite.

If you haven’t yet, I recommend you read Wade Burleson’s guest post on www.thewartburgwatch.com, called “Be in Awe of Jesus and Love Yourself” posted on Monday, February 16, 2014.

It is hard to know just where to start with an article written by Wade, but especially this one…I agonized for some time about this.  I guess I’ll just jump right in with this ostensibly compassionate quote:

“Everyone knows from personal experience that real, genuine heartfelt love is drawn from a heart that is being loved!.”

Um…okay.  Yeah.  Wrong.  To be blunt, this is just rank nonsense.  Love can never be present in a person who cannot or will not accept that there is an infinite amount of inherent value in their existence as a distinct SELF.  As a creature of God, the inherent value of BEING a person is the root of all love.  It is how you can receive love from God and anyone else, and how you can love yourself and share that love with others.  If there is no inherent value in simply BEING, then man does not possess any sufficiency for being a receptacle for love.  Love cannot be reconciled to what is conceded to be fundamentally worthless at its physical and metaphysical root.  Worthlessness is completely antithetical to love.  As much as I do not like to appeal to the Bible as my “final authority” for truth (for truth is a function of reason; and reason is a function of reconciling ALL ideas to the only objective standard of TRUTH, which is individual human life (existence)), the Bible is a useful work for some arguments.  For example, where in the Bible to we ever see God declaring his abject, “unconditional love” (a phrase which I do not believe appears in the Bible… there is no such thing; for all love is contextual, by definition, and thus, it is conditional, by definition) for worthless things?  Answer:  NO where.  Worthless things are counted worthy only of destruction, never salvation.  What is worthless has no practical value, making its existential essence functionally ZERO, or nothing.  And it is impossible to save “nothing”.  Or, think of it this way:  unconditional love for an unconditionally worthless object equates to a product of ZERO.  Infinite love times infinite nothingness equals nothing.  Or, probably better said, infinite love added to infinite nothingness makes the love irrelevant.

Later Wade says:

“I propose to you that only when you are utterly captivated by what Jesus has done for you will you become overwhelmed with the value, worth and dignity of your person.”

According to Wade, your value is rooted in what “Jesus has done”, not in any inherent value you possess as a function of the SELF of your own existence.  There was NO value in humanity, goes the logical extension, until Jesus “did it”.  This is pure Reformed gnosticism, and is far from what the Bible teaches, period.  Full stop.  The truth is that Jesus died on the cross because you had infinite and inherent existential and moral value already.

And he follows shortly after with this:

“God died for you while you were yet a sinner, but it is the love of God for your sinful soul that makes you valuable.” [Emphasis, mine]

Now…did you catch what Wade just did there with those two quotes?  It is very subtle so you may not see it right away.  But that’s okay.  I’ll wait.

…this little piggy went to the market…baa baa black sheep have you any wool…here I aaaaaaam, and here I staaaaaaand, let the storm rage oooooooon!!!!!! The cold never bothered me anyway. (I have two little girls…what, you didn’t think I’ve seen “Frozen”?  Twice, baby.)

Okay, I’m sure you have it now.  Yes. Mm hm.  That’s it exactly.  Notice how God’s love for you is a prerequisite for you loving yourself.  Meaning that your love for yourself is a direct product of God’s love for you.  Unless God directs his love personally AT you, you have no justification to love your self.  Your value is in”what Jesus did”; it is in “God’s love”.  It is NEVER due to any autonomous or inherent value of YOU, by yourself, by the simple fact of your existence.  And without this…without an inherent value to humanity as distinct objects and agents apart from God, there is no such thing as any real, efficacious value, which means that man is, at his root, utterly incapable of being loved, of receiving love, and thus of loving himself.  And this makes any love you might have for yourself merely a direct function of God’s determining force of your “election”.  There is no YOU in the equation.  YOU have no value.  God’s love for you is in SPITE of you.  Thus your love for you must be in SPITE of you.  Or, put another way, and I will reiterate this later, God loves you FOR you.  Meaning, you don’t ever really love you, God loves you as an extension of his arbitrary determining election, which again, is always in spite of you, and NEVER because you have any inherent worth.  And thus, it is impossible to love yourself.  Because YOU?  Are never really part of the equation.

And this is what makes Wade’s message so dastardly.  That it is couched in compassion makes it even that much more vile because it adds an element of deception.

Wade is extremely convincing in his article…his heart seems genuine; his love for people seems objectively apparent.  He seems legitimately concerned that people understand the importance of accepting themselves as products of God’s divine pleasure in Christ.  Fortunately those of us who are by now sensitive to all manner of irrational mysticism and hip to the jive of the REAL message of the American theo-marxist oligarchy are no longer fooled by devils passing for angels of light.  This is not to say that I think Wade is a devil…I’m not really convinced he understands the mutually exclusive premises which form the crux of the steamy bottom of his philosophy.   And this is true for most Christians I would say.  That is why I am careful to categorize the BELIEFS and not necessarily the messengers as evil.  For I agree with Jesus in most cases that forgiveness is warranted because “they know not what they do”.

Of course, for Wade, as one who pretends to be a man of God, and who undoubtedly feels no shame in labeling himself a teacher of the “word”, he really should know better.  As to whether God will take that into account when judging Wade for the gut-wrenching destruction he is wreaking across the lives and souls of humanity…well, that’s up to Him.

At the beginning of his article Wade opens up with, “I am about to blow away everything you’ve ever been taught by mainstream religion”. That’s a nice try, but the fact is that Wade does just the opposite.  Wade confirms the very root of the typically Reformed orthodoxy of mainstream religion (by this I assume he means mainstream Protestantism, since he would undoubtedly need to be a scholar and an expert on countless world belief systems in order to blow away everything we’ve been taught…or he’d have to know absolutely that no one in his audience has any experience with any other religion outside of his peculiar and destructive brand of western gnosticism).  The fact is that there is simply nothing hopeful nor comforting about Wade’s article.  It is a false compassion and it espouses a false understanding of love, which is rooted in his impossibly irrational understanding of God and man at the metaphysical, moral, and epistemological levels.  And this?  Is nothing LESS nor MORE than mainstream religion.  This is the same shit we’ve always heard.  In his article, Wade operates under the assumption that what people are really missing…what they really need and that which has been sorely lacking in their lives is a “proper” (meaning…somehow reconcilable to the idea that God must naturally hate your guts the moment you are born, for this is precisely the bedrock assumption of Wade’s Reformed interpretations)…yes, a “proper” understanding of why they should love themselves.  But the fact is that that message is entirely irrelevant to Wade’s standard of doctrinal “truth”.  The only thing which man needs to understand is why they shouldn’t love themselves.  And, true to his Reformed roots, Wade’s article simply reinforces that tired old notion.  Because there can be no such thing as a love which can be reconciled to that which is its absolute opposite.  And that?  Is man.  Man is the very definition of what love is NOT.  Man is utterly at odds with love at his root.  And THAT is the message Wade is really proliferating in this article.  

And the worst and saddest part isn’t that I think he is aware of it, but that I’m pretty sure he is not.

Let me explain.

Wade’s article is a good example of how adept these Reformed pastors are at making an evil philosophy appear entirely altruistic, and themselves sanctimoniously concerned with the lives of everyday human beings. But the fact is that after two thousand years of codification and systematic integration into the psyche and culture of half the world, Reformed theology has become the default spiritual zeitgeist of our nation, and so it is no longer that difficult to present this evil and destructive world view as serious charity and compassion.  It has been done before, by many other devotees, and has successfully convinced whole nations to follow the presumption over the cliff and straight into hell where the logical conclusions always, always lead.  You simply cannot espouse a philosophy that worships the death of man and demands man’s utter banishment into determinist obscurity (i.e. the separating YOU from YOU) and concomitantly find that anything resembling love results.  And certainly the greatest evil is in implicating God in the scheme of reducing man to nothing but an extension of the violence of despots.

God is the Creator of man.  If we accept that (and we should…for there is no rational argument which excludes God for the existence of man or anything else) then we must accept that man has an objective and inherent VALUE which is rooted in his very existence; in his very SELF.  This naturally destroys the Reformed lie of Total Depravity, which is the bedrock of the entire school of thought.  Anyone who concedes the Total Depravity of man cannot possibly speak of an actual and efficacious love FOR that same man.  Anyone who says humanity is existentially a moral and epistemological failure and yet can be loved is a liar.  For it is impossible for that which is depravity incarnate to be made righteous or to receive righteousness; and thus, it cannot receive love nor in any way be joined to love.  For depravity is diametrically opposed o love by definition.  Depravity is rooted in the hatred of of the GOOD, by definition; but what is more is that that which is depravity itself is never in the position to make any sort of moral distinction.  And that is why Total Depravity is so vile.  It doesn’t assume humanity is merely evil; it assumes that humanity is evil and is completely unaware that it is evil.  It cannot recognize good as good because it has no frame of reference.  It is infinitely depraved which means that it only sees itself, by definition.  This removes God entirely from man, never ever to be reconciled; and it makes man the victim of his own epistemological failure.  He cannot know God because he cannon properly define God.  And a humanity which can never define God by virtue of its absolute metaphysical, epistemological, and moral  failure can never be in a position to receive God’s love.  But according to Wade’s article, we are to love ourselves because God loves us.  However, when Total Depravity is parsed out and taken to its only logical conclusion it becomes obvious that that which is totally depraved CANNOT EVER receive God’s love because, again, it is diametrically opposed to it.  It can never commune with God’s love because God’s love presents a contradiction to the absolute infinity of TOTAL depravity; and remember, Total Depravity says that man is not merely depraved but that he is depravity itself.  So if God loves man the assumption must be that man can efficaciously and rationally receive it.  Which must assume that man has some inherent VALUE to God which then can be reconciled to God’s affection; that man is INHERENTLY capable of receiving it .  And if this is true then man cannot be totally depraved, by definition.

But this is not what Wade is saying here.  You will notice in the article how Wade never, not ONCE, mentions that humanity has any inherent or autonomous value to God; that man is capable of offering something to God which God can love that is distinct to man, alone.  Wade concedes total depravity (I’ve read the statement of faith on his Church’s website).  And at the same time he is trying to convince you that loving yourself is possible.

It is not.

If you posses no autonomous, inherent value to God, then you are by definition totally depraved.  And as such, you are an insufficient receptacle for God’s love.  You are the utter antithesis of love.  So what Wade is really trying to say is that God somehow loves you in SPITE of you.  And as such your “loving yourself because God loves you” means that your love for yourself is nothing more than a direct extension of God’s love.  Meaning any “real” love you have for yourself cannot come from you, because Depravity cannot love.  The love you have for yourself comes directly from God, NOT from you at all.  Meaning that any love you have for yourself is actually nothing more than God loving you FOR you; and once again YOU as SELF are removed from the entire equation, because YOU do not really exist.  YOU are merely a function of the determining force of depravity, which somehow morphs into the determining force of God’s “sovereign grace” once he arbitrarily “elects/predestines” you.

There is nothing in Wade’s article that acknowledges any inherent moral and/or metaphysical worth within humanity, and thus there is nothing in Wade’s article which acknowledges the actual existence of man as a legitimate SELF.  This makes it impossible for God to actually love YOU…for you are NOT.

Finally, I just want to spend a moment discussing this quote, which occurs at the very beginning of the article:

“You should know my standard of truth is God’s word, not religion or the opinions of man.”

Now, I don’t want to engage in a long monologue about the fallacies of this statement because I have covered this idea somewhat in depth in the past.  However, though this statement may pull at one’s spiritual heartstrings and smack of a heavy dose of godly humility, the cold and hard fact remains that “God’s Word” as a standard of truth is simply irrational.  There is no way an argument can be made for an objective interpretation of Scripture whereby it can be said that Scripture is the sole interpreter of itself.  This results in a circular logic which makes the entire Bible completely irrelevant to man.  Since the Bible is axiomatically and categorically FOR man, man’s context must be considered in how it is interpreted.  And since all men and women are indeed individuals, the context considered must be an individual context.  This means that individual human life is the only rational standard for how the Bible is interpreted, because human life is the only rational standard of TRUTH.  If the Bible cannot exist without man, then it is logically obvious that the primary definition of truth and morality is human life.  Thus, if we want to claim that the Bible is true, its ideas must be rationally reconcilable to the objective of affirming and promoting individual human life, and the categorical right of human beings to own themselves since THEY are axiomatically and inexorably the prerequisite for all things being true; and that truth can only be born out if they are free to pursue themselves as a function of themselves.

For more information on this, you can peruse my other articles dealing with the notion of “biblical inerrancy”.

Finally, here are a couple more quotes from Wade on which I want to comment briefly:

“You come to see your absolute inability to be righteous before God by your conformity to any Law, and you come to rest by faith in Jesus!”

If human beings are “absolutely” unable to keep a law, then it must be because they are existentially insufficient.  Meaning, it is not choice that prevents them, it is the fact that they were born at all.  This makes the law irrelevant, and not only can it not be a rational standard of good it cannot point to a rational standard of good (Christ as the standard is assumed here).  For if an irrelevant law points to a standard, then the standard by extension is likewise irrelevant.

If there is a law for man then man must be able to follow it.  If he fails, it is because he chooses not to follow.  This makes doing good a function of obedience.  Of choice.  And Christians are loath to accept this because it necessitates a complete revision of their understanding of the purpose of Messiah.  And Christians in general tend to hate contradicting orthodoxy because they equate orthodoxy with God, Himself.

“Don’t misunderstand. There is a subtle difference between loving yourself and demanding others love you. Loving yourself means you are free from the pressure that others love you. What does it matter if others reject you if Jesus loves you and you love yourself?  Demanding others love you is a tell-tale sign that there is actually no self-love. Crazy as it may seem (I call it “upside-down-wisdom”),  the more you seek love the less you self-love.”

Perhaps.  But we must be sure that Wade is not conflating “self-love” with the inherent right of every individual to rationally demand that others respect their infinite worth, and not to violate their person (which includes the mind) and/or property.  This is not “pride”.  The defense of the individual’s right to life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness is the only moral justification for force.  Turning the other cheek may be useful in a given circumstance, but it is NOT a philosophy.  The right of each one of us to demand that we not be possessed by any other agent or entity (like the “church” or the “state”) is not indicative of a lack of self-love, it is indicative of PURE love, and of a rational mind.

“God actually owns all that you have, and you are but a steward of it all.”

No.  You eat and possess because you work, and this is biblical, not Wade’s statement.  Your property is a direct function of your work, which is a direct function of yourself.  If you don’t own your property you can have no claim to own yourself.  And only a very misleading proof text of Paul’s statement “you do not own yourself” can support the idea that humans are not the sole owners of their lives.  If you don’t own YOU then you have no claim to any justice, and this necessitates the assumption that you have no moral justification for your own existence.  Which is ludicrous and will eventually result a quick trip to the gas chamber.  Because saying that you do not own your property is a akin to the denial of human existence.  Personal property is categorically necessary to life; being merely a steward then demeans life, for it denies the single most practical thing require to LIVE: what you own.  And if it denies ownership, it denies life.

It is also a full-on assault on the idea that man possesses any rational and efficacious epistemology–that is, if you cannot be in a position to own, you are obviously not trustworthy to KNOW how to manage property in accordance with GOOD and TRUTH–but that’s a whole other article.

God, Church, Family, Work: The oppressive fallacy of abstract value hierarchies

A few weeks back at the burgeoning neo-Calvinist church that my family is attending, though we are not members…

Wait.  Let me back up.  Lay some ground work so that you don’t get your brain muscle all outta whack.

Before you cry hypocrite, hear me out.  I have told this story before–somewhere, but don’t ask me to link it–but it bears repeating.  I will make it short, however.

Well.  Short…for me.

After fifteen years and over a hundred thousand dollars in tithes and offerings to Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) in three different churches in three different states, my family and I had an epiphany, known in our household as a healthy dose of reason.  This occurred not long after C.J. Mahaney, President of SGM got–as John Immel of spiritualtyranny.com hilariously put it–“a bucket of wikileaks in the face” and then the proverbial human excrement hit the proverbial wind motivator.  We foundered in the spiritual wilderness for a while (we should have stayed there, frankly, because the alternatives out there in Christendom are all pretty much a massive waste of time and money) before finding a great little church (well…not that little; a couple hundred attendees) literally just down the road from us which was in the midst of recovering from a nasty church split.  The cause of the split?

Take a guess.

I do believe you’ve got it.

A neo-Calvinist tyrant was trying to lead the church down the tyrannical road of that peculiar brand of theo-marxist tyranny, and after doing the “Cant’ We All Just Get Along” dance and standing on ceremony for a time laity basically said “fuck off”…and off the tyrantwent, taking the usual 30 to 50% flow of slavish, mindless devotees with him(and we think this country could never fall for a Hitler….we can, and probably will, and he will probably be Reformed and probably a Calvinist, though he will probably deny it because tyrants love to talk about how they aren’t really tyrants and don’t believe the tyranny that Calvin taught, because they only believe in the Westminster Confessions or the Heidelberg Catechism which of cours have noooooothing to do with Calvin’s systematic theological system, even though they SO do adore Calvin, and no I’m not kidding; our national tyrant will be a “good Christian man” who believes only in the “objective” and “inerrant” “Word”; trust me).

So…great situation for us, right?  My wife and I were all smiles, and assured our new brothers and sisters in Christ that, after having spent some time in the theo-marxist sausage machine of Calvin’s brand of Protestant “sound doctrine” and having some personal experience with the psychological manipulation and emotional abuse (and I got off easy) which proceeds from such a mindset, that the folks in our new church had indeed made the right call in sending the little dictator off to sell his snake oil to people who actually DID just fall off the turnip truck, having actually BEEN born yesterday.

Cut to a year or so later when, in an act of what I can only define as desperation, they hired a full-on, rank neo-Calvinist to replace the one they just sent away, after having vowed that they’d rather see the church “body” cloven in two like the baby before Solomon than to have someone like THAT tell them a spiritual thing or two about a spiritual thing or two.  Now, in the defense of the laity, these mystics are exceedingly convincing, and in the question and answer sessions which took place before he was hired this neo-Cal did a great job of deflecting his theological…more like philosophical roots.  As I knew he would, having, by that time, come to understand that what neo-Calvinist pastors call “preaching and teaching” is really full-on propaganda; and that to someone who believes that humanity is morally and epistemologically defunct at the root of its very existence, LYING and LYING WELL becomes the operative mark of a successful Pastor.  Of course, they don’t look at it as lying.  They look at it as putting the “milk” before the “solid food”.  But here’s the thing:  the “solid food” only every really goes to a select group of soldiers that the Pastor can trust to carry out his demands without question and without concern for the pesky lives of the laity which NEVER matter in the grand scheme of doing God’s will and spreading “sound doctrine”, which is always in service to the Pastor’s his own power, even though he might deny this, because in that peculiar theology it MUST BE, because there is no distinction between PASTOR and GOD; and what God wants, God always gets because God has supreme and sovereign “authority”, which is really FORCE, as John Immel says, and FORCE is VIOLENCE plain and simple.  The Pastor is God…if God were nothing but a man with a gun pointed at your head telling you to pretend you don’t really exist and thus you are free to shut up and tithe and serve. You sit and tithe and serve and fear for your life which you don’t really have, but which is leveraged against you to get you to serve the “authority’s” absolute Will to Power.

The rest of us get the “milk”, and so…my point is, having been sucking on the neo-Calvinist teat for fifteen years and cooing for more, I had gotten pretty adept at spotting the subterfuge and deception.  I could smell it in the air, and it smelled like burning flesh.

So…needless to say they hired this guy and so there me and my family are to this day.

Why have I not left?

Hmmm…it’s complicated, but as usual it involves the children and the torturous and heart-wrenching thought of tearing them away from certain friends.  You must understand that we home school, so my girls don’t get a lot of interaction with kids their own age.  When they do, they tend to get extremely attached to them.  And…well, if you don’t have kids you won’t understand; you’ll likely see me as a rank hypocrite, and I get it.  I really do.  We are trying to leave.  And we will.  But for those of you with kids (and actually like them) you will quickly understand that no matter how steely your philosophical resolve, you find yourself making compromises and adjustments that you’d NEVER have thought your principles would have allowed, in order to save yourself and your family from emotional torment.

But, having said that, I must say that for a blogger like me, there has been an enormous benefit to hanging around this church; and I would be lying if I said that that also wasn’t part of the reason I have stayed.  You see, I have witnessed the doctrinal conversion of a church from something NOT Calvinism to that which IS Calvinism, and IS CALVINISM to the fullness of its despotic and destructive conclusions.  I have seen the manifestation of the evil theology rise from just a few seeds and a few smatterings and suggestions here and there and some “care group” banter concerning the merits of “free will” vs. “total depravity”…to the formal doctrinal “discussions” between the Pastors and the laity as exhibited in many a Sunday “sermon series'”…to the full blown acceptance that the church is completely devoted to Reformation orthodoxy of the codified and systematic Calvinist kind and the leadership will reject the granting membership status to, or ordaining, ANYONE who denies “sound doctrine” in any way…to the full blown scandals of child rape, blackmail, cover up, intimidation, excommunication, lying and distortion, and leadership taking financial liberties with tithes and offerings.

But see, back then, I was a Calvinist, and so I didn’t have the rational frame of reference with which to understand what was really going on at the time, nor did I much care, trusting that the leadership had the mandate of God on its side and so who the fuck was I to question men who had been called and inspired in a way that was utterly beyond my ability to apprehend.

Of course, realizing that that is all total bullshit now, I have an entirely new vantage point from which to observe this spectacle; the inexorable march of the hoards of darkness as they take over this little unsuspecting group of very nice people.  I note with clinical and studious interest the furrowed brows on some of the elderly folks when they hear the new Pastor pronounce that he does not see it his duty to visit the sick and the dying in their homes and hospitals because his primary responsibility is to spread false ideas and unholy propaganda, and to tear the church from the arthritic grips of the old, fuddy duddies and place it squarely in the possession of younger, more malleable and impressionable males.  And they shall replace the geezers as the new leadership, and they “shall not be despised for their youth”, and shall possess no abundance of years nor wisdom, understanding, enlightenment or self-confidence.  Personality traits of which are nothing more than rank unwashed arrogance insofar as Calvinism is concerned.

Yes, I see the hands raised ever so slightly in tentative protest and the small voices here and there who dare to question the Sunday School teacher (who is maybe thirty) when he says he doesn’t feel that he can support the idea that the American Revolution was a righteous endeavor; nor is he convinced that God looked favorably upon those Colonial rascals who dared challenge the right of the King of England to stand in the stead of God as His divine proxy and wave a scepter and pronounce that no man shall have any value at all who has not been sacrificed, body and soul and wallet, to the “sound doctrine” of his Divine Right of Kings.  That YOU, oh America should have remained a direct extension of the his Majesty, with no thought to that insolent notion of YOURSELF as actually existing autonomously from the British Imperial Collective, ruled by his royally Reformed ass, King George III…oh yes, that you should have, in order to truly be godly, been denied your very SELF–that inexorable and infinite singularity of existential essence which must exist before you can even agree with his majesty, the royal butcher, and concede Divine Right of Kings in the first place–is the very thing being taught in an AMERICAN church, right now, down the street.

And NO ONE is leaving!   On the contrary!  You’ve never seen a church so full!  Packed to the brim with rows of pews threatening collapse under the weight of sanctimonious declarations of human existential failure and positively desperate begging of forgiveness for inherent and unavoidable depravity and shame as we learn of the cosmic importance of our local church and the evils of the individual…that sense of ME, that sense of SELF, that sense of metaphysical ONENESS which is the crux of life, oh how we are told to beat our chests and gnash or teeth and tear our clothes and bathe in ashes for the very shame of being born a single person.  Who will save us from this body of death?  Be it Christ?!  Aye…Christ who is now incarnate within the collective called the church, and never from without, which beckons you to forsake SELF and fuse yourself to the GROUP which is the very Ark which shall rise up to heaven!  Indeed, rational human beings (ostensibly) gather en mass each Sunday to learn that in fact they possess no ability whatsoever to do, think, choose, or teach anything GOOD.  They gobble it up with shaking and desperate hands as though it were manna from heaven, hoping that it will somehow bring life to that which was born dead and is destined to enter the final judgment dead; that the very NON-SELF of the the Christian who has been categorically integrated into church collective might somehow see salvation (which is a rational impossibility…for without YOU, there is no one to save)and the love and grace of God which can only be effective and received if humanity itself is categorically removed from the equation.  In this system, the conceptual abstractions of “group” and “body” and “biblical roles” are what is real, and YOU as YOURSELF are the lie which stumbles “the truth”.

Shall I stay? I find it ever so motherfucking fascinating!  So you bet I will stay.

For a while.

And I will stay and listen as the young Sunday school teacher, with a marvelous boyish charm, most kindly and gentle disposition, and positively sparkling smile says this:  “God, Church, Family, Work” with respect to an abstract value hierarchy which he is utterly convinced is rooted in rational Biblical ideas.  For I.  Cannot.  Help.  Myself.

I will stay and listen and blog.

It demands rebuttal.  And this is my forum.

More soon.

The Ointment for Our Reformed Hemorroids: Revisting the philosophical similarities between Calvinism and Atheism

Commenter Greg (welcome!) reminded me of something I think that bears revisiting.   In a comment posted recently, he mentioned the philosophical similarities between Calvinism (and Reformed theology in general) and atheism.  This is completely true, and it is something I have addressed in detail in the past.  But as we all understand, Reformed theology is like hemorrhoids.  It may subside a little, but eventually you must run back to the ointment.

So, let this little post be the anointment which pushes back, yet again, against the raging rash of Reformed orthodoxy which exists to eventually make its way  up everyone’s ass, and to stay there forever.  You are the puppet, they are the hand…in your pockets and in your bottom.

*

Here is what I wrote in response to Greg’s comment:

They [atheism and Calvinism] really do [share the same philosophical presumptions]. Both suffer from the root assumption that human consciousness is purely an illusion. The Calvinsts maintain (no matter how they try to equivocate out of it) that you are ALWAYS a direct function of some determining force.  This force is “total depravity” prior to what they call “salvation” (which is not really salvation…for if there is no YOU in the salvation equation, then YOU cannot be saved, by definition; and remember, you cannot choose salvation, it must be imputed to you in spite of you, and that is their whoooooole fucking theological point at the end of the day).,..so, yes, it is “total depravity” prior to “salvation” and God’s “sovereign grace” after it.

Notice how the volitional SELF of man is irrelevant…and they do not concede that man is volitional at all, by the way.  No matter what they say.  Your “choices” are a function of your metaphysical failure, which is absolute, and thus all choices are irrelevant because the root of each choice is your categorically evil metaphysic.  So whether you choose left or right or up or down or beach or mountains or the red pill or the blue pill, all roads lead straight to hell.  The ONLY salvation then comes in the form of God’s arbitrary election, which is in SPITE of any choice you might make.  You cannot choose Christ since all your choices, no matter what they are, ARE ABSOLUTE evil.  Even if you choose Christ, it is still an evil choice because YOU are the one making it.  Christ must choose you for you; which, again, means in spite of you.

According to Reformed foundational tenets, your existence is why you are evil.  This means that before you can be saved, YOU at your root must be made irrelevant.  You must be declared non-existent in order to be saved.  And this is easy once “total depravity” is conceded.  If man is wholly determined by his depraved nature, then man isn’t really man at all; that is, ALL of him, right down to the thoughts in his head, are purely a direct function of the all-determining force of depravity, which is the entire sum and substance of his existential BEING.  This makes choice irrelevant since the choice, whatever it is, is a direct function of absolute depravity.  Voila!  Man is saved by “faith alone”, and this faith is “not of himself” (a doctrine the Reformed Christian completely bungles and bastardizes).  It cannot be from himself because man has NO SELF, for the reasons I already mentioned aaaaaaaaaand because man is not, of course, and cannot actually be, self-aware.  Your “awareness” is a product of depravity, which is your absolute metaphysic.  Thus, your awareness is an illusion.

So, what does Reformed theology (and atheism) then ultimately deny?  If it denies SELF, it must logically deny that man can be self-aware, since there is no actual self to be aware of in the first place.  So again, what is the ultimate lie of man’s existence?

Consciousness, of course.  Like I mentioned briefly above.

This is a full on denial of consciousness at the core.  And if you aren’t conscious, then you don’t really exist, because you are not able to define SELF unless you are able to make an actual and efficacious distinction between what is YOU, your SELF, and what is NOT you (and this is where choice comes in…it is a function of an epistemology rooted in the actual material existence of individual human beings).  And this distinction can only occur in the case of the fully conscious agent.  If man is unconscious, then there is no actual distinction which can be made between what he is and what he is not.  And if he cannot make this distinction, then he cannot qualify himself as existing.  You cannot be aware of what you are unless you can also observe what you are NOT.  If you are “depravity” then you are an external determining force which is absolute and therefore infinite.  And what is absolute cannot be paired with something it is NOT by definition because the only logical definition of an infinite absolute is that it IS.  There is no IS NOT which can be juxtaposed to it.  It is all you, as far as eternity goes.

There can be no qualification of SELF then which is at all relevant; which can have any actual value.  The statement “is, is is, is is” is meaningless.  “Self is self is self” is a circular definition which cannot go anywhere.  You cannot qualify or quantify or value or “know” what just IS.  A denial of consciousness then is a complete denial of human value.  It takes man’s worth and imputes to it the functional sum of zero.

How this does not result in tyranny is an argument which is impossible to make.  Once individual man has been relegated to ZERO existential value he will be utilized and terrorized and vaporized in service to whatever primary consciousness the tyrant invents to “explain” man’s “purpose”.  And this primary consciousness always boils down to  someONE’s will to power.  Since the primary consciousness cannot by definition be apprehended by man, some “priest” must compel man by force to right behavior.  Thus, the only arbiter of “God’s power” is violence, mandated by God and wholly given to those who somehow rise above their absolute metaphysical condition in order to rule the unwashed masses in God’s stead.

This.  Is.  Calvinism.

If man is absolute depravity, then man cannot be qualified as existing.  Everything about you is a full on figment of the pointless, universal ether.

*

The atheists do the exact same thing. You came from a bunch of unconscious “particles” which form together according to invisible “laws of nature” which “govern”. These laws of nature include wholly unobservable and logically-contradictory forces of “space” and “time” which serve as the determining context for all the material objects in the universe, including man. Notice how material reality is rooted in unobservable forces which govern. This too denies consciousness as an illusion. You come from unconscious particles governed by unseen forces and then you eventually dissipate back into them. Life becomes a mirage; YOU don’t really exist. What you think of “you”, or “yourself”, is merely a conglomerate of all-determining forces OUTSIDE of you.  Only the mystic priests which have been given the powers of perception, the “grace to perceive–in this case, the physicists and mathematicians–are able to truly understand the nature of reality and how you “exist”.  Even though they wholly concede determining forces which destroy their ability to claim that “they” “know” anything at all, they will still address you and look you in the eye with that fucking smug tone and fucking smug look that only a numbers wizard can properly manage and declare that you aren’t really you at all.  And what’s more, they have the math to prove it.

The math?  The fucking math?! Absent the direct source of the material universe where in the hell can I observe math, exactly?  And if it IS a direct function of the material universe then what does that tell you about math’s existence?  It is totally conceptual!  It is not actual!  It is not causal!  Material objects cause themselves; mathematics is a direct function of man’s conscious observation of their relative movement, nothing more.

But if you as the “genius”:  where does math exist? He or she will essentially tell you that it is “out there” somewhere, in the unseen cosmic abyss, governing absolutely, from a place where the universal consciousness bestows it upon them because they were born special.

Does this ring a bell?  Sounds a LOT like the teaching at the corner Reformed sausage-maker.  And atheists and Christians think they are of diametrically opposed world views.  How cute they are.

*

Of course, in both of these philosophies human epistemology is a total farce.  And the claims to that there exists someONE to actually concede these beliefs about human existence and the nature of reality become outright laughable. For if YOU don’t really exist, as your consciousness is an illusion, then by definition you can’t KNOW anything.  Who the fuck knows anything if there is no such thing as WHO in the first place?

It is outright ridiculous when you think about it.

Argo’s Universal Truth Number Two is worth pondering:  What IS cannot be a direct function of what is NOT.

Which goes hand in hand with Argo’s Universal Truth Number One:  Whatever is a direct function of something IS that something; there can be no rational or efficacious distinction.

If man is a direct function of absolute determining forces then man is NOT man.  “Man is a direct function of governing forces, but is not actually those governing forces” is a contradiction in terms. Man can cannot be a function of what he is not.  If man is man, then he is not subject to “laws which govern”.  And if man is subject to laws which govern then man does not really exist.

Ex Nihilo Creates Iron Maidens “Out of Nothing”

The doctrine of ex nihilo–creation from nothing; God spoke, and the universe just “was”, from “nowhere” by “nothing”–is full on gnostic determinism.  There is no way to argue sensibly this idea; and I apologize if this offends some of my readers.  If you know anything about me by now, it is that I deny, from the utter depths of my soul, that the root of the existence of man and the universe is founded upon irreconcilable ideas.  Indeed, insanity is the only legitimate definition of a world view that posits existence from presumptions which make existence impossible.

I hold that if there is a Creator and a Creation, then the understanding of how this Creation was built must be based upon ideas that do not contradict everything man observes MUST be true for him to BE himself.  And if man’s existence depends upon an understanding of reality that is not epistemologically or metaphysically self-destructive, then so does God’s.  Meaning that if man cannot argue rationally for his own existence, he cannot pretend to argue that there is a GOD by which he was created.

The very attempt to reconcile a REAL God with an ILLUSORY man (man that has no reasonable foundation by which he can even accept the actual IS of his own SELF) is laughable.  And if it were not for the ongoing “orthodoxy” of gnostic-rooted Christianity, which even the best and brightest are unwilling to shrug off, hoping against hope that they can have their metaphysical cake and eat it too, because they can think of no other rational explanation for how all this shit got here (I call this “shrug” theology; as in, “fuck it…we’ve got nothing else, so this must be true”)…yes, if it were not for 2000 years of culturally de facto Platonism which is the very bedrock of Western civilization, it wouldn’t be so ever-loving hard and ever-loving frustrating (as the comments thread of my last article can attest to) to try to convince people of what should be, frankly, obvious to anyone who’s awake.  And what is the obvious thing?  It is, again, this axiom:  “Nothing” cannot, by definition, give rise to “something”, because if nothing begets something, then nothing is NOT nothing, by definition.  Instead of being a metaphysical placeholder to conceptualize the relative NOT of objects so that they can be quantified/qualified as separate from other objects man observes, nothing becomes an actual “thing” from which something else can spring.  This is total contradictory thinking!  Nothing cannot be an IS.  It can be given no boundaries, no value, no location.  Period…full stop.  The universe could not be “not” and then “is”, because IS cannot be a direct function of NOT.  These two concepts “being” and “not being” are entirely exclusive of one another.  They cannot be reconciled at all in the literal/material/actual sense!  Only in the conceptual sense…and conceptual reality is entirely a product of man’s mind; it does NOT materially exist to create something material which man can then observe as actual and label, “nothing”, as if nothing can be given a distinct, practical, material value.  The whole notion is patently ludicrous.  

In the comments thread of the last article, commenter David said this:

“Out of nothing simply means that there was nothing and then God created something.”

I quickly pointed out that there is no significant difference between that explanation and the idea that God created the universe out of nothing.  In fact, both ideas say precisely the same thing:  Out of NOWHERE, which is NOTHING, there was something.  This is impossible for all the reasons I have described…beating the dead horse even more now with the idea that NOWHERE is not a place; it is not a location, by definition.  Therefore, it is impossible for anything to come from there, because “there”, in this case NOWHERE, doesn’t actually exist.  It is a conceptual placeholder, nothing more.

Like wise, look at David’s explicit contradiction as he attempts to defend ex nihilo.  He says:  “there was nothing”.

“There was nothing” is a complete contradiction in terms.  “Was” and “nothing” are mutually exclusive.  What was, was once an IS.  And what was once an IS, could not, of course, be NOTHING.  The only time you can use the phrase “was nothing” is when you are speaking purely conceptually.  For example:  “There was nothing going on at the party, so I left”.  Obviously nothing doesn’t actually exist, so the “nothing” referred to is understood not to mean the thing of NOTHING was happening at the party (that would never cross anyone’s mind, but ex nihilo makes perfect fucking sense), but that the person found the party uninteresting and bailed.

What David means, I submit, is that there was God and then Creation joined him.  There was not nothing, again, because God is SOMETHING.  There was God, and then there was Creation.  But that is NOT ex nihilo.  But–and this is important–this is precisely what they call ex nihilo.  Why?  Because they haven’t yet discovered a rational explanation for creation’s manifestation (but take heart, Christians, because the scientists don’t have one either).  So they take this relationship, God = God + Creation, and–in order to avoid the obviously false idea that Creation is a direct function (extension) of God, making Creation God, Himself, and thus denying Creation–they twist this false theory of how the universe came to be and call it ex nihilo.  Or, Creation out of nothing.  But it isn’t.  Because God = God + Creation leaves no room for a value of ZERO, or NOTHING.  There is no NOTHING in that equation.  So ex nihilo is a patently irrational, and therefore a false, interpretation of the idea of God existing before Creation came to be.

And to call that scenario the “true” version of ex nihilo is a complete distortion of the creation event.  There was not “nothing” before Creation, there was God.  So, the question remains:  Where did Creation come from if there was only God before it?  The only answer they think is “ex nihilo”.  But that is not an answer, that is madness.  It is not reason, it is insanity.  It is not even mystery.  The real problem is that the fundamental premise, the idea that there was God, and then God (somehow) became God+Creation, with Creation being a completely physically and metaphysically distinct entity from God, is fatally flawed.  The idea is wrong.  The root biblical interpretation that is almost universally assumed is an impossible lie.  And just because you have not yet been able to formulate a rational explanation for how the universe began does not give you license to declare impossible and mutually exclusive ideas the “truth”, when, in fact, mutually exclusive ideas violate the “truth” at its very root.

The best anyone can come up with is an appeal to “God’s mystery”; and then claim that I’m trying to “explain” God.  First of all, so fucking what if I am?  Is that a mortal sin now?  Oh…here we go; one more thing the lightning bolts home in on.  “Figuring out God” is grounds for divine punishment.  KNOWLEDGE = SIN is the tyrannical equation.  Well, there are only two kinds of knowledge in existence, and mystery is not one of them…I hate to break it to you.  There is only rational truth and propaganda.  There is no neutral zone.

Would a father smack the hand of his child for trying to learn what dad’s job is and how he does it?  Why is not our first response towards someone who is interested in how his heavenly Father orchestrates life and the universe:  “I admire your motivation; I admire your ambition”.  Why should we not assume that God might be gratified at the interest taken in Him?  Even Paul Dohse scolded me for attempting to strip all the “mystery” from God.  But his accusation is flawed.  It is not mystery I am interested in unraveling, for any mystery as a mystic defines it is irrelevant.  (I’m not accusing Paul of being a mystic, btw…but he has tendencies).  If we can’t understand something because our very existential nature inexorably prohibits it, then it is pointless information.  It is not mystery, it is, as John Immel might say, metaphysical madness.

Second, let me say that appealing to God’s mystery has gotten us into nothing but bloody trouble ever since the very first threat of punishment was issued by the Roman civil authorities to anyone not bowing to the name of Christ.  And neo-Reformed/Calvinist hoards naively applaud and dance in the streets at government exercising the moral “absolute” with such razor sharp force; and they pray and wail and gnash teeth, wishing that the government would turn statist proclivities upon the flag burners and the homosexuals and the atheists and the female pastors, never once understanding that we have had governments many times over in the history of the world do this very thing!  And guess what?  There was no thousand year reign of peace and love and acceptance and Christian collectivism where all the roses bloomed in perpetuity and everyone had according to his “need” (who gets to say what is needed for someone else, is my knee-jerk question) and everyone extended a hand and a kiss of friendship and bid each other blessings from above and  harmony was threaded through the fiber of all living things and the lambs and the lions laid down together, and both boys and girls were made of sugar and spice and everything nice.

No.  There was none of that.

What was there?

There was bloodshed.  Bloodshed and piles of limbs and torture and oppression and caste systems and the divine rights of kings…kings who used their power to single-handedly lead legions of slavish  young men into bloody death to extend the reign of their power and influence…all in accordance with God’s will, of course.

I have a question.

Have you ever actually seen a real iron maiden?  Have you ever laid eyes upon this appalling instrument of human torment?  It is truly a terrifying sight.  Even the strongest of men will likely recoil as he lays a finger upon one of the dozens of spikes which line the inside of the sepulcher; spikes which are filed to dagger-like points.  The iron maiden is, of course, made of very thick iron, and it is shaped and molded into the image of a large, grotesque woman…hence the “maiden”.  It is about coffin sized, and is placed upright, and the front of it opens on hinges.  There is no opening in the device save for a small hole about eye level, where the poor slob can look out and be tormented by the mocking open spaces where he used to roam.  Both the front and back of the metal box are lined, as I said, with dozens and dozens of sharp spikes, and the idea is that the victim is locked inside the maiden, standing up, with barely a centimeter separating his body from the spikes.

I hope he or she isn’t too claustrophobic.  Because they are going to be in there for a while.

Now, this is where the fun really gets going.  The marvelously malevolent and cruel idea is that as the victim tires his body will wax and wane inside the metal coffin.  As he moves, and his body becomes slack with weariness, he will begin to impale himself more and more upon the spikes which are all too willing to bear the weight of his soft flesh for him.  Over time, the puncture wounds get deeper and deeper, and ever more painful, until eventually he either bleeds to death or pierces a vital organ.

Obviously, the amount of suffering, both physical and psychological, cannot be overstated.

And now,all of you who long for a return to a time when “good” Christian men held the monopoly on civil authority, tasked with the divine mandate to rule society for the production of a “godly” citizenry…yes, all of you who long for such a time, and praise the stalwart and uncompromising ways in which the theocracies of the past and present dictate morality with the righteous fist of God’s perfect will…all of you must look at that iron maiden–that symbol of man’s irrational worship of human death in the name of “godly” life–and ask yourselves how many times that fucking thing was used on “heretics”.

Oh…woe to us should the “elect of God” rule the land!  We should all flee for our lives in such an instance!

But, Argo, you will ask…of what relevance is the iron maiden and the state-sanctioning of  torture to the doctrine of ex-nihilo?

The answer is quite simple:

It is a short distance between a philosophy founded upon premises which are irreconcilable and therefore deny the actuality of humanity, and the gas chamber.  It is but a short hop between a philosophically and ideologically broken moral standard and the mass destruction of humanity in service to that standard.

Confronting Ex Nihilo: Another product of perennially flawed Reformed theology

As we deconstruct and toss into the fire of farce the notions of “omnipotence” and “omniscience”, we need to look beyond these two ideals and towards the greater orthodox presupposition which we are ultimately challenging.

What is that, exactly?

What non-negotiable pillar of Christian faith are we denying, along with omnipotence and omniscience, in service to reason?  What ubiquitous belief, which, like MOST doctrinal absolutes of Reformation protestantism (the vast majority of differences being trite and superfluous alterations of universally accepted root premises), transcends the denominations, and is so adored and so commonly conceded that the masses of Christian laity and leadership will outright deny the possibility of anyone’s salvation should they reject it?

The title of this article is an obvious give away.  Why, it is the doctrine of “ex nihilo” of course.  The notion that God created the world, the universe, the restaurant at the end of it, and everything “out of nothing”.  That God spoke, and the universe leapt  into existence, not from any pre-existing material, but from nothing at all.

Now, this notion is (or should be) so obviously a rational impossibility and bonafide farce that…well, it is scarce wonder that the pillar of Greek gnosticism, the Church, as it has manifested itself since Augustine, would adopt it as an indisputable “truth”.  For as we have come to understand, this is precisely how they are.  Give them any morsel of propaganda to keep the masses off their rational feet and indebted physically and spiritually to the ecclesiastical authority…and they will snatch it up with the slobbering ferocity of a hungry wolf; and they will find a way to translate it into heady-sounding language (Latin) and chain it there in perpetuity, shackle the king’s scribes to a bench and have them slap it in into a creed, seal it with the Pope’s signet ring, and declare it a very manifestation of God, Himself on Earth…the veritable Handwriting on the wall,  to be worshiped and adored; a doctrinal bed of nails upon which all of us mortals shall be perpetually tossed.

But, put less loquaciously, “ex nihilo”, creation out of nothing, is an impossible scenario as “nothing” by definition cannot give rise to something, not even by the hand of the Almighty, because nothing is a metaphysical placeholder (much like zero is a mathematical one).  It is representative of all things that are conceded as the NOT juxtaposed to the IS of the universe and all which resides within it.  It is the metaphysical “essence” of what does NOT exist, in order that that which does can be given a conceptual (via language) frame of reference.  “Nothing”, by definition, has no actual material representative in the universe…it has no “object” or “body” or “thing” by which it can be valued as a function of its movement relative to the rest of material Creation (that is, Creation, itself…for there is no such thing as a NON-material creation; for what is non-material does NOT exist, because what is NON-material cannot be observed, and thus there is no relative location to its BEING).  And therefore “nothing” can only be measured as an infinite absolute, with no tangible boundaries by which it can be known as actual.  And if its conceptual value is infinite, and if it cannot by its very definition be accorded an object by which it can be relatively valued, then its practical value as applied to the material universe (the “real world”), is ZERO.

All of this is simply to say that nothing is nothing.  Period.  Full stop.  It does not exist…because if it did, nothing would be something.  And this would, of course, completely contradict the entire meaning of nothing.  If nothing is nothing, and nothing is absolutely nothing, which it must be, then it can only manifest NOTHING.  For anything which is a direct extension of an absolute is the absolute.  And so whatever is “created” from nothing IS also irrevocably and inexorably NOTHING, in accordance with the absolute from which it sprung.  So if you and I and the rest of the universe are created from nothing, then we are by definition nothing as well.  And if that is true then I am not writing this article and  you are not reading it; and none of us have anything to discuss because all of our ideas and desires and beliefs are entirely false; illusory…and as such, irrelevant to anything having to do with existence (which is everything) because existence itself, being nothing, has no value and no meaning.

More soon.

Replacing Omnipotence/Omniscience with the Individual Human SELF

All awareness and knowledge, revelation and enlightenment, demands a distinct and fully autonomous human SELF from which to extend; that is, the ability to KNOW is a direct function of the singularity of the HUMAN SELF.  That ability cannot be the direct function of what is not man…because if man’s ability to ascertain TRUTH is not of himself, then man’s understanding of everything is always OUTSIDE of him.  Which means that man has no frame of reference for himSELF.  And without that distinct and fully autonomous reference point, it is impossible for man to define anything else, including and especially God.  And it is this ability–the ability to BE an autonomous SELF–which is the very seed of man’s knowledge.  So that when understanding is reached, man can claim the knowledge as a direct function of his own ability to possess it; which makes HIM the source of that knowledge.  For without man and his innate ability to understand, which is of himself alone, then their can be no knowledge claimed.  For without a proper repository for knowledge–an agent which can manifest that knowledge into action which ultimately serves a singular and infinite standard of TRUTH (that standard which all ideas are measured against to determine their veracity; which I submit is man’s LIFE)–then knowledge is irrelevant.  And knowledge which is irrelevant isn’t knowledge, by definition.  For ANY notion, idea, construct, or concept without an agent capable of defining it thus, in accordance with a standard of TRUTH, is utterly meaningless.  Without man, knowledge has no purpose.  And what is knowledge without purpose…what is knowledge without an objective (man’s life) which it can serve in order to prove itself true and effective?  It is nothing at all.

The point is that man–his LIFE; his SELF–is the beginning of knowledge and understanding, and, as it is the very singular purpose of knowledge and understanding, it is not merely a stepping stone along the philosophical trail, it is the entirety of the trail itself.  Nothing is true and nothing is real absent the SELF, the LIFE, of humanity.

And that just doesn’t sit well with most Christians.  Because Christians are arguably the greatest proponents of Platonist “primacy of consciousness” philosophy the world has ever seen, and that is exactly why Christian interpretive assumptions beginning with Augustinian thought and metastasizing into various creeds of orthodox Protestant and Catholic theology have been the catalyst for almost every single war, revolution, uprising, human purging, brutal oppression, terrorist act, and mass slaughter of innocents in the entire Western world.  Perhaps only a handful of conflicts have ever been spawned for “righteous” (i.e. reasonable) reasons .  If you ever want to see just what the death of reason looks like, and the concession that ALL truth and ALL understanding lie inexorably (and impossibly) outside of human existence, go to Church.  Any church.  They all concede the same Augustinian root assumption:  you are not yourself.  YOU are but an extension of a determining force.  They call this force God; but that name is derived only by tradition.  It has actually nothing to do with God, as He is actually presented in Jewish canon.

*

A SELF, in order to be a SELF–that is, understood as a distinct agent from whatever it is NOT (its environment)–must obviously be self-aware.  That this is axiomatic should not require any explanation.  If you are not aware of YOU as YOU, then you cannot be in a position to declare that YOU exist at all.

You must be YOU in order to truly be a SELF which can relate to God (i.e. exchange value), and to know Him.  And if YOU are YOU, then God is by definition NOT you, and thus God cannot rationally be declared omnipotent or omniscient.  Why?  Again, because God cannot be YOU.  And further, God cannot be anything He is NOT.  If there is a God and there is a Creation then one thing is an absolute certainty:  there is an infinite and absolute distinction between the two.  Creation is NOT God and God is not Creation.  Period.  Full stop.  And neither possesses the ability to be the other because to BE what one is NOT completely contradicts the agent in question.  If God can BE Creation, then in that circumstance He cannot be declared God; because an absolute cannot be parsed into two mutually exclusive agencies….it cannot be what it is and what it is NOT at the same time.  This is an obvious contradiction that not even God can suffer.  And if God cannot be you then God cannot be omnipotent.  He cannot be all powerful because all is no longer “all”, it is only part.  His power is reserved for Himself, which means that it is constrained by His own particular frame of reference.

And if His particular frame of reference is limited to Himself, then He cannot be omniscient because what He knows is always going to be an inexorable function of His own particular frame of reference: Himself.  He cannot know what is NOT Him knows because knowledge is always a direct function of the absolute of the individual agent which possesses the “knowing”.

You can never know absolutely what I know, and vice versa, because knowledge is exclusive to our own infinite frame of reference, which is our unique SELF.  So HOW one knows what he or she knows comes directly from BEING themselves.  Not from being anyone else, which is of course impossible.  No two self-aware agents possess the same knowledge because the infinity of the SELF’s frame of reference cannot, by definition, be breached by anything or anyone outside of it.  YOU are YOU infinitely, and so YOU cannot ever be in a position to see things as I see them.  And the converse is also true.  Thus, your knowledge is limited according to the infinite SELF of your own existence.

The same holds true for God.  While God can affirm the same IDEAS as man does, and can reveal to man wisdom and truth (properly defined, that is, not defined as the Platonists do), this does not translate into “omniscience”.  This does not translate into God’s ability to become what He is not and to act from it (do anything) and to realize from it (know anything).

So once again the same axiom dismantles yet more tools of the mystic tyrant.  Omnipotence and omniscience are rendered false by the very existence of the autonomous, individual human SELF.  The fact that YOU are YOU means that God is NOT.  Which means that you, as yourself, individually, are able to act and do and be and think and know and learn and produce and earn and deserve and will and act in service to morality and to TRUTH; and you can know that the fruit of your existence and consciousness is real and valuable and worthwhile and represents everyday something new and fresh and beautiful; that is, it represents the manifestation of your life and your pursuit of it thus, to your comfort and pleasure, which is the very purpose of BEING, and why life is such a blessing from God.

And the existence of SELF is a very, very good thing.  It means that real relationship can occur with the Creator.  Real value exchange can be manifest.  Real salvation can present itself.  Real Divine help can be offered to those who suffer.  Real joy can be felt by those who do not.  And it can be stated unequivocally that suffering is NOT the purpose of life; for this is the fruit of a life lived for DEATH’S sake.  And this is wholly contradictory to God’s purpose for his Creation.  Being should be joyful…it should be a blessing; and you have the sole right to determine how “joyful” and “blessing” are manifest in your own life.  And God is here to help you to that end, and to help others as well.

 

Tools of the Spiritual Tyrant : “Omnipotence” and “Omniscience”

Sorry for the interruption in the regularly scheduled programming of this station.  Please believe me that indolence is not to blame.  But rather, due to the endless downpour of winter fury we are experiencing here, the proprietor of this blog has been constrained by other binding duties commensurate to his role as Suburban Keeper of the Yard and Cars.  Apparently, “Shoveling Your Ass Off” was at the bottom of the list of job requirements, and as such, was missed during the marital interview processes.  If it had been noticed, the marriage would have continued, but I would be writing this post to you from the comfort of a one-bedroom inner city apartment with fuck-all for a yard, sidewalk, or driveway.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled series on Omnipotence and Omnipresence, where we will further examine these two irrational prongs of the Reformed pitchfork.

On a side note:  Please stay tuned for part four of this series, coming soon, where we will consider the logical fallacy and impossible “truth” of the heady idea of “ex nihilo”.

Oooooh and aaaaaaaah, you are supposed to gasp.  The neo-Reformed gestapo loves to appeal to Latin in an effort to impress.  But fear not, for ex nihilo, though frilly in name, is the exact same level of bullshit we have come to know and love from the Reformed slave traders.  They have effectively declared that “nothing” is “something”.  So, obviously this is just another manner–Latin, yay!–in which they punt ALL of their interpretive premises into the great cosmic abyss of God’s “mystery”.

Sigh.

It’s all a mystery, I tell you.  Hang your brain up on the coat rack when you walk into your shiny new neo-Calvinist local church.  You know, its the big one down town, with all the concrete and glass, full of sharp and inviting angles, ostentatious and garish in all of its hyper-spiritual “humility”, advertising that you visitors “come as you are”, and that you don’t have to tithe on your first Sunday because that is a “privilege” of the church members.

I used to love that word.  Privilege.  Man, these erudite propagandists have a way with words, don’t they?  It is such a huge privilege to give your money to people who preach a doctrine which demands that they cannot and shall not POSSIBLY, at any time, really appreciate the amount of time and effort and pain it takes to procure a paycheck, because the doctrine?  A doctrine that teaches people that their  hard-earned money is all of God’s grace.  Which is merely code for:  you didn’t really earn it and don’t deserve it.

Yeah, tell that to the guy who works the roads for fifty hours a week and has a permanent stoop from lifting seven tons of dirt a day with a shovel; tell that to the sixty year old lady who works the register and is on her feet eight hours a day and has calluses on her hands and feet and scarcely minimum wage to show for it.  Tell that to the father of three who runs a business and has to deal with everyone from union reps to workers comp lawyers for 100 hours a week, all while sustaining himself on coffee, Prilosec, blood pressure medication, and Zoloft.  Oh my…thanks Pastor! You’ve really got your finger on the pulse of humanity’s worth, don’t you?!  Man, if working yourself to death to afford a tithe the amount of roughly what a house payment costs is how Christians define God’s “grace”, then I think we need a new translation of the Bible, like, yesterday.

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Besides the critical service they provide to the proprietors of spiritual tyranny (and coming soon to an elected office near you, CIVIL tyranny, which is sure to follow if any of these notoriously “godly” men win office), the notions of omnipotence and omniscience are, as mentioned, purely euphemisms for God-qua-determinism, which is nothing more than a gnostic presumption stemming entirely from NON-Jewish (and thus, non-Christian…remember, Christ was 100% Jewish, and the roots of his philosophy are entirely OT, not Greek Platonist) metaphysical and epistemological foundations.

Omniscience and omnipotence are utterly and absolutely determinist proxies; meaning that proffering them automatically implies a totally irrelevant human epistemology which is rooted in the quantification and qualification of entirely vacuous human metaphysics.  What this means is, for all the reasons I have heretofore expressed, that if we declare God is indeed omnipotent and omniscient, then we automatically declare our inability to exist as distinct-from-God and therefore self-aware agents (because if there is no SELF, and there isn’t in neo-Calvinist theology (by the way, I have a post on a comment from self-described “black coffee” Calvinist, Doug Wilson, who says that Christians are not “autonomous”)…so yes, there isn’t any SELF in neo-Calvinist theology and so humanity cannot be self-aware, by definition).  And if you follow the logical rabbit trail down to the edge of all reason, which terminates at the edge of reality, these notions of omnipotence and omnipresence must concede the idea that man then cannot possibly define God, because man is nothing more than an extension of God’s all-determining power.  In other words, if man is not a distinct agent, then he is not able to make a distinction between himself and God, which means man is merely a functional extension of God.  Man then cannot know himself, by definition, because there is NO autonomous SELF to man.  And if man cannot define himself, because there is no SELF, then how can man know God?

The answer is: he cannot.

So the massive irony of the determinist notions of omnipotence and omniscience is that if we concede them then we concede that man cannot possibly be in a position–that is, he cannot EXIST–to declare God omnipotent and omniscient in the first place. 

It is not hard to understand that if you cannot define your SELF as existing then there is literally no YOU to be aware of anything NOT you, which obviously must include God.  There is no such thing as NOT you because YOU are, in Reformed theology, always an extension of an absolute determining force.  The force being what?  The force is God, Himself, as the notions of omniscience and omnipotence completely attest to.   And then from this, if you care to weave your way delicately through the funhouse of Reformed interpretive premises (if not, I am happy to do it for you), you will notice that God’s “absolute” and all-“sovereign” nature–which is nothing more than all-determining–is somehow parsed into separate and mutually exclusive forces of depravity and grace.  The “unsaved” person is a direct function of God as absolute all-determining depravity (read “evil”), and the “saved” is a direct function of God as absolute, all-determining “grace” (read, “good”).  So God is somehow both the determining absolutes of depravity and grace, salvation and damnation.  God is a singular absolute of good and evil; even though this is entirely impossible as these two ideas are both completely autonomous and entirely exclusive of one another.  In short, God is a duality of two mutually exclusive conceptual abstractions.  Things which are not actual, IDEAS, which are what man uses to organize his environment (i.e. good, evil, truth, falsehood), become integrated incarnate into the metaphysical AND physical singularity of GOD.

And this is the utter root of Reformed theology.

It is impractical, impossible, irrational, and worst of all, it is evil.  It denies the very material reality of God, and separates Him from His Creation, and in doing so declares neither God nor Creation as actual.  God is not longer the Creator, and man is no longer His created.

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Remember the golden child of all of Argo’s Universal Truths?  It is this:  Whatever is a direct function of an absolute IS the absolute.  So if you are a direct function of God, because God IS determinism, then you are God.  And really…ultimately if determinism (e.g. “Sovereign Grace”) is true, then God and man are BOTH extensions of Determinism itself.  There can be no distinction of ANY kind apart from purely abstract conceptual notions.

And this is why the ideas of Omnipotence and Omniscience, which explicitly declare that God is able to be what He is NOT–meaning, God is able to be His Creation, for this is the VERY definition of these terms according the Reformed theological point of view–always lead to human destruction.  For if man does not possess a self-aware BEING, an individual and autonomous SELF, then man is nothing more than an animal which must be forceably compelled to the objective of God’s Will…for man’s will is a moot point (and it IS in Reformed theology; what YOU want is irrelevant, for there is NO exchange of value between you and God because you are not YOU).  Thus, it falls to the agents of the Primary Consciousness–the Pastors, Priests, Philosopher Kings, Shamans and Witch Doctors, Officiators and Divine Proxies–to lead humanity as God in the Stead.  And this makes violence and fear the only logical tools to which these despots appeal in service to their divine mandate to “lead” God’s “people”.  Indeed, this vile polity must demand violence and human oppression/subjugation as the the sole arbiter of God’s will.  If man doesn’t really exist as a rational animal, which is merely to say that man does not exist at all as SELF, then ALL of man’s circumstances and his position, no matter how brutal or destructive or bloody, are ultimately in service to God’s perfect Will.  Man, regardless of what he endures, is always acting in service to God’s will; for man is determined to, and all that happens to him is determined…according to the Divine Will, from which man directly extends.  So no matter how many men, women and children are slaughtered, imprisoned, raped, or psychologically terrorized/victimized, it is all “good”, ultimately.  Because things only happen one way:  the way the Determinist (Calvinist/Reformed) God wants them to.

Okay…I have to break. I will continue this post in a bit.

Stay tuned!