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

  1. “The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self–all your wishes and precautions–to Christ. From Counting the Cost, C. S. Lewis

    Gringo, you are making me think. Am I dying to self, nicely?

  2. Jason, as to your last comment: EXACTLY

    The death was in fact literal, and it happened on that day. On the day they conceded that morality and truth (good and evil) is a standard OUTSIDE their own existence, they died. Once they denied that they had any relevancy to the IS of existence, they became practically and relevantly VOID.

    That’s is: death. Death is the NOT of human existence; human life.

  3. Okay. I read that post you linked to. CS Lewis makes the same mistake most Christians make with respect to the question “What does it mean to be perfect?” He assumes perfection is a function of doing rather than a function of BELIEF. And it is this assumption which always trips up Christians and makes faith a dead end of reason and a hamster wheel of logic.

    You can’t DO perfect, you can only SEE it. Perfection must be the root assumption of the IS of individual human life. Only the assumption of the infinite moral worth of man ALREADY can lead to behaviors which are truly moral. Man must function on the assumption that what he is at its root is perfect, and THAT is why we behave with love. Not because humans are pursuing a standard, but because they ARE the standard.

  4. The list is more like this from my seat:

    church = God
    Family
    Work

    They don’t teach it but it’s often the actual fruit. Bad fruit at that.

  5. “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. ”

    Oh Argo!! Everyone knows it was about “correct doctrine” which is the most important thing in the world when it is how you grab power. (rolls eyes) And you know that “correct doctrine” is more important than anything. That is why it was ok for them to punish heretics by drowning, banishment, burning or imprisonment. They were really loving cuddly saints

    Bridget, you have nailed it. God=church. We are seeing this played out in these modern times (where you cannot have mandatory church attendance because it is illegal) with such things as Keys to the kingdom, church discipline, pastor as your authority who cares for your soul (because you don’t have the Holy Spirit), etc.

    Lots of subtle ways they reinforce this model of church as God for you. it has become so ingrained that many cannot see it any other way. They have no grasp of the concept that true followers are ALL priests now.

  6. Argo, the “perfection” question is one that has plagued me for years. The reason why is it is the excuse people always use for bad treatment of others. I am sure others have heard it after you see some very bad treatement of people at church for example: Oh there is no perfect church! As if that is your standard and you are in sin for thinking there can be perfection. Which was not your standard at all.

    But that is the false dichotomy in most of Christendom. perfection or sinful. With that measure we are all sinful all the time.

    I am questioning whether there was perfection before the Fall. I don’t think so because evil in some form existed before the fall. And with that evil humans made a choice.

    I often wonder how some folks interpret Holiness when it comes to perfection. Or pure of heart when it comes to some standard of “perfection”.

    See, I don’t think it has been the standard at all. I think that is the typical duelistic either/or way to deal with it.

    CAn you expound upon perfection as belief? That interests me and I am not seeing the full picture.

  7. Lydia,

    Yes, I am going to expound upon my comment in a post of its own. That link from Jason intrigued me much more than I expected. I think CS Lewis’s approach to the “perfection” issue is all wrong, but I need more room to explain why.

    Let me just say this for now: humans are conceptual beings. We organize reality in terms of abstract concepts by which we compartmentalize and systematize our universe/environment. And because these abstractions are so efficient and so effective in allowing us to structure our world both literally and figuratively it becomes easy for us to assume that they, the concepts themselves, have some kind of CAUSAL power; some tangible “essence” of their own. The concept of time is a perfect example (as is gravity, distance, space). We think time is REAL. We think that we function in “accordance” with time, as though time itself has some kind of external force of its own, even though it is axiomatic to say that time is not knowable UNLESS you have a material object FIRST by which you can observe its “effects”. So this means that material objects must PRECEDE time. Which makes time what? A direct function of the existence of what materially, actually IS. But who must observe objects on order to “see” time? Man. So this means that MAN must exist first before time can be acknowledge. Which means time is a direct function of MAN’S existence, via his observation and conceptualizations of his environment. It is an abstract idea man uses. A product of his mind.

    So too with “perfection”. Perfection is an ideal. It is not actual. Thus, it is folly to pursue it a though it were a “thing” to be apprehended. The truth is that perfection is a function of mans mind, which is a function of man’s EXISTENCE. “Perfection” then, being from man, is inherent to him already. His BEING is that from which everything he knows and observes extends. That makes MAN the source of “perfection”. It is not an objective, it is HIMSELF.

    Thus, then only way to do any good is to behave in accordance with this assumption; this BELIEF. Belief in Christ is the belief in MAN as the root of all perfection; that man does not need a LAW to follow other than the law of love. Because love is rooted in the understanding that truth and morality are rooted in LIFE. And when you honor life, you honor its Creator by extension.

  8. The “fall” was nothing more than man giving false “life” (I.e. Causal power/material existence) to the abstract ideas of “good” and “evil”. Once man conceded that HE, his life/existence, was no longer the root/source of GOOD and TRUTH, he died. Because he ceased to see himself as good, and made good the sole and absolute purview of an EXTERNAL and ABSTRACT standard. Once this happens, man automatically becomes an offense to what is absolutely true outside of him. Because it cannot be absolute if man is around limiting its infinite “truth” by virtue of his own existence. Once the standard of good and truth ceases to stem from man’s life, man’s death is demanded.

  9. Part of me remains flummoxed. God becomes HUMAN in Christ and yet we still assume that perfection is OUTSIDE ourselves. The law should have led us inexorably to this conclusion, as it was the perfect refutation of Plato’s Gnosticism, but it didn’t. Hence the need for Christ to slap some sense into us with flesh and blood hands…and we STILL don’t get the message.

  10. tic toc tic toc,lol. i often (semi-jokingly) comment in mixed company(chat rooms) that armageddon is predestined,lol. i believe so anyway.biometric identification in churches?hmmm i saw a list in one of the comments of a earlier post,of names certain people have called someone.i was called a pagan the other day,lol,for daring to question or deny the doctrine of original sin,lol. i wondered if they would have like to burn me at the stake just then, lol. it seems to me this God systemacilly hates you theology just contradicts itself in every way.on the one hand its surprising that people dont see it,but on the other,i see it can be subtle too.anyway good stuff dude thnx 🙂

  11. Gricketson01,

    Contradiction is the name of the reformed game. And if we were having this conversation 300 years ago we’d both be worried about this weekend’s campfire and s’mores social down at the “local church”.

  12. you know?the head of every man is Christ.hmm 1 cor 11:13 you got me to thinking,i love to do word searches/studies i will look up every word lol you know is used together in 1 exact phrase 🙂

  13. gricket, people often accuse me of being over dramatic but when you have read pastor blogs for 8 years starting with Warren’s pastors,com (a certain forum was made private after a while) where they talked about methods of getting rid of long time pew sitters who disagreed with them on “transitioning the church” to Reformed pastor blogs where they bandy about cries of heresy, sin and gossip for disagreeing with the threat of church discipline or excommunication ALL the time…..

    why would thinking they would burn someone at the stake IF THEY COULD be so far out of left field? The fact is, it is no longer legal or socially accepted. But if one reads history, one can see the basic thinking that led to it is still there!

    People forget that in the scheme of things, the German rise to power and subsequent Holocaust is RECENT history from an EDUCATED country. As are the pograms of the Soviet Union. Putin is not exactly a fighter for liberty of all people type either.

    We laugh about this stuff but I think we would must be vigilant and encourage the pew sitters and followers of gurus to dare question. Do it while you can.

    All it takes is an ignorant people who look to leaders to take care of them and to tell them what to think and do. We are already seeing that in our government, too.

  14. “Part of me remains flummoxed. God becomes HUMAN in Christ and yet we still assume that perfection is OUTSIDE ourselves. The law should have led us inexorably to this conclusion, as it was the perfect refutation of Plato’s Gnosticism, but it didn’t. Hence the need for Christ to slap some sense into us with flesh and blood hands…and we STILL don’t get the message.”

    Very good points. I maintain the standard for what most think is “perfection” is the problem. It is unobtainable in their minds. But also think was never meant to be obtained here on earth. That is why they can brag about being sinners. They think that makes them look humble.

    I see the law much as you do and think people totally misuse it as either being totally relevant for today or not relevant in any way at all. What really perplexes me are those who say NO ONE COULD EVER KEEP THE LAW. As if this monster god thought it up and made it the law so they would fail over and over. That they had NO CHOICE but to not be able to keep the law. So God brings the law knowing they were too totally depraved to be able to keep it. Yikes, is this a God people can trust? I think not.

    They miss the point. There WERE consequences for choices people make but not always eternal consequences. Just as there are natural consequences today for our behaviors. For example, Moses got angry and was not allowed in the Promised land. Does this mean he was not saved? Did it mean he bragged about being a sinner and that proved he was a humble person?

    Then flash forward to Jesus. Oh yes, he could keep the law (but what that looked like is not much like how we read the OT law at all) but since he was God in the Flesh that would make it possible, so many think. They miss the point of Christ. As in many circles they take away His humanity. They downplay His human-ness. Which is one of the important parts, too!

    NT Wright speaks of a reason this down playing of His human-ness happens. It is mainly because of historical creeds. He calls it the Syllabus Jesus. The main points of Birth, Death, Resurrection are taught as the formula for salvation and very little about the span of His actual life. The doing/being part. The most important part……the resurrection proved He was God (not just another “Savior” of Israel to overthrow the Romans) so that the doing/being part would take full center. it did not happen that way. And it was man’s choice to ignore that part.

    This would make in interesting topic of discussion somewhere. And I say that as one who sees the Law of Moses misused all the time.

  15. “I maintain the standard for what most think is “perfection” is the problem. It is unobtainable in their minds. But also think was never meant to be obtained here on earth.”

    But here is the root of the assumption: if the standard is indeed unattainable, regardless of he reason, then the standard is IRRELEVANT. It would have no bearing at all on how and why we are saved. Further, it could never be labeled as “true” because what is irrelevant cannot be observed to be true, by definition. What is irrelevant has no measureable efficacy, again by definition, thus it cannot possibly be seen as a standard of truth against which we are judged. The whole notion of an unobtainable standard of perfection is total nonsense.

    The point of Christ is so vastly misunderstood that it is extremely difficult to even know where to start.

    Again, someone needs to address the rational impossibilities in the orthodox assumption, and only here will tyranny be dismantled: if Christ died because man is unable to earn salvation (because the standard is perfection) through his existence combined with choice, then perfection is irrelevant and man cannot be culpable for sin (because how can man be at fault for what he cannot help according to his root existential nature?). But if sin is a function of man’s CHOOSING disobedience (meaning he CAN keep the standard but elects not to) then what can be moral about killing an innocent man in order to save them who are guilty because they WANT to be guilty? Salvation is not through a savior in this instance, clearly it is through OBEDIENCE. So what then is the point of Christ?

    To answer this we create a false and completely separate dichotomy between “justification” and “sanctification” and attempt to reconcile these two mutually exclusive soteriological ideas. This is where Paul Dohse and I fundamentally disagree. At his root he is still a traditional baptist who concedes the metaphysical inability of man to be justified by autonomous CHOICE. So he infuses choice into his just/sanct dichotomy. But this requires that man undergo a root metaphysical change of nature at conversion. This is of course impossible since man’s metaphysical essence is absolute. It is indivisible; infinite.

    So the problem isn’t “fusing” justification and sanctification, it is assuming there is a difference which has METAPHYSICAL implications for humanity.

    The point is that sanctification and justification ARE fused within the singularity of human life. ALL actions are due to choice, and all choice is rooted in man’s inherent ability to THINK, which is rooted in his ability to know and define SELF. Thus, justification and sanctification are both inexorably and infinitely rooted in man’s ability to BELIEVE.

    And BELIEF is, you will notice, Jesus’s whole message.

  16. “To answer this we create a false and completely separate dichotomy between “justification” and “sanctification” and attempt to reconcile these two mutually exclusive soteriological ideas. ”

    You are probably right. I have started to see how so called “orthodox” Christanese language/concepts really keeps us from seeing a bigger or more complete picture and keeps us mired down in details that lead us astray. I realize these concepts are an attempt to explain things but they can also be limiting.

    To give a few examples:

    A 12 year old girl new to church asks me one day when I was taking her home who she should pray to? God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. She was serious and confused. And why shouldn’t she be? The Trinity teaching can be confusing. I once had the same question she did.

    Another 13 year old girl with no background at all with Christianity asks me during a bible study if Jesus committed suicide. I thought it was an excellent question. Others did not.

    A college guy who sits through a sermon on a campus by a YRR leader preaching on God’s Sovereignty—if God is a narcissist. Again, a great question given the topic and how it is presented by the YRR guys.

    What would we call it if we do not call it “Justification” and “sanctification”?

    Is Justification the “opportunity” for all? Sanctification is what we DO when we choose to believe?

    Sometimes I think the language hinders thinking about the real important things.

  17. BTW: I believe what Jesus meant by Holiness, be perfect like your heavenly father is perfect IS ATTAINABLE. It is a belief/behavior choice. And it does not elevate us to God status as so many accuse us of when we dare make the case.

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