Obeying the Bible or the Law is a Meaningless Objective…Being a Human Being Automatically Accomplishes It

“‘”The Bible gets to be true, and specially so, because it utterly affirms the ultimate standard of TRUTH, recognizing it absolutely, beyond any other work ever written. And that standard, again, is man’s LIFE. YOU are the reason for the Bible, which means that it serves YOU, YOU do not serve it.” From Argo’s last post.

Argo, how/when did you realize this? If you wrote about it already, sorry, I forgot or missed it. It is a huge shift, break-away. What’s first required is not a knowledge of Greek or Hebrew but a knowledge of what love is.'”

A Mom,

It takes nothing but pure reason, to be honest. Without man, of what relevance is the Bible? None. Without man’s life, of what efficacious meaning is the Bible? None. Without man, can the Bible even exist at all as a philosophical statement given TO man? No.

By the way, in my debate with Paul and Alex over on http://www.paulspassingthoughts, in the comments thread of the article in linked to in my post two back, neither one of them answered these questions.  I offered the contradictory thinking in their argument to them for review, expecting an answer, for I consider them noble men:

If man’s life is the necessary prerequisite for the Bible having any relevant meaning (or existing at all), how can it be the standard of truth for man?  Would it not seem that man is the standard of its truth, since it is only true within the context of man?

Again, they never directly addressed the blazing contradiction.  Thus the subsequent frustrated tone of my last few posts here on this blog. It takes dialog to change minds, but some people would rather jump out of a perfectly good airplane than see it to its destination.  And how can there be any confronting of tyranny when we will not allow reason to guide us safely to the landing strip?  It makes everything a colossal waste of time.

The reason they did not answer seems obvious, and the fact that it seems so obvious is mostly why it is so depressing and disappointing:  The questions and answers completely dismantle their assertion that the Bible is the standard of truth.  But they would not answer, I suspect, because to answer would equal a concession.  Thus, it seems to me as though everyone wants to run away in the face of a rational argument that they cannot answer because they think it is more noble to not lose a debate than to concede a rational philosophy that won’t ultimately dissolve into tyranny.

And why shouldn’t this demoralize all of us?  Holding to ideas that WILL destroy human life is preferred to losing a short war of words? I…just don’t understand this.

And if I sound bitter, I am.  Why debate at all if you are unwilling to capitulate when confronted with a better argument?  If you aren’t willing to change your mind in the face of rational ideas, then you are an ideologue, not a thinker or a seeker of truth.  And we already have a shitload of ideologues running things.  We do not need any more.

Anyway..

The Bible is only true after man’s context–after his LIFE–is already established. This means that the Bible simply cannot be the standard of truth; man’s life must be the standard. The Bible serves man, not the other way around.  Anyone who disagrees with this is forced to explain how the frame of reference by which anything can be called true is not, in fact, necessary to the establishing of truth.

I assure you, this cannot be done.

The same argument can be used for the Law.  Without man’s life, establishing the standard of GOOD (morality)…that is, the Law, is impossible.  Like the Bible, without man’s life, the Law is meaningless, irrelevant, and non-existent. Therefore, the Law serves man, not the other way around. The Law is only efficacious when it is condemning action by its declaration of the moral and truthful integrity of man’s life.  That is, it can only condemn those who deny that mans life is the standard of GOOD…and actually, it is not really the law which condemns, it is…well, we’ll get to that.

The Law cannot provide righteousness to human beings who already possess it by nature of their very existence, and are “walking it out” in an efficacious way by believing that they are, in fact, legitimate self-aware agents with a legitimate epistemology operating thus according to legitimate and causal volition (choices which actually pursue and affirm the SELF).

To say that we have to keep the Law in order to be good is not only a false gospel (as Paul Dohse rightfully declares…and this should lead him to the logical conclusion that keeping the Bible then is likewise a false gospel), but it is a totally irrational claim. Obedience to the Law is irrelevant to either morality or truth. Obedience to the law can have no efficacious and thus no rationally definable purpose…thus, it cannot be a moral objective at all.  The only time the Law is relevant and efficacious is when people are disobedient to it…because disobedience signifies that they are acting upon the false assumption that the standard of good is in fact something else outside of man’s life.  And thus it isn’t the Law which ultimately condemns them, but the disregard for the standard of good (and truth) which condemns them; and a disregard for the standard which declares what is good and therefore what is not means that man must operate from a place irrelevance…which is functionally NOTHING.  (More on this later.)

Obedience to a Law that is given to simply affirm that man gets to BE himself makes obedience to the Law, itself, superfluous.  Being alive as an individual SELF is the sum and substance of “obeying” the law (which is why humanity was never supposed to have a Law in the first place). Which means as long as you accept and believe that YOU are the standard of GOOD and TRUTH, that YOU get to be YOU, always and eternally, and that YOU then is GOOD and TRUE, and thus understand that the only immoral act is the denial and violation of SELF, which by logical extension must include all OTHER selves we observe to be our moral and truthful equals (other people and God), then you are perfect and perfectly true and perfectly good. There is no other thing or rule or tradition or habit or “way of life” you need to be absorbed by in order to be perfect before God.

There is no flag you must salute, no “body” or collective into which you must integrate…no hair style you must keep, style of dress you must wrap yourself in, job you must have, income you must make, “bad words” you must not use, Bible studies you must attend, pastors you must obey, ways you must spend your time or your money.  All of those things serve your inherent right to be YOU, YOU do not serve them.

Therefore, obeying the law means nothing except if we decide that the law is the standard of good outside of us, and in that case what obeying the law means is something very bad and very destructive. Because if that’s what we think, then good is good regardless of man’s life…whether he is or not.  Which makes man’s life irrelevant if we decide that man is not good or truth’s standard. And if man’s life is irrelevant then it lacks a rational definition.  Which makes man’s life equal to zero…or, speaking metaphysically, nothing.  Thus, making life’s objective that of law-keeping (obedience to the law), or Bible-keeping (obedience to the truth) MUST demand man’s death.  For the absence of man is the most rational conclusion of conceding that good and truth is  OUTSIDE of man’s life.  If man’s life is functionally nothing, then death is the most logical and legitimate form obedience to standards of truth and good outside of it.

Finally, I submit that God’s truth never ultimately depends on blind faith or mysticism, but it can be discerned by pure reason.

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25 thoughts on “Obeying the Bible or the Law is a Meaningless Objective…Being a Human Being Automatically Accomplishes It

  1. I hear you, Argo.

    And thank you for being honest.

    I was interested in the history. From what I know, you were a hard-headed Calvinist. Then you jumped ship. I’m guessing you decided to think more… and formulated these opinions. I was wondering about the road… things like: When did you come to this understanding, the standard of truth is man’s life? 5 years ago?

    BTW, I was enjoying the debate.

  2. BTW, I was taught:
    God way up there, me way down here.
    Pure reason is faulty, just look around.
    Bible right, me lowly sinner.
    People are not on par with God.

    These may be the barriers. Or that you rank humans equal to or superior to God. That is a possibility.

  3. I think it would be helpful for clarity sake to discuss those who break the “Law”. Real obvious examples of a Hitler or Stalin. How are they the “standard of truth” that comes from man’s life?

    I think this is where understanding this concept breaks down. Evil people are all around us—many of them Christian leaders like CJ Mahaney and his band of fellow travellors who protect him.

    So how do we explain them in the midst of man being the standard of truth.

  4. “These may be the barriers. Or that you rank humans equal to or superior to God. That is a possibility.”

    I agree. Those are all misnomers to me. If we understand correctly, God wanted a “relationship” with his Created beings. What are we to make of that? Jesus Christ is recorded as calling us His “friends”. What are we to make of that?

    I would not call that equality but at the same time, I think we have been looking at it all wrong for millenia. We immediately add a caste system or hiearchy when that is not to be the focus. And I am not sure how to articulate that.

  5. “These may be the barriers. Or that you rank humans equal to or superior to God. That is a possibility.”

    I should explain. It seems we are taught to look through the glasses of hierarchy first & foremost. God up there, us down here. So any idea that brings us closer is immediately suspect. That’s what I mean by huge shift/break away. Thinking that through, then I understand why Jesus was treated the way he was by the church establishment. Of course, then, the woman at the well would hear him while “pastors” of the Jewish day would not. Once it’s ingrained, it takes effort to remove. Like paint, once it’s been coated on several times, it takes much scrubbing to get back to the bare, clean wood, bar a chemical peel….

    I don’t think you believe we are superior to God or are God, but correct me if I’m wrong, Argo. Yet this is what minds inevitably go to after reading you.

    I think God is sad when we understand this way. There is much to learn from our own parent / child relationships that go further in our understanding of us to God. We see the disasters all around when children/women/everyone are viewed as a rung in the hierarchy family ladder, with the Bible as the basis for it. I expect these people within these family & church hierarchies to go off the rails. They are not in relationship. They are no longer human. They don’t have value. it’s shocking to us & the world from day 1, & eventually it maybe to them. But they can’t understand why because they have the right Biblical formula. How is it unbelievers get it?

    I agree with you, Argo. Begin with the value of human life as the foundation. Then read the Bible through those lens. Period. Full stop.

    Thanks Argo, for helping me think through my shift/break away.

  6. Lydia,

    In response to your first comment. We have a habit of confusing the standard of truth with truth itself. Truth is a concept which is derived from the standard. It is not an ACTUAL thing which exists as a distinct entity. The standard is conscious man. He is what creates “truth” in service to himself by observing and then conceptualizing his environment.

    Thus, the real question is not “how is Hitler the standard”, but: why is Hitler rationally called evil?

    Because he denied the standard of truth, Human Life, making his subsequent behavior both irrational and destructive.

    When one denies the standard of truth seen in the life others, he or she by logical extension must deny the standard in themselves…a denial of OTHER equalling a denial of SELF. This is because we can observe and rationalize the existential equality of other conscious agents. Hitler did evil because his beliefs were evil, it is as simple as that. His irrational beliefs and subsequent actions do not deny the that the standard is human life, be it himself or others, they just destroyed the standard.

    Human beings can deny the standard of truth is human life, but the functional outcomes of that denial will be destructive, always. And that is why Hitler’s legacy proves the standard is life, rather than argue the opposite.

  7. Lydia,

    Humanity exists. So does God. Man’s awareness of self then is equal to God’s. Man is rooted in an infinite SELF (for the infinite frame of reference is your life), just like God is. God observes man, man observes God. God’s awareness of man makes man’s self efficacious and rationally definable. Man’s awareness of God makes God’s self efficacious and rationally definable.

    God and man thus are indeed existential equals. There is no such thing as value hierarchy when conscious self existence is the root of being.

    God is God, man is man. Period. All value hierarchies are abstract. God is worthy of worship because He is God, but we don’t worship Him because He is “better” than man, we worship Him because what He IS means we are able to be what we ARE. But this cannot be rationally translated into “amounts” of existential “worth”.

    Value hierarchies of any kind are false; an invention of man, and are evil and destructive entirely. God said man is “very good”, which is precisely how He defines Himself. So why do people get offended when I say human beings are God’s existential and moral equal?

    Jesus was a man who was God (not AND was God…a false reformed dichotomy). If man was not God’s moral and existential equal, this would not be possible.

  8. “I would not call that equality but at the same time, I think we have been looking at it all wrong for millenia. We immediately add a caste system or hiearchy when that is not to be the focus. And I am not sure how to articulate that.”

    Yes. 100% agree. Hierarchy is the lens through which the Bible is usually read.

    Example: God did this because He is God. We are told not to. God can do anything He wants, get it? Even if it contradicts who He says He is.

    Lydia, I relate to Steve Chalke’s view of the Bible. I’ve watched a few of his youtube videos & they have been extremely helpful.

  9. “I don’t think you believe we are superior to God or are God, but correct me if I’m wrong, Argo. Yet this is what minds inevitably go to after reading you.”

    A Mom, yes. This is the typical reaction. And you have already explained beautifully why in this thread. I could not have said it better:-)

  10. “Thus, the real question is not “how is Hitler the standard”, but: why is Hitler rationally called evil? ”

    Excelllent point! And this plays into the whole ‘total depravity/original sin” concept that tries to plead the Hitler’s of this world are only acting from their “natural” state of total depravity.

    As to the default position that anytime we discuss these things we are claiming to be “equal to or superior to God……I heard it constantly from the Neo Cals and even the Free will folks on mostly pastor blogs.

    I guess as simply as I can make it….they miss the “relationship” part that is the basis for all of it.

  11. “Lydia, I relate to Steve Chalke’s view of the Bible. I’ve watched a few of his youtube videos & they have been extremely helpful.”

    Good, me too! He affirms what I have come to be very concerned about when it comes to scripture. The wooden literal approach of inerrancy is turning it into a something we cannot trust. It is actually turning more folks off to it. The amount of folks I am running into that say, “I cannot even read the bible anymore”, is becoming epidemic. They cannot read it without the man made filters.

  12. Personally, comfort doesn’t come from backing away & then shutting off my mind. Even when it’s painful or confusing. My brain goes into overdrive searching for solutions & answers.

    I want to synch it up. I want it to make sense.

    Calvinism is one way. You get to leave it all on God’s doorstep. But it created a cold heart in me. And the distance between this so-called sovereign God & little sinner me became huge. I also think I was going backwards, into the all I need to know is Christ crucified & me saved glass-eyed stupor.

    Paul Dohse offered a window to a different view. He has been so helpful in putting the pieces together. I might be an atheist if not for his blog. Lydia’s comments likewise. Enter John Immel & you, Argo. Add to that all of the commenters whom I cheer for & love to read. Boy, my mind has been working over a banquet feast fit for a queen over the last few years! It’s been absolutely amazing.

    I recognize what’s going on & I’m cherishing each minute. You have no idea how powerful words are. Which is why I thank you all for your words. They are life-changing.

    Happy Easter!

  13. “Personally, comfort doesn’t come from backing away & then shutting off my mind. Even when it’s painful or confusing. My brain goes into overdrive searching for solutions & answers. ”

    Me too! And for such a long time mine when into overdrive with exegesis, hermeneutics, and all that stuff. it amazed me that hundreds of people (mostly seminary trained) I conversed with could be totally militant with the Hebrew poetry of “in sin my mother conceived me” as proof of imputed guilt!

    What a black hole. And no definitive answers from the book. But I sure did learn a lot.

    “Calvinism is one way. You get to leave it all on God’s doorstep. But it created a cold heart in me. And the distance between this so-called sovereign God & little sinner me became huge.”

    This is happening all around me. Even in the non Calvinist church because the influence is so great here. on the other hand, I saw great evil in the Protestant seeker mega world behind the scenes. The individual was not important there. Just the leaders and the institution. It was all brand management and outward appearance. People were expendable to the cause of the institution.

    In both worlds, the ‘self’ was nothing unless it served a philosopher king or the collective. How can a soul not die there? And what on earth was it doing to our children, really?

    I am glad my search led me to all of you. I can remember the first time I read John’s blog. A long time ago now. I was astonished. I had to keep reading. I could not stop reading and start putting some pieces together little by little.
    I

    I am convinced my love of history made the bigger difference. There is no way I could call evil good. And that is what much of what we see appeals to: Church history for orthodoxy. That was foundational to me. Thankfully.

    The Neo Cal movement is starting to crack. Sadly, many are running to the Ana Baptist movement which is simply trading one tyrant for another: Government and liberalism. They think it is the opposite of the fundy culture war. It isn’t. It is just a another war that wants to micromanage people in other ways. They are simply appealing to another sort of god. And they use shame and censorship just as badly.

    Why are people so opposed to independence, freedom and individual responsibility anymore?

  14. A Mom,

    Thank you so much for your kind words…they are refreshing and motivating. But you shouldn’t underestimate (not that I think you do) the power of your ability to think. Like I said, the way that you have expressed your ideas and your apprehension of the postulates here and on other blogs is as good if not better than anyone could say it.

    The same goes for, you, Lydia. Your presence here and on all these blogs is a continual joy, and your thoughts are inspiring to observe.

    John Immel is probably the most brilliant thinker and writer I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I love his style and I love his subjects. Because of him I had he courage to finally call historical christian orthodoxy in the Augustinian vein evil Which it is. Categorically, It hates man and thus hates God.

    John and I have our differences, and I still am not sure where he stands on the importance and efficacy of human consciousness…but perhaps he will write something about that sometime later. Still, his blog is a great service to truth.

    I feel the same about Paul, though I admit his adherence to the notion of Biblical inerrancy, if not in name certainly in practice, and his assumption that merely interpreting the Bible differently is the key to understanding Christianity “properly” exasperates me to an end that I lack words to describe. However, he is a person who is able to adroitly illustrate the failures of Reformed theology using their very own playbook (the Bible), something I do not do, which reveals them for the hypocrites and masters of deception they are. And anyone who can do that as well as Paul has my undying admiration and respect. 🙂

    But I am so rampantly anti-biblicist that I cannot see myself sitting through the TTANC conference knowing that the idea of the Bible as the standard of Truth, which is simply irrational, is the foundational premise. Inevitably the thinking will trend back towards tyranny if this idea is not summarily rejected now. But Paul will not do that…which is a shame because it would make his Biblical exegesis/hermeneutic much more rational in the long run, and does nothing to undermine the fundamental aspects of his argument. He can still use the Bible as a source for destroying Calvin’s sham gospel…He just can’t replace the “law” with “Bible” and maintain his consistency. No sensible objection to Calvin’s idea can assume the same fundamental premise: that absolute truth is OUTSIDE of man.

    I just want him to slam closed the gaping hole of his ship. If he does that, the ship survives basically in tact. He doesn’t need Biblical Inerrancy to appeal to the Bible as his core philosophical source for laying siege to the neo-Calvinist juggernaut. The fact that he thinks he does convinces me that he is not all together certain that HIS thinking is right…which it is. But he will never get any real credibility in this fight unless he can rest upon an argument that is utterly hemmed in by reason. He has to know that his position cannot (not will not) be defeated by the opposition. And he cannot know that since he admits that his own inexorable perspective (himself) is fundamentally flawed by nature (utterly beyond truth).

  15. “However, he is a person who is able to adroitly illustrate the failures of Reformed theology using their very own playbook (the Bible), something I do not do, which reveals them for the hypocrites and masters of deception they are. And anyone who can do that as well as Paul has my undying admiration and respect.”

    For someone in the midst of reformed theology but looking for answers, it is important to see how Bible verses are so blatantly twisted. That is valuable. Refuting Calvinism channel on youtube is great resource for this as well.

  16. “The Neo Cal movement is starting to crack. Sadly, many are running to the Ana Baptist movement which is simply trading one tyrant for another: Government and liberalism. They think it is the opposite of the fundy culture war. It isn’t. It is just a another war that wants to micromanage people in other ways. They are simply appealing to another sort of god. And they use shame and censorship just as badly.

    Why are people so opposed to independence, freedom and individual responsibility anymore?”

    What I see are financially responsible people with family members who are financially dependent. And they are compelled & do help them. They hand-out while explaining these family members continually make all kinds of bad choices that keep them where they are – in the red. Basically, they feel used & don’t like it but think giving them money is the right thing to do. It makes them feel like they are nice, good people.

    They are also the same people who champion government to help out. I am for the government helping those who need help. But my definition of who needs help is very, very narrow.

    And I’ve noticed these same people tend to look a gift horse in the mouth themselves. So they’re just a rung in the ladder – people they give to & people they take from. Ugh. Financially responsible people who do this.

    It is rare to find a financially responsible person who loves others to responsibility, and isn’t co-dependent, while appreciating (not taking for granted) kindness from those who have more.

    You are right, Lydia. It’s another hierarchy.

  17. A mom, I see it as much more than financial responsibility. In fact, the way we are going there can be NO financial responsibility unless one is very rich. One will be beholden to the “system” in many ways unless they are extremely rich.

    There has been not only a move of Fascism (bailing out banks while the CEOs walk away rich when they actually failed) and starting “green businesses” that fail while they walk away rich with taxpayer money. There is also the day to day micromanagement with health care benefits tied to the IRS. Americans are blindly giving up their privacy and their freedom.The examples are endless. As we give government total control over our health and welfare they get to decide what constitutes health and welfare. One cannot sue the government.

    People are literally giving up their freedom in so many ways to a monolithe they think knows best for them. It is so alarming that I see there is no turning back. If only people realized that when those who mandate such micromanagement of their lives actually exempt themselves from the same, it is most likely not a good thing. But they don’t see it.

    I recently received a letter from the Treasury dept saying I owed over 300 dollars. They gave me no explanation or timeframe of why I owed. They did not ask me to “pay it”. They simply took that money out of my tax refund. Have you never tried to call the Treasury dept? I wrote my senator but have no heard back. So when the government can confiscate like that with no explanation or even time frame, we are what? Free?

    That is where we are. People trust something that has proven untrustworthy yet they still continue to give it more power over their lives in every area.

    Where does such thinking come from? And we wonder why it is working in churches?

  18. Lydia,

    Unfortunately, the financial & educational divide is widening. I live in a city built by manufacturing & it is suffering. And yes, money talks so the extremely rich are somewhat insulated. There are now huge barriers to entry for small business.

    One big reason, IMO, is politicians have been bought by corporations which are run by people who don’t have America’s best interest at heart. Unions also demanded too much. We have yet to see the worst of the fallout from this.

    As for individual privacy & freedom, both parties have trampled on the American public. And the people have allowed it.

    All of this breaks my heart & gives me great concern for the children growing up in America.

    “That is where we are. People trust something that has proven untrustworthy yet they still continue to give it more power over their lives in every area. ”

    My previous response was one possible explanation on why intelligent, responsible people opt for it. They are a rung in the hierarchical ladder – in between people they give to & people they take from. Government to the rescue. It’s the “loving” thing to do.

    My grandmother always said something like: Give someone a fish & they eat for a day. Teach them to fish & they feed themselves for a lifetime.

  19. Frankly, I’m disillusioned with both parties at the moment. I don’t trust either one & I think they’re more alike than different.

  20. “Frankly, I’m disillusioned with both parties at the moment. I don’t trust either one & I think they’re more alike than different.”

    Me too. Big time. My view now is to vote for the person whose suggested
    policies will give government the least amount of power. Definitely not for someone who is suggesting more government power. How that plays out is interesting. I do not vote social issues such as pro life, etc….I ignore them. They are pandering. Roe is not going anywhere.

  21. What is interesting to view historically is how much the whole of our society today looks to hierarchy and buys into it. That was not always the case. Can you imagine what Westward expansion would have looked like if the government had planned and regulated every detail? Which is what they now do for the entire population from afar.

    But certain policies have made it almost impossible not to buy into the nanny state unless one is very rich.

    To me, the church is simply following cues from society. It would not surprise me in the least to see the church join hands with the state.

  22. Know this: The founding fathers were NOT Calvinist. Not even close.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    From the Declaration of Independence.

    Calvinists don’t believe any truth to be self-evident.

  23. I no longer vote based on pro-life either.

    There has been a shift in power over time between federal & state government.

    And there is a difference between quality of life & local tax. Florida, for instance, has no state income tax & the quality of life (arts, libraries, roads, public schools, etc.) is not so great compared to certain states with income tax.

  24. And there is a difference between quality of life & local tax.

    I meant I have found a correlation between quality of life & local tax. But there is a point at which it becomes burdensome.

  25. ‘Know this: The founding fathers were NOT Calvinist. Not even close.”

    I will take it a step further. They were well acquainted with the concept of a Protestant state church and its bloody history.

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