Defusing Step Three of Rick Warren’s “Christian Recovery” Landmines

Continuing where we left off in the last article on this subject, ‘The Eight ‘Christian Steps to Psychological Recovery…’, here we will take a brief look at step three of this metaphysical atrocity:

3.  Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.  “Happy are the meek” Matthew 5:5

Okay, let’s play a game…a variation of something I, and you, probably, played in the car as a child on the long drive to grandmother’s house.  The game was called “I spy”.

In this case, we will play “I spy the contradiction”.

Ready?

Go.

Too slow.  I’ve already got it. But of course you are at a distinct disadvantage.  I have in front of me all eight of Rick Warren’s disastrous steps to “recovery”, and, alas, all I have given you in this article is one.  No matter…I still will concede that your epistemology is far more relevant and efficacious than Rick Warren does, I’ll bet.

So after reading this point my  mind immediately protested.  I’m looking at step number one, which reads, in part:  “I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing.”  Now, juxtapose that thought, which I criticized in detail in my last post on this subject, with point number three, again:  “Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s control…” 

Now, here’s the problem.  If man is, by his very sinful nature (his categorical existential failure) unable to control his “tendency” (a bullshit term…again, if humanity cannot control a tendency then it isn’t a tendency it is an innate characteristic), then man has no appreciable “will”to commit to Christ.

Rick’s first point makes clear that it is impossible for you or me to commit our will to Christ because it explicitly describes humanity as utterly unable to act in service to the right/good thing, which naturally must include committing our lives and will to Christ.  That’s the whole fucking point of step one, right? You have no will of your own.  All your will is subjugated to your “tendency” to do the wrong thing.

You cannot control your tendency to do the wrong thing, therefore in every choice you make, you always choose evil, which again makes “tendency” a deceptive euphemism for never doing ANYTHING good at all, ever.  Thus, you cannot commit your life and will to Christ because this presupposes that you are able to choose freely (and adding the word “free” to either “will” or “choice” is a proper redundancy…for there is no such thing as will or choice which is not free) to do the right thing on your own, which point one clearly explains you are not.  Thus, how on earth can you choose to do the right thing and commit your life and will to Christ when choice is precluded by your infinitely sinful nature, which completely holds captive any “will” to do anything good at all, to the point where the “will” of man is an utterly irrational notion in the first place?  Man has no will to do good, which means he has no will at all, but is a slave to the absolute determining force of his metaphysical essence of depravity…yes, THAT is the whole motherfucking point.  Man’s “will” is always in service to sin.

This means that choice is an illusion…and if choice is an illusion then so is volition. For the volition of man cannot exist if it is bound to a metaphysical absolute of:  EVIL.  Man IS evil is the underlying assumption of all eight points of this list and likely of Rick Warren’s entire theology.  Since man is evil, everything man does or what he thinks, no matter what it may look like to us or how we may define it, IS evil.  Which makes the idea of man possessing an ability to choose between a good action, like committing one’s life to Christ, and an evil action, like rejecting Christ, completely false.

Thus, the poor victims of this kind of “counseling” are left to wallow in the metaphysical and epistemological wasteland, hemmed in on all sides by Rick Warren’s commands and counsel, and yet they are utterly unable to capitulate.  They understand that since they are the root of all evil, being evil itself incarnate, they can no more hope to employ Rick’s counseling tips than they can hope to cook their own head and then eat it for dinner.

Thus, the metaphysical and epistemological assumptions which are at the heart of this evil theology create in man a passive acceptance of the totality of his own utter moral AND existential failure.  Or better said:  creates in man an acceptance of the totality of his own utter moral failure because there is no distinction between his moral failure and his metaphysical (existential) failure.

Man’s only hope is for God’s mercy…for there is literally nothing he  can do to assuage his torment.  It is as a result of his root existence, and thus, he is helpless against the tide of destructive consequences which God and the universe afflict upon him as punishment for his very birth.  And since, again, it is God who is sovereign and thus God who is “justly” punishing him for his own immoral existence, how much mercy can the defunct currency of his hope buy him?

The answer is:  probably none at all.

Which is why teaching Christians that there is no such thing as anyone committing any injustice against them, no matter how seriously or completely they are physically and/or psychologically abused, tortured and exploited, because they are so evil and thus whatever suffering and abuse they endure is par for their existential course as well as the well-deserved punishment for having the motherfucking audacity to be born at all, is the most popular means of curtailing any resistance amongst the laity in today’s Christian church, and of building a following of completely complicit and self-surrendering financiers and laborers.

What the church almost without exception STILL teaches today is that man’s only hope of any kind of remediation for the abomination of his own individual existence is through integration into the mystic body collective, which derives all its value and worth from the proxies of the Divine, the ecclesiastical leadership, who represent God in all His relevant forms to the unwashed and unenlightened masses whom God has given these pastors and priests, who are “standing in God’s stead”, to “shepherd”.  And their reward for obeying God’s calling is all the fucking mutton they can eat.

And thus we arrive at the most ironical of terms found in Rick’s stupid list:  “consciously”.  “Consciously choose” he counsels us…and likely without the slightest awareness of just what a colossal boob he sounds like.  And probably nary a blush of shame at his irrational imperative.  Since man is unable to control his sin, because “sinful” is the moral absolute which defines ALL of man’s thoughts and actions (what Rick cutely calls the “tendency” to do the wrong thing), thus creating the absolute objective of man’s life:  to be evil, there is no such thing as choice, as I explained.

Aaaaaand the logical extension of this idea is that there can be no such thing as consciousness.  Man’s consciousness is rooted in his awareness of himSELF, as a distinct object from the rest of his material universe.  Thus, the fact that man can refer to himself as SELF, implies that man is able to make such a distinction in the first place, and the ability to make this distinction in TRUTH…that is, as a direct observation of his tangible, material, actual existence, is a function of that efficacious (right, proper, truthful) observation.

But for man’s observations to be efficacious requires man’s rational epistemology…that is, he must be able to truthfully know what he IS from what he IS NOT.  This is rooted in the ability to make an observable distinction in objects, including himself, which are a function of material reality, not “moral” reality, which isn’t “reality” at all, it is purely conceptual…a direct function of man’s cognition.  For material reality is morally neutral, which makes “good and evil” thus a conceptual duality which proceeds from man’s ability to see what he materially is, and to declare it actual and efficacious and truthful and relevant, and then cognitively generate a  moral paradigm designed to promote himself (his life) as an actual object which is rooted observable material existence.  This ability is the root of man’s consciousness.

Man’s consciousness thus is founded upon and is a direct function of  his morally innocent material SELF.  But the notion that man’s material reality is a slave and utterly subservient to his moral proclivity (his “evil nature”) means that man’s ability to perceive himself as a material actuality (a SELF) is compromised by his abstract, conceptual moral failure.  Therefore, what man observes is no longer a function of a material context (flesh and blood life) but is a function instead of moral insufficiency.  That is to say, of the conceptual abstraction:  evil.

And if man cannot observe himself as a material SELF, but instead he observes himself from a place of absolute evil…then what we are arguing is that the moral paradigm (somehow, and irrationally) precedes the material SELF of man.  The absolute of evil is the place from which the material man, himSELF, is derived. Which makes, by definition, the idea of an actual, material SELF a total lie, being nothing but a direct function of man’s absolute evil nature, which therefore taints his entire epistemology.  His epistemology can never lead him to a place where he is able to recognize himself as an agent/object distinct from “others” because his epistemology is utterly bound in the moral concept of EVIL.  And if man’s entire concept of SELF is nothing more than a direct function of his absolute evil existential essence, then he can possess no efficacious (practical or functional or relevant) consciousness.  Consciousness itself is not a function of “man” as a flesh and blood agent, but is a direct function of his absolute evil; his moral failure, which again must precede material existence.  Thus, no matter what man thinks or believes, it is always and automatically evil.  Which means that man’s “consciousness” lacks any rational definition.  Consciousness itself is merely a direct function of man’s evil essence.  Consciousness, like body, and spirit, and mind and heart and choice and desire and belief etc., etc. is simply:  evil.  Period.

Which means that man cannot “consciously choose” to do anything.  Man can only act as a direct function of his absolute and inexorable sin nature, which can observe NOTHING outside itself, because it is absolute, and never mitigated by a rational and efficacious ability to observe any material SELF from NOT SELF, thus making consciousness impossible.

Therefore, point number three of Rick Warren’s steps to “recovery” is nothing more than a self-contradicting, impossible travesty of evil thinking and madness under the guise of compassion and rational consistency.  It is logic being burned at the stake of mystic tyranny.

 

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18 thoughts on “Defusing Step Three of Rick Warren’s “Christian Recovery” Landmines

  1. “So after reading this point my mind immediately protested. I’m looking at step number one, which reads, in part: “I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing.” Now, juxtapose that thought, which I criticized in detail in my last post on this subject, with point number three, again: “Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s control…” ”

    Sorry, but I cannot stop laughing and it is no laughing matter. People go to these things who are desperate and never even think about the contradiction! I would LOVE for you to go and point it out. Hee Hee. They would kick you out!

    You can pull a “Bob Newhart” and simply say: STOP IT.

  2. Well…I agree with you though, the absurdity of it is more than a little amusing. I mean, how can someone of a sound mind put these ideas together as though they are as compatible as peanut butter and jelly? And what’s worse, he makes a fortune doing it, and that means that there are lots of people buying.

    Again…the absurdity. It’s like Christianity has literally become a caricature of itself and nobody seems to notice. The Life of Brian is now the fundamental orthodox theological primer, and people nod and go “you know, it makes a great point”. LOL!!!!

  3. “Again…the absurdity. It’s like Christianity has literally become a caricature of itself and nobody seems to notice.”

    Exactly. But where exactly are people taught to think critically anymore? They don’t even notice the contradictions because what they feel is more important. The more I think about it the contradictions are not noticed because “truth” is not being sought at all. They have been trained to believe that truth lies outside of them. It is something to be “given” to them by someone.

    I have stayed away from SBC pastor blogs for a long time but went by yesterday and they are STILL arguing Calvinism. The contradictions are unbelievable. But what is worse is all the cheesiness like what you read in SGM wikileaks. They detest each other but play the pretend “brother” game. And quite frankly, the Calvinists are the most condescending group I have ever seen. It is like there is a mass narcissism spell that comes from reading Calvin or the Puritans. Most of them are 30 something except for a resident “ruling elder” Presbyterian who is the most arrogant of all and it just reeks of contradictions and cheesiness. These are the pastors in the SBC?

    I get the willies just thinking of entering a church anymore. I almost have come to think of it as a sin to go in. So much of it is corrupt and quite frankly if I hear stupid contradictory teaching I cannot just sit there anymore. I have to leave.

    So what do we do with our kids? That is the hard part. Mine are still going to work with younger kids but even they are done with youth group because their leader is always crying a la John Piper and having a “move of the Holy spirit every 5 minutes in a church that was never like that. Oh and fancy camps for 500 per week, etc. And the youth pastor is always jetting off to some “mission” trip in a foreign country. I mean these guys have it made. As Paul has said, it is an idle life in reality.

  4. The thing is that this epiphany is not a result of something new happening, it is merely that we (a veeeeery few of us) are awakening to the contradictory thinking that defines essentially all of man’s root philosophy. It isn’t that at some point in the past, there was a philosophy that made sense. I don’t think that man EVER really had a rational view of reality. Even the objectivists concede the philosophical presumptions of science, which are utterly irrational and Platonist. Which makes them as irrelevant as any mystic religion they criticize. And the irony is utterly lost on them. This is why it is as pointless to argue with an objectivist as it is a Calvinist. .

    It is why I am so fascinated with physics, and plan on starting a v-blog on YouTube discussing science’s false assumptions (forgoing any “religious” subjects). For example, you often hear that the universe is expanding. The red shift in the light from distant stars “proves” that the universe is growing bigger, not collapsing in on itself as Einstein first predicted. But here;s the rub: space was created at the big bang, which began the universe. Which means that the universe, which is a direct function of the big bang, was created NOT in space. Therefore, it was created NOwhere. Which means that the universe has no actual location to its initial point of creation. So how can it be expanding? How can the universe expand if it did not start from any location in space? If you say you are going somewhere, but you don’t start from anywhere, how can you say you ever left…and thus, how do you define the distance you travel if you don’t start from any location?

    Literally, then , the universe began at a place of ITSELF, which means it can only expand into itself. Which means that what we observe as “expansion” really isn’t expansion at all; it is merely how we observe the movement of the objects in the universe. Clearly then there is a disconnect between what is actually happening in the material universe and how man has conceptualized his observations over the last however many thousands of years.

    But our solution has never been reason. Not at all! We have chosen the rout of madness and enterprising folly. All of a sudden our conceptualizations are CAUSAL..things like “sin nature” and time and space and distance and expansion and all this shit that WE created in our brains to organize what we observe has now somehow become the cause of US. We are nothing more than what the conceptualizations determine us to be. God, man, things…all of it is a lie. We are an illusion of SELF, and what we observe is false. We are an extension of the abstract reality that WE created.

    And when you sit back and watch how the world operates in SERVICE to this madness…well, it is pretty damn hilarious at times.

  5. “…plan on starting a v-blog on YouTube…”

    I was hoping you’d start one, and was going to suggest you do. Will have to subscribe to your channel. 🙂

    Been loving your posts lately, along with everyone’s comments, and often find myself nodding along with many things being said. As I said before, your blog is refreshing.

    Just had a Christian acquaintance harass me with her brand of Christian recovery. Not fun. Glad you are taking this stuff on.

  6. .” It isn’t that at some point in the past, there was a philosophy that made sense. I don’t think that man EVER really had a rational view of reality.”

    I am not so sure I agree with this totally. I grew up with reality as the foundation. I got off track later on with the mysticism, etc. I was raised in a situation where relationships had the “contractural” feel to them that John mentions which is why what he said resonated with me so much. The focus was on personal responsibility and there was no mystical God. There was only free will and our choices. I think the paralleled the times we lived in. Society as a whole has changed much more toward collectivism.

    Now that does not mean it was right on track. If something was going to be “overlooked” we all knew that we were purposely overlooking it for some good reason. It is not like you don’t run into problems when that is your philosophy when it is not the same with others around you.

    I think this is what blows my mind so much about what I see today with Christians. It is like living in some alternative universe where evil is good and good is evil. Moral chaos reigns in what passes for Christianity.

    “Just had a Christian acquaintance harass me with her brand of Christian recovery. Not fun. Glad you are taking this stuff on.”

    I just had this, too. And I finally decided to risk the entire relationship. I don’t do cheap grace. People are very uncomfortable with those who stand up for truth. especially if it involves a celebrity pastor everyone adores (from afar, I might add because they DON’T know him personally).

    When people will not define evil as evil there is not much you can do except move on. Then there are those who will say, yes taht was evil but forgive and move on. Like you can just wave magic wand and undo everything. What is known cannot be unknown but that is what they want.

    They HATE people who stand up for truth when it concerns Christianity. Especially if it is in the Name of Jesus with a pastor. Then they freak out. They accuse you of being angry (which is healthy), bitter and “not moving on”.

    oookaaaay. They are the ones NOT moving on. Moving on means dealing with it. Not pretending it never happened.

  7. Lydia,

    It seems to me that human thinking has always fallen either at or in between two bookends, both equally irrational, which is why the irony of the whole thing can often be amusing. On one end you have mysticism, which is rooted in ideas that cancel each other out at their beginnings and thus start at nowhere which is why they lead to nowhere (i.e. death). On the other end you have scientific pragmaticism which, as I cited in the Big Band and expanding universe example, also starts at mutually exclusive presumptions and thus leads to nowhere.

    On the one hand, “nowhere” is metaphysical which translates into a humanity that has no material substance. On the other hand “nowhere” is somehow a physical location (e.g. the “beginning of everything”) which is said to give rise to the “somewhere” and the “something’ of the material substance. The scientific view is said to be more reasonable because it acknowledges the “existence” of material reality and the efficacy of human observation to “discover” its governing principles. But at the root of it, as I have shown, is really nothing at all. They simply try to make nothing…that is, nowhere, something ACTUAL. That’s how they get around their own rational larceny. For the mystics, human beings are nothing, because the “spiritual world” is the reality which drives them. For the scientists, human beings are something which comes from nothing.

    So, ultimately, human thinking to me has always been a debate about semantics. Both bookends have their strengths which can be practically applied (the belief in God is indeed good, for nothing can exist without God; and on the scientific side the efficacy of human conceptual abstractions based on the observation of the material universe, like “time”, “space”, “distance”, “gravity”, “color”, “up”, “down”, “energy”, etc., is realized in amazing technological advancements). But in the end neither leads to TRUTH because neither accepts that reason is the ONLY arbiter of what can possibly BE. Man’s greatest faculty is reason…for only it can lead to truth. And reason has always been merely an after thought as far as I can tell, no matter how vociferously people declare its merits. .

    Even objectivism, arguably the greatest attempt to create a philosophy from the catalyst of reason, is atheist. So, again…ultimately it boils down to: which “mystery” do you think is the most rational?

    I will never think that way again. Truth begins in INDIVIDUAL man’s rational brain; it does not include or integrate him. THAT is my one root assumption, and as far as I know, there is no other philosophy that agrees.

  8. Oasis,

    I think all of us here have you in mind at least a little as we wage war against abusive and evil ideas. You have nothing to fear. Remember that. YOU always get to be YOU. Let no one take that away from you.

    And as far as your acquaintance…you have two choices: ignore his/her ideas or challenge them. You do what you feel is in YOUR best interest. If you value them–that is, if they bring some value to you that you choose not to live without, then you might ignore their madness and try to remain acquaintances in spite of it. i agree with Lydia, however. I would challenge their ideas even if it meant risking the relationship. I do not find that people whose beliefs deny the infinite moral and rational existence of ME (and humanity in general),bring any value to my life. Maybe if they can be changed, but otherwise…well, people who cannot answer the simple question “what is man” can serve no useful purpose to me on any level…well, at least inter-personally. I suppose if I had to be around them because I worked with them or they were my boss or something.

    The only thing you should never do is agree with them. 🙂

  9. Today’s email-shot from beyond the grave made me think of you Argo:

    Van Til has described very clearly the basic issue and area of conflict between Biblical and modern thought:
    That issue may be stated simply and comprehensively by saying that in the Christian view of things it is the self-contained God who is the final point of reference while in the case of the modern view it is the would-be self-contained man who is the final point of reference in all interpretation.

    http://chalcedon.edu/research/articles/the-word-of-dominion/

  10. “Today’s email-shot from beyond the grave made me think of you Argo:”

    SCDP,

    I’m not sure how to take that. 🙂 LOL

    What can I say? Van Til may not like it, but man’s frame of reference is himself, by existential definition. So for all his pontificating about making “God’s infallible Word” (a totally indefensible idea) the frame of reference, it is simply impossible.

    Van Til’s point is: YOU are baaaaaaad. And the key to salvation is to pretend you don’t matter. A perspective which distinctly destroys his entire epistemology by relegating his human metaphysic to irrelevance.

    The source of truth is man, because man’s LIFE is the standard.

  11. Without mans life, what does the Bible mean?

    Nothing.

    The Bible cannot be truth outside the frame of reference of individual man’s life. This is obvious logic…aaaaand that is precisely why it is rejected by the mystic. They want truth to be revealed, not learned. This is the MO of the tyrant. It means that THEY assume authority as those “called” (i.e. revealed to) by “god” to lead (i.e. be special and served) and since truth cannot be learned by the masses there is but one method, ultimately, to compel them to follow truth (i.e. categorically serve the authority) : violence.

  12. “. i agree with Lydia, however. I would challenge their ideas even if it meant risking the relationship. I do not find that people whose beliefs deny the infinite moral and rational existence of ME (and humanity in general),bring any value to my life. ”

    Once you challenge them on their beliefs (thinking the spiritual abuse no big deal and move on or whatever) then you find real quick YOU have no value to them.

    You are challenging their basic assumptions they lean on which usually goes like this: Everyone sins so move on. It is making you bitter/angry, etc. So don’t talk about it (it makes them uncomfortable because it forces them to think)

    Thing is you are NOT healthy if you are not angry over abuse. It would mean I don’t think much of myself.

    It all boils down to basic love/justice.

  13. Lydia and Argo, you both have again said life-giving things that happen to be so helpful to me right now! I am amazed that anyone would think of me at all in the war, but very thankful!

    I outed an abuser a few weeks ago to someone, as a warning…and there has been hell to pay from other people, for speaking out. Really threw me off for a few days, even though I had expected backlash. Then the Christian acquaintance I mentioned, who happens to be a leader of a support group (which I have never been a part of) in the local mega, really let me have it. To be short (very pressed for time), according to her, God wants me to show mercy to the unrepentant sexual abuser, and also, what I did may be just as bad as the abuse. She went on and on about cheap forgiveness, more than anything, and would not let up. (I disagree with her view, and “forgiveness” has nothing to do with this.) She was still harassing me yesterday, after I tried to break free of her, and said other things, too. Madness is what it is. I told her that if this is how she “ministers” to people, then I fear for them.

  14. Oasis. I don’t know your definition of sexual abuse, but rape, attempted rape, sex with an animal or minor, sexual harassment etc. are all criminal acts which should be reported to the civil authorities (police). If you come from a church like Argo’s which was steeped in the Shepherding movement of the 1970s and 80s or are a part of a modern charismatic movement, then chances are that you have been exposed to COVERING DOCTRINE which is an extremely flawed and abusive system of running a church and relating to other Christians. It is controlling and manipulative set of management techniques that employ fear and twisted logic.

    Outing someone within a protected environment that you seem to have done to warn people is going to warn people but in the wrong way:
    1. The abuser will get a heads up and look for ways to be protected or to deflect your accusations or claims
    2. You will attract the attention of religious nuts who will first question your motives and feel that they need to “minister” to you as you are obviously not using the silent/secret/undercover channels they would want.
    3. You are making some people or their church look bad and to do so brings a whole caboodle of HATRED and Fear.

  15. This abuser is someone who abused me when I was very young, and by the time I was ready to report him, the statute of limitations was on his side. There is nothing I can do now except warn others about him. One of the problems is, everyone who knows what he did is convinced that he’s no longer a danger. That is, everyone except me.

    The things you describe in your numbered list are EXACTLY what is going on right now, storeinacooldryplace. But the abuser is not a member of the church (neither am I, anymore), which is an SBC church…nor is he even a professing Christian anymore. Not sure what the church has become on the inside. I am really confused about this whole thing and having a hard time concentrating.

    Thank you for what you said, storeinacooldryplace. Sorry to be vague, but I still fear that when I speak, either people will not believe me, or they will not take me seriously. Which is what keeps happening.

    By the way, I am with you about church, Lydia. If I ever step a foot inside another church building, my foot will burn right off.

  16. Oasis, I am truly sorry that you were abused by this paedophile. I agree that you were JUSTIFIED in making your concerns known. Confronting your abuser directly or even indirectly must be very draining. I am sure that speaking out and getting abused again must be bringing up some serious stuff.

  17. Jason, thank you! I am sick from stress and can hardly eat, but have great peace, knowing I did the right thing.

    Argo, meant to say before that your reminder about there being nothing to worry about, and I get to be me… It means a lot that you would even think to remind me. THANK YOU.

    So sorry if I derailed the thread!…

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