Since the SELF is How We Know God, SELF-Gratification Must be GOOD…(Part Two)

“Please unpick this gem from a popular teacher in the charismaniac movement. Sorry there is no context, but this kind gentleman doesn’t seem to bother either.

“’Sin is often justified when a persons awareness of God’s heart is replaced with the emotional gratification of self will.’”

-Commenter, Store in a Cool Dry Place


Picking up where we left off from the previous post…and, off topic, I would like to say that I am committed to finally, for once, completing an entire series of articles in uninterrupted succession.

And this time I mean it.

I think.



I have many times in the past argued that the single and absolute context/frame of reference any person has for knowing or doing anything at all is the SELF, defined as:  man’s individual existential singularity.  Meaning that in order for anything to happen to you–any interaction with man or God or anything else which exists, in order that you might be “caused upon”…that is, taught anything, shown anything, effected, affected, etc., etc., so that you, in turn, might manifest those same actions in the direction of some “OTHER”, be it God or another person or another object–you must possess the inherent ability to to BE YOU.  YOU as YOU, as a direct function of YOU, is the axiomatic and categorical prerequisite for anything at all which exists to you and interacts with you, and you to it/them,  including God, Himself.  If YOU is not a direct and absolute function of YOU–meaning, your physical existence, which must also include your mind, because your mind is a direct function of your brain, which is an absolute component of your physical body, with no rational distinction then being made between body and mind–yes, if YOU is not a direct function of YOU, then YOU cannot be said to exist as YOURSELF at all.  For whatever is a direct function of something IS that something.  Thus, if YOU, for example, are a direct function of God, or God’s creative power, meaning that prior to the existence of YOU there was nothing, no material from which you sprang, but you sprung directly out of the Being of God (which is the natural implication of the doctrine of ex nihilio), then YOU don’t actually exist.  You are merely some manifestation of the absolute source which caused you directly.  If an absolute caused you–as in God is “infinite” and “absolute” and is the “un-caused first cause”, whatever the fuck that means–and that there was NOTHING prior to Him creating you and the rest of the things in the universe which we say are NOT him, then there can be no rational argument for an efficacious distinction between the absolute, God, and “you”.  Which means there is no YOU:  You as a SELF are nothing.  You are whatever created you; and this must include your mind, making whatever it is you happen to be thinking about right now (like the stakes and dunking poles and gallows,for all you neo-Calvinists) a complete lie. “You” are thinking of nothing at all, because there is no distinction to be made between YOU and whatever created you “out of nothing”.

YOU don’t exist, which makes anything you think and say and believe likewise non-existent by default.

See the problem then?  If we deny that the actual first cause of anything is the root ability to BE of whatever exists, like man for instance, this “ability of being” which is the direct source of anything’s ability be caused upon, or to bring cause upon others (to do and to act and to interact with “others”, objects or agents)….yes if we deny that this ability to be caused upon, to act and to be acted upon, is the infinite material substance of the SELF of anything which exists, and that this infinite material substance of the SELF is the root absolute source and context of all we know and do, then we cannot rationally argue for the actual existence of human beings.  Human beings must be rooted in an infinite material SELF, which is now and always was utterly distinct from God, in order for any legitimate relationship to exist between man and God, or man and anything else.  If man does not exist as man, and infinitely so at his material root, then man cannot be said to exist at all.

This is why I argue that the infinite and absolute frame of reference you or I have for anything at all is our SELF, and why I argue that individual human lives are the absolute and only objective standard of TRUTH.  Without the SELF actually BEING, and absolutely BEING the SELF, there is no way for man to make a rational case for his own existence, which means that there is no way for man to make a case for his own efficacious epistemology…his ability to know anything.  Without an absolute and absolutely distinct vessel of himSELF from which to know it, a case for human existence is impossible to make.  And thus, without the SELF being infinitely the SELF first, there is no way to please God as the Calvinists define it:  by denying SELF.  Because there is no way to actually deny SELF, in service to God’s “will”, unless SELF is the infinite frame of reference for man to act.  You cannot deny SELF in service to God if SELF doesn’t exist in the first place.  And if it does, then it exists absolutely and infinitely, which makes it impossible to deny by definition.  Which makes the notion of “denying self” a purely metaphorical idea in service to some very specific philosophical premise, rather than some kind of broad literal imperative designed to command an entire world view.  For the SELF which is absolute is impossible to deny, except at the peril of man’s rational epistemology, which is the only means man has for knowing his God, and defining Him thus, which makes a literal denial of the SELF also a denial of God.  The literal denial of man and the futile and destructive attempt to live thereupon, based on neo-Calvinist/Reformed theology, means the functional death of God.

More on that in a bit.


We know nothing outside the infinite frame of reference of our infinite, absolute material SELVES.  For any one of us to argue that we are not ourSELVES because our “faith” teaches us that we must be a direct function (extension) of what is NOT us is a rank impossibility.  It is total nonsense.  Because what we are arguing then is that somehow we are ourselves by not and never actually being ourselves.  Which is laughable in its absurdity.

And this is the single greatest reason why determinism, which is precisely what Calvinism (and Protestantism in general) is, cannot possibly be true.  No matter what kind of determinism we preach, atheistic scientific determinism or “God’s sovereign control and will”, or whatever other line of  collectivist opium the pseudo-intellectuals, Calvinists and other “Christian” mystics, false prophets, despots, psychopaths, Islamic terrorist shitheads, communists, fascist nationalists, group-think tribal devotees, and ignoramuses spin on their charkhas, it all utterly falls apart when we realize that for determinism to be true man cannot exist; and if man cannot exist then who can make the argument that they just know that they know that they know (whatever the fuck that means) that their abominable deterministic theology is “truth”.

No, it’s not.  Not. Even. Close.


All that being said, when we as human beings define anything, it must be defined TO the SELF.  For there is no other rational definition of whatever thing or agent is in question, but that everything which man observes to actually exist, including God, must be said to exist in utter service to the TRUTH of the SELF.  This, yet again, is why individual life is the only standard of TRUTH.  That is, for any concept to be efficacious, it must be defined in such a way that it can be observably useful for the affirmation, perpetuation, propagation and succor/comfort of the SELF.  Blue is blue and red is red and up is up and sand is sand and one inch is one inch and Montreal is Montreal and God is God because these material things are cognitively organized, via an integration into a conceptual framework which man creates out of his own mind in the interest of pursuing his own existence; that is, these concepts, rooted in actual objects and agents man observes, and relying upon them (the concepts) to be rational and efficacious servants of the SELF, are how man survives.  Man uses his brain, particularly his ability to conceptualize his material reality, in order to promote his own LIFE.


Because the SELF is the absolute entirety of his existence.  It is the sum and substance of his being, and it is infinite.  Without the actual SELF, as I have already explained, man is utterly incapable of being or doing or knowing anything at all.  That is, without the SELF, man can make no claim whatsoever to the actuality of his very existence.  Which makes God utterly pointless to him, and there goes all of “faith”.

Thus, since the distinct SELF of man is the only way, and the utter way, he interacts with God and/or anything else, the point of ALL concepts, of ALL man knows (for the entire cannon of man’s knowledge is conceptual…this is what makes man so different from the rest of the world’s species) can only logically be to categorically confirm his own SELF, which is his existence; its perfect moral innocence, its indefatigable TRUTH, its absolute nature and right to be what it is, forever.  And since this is the only logical perspective–all contrary ideas being fatally flawed in accordance with the only legitimate device of truth which is fit to defend man’s existence and the nature of all reality, reason–any concept which denies that the SELF is necessary to TRUTH, even the very truth of God, is a lie.  For to preach that the SELF is metaphysically flawed, and therefore epistemologically insufficient to understand “God’s ways”, or “God’s truth”, or the “mysteries of God”, or the “questions of life and the universe”, or whatever other false presumption, is a dreadful interpretation of the nature of human existence, and must logically conclude with the destruction of human beings in service to “specially revealed understanding” brought to you by “God’s” spiritual proxies, which is exactly what the American neo-Calvinist movement is force-feeding all of us denizens in an all-you-can-eat style abundance.

And so, all of this being true and reasonable, to preach that the gratification of the SELF, or the “emotional gratification” of the SELF–which is the exact same fucking thing…for “gratification” cannot possibly exist outside emotion; it IS an emotion (I mean, what the fuck is non-emotional gratification?, I defy anyone to explain it)–yes, to preach that gratification of the SELF is somehow an unholy thing, disdained by God and contrary to His “will”, is, in fact, an irrational evil.

Further, it is a direct offense against God, Himself, as He is the Creator of the very thing neo-Calvinist truncheons claim is the single most despicable thing on Earth; the very source of evil itself: human life.  They hate the human SELF, and therefore, they must hate its God.  You cannot declare that one is evil without likewise declaring the other.  If the SELF shall not be gratified in the interest of the very SELF which man was specifically created to BE…or rather, if the gratification of the SELF is a very evil thing, how much more evil is the gratification of the One who is ultimately responsible for its creation?

If it is an unspeakable evil for man to gratify himself, then how much more unspeakably evil for God, the Creator of man, who singularly holds the very power by which man is able to be manifest at all, and is the One most responsible for man’s efficacious existence, to either gratify HIMSELF, or to be gratified by the human SELF which Reformation theology teaches is infinite in its depravity?

Along with the SELF of man, Calvinism hates God; and it must, for it declares that the pinnacle of God’s Creation is precisely His fatal mistake.  The total depravity of man must be the death of God.  And this is why Calvinists, and almost all of Christian “orthodoxy”, worship death to the disturbing degree they do.  For in creating man, God has denied Himself, and has purposed His own destruction.  The creation of man ushers in an evil of which God cannot be absolved.  The denial of existence as preached by the Reformed then is a divine ordinance, applying to both God and man.  By creating man in the full knowledge and determined purpose of his fall into total depravity, God has denied that His own existence is either good or efficacious.  By creating he (man) who must by virtue of his own absolutely determined SELF deny that he was created at all–because he denies his very existence by virtue of his absolute depravity as a direct function of God’s sovereign all-controlling power, God has no legitimate means of defining Himself as God TO man whom He created.

Man cannot know God because he is blinded by his depravity, which is, again, a direct function of God’s sovereign will; and therefore God cannot know that He is God to man because He created man who is unable to rationally define his Creator because he possesses no rational epistemology, being merely an extension of his depravity (whilst being also a direct extension of God).  Thus, God cannot rationally proclaim Himself as the God (the Creator) of man.  He cannot point to man as proof of his God-ness because man does not actually exist as a distinct SELF; therefore, God did not create him, He merely extended (manifested) Himself as totally deprave evil.   According to Calvinism, man is not himself, but rather is a determined evil, and this determined evil has nothing to do with man as a distinct agent, but is an absolute and direct extension of God.

This is why Reformation theology, its unsettling apostasy culminating in the neo-Calvinist movement, must be condemned as a rank and total evil.  There is no equivocation possible; none arguable.  The “sound doctrine” of Calvin’s devoted spawn is as far from Christ as one can philosophically get.

And determined evil, being absolute, mitigated by nothing according to Reformed theology, not even an efficacious and actual SELF of man, cannot point to God as being God, by definition.  Absolute evil (or any evil) cannot know God, nor proclaim Him.  Man then, being absolute evil, demands the death of God in service to its own absolute existence.  God then, in creating man, created an absolute and infinite evil which then competes with His own absolute existence.  Of course, the idea that God is the direct source of this absolute evil (man’s totally depraved SELF) can only mean one thing:  God IS Evil and Evil is God, thus eliminating any competition or conflict between God (good) and Evil at all.  We are then inexorably left with this conclusion:  all things, man and God and everything else, is the sum and substance of absolute, infinite, all-encompassing Evil.

This is the very idea embodied in the contemptible quote which commenter Store In a Cool Dry Place sent me to critique.

Behold Calvinism and neo-Calvinism; behold they that are the roots of all Protestantism.

Behold the doctrine of the anti-Christs.

13 thoughts on “Since the SELF is How We Know God, SELF-Gratification Must be GOOD…(Part Two)

  1. argo,
    awesome dude,your preaching to the chior,lol amen 🙂
    i googled the god of calvinism after hearing of a book by that title,its the devil,im convinced.i just finished reading a 20 page article titled determinism and the relationship of God and evil.after quoting a half dozen reformed theologians on whether or not God is the author of evil,according to them He is and He isnt.which makes perfect sense,lol i noticed something,not one mention of satan or the devil,hmmm

    anyway thnx dude great job,keep it up peace 🙂

  2. If we can just look beyond the filters we have and see this in real time examples it helps.

    I am reading around the blogosphere on several “investigations” that GRACE has been involved with. We are discussing some of it over at PPT. There is also an article over at TWW about BJU which GRACE is investigating. (again after they got fired)

    I have seen this over and over when the evil in these institutions come out. People automatically claim that the victims are trying to shut down the institution. Now, what is interesting is not that declaration because we hear that all the time in some form. (You are hurting the cause of Christ or you just want their ministry to fail, etc).

    What is interesting are the responses from those who claim to hate the spiritual abuse.

    They automatically declare they are NOT trying to shut down the school. They just want it to change. What?

    I find this incredibly insane. It is just one more example of how “self” is abrogated to the collective. These are people who have no clue about basic justice. Do they really think an institution that has been dedicated to lording it over others is going to start singing kum by ya and seeing individuals they view lower, as worthy? In fact, the circumstances for them to have a Damascus road experience is more likely to happen if the institution fails big time.

    It would be a good thing if these institutions, which systemically produce spiritual abuse, go out of business. To believe anything else to me is incredibly insane.

    SGM needs to go out of business, too.

    I am not convinced that people who claim to be so against spiritual abuse actually have a clue.

    The abusers who lord it over and use people for their own gain have forfieted their own value in the kingdom.

  3. Socrates said “Know thyself” – the question arises: “how?” Argo you seem to be saying it is simple: we can reason who we are. My self-reflection comes to the conclusion that there must be a God – a higher power than myself – this knowledge was not found in a religious or SCIENTIFIC way, but through common sense – maybe God did turn me around to see it?
    “Just as a being who is conscious of himself finds himself (in the sense of being given to himself), but not of constructing himself.” – Baader

    So my question is
    1. Is this a gift?
    2. or a reality we are ignorant of?

    With regard to temporal life and time etc. I wil quote Herman Dooyewoord (not actually a NeoCalvinist)
    “Whenever Scripture speaks to us in a radical religious way about the human soul or spirit, it always speaks of it as the heart of all temporal existence out of which are all the issues of temporal life. Nowhere does Scripture teach a dichotomy between a “rational soul” and a “material body” within temporal existence. Rather, it views this total temporal existence as the body, which is to be laid down at death. The human soul or spirit, as the religious root of the body, in contrast, is, according to Scriptural revelation, not subject to temporal death because it transcends temporal life (outside of Christ it is subject to eternal death). This revelation concerning the “soul” as the integral center of the whole of man’s bodily existence, is completely in harmony with God’s revelation of Himself as (integral Creator of heaven and earth who has no other authority over against himself. (Proposition 5).

  4. storeinacooldryplace,

    I keep going back to “image of God”. What does that mean we are created in the image of God? Did we lose that because of sin?

    I really believe the answer is in “image of God”. I just do not know how to articulate it.

  5. Lydia, I get you. I Argo has not presented an anthropology in this respect, but I am certain his argument obliterates it. The Orthodox talk about “divinization” and the Catholics “Theosis”. It is also a teaching found in New Order of the Latter Rain a.k.a Manifest Sons of God teachings of the charismatic restoration movements. We will attain Godlike powers in some alchemical/mystically union with Christ.

  6. Gricketson,

    Yep. No matter how you slice it, it always boils down to the idea that God is ultimately the author of evil. They will deny this until they are out of breath, but their equivocations are easily dismantled with even a cursory application of reason.

    If nothing is outside of “God’s Sovereign Will’, then “nothing” must include sin.

    So you are absolutely correct in calling this philosophy evil. Indeed, it is, I would argue, the perfect example of it. Evil is always rooted in a lie; and the greatest lie of all is that the SELF of man is merely a determined event in some cosmic “meta-narrative”, as Paul Dohse refers to the neo-Calvinist hermeneutic. If this is true, then the knowledge of God becomes utterly irrelevant, for it is a knowledge that isn’t efficacious for man TO any rational objective. Everything is already known FOR man, so to speak, by the determining force outside of him. And thus God’s truth is destroyed. If the knowledge of God is utterly irrelevant because of a wholly deterministic philosophy, then God cannot be known as TRUE. If God cannot be known as true, then He cannot be known as God, by definition.

    That is why I say in my article that their hatred of humanity ultimately reveals their hatred and denial of God, Himself.

    Only those of us who concede that we ARE can argue that WE KNOW. And what we know then can include God. A rational human metaphysic and epistemology must precede any legitimate claim to know God, let alone worship Him. You must concede SELF as ACTUAL and distinct before YOU can claim that YOU know God.

    Faith without SELF lacks meaning, purpose, and an object.

  7. Lydia,

    “I really believe the answer is in “image of God”. I just do not know how to articulate it.”

    The reason you struggle to articulate it is because the Bible doesn’t really explain it. God says “Let Us make man in Our image”, but there is no follow up breakdown of the similarities between God and man with respect to “image”.

    The Bible does this kind of thing more than once (make a claim absent examples or definitions), I notice. I was having a conversation about “do not let any unwholesome speech…” with John Immel last year at Paul Dohes’s TANC conference and John pointed out that the Apostle Paul never explains just what he means by “unwholesome”. So we now have legions of people terrified to yell “shit!” when they slam their finger in a door. As if THAT is the trap door that sends them straight to hell. Paul does say not to gossip or slander in some other portion of Scripture, but he doesn’t define “unwholesome speech” in the section where he mentions it as such.

    My point is I don’t really dwell on what man’s “image of God” means…again, because the Bible doesn’t say. God is having a conversation with Himself, and since man wasn’t around to hear it, I just assume it isn’t particularly relevant to us. It’s like the whole idea of God doing stuff with respect to us “before we were born”. Well, I have no control over what happens to me before I exist…and, like anything else which is literally outside the scope of my own will, I don’t consider it particularly relevant. I can only be responsible for what I know, and that requires my conscience; my conscious frame of reference as a SELF who is aware of his SELF. And that requires choice. And in order to make good choices I use reason to explain who I am and what my moral and existential obligations are. Beyond reason…that is, the defining and understanding of all I know by arriving at conclusions which do not logically contradict, I have found no effective rubric for truth. .

    So we can go round and round trying to say “maybe being made in the image of God means this, or this”, but I don’t like “maybe” arguments, as you probably have observed. 🙂 But if you want my two cents, I tend to assume it has something with to do with the ability of man to know himself as an infinite conscious standard of TRUTH and GOOD, but which is also distinct from what he observes is NOT himself; and that this infinite context of the SELF is the root causal force behind everything man knows or does.

    But that’s confusing and gets into some pretty heavy stuff. Which…all in due time. 🙂

  8. “Socrates said “Know thyself” – the question arises: “how?” Argo you seem to be saying it is simple: we can reason who we are. My self-reflection comes to the conclusion that there must be a God – a higher power than myself – this knowledge was not found in a religious or SCIENTIFIC way, but through common sense – maybe God did turn me around to see it?
    “Just as a being who is conscious of himself finds himself (in the sense of being given to himself), but not of constructing himself.” – Baader”


    For me, I have found that the question isn’t “How do we know ourselves”, but “How do we define ourselves.”

    That may seem like merely a difference in semantics, but I don’t believe so. We know ourselves through, ironically, the direct observation of what is NOT ourselves; meaning, without the senses, regardless of his consciousness, man cannot claim to exist. He must be aware of what is NOT him if he wants to claim awareness of himself. My point is that the knowledge of the SELF is merely a direct function of the senses feeding information to the brain. Knowledge of SELF then is purely a physiological process.

    But philosophy is rooted in knowing how to define SELF, and OTHERS, and this is why it is so inexorably tied to science. The definition of the SELF involves a rational explanation of just how (and why) the man who knows himself (by observation of himself juxtaposed to others) as THE singular existential frame of reference, and infinitely so, can arrive at a place where he observes himself as interacting with others in RELATIVE, yet EFFICACIOUS relationships.

    And that?

    Brings us to my anthropology, which you have rightly observed I have not yet described. The reason is that this gets to the very heart…the very roots of existence, and demands an utter re-evaluation, in order to be rational, of the assumptions regarding the causal power of purely conceptual notions (e.g. time, space, gravity…even existence). And that is something I have found is not terribly well received, mostly because it is so difficult for people to grasp. The “aha!” moment eludes them, because it requires looking at reality ABSENT the senses in a way. It boils down to pure reason, and pure reason is hard to employ when all we know is defined conceptually to the point where we do not claim TRUTH can exist absent its conceptual parameters. .

  9. I” was having a conversation about “do not let any unwholesome speech…” with John Immel last year at Paul Dohes’s TANC conference and John pointed out that the Apostle Paul never explains just what he means by “unwholesome”.

    A great point. There are several instances of that sort of thing, too. It really is kind of funny considering what Paul wrote in Galatians about wishing some of the men would cut “it off” which in some people’s book would be unwholesome but not to Paul. Hee Hee.

    It really does help not to see scripture as a book with all the answers or a how to manual written for 21st Century Christians. Bizarre.

    Just a note: Image of God is also Jesus Christ. That seems to be a sort of hint. But not a complete one for us humans. I feel led to point that out as a gal. :o)

  10. “considering what Paul wrote in Galatians about wishing some of the men would cut “it off” which in some people’s book would be unwholesome but not to Paul. Hee Hee.”

    Seriously. He painted a rather unpleasant word picture to say the least.

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