Things in the created universe are either God or they are NOT God; they are either an autonomous SELF distinct from God or they are functional extensions of God…which means they ARE God.
If they ARE God then it is redundant to classify their actions a being extensions of God’s control. There is no distinction between themselves and God, which makes any attempt to define them according to some kind of “God and Creation” construct an exercise in bullshit. If man isn’t man but is God then man has no ability to think (because he does not exist as a distinct volitional agent), which means he cannot know, which means he cannot declare that “God is in control”. He has no mind by which he would fucking know.
If Creation is NOT God then there must be a limit to God’s control. For if God cannot BE what He is not then what He is not must have a root autonomy of SELF. The actions of everything then NOT God are therefore a direct function of the root SELF of their own absolutely and perfectly autonomous existence. You cannot integrate absolutes like “control” and “freedom”; either creation is free to BE itself and from that SELF, to absolutely ACT, or Creation is absolutely not free to be itself and thus cannot claim any actual existence at all.
The actions of any object in creation must be either an ABSOLUTE extension of the SELF or an ABSOLUTE extension of NOT SELF (e.g. God). Human actions are either absolutely their own or humanity cannot claim any rational existence.
The doctrine of “God is in control” has no basis in efficacious reason. It’s logical outcome will always be the destruction of humanity (exhibit A: chattel slavery). It is a lie. If we were created to be controlled, then there is no purpose to BEING us at all. We exist to serve ABSOLUTELY that which is NOT us. And if that is true, then the only logical philosophy is one of absolute denial of SELF. Which equals death as the greatest moral service man can make for that which demands TOTAL control of him to the very limits of the SELF.
This is the neo-Calvinist “cult of death”, as John Immel describes it. And it’s an abomination. And its hypocrisy can be sadly observed at Wartburg Watch and a thousand other blogs.
30 thoughts on ““Control” is a Concept Which Must Be Qualified; Control Can Never Be Absolute Without Destroying Man’s Existence: A short examination of the Reformed/Neo-Calvinist Lie of “God’s Sovereignty””
You might appreciate this quote taken from an open letter to John Calvin from American Jesus:
“Which is why, John, it’s hard not to conclude that Calvinism is a sustained exercise in the defense against the obvious. By which I mean you’re constantly on the defense against the obvious conclusions of your claims.” – See more at: http://theamericanjesus.net/?p=12190#sthash.ckGSnj2z.dpuf
I cracked up. That nails it. A “sustained exercise in the defense against the obvious”.
Can you imagine preaching and arguing against the obvious all your life? The only way to sustain it is: FORCE in some fashion. And force is the by product of most of Protestantism whether it is shunning, shaming, excommunication and worse if it were legal.
That is awesome.
It’s a philosophy that attempts to lead you to “truth” by constantly telling you you can’t ever possibly know anything.
In the parlance of today, we call that a “snow job”.
“It’s a philosophy that attempts to lead you to “truth” by constantly telling you you can’t ever possibly know anything.
In the parlance of today, we call that a “snow job”.”
And that is where the “control” factor plays in so well. God is in control. You are not. But you cannot think in terms of the obvious conclusions to that because it is a sin to do so.
Nope, if the rapist breaks into my home, I am going to ask God to give me strength to take him down. I am not going to say to myself, “God is in control” and hope for the best. If I said God is in control to myself, then I would have to admit that God had him break in!
Sheesh! this stuff makes me nauseous. And it is everywhere all over evangelicalism.
Cult of death worship. It is as far from the ideas of Christ as one can possibly get.
I always love it when this particular lie is called out, along with the hypocrisy. To put it mildly. Very, very mildly.
I hear you, Oasis. I’m right there with you.
It hurts my ears anymore to hear about how God is in complete control.
So it goes: Take care & comfort & solace while in the midst of your pain BECAUSE God caused it… God knows best.
So… It was for the best. It was good. Suffering is good. Stop questioning it.
So evil = good. I can’t stand it anymore. Ugh.
Who stops asking/questioning/caring/feeling? The dead.
How about: It’s okay to ask/question. And my answer to those questions? God gave us choice. Period. Some choose bad/wrong/evil. But good triumphs over evil when: GOOD IS CHOSEN. And when humans pick good. The point is then: choose good/right/life over death/bad/wrong/evil. That’s how to LIVE a meaningful life to the fullest. LIVE. Period.
My 2 cents.
Suicide is dangerous. It brings aboutmany changes.
Suicide is dangerous. It brings about many changes.
Is this libertarian Open Theism?
What is libertarian Open Theism? Who is your question for, Jason?
“Who stops asking/questioning/caring/feeling? The dead.”
Excellent article, Argo. This concept, God makes every action happen, needs to be knocked down. It’s a bad idea to assign bad/evil to God.
God made everything that happened happen.
The message: God dealt it. You need to deal with it.
What a painful, ugly, opposite of who God is… message.
“God made everything that happened happen.
The message: God dealt it. You need to deal with it.”
Not accurate. Here’s the correction:
The message: God dealt it. You need to love it.
God grieves. Eph 4, Gen 6
Jesus taught, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” prayer.
If God is in complete control & God is perfect, why would God grieve what God makes happen? Is God double-minded?
Why do we pray for God’s will to be done on earth, if God already does what God wants on earth ALL THE TIME? Is God double-minded?
Are we robots or do we decide & are responsible & it is right to receive both good or bad consequences, depending on our actions?
to take what you say to another level (because it is awesome) what Jesus prays here is even more startling. Someday the “heaven” and earth are going to be joined up. And all the good stuff we do here will stay because there will be no corruption or deception. We are actually in a position to produce fruit for it. None of it goes to waste so to speak. Love, mercy, grace and justice transfer. Who we are and what we do here counts for much more than we think. We are to reflect Him Who is in us, back out to the world: Honesty, truthfulness, justice,fairness, self control, peace, etc, etc
We already know God’s will for us so when we live that out it counts for us big time. It is not works salvation because we are already justified. Once I understood this everything had to change. For sure: No more dualism. It goes against everything. Dualism is like spitting in God’s face, I think. That is why I see Calvinism as evil. Not all material world is evil even though corrupted by sin. We must also focus on the beauty part too! Argo’s songs are part of that beauty. Curing cancer is part of that beauty. My paint by numbers is part of it. rescuing a child who has been molested. Standing up to bullies. And so on. There is so much beauty to do!
And the best part is we are not to be doormats for fake Christian. We run from them.
A Mom, how great it is not to be alone.
As someone who spends too much time disturbing herself by following cases of kidnapping and other crimes, it is not possible for me to read about what happened to, oh, say…Jennifer Colhouer, and what life was like for her little brother after he found her bloody body on his bedroom floor among his Christmas toys…and think that our pure, holy, loving God either directly or indirectly decided that it was BETTER for these horrible events, these sins, to happen.
Put yourself in the shoes of a tiny person being tortured and strangled to death in her parents’ basement. Keep your head above the ground and face the senseless evil head-on. Confront it, all of the details. Look at the autopsy photos, the crime scene. God is nowhere to be found.
One thing that stays with me is, it is my responsibility to think more highly of God than that.
Oasis, There was a sort of national crisis in Israel sometime around the early 60’s concerning the Holocaust. AFter the war, most of the immigrants from the Holocaust were not Zionists at all. They had never had a dream of “Israel”. Conversely, Zionists were ashamed of what had happened and embarrassed by the victims. They wanted to project confidence to the world. Not sheep to slaughter– as they termed it.
But something in the national psyche changed and they decided it was necessary to hear the stories. Probably catching Eichmann was part of it. But they had to endure the stories of the horrors and evil. The stories were “unbelievable” which is why evil is so heinous. We cannot “hear it”. We cannot believe it. But we must.
BUT–We must go and work for justice afterward. we MUST go and make beauty too. Hannah Arnedt journalist, who listened to the evil stories in the Eichmann trial declared in her report “The banality of evil”.
There is no creativity. No soul. No intellect except to manipulate.
What am I trying to say here? We show love and respect by hearing the evil. Our horror is part of the healing for the survivors. Then we help victims create beauty in their lives with love, justice, etc.
I owe you an email! I had over 125 over the last 3 days and I know it is somewhere before them!
Lydia, you read my mind! It says, “I see you, I hear you,” when we uncover our eyes and listen to people’s stories, when we walk through the horrors with them. I agree, we MUST, and one reason is because people deserve it from us. It is utmost love and respect, and I think a form of justice. Even when crime victims are gone from this earth, we show them dignity by choosing to see and hear, and by recognizing evil for what it is. We validate them/their experiences/truth. Then they are not alone.
So fascinating about the national crisis in Israel. I definitely believe their psyche changed for the better. There are too many reasons why these things should never be ignored.
I love what you said about beauty. It is so easy for evil to overwhelm, but we are to overcome it. Not deny it, not gloss over it, but as you told me once, overcome it in every way we can. Now you have me connecting overcoming with beauty. Hmm, my mind is spinning… 🙂
WOW, that is a lot of mail! So tempted to clog up your inbox now! HA… Anyway, no pressure!
I see certain large sects of Christianity preaching outrage, dismay & sorrow over evil is the wrong approach. Their right approach is to accept it, since it’s directly from God, & it will make you holy.
I see it as the CYA approach AKA cover your bum. It is not God they are covering, it’s their own image, income & name. In people’s minds the institution or brick/mortar or preacher has God-like status…. and needs to be “protected” before anyone at all costs. Each person needs to take a hit if necessary to cover the institution=God. So who’s really “covering” whom here? Is it really women & children first? Is there an oasis there? Nope. These are mirages put out by vision-casters. We must be wise to use our own eyes & senses.
No one runs God. To run God by containing God to organizations, buildings, institutions, membership contracts, representatives like the pope or pastor reduces God. Anyone that limits God holds onto a mirage. What is really being worshiped here?
“Put yourself in the shoes of a tiny person being tortured and strangled to death in her parents’ basement. Keep your head above the ground and face the senseless evil head-on. Confront it, all of the details. Look at the autopsy photos, the crime scene. God is nowhere to be found.
One thing that stays with me is, it is my responsibility to think more highly of God than that.”
Oasis, This is just horrific. But the answer isn’t to turn away or not face it in order to stay in a clean bubble of holy Christianity. And then say God worked it that way so any positive action I take on your behalf is icing on your (really my) cake.
No. Each one, christian or not, is obligated to right, just, good action. Always. Even more so in the face of evil. We stare it down, go to battle against it, shut it down. We protect.
Each one born is obligated. But Jesus taught it’s a trademark identifier of one who follows Him. If you follow Jesus, it is more than obligation, it’s a burning desire. Meaning, you will not see a follower of Christ who isn’t concerned & wants to actively bring beauty to this world, their lives & the lives of others. I believe that’s part of the new birth.
It is vile to teach a follow of Christ believes the opposite.
Lydia, I love that analogy of beauty synonymous with right action. That’s exactly the right word.
“Lydia, I love that analogy of beauty synonymous with right action. That’s exactly the right word.”
“Good” just does not cover it. Because something very profound comes from right action. It enobles others, too….eventually.
“I love what you said about beauty. It is so easy for evil to overwhelm, but we are to overcome it. Not deny it, not gloss over it, but as you told me once, overcome it in every way we can. Now you have me connecting overcoming with beauty. Hmm, my mind is spinning…”
I am just starting to wrap my head around it too. As I repudiate the dualistic thinking of all material world evil……the world is really opening up. It is opening up things I had never imagined.
I learned a little song in Sunday School long ago: this is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice & be glad in it. Basically, enjoy life. Oh, how far Baptists & Christians have moved away from that. We create beauty. We don’t go along with evil. That is how to enjoy life. And enjoying life is not a sin!
Thanks A mom. My mom used to wake me up singing that when I was little. I miss her. She was all about beauty and celebrating life and standing up to bullies.
If each of us uphold this way of life & thinking, maybe more will see the difference & be emboldened (as you said) to link arms with us. Overcoming, living in beauty, celebrating life is a good way of life.
My Dad played the harmonica. It wasn’t expensive & he’d keep it in his pocket. I remember him playing & us singing as our entertainment some evenings.
You seem to be a chip off your Mom’s block. 😉
So inspired by you two right now, A Mom and Lydia.
Love you Oasis. You are worthy and valuable. Never forget that.
Abusers CHOSE to lessen their own worth.
I was reading through the exchange amongst the ladies above and what I find fascinating is . . . after being exposed to the Augustinian/Calvin/Kantian axis of evil philosophy how hard people have to work to arrived that the conclusion that the DO have value, that they, as individuals DO have the right to exist for their own sake and that they are GOOD to do so.
This is a measure of how truly destructive this body of thought is.
Love you, too, Lydia. And thank you! 🙂
John, it is a shock to the system, but a good one.