“What’s Your Story?
…each person will share his or her story in 10-15 minutes.
…Keep in mind that no big presentation is required. You are simply expected to introduce yourself. A great way to do this is to identify three key people who have played significant roles in your life, three events that have effected you, and three places that are special to you. “
(p.11, 12, “Community: Your pathway to progress”, North Point Ministries, 2008)
Notice in this introductory blurb concerning how best to introduce oneself to the newly organized “care group” (in Sovereign Grace Ministries, I noticed that this title was perfectly ironical) the three suggestions for doing so are examples wherein the person explains how he or she was affected by his or her world, and not the other way around. Meaning, the person regaling the group with their cliff-notes autobiography are advised to present themselves as the product of their environment…as an effect and not a cause. They are not counseled to discuss their hobbies or interests, or their past decisions or current desires, or the choices they have made and the consequences of those choices reaped, good or bad. No, what they are asked to do is explain the three ways they have arrived at that place (the new group), at that time (of the group’s choosing) by the influence or will of OTHER: OTHER people, OTHER places, or OTHER events.
In other words…
The “people” who have influenced you never includes YOU as having anything to do with the why or how of that influence.
The place…they are not interested in your observations or how you interpret the environment, or what it means to you or how you willfully experienced it.
The event…they are not interested in hearing about your impact on the event, how your presence and existence defined it and gave truth to it for YOUR life and YOUR context.
And this is deliberate. This is the setting of the stage in your mind for the group metaphysic they are soon to explain is the only real and efficacious hermeneutic for reality; and then they will demand you categorically accept this hermeneutic in order to be approved by God and welcome in His “community”. This will eventually be followed by either an explicit or implicit (but fully presented and fully expected and fully required) demand that you subordinate your beliefs, opinions, will, time, and property to the “authority” of the pastoral leadership. For since no individual in the group is capable of defining truth or morality alone by metaphysical definition, the pastoral leadership will be presented as those who represent, by divine gift and insight, the sum and substance of the moral and epistemological (truth understood) value of the group. This is for no other reason than to secure power over you and as many as they can “evangelize”…that is, cull from the herd of the unwashed, brainless, hopeless, cosmically-rejected masses for the purpose of exploitation.
This is and was the operating procedure of Sovereign Grace Ministries to a bulls-eye, and the consequences were and continue to be a full on disaster. And in America right now we have literally thousands if not millions of SGM-like disasters teetering upon the precipice. And the more we remain blind to the collectivist philosophy which places them there–that Satanic catalyst for every horror and human catastrophe ever wrought upon the earth, from the Garden of Eden until now–the higher and higher the precipice rises.
Now, I understand that at this point I may still seem to be reaching a bit. Exaggerating; taking myself too seriously; quibbling; nitpicking; exacting.
You might think so. But then, we are just getting started.
“Most of us charge hard after progress. We seek it in our careers, in our kids, in our marriages, and even in our tennis games. We work hard, read books, attend seminars, and take lessons, all in an effort to make today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. But what about our spiritual lives?”
(p.15, “Community: Your pathway to progress”, North Point Ministries, 2008)
Presently we will observe, as an absolute certainty, that individual progress in our autonomous lives is mutually exclusive of and contradictory to our progress in our “spiritual” lives, which is collective. This is merely a further manifestation of the fundamental parsing of man’s singular metaphysical SELF, his existential oneness, which is the prevailing and orthodox metaphysical theme in Christianity today (most egregiously noted, presumed, and preached in the neo-Calvinist/Reformed movement) and since the days of Augustine.
The worldly and fallen flesh of man’s body represents individual progress; while man’s unseen spirit/soul represents the “real” man…his “spiritual” progress. This is the non-material man…the “true” man. The part of man of which he only experiences as a second-hand observer. The part of man which is fully integrated into the collective of God’s people. The relevant and eternally (assuming you are actually elected to salvation, which, by doctrinal definition you can’t ever really know) binding part of your singular SELF. Which is a contradiction, I know. But understand that all of reality according to the Platonist Christian group metaphysic is really based upon that which cannot be observed “in the flesh”; which means it cannot be observed at all, period. This is the root of the false interpretation of Hebrews’ “faith is the hope of things unseen”: What you observe in the here and now with your fleshly senses is not in fact reality, but is merely a “shadow” of reality. Reality lay beyond the body, which is simply another way of saying that it is impossible for YOU to apprehend it in any way, full stop. Thus, you must have faith; and “faith” thus defined is, when all the logic is parsed out and taken to its only rational conclusion, a complete concession of and submission to the existential hermeneutic (how you interpret ALL of reality) of the “divinely called leaders of men who stand in god’s stead as your authority”. Which is simply another way of saying that you exist and were born for the express and ironic purpose of DYING…that is, dying for the “greater good”, or the “good of the community”, as dictated to you by your human authorities, who are those men serving as proxies for the Primary Consciousness (e.g. God’s Will/God’s Plan for Your Life (Modern American Protestantism), the Workers Utopia (Soviet Union, Cuba), the National Ideal (North Korea), the Economic Ideal (Jeff Davis’s Confederate South), the Union of States (Lincoln’s Federal North), the Racial Ideal (National Socialist Germany), the Collective Good (American Liberal Progressive movement), the Natural/Divine/Traditional Morality (American Conservative Christian movement).
Indeed, the great dichotomy and irreconcilable chasm between your body and soul is probably the greatest contradiction and fallacy of reason in the history of religion.
“And what does progress from a spiritual standpoint look like? Admittedly, spiritual growth can be a little hard to measure. Because God is involved in the process, it’s a bit mysterious.”
(p.15, “Community: Your pathway to progress”, North Point Ministries, 2008)
Keep this self-admittedly nebulous declaration in mind. This is the fundamental equivocation which forms the impenetrable defense of this doctrine and group metaphysic against all denunciation and criticism from anyone for any reason in any context. The root philosophical premise–that is, the essential premise of the entire philosophy–is that there is no actual or discernible distinction between man’s SELF and God’s Sovereign Will.
This is important.
It allows these collectivist mystics to punt ALL of their many and serious contradictions into the great cosmic abyss of God’s mystery.
It is easy to understand then just why they immediately, in the introduction, before they move on to anything else make this clear: How this all works is a mystery at the end of the day. How you can both be you and the group (NOT you) is simply a contradiction you’ll have to accept because to deny it is to deny the power of God to “make all things possible”. This is rank deception and, again, is intended to nip any and all metaphysical or doctrinal disagreement in the bud.
Because the “truth” ultimately boils down to mystery, they can move the plumb line for truth anywhere they require in order to maintain control. If you zig, they zag. I call it Whack-A-Mole philosophy. You can never pin them down because there is no benchmark of reason in their doctrine; and this is because their “truth” is not a function of reason, because reason they rightly assume is an extension of observable reality, which they do not concede is a legitimate reality. Rather, real “truth” is a function of the utterly exclusive and unknowable (to you) realm of the “spirit”. “Spiritual” progress then requires that you forsake reason as the necessary presumption for truth and abandon your senses as an efficacious bridge to reality, and instead wholly subordinate your mind to the mystics who claim a clairvoyance that you as an individual cannot possibly possess.
It is amazing how many otherwise educated and erudite people simply nod in agreement when they are fed this cold porridge. They are told that they–no matter how successful or prosperous or educated or admired or powerful or revered in the community they are (usually much more significantly so than any Pastor, who is usually intellectually unimpressive and educationally nascent)–yes, they are told that they do not really know anything at all, and that their success is in reality a laughingstock of farce and completely discarded by God–who supposedly loves them with an immeasurable love–as pure piffle at best, and wicked arrogance at worst. And these people think that this is just the most profound and breathtaking wisdom to which they’ve ever been exposed. Incredible.
It would be utterly comical if it weren’t so deadly and so indicative of the danger this “Christian” movement represents. Even the most astute among us seem unable to resist its guile.
Stay tuned for part four.