“This reminds me of Wade Burleson’s post & statement, “When love trumps theology”. For crying out loud, if theology isn’t in line with love THEN dump the theology, for heaven’s sake.”
– Commenter A Mom
This is a response by me to a selection from a comment by A Mom on the thread of the article “Part Two of Marxist Collectivism Masquerading as the Christian Orthodox Ideal”.
Right. Great point. If love ever needs to trump your theology, which presumably is the backbone of your entire existential philosophy (metaphysics all the way to art), then there is something fundamentally wrong with your theology. Theology should be rooted in the infinite value of human beings (because if God does not find utter pleasure in His relationship with His children then why create them?); that is, assuming we are interested in rational theology, and not bullshit; not mysticism.
But what Wade is really doing is cementing his ability to flip the doctrinal and therefore epistemological script on anyone, anywhere, anytime, for any reason he chooses. At the foundation of Wade’s theology is this: YOU are nothing until HE decides, as God’s proxy, that you are something. He will tell you when to care for people, and he will tell you when to reject them. And why will he tell you? Because he must. Because it takes someone with the divine gnosis to interpret the impossibly “paradoxical” doctrine. To “human” wisdom, the underlying doctrinal assertions are rank nonsense (and this is a function of your perfect epistemological failure, which is a function of your status as a metaphysical reprobate): You are. You are not. You have worth. You are worthless. You deserve justice. You deserve hell.
And when do you know the difference? You don’t. Because you can’t. So Wade will tell you. And incidentally this is why I consider the occupation of a pastor or priest to be a farce; a fake; a fabrication; a made-up job; a deception. Being a pastor or priest in the Christian church is merely the western equivalent of the tribal witch doctor. It literally has as much actual value. Pastors and priests destroy reality in favor of a universe where they alone define ALL the terms that matter; and there is no rational nor efficacious integration between who you REALLY are and who they say you are. This is a great evil, and its destruction is apparent by even a cursory glance at church history. For every good done to one person in Christianity since Augustine, thousands are slaughtered, enslaved, or psychologically wrecked.
If there is a time when love must trump theology, then presumably the converse is also true: there must be a time when theology trumps love. But this is nothing but yet another attempt to integrate mutually exclusive absolutes, which is the sum and substance of ALL Calvinist doctrines (well, all Protestant and Catholic doctrines, really). Love is rooted in the absolute value of human beings; it is not conditional precisely because it speaks, again, to the absolute value on the metaphysical level of each and every person. Theology is the study of God’s purpose and interaction with His Creation, which is really only relevant insofar as He relates to humanity. And if love is the expression of the absolute worth of humanity as a function of their very existence, then it is easy to see why love cannot be separated from theology, as you, A Mom, rightly observe. Love is the the underlying moral theme within a RATIONAL theology. Indeed, love’s expression is the utter purpose of theology in the first place.
To posit then that there is ever a time when we must trump theology with love, and/or love with theology is really just another mystic deception. It’s more nonsense. More “paradox”. More contradiction. And these in service to the absolute power of the God-proxy; the authority representing God to the barbarian masses. The pastor, priest, king, governor, pope, fuhrer, etcetera.
God loves you, but YOU are depravity. So He can only really love you in spite of you. Which means He both loves you and hates you at any given moment. He both accepts you and denies you. You have total worth to God but only because He overlooks your total worthlessness. Hmm…how exactly does this work?
It doesn’t. It’s a bunch of bullshit. And you need to understand this and believe it.
But Wade, I submit, believes that I see contradiction while he sees “all things are possible with God”, and that’s why he is “called” by God to lead men as a divinely mandated authority and I am not. Why he declares divine enlightenment and I still stumble in the darkness of mere “human” wisdom. And yet he never understands that this is nothing more that his his own rational failure, and has literally nothing whatsoever to do with the false notion that God has given him some kind of special insight and me none; as though reason is different between the human and divine. Reason is reason, period. Whether divine reason or human reason, the conclusions must be consistent. If they are not consistent then they are not reasonable, period. And if they are not reasonable then they are not possible, they cannot exist, nor be efficacious to anything which does exist. And therefore God cannot create them, and they are impossible, for God and for men.
For example, I would wager that Wade does not realize that the possible things which the Bible declares God can manifest must possess the possibility of existence in first place. Which means that their manifestation in reality cannot contradict that reality, by definition. Because the sum of mutually exclusive ideas is zero, even if the idea is protestant “orthodoxy”. Which means that should these ideas somehow be manifest in realty they would literally equal NOTHING. Contradictory ideas then cannot possibly exist, and so they cannot be a part of the “all things” which are possible with God. God cannot make to exist that which cannot possibly exist. Because to say that God can make to exist that which cannot exist because its existence would immediately contradict to a sum of zero means that you are really attempting to argue that God can create NOTHING. Which is yet another contradiction in terms. God creating contradictions which manifest as NON-contradictions is itself a contradiction, and on and on this goes, ad infinitum. But the truth is that God cannot claim to create a contradiction; you cannot claim to know the “truth” of a contradiction, because as soon as a contradiction is created and manifest as actual it is no longer a contradiction. If you can know it, and observe it, and reconcile it to your own existence, it isn’t a contradiction. So the idea that God can create contradictions so that they are actual and efficacious and are part of the “all things” which are possible is really simple nonsense. Subterfuge. Deception. Obfuscation. Lies. Which is why all people, religious and irreligious alike, are morally obligated to reject any idea which cannot be defended rationally; which cannot be consistently held to the standard of reason.
The only purpose then of such nonsense and lies like “when love trumps theology” is the same old saw: Keep people perpetually ignorant. Keep them always on the cusp of truth, perhaps, but never actually there. Destroy reason as the benchmark of truth and you destroy a human’s ability to understand anything. Do this, and you destroy their ability to pursue their own lives. Thus, via the kind of deception and contradiction the church incessantly peddles, human beings are hooked to the ruling mystic like an alcoholic is hooked to his hooch.
34 thoughts on “Why Love Cannot Be Removed From Theology; and Why “All things are possible for God” is Not a Rational Defense for “Orthodox” Christianity’s Evil Doctrinal Contradictions”
“Being a pastor or priest in the Christian church is merely the western equivalent of the tribal witch doctor”.
Yes, the cut you and bleed you.
Lol! Great analogy. I actually hadn’t thought of it that way, but…yes they do! And sometimes it’s a slow bleed. And other times it is outright slaughter to obtain the stores of mutton. And sometimes it is figurative and often times, historically anyway, it is literal.
“If there is a time when love must trump theology, then presumably the converse is also true: there must be a time when theology trumps love. ”
You know, it is embarrassing to think how many times I heard such empty platitudes and never questioned them. But question them we must. If we think long and hard about them they are often contradictory such as the “Love must trump theology”. Well, what is “Theology”? The study of God? What/Who is God? God is LOVE.
So how can “theology” trump God since the study of God reveals LOVE? It should be one and the same. But we both know that is not how it works.
So there is a different definition of theology, then? Perhaps they would enlighten us?
You can get enlightened Lydia, but only by totally agreeing with everything they say. So they don’t really ever need to explain anything.
An you’re right. If God is love, then how to you make a distinction between love and “sound doctrine”? Great point!
Somehow I knew you’d take A Mom’s comment and write a post. 🙂 I am glad you did. This has always bothered me.
There was a similar thread title on TWW back in the day: “Stress God’s Love Before You Get Into Doctrine.”
You know me well, Oasis.
The stuff like “when love trumps theology” is the kind of crap I used to fall for regularly, so I have a particularly poignant aversion to it. It sounds so reasonable without having any reason. And I flagellate myself regularly for both accepting and parroting this nonsense. It destroyed my psyche for years, as well as most of if not all of the real friendships I had prior to my base jump into the pit of Calvinism.
Even now as I think of it I am literally recoiling at the thought of the magnitude of my own Calvinist assholery.
What a TOOL I must have looked like from the outside!
I hate their doctrine with a hatred as deep as a well which has no bottom. And I hate who I was. I’ll die a thousand times if needs be before I ever accept their evil again.
Argo, People keep telling me “labels” are divisive which I understand where they are coming from but there is a nefarious reason why many don’t want to go there, too. . So one cannot bring up Calvinism. (Unity is big theme right now. No real bad guys anymore). There are guys like MOhler and others right now who wish all the labels would just go away as so many scandals are imploding in that movement.
But if you had to label your beliefs, what label would you use?
Funny you should ask. I have been thinking of this very thing the past few months. After careful consideration I have decided that I would label my philosophy Existential Perfectionism. That is, the inherent infinite value and being of all that both IS and OBSERVES, which implies moral and metaphysical equality between God and man at the root level of existence.
And though I believe in Jesus I do not prefer the label “Christian” any longer for reasons I’m sure you can understand. 🙂
Hey, Argo, I hope you can forgive yourself and focus on what you are doing now: Blogging about your thoughts, which is helpful and restorative to yourself and others, rather than destructive. I do understand your pain and regret, but think about it: You are a new man now, and your self-flagellation is in total contradiction to your new way of life. As Lydia said to me last week, “Look forward.” Hmm, at least I think that was what she said…
Also, you are probably always going to look like a tool to someone, no matter what. 🙂 Same goes for me. P.S. I share your hatred of the destructive doctrine.
As for labels being divisive… I agree with what “pondering” said over on SSB, which was basically that Calvinism itself is divisive. True “unity” is impossible… There is no point in pretending otherwise.
Not so comfortable with the “Christian” label myself anymore.
“If there is a time when love must trump theology, then presumably the converse is also true: there must be a time when theology trumps love. … Love is the the underlying moral theme within a RATIONAL theology. Indeed, love’s expression is the utter purpose of theology in the first place.” Argo
Standing O, Argo. Hey, that rhymes. That statement bugs the heck outa me also, and it’s quite telling….
Actually, “when love trumps theology” means theology is always at odds with love, is normally ranked higher than love, but love sometimes trumps theology. In order for something to trump something else, it must beat something that normally has a higher rank. Trump is an exception, by it’s definition. The opposite of trump, which is theology, is the rule. So in Wade’s world, theology can’t ever trump love because it already automatically takes priority over love. Theology is the rule. So Wade’s opinion is that theology IS higher than love – with a few exceptions. I hope I explained it in a way that made sense there.
When I first read Wade’s post it sent shivering shock-waves through me. He laid it out, bare, for all to know & understand what he believes. Their God, the center of their theology, is not love. If you think about it, it is ice cold thinking.
And they have to leave their belief system behind in order to act in love. Wade spells it out correctly.
So, to be clear, John Piper is right to think kids killed in schools by tornados was an act of their God. But he should be more “loving, kind” about it than their own God is, according to Wade.
Why is a theology founded on a loving Creator more wrong than a theology “normally” at odds with love?
Oops, my bad. They’ve changed the definition of love. My definition of love is out, archaic, old. Their God is sovereign, in control & causes every bad action to happen. And whatever bad their God does, don’t judge it, it is always love. God’s ways can’t be reasoned nor understood by me.
Well, my understanding is good is good and bad is bad. And I’m not gonna budge an inch on that.
“Why is a theology founded on a loving Creator more wrong than a theology “normally” at odds with love?”
Your whole comment was well articulated and I thank you for it. The above stood out at me because I have been thinking about a variation on this for a while now. I think I have figured it out but not sure.
The loving Creator “theology” starts with Jesus Christ as the exact representation of “God”. (equal with God because He IS God in the Flesh)
Their theology starts with the OT God understood in literal terms with the Platonic backdrop of dualism. Their OT God is nothing like Jesus because of how they interpret the historical context.
They basically (without saying so) make Jesus Christ, by default, into a lesser god and NOT the exact representation of God (Hebrews)
So in effect, their OT God looks more like the angry Greek pagan gods the entire OT is juxtaposed upon. Once you do that, what do you do with Jesus Christ?
My experience is they use Jesus Christ as a weapon against others. AS in “you must forgive that abuser right away like Jesus”. They can say this as the ‘god’ who gets to define for you. It goes right back to the whole pecking order in the Trinity thing. (Sorry Argo, just using it as an example here). They get to be more like the OT God while holding YOU to the Jesus standard.
Oasis, I need to define that better:
Look forward but learn from the past. :o)
“So, to be clear, John Piper is right to think kids killed in schools by tornados was an act of their God. But he should be more “loving, kind” about it than their own God is, according to Wade. ”
It is a smoke and mirrors Christianity. that is why I say watch their pattern of behavior because the words can go back and forth. Very confusing
All the comments here…wow. Just…wow. I am speechless. My gosh, when people start to think, I can almost feel the hope literally washing over our world.
I have no words to add. Excellent observations one and all!
Oasis… the self flagellation is a reaping of my own actions. I’m not necessarily saying that I am trying to correct the disregard I had for people by rejecting myself. It’s nothing so…hmmm, poetically irrational; it’s not morose. It’s more like rank and gutting embarrassment, which is not so easily assuaged because it is the natural reaction of one who has come to posses a MUCH better conscience.
They are just memories which cause pain. Like a knee that throbs when it’s damp out. When I muse on the past I remember that I twisted something out of shape once, and I can feel it.
Wish I could figure out how to take a screen shot. Wanted to share this with you, Argo. I am finding the converse “AnaBaptist” movement (which is the rising antidote to Calvinism) is just as problematic. (these guys are just as bad with the platitude tweeting)
Check this out:
Brian Zahnd @BrianZahnd · 2h
What fundamentalism claims to be, but is not, is what orthodoxy actually is: right belief. Be orthodox, not fundamentalist.
Ok, so I engaged about the word “orthodox” and it was a pile on with everyone favoring or retweeting his responses. He could not wrap his head around the word “orthodox” being a problem. He was maintaining it was right because it is the opposite of heterodoxy.
And his final argument to me was the “Trinity” was orthodox! I can see your face now. There was a time “Trinity” was heterodoxy, was it not? That was the issue with one of the earlier councils that decided Trinity was orthodox. There is no teaching in scripture to view Yahweh as a Trinity or be damned. Some guys just counted the manifestations and named it that. (Did they include Lord of Host Armies?) Hee Hee.
I do this now and again just for fun. I asked how one has a relationship with “orthodoxy” but he claimed the “belief” was orthodoxy and faith was the relationship. But even demons believe the “right” things, right? Are they now “orthodox”?
These guys all make their living in ministry and the whole social media platitude is part of building a following. I get that. And boy do they jump on your for questioning their cool guy.
They don’t get questioned enough.
“Look forward but learn from the past. :o)”
Yes, that is better. And like I tell my little nephews, we never stop learning!
Argo, okay, that makes sense. Glad you clarified, and of course that you possess that much better conscience now. 🙂
“Their God is sovereign, in control & causes every bad action to happen. And whatever bad their God does, don’t judge it, it is always love. God’s ways can’t be reasoned nor understood by me.”
OH, how I wish I could find the words to express what I think about THIS. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, in the face of evil. La la la-la. The Twilight Zone god.
“Well, my understanding is good is good and bad is bad. And I’m not gonna budge an inch on that.”
Ditto, ditto, ditto. Do not follow the white rabbit.
“My gosh, when people start to think, I can almost feel the hope literally washing over our world”.
This brought me to tears, Argo! You are an excellent teacher- sincere and edifying!!
It would be so lovely if y’all could all come to Sunday dinner, my friends! I think I say this to my husband every week! 🙂
As always, the question is who gets to define what is “orthodox”? It ultimately has to boil down to a specific hermeneutic, and the history of the Christian church has been that the hermeneutic is NEVER reason based. Meaning, for all the cries of “orthodoxy” the root premises are never actually held to any rational standard, just like every other two-bit mystic yarn anywhere else in the world. The Trinity, the Fall, Original Sin, election, the Infallible Scriptures, Total Depravity, Double Imputation…they are all considered orthodox and not one of them can possibly be true and exist in the reality human beings AND God occupy. Not. One.
So you can always paint them into the corner and they will always cry mystery, sooner or later. You know this very well.
To make ANY distinction between what these people consider “orthodox” and what they consider heresy or heterodoxy is a laughable hypocrisy. If their theology cannot possibly be true by any rational standard (the standard which MUST be used if we are to concede that we and God actually exist) then they really have no business criticizing ANYONE. Because it is ultimately irrelevant. One false doctrine is just as good (or bad) as the next. They should know this because it is just about as simple as it gets. If what you believe isn’t logical, by what means can you argue that you are “orthodox” and someone else isn’t?
The answer? By NO means. And again, this is Logical Progression of Ideas 101.
They are born hypocrites and liars it seems…wired to blindness of their own nonsense; blind leaders of the blind. It astonishes me that they never think to ask just how and why what is considered “orthodox” became that way in the first place.
But alas, and sigh….what they really believe, of course, is that they somehow ALONE have divine truth which passes all understanding (which really means “reason”). No one else does. Agree with them or rot in hell.
It’s the same old mystic refrain. Yawn.
Thank you for your kind words!! They mean so much!
“It would be so lovely if y’all could all come to Sunday dinner, my friends! I think I say this to my husband every week! :)”
Now there is a tradition I miss! I would love it. No one makes Sunday dinner anymore.
“It astonishes me that they never think to ask just how and why what is considered “orthodox” became that way in the first place.”
Bingo! That, to me, is the anti intellectualism of what passes for Christianity. But this guy is a pastor and trying to sell books. What cracks me up about all of this is that the Ana Baptist movement is gaining steam as the opposite of Calvinism but it really isn’t underneath. They are simply saying their way is orthodox. But their “orthodoxy” was at one time “heterodoxy”, too!
In fact, I crack up at these groups looking for common denominators with Calvinists for “unity”.
What is the Ana baptist movement?
“unity”……as in the Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience? 🙂
Argo, could you correct my name! 🙂
Of course. What do you mean?
hi, my name is greg,im an extreme hardcore hyper neo anti calvinist militant crusader lol 🙂
hey argo,im still tryin to catch up 🙂 i recently read steven hicks’ explaining postmodernism,good stuff 🙂 i found a bunch of groups on facebook,some open theists,some anticalvinist ones too,im giving the calvies hell every day lol 🙂
clown theology adds up to zero lol 🙂
i reject every word that comes out of their mouths,since they redifine them all lol 🙂
oh and hey argo,i found a christian philosophy group too 🙂 any one feel free to friend me on facebook 🙂 gregory ricketson 🙂
peace 🙂 keep up the good work 🙂
Greg, I used to be in a couple of those groups, when I had an account there. “Christians AGAINST the Heresy of Calvinism & TULIP” especially drove me up the wall…and back down again. If I could tolerate reading the Calvinists in those groups gleefully and proudly assassinating the character of God, then I would stop by and watch the show.
There is also a controlling KJV-only moderator to watch out for by the name of Jeff, who gives off very anti-women vibes and has a tendency to turn on other non-Cals who disagree with anything he says… Have fun. 🙂
“WITH God all things are possible.”
WITH not TO.
Not “to God all things are possible.” But “with God all things are possible.”
That is, it is possible for you to do all things necessary to salvation with God’s help: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
This is not affirming that God can do all things but that YOU can do all things with God on your side. Like in Philippians 2:12-13 “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for God who works with you both in willing and doing.” Calvinists through mistranslation, monkeying, and just in general bad interpretation have made the 2nd verse there a reason NOT to work out your own salvation whereas Paul gave it as a reason to do so: You can’t say “No, Paul, I can’t work out my own salvation: that’s not possible. I’m just a weak human…blah blah blah, Calvin said…” because Paul says right there God is helping you, so shut up and work out your own salvation already. Sheesh.
The modern “anabaptist movement” is nothing like the anabaptists of the Reformation period, at all, and certainly nothing like the anabaptists of around the time of Nicea. The “anabaptist movement” is just liberal pacifist Calvinism…..pacifist for now, and only for now.
The phrase “with God all things are possible” is in Greek:
παρα δε θεω δυνατα παντα
Meaning “close to God all things are possible,” i.e. “with God” as in, when you’re with God all things are possible to you.
” The “anabaptist movement” is just liberal pacifist Calvinism…”
I agree they are liberal pacifists. But again they are not monolithic now as they were not in history at all. They got the name for “re baptizing” as in against infant baptism.
They are into collectivism to some degree that makes me uncomfortable. But some like Boyd and Bruxy Cavey are Open Theists. And some seem to be identifying with certain branches of Methodists. it is a mixed bag. They seem to be trying to identify as a group with Ana Baptist. As if they are the anecdote to the Calvinist resurgence. Which is exactly what I think they are at this point as many come from the Calvinist movement from what I am picking up on reading around the blogosphere. People always need to identify with a group or movement.
Lydia and David,
Thanks for filling me in. I’m not up to speed on all the nomenclature. And I tend to post according to my own interpretation of what I see at any given moment, according to my own philosophy, and since that’s time consuming I don’t always do my homework in keeping up with the new movements, new definitions, ancillary subgroups, or the evolving “orthodox” hermeneutic (because it is always evolving; but the hypocrisy remains consistent, and so the root assumptions and assertions never change). So thanks again for the low down!