1. Have you ever felt like you had insight and clarity into someone else’s poor decision? Did you say anything? How did it turn out?
(Community: Your pathway to progress, pp. 35. North Point Ministries, 2008)
Let’s examine the profound and irrational assumptions/presumptions which form the philosophical roots of this “discussion” question (one of three we will examine), according to the spurious standard of today’s “doctrinally sound” Christian church. Remember that in this series of articles on spiritual Marxism, using North Point Ministries’ small group booklet as my reference, we have been examining the doctrinal premises–and their ideological spawn–of today’s neo-Calvinist, neo-Reformed church movement, which is quickly becoming, or has become, the Christian movement of the 21st century in America, in general.
What is presented in this essay is based upon the philosophical ideals underwriting Christianity today, some of which we have discussed in the Spiritual Marxism series already. However, I believe that it is possible to read this essay without having read the previous ones and not be too terribly confused. As usual, my penchant for verbosity tends to fill in most of the informational gaps which might otherwise be present in the essay of a more concise writer.
Here again is the discussion question:
Have you ever felt like you had insight and clarity into someone else’s poor decision? Did you say anything? How did it turn out?
What we must understand with respect to the collectivism implicit in Christianity today, particularly of the neo-Reformed/neo-Calvinist type, is that, for these spiritual Marxists, the Group understands the existential context of the individual better than he or she does, at any given moment, and with respect to any issue, and any situation. This is because “Group”, as I’ve explained before, is the primary metaphysic. The irreducible ontological state of existence for any human being is not the Self, but the Collective. The individual is a direct function of the group with which he or she affiliates, not the other way around. The key to existence then is finding the “right”, or the “True” group, and affiliating yourself with it, after which, through the epistemological enlightenment of the group (understanding how you know what you can know), you come to realize that YOU never actually had anything to do with joining, or finding, the group after all. You became affiliated with the group, not by choice, but because you were determined into it…for determinism is, in fact, the only possible causal source of everything within a universe where Group, or Collective, is the sum and substance of all there is.
In Christianity today, the “Church” is the only ACTUAL, legitimate thing. It is All in All. And “God” is its essence…which is merely the same thing as saying God IS the Group, the Group is God. There is no relevant difference. And what this means–and is the whole point of fabricating a Collectivist metaphysic in the first place–is that those who claim the divine mandate to rule the group, which is correlated to their special revelation/enlightenment, means that they, and no one else, (because God works through them, alone) possess an infinite Authority over everyone else. This literally enslaves ALL of mankind to the subjective whims of a single person or small group of people, forever and absolutely. And that, like I said, is precisely what all of the heady-sounding doctrine is all about.
So…back to the determinism which drove you into the “loving” arms of your Collective–the One, True Collective which governs and controls all things via its oneness to the Primary Consciousness. Or, in this case “God” (and I use “God” in quotes, incidentally, because by no means should we think that these despots in any way have any actual affiliation with the real God…for He forbids such a thing I am convinced, and has nothing, I submit, to do with them in ANY measure according to their doctrine, which denies His truth as thoroughly as it denies yours and mine):
The “Group” as represented by that transcendent and infinite and immaterial Consciousness realized its Will upon your life, and you, helpless to resist because you have no actual will of your own, complied. Therefore, the answer to the question now begged–“What is the TRUE group, as opposed to one of the panoply of impostors?”–is simple: The Group to which you were determined MUST be the True Group, otherwise you could not be counted among it. See, since only the True Group has the True Consciousness which can determine all things, you could only ever have chosen to join to the Group to which you now belong. There was no choice, you might say. Otherwise, you would not have chosen it.
It is a tautology, you see. The proof that you were determined to the group is that you chose it. You chose because you were determined, and you were determined because you chose. “A is A” is not a law of identity in this instance, it is a tautology, and this is a great example. Whatever you chose to do you did because you were determined to choose it. Choice and determinism are equivalent. Another way of putting it is that choice is A and determinism is A. A is A. The Law of Identity is satisfied. Which is, incidentally, why so many smart people fall for this kind of thinking. (Incidentally, the ease with which Aristotle’s Law of Identity can be conformed to the collectivist metaphysic by applying it to abstract concepts (actions) which are necessarily a function of material objects (concrete existence) is startling. It is a strong argument for doubting the rationality and veracity of that Law.)
I understand the massive cognitive dissonance that is endemic to this ideology, and the need to suspend disbelief in order to make the rational leap from the discussion question to its answer. Nevertheless, once we concede, as Christianity today does, that the metaphysical primary is not the Individual, but the Collective–the Group–we understand that this is the only possible answer which is consistent with the premise.
In Christianity, the Consciousness of the Group is “God”, naturally, and it is His “Sovereign Will” which “controls all things”. It is “God” then to whom the fleshly incarnations of Himself, the Pastors (and the lesser deities, the Small Group Leaders) appeal, in order to physically and psychologically compel the unwashed masses into “right thinking” and “right behavior”. Therefore, God compelled you into the Small Group at North Point Ministries (or whatever other neo-Marxist spiritual trap into which you may have fallen), to be instructed and ultimately governed (forced) in the ways of the One True Collective (the “Church”) by those who claim the authority to do so. And since those who claim this authority are God’s proxies, which makes them God to you, or God qua God, for all relevant intents and purposes, the answer to this discussion question leveled at us above, “Have you ever felt like you had insight and clarity into someone else’s poor decision?”, is…
Yes. And no. As a group member, yes. As an individual whose depravity only allows him to view reality from the singularity of Self, no. I am divine, but I am also wicked. I am aware, and I am also blind.
Let’s break it down.
Yes, of course. Of course you’ve felt like you had insight and clarity into someone else’s poor decision. And, as corollary to this, of course you’ve been the one to make a poor decision, and thus have had to defer your will and your mind to another person. Maybe even the person upon which you are now, ironically, passing judgement even as he simultaneously passes judgement upon you.
This ostensibly contradictory answer is utterly demanded by the acceptance of the Group AS Self metaphysic. As a member of the one True Group you’ve been given the divine perception afforded to everyone who understands his or her nature as entirely a function of the Church, which really means the Authority of the Pastors and their representatives, the subordinate, lesser deities, which include the Small Group Leaders. Because you have absorbed the explications, explanations, and presumptions of “Sound Doctrine”, you have the divine, unmitigated, and inerrant authority, bestowed by spiritual osmosis, to pronounce judgement upon anyone, anywhere, at any time, for anything which does not comply forthrightly with said doctrine, regardless of the presence of contexts or circumstances which you could not possibly understand, and may confidently declare the perpetrator utterly ignorant, morally bankrupt, and insane, worthy of all manner of death and destruction. The slightest disagreement or inconsistency with what you know must be the infallible “Word of God” simply by being a “Church Member” invites you to offer a thoroughly justified condemnation on behalf of the Group, and a demand (disguised as “counsel”, or “advice”) that thinking and behavior be brought to heel..or else.
(As an aside, please realize that understanding of the “Word of God” doesn’t have anything to do with understanding qua understanding at all. It merely means that one can, if even in the most remedial of ways, parrot back the presumptions, assertions, premises, axioms, and maxims to which he or she pledges fealty as function of their affiliation with the True Collective.)
In other words, because you go to True Church–one approved by the doctrinal standards of “orthodoxy” (whatever that means)–you know everything. As the Group knows, you also know.
On the flip side, however, you, being an unremitting and unrepentant sinner by nature, categorically depraved and infinitely insufficient to any moral thing, act, or idea, abstract or concrete, you MUST sin, and sin perpetually, because the very fact that you possess an awareness of SELF, as an individual, demands that the entirely of your observance of the entirety of your existence is false. And more than false, it is the very archetype of evil. You can do no good thing; you can think no good thing; you can see, hear, and speak no good thing. Because you ARE, according to the Fall of Man who is Perpetually Falling, no good thing, and absolutely so.
Thus, in equal measure as the enlightened one, bringing the all-seeing eye of the “Church” to bear upon your fellow man to level judgement and command repentance and recompense, you are also the Sinner. The Evil One. The one who will make mistakes, because he IS the mistake. Therefore, as you give your unsolicited rebukes, condemnations, warnings, exhortations, demands, and absolutes to your fellow man, so you will prostrate yourself before his.
Because according to the extremely loose logic of “sound doctrine”, rooted in the Ethical (moral) primary of “Total Depravity” and the metaphysical primary of Existence through Church Membership, the only real purpose of the discussion question at the top of this essay is to promote the following ideal:
You can judge others, but you cannot judge yourself. Your awareness proves efficacious only when it is applied to the existence of another; but it is utterly incapable of serving you, because you qua you do not possess by nature the existential sufficiency to awareness. That is, to Truth.
And this eventually distills down into this very evil premise:
You can be the Group, but you cannot be yourself. And this is because what a seemingly innocuous and innocent little book on small groups is desperately and yet so surreptitiously demanding is that you accept the ideal that you are Evil Self AND Perfect Group, and the paradoxical distinction denies you a reality of your own, which makes you dependent upon that of the Church leadership. You have insight, and you lack it. You speak truth to sin, and you wickedly deny sin. You receive the truth with grace, and you stubbornly resist and worship Satan. You are both the dark and the light. The Is and the Is not. You are Individual inside Collective.
And now, at last, we arrive at the real answer to the question above. The only one that matters…and they know it. It’s not about groups, its not about church, its not about God. It’s about control. The control which flows from a fabricated reality they create for everyone else. A reality which convinces you that…
You are you and you are not you.
You are an existential contradiction. A positive added to a negative. A zero sum. A blank. An infinite everything with a nature of infinite nothingness. In other words…
You’re worse than dead. You are Death.
20 thoughts on “The Christian Does Not Die, He Becomes Death: Spiritual Marxism masquerading as the Christian orthodox ideal, Part 17”
“In other words, because you go to True Church–one approved by the doctrinal standards of “orthodoxy” (whatever that means)–you know everything. As the Group knows, you also know.”
This is the very reason why EVERY denomination believes that their church is the right church and why reasoning with them is impossible because their conclusions are not based on rational thinking but simply authority and loyalty to their group. Like you said, who they are (their identity) is based on the collective. Therefore, to question the assumptions of their collective is to question their own very existence (even their salvation!)
“You are you and you are not you.”
Your summation perfectly illustrates the innate contradiction of Aristotle’s law of identity to which you alluded: that A cannot be both A and not A.
Your observations are beyond astute, I could never begin to dissect the metaphysics to the degree that you have here. The group mentality is rampant throughout modern Christianity, and has been growing and flourishing for hundreds of years.
Ahum…”Have you ever felt like you had insight and clarity into someone else’s poor decision? Did you say anything? How did it turn out?”
The first question itself, as you point out, is flawed. The premise that the reader is capable of insight and clarity when incapable of anything except sinning is the first flaw as you illustrate.
I add that the Church is also postulating that the laity is only capable of ‘feeling like’ they had insight and clarity, which further diminishes the individual’s ability. What is the difference between ‘having’ and ‘feeling like’ you have something? What is the difference between making the game winning field goal, and feeling like you can make the game winning field goal? What is the difference between ‘having’ the winning lottery ticket and ‘feeling like’ you have the winning lottery ticket? Did you say anything? How did it turn out?
As long as people are willing to hand over their brains to the prophet kings to tell them what to think, people will continue to be led to the slaughter as sheep.
Excellent post as always.
That’s a very good catch. “Felt like”…perhaps is not merely an incidental use of words. Previous experience with and an understanding of the premises underwriting the doctrine lead me to agree with you that “felt like” instead of “known” or “understood that” is likely intentional.
Thank you both for your observations and your encouragement. It means a lot to me.
I believe NPM (or any mega-church) is very intentional in their choice of words, carefully selected for multiple reasons.
Which brings me to another thing that sticks in my craw: the elementary verbiage used by these guys. They’re using vocabulary and sentence structure appropriate for fifth graders. This illustrates to me two things: first that they believe their audience readership to be incapable of higher thinking than a fifth grader, and second that believe themselves to be superior in their intellect.
The intellectual elite leading the simple minded in discussion.
I agree that it comes across as incredibly patronizing. When I consider the number of extremely well-educated and successful people who I know for a fact go to these churches, it seems even more pernicious and belittling.
Its part of the same NWO agenda movement that co-opted Buddhism by changing the translation of anatta “not self” to “no self no soul” so that now instead of Buddha having said there are various things like the body that are anatta (not the self) they now have him saying there is no self. The NWO wants us to believe that we’re all the same person, the collective, so that their will is our will and we will do it with gusto.
Mega churches purposely communicate in elementary style. Listen to their sermons. It is not even community college. Used to drive me nuts but the premise is that “deeper study” happens in small groups. In reality, the truth is they keep it shallow for an important reason. It is more about the mass group than anything so they opt for an entertainment format. People like being a part of something big they think has meaning. ( they aren’t thinking it through) but every mega church knows there is a core of true followers and they have to constantly market to get nickels and noses in the pews. As many leaving as coming in. That is why they trend so strangely with more and more bizarre attempts at entertainment.
Everything hinges on cult of personality of the main guy on stage.
Small groups end up being social clubs that do more pop psychology disguised as theology.
I have always wondered how we stood it. I had an excuse…training contracts….but how come such educated people can listen to 20 min of shallow drivel week after week? Yes, it is quite entertaining for a while. The goal was to get 2 -3 laughs from the pews each sermon. This woke people up and kept them engaged. They are big into audience manipulation. 30 minutes standing singing with lights down and worship team, a skit or video, usually a clip from a popular movie….and so on. It is a slow death.
When over, you curse the traffic in the parking lot and check your church attendance box for the week. At least you won’t burn in hell. You can’t because you are one of them. Guaranteed salvation. It is a group thing.
Just thinking about it makes me feel numb.
Small groups end up being social clubs that do more pop psychology disguised as theology.
Yep. And contrary to Dohse and company’s theory that abandoning law is the solution to this, I think its the cause. A finite law protects you from having an infinite law imposed on you. Its that simple. Where the entire principle of law is totally rejected, you end up with an infinite law coming in the backdoor under the guise of an all-controlling psychology, which can honestly claim to not be a law since its protean and molded and changed by a tyrant at will, and thus not truly a law in the sense of something that is always the same and equally applied to everyone. Throw out a simple finite law as simple as the nine commandments (i.e. the 10 minus the sabbath, or with the sabbath command just interpreted “give everyone one day off a week”), and get something as convoluted as Roman Catholicism where the law is infinite but is the unwritten whim of the Pope and thus can pretend to not be a law at all. The common tendency of mankind is always to make law overcomplicated, to bloat it, and to unhinge it from being a set standard into a mass of nonsense in the air that those in power get to change at a whim to their benefit in order to control everyone else (or in other words, the tendency is towards tyranny). True religion should always be the opposite, i.e. the return to finite, very short, very terse, unchanging, un-soul-crushing, un-life-demolishing law. Amazingly enough, this was more or less the principle of the founding of America: keep the law small and simple. And look how far we’ve gotten away from that! Freaking bills that are 3000 pages being passed without being read. The difference is in a Protestant church, there is no need to keep the law they make up on any books. The self-appointed “leaders” just twist your brain around with their anti-emotion legislation whenever they speak to you, and get their cronies brainwashed into the tactic to help them do it.
Finite law vs. infinite law–which is no law.
Interesting idea. I agree in some respects, but I maintain that the relevancy and moral standing of law is the individual. This subjects the law to the individual, not the other way around. Individuals are not to be beholden to law, as though IT offers THEM anything. Laws are for lawbreakers, and lawbreakers are those who reject the individual metaphysic in three basic ways: fraud, murder, exploitation. The law condemns those…because they, by their actions, reject their own identity has individuals. THAT’S why they are condemned. Not because they violated the law. The law exists as a symbol of the individual’s right to exist freely, and to morally punish, destroy, banish, etc. those who reject their own identity by rejecting it in others. Lawbreakers cannot violate a law–law is nothing. They violate people. Because people are the standard.
Incidentally, I “excommunicated” myself from Dohse’s Grouo over this point. He accused me of asserting the right of pedophiles to abuse children by making the standard of righteousness the Individual, not God, or “God’s Word”.
For all of Paul’s sound and fury and clamor and criticism, he still cannot see the fundamental problem with the church and doctrine he spends his life deconstructing.
This shocks me more than words can describe.
“Laws are for lawbreakers,”
The epistular Paul makes that point as well, but I think its only a half-truth.
Laws are for lawbreakers, to setup a punishment for them in order to protect the rights of those that they brutalize. That’s true.
But….laws are also for the innocent to say that they are innocent because they didn’t break the law. When this function is not recognized, or where you have the absurd principle of “if you break any part of the law, you are guilty of breaking all of it,” then you end up leaving behind a finite law of which it can be said “I’m innocent. I didn’t break it,” and end up in the territory of infinite law in which the tyrant will invent a new law on the fly just so he can condemn you as having broken it.
“I have kept the law. I have not murdered, raped, stolen, committed adultery, etc.” “Ah, but have you not ever been angry?” “Well duh, of course I’ve been angry, so what? That’s not against the law.” “Oh, but it is now, hahaha, so you’re condemned. Signed St. Augustine, John Calvin, some parts of the epistles of Paul, Paule Dohse, John Piper, all the Popes, and basically every Christian theologian who ever lived except maybe Pelagius.”
In fact, you see this exact principle at play in the story of the dialogue between Jesus an the rich young ruler.
“Master, what good thing must I do to obtain eternal life?”
“Keep the commandments.”
“Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not commit adultery. etc.”
“I have kept all those from my youth up.”
“Ah, but you still are a lawbreaker because I’m going to now make up a new law out of nowhere just to condemn you: Now you must sell everything you have and give all the money to the poor.”
“WhAt???? ArE YoU FrEaKiNg InSaNe????”
“No. I’m just the rearranging of my original teachings by the later theologians of the church who like to lie on me. Get used to it.”
“This subjects the law to the individual, not the other way around. Individuals are not to be beholden to law, as though IT offers THEM anything. Laws are for lawbreakers, and lawbreakers are those who reject the individual metaphysic in three basic ways: fraud, murder, exploitation. The law condemns those…because they, by their actions, reject their own identity has individuals. THAT’S why they are condemned. Not because they violated the law. The law exists as a symbol of the individual’s right to exist freely, and to morally punish, destroy, banish, etc. those who reject their own identity by rejecting it in others. Lawbreakers cannot violate a law–law is nothing. They violate people. Because people are the standard.”
Thank you! Ever notice how people will say about some horrible deed, “well I am only human”. This makes me nuts. No, they are proving they are LESS than human.
NT Wright spoke on this and was the first I have ever heard articulate this. God created us and it was good. Humans chose to do wrong/evil. By doing so they chose to be less human. They reject their humanness. Evil toward another human is attempting to take away their humanity.
To use being human as an excuse to harm others is dispicable. It is like spitting on God. He values us and we should value that and others. If they chose to be an animal or parasite toward others, they should be punished.
“Incidentally, I “excommunicated” myself from Dohse’s Grouo over this point. He accused me of asserting the right of pedophiles to abuse children by making the standard of righteousness the Individual, not God, or “God’s Word”.”
The pedophile knows it is wrong. Otherwise why hide it? The ped knows it is heinous and people will come after him if they know. They know it is not the standard. This why people try to hide their evil or spin it as actually good.
“For all of Paul’s sound and fury and clamor and criticism, he still cannot see the fundamental problem with the church and doctrine he spends his life deconstructing.”
I am to the point that it is impossible to fix things that are so easily corruptable as doctrine and institution. I just don’t view Jesus Christ in terms of “doctrine” anymore. It is hard to explain as I have studied doctrines for years. I am so done. Time to live life.
I am with you. The idea that Paul can find a “better doctrine” is the lie that finally put me at irreconcilable odds with Dohse. For years I had been trying to get him to see that you cannot simply trump up a more “rational” interpretation of the Bible and still claim that the Bible itself is THE standard to which all of us are obligated.
Because once the reference for truth and goodness is out OUTSIDE the individual, then by definition the individual, what he does and thinks and believes, becomes irrelevant. Therefore, who gives a shit how it’s interpreted? Truth is besides the point. It’s all about who has divine authority to destroy other human beings for a “cause” that those unfortunate enough to be the laity cannot possibly apprehend because it is completely outside of them…including their minds.
Dohse says that once you are saved, you are “free to obey”.
What the fuck does that even mean?! If obedience is the means by which righteousness is achieved, and that via a standard that is OUTSIDE of the individual, then there IS NO fucking freedom! It’s all about the categorical sacrifice of one’s self to a moral absolute that is ALREADY perfect without them. Which means it’s not even sacrifice FOR anything! It’s just death for deaths sake! If righteousness is through obedience to “God’s Word” then obedience is the ABSOLUTE context for righteousness. In which case there is no fucking frame of reference for individual freedom…of any kind!
You cannot integrate mutually exclusive concepts to create a synthesis of realty. Either the individual is free to pursue himself (herself), or he is not. Either we must utterly obey, or righteousness is absolutely NOT a function of obedience. It cannot be both. It cannot be freedom and not freedom. For “limited freedom” is an obvious contradiction.
And cue Paul saying “So it’s okay to rape children?”
This is when I knew I had to get away from him. He really has no clue what he’s talking about. He is absolutely committed to the destruction of the individual in service to abstract ideologies that translate into one thing only: hell. Which is death.
How can I in good conscience affiliate myself with a group that teaches that the fundamental reason you don’t abuse children is because “God says not to”? That’s just vile.
Of course when I asked Paul if this is what he believed I got no answer.
“How can I in good conscience affiliate myself with a group that teaches that the fundamental reason you don’t abuse children is because “God says not to”? That’s just vile.”
It brings up another problem. Ok. So God said not to but if we use this approach, the OT. written in ancient genres but interpreted in modern literal understanding, confuses this point because they interpret it as God ordering the destruction of children. (I don’t read it through that lens but much like the epic poetic and hyperbolic language of the ancients) but that rocke their world because what is literal and what isn’t!
If we don’t abuse our children then it is because we obey God? Their are atheists who don’t abuse, Maybe it is because we love them and do not even have that desire to begin with? Some neglect their kids and some indulge them. Some think a whipping for running in the street is abuse. Gee, God does not have enough detail for me to know if I am obeying or not. Perhaps that is why he created brains and the ability to think and reason.
This view of the bible is just startling. And in the world of doctrines I just assume I am more Pelagian because all the institution gods like Augustine wanted him dead. He was giving humans too much responsibility and freedom in his interpretations. And we cannot have that.
The more I think about it, the Bible for me becomes a much more tangential resource to faith. I agree with it in parts and I don’t agree with parts. I love a lot of what Paul teaches and I often find him way off base.
The point is that it’s merely a reference. Obviously it’s not necessary to salvation because that would mean that anyone saved before today’s canonical version is in fact, going to hell. Which…you’d have a hard time rationalizing that.
The biblioidolatry we see in Christianity today is purely a feint by those who need an “objective” reference for their authority, which is always subjective when applied.
I rely upon reason more than upon the Bible, because at the end of the day whatever is unreasonable, no matter the source, is false. Period.
The bible has replaced Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and life. There are those that think it is impossible to know Him without it. That leaves out a lot of people with no access to it for over a millennia.
I am with you. It is a resource. But it has become bibledolitry when compared to the real thing. It seems to have replaced Him. And maybe that is a result of the focus on pagan dualism that infested Christianity early on. That Only a few can really understand it so they must take control and explain it to us peasants who cannot understand….for our own good.