The State Cannot Recognize You Outside of Its Power to Control You: Why Freedom and Governement are mutually exclusive

You cannot disseminate morality, which is predicated upon choice, through rules…or, more specific to this article, the formal codification of rules, the Law. This is because the Law, being what it is, and referencing its own definition, demands obedience. In other words, the Law doesn’t care about choice; it’s irrelevant. And this is because the Law, again being what it is, and again referencing its own definition, doesn’t give you a choice. It can’t give you a choice. It can’t give you a choice to obey or not without contradicting itself. “Obey or else” is only ostensibly a choice; but it simply does not qualify as a legitimate one. Disobedience is met with punishment; and punishment is in fact corollary to forced compliance. And forced compliance cannot by definition integrate choice. Because the only “choice”, when all the semantics and hypotheticals contradict themselves out of the equation, is “do it or die”. And that’s not a choice; and if you think it is…you’re a monster, and shouldn’t be within a thousand miles of another human being.


The forced compliance endemic to the Law means that you either obey it or you get hurt.  Be it incarceration or separation from your property or death (which is what the State always prefers, believe it or not…because a dead man is the only good man; you’ll get it in a minute). What this means at root is that you never fundamentally get to act on your own absolute behalf. Your actions are always under the auspices of the Law. Meaning you either act in obedience to the Law or you are subject to acute pain (as opposed to the general psychological torment, conscious or unconscious, of a context where all actions are a function of what you are allowed to do by a small group of people weilding the apical and supremely ferocious violence of State). Choice is irrelevant; a non-issue; lacking any efficacy whatsoever. You never, ever genuinely get to be you. Your expression of yourself is utterly defined and therefore infinitely limited by your implicit and sacrificial obligation to the Law, carried out by the State. And this is why the Law cannot create a moral society. The Law inoculates man against choice, which destroys man’s ability to act freely. Which means man cannnot act morally. Which means he cannot be moral. Which means that the Law, existing specifically to ensure a moral social context, must inevitably destroy humanity. There is therefore no such thing as man’s prosperity, peace, or freedom according to the Law. Which means that these things cannot and will not be produced in any context where the Law and the State exist. Never. Because should the Law and the State produced these things they would not be the Law or the State. A duck does not give birth to a tree; and there are no candles made of water. The State does not bring freedom to the people it owns! The State, being tasked with establishing the Law, cannot recognize the individual; it must possess him. That is, it must consume him. Which is to destroy him…in order to make him good. This is a contradiction.

The Law and the State are, practically speaking, the forced behavior of man…making the individual an extension of themselves–that is, doing ONLY those things the State orders on behalf of the Law (eventually resulting the the annihilation of the people when it realizes that this is impossible). Therefore the Law, and the State do not recognize any action by the individual qua the individual. The individual then, in the True and Rational and fundamentally metaphysical sense, is invisible. He will not be seen by them.

He cannot be seen by them.

14 thoughts on “The State Cannot Recognize You Outside of Its Power to Control You: Why Freedom and Governement are mutually exclusive

  1. Just so you know, I told Paul I would still be willing to debate him on his radio program. He accepted that but in the process insulted my wife, calling her “that thing you call your wife.” That tore it for me. I told him I was willing to proceed with the debate on the condition that he ask my forgiveness and her forgiveness. SInce he refused, the debate is off.

  2. If you know John Immel and how to contact him, would you please forward the following to him. {By the way, there would have been a debate if Paul hadn’t insulted my wife. He called here “that thing you call your wife.” In my view, he could not stoop any lower. Then, he refused to ask forgiveness for his ungodly comment. So don’t buy the crap that I backed out. If he thinks he is fulfilling God’s law through love, I think he is in for a huge surprise. Anyway, if you can forward this, I would appreciate it.] I have marked my comments with ***

    Grace Writer Randy is predictable even if he happens to believe he is an original independent thinker.   Just to be clear: he’s not.

    ***I have made no claim to original or independent thought. The entire argument John I presents here is that he Scriptures are not perspicuous. We cannot know or understand what God was revealing with any degree of confidence whatsoever.
    What he has proven is that he has no concept whatsoever about reading comments in context. The discussion was about whether I would be citing or defending Calvin, Luther or creeds and confessions. I had stated that I would not. Mr. Immel vainly assumed that I was responding to his demeaning and vapid post. What the man has accomplished here is simply to prove his complete ineptitude.

    But the up side for PPT readers is we get to learn something valuable about the nature of Neo Calvinist argumentative techniques.

    ***I would not be considered a Neo-Calvinists according to the best definition of that term.

    I made this assertion on Paul’s Passing Thoughts May 4, 2017 at 2:32 PM
    “This has ONE result. No matter how often you peg Randy into a Calvinist corner he will waive the magic wand of his whim and side step the issue because HE doesn’t believe that. He is not intellectually accountable to any objective standard. No matter how many scriptures you stack in service to illustrating progressive justification he will never concede. No matter how many times you quote Calvin, or Luther or any of the Neo Cal luminaries to illustrate the doctrinal error endemic to the protestant house of cards he will pretend they are some fringe inconsequential distributors of non essential doctrines. (Which has pretty much been the rhetorical theme above)”
    Which prompted this response from Randy on May 4, 2017 at 3:13 PM
    I am intellectually accountable to one objective standard and one objective standard alone. That standard is the Word of God interpreted according to widely accepted principles of interpretation. It is that standard I intend to rely on.

    ***This statement does not mean that I do not profit from confessions and creeds and from what others have written. If fact, if I should find that I am out of step with every other person who has confessed faith in Christ, [pretty much a Paul and his comical side-kick have done] I would give serious consideration to the idea that my views might need some tweaking. Whether John wishes to acknowledge it or not, there are principles of interpretation that are accepted by people across a broad spectrum of theological views. This idea is not exclusive to those who would embrace the Reformed faith.
    You, Dear PPT Reader, can go sift through the broader context at your leisure, however I want to address the intellectual slight-of-hand displayed in Randy’s response. You will see this again over and over from Reformed Theology defenders.
    Let us dissect:
    A. My challenge: Randy is not intellectually accountable to an objective standard.
    ***If the Scriptures are not our objective standard for all that we believe and do, why do Paul and Andy even want to refer to it at all. Why not let’s just all believe what feels good to us?
    B. The rebuttal: Randy is accountable to the “objective” word of God: e.g. a book.
    ***Yes, it is a book but it is not just any book. It is God’s book in which he has made himself known. No one should claim inerrancy for our interpretation of it. I certainly don’t, but I do claim that we can discover the meaning of the words used in it and we can observe historical, cultural and literary contexts that will help us arrive at an understanding of what the writers had in mind when they wrote.
    We will get to the B. Part of his assertion in a minute but let’s focus on the A part first.
    So here is the implied loose logic: Because there is a book that is metaphysically existent, the book qualifies as objective. Now I recognize that he doesn’t say book, but unless Randy is claiming to HEAR God’s voice then what are we talking about?
    Herein is the slight-of-hand. Because the book (full of words) exists he is accountable to something that everyone can perceive, therefore he is accountable to the objective. Because the book contains “God’s words”, Randy’s mind is “accountable” to its content. So then it logically follows that his (Randy’s) ideas are the product of an objective standard.

    ***That is true. My ideas are not the standard. The written Word is the standard to which I am accountable.

    The book exists, therefore the rational standard is objective.
    I’m sure that PPT readers immediately see the slight-of-hand, but for the New Calvinist lurking in the audience I’ll connect the dots. After all, Al Mohler needs to help you all think about things, I can at least help too.

    Ehem . . .

    Just because someone thumps an ESV (touches it, fingers it, fondles it) doesn’t make the ideas extracted from the words “objective” any more than touching a rock makes stone mason understand how to build a cathedral.
    ***First of all, I don’t thump one of those translations, I thump my copy of the Greek text. Secondly, I do not claim that the ideas I “extract” [ normally in biblical studies we call that “exegesis”] are my objective standard since, being a fallible human being, I am liable to error. The stones are the stones whether the stone mason understands how to build with them or not. That is why I said “OBJECTIVE STANDARD.” It remains the objective standard whether I understand it properly of not. It still remains my objective standard. Even if I understood Calvin, Luther, the Heidelberg Disputation, the WCF etc. perfectly, they would never be my objective standard.

    Randy is doing what Calvinist defenders do: mix and match metaphysical expectations with epistemological conclusions.  He casually overlooks the rational INDIVIDUAL process required to grasp the “objective” words written on the page.

    ***That is not the method I follow at all. You are simply speaking out of your profound ignorance.

    Now let’s evaluate:
    Notice that, at the root, Randy must take literacy as a given to the “objective standard.” But how can something be objective if it requires the ability read before the standard can be realized?

    ***Answered above.

    The answer is, it can’t. The fact is, literacy is just the beginning of the long epistemological/conceptual chain an individual must progress through before they end up with a formal a doctrinal declaration. Or said another way, hundreds of highly individual cognitive evolutions are integrated with incalculable subjective conclusions loooooong before a person can declare intellectual solidarity with the Apostle Paul’s understanding of “Gnostic.”

    ***Paul didn’t even use the word “Gnostic.”
    For example: Randy said on May 4, 2017 at 3:22 PM
    “. . . Contrary to your “understanding” of the term flesh, neither Paul nor we use the term to refer to the material as opposed to the spiritual as the Gnostics did, for example. If that were the meaning, Christ would have been evil since he was in a body of flesh. If you are going to accuse us, at least learn what we believe well enough to state it accurately.”

    Me paraphrasing Randy’s argument: “My understanding is biblical because the bible says so—in Greek— and the bible says so because my understanding is biblical—in Greek.”
    ***No, that is not a paraphrase. It I a lie. I understand the word to mean other than “matter that is intrinsically evil” [ the Gnostic view] since the word is clearly not used that way in the Scriptures. We know that by observing its usage. This is the way any word is “defined.”
    And of course it is MY understanding of Gnosticism that is in error because Randy and Jesus and Paul are Greek speaking intellectual home boys.
    ***I don’t really know or care what your definition of Gnostic is. I know what Gnosticism taught and it is not the same as the Calvinistic doctrine of human depravity. Calvinists simply don’t believe that material things are intrinsically evil.
    (For those of you who care, check out my TANC 2013 videos for a thorough evaluation of the evolution of Cynic and Stoic thought—aka Gnostic—and its impact on Christianity) Never mind that I was really challenging Randy’s claim to be a representative of authentic Christian doctrine and the historic doctrine of Pervasive Depravity as articulated by Augustine and Luther, and the formal declaration of Calvin’s ICR (3rd chapter et al) and the subsequent doctrinal variations of Jonathan Edwards, indwelling sin, and the likes of John Piper and Wayne Grudem . . .

    ***See above
    . . .
    Oops sorry, I fell asleep even mentioning Wayne’s name. (Oh dear God could there be a more boring speaker on the planet?)
    Anyway, now that I have taken a hit of my Five Hour energy, let me return to the dissection of Grace Writer Randy.
    BTW: does this name imply yet another departure from Orthodox doctrine?  Does Randy mean to say that HIS writing is a means of grace?
    Orthodoxy = Reformed Theology = Calvin’s ICR. Uhh . . . there is NO human agency in God’s salvific plan. Soooo . . . how does Randy, typing words, commute grace?

    ***Depends on what one means of grace. Is not the preaching of the gospel a means of grace? That doesn’t mean any grace is conferred on a person by virtue of merely hearing the message, but it is a means of grace nonetheless. “How shall they hear without a preacher?”
    I know, Randy will say that HE doesn’t believe that there is no human agency, and since he and Jesus and Paul all agree—in Greek—it’s HIS understanding that grasps the truth. Alakazam poof! He is the best representative of Protestant doctrine no matter what historic Protestant doctrine says.

    ***With what else would a person grasp truth other than his understanding? Understanding and grasping truth are the same. I did not claim to be the best representative of Protestant doctrine. I have no belief that I am. What I have said is that I am not a defender of Protestant doctrine at all. I think it was marvelous that Luther and Calvin got anything right. There is no question that they both said or wrote things that one cannot find in the Scriptures. I am not going to try to defend that.
    So now for part B.
    Randy said: ” . . . That standard is the Word of God interpreted according to widely accepted principles of interpretation. It is that standard I intend to rely on.”
    So Randy understands that the mere existence of a book is “objectively” problematic, so he must introduce another element into the rational equation:  widely accepted interpretive principles.

    ***Answered above

    The first tragedy is that he actually thinks this makes HIS intellectual conclusion “objective.”

    ***I did not say my intellectual conclusion was objective. MY intellectual conclusion would be subjective by definition.

    The second tragedy is  . . . you will hear this argument from ALL Neo Cal defenders.
    Come on Dear PPT reader, you see the error right?  Truth is determined by democratic majority? (e.g. widely accepted?)

    ***No, truth is not determined by democratic majority?
    LOL . . . if that is the case then a Billion Chinese can’t be wrong about the Buddha or Confucius.
    Does that mean the earth is really flat?  That idea was “widely accepted.” I’m just saying.

    ***What kind of convoluted “logic” is that?

    There are many beliefs that have been widely accepted.

    Some ideas that have been widely accepted have been proven false, e.g., “the earth is flat.”

    Therefore, every idea that is widely accepted must be false.

    Surely you understand how foolish that sounds.

    It is also widely accepted that human beings need food, water and oxygen to sustain life. Being widely accepted doesn’t necessarily make a proposition correct but neither does it render it incorrect.

    In what age were these interpretive principles widely accepted? From the first century to roughly the 3rd century there was no “bible” to interpret.

    ***There was a Bible to interpret by the close of the first century. The Sacred Scriptures did not become the inspired record of God’s revelation when they were officially recognized as such. They were the Scriptures when God inspired them and when the human writers penned them.
    From the 6th century to the 13th century, allegory was the primary interpretive method.  Systematic theology, of the Wayne ( . . . snoooz  . . .) oh sorry . . . Grudem’s kind didn’t show up until the 14th (?) century and modern higher critical methodology (the endless parsing of Greek roots that so many bible teachers are fond of) doesn’t show up until Fredrick Schleiermacher in the 18th century. So which age represents the definitive interpretive standard?
    I mean if we are going to thump our ESV’s or our KJV’s or our NIV’s, shouldn’t we make sure we are using the approach that Jesus and Paul used.  Oh wait, uh . . . they didn’t have any of those versions.

    Hummm, how can we be Jesus’ and Paul’s intellectual home boys when we have resources they never did?

    ***Since they spoke the original languages, they did not need the resources we have. Paul had a pretty good handle on Greek. Actually, they are our standard for how we are to interpret the Scriptures. Jesus gave us a great deal of insight into the OT Scriptures when he assured his hearers that “Moses wrote about him” and expounded to the disciples “in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” That does not mean that every verse is about Jesus. It means he was the “end” or goal to which the types, and promises of the Old Testament all pointed.
    Wait, how can there even BE versions if the interpretive principles are so . . . “widely accepted.” How can there be Dynamic Equivalent translations (NIV) and Literal translations (KJV) or Free translations (Cotton Patch version—yes it exits) if everyone, who is anyone, all thinks that interpretive principles are set in collective stone?

    ***Translation theory and interpretative principles are not the same.
    And double wait:  If we are going to be real bible purists, doesn’t it follow that all those Greeks speaking Greek words had the most precise insights to intellectual solidarity with Paul and Jesus? (Never mind that Jesus probably didn’t speak Greek. Just go with it. Jesus acted in perfect harmony with OUR 21st century doctrine damn it!)

    ***It doesn’t matter that Jesus spoke Aramaic. Jesus didn’t write a word of the Scriptures.

    Notice Randy thinks just that: May 4, 2017 at 3:29 PM
    You do know that we don’t define words subjectively but by observing their usage, don’t you? In order to understand what a biblical word/phrase means, we observe how a Greek word e.g., was used in Classical Greek, the LXX, Common Greek of the first century, and from the NT usage in various contexts. There is hardly anything subjective about that is there?”

    This is soooo fun. All of you English speaking Christians are certainly going to hell. Real Christians read the bible in Greek and maybe some Hebrew. The Jews rejected Jesus so maybe it is OK for Christians to forsake the language of the Christ slayers.

    ***No one said people who don’t read Greek will go to hell. What such people are able to do is read several translation and when they find translational differences, they simply need to research why those differences exist. There are so many resourses available to the English reader that no one has an excuse for being left in the dark. My point is that we can’t simply pull word meanings out of the air. Word meanings are determined by their common usage in a given historical, cultural and literary context. The last part of your statement doesn’t even deserve a response.
    Ehem . . .

    Sorry I was briefly channeling Martin Luther.
    But seriously PPT readers, think of the profound conceit Randy’s comment represents. So, somehow Greek minds had a superior understanding of God from an anthology that doesn’t take on its final—sort of—form until the council of Trent in the 16th century; an anthology whose source work came from Saint Jerome in the fourth century who first compiled and edited the LATIN Vulgate bible.
    ***I am not even sure what appears conceited about saying the Scriptures are our only objective standard of truth and that words had actual meanings in the contexts in which they were used. No one said Greek minds had a superior understanding of God. It is simply that God chose the Greek language [probably the most versatile language ever developed] in which to communicate his self-revelation.
    ????!!! You saw the conflict there right? Greek intellectual superiority from LATIN cannon?


    (This is me with my WTF face)
    We haven’t even gotten to the part where a Protestant King decided to take a red pen to a whole bunch of books to make the current 66 more printable.
    How many leaps of infallible logic does one have to presume to arrive at the notion that they, sitting in 21st century America, speaking English, with a laptop based Strong’s Concordance, have arrived at THE final recitation of all truth for mankind.
    ***Perhaps you could share with everyone who you think has claimed to have “arrived at the final recitation [whatever that even means] of all truth of mankind.
    Holy $&!t!  The arrogance is staggering.
    Now I am going to double down on my original assertion:
    The root issue is . . . Randy accepts no “proof” because he needs no proof. He accepts no definitions other than his own because his mind is the doctrinal plumb line. HE presumes that he understand everything bible correctly and . . . you don’t.

    ***Of course I accept proof. The proof—the objective standard—[learn the difference between objective and subjective] is in the Scripture and not in the writings of fallible men, creeds or confessions. Those are helpful in defining what one believes but they are not our final authority. I have said nowhere that my interpretation of the Scriptures is in any way infallible or that it would be the objective standard for anything. What John I, has demonstrated is his inability to read and understand statements in context. The context was that Calvin’s Institutes [not the Calvin Institutes] are not my Bible, I have but one objective standard and the method of interpretation is not “what the Bible means to me” but what did it mean in the mind of the writer. Anyone who has studied hermeneutics understands that one cannot approach that task haphazardly.

    His real doctrinal commitment has nothing to do with orthodoxy, or Calvinism or any of the other pretense.

    ***I am not even sure what that is supposed to mean.
    . . .
    His singular rational standard his HIS subjective doctrinal assumptions; he reserves the sole right to determine what is “biblical.”

    ***That is precisely the opposite of what I have stated. I have not written a single word about having the sole right to determine what is biblical. I don’t believe anything close to that. Again, it seems as if Mr. Immel needs to learn the difference between “objective standard” and “subjective doctrinal assumptions.” Subjective doctrinal assumptions must never be our basis of authority. This is what happens when an individual or group decides that orthodoxy isn’t important.

    And this, PPT reader, is all you will ever need to know when talking to Calvinist. You can NEVER out authority a Calvinist because they recognize no authority but their own.

    ***Again, that is precisely the opposite of what I have stated. If the Scriptures are the sole objective standard a person recognizes, it simply can’t be true that he recognizes no authority but his own, can it

    ~ John Immel

  3. Hi Randy,

    I am on no special terms with John. As far as I know, we are not even on speaking terms. I haven’t dialogued with him in over a year. We have significant philosophical differences, so I think we find it works best if we just drop matters. I did comment on his post, and I do think he makes good points about your case (nothing personal) but that doesn’t mean I’m “in” with him so to speak.

    I will send Paul a message and ask that he point John here, should he choose.

    I think what Paul said about your wife was very hard to read, and I know that must have hurt. I also know that what she said (fitst) about him not being educated also was hard to read, and hurt, and was also not true. I recommend she ask his forgiveness first since hers was the first insult (from what I could tell). I can say from experience that Paul is, despite his sometimes gruff exterior, quick to forgive, and gracious in resuming dialogue.

  4. My two cents: you guys aren’t really debating doctrine. Your differences are much more fundamental-they are about the nature of reality itself. That is, the differences between you and…well, we who loiter around PPT 🙂 are metaphysical.

    This is why I think things never really go anywhere.

  5. He hasn’t been gracious in resuming dialogue with me. He has threatened to bring legal action against me because he doesn’t like his outrageous opinions and his prodigious misrepresentations being questioned. I would never ask my wife to ask his forgiveness because I agree with her. If he isn’t brain dead stupid, then he is deliberately lying about what we believe. I think it is kinder to think he is stupid. Anyway, thanks for letting Paul know the article is on your blog. Sorry about leaving this stuff there but I didn’t know how else to contact you.

  6. The larger problem is that Paul can see whatever he wishes in any statement he reads. It doesn’t have to actually be there but he knows what we must believe inspite of what we confess so it must say what he thinks it says. He is delusional.

  7. Can he not understand that it is possible to deeply appreciate certain ideas a person, creed, or confession states without buying into everything they state. Can I not appreciate and agree with some of what Calvin wrote without embracing everything he wrote, for example? This latest post about his engagement with Piper is completely ridiculous. I have told him for years that a Calvinist is not a person who follows Calvin or agrees with everything Calvin ever wrote, said or did. It is merely a nickname for those who subscribe to Monergism in soteriology. That is what Piper stated clearly. I subscribes to the soteriological scheme, but doesn’t agree with all that Calvin wrote. There is no contradiction there at all. I have told him the same for years and he still doesn’t get it. This is one of the reasons a debate would not have been a good idea. He is either brain dead stupid or dishonest. Perhaps both. I plan to make some Youtube videos of what would have been my opening statement, rebuttal, and closing statement. I will present his position using quotations from his blog. I will then send him the link and invite him to respond on video. Then, I will link his response to my video if that is his desire. It may not be as helpful as an actual debate, but perhaps it will help clarify some of our theological differences.

  8. After I wrote that last comment, I read your comment at PPT. Wow! I had given you credit for more intelligence and knowledge than that. Do you people truly believe a person can’t be committed to a monergistic soteriology without embracing the every single statement Calvin ever wrote? Paul is clearly committed to a dispensational view of Scripture [Well, he isn’t CLEARLY committed to anything. What a hodgepodge of incoherent ideas!], I would bet the rent he wouldn’t subscribe to everything J.N. Darby or C.I. Scoffield every wrote or said.

  9. I don’t understand. Everyone loves tyranny, but they don’t want to live under it?

  10. “By the way, there would have been a debate if Paul hadn’t insulted my wife. He called here “that thing you call your wife.” In my view, he could not stoop any lower.” — Randy

    Insulting your wife is a grave sin on his part. BUT you not controlling your wife’s mouth is a grave sin also, Randy. A man must take charge of his wife and control her. Does not Paul the Apostle say this in his infallible word of God? Yes, he does. Reformed theology does not look kindly on a man who let’s his wife run her mouth. She had no business spouting off about a man. And why did you repeat what the shrew said? That is a grave sin. Don’t you know a man should not gossip with women in general, much less his own wife. Randy, you need to repent and confess to the Reformed Elders. You are in a state of unjustification and need to preach the same gospel that saved you to yourself again, or rather, go and hear it again from the duly God-appointed Reformed elders and presbyters who alone have a right to preach God’s Holy Word.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  11. Whew. Finally. I had such a time getting my wordpress account started. We didn’t have technology like this back in the 1500, just tongue perforating technology. Took me a while to figure out. WordPress I mean, not the tongue perforator; that had a way more intuitive user interface.

  12. “Do you people truly believe a person can’t be committed to a monergistic soteriology without embracing the every single statement Calvin ever wrote?”

    You don’t embrace every statement I ever wrote? Heretic!

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