NEW CALVINISM, SAME OLD DRIVEL: MARK DRISCOLL, MARS HILL CHURCH, SEATTLE AND OTHERS
predestination: the belief that before time's dawn, God decided whom he would save (or not), unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision.
(See: "10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now, What's Next 2009, 3 of 10, 3. 'The New Calvinism,'" by David van Biema. Time.)
"...unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision." Okay, so Calvinists call themselves Christians, which by definition means followers of Jesus Christ. So, what did Jesus say?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:21-23 KJVR)
According to Calvinism, Jesus was wasting his breath there. Not only was Jesus wasting his breath there, he was wasting his breath all the time. Absolutely nothing he ever told anyone that he or she ought to do ever amounted to anything or ever will because whether anyone did or does what Jesus said, that one is going to Heaven or Hell as preordained by God. Jesus's message to change is wrong according to Calvin.
Now, if you can't see that Calvin was a buffoon, what can anyone do for you?
I read all this stuff online about Mark Driscoll and his Mars Hill Church in Seattle teaching Calvinism. I read that the Baptist seminaries are loading up with young people looking to Calvinism.
Calvin was a dictator. He had a theological rival burned at the stake. Well, the Calvinists say Calvin asked for him to be beheaded rather than burned. They burned him anyway — so much for being their spiritual leader.
What else? The poor are lazy and deserve it. Wealth is a sign of predestined salvation. It's called the Protestant Work Ethic and encouraged capitalism. What did Jesus say above? A rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
How can people be so stupid as to be New or old Calvinists? How can Mark Driscoll and his Mars Hill Church in Seattle have some 7,000 members while the Christian Commons Project has one? Is it because Mark Driscoll knows better the message of Christ? Hardly.
No, what's going on is avoidance and twisting. The Calvinist Puritans fought the English Civil War against the religious and state hierarchy (bishops and king). The Levelers among the Calvinist army wanted greater fairness in society. Oliver Cromwell, the Puritan's military and political leader, said no. The Diggers wanted something very close to the Christian Commons only the Christian Commons won't just plop down on the land, even though it truly does belong to the Church as the rightful inheritance of all as our shared gift. The Diggers were driven from the land. The Puritans ended up sailing to America to escape persecution but couldn't make communism work. They weren't willing to work as hard for each other as they were for themselves. Now that says it all.
Look at the Radical Reformationists though. Many of the Anabaptists were pacifists and nonresistant, just as was Jesus. The Anabaptist Hutterites, unlike the Puritans, were very able to live the Acts-communist life. That says it all too.
Why are there so many Baptists (often of the Reformed/Calvinist theological persuasion) in the U.S.? They had a lot of children. Why aren't there more Hutterites? They were nearly persecuted into extinction — down to about 1,000 from tens of thousands. They were orderd exterminated. Now they are back up to some 50,000.
(See: "Hutterites: An Historical Overview," by Tamara Berger-Prößdorf. Foreign Languages and Literature. Eastern Montana College. 1993.)
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)