MORE ON MARS HILL, MARK DRISCOLL, AND NEW CALVINISM: PROTO ERGON

The Proto Ergon (prota erga; first work, act, deed) is the change of heart from hard to soft and not the mere observance of ceremonies and not mere lip service. The change is not real unless manifest regardless of whether or not others feign change. The backslider must repent again and again forever each time he backslides. He must revisit the first step that is softening. Softening here means becoming unselfish. Manifest unselfish works and nothing but. That's the real law. Understanding the true meaning of "unselfish" is the challenge.

What is unlawful lust (porneuo; porn-yoo'-o)? What is excess?

Re-repentance returns the light. It restores the truth about that which is harmful versus that which is healing. It removes the word games used to rationalize and to excuse offensive behavior, words, thoughts, fantasies, emotions, and manifestations of the same (the very brain matter is regenerated). Watch. Future "science" will vindicate me.

The following "aside" should help with the issue of porneia ("fornication") if you're unsure about it:

Brennan S. Chambre over on Facebook posted the following:

Jesus did say, "My kingdom is not of this world." I am a devout christian, mind you, but I do not believe certain religious beliefs ought to extend to government. "Becuase the the Bible says so" is not enough.

Oh, and by the way, do not claim a monopoly over what the Bible says: There are many interpretations, and mine doesn't says homosexuality is wrong (regardless of how irrelvent such a value judgement is when regarding law) nor does it exclude gay marraige.
Should Same Sex Marriage Be Legalized?
Source: http://apps.facebook.com/my_polls/vote.php?poll_id=162&src=post_comment

I replied with the following:

The issue doesn't rest on myriad interpretations of porneia. It rests on harm. Jesus said to be harmless as doves. If it isn't harmless, it isn't sanctioned. It is not harmless in the ultimate. Christians do not ask the secular government to coerce. Check Jesus's words on that (any serious translation or transliteration).

Brennan replied:

Brennan S Chambre at 7:44pm June 23
What does porneia mean? Specifically, what is "not harmless in the ultimate?" Those are close to the exact words in most any traslation. It was when he was asked about the taxes and he said "Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's...." Pretty sure it is that passage but I'll check.

Btw, if it is not obvious yet, I am not entirely sure as to what exactly you were saying, so could you rephrase it in more lay terms, please?

Brennan girl friend, Elizabeth McCallum, also replied:

Elizabeth McCallum at 9:35pm June 23
Yes, I did not understand either......?

My reply:

Hello Brennan and Elizabeth,

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, (Mark 7:21 KJV)

Porneia (transliterated Greek) is fornication (any form, hence plural*) here. There are those who want to divorce it from homosexuality. They want porneia limited to temple harlotry and specifically a narrow view of idolatry ignoring that the figurative came out from the literal. Regardless, were it the correct interpretation, it would not negate Jesus's admonition to you (to all) to be harmless. Ultimately, homosexuality is not harmless in any instance. It can though be overcome, forgiven, and the damage healed.

Favor the absence of secular coercion that always rests on threats and acts of violence, but do not facilitate the error that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality.

Also, concerning "My kingdom is not of this world," "Thy kingdom come."

Do you see it?

Peace,

Tom

*You may take the plural to mean multiple occurrences of a single form, but that is shortsightedness coming out from hardheartedness: the opposite of real love and Godliness.

Brennan S Chambre at 12:31pm June 24
How, exactly, is homosexuality not harmless? I see no harm therein.

Also, what do you mean, "Do you see it?"? regarding "Thy kingdom come."

Finally, what were you saying in your entire second comment? I do not mean to sound stupid here, I really am not, I have just found your wording confusing. :)

Elizabeth McCallum at 1:01pm June 24
I am not fond of when people use the word "fornication" because sex is not a bad thing with and in itself.Sex was given to us as a gift for married couples; between man and wife. While yes, sex is for that purpose. Being in a gay relationship in which you love the other person and you are deeply commited friends..is not wrong. I DO understand that most of the Christian community believes it is wrong, we are just trying to explain how we do not believe it is wrong.

My reply:

These are food for thought for you:
http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/homosexuality/ho0075.html
http://www.narth.com/docs/journalsummary.html
I don't subscribe 100%. I am neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant. The second site apparently has strong connections with politically conservative Evangelical entities. I use the political and theological/denominational terms loosely here.

Since you might wonder than what or who I am, I am a communist, but not a Marxist. Heaven is communism, but not the result of the dialectical materialism of Marx.

My approach is more spiritual than found on the two linked pages. I refer you to them to bridge some of the language-gap between us.

Brennan,
Many people like to quote Jesus saying that his kingdom is not of this world. They often fail to take into account that the Lord's Prayer prays for Heaven to come to Earth. What it means is that it is wrong to use his saying that his kingdom is not of this world as a means of avoiding doing on Earth as it is in Heaven in all things including government. That may take some time for you to wrap your mind around. You might need more connotations to grasp it.

As for your question about my second comment, I was referring to that fornication is pluralized in the verse and that it does not simply mean one form of fornication repeated over and over but rather that there are multiple forms of fornication.

Elizabeth,
Fornication is a type of sex. Using the term should be restricted to that intention. Bestiality is also a form, as are many other behaviors you no doubt find reprehensible. You would not have sex with a dead body. Unfortunately, because these behaviors exist and humanity from time-to-time, and sometimes often, is confronted with temptations and caves in, we have these terms to set apart that which is harmful physically, psychologically, and/or spiritually.

The truth of the matter is that physical harm and damage are the result of spiritual errors. In Christianity, the flesh is the manifestation of spiritual causes whether good or evil.

Lastly, it is good that you are inquiring.

Peace and love,

Tom

MARK DRISCOLL

As for what Mark Driscoll is pumping out (New Calvinism), let me tell you that contrary to what Mark is preaching, you cannot wear a skull on the chest of your t-shirt and not be advertising on behalf of the prince of death. You cannot do body piercings, tattoos, phony hair colors, spiky hairdos, and all the rest without advertising that which is the opposite of real. Such contrivances are the opposite of sending out the message of truth. You don't advertise the opposite of what's in your heart.

SO-CALLED BIBLE-BELIEVING CALVINISM DOESN'T JIBE WITH CHRISTIANITY

NEW CALVINISM, SAME OLD DRIVEL: MARK DRISCOLL, MARS HILL CHURCH, SEATTLE AND OTHERS

The rise and fall of Mars Hill Church, of course.

RICK WARREN, JOEL OSTEEN

This by no means endorses Rick Warren's Christian marketing or Joel Osteen's hybrid, self-help, prosperity preaching, humanist, Freemasonry, Power of Attraction message straight from Thumper's mother (Thumper of the Disney movie, "Bambi," in which the little rabbit is admonished that if he can't say something nice, he shouldn't say anything at all). So, Jesus shouldn't have said "serpents" because it wasn't "nice." That Disney talk is right out of the dark side covering for the serpents. If you can't say anything nice about the serpents, don't tell the truth that they are serpents. Just leave others in the dark to be bitten. That's the message. Don't tell on the perpetrators and don't tell the perpetrators to find God and Jesus or to be found by them.

BODY PIERCINGS, TATTOOS, HAIR COLORING, SPIKY HAIR: WHAT'S THE MESSAGE, COOL?

What this speaking out against skull wearing, body piercings, tattoos, phony hair colors, spiky hairdos, and the rest is, is a condemnation of hyper-antinomianism that some get from Paul and his use of the term "law." Before I go on though, let me be clear that the skull wearing crowd is far from the only group that has fallen to being artificial personalities, contrived, fake personalities. The typical televangelist is just as fake if not more so.

PAULINE CONFUSION

Where John in Revelations says Jesus says not to eat food sacrificed to idols, Paul says just don't do it in front of the children. Nevertheless, Paul lays down his laws. He tells the world of Christians (via his letter to the Romans, chapter 13) to do whatever they are told to do by the princes of this worldly world. However, those princes say to do all the things Jesus say not to do. Also, they murdered Jesus even though Paul says that they are the ministers of God meting out just rewards. So, do we excuse Paul there or tell the truth that he didn't know what he was talking about? We tell the truth.

By the way, how much does Driscoll pay himself in mammon? We know that Osteen and Warren are mega-rich in mammon.

CUSSING PASTOR: MARKETING WHAT TO WHOM?

Many evangelicals call Mark Driscoll the "cussing pastor" because part of Driscoll's marketing approach is to make the great unwashed feel right at home. Well, there's cussing in the Bible. Jesus did it when he called them serpents. Actually, it's cursing or damning; however, that was not Jesus's act. Jesus was rather warning. It's a huge distinction. So, with that in mind, let me be frank. Driscoll is preaching crap. It's just wrapped up in current fads.

"Calvinism is a theology predicated on paradox: God has predestined every human being's actions, yet we are still to blame for our sins; we are totally depraved, yet held to the impossible standard of divine law." (See: "Who Would Jesus Smack Down?" by Molly Worthen. New York Times Magazine. January 6, 2009. A version of the article appeared in print, January 11, 2009, page MM20, New York edition.)

PREDESTINATION

This is wrong. I don't mean that that's not a correct statement of Calvinism. I mean Calvin was wrong. Even though the old and new Calvinists say that one must still act and that the results shows who is and isn't elect, it's still prosperity preaching and does not at all address Jesus blessing the poor and not resigning them to damnation but rather ending up in Heaven with him. As I mentioned in my last post on this subject, if Calvin was right, Jesus was wasting his time. The names in the Book of Life are not known until all is done. On a certain level, God alone knows the names already. However, that does not, I repeat, does not translate into Calvinism. Calvin took omniscience and marked the poor with the seal of Satan. Doing that was wicked, and Jesus hates it!

Being rich in mammon is not a sign of being blessed. The rich will hardly enter the kingdom. That's what Jesus said. No real Christian disputes Jesus.

TOTAL DEPRAVITY

Now, there are those who qualify this "Total Depravity" tenet of theirs by saying that it is not meant to be taken as a statement of intensity of sinfulness but rather the breath of sin extending into every area of the being from emotions to deeds. The human being and humanity are pruned of wickedness. If the emotional tree contains some bad areas, microscopic transformation is performed. Is this really a distinction intended by the term "Total Depravity"? If this is what is meant, I can accept it. Mark Driscoll though is not portrayed as preaching such nuanced positions. Perhaps the portrayals are shallow. He of course may grow.

WOMEN CAN PREACH

Furthermore, according to Mark Driscoll and his ilk, striving to lead a holy life is tantamount to some form of homosexuality and effeminateness. Honestly, what he is, is a male chauvinist; and I am not endorsing secular feminism, especially in its lesbian mode, or anything of the sort. He is supported in his attitudes by the author of certain letters attributed to Paul and also where they got their ideas going back to the beginning. Jesus is not for necessarily relegating women to the back. It's ridiculous. The right leader at any given moment is the one who has the most Holy Spirit within concerning the situation.

SELF-RIGHTEOUS CLEAN LIVING? NO, JUST RIGHTEOUS, CLEAN LIVING

"...the Bible tells him [Mark Driscoll] that to seek salvation by self-righteous clean living is to behave like a Pharisee." (Worthen) That's missing the point. The Pharisees were not into righteous that is clean living. Jesus definitely preached to people that they should live righteous, clean lives. The issue was not whether or not, the issue was with lip service. The Pharisees said one thing but did another, very much as Barack Obama and George W. Bush, et al., have done and are still doing. The Pharisees refused to accept Jesus's definitions of "righteous" and "clean." They refused to live without their hypocritical coverings. That's the message, not what Mark Driscoll is telling himself and his congregations.

Jesus was not a teetotaler, but he did say to remain sober. So, don't get drunk. Don't be intoxicated.

NO VIOLENCE IN REAL CHRISTIANITY

In 2007, two elders protested a plan to reorganize the church that, according to critics, consolidated power in the hands of Driscoll and his closest aides. Driscoll told the congregation that he asked advice on how to handle stubborn subordinates from a "mixed martial artist and Ultimate Fighter, good guy" who attends Mars Hill. "His answer was brilliant," Driscoll reported. "He said, 'I break their nose.' " When one of the renegade elders refused to repent, the church leadership ordered members to shun him. One member complained on an online message board and instantly found his membership privileges suspended. "They are sinning through questioning," Driscoll preached. (Worthen)

Well, a congregation is to rebuke members and to finally treat the unrepentant as heathens; however, Jesus Christ preached total pacifism. Driscoll here is condoning and even encouraging violence as the proper means of conflict resolution. Is that strength? It is not. It's weak, very, very weak. Brawn in the fleshly arm does not make one right. Now, even if Driscoll went on to say that he doesn't advocate breaking anyone's nose but said it to get a laugh or for other psychological/spiritual reasons contrary to the message of Christ, his later qualification doesn't cover the original error or excuse it.

I don't wish ill for the "mixed martial artist and Ultimate Fighter, good guy," but what is the definition of "good" being used here? It sure isn't the consistent definition intended by Jesus. The fighter may not be engaging in other sins, but fighting is still sin in and of itself. Does Driscoll facilitate that truth all the time and without exception, or does he make room for violence all the time with his attitudes and preaching? I say he does the latter of the two and is misleading the youth in his pews or chairs or whatever he has.

I want to flesh this out just a bit more before calling it a post. Driscoll is an evangelical. The Baptists are Reformed, as in out from Calvinism. Driscoll though is more Pentecostal in that he professes to hold with the movement of the Holy Spirit. (See: "Driscoll's New Calvinism," by Paul Grimmond. The Sola Panel. March 19, 2009.) Most Baptists think that life is strictly mundane on this plain. Mundane can range in meaning depending upon context, so let me elaborate to clarify. By mundane here, I mean those things which happen on a common basis to believers and unbelievers alike. Life in the flesh is miraculous on a certain level, but the anti-spiritual won't hold with that.

CALVINISM AND CHRISTIAN ZIONISM

Calvinism has a long history regarding false-Zionism. In fact, much of the current turmoil in the Middle East and especially the pain and suffering of the Palestinians can be laid at the feet of the Puritans and Calvinists.

The British Empire fought against the Ottoman Turks in WWI. Britain won that war and Palestine came under the Empire. Just before the British took Palestine with Arab help, the British cabinet issued the Balfour Declaration. Understand here that the British were burning the candle at both ends. While they wooed the Arabs with promises of Palestine under the Arabs, the British also made promises to Jews for various favors, such as encouraging the U.S. to enter the war on the side of Britain, which it subsequently did.

There were 10 members of the British cabinet. 7 had evangelical backgrounds, 6 Calvinist. Balfour was a Calvinist and so was Lloyd George, the Prime Minister. One member was Jewish. He was against the declaration knowing it would lead to unnecessary strife. (See: "To the Jew First: 19th-century British evangelicals' efforts to combat anti-Semitism and promote a Jewish homeland had more to do with evangelistic fervor than with eschatological expectations," by Donald M. Lewis. Christianity Today. June 24, 2009.) In some of their zeal, they helped create a nation-state where the Pharisaic (the enemy of Christ) thrives again. In their anti-Catholicism (Catholicism was anti-Semitic), the Calvinists shacked up with just another brand of antichrist.

The "modern" Christian Zionists, such as John Hagee, make their fortunes pumping up the coming conflict between the Jews and Muslims. Hagee denies it, but we can see the fruits and know his public flip-flopping. Never mind that Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers. There's no money in it.

ELECTION

Jesus pointed out that there were prophets who couldn't, or didn't, heal Israel. It isn't that they were giving Israel bad advice. It was that Israel rejected it.

We, as Christians, can't be as Gamaliel the Pharisee and judge that if God is for something it will automatically happen without any human beings coming together over it. (See: Act 5:34) Therefore, we see that Mark Driscoll has over seven thousand now in the Seattle area under his ministry. We don't see the bringing forth of the Christian Commons. We read about people being brought to Jesus as savior (soteriology), but they are being brought into churches that are hot to talk but cold to do. This is how it has been in all the Reformed churches.

I don't seek a bridge to accommodate Calvinism. I seek converts to bringing forth what Calvin blocked.

There is no beheading in Christianity. Calvin was for beheading. That makes him antichrist whether Calvinists like it or not. Tell the truth!

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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