The 4 points of Therapeutic Moralistic Deism that have infiltrated modern Christianity.
There are (at least) 4 specific doctrinal/near dogmatic thought processes that have entered the faith and have made pretty much any brand you go to Therapeutic Moralistic Deism. This has affected churches of every tradition I am aware of, including RC and Orthodox. These four things have never been a part of the faith until, as far as I can tell, late modern times. All of them use scripture to back themselves up, and all of them are rationally incoherent.
- You must learn to “love yourself” before you can love others. (Usually “love your neighbor as yourself” is twisted to make it mean this.)
- You must learn to “forgive yourself”.
- Unconditional immediate forgiveness for anyone who sins, no matter what the circumstances, no matter how heinous the crime, no matter whether or not they have repented. Conflating the lack of doing this with “holding a grudge”– which is a clearly enumerated sin.
- God wants us to be happy.
I’ll review each one of these fibs.
1. Love Yourself
Starting with point number one, let’s take a look at the most common text(s) used to support this notion. Christ, in Mark chapter 12 is quoting the Ten Commandments (Leviticus 19) when he declares that the two greatest commandments are to love God, and to love your neighbor.
Now, follow me here, its super complicated. If someone asks me to list TWO things, I will not then go on to list THREE things, and hide one in such sophistry that nobody can figure it out until the 1960s.
Here’s a paraphrase:
Scribe: “Which commandment is the greatest?” (Asking for ONE thing)
Christ: “Well, smartass, there’s actually TWO (my emphasis). Love God, and Love your neighbor!”
Modern trained theologians, with their therapeutically warped sense of stupidity read into this THREE commandments. (Even though Christ Himself specifically states there are two.)
- Love God
- Love your neighbor
- LOVE YOURSELF ???
Where they get this nonsense is none other than my moronic profession (mental health) and superimpose it onto a simple passage of scripture. There is no commandment to “love yourself.” In fact, it’s worse. Here’s how the text reads, if you break it down the way a child learning English does. And you don’t have to know Greek or Hebrew to get this.
“Love your neighbor IN THE WAY THAT YOU ALREADY LOVE YOURSELF.” (This is what “as” means.) The text presupposes self love, and states that if you would just love your neighbor like you already selfishly love yourself, the world would improve greatly. This is the exact opposite of what is taught. Everywhere. In every church you or I have ever been to.
2. Forgive Yourself
Next, let’s look at “forgiving yourself.” The best case I have seen for this is Isaiah 43:18 and similar passages which admonish us to not dwell on the past. This is good and right to do, for who can change what has already transpired? But “forgiveness” and “yourself” are transactionally unrelatable in the sense that is meant by this (more therapy bullshit) that has entered the faith.
Having an appropriate sense of what has already happened, learning from it, and growing are good things. But the only entities that can forgive you are (1) the humans you hurt, and (2) God. If you do not believe this, then you are making yourself into your own god and offering yourself “forgiveness.” It’s related to the “feeling” of guilt. Guilt is not a feeling, it is a state of jurisprudence. You either are guilty of something or you are not.
3. Unconditional Immediate Forgiveness
Now how about number 3? I have written elsewhere on the topic of unconditional immediate forgiveness. How many times does there have to be a school shooting then some stupid church hangs a sign out above their building, “We forgive you Adam Lanza (or whomever)?” It would take an entire post to explore this destructive belief and I am not going to do that. Ask about it in the comments and maybe I’ll write it all out, again. But the bottom line is, nowhere in the text (if you use the additive hermeneutic principle of interpretation) does the scripture, or God Himself require us to forgive the unrepentant. If so, then Matthew 18:15-17 and Luke 17:3-4 are in direct confrontation and contradiction of everything else the text says on the matter. (See former posts on text criticism and how to solve this dilemma).
Sin MUST be accounted for (repented of) as a prerequisite to forgiveness. Even God does not forgive without it. This does not make you “judgmental” (a word that only appears in post 1960s dictionaries). It makes you not crazy.
4. Be Happy!
Finally, God wants us to be happy? Everyone believes this. But I say this. The entire point of the existence of the universe and everything in it (including man) is to glorify God. Do most Christians even understand what that takes sometimes? Search the text and find another reason for us to be here. Glorifying God almost always includes some sacrifice to your own happiness or well being.
From the poisoned water of these four ridiculous precepts flows the rest of the stupidity that is called “being a Christian” now — including how weak and ineffectual it looks to the outside world for causing real heart level change.
Lastly, let me add — it doesn’t matter which type of Christian you are. You can see what these things have done to the faith. Cultural Christians, as well as deeply religious faithful believers, on some level can understand this.
The cultural Christians (think Christopher DeGroot, Gavin McInnes, Theodore Dalrymple) would agree to this statement: What Christianity did for the world was it reconciled Gods infinite greatness with His love for man despite his infinite smallness. That gift made everything that followed possible. But each of those 4 points above cause a direct and felt erosion of its power to project humanity into the heights of our collective and individual potential. They do so by tipping the scale in the direction of the “God’s love” part, which is directly in the service of the therapeutic mentality and purpose of it now. After all, each of those points is designed to salve or dull the pain that YOU SHOULD FEEL when you screw up.
Go find a priest or other clergy who does not believe these four things. And who can carefully, precisely and articulately argue against them. There you have found the remnant.
- Σ Frame: My Unhappiness Is Your Fault! 2018 June 3)
- Dalrock: Christian hospitality requires accommodating gay sex. (2019 March 19)
- Dalrock: The gospel of the carousel. (2019 October 15)