YouTube’s TheoreticalBullshit

“A simple, apostolic yearning for a genuine biblical revival in our day,” Revival Conference, an event held throughout the year, around the world, and with no cost for admission, is an extension of the ministry of, both being frequent platforms for Paul Washer, the founder of and Minister of the Gospel, his actual title, at Heart Cry Missionary Society. Revival Conference,, Paul Washer, and Heart Cry Missionary Society express non-denomitionalism, but an affiliated church, the Grace Life Church of the Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, expresses, with emphasis, a devotion to the historic Baptist doctrine and references the Rev. John Newton Brown’s 1833 New Hampshire Confession, although, with doubtlessly unintended irony, it is modified slightly. And, so, while this event and these organizations and this person and, indeed, a great many more, may express non-denominationalism, they are certainly not beyond categorization and one can trace the theological and culture ideologies which inform their current iteration; non-denominationalism, however, is not a theological argument, but an ecclesiological argument.

The first example of Christian ecclesiology is the Book of Acts and peppered throughout the Epistles; we see a jockeying for power, a determination of geographic definitions, an answering of legal question and financial matters, and a formalization of theological doctrines. This is to say, the early Church was quick to realize that it was not a group of persons with a common purpose and knowledge who could simply and unto themselves undertake the Great Commission or engage in charity or spread the Gospel, but that a Church with power structures would be necessary to ensure itself, appoint leaders, deal with material concerns, and provide for continuity. This is not a cynical matter, however; institutionalization emerges naturally and inevitably as a consequence of sustained human material enterprises, be it a school, hospital, museum, chess club, or religion.

Of course, institutionalization is also a naturally flawed process: as an institution grows, even in its earliest stages, each positive affirmation includes necessarily a condemnation and dissent is sowed, a dissent which invariably seeks to institutionalize itself and therefrom, condemn its now competitor from which it came. Such is the history of Christian ecclesiology, from the Assyrians of the fifth century to the Great Schism of the eleventh century to the Reformation of the sixteenth century and, to drive the point home, from a certain perspective, such was the execution of Jesus of Nazareth ordered in the first century.

Of course, although suggesting that Christianity is a branch of Judaism is, again, from a certain perspective, true, it belies the modern situation and is therefore, unhelpful, and I think we can say that from which a thing came is not necessarily what a thing is. It may be, therefore, that some denominations on the modern landscape are actually not Christians, which became the very substance of the interdenominational bickering that so characterized the failure of the One Master Christian YouTube Gathering, resonates in the ecclesiology of non-denominationalism and justifies the ministries of uneducated, uncredentialed, incurious bigots and morons. At the same time, the differences between Christians are, from a certain perspective, insubstantial and to attend to them belies the modern situation and is therefore, unhelpful, but the taxonomic conundrum emerges; the label “Christian” is one that I feel is wielded invariably with problems.

Paul Washer, for example, may be a Christian in a looser, demographic sense of the word, but I think it is more useful to talk about him as a Calvinist or a Baptist or a Revivalist with itinerant Pentecostal leanings; he heavily references James Petigru Boyce, for example. And Paul Washer himself is certainly not beyond condemning the vast majority of Christians in that demographic sense of the word as nonChristian in that theological, doctrinal sense of the word: his Ten Indictments of the Church, a mind numbing, two hour sermon, painstakingly argues for the doctrines of Biblical sufficiency, regeneration, and substitutionary atonement, among other more aesthetic disciplinary judgments about the modern American Christian. Paul Washer would say that very few people are Christians.

What you need to understand is prior coming to Christ, it’s not that you were basically a good person who at times sinned. What you need to understand is that prior coming to Christ, the only think you ever did was sin. Even your most righteous deeds before God… sin. All sin. Every thought, every movement.

-Paul Washer. “Man Apart from God.” True God.

That was an excerpt from “Man Apart from God,” the first of Paul Washer’s six part series entitled True God, expressing in hyperbole the moment of being Born Again, initiative, non-Baptismal saving regeneration with Revivalist tones, which is to say, a fairly extreme and idiosyncratic teaching, deprioritized in some denominations and completely absent in signifincantly more.

All of this is perhaps why I take issue with TheoreticalBullshit’s most recent video entitled “A Serious Poll for my Christian Friends…,” in which TheoreticalBullshit directs his Christian viewers to “Man Apart from God” from which I just sampled and asks his Christian viewers to evaluate their agreement with Paul Washer on a scale from one to five.

If you put 1, you’re probably not a Christian.

-TheoreticalBullshit “A Serious Poll for my Christian Friends…

TheoreticalBullshit, of course, is trapped in the conundrum of the label; in pointing to the most bizarre and bewilderingly inconsistent and incoherent doctrines of the foolishly fantastical and far flung fringes of fanatical fundamentalism and labeling them “Christianity,” he has defined Christianity with the same idiosyncrasy that I see in Paul Washer. In “God’s Checklist 2.0,” a redo of the video “God’s Checklist,” TheoreticalBullshit demonstrates that his Christianity is one, to say the least, of Biblical literalism and creationism.

Be sure to include in these moral prescriptions edicts for social and psychological health, such as:-Encouragement to beat one’s children with a rod. (Proverbs 23:13-14 ) Permission to buy and sell slaves, and will them as property to one’s children for life. (Leviticus 25:44-46) Requirement that women not be allowed to teach or have authority over men. (Timothy 2:9-14) And of course, the instruction to kill anyone who expresses interest in worshipping other gods. (Deuteronomy 13:6-10)

Design a physical universe, planets, animals and vegetation all with the appearance of age. Be sure to include in your creation biological flaws, redundancies and over-complications that appear as if they were the product of blind, cumulative processes. Perhaps a urinary tract that runs straight through the prostate gland, or an unnecessary appendix prone to inflation and rupturing, or maybe a respiratory and digestive system forced to share the same plumbing. (These are just a few working ideas.)

-TheoreticalBullshit “God’s Checklist 2.0

And, finally, in a video entitled “…And What If I’m Wrong?” TheoreticalBullshit, an avowed atheist (another label I dislike using), demonstrates that his Christianity is one in which it is written in its holy texts and the preponderance of its adherents believe that atheists are going to Hell.

Of course, according to the Bible and according to most Christians, Hell is exactly where I’m headed, no matter the life I lead or choices I make or the intentions that I have. If I don’t at least think that a God exists, well… sucks for me.

-TheoreticalBullshit “…And What If I’m Wrong?

Ridicule befits the ridiculous and I’ve made a considerable number of videos seeking out within Christianity those persons who have made ridiculousness of being a person, Christian or otherwise, but it seems foolish to confuse deplorable people for the labels about which they have no insight.Ridicule, of course, distorts in order to highlight the truth, but a critic whose caricatures distort the truth quickly becomes the lesser, no better than that which he reviles. Christianity is certainly not so quick to condemn atheists: I’m reminded of a quote from the German enlightenment philosopher Gotthold Lessing:

The true value of a man is not determined by his possession, supposed or real, of Truth, but rather by his sincere exertion to get to the Truth. It is not possession of the Truth, but rather the pursuit of Truth by which he extends his powers and in which his ever-growing perfectibility is to be found. Possession makes one passive, indolent, and proud. If God were to hold all Truth concealed in his right hand, and in his left only the steady and diligent drive for Truth, albeit with the proviso that I would always and forever err in the process, and offer me the choice, I would with all humility take the left hand.

This idea is reiterated at least in the doctrine of the religion of an increasing quarter of Americans and the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics:

Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience (CCC 843, LG 16.)

The original video is here…

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