Ok, so I was listening to Paul Dohse’s latest internet radio program on blogtalkradio/falsereformation. This broadcast was called “Francis Chan’s Antinomian Puppy Love” but I’m not at all concerned with the obvious false teacher Francis Chan, because if you have an ounce of sense and you listen to him then you instantly know that he’s nuts. I’m more interested in Paul D’s attempt to save the false doctrine of “once saved always saved” that he is so committed to as a Baptist, and which he has demonstrated time and again he is incapable of abandoning despite massive mountains of Biblical evidence against it.
Basically Paul D has abandonded the traditional terminology of “once saved always saved.” So instead of the idea that you go to heaven while living a totally depraved life due to being covered by the blood of Christ (i.e. the traditional Baptist-Calvinist terminology for OSAS), Dohse has invented a new terminology: a distinction between “sin against justification” and “sin against sanctification.”
So Dohse says any sin committed after coming to belief, is only a sin “against sanctification” not “against justification,” and therefore does not damn. He also sometimes refers to “sin against justification” as “sin against the Law” and to “sin against sanctification” as “sin against the Father” (as if somehow sin against the Law were not also sin against the Father, and vice versa, which of course it is when we’re talking about the moral side of the Law).
An epiphany hit me in listening to all this: Basically what Dohse is attempting to do is to create the Catholic system of mortal and venial sins, but to do so without moral distinctions between sins.
In Dohse’s system he makes rape as venial as telling a little white lie. His system is: you get a one-time justification, then you can commit whatever sin you want, and it can never damn you. In other words, its exactly the same as traditional Baptist OSAS, just using different terminology.
The Catholic system makes more sense, that yes, no small sin can damn you once you’re saved, but a big one (like murder, or rape) can. Venial is an archaic word for “slight” if you didn’t know that, and “mortal” means something that makes you die. So its a distinction in the moral quality of sin. Some sins are only technically sins, and others are extremely morally wrong to such as extent as to be a sin that certainly causes spiritual death.
In fact, their system seems clearly to be John’s system in this regard, in 1st John 5, “All unrighteousness is sin: but there is a sin not unto death.” In this regard, Paul D’s sounds more like the antinomian variants of Gnosticism from the 2nd century than the Bible. Yes, sin doesn’t condemn us, that is, minor sins like the fake sins of getting angry or sad (which Protestantism makes sin, emotion-sin, and thought-crime sin) those don’t damn us, but you bet your britches that rape will condemn you no matter how much you falsely think you got saved or rightly know that you did get saved. So no, Paul D’s system needs some work; its not ready for prime time at all.
Now, is venial/mortal sin a Catholic invention? No. Its an Old Testament invention. Protestants forget because they don’t read the Law, but the Law does NOT make all sin equal. In the Law, a little white lie is not punished by death, but murder is. Why is that? Venial vs mortal (in the true sense of the terms, not Luther’s Gnostic redefinition).
In fact, Paul D mentions Luther’s redefinition of venial/mortal. Luther redefined them that any good work that seeks to contribute to salvation is a mortal sin, and any actual sin is a venial sin–what demonic redefinition! Well, this is EXACTLY Paul D’s own system! This is exactly the system of OSAS that all Baptists believe in! And this is exactly why they claim all sin (i.e. all actual sin, all real sin) is equal. But no, all sin is not equal: a little white lie is not equal to rape. Just ask the Law. Just ask John.
But Paul D’s system in which he can commit rape after becoming a Christian and still be saved because he claims “well, I only sinned against sanctification, not against justification, haha,” doesn’t differ one jot or tittle from Luther’s system! Let’s go back to the Old Testament’s distinction between venial and mortal sin, and not listen to these Gnostic know-it-alls anymore.
Disclaimer: I’m sure Paul D is a morally upstanding guy. The above was a logical analysis of his system, not a personal attack on his character. In other words, I’m not accusing him of rape, just showing what his system would say about someone who was guilty of it. I want to emphasize that Paul D’s version of OSAS doesn’t provide any more disincentive to abuse than does the traditional Baptist OSAS. The only difference is nobody is following Paul D’s system yet, but once they start, you’ll get as much abuse in that system because functionally its the same. That’s what I want to highlight!