Conversation With Toad (No. 2)

NOTE: Despite our obvious disagreements on a number of important issues, I really like Toad. He exemplifies what my average polygamous cousin would be like, if he took a shower, got off welfare, and went to get a Ph.D. or a law degree. My criticism of his positions should not be read as an attempt to belittle him. He’s a smart guy who has the ability to teach us all how to argue more succinctly. Of those who have been given much, much is expected.

In a number of recent articles, Artisanal Toad (visit his blog here) has argued the incompleteness of the New Testament. He graciously expounded when I asked for details and I believe that I understand his position. I argue here that while Toad’s interpretation is reasonable, it throws up an important contradiction.

Like my polygamous cousins, Toad begins our conversation by noting that he has the one true way, and that I don’t. As such, I will never be able to fully understand his arguments.

One of the central problems we bang up against in these discussions is that you are not a Christian, you are a natural man who does not have the Spirit of God. That, by your own admission, so unless something has changed I believe that to be correct. That is a fatal issue with respect to this discussion…

(source)

In previous conversations, Toad has made it clear that he does not expect other men to live as he does, but he also makes clear that by “Christian” he does not mean participating in the traditional sacraments of Christianity.

Given that I don’t subscribe to the teachings of the magical book of medieval opinions (otherwise known as the teachings and traditions of the church), the idea that you would be a Christian because you were the subject of a baptismal ceremony (possibly as a child) is the equivalent of claiming you are a cage-fighter because you took a Tai Kwon Do class when you were a kid.

(source)

So, like a traditional polygamist, Toad implies that he has some hidden, occult knowledge which is unavailable to unwashed normies (like ya boy Boxer). Unlike a traditional polygamist, the means for the acquisition of knowledge is nowhere well-defined.

In the first place, Toad has drawn a line of differentiation between his version of Christian (which I’ll subsequently denote with an asterisk) and the normie Christians who imagine that a baptism is the prerequisite initiation into the mysteries of Christianity.

I’ll begin by conceding here that I am not a Christian*, by whatever standard Toad uses to define that term, and grant that I am not privy to whatever occult knowledge is available to Christians* so defined. I believe that I don’t need such knowledge, whether or not it exists, to make my point.

I’ll subsequently state that while I’m not a Christian*, I believe I can competently act as an advocate for average, normie Christians, who may not agree with Toad’s numerous innovations.

Toad argues that the King James Version of the New Testament, when taken at face value, is an incomplete symbol. He implies that Christians* can apprehend, or intuit, additional, abstract commandments, which form a model for Christianity*.

In other words, there are some things that are comprehended only by the Spirit of God. At the same time, the tendencies of the flesh (the natural man) are at war with the Spirit of God and we see this time after time with Christians who are swayed by peer pressure and the doctrines of men. A good historical example is the arrogance of Augustine:

In his treatise “Way Into The Will” he discusses the nature of good and evil.

(ibid)

I haven’t read Way Into The Will at all, and I haven’t read Augustine in years, so I can’t comment on specifics. Yet, I find it interesting that Toad needs to cite a historical Christian to make his point about Christianity*. My readers may note a certain circularity developing in Toad’s argument. Toad has secret knowledge, which is only available to those who have the Spirit of God, and which supplants a reading of the text. Even though this secret knowledge is coherent with the text, its existence is nowhere hinted at in the text, and demonstrations must be extra-textual.

In fact, the text of the Bible is very clear about those who innovate new teachings from it. In Deuteronomy 4:2, we read:

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

Later, in Deuteronomy 12:32, we read:

Whatsoever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

And elsewhere, in Revelations 22:18, we read:

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

Toad continues, explaining that the text was never meant to be taken at face value. Christians* are its intended audience, and the bible was intended to be an incomplete supplement or addendum to their intuition:

Even though Scripture informs us with God’s own testimony that we are not capable of understanding God, likewise we are informed that while some parts of Scripture are so simple and pure that the natural man can comprehend them, God’s Word is designed to be spiritually discerned. Even so we can see that even Christians who have the Spirit of God can be lured astray by everything from established (wrong) doctrine to their own prideful arrogance and confidence in their intellectual abilities.

When this is the case and we see that Christians have difficulty dealing with God’s Word, how can we have a discussion when the book we’re using as the standard for behavior clearly states that you can’t understand it?

(emphasis mine)

Toad only thinks he is arguing with his Brother Boxer, at this point. He is actually contradicting Saul of Tarsus, the author of most of the New Testament. From Galatians, Chapter 1, verses 6-12:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

St. Paul warns Christians not to stray into Christianity*, nor to pursue innovations. He goes on to assert the completeness of his teachings.

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More on Pietka’s Article

This is an alternate take on my analysis of Rachel Pietka’s Relevant article (posted here) by commenter Mich. Show him some love…

She didn’t say that abstinence leads to divorce or that modern Christianity should let up on premarital sex restrictions to avoid divorce. She cited one woman who believed she could have avoided divorce by engaging in premarital sex and mentioned that the benefits of waiting are exaggerated (they are). But, it seems the author attributes the divorce to the dishonesty surrounding no-sex-before-marriage ministries rather than to abstinence itself, which it looks like you both agree does not inherently result in happy marriages or bedrooms.

I agree with that. Young people in particular are being fed the lie that great sex is a reward for following the rules, and godless heathens will never really be able to have this transcendent sexual and marital experience that awaits pious virgins. That’s bunk, as I’m sure you know firsthand.

She explicitly states that bad sex is no reason to divorce or reduce martial investment. Great! But her notion of the “proper place” for sex in marriage is presumptuous. Sex is not icing on the cake; marriage and sex cannot be separated, and sex should never be relegated to the status of “gift” that some couples get and some just don’t. The loss of sex through mental or physical incapacitation is worth mourning.

Her musings about the “place” for sex is a far cry from an endorsement of premarital sex or divorce, but it’s just as far from being a practical solution for “incompatable” couples and provides no viable options for couples who really are suffering. She identified a problem, but took the easy way out on fixing it.