I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. – Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, September 23, 1801
This book flows not from the winepress of sour grapes, but rather from thankfulness. Whether secular or religious tyranny, these endeavors always yield freedom. Tyranny was a usurper into God’s creation and challenges man’s innate need to be free. Therefore, sin finds itself in a quandary; it is utterly driven by a lust to enslave, but this will eventually drive men to a fight or flight. Tyranny is affliction, but it will always awaken man to his freedom duty. For this, we can be thankful. This book is an in-depth look into religious tyranny using Clearcreek Chapel in Springboro, Ohio as a case study.
However, this case study is a story that reads like most church experiences in our day, and the personal testimonies read the same as well. The infor-mation written within will come from the author’s firsthand experience and the testimonies of others, but there is no need to focus on a few people when this is the like testimony of many. Hence, the study will focus on common experiences and not particular individuals.
Most people are saved according to the experience described by the apostle Paul in 1Thessalonians 1:5, “For our gospel came not to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as youknow what manner of men we were among you for your sake (KJV).” Yet, most professing Christians doubt their salvation, and furthermore, most professing Christians know there is something funda-mentally missing in church; something isn’t right, but they can’t put their finger on it.
The present mass exodus from the institutional church is well documented while most people leaving the church don’t know specifically why they are leaving. They are leaving because something is missing, but they are not sure what that something is. The salvation that came with much power and assurance has faded into doubt and indifference. On the other hand, the church, whether Catholic or Protestant, seems to be supported by many others who are unwavering despite tyranny, illogical contradictions, hypocrisy, and evils not even spoken of in the secular world. How can this be?
How can a church like Clearcreek Chapel now embrace beliefs that would have been rejected out of hand with extreme prejudice by the same Chapel parishioners twenty years prior? How can the present leadership behave in a way that would not have been tolerated for a moment twenty years prior by the same people who now embrace it whole-heartedly?
This study proposes to answer all of these questions in no uncertain way, but one final question needs to be answered to complete the study; once the indictment is clarified, what should our response be? What is the solution?
So then, how can we have full assurance of salvation? What is wrong with church? Why is tyranny acceptable? And what should we do about it?
Because only truth sanctifies (John 17:17),
Paul M. Dohse Sr.