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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Friday, September 30, 2005
Humility.
I admire a couple of Franks - no not Frenchmen, but Frank one and Frank two). These two fellows have been discussing contraception and the Christian family on their blogs lately, and rather than post voluminous opinions in their space, I thought I would lay out my own thoughts here.

I lay forth beforehand this caveat - I believe that Christianity is simple to understand, but that we make it complex when by our own carnal efforts we seek to avoid certain requirements of our faith that we currently do not want to deal with.

That is a generalization, but I will use it as the baseline philosophy that will drive my examination of these issues.

Most of us have only a superficial understanding of humility. We know that it means to humble yourself before God, but we don't mine it too deeply because we don't want to deal with the nuggets that come up. In particular we don't want to identify sin in our life, because we believe that as long as we don't identify it, we are not responsible for dealing with it. It is a sad and beggarly thing that we do - but we all do it. I do it, and if you are genuine in your faith and willing to be honest - you do it too.

I define humility thus: a willingness to obey God.

I define pride thus: a willingness to disobey God.

I use the word willingness with purpose. It is more than just a desire. I might desire the drink the water, but if it costs $10.00 a bottle, I am not willing to drink it. Willingness is the key word when discussing humility or pride - and really, humility is really just the absence of pride isn't it?

Humility defines what it means to be crucified with Christ, that is what it means to set your own ambitions, goals, and pleasures aside and embrace instead the cross of Jesus Christ.

Leonard Ravenhill makes a wonderful point about the cross - once you were nailed to it, you were no longer in control - and that is the heart of humility.

It is because most Christians are not humble, and don't even know what humble really looks like - that they have no true witness of the Spirit; they have no present and tangible sense of God's presence. Instead, knowing that something should be there, they look to the shadows God casts in their lives, and deduce that God is there, whether or not he really is.

When I gave my life to God to do with as He would - I remember standing on the gulf between total surrender and wanting to control my own life - and as I leapt off that precipice of self control, yielding my entire being to His utter and eternal control - His Holy Spirit came into me in such a profound and tangible way that I was reeling from the effect. No one told me something would happen, and it wasn't some emotional trip, nor was it some logical conclusion I drew - God filled me and an undeniable sense of His holiness choked out everything else in my universe - an experience I can not deny, and can barely explain except to say what it wasn't. God was in me and I knew it. I could testify to the reality of His presence because I was a living witness to what had happened in my own life when I utterly surrendered it to God.

I testify to my own shame that these few hours when I was in communion with God in such a profound and living way - represents the only time in my entire twenty or so years of Christianity when I was truly and utter genuine in my own humility.

The experience lastet right up until I sinned, and the moment desire conceived in my heart He was gone. I felt so ashamed and guilty before God that I ran as far from Him as I could. Twelve years later my faith was restored, but the presence of the Lord was not restored. I knew (because scripture said so) that the Holy Spirit was indwelling me - but it wasn't an experiential truth - I had no fellowship with God in any real sense. I had what everyone else had - a head knowledge.

At first I thought that perhaps I hadn't really been saved the first time - you know, the seed that fell one of the bad soils - I believed for a time, but then fell away - or perhaps I was one of those who "went out from us, because they were not of us" - but I only believed that because it was easier than dealing with the notion that I once had sweet fellowship with God's Spirit, but now, because of my subtle unwillingness to yield everything to God, I was experiencing only an intellectual, second-hand sort of Christianity.

Lately I prayed a prayer I had been too afraid to pray - "Lord, show me what I must do to fellowship with you again in truth" - and the answer came later in the form of conviction of sin. Not one sin, but pride, unbelief, and irreverance all rolled up into one. I no longer had the fear of God, I knew I was going to heaven, and so I have been slack in my obedience.

I only as much as is convenient for me. I decide where and when the line is drawn - this far Lord and no further for now. This is not a willingness to obey, but a willingness to obey only those things that I can deal with. That isn't really a willingness to obey at all now is it?

My problem then is one of obedience - of willingness to obey. And that willingness to obey will only come when I once again hold God in my esteem as more important than everything - even myself and the things I want to do. This is called "fearing the Lord" - not the "afraid" kind of fear, but the awe-filled respect kind.

Looking therefore at contraception, I can say, God opens and closes the womb and not us. Who are we to play God? Do I trust God to give me as many children as He sees fit, or do I usurp His right and plan my own family? Do I play God, or do I let God be God?

If I play God, well, that is fine - but it comes at a cost. The only sort of fellowship I will have with God will be the common beggarly sort that is only popular amongst those who have never known fellowship on any higher level. God doesn't fellowship with sinners. He saves them, yes, he loves them yes, but fellowship is reserved for the humble. Imputed righteousness does not win one fellowship this side of the grave, and anyone who wants to have God's Spirit to come in and sup with Him had better understand that that only happens to the obedient children. And with God, the moment your heart is compromised, you can kiss that good-bye. Your still saved and all - but your experience becomes second hand.

So when I think about things such as contraception - I filter them through the big picture, if I am not willing to trust God to manage every detail of my life - that is, if I trust myself to do a better job than God - and in fact reject His will for my life - I can do it, but I am shooting myself in the foot spiritually speaking.

A word about the Pill etc.

Many Christians do not fully understand how "the Pill" works. The pill can act as a barrier mechanism to prevent sperm from entering the cervix by causing the body to thicken the mucus plug at the opening of the cervix. The other way pregnancy is avoided, and this is the main way btw, is to prevent ovulation altogether. However, ovulation sometimes takes place and eggs do find their way down. The third thing the pill does is harden the lining of the womb, preventing implantation of a fertilized egg. That means that newly conceived children in their first week of life are flushed out in a "micro-abortion" because the pill prevents that child from grafting to his or her mother.

Many Christians, when they learn that this form of "contraception" includes the possibility of silently killing one or more of their children, well, they just stop using it.

This information is readily available of course, but most people don't know it.

IUDs also affect the uterine lining and can prevent the implantation of a newly conceived child.

posted by Daniel @ 12:54 PM  
4 Comments:
  • At 11:33 PM, September 30, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You realize of course, that in our day (1970's-1980's)...we did not have access to all this information available today. But had we known scripture we would not have fallen into that hole!! ESPECIALLY had we known and understood more of the Old Testament...but then those are nearly forbidden books in most churches. The scriptures do not say good things about shepherds who have led the sheep astray....and we know that those who teach have a much higher standard given to them....

    It is a sorrow to us...and indeed because I had an IUD after the first 2....I had MANY miscarriages before God enabled me to carry the last one before I had to have a hysterectomy. But maybe these will be part of what the locust has stolen that will be given to us later...after Messiah comes. We hope so. I had a dream one night where I saw them...I wonder if it will come true... If I had lived closer to my family where I could have had help, I know we would not have stopped when we did...but I really believe that the IUD was in part to blame for the hysterectomy...of course, no doc would go against another...same club and they stand for the brothers....so....what happened is what happened.

    I hope the Lord will be merciful to us and many scriptures assure us that He will...but we need to correct the sin in our lives when He draws our attention to it, for sure!! Well, we are still here and so we must still need to learn things...or He would come for us!
    Elizabeth

     
  • At 6:33 PM, October 01, 2005, Blogger Bryan said…

    I responded to you on My own blog

    Bryan
    SDG

     
  • At 10:47 AM, October 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you Daniel for such a clear and concise understanding of this very controversial issue. While arguing black and white may be more difficult, there is no going around the fact that we as believers simply refuse to surrender our wills and rights to the God who gave His own blood for us. By saying no to God, we are in effect telling Him we do not trust His decisions for our life and that we in fact know better.

    I remember the quote that I heard one time..."A man's morality will dictate his theology". So true, we tend to believe what we are willing to accept and put into practice in our lives.

    Someone else said, "We may not practice what we profess, but eventually we will practice what we believe". Ultimately what we practice in our lives demonstrates what we believe about God and who He is. Do we trust the character and nature of God, do we trust His decisions and will for our lives? Can we take Him at His Word?

    God give us the fortitude to obey!

    Jim

     
  • At 10:53 AM, October 03, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    Thanks Jim.

    Many theologians are quick to point out that God has to be the number one priority - but then they don't do anything about it. There is a world of difference between knowing you should fear God and actually fearing Him.

    Grace and Peace.

     
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