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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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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
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Wednesday, March 29, 2006
The wrong motive...
The fellow in the seat beside me on the bus was perhaps in his late forties or early fifties. He had come on the bus with another fellow perhaps fifteen years his junior.

The fellow clutched in his hand a printout from a placement agency - the kind that gives out laborers to day service - you know, you show up at their office at five in the morning with some work boots, and maybe someone will need a laborer that day. It isn't what you want to do, but welfare will cut you off if you don't show up.

The fellow seated beside me absolutely reeked of cigarette smoke, and his speech and mannerisms told me that he was not very educated, and the fact that he was near fifty and working in this way told me that he really hadn't any marketable skills, and probably never had any.

The younger of the two - was chatty, but his crooked, yellow - toothed smile was nervous - these two were clearly not compadres - rather they likely happened to be in the placement office together and found their fates suddenly twined together in having been sent to the same assignment. Other than being younger, this fellow was a carbon copy of the other fellow.

Perhaps these gentlemen had been dealt a poor hand, or perhaps they were of that sort of worthless character that throws away winning hands - it really wasn't important to the here and now - what was important was that my heart felt a deep pity and compassion for them. I mused soberly to myself that this life could have been mine - or if God permitted, could still be mine.

If we are clumsy, or just plain ignorant we might paint my compassion and pity as noble or even godly. But there is nothing godly about that sort of compassion. It is simple humanism, and finds its root not in God, but in self.

Here is where our heart can deceive us if we are foolish, or clumsy. Ultimately my pity was a reaction to a "what if this was me" scenario - that is, I was pitying myself vicariously through this fellow. Oh - my compassion was genuine, being rooted deceitfully in my own self-preserving heart.

My point at this time however isn't to instruct in the true motives of the deceived heart - though if in passing I have shed some light I am glad for that - but I want to talk about how this same vicarious self-preservation masquerading as it always does as compassion and even "love for my fellow man" can motivate some to evangelize.

They go another step in their hearts - they recall the joy of their own salvation - and consider that same joy projected into this miserable life - and so they share the gospel - hoping to rescue this poor soul from the misery of his or her current life, and into the joy that comes with salvation.

Oh brothers and sisters, this stuff is subtle, so I want to be sure you are with me on this.

The motive here is entirely humanistic - we are concerned that God would "do something nice for this sinner" - that is, our desire is to see the sinner enjoy a more comfortable life.

Some are not so easily fooled - and they instead fall for the same problem, but at a deeper level - they want to save this poor sot from hell - concerned not with the sinner having a comfortable life - so much as the sinner having a more comfortable after-life.

The motive is still the same - the comfort we ourselves desire - projected into the life of another.

Oh some who are blind will rally against this, but I say - let 'em rally.

The motive for the sharing the gospel is this: Jesus died for them, and Jesus deserves the salvation of every soul He died to free. The Love of Christ constrains the true evangelists - Christ MUST be glorified - it is His right - it is our passion to see our Saviour receive the glory due Him.

Anything less is carnal effort - no matter how it is dressed up.
posted by Daniel @ 1:05 PM  
8 Comments:
  • At 2:12 PM, March 29, 2006, Blogger Even So... said…

    Daniel,

    Your blogging pen has struck me again.

    God has truly blessed you with insight. Perhaps you should gather the ideas you explore regarding wrong headed motivation together and write a book, you could title it, "The Sins We Don't See".

    Until then, and even still, I will continue to tell people about this site. May God continue to bless you as you stay holy and humble.

    Even So...

     
  • At 2:46 PM, March 29, 2006, Blogger Even So... said…

    Upon further reflection..

    Hmmmm...

    Perhaps writing a book might be improper motivation in itself...

    You see why we need you, brother, and where God has blessed you. Keep blessing us.

    Even So...

     
  • At 3:17 PM, March 29, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    An ability to diagnose a disease doesn't impart an immunity from that disease. Would that I were holy and humble! But I have this - I serve a God who is able to humble me, and make me holy.

    Thanks for the Comments Even So.

     
  • At 3:28 PM, March 29, 2006, Blogger marc said…

    Daniel,
    This is a very important distinction you are making here. The idea of empathy and what our desire is for other people. It does indeed point back to our own hearts. What do I desire most for myself? And then, seeing others who lack it, do I desire that for them as well? Is the answer Christ to these questions. I pray it would be so.

    Thanks for this Bro!

     
  • At 4:27 PM, March 29, 2006, Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said…

    Interesting and challenging post.

    God Bless

    Matthew

     
  • At 8:50 AM, March 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Makes me think of all the reasons we will pray for - talk to - desire the salvation of those closest to us. Spouses, children, family, even co-workers. Is it for themselves and God's glory or an easier life for us. Is it only that they will change their 'lifestyle' and that's what we really desire?
    Even if they just start attending church and change aspects of their lifestyle it's almost good enough for us, because Our Lives become easier. I think that is part of the appeal of the 'easy, seeker churches'. There is no true regeneration in the heart, but our lives get better.
    Does this bring God glory? Is it why Jesus died?
    I agree Daniel, it's so often just about a 'comfortable life'.
    May God show me my heart in this matter as well, and make me strong to share the Truth even if it doesn't bring about 'my comfort' or 'their comfort'. It is in speaking God's Truth that He is glorified.

    Eunice

     
  • At 7:22 AM, March 31, 2006, Blogger Susan said…

    Jonathan Moorhead's quote today echoes your post:

    “We should never be Christian humanists, taking Jesus to poor sinful people, reducing Jesus to some kind of product that will better their lot. People deserve to be damned, but Jesus, the suffering Lamb of God, deserves the reward of his suffering.”

    -John Dawson, Taking Our Cities for God, 116.

    Your post, actually, reminds me of secular humanism today. All the good deeds done by man for man - with no thought of God.

     
  • At 9:11 PM, April 03, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    I think this has been the start of many social gospel movements that ended up being nothing more than a soup kitchen.

    However, I think maybe you brushed off too quickly the empathy as possibly not from God. You see, I think deep down inside we all cringe at the depravity of our fellow man and wish them freedom from the curse of sin.

    The difference is how we decide to approach the need, whether to simply make them comfortable and cozy sinners, or bring Christ realizing He alone can rescue them from the deadly sin that has reduced them to such miserable beings.

    Another good expose of our devious heart.

    In Christ,
    Jim

     
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