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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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Friday, April 21, 2006
Christian Floggers.
I am probably guilty of this myself to some degree - that is, I take no joy in empty religion, and much of my posting is directed against empty faith. I "combat" this sort of "spiritual deadness" by posting my understanding of what life looks like. I don't suppose I have given it much thought - though in hindsight I myself must admit, I have -never- been persuaded from a position because some wisecracker made it his or her ministry to belittle whatever position I held. Not that I made a conscious decision to keep myself from that sort of polemic - but as I say, in hindsight I am glad that I have been kept from that sort of thing.

Yet there seems to me a sort of Christian who is zealous for just that sort of <sarcasm>ministry</sarcasm>. In a church setting, this is usually the person who listens to sermons, not to find edification, but to find fault with them - and by fault, I mean to find where the speaker doesn't agree with them.

In the Christian blogosphere, this is the sort of person who has an axe to grind - and uses frequent opportunity to grind it. A good label for such a one would be a Christian "Flogger" - as they spend as much time flogging others and their beliefs as they do anything else.

Now, I am not talking about the voice of reason that stands against clear and present error. Every believer has the responsibility to defend the faith.

But there are some who believe that their theological bent is the gospel, and that if you aren't on board, not only are mixed up, you are probably not even saved. A good example of this would the the "Calvinist" who is so in love with Calvinism, that it causes him to despise (through a thinly veiled "Christian" sheen) anyone with a contrary view. The veil is taken away however when you are on such a one's blog, as the meta drips with scorn, and belittling satire - intended to ridicule anyone who is so foolish as to embrace all but Calvinism. Not only does the meta betray such a one, but some of the bolder in this genre, will even make post after post attacking anything that is non-Calvinistic.

Now, I use Calvinism, but it could easily be Arminianism making fun of anything non-Arminian - or it could some hash of the two, that makes fun of everyone who doesn't share the hashed view. It really doesn't matter what the pet theology is, what is important is that instead of persuading men to their camp through scripture, and sound teaching - these instead ridicule those who are not in their camp.

I have a message for these people:

Shame on you. You are bringing disgrace to that holy Name by which you are called.

posted by Daniel @ 8:28 AM  
15 Comments:
  • At 9:16 AM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Daniel, that is an accurate assessment of the situation I believe.

    I also think that we feel a stronger sense of immunity from our comments in the blogisphere, and that probably leads to some words which would not be spoken in person.

    This is a timely reminder that we are to exhort one another rather than tear down one another.

    God bless,
    Jim

     
  • At 1:05 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Even So... said…

    I'm with you on this one, man. I was a victim of sarcasm more than once over the last few days in the meta of a famous blog. Not by its proprietors, mind you, but by its trolls.

    I have never felt comfortable with sarcasm, I have a conviction that it is wrong, almost always. I have often wondered about its use in the Bible, or if its appearances are of a somehow different quality than what we often deem sarcasm today.

    Imagine my surprise when I was yesterday listening to Mark Dever's Easter day sermon. It was on 2 Corinthians and the "super apostles", where Mark stated that this was Paul at his sarcastic best. Of course I have read and studied these passages many times, but it really struck me "funny" this time, hearing it from Dever.

    By the way, I reacted, to what you say, rightly, about "why we obey" with a post about repentance. And, as it seems to be so often, your post here in a way mirrors what my next previous post "shibboleth" is talking about. It will be a series, but considering what Brad (sojourner) is talking about, and the vitriol I see all over the place, I wanted to see what others in the blogosphere and the congregation I pastor has to say about "litmus tests".

     
  • At 1:21 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Even so - you did the double comment thing - but I deleted one of them - just so you know.

    Dan

     
  • At 2:22 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Jennifer said…

    Daniel,

    Guilty of doing. Victim of having it done to me. Ouch.

    My humor tends toward the sarcastic and biting. Many times people don't realize I'm joking and I can come across as mean/rude.

    It's a line that is easy to cross (I hesitate to call it a "fine" line because I think it's more obvious than we care to admit) and hard to step back over. I've attended many churches, some solid and most mushy, but the one thing that stood out about the one we are thinking very strongly about become members of, is that the pastor and people are gracious toward other denominations. Not that they approve of unsound teaching, but never have I heard a hurtful thing said or mean-spirited comment made.

    It really is a breath of fresh air.

    I'm not so perfect that I have any right to point my finger and say "How stupid! I can't believe you'd think that! Isn't that just like a (fill in the blank)!" I've got a plank in my way to see that clearly.

    That said, Christians can laugh and have fun and point out obsurdities and tell jokes. But if it is ever at the expense of someone else, well . . . gives one pause to think if it meets the test of so many Scripture verses exhorting us to build up, encourage, not use questionable language, etc.

    Thank you for (a-gain, geesh!) pointing out an area I feel convicted to pray over for myself.

    Write on.

     
  • At 3:20 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Sojourner said…

    Daniel,

    It was that comment I made about folks needing to set aside special time with their wives, wasn't it? I knew I should have re-worded that.

     
  • At 4:08 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Even So... said…

    Yeah, I knew something was up. When I went to preview it, it went to that "page cannot be found" or whatever. I then tried to publish it, but same thing, so I really didn't know what was going to happen. Then I went back a few minutes later, and there it was. Does this thing happen a lot? I have had it happen a couple of times, both after I had written a long reply. If I were a little more mystical, I would have just said, "oh, well, the Lord doesn't want me to post long ones like that".

    Seriously, thanks for the post, and God bless.

     
  • At 5:07 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Brad - you kill me - lol!

    Even so, I think it happens regularly, but not "often" - often enough though.

     
  • At 11:03 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Rose~ said…

    Daniel,
    I was teasing you at Jim's blog a few weeks ago. I hope I didn't offend you. I meant it all in fun. We disagree about some things, but I would never want to offend you or be the person you refer to here. I do have some of that sarcasm in me. I made a vow not to type a comment in unless I can do it kindly with a smile on my face, so that is the spirit my jokes are in, although I know others may not always be able to tell.

    I have noticed several of your comments around bloggerville lately, and you seem to be a little irritated with non-Calvinists. Sorry if it was me.

     
  • At 10:13 AM, April 22, 2006, Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said…

    Daniel, good word. Unfortunately, the result of this is that "tone" is debated more than the content of what is being said.

     
  • At 10:41 AM, April 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Daniel, I have deleted a few blogs I once enjoyed and sought to learn from, from my favourites list, because of the "scorn, and belittling satire " & "attacking" of everything not within their particular 'bent'.
    Many times they know absolutely nothing about the program, church or people involved but pick apart one or two lines written and are on the attack.
    That superior attitude of "us 4 and no more" is not Christ-like.
    Yes, we must stand for truth and the Word of God, but so many times I have just come away with a hurting heart at the bitterness, anger, resentment and total lack of grace shown. It is possible to "speak the truth in love". God's kind of love. Jesus continually said "I tell you the truth" but He still exhibited the characteristics of the 'fruit of the Spirit'. We are reminded in the Word "in your anger, do not sin".

    There is a huge difference between Biblical judgement of doctrine, and being judgemental.

    I can't remember where I read "God uses privy pots" but I think of that often. The Holy Spirit is good enough and wise enough to open His truth and Word to hungry hearts, even though you or I can see the larger picture of error.
    Sermons, books and speakers I now shudder about, God used to teach me and lead me into greater depth and truth. It comes down to the heart that is honest, hungry and humble before God - He knows who are His.

    Yes, there is some very bad stuff out in the 'Christian' world. Yes, we must be vigilent, but is God more pleased with pride and superior attitudes and 'thinly veiled hatred' of every 'church movement' or 'belief' not our own?
    Try to disagree on some blogs, or even ask for grace and love to be shown, and you are immediately assumed to be part of whatever is being 'examined' (or totally bashed) at that moment. (I see that all the time - don't post often enough to experience it)

    Part of the reason I found your site were the comments you made about repentance - that were immediately mocked.

    Sorry this is so long Daniel, but because of the un-Christlike words and comments I am getting rather fed up with the 'Christian' Blogsphere. Yet, it has been a valuable source of learning about the direction some of the church is taking and some excellent teaching that I cannot get in my little town and I hate to walk away from that - but am ready to.

    Why do Christians think bashing satire, caustic wit and direct character assassination is more acceptable than "------" - fill in the blank with whatever is disagreed with? Do we not realize that behavior is sin also? What sin does God hate most? All of them!

    Is our God so small that He fits into a box of our total understanding? Can we not trust Him to find His baby lambs and eventually lead them to greater truth and out of 'bad pastures'?

    Sorry this is so long, but you certainly touched a nerve in me! Forgive me if I have shown any of those characteristics.

    Repentant Eunice

     
  • At 10:43 AM, April 22, 2006, Blogger Susan said…

    Guilty as charged. I'm learning that the Biblical exhortion of watching our tongues applies all the more through a medium where one can easily be misunderstood. Moreover, I think we tend to 'speak' all the more sharply when we can't see the other person face to face. It's easier to be direct and even careless with our words to a faceless sometimes nameless person on the other side of the monitor. We type things we most likely wouldn't say face-to-face. Interestingly, our true natures are revealed all the more scaldingly on-line.
    But we all must answer to God for our words - and thoughts about each other - not least of whom our Christian brothers and sisters. I'm learning to read more before I speak, think and pray before writing so quickly, and be quick about admitting my errors. To God and man.
    I'm thankful for His granting repentant hearts and His correction. I am thusly reminded of His love.
    The Christian flogosphere grieves me, but perhaps we can all pray for one another whem and where we read such offenses occuring. They are bitter indictments and reminders to us all.

     
  • At 11:51 AM, April 22, 2006, Blogger BugBlaster said…

    Good words Daniel, thanks.

     
  • At 12:43 PM, April 22, 2006, Anonymous bobby grow said…

    Amen, Daniel! Attitude and motive are everything before our LORD (I Sam 16:7; I Cor13).

     
  • At 6:05 AM, April 24, 2006, Blogger Gordon Cloud said…

    Well-spoken, Daniel and very on-point. Thanks.

     
  • At 10:12 AM, April 24, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    For those of you who have asked, "Was it me??" No. It wasn't you. ;-)

     
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