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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.
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[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.
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Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Corrupt Speech
Let's start with scripture:
An observation: Matthew 12:34 - 34You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

A command: Colossians 3:8 - 8But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.

Another command: Colossians 4:5-6 - 5Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

Good advice, couched in a command: Titus 2:7-8 - 7in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

An unequivocal command: Ephesians 5:4 - 4and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

Another straight forward imperative: Ephesians 4:29 - 29Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

all quotes taken from the NASB translation

Everyone who reads and believes the teaching of the New Testament agrees that the Christian is only to speak what is edifying, and is prohibited from unwholesome, filthy language and coarse jesting. To deny these things is to deny the scriptures and place oneself as a higher authority than clear, inspired texts from which we take our instruction.

By now, most of us are aware that Pastor Mark Driscoll used the text of Ecclesiastes 9:10 (10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might) as a tongue-in-cheek response to an interviewer's "try to stump the pastor" kind of question.

I admit it: I cringed when I heard God's words being used as a punchline in this context; and all the more because the one doing so was a well known pastor who was already (in)famous for his choice of language in the pulpit.

If Mark Driscoll feels justified in using language like this, I presume that he does so because he believes that "corruption" is relative.

Do you understand what I mean when I say that?

If I think of corruption as relative, what I am saying is that a thing is only corrupt if it is worse than the culture around it. Thus, if I am hanging around with a bunch of foul mouthed sailors, as long as I don't say anything "more" corrupt than I think they are used to hearing, I am not engaging in corrupt speech. Corrupt becomes something I cannot really measure since what is corrupt in one situation is acceptable in another. As is always the case in relativism, the bottom line is I become the final arbiter of what is corrupt and what is not corrupt. Anything and everything I say is only corrupt if I meant for it to be corrupt.

If we applied relativism to something as cut and dry as adultery or fornication, or stealing, or blasphemy - we would quickly see how ridiculous it is, or at least we should.

You see the problem with relativism is the sort of reasoning that says it is only okay to spit in someone's face if that person is already covered in spittle, and we reserve for ourselves the right to decide how much spittle is "enough" to validate our own spitting. We will always vociferously recoil from spitting on the "ideal" - but in practice we will be able to argue that no one is ever really free from spittle, and inevitably and eventually we begin to feel justified spitting on anyone and everyone - as long as we can make ourselves believe that doing so (in this situation) is okay.

That is what happens when we start to apply worldly thinking to scripture - we profess to agree with the scriptures, and imagine our selves to be in harmony with the texts, when really we are just justifying our worldliness.

Listen: I don't care how much corruption is on a wall - the moment we add more to it we are contributing to it. It doesn't become okay to do so simply because we believe that our contribution hasn't made it any worse. Covering our eyes and plugging our ears and singing, "la la la la" doesn't make our contribution any less corrupt.

I believe it works this way: Don't say anything that anyone anywhere would consider impolite or inappropriate, and if something you do say offends, then apologize, stop saying it that way, and find a better non-offensive way of saying it. The only people who would balk at this advice are those who would use their liberty as a cloak for vice.

And when I say "use liberty as a cloak for vice" - I am talking about the practice of defining the line between what is permissible and what isn't for the sake of pursuing their vices as close to the line as possible. When I was saved, let me tell you, I couldn't care where the line was, I just needed to know what direction it was in so I could run with all my heart in the other direction.

That's what I think.

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posted by Daniel @ 1:57 PM  
4 Comments:
  • At 7:37 AM, June 10, 2009, Blogger donsands said…

    That's some pretty good thinking. Very graphic with the spit.

    As I read that I thought of how we spit on our Lord, us humans down here, when He came to invade Earth. Think of that. Spitting on God.

    Thanks for another excellent post Daniel. Keep 'em coming.

     
  • At 10:50 AM, June 10, 2009, Blogger candy said…

    Great post Daniel. Too bad Phil Johnson closed comments on his most recent post on this issue, or I would link to this post.

     
  • At 10:57 AM, June 10, 2009, Blogger Rose~ said…

    Isn't it about time for a new profile pic? ;)

     
  • At 11:21 AM, June 10, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    Don, Candy - thanks.

    Rose - Yeah, it's been a while hasn't it? I don't get around as often as I used to, so it is taking me longer to get bored with the "same old" as it were.

     
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