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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.
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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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Monday, November 30, 2009
Briefly...
I haven't signed the Manhattan Document, and won't.

The Lord saved me on a day of His choosing, on a day when He opened my heart just as He opened the heart of Lydia. I had heard the gospel many times as a Catholic, but never understood it. Then one day, as I was trying to convince an evangelical pastor that his church ought to pay for me to go be a missionary in Africa, I learned that I was a sinner in need of Christ, and in the miracle of the new birth, I suddenly wanted to be saved from my sin and reconciled to God in Christ. Suddenly I was able to not only comprehend the gospel for the first time, but having been given a new heart, I was drawn to Christ where previously I was repulsed by Him. In as few words as possible, I was saved - born again - by the will of God, according to the preaching of the gospel.

As can be expected, I was, more than a little, perturbed at the way my Catholic heritage paved the road to hell in my life, and as such I am likely inclined, more than most, to be critical in my thinking when a matter comes before me that involves Catholicism in any capacity.

I mention this up front because I am about as far from ecumenical in my thinking as one can be, and, because I have been saved out of that sort of darkness, I am especially critical of anything that embraces, or enables it.

It is true, as others have noted, that the Manhattan Document uses the same brush to paint as "Christianity" not only all of Evangelicalism, but also the Orthodox faith, and Catholicism to boot; that is, the document refers to all of these as though they were all genuinely Christian.

I would argue that such inclusive language is misleading at best, and purposely deceptive at worst, and my own suspicions lean towards the latter and not the former - in spite of what I like to call, "Christian charity" - but what others might describe as giving the drafters of the document the benefit of the doubt.

Yet, having said all that, I also recognize a few things that others, in their zeal for the purity, not only of the gospel, but also for the correct and judicial application of the term "Christian", seem to be glossing over (or missing altogether): This document is written to proclaim to non-believers, what believers believe about the issues discussed - that is, it is written not to define Christianity or the gospel, but rather to declare what people who call themselves "Christians" believe the bible teaches about these issues.

Now, in making that observation, I do not imply that because they are writing to non-believers, it is okay for genuine believers to ignore the subtle ecumenical Trojan horse, and the slurring/blurring of the gospel; In fact, because this is being written to inform non-believers, I think it is even more important to make hard distinctions between nominal (in name only) Christianity and genuine "we got the gospel right" Christianity.

I will not be signing the document, but not for the standard reasons others have already given. I see clearly that the distinctions that separate those "faiths" that preach a saving gospel, and those "faiths" which preach a non-saving gospel can never be presented both as "Christian" and at the same time fail to confuse the non-believer. That is, I understand that when some Christians say that the gospel is at stake, I agree, it is - and this document, as well-intentioned as it purports to be, does more than just speak out against the moral decay of our nation - it blurs the line on the gospel as it does so. When a thing loudly and passionately draws attention to the obvious and in doing so plays fast and loose with the less obvious - it smacks of a shell and pea game, or as Shakespeare might have said, something smells fishy in Denmark.

I say, I agree with that, but this isn't the main reason I don't plan to sign it.

The main reason I am not signing it is that I feel no inclination to do so.

I don't fret about whether or not the document is especially satisfying under my highest, critical scrutiny; nor do I care whom has signed it, and whom refuses to sign it, at least not when it comes to deciding whether or not to sign it. Two things (primarily) determine by indifference: [1] indifference itself, and [2] a certainty that even if the document were a masterpiece of clarity, precision, and definition - it still wouldn't be articulating anything that isn't already abundantly clear.

Don't get me wrong, I like to state the obvious as much as the next guy - but I think this sort of moral grandstanding smacks of that sort of sensational pragmatism than doesn't "taste" like something the Lord is doing, but rather it has the feel about it of a work that is being done in the flesh, and it is only my flesh that would move me to sign it;

That's what I think at least.

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posted by Daniel @ 1:12 PM  
2 Comments:
  • At 11:38 AM, December 01, 2009, Blogger Jim said…

    The evangelical world must be just reeling under the weight of your decision today...lol.

    Seriously though, does our world need another useless statement of lip service?

     
  • At 12:06 PM, December 01, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    I have received several offers for radio and television interviews, but my publisher is saying I should let my blog speak for itself. ;)

     
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