H  O  M  E          
Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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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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The Buzz

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, October 07, 2005
Carnal Christians
In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul introduces the idea of carnal Christians – describing them as genuine believers who have not yet progressed into a spiritual walk with God. They are saved, but continue in the strength of the flesh and not the strength of the Spirit.

The term “carnal” describes what is empowering them in their walk with God – the flesh. They fail to walk consistently with God because they are still in their flesh and not spiritually minded.

Said another way, Carnal Christians are genuine believers who have either fallen from an understanding of grace or have never understood grace fully to begin with. They, like the foolish Galatians, have set about trying to sanctify themselves through works of the law. Of course they fail because they can’t keep the law which causes them to eventually burn out and/or give up. Falling from an understanding of grace does not mean that they have lost their salvation; it means that, for whatever reason, they were trying to please God carnally instead of spiritually – a thing that cannot be done. Such ‘carnal’ Christians Paul describes as babies – still needing milk, being unable to handle meat yet because they are still in their flesh. They are genuine born again believers – but spiritually speaking they are babes because they still walk in the flesh.

Paul did not consider staying a babe an “acceptable” form of Christianity, and I dare say I have yet to meet a genuine believer who desires to remain immature. Yet we must be careful to admit that most Christians today are carnal and not spiritual.

That being said, we must also recognize that there are some (many?) amongst us who are not saved even though they claim to be. There -are- tares amongst the wheat, and we do well to remember that. Tares are not necessarily anti-Christian, they are more often than not deceived and truly believe themselves worthy of the label they have taken for themselves. Perhaps they have never heard the gospel preached right, or perhaps they understood it but haven’t applied it to themselves – they give that intellectual assent to the truth of the gospel without actually trusting God to save them personally. Whatever the case, they can look as “fruitful” as a genuine believer, differing in their motivation, rather than their practice.

The important thing to note is that non-believers can look like genuine believers, and genuine believers can look like the unregenerate. It is therefore a great folly for any believer to attempt what God Himself won’t even entrust to the angels (who are presently wiser and more able than we). Recall how the Lord forbid the angels to remove the tares from amongst the wheat in case they should err in their judgment.

Scripture teaches that [we] will know [ravenous wolves/false prophets] by their fruit (Matthew 7:16). This verse instructs the believer to examine the fruit of those who assume the role of teacher/preacher, and if the fruit is worldly, we will know that the prophet is false - a ravenous wolf. When the doctrine of a preacher tears the flock apart (not dividing the church, but separating believers from God by their doctrine) instead of building believers up in their faith – then we know the preacher to be a false prophet.

On the one hand we are to purge out the leaven – that is, separate ourselves from anyone who is teaching false things - trusting God to deal with that person or party. On the other hand we are to come along side the weaker brethren who may be carnally walking but genuinely saved, or perhaps even a deceived counterfeit – our job is the same – come along side and support them. Many a counterfeit Christian has found genuine faith when a true believer took the time to instruct them rather than judge them. I think of John Wesley and the Moravians. How few there are who are willing to gently instruct the lambs.
posted by Daniel @ 11:57 AM  
  • At 5:22 PM, October 07, 2005, Blogger bp said…

    You have good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. You are the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.

  • At 10:15 PM, October 07, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    I enjoy both myself so it works for me. You are free to make Canadian jokes, as long as make a caveat beforehand excluding me ;)


  • At 10:44 PM, October 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dan, I am curious, do you believe John1:1 is correct? And if so, do you then also study the Old Testament as well as the New? Just wondering....and if you do, then how do you balance some of the remarks here with what is written in the WHOLE of scripture?

    Funny how people's viewpoints can differ...most of the most carnal acting Christians I have known claim to be Spirit filled...to the brim... This is not to discount the work of the Holy Spirit either...by no means...because without HIM we are totally blind...totally. I do agree that many seem to stay weak and immature Believers at best.

  • At 1:03 AM, October 08, 2005, Blogger bp said…

    Does anyone else think that it is a little strange that the person a couple comments before me posted anonymously but then signed her name?

  • At 11:02 AM, October 08, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    C-Train - Elizabeth doesn't have an account on blogger, so she posts anonymously - though she herself is not anonymous.

    Elizabeth - I wish I knew what I said that gave you the impression that I doubt scripture, or am unfamiliar with it. I read the whole bible - cover to cover, and I put no emphasis on any one part over another. Scripture is a whole and I respect it and respond to it as such. Let me know what I said that doesn't fly right with you and I will elaborate on it. Perhaps I am wording something poorly?

  • At 1:26 PM, October 08, 2005, Blogger Dan said…

    Not to distract too much from the serious point above...

    Like C-Train, I too apprecitate the well-roundedness of your Blog.

    Regarding Bryan's comment, a few years ago in Calgary, a Canadian host took me to the Calgary Stampede. During the evening show there was a comedian who told a number of really good American (and some Canadian) jokes that the crowd ate up. The funny thing is that my host had to keep explaining why the crowd was laughing so hard because I was so unfamiliar with some of the terms even though we speak the same language.

    That said, I found them to be quite funny once I knew the context, which is really the basis of all humor. I'd love to go to that event again sometime. :-)

    End of distraction...

  • At 1:39 PM, October 08, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dan, thanks...for the explanation to C-train. Being I am not a blogger, yes, I saw no other way to identify myself and am not trying to hide. I did not realize this was a "boys only club" so perhaps will respond to you later...email perhaps. No wish to "upset the applecart", or trouble the troops, shall we say.

    I need some time to think on these things and put my words together...too tired right now to think straight...but I do enjoy reading what you write...

  • At 8:18 PM, October 09, 2005, Blogger David said…

    This is a boy's only club?

  • At 3:39 AM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    Elizabeth - No boys club here. It is only a coincidence.

  • At 10:49 AM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Daniel,
    Regarding your son's question about brother/sister marriage(I saw it in comments over at Pyro), perhaps this will help:

    God bless

  • At 10:22 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger CSB said…

    Girls are allowed in here?? I am leaving right now.

  • At 1:16 PM, October 11, 2005, Blogger Bazooka-Joe said…

    Hi Dan. I really liked your post. I've had quite a bit of exposure to this (Grace-oriented) line of thinking from my father-in-law. He has a 3-day seminar and a 5-day workshop completely revolving around this topic. I've never heard of those wandering in flesh being referred to as "Carnal Christian". Nice terminology though. It makes sense. Good thought provoking stuff here.

    Carry on. :)

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