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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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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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Wednesday, October 26, 2005
I know about
You get a letter in the mail one day - conspicuous for two reasons: it is stuffed full of things, and scrawled in ink on the front of the envelope are three words, "I know about..."

Inside you find incriminating evidence, evidence that leaves no doubt about your own involvement or even instigation of things that no one could possibly know about. The petty thefts, the minor frauds, the unfair business deals - it goes way back, following every shady thing you have ever done since you came to the Lord.

At first you are confused. Who could have this much dirt on you? Each item by itself is small enough that you have been able over these past years to singularly squelch their cry - who cares that twenty years ago you sold a car that you knew was not worth what you received for it? Who really cares that you took that pen from work and use it at home? Yet in that envelope are darker things - things that people would care about. That minor inflation you justified at the time you were pricing out things from the break in, or perhaps the vehicle accident. The things you forgot to return when you lost that job.

Contained here, recorded in the form of evidence from every moral failure that you have ever slipped into since around the time you came to the Lord, is a litany of charges against you that all your good deeds cannot silence. The courts may let you off the hook since most of these crimes happened so long ago that surely some statute of limitations will protect you from persecution - but that isn't what bothers you.

You are bothered because this evidence was collected by someone - and that means that someone somewhere isn't judging you by what you seem to have become, but has silently and carefully demonstrated that you are -not- the same inside as you are outside. That is, there is a reason no one knows about this stuff: it shames you - and for the sake of your good name, you have kept all the failure buried where no one sees but you and God.

It is funny what we will do to protect our own "good" name. We guard so carefully against any accusation that we are anything less than we appear to be. Yet these failures in our history - known only to us and our Lord - they are forgotten, we say they are "under the blood" - and if God has forgiven our debts, so should man.

The bible speaks of restoring what was taken. If a man stole a cow and it was found out, he had to make restitution for it. Those who despise the notion of restitution quickly point out that this is an "old testament" teaching - restitution was for Israel, and not for Christianity. Yet the teaching of restitution is not unknown in the New Testament.

There is that shameful and hackneyed old saying: "when I was a child I prayed and prayed that God would give me a bike - but then I found out that God doesn't work that way, so I stole one and asked for forgiveness..."

While God is certain to forgive us for any act of theft or fraud, there is nothing in that forgiveness that transfers ownership of the goods or money to us. God doesn't forgive that way. John the Baptist wasn't imprisoned for telling Herod it had been wrong for him to take his brother Phillip's wife - but that it was continuously wrong for him to continue doing so. Likewise with us. We must not allow the enemy to convince us (as he surely did Balaam) that we can have our cake and eat it too.

May God help us to see that.

Some Christians wonder why they never feel the presence of God in any real and vibrant way. They read their bible and pray every day, and experience all the benefits of being a Christian except the greatest - fellowship with God. A Christian who is not in fellowship with God is like a hose that is filled with water that isn't connected to the faucet. It -is- a hose, and it -is- full of water, but the water isn't flowing out to anyone else because the hose isn't connected to anything.

May God help us to see that.

God is light and in Him is no darkness whatsoever; what fellowship has Light with darkness? None. Unless we are spotless, there can be no fellowship with God. I am not talking about justification now - we are justified the moment we are saved - that is, God accepts us as "uncondemned" because of Christ's righteousness - I am not talking about that - I am talking about God fellowshipping with the believer. Unless we obey, we have no fellowship - no power. God doesn't fellowship with Christians who pay him lip service, He fellowships with those who obey Him.

Consider the father who tells his son not to buy a certain video game because he doesn't want it in his house. The son disobeys and buys the game anyway, but later confesses. Forgiveness may be given by the father, but the rule still stands about the game - it must go. The forgiveness granted by the father does not imply a continuing acceptance of the status quo. It is intellectually dishonest to imagine that I can keep my neighbor's stolen car stereo just because I have confessed to God that I stole it (or perhaps purchased it knowing it was stolen.)

While some sins, by their nature cannot be recompensed for, we cannot throw the doctrine of restitution out the window. It is not an "old testament" thing, any more than loving your neighbor is an "old testament" thing. If there is room for restitution of any sort - we must go before God and make it right, both with God and with the neighbor whom we, as Christians, are called to love as we love ourselves.

Dear reader, consider what you have done, and continue to do for the sake of your good name. Had you received an envelope such as the one described above from some man - you would likely be very concerned about it. You would work quickly to make things right. Would you do less if God sent it?
posted by Daniel @ 5:20 AM  
  • At 8:01 AM, October 26, 2005, Blogger Rose~ said…

    Great post, Daniel. Thanks for that reminder. I have been thinking this week about the diference between what is on the outside vs. what is on the inside of us. God sees it all and He should be the one we try to please. I especially like your ref to the father/son/video game...perfect. It is impossible to make restitution for everything, but we should do as much as we can. Perhaps if we thought this way, (that we would have to make restitution) then we would be more careful in the first place with our actions.

  • At 10:52 AM, October 27, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ouch bro, I thinkest thou put thy knife into the very sore wound.
    Yes, I concur whole heartedly on this one.

    Keep up the great posts!


  • At 1:23 PM, October 27, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are correct! Interesting perspective...seems you ought to have this article published someplace.

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