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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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Thursday, December 15, 2005
Follow your heart?
If I could distill the post modern message into one slogan, it might be "Follow your heart!"

If you have never heard the term Postmodernism, or maybe you have heard it bounced around but you're not certain of its meaning - it is the label given to the dominant philosophy of our day, sometimes it is called by a more descriptive name, Ethical Relativism. Ethical relativism teaches that morality is relative to the norms of the culture you happen to find yourself in. That is, whether an action is right or wrong depends on the moral norms of the society in which it is practiced. What is morally acceptable in one culture, may be morally reprehensible in another therefore it is reasoned that morality itself is relative to the culture one is in.

Defining morality as a cultural rather than an objective standard, introduces the idea that good and evil are not absolute, but relative.

I believe that one of the reasons this particular philosophy is so widely unchallenged in our culture is because it knits so well with our personal liberties as expressed in our legal system. We are (more or less) free to do whatever we please, as long as it doesn't impose upon someone else's liberty.

Things have changed even in my own lifetime. When I was young homosexuality was considered a perversion, there was no swearing, nudity or sex (implied or otherwise)on television. If you said a cuss word in school, you got the strap.

Today things are different. Homosexuality is no longer considered a perversion -- now it is an alternative lifestyle that is glamorized in the media, and taught in the public schools. Failure to get on board with the "new morality" brands you as bigoted and intolerant, and if you think there is too much sex, nudity, or swearing on television - you are a prude. If you go so far as to cancel your cable subscription because you think TV is a corrupting influence - you've obviously joined a cult, or you are way over the top in your religious zeal, and even people in your own church will think there is something wrong with you.

The philosophy of our day is follow you heart, so long as it doesn't offend anyone else.

Since the days of Moses worldliness has been a problem amongst God's people. Not just by loving the world and the things in the world, but also by being accepting of worldly values and philosophies. How many times did the Israelites suffer for adopting the values of the world? It continues today - the philosophies of the world seep into the church as people attempt to wed the church with the philosophy of the moment forming a sort of deism.

The latest flirtation with the world comes in the form of ethical relativism. I call it the "sincerity gospel" - the idea that you get to heaven no matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere in what you believe. Since truth itself is considered relative, the important thing is that you are true to what you believe - or said another way - that you follow you heart.

Scripture doesn't portray the heart as a particularly good moral guide:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick... - Jeremiah 17:9a

Nor are we instructed to follow our heart as the Holy Spirit speaking through Jeremiah makes plain when speaking of the error of the false prophets:

Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, 'It shall be well with you'; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, 'No disaster shall come upon you.'" - Jeremiah 23:16-17

The characterization of one who follows one's heart is that of a hardened and stubborn sinner.

My advice? Don't follow your heart, follow the Lord.

Not that I wait around for voices or impressions from the Lord - that isn't how I follow the Lord. Psalm 32:9 says, "Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you." - God doesn't want to micro-manage us - he wants us to know him so that we can act in accordance with that knowledge.

Bottom line? Don't buy into the culture of our day - ethical relativism assumes that everyone is wrong, that way anyone can be right - and that stuff is poison.
posted by Daniel @ 9:16 AM  
  • At 8:35 PM, December 15, 2005, Blogger Jeremy Weaver said…

    Awesome post, Daniel.

  • At 11:36 PM, December 15, 2005, Blogger Jim said…

    Succinctly put! Definitely the trend of our times, but when you think about it, people have always wanted to follow the cultural norms. I think the difference now is the emerging marriage of the church and the world (even among the so called Calvinists). Let's face it, you can say one thing but when you practice something else, you're theology is just plain out to lunch.

    Anyways, I better stop as I feel a tangent coming on.

  • At 7:14 AM, December 16, 2005, Blogger Susan said…

    That's another for the Common Knowledge list:
    What's true for me may not be true for you.
    There are no absolutes.
    I had a few others yesterday, but most were just twists on what others had written. (money will solve Third World - or basically any - problems, etc).
    Keep 'em going. Love your blog!

  • At 10:09 AM, December 16, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    I wonder how far this society can push the idea that there are no absolute truths?

    Judge: You have been charged with grand theft auto; how do you plea?

    Car Theif: Innocent your honor. It is only our culture that insists that this vehicle was not mine - it is my conviction however that this vehicle was mine - and so there was no theft involved, only an appropriation of my own property.

    Judge: You have no bill of sale, and you hot wired the car from a parking lot in broad day light. Your Accuser has both a bill of sale and three sets of car keys. How do you explain that?

    Car Theif: Those things might have significance for the so-called "previous owner" but I do not respect them, as they do not agree with my equally valid understanding of reality.

    Even a judge has enough common sense to see that this is not a valid defense, that is - that there such a thing as an objective reality.

    It is amazing that as soon as we make it about property and materialistic things (that is, as soon as it agrees with our greed and love for the world) we get suddenly objective, yet when it is about morality (that is, taking responsibility for our actions) we get subjective.

    This philosophy is set aside when it pleases the flesh, and picked up when it pleases the flesh - I think that is a trademark of "worldly wisdom."

  • At 10:28 AM, December 16, 2005, Blogger Rose~ said…

    the "sincerity gospel" - the idea that you get to heaven no matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere in what you believe.

    This is what I believed when I didn't believe anything ... a sincere agnostic.

    What an excellent post! No wonder our youth have trouble finding a "center" as they walk about in our societies.

  • At 11:45 AM, December 16, 2005, Blogger Jim said…

    Dan, I guess that's why the Word of God is so controversial...it goes straight to the heart of the matter. The sword of the Spirit cuts past the irrational logic of our carnal mind and pierces the conscience which God installed in every human being.

    So, we can argue till we are blue in the face, without effect, but once the Word penetrates the heart, it is able to do the work of creating faith. Faith then causes belief and repentance.

    Let's be faithful to stand on the Word as our hope, not in the faulty wisdom and logic of men.

  • At 5:10 PM, December 16, 2005, Blogger marc said…

    This sincerely feels right Daniel.

  • At 5:18 PM, December 16, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    Marc, if it feels right, and it is sincere, what more could I ask? ;-)

  • At 9:00 PM, December 16, 2005, Blogger David said…

    Sincerity? Sure, I can fake that.

    Really good post, Daniel, very timely.

  • At 11:50 PM, December 16, 2005, Blogger mark_5 said…

    hey Daniel,

    your post spawned some thoughts. Instead of responding here, I did it here

    I've decided to stop being a lurker on your (and other) blog(s).

    (not marc) :)

  • At 12:29 AM, December 17, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are so right!

  • At 2:54 PM, December 17, 2005, Blogger Steve Weaver said…

    Good stuff!

  • At 5:16 PM, December 18, 2005, Blogger forgiven said…

    Great post Daniel

    Thank you

  • At 9:46 AM, December 19, 2005, Blogger Susan said…

    More Common Knowledge (that I read today on-line, but have heard countless times before):
    Separation of Church and State means no expression of Christian faith in public schools (however, other faiths are okay, especially Muslim, if you want to be politically correct)

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