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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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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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Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Doctrinal Inheritance...
Monkey see... Monkey do...Proverbs 20:21 says, "An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end." [ESV]. With that in mind, consider the following scenario:
There once was a man who, although poor was both driven and industrious, and because of this inclination he eventually rose above his circumstances to become a millionaire. This fellow was a "first generation" millionaire.

This same man had a son and because he himself was a self-made man, he wanted the same for his son. So on a day when the lad was old enough to understand it the man informed his son that there would be no inheritance forthcoming. It was understood that upon the father's demise the fortune would go to a certain charity and that the son would by no means inherit even a penny of it.

In growing up, the boy was given every opportunity that wealth could afford and used these opportunities to eventually become a competent and industrious businessman in his own right - and in his father's lifetime he began his own business and he too became a millionaire. This son, even though his father was a millionaire, ultimately he was also a "first generation" millionaire.

When this son had a child of his own, he decided he wasn't going to do to his son what was done to him by his own father - and so he made it known to his son that one day his entire fortune would come down to him.

This last son, because he reasoned that his inheritance was guaranteed, and because he currently enjoyed the sort of freedom his father's vast wealth afforded - saw no point in pursuing anything outside of his own amusement, and where both his father and grandfather were driven men of industry - he was slack and lazy. He understood how to make a fortune, but had no real interest in doing so. When his father died he simply invested his father's fortune and lived richly off the proceeds. This son was a "second generation" millionaire.

When this last son himself had a son, the boy grew up in privilege and ignorance. He didn't understand why he was wealthy, and didn't have a clue how to become wealthy if he should somehow come to be poor - he only knew that he was rich, and in no danger of poverty - so he engaged himself in whatever amusements offered him contentment. This was a "third generation" millionaire.

The fourth and fifth generations eventually depleted the family fortune, and by the sixth generation they were as poor as their forefather had been. The family remained in obscure poverty until one industrious man again rose above his circumstances and made himself a millionaire... etc. etc. etc.

Consider the new believer who is saved from a deep bondage to sin - having been set free by Christ, this one's sudden and profound love for God drives him or her deep into God's word. The intensity of their need to know God is an unslakeable thirst that must be answered. They are not content in ignorance nor have they learned to lionize teachers above the plain reading of scripture - in short, they have not been institutionalized into the church yet - and unless/until they do, they will burn with a bright light in the church. Some cool down surely, but some remain red hot.

Contrast this person to the one who is born into the church, grows up with Christian values, is made to attend all the various "churchy" pastimes and events - is given the checklist of things you have to believe in order to be a Christian - and assents to them - and more or less is taught doctrine pragmatically: this is right, and this is wrong - believe the right stuff and you can hang out with us, but believe the wrong stuff and we will burn you at the stake. They have ridden into their faith on the coat tail of their parents because no one taught them any better. They can quote all the right verses, attend all the meetings - but you know what? Many of them aren't even saved, and most of them don't know what a relationship with Christ is all about - all they know is how to be a the kind of church-goer that no one complains about, and their kids typically do worse than they do.

I know, I know - Daniel, Daniel - you are so judgmental! You are not supposed to notice that sort of stuff, and if you do, you should hush up about it. No one wants to think about the difference between empty religion and living faith - and no one wants to talk about where it all starts.

Maybe there is some wisdom in that - but I am going to go out on a limb and mention this sort of stuff anyway. I speak the gospel to my children all the time - all the time. My eldest is only nine, but he reads between six to ten chapters of scripture each morning - why? Because I have made it very plain to my children that they are sinners who will not be freed from sin simply because they are my children - that they cannot come to God through me, but that they must come to God just as I did - through Christ, in humility and genuine repentance - turning away from every other way and trusting only and solely in Christ to save them from the thing that has been killing mankind since Adam fell - sin.

As a parent, my greatest hope is that I will, as a parent, model a loving trusting relationship to them so that they may understand their true Father more clearly. I want to wean them from depending on me, and wean them into a living, utterly dependent relationship with God through Christ.

I fear that the trophies we struggled to win on the spiritual battlefield quickly collect dust when we enshrine them in empty religious activity. Do we not stand in danger of populating the church with Christians who do not know how to be Christians? Do we populate the future church with progeny who have learned to slumber away the years contented because they are certain to receive the only "Christian benefit" that was ever preached to them - a get out of hell free card? Are we training our children as much about sanctification as we are about justification??

I encourage you, parents, use your time wisely, sow now the good seed, and reap later a good harvest - neglect the time of sowing, and you will regret it come the harvest - give your kids the whole gospel don't just stop at freedom from sin's penalty - let 'em know that they are sinners who are going to be enslaved to sin all their life and that there is nothing you can do about it except to point them in the direction of the only one who can help - Christ. Do this often, sow in season and out of season - and sow with intention.

Oh, and Happy New Year!
posted by Daniel @ 3:07 PM  
  • At 1:39 PM, January 04, 2007, Blogger Jim said…

    Daniel, nice to hear from you again. This was a very sobering post.

  • At 3:41 PM, January 04, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    Jim - ait is only sobering because you take being a Christian, and being a father very seriously (what are you up to now, 16? 17 kids?) ;-P

  • At 4:36 PM, January 04, 2007, Blogger Jim said…

    Ha ha, yeah sometimes I lose count, actually we are on number 7.

    But seriously though, my idealistic thinking about raising my children to be godly is now meeting the crunch of reality. It requires an honest look at my own life and a sincere desire for God to mould me into His image. This I am realizing does not come without cost.

    May I be willing Lord to learn how to take up the cross.

  • At 8:11 PM, January 06, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Last week I read Strauch's book on Leading with Love and he mentioned always mentioning the Gospel when you correct people, particularly children. That definitely takes discipline to do that everytime I give the boys the rod, but I think it is the way to go. It's good for Daddy too.

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