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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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Friday, December 25, 2009
Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ
I would say Merry Christmas, but I don't want to be ambiguous in an age when people are wishing one another a happy holiday for fear that they might offend someone by daring to use the name of Christ out loud.

Christianity believes that Adam's sin made a breach between man and God that good works cannot close. Put succinctly, we believe that everyone, regardless of how "good" they are, is going to be judged by Jesus Christ one day, and found guilty. At that point those who have rejected Christ in this life will receive the wages of their sin (death), and those who have received Christ will not; the former shall be cast alive into the lake of fire, and the latter will enter into God's rest, beginning with the marriage feast of the Lamb (Christ), followed by a new heavens and a new earth being made to replace the former - after which men who had been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, that is, those who though guilty in the judgment, were found to be in Christ by virtue of having been reconciled to God by faith - these will be placed on the new earth, and a city will descend out of heaven and onto the new Earth, a new Jerusalem wherein Christ will be, and those who believed in Christ will live with God forever.

Those who neglected, ignored, or even didn't know about Jesus in this life - these will be cast into the lake of fire.

There is an exclusivity associated with Christianity, and especially expressed by evangelicals: Unless you are a *real* Christian, you will certainly suffer the eternal wrath of God when you die. What about Jews who believed in God? If they reject Jesus as their Messiah, they will suffer God's wrath for their sin because they rejecting the only Saviour God gave to men - the only solution to the problem of their sin. What about the Muslims? They will likewise suffer the eternal wrath of God in the lake of fire when they die because they too have sinned, and having also rejected the Messiah, will have no answer for their sin on the day of judgment. What of the humanist, the philosopher, the moralist, the pagan, the aboriginal, the person who didn't even know there was a Jesus? These will be judged by God according to their sins, and having sinned they will receive the wages of their sin: death, specifically, the second death - the lake of fire.

Christianity is so exclusive, that those who are only wishy-washy in what they believe, or who reject the parts of the bible that aren't popular in a world that wants to believe that everybody "goes to heaven" when they die, those people find the idea that you "have to be a Christian" to avoid hell are just "haters". They reason that the only reason Christianity does that is in order to scare people into converting, and thereby lining the coffers of the church with gold.

When I was a Catholic, I believed that if I was good enough, I would probably go to heaven, but I couldn't know for sure if I would because only God knows for sure, and to imagine that I could know for sure seemed to me to be the single most blasphemous and arrogant affront to God imaginable. Of course, I had never actually read the bible, so (like most people), I just believed whatever I was told, and filled in the rest with my own opinions.

When I was a Buddhist in university, I didn't really care about anything, I just thought being a Buddhist would make me more popular with the ladies - I mean if tree hugging made one seem sensitive - all out 'every living thing is sacred' mumbo-jumbo is cranking it up a notch - surely I would be far more attractive to the empty headed university types who are told what smartness looks like, and then ridiculed and chastised by their peers if they should fail to dress themselves up that way. I wanted to me Mr. Sensitive, and Buddhism was the way to go.

When I was toying with Islam, it was only because the ladies seemed to like Denzel Washington at the time - and since he had just filmed "Malcom X" it seemed Islam was the new "cool" religion, and I shed my Buddhist ways, to explore Islam. I never converted though, as a part of me regarded the whole religion as far more blasphemous than Catholicism, and Buddhism had ever been.

When I finally heard the gospel to the saving of my soul, I knew immediately that Jesus Himself, and not just the "faceless idea of Jesus", had saved me from my sin - even as the scriptures promised. I knew that God had made a promise in scripture, and that salvation - my salvation - hinged on whether or not I believed, that I was condemned for my sin, and whether or not I believed that God would save me from that condemnation on the basis of Him having promised to do so for all who call on His name in this way: repenting and believing.

I know that Christianity alone says this to the sinner: You are a sinner, and because you are a sinner, you are condemned already, and even if you never sinned again for the rest of your life, you would still be condemned because God is righteous and by your sin you have proven that you are not.

That is not a message that someone who loves their sin wants to hear, but it is part of the Christian message - for the bible says that Jesus didn't come to save the righteous, but sinners. If you read the bible you will remember that it says that there are none who are righteous, so when Jesus said that He did not come to save the righteous, He was not suggesting that some were righteous, but He came to save ones that weren't - rather He was saying that it isn't being righteous that qualifies you for salvation - it is being a sinner; Jesus came to save, the scriptures say, "that which was lost" - we were lost, and Christ came to save us.

I don't really care whether or not we ever celebrate Christmas again. It is good to rejoice that our Lord came to this world personally in human flesh to provide a way for sinners to be reconciled to God - that is awesome news; but I find nothing particularly edifying about celebrating Jesus as a baby, or worse, celebrating His "Birthday" - that's just corny and wrong. No, I understand why we celebrate it; and while I prefer good Friday and resurrection Sunday to Christmas hands down - yet I am not so humbug as to withdraw myself every Christmas season into a Christmas vacuum.

But neither will I enjoy mumbling some empty platitude, or parroting some hackneyed slogan that not only lacks any meaning for most people to day, but is shunned by the liberal masses because it (gasp!) suggests that Christians actually believe the claims of Christianity are true, and if so, that the claims of other world religions are therefore false.

We dare not suggest that other religions are false, because we don't want to look like "haters" - so instead of saying Merry Christmas, we say, "Happy Holidays" or some other thing which translates roughly into, "I am a Christian, but that doesn't mean I think I am right..."

Well, I do think I am right, and I think if you are not a Christian, that you're are morbidly wrong, and that you are already condemned because of your sin, and that should you die today you will certainly wake up in the judgment, be found guilty, and cast into the lake of fire, no matter how nice, good, and generous you were - no matter what religion you were, or how well and piously you pursued it. If you were deceived, or sincere in your other religion - it won't matter, for every other religion is, according to my belief, false and demonic in origin. I believe you are most horribly misled, confused, and ignorant, even if you are well educated, profoundly intelligent, and inclined to rationality. If I am right, then you are certainly going to hell if you are not saved by Jesus Christ. If I believe what I profess to believe, then failing to say these things would be an act of sadism, and not mercy or tolerance.

Just because I think a person is going to hell, doesn't mean I think I am better than them, morally or otherwise. Frankly there are all kinds of people who are going to go to hell who have done or will do more for others than I do or ever will do. There are some who will go to hell who will not have committed one tenth, or even one hundredth of the evil I have committed while hear on earth. There will be people in hell who were better people in their false religions, than I am in my genuine one - people who are happier in their false religion than I am in my genuine one - my religion doesn't make me a better person than you, it doesn't make me think I am better than others, or smarter than others, and it CERTAINLY doesn't make me hate other people who disagree with me or my beliefs.

All it does is make me think that sin condemns a man in a way that cannot be undone by human effort, so that every last one of us needs to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ - and that through a repentant faith in the promises that God made concerning Jesus Christ. I think that it would be incredibly evil of me to believe that and not share it with others. I don't mean for it to be an offence, but I know it will offend those who love their sin and reject the notion that they are condemned by it. I know that people who reject all religions as false will be offended because I suggest that one religion is not. I know that those who can't decide which religion is right, will imagine me to be arrogant beyond measure to have decided upon one religion over another, and to (gasp) express that opinion, since they are unwilling to do so for fear of offending, or worse - for fear of being mistaken.

So this year instead of saying, "Happy Holidays" so as not to offend, I want to say "Thank God almighty that He sent Jesus Christ to earth, just as He promised to do in the only inspired text on earth - the bible; and thank God that Jesus did come, because He, and He alone, is the only way for a sinner to be reconciled to God; Thank God that although all men are condemned to hell already for their sins, yet those who stand condemned today can turn to Christ in faith, and trust in God's promises and His character, that if they turn from sinning, and trying to reconcile themselves to God through other world religions, or through personal efforts such as doing good, and instead humble themselves and accept the only salvation God offers to mankind -they can be saved, not by praying some formulaic prayer, but by trusting that the God of the Bible - the Christian God, will honour all of His promises, not the least of which is that He has sent His Son Jesus into this world in order to save those in it from their sin, and His wrath on their sin's account. Thank God that He tells us that every other ways is false and empty - so that we can be saved from the perverse generation we find ourselves in - a generation so perverse that it doesn't hate religion, it hates Christianity - and that because it hates anyone pronouncing condemnation on them.

Christ came to save us from this condemnation - but it is a limited time offer. I have had a merry Christmas because I know whom I have trusted, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him until the day of judgment. Some have had a merry Christmas because they got tipsy on wine, had a nice experience, plenty of friends, and good gifts to share and receive. What they mean is "enjoy the pleasures of the season" but what I mean is I am daily thankful for the great gift God has given to someone as undeserving as myself - the season means little more to me than that, and I thank God that it does.
posted by Daniel @ 9:55 PM  
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