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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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Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Celebrating childlessness? Not really.
The last item up for discussion on Albert Mohler's podcast (The Briefing) this morning, was about celebrating childlessness.

Calum Marsh, writing for the Toronto National Post, is put off by a friend's decision to have children. Marsh doesn't have (and doesn't intend to produce) any children. In the article he expresses his annoyance at how there is an expectation in our culture that once you're married, you ought to have children. He doesn't want children because they would destroy the kind of life he wants to live: a life with fewer responsibilities, and more disposable income. Though he doesn't use the word narcissism to describe what drives him to "celebrate" childlessness - it ought to be clear to anyone with a Christian world view that Marsh (in celebrating childlessness) is really just trying to destigmatize a kind of narcissistic world view that celebrates the pursuit of personal pleasure above such things as responsibility and growing up.

One thing I share with most men who have become fathers, is the knowledge that becoming a father made me grow as a person.  Grow isn't the right word in this context, it made me mature as a person.  When I became a father, I put away childish things - not the least of which was the kind of self-seeking lifestyle that modern journalists like Marsh would have us celebrate.

That isn't to suggest that once you become a parent you're forever free from fits of selfishness. You're not. But having this kind of responsibility - the kind one ought not to shirk - will drive you to stick with something you would otherwise have given up on.  The same man who would flee an attacker for his own safety, will face that same attacker to protect his wife or children.  Being responsible for your own children causes you to be someone better and bigger than you were ever going to be.

Of course some people when faced with the sudden expectation of parenthood, refuse to mature.  They flee from responsibility into a kind of arrested childhood - determining to prolong and nurture their arrested adolescence by ignoring the responsibilities their actions have placed upon them.  They suffer for this, as do their children.   So we see that narcissism doesn't always produce childlessness, it sometimes produces parents who choose to live as though they had no children - and we all suffer for it (eventually), as nothing provokes a broken home quite as fully, as an absentee parent.

We shouldn't be surprised to find this narcissistic generation is embracing a kind of Emperor's New Gender mentality. Not only does this generation embrace the notion that you are whatever you think you are - but it goes that extra, irrational step past that, to the place where others have to believe the same things that I have convinced myself are "true" about me.  Well - only when it comes to moral distinction.  If I put on blackface and claim to be a "black" man when I am not, this is rightly considered offensive.  Even if the reason I choose to identify as a black man is not racist, people would still be offended - and no one in their right mind would every start referring to me as a black man - no matter how convinced I am that I've always known I was really black.  Yet if instead of blackface, I adorn myself in makeup and women's clothing, and claim that I am now a woman - anyone who denies me this delusion is a hate filled bigot who deserves to be shamed and ostracized for having the audacity to proclaim what is painfully obvious to all - that I am a man, and not a woman. 

I will tell you why that is, by way of an example.  The law tells us that if we destroy the unhatched eggs of an endangered bird, we will be responsible for taking the life of an animal on the endangered species list - requiring us to face fines and prison.  No one questions the fact that by destroying the egg of an endangered bird, I am in fact destroying an endangered bird - everyone can see the truth of that because it doesn't impose upon anyone's life choices.  But destroying an unborn human child?  That is okay, because we are willing to pretend that the unborn child isn't human in order to justify the mother's choice to remain childless.  It's not murder, because the unborn human child isn't legally recognized as human ...yet.  What is plain and simple when it comes to endangered species (animals!), is suddenly obscured by the "right" of the mother to shirk her biological (and dare I say divine) responsibility.

So we should not be surprised that there is a blindness afoot with respect to gender identity.  The fact that we can claim to be what we are not, such that everyone must accept our delusion, only affirms that this blindness is moral in nature.  It is as the Apostle Paul writes - "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth." (c.f. Romans 1:18 [ESV]).  That is exactly what is going on with regards to gender identity.  People are themselves suppressing the truth - and expecting others to do the same - going so far as to describe the failure to do so in terms of hatred, bigotry so as to shame them into calling what is patently false, true.

The celebration of childlessness is just another expression of the same ball of wax.  A celebration of perpetual, arrested immaturity - a celebration of immorality, and self exaltation.  It is the celebration of the moral decay and compromise.  It is a time of ignorance - what the bible would describe as every man doing what seemed right in his own eyes; in other words, a time where judgment is mounting.

posted by Daniel @ 10:04 AM  
  • At 1:38 PM, February 07, 2017, Anonymous Paul Leonard said…

    In interest of pastoral integrity, you have to be careful with the tone of pieces like this.

    While I get that you are going after Mohler, there are people who can not have children that feel very sensitive about the issue.

    Imagine if Hannah read a post like this!

    There needs to be some Gospel for those people put in place of Mohler's materialistic one.

  • At 12:08 PM, February 08, 2017, Blogger Daniel said…

    Paul, Thanks for the feedback!

    Just to clarify, Dr. Mohler's podcast discusses daily news items from the perspective of a biblically informed, Christian worldview. My post was a reflection upon a news item Dr. Mohler discussed on his podcast. He personally was not the one "celebrating childlessness", but rather highlighted that news story on his podcast, as an example of the kind of moral and cultural degradation our culture is presently experiencing. Reading over my post I see how I could have made that more clear.

    Dr. Mohler discussed the article precisely because it was an example of how our culture celebrates narcissism. It concerned itself with those couples who were choosing to remain childless in order to avoid the kind of responsibility that would otherwise hinder their self-declared raison d'être: the pursuit of the pleasures this world has to offer. Dr. Mohler's was not addressing couples were unable to have children, but couples who were consciously choosing to remain childless in order to maximize their freedom to pursue the passing pleasures of this world.

    I am not certain, but I am going to guess that when you mention the people who cannot have children that feel very sensitive about the issue, you are referring to where I link the responsibility of parenthood with a growth in maturity? Assuming the case, saying these things would necessarily bring to remembrance the impotence (pun intended) of their childless situation - which I think you are suggesting would be an insensitive thing to do.

    I'm okay with what I've said and the way I have said it - even if some childless couples are very sensitive about the issue. I haven't framed what I had to say in a way that ought to offend, and I am not going to coddle people who take offense where none is intended.

    With regards to Hannah; I don't think she would have been offended by anything I wrote. She endured the vexing and grievious afflictions of Peninnah year after year, and rather than take offense at what Peninnah had to say, she presented her petition to God. That isn't the testimony of someone who would take offense at another person who is addressing people who regard children as a hindrance to partaking fully of the pleasures in this world. If anything I think she would say, "Amen - those people are sinful, selfish, and deluded about where to find true joy in this world".

    When the "good news" is mentioned in the New Testament, it is referring to the news that the kingdom that God had promised to Israel through her prophets in the past had finally come into being, in and through the person of Jesus the son of Mary whom God anointed as the Lord of all, and the King of all Kings. The good news was that these former promises had been fulfilled by the coming of a new covenant, and by the presence of the Kingdom of God - a kingdom not of this earth or on this earth, but present in it through the incarnation of Christ: the King of all Kings, who is manifested in this world through those who have entered into God's new covenant by faith. Those who enter into this covenant are baptized into Christ at which time they receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit as the seal/guarantee/evidence of their redemption. Thus as many as are in Christ, are in the kingdom, and manifest that kingdom (which has now come) upon this earth. The fact that this kingdom has come, and that people may now press into it, is the "good news".

    I agree that people - all people - need to hear the news that the kingdom is here now, and that God has made salvation available in and through faith in Christ. This is the same gospel that Dr. Mohler recognizes, and I believe he would agree that people who are pulling out every stop in their pursuit of sin need to hear this gospel, and repent of their love for this passing world, and trust themselves instead to their Creator.

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