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Joined: 2002/12/11
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
1. Do you post yourself? (some never post but just respond to posts)
2. If you do post, are they for edification?
3. If you do only respond, do you only respond to controversy and what is the motivation ( to edify or to display one's own knowledge)



Excellent logical list and thoughts brother.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/9/4 17:27Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
I am always dismayed at the lack of responses the devotional section receives. It kinda feels like the disappointment you have when no one shows up for prayer meetings :) I would like to ask all forum users, when was the last time you posted in the devotional section, if ever? Its kinda hard to fall into controversy when your praising God or encouraging the saints. If you predominantly are only involved in controversy, why is that.


I think this is a very important thought. The devotional section has a very meager quantity of threads in comparison with the other forum categories. Posting a choice snippet from Charles Spurgeon or Winslow is very safe and antiseptic - that is, it doesn't necessitate someone's interjected opinion to thrive. It's transparent truth and so people can't do much with it, other than build upon it with like passion.

Building upon well-established truth is not as intriguing as throwing down a challenge. When challenges or disputations are started it gives people the opportunity to display their knowledge and "one up" the opponent. You obviously can't do this when everyone is in agreement over some marvelous devotion where Christ alone is exalted. It leaves them no room to interject their individuality and contend. By nature, man is self-driven and contentious. He wants to puff his chest out and impress others with his knowledge, intellect, difference of opinion, talents and gifts. And what better vehicle to flaunt them by than insight into the spiritual, in the name of Jesus?

But if it is just about Jesus, the capacity to showcase their bright individuality and witty opinions are immediately cut off. This is why so many are deterred from simply praising God with unhindered release. It emasculates their sense of individualistic projection. This is why a simple devotion centered upon the lovliness of Christ will slip down the forum wall almost completely unmolested, while a thread on headcoverings will generate hundreds upon hundreds of replies - a literal firestorm! I think it is sad how skewered it all is brother. It really shows how far we are off target. It should be the opposite! A devotion on Christ's all-encompassing beauty should have a thousand posts and headcoverings half a dozen at best before everyone is bored with it.

In a perfect world, I suppose :(

Blessings to you.

Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2012/9/4 20:07Profile
Areadymind
Member



Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re:

Quite some time ago, I posted a number of threads intended to be encouraging, and utterly Christ centered. They hardly ever generated a blip...as a result I stopped posting to the forums for I realized that people would rather resolve trifling conflicts that people have been debating for thousands of years than they would just simply enjoy fellowship with and about Christ.

This is one of the reasons I pretty much stopped contributing to the forums. This is not to say that I did not have my share of heated discussion, but I generally have avoided being engaged in the debates on here. So if you do not want to debate, you are often left with a one sided conversation, which can be boring. I know what I believe, why do I need to debate it? Who would I be trying to convince? What is the point?

A few years ago I came to a frightening realization about something I went through as a young believer, as I pondered and prayed through a series of interactions I had with some atheist friends of mine, I came to the realization over time that most of my debates with them, were not debates with them per se, but were debates with the unbelief in my own soul. Never had I been more passionate or persistent in sharing my faith with anyone, and never was I more willing to break through the roof as it were. I realized after considering it long and hard that I was not trying to convince them of the truth, as much as I was trying to convince myself, and my anger at them, which masqueraded as righteous indignation, was really a revelation of my own unbelief. There were times where I experienced much doubt and pain and passion and anger throughout all those discussions, never once in all my persuasiveness did I stop and really consider the things I was saying as if they were absolute truth. Like I was sliding down a well, I was grasping at any root I could to keep me from falling further down the pit of my own unbelief.

Many years after these interactions, I emailed my atheist friend and apologized for my ignorant zeal without knowledge. I both agree with Apollus and Paul, and the heart behind Greg's post, and also will continue to search my own heart for any further interaction here. As to whether or not it passes the test of Philippians 4:8.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

There is a passage in the book of Romans that really stood out to me this year, one of the reasons the "therefore" is there in Romans 1:24 is because men did not "give thanks to Him." (verse 21)

God gave men over to their own impurity because of simple ingratitude. So are we a people who reflect having been saved from the wrath of God by contrasting our old ingratitude with thanksgiving? As a result, thanksgiving has become more of a conscious effort than it is an emotional outburst for me. This new understanding radically convicted me and challenged me toward a newness of thanksgiving, so I guess I will put some of that in practice here.

Reasons I am thankful for SI:

1.) Many of the sermons, too numerous to count, which have shaped and influenced me, and will continue to influence any ministry I am involved in for probably the rest of my life. When I first found the website, I wanted nothing more than to be a part of some major revival, now I am simply content to learn, and hope that the good leaven found here will leaven the whole lump of my life and the lives this ministry touches. Not to say I would not want to see major revival, I still pray for it, but have realized that I cannot live my Christian life hoping in "something I can see." For hope that which is seen is no hope at all. I just need to be faithful wherever I am.

2.) "A grain of Wheat" by Major Ian Thomas in particular. This sermon, combined with the sermon series by Art Katz on the Incarnation, have been like spiritual bread for me that never loses its savor, or nourishment. These have altered my perceptions of the faith in positive ways that I can only hope will have beneficial appropriation in my life, though I see little tangible evidence of it yet.

3.) The forum rules, when followed, lend to very civil discussion.

4.) I heard the sermons of Brother David Legge through SI, which have been a very good example to me of healthy and accurate exegesis combined with preaching. The two are compatible, and David Legge proved that for me.

5.) Thankful for the wisdom and patience of the moderators, and there obvious shepherds hearts.

6.) I am also thankful for the audio book on here called, "The Martyrs of the Catacombs." This little book, though it is a work of fiction, seems really true to life and the history of the early Roman church. This is another gem I would have never known about had I never found this website.

7.) This reason actually ties into the purpose of this thread. I actually, even in a weird sort of way, am thankful even for the debates on here. I believe Romans 8:28 to the umpteenth degree. I am convinced that even when believers are in sin, somehow, under grace...God makes it all work for good. We would not have half of the New Testament if it was not for error and unsanctioned behavior in the early church. Some of the discussions I have read that seem heated, have made me search the word and really see what I believe, so in this sense...I am also thankful.

8.) I have also made a few new friendships and relationships with people I never would have known otherwise. Thank you Lord for SI.

9.) "The way of Cain" by Zac Poonen. This sermon also helped me to get my attitude right about serving Christ in the local body.

My only suggestion for others to consider in lieu of this post by the Moderator, would be for people to once again, realize that SI is not a church, nor is it a place for people to take the bones out of their church closet, historical, present, or otherwise. SI is not a place for people to deal with issues that they will not deal with in real life, in real ways, not that SI is "not real life." (But it can become an unreal life.) I suspect that a secret hope that this forum, or any "Christian" forum actually can replace the local body of Christ, may lend to peoples roller coaster experience on here. We are all called to be part of the local body, perfect or imperfect, wherever she may be found. A faithful honest attempt at this, to the benefit of the local body, by your articulating your spiritual giftings is the intended outlet of your faith...not some impersonal digital pseudo-reality. I suspect such a pattern would temper peoples discussion here. There will be no perfect church this side of Glory, but there will be a church being perfected. We cannot attempt to live out our faith in our own ideological perception of the church. That is our hope that is not seen, for now, we dwell on the downside of the mount of transfiguration, where the demon possessed are.

"When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, 'Lord, what about this man?' Jesus said to him, 'If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!"


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2012/9/4 22:14Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

A welcome thread topic for sure. A few extra thoughts...

1) It's worth noting that some people, like myself, may spend time reading devotional posts. Perhaps it would be encouraging for the poster if they knew how their positive words are being recieved.

2) More often then not, many of us may feel unworthy to contribute spiritual thoughts after Tozer or Chambers. On the other hand, everyone feels worthy to contribute to threads on political or religous controversy.

3) And there is the honest dynamic of "threat detection" at work in our humanity. It's like how an antelope peacefully scans the horizon on the Serengetti, untill it suddenly spots way off in the distance the silloette of a single lion. That single threat captures it's full attention, putting it into a state of alarm. Likewise, when we post "news" that is negative, or views that are provacative, we are being far more clever then we care to admit...we know that a scary headline about the economy or Obama, or a challenge to a duel about theology, will draw more urgent interest then any Oswarld Chambers devotional. It's not a reflection of our poor characters, but a reflection of how well we know ourselves...we know what were afraid of and how to trigger one another's fear repsonses to gain attention to our posts.

A single lion can send a herd of Antelope into a frenzy. Grazing in green pastures here is simply going to be very difficult as long as SI invites op ed posting about controversial issues. Imagine a bible study or prayer meeting in which there were two or three televisions in the background filling the room with the din of tabloid and disaster stories. That is pretty much the virtual environment we have here...and as long as those alarming broadcasts are allowed to remain on, we can expect to remain distracted from our spiritual focus on study, prayer, and communion.

Thanks everyone,

MC


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Mike Compton

 2012/9/4 22:22Profile
proudpapa
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Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


 Re: A Sad and Sobering Thought - SI Forums Note

I find this thread extremely convicting and I want to confess and repent of the wrong heart that I had in many of my post and ask forgiveness for any and all whom I have offended.

 2012/9/5 0:09Profile
sermonindex
Moderator



Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37228
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

Quote:
Quite some time ago, I posted a number of threads intended to be encouraging, and utterly Christ centered. They hardly ever generated a blip...as a result I stopped posting to the forums for I realized that people would rather resolve trifling conflicts that people have been debating for thousands of years than they would just simply enjoy fellowship with and about Christ.



Powerful posts brothers and much for everyone including myself to think about. May God stir up more of this simple "fellowship with and about Christ" in the forums these days.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/9/5 14:01Profile
TheophilusMD
Member



Joined: 2003/12/1
Posts: 124
New Jersey

 Re:

"When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, 'Lord, what about this man?' Jesus said to him, 'If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!"

I believe this captures what is really needful in our forum discussions, that our eyes are focused on the Lord. Sin comes in every time we fail to identify with both His death and His resurrection life. May we all be able to say with Paul, "I determine not to know anyone among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified."

As far as handling conflicts, offenses or disagreements is concerned I learned a lot from the moderators (past and present including Bro. Mike Balog) and from others like our dear Bro. Ron Bailey (whose participation here I miss), who even in their silence, and yes, many times especially in their silence, spoke volumes.

Through the years the treasures here in SI have truly been a blessing. Thank you.


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Rey O.

 2012/9/5 14:44Profile





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