Why Continue Posting?

Carbon

Well-known member
Many excellent thoughts. I've been self-exiled for awhile. I think the key, for me, is to not let the forums become an inappropriately high priority. I once spent 8 hours at one sitting composing a lengthy response to a poster here. But for what? A year later, all that work was deleted to make room for new posts. I have probably poured hundreds of hours of good work into this forum, and all of it is gone now. So it's probably best not to take it all too seriously. The most we can hope for is that God will use us wherever we labor.
Welcome Ken!
 

His clay

Active member
Many excellent thoughts. I've been self-exiled for awhile. I think the key, for me, is to not let the forums become an inappropriately high priority. I once spent 8 hours at one sitting composing a lengthy response to a poster here. But for what? A year later, all that work was deleted to make room for new posts. I have probably poured hundreds of hours of good work into this forum, and all of it is gone now. So it's probably best not to take it all too seriously. The most we can hope for is that God will use us wherever we labor.
Thanks. I hope that (like Theo mentioned) you remember to write your responses in Word or some other avenue before posting. Hence, you can check spelling, grammar, and most importatly save your document before posting. I'm not suggesting that you are a bad speller or use improper grammar. Welcome back!
 

Our Lord's God

Well-known member
I've been doing some introspection lately. The question stands out as significant. Why post in this forum? Other related questions come up as well. Am I just wasting my time posting? Is interacting in the forum healthy?

Depends on your purpose. CARM is overrun with completely irrational people. You can't reason with an unreasonable person. It is completely pointless. Yet people keep trying to reason with unreasonable people. Complete insanity. You may as well be a rabid dog chasing your own tail. Many examples on this very board every single day.

Are other avenues of interaction more valuable and beneficial? These are important questions, and the answers aren't simplistic.

So here is my attempt, off the cuff, at answering the previous questions.

(1) Objectively judging the value and benefit of interacting in the forum is very difficult to do. Much of ministry to others leaves you in the dark. And much of ministry is more about your faithfulness to God rather than your perception of results. I do not endorse numbers Christianity. Certainly, one could go to the book of Acts and point to the numbers listed there. However, I could go to the gospels and point to the smallness of Jesus' impact upon 12/11 disciples. Numbers follow from the joint working of the Holy Spirit and the faithful proclamation of the gospel.

The faith chapter, Hebrews 11, points to people who believed the promise. However, the fulfillment of the promise did not happen in their lifetimes. Faith preceded the external results. Many died because of their trust in the promises of God. One could make the case that their objective results were disastrous. If "results" were just a human accomplishment in a secular sense, then I could objectively evaluate the impact of ministry. However, God is a person; He is not an impersonal tool to be wielded. He sets the times and the seasons.

These are a few reasons that come to mind in evaluating whether other avenues are more valuable or beneficial.

(2) I've received a few comments that point to others being encouraged. God forbid that I'm just here tooting my own horn. I'm just stating a fact that encourages me. It is truly encouraging when others do recognize the effort and grace that God has given you to serve others.

(3) I've lessened the amount of time posting in the forum. Being very busy has been a way of life for me. We all have priorities, and for me this forum is lower in priority than many other avenues of ministry. Time and priorities are intimately connected.

(4) Why do I like posting in the forum? Putting thoughts out there for others to digest and ponder is fun for me. I enjoy a small degree of debate, provided that it is within acceptable bounds. I don't enjoy extremely hostile interactions. However, I enjoy being tested to some degree; it depends upon the quality of the testing.

A forum is an informal way of getting thoughts organized. I've never been the best at the gift of gab. It takes me time to ponder what and how to speak. Most people who know me personally know that I'm not a chatterbox. Often in my life, conversations point me to many communication obstacles. This is especially true when a person asks you a question, and you realize that you need to give five points to adequately address the issue. However, all five points are needed at the same time, and so you don't know where to start. Writing helps with this communication impasse.

I enjoy reading the thoughts and opinions of others. Of course this takes place with the filter of scripture, languages, hermeneutics, grammar, presuppositions, etc. In short, we all ought to be evaluating all the time

(5) What is my goal for the forum? Why do I post here ultimately? Truth is certainly important. First graders understand how to speak their mind (e.g. "Susie is fat." "Johnny looks weird."). However, their truth telling lacks tact. Tact is important; it doesn't mean that we can jettison truth. However, it does mean that there are better ways of saying things or better ways of expressing disagreement. Being on the side of truth doesn't mean that rudeness and verbal brashness is acceptable. Fighting for truth doesn't need to come at the expense of mistreating others.

Encouraging the propagation of God's word in the lives of others is certainly a noble goal. Teaching takes a lot more work than many imagine. Patience is very important. I often lack in that regard.

Ultimately though, it comes down to my walk with God. God needs to be the One who I am following and obeying by interacting in the forum. God is the One who tells me what to do. My life shouldn't be ultimately governed by my own selfish aims. Paul called himself a bond-servant of Christ. Have I scrutinized my life in light of God's goals and aims for me? In short, (1) spreading a better understanding of the gospel, (2) proclaiming God's word, (3) encouraging others, (4) personally benefiting from deeper scripture study, (5) continuing to develop communication skills, etc. all serve to leave me with the conclusion that my interaction here is something that God wants me to do.

(6) My interaction in this forum has deepened and strengthened my understanding and commitment to the doctrine of the depravity of man. The radical resistance and tenacity in the face of flat scriptural contradiction and logical refutation points to the bondage of the will. I literally do not see how "free will" (in the libertarian sense) has any meaning in light of the adamant impossibility of choosing otherwise than what you believe to be true. It is a practical reality that combats an ideologically naive position. This forum, every single day, refutes libertarian freedom.

Perhaps, the most important element of one's understanding of the nature of depravity is found in the connection between depravity and the nature of faith. If you do not see depravity in scripture, then you are typically focused upon your own ability, what free will can accomplish. "Faith" then becomes an expression of your own ability; it is an action of self-reliance in keeping with the commands of scripture. In contrast, if you do see depravity in yourself and scripture, then you are much less prone toward self-trust. God's strength is more significant, and His grace overcomes human depravity. "Faith" then becomes empty-handed and a dependent focus upon the One who accomplished your salvation upon the cross. I see the divide as nothing short of a watershed issue between a false gospel and the true gospel. The very meaning of "faith" is at issue.

These are a few ramblings that I hope are helpful. God bless you all as you dive into the scriptures and depend upon His grace as you study.
 

civic

Well-known member
Depends on your purpose. CARM is overrun with completely irrational people. You can't reason with an unreasonable person. It is completely pointless. Yet people keep trying to reason with unreasonable people. Complete insanity. You may as well be a rabid dog chasing your own tail. Many examples on this very board every single day.
No one is forcing you to be here so it’s ironic to say the least that you post on all the different forums.

You must just be a glutton for punishment as they say .
 

Dizerner

Well-known member
You must just be a glutton for punishment as they say .

I think in my innocence I'm just giving some so-called "Christians" the opportunity to just beat up on me and then accuse me for getting beaten up on.

There has to come a time when we realize people are not bearing good fruit and for whatever reason they are not going to change.

I think my work is here done and I'm tired of being a punching bag.

God bless everyone.
 

civic

Well-known member
I think in my innocence I'm just giving some so-called "Christians" the opportunity to just beat up on me and then accuse me for getting beaten up on.

There has to come a time when we realize people are not bearing good fruit and for whatever reason they are not going to change.

I think my work is here done and I'm tired of being a punching bag.

God bless everyone.
I hope you don’t feel that way about me . This particular forum is one where thick skin is required as it can get really heated at times
 

Our Lord's God

Well-known member
I think in my innocence I'm just giving some so-called "Christians" the opportunity to just beat up on me and then accuse me for getting beaten up on.

Most people here have significant behavior issues (even in the secular world). This is obviously evident to any reasonable minded person.

There has to come a time when we realize people are not bearing good fruit and for whatever reason they are not going to change.

Your job is to bear good fruit. Don't worry about bad tree's bad fruit. Everyone will see their rottenness even though such trees will continue to pretend it is the most beautiful thing in the garden. That's their problem. They live in their own fantasy worlds.

I think my work is here done and I'm tired of being a punching bag.

God bless everyone.

Your work will be done when Jesus says so. He's the Lord, you are the servant.
 

Sethproton

Well-known member
I've been doing some introspection lately. The question stands out as significant. Why post in this forum? Other related questions come up as well. Am I just wasting my time posting? Is interacting in the forum healthy? Are other avenues of interaction more valuable and beneficial? These are important questions, and the answers aren't simplistic.

So here is my attempt, off the cuff, at answering the previous questions.

(1) Objectively judging the value and benefit of interacting in the forum is very difficult to do. Much of ministry to others leaves you in the dark. And much of ministry is more about your faithfulness to God rather than your perception of results. I do not endorse numbers Christianity. Certainly, one could go to the book of Acts and point to the numbers listed there. However, I could go to the gospels and point to the smallness of Jesus' impact upon 12/11 disciples. Numbers follow from the joint working of the Holy Spirit and the faithful proclamation of the gospel.

The faith chapter, Hebrews 11, points to people who believed the promise. However, the fulfillment of the promise did not happen in their lifetimes. Faith preceded the external results. Many died because of their trust in the promises of God. One could make the case that their objective results were disastrous. If "results" were just a human accomplishment in a secular sense, then I could objectively evaluate the impact of ministry. However, God is a person; He is not an impersonal tool to be wielded. He sets the times and the seasons.

These are a few reasons that come to mind in evaluating whether other avenues are more valuable or beneficial.

(2) I've received a few comments that point to others being encouraged. God forbid that I'm just here tooting my own horn. I'm just stating a fact that encourages me. It is truly encouraging when others do recognize the effort and grace that God has given you to serve others.

(3) I've lessened the amount of time posting in the forum. Being very busy has been a way of life for me. We all have priorities, and for me this forum is lower in priority than many other avenues of ministry. Time and priorities are intimately connected.

(4) Why do I like posting in the forum? Putting thoughts out there for others to digest and ponder is fun for me. I enjoy a small degree of debate, provided that it is within acceptable bounds. I don't enjoy extremely hostile interactions. However, I enjoy being tested to some degree; it depends upon the quality of the testing.

A forum is an informal way of getting thoughts organized. I've never been the best at the gift of gab. It takes me time to ponder what and how to speak. Most people who know me personally know that I'm not a chatterbox. Often in my life, conversations point me to many communication obstacles. This is especially true when a person asks you a question, and you realize that you need to give five points to adequately address the issue. However, all five points are needed at the same time, and so you don't know where to start. Writing helps with this communication impasse.

I enjoy reading the thoughts and opinions of others. Of course this takes place with the filter of scripture, languages, hermeneutics, grammar, presuppositions, etc. In short, we all ought to be evaluating all the time

(5) What is my goal for the forum? Why do I post here ultimately? Truth is certainly important. First graders understand how to speak their mind (e.g. "Susie is fat." "Johnny looks weird."). However, their truth telling lacks tact. Tact is important; it doesn't mean that we can jettison truth. However, it does mean that there are better ways of saying things or better ways of expressing disagreement. Being on the side of truth doesn't mean that rudeness and verbal brashness is acceptable. Fighting for truth doesn't need to come at the expense of mistreating others.

Encouraging the propagation of God's word in the lives of others is certainly a noble goal. Teaching takes a lot more work than many imagine. Patience is very important. I often lack in that regard.

Ultimately though, it comes down to my walk with God. God needs to be the One who I am following and obeying by interacting in the forum. God is the One who tells me what to do. My life shouldn't be ultimately governed by my own selfish aims. Paul called himself a bond-servant of Christ. Have I scrutinized my life in light of God's goals and aims for me? In short, (1) spreading a better understanding of the gospel, (2) proclaiming God's word, (3) encouraging others, (4) personally benefiting from deeper scripture study, (5) continuing to develop communication skills, etc. all serve to leave me with the conclusion that my interaction here is something that God wants me to do.

(6) My interaction in this forum has deepened and strengthened my understanding and commitment to the doctrine of the depravity of man. The radical resistance and tenacity in the face of flat scriptural contradiction and logical refutation points to the bondage of the will. I literally do not see how "free will" (in the libertarian sense) has any meaning in light of the adamant impossibility of choosing otherwise than what you believe to be true. It is a practical reality that combats an ideologically naive position. This forum, every single day, refutes libertarian freedom.

Perhaps, the most important element of one's understanding of the nature of depravity is found in the connection between depravity and the nature of faith. If you do not see depravity in scripture, then you are typically focused upon your own ability, what free will can accomplish. "Faith" then becomes an expression of your own ability; it is an action of self-reliance in keeping with the commands of scripture. In contrast, if you do see depravity in yourself and scripture, then you are much less prone toward self-trust. God's strength is more significant, and His grace overcomes human depravity. "Faith" then becomes empty-handed and a dependent focus upon the One who accomplished your salvation upon the cross. I see the divide as nothing short of a watershed issue between a false gospel and the true gospel. The very meaning of "faith" is at issue.

These are a few ramblings that I hope are helpful. God bless you all as you dive into the scriptures and depend upon His grace as you study.
Thanks for the thread. It generated many warm hearted posts.
I think I have been here over a decade. I first came because I read some point of doctrine, which I had never heard, and decided to check out the forum and it is here I first learned about Calvinism. I have enjoyed iron sharpening iron, learning and sharing, even with the sparks flying.
This place taught me much about the Bible and much about the blindness we can all have when our pet doctrines are challenged. It has helped me to be more confident in what I see in the word in the face of harsh and negative people.
Again, nice post, some nice responses. Thanks
 

civic

Well-known member
Thanks for the thread. It generated many warm hearted posts.
I think I have been here over a decade. I first came because I read some point of doctrine, which I had never heard, and decided to check out the forum and it is here I first learned about Calvinism. I have enjoyed iron sharpening iron, learning and sharing, even with the sparks flying.
This place taught me much about the Bible and much about the blindness we can all have when our pet doctrines are challenged. It has helped me to be more confident in what I see in the word in the face of harsh and negative people.
Again, nice post, some nice responses. Thanks
oh so you didn't learn about "calvinism " from the church you were going to when I met you back then in person ?

another contradiction as you went to a calvinist church yet never heard of calvinism ?

oxymoron anyone ?
 

Sethproton

Well-known member
oh so you didn't learn about "calvinism " from the church you were going to when I met you back then in person ?

another contradiction as you went to a calvinist church yet never heard of calvinism ?

oxymoron anyone ?
you seem to be fascinated with me personally as you so often prefer to talk about me instead of Biblical ideas.
I was on these forums before I went to my current church and you were not the first person i talked to in these threads.
It is highly offensive and disruptive that you spend so much time inventing things about me to try to confuse the conversation about scripture
And your post here is indicative of the spirit you operate in. People are talking about what CARM means to them, but you want to make personal assaults based on half-truths,
 
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praise_yeshua

Well-known member
I've spent a large portion of my life in internet discussion/debates. I started out in "yahoo chat" in the late 90s and I've been debating theology ever since. I've spent so many hours it is impossible for me to try to quantify it all. Outside of sleeping, working, and family life. It is the single largest thing I've done. I've questioned myself over and over again as to its value. I'll tell what I've come up with and leave it at that.

I can't be happy without talking about God. I can't. I believe there is a hole in every human being that can only be filled by Jesus Christ. When I "debate/write".... That is what I'm doing. I'm filling that hole with Him.

Ultimately, I find pleasure in it no matter how trying it might be at times. Everything is open to scrutiny. When we scrutinize one another... we make each other better.

Yes. There is plenty of fruitless debate taking place.... but you never know just how something little can make a HUGE difference somewhere. Even if it doesn't. Let our words always praise Him.
 
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civic

Well-known member
I've spent a large portion of my life in internet discussion/debates. I started out in "yahoo chat" in the late 90s and I've been debating theology ever since. I've spent so many hours it is impossible for me to try to quantify it all. Outside of sleeping, working, and family life. It is the single largest thing I've done. I've questioned myself over and over again as to its value. I'll tell what I've come up with and leave it at that.

I can't be happy without talking about God. I can't. I believe there is a hole in every human being that can only be filled by Jesus Christ. When I "debate/write".... That is what I'm doing. I'm filling that hole with Him.

Ultimately, I find pleasure in it no matter how trying it might be at times. Everything is open to scrutiny. When we scrutinize one another... we make each other better.

Yes. There is plenty of fruitless debate taking place.... but you never know just how something little can make a HUGE difference somewhere. Even if it doesn't. Let our words always praise Him.
We are wired the same :)
 

civic

Well-known member
you seem to be fascinated with me personally as you so often prefer to talk about me instead of Biblical ideas.
I was on these forums before I went to my current church and you were not the first person i talked to in these threads.
It is highly offensive and disruptive that you spend so much time inventing things about me to try to confuse the conversation about scripture
And your post here is indicative of the spirit you operate in. People are talking about what CARM means to them, but you want to make personal assaults based on half-truths,
You would be the very first person ever that I have heard of that claimed to be a serious Bible student that knew church history for 40 years ( 50 now) that never heard of Calvinism , tulip or the reformation.

Im reminded of the kid in the glass bubble .

No one is buying into what you are peddling .

hope this helps !!!
 

Sethproton

Well-known member
You would be the very first person ever that I have heard of that claimed to be a serious Bible student that knew church history for 40 years ( 50 now) that never heard of Calvinism , tulip or the reformation.

Im reminded of the kid in the glass bubble .

No one is buying into what you are peddling .

hope this helps !!!
I agree, but that is not me. I keep wondering how a person who wants to be thought of as a Christian is so prone to misrepresenting the truth
 

civic

Well-known member
I agree, but that is not me. I keep wondering how a person who wants to be thought of as a Christian is so prone to misrepresenting the truth
Yes why do you seth ?

Why do you misrepresent the truth of the Trinity , Deity of Christ, humanity of Christ , the gospel , the Resurrection, Mediator etc …..

hope this helps !!!
 

Sethproton

Well-known member
Yes why do you seth ?

Why do you misrepresent the truth of the Trinity , Deity of Christ, humanity of Christ , the gospel , the Resurrection, Mediator etc …..

hope this helps !!!
So you just did it again. Do you think it is truthful when you know i was addressing you and you pretend i was talking about myself?
How are you standing up for truth in doing that?
 

civic

Well-known member
So you just did it again. Do you think it is truthful when you know i was addressing you and you pretend i was talking about myself?
How are you standing up for truth in doing that?
I stand for the truth. And you deny those above essential doctrines with Kenosis heresy, denying the bodily Resurrection/ Ascension, the gospel, Jesus is no longer a man which is the spirit of antichrist . That comes from the devil with those doctrines of demons, not God.

hope this helps !!!
 
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