Why Continue Posting?

Predestined

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.
I most certainly am glad you hung around as I've learned quite a bit from you.
 

Predestined

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.
Glad I took a little walk down memory lane and found this thread. It's awesome to read about why we are here.
 

Predestined

Well-known member
Being here has taught me a lot, most of what I believe has been flushed out here. I've learned how to write because of CARM, and it certainly helps my Gospel Tract Ministry. I've learned how to debate here too. I bring this up from time-to-time because Heretics have also learned how to debate here too. Finally, the Lurkers want to know what the Orthodox have to say. And after 10+ years here with zero Posters changing their Minds, I'm convinced our target audience should be New Converts we can then Teach; not Old Converts who we try to Proselytize...
Are you still here? Seriously I'm really glad you were able to develop your skills here. And I certainly enjoy all of your posts and gospel tracts. Not to mention all the help you've given me in understanding different things. Like I said when I first got here you guys are really cool!
 
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Predestined

Well-known member
Yes, you are the only one I've had the pleasure of actually meeting! I would gladly repeat it anytime. I wish I could meet many that I have come to highly respect here on CARM!

Doug
I bet I'm the only one you ever wrote a song for on their birthday. You'll meet us all one day and we can all sing:

The Loving Arms of Jesus​


Leap into the loving arms
Of the Savior strong yet meek
Find protection from all harm
Safety from the stormy bleak.
Leap into the loving arms
Ever sure, forever strong
To all our earthly fears disarm
Find the peace for which we long.
Leap in faith, the loving arms
Will always catch you and ensure
Comfort when filled with alarm
Granting hope-- yes hope secure!

© D. Allen Jenkins
11/19/21
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
Are you still here? Seriously I'm really glad you were able to develop your skills here. And I certainly enjoy all of your posts and gospel tracts. Not to mention all the help you've given me in understanding different things. Like I say when I first got here you guys are really cool!
Thanks Pops. The strange thing is that I can't think of any regular Poster who has ever changed their Mind about anything. We really need to be after 'Young Minds'; IE new Converts...
 
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Chalcedon

Well-known member
Also over the years on CARM it has driven me deeper into studying scripture to defend the Trinity and Deity of Christ . I’m much better off now because of it and the fact that iron sharpens iron. We have had some excellent posters/ theologians , pastors , authors on these forum over the years. It’s truly been a blessing for me and has helped in my growth over the years .

My first 10 plus years were primarily spent on the Trinity and language forums and not much here, now it’s reversed. :)
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
Also over the years on CARM it has driven me deeper into studying scripture to defend the Trinity and Deity of Christ . I’m much better off now because of it and the fact that iron sharpens iron. We have had some excellent posters/ theologians , pastors , authors on these forum over the years. It’s truly been a blessing for me and has helped in my growth over the years .
Exactly! If we were not pressed into Action; how far behind would be be right now? And just how far ahead would THEY be? ;)

But of course; Sola Deo Gloria!
 

Predestined

Well-known member
Thanks Pops. The strange thing is that I can't think of any regular Poster who has ever changed their Mind about anything. We really need to be after 'Young Minds'; IE new Converts...
I hear you and I believe there are some strategies to do that. Reading the OP gave me some ideas. But after reading your post there's a thought I had that I wanted to mention to you. It's about the stats on the forums main page. About how many people are here, how many guests how many members. It looks to me as there's usually three times as many guests and they're all reading posts on different threads here. So it may seem like were making no headway but a guest just might read something and have a seed planted. I know... I know you have a gospel tract for that 🤪 I was only joking but I bet you do. I guess what I'm trying to say is his clay and the OP plus all the different posts from the group has really encouraged me.
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
I hear you and I believe there are some strategies to do that. Reading the OP gave me some ideas. But after reading your post there's a thought I had that I wanted to mention to you. It's about the stats on the forums main page. About how many people are here, how many guests how many members. It looks to me as there's usually three times as many guests and they're all reading posts on different threads here. So it may seem like were making no headway but a guest just might read something and have a seed planted. I know... I know you have a gospel tract for that 🤪 I was only joking but I bet you do. I guess what I'm trying to say is his clay and the OP plus all the different posts from the group has really encouraged me.
Thanks; I needed that...

I have a Gospel Tract titled "Lurkers"; guess where I got that idea from? ;) I owe CARM Forums a lot...
 
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ReverendRV

Well-known member
see I knew it:ROFLMAO: What do you want to bet If you post itI I can learn something from it?
Lurkers ~ by ReverendRV

Matthew 26:58 NASB; But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the officers to see the outcome.

Often I get ideas for a Gospel Tract from participating within Internet chatrooms, and this is an example of one. ~ A Lurker is defined as a person who follows an Internet Message Board but doesn’t Post. I have learned a long time ago that when I respond to the regular Members, I am really talking to the Lurkers. One reason is because a Chatroom Member told me that he used to be a Lurker and decided which side of the Theological debate he wanted to support because of my Posts. He said this out of encouragement because I was wanting to quit due to a seeming lack of progress; no one ever changed their Minds! One day I finally got a Member to change their Mind; but only for a little while. ~ A Lurker won’t participate because they don’t know what to say, but are trying to learn; these kind of people are most receptive. In this sense, Lurkers are thought of as positive. Ask questions and you will receive, seek and you will find…

Lurking has a history of negative connotations; and you would be surprised just how much of a Lurker you are. ~ Have you ever told a Lie? What do you call people who tell Lies? Have you ever hung around somewhere for something and Lied about why you were there? Have you ever stolen anything? What do you call people that steal? Have you waited for the right moment to take something? Wouldn’t this make you a Lurking, Lying Thief at heart?? How about this one; have you hung around a friend’s house because you really were after their Spouse? These are three of the Ten Commandments, do we need more? If God judged you by his standard, would you be innocent or guilty? Would you go to Heaven or to Hell? Doesn’t this bother you?? Hell is eternal nightfall full of all kinds of evil, Lurking in the dark…

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting Life. Jesus Christ is this Son and in him is life, and this life is the light of all mankind. His light shines in the darkness, which gives light to everyone. Because of his Righteousness, when we receive him by believing on his Name, he gives us power to become children of God; not by our heritage, or by our father’s Will or our Will, but by the Will of God. Jesus paid for our Sin by shedding his blood and dying on the Cross; and by rising from the dead. We’re Saved by Grace through Faith in the Resurrected Savior Jesus Christ, without trying to merit his Righteousness by working for it. Repent of your Sins, confess Jesus Christ as your Lord God and seek out a Church that teaches the Bible. ~ Jesus was taken and tried for crimes he didn’t commit. His Disciples fled; but Peter Lurked in the background. He wanted to know the truth about Jesus but didn’t want the other Lurkers to know the truth about him; he didn’t want to be identified as a follower. Come out of the Dark and into the Light of the world…

John 8:12 NIV; When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
 

Predestined

Well-known member
Lurkers ~ by ReverendRV

Matthew 26:58 NASB; But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the officers to see the outcome.

Often I get ideas for a Gospel Tract from participating within Internet chatrooms, and this is an example of one. ~ A Lurker is defined as a person who follows an Internet Message Board but doesn’t Post. I have learned a long time ago that when I respond to the regular Members, I am really talking to the Lurkers. One reason is because a Chatroom Member told me that he used to be a Lurker and decided which side of the Theological debate he wanted to support because of my Posts. He said this out of encouragement because I was wanting to quit due to a seeming lack of progress; no one ever changed their Minds! One day I finally got a Member to change their Mind; but only for a little while. ~ A Lurker won’t participate because they don’t know what to say, but are trying to learn; these kind of people are most receptive. In this sense, Lurkers are thought of as positive. Ask questions and you will receive, seek and you will find…

Lurking has a history of negative connotations; and you would be surprised just how much of a Lurker you are. ~ Have you ever told a Lie? What do you call people who tell Lies? Have you ever hung around somewhere for something and Lied about why you were there? Have you ever stolen anything? What do you call people that steal? Have you waited for the right moment to take something? Wouldn’t this make you a Lurking, Lying Thief at heart?? How about this one; have you hung around a friend’s house because you really were after their Spouse? These are three of the Ten Commandments, do we need more? If God judged you by his standard, would you be innocent or guilty? Would you go to Heaven or to Hell? Doesn’t this bother you?? Hell is eternal nightfall full of all kinds of evil, Lurking in the dark…

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting Life. Jesus Christ is this Son and in him is life, and this life is the light of all mankind. His light shines in the darkness, which gives light to everyone. Because of his Righteousness, when we receive him by believing on his Name, he gives us power to become children of God; not by our heritage, or by our father’s Will or our Will, but by the Will of God. Jesus paid for our Sin by shedding his blood and dying on the Cross; and by rising from the dead. We’re Saved by Grace through Faith in the Resurrected Savior Jesus Christ, without trying to merit his Righteousness by working for it. Repent of your Sins, confess Jesus Christ as your Lord God and seek out a Church that teaches the Bible. ~ Jesus was taken and tried for crimes he didn’t commit. His Disciples fled; but Peter Lurked in the background. He wanted to know the truth about Jesus but didn’t want the other Lurkers to know the truth about him; he didn’t want to be identified as a follower. Come out of the Dark and into the Light of the world…

John 8:12 NIV; When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Let me explain how your tracks help me. When reading through it I understood all the information you are explaining and when you got to the paragraph about lurking has a negative history then mentioning all the different sins we may have committed. It made me look back in my life before Jesus pulled me out of it and remembering how good I was at all. I mean seriously good. I used to be that guy who could steal your weed and help you look for it. A lot of times I'll find my mind working that way. What I do is I stop and Thank God for changing me and that I'm a new creation in Christ Jesus. That The Holy Spirit is renewing my mind and I'm being changed into Christ's image.


Okay so here's my point... I'm thinking those thoughts could be my sin nature lurking and trying to get me to cooperate with. I know I have the victory in Christ but I also know I have an enemy that would like nothing better than to make my walk ineffective. Spiritual warfare – armor of God, that sort of thing.

The Sin That So Easily Besets Us In Hebrews 12:1, it says: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Romans 7:24 Context​


21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Lurking Sin a new Gospel Track by Rev. RV

 

Predestined

Well-known member
The majority of my Christian life I believed He was forsaken and the Father turned His back on the Son at the cross and there was separation between Them. I no longer hold that position .
I think we can all agree on... Jesus did exactly what He was supposed to do on the cross and He was in full agreement and cooperation with the Father. The Trinity accomplished what it set out to do. And we are messengers of that good news.
 
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