I often get questions on why I use a pseudonym. Some people don’t like it, others only know me by it. I figured it would be wise to clarify why I use one, what it means, and what it doesn’t mean.
Why I Use One:
I use a pseudonym because it detracts from who I am. Engaging with all different sorts of people, who believe in all different sorts of things, there are often attacks on the person, instead of the argument. Where a person lives, what a person does for a living, educational levels, age, what a person did in the past, etc. That seems to be the aim of focus for some individuals. So, I take that from people. Forcing them to focus on the arguments, rather than the person. That is not to say that I am trying to conceal something. I do attend a church, and sit under the leadership of godly men.
What It Means/ What it doesn’t mean:
It means that I am still a sinner, but a sinner who IS saved. I am not like Luther, who in his early days as a monk, attempted to earn his justification before God by beating up his body.
R.C Sproul writes:
” He refused the normal allotment of blankets and almost froze to death. He punished his body so severely that he later commented it was in the monk’s cell that he did permanent damage to his digestive system. “
” I was a good monk, and I kept the rule of my order so strictly that I may say that if ever a monk got to heaven by his monkery, it was I. All my brothers in the monastery who knew me will bear me out. If I had kept on any longer, I should have killed myself with vigils, prayers, reading, and other work”.
At this point, Luther did not understand, that all of his works, though with “good” intention, could never satisfy the wrath of God. Despite his long prayers, constant confessions, desperate crys, it was all a stench to the nostrils of God.
When a person places their faith in Christ Jesus, the stench is no more, the sinner is forgiven, due to the work that Christ accomplished on the cross. He is seen as perfectly righteous before the Father, because he is now covered with the righteousness of Christ. I believe this! Make no mistake about it. I do not, as Luther did, “beat myself up” over sin. Surely, there is a period of mourning. Knowing that I have once again failed my heavenly Father. But I understand, that God is no longer angry with me. God declares me righteous, because of the work another- the man- Christ Jesus. Still, there remains indwelling sin in the believer. It is always, until we leave this earth, present with the believer. I can echo R.Scott Clark’s words: “We are not Methodists”. We do not believe in sinless perfection, nor do we espouse any doctrine of Christian Perfectionism (which gave rise to the “Holiness Movement”). Allow me to conclude with the brilliant John Owen, and his classic work on the Remainders of Indwelling Sin In Believers.
” 1. It always abides in the soul, — it is never absent. The apostle twice useth that expression, “It dwelleth in me.” There is its constant residence and habitation. If it came upon the soul only at certain seasons, much obedience might be perfectly accomplished in its absence; yea, and as they deal with usurping tyrants, whom they intend to thrust out of a city, the gates might be sometimes shut against it, that it might not return, — the soul might fortify itself against it. But the soul is its home; there it dwells, and is no wanderer. Wherever you are, whatever you are about, this law of sin is always in you; in the best that You do, and in the worst. Men little consider what a dangerous companion is always at home with them. When they are in company, when alone, by night or by day, all is one, sin is with them. There is a living coal continually in their houses; which, if it be not looked unto, will fire them, and it may be consume them. Oh, the woful security of poor souls! How little do the most of men think of this inbred enemy that is never from home! How little, for the most part, doth the watchfulness of any professors answer the danger of their state and condition!”
“And this is the description of him who is a believer and a sinner, as every one who is the former is the latter also. These are the contrary principles and the contrary operations that are in him. The principles are, a will of doing good on the one hand, from grace, and a law of sin on the other. Their adverse actings and operations are insinuated in these expressions: “When I would do good, evil is present with me.” And these both are more fully expressed by the apostle, Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that I cannot do the things that I would.”
In Christ, awretchsaved