Friday, January 7, 2011

Dying to Self or Being an Self Righteous Doormat? You Decide.

If there is one phrase peculiar to evangelical Christians that really rubs me the wrong way, it's "dying to self". Purely as an English construction, that is meaningless. To evangelicals, it means, well, this:

When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ.


"Set at naught"? I like Jane Austen and I have no idea what that means. As to the rest, let's examine emotions for a moment, and why we feel them and the validity of feeling emotions. First of all, humans feel emotions. It's what we do. So do dogs, cats, gorillas, horses and pretty much anything with a brain. Apparently, Christians strive to be on the level of insects, which may very well be quite passionate beings for all I know. So rocks. These people aspire to be as rocks.

So, we feel emotions, what does that mean? Well, in the above examples, it means that your reaction to others' actions is something you have to deal with. If my friends forget about me, I will be hurt. For good reason. It's not nice for my friends to forget me. My emotions make me deal with it. Ignoring my friends' neglect of me is stupid. They'll keep neglecting me. I won't get what I need from friends, which is not being neglected and forgotten. I need to confront my friends, get them to stop neglecting me, or find friends who won't forget about me.

Either way, emotions are a good thing*. Ignoring them isn't. It's not being like Jesus, it's setting oneself up for abuse and mental illness.

Look at it this way, if one is healthy, pain is a good thing. Pain tells you that you are hurt and need to do something. Without pain, you would never know, and die from untreated infections or a burst appendix. Emotional pain is the same way. Yes, it sucks to be sad and angry when someone mistreats you, but it motivates you to change things so your relationships are healthy again. Ignoring pain, whether emotional or physical, is a very bad idea.

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence.


That is accepting abuse without complaint. What is wrong with people? Also, "when your good is evil spoken of" is the most ridiculous English construction I have ever seen. I know what she's trying to say, but there are far better ways of saying it. Talking like Yoda does not poetry make.

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any unpunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face-to-face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility-and endure it as Jesus endured.


How Jesus endured waste, folly and extravagance? You mean like fucking up the moneylenders in the Temple? That Jesus? Anyway, one of my SILs was always late for everything. We started telling her events started an hour before they did and she still showed up late. Then we just started without her, and guess what? She now shows up on time. You want people to continue to be "unpunctual" (srsly, wtf?), just let it go. You want people to show up on time? Do something about it.

When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God.


I guess the author would be perfectly happy with eating tarantulas while wearing a show girl outfit in the Antarctic. Or not. Constantly bitching about things that can't be changed is bad for you and everyone around you. Saying you'd prefer steak to the ramen noodles you've been eating for two weeks straight is just being human. Which these people are clearly opposed to.

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendations, when you can truly love to be unknown.


That's called being a cipher.

When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances.


That is being a nice person. You're still a nice person if you care about your own needs, however.

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart.


Oh, get over yourself. Now you're just being obnoxious. Not even Jesus took that kind of shit, unless you missed all his arguing with the Pharisees.

Are you dead yet?

Freaky! Are you dead yet. And they mean it. Are you, the unique person with needs and wants and desires gone? Have you stopped with all that unacceptable human emotion? Have you become a robot, a cipher a Stepford Wife? Better hurry up, god has no use for real people.

There are excellent reasons I am an atheist.

*Assuming one is emotionally and mentally healthy, of course. Emotions can be an absolute curse if one is not, but we'll assume reasonable mental health for this post.


  1. eating tarantulas while wearing a show girl outfit in the Antarctic

    Rule 34?

  2. I'm getting a weird pseudo-Zen vibe off this one. Dissolve the self, become one with the Universe (personified, in this case, as Jesus), and you will know the joy of all things.

  3. You enjoyed my blog topic so much, you decided to "blog copy." Glad I inspired you!

  4. I have a question for Kendal: did you read anything beyond the track back?

  5. Same as Micheal; the Buddhist idea of sublimation of the ego (excellent), mixed with a lot of really bad S&M (horrible).

    Christians often strike me as wannabe submissives who are just clueless. A good sub will honestly say “hurt me, I like it”, not beat around the bush with awful metaphors.

    More importantly, they require their scenes to have endings, and return to normal life.

  6. @ Uzza - So Jesus died on the Cross because he forgot his safe word?

    Sorry, that was in very poor taste.

  7. "So Jesus died on the Cross because he forgot his safe word?

    Sorry, that was in very poor taste. "

    Poor taste or not, I got a good laugh out of that one.

  8. Yep, you isnpired her.

    You inspired her to rip a hole through your philosophy.

    And the cool thing is, judging from your gloaty little comment, you haven't yet died to self according to you own criterea. Dead to self you would have praised Jesus for the terrible persecution you are undergoing for his Name's sake and let it go.

  9. Michael - made me laugh, too.

    here's some deliciousness. i did phone sex for 3 years [mostly as a Domme, no less]
    my phone sex name? was KENDAL.

    but that is NOT me, up there, with the dying to self BS. i'm an honest pagan, and i hate pain. a lot.

  10. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.
    "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in me shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
    "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
    2 Corinthians 4:18


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