The feminization of Christianity

Coastal posted the follow-up link that Art of Manliness did on the feminization of Christianity.

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2016/08/22/the-feminization-of-christianity/

It’s a good read overall.

Mainly, their contention is that it’s traceable back to the Romanticization of the relationship between Jesus and His bride (which leads to the “Jesus is my boyfriend” culture). This originated in the Catholic Church somewhere around 1000-1300 or so, and spread to Protestant Christianity as well. In particular,

  • The notion that (agape) love is a feeling.
  • The impression that (eros) love should be applied to the relationship of Jesus and His bride.

I think they did a good job tracing the overall roots, but they didn’t go exhaustive as they could’ve. The Renaissance period definitely had a large effect on the romanticization of not just religion but also culture.

Generally, what we know is that the culture invades the Church. Even the Catholic Church which has all male priesthood has issues with invasion of the culture. It’s not necessarily a symptom of “our” culture or rich cultures, which I had previously thought. The feminization is merely a symptom of allowing (any) cultural aspects to deter us from adhering to sound doctrine.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 8 Comments

Evangelical culture in a nutshell

Feeriker had an interesting comment on the previous post on 10 Christian Dating Principles That Could Transform Lives.

“The same is true of “book culture” which is prevalent in Evangelical Christianity (and I’m sure it’s not just limited to that). “Book culture” is the tendency for people to read books about the Bible and interpretations about the Bible and spiritual things instead of reading the Bible itself.”

I’m almost tempted at this point to say that “Book Culture” is Evangelical Christianity. Almost all evangelical doctrine and practice seems to derive from one-off books by popular theologians and authors whose works only tangentially touch on actual Scripture. Why is this?

Short answer: the typical congregant of an evangelical church tends to be very poorly educated in general and seriously lacking in the fundamental critical thinking skills necessary to process Scriptural texts’ plain meaning. “Book Culture” is a way of making the Bible tasty and digestible for people too spiritually and intellectually immature to eat solid spiritual food.

TL;DR version: [WHINE]”the Bible is too hard to understand! [/WHINE]

Certainly true, to a large extent.

If we were coming up with one liners to represent modern churchianity they would be:

  • Church: “Are you not entertained?!”
  • Church: “You get grace. And you get grace. And you get grace… everyone gets grace!”
  • Church: “Jesus wants you to be happy!”
  • Christian: “Have you read that new book on heaven? It opened my eyes!”
  • Christian: “God told me to [insert something about their feelings]”

Any of my other readers have some good ones?

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 27 Comments

10 Christian Dating Principles That Could Transform Lives

Shared to me through facebook.

I was oddly surprised by the list as it’s decent, even if still white knighty. Still, the commentary was decent on each point, with solid disclaimers against rule-y legalism that most Christians seem to have toward ‘dating’ or whatever.

1.) Stop looking for “the one.”
2.) Date with a trajectory toward marriage.
3.) Don’t date non-Christians.
4.) Have a list of values and don’t compromise them.
5.) Don’t “shotgun” date.
6.) It’s OK to WANT to get married.
7.) It’s OK NOT to get married.
8.) Have a community of Christians around you … and LISTEN to them.
9.) Pursue a pure mind.
10.) Don’t date if you are dependent on someone for things only God can provide.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t very much Scripture involved in writing this post. And by Scripture I mean a husband and wife knowing what their roles and responsibilities are in marriage and the qualities they should be looking for in the opposite sex, including running a household, sex, and family. Of course, this type of discussion would rapidly devolve into arguing about love, respect, submission, sex, contraception, and other “divisive” issues.

There’s only really the ‘generic’ Christian stuff like don’t date a non-Christian and have a pure mind. I’m not against generally ‘wise’ principles and Christian concepts, but it seems like most self-called Christians like to invent their own stuff at the expensive of overtly heeding the vast wisdom that is already laid out for us in Scripture.

The same is true of “book culture” which is prevalent in Evangelical Christianity (and I’m sure it’s not just limited to that). “Book culture” is the tendency for people to read books about the Bible and interpretations about the Bible and spiritual things instead of reading the Bible itself. There is a reason why I rarely read any ‘spiritual books’ aside from the Bible and classic commentaries on the Bible including the early Church fathers.

It’s easy to be deceived. Like all those books and movies about heaven. And let’s not get started on movies like Fireproof, Courageous, the War Room, and so on. Deception is a very real pitfall when you start devaluing the Word of God, even for other so-called ‘Christian materials.’

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 19 Comments

Non-physical attributes of humans

There are some interesting cases about humans that all but assure that there are non-physical attributes in humans. This is the “brain” of a civil servant who had a low IQ but was still fully functional, conscious, and lived a normal life with a wife and family.

Consciousness is clearly not an entity that is intrinsic to certain structures of the brain.

Going by what the Scriptures discuss regarding the soul, I’d say it’s likely that our consciousness and sense of being are merely two aspects of what we would call our ‘eternal soul.’ Although they are housed in our physical body and need our physical bodies to operate, they are not limited by the physical structures of the body.

A very interesting reminder that there are things beyond materialism or the physical. One could even say meta-physical.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 3 Comments

Feminism is an inferiority complex and white knights are enablers

Donal’s Beta farming led me on an interesting tangent which identifies the nature of feminism.

My theory is that the present “Beta farms” inside modern churches is a natural result of women influencing matters to reassure their native insecurity. This insecurity is something that I believe most men have no idea about, and even those who have some inkling of its existence usually fail to grasp its extent. I have covered this before, but to briefly sum it up:

Women are far and away more insecure in their lives than men.

Much of this insecurity comes from the gap in physical prowess between men and women. We men are much more capable of defending ourselves and imposing our will on our environment than women are- at least at the individual level. But whatever its source, it has a profound effect on female behavior. Women are constantly, and often at an unconscious or subconscious level, trying to alter their environment to make it feel more secure.

I believe that this behavior is responsible for the “Beta farms” in modern churches. As women were given more power inside the church and its environs, they began to exert their influence. This influence was used to shape how men were raised, and what they were supposed to be as Christians. The goal, whether realized or not, was to create the hapless Beta nice guys who populate most churches these days.

Why? Simple- “Betas” are far less threatening to women. They are safer and do things on women’s behalf. So women reinforce this system to create more and more of these “safe” men. As long as they have any degree of power in a church, they will keep it this way. [Of course, this has the effect of leaving those men as unattractive, but female nature is known for wanting two opposites at once.] If we want to shut down the “Beta farms,” we need to reassert masculine control over the church. Otherwise this wicked cultivation will continue, and likely only get worse.

And from one of my comments:

“I think it’s one reason that it derived from other factors.

The primary example is the garden of Eden. Womens’ sin nature is one of of discontent and envy; they have wanted to be like God and/or like men since the beginning. Power grabbing is part of this, and it is that part that relates to insecurity.

The nature of the hypergamous beast is that it’s never satisfied, which you see played out in both secular culture and churchianity. In particular, women think that power grabbing and leadership positions will ‘fulfill’ them because they give into envy and discontent. We see that giving into sin only leads to a gratuitous attempt for more when they find out it doesn’t satisfy.

The way that ‘betas’ play into this is that they act as validation and placation when poor decisions are made (grrrl power). Feminism is essentially an insecurity complex in women. Churchianity perpetuates this ever-growing insecurity complex within women, and white knights are enablers of this dysfunction.”

Take home points:

  • Feminism is an inferiority complex in women, stemming from discontent and envy.
  • Women try to satisfy discontent and envy with powerful positions, partners, and possessions. This only leads to more discontent and envy.
  • White knights are enablers of the inferiority complex in women.
  • White knights provide validation of sinful desires, which enable sinful behaviors. Then they excuse the sinful behaviors as ‘not their fault.’ (see: women in leadership positions in the Church, fat acceptance, abortion excusing, and so on).
Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 8 Comments

The flaws of liberals and conservatives

Random thought for the day as I don’t have time for a full post.

In the vein of there is no grace and mercy without justice and why men are leaders.

  • Liberals/progressives/feminists have a warped sense of a justice. Good is bad, and bad is good. Irrational.
  • Conservatives know justice, but don’t understand grace or mercy.
  • Neither groups care about repentance or the heart. Liberals destroy you if you apologize. Conservatives overtly accept the apology but still covertly hold it against you.

TL;DR. Politics are a sham, as we already knew.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 11 Comments

The unique fallacy and why judgments matter

Andy Stanley (pastor) had a very interesting quote that reveals wisdom, even though he believes in the “mutual submission” heresy in marriage. I came across it when reviewing one of his singles and relationship lectures a few months ago. I think it’s also in one of his books.

Do you know why people are prone to make such foolish moral decisions? Because something always whispers to us that our situations are unique: Nobody has ever felt this way before.

But there is nothing unique about your circumstances, your emotions, your desires, and your passions. And as long as you deceive yourself into thinking that you are the first to feel what you are feeling, you will chase those feelings to the neglect of wisdom.

In my opinion, Andy doesn’t take the quote to its full logical conclusion.

The reason why broad sweeping generalizations can be made that are true in most circumstances is because behavior is predictable. Why is human behavior predictable? Although each human is unique, our God-embodied creation is virtually similar. This means that when we revert to base behavior that trends come out of the woodwork, especially over a large sample size of the population.

For example, humans are driven by incentives and disincentives. When incentives are destroyed and disincentives rise, a population trend occurs. Divorce is one such example. Incentives to marry are virtually nil for men. Husbands are scorned publicly. Fathers are not respected. Men are the butt of jokes. Disincentives have risen sharply. No fault divorce. Wife custody of children. Men can be made a hostage in their own home. Is there any other reason why divorce rates soar, and many men feel that marriage is a bad choice even though they are all unique? No.

Character is consistent behavior rooted in a moral or immoral foundation. If you know the character of any person, you can reliably  and accurately predict what type of behavior when placed any random circumstances. After all, there is nothing new under the sun.

These generalizations that we use are judgments. This includes different types of profiling and bias. None of these are bad things in themselves. After all, context matters.

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Jesus does not say don’t judge. Jesus says to judge by these standards:

  • Use the same measure by which you are judging on yourself.
  • Don’t be a hypocrite. Look at your own faults first.

Of course, these standards are consistent with the overarching theme of the Law which Jesus expounds upon:

Mark 12:29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Now, it’s important to understand that the judgments we use in certain situations are not always going to be the same. Granting grace and mercy to those who have wronged you is much different than in choosing a spouse.

To those we desire to marry, we hold to a higher standard. For example, what I look for in evaluating a potential wife Part 2 discuss various Scriptural, character, and behavior concerns that culminate in a wife preparing herself for or not for marriage. In order to adhere to the teachings of Jesus, it is important to realize that you too should obey to the Scripture, cultivate good character, and good behavior. However, this is quite obvious.

Women are generally unhappy when men employ ‘standards’ for a wife for marriage because it feels judgmental and/or it removes them from consideration. The same is true of male white knights. This is simply blustering that you should ignore. A potential wife is literally part of yourself, and it deserves amply consideration of you and your mission because she is going to be your helpmeet. Anyone that tells you otherwise does not have your interests in Christ in mind.

If you hold yourself to high standards in Christ you should also be looking for a spouse who holds themselves to high standards in Christ. It’s prudent. Its discerning. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise, or you will probably pay the price down the road.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 2 Comments

Sexual needs

I want to build off BGR’s post 6 ways a wife can understand her husband’s sexual needs.

First, in Jewish culture and in the OT, sex is a wife’s right the husband must give her.

Exodus 21:10 If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her [j]food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. 11 If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

Generally speaking, the main points are backward from the culture that the Bible describes. I’ve posted this several times before, but I’ll bring it up again since I haven’t talked about it within the past year.

In Jewish law, sex is not considered shameful, sinful or obscene. Sex is not thought of as a necessary evil for the sole purpose of procreation. Although sexual desire comes from the yetzer ra (the evil impulse), it is no more evil than hunger or thirst, which also come from the yetzer ra. Like hunger, thirst or other basic instincts, sexual desire must be controlled and channeled, satisfied at the proper time, place and manner. But when sexual desire is satisfied between a husband and wife at the proper time, out of mutual love and desire, sex is a mitzvah.

Sex is permissible only within the context of a marriage. In Judaism, sex is not merely a way of experiencing physical pleasure. It is an act of immense significance, which requires commitment and responsibility. The requirement of marriage before sex ensures that sense of commitment and responsibility. Jewish law also forbids sexual contact short of intercourse outside of the context of marriage, recognizing that such contact will inevitably lead to intercourse.

[…]

Sex should only be experienced in a time of joy. Sex for selfish personal satisfaction, without regard for the partner’s pleasure, is wrong and evil. A man may never force his wife to have sex. A couple may not have sexual relations while drunk or quarreling. Sex may never be used as a weapon against a spouse, either by depriving the spouse of sex or by compelling it. It is a serious offense to use sex (or lack thereof) to punish or manipulate a spouse.

Sex is the woman’s right, not the man’s. A man has a duty to give his wife sex regularly and to ensure that sex is pleasurable for her. He is also obligated to watch for signs that his wife wants sex, and to offer it to her without her asking for it. The woman’s right to sexual intercourse is referred to as onah, and it is one of a wife’s three basic rights (the others are food and clothing), which a husband may not reduce. The Talmud specifies both the quantity and quality of sex that a man must give his wife. It specifies the frequency of sexual obligation based on the husband’s occupation, although this obligation can be modified in the ketubah (marriage contract). A man may not take a vow to abstain from sex for an extended period of time, and may not take a journey for an extended period of time, because that would deprive his wife of sexual relations. In addition, a husband’s consistent refusal to engage in sexual relations is grounds for compelling a man to divorce his wife, even if the couple has already fulfilled the halakhic obligation to procreate.

Although sex is the woman’s right, she does not have absolute discretion to withhold it from her husband. A woman may not withhold sex from her husband as a form of punishment, and if she does, the husband may divorce her without paying the substantial divorce settlement provided for in the ketubah.

As you can see, Paul adheres to similar concepts 1 Corinthians 7, even with the Messiah having already come.

This brings up the question: so how did we get to where we are today where wives are withholding sex from their husbands?

One of the big ones is the devaluing of children. Now, virtually every Christian agrees that abortion is bad. However, I believe the Catholic Church takes the right stance of birth control. Why do we need to “limit” or “plan” for children if children are good? I’ve heard lots of excuses from Christians on this, but I don’t buy them. Sex in marriage is inextricably linked to children, and changing that by human means leads to devaluing what is good.

Another is the removal or cutting down of husband authority. Obviously, a wife looks up to a husband as the authority. When men are viewed as chumps in culture and told they have no authority, their wives don’t desire sex from them.

A rebellious heart, attitude, and a lack of submission is another. Somewhat building off the demonization of masculinity, but another different point altogether. And as always, in rich societies there is lots of selfishness. I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t think of them at the moment.

Reasoning rarely works with women. Arguing definitely does not work with women. There are some sparse examples of women who heed the correction of the Scriptures and do not withhold sex. They end up becoming closer and more receptive to their husbands because sex brings them closer together. It makes the husband much more readily honor and consider her in everything.

For husbands, this sets the right mind frame. Sex is something that you give your wife for her pleasure, children, and mutual enjoyment. It’s not something you beg for. It’s not something you whine about. Often times, attitude makes all of the difference, as confidence is an aphrodisiac to women.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle, Masculinity and women | Tagged , | 20 Comments

There is no grace and mercy without justice and why men are leaders

One of the interesting things I’ve meditated on in the past was the context of the Old Testament with respect to the New Testament. I’ve posted along these lines before, but I really didn’t understand it until now.

There is no grace and mercy without justice.

If you examine the Old Testament as a whole, you will come to the conclusion that after the fall of Adam and Eve the whole process results in the giving of the Law of Moses. Specifically, it is about Israel’s successes and failures in regard to the Law. When Israel failed to follow God’s law, God swiftly punished the lawbreakers according to their deeds. This led to many occupations by surround countries as well as foreign exile. When Israel turned back to God, He redeemed them.

This is the entire back drop for everything that occurs in the New Testament. The call, always, has been to repent and turn to God. However, humans are a wayward people and easily get deceived or lured into turning away from God after they have turned back to Him. Israel had a long history of knowing the consequences for their evil actions. Hence, now, Jesus’ ministry of grace and mercy and ultimately reconciliation can operate to full effect.

When teaching young children, it is important to first teach them justice before grace and mercy. For example, if only grace and mercy are given to a child that makes mistakes, they do not learn that there are negative consequences for their actions even if you explain it. Hence, they grow up to be spoiled kids who continually get into trouble. There are no consequences for their actions. They have never learned a lesson about it.

This is why the concept of justice is so important for all Christians — and in reality all humans — to learn and to understand. There are consequences for the way we behave. There are consequences for all of the actions, no matter how small, that we take. All of the small things add up who you are. They become your character.

There is where grace and mercy come in. You know you screwed up. You know you deserve justice. You know there are negative consequences for your actions. However, we are able to receive grace and mercy from God for our sins. Indeed, this is the context of repentance as a whole. You cannot repent without knowing that you screwed up, you should receive punishment for your behavior, and you desire and actually turn away from screwing up again. This is why victims and perpetrators all matters, especially in the context of abortion.

The early Church had instances where they didn’t understand the totality of the concepts of justice meted with grace in the context of circumcision, food sacrificed to idols, and freedom in Christ. It was easy to “hold someone to the Law of Moses” based on the culture at the time while not understanding that it had been fulfilled by Jesus. However, it was easy to fall into the trap of cheap grace as Paul describes in Romans.

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become [a]united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be [b]in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old [c]self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be [d]done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is [e]freed from sin.

In today’s modern churchianity there is an overabundance of cheap grace being handed out. Money to many in the pulpit has become more important than repentance. Inversion of values and not offending women is more important than exhortation of the Truth. The gospel is not the gospel without understanding justice in the context of grace.

Why men are called to be leaders of the family and Church

I believe this is another reason why men are called to be leaders in both the Church and family.

It’s fairly well known that men tend to have a strong sense of justice. That’s why men can be easily prone to legalism. However, this strong sense of justice is the building block for truly understanding the nature of grace and mercy. It is imperative that grace and mercy be meted out only after someone has understood that they have done wrong and have repented for it.

Indeed, womens’ sin nature is rooted in ignoring or brushing off consequences for actions. Women tend to have a very difficult time correcting or rebuking others because they do not like to be confrontational. They do not like to call out the sin in others. This is where the relational impact of empathy backfires because feelings are placed as importdant over Truth. This often leads to women criticizing men as being too judgmental, without understanding how the backdrop of justice leads to mercy and grace.

This is the precise duty of love that husbands are called to in the marriage relationship:

Hence, the thrust of love in marriage is mainly aimed for the husbands to sanctify and cleanse their wives. What does this look like?

  • Sanctification is a husband standing on the Truth of God’s Word and and directing her on that path in order that she may become holy.
  • Cleansing is to point out to her, with words, the dirtiness of the things of the world and to help her rid herself of those things to become blameless.

This all goes back to the garden where Adam’s sin is one of lack of action and diverting blame. The husbands call is in direct opposition of what Adam did. The call is to love and thus sanctify by firmly standing on the Truth while directing her path to be holy. And to love and thus assist in her cleansing by pointing out and helping to removing sin of where she has gone astray so she becomes blameless.

Obviously, this is in stark contrast to how sacrificial love is typically used in churchianity where a husband is a “servant leader” or rather a slave to his wife’s feelings.

I believe that this along with the fallacy of teaching men to be emotionally honest are two of the reasons why God has called men to be the leaders of the Church and family. Men are better equipped to handle the down and dirty and especially difficult aspects of relationships that make them successful.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle, Mission Framework | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Women cannot love a man the way he wants to be loved

You have heard that it was said, ‘Women cannot love a man the way he wants to be loved.’ But I say to you that this secular wisdom is both a deception and misattribution.**

The reason that it is a deception is that the modern man, according to feminists, is to be brought up in the role of a woman. Men are taught to be like women, and women are taught to be like men. Men were also taught to want to be loved because women want to be loved. According to the Scriptures in Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3, men, especially in a marriage relationship, are to be respected. The desire of love from a woman as a man is a deception.

Likewise, this is also a fundamental misattribution because the unconditional love is part of the human condition that a man needs is only a love that God can meet. No woman can love a man according to what he needs in his soul because she is not God. Placing this burden on a wife will inevitably leave any man disappointed and disillusioned. A man must seek love that only God can give from God Himself through the spiritual disciplines of Scripture, prayer, meditation, fasting, and so on.

Therefore, this secular wisdom is false in a Christian world view.

** Written in the vein of Sermon on the Mount.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 14 Comments