Jordan Peterson and Bishop Barron discuss Christianity and the modern world

Sorry for the lack of updates. Life has been a bit busy and will be for another few weeks at least.

In the meantime, I found this to be a pretty interesting listen in terms of what Jordan Peterson has been talking about through his stuff and Bishop Barron’s (Catholic) take on a lot of the current events.

It gets surprisingly deep at points especially when they’re talking about Jesus. If you have the time it’s a good listen despite whatever denomination you are in.

They accurately suss out at least some of the reasons that young men and women are leaving the Church.

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From around the web: Christianity matrilineal?, hypergamy still ticking, Shiela Gregroire spreading feminism, Aaron Renns’s analysis of Rational Male Religion, gender gaps in mental health

This one was posted several months ago, but I never really went to analyze it.

I do see some truth in the case being made though, although one can go back very far in this regard I think. It’s similar to how Timothy was raised by his mother and grandmother, and then Paul (in 1 and 2 Timothy) has to teach him how to be a leader of the Church.

Readers can draw their own conclusions.

But hypergamy turns out to be a stubborn thing. It seems that the highly-credentialed alpha female still prefers a mate above her pay grade. In one of the most widely-cited papers on the subject, demographer Yue Qian compared couples in the 1980 Census and in 2012 American Community Survey. She found that during the intervening decades, though wives became more likely to marry down in terms of educational achievement, “the tendency for women to marry men with higher incomes than themselves persisted.” In fact, women with the same or more education than their husbands were more likely to marry up.

The latest entry to the hypergamy literature, published in the December 2019 issue of The European Sociological Review, confirms Qian’s findings and adds some suggestive details. Using Swedish register data for people born across several decades, the two authors, Margarita Chudnovskayaof Stockholm University and Ridi Kasrup of Oxford, divided couples into three groups: 1) couples where a woman is more highly educated than her husband, 2) those in which the husband is more highly educated, and 3) couples where both partners are highly educated. Arguing that social life exists across “multiple dimensions of status,” they also looked at the social origin, occupational prestige, and income for the three groups. And they limited their analysis to couples before they had children so as to rule out the regrettably termed “motherhood penalty.”

“It seems that the highly-credentialed alpha female still prefers a mate above her pay grade.”

The results? On several dimensions, status was consistent with education levels: the partner with higher education (male or female) also had higher occupational prestige and social class. But when it came to income, hypergamy re-asserted itself. In every union type, including those with a more educated female partner, “men are the most likely to be the main earners.” That Sweden’s commitment to gender egalitarianism is close to a state religion and that women have been partnering with less-educated men for decades only adds to the salience of the findings.

And is should be no surprise to anyone that attraction is still base rooted in God’s creation rather than what our brains think about equality or whatever.

It would be wise to only marry a woman who will look up to and respect what you do and who earns less. Otherwise, you’ll have to help her fight temptation there which she may easily succumb to discontent or comparisons.

Evangelicals are pointing fingers at “celebrity Christian culture,” blaming it for the tragic Ravi Zacharias sexual abuse and rape scandal and the extramarital escapades of Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz (as well as so many more). But what if this epidemic is not just — or even mostly — caused by celebrity culture?

What if it’s the evangelical view of sex?

Yes, celebrity culture gave Zacharias more access to victims and gave both men cover for what they were doing. But it was not celebrity culture that taught these men to objectify women. Our evangelical culture primed them for it.

Take the best-selling Every Man’s Battle series of books. “Every Heart Restored” says: “Because of male hardwiring, men don’t naturally have that Christian view of sex.” “Every Man’s Battle” says: “We find another reason for the prevalence of sexual sin among men. We got there naturally — simply by being male.”

RELATED: Ministry leaders’ rush to empathize with Ravi Zacharias is beyond alarming

Repeatedly, God-given male sexuality and objectification of women are seen as one and the same. Tim LaHaye, in “The Act of Marriage,” echoes this: “Women must cultivate the problem of visual lust, whereas men almost universally must cope with the problem just because they are men.”

So if men can’t help it, what do these books propose is the solution?

Women! It is women who keep men from sinning. And it starts with understanding this is just how men are.

Don’t let any Christian women read her stuff. What’s said is I keep seeing her website and blog pop up on many Christian feeds just like Beth Moore and other women. It’s scary because people can’t see what they’re peddling is not Christian at all.

It sounds good and I guess it’s what 2 Timothy 4 calls “3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

Mike Licona has a good response to the Ravi allegations.

As was probably assumed at least from the review, Rollo mainly analyzes only churchianity and it’s fall to feminists and secularism. He doesn’t discuss anything in regard to what true Christians should be doing, just his own prescriptions from a purely materialist and secularist standpoint which are not options for Christians.

There was also Renn’s shout out to The Biblical Masculinity Blueprint as well.

Mental ill-health is a leading cause of disease burden worldwide. While women suffer from greater levels of mental health disorders, it remains unclear whether this gender gap differs systematically across regions and/or countries, or across the different dimensions of mental health. We analysed 2018 data from 566,829 adolescents across 73 countries for 4 mental health outcomes: psychological distress, life satisfaction, eudaemonia, and hedonia. We examine average gender differences and distributions for each of these outcomes as well as country-level associations between each outcome and purported determinants at the country level: wealth (GDP per capita), inequality (Gini index), and societal indicators of gender inequality (GII, GGGI, and GSNI). We report four main results: 1) The gender gap in mental health in adolescence is largely ubiquitous cross-culturally, with girls having worse average mental health; 2) There is considerable cross-national heterogeneity in the size of the gender gap, with the direction reversed in a minority of countries; 3) Higher GDP per capita is associated with worse average mental health and a larger gender gap across all mental health outcomes; and 4) more gender equal countries have larger gender gaps across all mental health outcomes. Taken together, our findings suggest that while the gender gap appears largely ubiquitous, its size differs considerably by region, country, and dimension of mental health. Findings point to the hitherto unrealised complex nature of gender disparities in mental health and possible incongruence between expectations and reality in high gender equal countries.

Much like the Paradox of Declining Female Happiness, it should not be a surprise that when women are pushed to be more and more like men and add on tons of extra responsibilities to try to “have it all” that their mental health is going to deteriorate.

As these pushes continue for women to continue achievement and status grabbing, it’s likely that this trend will continue to get worse and worse over time. Who woulda thought that God didn’t create women to act like men?

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Unpacking and tying together the meta-levels of Christianity, reality and the red pill into a hierarchical understanding: theological, scientific, and philosophical/cultural

This is not the first time someone has gone into detail about how we view reality, but it is the most recent. Jack’s post on A Mystical Approach to Meta Reality approaches the meta-levels of what we understand, although I think his is slightly incomplete.

  • Primary Reality — What is
  • Secondary Reality — What is perceived
  • Tertiary Reality — The problems created by the discrepancy between 1(a) and 1(b).

I’d argue this is a bit incomplete. Tertiary reality is instead the philosophy or culture that is layered upon secondary reality. In other words, it can be at total conflict from what we perceive many times as brainwashing is a real thing.

  • Primary Reality — What is — Theological
  • Secondary Reality — What is perceived — Scientific
  • Tertiary Reality — The organized structures upon which we perceive — Philosophy and Culture

It is important to note that most secular sources do not acknowledge a Creator and thus do not acknowledge any type of primary reality (“what is”) and thus must operate from a relativistic point of view in that we can only know what we perceive. This is why they cannot have any sort of designations such as good and evil or morality because these are strictly theological concepts based upon God. They can only have good and bad from the perspective of what is perceived by an individual or group.

Now, this can be organized in various ways, and Lexet’s Charting the Red Pill World can be organized upon this foundational block.

Generally speaking, the “red pill” as it was originally formulated is strictly scientific in nature where various men wanted to discover (or rather rediscover) what the truth of attraction and inter-sexual behavior in order for their own gain. This was done by trial and error and observation about what women do. Hence, the RP maxim “Watch what they do, not what they say.”

This also means via extension that much of what was occurring culturally and philosophically in the eras that RP arose from was not aligning with what we were able to observe in culture.

  • Primary Reality — What is — Theological
  • Secondary Reality — What is perceived — Scientific — “The Red Pill”: Observation about the truth of what men and women do via attraction and intersexual behavior
  • Tertiary Reality — The organized structures upon which we perceive — Philosophy and Culture — “The Blue Pill”: recent and current culture (1980s-1990s and forward) and philosophy did not align with what was observed in reality (e.g. happy wife, happy life, “just be yourself”, etc.)

In the past in some (perhaps many?) cultures, we did have a more clear alignment of Secondary Reality and Tertiary Reality. For example, at least in the 1950s and further back when men were taught to be masculine men and women were taught to be feminine women we had a more natural alignment of Secondary and Tertiary Realities. Some would argue that all of the Realities aligned — Primary, Secondary and Tertiary — but as I have noted on this blog I believe that to be false as no nation has ever striven to fully align itself with God. There may be appearances of such, but in practice it has not occurred.

Indeed, any type of interpretation of what is perceived will tend to spawn it’s own culture and philosophy. Hence, we have various different tertiary realities popping up from “The Red Pill” based on how different groups interpret the scientific and observational data.

Various Tertiary Realities born out of “The Red Pill: Observations” include the one’s Lexet listed:

  • The Blue Pill
  • Secular Red Pill (PUAs)
  • Political Red Pill
  • MGTOW (possibly tied for 3rd)
  • Christian RP (Catholics > Protestants in number, due to appeals to tradition)
  • Other Religious RP
  • Incels
  • Black Pill

Each of these has their own interpretation of the scientific and observational data. Some are more congruent with the data than others. For instance, it’s clear that the blue pill is not very congruent with actual scientific and observational data as the current cultural and philosophical milieu ignores actual scientific data to keep pushing their own agenda. Common examples of this are preferring blank slate-ism (“you can be any gender you want”) or genetic determinism (“people are born that way” when referring to homosexuality) based on their argument of the day.

To expand on the hierarchical nature of the primary, secondary and tertiary realities in terms of Christianity, we need to understand what we mean by truth and Truth. Since the Creator made the world and created us with senses to understand the world, we also understand that the Scripture that was inspired by Him contains Truth about the world He created.

  • Primary Reality — What is — Theological — Truth: The Bible contains Truth about the human condition including how to live lives that are in alignment with God and tend to be successful as that’s how God designed us to live. For instance, Adam was created as the head of his wife and Eve was created as his helper. The Biblical marital roles and responsibilities of headship-submission, love and respect, etc.
  • Secondary Reality — What is perceived — Scientific — “The Red Pill”: Observation about the truth of what men and women do via attraction and intersexual behavior — truth: codifications of observerations that are almost universally successful in relationships made it into various RP maxims. For instance, Heartiste’s 3rd of the 16 commandments of poon “III. You shall make your mission, not your woman, your priority.
  • Tertiary Reality — The organized structures upon which we perceive — Philosophy and Culture — “The Blue Pill”: recent and current culture (1980s-1990s and forward) and philosophy did not align with what was observed in reality (e.g. happy wife, happy life, “just be yourself”, etc.) — lies: the various cultural platitudes such as happy wife, happy life or “just be yourself” are typically either conditionally or wholly false and often misapplied to a particular person which leaves them more confused and frustrated.

Understanding the primary versus secondary versus tertiary realities does not mean that the secondary and tertiary realities are all truthful or all lies. For example, “just be yourself” does work with women if you are attractive and a naturally masculine leader.

Likewise, just because some red pill person said it does not mean it is a universal truth either. One must remember the context in which most RP advice is given: they’re typically to unattractive men who are unsuccessful with women. In other words, the underlying feature of which most advice is given is aimed at increasing attraction and/or removing behaviors that are unattractive.

One must also understand that much of the secular RP codifications of advice are built off of the premise of having sex with as many women as possible. Hence, the target of specific actions are typically promiscuous women. Thus, certain advice is built on maximizing the possibility of sex and often at the exclusion of possible relationships and marriage. For instance, one of the example of common advice is to avoid paying for dates / going dutch. As I have noted before, if you are a Christian this is a pretty big turn off with pretty much any Christian woman who considers herself traditional which is the largest pool of potential spouses for any true Christian man.

One can also see how, in some cases, RP maxims have almost discovered almost verbatim how God instructs us how to live by simply observing reality. Any Christian man should be putting God’s mission first, and his wife is to be a helper to him.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

Christ set the same example: by dying for our sins and resurrecting for the purpose of the sanctification of His Church, and invites the Church to participate in His mission (The Great Commission) to make disciples of all nations.

Now to get back to the analysis.

Generally, the theological will provide the interpretive lens on which we view the scientific which will provide the lens in which we view the culture or philosophical.

In other words, we start from the fact that God created everything with an intent and purpose including man, woman, and marriage. This includes why each man and woman is attracted to particular qualities in their spouse.

It is extremely dangerous to work in reverse order (e.g. scientific observations informs the theological) because deception is very easy. This is the case where many men enter the manosphere proper (either secular or Christian) and start to put on the lens of RP and impute that onto the Scriptures to make determinations of how to live. I have been guilty of that in the past as well unknowingly and changed my stance once others have informed me or I became aware. These lead to dancing monkey syndrome: one must continually do all of the different behaviors in order to be attractive else you’re screwed.

As was iterated in Why we are here, the main concept that that observing RP (e.g. scientific observation about men and women’s sociosexual behavior) does is to help us take off the lens of feminism and the current cultural milieu. This allows us to see male and female sociosexual behavior without the common cultural tropes blinding us. The vast majority of us, including Christians, didn’t question that we have always lived with the cultural and philosophical informing the scientific observations which was informing our theological beliefs.

This is what typically happens.

  • The clash: Theological –> scientific <– cultural and philosophical. (These clash at the scientific and observational level. Many times “happy wife, happy life” wins out over headship-submission and love-respect despite the results of “happy wife happy life” being an utter failure).
  • Most people: Theological <– scientific <– cultural and philosophical. (Humans by nature tend to default to feelings and experiences over God due to temptation and sin. Thus, the cultural wins out over any type of theological belief. The vast majority of people don’t even realize that this is happening.)
  • What needs to happen: Theological –> scientific –> cultural and philosophical. (This is what should be happening. You reach an extremely different culture by having your worldview on God rather than the culture informing your worldview. Many Christians groups have tried to emulate what they’ve seen in the gospels and Acts and can’t do it. One reason is probably not aggressively rooting out cultural heresies.)

We can use the top-down theological perspective to inform of why and how temptations easily blind men and women, husbands and wives, and others and learn to act in a righteous manner to follow God.

The sad part about our cultural milieu is that it’s strong enough that most Christian leaders don’t realize they’re walking in it. They preach complementarianism or egalitarianism (because headship is not enough for them) but in practice they walk as the pagans giving pagan advice. Even those who know that headship is right and they know something is wrong still have the lens of culture on in certain cases and still make the same mistakes. The series on the theolopis is proof as you can see in the posts analyzing them.

  1. Aaron Renn on The Manosphere and the Church. My post.
  2. Alastair Robert on The Virtues of Dominion. My post.
  3. Peter Leithart on Side effects. My post.
  4. Bill Smith on Attraction: The Biblical Theology of Pickup Artistry. My post.
  5. Paul Maxwell on The Measure of a man. My post.
  6. Mike Bull on What is Biblical Feminism. My post.
  7. Aaron Renn’s final response

I think the reality is that one must first understand that they are called to God and His Great Commission. This primarily includes walking against the culture. Jesus was adamant that if you’re not for Him you’re against Him, and that His way is the only way. If you’re not fighting against the culture in all areas then you’re only going to get carried away in it. This includes all the current culture and its philosophy, and it also includes all the various cultural and philosophical offshoots of the RP — Secular RP, Political RP, Christian-ized RP, MGTOW, Incel, Black Pill, etc.

Press the reset button on everything.

Forget what you learned and your previous experiences. Ask the Holy Spirit, godly mentors, and look to commentaries and early Church fathers to help you see the Scripture from the eyes of God and not impute your previous experiences and cultural lenses onto your reading and learning.

Full obedience to God and work on making disciples. This may include teaching the basics which are in short supply nowadays such as men to be masculine men and women to be feminine women.

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The fear of women leads to failure

One consistent thing I keep seeing at Sigma’s and in the comments here is that women have power over men. Let me be clear.

Women have zero power over men.

My wife has zero power over me. She can divorce me, but that is no power over me because I don’t fear it. It will never stop me from obeying God.

I’ve detailed before in several posts such as Attitudes and marriage and Fear of marriage: the self fulfilling prophecy.

A husband that is afraid that he may have everything taken away from him will not act rationally in his best interests in terms of the Biblical roles and responsibilities. What I mean by this is if a husband is in fear that his wife will divorce him, he will not be able to love her through sanctification. He will not be able to call her out and correct her when she is off course. He won’t be able to lead the marriage effectively due to being afraid of the potential consequences of her unhappiness. He won’t be able to stand firm during her moodiness and eventually capitulate. He’ll have a difficult time pushing back against a culture and and the churchians who suggest that “love” is “making his wife happy.”

This is not to say that those going into it with good attitudes will have godly and successful marriages. That certainly is not the case in every circumstance. Everyone has free will and even many people who were following or disciples of Jesus rejected him when the going got rough (e.g. John 6). However, it is true that it is likely that a bad attitude with corresponding responses will eventually lead to marital ruin.

In this context, we can say that a husband who does not fear his wife but only fears God stands a much better chance at having not only a godly marriage but a successful marriage as well.

You can see this same theme in the disciples in Acts 16.

Acts 16:16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

The disciples were repeatedly warned through Acts not to preach the gospel nor do miracles in the name of Jesus. They did so anyway. They didn’t fear any woman or man or authority but only God. This led them to continue preaching the gospel and doing miracles. This led to them being thrown in jail.

Yet the fear of jail did nothing to deter them nor did getting actually put in jailed deter them. They even sang songs and hymns in prison that led to them getting witness opportunities.

Whether my wife divorces me or not has no bearing on me as long as I am faithful to God. My money is God’s. My kids are God’s. She wants to take it? She will have to answer to God. He can take care of it all. I don’t have to fear nor compromise on God’s truth.

This is not to say that I won’t take steps to be wise about my marriage. I lead my wife by teaching and correcting her when she goes off course.

However, this serves to illustrate the paradox of the current sexual marketplace. One of the factors that influences the failure or success of them is the fear of women. Generally, men who fear women will inevitably fail. Men who don’t fear women have one of the keys to succeed. This is true whether it’s dating, relationships, or marriage. This is one of the principles where colloquially the phrase “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer” rings true.

The reason why I am the head of my marriage is because God said I am. I don’t fear what my wife could do if she wanted to follow the world. And that is precisely what allows me to lead and influence her effectively and why she wants to follow my lead.

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Churches need to stop saying our culture is so sex saturated, and that it’s getting so bad we are in the end times

This is a big misconception that needs to go die. It makes it seem like our generation(s) are way worse than any others. I’ve had to bring this up several times in the past year in different contexts, the most recent one here.

The New Testament epistles were written to men and women in a MORE sex saturated culture than us. Men and women were openly banging temple prostitutes (1 Corinthians 6, 2 Corinthians 6), having sex with their father’s wives (1 Corinthians 5 – “even something pagans wouldn’t tolerate” per Paul), and things like that. Pederasty/pedophilia (men having sex with young boys) was common and even romanticized some in Greek and Roman culture.

The apostles and Scripture called these Christian men and women to avoid sexual immorality and save sex to marriage.

Yes, the backdrop for which the New Testament Christians was worse than we have it now. Yes, there are now groups that are starting to try to legalize pedophilia, but we are far from there yet.

God’s design and morality are universal, but it’s easy to think that we are always living in a culture that has it the “worst.” I believe this mentality more easily leads to compromise due to many Christians feeling like it’s inevitable. It is not. The early Church dealt with it and survived effectively. We can too.

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Anticipating and influencing future behavior

I was thinking about Vetting is for identifying red flags from past behavior; future behavior needs Biblical solutions, and I think there is a need for more discussion on traits that predict a woman will not only stay a Christian but have high character through the changes that life brings in the good and especially bad situations.

The many of these also apply to what to look for in a husband too.

  • Submission and respect

These are clear Biblical roles and responsibilities for wives (Eph 5, Col 3, 1 Peter 3, Tit 2, etc.), but a lot of potential husbands will gloss over these to their own detriment.

While a woman or girlfriend does not have to submit to a man before marriage, you can generally get an understanding of how she will act accordingly when a man makes a decision for them on dates or other similar things and if she reacts with respect and deference. Is she happy that he is making decisions or is she challenging and contentious? The list goes on. Look at both her attitude and actions in reference to your decision making. Better yet, how does she react when you do something that she doesn’t like?

  • Is she teachable? Is she open to correcting, rebuking, and training?

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

This one is pretty obvious when you look at Christianity as a whole, but I think a lot of people in the Church are a bit blindsided by the fact that people don’t actually obey the Bible when their feelings get in the way.

The big one to look for in this is if a woman is willing to obey the Scriptures even in difficult circumstances or when confronted with her disobedience to Scripture how will she act?

  • Is she humble?

Dozens of Scriptures on humility and pride. One who is humble can admit their errors and repent of their own sin. They do not have a narcissistic or overly high esteem where they can only blame the other person. Humility goes a long way especially in conflict situations. If you have someone capable of understanding their own role to play in any particular situation, you have someone who won’t think of playing the blame game.

  • Does she constantly strive to have good character? How does she exemplify the fruit of the Spirit?

How does she act when no one is around? Does she put on a front when out with people, and does that facade also come around when you are on? How does she act around those less fortunate or those who can do nothing for her? How does she act in difficult circumstances and when things don’t go her way?

“He who is faithful with little is faithful with much”
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”

You may have to ask her friends and family in regular conversation about how she acts normally, and you can usually figure out for yourself after about 3-4 months of dating when people get more comfortable with one another and start letting their guard down.

  • Final thoughts for now

Virginity and looking at past behavior is great to identify yellow and red flags, but these types of qualities matter more in predicting future behavior. Overall, this is a solid list to start. There are more that can be added as well.

The common theme around most of these is two-fold:

  1. Is she walking the Christian walk, striving to be more sanctified in Christ over time?
  2. How does she handle adversity? The measure of a more mature Christian is one who runs toward God when adversity strikes instead of running away from God.

Most Christians out there when adversity strikes will stop going to Church and small group, stop talking with their friends and family, and generally have a bad time when they need to seek God the most. This is the exact opposite thing that they should be doing.

David, who is called a man after God’s own heart, was always pressing into God even in the hard and bad times as exemplified in the Psalms. Even when he sinned and did extremely terrible things, he was often quick when confronted with his wrongdoing by others to be humble and admit his fault before God and change his behavior.

A woman who has all of these qualities and a husband who focuses on his own Biblical marital roles and responsibilities to be her head and love her for the purpose of sanctification will be able to make it through life’s changes without being blindsided by her randomly changing according to the culture. If there was one trait that is probably the most important, it’s humility as most of these other things flow from that. You can’t have someone that is teachable without humility or willing to admit their own wrongs without humility. Same with walking with the fruit of the Spirit and high character.

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Vetting is for identifying red flags from past behavior; future behavior needs Biblical solutions

Y’all giving me lots of material for posts from the comments section of the same post of my previous post on What makes a Christian marriage successful?

Vetting

There seems to be a very wrong impression about the value of vetting. Vetting is looking at a man or woman’s past and identifying behavior that are potential yellow or red flags. These tend to be moderate to high risk factors for divorce.

Vetting does not ensure any guarantee on future behavior, although it can show trends. For instance, one of my oft used examples is this: if a woman had sex with some men before coming to Christ, but once she came to Christ she was devoted to Christ by following Him in her behavior and chaste for several years she would generally be a better choice than a woman who claims to be a Christian but has done everything but sex (while continuing to claim to be a Christian) with the same number of men the now chaste woman is.

The way Jesus said it in terms of behavior/vows was: let your yes be yes and your no be no. Your behavior should be congruent with what you are saying. This is similar to one of the RP maxims: watch what they do, not what they say.

Future behavior

The thing that I see in real life that most Christian husbands who are in marital trouble aren’t doing is something that is straight out of the Bible that I’ve covered dozens of times on this blog.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

Obviously, the Church currently does not do any favors to husbands by claiming this love that Christ has for the Church is to make his wife happy (e.g. happy wife, happy life). Instead, the real meaning of the verse is one of the keys to help influence future behavior of your wife.

How many Christians husbands are taking responsibility for sanctifying their wife — pointing out when they sin and helping them to repent. That number is probably very few. This ideally needs to be started BEFORE marriage to ensure that you don’t marry a wife that is contentious to Christian teaching, rebuke, correction and training.

Yes, this is basically akin to discipling your wife in the faith.

This command for husbands to obey is critical for influencing a wife to become more like Christ. The act of repentance means a wife has to be humble enough to admit she’s sinning and change her behavior. This also likely means she’s humble enough to submit to her husband and follow His lead.

It is entirely possible that a Christian husband could be doing this from the start of his marriage and a wife is rebellious and contentious anyway, but that seems to be rare.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 16 Comments

What makes a Christian marriage successful?

Jack comments on Nova’s most recent post.

Cameron listed three commonalities with successful marriages (even those that started in sin and without proper screening or planning).
1-The marriage is open to (better if enthusiastic for) having children.
2-The woman wants to be (primarily) a wife and mother rather than a careerist.
3-There was evident attraction from the woman directed towards the man from the get-go. (i.e. Scott’s axiom).

This mirrors conclusions I have made in the past, that marriage is (or should be) about sex (largely dependent on point 3, since women are “gatekeepers” of sex) and having children (point 1), and that it needs to have a Headship structure (implied in the combination of points 2 and 3). Also, point 2 requires the woman’s decided rejection of any self-centered personal ambitions, such as the Feminist Life Script or riding the CC. Point 3 and early marriage discourages the latter.
Also, a woman’s N count sharply erodes point 3 and could affect point 1 (e.g. extended family, paternity fraud, etc.), which is why virginity and chastity are important.

This also explains why many non-Christians have successful marriages and many Christians do not, as I wrote about in Friday’s post.

I am coming to the conclusion that there is a misconception about what “Christian” truly means in regard to dating and marriage. To wit, we have the notion that a Christian marriage requires two chaste, professing Christians being properly married in a certain kind of church, complete with public vows and golden rings and the rubber stamps of the church and state. You may choose between lillies or roses, and rice or confetti. But all these things are rather superficial. In reality, the collection of factors I listed above (Cameron’s 3 points with my extensions) is what truly constitutes a “Christian” marriage (or what should be touted as a Christian marriage). Here, the adjective “Christian” in front of “marriage” carries the meaning that it glorifies God, fulfills His purposes for marriage, and establishes a sanctified home environment that is conducive to the emotional security and spiritual vitality of the family.

This is what determines whether the marriage is successful, and not the mere absence of divorce.

I wanted to pull this out and highlight it because it’s very reminiscent of my attraction post: A Christian understanding of attraction and the role it plays in marriage. This is one of the most important articles that I included in the Biblical Masculinity Blueprint in order to explain attraction to those who read it. I’m not going to cover the whole thing, but I’ll pull out the salient topics.

Basically, Jesus indicates in Matthew 22 when He is trying to be trapped by the Saducees/Pharisees that there’s no marriage in heaven. This means marriage is an earthly institution, and that we can learn a lot about it for the purposes God created it.

Genesis 1 and 2 are two different accounts of creation. Genesis 1 is an overview of creation, while Genesis 2 more of the human view of creation. Both have components that indicate why marriage was created. For instance, Genesis 1 indicates that God created male and female and commanded them to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (e.g. (1) be fruitful and multiply and (2) take dominion over all the earth).

Genesis 2 indicates the other various duties — Gen 2:15 “…put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and tend it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “… but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die.” “18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

In effect, God’s commands of marriage as an earthly institution first with Adam and then as a helper with Eve are to:

  1. Take dominion over all the earth
  2. Multiply and fill the earth
  3. Cultivate and tend to the garden
  4. Obey God
  5. Eve as a helper

So what are men attracted to? Men are generally attracted to physical beauty (e.g. .6-.8 waist to hip ratio), healthy bodies, beauty, etc which tend to indicate that she is fertile and has a good capacity to bear children — thus fulfilling God’s command to multiply and fill the earth. Femininity is generally nurturing and kind, much like a good helper would be.

So what are women attracted to? Women are generally attracted to PSALM – power, status, athleticism, looks (muscle, etc.), and money and similar things. Power and status? Those tend to correlate with taking dominion. Athleticism and looks/muscle? Those tend to be correlated with protecting and caring for things like the garden and her and her children. Money? Provisioning for her and her children. Masculine traits are helpful for improving all of these to varying degrees.

To circle back around…

These obviously look familiar to Cameron’s and Jack’s assessment of godly successful marriages.

  1. Marriage is open and/or enthusiastic about having children. Check. Be fruitful and multiply.
  2. The woman wants to be a wife and mother instead of a careerist. Check. Helper to her man (wife) and be fruitful and multiply (mother).
  3. Evident sexual attraction. Check. Obviously, a man fulfilling God’s mandate to take dominion, protect and provide for himself (and by extension a wife and children) and obey God (e.g. not put his wife on a pedestal — or in Heartiste’s rule ‘you shall make your mission, not women, your priority’) is going to be attractive to women. Likewise, a woman that is generally beautiful and feminine will tend to best fulfill the be fruitful and multiply and helper commands and duties respectively.

It’s there all along. We just didn’t want to dig through Genesis 1-3 to understand fulfilling God’s purpose for marriage means that men and women will be attracted to each other and successful at it.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 13 Comments

Optimism and pessimism in the current Christian marriage milieu

Scott makes a comment on Nova’s recent post on Sigma.

Like Andy, who could not believe the things he was capable of while trying to escape to freedom, men today descend into a cesspool of fluid exchange and all other manner of things they know are wrong, (even they aren’t Christian don’t feel right) hoping to find one that will bond to him and say “yes” to marriage. All the while, the Sheila Gregoires of the world shame him for the way is built, and the most strident married men in the manosphere offer him no quarter, or even the opportunity to discuss alternatives. How easy it is for us who have stable loving marriages to look down our noses at those left behind because they weren’t “alpha” (or self-disciplined) enough to succeed at this retarded game.

Myself, fortunate enough to have a decent sized helping of these traits, dove in, swam around in the mud and found mine, and now live like the Eloi, pretending that there is nothing to see here.

I think this has become a larger point of contention given that some people regard me as perhaps much too optimistic/unrealistic.

I’m curious as to all of my commenters thoughts on objectively the percentage of the male population you think has a chance at a godly marriage in this current situation. Make an optimistic, normal, and pessimistic prediction.

I’ll go first.


First, let me ignore the top 10-20% of men with the understanding that most of them will have some relative success at finding a solid godly marriage if they tried. I think most people here would agree on this. There’s certainly a few marriages in most every Church where you can see this is a reasonable assumption.

Thus, now I am talking about the population of 80-90% of men below the top 10-20%.

  • I think any man within this bottom 80-90% of men can get a top 10-20% body within a year or two. This does not mean he will be in the top 10-20% of all men though given other potential traits, but it sure will help given that 60-70% of the entire population are overweight or obese both men and women. This is not including a wardrobe overhaul, good grooming and styling, and such.
  • All men have the capacity to do this just like all men look better in a fitted suit as opposed to baggy clothes. How many men will have the commitment to do this? I’m not quite sure. I’m always making the assumption that all these men can do this, but realistically I’d say probably at least half of men or more won’t do this even if they knew it would help.
  • Give the same man another 1-2 years concurrent practice with pursuing his mission for God, excellence in all aspects of his life (spiritual, physical, emotional/mental), evangelism and discipleship practice, get him in the Word everyday and possible starting to lead Bible studies. This man would at least be prepared to potentially lead a relationship. Maybe not be married effectively, but he has most of the tool to be effective and hopefully a surrounding cast of men to help him.
  • In particular, evangelism and discipleship practice is very important because learning to talk about and be open with your faith and be effective in communicating and leading makes things like asking out women pale in comparison. These conversations have eternal consequences whereas asking out a girl has very little. You can just shrug and be on your way if a girl doesn’t want to go out with you. You want someone who is interested in you anyway not ambivalent or not interested.
  • If he still has issues with improving social communication, get a people job where you have to interact with men and women of all ages and/or take up some toastmaster speaking to improve comfort with public speaking. The more you do these types of things the less scary and sensitive you will be able them. I improved mine substantially by having a people job and then TAing college courses.
  • There was a study I can’t find at the moment, but the only thing they changed was how much a man made on his dating profile. The ones who made less were rated less attractive than men who made more even with the same photos. The same thing applies to having other physical traits like a muscular body to potentially compensate for below average height or face.
  • Most men like most women are not min/max either; it’s fairly rare you’re going to find someone who is short, fat, ugly, no style, bad grooming, zero social skills, crappy job, etc. Usually he may be short but is around average or maybe even above average on other things. Maybe fat but not short, ugly, or have zero social skills. It’s uncommon to have 3 or more of these, so the majority of men aren’t fighting an extremely hard uphill battle.
  • Given all these avenues of potential improvement, this is why I think it’s possible for most men improve enough avenues to where they’re overall above average in most categories which on average would rate them at least above 50% of men if not more. A physical body may be say top 10-20%, but maybe his face is average or slightly below average, his style is top 20%, and grooming is top 20%. On average, excellence in most of these areas will pull up his overall attractiveness even if his face is average or below average.

Obviously, improvement is fairly relative. A man starting out at obese and poor style, grooming, and other physical traits along with poor social skills may not improve as much as someone who is average on all of those already. On average, I’d say most men can gain at least 2-4 points on the 10 scale of attractiveness. Some men can get more than that, but most can get at least that much.

Thus, a man who starts out as a 1 can get himself to at least the 3-5 range, a man who is a 2 can get himself to at least the 4-6 range, and so on for your 5 to get to the 7-8+ range. It’s likely exponentially harder to get up past the >=8 range except in specific instances where things like exorbitant amounts of money or fame come into play. Again, see various progress pics which show men and women that are 1-3/10 range physically can commonly get themselves up to 5-8/10 range.

I’m not sure a standard bell curve distribution would work based on the 1-10 scale, but if it did then each standard deviation would probably be about 2 points of improvement. You’d have 68% of men between a 3-7 range and 95% of men between a 1-9 range. This means that about 13.5%+2.5%=16% of men are rated 7 or higher which is approximately in line with the fact that about 20% of men are rated as attractive by women. Maybe it’s a bit more left skewed at the moment where the average is closer to 4. Your average man who is a “4” could gain 2-4 points to the 6-8 range.


Now to skate back to the original question. What percentage of the male population has an objective chance at a godly marriage?

Unfortunately, this question is mired in the fact that most Christian men and women find it hard to obey Biblical marital roles and responsibilities if their spouse is not attractive. Theoretically, the answer is 100% if people were committed to Christ. Objectively and realistically though the answer is a lot less than that. I certainly know of some godly and happy marriages where the husband and wife are probably 2-3/10 to most people, but this is not the norm. One could argue that it would be questionable or weak faith and trust in God if you aren’t able to follow God despite your circumstances.

Given the stats and assessment on attractiveness playing a role in husbands and wives obedience to God (sadly), it’s likely given the statistics of the improvement of a “4” to the 6-8 range that about only 50% of the 80-90% under the top 10-20% could do this. That means you have about 10-20% + 40-50% which is 50-70% of the Christian population could do this.

Optimistically, I think it could be more than that, but we have to understand that the Christian population is a subset of the actual total population. It’s theoretically possible that we can have most of the Christian men be above average compared to the rest of the population if we had all of them focused on being excellent in all areas of life (spiritually, physically, mentally/emotionally).

Pessimistically, given the apathy of most “Christians” in the Church to actually following God, I think it’s more along the lines of similar to the top 10-20% range itself. We must remember that pretty much about 10-20% of people are likely true Christians in the Church given that this 10-20% are the ones doing most of the serving and loving others. The others are just “attenders” to varying frequencies. It’s probably about 10-20% higher than this, at least according to those who “take their faith seriously” even if they are not involved with serving in Church.

To summarize:

  • Optimistically — 80-90% of Christian men
  • Realistic — 50-70% of Christian men, if you build Church communities of men that take their faith seriously.
  • Pessimistic — 20-40% of Christian men. What it appears to currently be.

I’m curious as to what others will say are their ranges, and what can be done to start helping men.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 37 Comments

Time frames for body recomposition

Since some people are having issues with me stating that it’s not hard for someone to get into the top 10-20% of men, let’s actually go over some scenarios. My comment.

This post looked at attraction to men’s musculature. Reliably, if you can get to the 10-12% body fat range for men and you have some musculature you’re likely to get some women who want to feel up your muscles and/or “ohh” and “ahh” as they see a transformation. Of course, if you’re wearing baggy shirts that cover up your muscles that’s a net negative. Fitted shirts that emphasize transformations are generally the most helpful.

For men, visually emphasizing femininity and a woman’s waist to hip ratio (.6-.8 seems to be the good range to really get a man going) is what tends to be most attractive which is why women are (or should be?) encouraged to wear skirts and dresses. Likewise, the things that tend to emphasize a fit man to women seems to be something along the lines of the ‘greek god’ type of physique where you have the illusion of wider shoulders and smaller waist (V-taper) as well as at least some muscle definition in most of the muscles of the upper body.

Your average American man >20 y/o is 5’9″ at 200 lbs (199.8 lbs). This is approximately 29.5ish BMI (overweight is 25-29.9 and obese is >30 range). So your average man is overweight bordering on the line between overweight and obese. For reference, this is approximately what that looks like. (Image is owned by them, obviously).

An illustration shows the average body of males from different countries.
---For Jane Weaver story---

Now, here are some transformations from reddit’s progress pics sub.

Overall, both men and women who have weight to lose — as a 5’9″ 200 lbs man does — can generally reliably drop about 1 lbs per week with a disciplined diet. This is why you see so many transformations in the 6-12 month range dropping 30-50 lbs or so. Some of the very heavy men and women (200-300+ lbs range) reliably will lose 2 lbs per week, so they can lose upwards of 80-120 lbs in a year. Not all of this is dropping fat but also some non-muscle lean body mass (e.g. non-muscle other stuff to support the weight gain like water weight, connective tissue, blood vessels, etc.).

How much muscle mass can you gain in a year? The articles generally vary, but most of them suggest reliably 10-15 lbs per year with possible upper limits of about 15-25 depending on genetics and other optimizations such as diet and sleep. Bulking and cutting cycles are more efficient than trying to stay the same weight and add muscle (strict same weight body recomposition).

In my own case, when I got into strength training and didn’t even care about adding muscle, I added approximately 10 lbs my first year, 10 lbs my second year, and 7 lbs my third year, and 5 lbs my 4th year. If I had reliably ate for and trained for hypertrophy (slightly different than pure strength training), it would be likely to add probably about 15-20 the first year, and 10-15 the second year.

So let’s say your average dude at 5’9″ and 200 lbs decides to lose weight and gain muscle in the first year. Since he’s losing weight, the amount of muscle won’t be added as optimal (as it’s not a bulk) but with newbie gains he’ll still probably add around 10-15ish lbs of muscle of reliable gains. Thus, he can drop down from 5’9″ 200 lbs to approximately 160 lbs but add say 10-15 lbs of muscles to be at 170-175 lbs.

Now, going off some of the pictures from attraction to men’s musculature,

body-fat-percentage-men-women.png

Your average man is dropping from about the 30% BF range and losing about 40 lbs to get to 160 lbs and adding 10-15 lbs of muscle. If all of that was fat loss, it would be like dropping from 30% to 10% body fat. So what likely happens is you lose about 30-25 lbs of fat and 5-10 lbs of LBM but add about 10-15 lbs of muscle on top of that. That gets you approximately into the 13-18% body fat range of these photos after 1 year.

Add in 6-12 months of disciplined diet and lifting will easily get you into the 10-13% range as exemplified on the photos. Most women from what I’ve seen don’t really prefer the < 10% photos anyway. That’s more along the lines of Hugh Jackman, whereas most women tend to prefer Chris Hemsworth or Chris Adams musculature:

Image result for hugh jackman vs chris hemsworth vs chris evans

As you can see, these physiques are fairly comparable to the 10-13% range from the photos above.

If you use google search (or duck duck go if you prefer) for 1 year lifting transformations and look at the images, you typically see most of the “skinnier guys” get similar to the 10-13% range after 1 year. It’s a bit slower if you’re overweight and close to obese to start, but you can still get there within a 1-2 year time frame.

I stick by my assertion that your average man can get a top 10-20% body in 1-2 years. Faster if you’re skinnier and < 27-30% BF to start. Possibly slower if you’re more obese. Most people would classify the bodies above as probably top 5-10% and not top 10-20%, so maybe you could get there quicker if you were just aiming for top 20%.

If you have even a semblance of said body above, you’ll easily stand out in Church with all of the feminized men.

Is it hard? Well, I suppose that’s relative of what you think is “hard.” The information it out there. Often for free. You have to be disciplined with training and nutrition though. For most people they just don’t want to do it or don’t care to.

Apparently, this post needs some caveats:

  • No, you shouldn’t be aiming to improve your physique for women. It makes you more effective for mission especially in people-person things like leadership, evangelism, and discipleship. For instance, it is more attractive and credible — think of a slobby vs fit fitness trainer or a slobby vs fit pastor. Who would seemingly give more credible advice even if they were saying the same thing? Yeah, the fit muscular man. It has the nice side effect of being attractive to women.
  • Most points are based on general statements about preferences. For instance, attraction likely works on a bell curve distribution. A majority of women would like a ‘greek god’ physique, while some would like a bear (muscle + some fat) or swimmer (lean, some muscle) physique. Fewer women than those would like a thin or fat man. When talking about the dating market a wide net is better than a narrow one.
  • Use your brains people. I’m not here to make absolute statements. Take things with a grain of salt. Yes, it’s “harder” for some men and “easier” for others depending on your starting point. There’s variation just like some men prefer fit/athletic women and some prefer more curvy and softer women.

Posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle | Tagged | 9 Comments