Devotion to Christ

A reader writes by e-mail:

I’ve looked at many of the things that you, Dalrock, Cane, and a few others have written from the RP point of view, and I wonder have you ever addressed the subject of the differences between men and women and their level of devotion to Christ.

I ask because, and I could be wrong…it seems that in this age…the men (generally) are drawing more nigh to the Father and cleansing their hands of sinful things than most women are.  Of course i don’t want to bear false witness against Christian women, but I’m often discouraged by what I see is a wholesale lack of conviction.

Now I realize that my approach to things as it concerns holiness may indeed be problematic, but even for women who declare themselves to be such…it just seems that very little has been bearing witness with my spirit…even among some family members…and I come from a very large so-called Christian family.

Yes and no. Some things stick out to me which I’ve commented on before on other blogs but not in posts.

First, the feminization of the Church is pretty obvious. The fact that most Church attendance slants around 55:45 to 60:40 women to men ratio or worse. This tends to give the illusion that women are “more spiritual” than men where we know this is not the case.

It could simply be that say 5% of the Christian men and 5% of women are righteous in their word and deed. This would be equal numbers. However, since there are only 40% of men (1 in 8) in the Church and 60% (1 in 12) of women this may lead to the biased thinking that more men then woman are serious about their faith.

Second, the commercialization of Christianity. I’m very wary of Christians selling books. I forgot the numbers specifically but the majority of “Christian book sales” are women. Somewhere around the number like 70-80%. This presents the false illusion that women are more spiritual than men as well.

Again, this can falsely distort a viewpoint in some cases. Those who read more are not necessarily more devoted to God. Many pastors would incorrectly assume that. However, there is a false dichotomy to thinking that because those pastors are wrong the opposite is true. More men tend to be spiritual because they focus their attention toward the Bible or other disciplines like prayer and fasting rather than spiritual books.

It’s always a good reminder to remember that we are told to evaluate based on fruit and not appearances.

Third, since men and women are different and have different roles and responsbilities and may be different parts of the body of Christ this may give illusions about level of devotion to Christ. There are all difference between the various aspects of the body of Christ: missionaries, serving food in a food kitchen, mentoring and discipling those younger than you, serving in the Church as an usher, elders, deacons, pastors, and evangelists.

It’s human thinking to believe that one position is better than another. We all do what we can for the body of Christ in our own way. A Titus 2 wife/woman is going to look different than a Titus 2 husband/man.

Fourth, I think that if you are reading my blog in the first place that we suffer from confirmation bias. Women who tend to be godly generally aren’t poking around on the manosphere or related blogs for the most part. That’s why most of the women who end up commenting tend to be trolls, or they are mentoring women of their own with their own blogs. Likewise, most men who find the manosphere as Christians tend to be strengthened in their faith and become more disciplined and devoted to Christ.

Fifth, Christians in general tend to get caught up in labels too much. If someone says they are a “Christian” but are willfully disobedient to the God are they truly a Christian? Of course, this can run into the slippery slope of no true Scotsman fallacy. Ultimately, we don’t know someone’s heart, but we can tell who is devoted to Christ not from appearances but from the fruit they produce. This is what I talked about in Dating, labels, and authority analysis. If you understand labels, why people want to label things, and how labels affect your perception you can start to move away from them.

For example, I’m a person who generally thinks liberal arts are useless… however, I need to be open to the fact that God can use a liberal arts major to reach those in the liberal arts for Jesus Christ. Our preferences for what we see as “devotion to Christ” need to be filtered through the gospel. I still think that liberal arts majors are setting themselves up for statistical failure in the job market, but that doesn’t mean that God has called a particular individual into that area.

Should I still warn them of the shortcomings? Sure. It’s possible that they can fail too. But “worldly” failure does not necessarily mean a failure of the individual or of the gospel of Jesus. This is one of the problems of the prosperity gospel in reverse — those that “fail” in worldly terms may still be devoted to Christ. He may use the failure to be teaching them principles that they will use to mentor people 30-40 years down the road.

Finally, I can’t look at a person’s situation and judge whether their heart is in the right place due to the circumstances around them unless it’s willful sin or the consequences of willful sin. Like it or not, choosing a liberal arts major is not a willful sin. Like it or not, choosing to participate in a pyramid scheme is not a willful sin. Unwise? Sure. God may teach them something through that even if they choose to do it through counsel otherwise. Or they may choose a destructive path for their life.

However, I can encourage them to put their heart in the right place, listen to wise counsel, and act righteously in any situation. The desire to love God should bubble over into being a slave for gospel of Jesus Christ and good works.

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12 Responses to Devotion to Christ

  1. Pingback: Devotion to Christ | Manosphere.com

  2. Neguy says:

    I was both blue pill and not a Christian for most of my life. Looking back retrospectively, I can see that had had pieced together a number of red pill insights in terms of problems diagnosis. I mention that because what I’m about to share is something I was thinking back when I was still blue pill and so can’t be said to be a result of the manosphere poisoning my attitude.

    A few years after I’d been a Christian I compared the men and women I knew in church to my old associates from prior to becoming a Christian. What I noticed was that the Christian men tended to keep the good qualities I saw in my non-Christian friends, but got rid of the bad ones. For example, the Christian guys didn’t tell crude sexual jokes, etc. They were more adult like, more sober-minded (and generally literally more sober), etc.

    On the other hand, the Christian women I new retained the bad qualities of the non-Christian women I’d known, like solipsism, while eliminating the good ones. The Christian women I’ve known have tended to be extremely gossipy, very busybodyish, etc. but lacking that sense of grownupitude that non-Christian women I knew exhibited.

    This is obviously a generalization, and doesn’t apply to every single person. It’s also the case that my non-Christian friends probably had higher socio-economic status, which certainly affects things. And when I became Christian, I dialed up the blue pill to 11, which certainly brings out the worst in women.

    About a year ago I was very pessimistic about getting married because I didn’t think I’d find a Christian woman I admired enough to marry. I feel less that way today, in part because women respond differently when you are living red pill.

    Yet I do think there are problems. We all know the church is preaching heresy about inter-sexual relations. What’s more, I was struck by an observation from Leon Podles Church Impotent. He talked about a women’s movement as one of the 13th century trends feminizing the faith in the West, and that one of the things women were doing was claiming charismatic visions as a source of authority. The official sanction of the veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by the Catholic Church, for example, attests to this power working, as the Sacred Heart was originated by nuns claiming visions of it.

    I’m struck that today how frequently women in church claim to hear specific instructions from God, and use that to try to manipulate men but especially other women. I’ve seen it happen even in what are effectively cessationist churches. Thinking back to Podles, and my experience as a younger person in charismatic churches, I wonder what the stats would say about the incidents of “hearing from God” among men vs. women. No man has ever come to me saying that God told him anything. Quite the opposite in fact. More men have tended to be confused and grasping to figure out what God wants the to do. In any case, I think Christian women, at least in my experience, use “words from God” to bolster their busybodying in ways Christian men do not.

  3. Looking Glass says:

    @Neguy:

    There’s both a lot of truth in your observations, and a bit of confirmation bias. The problem is, the more Goldy a Woman becomes, the functionally quieter she’ll get. So there’s a definite “squeaky wheel gets the grease” effect in all Churches.

    Though the truth is that, within a Church, “Christian” Women have even more freedom to run over Men. In the secular world, the Women instinctively know their one really stupid move from getting bounced by their Man. A much more cut-throat World produces different results.

    On the “Hearing God” issue, I’ll have to respond in depth later.

  4. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    Fourth, I think that if you are reading my blog in the first place that we suffer from confirmation bias. Women who tend to be godly generally aren’t poking around on the manosphere or related blogs for the most part. That’s why most of the women who end up commenting tend to be trolls, or they are mentoring women of their own with their own blogs. Likewise, most men who find the manosphere as Christians tend to be strengthened in their faith and become more disciplined and devoted to Christ.

    I’m curious as to how you came to this conclusion.

  5. @ FBNF

    “I’m curious as to how you came to this conclusion.”

    It’s common to *readers of my blog* as I said.

    Sure, there are still bitter Christian men but they don’t frequent here.

  6. Neguy says:

    @Looking Glass, I don’t think it was confirmation bias at all as that was my original observation. It’s the manosphere and everything else that would be confirmation bias in this case. I drew that observation – which surprised me at the time – from my interactions and what I observed before I knew anything at all about the red pill. It may be true that my sample was not representative, though it is exhaustive of certain subgroups of which I’ve been a part (e.g., small groups) since I knew every single person in them. In any event, I can only draw conclusions from from personal experience. (In some cases, I even came to the conclusion that I was the problem. In fact, that’s partially the case here as I think I made it clear in my original post).

  7. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    I meant the ideas in that paragraph referring to Godly women, not about men. Sorry, I should’ve made that more clear before.

  8. @ FBNF

    Let’s put it this way. Most of the people who comment are married or trolls. You are pretty much one of the only single women who comments regularly.

  9. Looking Glass says:

    @FBNF:

    Just accept you’re different. ^_^

    @Neguy:

    Okay, on the issue of Women and “hearing God’s Voice”, I have thought about this issue before at some length, so it really comes down to a few points.

    1) Most Christian Women that claim they have, haven’t.
    2) If it’s ever described in the context of “I feel God is telling me…” 9 out of 10 times it isn’t God.
    3) There is a difference between the “nudging of the Spirit” and the “Voice of God”, which is rarely made. Which is why the first is encountered far more than the second. [The first is generally the Spirit needing you to do something, on the spot. The second is actual directions. Most Christians have stories of the Spirit nudging them that avoids a disaster.]

    From all appearances, I seem to be quite blessed in this area of the Spirit. So I do have some insight into this topic in general. But what you’re seeing isn’t God; it’s Vanity. It’s little different than Speaking in Tongues among the Charismatics. It’s Vanity over God because displays are what becomes important when the Lord isn’t the imperative in your life.

    The main problem, for most Women, is always going to be this: you have to *stop talking* to be able to Listen to God. Occasionally God will smack you up the side of the head with a Spiritual 2×4, but you’ve been actively not listening if you get to that point. (Call it the Jonah treatment) “Waiting in the Lord” isn’t actively taught anymore, but God will hide himself to bring out the parts of the Spirit we need more of. (Isaiah 45:15) This takes Time & Faith. God works on His Schedule, not ours. 🙂 But that schedule doesn’t fit our desire to show we’re “Good Christians”.

    Here’s a general, though not exhaustive, list of signs that it’s God talking to you and not your own desire:

    1) The Voice is always clear in its directions. (Though, sometimes, it’s simply “Draw closer”, and there will be further instructions, later.)
    2) God “talks short”.
    3) God almost always talks in 1 of 2 ways: Imperative Commands (i.e. “go”) or Statements of Truth (i.e. “is”).
    4) Faith is always required.
    5) Rebuke & Discipline are parts of the Voice (Revelation 3:19) but not Condemnation. (Romans 8:1) [This distinction is important in listening to God; it’s a filter between your own desires. It’s not always an issue, but it’ll come up.]
    6) God “talks quiet”. (1 Kings 19:12)
    7) It’ll never conflict with clear Biblical Commands.

    I could probably increase the list, but a longer list misses the point of listening to God. You should *know* when he’s talking. It’s not a “feeling”. You can “feel” that God is calling you to something without yet knowing what it is, yet. But God while “talks”, by many means, to His Children, God is never going to be unclear in his directions. It doesn’t mean the directions will make immediate sense to you, but a lack of Clarity is not something from God. That’s our own Sin getting in the way.

    I imagine most of the Christians you know aren’t responding to God’s Voice in any of those terms. And the problem is that it could be God calling to them, but they aren’t in the place to actually listen. Which is something, as another Christian, you should be able to “see” in their life. And never underestimate that what God is asking you to do is to bring them back to God’s Voice.

  10. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    Every time I thought I met a woman with whom I was equally yoked, I was disappointed. It’s happened three times in a row. I’ve suffered lies, misrepresentations, and outright deception.

    When they would say, “I deserve a man like you…” and I can’t say the same…it’s sad.

    So I have to conclude that it’s me. I was just coming into the Red Pill during the last episode…and when I started employing the concepts I learned, is when she bailed. “Negative nelly” and “self righteous” was the charge. So I’m certain I talked too much…

    Sure, it saved me from what was sure to be a lot of misery in the long run, but I can’t help be angry that I didn’t pull the plug first, and I’m disappointed that I settled for what turned out to be a common woman.

    EGO, indeed.

    Forever disappointed, indeed.

    @Neguy:

    “About a year ago I was very pessimistic about getting married because I didn’t think I’d find a Christian woman I admired enough to marry. I feel less that way today, in part because women respond differently when you are living red pill.”

    Do they? I’m beginning to think that, while I KNOW I have a lot of growing to do, I don’t think I’ll ever find a woman who shares my spiritual convictions or is SIMULTANEOUSLY intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually on my level…(plus is cute and in excellent physical shape. 🙂 )

    I mean…what do “men” deserve?

  11. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    @ Looking Glass

    Just accept you’re different. ^_^

    Heh, I’m only really different in a few ways, but not so different in some others. 😊

    @ DS

    Let’s put it this way. Most of the people who comment are married or trolls. You are pretty much one of the only single women who comments regularly.

    I was going to say something about how that only confuses me more, but I just now realized that you (and possibly Looking Glass too) seem to have thought that I had taken that part of your OP personally. Understandable, considering I’ve done so plenty of times, but I actually didn’t this time (I’ve been actively reminding myself that “men speak in generalities” for so long now that it finally sunk in, for the most part).

    When I read “Women who tend to be godly generally aren’t poking around on the manosphere or related blogs for the most part” I got confused because I interpreted that to mean something like “Godly women aren’t going to be found here because this isn’t the kind of place that a Godly woman would be found at” (which I also just now realized is *probably* not what you actually meant. Oops, on my part…). I figured, a Godly woman would be more likely than an un-Godly woman to be able to accept a lot of the things talked about in the [Christian part of the] ‘sphere. So since I had come to the opposite conclusion than I thought you had, I was curious as to how you came to your conclusion, so I asked. If that makes any sense (it’s early, and I’m not a morning person, so if that didn’t make sense I will try again later).

  12. Neguy says:

    @Looking Glass, nice writeup on hearing from God.

    Due to some personal experiences I won’t relate here, I’ve personally taken what you might think of as a more Calvinistic view of the matter. God is sovereign over what happens, period. That doesn’t mean that we have no free will, however, and I tend to subscribe to a Molinistic view of the matter. Regardless, the implication for decision making is that I don’t need to hear from God in order for him to ensure that I I make the “right” decision. I can’t imagine God up in heaven going, “Oh, no people. Emergency staff meeting. I’m trying to tell Neguy what decision to make, but he’s not hearing me right.” God isn’t reliant on our correctly parsing his particularlized will in that manner, though from the bible it’s clearly he can speak like that if he wants to. I don’t believe that’s the norm, however.

    My view, though a bit off topic, is that we should be loving God with all our heart, walking in obedience to the commands of scripture, fasting and praying over the decisions we make, deciding wisely (including seeking counsel from trusted advisors where appropriate) in light of circumstance and scripture, and trusting in God for the outcome.

    “Many are the plans of a man, but the purpose of the Lord will stand.”

    Where I think I hear from God primarily is conviction of sin, which you mention in your post.

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