I sometimes read articles from mainstream conservative pastors and theologians. One of these is the famous Doug Wilson who blogs at Blog and Mablog. Well, recently he was attacked by a secular left feminist named Sarah Stankorb. I looked over her recent articles, and a pattern emerged about what she – and the women she writes about – think that Christianity is about.
Here’s an article entitled “These Evangelical Women Are Abandoning Trump and Their Churches”.
She talks about a woman named Katie Loveland, who leaves her church for the following reasons:
- If a church allows a man to act like a fool towards women, then Christianity is false.
- If a church allows a man who has passed a background check and holds a concealed carry permit to be armed so he can protect church members from attacks like this one, then Christianity is false.
- If Christians support a politician who has a pro-life record of demonstrated achievements over a politician who promises to remove all state and local restrictions on abortion from conception to birth, then Christianity is false.
And another woman named Elaina Ramsey, and her reasons for rejecting Christianity:
- If Christianity requires you to disagree with your gay and queer friends, then Christianity is false.
- If Christians refuse to marry you because you’ve been raped, then Christianity is false.
- If the Bible records (and condemns) the rape of Bathsheba by David, then Christianity is false.
- If Christianity teaches that murdering humans is wrong, and science says that the unborn are human, then Christianity is false.
And more about another woman named Deirdre Sugiuchi, and her reasons for rejecting Christianity:
- If your father claims to be a Christian and spanks you, then Christianity is false.
- If you are sent to an abusive Christian reform school for being rebellious, then Christianity is false.
- If Christianity feels anti-gay, anti-black or anti-woman, then Christianity is false.
- If the United States opposes Al Qaeda for carrying out the 9/11 attack, then Christianity is false.
Are you seeing a pattern here?
It turns out that a lot of emotion-based people claimed to be Christians and were accepted as “Christian”, without any rational basis for believing it. And later on, when Christianity made them feel bad about being reckless and irresponsible, or when it loses them non-Christian friends, then they abandoned it. It’s not that they discovered that Christianity is illogical. It’s not that they discovered evidence to falsify Christian truth claims. Their stated reasons for leaving Christianity are entirely subjective. And none of the reasons do the work of falsifying core Christian truth claims, such as God’s existence, the inspiration of the Bible, or the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus.
Just to review, here are some of the reasons why authentic Christians believe in Christian theism:
- scientific evidence for the origin of the universe
- scientific evidence for cosmic fine-tuning
- scientific evidence for the origin of life
- scientific evidence for habitability
- scientific evidence for sudden origin of body plans
- scientific evidence for molecular machines
- scientific evidence for irreducible complexity
- the argument from consciousness
- the argument from objective morality
- the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus
These arguments – and many more like them – are defended by scholars in books published by top academic presses. But I see no evidence that emotion-based ex-Christians have ever read such books. Why would they? They aren’t interested in forming their worldview based on objective reality. They aren’t interested in constructing a life plan where their desire for happiness comes second to following Jesus.
People who abandon Christianity because of feelings or experiences have not “left Christianity”. They just stopped faking being Christians. They were never actually Christian in the first place. To be a Christian in the first place, you have to know that Christianity is true. People who accept the arguments for Christianity listed above have just as many disappointments with God, bad experiences with Christians, and bad experiences with churches as people who were guided by their emotions and experiences.
In fact, I personally know women who grew up fatherless, or had defective parents, or other setbacks. They got themselves into a lot of trouble with churches and immoral men, and yet today, not only are they solid Christians, but they actually take the lead in gospel enterprises, such as apologetics. Why? Because for them, the objective truth of Christianity was more important than their subjective feelings and experiences.
The differences between Christians and non-Christians is that Christians overlook bad feelings, shame and rejection, because we know facts don’t care about our feelings. For real Christians, the normal Christian life requires bad feelings, disappointments, bad experiences and rejection by non-Christians. We actually read the Bible, and so we expect bad things to happen to us.
Note: if you are relying on someone to act in a Christian way – say, as a marriage partner – then you’d better find out what kind of “Christian” they are, by asking them how they arrived at their beliefs. Do not marry a fake Christian who just reads romance novels and fiction. A person can’t determine the truth of Christianity by focusing on career, travel, entertainment, promiscuity, etc.
4 thoughts on “Secular left feminist Sarah Stankorb explains why women leave Christianity”
They love the world, not God. They have no interest in meeting him on his incredibly gracious terms. They’d rather mock his created order and violate his laws to fulfill their carnal desires.
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I wouldn’t say they were “emotionally driven”.
Nearly all of their reasons have something in common, they are judging Christianity from first principles that originate from the the secular left “religion”; they are literally putting God in the dock.
They already have a “religion” and have quite rationally determined that Christianity is incompatible with it. Now the reasons they may have for adhering to their “religion” may be irrational, but they’re not being driven exactly by emotion but by principle.
The problem I suspect lies less in the intellect but in the imagination and the heart, they want something wrong, and more than that how they want is wrong. Ironically,
Ironically I believe practicing Christianity tends to make you feel better. These people aren’t even really pursuing good feelings, they’re miserable because they’re pursuing a delusion and so are riven with fear, despair, anger, envy, and bitterness.
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I knew a woman like the one you described, WK.
When I first met her, I thought she was attractive, but I prayed for discernment. (Thank God! I did not date her or marry her — I’ll give you the spoiler: she got lonely so she slept around infrequently — which only made her feel worse and more lonely, she married an atheist, had a kid with the atheist, then had an affair, divorced the husband, and married the guy with whom she had an affair, alienating her parents in the entire process. Train wreck! Although she got a Ph.D. in her field.)
Sometimes it comes down to:
(1) Do I accept God and His special revelation and general revelation as interpreted by special revelation _on my terms_
(2) Do I accept God and His special revelation and general revelation as interpreted by special revelation _on His terms_?
As to (1), there are many people who want God to fit into what they believe about God.
There are some who want a Cosmic Butler,
a Divine Sugar Daddy,
the Doting Spiritual Grandfather,
A weak and doormat/pushover hippie Jesus who wouldn’t hurt a fly,
Who would never preach about judgment.
The lady I knew did not want to accept Christianity especially over the issues of sexuality — i.e., sex is only meant within the context of a [previous existing] committed marital relationship of one man and one woman, husband and wife as an expression of love, fidelity, commitment and recommitment, and occasionally resulting in extending His kingdom through children if God permits.
She had issues that it seemed God was against “fun.”
She had issues that it seemed God didn’t want homosexual behavior for His children.
As I spoiled it already, I think her volitional disobedience then expressed itself in different ways. She thought herself to be intelligent, athletic, attractive — but was lonely. So she caved in and and slept wth a guy she kind of knew.
That of course made her feel icky and conflicted. But she labeled it on her loneliness.
She went for her Ph.D. (in counseling psychology, I believe) and met her then first husband. He was a tall, charming fellow, but an atheist. They moved in together and later got married. (We had mutual friends who did ask her what her thinking was and I believe she responded with something like, “Oh, this happened so fast…” “I wasn’t really thinking” etc.)
A couple years later, they had a baby, they moved to a different city where she was both teaching and practicing (counseling) and she met a charismatic, charming counselor and she had an affair. She was quite spiteful and mean to her [first] husband and managed to alienated her father and her mother through a quite ugly divorce.
Oh boy. God saved me from a massive heartache.
(Side note: these kinds of stories are why sometimes it’s better — much better — to be single than to be married to the wrong person!!)
As to (2), I have a good Christian friend, when we were both in seminary, we were in a number of classes together and we used to discuss everything from theology to apologetics (actually we got to know each other better in apologetics class and we hung out). He’s actually a history professor now (mostly Christian history).
My friend expressed it that there might be things we don’t understand or interpret correctly, “but God is the only game in town.” We might not think it’s terribly fair that people can disobey God all their lives and should they truly turn to God, even on their deathbed, they will be forgiven. We might not like it that God disciplines His children. We might not like it that there are consequences for sin.
But volitionally and at the end of the day, we have to say, God is right, I am not God, and I submit to God because He’s the proper King and Master and Lord.
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“if you are relying on someone to act in a Christian way – say, as a marriage partner – then you’d better find out what kind of “Christian” they are.”
I’d be looking at their fruits. Do they spend their free time feeding the poor, helping the afflicted, helping with Church missions, helping to support younger girls and other women? Do they evangelize among their friends, acquaintances, strangers? If not, there’s a good chance they belong to the Christian Social Club rather than follow Christ.