Tag Archives: Cowardice

What do pastors teach Christian women about relationships and marriage?

Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?
Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?

I enjoy reading Dalrock’s blog. Recently, he posted a couple of posts (first and second) about theologian Doug Wilson. A friend gave me Wilson’s book “Reforming Marriage”, and I did not find it to be a helpful guide to marriage. So, I was interested to see what Dalrock found in Wilson’s other writings.

Here’s one quote that Dalrock found:

As the apostle Paul is urging young women to marry, he lets a very interesting comment fall in passing. “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” (1 Tim. 5:14). The word translated here as “guide the house” is oikodespotein. The wife is to be the ruler or despot of the home.

And:

A wife therefore has true authority over her home which no one, including her husband, can take away from her.

[…]In a certain sense, a husband… is an honored and permanent guest… he should learn to see himself as a guest.

Now, that seems to contradict the traditional view that men are supposed to be leaders in the home. I don’t think that Christian women are well-served by pastors who dispute the traditional view.

Apparently, lots of women are being told that the traditional meaning of the Bible doesn’t apply to them. I heard Ben Shapiro talk about a church-attending Christian woman who was raging at the Jewish men she had relationships with, because they had not married her. (in his latest podcast, H/T David)

Shapiro mentions this article from the radically-leftist Washington Post:

At my very first job in New York, a colleague jokingly informed me: “You came in a WASP, but you’re leaving a Jew.”

That statement was in reference to the demographics of the office’s staff. Almost everyone who worked there was Jewish, and I, a recent college graduate who had spent my adolescence in a largely Christian community in the South, was not.

[…]Over almost seven years and two serious relationships with Jewish men who at first said religion didn’t matter — and then backtracked and decided it did — I’ve optimistically begun interfaith relationships with an open mind twice, only to become the last woman these men dated before settling down with a nice Jewish girl.

[…]There were times at church that I saw couples worshiping together and felt pangs of jealousy. But I told myself every relationship had its problems and these were relatively minor.

She attended church, but she thought that a difference in religion was “relatively minor”. Nevermind what the Bible says about it. I think that this woman was taught by her pastor that her feelings had more authority than the teachings of the Bible. And that she could retain the label of “Christian” and attend church, despite holding to a worldview that was essentially feminist at its core.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve met “Christian” women raised in the church who thought that the Bible should not have any authority over their choices in relationships. Most woman I met in my teens and 20s believed that. Their only guides were their feelings and intuitions, and that even led some of them to shack up with atheists. And many of the men they chose were just children studying in non-STEM programs, living at home, and racking up debts. They had empty resumes, and empty bank accounts. Nothing I said to these women from wisdom or from the Bible put a dent in their priorities. And in more than one case, pastors backed them up against me.

What prompted me to write this post today was the conjunction of the Dalrock posts with what a friend of mine told me about the Christian woman he is currently dating. So let’s talk about that second part.

My friend is an absolute stud of a Christian man. He has a STEM career, tons of money, his own house, and he has spent a lot of time studying apologetics and engaging in debates. He also attends church and Bible study weekly, and runs an apologetics discussion group. On paper, this guy has everything.

So I was asking him how things were going with the lady. He was telling her about his adventures debating some moral issue. Rather than asking him for details about the exchange, or saying her own view, she completely shut down and refused to discuss it at all! And she wouldn’t even recognize that what he was doing was praiseworthy, in order to encourage him. You would think that a guy would be able to impress a self-described Christian woman with his adventures as a Christian man. But it turns out that a lot of Christian women don’t look for anything seriously Christian in a man or in a marriage.

The experience my friend described basically summarizes what I saw in my teens and 20s, until I met my friend Mary through my blog. Mary is a serious Christian woman who is chaste and active in apologetics. She can run circles around me in debates, and has a computer science degree. She works in computer science, too. Since Mary, I have even met other single and married Christian women with conservative politics, STEM degrees and solid careers and/or marriages, who read apologetics and engage in discussions with non-Christians. They do exist. But I don’t think that any of these great Christian women learned to value these things in church.

I think most pastors fear hurting women’s feelings by expecting them to take the Bible seriously when it comes to relationships and marriage. They minimize the obligations on women to be chaste, to date Christian men, to be focused on marriage while dating, to let husbands lead in the home, etc. It really bothers me that traditional conservative “complementarian” pastors are either unable or unwilling to tell women that the Bible has something to say about how to prepare for marriage, and who they choose to marry. Pastors are free to push their new revisionist feminist version of marriage. But I didn’t get BS and MS degrees in computer science with the plan of putting in 45 years of full-time work in the private sector for a “marriage” that’s been degraded by radical feminism. I offer a lot, and therefore I won’t accept anything less than a Christian wife and a Christian marriage.

People wonder why men are not marrying as often as they used to. I think it has something to do with the fact that pastors are teaching women that husbands ought not be the leaders of their own homes. A Christian man will want his wife to be chief of staff in the home. She should be intelligent, accomplished and effective. Of course he will consult with her before making decisions on how to proceed. But men don’t marry unless we are going to be entrusted with that leadership role. Male leadership in marriage is non-negotiable. And that’s why women need to be wise about choosing the right man for that job – by relying on her mind, instead of on her feelings. Not everything a woman feels like doing is wise.

If you’re a young woman wanting to impress a Christian man with your qualifications for marriage, then check out my marriage questions, and see how you do.

Daughter of single mother explains how absent father ruined her life

 

Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?
Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?

I found a YouTube video featuring a conversation about the fundamental problem that I see with young, unmarried women: their decision to have recreational premarital sex with hot guys throughout their teens and 20s.

Here is the conversation: (just listen to the first 7 minutes to start)

Note: this conversation contains vulgar language. Listener discretion is advised.

Molyneux gets her talking about the most important question that women who fail with men never want to answer: why did your mother choose this awful, awful man, to be your father out of all the other men in the world? At the end, she really has learned her lesson and gives a good warning to other young women at the crossroads.

Summary of key admissions:

  • Caller: I’m a 41-year-old single white female who was a bad girl in my 20s. I was raised fatherless by a loving Christian mom. Question: what caused me to fail at life and be living with my (divorced) mother?
  • I was gifted, very intellectual, top of the class
  • My mom is a very caring person
  • My mom approached my Dad when he was already in another relationship (i.e. – her mom was the woman her father cheated with on another woman, then her mom married this cheating man and he dumped the previous woman)
  • My mom was very attractive, and could have chosen different men, but she was really attracted to this terrible man
  • My mom had a desire to get away from her strict parents, who she resented
  • when I was 15 I chose a man, I had recreational sex with him before marriage, and he stalked me and humiliated me
  • I felt like an adult at age 15, and I had sex with this man then so that I could put childhood behind me and become an adult
  • My mother counter-acted the absence of my Dad by raising me as a Christian – she was a radical, intense Christian and that hyper-religiosity made me not want to talk about sex with her
  • My mom divorced my father because he was a jerk
  • My mom did not mind that he had other children from past relationships, was underemployed, and was lazy
  • I used to sneak out of my room and sit on the back porch and drink alcohol with the neighbor kids
  • My mom was a worrier and a control freak, so I rebelled against her warnings and attempts to set boundaries on my wildness
  • I and my 15-year-old recreational sex partner used a condom from my devout Christian mother’s drawer
  • I had sex with 5 different boyfriends from age 15-18 and caught mono
  • My mom had temporary boyfriends after the divorce
  • In my 20s, “there wasn’t much to do except go out and drink”. “two to three times a week, me and my girlfriends would get dressed up, go to the clubs, and try to attract hot guys”.
  • From 21-30, I stopped looking for relationships, I just hooked up with hot guys for one-night stands and FWBs
  • I felt better about myself, more confident and in control when I would drink and have one-night stands with these hot guys
  • “I don’t know why I was so focused on looks” in these guys
  • The hooking up stopped at 30, then dating (with sex) resumed
  • I realized that the hot guys I wanted were not going to settle down, especially with new younger women available
  • From 15 to now, I’ve slept with 60 different men, sometimes repeatedly, and on and off
  • I never admitted the true number of men I slept with to any of these men
  • last relationship was 5 years ago (at age 36)
  • I have lost interest in sex, and lost interest in men
  • I don’t have the mental toughness to be in a relationship
  • I have “been broken” by too many failed relationships
  • nobody told me that my decisions with men were not going to go well

In the final 8 minutes where Stefan explains the larger consequences of women’s choices for civilization is very important, I think. I was surprised that he spoke directly to the “hot” alpha males that women want and told them that they are breaking women, and share the blame for destroying our civilization. The thing is, I don’t think those hot alpha males care about civilization, or anything except for themselves. So why do young women choose them?

If I had to pick one essential characteristic of young, unmarried women which ruins their lives, it is their inability to choose responsible men who are proven to be good at doing the things that men do as husbands and fathers. Young, unmarried women today are attracted to men who are LOUSY at the things that men do as husbands and fathers. Responsible men with strict morals and settled religion are not attractive to young, unmarried women. These women can’t connect their choices with men to the tasks that men actually perform in a married home. I am talking about non-Christian women AND Christian women. Nothing that women learn in church corrects this flaw. They are taught to believe that God speaks to them through their emotions, that they must follow their emotions, and everything they do that blows up in their faces is the fault of men. It’s never their responsibility.

Men’s rights activists say that this flaw is the root cause of the end of civilization, and I’m inclined to believe them. Saving women from this flaw is the number one task of fathers, and it is the number one thing that women must look for in a man they make babies with: FIND A MAN WHO CAN BREAK YOUR FUTURE DAUGHTER(S) OUT OF THIS DELUSION BEFORE THEY CHOOSE A BAD MAN. Strong men confront women and set boundaries to help women make better choices. Weak men blame the bad men that women freely choose and this does NOT help women make better choices. Women need to understand that men who speak to them directly, and tell them no, and set boundaries and try to push them to be serious about education and career and finances and marriage are NOT anti-woman. We are trying to protect you and strengthen you, by telling you to make good decisions, and be responsible.

Daughter of single mother explains how absent father ruined her life

SurveyMonkey election poll cross tabs for unmarried women Nov 2016
SurveyMonkey election poll cross tabs for unmarried women Nov 2016

The meaning of that image above will become clear at the end of the post.

I found a YouTube video featuring a conversation about the fundamental problem that I see with young, unmarried women: their decision to have recreational premarital sex with hot guys throughout their teens and 20s.

Here is the conversation: (just listen to the first 7 minutes to start)

Note: this conversation contains vulgar language. Listener discretion is advised.

Molyneux gets her talking about the most important question that women who fail with men never want to answer: why did your mother choose this awful, awful man, to be your father out of all the other men in the world? At the end, she really has learned her lesson and gives a good warning to other young women at the crossroads.

Summary of key admissions:

  • Caller: I’m a 41-year-old single white female who was a bad girl in my 20s. I was raised fatherless by a loving Christian mom. Question: what caused me to fail at life and be living with my (divorced) mother?
  • I was gifted, very intellectual, top of the class
  • My mom is a very caring person
  • My mom approached my Dad when he was already in another relationship (i.e. – her mom was the woman her father cheated with on another woman, then her mom married this cheating man and he dumped the previous woman)
  • My mom was very attractive, and could have chosen different men, but she was really attracted to this terrible man
  • My mom had a desire to get away from her strict parents, who she resented
  • when I was 15 I chose a man, I had recreational sex with him before marriage, and he stalked me and humiliated me
  • I felt like an adult at age 15, and I had sex with this man then so that I could put childhood behind me and become an adult
  • My mother counter-acted the absence of my Dad by raising me as a Christian – she was a radical, intense Christian and that hyper-religiosity made me not want to talk about sex with her
  • My mom divorced my father because he was a jerk
  • My mom did not mind that he had other children from past relationships, was underemployed, and was lazy
  • I used to sneak out of my room and sit on the back porch and drink alcohol with the neighbor kids
  • My mom was a worrier and a control freak, so I rebelled against her warnings and attempts to set boundaries on my wildness
  • I and my 15-year-old recreational sex partner used a condom from my devout Christian mother’s drawer
  • I had sex with 5 different boyfriends from age 15-18 and caught mono
  • My mom had temporary boyfriends after the divorce
  • In my 20s, “there wasn’t much to do except go out and drink”. “two to three times a week, me and my girlfriends would get dressed up, go to the clubs, and try to attract hot guys”.
  • From 21-30, I stopped looking for relationships, I just hooked up with hot guys for one-night stands and FWBs
  • I felt better about myself, more confident and in control when I would drink and have one-night stands with these hot guys
  • “I don’t know why I was so focused on looks” in these guys
  • The hooking up stopped at 30, then dating (with sex) resumed
  • I realized that the hot guys I wanted were not going to settle down, especially with new younger women available
  • From 15 to now, I’ve slept with 60 different men, sometimes repeatedly, and on and off
  • I never admitted the true number of men I slept with to any of these men
  • last relationship was 5 years ago (at age 36)
  • I have lost interest in sex, and lost interest in men
  • I don’t have the mental toughness to be in a relationship
  • I have “been broken” by too many failed relationships
  • nobody told me that my decisions with men were not going to go well

In the final 8 minutes where Stefan explains the larger consequences of women’s choices for civilization is very important, I think. I was surprised that he spoke directly to the “hot” alpha males that women want and told them that they are breaking women, and share the blame for destroying our civilization. The thing is, I don’t think those hot alpha males care about civilization, or anything except for themselves. So why do young women choose them?

If I had to pick one essential characteristic of young, unmarried women which ruins their lives, it is their inability to choose responsible men who are proven to be good at doing the things that men do as husbands and fathers. Young, unmarried women today are attracted to men who are LOUSY at the things that men do as husbands and fathers. Responsible men with strict morals and settled religion are not attractive to young, unmarried women. These women can’t connect their choices with men to the tasks that men actually perform in a married home. I am talking about non-Christian women AND Christian women. Nothing that women learn in church corrects this flaw. They are taught to believe that God speaks to them through their emotions, that they must follow their emotions, and everything they do that blows up in their faces is the fault of men. It’s never their responsibility.

Men’s rights activists say that this flaw is the root cause of the end of civilization, and I’m inclined to believe them. Saving women from this flaw is the number one task of fathers, and it is the number one thing that women must look for in a man they make babies with: FIND A MAN WHO CAN BREAK YOUR FUTURE DAUGHTER(S) OUT OF THIS DELUSION BEFORE THEY CHOOSE A BAD MAN. Strong men confront women and set boundaries to help women make better choices. Weak men blame the bad men that women freely choose and this does NOT help women make better choices. Women need to understand that men who speak to them directly, and tell them no, and set boundaries and try to push them to be serious about education and career and finances and marriage are NOT anti-woman. We are trying to protect you and strengthen you, by telling you to make good decisions, and be responsible.

Two horror stories of women who put selfishness over responsibilities and obligations

Is it OK to tell women they are wrong?
Is it OK to tell women they are wrong?

This article from Life News is the kind of article that Dina loves to send me to try to break my idyllic picture of women as always right and never wrong.

It says:

In 2014, wannabe model Josie Cunningham said she was getting an abortion so she could star on the reality television show Big Brother. However, she ended up rejecting abortion and having her third child.

At that time she said, “I really thought I would be able to but I couldn’t. I’d felt the baby kick for the first time 24 hours earlier and I couldn’t get that feeling out of my head. I’d forgotten what the feeling was like. It was magical. It was like the baby was telling me not to go through with it.”

She added, “I was in the taxi driving to the clinic and felt physically sick. I was shaking. When the driver told me we were a minute away I burst into tears. I wanted to throw myself out of the moving car to get away. I had my hands on my bump and I had the strongest feeling I couldn’t let anyone take my baby away.”

Sounds very dramatic, doesn’t it? She certainly got a lot of attention at the time.

More:

Unfortunately, now the Daily Mail reports that Cunningham has aborted her fourth child because she wanted to get a nose job to further her career as a porn star.

She told Sunday People the following about her decision: “I’d had the boobs done, I had the body, but I realized that to be really successful in the adult industry I needed the face too. People can hate me – but the pregnancy was going to ruin my chance of finally making it. Next year I’ll be posing for glamour shots instead of nine months pregnant lying on the sofa with fat ankles. That’s my decision and no one else’s.”

Later Cunningham explained that her pregnancy was a “major obstacle” in her life and abortion was the answer because surgeons refused to operate on her since she was pregnant.

She explained, “I spoke to the advisor at the cosmetic surgery clinic three weeks ago and she was telling me about the different kinds of surgery. I was getting really excited. But when I mentioned I was pregnant she immediately said the surgeon wouldn’t operate on me. I was told it could harm the baby and they even recommend waiting a year even after I gave birth before having it done. I called a few other clinics and they all said the same. My heart sank but I knew what I had to do.”

Her decision to abort her child is confusing to some because in January she announced that she was pro-life. She said, “I did consider having an abortion with my third child, which I am ashamed to say. The way I saw it was that I’d rather be able to provide further for the two children I already had than not be able to provide for all three. It wasn’t an easy decision. But now I am anti-abortion, I came close to making the biggest mistake of my life.”

Although Cunningham did give birth to a healthy child last year, she bragged about her unhealthy lifestyle during her pregnancy, which included smoking 20 cigarettes a day.

She’s not the only woman who just goes crazy of her own free will. I wanted to blog about Suzy Favor Hamilton for some time, so I’ll just add her story to this post:

Three years ago, Suzy ­Favor Hamilton was best known as a three-time middle-distance Olympic runner, an all-American beauty with mainstream fame, sponsorships with Nike and promotional work with Disney, and a loving husband and daughter.

[…]Favor Hamilton, now 47, was born in Stevens Point, Wis., the youngest of five. She led a comfortable, middle-class existence and displayed a talent for running at just 9 years old. By high school, she was training for the Olympics.

[…]Favor Hamilton attended the University of Wisconsin on a full running scholarship, and there she met her future husband, Mark Hamilton, a freshman pitcher. By the time they graduated, Mark had switched to law, and Suzy had a six-year, five-figure contract with Reebok. By the spring of 1992, as she was going into the Olympic trials, she had been written up not just in Olympian magazine but Vogue, Elle and Rolling Stone. She loved the attention.

“Being a celebrity became more and more attractive to me,” she writes.

[…]Her sister, Kris, she writes, “was generous enough to make sacrifices for me, but I never thought of doing so for her because I couldn’t focus on anything but crossing the finish line first.”

[…]In 2005, she got pregnant with their daughter, Kylie. But Favor Hamilton was bored and her husband annoyed by her entitlement. To alleviate the strain in their marriage, Favor Hamilton suggested celebrating their 20th anniversary with a threesome in Las Vegas. He was dubious.

[…]“‘Flat and stale” is how she describes her life right after that trip. For Favor Hamilton, life with her husband and daughter in the Midwest was never going to be enough. She longed to be in Vegas, earning thousands of dollars, being paid for sex by rich and powerful men.

[…]“It was as if I’d suddenly ­become a teenager,” she writes. “I wanted what felt good and fun, all the time.”

[…]Within a month, Favor Hamilton was consumed with her new life in Vegas. “I was barely there when I was in Madison,” she writes. “My concern was no long­er making it easier for Mark to accept my next return trip to Vegas, but simply how soon I could get back there.” She had hooked up with a chef who bought her $500 in clothes and jewelry for sex. She wanted more of that.

[…]When Mark told her he’d probably begin sleeping with other women, she was relieved. “It made me feel even more entitled to do what I wanted,” she writes.

[…]As he opened the door, she realized the room “was full of men.” She wasn’t afraid — she was into it. “The only question on my mind,” she writes, “was how much sex, and with how many of these men.”

[…]Just a few months in, Favor Hamilton had all but abandoned her husband and child. They couldn’t compete with clients who bought her thousand-dollar meals, took her on shopping sprees, sent her for spray tans and manicures.

[…]When her daughter called her in Vegas, Favor Hamilton was annoyed.

“‘I miss you, Mommy,’ she said, tears in her voice,” Favor Hamilton writes. “I didn’t want that . . . I needed a glass of wine and some of that Vegas glamour to feel like [her alter ego] again.”

Favor Hamilton was picking up men on her own when she had a free hour or two between scheduled clients and specialized in threesomes. Her behavior was becoming wilder: She had sex in broad daylight on a golf course twice with one client.

[…]“I can’t stop, Mark,” she said. “I’ve never been happier.”

[…]And she’s not sorry for any of it.

“I cannot pretend to feel ashamed,” she writes, “for having done something I don’t think is wrong.”

I think Dina and I agree that there is a lot of bad behavior going on in the world that can be attributed to selfish, reckless, emotional behavior by women. Dina thinks that men ought to be doing a better job of setting boundaries and talking to women about morality and the likely consequences of their poor choices. Well, I hope that by talking about these two stories, I encourage all the men to be more confident about telling women “NO” when they make bad decisions.

Here is what I would like Christian men to do when confronted with a woman who is making selfish decisions that are likely to harm her and those around her in the long term. I would like them to recognize when they are being manipulated by women, which younger men are especially prone to doing. They have to learn to do without attention from women if it means not being able to analyze and judge her actions. Men also need to be very skeptical of women who invoke God leading her through her feelings. As far as I’m concerned, God should always be leading women to do things they DON’T FEEL LIKE DOING. If the woman felt like doing something selfish when she was a non-Christian (e.g. – traveling to Europe for 2 years), then it can hardly be the case now that God is leading her to do exactly what she wanted to do when she was a non-Christian. She was already wanting to do that before she became a Christian. So men need to be careful about approving a bad plan just because the woman hollers Jesus over it. A bad plan is a bad plan, and hollering Jesus doesn’t make it a good plan.

I would also like to see men understand that decisions about education, career and finances are best made by people who have degrees that led to good jobs, by people with gapless resumes, by people with high salaries, and by people with savings. I want to see men focus on getting STEM degrees, getting STEM jobs, and then saving and investing so that they have a quarter of a million dollars saved by age 30. I don’t want to see unemployed students handing out advice to women about education, career and finances when they don’t even know what they are talking about themselves. I don’t want them accepting the pronouncements of a woman about education, career and finance when her own past shows that she has made poor choices in these areas. Newsflash: if a woman is 30, unemployed and living at home with thousands of dollars of debt from a degree she has never used, then anything she has to say about education, career and finance is literally garbage. I don’t want to see you men approving of such clowning.

I also don’t want to see men praying for women’s crazy plans to succeed. If you find a woman who is uneducated, unemployed, in debt and living with her parents, then the thing to do is to encourage her to choose a plan that is reasonable likely to work on its own, not one that requires God’s intervention in order to work. In my case, I found a woman a job in a Fortune 100 company that was related to her (unused) college degree in business. It would have got her out of debt, and out of her parents’ house. Unfortunately, she turned it down because the job was “too boring and hard”. I expect the men in her life to hold her accountable for putting fun and thrills over building up a resume and investing early. Young people seem to be completely unaware of the advantages of investing early so they can retire early. I expect Christian men to be telling young women how important it is to save and invest as early as possible. I also want to see young men making moral judgments and sharing wisdom to women about the important of working, saving and investing. I want men to warn women about the delays of putting off marriage and child-bearing for too long, as well.

If even Christian men cannot speak up, then how much more cowardly and weak would non-Christian men be, especially when they are being pacified with sex? We have a crisis of masculinity, with men exchanging their leadership role in order to be liked by as many people as possible. Men have to have more courage.

Why Christian parents get nervous about evidence when discussing Christianity

Homeschooling mother Dr. Lydia McGrew explains why Bible-believing Christians are uneasy with the use of evidence on her blog What’s Wrong With The World. (H/T Eric Chabot)

Excerpt:

4) The idea that, if a young person gets deeply interested in Christian evidence, he will go out on the Internet (or at his public high school or secular college) seeking giants to slay and will get overwhelmed. Again, this worry has merit as a sociological matter. That can certainly happen.

That is why we should say loud and clear to Christians interested in this topic: Don’t do that! What do I mean? Just this: Being committed to investigating the evidence for Christianity does not mean that one has to find out every possible thing that anyone has ever said about or against Christianity and know the answer to it. That would be impossible because of the sheer bulk of (ultimately unpersuasive) objections which skeptics can bring up as though they were real problems.

In this context the words of George Horne, an 18th century bishop, from his Letters on Infidelity, are wise and helpful. (Emphasis added.)

In the thirty sections of their pamphlet, they have produced a list of difficulties to be met with in reading the Old and New Testament. Had I been aware of their design, I could have enriched the collection with many more, at least as good, if not a little better. But they have compiled, I dare say, what they deemed the best, and, in their own opinion, presented us with the essence of infidelity in a thumb-phial, the very fumes of which, on drawing the cork, are to strike the bench of bishops dead at once. Let not the unlearned Christian be alarmed, “as though some strange thing had happened to him,” and modern philosophy had discovered arguments to demolish religion, never heard of before. The old ornaments of deism have been “broken off” upon this occasion, “and cast into the fire, and there came out this calf.” These same difficulties have been again and again urged and discussed in public; again and again weighed and considered by learned and sensible men, of the laity as well as the clergy, who have by no means been induced by them to renounce their faith.

[snip]

Many and painful are the researches sometimes necessary to be made, for settling points of that kind. Pertness and ignorance may ask a question in three lines, which it will cost learning and ingenuity thirty pages to answer. When this is done, the same question shall be triumphantly asked again the next year, as if nothing had ever been written upon the subject.

And a bit later:

5) The unspoken fear that Christianity cannot stand up to scrutiny and doesn’t really have good evidential support.

Here I do not blame the parents, but not because I share the unspoken fear. I do not blame them, because in most cases no one has ever taught them otherwise. How many pastors and priests have really taught apologetics to their congregations, or even offered such studies as an option? Too few. How many courses on sharing your faith have explicitly taught people not to get involved in responding to questions and objections but just to “share their experience” because “no one can argue with that”? Too many. It’s no wonder then that the congregation comes away with the sneaking suspicion that our Christian faith is no better grounded than Mormonism and that we, like they, must depend chiefly on the burning in the bosom.

And one can always push the blame further back. Perhaps the pastors weren’t taught Christian evidences at their seminaries.

In fact, I would not be surprised if all too many theologians who give high-falutin’ rationalizations for being anti-evidentialist are actually making a virtue out of what they deem to be a necessity. Since they don’t think Christian faith is founded on fact, they might as well make up some profound-sounding theological theory that tells us that it shouldn’t be.

When Nathanael asks Philip, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip simply says, “Come and see.” (John 1:46) And he brings him to Jesus. If you as a parent or mentor to the young are opposed to the study of Christian evidences partly because deep down you suspect that they aren’t very good, I can only say to you as well, “Come and see.”

I blogged about this tendency of church leaders to make a virtue out of laziness and ignorance before.

Here’s a snip:

Suppose a pastor or campus group leader wants to avoid having to learn physics and cosmology, or the minimum facts case for the resurrection, or how to respond to apparently gratuitous suffering, or the problem of religious pluralism. Suppose he thinks that Christianity, if it is about anything, is about his feeling happy and comfortable with a minimum of effort and work. So, he diligently avoids reading apologetics, because learning evidence is hard work. He avoids watching debates on God’s existence and the resurrection, because this is hard work. He avoids conversations with people who do study these things, and implies that there is something wrong with them for studying these things. He endeavors to conceal his laziness and ignorance and cowardice from his flock with much pious God-talk and fervent praise-hymn-singing.

Eventually, some member of his church asks him to go for lunch with an actual non-Christian family member. The pastor agrees and when he meets the unbelieving family member, he has nothing at all to say about typical challenges that unbelievers face. He has no knowledge of evolution, the problem of evil, the hiddenness of God, or the hallucination theory. He has never read a single atheist, and never read a single piece of evidence to refute them from Christian scholars. He lacks humility, refusing to admit that other Christian scholars may know more than he does because they have studied other areas. Needless to say, he fails to defend God’s reputation to the non-Christian. What will he say to the members of his flock about his failure? How will he justify his obstinate refusal to do what everyone else in the Bible does when confronting non-believers?

Well, consider this review of a recent book that defends the Gospels and the historicity of the resurrection by one such fideist pastor.

He writes:

There are, however, two significant shortcomings to the book.

First, Cold-Case Christianity places far too much emphasis on the role of extrabiblical sources. No doubt there is a legitimate role for biblical archaeology and extrabiblical writing from antiquity. Christianity is, after all, a faith firmly rooted in human history. But there is a grave danger when truth is suspended because of an apparent lack of corroboration from extrabiblical sources. And Wallace, I’m afraid, wanders too close to this dark side of apologetics.

All of chapter 12, for instance, is devoted to proving the Gospels have external corroborative evidence—“evidence that are independent of the Gospel documents yet verify the claims of the text” (183). Wallace then addresses the historicity of the pool of Bethesda and makes another worrying statement: “For many years, there was no evidence for such a place outside of John’s Gospel. Because Christianity makes historical claims, archaeology ought to be a tool we can use to see if these claims are, in fact, true” (201-202, emphasis added).

In other words, Wallace seems to suggest we cannot affirm the truth of the Gospel accounts without the stamp of approval from archaeology and other extrabiblical sources. Such reasoning is dangerous, not least because it cannot affirm the inerrancy of the Bible. But also, it places the final court of appeal in the realm of extrabiblical sources rather than of God’s all-sufficient, all-powerful Word.

That is a textbook definition of fideism – that belief is somehow more pious and praiseworthy the less evidence we have. And the best way to have less evidence is to study nothing at all, but to just make a leap-of-faith in the dark. Of course, a leap-of-faith can land you anywhere – Islam, Mormonism. Presumably this pastor is like the Mormons who eschew all evidence and prefer to detect the truth of Mormonism by “the burning of the bosom” which happens when people read the all-sufficient, all-powerful Book of Mormon. His view of faith is identical to theirs, and 180 degrees opposed to the Bible. He has made his leap-of-faith, and that leap-of-faith is not accountable to arguments and evidence. His faith is private and personal, based on his own feelings. He considers it blasphemous to have to demonstrate what he believes to those who disagree with him. Where is this in the Bible? It’s nowhere. But it is everywhere in anti-intellectual Christian circles.

[…]I think that Christians are much better off following the example of authentic Christian pastors like R.C. Sproul, who, in a conference on evangelism, invited Dr. Stephen C. Meyer to present multiple lines of evidence from mainstream science to establish the existence of God. The only reason not to take this approach is laziness, which leads to ignorance, which leads to cowardice. And failure. It is pastors like Pastor Bungle above who are responsible for the great falling away from Christianity that we are seeing when we look at young people. Pastors who pride themselves in refusing to connecting the Bible to the real world, with evidence and with policy analysis, are causing young people to abandon the faith.

I think that many people who reject Christianity can point to a general impression that they got from Pastor Bungle and his ilk that faith is somehow different from other areas of knowledge and that it was morally praise worthy to insulate faith from critical thinking and evidence. Pastor Bungle could never justify his view by using the Bible, but a lot of church leaders have that view regardless of whether it’s Biblical or not.

The really troubling thing that I see again and again in the church is when pastors base all of their opposition to behaviors like abortion and gay marriage on Christianity. This effectively makes it impossible to do anything about these issues in the public square, because Christians are then taught to have nothing persuasive to say on these issues to non-Christians. It’s like pastors are more interested in striking a pious pose with their congregations instead of studying secular arguments and evidence so they can equip Christians to actually solve the problem.