Tag Archives: Feelings

A lesson about men for marriage-minded women from the movie “High Noon”

Marine prays with his wife on their wedding day
Marine prays with his wife on their wedding day

One of my favorite movies for explaining the differences between men and women is “High Noon” (1952).

Here’s the summary from IMDB:

Former marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) is preparing to leave the small town of Hadleyville, New Mexico, with his new bride, Amy (Grace Kelly), when he learns that local criminal Frank Miller has been set free and is coming to seek revenge on the marshal who turned him in. When he starts recruiting deputies to fight Miller, Kane is discouraged to find that the people of Hadleyville turn cowardly when the time comes for a showdown, and he must face Miller and his cronies alone.

The main theme of the film concerns Amy’s decision to break her wedding vows the very day that she makes them. She tells her new husband that he must bow to her will, and give up his male role as protector. When he explains his reasons for standing his ground to her practically (Miller will hunt them down) and morally (he has a duty protect the town), she dismisses both. She tells him that if he doesn’t run away from Miller and his gang with her, that she will get on the train and leave town by herself.

The intro of film shows the member’s of Miller’s gang assembling, and the words of the song explain the central conflict between husband and wife:

Here’s the part of the lyrics we care about:

The noonday train will bring Frank Miller.
If I’m a man I must be brave
And I must face that deadly killer
Or lie a coward, a craven coward,
Or lie a coward in my grave.

O to be torn ‘twixt love and duty!
S’posin’ I lose my fair-haired beauty!
Look at that big hand move along
Nearin’ high noon.

He made a vow while in State’s Prison,
Vow’d it would be my life or his’n
I’m not afraid of death, but O,
What will I do if you leave me?

Do not forsake me O my darlin’
You made that promise when we wed.
Do not forsake me O my darlin’
Although you’re grievin’, I can’t be leavin’
Until I shoot Frank Miller dead.

What’s interesting is that his new wife Amy apparently does not understand the meaning of wedding vows or the natural roles of good men as protectors of the weak, and fighters against evil. Although she vowed to stick by him and help him, the minute anything threatening appears that makes her feel unhappy, she abandons her vows and abandons her man. Let’s break down her mistakes now, using actual conversations from the movie.

First, she doesn’t understand or respect the man she married as a man:

Kane: [while riding out of town] It’s no good. I’ve got to go back, Amy.

Amy: Why?

Kane: This is crazy. I haven’t even got any guns.

Amy: Then let’s go on. Hurry.

Kane: No, that’s what I’ve been thinkin’. They’re making me run. I’ve never run from anybody before.

Amy: I don’t understand any of this.

Kane: [after looking at his vest watch] Well, I haven’t got time to tell ya.

Amy: Then don’t go back, Will.

Kane: I’ve got to. That’s the whole thing. [He turns the buggy around and rides back into town]

Her feelings and her desires for the world to be a happy place for her are so strong that they cloud her judgment.

Second, she doesn’t understand the threat posed by evil men:

More:

Kane: I sent a man up five years ago for murder. He was supposed to hang. But up North, they commuted it to life and now he’s free. I don’t know how. Anyway, it looks like he’s coming back.

Amy: I still don’t understand.

Kane: He was always wild and kind of crazy. He’ll probably make trouble.

Amy: But that’s no concern of yours, not anymore.

Kane: I’m the one who sent him up.

Amy: Well, that was part of your job. That’s finished now. They’ve got a new marshal.

Kane: He won’t be here until tomorrow. Seems to me I’ve got to stay. Anyway, I’m the same man with or without this. [He pins his badge on his vest]

Amy: Oh, that isn’t so.

Kane: I expect he’ll come lookin’ for me. Three of his old bunch are waiting at the depot.

Amy: That’s exactly why we ought to go.

Kane: They’ll just come after us, four of ’em, and we’d be all alone on the prairie.

Amy: We’ve got an hour.

Kane: What’s an hour?…What’s a hundred miles? We’d never be able to keep that store, Amy. They’d come after us and we’d have to run again, as long as we live.

Amy: No we wouldn’t, not if they didn’t know where to find us. Oh Will! Will, I’m begging you, please let’s go.

Kane: I can’t.

Amy: Don’t try to be a hero. You don’t have to be a hero, not for me.

Kane: I’m not trying to be a hero. If you think I like this, you’re crazy.

Instead of recognizing how her feelings are deceiving her about the threat and trusting her husband, she tries to force him to accept her mistaken view of reality by threatening to abandon him.

One of Kane’s ex-girlfriends has a talk with Amy, which helps her to understand who Kane is, and what is expected of her:

Amy: That man downstairs, the clerk, he said things about you and Will. I’ve been trying to understand why he wouldn’t go with me, and now all I can think of is that it’s got to be because of you…Let him go, he still has a chance. Let him go.

Helen: He isn’t staying for me. I haven’t spoken to him for a year – until today. I am leaving on the same train you are…What kind of woman are you? How can you leave him like this? Does the sound of guns frighten you that much?

Amy: I’ve heard guns. My father and my brother were killed by guns. They were on the right side but that didn’t help them any when the shooting started. My brother was nineteen. I watched him die. That’s when I became a Quaker. I don’t care who’s right or who’s wrong. There’s got to be some better way for people to live. Will knows how I feel about it.

Helen: I hate this town. I always hated it – to be a Mexican woman in a town like this.

Amy: I understand.

Helen: You do? That’s good. I don’t understand you. No matter what you say. If Kane was my man, I’d never leave him like this. I’d get a gun. I’d fight.

Amy: Why don’t you?

Helen: He is not my man. He’s yours.

Helen understands the need for a wife to stand by her man. But Amy’s response to evil is to shut her eyes and focus on feeling good and being happy. Notice that her “better way” is unspecified – it’s just a feeling she has that pacificism and no-violence will somehow “work” to stop evil. But in reality, pacifism is not a “better way” of dealing with evil – it does not work. Her pacifist response not only does not make evil go away, it actually encourages more evil. Weakness emboldens evildoers, and laying down your arms provokes them to do more evil. Will Kane knows this, but she won’t listen to him.

You can watch the final gunfight here, as well as Amy’s final decision:

So, this is why I really recommend this movie as a discussion-starter when you like a girl and are thinking of marrying her. It clarifies the essential problem with many young women today not being ready for marriage. To be fair, most women come around to respect their husbands and his different roles after they get married. However, the risk of divorce is so dangerous that it makes sense to bring it up for discussion before the marriage happens. Marriage is supposed to be an engine to serve God, and the success of that enterprise cannot be left to chance. You can’t just rely on the fact that she says the words of the vow, you have to check to see if she has a habit of keeping her promises when it goes against her own self-interest.

Ask yourself: Who are you, as a man? And does your woman accept that you have obligations to stand up to evil and do good ? Will she support you in your battle against evil, or will the marriage just be about her feelings and desires? I would especially beware of women who think that God is speaking to them through their feelings and desires. Look at her friends: are they practical and successful? Or are they irresponsible, unaccountable and reckless? Look at her father: does he have a plan for her, and does he lead her to be practical, frugal and hard-working? If you are not going to get an ally and a supporter in a wife, then you will not be able to serve God well, as a married man. Think about it.

How many pro-abortion men have to be caught raping before women stop choosing them?

Although I had a lot of fun attacking feminism in Tuesday’s post, it wasn’t my intention to attack feminism again today. But I feel I have to say something about a news story about New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Although he was a major figure in the #MeToo movement, he resigned after being accused of sexual assault by four different women.

Let’s start by learning a little about the man from his own tweets:

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants women to be free?
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants women to be free?

Now, let’s be clear about what abortion is. Abortion is ending the life of an innocent unborn child that has human DNA distinct from either the mother or the father. It happens after two strong grown ups have agreed to have recreational sex with no plan to welcome and care for a child that they might create. They don’t want to be responsible for the consequences of their own choices. If a child is conceived, then the powerful grown-ups resort to murder in order to keep the good times rolling for themselves.

That’s what Democrat Attorney General Eric Schneiderman supports. And many, many young unmarried women voted for this man, precisely because he held this self-centered and irresponsible view of women, relationships and children.

In fact, radical feminists not only prefer men who have this view of relationships and sex, they insist on it.

Consider this dating guide published by a feminist writer.

Excerpt:

2. “What Are Your Views On Abortion?”

If you’re considering a sexual relationship that could potentially lead to pregnancy, holding conflicting views on abortion can cause a lot of tension. If you can get pregnant, you’ll want to know whether someone will respect your choice to handle the pregnancy as you see fit. And if you can get someone pregnant, you want to make sure you’re on the same page about what will be done about it. Even if you’re not in a relationship that could lead to pregnancy, someone’s views on abortion can speak volumes about their level of misogyny as well as their respect for others’ bodily autonomy.

Got that? Pro-life men are mysogynistic and deny bodily autonomy. But pro-abortion men aren’t misogynistic, and respect women’s bodily autonomy. That’s what radical feminists believe.

With that said, let’s take a look at the charges against Eric Schneidernman, as reported by the New York Post.

Excerpt:

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called his Sri Lankan girlfriend his “brown slave” and wanted her to refer to him as “Master,” the woman says.

Harvard-educated activist writer Tanya Selvaratnam told the New Yorker magazine that her yearlong affair with Schneiderman “was a fairytale that became a nightmare” — and quickly escalated into violence in the bedroom, even as he begged for threesomes.

“Sometimes, he’d tell me to call him Master, and he’d slap me until I did,” Selvaratnam said.

“He started calling me his ‘brown slave’ and demanding that I repeat that I was ‘his property.’”

Selvaratnam said, “The slaps started after we’d gotten to know each other.

“It was at first as if he were testing me. Then it got stronger and harder. It wasn’t consensual. This wasn’t sexual playacting. This was abusive, demeaning, threatening behavior.”

She said that as the violence grew, so did his sexual demands.

“He was obsessed with having a threesome and said it was my job to find a woman,” Selvaratnam said. “He said he’d have nothing to look forward to if I didn’t and would hit me until I agreed.”

She said she had no intention of adding a second woman to their bed.

The abuse increased until Schneiderman was not only slapping her but spitting on her and choking her, she said.

“He was cutting off my ability to breathe,” she said.

Soon, “we could rarely have sex without him beating me.”

The attorney general was often fueled by booze, Selvaratnam said.

And he would push her to drink, too, she said.

“Drink your bourbon, Turnip,’’ she said he ordered her, using his nickname for her.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, there’s a lot more here at the Washington Free Beacon.

This was interesting:

“Now that I know it’s part of a pattern, I think, God, I should have reported it,” the accuser said. “But, back then, I believed that it was a one-time incident. And I thought, He’s a good attorney general, he’s doing good things. I didn’t want to jeopardize that.”

This man is a hero of radical feminists. Here is a video featuring feminist comedian Samantha Bee:

Most women support pro-abortion men like Eric Schneiderman:

Women are more liberal on abortion than men
GALLUP polling: Women support abortion more than men

According to 2008 exit polls, 77% of young, unmarried women voted for a pro-abortion Democrat (Obama). Obama even voted against banning infanticide as a state senator in Illinois. Young, unmarried women had no problem voting for a supporter of infanticide (killing a baby born alive).

We know about lots of Democrats who talk about women’s rights in public, and mistreat them in private, e.g. – Ted Kennedy, Bill Cinton, John Edwards, Elliott Spitzer, Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, etc. Some pro-abortion Democrat men kill women. Some rape women. Some sexually assault women. They are all willing to destroy a defenseless unborn child in order to escape the consequences of their selfish choices. If they are willing to kill an innocent, defenseless unborn child, they are certainly willing to sexually assault a grown woman.

Pro-abortion men are NOT the kind of men that a woman can depend on for love, fidelity, commitment and respect. It doesn’t matter how hot they are, how rich they are, or how powerful they are. If the goal is a faithful, life-long committed relationship that persists through the woman’s old age, then the answer cannot be a pro-abortion man. Just because young, unmarried women are attracted to men who are hot and non-judgmental, that does not translate into a long-term relationship where the man will be loving and leading the woman well. Women need to stop thinking that moral character doesn’t matter when evaluating a man for a relationship. A man’s refusal to condemn irresponsible behavior is not a sign of good character. A man’s mistreatment of others around him is not a sign of good character. Men who don’t have good character should not be chosen for relationships. Having feelings of attraction for a man does not mean that his character is suitable for loving and caring for others. Men need to be chosen based on their ability to do the job, not based on feelings of attraction.

The same women who support the pro-abortion rapists, sexual assaulters, etc. also OPPOSE men like Billy Graham and Mike Pence, who are so serious about their marriage vows that they refuse to even put themselves into situations where they might be tempted. I blogged before about how radical feminists jeered at the rules that good men impose on themselves in order to avoid even the appearance of an affair. Feminists consider Mike Pence to be a terrible person, but one feminist journalist said of Bill Clinton “I’d be happy to give him [oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal”. This is the same Bill Clinton who cheated on his wife with his female subordinates, and was credibly accused of rape. But he gives feminists the tingles. Who cares about character? He’s hot. And he supports abortion.

The alternative

Now, just to be clear, I am the worst freaking nightmare of a radical feminist. I am a virgin. I will not even kiss on the lips unless it’s to seal an engagement. I don’t buy drinks for women, unless it’s one beer in a restaurant, and we’re sharing it. And as far as abortion, I think life begins at conception. I also think that marriage is solely between one man and one woman, for life. Whatever it is that I’m going to do to convince a woman to marry me, it’s going to be done outside of the bedroom, when she’s stone-cold sober. I will get the consent of her father, first.

It is important to me that I am able to demonstrate my ability to be self-controlled and faithful to one woman, and to speak the language of love outside of the bedroom. That’s what chastity is for – it demonstrates the ability to love totally apart from selfishness and lust. Fidelity is not free. Women need to be chaste themselves, and they need to insist on chastity in the men they choose. Fidelity and self-control cannot be left to chance. They are more important than surface level concerns. Instead of looking for men who want to murder children, women should be looking for men who are comfortable taking on demanding relationships and keeping their commitments even if they become difficult.

Since I have a Christian view of marriage, my marriage has a customer. My choices with women and marriage will be designed to manufacture a result for my Commanding Officer. Treating women and children badly would cause them to move away from God, and so these things are just not permitted. Women dealing with me always have that leverage – the ability to hold me accountable to that vertical commitment to our common Boss.

What is important for everyone to realize is that many women today, thanks to radical feminism, do not go after men who are prepared and suited to marriage. They do not want to marry early and have children. They want to ride the carousel with hot pro-abortion bad boys until their looks and youth start to fade. They see marriage as boring, and children as distractions from travel and fun. They smash themselves up against pro-abortion men, and get very bitter, disrespectful and selfish. It is very hard for a marriage-minded man to marry women who graduate from the Eric Schneiderman school of relationships. Maybe we should tell women the truth for a change.

Feminism’s new plan to achieve lasting happiness without giving up promiscuity

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

The article that I am linking to in TODAY’s post is from the far-left Huffington Post. Please do not read the article if you are under 30. Huffington Post, like most radical feminism web sites, has dropped down to the level of 50 Shades of Gray. Reader discretion is advised. But I had to write about their article because it really shows you that radical feminists are not innocent little doves hoping for traditional marriage and children.

First, a little introduction. Radical feminism is a rejection of traditional sex roles for men and women, and the committed union of men and women in marriage.

Here is what radical feminists oppose:

  • female sobriety when among the opposite sex
  • male sobriety when among the opposite sex
  • female chastity prior to marriage
  • male chastity prior to marriage
  • women preparing for the traditional roles of wife and mother
  • men preparing for the traditional roles of protector, provider, moral leader and spiritual leader
  • paying for their own condoms and birth control pills
  • men who are pro-life and pro-natural-marriage

Radical feminism wants nothing to do with men who are sober and chaste. The only real way to decide whether a man is good or bad – for a radical feminist – is whether he is attractive looking and does not try to lead women or hold them accountable morally or spiritually. Men are just accessories designed to provide women with fun and thrills. They are not to be selected for their ability to perform “sexist” virtues like chivalry, providing or leadership.

Now, feminists have been very unhappy lately, because their plan for forming relationships (focus on career, choose hot guys, get drunk, have premarital sex, wait by the phone, claim that all men are evil when no one calls, repeat) doesn’t work. But radical feminists don’t see the problem with their promiscuity plan. They don’t think that marriage is a good thing, because it has unfair sex roles. And they don’t think that women or men should prepare for commitment by being sober, chaste and self-sacrificial. They think that they can choose pleasure right now, and at every moment following, and that this will somehow work out to provide them with lasting love, support and intimacy as they grow older. Somehow, after they tire of sexual revolutionisting with the hot guys, they will easily be able to find a man who is simultaneously hot and sober, faithful, committed, and a great father to whichever children she decided not to abort. And if this plan doesn’t “work out”, then it’s the fault of patriarchy and toxic masculinity.

The Huffington Post article explains why radical feminists think that their plan is failing:

[…][S]ome straight women have thrown their hands up in despair at the prospect of dealing with straight men. These men, who grope us and talk down to us and consistently fail to clean the bathroom ― we’re supposed to make lives with them? Let them touch us?

Women woke up one day to find that their husbands voted for Donald Trump and their sons have been ***posting on incel boards. Even before we heard the claims about Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment and assault and the ensuing avalanche of other horrifying Me Too allegations, we heard about our president grabbing women “by the pussy,” Bill Cosby feeding women roofies, and R. Kelly allegedly sexually exploiting young girls. So many straight men, we have been forced to accept, are bad to and for us. Why would we take the enormous risk of loving one of them?

All the bad boy leftist men they freely chose to have premarital sex with for money or career advancement failed to please them. And all men must be the same. After all, radical feminists rejected traditional male virtues and roles as “sexist”. Instead, they decided to have premarital sex with secular leftists like Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Elliot Spitzer, etc. Those men are fun and thrilling, and might even help your career. If these relationships failed, then surely the relationships not chosen – the ones with the sober, chaste, responsible men – would have failed, too, right? You don’t expect a woman to have a relationship with someone who doesn’t support abortion and gay marriage, do you? How could a man who is pro-child and pro-marriage possibly be suitable for commitment and parenting? Just choose the hot ones who make you tingle, and then generalize about all men from those failed experiments.

More:

One seductive yet impossible fantasy might be the romantic attention of a man who lacks the exhausting baggage of male entitlement.

To find such a fantastical being, women ― in fiction, at least ― have turned to the sea.

Yes, the radical feminists are turning to the sea to find fictional mermen who meet their feminist ideals for relationships.

More:

Lucy, the protagonist of The Pisces, is newly single, running out of time to finish her dissertation, and spiraling out of control.

[…]Despite the therapy sessions, Lucy can’t stop searching for male attention to restore her sense of desirability and worth. Before each encounter with a prospect, she feels buoyant and eager, but again and again, she’s left sexually and emotionally unfulfilled, in part because the men don’t much care whether she’s enjoying herself.

One man she meets on an app ― a hot younger dude in an open relationship ― convinces her to have sex with him in the lobby bathroom of an upscale hotel. It’s quick and mediocre. She doesn’t come. Afterward, he leaves without telling her, stranding her alone at the hotel bar. Lucy thought the encounter would be something different, that it would make her feel deliriously sexy and desired.  She tries not to let herself feel sad about how transparently he was using her to fulfill his fantasy while her own went entirely ignored. What she wants is for even this one-time fling to care desperately about making her come, for his world to narrow around her pleasure, even for just a few minutes.

Wow, the hot bad boys don’t care about the women who choose them for irresponsible recreational premarital sex? If only there were some way to keep a man committed? It can’t be marriage though, and acting like a wife. That’s “sexist”. I’m surprised that having recreational premarital sex with a hot, promiscuous pro-abortion pro-gay-marriage Democrat doesn’t lead to the woman enjoying herself in the long term.

It’s mermen to the rescue, though:

When she begins to fall for Theo, a tautly handsome swimmer she keeps seeing in the ocean near her sister’s beachside home, it seems like she may have found the something that couldn’t exist. Theo looks decades younger than her, but he is fascinated by her. He seeks her out, pulling up by the rocks at the edge of the beach to talk with her night after night. He wants to kiss her, then give her oral sex for hours under the stars. Soon, she learns that there’s a reason he initially stayed submerged from the waist down during their encounters: He’s what we might call a merman, and instead of legs he has a scaly tail.

Like the creature in “The Shape of Water,” Theo seems to be an exception to the rule of toxic straight maleness. Where other men hurt, threaten and betray, these unhuman beings pleasure, console and conspire with women.

[…]Her ex toys with her emotions; the men she dates are sexually selfish and reckless with her health. But Theo is different, both because he has a scaly tail instead of legs, and because he proclaims to be devoted to her and her pleasure.

After some discussion about the wonders of the merman’s equipment, (so important to a radical feminist!), we read this:

….there’s also an unmistakable queerness to these mythical, human-like creatures. They transgress the boundaries of what society traditionally demands from a male body. Lucy even notes a feminine quality to Theo…

[…]This story is a seductive one, especially to straight women who yearn to get outside of the oppressive structures and expectations of their dating realm. What if we found men who were different? Who were in touch with their emotions, called themselves “feminist allies” for reasons other than wanting to center themselves in the movement, enjoyed giving us orgasms, texted right after the first date?

Wow, she will get treated so well, and without having to marry him (sexist!), or commit to care for his needs (patriarchy!), or fulfill loving obligations for him in a restrictive long-term commitment (slavery!).

She can have sex with a hot sexy effeminate fish who is DECADES younger than she is, who doesn’t have a job or savings, and who isn’t able to be a father to children in any normal sense. But who cares! As long as he wants to give her orgasms, and he’s young and hot, and doesn’t try to tell her to get a real degree, or to get a real job, or to grow up and get married and have children who can take care of her in her old age. The merman provides all that’s important to radical feminists.

And I’m sure that this plan is sustainable, too. He will love her just as much when she is old and wrinkly, because giving a merman premarital sex always makes him commit self-sacrificially for life. That’s the power of recreational premarital sex – it turns irresponsible young hot mermen into pleasure-giving slaves for life.

Christian case maker warns Christians to trust the evidence, not their feelings

A conflict of worldviews
A conflict of worldviews

Alisa Childers posted a review of a recent dialog between Dr. Sean McDowell and former-Christian Bart Campolo, son of far-left progressive fake Christian Tony Campolo. The dialog occurred on the Unbelievable radio show.

Here’s an exerpt from Alisa’s review:

Recently, the two came together to have a discussion on Premier Christian Radio entitled, “Why Bart Lost His Faith, Why Sean Kept His.” It was a fascinating discussion, and the thing that most struck me was the reason they each gave for having become a Christian in the first place. Campolo described how he converted to Christianity after finding a youth group he connected with and attending one of their retreats:

There’s hundreds of kids there. It’s Saturday night, there’s candlelight and firelight and everybody’s singing “Our God is an Awesome God,” and “We Love You Lord.” And in the midst of that kind of environment I had what I guess you would call a transcendent moment…I felt something. It felt like there was something happening  in that room that was bigger than the group. I felt like I was connecting to something. And in that moment ….that was God.

I heard something. It was real to me. People that don’t believe in transcendent experiences—I always think like, “You haven’t been to the right concert… You haven’t used the right drugs. You haven’t fallen in love with the right partner.”

These experiences are real, and I think whatever narrative you’re in when you have one, it confirms that narrative. If I would have had that same transcendent moment with my friends in a mosque in Afghanistan, it would have confirmed Islam to me. But I was in the Christian world, so from that point on, Jesus was real to me.

In Campolo’s own words, he became a  Christian because of a transcendent experience….a feeling that resonated deeply in his heart.

He had a feeling, and he took that feeling as a reason for believing propositional claims about the external world. God’s existence? He had a feeling. Christ’s resurrection? He had a feeling. The reliability of the Bible? He had a feeling. Instead of focusing on truth, he spent his early life pursuing social justice. He didn’t look at evidence, he just tried to have experiences. He tried to chase feelings by having little Christian ministry adventures. Missions trips. Volunteer work. Community. Charismatic speaking to crowds about things he knew literally nothing about.

Further on in the dialog, he explains that his standard for allegiance is not truth, it’s literally “what works”. And he clarifies “what causes [people] to thrive, what causes [people] to flourish”. His emphasis (in his ministry) was always on feeling good by being nice to people, because they liked him. This perspective is rampant in the evangelical church, especially among progressive young people. The idea of testing the Christian worldview against science and history to see if it is true is absolutely out. Instead, it’s all about feeling good and making people like you by being nice to them.

Experiences made him an atheist. He worked with poor people, and he decided that God didn’t exist because he wasn’t making these people happy. He had gay roommates in college, so he decided that the Bible’s rules around sexual morality had to be wrong. Never any investigation of economics to understand poverty, no investigation of homosexuality in the peer-reviewed literature, etc. It was feelings all the way. A bit later, Campolo extols the virtue of blind faith, and blasts apologetics as ineffective at changing minds. And then later, he has a bicycle crash, and he becomes convinced from that accident that “this life is all we have”. So he disproved substance dualism, which is consistent with the Bible and supported by multiple lines of philosophical argumentation and experimental evidence… by having feelings about a bicycle crash.

Now, on this blog, we despise feelings and experiences. We discuss scientific evidence for a Creator and a Designer all the time. The origin of the universe, the fine-tuning, the origin of life, the Cambrian explosion, the habitality requirements, etc. For Campolo, Christianity was never about truth, and so he never conducted an investigation about whether it was true. The only God he would accept was a god who “worked for him” – who made him feel good, and who made people (including non-Christians) like him. It was all about him, never about adjusting himself to an objective reality that might have involved obedience to God, having some bad feelings, and being disliked by non-Christians.

The more emphasis that a person places on feelings, intuitions, travel, adventure, and social justice, the farther away they tend to be from analytical philosophy, historical investigation, scientific evidence, etc. You cannot establish the truth of a worldview by going on a missions trip to Haiti, or by holding orphans in Bolivia. The truth of Christianity is known through study of reality, using logic, science and historical analysis. Making feelings the foundation for a worldview is just a disaster waiting to happen.

Alisa has some words of caution to young Christians and their parents about experience as the root of a Christian worldview:

  1. You can be talked out of an experience.
  2. Your heart and feelings lie.
  3. You can fall back on evidence in times of doubt or suffering.

Here is number 2:

The prophet Jeremiah described the human heart as “deceitful above all things and desperately sick.” Proverbs 3:5-7 tells us not to “lean on our own understanding.” Jesus described the human heart as being filled with thoughts like murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. Proverbs 28:26 tells us that whoever trusts his own mind is a fool.

In other words, do not, under any circumstances, follow your heart.

This, of course, stands in stark contrast to the themes we are constantly encountering in entertainment and on social media. However, when it comes to spiritual beliefs, trusting our hearts and following our feelings can lead to all sorts of aberrant theology, sinful choices, and a distortion of true Christian faith.

See that?

“In other words, do not, under any circumstances, follow your heart.”

We need more Christians saying this in the church. Especially Christian women – it’s better when women put evidence at the center of the Christian life, and push feelings out to the edges.

By the way, she mentions a quotation from J. Warner Wallace about not being a Christian because “it works for me“. I wrote a whole post about this.

If you want to read another deconversion story that shows how a focus on feelings and experiences leads to atheism, check out the story of Dan Barker. I know so many people who were raised in the church by pastors who were anxious to “protect” Christian truth claims from  being proved or disproved by evidence. They thought that their approach was more pious – how dare we let science and history stand in judgment over the Bible? When I look at Dan Barker and Bart Campolo, I can see where that fideism ended up. Piety is a cheap way of gaining respect without having done any work. We need to demand better from pastors. They ought to be able to show their work. They ought to be able to demonstrate what reasoning and evidence led them to their convictions. Not their feelings and experiences, but actual reasoning and evidence.

The sooner we get to the point where Christianity is true because of reason and evidence, regardless of individual feelings, the better off we will be at being authentic followers of Jesus.

Finally, if you liked the Unbelievable show dialog between McDowell and Campolo, there is a 3-hour discussion on the same topic, which was held at the Faith Beyond Belief conference in Calgary, Alberta, Canada last week. The video has been posted on YouTube.

Positive arguments for Christian theism

Debating forgiveness: must a person admit wrongdoing before being forgiven?

Two horses fight it out, may the best horse win!
Two horses fight it out, may the best horse win!

I’ve listened to this debate three times because I liked it so much. I even ordered Chris’ book for my best friend Dina. She has listened to the debate, and is currently split between the two debaters. I am in firm agreement with the pastor Chris, although Remy has some useful things to say that I agree with.

Here’s a link to the debate page on Moody Bible Institute’s “Up For Debate” program with Julie Roys.

Details:

Should Christians Forgive No Matter What?

Should Christians forgive someone even if he’s not sorry?  Or does true forgiveness require repentance and a desire to reconcile?  This Saturday, on Up For Debate, Julie Roys will explore this issue with Chris Brauns, a pastor who believes forgiveness requires repentance, and Remy Diederich who believes it does not.

Although I disagree with Remy, I only disagree with him about whether the guilty person must admit guilt and feel remorse and make restitution (depending on the severity of the offense). I agree with him on other things like no revenge, attitude of love, expressing willingness to forgive and be reconciled, etc. I also disagree with Remy on “forgiving God”, which I think is just crazy, because when God is engineering a person’s salvation, he never fails. I think that God is the Great General, and his strategies never fail to achieve the outcomes he desires (while still respecting free will). Whatever suffering or inadequacy or longing that you experience as a Christian is not some sort of mistake, horrible as it may be for you at the time. God is not your cosmic butler, although a lot of people these days seem to think that he is, and then they get disappointed.

Anyway, please listen to that debate and comment on it about who you think is right. I think my view (and Chris’ view) is in the minority in the church, because the church is so utterly dominated by feelings and radical feminism. I think my view (and Chris’ view) is the masculine view – the view that upholds moral standards, sets moral boundaries and defends the rightness of making moral judgments.

Below, I have pasted in some of my other thoughts on forgiveness from a previous post.

I think this is the key passage – Luke 17:3-4:

Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

That’s Jesus speaking, there.

Also, I was having a debate with someone who disagrees with all this, and while debating with her, I thought of another example.

Luke 18:9-14:

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:

10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

13 But the tax collector,standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

So again, no forgiveness without repentance.

Forgiveness is what happens when someone who is sinned against treats the sinner as if he had never sinned. It is not on the balance sheet. It is not brought to mind. It is not held against them in the future. The forgiver trusts the sinner again as if the previous sin had never happened.

In divine (vertical) forgiveness, there is no forgiveness without repentance. There are Bible verses above to show that.

My argument is twofold. First, there is a clear teaching of Jesus explaining the sequence of sin and forgiveness. Repentance precedes forgiveness, between humans (Luke 17:3). The verses cited by the forgive without repentance crowd don’t show the mechanics of how to forgive, they are making the point that if you want God to forgive you, you should forgive others. The parable in Luke 18:9-14 affirms this again – repentance always precedes forgiveness.

Second, we have an obligation to imitate God, and that means imitating the way he forgives those who sin against him. When I raise that with the unconditional forgiveness crowd, they want to insist that there is a difference, that the word “forgive” means different things. I’m not convinced.

Finally, I do think that forgiving someone is obligatory if they sincerely repent, and even if they screw up again and again. So long as the repentance is sincere, (like if there is restitution and a genuine effort to show an understanding how the sin affected the wronged party in writing), then forgiveness should be automatic. Depending on how bad the sin is, there maybe be more to do than just say “I’m sorry”. If the repentance is genuine, then I think the person who is sinned against must forgive, if they expect to be forgiven by God for the things they repent of.

Alan E. Kurschner adds one final point about the unconditional forgiveness view. He argues that there is serious textual doubt about the originality of Luke 23:34a, a text used by the pro-unconditional-forgiveness crowd. He has a journal article coming out on it, but a synopsis of his argument is here.

He also wrote this in a comment on this blog:

Second, on Matt 6:15, this is what I have to say. Notice the then-clause: “neither will your Father forgive your sins.” This would require universalism on the Father’s part according to the unconditional interpretation given the first half: “But if you do not forgive others their sins.” Since everyone has wronged the Father is the Father required to forgive everyone even if they are not seeking forgiveness?

So I think the case for the forgiveness being conditional on repentance is pretty strong, especially when serious harm has been caused.