Here’s a conversation I had with a pastor and his wife on Tuesday night. I anonymized the names. The rest is verbatim.
I’d like one of our atheist commenters like Sandwiches for Sale or Jerry to comment on this pastor and his wife.
I was mean, but I hope not TOO mean. This sort of thing really pushes my buttons, as you might expect. I tried really hard to stay calm and focused, but I could have done a lot better. I apologize to my readers for being a bit abrasive and over the top at times. I hope my language is not to harsh or disrespectful.
I think we really need to work about encouraging Christians to see a relationship with God through Christ as being… a relationship. And in a relationship, both sides are aware of the different character of the other person, and they make adjustments. It’s not a good idea to project our emotions and intuitions onto the other person and to think that our goals are their goals. It may be that we have to perform actions to hold up our end of the relationship, and that we may need to study in advance in order to know what to do and to achieve those goals effectively.
Why men are in trouble – CNN.com
For the first time in history women today are better educated, more ambitious, and arguably more successful than men, says William Bennett.
Pastor: Wow, even the secular media is figuring this out! Come on men! Man UP!
WK: Pastor, consider that the problem is not with men, but with an increasingly feminized society that has undermined the traditional male roles and marginalized men in the education system, the church, etc.. Not to mention misandry in the media. The denigration of men is everywhere, which undermines their ability to lead on moral and spiritual issues. Even high taxes and social programs rob men of their ability to have authority from their roles as providers.
WK: Consider just one example: no-fault divorce and single mother welfare has caused many, many young men to be raised in fatherless homes, and then they go on to attend public schools where 80%+ of the teachers are female, and the curriculum is set by females. The church is very much focused on singing and avoids apologetics. Where exactly are these men supposed to get male role models? As a society, we have become uncomfortable with men exercising authority on moral and theological issues. Denigrating men in the media, dumbing them down in femininized schools, taxing their income and replacing fathers with welfareare not going to help us to produce manly men. The opposition to apologetics in the church doesn’t help either – if we can’t talk about truth and evidence, then men stop caring about God.
This is a complicated issue, and you need to read a lot more about it before engaging in man blaming. If men aren’t doing well in school, ask yourself WHAT CHANGED.
Touchstone Archives: Missing Fathers of the Church
You may have noticed that, in general, men are not as interested in religion a…
Pastor: Winter…Men have to Man up.
Pastor’s Wife: Women have to step up because the MEN are not
Pastor’s Wife: I thank God I have a husband who prays for me and respects me as a wife, a woman, and a daughter of THE KING. I thank God my husband knows “headship”
WK: Wow, Pastor. Your avalanche of facts and evidence is astounding. Your voluminous, erudite catch-phrase really refutes all of the concerns I raised. I stand corrected. </sarc>
Pastor: Why are Men not attending church?
Pastor: or do you actually go there?
WK: Because the church is totally feminized. There is no emphasis on anything that men like, like apologetics or practical application to areas of knowledge like economics or politics. It’s dominated by frilly God-talk, prayers, emotions and pop authors like Joyce Meyer and Max Lucado. People are not being challenged to grow.
Pastor: So you dont go? Maybe if men went there and made changes and protest the situation instead of ARMCHAIRING it might make a difference?
WK: Please don’t engage in ad hominem. Stick to the public evidence.
Pastor: Sorry your honor
Pastor: Have you thought that the feminizing the you alledge (with public record) could be alleviated if men took back the church?
Pastor: Winter you say Ad Hominem? //// Wow, Pastor. Your avalanche of facts and evidence is astounding. Your voluminous, erudite catch-phrase really refutes all of the concerns I raised. I stand corrected. </sarc>///What the heck?
WK: Pastor… you don’t know anything about this issue. It’s pointless to discuss it with you since you are not in command of any facts.
Pastor: So why are you?
Pastor’s Wife: Gee, wonder how many times a Christian man is going to infer my husband is stupid?
Pastor’s Wife: I pray for you…
WK: I listed about a half-dozen factors, and made one argument supported by evidence from the Touchstone Magazine article. I.e – I argued that the fatherlessness was a cause of declining religiosity, I cited the Touchstone article, then I argued that public policies like no-fault divorce and single mother welfare increase fatherlessness.
Pastor’s Wife: What about Jesus?
Pastor: I have actually EXPERIENCED my position.
WK: So far, I’ve heard nothing in response. And that’s because only one side has facts. The other side has God-talk and “I’ll pray for you”. That’s not an argument. That’s not evidence.
Pastor: Neither have I
Pastor’s Wife: ?”I AM the way the truth and the life…”….those are TRUTH from Jesus a true man and our Savior
Pastor: What are you doing about this Winter?
Pastor’s Wife: Facts and figures I care to have none, when I have a Savior that over the world has won!
WK: Again, we want to have a discussion about the public policy question, we don’t want to make the issue about my character. The issue in question is… how do we get men to lead in the Christian life.
Pastor: You know I didn’t say YOU were armchairing this but I was not supplied with any evidence that you really are wanting to change the “feminization”
Pastor’s Wife: Usually the very thing we complain about is the very thing that God has called us to go and change
Pastor: Well I see the charaacter issue going both ways here
Pastor: want to start over?
Pastor: ?//// how do we get men to lead in the Christian life.//// Well we as men need to have a deep relationship with our Father. How does that sound?
WK: There are several ideologies now present in the church that discourage men from taking an active role. I know you know these. Postmodernism and moral relativism would be two of them. Those need to be refuted. But to really get men to engage, we have to think about what men are like, and what men like that is present in Christianity. For example, apologetics. Men like competition, problem solving and conflict. We need to get them exposed to different points of view, and allow them to ask questions and to debate. That means lots of learning and discussion about science, history, logic and morality. Men also like using facts and evidence when they argue. You can see it in the sermons of Mark Driscoll, and the Sunday School classes of Wayne Grudem (Essentials) and William Lane Craig (Defenders). Men like to argue about moral obligations and moral standards, and they like to use evidence. Lastly, men like politics and current events.
Church needs to be made safer for men to show their knowledge, and to debate the issues of the day in the open, without worrying about being shushed for making people feel bad. That means allowing men to discuss things like what laws strengthen and weaken marriage and the role of the father in the home, what education policies strengthen and reinforce parental authority, what fiscal policies encourage personal responsibility and liberty, what foreign policy is best for creating peace and protecting the weak from evil. Practical Christianity. Men should be good at pro-life debating and pro-marriage debating, and using public facts and arguments – not by quoting the Bible. (Although they get their view from the Bible, that’s not how you talk to non-Christians – with Christianese)
WK: Here’s a good article that features one of my favorite theologians/apologists, Mrs. Nancy Pearcey:
I really recommend her book “Total Truth”.
Pastor’s Wife: How about men who love Christ and have a close relationship with Him , for out of that relationship comes all ministry etc. We need to LOVE Christ and honor Him as well as allow Him to speak into our lives and let him lead HIS BRIDE
Pastor: Look Winter, I agree to a point. However I think that Politics / knowledge can and is taught in the church. You sound like a lawyer. Why not go to a church and do as you profess. My apologies if you are already. The church is a house of prayer, not a courtroom!
WK: Pastor’s wife, you talk about Christ. Do you think that it would be loving to Christ to study history and to be able to make a defense of his resurrection to non-Christians? A defense that doesn’t assume that the Bible is inerrant? As Peter did in Acts 2, and as Peter urged us to be ready to do in 1 Peter 3:15?
If you agree that defending the resurrection when it is called into question by non-Christians, who do not accept the Bible as the inerrant word of God, would be an effective way to love Jesus in a practical way, please explain to me how you would encourage others to go about doing that? Do you think that men would like to see a debate on that topic, or on the topic of God’s existence, in the church, and would God be honored by having church people know how to defend his existence, and the resurrection of his son, using public, testable evidence and sound logical arguments? Would that be a way to love God?
Pastor: Apologetics (which I like doing) has it’s place. You are sounding like a Pharisee!
WK: Again with the insults. Why should I be surprised?
Pastor: Well you are sounding like a Pharisee!
Pastor: Tell me how you are not sounding like one.
WK: Do you think that name-calling is an appropriate response to my specific concerns?
Pastor: in this case
Pastor: i call you on something and you call it name calling
Pastor: I offer a solution…Men go to church… do you?
Pastor’s Wife: Debate and displays of knowledge of historical events can be done in any local gym or community center.(or perhaps a Sunday school session with those topics of interest) Our Father’s house is a place of prayer and worship, to give ministry to our God in worship and in community with the saints.
WK: Do you think that William Lane Craig is a Pharisee because he goes and does 2 M.As and 2 Ph.Ds, studies the issues in depth and writes a lot of books on the existence of God and the resurrection, and then debates Christopher Hitchens in front of 5000 people at Biola University? Is that being a Pharisee? Defending God’s existence and the resurrection of Jesus in front of thousands of people because you first accepted the message of 1 Pet 3:15? Is it being a Pharisee to do what the Bible says (be ready to give a defense)? Is it being a Pharisee to meet non-Christians were they are and to use effective means to refute them?
Pastor: You can “idolize” apologetics. I worry sometimes about that
Pastor’s Wife: Jesus Himself through His Holy Spirit defends the resurrection. It is God who saves not man…God through His Holy Spirit
WK: Ok, again with the name calling.
(later in another thread)
Pastor: Wintery you are a wimp
Pastor: Wintery? I see your interest is Chivalry? LOL