Tag Archives: Workplace

Can a person be a committed Christian while ignoring apologetics?

Ratio Christi event at Ohio State University featuring Frank Turek
Ratio Christi event at Ohio State University featuring Frank Turek

I would like to describe a situation that arises frequently that concerns me. The situation I describe below brings out a flaw I see in the way that rank-and-file Christians respond to criticisms of Christianity in the public square.

Here is the situation

Eve is busy programming away at her desk, rushing to check in her unit tests so she can spend her lunch hour reading the latest Stephenie Meyer novel, or check on the schedule for her local sports team, “the Vicariouses” (she has tickets for Thursday). Suddenly Eve hears Alice talking to Bob on the other side of her cubicle. She stops typing to listen to the following unencrypted conversation.

Alice: I was watching a documentary on the Discovery Channel last night that said that the universe has always existed, so there is no God!

Bob: I was watching a documentary on PBS last night showing simulations of how the first life started on Earth! God didn’t do it!

Alice: I saw “Inherit the Spin” on the weekend! The only reason people oppose evolution is because of the Bible! Not because of science!

Bob: I’m going to see “The Va Dinci Code” this weekend! It says that the Gospels are unreliable and that Jesus didn’t even die on the cross!

Alice: I just bought the latest Dichard Rawkins book “Christians Should Be Fed to Lions and the Bible Should Be Burned”!

Bob: I will read that as soon as I finish Histopher Chritchens’ book “Why God is the Evilest, Stupidest Person in the World”!

Eve double-majored in business and computer science at the Indian Institute of Technology, and has an MBA from the London School of Economics. She has spent a ton of time, effort and money studying very difficult subjects for her job, and she even publishes research papers. She works full-time and runs her own business part-time, and teaches night classes for a well-known university. She earns about 200K per year. She lives in a huge house, drives an expensive car, and goes on vacation abroad to all the best vacation spots.

Eve thinks she is a Christian. She has attended church since childhood, her husband is a church elder and she sings in the church choir. She reads the Bible and prays every night, because it helps her to get sleepy before bed. She gives lots of money to the poor. She teaches Sunday school to very small children.  She has even read all of the Narnia novels five times! She even has a calendar filled with nature scenes and itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny Bible verses posted on her office wall at work! Judging from all of these facts, you might expect Eve to get in on that conversation with Alice and Bob, and set them straight.

But she won’t. Why not?

Why won’t Eve stand?

I am wondering if anyone can explain to me why it is that most church Christians are not able or not willing to make a public defense when God’s reputation is called into question. It seems to me that there are two bad effects that follow from Eve’s unwillingness to stand up and invite Alice and Bob to lunch so that she can address their questions and concerns.

  1. God’s reputation is being trashed by Alice and Bob on the basis of lies they’ve swallowed from pop culture. These lies about God’s existence and character could be easily corrected with a minimal amount of study, which Eve is capable of – she is a genius and has amazing entrepreneurial skills.  If someone said similar lies about her husband or children, she would speak up, but she won’t speak up for God.
  2. Alice and Bob are bound for Hell unless someone cares enough to correct their mistaken beliefs, which, along with their sinfulness, is what is keeping them from a relationship with God that would go on in Heaven. If Eve’s husband or children were mistakenly about to drink poison thinking it was Aspirin, then Eve would speak up. But to save her co-workers from Hell, she won’t speak up.

Eve is capable of studying to defend the faith, because of her great success in other areas where so much time and effort were required to master difficult material. So why has she not applied herself to answering public challenges to her Christian faith from her professors, teachers, actors, the media, politicians, scientists, historians, etc.? She’s heard these questions about God’s existence and character all through high school and into university and then now in her career. Doesn’t she believe the Bible when it says to prepare a defense? Doesn’t she believe the Bible when it says to acknowledge God before men? Doesn’t she believe the Bible when it says that all authentic believers in Jesus will suffer a little for their faith?

It seems to me that if she did spend some time studying, and then made her defense to her co-workers, then two good things would follow:

  1. Eve would be demonstrating her love for God and her friendship with God by protecting his reputation when it is called into question by unbelievers in public settings. That’s what friends do – if Eve wanted to be God’s friend, she would care that no one believed lies about him and told lies about him in public settings.
  2. Eve would be demonstrating her love for her neighbor if she was able to correct some of these false beliefs, such as that the universe is eternal, or that a historical case cannot be made for the resurrection, or that evil is not compatible with theism. It’s important for Alice and Bob to know that Christianity is not stupid.

So why is it that Eve is able to go to church for 20 years, sing in the choir, read the Bible, read the Narnia stories, pray on her knees, and yet still be unwilling to do the best thing for God and the best thing for her neighbor? If a Christian is smart enough to know how to get a degree and how to hold down a job, then that intelligence should also be used to defend God’s reputation when it is called into question. I don’t see how it is possible to claim that you love God, but then not apply your mind to defending him when you apply your mind to other things like education and work.

Can a person be a committed Christian while ignoring apologetics?

I would like to describe a situation that arises frequently that concerns me. The situation I describe below brings out a flaw I see in the way that rank-and-file Christians respond to criticisms of Christianity in the public square.

Here is the situation

Eve is busy programming away at her desk, rushing to check in her unit tests so she can spend her lunch hour reading the latest Stephenie Meyer novel, or check on the schedule for her local sports team, “the Vicariouses” (she has tickets for Thursday). Suddenly Eve hears Alice talking to Bob on the other side of her cubicle. She stops typing to listen to the following unencrypted conversation.

Alice: I was watching a documentary on the Discovery Channel last night that said that the universe has always existed, so there is no God!

Bob: I was watching a documentary on PBS last night showing simulations of how the first life started on Earth! God didn’t do it!

Alice: I saw “Inherit the Spin” on the weekend! The only reason people oppose evolution is because of the Bible! Not because of science!

Bob: I’m going to see “The Va Dinci Code” this weekend! It says that the Gospels are unreliable and that Jesus didn’t even die on the cross!

Alice: I just bought the latest Dichard Rawkins book “Christians Should Be Fed to Lions and the Bible Should Be Burned”!

Bob: I will read that as soon as I finish Histopher Chritchens’ book “Why God is the Evilest, Stupidest Person in the World”!

Eve double-majored in business and computer science at the Indian Institute of Technology, and has an MBA from the London School of Economics. She has spent a ton of time, effort and money studying very difficult subjects for her job, and she even publishes research papers. She works full-time and runs her own business part-time, and teaches night classes for a well-known university. She earns about 200K per year. She lives in a huge house, drives an expensive car, and goes on vacation abroad to all the best vacation spots.

Eve thinks she is a Christian. She has attended church since childhood, her husband is a church elder and she sings in the church choir. She reads the Bible and prays every night, because it helps her to get sleepy before bed. She gives lots of money to the poor. She teaches Sunday school to very small children.  She has even read all of the Narnia novels five times! She even has a calendar filled with nature scenes and itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny Bible verses posted on her office wall at work! Judging from all of these facts, you might expect Eve to get in on that conversation with Alice and Bob, and set them straight.

But she won’t. Why not?

Why won’t Eve stand?

I am wondering if anyone can explain to me why it is that most church Christians are not able or not willing to make a public defense when God’s reputation is called into question. It seems to me that there are two bad effects that follow from Eve’s unwillingness to stand up and invite Alice and Bob to lunch so that she can address their questions and concerns.

  1. God’s reputation is being trashed by Alice and Bob on the basis of lies they’ve swallowed from pop culture. These lies about God’s existence and character could be easily corrected with a minimal amount of study, which Eve is capable of – she is a genius and has amazing entrepreneurial skills.  If someone said similar lies about her husband or children, she would speak up, but she won’t speak up for God.
  2. Alice and Bob are bound for Hell unless someone cares enough to correct their mistaken beliefs, which, along with their sinfulness, is what is keeping them from a relationship with God that would go on in Heaven. If Eve’s husband or children were mistakenly about to drink poison thinking it was Aspirin, then Eve would speak up. But to save her co-workers from Hell, she won’t speak up.

Eve is capable of studying to defend the faith, because of her great success in other areas where so much time and effort were required to master difficult material. So why has she not applied herself to answering public challenges to her Christian faith from her professors, teachers, actors, the media, politicians, scientists, historians, etc.? She’s heard these questions about God’s existence and character all through high school and into university and then now in her career. Doesn’t she believe the Bible when it says to prepare a defense? Doesn’t she believe the Bible when it says to acknowledge God before men? Doesn’t she believe the Bible when it says that all authentic believers in Jesus will suffer a little for their faith?

It seems to me that if she did spend some time studying, and then made her defense to her co-workers, then two good things would follow:

  1. Eve would be demonstrating her love for God and her friendship with God by protecting his reputation when it is called into question by unbelievers in public settings. That’s what friends do – if Eve wanted to be God’s friend, she would care that no one believed lies about him and told lies about him in public settings.
  2. Eve would be demonstrating her love for her neighbor if she was able to correct some of these false beliefs, such as that the universe is eternal, or that a historical case cannot be made for the resurrection, or that evil is not compatible with theism. It’s important for Alice and Bob to know that Christianity is not stupid.

So why is it that Eve is able to go to church for 20 years, sing in the choir, read the Bible, read the Narnia stories, pray on her knees, and yet still be unwilling to do the best thing for God and the best thing for her neighbor?

Questions for my readers

Can anyone help me to understand why Christians are willing to accept this? Why is this not being addressed by churches?

Do you have an experience where a Christian group stifled apologetics? Tell me about that, and why do you think they would do that, in view of the situation I outlined above? My experience is that atheists (as much as I tease them) are FAR more interested in apologetics than church Christians – they are the ones who borrow books and debates, and try to get their atheist wives to go to church after they becomes interested in going to church. Why is that?

I’m not saying we all have to be geniuses. I am just saying that we should put as much effort into learning apologetics as we put into learning school stuff and work stuff.

Note: I picked these names because there is a running gag in computer network security where these names are used to describe the actors. Eve is the eavesdropping hacker, get it?

 

What is ENDA? The Employment Non-Discrimination Act and religious liberty

Here are two assessments of the Democrat-sponsored ENDA legislation, the first conservative, the second libertarian.

Here’s Ryan Anderson from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative D.C. think tank.

Excerpt:

ENDA would impose liability on employers for alleged “discrimination” based not on objective employee traits but on subjective and unverifiable identities. It would create new protected classes—based on an “individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity”—that would expose employers to unimaginable liability. ENDA could require employment policies that undermine common sense about a host of workplace conditions, especially regarding issues surrounding gender identity.

The bill defines “gender identity” as “the gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms…of an individual, with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.” In other words, it creates special rights for transgendered individuals—males who dress and act as females, and females who dress and act as males—and forbids employers from considering the consequences of such behavior in the workplace.

Issues concerning gender identity are difficult. All ought to agree that young children should be protected from having to sort through questions about gender identity before an age-appropriate introduction. ENDA, however, would bar employers from making certain decisions about transgendered employees.

Although ENDA includes some exemptions for religious education, it provides no protection for students in other schools who could be prematurely exposed to questions about gender identity if, for example, a male teacher returned to school identifying as a woman.

Moreover, we can’t deny the relevance of biological sex in many contexts. An employer would be negligent to ignore the concerns of female employees about having to share bathrooms with a biological male who identifies as female. Failing to consider these repercussions raises a host of concerns about privacy rights. But ENDA would prevent taking these concerns into account.

And here is a post from Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian D.C. think tank.

Meritless lawsuits that favor the plaintiff:

ENDA would harm even businesses that hire and fire based on merit, not sexual orientation. It would also erode free speech in the workplace about sexual-orientation-related political and religious issues.

Since ENDA is modeled on other employment laws that have produced many meritless discrimination lawsuits (through one-way fee shifting), ENDA, too, is likely to result in wasteful litigation and settlements paid out by employers that are actually innocent of discrimination (most employment discrimination claims turn out to be meritless). ENDA’s attorney fee provision, Section 12, uses the same language as other federal employment laws that incorporate the Christiansburg Garment standard for awarding attorneys fees — a sort of “heads I win, tails you lose” scheme under which the plaintiff gets his attorneys fees paid for by the other side if he wins, but the employer has to pay its own attorneys fees even if it wins (a win at trial typically costs an employer at least $250,000). While the language of ENDA’s attorney-fee provision is seemingly neutral on its face, similar provisions in other federal employment laws have consistently been interpreted by the courts as favoring plaintiffs under the Supreme Court’s 1978 Christiansburg Garment decision. Moreover, even if the plaintiff’s case is so insubstantial that the plaintiff only wins $1 at trial, the employer can still be ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys fees. For example, an appeals court ruling awarded $42,000 in attorneys fees to a plaintiff who suffered only $1 in damages. (See Brandau v. Kansas, 168 F.3d 1179 (10th Cir.1999).) These attorney fee provisions will lead to some employers paying thousands of dollars to plaintiffs just to settle weak or meritless discrimination claims.

Censoring employees who might create a “hostile environment”:

While the typical private employer has no reason to hire or fire based on sexual orientation (and few do), ENDA’sSection 4(a)(1) reaches beyond hiring and firing to vaguely defined “terms, conditions, or privileges of employment,” which courts interpret as requiring certain restrictions on speech. In Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986), the Supreme Court interpreted the same vague “terms or conditions” language in another statute, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as requiring employers to prohibit employee speech or conduct that creates a “hostile or offensive work environment” for women or blacks. The employer is liable for damages and attorneys fees if a court decides that it was negligent in failing to detect, prevent, or punish such speech or conduct. Such “hostile work environment” liability applies to each and every protected class covered by federal law, such as race, religion, national origin, and disability, not just gender. See, e.g., Amirmokri v. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., 60 F.3d 1126 (4th Cir. 1995) (employer was liable for national-origin based taunts and harassment by plaintiff’s co-workers).

If ENDA were enacted, such liability would also cover “sexual orientation”-based hostile work environments, meaning that a company would potentially be liable for a “hostile work environment” resulting from anti-gay things its employees say (even if those employees’ sentiments are at odds with the company’s own views or policies). Thus, to avoid liability, an employer might have to silence employees with political opinions that are perceived as anti-gay, and prevent such employees from expressing political views such as opposition to gay marriage or gays in the military that could contribute to a “hostile work environment.”

Quotas in hiring:

It is conceivable that if ENDA is passed, a civil-rights agency could use it to pressure some employers to adopt sexual-orientation-based hiring goals or veiled quotas, notwithstanding the language of Section 4(f) of ENDA.  Activists have already pressured President Obama to mandate sexual-orientation-based hiring goals for government contractors.

Bathroom privacy:

Finally, in addition to banning sexual-orientation discrimination, ENDA also contains “transgender rights” provisions that ban discrimination based on “gender identity.” Similar prohibitions in state laws created legal headaches for some businesses.

I have to admit, I have been operating for the last decade as if this law was already in effect, since I don’t want to be singled out for reprisals by management if a law like this is enacted. If you already have a reputation as being pro-marriage and pro-chastity in your workplace and this law gets enacted, you will become a target for censorship and even termination. It would be much easier for your employer to pre-emptively fire you under some pretext than to have to get stuck with millions of dollars in legal fees and penalties for one of these “hostile work environment” lawsuits. I can envision scenarios in which people on the left will solicit your opinion openly in the workplace on controversial issues like gay marriage, etc. and then prosecute you for anything less than full affirmation and enthusiastic celebration of their views. It’s already happening in the military now.

It’s very important for Christians to consider who they talk to and what they talk about in the workplace. You might think that you have free speech rights in America, but you don’t. That is all going away now because of the gay agenda and the judicial activism in the courts. This is especially true for men who have to provide for their families. If you are going to say anything critical of the secular left, understand that they are fascists, and they will hurt you any way they can. These are not people who believe in human rights. They believe in using power to destroy anyone who offends them by mere disagreement.

Why is it so hard for a woman to find a good man to marry her?

Captain Capitalism explains all the reasons why men are not getting married any more, and what women can do to reverse the so-called “marriage strike”. In his view, it is women who voted for bigger government and higher taxes who are responsible for the decline of marriage among men.

His massive bullet-point list explains some of the things that women support that cause men to avoid marriage:

  • Did you hear of this “divorce fad” going around? Apparently men get to pay out the majority of the time be it alimony or child support.
  • Did you hear about this “divorce fad” going around? Apparently 65% of the time it’s women who initiate divorce.
  • Kids cost around $500,000 each to raise. given employment prospects we can’t afford that. Much rather buy a boat or frankly work all that much less.
  • Hey, you hear about this federal budget deficit and debt? Apparently we elected this guy “Barack Obama” and a bunch of democrats into office who are now mortgaging the future. This means our expenses in the future will be higher. Well, of course us “foolish, immature, pooping, farting boys” were too “immature” to vote for him like you wise women, but then again we’re too busy flinging poo at each other to ponder the future macro-economic ramifications of a collapsing dollar.
  • Hey, you hear about this social security medicare thing? Apparently enough “smart wise women” disproportionately kept voting for democrats to essentially have those immature 20 something men pay for the livelihood for these aging people. This added expense on our futures make’s it that much harder economically to commit to a wife and children.
  • Hey, you hear about this “welfare state” “medicaid” thing? Apparently enough “smart wise women” disproportionately over the years voted in enough democrats to essentially replace the role of fathers with government programs making fathers not only unnecessary, but an increasingly risky and unrewarding proposition, not to mention, making it easier for women to just up and leave their husbands, because well, “they needed to find themselves” and the government will take care of the kids while they go pursue their EPL fantasy.
  • Hey, did you hear about this “welfare state” thing? Apparently because we’ve now outsourced bringing up children to the government and have to create government jobs for all the “sociology majors” and “education majors”and “communications majors” our tax bill will go through the roof. Oh! Wait!!! No it doesn’t! I forgot! I’m a guy! I can live on very little, work a crappy job, work part time, live in a crappy apartment with my buds and STILL have enough disposable income to play video games and buy booze.

Remember that 77% of young, unmarried women voted for Obama (70% of unmarried women, but 77% of young unmarried women). And research shows that women consistently vote for bigger and bigger government, more wealth redistribution for the “poor”, and more intrusion into the family by the state. More government means higher taxes, and that makes it harder for men to have the authority in the home that comes from being the principle provider.

Not only that, but you have problems like no-fault divorce and biased domestic violence laws. Not to mention how feminism in the schools have left men earning fewer and fewer degrees, so that men lose the lion’s share of jobs during recessions. Women also lobbied Barack Obama to make sure that the stimulus was slanted towards preserving women’s jobs. I’ve merely touched on a few of the incentives against marriage. I could list even more factors, such as the easy availability of hook-up sex – why should men commit to the wife when they can get the sex for free?

What to make of all these facts? Well, men don’t like paying more in taxes and getting less liberty. It makes it harder for us to justify marriage rationally. We want to get married, but when we run the numbers, we see red, not black. Men can either afford marriage and family or government social programs, but we cannot afford both. We can either be husbands and fathers, or we can pay for welfare checks and social programs that replace men, for women who don’t want to have to deal with relating to a man.

I think the problem of men not wanting to marry is caused by women actually believing feminism – that men and women are identical. Once you believe that, there is no special role that men are supposed to play, and no way to distinguish a man who fills that role from one who doesn’t. According to feminism, which most young women believe, men aren’t meant to be providers, protectors or moral/spiritual leaders. Chastity is out. A boring, good-paying job is out. Morality is out. Sobriety is out. Apologetics and theology are out.

What’s in? Being good-looking, inoffensive, and entertaining. Women are not selecting responsible men because they think that the men can be changed to be responsible, through sex, or maybe through nagging, and eventually through the threat of losing all his money and custody of his children. Men aren’t stupid. They’ve noticed that responsibility and morality are out, and they’re acting like clowns because that’s what women prefer when getting drunk and hooking up. Remember that Duke University student and her report on all the men she slept with? – they were graded by physical attractiveness, sexual technique, popularity and athletic ability.

Many women today accept feminism, with its strong emphasis on selfishness and career advancement. Those women end up wasting their 20s on their careers and only pursue men who are attractive and entertaining. They aren’t looking to settle down with a protector/provider/moral leader/spiritual leader. They don’t want anyone to judge them or lead them. (Just try offering a woman a book on apologetics, and you’ll see what I mean). By the time they hit 35 and decide to get married, all the men are cautious. Men want to get married to women in their early 20s. What is the point of marrying a 35-year old woman who has lost her looks and her fertility? What is the value proposition for a man at that time? Plus, two decades of binge drinking, partying and hook-ups are not good preparations for creating a helpful, loving wife. Men are not stupid. We know the difference between a bitter, cynical harpy and chaste, loving princess.

Men do what women expect them to do in order to get sex. Just read the peer-reviewed studies on hooking up. If women don’t select men who can do specific things as husbands and fathers, then men won’t prepare themselves to do specific things. If they are already getting sex for playing the fool, then why should they do more than play the fool? If women obsessed over Paul Ryan and William Lane Craig, then that’s what men would aspire to. They don’t, and so men don’t. Mature men intimidate women with their strong opinions, moral judgments, and exclusive theological claims. Much better to have an immature man who is shallow and politically correct.

There is a way for women to get what they want from men, but they actually have to engage in conversations with men and find out what men want from women. And what men want from a marriage. What they want from children. What they want from government. What they want from schools. What they want from the workplace. What they want from the church. You can’t take away everything men need to marry and then expect them to marry. Nagging, belittling, withholding sex and controlling are not incentives for men to marry. Every time you break a man down, that is one less husband and father candidate. And eventually, the money flow dries up for the sperm-banks and social programs that substitute for men. What will women do then?

For myself, I am NOT on the same track as secular men (video games, alcohol, girlfriends and TV). I’m earning and saving to support Christian scholars and apologetics events in churches and universities. That’s my role right now until women destroy feminism with their own hands. Marriage is only good for me if it is good for God. And I need to be convinced that it will be good for God by whoever is applying for the job. I would like to see the reasons why I should marry in a woman’s moral decisions, her studying of difficult apologetic topics, and her political and economic conservatism. I would like to see that she understands men and marriage and understands how marriage and parenting can serve God, if done in an unselfish, moral and disciplined way. No pursuing happiness as the most important thing. No dismissing her moral obligations as “legalism”.

Making one woman feel happy with a diamond ring and an expensive wedding is not a good choice for me when I could spend a lot less money sponsoring a stack of debates over my lifetime on Christian topics, in front of hundreds of thousands of university students, or even in churches. There are ways that marriage could be a good deal for God, but I want to see the value proposition for marriage before I sign up. So far, most women seem to resent the idea that marriage should be have to be proven good for God. They resent being asked questions that test their authenticity and capabilities as Christians. But everything we do is for God, don’t I have a right to ask what is in it for him? I think a lot of Christian men are asking that question. What’s in it for God? In fact, Paul recommends the single life in 1 Cor 7 precisely because of the dampening effect that ineffective Christian women have on men. Most Christian women refuse to “woman up” and learn how to be a good wife and mother – so why should a man choose that?

Related posts

Why won’t Christians defend their faith in public?

I would like to describe a situation that arises frequently that concerns me. The situation I describe below brings out a flaw I see in the way that rank-and-file Christians respond to criticisms of Christianity in the public square.

Here is the situation

Eve is busy programming away at her desk, rushing to check in her unit tests so she can spend her lunch hour reading the latest Stephenie Meyer novel, or check on the schedule for her local sports team, “the Vicariouses” (she has tickets for Thursday). Suddenly Eve hears Alice talking to Bob on the other side of her cubicle. She stops typing to listen to the following unencrypted conversation.

Alice: I was watching a documentary on the Discovery Channel last night that said that the universe has always existed, so there is no God!

Bob: I was watching a documentary on PBS last night showing simulations of how the first life started on Earth! God didn’t do it!

Alice: I saw “Inherit the Spin” on the weekend! The only reason people oppose evolution is because of the Bible! Not because of science!

Bob: I’m going to see “The Va Dinci Code” this weekend! It says that the Gospels are unreliable and that Jesus didn’t even die on the cross!

Alice: I just bought the latest Dichard Rawkins book “Christians Should Be Fed to Lions and the Bible Should Be Burned”!

Bob: I will read that as soon as I finish Histopher Chritchens’ book “Why God is the Evilest, Stupidest Person in the World”!

Eve double-majored in business and computer science at the Indian Institute of Technology, and has an MBA from the London School of Economics. She has spent a ton of time, effort and money studying very difficult subjects for her job, and she even publishes research papers. She works full-time and runs her own business part-time, and teaches night classes for a well-known university. She earns about 200K per year. She lives in a huge house, drives an expensive car, and goes on vacation abroad to all the best vacation spots.

Eve thinks she is a Christian. She has attended church since childhood, her husband is a church elder and she sings in the church choir. She reads the Bible and prays every night, because it helps her to get sleepy before bed. She gives lots of money to the poor. She teaches Sunday school to very small children.  She has even read all of the Narnia novels five times! She even has a calendar filled with nature scenes and itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny Bible verses posted on her office wall at work! Judging from all of these facts, you might expect Eve to get in on that conversation with Alice and Bob, and set them straight.

But she won’t. Why not?

Why won’t Eve stand?

I am wondering if anyone can explain to me why it is that most church Christians are not able or not willing to make a public defense when God’s reputation is called into question. It seems to me that there are two bad effects that follow from Eve’s unwillingness to stand up and invite Alice and Bob to lunch so that she can address their questions and concerns.

  1. God’s reputation is being trashed by Alice and Bob on the basis of lies they’ve swallowed from pop culture. These lies about God’s existence and character could be easily corrected with a minimal amount of study, which Eve is capable of – she is a genius and has amazing entrepreneurial skills.  If someone said similar lies about her husband or children, she would speak up, but she won’t speak up for God.
  2. Alice and Bob are bound for Hell unless someone cares enough to correct their mistaken beliefs, which, along with their sinfulness, is what is keeping them from a relationship with God that would go on in Heaven. If Eve’s husband or children were mistakenly about to drink poison thinking it was Aspirin, then Eve would speak up. But to save her co-workers from Hell, she won’t speak up.

Eve is capable of studying to defend the faith, because of her great success in other areas where so much time and effort were required to master difficult material. So why has she not applied herself to answering public challenges to her Christian faith from her professors, teachers, actors, the media, politicians, scientists, historians, etc.? She’s heard these questions about God’s existence and character all through high school and into university and then now in her career. Doesn’t she believe the Bible when it says to prepare a defense? Doesn’t she believe the Bible when it says to acknowledge God before men? Doesn’t she believe the Bible when it says that all authentic believers in Jesus will suffer a little for their faith?

It seems to me that if she did spend some time studying, and then made her defense to her co-workers, then two good things would follow:

  1. Eve would be demonstrating her love for God and her friendship with God by protecting his reputation when it is called into question by unbelievers in public settings. That’s what friends do – if Eve wanted to be God’s friend, she would care that no one believed lies about him and told lies about him in public settings.
  2. Eve would be demonstrating her love for her neighbor if she was able to correct some of these false beliefs, such as that the universe is eternal, or that a historical case cannot be made for the resurrection, or that evil is not compatible with theism. It’s important for Alice and Bob to know that Christianity is not stupid.

So why is it that Eve is able to go to church for 20 years, sing in the choir, read the Bible, read the Narnia stories, pray on her knees, and yet still be unwilling to do the best thing for God and the best thing for her neighbor?

Questions for my readers

Can anyone help me to understand why Christians are willing to accept this? Why is this not being addressed by churches?

Do you have an experience where a Christian group stifled apologetics? Tell me about that, and why do you think they would do that, in view of the situation I outlined above? My experience is that atheists (as much as I tease them) are FAR more interested in apologetics than church Christians – they are the ones who borrow books and debates, and try to get their atheist wives to go to church after they becomes interested in going to church. Why is that?

I’m not saying we all have to be geniuses. I am just saying that we should put as much effort into learning apologetics as we put into learning school stuff and work stuff.

Note: I picked these names because there is a running gag in computer network security where these names are used to describe the actors. Eve is the eavesdropping hacker, get it?