• Pastor Rodney Howard Browne Who Refused to Close His Church Down During Covid 19 Pandemic Has Arrest Warrant Issued – He Was Also Promising Church Members that God Would Supernaturally Increase Their Supply of Toilet Paper

Pastor Rodney Howard Browne Who Refused to Close His Church Down During Covid 19 Pandemic Has Arrest Warrant Issued – He Was Also Promising Church Members that God Would Supernaturally Increase Their Supply of Toilet Paper

I’ve seen a lot of strange headlines come out of this Coronavirus situation, but perhaps none stranger than a church preacher promising his congregation that God would supernaturally increase their toilet paper rolls.

I think this is possibly an example of Toxic Masculinity, which is also rather common among certain types of Christian complementarians such as (but not limited to) John MacArthur or Mark Driscoll, who have this bizarre, warped view that being a “biblical man” -or a man at all- means exhibiting really stupid “macho” ideals such as crushing beer cans in one hand.

Such complementarians take secular, out-dated ideas of what manhood is and read them back into the Bible and assume (wrongly) that they’re God’s intent or design for men.

So we end up with guys like this pastor who thinks abiding by the advice of medical officials about social distancing during a virus pandemic that can be deadly makes a man a “pansy.”

(Update: I’ve just seen new headlines that this pastor has already been arrested – or, here’s a TMZ link about it:
PASTOR RODNEY HOWARD-BROWNEARRESTED FOR PACKED CHURCH …Violating Social Distancing“)

Link 1. Conservative pastor who refused to close church amid coronavirus pandemic suggests God will help by multiplying toilet rolls – Newsweek

Link 2. Florida Sheriff to Arrest Rodney Howard Browne, Megachurch Pastor Who Flouted Virus Rules – Daily Beast

Snippets from Link 1: 

Conservative pastor who refused to close church amid coronavirus pandemic suggests God will help by multiplying toilet rolls – Newsweek 

This is rather bizarre:

A conservative evangelical pastor has suggested to his followers that God will help multiply their toilet rolls amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a clip posted to Twitter, pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, leader of the Florida-based Revival Ministries International, told his congregation that “this should be a time of supernatural sustenance, where what you have in your hand will multiply.”

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• Deconstruction, Deconversion, Joshua Harris, and the Awful Christian Reaction

Deconstruction, Deconversion, Joshua Harris, and the Awful Christian Reaction

Josh Harris is a guy who wrote a book about sexual purity and dating in the 1990s (“I Kissed Dating Goodbye”) when he was in his late teens or early 20s – it’s a book that upset a lot of Christians who claim now that as teens, that book stunted their relationships and harmed them in other ways.

In the past couple of weeks, Harris announced on his social media he’s divorcing his wife and is “deconstructing” from the Christian faith.

In one of his social media posts, Harris said something or other about apologizing to women and to LGBT persons he may have wounded with some of his former teachings and beliefs.

At no time (that I recall) did Harris say he is now a flaming liberal who is a big time pro-LGBT- lifestyle- affirming SJW.

But some Christians are assuming he is now such.

Some are assuming either he is now a liberal, or else that he was seduced to (possibly) rejecting the faith because he was seduced by liberals or liberalism.

It’s not immediately clear to me if Harris rejects Christ now or is merely reevaluating the faith.

Before I continue discussing Harris and the Christian reaction to Harris’ comments, I will point you to a few off-site articles or editorials, so that you may gain any additional background information you may be wondering about (I’m not interested in covering all the nitty gritty in my own post here):

Author Joshua Harris Kisses His Faith Goodbye: ‘I Am Not a Christian’ – via CBN News (Christian site)

Joshua Harris falling away from faith: ‘I am not a Christian’ – via The Christian Post

‘Purity’ advocate dumps Christianity, apologises to gays
– Via Patheos, non-religious blog

Regardless of where Harris is faith-wise, I am disturbed, angry, and horrified to see how 98% of professing Christians are reacting to Harris and dealing with the subject of leaving the faith.

I have not seen many Christians demonstrate kindness or understanding.

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• Soteriology – Are Some Types of People “UnSavable?”

Soteriology – Are Some Types of People “UnSavable?”

I was just asking this on another blog. I will copy and paste most of my comment from there to here.

I’ve been wondering about this for months now.

There are some Christians, who, unfortunately, make holding “correct doctrine” a necessary component of receiving salvation, though I do not recall the Bible anywhere teaching this.

At most, the Bible says belief of Jesus as the Christ and acceptance of Jesus as Savior is the barometer of saving faith, and not whether or not one agrees with or believes in things such as Gender Complementarianism, Transubstantiation, the Pre-Trib Rapture, a literal Hell, an allegorical Hell, Old Age of the Earth, Young Earth Creationism, and so on.

There is the OSAS (once saved always saved) Vs. Conditional Security debate: some Christians believe once a person accepts Christ as Savior, she can never have her salvation taken away or revoked, while other Christians believe it is possible for someone who accepted Christ to have her salvation nullifed or cancelled because of personal sin.

I’ve done a lot of reading about Sociopaths and Psychopaths, and I’ve watched documentaries about them. Continue reading

• Is Complementarianism Merely Personal Conviction? by C. Schatz

Is Complementarianism Merely Personal Conviction? by C. Schatz

Is Complementarianism Merely Personal Conviction?

A selection from that page:

August 2008

This post is a response to Randy Stinson’s article titled Is Complementarianism a Merely Personal Conviction?

In Randy Stinson’s article it appears that there is a lot of fear that comes through even to the point of suggesting that if one is an egalitarian they will be affected negatively for their entire life, even to the extent that they may not remain in the Christian faith.

  I would like to unpack some of the key points of Randy Stinson’s article to look at the underlying message to see how it brings a divisiveness into the body of Christ.  …

1.  The authority of scripture is at stake.

Mr. Stinson greatly overstates his case in this point and draws the reader to the conclusion that egalitarians do not hold to the authority of God’s word.

While he says that the Bible “clearly” teaches that men and women have distinct and complementary roles in the home and the church he does not mention the fact that a growing number of evangelical Christians who strongly hold to the authority of scripture read the hard passages of scripture in their context and see something that is not so “clear” at all that there are differing spiritual roles for men and women.

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• Christianity Did Not Help Me, It Did Not Work For Me

I was a very devout Christian from childhood up to my early, maybe mid, forties.

These days, I don’t know what I am (religiously speaking).

As I look back over my life, I can see that not only did the Christian faith not help me much, but as some of its teachings were taught to me, it created obstacles in my life, and kept me stuck in harmful patterns or ways of thinking.

Supposing there is an afterlife with a Heaven and a Hell, and acceptance of Christ means a ticket into Heaven upon death, that works out just fine. I can sure see how that is beneficial later on.

Christianity, though, did not really help me with very much in the present life.

Any pain, problems, or stress I’ve had so far were not relieved by the Christian faith.

Prayer, Bible reading, believing in Jesus, volunteering at charities, attending church – none of that alleviated my problems.

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• You may be reading the Bible wrong. Pete Enns says the Bible itself shows a better way – RNS

As I grow older, my views on the Bible have shifted. Some of my views are similar to what Enns discusses below. I don’t think the Bible is meant to be a rule book for each and every situation in life, as a lot of conservative evangelicals treat it.

You may be reading the Bible wrong. Pete Enns says the Bible itself shows a better way – RNS

Snippets:

Feb 20, 2019

The Bible isn’t a rule book, an instruction manual, or a road map, says Peter Enns, a Hebrew Bible scholar and the host of the popular podcast The Bible for Normal People.So what is it?Something more complicated but infinitely better, as he explains in his thought-provoking new book How the Bible Actually Works: In Which I Explain How an Ancient, Ambiguous, and Diverse Book Leads Us to Wisdom Rather Than Answers—and Why That’s Great News.

RNS: I loved this book, which seems to be about the importance of honest wrestling with the Bible. You focus here on the Bible as a model of situational wisdom: what it teaches is not always consistent from one situation to another, and our job is to figure out how to navigate that.

Enns: In this book I take a more constructive approach than in my other books, which focused on deconstructing some points of view about the Bible that are very problematic.

I’m trying show what the Bible’s antiquity, ambiguity, and diversity tell uspositively how the life of faith is more like a quest for wisdom than following a road map or book of instructions.

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• Conservatives Still Misunderstanding and Misrepresenting the Concepts / Terms Toxic Masculinity and Traditional Masculinity – The Christian Post Editorial by M. Brown

 Conservatives Still Misunderstanding and Misrepresenting the Concepts / Terms Toxic Masculinity and Traditional Masculinity – The Christian Post Editorial by M. Brown

A very brief reminder of who I am or what I believe:
I used to be a Christian gender complementarian, but I left complementarianism years ago, and I now question (but did not reject altogether) the Christian faith.
I do not identify as a feminist for reasons I explain here.
I remain a conservative but left the Republican Party approximately three years ago.
(In other words, I am not a liberal, I not a feminist, and I am not an atheist.)

In the past few weeks, debates and conversations about the concepts and phrases of “Traditional Masculinity” and “Toxic Masculinity” broke out once again thanks to the APA and a television commercial by razor company Gillette.

A few days ago, I was skimming the headlines at The Christian Post site and stopped to read this, by a Michael Brown:

Is it harder to be a man or woman in America today?

In that editorial, the author, Brown, discusses Traditional Masculinity and Toxic Masculinity (in this post of mine, I will pretty much use both phrases interchangeably).

In that editorial, Brown linked to a Tweet he made, in which he inserted a Twitter poll, asking ‘who has things worse, men or women.’

After I finished reading Brown’s editorial on The Christian Post site, it was evident to me he has a flawed understanding of what the term “Toxic Masculinity” means, so I tweeted at him to say as much, and I was very polite through the entire exchange.

I did not use profanity, lose my temper, engage in name-calling or personal attack (ad hominem) when tweeting to Brown.

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• A Blue Pigment Suggests that Women of That Time Were More Involved Than Thought in Producing Religious Texts

A Blue Pigment Suggests that Women of That Time Were More Involved Than Thought in Producing Religious  Texts

A Woman’s Work Was Sometimes Blue by Steph Yin

Snippets:

A rare blue pigment, discovered on the teeth of a Medieval nun, suggests that women of that time were more involved than thought in producing religious texts.

[Photo caption below photo of teeth]
Blue flecks of lapis lazuli in the fossilized plaque of a 10th-century nun. Researchers believe they suggest the woman likely was an accomplished painter and manuscript illuminator, and used her teeth to shape her paintbrush.

…But several years ago, when studying the dental plaque of a nun from medieval Germany, Dr. Radini [Anita Radini, an archaeologist at the University of York, in England, who studies ancient tartar (dental plaque) on teeth] saw something entirely new: particles of a brilliant blue.

She showed the findings to Christina Warinner, another tartar expert, who was shocked.

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• On Atheists Respecting Christians Who Believe the Bible – a Caveat

On Atheists Respecting Christians Who Believe the Bible, a Caveat

I wanted to add something from my previous post, Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity by L. A. Taunton.

In that article, this was stated:

They [ex Christians who are now atheists] expressed their respect for those ministers who took the Bible seriously

Following our 2010 debate in Billings, Montana, I asked [famous atheist] Christopher Hitchens why he didn’t try to savage me on stage the way he had so many others.

His reply was immediate and emphatic: “Because you believe it.”

Without fail, our former church-attending students expressed similar feelings for those Christians who unashamedly embraced biblical teaching.
/// end article snippet ///

I unfortunately do not have any links or direct quotes to provide the reader in this discussion; I wish I did.

I am just basing what I’m about to say on what I’ve personally seen on occasion over the last 15 or more years online when visiting blogs, forums, or groups where people discuss or debate theism and / or theology.

Most often, what I’ve seen from one variety of atheist, is that when this type of atheist says they “respect Christians who believe in the Bible,” (or in the faith) is they almost always mean to say they only respect Christians who adhere to a woodenly literal interpretation of the Bible, or to a very simplistic and legalistic form of the faith – such as what your typical Independent Fundamentalist Baptist, King James Version Onlyist would come up with.

This type of atheist refuses to acknowledge that there can be other, equally correct or valid ways of a Christian interpreting the Bible or the faith.

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• Only Slim Majority of Americans Believe in God of Bible, Numbers Decline Among Gen X, Millennials (pew study)

Only Slim Majority of Americans Believe in God of Bible, Numbers Decline Among Gen X, Millennials

October 2018

Although some 80 percent of Americans say they believe in God, only a slim majority of the nation’s approximately 327 million people believe in God as described in the Bible, according to results of a new study released by the Pew Research Center.

And among those younger than 50, belief in the God of the Bible drops lower than 50 percent.

…Another significant finding from the study also showed that young adults were far less likely than their older counterparts to say they believe in God as described in the Bible.

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• Jordan Peterson Critiques and Commentary – He’s the Secular Complementarian

 Jordan Peterson Critiques and Commentary – He’s the Secular Complementarian

When anyone disagrees with anything Jordan Peterson says or writes, his fan boys – his advocates, his supporters, whatever you wish to call them (some of them are touchy about this!) – tend to react in the same way that supporters of James Damore, of Google Memo infamy react.

The moment you say on Twitter or a blog post that you disagreed with Damore’s memo about women in tech fields, invariably, you get one of these reactions:

“I bet you didn’t read the memo!”

And you reply,

“Why, yes, actually, I did read the memo.”

Then you get the next comment:

“Well, you didn’t understand it! I understood it! Stop mischaracterizing Damore or his memo!”

And you say, why yes, you understood the memo just fine, and you’re not misrepresenting it, but you still disagree with Damore’s assumptions, his use of gender stereotypes, and his premises.

And so it is with disciples of Lobster-loving Peterson.

Jordan Peterson sycophants play at the same game.

First, they will ask if you have read EVERY book or article he’s ever written.

If you have not, some of them will dismiss you out of hand.

Some will start pasting in 456,334 links to very long articles (that would take days to read) explaining Peterson or his views and expect you to read all of them.

Even if you have read Peterson’s works, or have read some material he’s written, read interviews with him in magazines, watched interviews he’s given, and so forth, the Peterson acolyte will insist you do not understand Peterson, and so, you are misrepresenting Peterson or his views (even though you are not).

This comic sums up Jordan Peterson fan boys succinctly (and it’s accurate):

Every Conversation with a Jordan Peterson Fan

I am right wing, a moderate conservative. I am not a liberal.

I’ve seen Peterson in television interviews, I’ve read some of his interviews online, I watched a video or two of him on You Tube, and I’ve read articles about him and his views.

About one of the only areas of agreement I have with Peterson is that many staff, faculty, and student bodies of many university campuses are very liberal, and they try to silence the views of conservatives who dissent from whatever the liberal talking points are.

I agree with him that this problem or situation exists, and it’s not a good thing.

I’m familiar enough with Peterson’s work and his view points on some issues to say his views strike me as sexist (I can say the same thing about Damore, but as I’ve written about Damore in the past, I’ll try to stick more to discussing Peterson here).

Here is what I’ve concluded about Peterson after reading some of his articles, comments, or listening to him in video or televised interviews:

Peterson is the secular equivalent of Christian gender complementarians.

I am an ex-complementarian, and I have no intention of jumping back into that mindset or world of ideas.

Christian gender complementarianism is nothing but sexism with a religious or biblical-sounding veneer applied to it, to make it sound as though it is God-approved and that it’s not immoral or insulting.

Based upon what I’ve been exposed to so far, here’s my understanding of Peterson’s views in regards to the biological sexes and gender roles:

Peterson seems to think that men and women are biologically programmed, since the dawn of time or the start of civilization, to want to prefer and to live out traditional gender roles, and he feels this is a good thing, that it provides structure for a culture, and women would be at their happiest and most fulfilled if they would abide by traditional gender roles.

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• Christians Cannot Agree on Christianity – Not Even the Essentials of The Faith – So Why Base All Life Choices on the Faith or the Bible?

Christians Cannot Agree on Christianity – Not Even the Essentials of The Faith – So Why Base All Life Choices on the Faith or the Bible?

If you are a Christian person, you should base your life decisions on what you believe and know to be best or right for you and your particular circumstances, rather than-

Relying on what you think God wants and prefers, or on what your church’s pastor thinks the Bible is conveying, or on what your interpretation of the Bible is, or on what your favorite Christian author is telling you on about any given topic.

Christians – even those whom say they adhere to Sola scriptura or Prima scriptura – do not agree with each other, or with other Christians, or with other Christian denominations, on many subjects.

Why would you subject major life choices, such as if to marry, whom to marry, when to marry, or whether to divorce or not, based on what you think the Bible (or your church) says on these issues, when your interpretation, or theirs, could be incorrect?

And when your church’s understanding conflicts with that of another ten churches on the same subject?

Your church or pastor or favorite preacher may say God never allows divorce for any reason at all, but at the same time, there are 500,000 other preachers, churches, and denominations which do say that it’s “biblical,” moral, fine, and acceptable, for one person to divorce another in cases of physical abuse-

And / or, in cases of adultery, and/or or perhaps in cases of neglect, emotional or verbal abuse, or in other scenarios.

So, does it really make sense to base your choice of what to do in life on what one church, one denomination, one flavor of theology, or one Christian says, when Christians themselves are not in consensus on what God thinks or prefers on these matters?

White American Christians at one time used to use the Bible to justify and defend the practice of 19th century whites owning black people as slaves.

Most of us today recognize slavery as being immoral, even though the Bible does contain passages addressing the treatment of slaves in the New Testament, and I believe in the Old, as well.

(That the Bible mentions something, or establishes rules for something already in place in a culture, such as slavery or polygamy, does not necessarily mean that the Bible, or the God of the Bible, agreed with whatever that practice was, or that it was ever God’s intent for humanity in the first place. This is a point that is often lost on critics of the Bible or of Christianity.)

If Christians misused the Bible to perpetuate the evil that was slavery – and they did in fact do so – that goes to show that Christians can misuse and misunderstand the Bible concerning other issues today, such as divorce or gender complementarianism (women’s roles).

Who says your church’s preacher’s interpretation is correct?

Or that John Piper’s is correct? or Al Mohler’s or J. D. Greear’s or Russell Moore’s? Or Mark Driscoll’s? Or that the Roman Catholic Pope’s  or Magisterium’s is correct?

Or who says the interpretation of the Bible by other Christian authors, theologians, or preachers, on these and other topics, is correct?

They could be absolutely and terribly and thoroughly in error on whatever topic they are addressing, whether they are appealing to biblical passages or not.

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• Why Complementarian Women Are Complementarian – And: When Women Enforce Complementarianism

Why Complementarian Women Are Complementarian – And: When Women Enforce Complementarianism

There are several reasons why a Christian woman might become a complementarian.

I will present a link much farther below (from Cult News site) that discusses how and why some Christian women pressure other Christian women to conform to sexist complementarian teachings.

I am an ex-complementarian.

Some women, such as myself, were born into complementarianism.

I was brought up in a Christian family that attended Southern Baptist churches, Southern Baptist churches endorse complementarianism, and my mother was always bringing in Christian-based magazines and other literature into the home, which stressed very traditional gender roles.

(When I was a kid growing up Southern Baptist, I don’t recall the Southern Baptists of the 1970s, or even the 1980s, being as nearly obsessed and insistent upon traditional gender roles as they started to become in the 1990s and later.)

If you become a Christian, and you love God, and you believe that God is your BFF (your bestie), you naturally want to live in such a way that is pleasing to God.

Your church and your parents are telling you that complementarianism is pleasing to God.

Furthermore, complementarianism is conflated with codependent attitudes and behavior by its adherents.

When you are a complementarian, you are taught by complementarians that your only alternative to complementarianism is to become an evil, icky, un-biblical, liberal secular feminist.

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