• 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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• Why I Became a Biblical Egalitarian by David Dzimianski

Why I Became a Biblical Egalitarian by David Dzimianski

I present you here with a few excerpts; if you’d like to read his whole page – and I recommend doing so – please use the link to his blog post I am providing here:

Why I Became a Biblical Egalitarian by David Dzimianski

…I was raised in the homeschool movement, particularly the patriarchal framework of Bill Gothard’s ATIA and Doug Phillips’ Vision Forum. While my parents and my local Independent Baptist Church were not hardcore, they nevertheless, in theory, accepted a lot of the major premises of these organizations and the patriarchal model.

…What I ended up observing in that time was a constant conflict between the theoretical patriarchal underpinnings, and the unambiguous calls for love and equality in the New Testament.

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• How To Change A Mind – Woman Got Her Husband To Leave a Cult by E. Gordon-Smith

How To Change A Mind – Woman Got Her Husband To Leave a Cult by E. Gordon-Smith

How To Change A Mind by E. Gordon-Smith

Snippets:

Missy spent more than five years getting her husband to leave a cult, but the breakthrough was simple

Missy met Dylan when she took a job at the restaurant he worked at, waiting tables.

The couple moved in together and got engaged not long after, despite what Missy saw as a huge red flag: Dylan was a member of a religious sect that she believed to be a cult.

Missy was certain she could see through to the man Dylan would be without the sect, and certain she wanted to be with that man.

She did not, however, want to spend her life with a member of his sect.

“Did you consciously think to yourself, I’m gonna change this guy’s mind?” I asked Missy, years later.

“Yes. Absolutely. I made a five-year plan.”

I met Missy and Dylan while researching my book, Stop Being Reasonable: How We Really Change Our Minds.

Their story is singular, but many of us will someday find ourselves in something like Missy’s position, trying to talk the people we love out of believing — against all the evidence — what someone powerful is telling them.

If we do not understand the structure of our loved ones’ beliefs in situations like these, our attempts to change them may well fail.

….Everywhere we look, we see the gospel that reasoned argument is the currency of persuasion and that the “right” way to change our minds is by entering a sort of gladiatorial contest of ideas where we leave the personal behind.

But what if our eagerness to congratulate each other for employing that ideal stops us from asking whether it is worth aspiring to at all?

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• Churches Struggle with Mental Health – Preachers Being Fired For Having Depression by I. Lovett

Churches Struggle with Mental Health – Preachers Being Fired For Having Depression by I. Lovett

I’m not surprised. Christians are some of the most ignorant and judgmental people concerning mental health issues.

Summary for Christians reading this:

-Mental health problems are

not an indication of or result of spiritual issues or personal failings or weaknesses.

-Mental Health problems cannot be healed via spiritual means only.
Reading the Bible, volunteering at charities, believing in Jesus, praying and believing for a healing, living a sinless life, repenting of sin, and/or attending church will not make mental health problems vanish.

-Secular psychology / psychiatry and doctor prescribed medications used to treat mental health problems are not evil, anti-God, immoral, un-biblical.

Churches Struggle with Mental Health – Preachers Being Fired For Having Depression by I. Lovett

Snippets:

Christian leaders have lost jobs over such conditions as depression and bipolar disorder

By Ian Lovett / January 2020

In most industries, federal laws protect workers with disabilities, including mental illness. Church is an exception. Employees including pastors are still regularly fired after disclosing mental-health problems.

…. Statistics on mental health and pastors are scarce.

But psychologists who specialize in treating ministers say that Christian pastors are still regularly fired after church elders discover they suffer from depression, bipolar disorder or other mental-health problems.

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• Blocked by Complementarian Owen Strachan For Two Benign Tweets That Contradicted His Worldview About Women and Masculinity

Blocked by Complementarian Owen Strachan For Two Benign Tweets That Contradicted His Worldview About Women and Masculinity

I don’t think Owen Strachan realizes or appreciates I have more than one Twitter account, LOL.

Here is the tweet that got me blocked today by Owen Strachan – well, my two replies to it:

Link: Tweet by Owen Strachan edit: link is to my Tweet which is right below Strachan’s

Edit 2 – let me try this again:
Link: Owen Strachan’s Tweet

I left him two replies, and I replied to one or two other people.  I was pretty subdued and polite, for me, and yet, I was blocked anyhow; read on for the story…

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• New Atheism Is Old News by J. Stonestreet

New Atheism Is Old News by J. Stonestreet

Even though I’ve been in a faith crisis the last few years – I wouldn’t exactly say I’ve rejected the Christian faith in total, but I have doubts about how true or useful it is – I’m not an atheist, either.

(Online, I tend to attract some atheists who sometimes seem to think I’m one of them.)

Concerning the variety of atheism referred to as “new atheism,” which started around 15 – 18 years ago, I always found its adherents to be very condescending, arrogant, and rude.

The new atheists are no better than the fundamentalist Christians and Muslims they criticize (ie., in that being very rigid in thinking, arrogant, and unpleasant) and so are not going to convert anyone to their worldview.

I am relieved to see that this “new atheist” movement may finally be dying off, though I’m not thrilled to see it replaced by  hyper rabid partisan political stances.

(I am not in agreement with all views expressed in this piece by J. Stonestreet or in the articles linked to at The Guardian and ARC. I agree on some points, but certainly not all.)

New Atheism is Old News by J. Stonestreet

In the early 2000s, across the digital and print world of Christian apologetics, the so-called “New Atheism” was a central topic of conversation.

Authors like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens generated quite an audience by attacking religion in general, and Christianity in particular, portraying both as irrational, evil forces in society.

Books like The God Delusion,God Is Not Great, and The End of Faith argued that belief in God was unscientific, and that unbelief would make us all better people.

You may be thinking to yourself, “I haven’t really thought of those guys in quite a while.” Exactly.

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• Political Christmas by M. Tooley

Political Christmas by M. Tooley

There is a lot in this essay I agree with, but I am not necessarily opposed to anyone who wants to address inequality or unfairness in a society per se.

I do get a little tired of Progressive Christians who try to leverage Jesus and his birth circumstances into talking points to support their views on immigration and socialism, though, and it seems ten times more gaudy to do so in the weeks leading up to Christmas, as they usually do.

Political Christmas by Mark Tooley

Snippets:

Lots of commentary claims Christmas is profoundly political.

A blog from a retired United Methodist bishop offered the usual talking points:

Politics is about power, its definition and use. Christmas is about God’s politics, God’s definition and exercise of power.

Here are the  images of God’s power:

a baby born among the homeless,
an immigrant child escaping violence,….
— end blog excerpt —

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