Misogynistic Christian Single Guy Blog – Keeping Singles Single Re Frank Swift of Geek in the Wilderness

Misogynistic Christian Single Guy Blog – Keeping Singles Single | Re: Frank Swift of Geek in the Wilderness Blog

The individual who heads the blog “A Geek in the Wilderness,” who writes under the name “Frank Swift,” laments the situation of singles in the church, but his views on marriage, singleness, and genders are not only contributing to his own lasting singleness, but his are some of the same mindsets the church at large has as well, and which are making marriage for Christians more difficult.

In other words, Mr. Swift is himself supporting the very marriage and prolonged singleness problems he is so upset about.

Before I continue further, the blog in question is located here:

(Link): A Geek in the Wilderness ( http://geeksjourney.com/ ), and again, the guy’s screen name is “Frank Swift.”

The tagline of his blog is

    “One geek/nerd hybrid journeys through history and the world in an epic search for truth, justice… and great pizza.”

I like pizza, but I can tell you after exchanging a few posts with this guy, he is not very interested in truth.

Swift does not seem open to having his views about gender roles and women questioned. A guy who is in search of truth would be open to re-examining his views, I would think.

Swift keeps parroting the same unproven, unfounded, unbiblical assumptions about women over and over in his replies to me.

I’ve directed him a few times to the (Link): Christians For Biblical Equality site (see Resources > Free Articles) and a few others, such as (Link): Under Much Grace.

I do credit Swift with initially allowing a few of my posts to stand on his blog (I myself don’t do that too much with this blog, since I use it to vent, not to debate).

I was polite in my initial batch of posts, despite Swift’s insufferable, obnoxious sexism on display. He has since replied to a few of those posts and has injected ad hominem into the replies (more about that below).

Mr. Swift’s blog first caught my attention when I was searching for material about Christian singles.

One of his pages turned up in the results, and it was this one:

(Link): How churches today abandoned the Christian single

Aspects of that page were interesting, but some of his views were troubling, such as this (Link): (Source):

    A marriage and family successfully functioning as one cohesive unit provides the skillset needed to run a church as one cohesive unit.

One does not have to be married to have have the skills or competence to “run a church” as “one cohesive unit.”

Some churches have in fact hired un-married men who are in their 30s who successfully ran the churches, though an un-married serving as pastor is very rare, as most churches are heavily biased against unmarried people. But it has happened on occasion, and the un-married were successful in their position.

The Bible does contain commentary along the lines that if a man is married, that he ought to have but one wife and other such qualifications(*), but the Bible does not exclude singles from leadership positions, as Swift believes.
*((Link): What does the “husband of one wife” phrase in 1 Timothy 3:2 mean? Can a divorced man serve as a pastor, elder, or deacon?)

The Bible places singleness on the same level of acceptance to God, and the same level of importance of singleness, as it does marriage, and at some points, the Apostle Paul writes singleness may be preferable to marriage because an unmarried person has more undivided attention than a married person.

None of that is to say that a single who wants to get married is sinning.

There is nothing sinful or selfish about wanting to get married, and other Christians need to stop discouraging and shaming Christians for wanting to get married, by saying things such as, “stop making marriage an idol,” “Jesus is all you need,” and so on, and by refusing to pray for singles, and such.

I explained to this Swift guy in one of my posts on his “Geek in the Wilderness” blog that the church has turned marriage and the nuclear family into an idol (with the “nuclear family” being an invention of 1950s American television programming; it is not quite a “biblical” presentation of family).

I gave Swift Bible verses on his blog where Jesus Christ said that Christians are not to put flesh and blood family before spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ.
(I have many blog pages about this topic, such as these two: (Link): The Bible Does Not Teach Christians to “Focus On The Family” – The Idolization of Family by American Christians (article), and (Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t)

This all seems to fall on deaf ears with this guy.

He, like a lot of conservative Christians, continue to make secular feminism into the “boogey man” and the root of all ills in American culture, which it is not.

I am only surprised that Swift did not drag up the other favorite scapegoat and punching bag of evangelicals and conservative Christians: homosexuals, or the legalization of homosexual marriage.

To recap for anyone who is new to this blog: I myself am right wing, vote Republican, am a social conservative (and so I do not support homosexuality). For many years, I was a devout Christian. (I am by no means a left winger who embraces all views of secular feminism or the Democratic Party.) You can read more about my background and views on this blog’s “About Me” page.

Where Mr. Swift got rude, sexist, and very obnoxious with me was in this thread (I have not yet checked to see if he left me comments in the other thread):

(Link): Single ladies, I’m ready to provide, are you ready to cook?

In that thread, and a few others I glanced over, he continually makes all manner of unfounded assumptions about about women in general, such as this quote:

    Women likewise are more effective caretakers and nurturers because of the experience of raising their own children…

The Bible simply does not rigidly define gender roles or say that God designed women to be “nurturers” and males “leaders.”

Women have been socialized by secular society, parents, and churches, to be passive, sweet, submissive, cookie bakers; it’s not they these qualities are necessarily intrinsic to women.

I am a woman, but I was always a tom boy growing up. I preferred climbing trees, wearing converse sneakers, and watching Bat Man.

I hated pink clothing, wearing dresses, playing with Barbie dolls, and sitting around quietly as a kid. I wanted to go on adventures and have fun.

I had little interest in taking on Biblical or stereotypical “feminine” roles – which equated to being quiet, passive, sitting still, and playing with Barbie dolls.

People do not neatly fall into gender-defined boxes and patterns, no matter how badly you want them to.

I cited, for Swift, examples from the Bible of women who were ordained by God to lead men and women, to teach men (such as Apostle Junia, Deborah in the Old Testament, etc).

I at first was going to link to Mr. Swift’s page about singleness with a recommendation for it.

However, Swift, who makes himself out to be a Christian single, he is very sexist, Misogynistic, anti-singlehood, rude, condescending, and bitter (really, he is – I know a lot of married Christians try to shut down singles who want to air legitimate grievances by calling them “bitter,” but if you read through this guy’s blog, particularly his comments to me, he comes off as quite bitter).

I’m not sure of Swift’s age, but he seems to be in his early or mid 20s, very little life experience is evidenced, very narrow views of how life and relationships ‘should’ be, or how he thinks women “should” be permeate his thoughts.

Here is the first thread of Swift’s blog where I left several comments last night – initially, all my blog posts on his blog went through instantly, but now he has them set to moderation:

(Link) Single ladies, I’m ready to provide, are you ready to cook?

As I explained in a post on Swift’s page (“Single ladies, I’m ready to provide, are you ready to cook?”), I suppose there is nothing wrong with a man having a personal preference for a more demure, passive type partner…

Nor is it necessarily wrong, I guess, if both a man and a woman fully consent to enter a marriage based on a 1950s “Ward and June Cleaver” model, where the husband works all day and the wife stays at home all day baking bread.

However, these days, that sort of lifestyle is not achievable for most people; it takes two incomes, the man and women working, to pay the bills.

Anyway, my problem with this guy is mostly his tone. He demands that all women every where, or any women who enters his life, live by his very rigid gender roles.

He comes off as being very controlling.

I tried to explain to this guy that if he does not re-evaluate and re-consider his attitudes towards women, he will either

1. remain single a very long time (or forever), or

2. will attract only emotionally damaged women

And usually, in scenario 2, such women may develop severe depression and anxiety, and a divorce by either spouse may be a result.

Women who have depression (and / or anxiety) often cannot function. They cannot perform daily chores or tasks, or so much as get out of bed daily and brush their teeth, let alone dust the furniture, cook, do laundry, etc., because their mental health problems prohibit it.

As people grow older, they change over time: their personality, or desires in life, or goals. This is a FACT of life this guy denied, if I remember right.

The person you are when you are at 40 years old is not the same person you are when you were 20. (I’m not even the same now as I was just three years ago.) This ‘changing with age’ business is especially true FOR WOMEN.

That is, you can start out a marriage when you are 25 years of age to a submissive, passive wife, but as she grows older and gains more life experience, she may change her mind about various things – including you.

She may tire of playing the submissive role and demand a change, or she may just decide to divorce.

In a comment to another woman on his blog, Swift said he is advocating submission for any woman he marries, not slavery or being a doormat.

I told Swift that his views on “submission” read the same to me as sexism or slavery. I honestly did not see much of a difference and still do not.

This guy is so incredibly condescending towards me and other females who visit his blog, he will never get a girlfriend, much less get married.

Continue reading “Misogynistic Christian Single Guy Blog – Keeping Singles Single Re Frank Swift of Geek in the Wilderness”

Church Postcards That Would Keep Me Away From Church (Re Marriage and Family Vs Singles and Childless / Childfree )

Church Postcards That Would Keep Me Away From Church (Regarding Marriage and Family Vs. Singles and Childless / Child Free)

There is a site that sells postcards, banners, and other bric-a-brak to churches. I perused their postcard section, of which they must have one billion post card designs. About 90% of those designs pertain to marriage, sex, and children/parenting. You can see samples of some of their postcards though out this post.

Church postcards: Making Marriage Work, Fireproofing Your Marriage

To the right: “Making Marriage Work” and “Fireproofing Your Marriage.” Based on stats I keep seeing in books and on different sites around the internet, upwards of 44% (or more) of the American population over the age of 18 are un-married. They don’t have a marriage that “needs work” or “needs fireproofing.”

Where is the post card that says “Making Singlehood Work?” I didn’t see them on that site that sells these things, and I looked through many, many of their postcards.

churchFamilies

To the left there, you will see a postcard of a back car window with a sticker family, with a Dad, Mom, and three kids, with “Families” in big letters. Nothing says “Singles, we don’t give a rat’s ass about you” quite like a direct mail piece to people that doesn’t show a lone stick figure – a stick lady standing alone – but only a traditional family of married couple with kids.

It may be that churches who mail these sorts of cards out have fancy marketing information so that only married couples with kids in their vicinity get these marriage and family postcards, but some churches do not have a lot of income for stuff like this and would probably indiscriminately mail the identical post card out to every one in ten, twenty, whatever mile radius around their church, regardless of their marital status.

Meaning, I would not be surprised if some elderly widow with no kids gets these sorts of “family” postcards, or if middle- aged, never- married people get one, too.

Bring the Family This Weekend - postcard sold to churches for marketing purposes. Won't make singles feel wanted, that's for sure
Bring the Family This Weekend – postcard sold to churches for marketing purposes.

This is a postcard (pictured at right) that shows an optional back printing – you can get a map to your church printed on the back of postcards with the phrase “Bring the Family This Weekend!” on it.

Continue reading “Church Postcards That Would Keep Me Away From Church (Re Marriage and Family Vs Singles and Childless / Childfree )”

Emergent Christian Guy Says Christians Need to “Celebrate Pre Marital Sex” (Fornication)

Emergent Christian Guy Says Christians Need to “Celebrate Pre Marital Sex” (Fornication)

For anyone reading this post, I would strongly encourage you to read a previous post I wrote:
_____________________________
(Link): ❈ Why So Much Fornication – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity
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Here’s what caught my attention the other day:

(Link): EMERGENT JONES CALLS FOR CELEBRATING PRE-MARITAL SEX, from Stand Up For the Truth.com

Excerpts:

    “A new sexual ethic for Christians is desperately needed. I for one am going to work on that. Will you join me?” – Tony Jones

    Tony Jones is asking all of Christendom to join him in a quest to lift the moral outrage we Christians seem to have over premarital sex. Yes, that’s right.

    Apparently the Bride of Christ has had its collective undies in a bunch over this for centuries, and we need to stop, and just do it. I’ll share more from his blog post about this titled, (Link): Is It Time for Christians to Celebrate Pre-Marital Sex? in just a moment. (Warning: You might be disturbed by the photo he used for this article. Just saying.)

    But first, you’re probably asking, who is Tony Jones and where does he get the authority to challenge God about anything?

    Tony’s bio tells you pretty much all you need to know about where his authority comes from. You can find this over on the Patheos Progressive Christian Channel [omit bio]…

    On to the article. He spends a moment or two gushing over two authors who lament at how unfair it is for Christians to have to wait until marriage to have sex.

      “Human beings are sexual beings. There’s no way around it,” says Jones. “And the fact that, in the West, the age of marriage has been steadily creeping upward means that our bodies are ready for sex long before we’re walking down the aisle. In the U.S., men get married at 29 and women at 27, on average. And we reach puberty a good decade-and-a-half before that.”

    He then gives a nod to Esquire Magazine writer John H. Richardson, who opines,

      “I want to suggest that sex, be it adulterous or premarital or deviant or polyamorous, is a good thing, not a bad thing, and that sex itself is the moment of grace. And that our sterile idea of perfection is the actual sin. To start with the subject on the table, adultery is a brave rebellion against the invisible prison we build for ourselves.


    And then this clincher from Jones, who tells us that we should stop pretending and accept that our children are probably doing it anyway:

    To pretend that those are two virgins walking down the aisle, approaching the coital bed for the first time is uncommonly naive. And it seems to me that Jesus was lots of things, but he wasn’t naive to the world in which he lived.
    He did, however, both preach and live prophetically within that culture. He didn’t take it as it was, without pushing back against it. In his day, it was that tax collectors were ostracized and that men shouldn’t pluck heads of grain on the Sabbath. Today, sex is everywhere. It’s unavoidable.

Does it matter a hill of beans what I think or what Tony Jones thinks? Nope. It only matters what God says. His breathed-out word, the Bible, promotes complete abstinence before marriage. Sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations of which God approves (Hebrews 13:4).

Continue reading “Emergent Christian Guy Says Christians Need to “Celebrate Pre Marital Sex” (Fornication)”

Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

Salvation By Marriage Alone

Internet Monk asks, from a 2010 entry (at least I think it’s from 2010, I may have the year wrong), have evangelicals and Baptists placed too much emphasis on marriage?

To which I would reply: Does the Pope wear a funny looking hat? Do bears crap in the woods? Is water wet?

(Link): Have We Said Too Much? (About Marriage, that is)

And, on that page, I.Monk links to:

(Link): Is Singleness A Sin?

Excerpts from “Have We Said Too Much? (About Marriage, that is)”

Recently, my daughter returned from a conference at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. She had a fabulous time, but she mentioned something unusual. She said that every public prayer contained a request for God to guide the conference participants in finding a spouse. This wasn’t the theme of the conference, but the conference was primarily single young college students. Was this odd?

It didn’t surprise me. Southern has become increasingly visible in the culturally confrontational Christianity of its President, Dr. Al Mohler. (A personal hero of mine, and nothing that I write here changes that, I assure you.) And Dr. Mohler is on a crusade to get Christian young students to make marriage a priority.

In August 2004, President Mohler gave an address to a group of (primarily) Christian singles under the auspices of Josh Harris’s New Attitude conference. Mohler’s summaries of the address can be found at his web site: Part 1 and Part 2. The audio of the address is also available on the site.

The address created a bit of a firestorm, as Mohler did not just endorse marriage, but specifically criticized those who delay marriage.

[snip obnoxious quotes about singles by Mohler]

This debate is a small part of what I see as a major evolution within evangelicalism; an evolution toward overemphasizing marriage at the expense of much that is Biblical, good, healthy, balanced and normal in human and Christian experience. From the best of motives, some bad fruit is appearing.

…How can we over-emphasize marriage? Let me suggest some trends that disturb me, and make me want to suggest a larger, more critical discussion of the current “family values” emphasis before we buy everything that is being sold in all the current rhetoric.

1. Saying that delaying marriage is bad is overemphasizing marriage. This is too simplistic, and we all know it. Don’t get me wrong. Mohler sees a legitimate problem: singleness as an excuse for immaturity and rejecting legitimate adult responsibilities. There are such people. I’ve met them. Kick them in the pants.

On the other hand, there are so many other legitimate, good reasons people delay marriage, it’s almost beyond belief that they are ignored. Mohler is speaking to the culture that he sees influencing America in sitcoms like “Friends.” Let me speak about the single’s culture I see at our ministry here.

…thers are single because they have no real marriage prospects. Some are delaying marriage to care for parents or to pursue a larger career path beyond OBI… Of course, we also have divorced and widowed singles as well.

Frankly, many of the singles I know are more mature than I was when I was first married at 21. I absolutely encourage our high school students to delay marriage until they have matured in many different ways. Mohler is right to point out that marriage is a maturing experience, but it is not the only maturing experience, and it is not an automatically maturing experience. …

…Sometimes, listening to the current advocates, you would think that marriage is unfallen, or at least a refuge from the fall. While I agree it is a common grace, and even has sacramental qualities, it is thoroughly fallen and is not our salvation.

2. We overemphasize marriage when we say only “spiritually gifted” singles are truly in God’s will. Again, when Mohler talks about those called and gifted to be “single” as the only “normative” singles, he is running along a very narrow path, with plenty of ways to fall off.

The contemporary concept of spiritual giftedness has proven to be far from perfect or even helpful in many cases. I have done far more counseling with individuals who were confused about their spiritual gift than those who were finding assurance and joy from knowing their spiritual gift. How does one know he or she is called to celibacy and their delaying or passing on marriage is approved by God? In particular, given the differences in male and female sexuality and sexual development, how does a young man know that he is called to celibacy?

The concept of being “called to celibacy” occurs in the Bible in two ways: purposeful vows to be single, and pastoral advice to those who are single. Where in the New Testament do we see a “gift of celibacy” being considered by young singles in the way spiritual gifts are discussed in today’s church?

I have total respect for all those who believe God has called them to a life of celibacy, but I have to be honest. I know many who concluded God called them to singleness who later married. Our Roman Catholic friends could tell us a lot of stories about this.

3. It is an overemphasis of marriage when marriage is automatically called a “priority” for the unmarried Christian. Here is where I hope my readers will think carefully along with me.

…Does this mean that every Christian young person needs to make “finding a spouse” their major business? I say this as a youth professional and a youth minister who is watching many Christians- especially females- literally make finding a spouse the priority of their lives. Instead of boy crazy teenager girls, we have spouse-obsessed girls, who are seeing marriage as the most important, all consuming principle for living their lives. It is the focus of their prayers, the basis of their reading, the guiding principle of their involvements and a priority in all decisions. This concerns me.

… Should I be advising my daughter to put finding a husband as first on her list of priorities? Should my kids be, literally, pursuing mates in their relationships? (I use that word because I see this increasingly happening, and it’s not particularly spiritual.) Is there no value to a social activity with the opposite gender except what may lead to marriage?

In fact, shouldn’t the priority of general Christian character and growth be clearly ranked above any specific matter like marriage or missions, especially for a young person? Am I wrong to tell young people to pursue general Christian growth as the foundation of understanding God’s will in other areas? And will that general Christian growth always indicate that, yes, marriage should be the assumed priority for their life, even though Jesus wasn’t married and the New Testament shows a remarkable openness to single people in ministry?

4. We overemphasize marriage when those who are not married are out of the “center” of the Christian community, thus violating clear implications of the ministry of Jesus. I am extremely concerned that the emphasis on marriage in contemporary evangelicalism has created an imbalance within the body of Christ. I am already sensitive to this because of my own life experience.

I grew up in a fundamentalistic Baptist Church where the divorced were ostracized, baited, humiliated and blamed at every opportunity. (No, I am not exaggerating. Drinkers and divorced people were what was wrong with the world. Oh….and anyone who married a Catholic was bad, too.) This is why my dad only heard me preach, in person, five times in his life. What is outrageous about this is that 1) it was done by elevating never divorced families to the center of the church community, and 2) ignoring Jesus’ ministry to the marginalized and broken.

Jesus would have included- even preferred in some instances- the divorced, the single and the rejected in his community of followers. It is inconceivable to me that a church pastored by Jesus would put the emphasis on marriage that I saw in my childhood- or in many circles today. Today’s mega-churches specialize in that traditional family with two kids and a dog. Yes, many of them also successfully minister to singles and other groups, but am I the only one who hears such an incessant drumbeat of teaching on marriage, threats to marriage, crisis in marriage, marriage success principles and so forth that it can sometimes appear the church is preaching the “Good News of Marriage and Family” a bit louder than the Good News of Jesus?

I know single people can be whiners. Every pastor has those single members who don’t want to be single and annoyingly keep complaining that God is unfair. But are singles wrong when they say the church looks so much like a club for families that they don’t feel like they are normal, whole and blessed? Are so many family-oriented events and ministries done with serious thought to how Jesus did ministry? Did Jesus emphasize marriage as we do in most churches?

(Please click the “read more” link to read the rest of this entry)

Continue reading “Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists”

My Blog Avatar

My ChristianPundit Avatar

When I turned the options for avatars on for this blog, it automatically assigned me this blue-colored face avatar:

Christian Pundit Avatar
Christian Pundit Avatar

That avatar either makes me look like…

1) I’m worried / nervous;

2) Constipated (need more fiber in my diet); or

3) Like I’m holding my breath

What a goofy avatar. It wouldn’t be my first choice if I had a choice. No, I don’t feel like customizing it. I’m stuck looking at the stupid thing.

The Blog’s Three Year Anniversary

The Blog’s Three Year Anniversary

I got a notification from Word Press that today is the blog’s three year anniversary.

I may not be able to blog much here beginning mid year, or beginning some time next year, but I guess I can leave the blog up in case someone out there who’s had similar experiences to mine can relate to it and get something from it.

The Annoying, Weird, Sexist Preoccupation by Christian Males with Female Looks and Sexuality

The Annoying, Weird, Sexist Preoccupation by Many Christian Males with Female Looks and Sexuality

(Abbreviation: “Chr” = Christian or Christianity – you can figure out which by the context)

I touched on this topic in (LINK): my last post.

—RUTH AND BOAZ–

I was watching Christian author Laurie Cole interviewed on a Chr. television show, and she mentioned how the Bible character Boaz, an unmarried man, must have noticed Ruth’s “godly character,” and that is what attracted him to her.

I rolled my eyes when I heard that remark by Cole’s. Cole may be right about that view, but it’s not the norm in most of contemporary American Christianity.

Sad to say, most Christian males are just as shallow, fixated upon, and judgmental about a female’s physical appearance as most secular males are.

This is why I laughed when Cole seemed to intimate during the interview, after she talked about Boaz being attracted to Ruth for Ruth’s “godly character,” that a young, unmarried Christian woman should rest assured that she can attract a Christian man to marriage who also has godly character.

From what I have seen on blogs, books, and forums, most Christian males, even the (I’m going to be blunt) physically ugly and fat ones over the age of 35 (the ones who post their photos, or who I have seen personally in singles classes at churches), all feel entitled to a stick-thin, 25- year- old- movie star Megan Fox clone.

Further, many Christian pastors and male bloggers coddle such men in this erroneous thinking and reassure such Chr. men that this entitlement mentality and fixation on female youth and beauty is biblical, acceptable, okay, and normal.

(See, for instance (Link): this post (discusses Pat Robertson and Driscoll), (Link): this post (Christians marketing beauty products to women) and (Link): this post (Christians send conflicting messages about physical appearance to women).)

I have seen a smattering of blog posts over the years by married Christian males who chastise Chr. men over this undue emphasis and desire for young and hot female wives, and stress that men need to be considering the woman’s character and commitment to God, not just looks. Good for them, I say, but this sort of admonishment is pretty rare.

My own personal view on looks: physical appearance does matter.

But looks matter to both genders (most women would prefer to date/marry a good looking man), looks don’t just matter to men only (more on that point in a future post), but physical appearance should not be one’s primary or only criteria in selecting dates or a marriage partner.

—MOST MALE CHRISTIAN LEADERS PERPETUATE THE UNBIBLICAL, SEXIST HABIT OF MEN TO VALUE A WOMAN’S LOOKS ABOVE ALL ELSE, DO NOT HOLD MEN ACCOUNTABLE / CORRECT THEM —

For a lot of Christian men, female looks remain top, or sole, criteria – and they are not corrected on this thinking from the pulpits or in Christian material.

If anything, most Christians encourage Christian males to keep thinking this way.

As a matter of fact, much Christian preaching and dating advice (usually by males, but on occasion, by Christian females who sell out their own gender) push Chr. women as young as 15 years of age, to diet and look pretty; they stress to Christian females that their value remains in what they look like – not in their brains, talents, or that God loves them.

Continue reading “The Annoying, Weird, Sexist Preoccupation by Christian Males with Female Looks and Sexuality”

The Wartburg Watch Blog – YEC, Calvinists, Gender Roles etc

(Please click the “more” link to read the entire post)

I found a blog called “The Wartburg Watch” about a year ago while doing a web search on some topic or another, and then forgot about it, until I found it again about a week ago.

Here is the link to the Wartburg Watch blog:

The Wartburg Watch

In this post, I discuss (sometimes only very briefly), Reformed Theology (Calvinism), gender roles (complementarianism), Young Earth Creationism, Christian speaker Beth Moore, New Evangelicalism (i.e., how important is “secondary doctrine”), spiritual abuse in churches, and other subjects, and how they are addressed at the WW blog.

Areas of Agreement

I do agree with many of the positions taken on the blog by Dee and Deb, who started the blog.

I agree with them on many of the topics they post about, such as authoritarianism and Neo-Calvinism are problematic in Christianity; that the very un-loving tone Christians take towards others can at times cause other Christians to walk away from the Christian faith; and that patriarchy and gender complementarianism are unbiblical and sexist teachings that are doing damage to many women and to the doctrine of the Trinity.

I also agree, to a point, with the blog owners that some Christians wrongly make issues that most would consider secondary into primary- level concerns, which can lead to needless divisions among Christians. (On the other hand, I sometimes get a little bit nervous by Christians who start saying love always trumps doctrine).

The blog owners are also very concerned about spiritual abuse in churches and how to prevent or rectify it, and they are also rightly concerned with the sexual abuse of children by pastors and priests.

So on those fronts, I do recommend their blog.

Areas of Disagreement

I do however, have one or two concerns or disagreements with the ladies behind that blog.

Deb and Dee seem concerned that Christians should be respectful and loving towards other Christians, even when disagreeing on secondary issues – which is a fine and laudable goal.

Young Earth Creationism

However, I don’t see them fully demonstrating that philosophy in regards to secondary issues such as YEC (Young Earth Creationism).

Repeatedly at their blog, I see much disdain for YEC. And I don’t pick up that the disdain is due to their assertion that some YECs are trying to push its relevance.

They claim that some YEC advocates conflate YEC with salvation or the Gospel itself, which I have not seen (though I am not denying that some YECs may do this, but I don’t think it’s as rampant as they make it appear – I have never personally seen or read of an occasion of a YEC saying “Agreement with YEC = necessary for salvation”).

About the only name I have seen them cite as far as YECs, especially famous YECs, who elevate YEC to salvation-level proportions is Ken Ham. (Ham’s site, Answers Outreach)

I’ve read Ham’s material before and have seen him interviewed on TV shows about his views on evolution and creation.

I have personally not seen Ham equate YEC to the Gospel itself.

I have only seen Ham make an argument along the lines that questioning YEC (which usually involves denying a literal interpretation of the Bible and/or allowing a secular / naturalistic-materialistic worldview to color one’s reading of the Bible, including the book of Genesis) can lead people (young people in particular, who are immersed with secular views on evolution during school and college) to question other portions of the Bible.

That is, rejecting a literal, six- day creation interpretation in turn can, or may, ultimately lead them to question if the Gospel is true and accurate, or cause them to wonder if other aspects of the Bible are true.

I think Ham actually has a decent and legitimate point there, and I don’t see that as necessarily “equating YEC to the Gospel,” or to making a belief in it a requirement for salvation.

In one thread on one blog page at Wartburg Watch, one of the blog owners seemed to ridicule or mock YEC Christians who believe that dinosaurs may have existed at the time of Noah and that dinosaurs were led on to Noah’s Ark, or that this could have been a possibility.

This is not the specific thread I am thinking of, but is close to it in content and tone:

The Fred Principle Fundamental Evangelicals Rejecting Reason (Wartburg Watch blog post)

As a YEC, I and other YECs do not “reject science,” we do not “reject reason,” and we are not “anti science,” as we are so often depicted as (including in the Wartburg Watch post above, sadly).

Most of us YECs merely disagree with other people over scientific topics, or how to approach scientific topics.

Disagreeing with someone else on the topic of evolution or the age of the earth does not mean we YECs are “anti science” or “anti reason.” To keep saying we YECs are “anti science” is a strawman and is mischaracterizing our views and beliefs.

In the discussion on YEC, one comment from the Wartburg Watch says (which is again at this blog page):

“No matter what the anointed would have us believe, the age of the earth, complementarianism, the size of our church, and the governing structure of the church are not primary issues. Folks, we have been given a brain. We need to use it.”

I do not believe that the earth is millions or billions of years old or that God used evolution to create and change life forms.

From this blog person’s comments at Wartburg Watch, one would assume that those who do not agree that the earth is millions/billions of years old have not been given brains or do not use their brains. I’m unsure if the bloggers mean that, or if it was an unfortunate choice of words.

(I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some Christian Old Earth advocates and believers of theistic evolution who make the age of the earth or evolution a primary issue, who tell YECs they are unsaved and going to hell.)

This comment is from a blog owner of Wartburg Watch (at the same page)…

“So what was his [the YEC person] solution [when confronted with material that disagreed with YEC views]? He refused to read anything more because it challenged him to the core. He said he would choose to believe Young Earth in spite of the evidence because ‘he couldn’t take it.'”

…Was somewhat uncharitable. Not all YECs are “afraid” to look at the opposition’s view points nor do all YEC advocates recoil in horror, in disbelief, or go into denial after having read work critical of YEC views.

I have read arguments for both sides of the evolution and age of Earth debates in the past, and I remain a YEC.

I was subjected to years of secular macro-evolution education in public schools and a bit in college and was told as a student that the earth is millions and millions of years old, but I still remain unconvinced for old-earth or macro evolution beliefs.

I have listened to Christian scientific personality Hugh Ross, who believes in theistic evolution (or some variety of it) and in an old earth, many times on Christian shows over the past fifteen years, arguing in favor of an old earth view (Hugh Ross’ site, Reasons To Believe).

Ross seems like a very nice man (and very intelligent, too – though he can, in my view, get a bit prickly or condescending at times when debating YECs), and I have no doubt he believes in Jesus as much as I do, but I disagree with him on these particular issues.

I did not find the “old earth” arguments, or arguments in favor of evolution, by Ross or by other Christians, journals, blogs, or TV shows I’ve read or watched compelling, nor was I convinced by secular sources who argue for old earth and for Darwinism.

I am college-educated and made mostly straight A’s while in college, so I am not a hick or a dummy. I made a “B” in a math class (college algebra), a “B” in one science class, and a “C” in one science lab course – everything else, I got an “A” (including one or two other college- level science courses).

I have read material that questions and criticizes the YEC and Intelligent Design view, both by Christians (who believe in theistic evolution and an old age of the earth view) and by atheists – and I am still a YEC.

There seems to be a belief held (and it is condescending), by Old Age proponents, that if only a YEC is confronted with criticisms of YECism by old-earth proponents, we will abandon our views of YEC, because, by golly, Fact, Science!, and Truth are so obviously on the side of the intelligent, educated, old-earth proponents…

And that further, it seems there is also a belief, or attitude, that simple-minded, doofus, red-neck, inbred, wrongly- paranoid- of- liberal- tinged public school system education Young Earth Creationists (who also watch NASCAR, marry their first cousins, have only one tooth, and keep broken washing machines on their front lawns, next to the pink, plastic flamingos) simply cannot challenge or refute anti-YEC teachings, or we are so weak minded, we will faint upon hearing them.

If the situation about the origins of life, creation of the earth and of mankind were as simple as all that, there would not be an old-earth / young-earth / evolution debate at all; all Christians would have converted to old-earth / theistic evolution perspectives many years ago. Obviously both sides have excellent points, intelligent people, and facts to back up their positions.

Dee and Deb of the Wartburg Watch blog may not be questioning the salvation of a Christian who believes dinosaurs co-existed with Noah, but in my view, it is no less alienating, or uncharitable to imply people who do believe that way are rubes, out- of- touch, un-scientific, anti reason, ignorant, or that all YECs everywhere equate YEC to the Gospel – and I do pick up that tone in some of the posts at the WW blog on this issue. I find that baffling, since both ladies usually seem very sensitive to other people’s feelings and concerns.

I am a YEC myself. I do not believe a person has to be YEC or agree with it to “be saved.” (Click the “more” link below to read the remainder of this post…)

Continue reading “The Wartburg Watch Blog – YEC, Calvinists, Gender Roles etc”