The Deification of Family and Marriage (re: Kyle Idleman book)

The Deification of Family and Marriage (re: Kyle Idleman book)

You can find copies of Idleman’s book “Gods At War” for sale online.

I have written in a critical fashion of Idleman before, as I am not a fan (pardon the pun) of his “Not A Fan” book, which unintentionally sets out to place yokes and a works-based mentality upon Christians. Read more about that here and here and here (“Radical Christianity”).

I have not read the “Gods At War” book myself but have seen Idleman interviewed about the book, and I caught one or two episodes of a Christian show based on his book.

While I disagree with his “Not a Fan” works- based type of approach to living Christian daily life, I do feel Idleman is correct that most American Christians have made a deity out of marriage and family.

In the book “Gods At War,” Idleman discusses how Christians can turn anything into an idol from jobs to entertainment, and he has one chapter in his book on “family.” He mentioned in an TV interview that some Christians are guilty of turning their spouse, their marriage, into idols.

You can read free previews from the chapter “The God of Family” in Idleman’s book on Amazon .com. Or, you might be able to read free excerpts on (Link): Google Books here. Try (Link): Chapter 12 God Of Family (this link should take you directly to chapter 12, but it looks like it’s taking you to the intro. You’ll have to scroll down or jump to Ch 12).

(Please click the “read more” link to read the rest of this post and to see a video interview with Idleman about this topic.)

Continue reading “The Deification of Family and Marriage (re: Kyle Idleman book)”

White Evangelicals, White Fundamentalists, and White Baptists: White Americans Don’t Need the Gospel or Compassion, especially not the affluent or middle class

White Evangelicals, White Fundamentalists, and White Baptists: White Americans Don’t Need the Gospel or Compassion, especially not the affluent or middle class

I just wondered (Link): in a post on here the other day if writers from Crosswalk have been to my blog before, because within days of me publishing a post on something, the same material is blogged on their site.

I made a post pointing out that many white (middle to upper class) American Christians have a most strange preoccupation with helping dark-skinned foreign people (and Africa seems to be the preferred area, with some churches opting for Haiti).

I wrote more about that odd situation under the “Side Note” section of (Link): this blog post, and (Link): this post.

Also related to this: I have also written in a prior post or two about this annoying new trend among Christian preachers to make ordinary Christians feel guilty or horrible about living ordinary, everyday lives. These preachers are called “Radical” or “Missional.” You can (Link): read about them here.

Anyway, within a day or two of me mentioning the weird attitude by white middle- to- upper- middle class Christians that only dark-skinned people in Africa need the Gospel and need humanitarian aid, and that they seem to believe that the Gospel is not for white middle class Americans, this page appeared on a Christianity Today blog:

(Link): Suburbia Needs Jesus, Too

Not only are most well-off, white American Christians consumed with caring for dark-skinned Africans (that there are also white people born and raised in Africa seems to escape their attention), but when they do bother to look inwards (ie, to help fellow Americans), they only want to extend a helping hand to extreme sob stories, such as the homeless in the inner city, or crack addicts who are passed out in crack homes all day.

If you’re an “average Joe” or “average Jane” Christian, especially if you are white and in the ‘burbs, and/or if you’re middle class, and you are going through a tragedy in your life large or small (divorce, cancer, your dog just died, your mom just died, you just got laid off from your job, whatever your calamity is) most white American Christians will tell you to get over it or get lost.

Most white American Christians will not offer to give you – if you are a fellow white Christian – a couple hundred bucks for groceries, or offer to mow your lawn while you recover from your surgery, nor will they offer to sit and listen as you sob your eyes out.

Oh no. No no no. God forbid a white middle- to- upper- middle class Christian show compassion to any other white/middle class Christian who is going through a tribulation.

Most often, not always, but very very frequently, white, middle class, American Christians will say things to another hurting white Christians when said Christian approaches them for sympathy or help, such as…

    – “You live in the richest nation in the world. You have in-door plumbing. Two thirds of the world have to pee in a hole in the ground in 20 degree weather. You have it better than starving orphans in Africa, so shut up.”

    – “You’re not homeless. You’re not an abused wife living in a domestic abuse shelter.
    So what if your husband of 25 years just said he doesn’t love you and wants to run off with his 23 year old secretary, who he’s been having sex with the last six months?
    You could have life much worse, you know.You still have life more comfy-cozy than those homeless shelter people, so quiet down.”

    -“Get over it!”
    [I wrote a post about (Link): “Get Over It” here]

    – “Stop your crying and whining about your grandma dying last week, you big baby! You should be over that by now!
    Don’t you realize how blessed you are? You have central heating in winter and an in-door toilet! Street urchins in India who get sold as prostitutes would give their right arm to have your life.”

Yep, I have been on the receiving end of those types of comments first hand (and in my time of deepest pain), I’ve heard other Christians use those remarks against other hurting Christians, and blowhard preachers (such as John Hagee) like to shout those kinds of things at their audiences.
Continue reading “White Evangelicals, White Fundamentalists, and White Baptists: White Americans Don’t Need the Gospel or Compassion, especially not the affluent or middle class”

Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives

Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives

Radical Christianity: what an annoying trend. I hope it dies a quick death. We have pastors who are telling Christians unless they intentionally seek out to live in dire poverty or move to Africa to hand out Gospel tracts, they are not being “radical” enough for Jesus, they are taking Jesus for granted, or are being selfish.

I touched on this issue briefly in regards to preacher Kyle Idleman of “Not A Fan” book and television show fame in (Link): this post (under the heading “Guilt Trips or Condemnation For Not Being Super Christian”).

I have since come across a few web pages and radio shows about it. Here they are:

(Link): Here Come the Radicals!

by Matthew Lee Anderson

David Platt, Francis Chan, Shane Claiborne, and now Kyle Idleman are dominating the Christian best-seller lists by attacking our comfortable Christianity. But is ‘radical faith’ enough?

Online radio show, about one third into the program (you’ll have to sit through 15 to 25 minutes of the host talking about some guy named William Tapley before getting to the specific segment, called “The New Legalism“):

(Link): Radio Show: The New Legalism (from Fighting For the Faith, A Pirate Christian Radio Production)

(Link): The New Legalism, by Anthony Bradley

How the push to be ‘radical’ and ‘missional’ discourages ordinary people in ordinary places from doing ordinary things to the glory of God



There are many churches that are committed to being what is called missional. This term is used to describe a church community where people see themselves as missionaries in local communities.

A missional church has been defined, as “a theologically formed, Gospel-centered, Spirit-empowered, united community of believers who seek to faithfully incarnate the purposes of Christ for the glory of God,” says Scott Thomas of the Acts 29 Network.

The problem is that this push for local missionaries coincided with the narcissism epidemic we are facing in America, especially with the millennial generation. As a result, living out one’s faith became narrowly celebratory only when done in a unique and special way, a “missional” way.

Getting married and having children early, getting a job, saving and investing, being a good citizen, loving one’s neighbor, and the like, no longer qualify as virtuous. One has to be involved in arts and social justice activities—even if justice is pursued without sound economics or social teaching. I actually know of a couple who were being so “missional” they decided to not procreate for the sake of taking care of orphans.

Excerpts from “Here Come The Radicals” by Matthew Lee Anderson:

The five components of “the Radical Experiment” may not seem that radical; they’re more like basic Christian discipleship. But they struck a nerve at the church and beyond. Forty families and singles committed to moving into a disadvantaged area of Birmingham. As one attendee told me, the news created something of a reputation for the church. “People still ask me,” she said, “whether I go to that church where people are moving into the most dangerous parts of Birmingham.” And the message spread well beyond the city of 1 million. After Platt released Radical in May 2010, it spent more than two years on The New York Times advice best-seller list. Three years later, it’s still on CBA’S (formerly Christian Booksellers Association) best-seller list.

…. At the heart of Platt’s message is his claim that we mistakenly turn the “radical Jesus of the Bible … into the comfortable Jesus of 21st-century American culture.”

He warns that the culture of “self-advancement, self-esteem, and self-sufficiency” and our “individualism, materialism, and universalism” have neutered American Christians’ witness and blinded us to widespread global poverty, an orphan crisis, and the massive number of those who still have never heard of Jesus.

Continue reading “Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives”

Blaming the Christian for His or Her Own Problem or Unanswered Prayer / Christian Codependency

I don’t have any answers for these topics I’m raising; I’m only ranting about a couple of topics that have been annoying me the last few years.

I was watching Hal Lindsey’s Bible prophecy show this evening. I usually like this guy’s teachings (or used to; over the years, I’ve lost some interest in Bible prophecy. One can only stand hearing oh- so- many “the world is ending soon!” type lectures and attempts to figure out who the Anti Christ is before it all gets a little old).

Lindsey was explaining today why sometimes a Christian’s prayers may go unanswered – and I’ve also seen pastor Charles Stanley, other Christian television personalities, and Christians online say the same thing – that is, if your prayers are going unanswered, it could be because you have “unconfessed sin” in your life (they also dole out other possible reasons).

This is a variation of a troubling, annoying, infuriating theme I see among Christians from time to time, from preachers and from Christian family, friends, and acquaintances.

Blame The Victim

Any time one approaches these people with any of life’s disappointments, let downs, struggles, regrets, heart aches, and questions of, “Why doesn’t God do “X” for me, I’ve been praying about it for years?,” these sorts of Christians begin reeling off a list of reasons, such as, “You must have unconfessed sin in your life!,” “You must not have enough faith,” or some such rationale.
Continue reading “Blaming the Christian for His or Her Own Problem or Unanswered Prayer / Christian Codependency”

Book Review of Not A Fan a book by Kyle Idleman

PDF Format:
(Link): Book Review of “Not A Fan” by Kyle Idleman (review by J. O. Hosler)

The book reviewer believes that Idleman’s book contains a  Lordship Salvation slant; Lordship salvation teaching seems to distort the gospel of Grace the Bible teaches.

I really wish there was an HTML version of the review available; the review is only available in PDF format.

I have seen Idleman on a television series of the same name (“Not A Fan”), which airs on network TBN at times, and while I do believe the man is sincere, I am sometimes a little put off by his emphasis upon works or performance.

Life is difficult enough as it is without a preacher trying to tell me I’m not doing enough for Christ, I’m failing at my faith walk, or implying I’m selfish if I’m not giving up every single material possession I own to work in a homeless shelter 24 hours a day seven days a week or to go serve as a missionary in the deepest jungles of Africa.

There are different, and equally valid ways, of serving the Lord, and not all of them have to involve missionary work in Africa or working in a soup kitchen.
Related post, this blog:

(Link):  Radical for Jesus a New Kind of Legalism?

(Link): Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives

(Link): To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan