Why do evangelicals lose their faith? – Podcast by Unbelievable

Why do evangelicals lose their faith? – Podcast by Unbelievable

Off to the right hand side of this blog I have a blog roll. Linked there is “Unbelievable,” a podcast by a Christian guy who normally covers topics pertinent to Christian apologetics. He usually has some pretty interesting shows.

I was (am?) a life long Christian but one who’s been doubting the faith the last few years.

I have not totally left the faith itself, but there are parts of it that I’m having trouble accepting or grasping now.

At times, I am disappointed in or by, or angered by Christians, or the behavior of other Christians. That plays into some of the struggles I’ve been having with the faith.

I don’t think I can ever hop on board the Atheist train. I don’t think atheism is intellectually feasible. It seems so devoid of hope, too. And some of its adherents seem just as fundamentalist as some religious theist types. Some of the militant atheists are also smug and condescending as all get out, traits which I have always reviled.

So, this particular episode of Unbelievable looks to be pretty interesting, though I’ve not actually listened to it yet – I’ll probably listen to it later (if so, I may edit this post at a later time with my thoughts on it):

(Link):  Why do evangelicals lose their faith? Os Guinness & Rodney Wilson (pod cast / audio / radio show)

  • Christian author and cultural critic Os Guinness’ new book called “Fools Talk: Recovering the art of Christian persuasion” is aimed at helping Christians develop a confident and winsome approach to engaging those who are closed to faith.
  • He engages with ex-evangelical Rodney Wilson who has researched the reasons why evangelical Christians lose their faith in his book “Killing God” as they discuss the cultural and doctrinal barriers to embracing Christian faith.

EDIT: new post reflecting on this podcast:

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Related Posts:

(Link): No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (PART 1)

(Link):  Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour (part 1) 

(Link): Permissiveness, Cheap Grace, and Easy Forgivism Run Amok in Christianity – Dallas Preacher Todd Wagner Says Christians Can Use Heroin / Why some Christians turn agnostic

(Link): Guilt Tripping or Shaming the Hurt Sheep to Return to Church

(Link): Why People Don’t Go To Church (various links and testimonies March 2014)

(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything 

(Link): Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)

Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Wife Halts Public Advocacy, Citing Marital Woes and Abuse -article says her husband is a Porn Addict

Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Wife Halts Public Advocacy, Citing Marital Woes and Abuse -article says her husband is a Porn Addict

Before I get to the link to the news story itself – about jailed pastor Saeed being a porn user who abused his wife, I wanted to comment about the story first (I also have comments below the news page excerpt below).

So much for the Christian teachings about “being equally yoked,” which is generally understood to mean a Christian person can only marry another Christian.

While it’s true that a lot of Non-Christians are scum balls who would make poor spouses, I have so far not seen any evidence that so-called Christian men are any more trustworthy, loving, or mature than your average atheist guy, Hindu, Jewish guy, or whomever.

I actually tweeted in support of this guy a few times several months back… but he was abusing his wife, and she says he has a porn addiction problem – I didn’t know this until a couple of days ago, when I saw this article.

I also want to remind you of another point I touch on often on this blog: Contrary to what some conservative Christians teach on how to go about getting married, you do NOT have to be perfect, clean  yourself up, or change yourself in some fashion to “earn” a spouse.

Continue reading “Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Wife Halts Public Advocacy, Citing Marital Woes and Abuse -article says her husband is a Porn Addict”

People Suspect Pastor Davey Blackburn May Have Something to Do With His Wife’s Murder

People Suspect Pastor Davey Blackburn May Have Something to Do With His Wife’s Murder

(In the days after making this post, I have added new links, mostly at the bottom of the post)


I haven’t been keeping up with this news story all that much. I’ve just skimmed a few other blog posts about it.

A lot of Christian chatter I’m seeing online indicates people suspect that Davey Blackburn, who is a pastor, may have hired a hit man to murder his wife, or he killed her himself. They find his actions suspicious, his demeanor and tone when talking about his deceased wife suspicious.

All I care to say at this point that if true, if this pastor husband did in fact murder his wife or paid someone to have her killed, I would not be shocked.

I already keep a long, running list of such stories – I have many blog posts on my blog here with links to news stories of men who claim to be Christ-followers, who are married, who are arrested for killing or beating their wives. You can view that collection of links (Link): here.

The police said a few days ago that they cleared the husband, but still, a lot of people I’ve seen online think that the husband had something to do with his wife’s murder.

Let this news story of the pastor’s wife being found dead, with a bullet wound in her head, be a reminder that if you do actually marry, there is no guarantee your spouse will live for years with you.

Your spouse may die, leaving you single again.

I mention this because secular and Christian culture tend to paint this picture of life that there is a “soul mate” for everyone, that you will find this soul mate person, marry them, and live happily ever after.

The truth is, your spouse may be a crime victim, get in a car wreck and die, or develop cancer and die.

Christians therefore need to stop placing so much emphasis on “the nuclear family” and marriage – the New Testament teaches that all believers in Christ (and Christ himself) are to take priority over your spouse or blood relations.

The way this works, is that if you are married and your spouse dies, you will not be left completely alone, IF your church family (assuming you have one) will be your family too. You won’t be left alone.

However,  many churches don’t view other Christians in this manner; they all think the cure for loneliness is to marry and have some kids. But what happens if you never marry, you divorce, or your spouse dies?

Edit. Here are some new links, by way of Watchkeep’s Twitter and Janet Mefferd’s Twitter:

(Link):  Questions, Inconsistencies Remain in Murder of Indiana Pastor’s Wife

Excerpts:

Jarrett emphasized that the pastor is not a person of interest, but must be investigated because in so many cases, husbands and boyfriends are involved when a female is murdered.

The pastor said he left the house at 6am on the morning of the murder to go to the gym, then found his wife when he returned.

Jarrett said another issue is that authorities cannot pin down the exact time that Amanda Blackburn was shot.

Therefore, Jarrett said police can’t rule out that Amanda was shot before the pastor left.

Jarrett said the suspect in the surveillance image is said to have broken into a home nearby beforehand, but there was no sign of forced entry at the Blackburn home and nothing was taken.

… Jarrett noted that there was no “discernible” sadness, tears or anguish from the pastor during the interview.

He said all people grieve in different ways, but others have also pointed out that the pastor smiled at other points in the interview.

(Link):   Pastor takes time away from Indianapolis to mourn slain wife

Here are links to the news story about Blackburn and his wife’s murder:

(Link):  Cops vow to catch killer of Indianapolis pastor’s wife as they probe next-door break in: ‘We will find you’

Nov 13, 2015

Indiana crime fighters cleared a popular pastor in the fatal shooting of his pregnant 28-year-old wife and narrowed their investigation to a rash of burglaries in the couple’s leafy Indianapolis neighborhood, officials said during an emotional press conference Friday morning.

Continue reading “People Suspect Pastor Davey Blackburn May Have Something to Do With His Wife’s Murder”

A Response To J D Hall’s Vomit-tastic Post about Village Church’s Handling of Certain Members, Covenants, and Marriages

A Response To J D Hall’s Vomit-tastic Post about Village Church’s Handling of Certain Members, Covenants, and Marriages 

Before we get to the post by J D Hall:

Background:

  • The Village Church (TVC) of Texas has placed Karen, who was once a member of theirs, under church discipline because she did not, according to them, abide by the church covenant she signed.
  • Instead of conferring with the church on what to do, Karen, on her own, sought an annulment from the state of Texas, once she discovered her then-spouse, Jordan, was a pedophile.
  • Karen said she spent about 50 days conferring with other Christians (not from the TVC), and in prayer, mulling over what to do, before seeking the annulment.
  • This action of hers has ticked off TVC leadership, because Karen did not get their permission to get the annulment.
  • Matt Chandler is the lead preacher of TVC.

You can read additional reporting of this situation here (additional material is at the bottom of this post):

Here is the page I am responding to:

(Link, off site): A Rational Response to the Criticism of Village Church  by  J D Hall, Pulpit and Pen blog

The covenant that Hall is so rigorously defending – TVC’s membership covenant – here does not even mention annulments.

As Karen explains (off site Link, Source):

  • …it is worth noting here that although The Village Church claims [in their e-mail] that “We see an annulment as a subcategory of what Scripture defines as a divorce in Mark 10:9” …, this cannot be found anywhere in their Membership Covenant or Bylaws.
  • In signing their Membership Covenant shortly after my 24th birthday, I had agreed to nothing in regards to the possibility of annulment should I come to realize that my marriage had been a complete sham from the beginning.
  • There is a vast difference between a divorce and a marriage that is voided on the grounds of fraud, and I had no way of knowing that the leadership of The Village Church would respond to it in this fashion.

Continue reading “A Response To J D Hall’s Vomit-tastic Post about Village Church’s Handling of Certain Members, Covenants, and Marriages”

Prominent Married Christian Advocate for Persecuted Christians Resigns After Sex Assault Conviction

Prominent Married Christian Advocate for Persecuted Christians Resigns After Sex Assault Conviction

I believe this says he is married and had converted to Christianity at a young age. Another example of why Be Equally Yoked is a waste of a single woman’s time.

(Link): Prominent Advocate for Persecuted Christians Resigns After Sex Assault Conviction

Excerpts

  • Barnabas Aid defends its work as ‘much bigger than one man’ after jury rules Patrick Sookhdeo groped employee and intimidated witnesses.

Victim Blaming, Rape Apologia Piece by H. Ferguson on Christian Post site: “Rethinking Date Rape”

Victim Blaming, Rape Apologia Piece by H. Ferguson on Christian Post: “Rethinking Date Rape”

I am surprised I have not seen more Christians tweet or write in criticism of this page:

(Link): Rethinking Date Rape by Hope Ferguson – on The Christian Post

Here are some excerpts:

  • … Sulkowicz did not deny previously having taken part in consensual relations with the same young man. So was this a case of rape or of miscommunication?
  • According to the latest statistics, one in five women on American campuses has been subject to acquaintance rape. Although the circumstances vary, one common element is that alcohol has usually been consumed by both parties.
  • A young adult woman, lugging a mattress – the supposed scene of a crime – around with her to class, seemed to me to crystalize all that is wrong with the current focus on the “rape culture,” on college campuses and how it subsequently infantilizes adult women. I could only think of a child lugging around her security “blankie.”
  • ….If a woman decides that a consensual encounter is now not to her liking, and she tells the man to stop, but in a frenzy of testosterone and pleasure, he refuses, is that rape? Does her later no cancel out her earlier yes?If a young woman, such as one profiled in the New York Times recently, gets stinking drunk at a frat party with equally drunk young men, and finds herself “taken advantage of,” is that rape?
  • …While the young men, every bit as immature and drunk as the young women, are excoriated and raked across society’s collective coals, the young women are absolved from all liability and responsibility for their behavior.
  • We are not talking about mature adults preying on kids.
  • We are talking about peers and how they think about, negotiate, and act on their sexual desires.The Columbia student who was so outraged about being “raped” by her date, had already had consensual sex with the same young man previously. Rather than dismissing the incident as sexual communication gone wrong, instead, the young man, a student at Columbia as well, is labeled as a rapist on national TV, with no opportunity to defend himself without exposing his identity.
  • …Roiphe points out how smart young women who populate campuses are seemingly embracing the discarded stereotype of a woman who does not own her own actions, who is innocent, easily persuaded and manipulated; an image that women of her mother’s generation sought to dispel.
  • Are women really helpless victims?In the latest controversy over Jackie’s story in Rolling Stone, the writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, admittedly began her quest with an agenda to expose acquaintance rape on a prestigious college campus; to show how the charge is not taken seriously by college administrators (who frequently do not report the cases to police, either for fear of sullying their institution’s reputations, or in recognition of the murkiness of many of the charges) and to show how young women are therefore victimized all over again.
  • Now I am not defending rape, acquaintance rape, date rape nor any other kind. I am saying, as Roiphe did in her piece, that cases of heterosexual miscommunication may end up as “rape,” if the woman later regrets what she did; doesn’t remember what she did; can’t recall consenting; or did something under the influence of alcohol that she wouldn’t normally do, with the attendant shame.However, perhaps the young men also did something under the influence of alcohol that they would not normally do.
  • Why are they held to a higher standard of accountability than the young women? Why isn’t there more education on college campuses about the dangers of binge drinking? Nearly 2,000 young people a year die on American campuses of alcohol-related circumstances.
  • …Why aren’t young women taught to protect themselves and to avoid being caught in avoidable situations that could end badly, like being drunk to the point of passing out in a frat house full of horny young men suffering from TMT (too much testosterone).

I personally do not find it victim-blaming to tell women of preventative measures they can take to lessen their chances of being raped; I wrote about it earlier, here:

(Link):  Suggesting Preventive Measures Is Not Necessarily Victim Blaming

So far on that score, I’m in partial agreement with Ferguson, but I am astounded at how much victim blaming is in this article.

Where Ferguson writes,

  • However, perhaps the young men also did something under the influence of alcohol that they would not normally do. Why are they held to a higher standard of accountability than the young women?

Because a woman getting drunk is not the same thing as a man attacking a woman.

It doesn’t matter if the man in question is inebriated or not when he attacks a woman. Rape remains rape, and a crime that one human does against another.

A woman who is getting drunk in a frat house is only doing harm to herself (she may get liver problems if she continues drinking).

And that is one reason of several why society should hold young men “more accountable” in a situation where he rapes a woman, whether he is drunk or sober at the time. This isn’t rocket science, and I’m shocked that Ferguson doesn’t understand any of this.

Men who kill people while drunk driving face legal penalties, why should they not also do so in cases of sexual assault, if they rape a woman while they are drunk?

Ferguson writes,

  • A young adult woman, lugging a mattress – the supposed scene of a crime – around with her to class, seemed to me to crystalize all that is wrong with the current focus on the “rape culture,” on college campuses and how it subsequently infantilizes adult women. I could only think of a child lugging around her security “blankie.”

For those of you not familiar with the story of the rape victim who carried her mattress around campus, here are a few articles about it (all off site links):

I find it very troubling that this author, Ferguson, shows no understanding or concern for the young woman carrying the mattress, but chooses to view this as the woman “infantilizing” herself.

The young woman’s mattress was symbolic of her attack, and of seeking justice.

To compare the mattress of this story to a child’s “security blankie” belies deep ignorance on the part of the author (and I’m betting this is willful ignorance) and a lack of compassion for sexual assault victims.

Ferguson writes,

  • Although the circumstances vary, one common element is that alcohol has usually been consumed by both parties.

While I have no problem educating and cautioning women from drinking too much around men, especially at frat houses and at bars, it is immoral to blame women for being raped because they were drunk at the time of the assault.

Would Ferguson say that children who follow a child molester into his van for a promise of candy are to blame for being raped by the molester in the van?

Would she, Ferguson, shame those child victims and say, “It was their own fault they were assaulted, because they should have known better than to believe a stranger’s promise about candy?”

Probably not, so why blame a grown woman for being raped?

Ferguson writes,

  • Sulkowicz did not deny previously having taken part in consensual relations with the same young man. So was this a case of rape or of miscommunication?

Any time a woman says no or protests, or does not give her consent to have sex (the woman may be drugged or knocked out and incapable of accepting or declining), the situation is rape.

It does not matter if the man who rapes the woman is a man she has had consensual sex with 100 times in the past, only one time, or ten times, or zero times.

Marital rape was legal in the United States even up into the last half of the 20th century or earlier, because cultural and legal views were such that people believed that a husband had a right to have sex any time with his wife, even if the wife said “no” and did not want to have sex.

It looks as though Ferguson subscribes to this view that women have no agency, that they are forever the property of other men, and that their decisions about their own bodies or lives do not matter.

I also find it very odd and sexist that Ferguson acts as though because a woman may have had consensual sex with a man at one point in time that the man is forever entitled to that woman and her body any time he pleases in the future.

To argue in that manner would be to argue also that because I let the plumber into my house once five years ago to un-clog my kitchen pipes, with my consent, now means that same  plumber can just waltz into my house any time he wants to now and touch my pipes.

Just because I consented to let the auto mechanic down the street change the oil in my car six months ago at the local garage does not give that guy the right to get into my car today, change the oil, or drive the car around.

A one time “yes” of two days ago or ten years ago, does not equate to a lifetime “yes.”

Perhaps the most hypocritical part of the essay was this:

  • …Roiphe points out how smart young women who populate campuses are seemingly embracing the discarded stereotype of a woman who does not own her own actions, who is innocent, easily persuaded and manipulated; an image that women of her mother’s generation sought to dispel.

If anything or anyone is guilty of infantilizing women, it’s conservative Christian teachings about gender roles, dating, and marriage.

Under the rubric of “biblical womanhood,” “traditional gender role” or “gender complementarian” teachings, Christians tell Christian women to behave and think like little girls – though advocates of these positions may deny it, this is what their teachings boil down to in practice.

Christian women, in particular from evangelical, Reformed, fundamentalist, and Baptist backgrounds, get the repeated message from parents, churches, Christian material (such as books, blogs, etc) that a woman’s only  acceptable or suitable role in life is to be a wife and mother.

As a wife, they are told, their husband has authority over them, and they are to “graciously submit” to that husband. Christian women in abusive marriages are counseled by preachers to stay with abusive husband and to continually submit to him.

For examples of that, see these off site links:

(Link): Preacher John Piper: Wives should “endure” abuse “for a season”

(Link): Paige Patterson has never retracted his words on wife beating

Those are common views among conservative Christians concerning women in abusive marriages. I said COMMON, those are not rare, those are not exceptions.

Christian women are taught from the time they are young that they are always to put the needs and feelings of other people before their own.

Christian women are taught and pressured from the time they are girls and as adults that they are always to say “yes” to other people’s requests, no matter what.

Christian women are taught by most other Christians and conservative Christian culture that conflict is bad or wrong and to be avoided.

Therefore, many Christian women raised in such families or environments never get any practice at developing assertive life skills, disagreeing with others, standing up to people, defending themselves.

Conservative Christians raise females with the expectation that a good, biblical female is one who is constantly quiet, sweet, un-assertive, doesn’t make choices for herself, doesn’t challenge or disagree with people, especially never men.

Christian women are, in other words, fed a steady diet of Codependency, and they taught that being Codependent is God’s will for every woman’s life.

Women who are raised like this are incapable of making decisions for themselves. They tend to cave in quickly when they are too afraid to stand up to a person who is demanding something of them. The word “no” gets caught in their throat.

This puts Christian women in a dangerous position, from the time she is a kid, teen, and into her adult years, unless and until she visits therapists and reads books by doctors who explain it’s not mean, uh-Christ-like, bitchy, or selfish for a woman to say “no” and to have boundaries.

Here’s an example that happens to a lot of women a lot as they grow up and even into their adulthoods (this happened to me a lot):

If a strange man approaches a woman on the street asking for help, the woman’s instinct or gut tells her this man is possibly a mugger or a rapist, but she don’t want to hurt his feelings, offend the man, or appear as a bitch.

After all, their mothers, Christian pastors, and books about men and dating, raised them that Christian girls are ALWAYS sweet, helpful, and nice, and should not put even their own safety ahead of a stranger in need – so instead of running away or making an otherwise quick exit, which they should do, they let the strange man approach them and talk to them.

And all the while, they have butterflies in their stomach, worried if this man is going to harm them or not.

By the way, a lot of rapists prey on women using this as a tactic and use this to exploit women.

Ted Bundy, the serial killer, used to put a cast on his arm, and approach young women asking them for help, to carry things to his car. He knew they did not want to appear bitchy or mean, so they would help him out. Once they were by his car, he wound knock them out, toss their bodies in his car, drive away, and kill them.

Rapists, muggers, etc, count on women caring more about others than their own safety, they rely on women caring more about appearing nice, sweet, and “Christian” then they do about their own safety, and they exploit these traits to get female victims.

And Christians keep right on teaching women to be easy targets for rapists, con artists, abusive boyfriends, and muggers.

Yes indeed, it’s conservative Christian teaching itself which causes some Christian women to be raped, mugged, or killed.

It’s not always the fault of secular feminism, university campus parties, or alcohol drinking that is to blame for rape, but the cultural and Christian pressure on women from the time they are young, to always be compliant, lack boundaries, and afraid to say No to anyone.

The ideal biblical, Christian woman to most Christians is a passive, wimpy, sweet, subservient, woman who will never stand up for herself, never utter a negative comment.

And it’s precisely those kinds of women abusive men and rapists love to choose as their victims.

Christian gender role teachings set women up to be enticing, easy targets for con artists, rapists, abusive husbands, but then Christians – such as Ferguson – who write those awful articles, blame the women for being raped.

Christians who pressure girls and women to abide by gender complementarian teachings (which is nothing but codependency) set women up to be rape victims, conditions them to act and think like victims, but then they turn around and blame them if they are raped.

It’s demonic, evil, and very deplorable to set women up to be assaulted, and then blame them if or when they are assaulted. The Christian Post really should delete that article.

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Related posts:

(Link):  How Feminists Are Making Women Easier Rape Targets

(Link):  Southern Baptist’s New Sexist “Biblical Woman” Site – Attitudes in Total Face Palm of a Site One Reason Among Many This Unmarried and Childless Woman Is Saying Toodle-Oo to Christianity

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link): The “Feminization” of the Church by K R Wordgazer

(Link): Population Decline and Bay-bee Obsession – Patriarchy, Quiverfull, Traditional Family, Christian Gender Complementarian Nuts

Dude Who Stalked Me Online Has Set His Blog to Private – Yet Again

Dude Who Stalked Me Online Has Set His Blog to Private – Yet Again

Yep. I visited his blog today, and it’s set to private yet again.

You can read more about that here, towards the end, under the “Oct 2014 Update”

(Link): Why I Post Anonymously ( Part 2 – the John Hugh Morgan Fiasco )

His habit is to keep his blog set to private only to make it public again after a few days or weeks.

November 9, 2014 update.

Sometime in the last week or two of October 2014, the dude unblocked his blog so it’s public once more. He does this routinely.

Once he sees a ping back from my blog, where I link to his posts that I critique, he will set his blog to private for several days or a week or more, then make it public again.

I have no idea why this guy does this.