Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable 

The other day, I posted this (part 1 to this post):

I have re-listened to the podcast this evening and wanted to comment on some of what I heard.

In the program, there is a guy named Rodney who was once a conservative Christian, who drifted into liberal theology, and who now says he has a “deistic philosophy” and he says he is “agnostic about most religious questions.”

He says he has same sex attraction, and was put off to Christianity for (among other reasons):

How American conservative Christianity tends to over-identify with, or promote, the Republican Party (right wing American party), and that some preachers are too condemning of homosexual persons.

Rodney also says he does not accept the notion of an eternal Hell.

A few times, Rodney mentions that he has a deist- like view of God. He thinks all of us humans are rats, the earth is a big laboratory, and God is a scientist in a white lab coat observing us all but not intervening.

Rodney thinks if God is involved with human life, that God should do things like cause all members of ISIS (terrorist group) to drop dead of heart attacks. He does not believe that God helps people to pass school tests, find parking spaces, or cures diseases.

The show had a Christian author and guest on named Os, who replied to some of Rodney’s points.

_Some of my thoughts on the show and the topics Rodney raised._

1.) Politics and Liberal Vs Conservative Christianity

I am right wing politically and have been a Republican (GOP) my entire life.

I have very large misgivings about the GOP the last few years, though, so I’m not totally sure where I stand politically, though I do not ever see myself becoming a liberal or a Democrat.

I do agree with Rodney that too many conservative Christians conflate Christianity with the Republican party.

But then, a lot of liberal Christians or liberal Christian denominations entwine a lot of liberal beliefs and causes with the faith too, (such as support of abortion, the Democratic Party, liberalism, and homosexual marriage).

Continue reading “Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable”

Sometimes the Bible is Clear – Regarding Rachel Held Evan’s Post

Sometimes the Bible is Clear – Regarding Rachel Held Evan’s Post

Rachel Held Evans recently wrote this post:
(Link): The Bible was ‘Clear’

Her position is that the Bible is not always clear as Christians think or say or believe it to be.

Sometimes I agree with Mrs. Evans, sometimes I don’t. This is one of those “in between” times where I am sympathetic to her overall point but feel she’s in danger of tipping over, too.

Let me start with giving you an excerpt from her post that she published last night or today, so you can see what her motives are:

    In 1982:
    “The Bible clearly teaches, starting in the tenth chapter of Genesis and going all the way through, that God has put differences among people on the earth to keep the earth divided.” – Bob Jones III, defending Bob Jones University’s policy banning interracial dating/marriage. The policy was changed in 2000.

Mrs. Evans goes on to list several more examples, where some Christian or another from 100 or more years ago wrote a statement that most Christians today would likely agree is wrong, scientifically incorrect, or racist, or what have you, a comment that said Christian insisted the Bible was “clear on.”

As someone who was raised in a home and church that taught gender complementarianism, and I used to be gender complmenetarian myself but am no longer one, I can see how, yes, sometimes a person can believe the Bible is very clear on a topic, even though there may be other Bible verses or passages that negate or contradict one’s views.

For example, a lot of Christian gender complmentarians only pay attention to two or three verses in the New Testament – the ones that talk about a woman being silent in church, the one where Paul says he does not permit a woman to teach, and so on – and not only do gender complementarians ignore key words within such favored verses, but they have a nasty tendency to ignore the examples that contradict their views – such as the existence of Junia the female apostle in the New Testament; Deborah, who was a leader over the nation Israel; and that Paul elsewhere says that women may prophesy – which requires women to open their mouth and speak, and not remain silent in church, or anywhere else.

Your average gender complementarian, however, will bang a fist on a desk and insist vehemently that the Bible is abundantly clear that no woman may ever teach, lead, or be a preacher or apostle, despite the fact the Bible contains examples of women doing those very things, and with God’s approval.

(For more on those particular gender complementarian issues, please see:
(Link): LOST IN TRANSLATION Part 2 – A Look at 1 Timothy 2:12-15 (off site link; hosted on Junia Project)
(Link): Why I’m an Egalitarian (off site link) )

Contrary to what gender complementarians think, the Bible is not clear or cut- and- dried, once- for- all about whether women can and should be preachers and so on.

I think Christians such as Evans need to be equally aware that it can be problematic and sloppy, however, to make the Bible out to be completely fuzzy and vague on any and all topics, as though the entirety of the Bible is up for grabs and can be defined in any old way.

That the Bible can be hard to understand on some points is true does not mean that one cannot figure out what God thinks or believes about other topics.

When people approach the Bible with a pet doctrine in mind, or with an agenda, they will not take the biblical text for what it really says, but attempt to find “loop holes” that negate the verses they do not like, or to give alternate interpretations that fit their pre-made conclusions of what they WISH the text said.

Continue reading “Sometimes the Bible is Clear – Regarding Rachel Held Evan’s Post”

Interesting Links Re Christianity and Gender Roles (A.K.A. Church and Christian Approved Sexism)

Interesting Links Re Christianity and Gender Roles (AKA Church and Christian Approved Sexism)

This is a very good editorial:
(Link): Feminism vs Egalitarianism

(Link): Friday Challenge: Guess The Year [‘How Feminine Am I’ sexist and out-dated check list used by Baptist churches] – Stuff Fundies Like blog

Next link. Regarding the nutso Quiverfull-ish, Doug Phillips, Vision Forusm-ish sexist beliefs of treating women like unthinking chattel and keeping them at home with their fathers, even if they don’t marry into adulthood:

(Link): Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions, Part 1: Blurring the Lines (TBB) – from Scarlet Letters blog

Excerpts

    My main concern, however, with the vision of SAHD [Stay At Home Daughters] laid out in [Phillips’ version of] Sleeping Beauty is that it seems to progressively break down healthy boundaries in father-daughter relationships.

    … In Sleeping Beauty, however, it becomes clear that “helpmeet” is only one example of a more extensive terminology shift. Fathers are said to “court” and “woo” their daughters and ultimately “win their hearts.”

(Link): Dan Kirby Kopp, 45, was found guilty of beating his wife with a spoon [for not addressing him as “sir” and other stupid crap]

    The video shows Kopp showing her [his wife] the spoon and giving her a ‘count of three to comply’ with his demand of addressing him with a ‘yes, sir’ in front of the couple’s children.

    He is also heard threatening to ‘cast the demons out of her’ next time she disobeyed him.

(Link): “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” Genre Cheat Sheet Rachel Held Evans’ blog

I don’t agree with what appears to be that blog’s rejection of biblical sexual ethics, or disregard for people who have remained virgins into adulthood, in favor of sugarcoating biblical sexual teachings so as to soothe the consciences of women who say they feel shamed or get hurt hearing that pre-marital sex is sinful according to the Bible, but I do agree with the blog’s disdain for biblical gender complementarianism.

Guest comments at that page (and I agree with these comments):

    My favourite is their “committee” page [the writer may be referring to the gender complementarian group CBMW] where each women’s career is labelled “homemaker” and then proceeds to list all the conferences she will be attending for the next 12 months – I added up one of the women’s ‘away’ dates and figured the only way she could be a ‘homemaker’ was if she lived in a motor home.

And:

    Christina Steve Dawson • 7 hours ago −

    I suspect this is true. Otherwise they would have noticed years ago the irony of women building careers in which they travel, write, and speak, all for the purpose of convincing other women not to have careers.

And

    Rachel Held Evans Mod Christina • 7 hours ago −

    Oh my gosh! This DRIVES ME CRAZY! I went to this “biblical womanhood” conference a couple years ago where many of the attendees were professional women with careers. And the speaker – a professional woman herself – proceeded to dis on feminism as an anti-biblical worldview…starting with second wave feminism and using Mary Tyler Moore as an example of a first step away from biblical womanhood. It was so confusing

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Related posts this blog

(Link): Christian Culture and Daddy Daughter Dates

(Hetero-) Sex outside Marriage debate – Radio Debate from 2010

(Hetero-) Sex outside Marriage debate – Radio Debate from 2010
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Here is an online audio debate between a Christian and a self-described atheist feminist, who debate about fornication (sex outside of marriage); hosted on the British Christian show “Unbelievable”:

(Link): (Hetero-) Sex outside Marriage debate – Radio Debate from 2010

I am in the midst of the show myself and have no thoughts about it at this time. If I have anything to say about it, I shall edit this post to add my comments below this paragraph and above the radio show description.

For now, the only comment I have to make is that I am not comfortable with Christians who stress that sex is for pro-creation, as the one lady did on this radio show. There are Christian married couples who have health problems and are incapable of getting pregnant, would you then claim they should refrain from sex altogether?

I don’t think sex is only about baby-making.

Update: After having listened to the entire program, I don’t have much to say about it. The only thing that stood out to me was when the atheist freethinker lady scoffed at the idea of “celibates” (her word) giving anyone advice about sex, and was tying this into context about religious leaders. (She seemed specifically to be calling out the Pope and Roman Catholic priests.)

As I have noted before in other posts, celibacy is not only a “Roman Catholic” thing. I was brought up a Baptist, am over age 40, and am a celibate. Let me repeat that: I am celibate but am not a Roman Catholic.

It’s hypocritical that someone who fancies herself a champion of “free thinking” and standing up for the oppressed, as she does, so easily and condescendingly dismisses celibates, and basically says we celibates are not entitled to give any one opinions about matters pertaining to sex.

My message to the Atheist lady on the radio show:
Atheist lady, I don’t have to have sexual intercourse myself to be able to discuss the topic or hold a view on it – and, by the way, I am still a sexual being. Most celibates are not devoid of sexual impulse, nor are we asexual. It’s incorrect, condescending, and rude to feel that celibates have no place at the table in discussing sexual mores and topics. (And like it or not, this celibate does indeed have opinions on these issues.)

Radio Show Description of the Debate’s contents (from their web page):

    Evangelical Christians hold that sexual relations outside of marriage are against Biblical mandate and have negative moral and social consequences.

    In modern society, as marriage becomes less common and most people are sexually active from their teens, is this belief outmoded and irrelevant?

    Sue Meyer describes herself as an “Atheist freethinking feminist”. She claims that Christian marriage has historically been used as a way of subjugating women. She says that the modern climate where people are at liberty to have sex with who they want, when they want is a welcome change.

    Faith Forster is one of the founders of the Ichthus Christian Fellowship network of churches in the UK. She says that the Biblical principle of keeping sex within the marriage bond is given for the good of both individuals and society.