Pat Robertson’s Too-Vague Response About Unanswered Prayer and Non-Helpful Advice About Anxiety

Pat Robertson’s Too-Vague Response About Unanswered Prayer and Non-Helpful Advice About Anxiety

The episode in question:
(Link): The 700 Club – January 8, 2019

(There is a video of the program embedded on that page hosted on CBN’s / 700 Club’s site. Also, thanks to commentator Stevo below, check (Link): this page on 700 Club’s site for the video)

The portions of that video I am addressing come during the part of the show where the lady co-host reads viewer questions to Pat Robertson, and Robertson replies to them.

I do not remember at what point the question segment airs, whether it’s at the 30 minute mark or later. Unfortunately, they’ve not uploaded the same episode to their You Tube channel (not yet, perhaps they will tomorrow).

I have to rely on memory here because I’ve not re-watched the episode.

Questions were posed to Robertson about unanswered prayer and about anxiety.

And I don’t believe that Robertson did an adequate job of replying to any of the questions.

Continue reading “Pat Robertson’s Too-Vague Response About Unanswered Prayer and Non-Helpful Advice About Anxiety”

What Dating With Anxiety Taught Me About Love by K. Bishop

(Link):  What Dating With Anxiety Taught Me About Love

Excerpts:

by K Bishop

A new match notification or getting asked out by that hot-but-definitely-a-fuckboy guy you’ve exchanged a stream of witty messages with is not a reward

…Dating in the Tinder-age is particularly triggering for anyone struggling with their mental health. When the next better thing is a mere right swipe away rejection is expected, to be blocked out by seeking more matches, more dates, more distractions from the niggling sense of being not quite good enough.

Speaking to my dating-app-active friends confirms that this issue isn’t just for the perpetually anxious.

Continue reading “What Dating With Anxiety Taught Me About Love by K. Bishop”

Dating And Sex: Men Who Find Talking to Women Difficult May Soon Have a Hormone Treatment

Dating And Sex: Men Who Find Talking to Women Difficult May Soon Have a Hormone Treatment

This doesn’t sound like something women would like – the article says this drug or hormone or whatever it is –  causes males to be even more persistent towards females, and that it does so in part by lowering their anxiety or inhibitions.

Oh no. The world is already filled with over-confident, dweeby, too-persistent men who don’t take hints from women we are NOT interested in them romantically or sexually and want them to stop hitting on us or trying to flirt with us out in public, at school, or at jobs.

(Link): Dating And Sex: Men Who find Talking to Women Difficult May Soon Have a Hormone Treatment

Researchers have identified a hormone that can embolden men sexually and make them less anxious about pursuing women.

Continue reading “Dating And Sex: Men Who Find Talking to Women Difficult May Soon Have a Hormone Treatment”

Conservative Christians Anxious Over Declining Clout (news article)

Conservative Christians Anxious Over Declining Clout

I first saw this article Tweeted out by Janet Mefferd, who happens to be a conservative Christian. I happen to like her and respect her, although I don’t always see eye to eye with her on every single topic.

She Tweeted a link to this article (hosted on a Fox news site) and didn’t care for it, because she feels that the author is trying to make conservative Christians look like nuts, loons, or alarmists.

I differ with her a little bit here. I think the main point of the article is right on the money.

I was a conservative Christian since youth, I’m in my 40s now. I’m only very barely holding on to the Christian faith anymore (I am strongly questioning it lately), and I am now more moderate than a hard-right winger as I used to be (not that I was ever a total wing nut, though).

Anyway, my point is, I grew up in this culture.

And yes, conservative Christians do in fact become scared, unsettled, or angry when they see culture shifting away from Judeo-Christian values and beliefs to a more secular stance. The article is quite correct in that.

I have seen conservative Christians on various news shows, Christian shows, and social media screaming, worrying, complaining, or crying about how the nation is going after Christians now, how they are upset that the nation is turning its back on God, how church membership is declining, yada yada yada.

Continue reading “Conservative Christians Anxious Over Declining Clout (news article)”

Warning: This Column Will Offend You – by M. Moynihan (Re: Trigger Warnings in Written Material, Terms such as slut shaming, man-splain, etc)

Warning: This Column Will Offend You by M. Moynihan (Re: Trigger Warnings Before Written Material, Terms such as “slut shaming,” “man-splain,” etc)

(Link): Warning: This Column Will Offend You by M. Moynihan

    Should students be warned that reading The Great Gatsby might “trigger” a past trauma? The campus censors think so. But they are only protecting your feelings.

    It’s with a twinge of nostalgia that I recall all those incredulous faces. Sometime in the 1990s, I suggested to a group of college friends that it wasn’t exactly right to brand Ian Fleming a hopeless sexist (his deeply held dislike of America, all agreed, was a more agreeable phobia).

    This note of dissidence was interrupted by the sound of jaws shattering as they hit the floor, a crescendo of denunciations, and a few dramatic walkouts.

    One of those who remained said, with a jabbing finger, that mine was the argument of someone “unaware of his gender privilege.”

    It was almost inevitable, regardless of one’s personal politics, to find oneself — with bowed head, like an undergraduate Rubashov—accused of trespassing some previously unknown frontier of offense.

    I would soon learn never to object to the charge of privilege: it’s a phantom, something one possesses and abuses without knowing it. And like denying your alcoholism, a denial doubles as an acknowledgement that you’re afflicted with the disease.

    Floating in the fog of privilege, all sorts of voguish developments in language control bypassed me.

    But through the daily horror of Twitter, where these concepts are released into the non-academic world, I’ve been exposed to all the latest phrases doubling as argument, like the various prefixes affixed to “shaming” and “‘splaining” (the latter so rendered, I assumed, in homage to Desi Arnaz, before realizing this was a vulgar indulgence of Cuban stereotypes).

    Shaming” and “‘splaining” are fluidly defined verbs, though it seems an admonition to people with my biography (boring white guys) that they engage in conversation about race or gender in particular ways, with particular conclusions—and only when speaking to particular people.

    Thus, there is the scourge of “slut shaming,” which one can be accused of, for instance, when questioning whether the so-called Duke porn star is indeed “liberated” when shooting videos for defaceherface.com.

    And there’s the promiscuous use of “mansplaining,” defined by a fusty man at The New York Times as a condescending chappie “compelled to explain or give an opinion about everything — especially to a woman.”

    This midwived the now ubiquitous “whitesplaining,” best demonstrated (Link): in this Atlantic.com polemic upbraiding a member of the indie band The Black Lips for having opinions about—whitesplaining — hip-hop music. Not in a racist way, mind you. It’s just none of his cultural business.

    These faddish portmanteaus suffer from overuse, but one can at least see the point: They are polemical words, more pointed and ideological than what we used to call know-it-all-ism and sexist condescension.

    Being so behind the times, I only just discovered the neutron bomb of censoriousness masquerading as concern: the “trigger warning.”

    This is, roughly, a label that would accompany an article, film, song, book, or piece of art warning potential viewers that the content might make them upset or uncomfortable (often the point of art) and thus trigger memories of a traumatic event.

    Continue reading “Warning: This Column Will Offend You – by M. Moynihan (Re: Trigger Warnings in Written Material, Terms such as slut shaming, man-splain, etc)”

Brief Critique of the J. Daly editorial: Does Casual Sex Empower Women?

Brief Critique of the J. Daly ed: Does Casual Sex Empower Women?

In the midst of looking up Jim Daly’s contact information (so I could tweet him a link of my previous page), I found this linked to on his Twitter page (he wrote it):

(Link) Does Casual Sex Empower Women? by Daly

Here is the part that caught my attention:

    The cultural impact of casual sex

    Sadly, the cheapening of sex is having a long-term impact on marriage… which, in turn, negatively impacts parenting. It’s a tragic chain-reaction of events that work together to undermine the institution of family.

I know that Focus on the Family has a new family-centric film to promote ((Link): unfortunately), and I see the heading there says “cultural impact,” but Mr. Daly, the fact is, some women never marry and never have children, including Christian women.

The Bible does not say God promises all women a marriage partner not even the ones who pray for one and who want one.

If you see my previous post (link), you can see the stats on the number of singles in America.

Many women today are staying single these days, some against their wishes.

(That’s right, the typical conservative Christian canard that women are choosing to stay single because they hate marriage, hate men, or put career above marriage, or had tons of marriage proposals but turned them all down because they were too picky, are false).

There are plenty of Christian women such as myself (though I am half-agnostic now), who were raised in church and by Christian parents to expect, plan for, and count on marriage.

I had hoped for marriage. I still find myself single. I did not plan on being never-married into my 40s. I may never marry.

I am still a virgin. I have never had children.

The church does not support adult virginity – they ignore or shame adult celibate singles (a few links with examples of that can be found at the end of this post, and all over this blog if you search).

It makes no sense, and I see no biblical support, to suggest the only or main reason to argue against casual sex is on the basis of how it may “impact marriage and family.”

Continue reading “Brief Critique of the J. Daly editorial: Does Casual Sex Empower Women?”

No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected

No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected

✹ What follows is actually the heart of my “No Man’s Land” view. This is what prompted me to write it: ✹

✹ TAKING THE OPPOSITE POSITION OF WHAT YOU USED TO BELIEVE BUT NOW HATE – DUE TO EMOTIONAL REASONS OR A KNEE JERK RESPONSE OR FROM SPITE – IS JUST AS WRONG AND MISTAKEN ✹

As to the forums and blogs by ex Christians, liberal Christians, self identifying post-evangelicals, or those still Christian who expose spiritual abuse…

I notice a number of the regular visitors to these sites – the ones who left an abusive or legalistic church or denomination – simply now operate in the reverse in their thinking, which is, IMO, just as bad or wrong as the thinking they are leaving.

There are different types of ex-Christians one must take into consideration when discussing this topic, so I shall present some sketches of them first.

IFBs (Independent Fundamentalist Baptists)

For example, there are ex IFBs (Independent Fundamentalist Baptists).

IFB preachers and churches are ridiculously legalistic. They make up rules that are not in the Bible, or twist or exaggerate the rules already there to the point those rules then become unbiblical.

IFBs are the contemporary, American versions of the Bible’s Pharisees: nit picky, anal retentive, legalists who make up man-made rules but insist they are “biblical” and thus binding on all believers.

IFBs concoct man-made traditions they expect all IFB members to adhere to, just like the Roman Catholic hierarchy does towards Roman Catholic members.

For example, IFB churches are legalistic about secular entertainment and clothing and physical appearance.

IFB churches teach their congregations that women should not wear pants but only skirts. And the skirts should be only so many inches above or below the knee.

According to IFBs, men should not have hair that touches the back shirt collar – not a mullet to be found in IFB, which may be a good thing. Secular music and television is sinful and should always be avoided.

IFBs have other legalistic rules for just about every aspect of life.

IFBs are vehemently anti-Roman Catholicism as well as anti-Calvinism.

Continue reading “No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected”

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

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

This will be a series of posts where my thoughts wander in and out and all over, and it rambles, but there is a point or two behind it.

Since I’ve been in a faith crisis the last couple of years, somewhere between being an agnostic and a Christian, I have noticed I don’t fit in anywhere. I reside in No Man’s Land.

(Even before then, when I was a total, committed Christian, and politically, I was, and am, right wing, I still didn’t fit in at most blogs and forums, including political ones, and including ones for right wingers!

I tend to be one of those personalities who annoys or angers everyone, even those on “my side” of an issue, except a small number of people, who are either on my side of a topic or not, who “get me” or who appreciate where I’m coming from – again, this is true for even the ones who disagree with me on whatever topic we are discussing.)

I am in this really weird place now, where I am critical of some aspects of conservative Christianity, and see where conservative Christians get some doctrines and other things wrong, but, too, I am not fully on board with militant atheism (I find the New Atheists to be arrogant, vile, hateful and rude), and I don’t even care for lukewarm atheism.

Nor am I in the camp of anything and all things liberal Christianity, except where I think they get the occasional point correct (such as their rejection of gender complementarianism).

Since drifting away from the Christian faith more the last few years, I more often began frequenting forums or blogs for and by atheists, ones by liberal Christians, ones by ex Christians, or by Christians who were abused by a former church who remain Christian but who dropped out of Church, or who now are on a crusade to expose abuse by preachers or the absurdity and harm of current evangelical gimmicks.

THE MILITANT ATHEISTS

A clarification: when I say I have been visiting atheist forums and blogs more often, I am very picky about which ones I regularly visit.

I do not like the frothing- at- the- mouth, extremely bitter, biased- against- Christians- type atheistic communities.

The bitter atheist groups sound like a bunch of irrational, hate-filled loons who reject Christianity for emotional reasons, but who lie to others and themselves and say, “Oh no, it’s purely intellectual.”

But their unrelenting, insane amount of hatred at any and all things God and Christian, is just a total turn-off to me, so I try to avoid such sites.

These angry, always-ranting atheists are really nothing more than Fundamentalist Atheists or Taliban Atheists. They are just as dogmatic about their atheism as Muslims are in their Wasabi Islam or Baptists are in their Neo Fundamentalism.

Really, those types of atheists are just as bad as the religious groups they claim they hate, but they don’t seem to spot that they are. It’s ironic – and it’s hard to stomach the day in, day out anger and hatred, so I try to avoid their sites.

HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTIANS VS NON HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTIANS

Also, you have to be honest with yourself, which I do not find militant atheists to be, by and large: not every single Christian is a hypocrite, jerk, idiot, dullard, or complete jackhole.

I say this as someone who is very fed up with Christianity and Christian persons myself these days.

But your average militant atheist will never admit that some Christians are in fact okay and not being hypocrites.

I have known and met a few Christians who were sincerely trying to live the Christian faith out, such as my mother, who is now deceased, and her mother before her (my grandmother).

I’ve met a few honest, sincere Christians online who do help people and show compassion to the wounded.

So it’s not fair to completely dismiss the entirety of Christians and their faith or treat them all like jerks because some are liars, mean, or abusive.

Which is not easy for me personally, because at the same time, I do keep noticing that a lot of self-professing believers do NOT live out what the Bible says.

Many self professing Christians today, for example, do not protect victims, such as young church members who have been sexually molested by preachers.

Nor do many church goers today hold accountable preachers who bilk their church goers out of millions to buy big mansions and jets.

These idiots, these lemmings, actually defend their greedy pastors online, which I’ve written about here: (Link): Your Preacher Sucks – and People Have a Right To Say So And Explain Why.

Then you have a conservative or evangelical culture, which claims to care deeply that people preserve sex until marriage, but if you actually find yourself 40 years of age and still single – and therefore still a virgin, such as myself – these same churches and Christians do not offer you any support.

You either go ignored, or preachers and talking heads of such groups “run down” and insult celibacy as well as older, celibate adults. Churches treat single (and especially celibate) adults as though they are flawed, lepers, weirdos, or losers.

Churches wrongly counsel abused wives to return to their spouses – this is particularly true, again, of churches or Christian groups who buy into “biblical womanhood” (aka “gender complementariansm”) or “patriarchy.”

Churches and average Christians also remain ignorant or callous about matters pertaining to mental health issues, from P.T.S.D. to depression and anxiety attacks.

Some Christians wrongly and insensitively teach that “real Christians” can never get depression or other mental health maladies.

Or, some Christians believe and teach that prayer, faith, service to the poor, or Bible reading alone can cure one of mental illness.

Still other Christians (or the same type) will shame and guilt suffering Christians for using anti-depressant medications, or for seeing secular or Christian psychiatrists and therapists (see this link for more, “Over 50 Percent of Christians Believe Prayer, Bible Reading Alone Can Cure Mental Illness (article) – In Other Words Half of Christians are Ignorant Idiots Regarding Mental Illness”).

Yet other Christians are incompetent at, or unwilling, to provide more ordinary, “every day,” run- of- the- mill comfort to other Christians who are hurting, such as a Christian who is stressed out over a job loss, someone who is in mourning for a deceased loved one, etc.

Christians are dropping the ball in numerous ways.

And this failure, this huge failure, causes life long Christians like me to look long and hard at the faith and wonder if it’s true at all.

It causes even someone such as myself to ask if the faith is true, because

  • it doesn’t appear to be working,
  • it doesn’t make a difference in people’s life who profess it,
  • most who claim to follow Christ don’t actually do what he taught,
  • and some Christians refuse to hold Christians caught in bald faced sin accountable but excuse them for the sin,

~ and it makes you wonder “what is the point, then.”

I find this discrepancy between confessed belief and actual practice shocking, because I myself sincerely tried living out the faith since childhood.

Also, my Christian mother was a role model for me, and she genuinely, consistently lived out and by biblical teachings, including getting up off her ass and actually HELPING people (giving them money if they were in a bind, cleaning their homes for them when they were sick, listening to them cry and rant about their problems for hours without judging them or interrupting them, etc).

I am not seeing most other Christians do any of this. They say they believe in those things but then they do not do them.

BLOGS AND FORUMS FOR SPIRITUALLY ABUSED OR THOSE HURT BY CHURCHES

Before I actually get into this topic (which I discuss more in Posts 2 and 3), here is some background leading up to it.

As far as the sites I have visited by liberal Christians, ex Christians, atheists, as well as sites by Christians for the spiritually abused:

By and large, these have been wonderful, supportive sites and groups to visit (the ones run by Christians for hurting Christians).

I have noticed, though, that there are problems even within these types of communities, and I don’t entirely fit in at them, either.

Continue reading “No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (Part 1)”

Pat Robertson Contradicts Himself On Healing and God’s Will

Pat Robertson Contradicts Himself On Healing and God’s Will

On today’s (Oct 10, 2013) Christian program “700 Club,” during their “Bring it on” show segment ((Link): Bring It On), host Pat Robertson fielded a question from a viewer who wants to know why Robertson’s show never mentions unanswered prayer, that some people pray for healing but never get healed.

This person said she thinks his show should periodically mention that not all who pray for healing get a healing, or whatever they are praying for – and I totally agree with her.

(I do not yet see this particular program on 700 Club’s website or else I would link to it.)

Anyway, Robertson’s reply to that viewer warbled all over the place.

Robertson brought up that saying “if it be in your will God” at the end of a prayer for healing is a “faith killer.”

I have to agree with the person who e-mailed with the question.

If anything, it is a “faith killer” that it is the Christian TV show, or Word of Faith, propensity to emphasize only successes in answer to prayer, to discuss only healings, and never to acknowledge times when God does NOT answer prayer, when God does NOT heal someone, and some die from, or live an entire life with, a disease.

It is a FACT that God does not answer all your prayers the way you want or hope, and it doesn’t matter how good you are, how godly, how much faith you have, and so on.

God’s answer is sometimes just a flat out “No.” But Word of Faith Christians, and other types, do not like to deal with this fact.

It’s actually very depressing if you are someone suffering from depression, cancer, or some other situation, and although you pray your heart out to God for months or years, God does not heal you, nor does He answer you, and yet, every time you tune in to shows like 700 Club, every single damn testimony on that show is by someone who says, “Two seconds after I prayed, God healed me, praise Jesus.”

You start to wonder why God is healing all these other people within two seconds of their prayer and not healing YOU, and you’ve been praying about your situation for YEARS – and you have even jumped through all the hoops to get your prayer answered that Christians say you are to jump through, such as repenting of all your sin, tithing regularly, reading your Bible daily, and whatever else.

Anyway, after Robertson made these comments about saying that using the phrase “if it be in your will” in prayer is a ‘faith killer,’ his show ran a story about a woman who got AIDS, but after she prayed to God for healing, she was healed of the disease.

This woman’s adult son was interviewed, and he said when he got news that his mother had AIDS, that he said to God, “Why my mom, God? Please heal her if it be in your will.”

Then, at the end of the show, after praying for the audience, Robertson turns to the camera and says, “We will be back with more 700 Club episodes God willing.”

Did you catch that? Within 15 minutes of telling people it is wrong to think or say “if it be in God’s will” he has two spots on his show of people using that very phrase – himself and the son of a woman who was healed of AIDS.

Even Jesus said (from Luke 22), “Father, if it is your will, take this cup [of suffering] away from me.” There is also a Bible passage where Paul says it is arrogant NOT to say or think in terms of “if it be in thy will” because we do NOT know what the future holds, only God does.

Robertson also contradicted his son, Gordon Robertson. Whenever Gordon hosts the show, he tells people that while people may not get a healing in this life, that everyone gets a healing in the afterlife / heaven.

Robertson said something during the show today when answering the viewer e-mail about how he feels it is a ‘cop out’ for Christians to think or teach that “not everyone gets healed in this life time but all get healed in Heaven.”

Well, that is the very concept his own son teaches when his son hosts that show. Pat Robertson is saying his own son Gordon “cops out” and gives lame answers to viewers of that very show.

If memory serves me, Jesus Christ did NOT heal everyone who came to him, as Robertson claimed. There is an incident or two when the Bible says Jesus was being followed by crowds (of sick people who wanted healing or what not), but he could not take it anymore and would leave the crowds to go off by Himself.

Also, and if memory serves, a few of the folks Jesus healed did not even ASK the man for healing, they were just sitting there minding their own business and Jesus walked by and offered to heal them of their blindness, paralyzed body part, or what ever – they did not ASK to be healed, Jesus just offered to do it. This factoid also does not square with Word of Faith teaching that you MUST pray and have ‘X’ amount of faith, or else God will not heal you.

Anyway, Christian shows need to run more testimonies by devout believers who despite a life time of prayers, were NOT healed or helped. It’s somewhat dishonest and a misrepresentation of Christian faith and life to only air stories of instant healing, when so many of us know good Christian people who prayed and prayed and still died.

Pat Robertson should have been put out to pasture years ago. He gives incorrect, unbiblical, insensitive, or hypocritical advice.

I notice his former co-host Kristi Watts has not been on that show since around June or July 2013, and nobody has mentioned her absence since then. Except someone on another site claims that,

    I just read that on June 25th Gordan [sic] Robertson announced that Kristi Watts was leaving to pursue her own Ministry. Hope this helps
    ————-
    [from the 700 Club Facebook page (LINK)]

    Hello All:

    “Thank you for your inquiry. CBN has announced the departure of Kristi Watts. Kristi is leaving the network in order to pursue other ministry opportunities.

    Gordon Robertson, chief executive officer of CBN, made the announcement on June 12, 2013.

    Gordon shared, “Kristi Watts has brought much joy and inspiration to the CBN family. While we will miss her, Kristi has always had a heart for ministry and we all wish her much success as she moves into this exciting new chapter.” Please join us in praying for God’s blessings on Kristi and her ministry. May God richly bless you.”

    CBN.COM ADMIN.

Good page on the topic on is it okay to use the phrase “if it be in your will” when praying to God (on another site):
(Link): Is it Okay to Pray, “If it Be Your Will, Lord?”

Excerpt:

    So, when we don’t know God’ will, there is nothing wrong with praying, “If it be your will, Lord.” Prayer is not about phrasing everything perfectly, or using the correct formula in the exact right way. Prayer is about communicating with God from our hearts, in an honest, loving relationship. Sometimes we get too concerned about technique and forget that God knows our hearts and understands our human imperfections.

—————-
Related this blog:

(Link): On Prayer and Christ’s Comment to Grant You Anything You Ask in His Name

(Link): Blaming the Christian for His or Her Own Problem or Unanswered Prayer / Christian Codependency

(Link): Pat Robertson: (basically): Pre Marital Sex is Okay (or to be totally expected) Because People are “Sexual Beings”

(Link): Christian TV Show Host Pat Robertson is Fine With Trandgenderism

(Link): Atlanta Baptist Church Missing Person Project Missing the Unmarried – Charles Stanley on Singleness – Unanswered Prayer

(Link): “He’s Got Muscles” – Pat Robertson Weirdness (Discussing Tebow’s Sexiness)

(Link): Advocate of Family Values Doesn’t Uphold Family Values | Stop Asking Pat Robertson for Advice America!

(Link): Pat Robertson to married woman: All men are cheaters and sex crazed horn dogs, but that’s okay because they’re men

(Link): Pat Robertson Expects Men to Commit Sexual Sin (and it’s not the first time)

(Link): Creepy, Creepy and Sexist Pat Robertson

(Link): Is Pat Robertson of The 700 Club Show some kind of secret perv? He’s Creepy

(Link): Robertson Defends His Horrible Advice to Married Woman

Over 50 Percent of Christians Believe Prayer, Bible Reading Alone Can Cure Mental Illness (article) – In Other Words Half of Christians are Ignorant Idiots Regarding Mental Illness

So 50% of Christians are very ignorant. (See link below.)

I used to have anxiety attacks and depression, and prayer, faith, and Bible reading didn’t do squat for me. (Neither did seeing shrinks and taking medication, but I am not opposed to people seeing mental health professionals or taking meds.)

Most preachers, most churches, are very ignorant about mental health problems and stigmatize anyone who has one.

Bible reading alone (or prayer or church attendance) can no more cure someone of depression than it can near sightedness, a hang nail, a sore tooth, or a broken arm.

Before I list the links to the survey which reveals half of the Christians polled are idiots about mental health problems, check this out:

Related:
(Link): Baylor Study Finds Church Congregations Blind to Mental Illness

    The study shows that while families with a member who has mental illness have less involvement in faith practices, they would like their congregation to provide assistance with those issues.

    However, the rest of the church community seemed to overlook their need entirely.

    In fact, the study found that while help from the church with depression and mental illness was the second priority of families with mental illness, it ranked 42nd on the list of requests from families that did not have a family member with mental illness.

    … “Families with mental illness stand to benefit from their involvement within a congregation, but our findings suggest that faith communities fail to adequately engage these families because they lack awareness of the issues and understanding of the important ways that they can help,” said study co-author Dr. Diana Garland, dean of Baylor’s School of Social Work.

    “Mental illness is not only prevalent in church communities, but is accompanied by significant distress that often goes unnoticed. Partnerships between mental health providers and congregations may help to raise awareness in the church community and simultaneously offer assistance to struggling families.”

(Link): Evangelicals largely believe prayer can cure mental illness, survey finds

(Link): Over 50 Percent of Christians Believe Prayer, Bible Reading Alone Can Cure Mental Illness

    Nearly 50 percent of American Christians believe that prayer and Bible study alone can cure mental illness, according to a recent survey by LifeWay Research.

    Dr. Tim Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors, credited this response to Christians’ faith in God.

    “I applaud those out there who really believe in the power of God,” Clinton told Moody Radio show host Chris Fabry on Thursday. “It’s an encouraging time. People continually look for out for God spiritually for hope, for help.”

    Sixty-eight percent of Americans said they would feel welcome in church if mentally ill, though 54 percent of all Americans said that the church needs to do more to prevent suicide.

    One of the first steps the church must take is to avoid stigmatizing Christians taking medication for their mental illnesses, said Clinton.

    “So often we trivialize one another’s pain, especially emotional disorders. Somehow we think this is a weakness or a horrible sign,” said Clinton. “Don’t get me wrong, I understand both sides of the river, I debate both sides. I know there are people taking medication who probably don’t need to be on it, and I also know there are people who are not taking it who probably need to be on it because of biology.”

    Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, said that Christians must better relate treating mental illness to physical illnesses.

    “They forget that the key part of mental illness is the word ‘illness’,” he said in a Lifeway blog reporting on the survey. “In a typical evangelical church, half the people believe mental illness can be solved by prayer and Bible study alone.”

    Several prominant Christian leaders have recently begun to talk more frankly about mental illness following the suicide of their children.

—————
Related posts this blog:

(Link): The Gospel Doesn’t Deliver People From Depression – brief critique of Chris Rosebrough’s comments / Chuck Collins blog

(Link): Bayless Conley and Depression – Sorry, dude, but depression can’t be cured by will power & sometimes not even by faith

(Link): Charles Stanley Kind of Blows it on Suicide Sermon

On Marrying a Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse (article)

On Marrying a Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Christians like to tell young children and teens if they just wait until they get married to have sex, that the sex will be “mind blowing.” Yes, the terminology of choice is usually “mind blowing.”

The problem is, this is not always true – from situations where one partner who has a low libido, to another who has physical health problems, sometimes sex in marriage is terrible or not very frequent.

Then there are spouses who were sexually abused as children, and this impacts their sexual lives later, after they marry.

You can remain a virgin your entire life and God will never send you a spouse (another false promise by Christians is that marriage is a reward; stay a good girl, and God will send you Prince Charming), or, you can remain a virgin your entire life, marry, but the sex either does not happen, or it’s awful. Here’s another example.

(Link): On Marrying a Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse

    Dealing with misinformation, feeling powerless, and slowly getting better together

by SHONNA MILLIKEN HUMPHREY

  • I thought the article would validate my husband’s experience. That’s why I emailed him the link to the decade-old New York magazine article about his alma mater, the American Boychoir School for vocal prodigies, where alumni from as late as the 1990s estimate that one in five boys were molested. Boys like Travis.
  • “It used to feel like an isolated incident that affected just me,” Trav said.
  • It was the end of my workday on an October afternoon; I had just set my keys on the kitchen table. My coat was still buttoned.
  • “Now I know I spent nearly three years of my childhood at a boarding school not just with random pedophiles, but in a culture that allowed it.”
  • … Mostly, I listen. I listen, and I do not laugh when my husband needs to secure the perimeter of our home each night. He keeps a machete by the nightstand. A long pillow divides our bed.
  • Trav believes his story is too familiar to be interesting. “I’m just another kid who got molested.” This breaks my heart to hear, but he’s not wrong about his story not being unique: The generally accepted estimate is that one in six men are sexually abused as children.
  • When high profile cases dominate the news, I feel for the victims, but I also scan for images of their partners and wonder how they deal with it. I want to ask what’s inside their medicine cabinets and if their husbands sometimes wince when touched, too.
  • I want my husband to sleep at night, and if it takes a machete in the bedroom, I’ve learned not to mind.
  • … Misinformation is the worst. Child sex abuse victims are not destined for deviance, but despite its repeated discrediting, a “cycle of abuse” myth persists. Put in the simplest terms by Houston’s Children’s Assessment Center, 500,000 babies born in the United States this year will likely be sexually abused before they turn 18. The vast majority of these victims will not grow up to be sex offenders.
  • … Partners like me have very few resources. There’s no recourse, no opportunity for revenge, or even forgiveness. My challenges are loneliness, impotence, and the urge to do something, somehow to make it right.
  • Trav tells me I’m the most beautiful, smart, sexy woman he’s ever met, and I know he believes it. Still, sometimes my husband cannot summon a desire to touch me in a way that doesn’t feel obligatory and rote. I’d be lying if I said I never wanted things to be different.
  • I swallowed urges to find myself a small apartment, to have a discreet affair, or to book a hotel room for just one good night of my own sleep. On his bad days, I dreaded opening the front door because I was never sure what I’d find. His secrets were now mine to keep, and the weight was heavy.

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Related posts this blog

(Link): Gotta Maintain that Propaganda that Married Christian Sex is “Mind Blowing”

(Link): Newlywed Husband Divorces His Wife Hours After the Ceremony Because She Was Too Busy Texting Her Friends to Have Sex on Their Wedding Night

(Link): Marriage Doesn’t Necessarily Guarantee Great Sex or Any At All

(Link): Jason the Christian’s Sexless Marriage – Christians promise hot regular steamy married sex but it isn’t true

(Link): Getting Married Does Not Necessarily Guarantee Frequent Hot Satisfying Sexy Sex – Husband is Sexless for Eight Years (article)

(Link): Article: ‘Getting to the Root of Female Masturbation’ / Also: Virgin woman gets next to no sex in marriage

(Link): Rebound Guy and No Sex

Christian 2013 Women Conference

Christian 2013 Women Conference

Before I talk about the woman’s conference:

I found a really good PDF about Christian singleness I wanted to share. I bookmarked it a few weeks ago but can’t find it. I’d like to post it to this blog if I can find it again. So one of these days, I will post that if I can find it.

Anyhoo. This caught my eye:
(Link): Over 5,000 Attend Women of Faith Conference in Washington, DC

I skimmed the page over.

I was pleasantly surprised that this “Women of Faith” conference did NOT cover the usual crock, barfy, topics one would expect at a conservative gathering for evangelical / Christian women such as…

-POSSIBLE TOPICS ONE WOULD EXPECT TO SEE AT A CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE FOR WOMEN-

1. How to bake nutritious, tasty, flavorful, healthful casseroles for your husband; recipes galore available at the meeting!

2. How to sew cute, home-made pinafores for your daughters!

3. How to perform sexually for your husband, even on days you’re tired or sick and would rather tell him to go jump off a cliff

4. How to submit joyfully and gracefully unto your man

5. How to make cheapy, crafty junky stuff with glue guns, pine cones, glitter, construction paper and pipe cleaners to use as table center pieces!

6. Learn that you have inner beauty thanks to your place in Jesus Christ but we will contradict this teaching during the conference to put on “Diet and Beauty” seminars, where you will learn to apply mascara and lip stick and that you need to Stay Pretty for your husband because ‘Men Are Visually Oriented’!

7. Learn how to vacuum and wash the dishes by hand at the same time!

8. Tips to make your grocery budget go further!
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Instead, the host of the event discussed trusting God even if you have fear in your life, as well as her personal battle with clinical depression.

By the way: I hate the words “tasty” and “flavorful” and “healthful.”

But I would not be shocked if a Christian woman’s conference covered the points I listed above. I’ve seen similar points being advertised at Christian conferences for teen girls and for adult women, including by Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches and by Bill Gothard groups.

Here is a quote from the article (“Over 5,000 Attend Women of Faith Conference in Washington, DC”):

    “I [conference host Sheila Walsh] went from hosting the 700 club for five years to ending up in a psychiatric ward. There’s so much stigma within the church about mental illness but I wear my testimony on my sleeve,” said Walsh. “You see, there is beauty in transparency. We have learned how to wear masks but we shouldn’t be afraid to be seen for who we really are.”

    She called on women to get rid of their fear of going through storms while affirming that they do not have to maneuver through life – God can do it for them. Walsh illustrated her point by bringing an inflatable boat on stage while making the point that several types of women exist that refuse or doubt that their circumstances can be handled by Christ.

–VAGUE CHRISTIAN ADVICE OR SERMONS —

Not that what she said is all wrong or bad, but I don’t grasp this:

“God can do it for them”

I often hear Christians say “hand your fears (or depression or whatever) over to God.” What does that mean? It’s so vague.

During the years I had depression and panic attacks, I repeatedly went to God in prayer about it. I asked for healing.

I told God on several occasions, “I hand my depression to you,” and that NEVER made the depression or panic attacks go away.

So how does one “hand their problems” over to God? I want to see concrete steps here, not vague recommendations.

Charles Stanley Kind of Blows it on Suicide Sermon – Also blows it on Anxiety Sermon

Charles Stanley Kind of Blows it on Suicide Sermon – and Anxiety

(Edited to add: I was writing this blog page as I was watching the sermon on television)

(Another edit:, dated Jan 2015: There is another edit below where I briefly discuss Stanley’s awful sermon about Anxiety.)

============================

Edit 2. // Dec 27, 2014. 

Tonight, Charles Stanley’s show is re-running an older sermon on suicide. It might be the same one I critique below, and it’s called “The Impact of Suicide on Believers.”

Stanley’s show aired a few snippets from the episode before the sermon itself airs in full, and it sounds rather victim-blaming.

Stanley tells people on this episode that if they take their own life, they “short circuit” God’s plan for their life, and they may therefore not get whatever rewards in the afterlife that God had intended for them.

Listen, someone whose depression is at such a low point they are contemplating suicide are in such emotional pain, the are not going to care AT ALL about heavenly rewards, or if they are disappointing God. Stanley just doesn’t get it.

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Stanley’s sermon on TV tonight is about suicide. You can probably find video of this sermon on You Tube (aired August 3, 2013, “In Touch” program – if it’s not on You Tube now, wait a few weeks, you can probably find it later; EDIT, Sept 2013: I think I have found the episode, I have embedded it below, please scroll down to view that video). I am blogging this as I am watching the show.

Stanley said suicide is ingratitude towards God and it is usurping God’s authority in the person’s life – both interpretations sound pretty insensitive to me.

But then, Stanley has been an insensitive butthead towards Christians who suffer from anxiety, too, so I guess I should not be surprised his views on suicide are similarly insensitive.

Stanley is saying God permits times of pain and loneliness in your life to teach you lessons. A person who is suicidal is not going to find that a reason to go on, but to end things quicker.

Oh no. Stanley is quoting one of my most disliked Bible verses: Romans 8:28. One of the most over-used Bible verses parroted at hurting Christians. It has become an empty cliche’.

Stanley says taking your life is an expression of selfishness.

News flash: when someone is in such deep pain they are toying with killing themselves, they don’t much frame it in terms of “how is my death going to affect person A, B, C,” which is in part what Stanley means by it “being selfish.”

Oh please. Stanley just said if you are a Christian and kill yourself, this hurts your testimony to Non Christians because they will think, “If Jesus could not help you, what makes you think he could help me?”

That is insensitive of Stanley. He’s showing more concern for regular people than the person watching his show who may be suicidal right now.

Stanley said, “without Jesus as your Savior, you’re not going to make it.” I’m not sure what he meant by that; if he meant is in regards to suicide: he is wrong.

Even Christians commit suicide. I had a Christian friend who committed suicide several years ago. “Knowing Jesus” is not a guarantee that a person can, or will, be able to resist suicide.

Jesus does not magically heal or help every single person with a problem. Prayers go unanswered. It’s wrong to shame Christians out of suicide by telling them, “Think about what kind of witness you’re giving to Non Christians with that.”

I think Stanley is at the end of the sermon and will be answering viewer e-mails in a minute.

All in all, that was a downer sermon. I can’t imagine many suicidal Christians finding solace or hope in it.

I can only assume Stanley gave this sermon because Rick Warren’s son killed himself a few months ago, and the SBC has been putting pressure on SBs to speak out about mental health.

Southern Baptists SUCK at stuff like this. SBs totally SUCK at offering comfort and hope to people. Their standard, automatic response is to condemn, judge and be legalistic. The less SBs say about suicide and other sensitive topics the better, since they are usually incapable of showing compassion.

—–Edit 4, Jan 3, 2015.—–

ANXIETY SERMON

Tonight, TBN is re-airing a Charles Stanley sermon about anxiety. I don’t wish to spend very long on this.

Stanley’s sermon on anxiety is just as insensitive and victim-blaming as his one on depression and suicide. (By the way, it’s quite common for people who have depression to also have anxiety.)

One thing he said is that “anxiety is a choice.” No, it’s not – not for all people in all situations. Some people who have anxiety have it due to biological reasons, not due to “choice” or a lack of faith in Jesus.

Some people, both Christian and Non, have to take medication to cope with anxiety. To shame people for having anxiety or attribute it to lack of faith is very insensitive and is not helpful, nor is it even always accurate.

If you are a Christian struggling with depression or anxiety, please seek professional, medical help – do not be guilt tripped or shamed out of seeing a secular pyschologist, or a psychiatrist or from taking anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications by Charles Stanley or any other preacher, church, denomination or well-meaning Christian lay person!

You are no more a spiritual failure for taking doctor prescribed medications for anxiety or depression than you are when you take Tylenol for a headache, Visine eye drops for itchy eyes, or Pepto Bismol for an upset stomach.

You deserve to be treated with compassion for your struggle with anxiety, not condemned over it or told you’re not trusting God hard enough or whatever. Part of that compassion means acknowledging that faith alone cannot always conquer conditions such as depression, anxiety, etc, and sometimes these things need medications or therapy.

VIDEO: In Touch episode where Charles Stanley discusses suicide:
I found parts of this sermon insensitive, and it does not truly understand the emotional pain people with depression and suicidal ideation are in.

Stanley attempts to shame or guilt those with suicidal ideation into staying alive. That is not compassionate and completely misunderstands how depressed people think.

(Edit 2. The original video about suicide was removed from You Tube. I am not sure if this one I replaced it with is the same exact one; he has given two or three sermons about suicide before. I assume this is the same one, but it might not be. Should this video be pulled, simply go to You Tube and type in “Charles Stanley suicide” and you should be able to find another copy):

(Edit 3, July 2014. Good gravy. This is the second or third Charles Stanley video on sucide that has been removed due to “copyright violation.” Does Stanley’s church run around ordering people to yank his videos? Let me see if I can find another copy – again, I am not sure if this is the same exact sermon I was reviewing above, because he has done two or three sermons on suicide, if I am not mistaken):

——————————————

From The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Or visit their page if you are having thoughts of suicide:

(Link): I Am Struggling

Another resource:

(Link): National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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Related posts this blog:

(Link):  How Laypersons Can Minister to Depressed / Suicidal People

(Link): Over 50 Percent of Christians Believe Prayer, Bible Reading Alone Can Cure Mental Illness (article) – In Other Words Half of Christians are Ignorant Idiots Regarding Mental Illness

(Link): Bayless Conley and Depression – Sorry, dude, but depression can’t be cured by will power & sometimes not even by faith

(Link): The Gospel Doesn’t Deliver People From Depression – brief critique of Chris Rosebrough’s comments / Chuck Collins blog

Confusing or Downer Messages from Charles Stanley (TV Baptist Preacher) Why I no longer watch In Touch that often

Confusing or Downer Messages from Charles Stanley (TV Baptist Preacher) Why I no longer watch In Touch that often

Charles Stanley certainly sends mixed messages. In a broadcast tonight, he said God wants believers to “prosper,” but on previous episodes, Stanley has mentioned God doesn’t care if followers are “happy.” I see the two as being similar; to be prosperous is to be happy. Maybe the concepts are not alike 100% of the time, but they are a little synonymous.

The entire message of his sermon tonight was something like, “The Courage to Obey.”

On Stanley’s weekly TV show, he frequently repeats a line he heard from his grandpa or someone when he was a kid, which was: “Obey God, and leave all the consequences to him.”

Not only am I becoming more agnostic as time goes by, but I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t stomach watching Christian TV shows I used to rather enjoy, including Stanley’s “In Touch” program.

I’ve noticed Stanley has the extremely annoying habit of blaming hurting people for their problems in life (when they write him on his TV show with questions about problems they are having), in addition to his preoccupation with having people “obey” God.

I read a few years ago that Stanley’s yearly income from his church is $300k – $400,000.

I understand the man grew up in poverty:

    That survival spirit was second nature for Charles, whose father died when he was 9 months old and who grew up so poor that he learned about Santa Claus the Christmas morning he discovered in his stocking the orange that had been in the refrigerator the night before. He lived in 17 homes by his 8th birthday.

    (Source: CNN article)

But it’s rather unseemly that someone earning 400k a year, who has been earning that amount for several years now, is and has been lecturing people who are unemployed or under-employed on tithing (Stanley has actually said on prior shows that people who don’t tithe are probably “living in sin”), or on tonight’s show, he sort of nit picked people for not tithing, saying they don’t trust God, so that is why they don’t give their funds to a church.

Considering that (if there is a God), God’s answer is sometimes “NO” to people’s petitions, I don’t blame people for not trusting God with their finances, or with other things.

Stanley is also horrible on mental health topics, and he has gone 180 degrees on that topic.

At one point, Stanley expressed sympathy for folks who have depression and anxiety and who need to see a medical doctor and take pills for it, but in broadcasts in the past few years, he has come out in complete opposition to those views: he chides Christians who have mental problems who see doctors and who take anti- depressant, anti- anxiety medications.

Stanley’s show used to be a bit encouraging, but in the past 5 – 7 years, his sermons have gotten depressing, and he blames people for their problems more and more, even if they did nothing to cause their problems.

There is more emphasis in Stanley’s attitudes and sermons on what YOU can do for God than on what Jesus did for you at the cross.

I’m not sure why I even bother to occasionally flip the channel to watch his show anymore. There are weekeneds when I have skipped it altogether.

Joseph Prince (despite being a WOFer) at least preaches regularly on the grace of God via Jesus.

And for all the lambasting he gets from conservative Christians, at least 90% of Joel Osteen’s sermons remind you that God loves you and is on your side. I’d much rather hear those types of upbeat sermons than depressing, semi-legalistic, “God doesn’t care about your happiness, you need to obey God, and what have you done for God lately” type sermons one gets from Charles Stanley, or John Hagee and others.

Christians SUCK at Helping People Who Have Mental Health Issues

Christians SUCK at helping people who have mental health problems. (Ask me how I know.)

(Link): Death of Rick Warren’s Son a Call to Address Mental Illness, Samuel Rodriguez Says

Excerpts:

By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor
April 7, 2013|9:02 am
The tragedy of the 27-year-old son of Pastor Rick Warren taking his own life after a lifelong struggle with mental illness calls for a commitment by Christians to help create space for and minister to those with mental illnesses, says the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

“Yet, this tragedy facilitates an opportunity if not an obligation for the Christian community to address mental illness,” said Rodriguez on the day Warren, an internationally known Christian leader at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., made the announcement about his son.

Mental illness exists in and outside of the church community, said Rodriguez. “Christians struggle with depression and even suicidal thoughts. It does not make you less of a Christian. Just like heart disease or cancer does not dilute our Christianity, neither does mental illness.”

…Suffering from mental illness is not a sin, the Hispanic leader underlined, and added, “Yet, not addressing it, may very well be.”

Good luck with getting Christians to address mental health problems and showing sympathy to those who suffer from it, pal.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression when under the age of 15 and dealt with it for years. Went to psychiatrists, took anti-depressants, read the Bible, prayed for a healing, and absolutely nothing worked. I used to have panic attacks too, and had an anxiety disorder – I still have a bit of a problem with anxiety, actually.

I was finally set free a year or two ago from the depression, but that’s another story.

In my journey through depression, I can tell you that Christians who do not have depression do not understand it at all, and most are insensitive, unsupportive bastards about it.

There are any number of false, stupid, hurtful, infuriating stereotypes and myths Christians spread and believe about depression and other mental health problems, such as-

1. “Genuine” Christians cannot, or will never, have mental health problems;

2. Seeking mental health professional help, whether Chrisitan or secular, is wrong;

3. Taking medication for mental health issues, or for anxiety attacks, is wrong;

4. If you just pray to God and have faith, God will heal you of your panic attacks, depression, etc;

5. It’s all in your head and a matter of mere will power: you can will yourself out of depression and “choose” to be happy (or have enough faith in God and the panic attacks will clear up);

6. If you serve other people more (e.g., volunteer at soup kitchens), you will be so preoccupied with other people or be so uplifted by serving, that you won’t have time to think about being depressed, or volunteering will just automatically clear the depression up;

7. Read the Bible and pray, and that will cure depression and panic attacks;

8. Your depression must be due to personal sin or a character defect

There are so many stereotypes Christians hold about mental health problems, I may have forgotten to mention a few.

What I can tell you is that all of those reasons and stereotypes are utter bullshit.

Secular therapy and pills never helped me, but if you are someone who has a mental health disorder, don’t hesitate to give that a try.

Don’t let any Christian pastor, school of theological thought, or any discernment blogs and sites talk you out of using mental health professionals or convince you that you are to blame somehow for having a mental health disorder.
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