How Not To Think (and Do Christianity)
I have come to realise it is far easier to document cases of brainless idiocy than it is to teach good thinking and reasoning skills. That is mainly because we have so very much more of the former than the latter. Examples of mindless lunacy abound, while examples of clear, careful, sensible and solid reasoning are becoming increasingly rare.
Indeed, I am staggered – utterly staggered – at what passes for rational thought, logic, and reason in so many circles today. And regrettably, I am speaking about Christian circles here. I have no doubt that in the West today we have the most unintelligent, uninformed, illogical, and biblically illiterate generation of Christians ever.
The utter mindless nonsense that comes out of the mouths of so many is simply incredible. I encounter it more and more from people who claim to be Christians and who claim to read the Bible. But one has to wonder about both claims.
More and more I find so-called believers thinking and talking exactly like non-believers. They have simply soaked up all the moonbattery of the world without bringing an ounce of biblical discernment to it. I am just left speechless when discussing things with these folks – I might as well be talking with atheists.
A recent example of this on another site gives a good indication of just how far we have gone down the gurgler in terms of careful thinking, logical reasoning, and clear biblical discernment. It had to do with another person’s post about Hillsong and its New York pastor refusing to clearly speak truth on homosexuality.
I posted a link to an article I had written on this earlier: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2013/12/27/keeping-the-masses-happy-while-keeping-god-unhappy/
After this the following exchange occurred:
A: “As previously reported, both Rob Bell and Joel Osteen similarly refuse to speak out against homosexuality from the pulpit.” Seems to me Jesus shared that reluctance.
B: Pharisee’s getting a bit upset. What a crock. Pretty disappointing and I think the guys at Christian news should read their bibles alot more.
C: I don’t believe that it should be a pulpit issue!
Me: Sin should not be a pulpit issue!!?? Standing up for God’s institutions of marriage and family not a pulpit issue!!?? Mind-boggling
B: where in the article does it say he’s against marriage and family issues. I must be reading a different article
Me: You are not a biblical preacher if you do not preach against sin – and the biggest threat to marriage and family is coming today from the radical homosexual lobby. To be for the one of necessity means to be against the other. Just as to be for poor women and girls is to be against sexual trafficking. Or as Wilberforce knew full well, to be for Blacks was to be against the slavery industry.
Me: And Jesus said nothing about rape, incest, or genocide, so according to the thinking of some here, he is just fine with all this, and so should we be.
B: What is sin Bill. The white western take on it or the Biblical take on it?
Me: Mate, if you have no clue as to the biblical view on sin, including God’s ideal on human sexuality, then you need to start reading the Bible. And spare us this foolishness about white Westerners – black Africans know homosexuality is a sin – it is time some undiscerning Western whities caught up with this.
C: Wow Bill, I think you need to be careful. I don’t think there is any issue preaching sin from the pulpit but out and out targeting doesn’t show love. Jesus pulled ppl aside to talk to them. And I think reading the world will see change in ppls lives. I know some homosexual people and 3/4 of them are due to massive child abuse issues. These issues need to be tackled in a compassionate way! Allow the Holy Spirit to work in a persons life.
Me: Jesus of course publicly rebuked entire crowds – sin is always to be spoken against. And of course the Holy Spirit works by means of the preached Word, which includes warnings against sin and judgement to come. some basic Bible reading would do wonders here – still utterly mind-boggling!
A: (This guy thinks he is cute by producing a poster here): the top half has a picture of lots of people with the words “people protesting gay marriage because it is against traditional values”. The bottom half has a picture of no people with the words: “people protesting divorce because Jesus said it was wrong”
Me: And committing the classic logical fallacy of the false dilemma adds what to this discussion!?
C: So publicly naming all sins?
Me: Please tell us all which sins Jesus and the disciples did not name and challenge?
A: As far as I can see, the ‘false dilemma’ in this discussion is this:
Preach something Jesus never spoke on or don’t preach something Jesus never spoke on.
At this point I realised that I was dealing with trolls, or believers so ignorant and sucked into the world, that I was just wasting my time. Besides, it was on someone else’s post, not mine, so I decided to bow out at that point. The three continued to chirp on with more incredibly senseless and biblically uninformed nonsense, so I was glad I left when I did.
But if ever a little dialogue perfectly captures the very thing I have been talking about, this is it. We surely live in the most biblically illiterate and intellectually vacuous period in church history, with masses of Christians simply parroting all the rot of the world, and totally oblivious to anything found in God’s inspired Word.
And it is not just me who thinks this way. Way back in 1982 R.C. Sproul said that we “live in the most anti-intellectual period in the history of Western Civilization.” And hey, things are a whole lot worse today. No wonder the church is having almost zero impact on the surrounding culture. It is not challenging and rebuffing the surrounding culture, but is fully in bed with it.
Thus to try to debate a particular issue like homosexuality when their entire worldview is dominated by that of secular humanism, well, you will just not get very far. You have to start from scratch with these people, and you have to get them to actually start reading the Bible and thinking Christianly.
The very core, essential teachings of biblical Christianity are simply absent here – these folks have no clue of basic Christian doctrine 101. The idea for example that to preach about sin is somehow unloving is simply mind-boggling. By that reasoning, Jesus and the disciples were the most unloving people around, since they were constantly talking about sin.
Of course it is fully loving to warn a sinner about his sin and wrath to come. Not to do so is the height of a lack of love. Yet these utterly confused and mixed up believers actually think you have to choose one or the other: love the sinner, or preach against sin.
How about loving the sinner by preaching against sin, as the Bible so clearly says we should do? But when worldly wisdom, pop culture and a dumbed-down society influence believers more than the Word of God and critical thinking, then we can expect this sort of mindless madness.
Indeed, when Christians parrot all the usual clichés, red herrings, and non-sequiturs that atheists, homosexual activists, and secular humanists do, we know that this will not end up good. You know that these Christians are basically no Christians at all.
You cannot be a true follower of Jesus Christ when your entire worldview, mindset and value system is that of the world’s. Yet our churches are full of such people today. No wonder the church today is going down the tubes so fast. It is simply carnal, compromised and worldly.
And as usual, Tozer could see through all this:
“The true Christian is one who is kind of sick of this world. If I find anybody who is settled down too snugly into this world, I am made to doubt whether he’s ever truly been born again.”
“The church and the world have become so intertwined that it is hard to tell one from the other. The world has so affected the church’s moral standards that Christians say they believe in Christ and yet have never bothered to change their moral attitudes and standards at all.”
“Any doctrine that makes the world your friend is not your friend. Any doctrine that makes it easy for you to hobnob with the world and the world’s ways, to accept the world’s values and do things the way the world does, is not of God; it cannot possibly be.”
16 Replies to “How Not To Think (and Do Christianity)”
It’s all so depressing but it hasn’t deterred me.
In the guise of “Christian Love” people are condoning any behaviour. I’ve seen a shift in people that were once close to me and they are now looking at me as if I’m a fanatic even though the Bible I read is still the same as theirs and
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
We shouldn’t let those trolls get away with their false claim that “Jesus never spoke against homosexuality” (or incest, or bestiality or rape). We need to gently point them to the words of Jesus in Matthew 15:19 (NIV) – “For out of the heart comes murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying and slander.”
The word “porneia”, translated as “all sexual immorality”, includes all sexual activity outside man-woman marriage. It includes homosexuality, incest, bestiality etc – and Jesus certainly condemned it.
I hope your new book will point out this important truth!
Stay on the alert:
I too have had similar situations. But I must say one of the things I have heard that totally depresses me (scripturally speaking) is when so called Christians cino (Christian in name only), actually argue against even quoting scripture that directly relates to the topic at hand.
Some of the worst excuses I have heard are:
1/ I wont accept that because it is not in the four Gospels.
2/ You are interpreting that incorrectly (even though it is quoted verbatim).
3/ That was only used in the first century, its not valid in this day and age.
4/You are wrong, because I do not believe your version of the Bible.
5/Oh I don’t like that Apostle, so I don’t follow anything he says.
6/ But this gnostic Gospel I have, which is not in the Bible says XYZ which makes the rest of the Bible wrong on XYZ subject.
That is just the ones I can remember quickly, but I am sure others can add many more “excuses” they have heard.
But one of the problems I can see here is, people have lost the understanding of “love” the way Jesus taught and how God Loves us. instead of using God/Jesus Love, they use the “love of the world”.
God’s/Jesus’ Love is forsaking sin, denying yourself all ungodliness.
Worlds love, well just do whatever makes you feel good, even if it destroys everything and everyone along the way, as long as it feels good.
So one has to ask themselves, which is true Love?
Hi Bill, what your’e dealing with is another gospel and the demonic spirit behind it, that is why you marvel.
No amount of scripture and clear sound doctrinal defeat of their arguments will change them. They are bound by a demonic spirit of false religion that parades itself as Christian.
This is what the NT tells us over and over again, an apostasy of scripture from the Christian faith, and a twisting of it to suit the lusts. A seeking out those to tell them what they want to hear, and it is a sign of the times. It is now and will only grow bolder and more aggressive.
I deal with this regularly in our Ministry work, it is coming from apostates such as Brian Housten, TD Jakes, Joel Osteen and Joseph Prince, just to name a few.
The reason why it makes your mind boggle is because you are not engaging the person, you are engaging the demon which controls them. They are demonically bound. Those who are genuinely saved in Christ and bound by its deception mentally, will come out by hearing the Word. Those who aren’t saved however, and love the world will not come out no matter what.
They need to be rebuked and named and shamed as imposters and apostates of the faith. This thing has been working extra hard in all our circles of Christendom since the 90’s.
What needs to take place right now is Churches, Ministries and Denominations taking an aggressive public stand against it and working to extend their ministry definitions and statements of faith to reject it outright and call it what it is, otherwise we just all sit around and whinge.
Its simple, its hyper-grace and its a new kind of Mormonism or something else, but its not the Jesus of the Bible.
I’m yet to see the text in the gospels which says “verily, verily i say unto thee Jesus never spoketh about homosexuality nor didst he useth the word in conversation”, the argument that Jesus never spoke on homosexuality or used the word is an argument from silence since there are many things Jesus said that are not written down, so unless one can point to an equivalent aforementioned facetious verse than the burden of proof is on the person committing the argumentarice fallacy of arguing from silence.
Further, where in the entire text of Scripture does it say you shouldn’t confront sin because someone had a bad childhood or situation?? Everyone has baggage, people need to drop this modern psychological contrivance that we ought to tiptoe around people rather than tell them the truth… but yourself a bridge and get over it folks..
The truth is, Bill, I think most people, especially those under the age of 30, see homosexuality as a non-issue. They all have gay friends at school, or college, or the characters they like on TV, and they figure, well, it’s their lives, their souls. It’s not really clear what your position is. You write about homosexuality a lot, but what are you trying to achieve? There are always going to be gay people and non-Christians, and your writing can come across a bit like a vendetta. I really counsel you to consider the conversation you had on the forum as a wake-up call, because this is not an argument you are going to win, frankly, especially when your enemies will characterise you for the way you report on the issue. My prayers are with you. David.
The truth is, David, God is always right and the crowd is usually always wrong. Sorry but I certainly am not buying your rather misguided “counsel” here. Of course homosexuality is an issue – one of the biggest there is at the moment. Not only is this a deadly, high-risk lifestyle sending people to an early grave, but if unrepented of and not forsaken, it is sending people to a lost eternity. Moreover, the gravest attacks on God’s institutions of marriage and family are coming at the hands of the homosexual militants. And all this means nothing to you? And you claim to be a Christian?
Sorry bud, but when God calls something a sin, so should we. And I am so thankful that past believers did not fall for this baloney advice. Wilberforce heard all this nonsense as well. “Um, Wilby ol’ boy, slavery is just not an issue. Everyone has slaves and well, it’s their lives. All your writing comes across like a vendetta. I really counsel you to just ease up here.” Thankfully Wilberforce would have none of that unbiblical and undiscerning silliness. And today blacks the world over can thank him for it.
I will keep standing for biblical truth – always. And given all the ex-homosexuals I personally know, they will say the same. Instead of lying to homosexuals and just going along with the world, we should love them enough to tell them the truth and let Christ set them free.
While I always appreciate prayers, if you are praying that I renounce the Bible, tell God he is wrong, and leave homosexuals in the hellhole they are in, well it just ain’t gonna happen, sorry. If you want to actually learn a bit about homosexuality, instead of parroting the world’s lousy counsel, you might start doing some careful reading here. My book could be a starting place. But thanks for your thoughts.
Actually David, the vast majority of Australians don’t know anyone who is homosexual because there are so few in this country (less than 2% of the population). People’s ideas about gay men and women are informed by the mainstream media that is driving the militant gay agenda and its “sexual desires are the same as biological racial features.
If the average Australian ever knew any gay men (which I do having once identified as gay) they’d realise how shallow, petulant, bigoted, unhealthy, and vacuous they are. Will and Grace is a deliberately false representation of the average gay person, the fact is the prime cause of the high suicide rate amongst young gay and lesbian people in Australia are how they are treated by other gay men and women.
I really care for my gay friends, and it saddens me how much emotional, mental, and physical turmoil they suffer as a result of choosing to practice such unhealthy behaviour.
As for the statement about “winning the argument” Bill already has… the fact that he cops abuse just for presenting the facts demonstrates that Christophobic, militant gay activists and other secular bigots have no intellectual case to present in favour of their position.
The other point to be made is how much gay activists like Rodney Croome care nothing for same-sex attracted people.. they’re not interested in encouraging them to stop taking so many illegal drugs, stop abusing their gay and lesbian friends and sexual partners, or encouraging to stop indulging in anal sex which is incredibly dangerous, unhealthy, and the major cause for why same-sex attracted people in this country have a life expectancy equivalent to that of Indigenous Australians living in remote areas of Australia which is ten years less than the average age of cigarette users. It would be nice to see gay activists actually attempt to help same-sex attracted people rather than spending their time trying to force society to affirm gay marriage which benefits no one, least of all the same-sex attracted.
Hi Bill, thanks for your reply. I’m happy to call sin, sin but it’s not up to me to live other people’s lives for them. You still haven’t explained what you are hoping to achieve? Do you want to see homosexuality decriminalised? Do you acknowledge that there have and always will be gay people in society? And I’m not sure I buy those who claim to have switched sexualities after the demise of Exodus International and the rise of the “ex-ex-gay”. Characterising sexuality as a “choice” is very much an oversimplification of a very complex issue. Joel, I’m sure most Australians know more than 50 people, so if your 2% gay population is accurate they’d have a good chance of knowing a gay person. Sure there are some deeply unpleasant gay folk, I know some myself, but it does you no credit to characterise all gay people negatively.
So glad you speak THE TRUTH, Bill! Those of us with “discernment” – and just plain COMMON SENSE are listening.
Thank You for being a “voice of reason”.
Well said, Bill and Joel.
Thanks again David. But sadly your comments reveal a very poor understanding of biblical Christianity, and an ever worse understanding of homosexuality and the homosexual agenda. You are obviously far more intent on parroting homosexual propaganda here than affirming basic Christian truth. Thus I question whether I can take your remarks too seriously
But if you are asking more than just rhetorical questions here, I repeat my advice: get my book (or one like it) and read it carefully. When you have done that, come back here if you want more discussion. But the fact that you now seem so utterly clueless as to both your own faith and the militant homosexual agenda shows us that you need to start properly educating yourself – and soon.
I liked your “do you know 50 people?” comment David. It was very cute, but I appreciated it for its demonstration to all of Bill’s readers how ill informed you are about the gay community. To begin with, the implication of your statement is that same-sex attracted people are distributed equally within Australia with mathematical precision. So is that one gay for every square kilometre David?? Shall we make that a measurement perhaps, “your trip’s about 1,000 gays away?”
The gay community like all minority communities congregate in certain locales within inner-city suburb, in Melbourne predominantly in Prahran, Brunswick and East St Kilda… unless a person lives, or works within the municipalities of these townships one is unlikely to know personally any gay people. Parallel to this is the fact that, despite there being more Orthodox Jews in Australia than gays, you’ll find most Australians don’t know personally, and many have never met, an Orthodox Jew.
Questioning the legitimacy of the less than 2% figure for Australians who identify as gay and Lesbian does you no favours David. These statistics are put out by both the National Census bureaucracy and affirmed by surveys performed by government funded Australian Universities sociology, anthropology, and queer studies departments. The fact that you don’t this demonstrates to all of Bill’s readers not only your ignorance, but your secular bigotry.
I don’t know that I was characterising gay people negatively, I was challenging your opinion that meeting a gay person would change an individuals ideas about the gay people…it won’t.
Further, I love your feigning serious about identifying as a Christian (as though self-identification is what makes someone a Christian any more than a believer in the free-market and the necessity of a profit-motive for a successful economy can credibly claim to be a Marxist because of their self-identification as such) when you suggest it unlikely that there are ex-gays despite Paul in 1st Corinthians stating that there were ex-gays in new Testament churches. Puhleese… your lack of familiarity with, and fidelity to the text, combined with your complete lack of compassion for your same-sex attracted neighbours, shows the inherent disingenuousness of your claims.
My question to you David: what do you think you are going to achieve by throwing your gay lobby sloganeering, fact-free misinformation around Bill’s website?? I know the left don’t care for things like facts, rational argumentation, reason, research, and reading is not up on the top of their “to-do” list, but conservative’s and especially Christian’s do, because we recognise there is a transcendent requirement that we accede to the truth because the Logos became flesh and pitched His tent amongst us.
When you’re hard pressed on every side, isn’t it wonderful the way others are there to take up the fight?
Good on ya, Joel!
Joel of the appalling 17th Century English :-), I was going to make a similar point to David about the 2%. You’re right about them not being equally distributed, and of course you have to take into account an individual’s circumstances, such as whether they are, for example, a stay-at-home mum or someone who is in a situation that encounters many people, but, on average, if you have 50 acquaintances, you are likely to know one homosexual person. And many people would know a lot more than 50 people.
Speaking anecdotally, I work with a person who I’m told is homosexual, some years ago another person I had some interaction with at work was obviously a Jew, and, for good measure, I also used to know a transvestite (in church!). Our circles of acquaintances is not as small as as our circles of close friends.
(None of that means that I support anything else David said, however.) (And I’ll explain the English bit next time I see you.)