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.”