CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Giving Christianity a Bad Name

Aug 14, 2019

Sadly there are many nutters amongst us, giving the faith a bad rap.

When you have an interactive website, you never know what sort of comments will come your way. While many folks send in sensible, rational, and well-informed comments, plenty of folks send in something much different. Unfortunately you will get all sorts of loony tunes offering absolutely nutty remarks.

Most of these comments of course never see the light of day on my website. They are just too idiotic and ludicrous. And the really sad bit is this: so often these comments come from those who call themselves Christians. They can offer some of the most moronic and patently false commentary you will find.

It really is painful to behold. Jesus made it perfectly clear that Christians are to love God with the totality of the being, and that includes their brains. Yet too many believers seem to think that the more ignorant, uninformed and whacko they are, the more spiritual they are.

They really need to repent and start using the brains God gave them for his glory. At the moment all they are doing is being a lousy witness, bringing Christ and the gospel into disrepute, and turning off many – both Christians and non-Christians.

As mentioned, when you have a site like this which is fully interactive, you daily get all sorts of interesting comments appearing in your inbox. I have to moderate each one before allowing them on my site. Right now I have 71,000 approved comments

There have probably been another 5 to 10 thousand that have been rejected for a whole variety of reasons, including violating my clearly-stated commenting rules. Usually these comments go straight into the bin. I probably should have saved some of the more bizarre ones that have come in over the years. They all might have made for an interesting book!

Let me offer another doozey that came in today. I just got a guy informing me of this: “Pants on women are not going to make heaven.” He went on to say this: “A rapture dream only 123 people out of the entire country USA go to heaven.”

He also said this: “the entire holy Bible KJV means exactly what it says.” And the post of mine that he sent his comment to had nothing to do with what he was rambling on about! All up it was one of the more strange and dopey comments I have seen for a while.

Let me very briefly respond to some of his bizarre remarks. As to the women and pants issue, he offered a number of Scriptures to “prove” this. None of them had anything to do with the issue except for one: Deuteronomy 22:5: “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.”

More on that in a moment. But one could first respond by saying, ‘Hmm, I did not know that pants could – or could not – go to heaven!’ The fact that he struggled writing a coherent sentence in plain English should sound the alarm. But the point he was trying to make was simply foolish – for several reasons.

First of all, I don’t really think that most guys were wearing pants when that passage was written by Moses. I am sure that Mo and Co were wearing more traditional ancient near eastern garb at the time – and that was not pants. As one site correctly notes, “From archaeological evidence, it is known that the earliest types of clothing were wrap skirts or aprons for both genders.” dailyhistory.org/When_did_Men_Start_Wearing_Pants%3F

And as Wayne Jackson remarks:

We should recall, however, that in biblical times, clothing for males and females was different only in styles and details, not in kind. Men did not wear trousers and women did not adorn themselves with skirts and blouses. While it undoubtedly is true that God wants some sexual distinction apparent in men’s and women’s garments, it is not legitimate to say that all women’s pants are wrong or, for that matter, that Scottish kilts are sinful for the men of that culture. A woman can be feminine in a modest pant-suit (cf. 1 Tim. 2:9-10) and men can still be masculine in a robe-like garment as in some Near Eastern countries today. www.christiancourier.com/articles/365-does-the-bible-forbid-women-to-wear-pants

And as most serious Old Testament scholars will point out, while the passage is somewhat enigmatic, the main emphasis of it seems to be a warning against transvestism, and indirectly a warning against homosexuality. Let me cite just one representative expert. J. G. McConville comments on this passage as follows:

In the law against transvestism, the woman must not wear ‘an item suitable for a man’. The term is general, and therefore not strictly clothing. Indeed, it can have military connotations, which fit here with the word used for ‘man’ (geber, often man as warrior). The man must not wear female dress. The concern is either to discourage homosexuality, or to prohibit transvestite practices found in Canaanite and Mesopotamian worship. The latter is suggested by the word ‘abhorrent’ (cf. 12:31).

So whatever exactly this passage is primarily about, it is NOT about women going to hell if they wear pants. Talk about reading into the text! And talk about woeful ignorance of the cultural practices of the day. And talk about a failure to consider the original languages.

One can also note this guy’s remarks about those who will make it to heaven.  I am actually surprised that he claims 123 Americans will make it there. Given his cultic views, it is more likely that just one or two will get in. As to the KJV bit, while there can be some folks who try to somewhat rationally make the case for KJV-Onlyism, there are far too many nutters out there running with this nonsense. So this guy is the gift that just keeps on giving.

But I am not just picking on him. As I say, I get far too many really strange and ridiculous comments coming in to my site – too often by Christians. They really need to try to learn how to think, to read, to study, and to show themselves approved. Just running with stuff found on flaky websites and the like is not how they should be proceeding here.

They really should be much slower to speak – or to comment, and much more willing to do some serious study of Scripture, as well as basic theology. Otherwise they will keep on doing damage to the cause of Christ with their unhelpful and unbiblical remarks.

And that helps no one.

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13 Responses to Giving Christianity a Bad Name

  • The ‘Venerable Rod Bower’ must be a shortlisted-contender for the ‘Giving Christianity a Bad Name’ award.

    He doesn’t believe in a Christian God, Heaven or Hell. He does believe in Abortion, LGBTQ, euthanasia and illicit drug testing. And unsurprisingly he supports Islam, rectifying man-induced Climate change and Refugee ‘rights’. He has made, “a very personal slur on a government minister”.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Bower_(activist)

  • What I find nice is the female flagmen (flagpersons?) at roadwork sites who manage to look feminine in overalls and work gear. It really does not take much effort to differentiate a woman from a man and I appreciate that they make the effort. You see that and you just instinctively know that there is some good in the world.

  • Love this article. I’ve been laughing so hard. I’m speechless because I’ve never heard such nonsense in my life but sure had fun reading this column. Will have to read it again tomorrow to get a 2nd laugh. My mother used to say, “People are funnier than monkeys.”

    Thanks Bill

    P.S. you would have been great writing for Seinfeld years ago or Everybody loves Raymond.

  • Bill I got an actual pounding HEADACHE once – reading the thread on Facebook where someone like this (who seemed to think he was just SUPER – spiritual !) was arguing with someone else – just complete NONSENSE – and (of course) he had ‘Scripture’ to back him up.

    Except, he didn’t. He was taking SO much out of context – and just piecemealing Bible passages to make his ‘point’.

    And – get this – he ‘claimed’ to be an ORDAINED MINISTER!

  • You should definitely start saving the most idiotic statements and put them into a book Bill. You could also use the book to answer their foolishness.

  • i noticed the 123 from America was in a dream. Way too many christians are treating dreams and NDE’s as direct revelation from God on par with scripture a newest testament. this seems to have exploded in the 90′ and 00’s and people will use them in their arguments and treat them as authoritative. It is very dangerous yet I never hear anything in the pulpits about decrement in this area and being careful about not adding to scripture. It is almost as bad as people who see EVERYTHING as a sign. (my son crapped his pants it is a sign! {yes a sign you need to change his pants nothing more})

    So many church goers are not being discipled so they know virtually NOTHING about the bible or what is taught and thus are so gullible they fall for any old deception that comes along. Satan doesn’t have to work too hard these days to fool the church. In some cases I think “got your nose” might work. We need to get back to making disciples not pew warmers. Playing church doesn’t saved anymore then playing doctor gets you a medical degree. It is time we stop treating the church as a “good place to network” or “great place to kill an hour” to one where people learn the truth and tremble in the knowledge of our sin and in awe of what God has done for us through Christ.

    Where are the fire and brimstone preachers that can make you afraid of hell because you see your sin clearly??? the sermons that made you grab ahold of something for fear of falling into hell because of t hose sins??? the christians who lived piously as proof of their christian beliefs?? The holy people you could tell by their speech dress and manner were separate from the world not a part of it???? The children who followed Jesus willingly, not begrudgingly, and that Jesus was the Jesus of the bible not of some slick marketing campaign meant to make him hip and cool???? Whose innocence was because of their purity not ignorance????

    We can do better and must do better. If the church won’t wake up on her own maybe God needs to JOLT her out of her slumber. The fires of persecution have always done wonders for the church as have national judgments and calamities. The west is practically begging for judgment flaunting their sin, with too much of the church approving, and asking ‘where is your judgment??’ and practically saying to FAITHFUL christians ‘where is your messiah now?’ Soon they will find out. Hopefully they will find him BEFORE he returns to the earth otherwise it will be too late. Two and one third BILLION call themselves christian worldwide I would be willing to bet only 10% actually are.

  • Dear Bill, interesting article, very thought provoking particularly on who will make intp heaven. My wife & I just watched Ray Comfort’s : Noah and the last days. Produced by Living Waters. You may have written on this DVD in the past? I recommend viewing, particularly his interviews with ‘Christian’s. It is easy to see just how may authors of your deleted comments there could be, Bill. One wonders about the church’s they attend and their leadership.
    Cheers Mark Bryant

  • I would revise my numbers worldwide to 35-43% still over half of all who say I am christian are NOT. for the USA I would still stick with 10% maybe 15%.

  • To give you another example, using a rather unique interpretation of Matthew 6:3, I know of a maverick Christian who was adamant that it is a sin to use your left hand to place money in the offering bowl at church.

  • Haha – the big question. So what percentage of Americans are on their way to heaven right now?

  • I think its almost always been like that, even in OT times & again at the time of Christ. Not just individual “nutters” but also groups and governments.Look what the Pharisees did with the law & even Peter falling into that trap. Long long bows are often drawn in ignorance. Where would we be without Gods grace & the power of the Spirit to renew our thinking. Some theologies tend to open themselves up in certain ways to misinterpretation or abuse. And them some claims are just utterly bizzare.

  • Too few Tim Too few.

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