At one point, someone had gone to me quite recently to point out the ‘anger’ and ‘bitterness’ I had for the church, claiming that I did not have a particular place to make comments about the cultural climates on subjects relating to the nature of the church. Although what that person said was essentially correct viz. the only people that really have a means to diagnose and discuss matters pertaining to the nature of the church should belong to church leaders, the question is not whether I am in the right of possessing an authority to address matters or even if we should invest into searching for another leader to address these issues; to the contrary, the heart of the matter is about why do ministers feel that they should be the sole means to diagnose problems and issues that recur in the Christian Church in general when they, the very leaders who we look to fail in demonstrating leadership? Does the church need to wait for a sound leader like MacArthur, Sproul, Piper, and Packer to make a fair assessment of the culture? Are we in need of another Christian Living book to talk about these problems?
There are reasons why bloggers are coming out and saying this.
Christians do not criticize for the lousiest reasons: the carpet color, the pastor’s tie, the green bean casserole (if you’re Baptist), the amount of liquor used in the punch bowl (if you’re Presbyterian), the creases in church bulletin, the improper handshake, etc., etc., and etc. These reasons are not what Christians use to make a complaint in the church; for those who do make such a claim (more often than not) are nothing more than a bunch of softheaded ninnies who ought to spend their business filing paperwork for membership resignation. Although I am making light of these hyperbolic finicky examples, I am not ashamed to point out that these instances are oftentimes characterized by pastors who feel that these are actual issues. In other words, ministers are deliberately painting their critics as fastidious lightweights whose words should not gain grounds in the church, lest these members would cause a split.
But this is not what the critics are saying.
If one is going to brushstroke the Christian in this camp, at least do so from a reasonable standpoint. In many of the articles I have read about the problems in the church (from a minister’s perspective), oftentimes I have noticed some, if not many of them, address revolve around these four major points of concern: sermon presentation, Bible versions, music, and programs. While these topics are mostly relevant to today’s evangelical circles (yes people do get upset about these subjects–how the sermon is presented, whether the music is traditional or contemporary, if the Bible is KJV or ESV, NIV, ASV, etc., and if the church is doing enough in its outreaches—these topics do seriously matter), there are additional topics of concern that stretch beyond these four main issues, especially when these oftentimes contribute to the departure of the millennial generation. Are these criticisms taken seriously? Depends on the ministry.
If ministers took the time to examine a critic’s list of complaints with a fine-comb, one is most certain to find the problems are not illegitimate; to the contrary, the basis of these complaints stem from the observations a church member makes when he or she interacts with the community. For example, another big issue that rumbles in the church today (which is nevertheless ignored) is the problem of authoritarianism—the strict belief that a church member is to give complete submission to those who stand at the helms of biblical authority. While major organizations (e.g., Desiring God, Reformation21, Challies, TGC, 9Marks, Sharper Iron, etc.) have interest in ministering to the church at large, the gross concern about this ministerial behavior has become something lost in the midst of obscurity and Christian piety.
The only two blog sites that go into depth on these issues are Solo Christo and Evangelical Arminian Musings (Roger Olson). But these sources are scarcely discussed by major pastoral websites.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I may not have the authoritative stamp of approval from a minister, a church, or organization, but I know that critics (like myself) have a legitimate basis to make these types of observations, especially when these are downplayed or ignored for the sake of keeping the churches safe from these demonic impurities.
Let’s hope someone wakes up.
Whenever someone ventures into reading your novel, usually the reader glances at the opening sentence i.e., the very first line. Out of the dozens of ‘self-published’ writers who give their works to the public, very few of them attempt to make the opening sentence worthwhile.
Some open with a tremendously long one which consists of more than 24 words, the average amount a normal sentence (like this one) would consist of. Others usually make their sentences too short, cutting the amount of information below the average amount. Whenever an author begins opening his or her first own sentence, he or she ought to achieve the balance between conciseness and brevity. If there is difficulty in creating that type of balance, there also needs to be balance in the contents as well.
While I have opened my book with discussing the weather, I did not center the first three paragraphs on the subject of the weather. I don’t know how many more authors out there that make this mistake, but I am beginning to realize that this is an all too often error that would turn off readers from engaging the book. Unfortunately, not too many authors pay attention to this need and avoid discussing the needs to write a proper sentence.
Whenever there is a story about someone’s de-conversion to Atheism, Agnosticism, etc., I tend to realize these problems occur for the following reasons: (1) Weak Faith, (2) Lack of Answers, and (3) Disenchantment. After reading this post, I tend to have noticed that the source of people’s dislike for fundamentalist Christianity is often resulting from the last one (disenchantment). Although there are so-called, ‘Atheistic rationale,’ a majority of these arguments really stem from one major (emotional) problem.
Allow me to explain.
After running into experiences where Christians have personally others hurt over the years, I have discovered there has been a major side effect that none of these individuals see. For starters, people are more apt to feel unwelcome and irritated whenever they return to the church. They first pretend to retain friendless on pretentious grounds, but throughout the course of time, these types of members distance themselves away from the church. Currently, I have several friends in and outside the church who have shared that experiences because either the pastor or fellow layman have said some things that merit an apology. Unfortunately in this case, they do nothing more but preach a mere ‘forgive and forget,’ expecting others to move on.
What troubles me for those who pass their vociferous opinions, is not the need for asking others to forgive them of their sins (which, the offending party has neither sought the repentance nor absolution of their uncharitable comments), but the effects of the words they said. If pastors and laymen took the time to see the seeds they spent spreading in the hearts and minds, then logically they would get the message to be more cautious of their words and apologize like real Christians. I hate to say this, but I can understand the unintended effects of these Atheists and the (emotional) abuses they post on the internet. I’m saddened to see how the Church of God seeks to find believers, but won’t take the time to clean itself from the wickedness of their pastors and laymen.
Having said that, I am not saying that Atheism in and of itself teaches a true faith; in fact, I would most agreeably state this ideology teaches a bankrupted system which does no better in practice whenever they make rationales for the non-existence of God. As I have covered in this blog there are key questions Atheists have yet to answer which are either dodged or dismissed and they are these:
- Who should all humans be held accountable to?
- If accountable to each other, which ones should retain the most accountability?
- On what basis should does that person or persons hold the power of accountability?
- What qualifications does that person or persons have to retain such power?
- Where do these qualifications come from?
- Are these morals universally accountable?
- Are these morals eternally immutable?
- Are these morals transcendent?
I would love to find some honest Atheist out there who would be able to answer these questions.
I seem to think that all sciences, specifically empirical sciences have a problem with philosophy. If all people were ‘highly evolved apes,’ then why exactly fight against this notion that the human race is more than what scientists posit? I could easily suggest to NY Times Columnist, Richard Polt, who generously posted this article that we are more than apes because we were made in God’s image (Genesis 1); however, I think his problem begins on where to start. While I began glossing into the article from Why Evolution is True, I began to notice a few errors of thought.
The first come from the comment from blogger ‘darrell’:
“Exactly my first thought. He is ignorant about the sciences, especially current scientific knowledge. He has no real idea what he is arguing against, but he knows he doesn’t like it because he finds it undignified. And he thinks he can derive serious arguments against it starting from prescientific classical philosophical concepts and rationalizing his way to a more dignified answer.” [Emphasis mine]
Ignorant about the sciences? How about ignorant about the sheer fact that science is a slave to philosophy or the fact that in order to interpret the evidences that people really need to have some kind of a priori assumptions? This problem of reductionism is the chief result from assuming the evidence supports a type of naturalistic worldview i.e., all there is to life out there in this world is nature and that’s it. If you are going to consider the scientific findings specifically, an open fossil record, you will need to recognize two different things. (1) Fossils don’t do all the talking, it’s the scientists that do. Interpretation of the fossil record (if assumed with a naturalistic worldview) can support evolution in any way imaginable; however, the evidences can immediately change the same instant someone with an entirely different (creationist) worldview comes onto the scene.
While I do agree with the author that reductionism is the chief result of evolutionary evidences, I also tend to think the problems for believing this sort of theory (or hypothesis in my opinion) can be easily pointed out in the article itself.
“Well, almost no biologist thinks that learning how morality evolved, or develops as a cultural phenomenon, tells us what is the right thing to do. I do think that the rudiments of human morality come from our ancestors, for our relatives show some strikingly moral-like behaviors, but clearly morality has a strong cultural overlay, and what is hard-wired can be overridden by social norms. If that weren’t the case, what is considered moral wouldn’t change so quickly.”
Again, morality is not something that necessarily comes from ancestry; for even the ancestors need to know where they came from. Sadly, I think the problem with a changing world is the rejection of an absolute source i.e., a transcendent moral compass. If there really is this idea of highly evolved apes having a ‘code’ or ‘source’ of morality (oh say, the human conscience) that cannot be overridden by culture, then I think that points to a bigger idea: that God really does exist.
Take a look at what Hitler did. He lied, betrayed, and killed millions of innocent people. In the name of what?
Science, just pure science.
Margaret Sanger is another individual who thought the same way along with every other eugenicist who preached the idea of having the perfect race. In the unfortunate world of evolution, there even with the scientific explanation that points out how or why Hitler committed his atrocities, I can assure you evolution has no basis to condemn the German Dictator for murdering people (or even calling this holocaust a form of murder).
Though I am not an expert in the field of biology, I am willing to still point out the errors in the fields of science when either the evidences are contradictory or the conclusions do not fit in with the evidences. Hence, these are the reasons why I started this blog article. After reading a brief description of the evidences from the author himself, I began to realize a couple of mistakes in his form of thinking:
“Among the wonders that science has uncovered about the universe, no subject has sparked more fascination and fury than evolution. Yet in all the ongoing debates about creationism and its descendant, “intelligent design,” one element of the controversy is rarely mentioned: the evidence, the empirical truth of evolution by natural selection. And that evidence is vast, varied, and magnificent, drawn from a huge spectrum of scientific inquiry ranging from genetics, anatomy, and molecular biology to paleontology and geology.”
Yes, evidence is one of the many things that should always be included when discussing evolution. I’m not sure if the author gets the picture but let’s summarize the facts about the subject. For starters, let me point out that (1) mutations process takes a matter of time which has its (2) high odds against the goals trying to be accomplished. Not only does the author candidly admit these observations, the problem I don’t think he mentions is that natural processes do not make ‘decisions’ on their own; in fact, rarely if ever something would produce something intentionally complex i.e., specified complexity.
Sure, there are plenty of sugar, salt, and ice crystals that can be made at random from the natural environment; however, the working world of nature does not produce something with a specific intention in mind e.g., the hand, the eye, or the foot. While I continue to discuss further into the topic of evolution, I want to show you that one of top motivations to write my book from an Atheist’s perspective is to show the problems with evolution and its bunk sciences overall.
Besides being emotionally wound up on some of these issues, I seem to have discovered that much of my articles writings have gotten longer by the topic. I think one of the goals to achieve for both this year and the next is to maintain a simple briefness on the issue of writing. Unfortunately, I have not retained the ability to do that since some of these blog articles have gone beyond the matter of 300 words. While I may type of these poignant articles through my word processor, I was not paying attention to how much time I have spent on fleshing out and describing all the information that I need to share on this post.
So here’s the note: K.I.T.S.
*(Keep It Tremendously Short).
Hopefully, if I keep this memo in mind, I won’t spend so much time getting caught up with creating a humongous blog article.
Although I have been running this blog for almost a year, the predominant reasons for the lack of article supplications have been due to a couple of things, but mostly because of my two jobs and my obsessions with outlining my next book.
You see, I have two writing projects: one that is non-fiction while the other is completely fictional. Unfortunately I was working with the non-fictional project rather than the other. At this point, I created a substantial outline for the books line of argumentation and a few subtitles to go along with the subject. Not only have I found the need to complete this project amazingly difficult, I also discovered there has been a tremendous need to update the other things as well including this blog. Although I won’t be coming back immediately, I will be touching upon other projects to get more of this work going so that everyone can enjoy.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and continue to be on the lookout.