Entitled Goddesses & Worthless Worshipers

Previously, the conditioning of men and women into goddess and worshipper roles and the rationalization of that model into Biblical marriage were discussed in terms of the book The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The model of the wife as a goddess that makes demands offerings from the husband and bestows acceptance, approval, and affection to a husband as chattel that sets out to please his wife by fulfilling those demands was delineated.

This post will quote Schlessinger’s observations from dealing with the problems she’s noted in her radio shows. While she notes these things as “problems”, she misses that the things she notes reflect the very features of the traditional marriage that she espouses which creates the toxic femininity that is so pervasive in this world today.

The Goddess Will Be Done.
Schlessinger notes again and again the entitlement that women have that they are entitled to the fulfillment of all their whims and desires. For instance:

On my radio program, I hear from too many women who believe that they are somehow entitled to have all their needs, wants, desires, and whims met by life in general, and by their men in particular, no matter what choices they’ve made and no matter how poorly they treat their men. (1)

The result is women get married thinking largely about what their marriage and their man can do for them, and not what they can do for their men. And when there is so little emphasis on the giving, the nitpicking and pettiness chews up and spits out what could have been a good marriage. (2)

Notably this dynamic of female supremacism is the very essence of feminism of all kinds. No matter what it may be, the woman must be satisfied in all things, as her value is far beyond that of men, especially the ones in their lives.

The Goddess Rules And Reigns Over Her Man.
The existence and fostering of male mother need, coupled with societal expectations and sanctions upon men for not fulfilling his wife’s will, it’s a natural expectation that the woman would rule the man and dictate the conditions of his life. In essence, marriage is an arrangement where a husband submits to his wife by fulfilling her demands with the expectation of approval or punishment depending on his actions. The man is simple chattel, worth no more than the scum on the bottom of the wife’s shoes. His wishes and desires are unimportant in the marriage, and at worst a threat to the wife. Schlessinger repeats these ideas in her book:

No, I probably will not be writing about the care and feeding of wives. Why? Because the truth is that when it comes to home and relationships, women rule. This is a book about how to rule wisely and lovingly. If a woman does not marry a sociopath or narcissist, then she’s got her basic “male package.” And your basic male is a decent creature with simple desires: to be his wife’s hero, to be his wife’s dream lover, to be the protector and provider for his family, to be respected, admired, and appreciated. Men live to make their women happy. (3)

Whether it’s whims or tastes should not be the important issue—being fair and loving is. Think about the typical home; it is largely decorated by the choices and tastes and whims of the woman of the house. Real estate agents have told me that they really need to sell a house to the wife because it is generally her reaction that motivates the man. Husbands defer to their wives because they love them and want to please them, and because (girls, we have to be honest) we make life hell for them when they don’t. Since men live for our approval and acceptance, they are too easy to manipulate inappropriately, insensitively, inhumanely, and unlovingly. (4)

It didn’t escape me that Keith used the words “allows” and “lets me” when referring to his own opportunities for downtime or guy time. I don’t believe these references necessarily suggest that he is hen-pecked, I think they point out a universal truth that I have mentioned numerous times in this book: that men are raised by women as children and are embraced by women as adults and look to women for those three A’s. This gives women tremendous power over men, power that ought not to be abused or overused; it is just too easy for a grown man to turn into a rebellious child. (5)

It should be clear between this book and many other media that the wife is considered as a paramount one to always be worshiped and served unquestioningly. She is the one who unilaterally defines the terms of interaction – even what is masculine. Meanwhile the husband’s sole function is to serve the wishes of his wife and bend his view of manhood to the terms that his wife has set. He can not have his own will or do anything without the approval of his wife – the act of marriage has subjugated him to his chosen goddess.

Amazingly, this dynamic is often played off as comedy with people completely missing the kernel of truth that is behind it. There have been numerous comedy sketches where the couple is in a location and the husband is played off as “the man” in public until they get in private and then she sets her will in place by berating him into her will. Schlessinger even notes this:

Wives do tend to be controlling—in ways we perhaps don’t even recognize as such. Just before I went to bed last night, I turned on the television for a last-minute news update, and in going past channels to my usual news station, I paused at a sitcom. I don’t know the characters or the plot, or even the name of the show, but I saw what appeared to be a father talking to his grown son in his son’s fiancee’s presence. The father said something like, “Son, you are a man and you can make any decision you believe in and feel is right . . . until you’re married—then your wife will be making all your decisions for you.”

While the laugh track did its thing, I immediately realized that the controlling of men by their wives is so taken for granted that a sitcom could use it as a source of humor with no one imagining it was a true slap against women. (6)

Sadly, she does not see that this whole dynamic of traditional marriage and traditional gender roles, including her own book, is a slap against the value God has placed in man as a creation of God in His own image. Man has gone from the image of God to something worse than life. The only difference between traditional and modern feminists is the level to which they believe that men are of “lesser life” than they are.

Conclusion
To look at this book in total, while I already knew of the dynamic that represents traditional marriage, the way the book reveals the true dynamics of marriage, coupled with some of Schlessinger’s honesty about the status of women in marriage made it interesting to give a closer look. Women and men have been conditioned into this goddess/worshiper dynamic for several generations now, to the point that the roles are simply thought of as innate features of men and women. It has laid women into prideful arrogance and men into a demeaning existence of slavery to women whose life’s value is dictated to him by the women in his life. Schlessinger illustrates this, as a good sum of how traditional gender roles have broken men:

A wife can tear down a husband’s necessary sense of strength and importance more easily with a look or a comment than can torture in a prison camp. Surviving the latter is a demonstration of a man’s strength. Men don’t easily survive the former: Their wives’ approval is as important as oxygen; surviving their wives’ lack of approval is emasculation. (7)

Schlessinger espouses this model, where the only solid advice in her book to women to reform themselves from their pride is to bask in it and be the benevolent goddess who rains approval down upon her man when he brings a pleasing oblation to her. Rather than both honor the God who created both man and woman along with marriage, woman honors herself and man honors woman. Sadly, too many are stuck in this godless rut of tradition to see marriage as God-honoring in any way.

(1) The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. p163. (2) ibid. p3. (3) ibid. p64. (4) ibid. p146-147. (5) ibid. p179. (6) ibid. p157. (7) ibid. p74.

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Religious and Other Rationalization In Marriage

Previously, I wrote of the model of traditional marriage and how it’s developed into a model of a female goddess of high value and a male worshiper of low value. If this were my last blog presence, both of these posts would have large link-trees since I’ve developed these concepts in many ways over dozens of posts quoting people indicating these kinds of things, so I apologize in advance if anything looks strange at first glance.

Book Review - The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands

Man Rationalizes His Own Behavior
It’s good to start out by noting the constructs of tradition and how they are developed. Men start out by doing things, and then the reasons behind them get lost and no one knows the “why” of anything. Jesus deals with the effects of these things in Matthew 15:1-9. Traditional marriage and gender roles is definitely a case where the commandments of men have transgressed God’s design on things.

Often, men (and women) have a way of also taking their own expectations and then Scripture-shopping or redefining Scripture to meet those expectations. I’ve mentioned this often in terms of the false gospel of the Personal Jesus, where man’s own expectation becomes God’s commandment.

Reconciling Traditional Marriage With Scripture
Often these manipulations of men require a number of deceptions for them to take hold. I’ve encountered and had to eliminate many of them by reading Scripture and allowing the Spirit to change my mind. Traditional and modern marriage has an exceedingly large number of deceptions that I’ve cataloged over dozens of posts.

Schlessinger took occasion to quote one of them in dealing with responses to the predictable uproar that women would do anything to “submit” to men:

The Reverend Shane Cornutt, from Alabama, was one of many in and out of the clergy who wrote me to clarify this issue:

“Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed that some of your lady callers have had questions on a wife’s submission to her husband and how it deals with their Christian faith when faced with a moral problem.

Nowhere in the Bible is a woman told to blindly submit to the will of her husband. In fact, the first act of submission is on the husband’s part! The husband is to submit himself to Christ and the will of God. When he does this he is not setting himself up as master, but rather as servant of the Lord. Only then is the wife to submit to the will of her husband—because the will of her husband will be obedience to the Lord. So the wife is not submitting to the husband, but to God.

As soon as the husband steps outside this and acts contrary to scripture, the woman is under no moral obligation whatsoever to her husband to transgress the moral law! Women are not, and were never meant to be, set up as servants to men in the kingdom of God.

A man is supposed to love his wife as Christ loves the church. That means that a husband is required to love, care for, nurture, protect, comfort and even be willing to die for his wife. That is love.”

The reverend ended his letter with an admonition to men, suggesting that if any man is upset because he feels his wife is not in “proper submission” to him, the problem is with the man! (1)

Now those who have read my blogging in the past (among many others), will recognize this argument as it’s been dealt with many times as espoused by many figures. Cornutt is carving out an exception to the Biblical dictates that wives submit to their husbands in everything. When some “moral problem” comes up, he is giving the wives carte blanche to not follow their husbands.

Now the question is this: Who is the authority that determines whether something presents a “moral problem”? The answer that many other commentators have come up with is that it’s the wife! So anything that goes against her whim and will becomes a “moral problem”. Again another question presents itself: Who is the one that determines whether the husband “submits himself to Christ and the will of God”? Again it’s the wife! So she has the complete freedom to pay heed to her husband. Or not. Whatever she wants.

Note how Cormutt casts the problem as one of the husband’s – blame is always cast towards him and never to the wife in religious situations. And if he doesn’t go for her will, she can marshal all the force of the church, and ultimately put the threat of divorce (and his devastation as a man in both the church and wider society) over his head in order to ensure his compliance to his wife.

Reconciling the Language With The Deception
So ultimately, marriage is rearranged into an arrangement where the wife is the one that is the moral arbiter and the husband is the one that submits to his wife. This fits the previous arrangement, and throws the marriage into a situation where the husband is continually chasing after her desires and wishes and if there’s a problem he just isn’t listening to her heart well enough. Her heart is holy and pure (she is a Vicar of Christ), and therefore must be followed at all costs! After all, a goddess always needs to be served! An illustration of this process is presented in this graphic:

(2013-01-06) marriage-diagram4

However, we must remember that the concepts must be fit into the language of Scripture. Again this requires a rationalization of an untruth. I’ve often used the analogy of “Driving Miss Daisy” submission or a horse buggy to illustrate how this is done. The husband is driving the limo and the wife rides in back. The husband is the horse and the wife is the driver. But “Daisy” directs the limo where it is to go. The driver determines where the buggy goes.

In enforcing such a model, the church officials often do not call upon the wives to submit to their own husbands, but calls the husband to “step up and lead his family” (existing nowhere in Scripture). Again this puts the burden upon the husband to perform to his wife’s expectations. He is buffaloed into this model by his conditioning to male mother need, and ultimately is seen as the one leading (with the willing participation of the wife in the deception) – by seeking out his wife’s will on everything and then following it.  If he does not do this, then he is “not loving his wife as Christ loves the church”, and becomes a failure.

But what of submission as it is brought up in relationship to wives? The nearest meaning I can take out of Schlessinger’s book is a submission to the traditional gender roles as opposed to her husband. As quoted earlier, as long as she provides the 3 A’s and her demands upon her husband, all will be well.

In the end, all this deception, all this force of man against the God-ordained plan of marriage makes this transformation from Scripturally-defined marriage to traditional marriage:

marriage_transformation

Conclusion
In the end, all of this contributes together to make a marriage where the man continually falls into the pattern of Adam where he “hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife” (Genesis 3:17) instead of God. For those that choose to not see, marriage has turned from God-honoring to woman-honoring (violating Commandments I and II) and man’s tradition has been baked into people’s minds allowing them to not see anything different.

In the next post, I will address some of Schlessinger’s quotes that reveal some of the programming that has been given to both men and women that fits this model of goddess-worship that has replaced God-honoring marriage.

(1) The Proper Care & Feeding of Animals Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger p149-150.

Embracing Male Mother Need In Marriage

In finally getting around to specific comments on Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s book “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands”, I noted in the review that Schlessinger upholds the traditional view of marriage.

As I’ve explained in many prior posts, this is reflected in a marriage consisting of a female goddess of great value and a male slave of little to no value (see the book title) to the point that man being created in the image of God is a radical concept to most. His function is to bring offerings to his goddess to gain her acceptance, approval, and affection — his total value as a human being being represented in his service and the approval that he garners from her.

The surprising part that makes Schlessinger’s book an opportunity of traditional feminist instruction is how plain spoken she is about the effects of this dynamic, although she does not bring what she observes to the proper conclusions. Why should she as a supporter of such a apostate and wicked model of subjugation? These posts will cover the basics of the dynamic of traditional marriage through quotes from Schlessinger, pointing out that many of the “problems” in marriages are designed features of traditional marriage. These posts will also illustrate the advice that women should just embrace the model that has been instilled in them.

Women: Embrace Male Mother Need
Effects of this dynamic, along with Schlessinger’s cheer-leading to women to utilize it permeate the book. For instance:

I have never gotten a complaint from a male listener in twenty-five years on the radio over my assertion that men are simple creatures. They agree. I have explained time and again on my radio program that men are borne of women and spend the rest of their lives yearning for a woman’s acceptance and approval. Unless you’ve got a man with a frank mental or personality disorder (the exception, not the rule), men admittedly are putty in the hands of a woman they love. Give him direct communication, respect, appreciation, food, and good lovin’, and he’ll do just about anything you wish– foolish or not. (1)

Note that she impugns men that do not revere women as goddesses, in other words follow Adam into his sin, as ones with “a frank mental or personality disorder”. She continues to make numerous statements to this effect throughout the rest of the book:

Ouch. That problem is a frequent one, especially with women overmarinated in the most negative beliefs of the women’s movement—that is, society and men will oppress; they are the enemy; do not submit; terminate or dominate. And men are easily dominated with negativity from their woman. As I pointed out earlier, since men are simple creatures who come from a woman, are nutured and brought up by a woman, it makes them vulnerable to their woman’s moods, desires, tantrums, criticisms, disappointments, dissatisfactions, angers, and rejections. (2)

Its worth repeating that men yearn for, first, their mothers’ acceptance, approval, and appreciation, and then their wives’, and when they get those three A’s, they’ll just do about anything to please their wives. (3)

I believe most women don’t appreciate how much they are responsible for the tone of the home and the entire family. This statement is not about placing fault or blame, it is about acknowledging the incredible power women have in impacting those around them. Both children and husbands are inexorably dependent on the approval, appreciation, and acceptance of Mom. Without that, they are desolate—and they behave badly. (4)

Needless to say, Schlessinger definitely acknowledges that male mother need exists – that most men are conditioned into gaining the approval of the predominant female in their lives, first their mothers and then their wives. Ultimately, women get to rule all the things that their men do, and ultimately society as a result. This has been the case for the last 500 years in Western Civilization.

Nailing Down The Dynamic Of Traditional Marriage
At this point, it would be appropriate to further nail down the dynamic of idolatrous worship that happens in all typical marriages. In the dozens of previous posts on the topic, I’ve quoted Esther Vilar regarding male mother need. It will serve here to further the definition of traditional marriage:

The majority of men prefer to subjugate themselves to an exclusive deity, woman (they call this subjection love). This sort of personal deity has excellent qualifications for the satisfaction of religious needs. Woman is ever-present, and, given her own lack of religious need [aka the personal Jesus], she is divine. As she continually makes demands, man never feels forsaken. She frees him from collective gods, for whose favors he would have to compete with others. He trusts in her because she resembles his mother, the deity of his childhood. His empty life is given an artificial meaning, for his every action is dedicated to her comfort and, later, to the comfort of her children. As a goddess, she can not only punish (by taking away his sense of belonging) but she can reward as well (through the bestowal of sexual pleasure). (5)

For young girls, they are taught from a young age that their needs, desires, and whims are paramount over others, especially over those that are different than her (boys). Girls are taught that they are the most important thing in life is them, that they should have preference over all else, and should not be responsible to anyone, especially to a man. Most of all, she only need simply follows the example of her mother.

Thoughts of chivalry are often used to reinforce these dynamics, placing boys and girls into those roles. Titles of “Princess”, “Queen”, “Daughter of the King” and others are often used of girls and women to reinforce these traditional gender roles.

Innate Behavior Versus Societal Conditioning
One of the canards that traditional feminists bring out against the modern feminists is that they bring notions of “unisexuality” or that men and women are mostly the same. Schlessinger talks about this here:

What does it actually mean, in concrete terms, to treat one’s husband with respect? To start with, a man likes and needs to be treated like he is “the man.” That seems to be difficult for a lot of women to do, partly because they have been brought up with notions of “unisexuality,” the sadly mistaken and destructive belief that men and women have no differences—and whatever men want or do that women don’t appreciate is stupid, wasteful, and self-indulgent. Well, the fact is, men and women are different physically, psychologically, motivationally, and temperamentally. Anyone who has had exposure to babies and children can tell you that boys and girls respond differently to the world right from the start. Give both a doll and the girl will cuddle it, while the boy will more likely use it as a projectile or weapon. Give them two dolls and the girl will have the dolls talking to each other, while the boy will have them engage in combat. (6)

What ultimately happens, is that much like evolutionists do, traditional feminists have a way of ascribing moral agency of men and women to innate factors as opposed to teaching and instruction. This is what the modern feminists point out often in their arguments of men and women. Gender (or psychological mindsets and behaviors) is very much decided by how parents deal with their children young in life, as opposed to something inborn as sexuality is (how else do they get the ideas of what to do with those toys?). The deception that these instructions come from an innate place must be continued (i.e. The Narrative must be preserved), or the whole mechanism of control of men falls apart.

Conclusion
The model as set out from the early beginnings of childhood is one where a man adopts a woman as “goddess” who he lives every waking moment to please, while she takes her role as that “goddess”, dictating her “truth” and continually demanding things from her charge that he is meant to provide in order to gain her approval. Having explained this, the next post on this matter will cover the Christian religious (and other) rationalizations that are necessary for this system of control to survive.

(1) The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger pxvi-xvii. (2) ibid. p10. (3) ibid p174. (4) ibid p162. (5) The Manipulated Man by Esther Vilar page 50. (6) The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger p160-161.

Book Review: Active Spirituality

Active Spirituality: A Non-Devotional Guide. Charles R. Swindoll. Word Publishing, 1994.

ActiveSpirituality

There’s been a distinct interest in “spirituality” and “spiritual transformation”, as can be seen in the number of books about angels and general occult things. Although, spiritual matters are often things seen as internal and not something that is actively lived. Charles R. Swindoll points this out in his book “Active Spirituality”, his study through the book of Proverbs, and endeavors to describe a spiritual life actively lived.

In each of the 22 chapters, Swindoll focuses on a number of practical qualities that he extracts from the Book of Proverbs. These include obedience, serenity, counsel, controlling your tongue, contentment, diligence, industriousness, financial accountability, and other topics.

This book provides a number of “non-devotional” looks at several of the topics of Proverbs. Swindoll presents these topics in a straight forward way with no fluff, along with some ways to directly put the concepts into action. As he points out in the conclusion of the book for himself, looking at these ways and endeavoring to implement them brings a huge personal growth.

However, most readers may not like the nuts-and-bolts “non-devotional” style. As a result, there is very little that is entertaining about this book for those that may be used to personal stories and experiences over pure Scripture. This preference speaks more to the reader of the book than it does to the author.

Overall, Active Spirituality provides a good overview of the Book of Proverbs. This book holds a wealth of good teachings regarding what a real Christian should be partaking in and living in from a practical real standpoint. Some readers may be turned off, though, by Swindoll practicing what he preaches in terms of how he presents the material.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Book Cover Image Source: Amazon

Book Review: Crazy Love

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God. Francis Chan (Author),‎ Chris Tomlin (Foreword),‎ Danae Yankoski (Contributor). David C. Cook, 2008.

Book Review - Crazy Love

Have we missed the love of God? In looking at a God that created the universe and everything in it, something is wrong when our response is to go to church and sing songs. Francis Chan aims to point out a deeper response to correct this “wrong” in his book “Crazy Love”.

Chan begins by pointing out the qualities of God. He then moves to point out how short life is and that people mistake what God’s love is. The author then endeavors to profile the “lukewarm”, and tries to back that up with examples. Chan then describes what it is to be “in love with God”, live a life with a view of eternity, and describes what it is to be obsessed with God. Finally, Chan provides some stories and then tries to summarize the book.

This book provides an interesting view into several points that are glossed over in the modern church. The need to see God for who He truly is is a definite need and Chan makes a good attempt towards describing the real God of the Universe, and points out the value of seeing a loving forgiving God over one that is eager to mete out punishment. Chan also makes a weak attempt at pointing out how non-serious most who claim the name of Christ are in practicing their faith.

Unfortunately, Chan advocates the very thing that shipwrecks the Church these days and causes the need of so many Christians and churches to repent before the Lord. Chan is a heavy advocate of the Personal Jesus, pointing out in very clear language that you “fall in love with God” and that “God is calling you into a passionate love relationship with Himself” (back cover blurb quotes).

This faciliates an incorrect, carnal view of God’s love – projecting it into an eros love bent on feelings and actions stemming out of those feelings rather than true faith born out into action from the deeds of God. Chan translates this eros love into service towards others in the world, instead of a true fearful service of God. Ultimately, Chan beats up those that see something wrong with the typical proscriptions of the modern churches in the way most do (even claiming them to be “unsaved”), assaulting those that “beat up the Church” and blaming those that are discontented for not following after them instead of looking at themselves to repent of their apostasy.

Overall, this book holds several good teachings that the Church needs instruction in, in order to repent before God, but holds a number of sloppy ones as well. Unfortunately, Chan presents a different carnally loving god that each person manipulates into their own image. This perpetuates all those things that cause that “something’s wrong” perception that Chan touts. While there is enough truth in this book to give the average person pause, Chan does not present the true radical authentic faith that was given those in the New Testament and instead presents the gospel of this wicked age. Much discernment is indeed required in dealing with this book.

Rating: 4 out of 10.

Book Cover Image Source: Amazon

Book Review: Jim & Casper Go To Church

Jim and Casper Go to Church: Frank Conversation about Faith, Churches, and Well-Meaning Christians. Jim Henderson & Matt Casper. Tyndale, 2007.

Jim&CasperGoToChurch

The interest of pastors to bring people into their churches is evident. In the quest to understand how those who are outside the churches think of them, Jim Henderson, a Pentecostal pastor for thirty years, has hired an atheist, Matt Casper, in order to travel around to a number of notable and not-so-notable churches and document their reactions.

Henderson and Casper tell the story of their visits to twelve churches:

  • Saddleback (Rick Warren’s church)
  • Angelus Temple (a.k.a. The Dream Center)
  • Mosaic
  • Willow Creek (Bill Hybel’s church)
  • First Presbyterian Church of River Forest
  • Lawndale Community Church
  • Jason’s House (A house church of one of Casper’s friends)
  • Imago Dei
  • Mars Hill Church (Mark Driscoll’s church)
  • The Bridge
  • Lakewood Church (Joel Osteen’s church)
  • The Potter’s House (T.D. Jakes’ church)

Finally, Henderson and Casper provide some closing words and then answer some questions.

This book provides an interesting and entertaining read as Jim Henderson and Matt Casper chronicle their experiences in these churches and deal with questions that stem from what they see. The questions and observations that Casper provides are often incredibly insightful and point towards a number of the problems that exist with churches today.

Unfortunately, Henderson seems to miss the point behind these things Casper says. While he successfully sees this problem of “religionism” that plagues all the churches, he misses the full breadth of the issue behind Casper’s question: “Is this what Jesus told you guys to do?”.  Sadly the churches Henderson selected are the best of the best, not being average churches.  Most churches today are out in the world, seeking to build worldly empires.  In that sense, it is more about programs, policies, and procedures than it is about people. The light shows, the smoke machines, and the other negatives both authors observe are a direct reflection of the wisdom of the world. He who puts on the better show gets the favor of the adoring public.

Sadly, this is the direct reflection of the advice that Henderson gives, to “become more reflective and repentant on how outsiders perceive us” (p149) and that “we have to adapt to them” (p149). The Church has been continually poisoned by the world – the leaders duped into thinking that they have to be like the world by the standards of numbers, nickels and facilities, in order to entice people to join them (never mind Christ). Most all churches have been following this advice by adapting to the world instead of adapting to Christ. Barna’s own work indicates this.

This results in the churches offering something that is nothing different than the world, and in the end offering only stones and snakes instead of bread and fish (Matthew 7:9-11) to those who are seeking something different. Casper notes this in a number of his observations, asking the question “What does the way Christianity is practiced today have to do with the handful of words and deeds uttered by a man who walked the earth two thousand years ago?”

Overall, this book was an entertaining and insightful read, providing many questions and points to ponder.  But much more could have been done to contrast many of the reasons behind Casper’s comments, and would have provided much more impact. As Henderson might have found with Casper if he indeed did push a little more, the majority of “atheists” and other “non-believers” have tasted what these churches have to offer and find them wanting. As much could be said about my experience with this book.

Rating: 4 out of 10.

Book Cover Image Source: Amazon

Book Review: The Christian Atheist

The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn’t Exist. Craig Groeschel. Zondervan, 2010.

TheChristianAtheist

The topic of Christians not living up to Christian ideals as espoused in the Scriptures is a common one to all the blogs I’ve done, and readily visible in most Christians and churches. Craig Groeschel calls this out in “The Christian Atheist”, claiming that most Christians are people who claim Christ but do not live according to the principles set out by Him.

Groschel calls out twelve areas he believes Christians are lacking in:

  • Not really knowing Him
  • Being ashamed of your past
  • Not being sure He loves you
  • Not believing in prayer
  • Not thinking God is fair
  • Not forgiving others
  • Not thinking you can change
  • Worrying all the time
  • Pursuing happiness at any cost
  • Trusting in money
  • Not sharing your faith
  • Not fully supporting church organizations

Craig Groeschel starts with a five-star concept: The idea that people who claim Christianity aren’t acting that differently than the world. Sadly, that’s where any real value of this book ends. The author offers a stream of stories and confessions to the reader, providing either a vacuous or suspect view of them.

Furthermore, Groschel falls right in line with the typical Churchianity of today in how he deals with these topics. The author is a supporter of all the suspect seeker-sensitive doctrines that mar the Church today. He espouses the personal relationship doctrine (a different Gospel), minimizes the importance and effect of sin in the life of the Christian by belittling it as “shame”, and supports the Old Testament tithe.

Groschel consistently favors his personal stories over the truth of Scripture, producing a book that is The Gospel of Groschel. This is in line with much of wayward Christianity, which seeks to meet “felt needs” instead of upholding Godly standards for living. He does provide a Scriptural veneer where he often shops for things that match his views, often pulling things wildly out of context or even providing false views of Christianity in trying to bolster his points. Groschel proves predominantly that he has very little understanding of the Christian faith, and has no business anywhere near Scripture let alone pastoring a church.

Overall, this book was an incredibly disappointing read, given the valuable premise that it starts with.  But Groschel misses that actions come out of the heart (Matthew 15:10-20), and that a heart with an incorrect faith will produce incorrect actions.  While his stories were mildly interesting and entertaining, the majority of the book is empty air, offering only worldly pop-psychology and spiritual junk food.  Unfortunately, Groschel is preaching the very thing that has caused this “atheist” problem to surface.  Beware this book!

Rating: 1 out of 10.

Book Cover Image Source: Amazon