Monday, February 11, 2013

The Gospel Coalition, and Biblically Correct Crowd

Posted by Hannah at 1:22 PM

polically correct Ben Carson
I saw an incredibly inspiring video this week.  The speaker’s name as Dr. Benjamin Carson.

It spoke on the current culture of today, and goodness yes it could even be applied within the faith culture as well.

Yes, he brings up his opinions on the political atmosphere, but I agreed with him on the Political Correctness.  We see people police EVERYTHING to death, and attach motive when it doesn’t need to be there.

The silliest example I can come up with recently was when Brent Musburger commented that the quarterback’s girlfriend Katherine Webb was a beautiful woman.  Everyone was having a hissie fit over this comment, and honestly there wasn’t anything wrong with it.  It was a compliment, and there was no ‘dirty old man’ motive behind it.  He was being complementary.  Then ESPN was pressured to have him apologize for the compliment.  It’s stupid.  Now we can’t compliment people nicely anymore?  She is beautiful…and??  Katherine herself commented that no apology was needed, because it wasn’t a ‘sexist’ thing to say.

Today in the faith community we see similar types of attacks – just as you seen the secular realm.  If you are comp, egal, liberal thinking, conservative thinking, etc.    Watch the debates, and you will see the similar tactics you see in the news media and secular politics today.  I guess we have our own brand of ‘biblically correct’ now.  How nice.  Sigh.

They take one thought or sentence and get all bent out of shape over it, and completely dismiss the overall message.  OR lets say you wish to speak about a debit in a line of thinking.  Do they stop to think about the debit?  No, they tell their readers what they REALLY meant.  Yes, most of the time it has NOTHING to do with what the principal of discussion or point they were trying to make.  How Christian of us.

We can’t debate anymore, because we are too busy demonizing.  If you are on THIS side then you automatically believe X, Y and Z.    We as a culture have completely lost the respect factor for fellow human beings.  It’s more popular to tear them down so we can hate them instead.  It breaks my heart.  Now we see to much of it within the church….of all places.  Shame on US!

Dr. Carson states:
Now, it’s not my intention to offend anyone. I have discovered, however, in recent years that it’s very difficult to speak to a large group of people these days and not offend someone. [laughter]
And people walk away with their feelings on their shoulders waiting for you to say something, ah, did you hear that? The pc police are out in force at all times. I remember once I was talking about the difference between a human brain and a dog’s grain, and a man — and a dog’s brain, and a man got offended. You can’t talk about dogs like that. [laughter] People focus in on that, completely miss the point of what you’re saying. [laughter] And we’ve reached reach the point where people are afraid to actually talk about what they want to say because somebody might be offended. People are afraid to say Merry Christmas at Christmas time. Doesn’t matter whether the person you’re talking to is Jewish or, you know, whether they’re any religion. That’s a salutation, a greeting of goodwill. We’ve got to get over this sensitivity. You know, and it keeps people from saying what they really believe.
And you have to wonder if that maybe the point of all this ugliness. Keeping people from saying what they really believe. We can’t point out nonsense anymore, because you get attacked with motive attached automatically.  It’s the popular thing to do! 

Sadly, this game is damaging to the fabric of our world.  Our Politian's do it, the media does it, and sadly the church also has used this craft as well.  The church sadly just spiritualizes it to justify themselves.

Dr. Carson starts out with some scripture verses:

Proverbs 11:9 With his mouth the Godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escapes.
Proverbs 11:12 A man who lacks judgement derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue
Proverbs 11:25 A generous man will prosper. He who refreshes others will himself, be refreshed.
2nd Chronicles 7:14 If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.

I had this video sitting on my computer for some days, and I didn’t know what I was going to do with it.  Then Mara From Bitter Waters to Sweet dropped a perfect example of what Dr. Carson was speaking about in the quote I mentioned above RIGHT in my lap!  The principal of the ‘biblically correct’ crowd that refuses to listen to what others have to say, but instead tells you they said something that wasn’t there at all.

Elizabeth Esther, among other bloggers started to speak about the ‘purity’ movement, and how some of its views can do more harm than good. 

On the surface the purity movement does have some decent ideals on the surface.  Here is a quote from their website:
The Father Daughter Purity Ball is a memorable ceremony for fathers to sign commitments to be responsible men of integrity in all areas of purity. The commitment also includes their vow to protect their daughters in their choices for purity. The daughters silently commit to live pure lives before God through the symbol of laying down a white rose at the cross. Because we cherish our daughters as regal princesses—for 1 Peter 3:4 says they are “precious in the sight of God”—we want to treat them as royalty.
One of the most memorable highlights of the ball is when the fathers stand in the middle of the ballroom and form a circle around their daughters standing all aglow in their lovely ball gowns. The fathers place their hands on their daughters, and together we pray for purity of mind, body, and soul for generations to come.
Now one item they do talk about is the role of father within their daughter's life.  They wish for them to feel treasured, because they feel if they do not they may stray to someone else’s arms and be hurt in the end.  There isn’t anything on the surface that is wrong with that premise!  A man of integrity is a treasure to anyone he encounters is my belief! 

What about the problematic parts that tend to hurt the fathers and the daughters?  It seems according to the Gospel Coalition you aren’t suppose to talk about that.  If you do you are questioning God’s plan for marriage, and you want a commitment free LOVE zone.  Problem is if you don’t talk about it YOU don’t SOLVE anything!

For example, when the girl fails when it comes to her virginity.  If we look at part of their mission statement above?  Her father doesn’t value her, or will no longer value her.  When you tend to overcompensate on one aspect, and you FAIL at that aspect….you start to question your worth.  The young girls at times are given the impression that their worth as a human has been lessoned in God’s eyes due to their sin.    If you listen to the documentary on this movement?  They are told this one failure will cause insurmountable damage to their husband and marriage.

Mr. Wilson – a founder of the movement – acknowledged ‘that 88 percent of girls who take a purity pledge would fail to keep the pledge until marriage, but placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of fathers who neglect to guide their daughters in decisions about relationships.’   So now you have girls that feel like damaged good, not valued by Daddy, and Daddy is to take on the entire responsibility because HE failed as well.  He not doubt will on some level, because the young man has to get his permission to court his daughter to begin with.

Isn’t there are more Christ like approach to this QUOTE failure – if and when it happens?  It’s okay to deal with what happened, and find a healthy way of moving on.  Christ will forgive us, and we shouldn’t  act like our world have just STOPPED and will be plagued from then on.  We can admit our guilt to God, but he doesn’t wish us to hold on to it as a badge of disgrace.  Consequences may follow of course, but we always need to remember his love, forgiveness and grace.  We can balance these things.  We can!

In the documentary, “The Virgin Daughters” a young lady named Jessica is very different. When she became 19 years old a young man asked her parents for permission to court her.  She intended to remain a virgin until marriage, and a result of not having any sex-education, she became pregnant .  Her story starts about the 18 minute mark in the documentary that I linked too.  The circumstance that she fell into – the guilt, shame, etc. was one aspect bloggers were wanted to start the discussion about.  You also need to talk about the guilt trip they are laying their Father’s as well!  Talking about this DOESN’T mean they endorse ‘sleeping around’ for goodness sakes.  Yet, for some reason the Gospel Coalition seems to say it does MEAN this.  So they had to ‘apply motive’.

So what does this all have to do with the Gospel Coalition? Well, check this title out for a discussion starter: Commitment-Free Critics and the 'Christian Virginity CultNice right?  They are loading their guns!

How I do know this?  Well they introduced Elizabeth by a description of: Former fundamentalist and current feminist
So we know right away they need to find something wrong with what she has said, and those that tend to agree with her opinion (Remember keyword FEMINIST here).  Although at the beginning they wanted to make you think they ‘somewhat’ agree with a feminist:
They all have a point. Too often in an over-sexualized culture, Christians engage in what Elizabeth Esther calls "reverse objectification." Purity policing leads to a strange objectivism—a surrender to the sexual message of the age. Christians risk ceding the argument that a woman is a purely sexual object when it comes to her visible physical nature. So in response, her body must be hidden or else made ugly to keep the spirit clean and pure. In the end, much unjust suffering comes down upon girls and the rest of society because of various abuses.
Then you realize they are coming from the Definition of feminist that Mary Kassian proclaims as truth!  How?  Look at their title of the first section of debate:  
‘Individualism Gone Wild’  Remember Mary Kassian’s website is called, Girls Gone Wise.  Her definitions of feminism is like a broken record that just keeps playing over and over and over again!  You take any aspect of life, and the feminist have GONE WILD with it, and of course they (Mary Kassian, or Gospel Coalition) have GONE ‘wise’ instead.  We have all heard the stereotypes about how feminism gets to define everyone, and whatever her definition of words/concepts are just IS!  Everything is individualist, and of course against what God had in mind.
Mary Kassian is the one that tends to remind us that feminist live the ‘sex in the city’ type of lifestyle, and if Elizabeth Esther and the others actually went down that road? They may have a point, but they didn’t! Just like in politics today, or the slanted media they decided to inform their readers what they were ‘really’ saying instead of what they actually DID say.   Just as a reminder – lets look again at one of Mary Kassian’s descriptions of the feminist:
We changed the rules of male-female relationships. We became loud, demanding, and aggressive. We boldly pushed back against traditional definitions of gender and sexuality. We claimed our freedoms. We traded in the “Leave it to Beaver” model of womanhood for the “Sex in the City” one. We bought into the feminist promise that woman would find happiness and fulfillment when she defined her own identity and decided for herself what life as a woman was all about. – Mary Kassian
Lets start with Gospel Coalition’s critique, and possible comprehension issues.
At the same time, all is not well with these virginity critiques. The underlying complaint seems to demand that we accept different decisions without critique or even regret. But sin—especially sexual sin—affects the entire community. Likewise, fornication (as with any other sin) interrupts communion between God and man and thus must be reconciled through Christ.
The sin of fornication is not minimized by "mutual consent." Contrary to popular belief, the Old Testament is not chauvinistically patriarchal, and the Scriptures are clear on sexual mores. The most honest skeptics intimate sexual standards based in an old book should be thrown out altogether. Couples "really committed" to each other, we hear, should be able to do as they please outside the bounds of traditional matrimony.
What a strange understanding of commitment! This new standard eliminates the risk of love. The traditional understanding of the marriage covenant requires trust, especially in the sexual realm. A couple is taking a plunge into the world of family life because they love each other. Couples who abstain until marriage tell one another, "I love you so much that I will surrender my body to you. I have denied the pleasures of a moment for a life tied to only yours in this dangerous world, from this point on."
Frankly, the definition of anyone they feel is a feminist seems to jade their comprehension of what was being said.  It’s almost as if they didn’t read the material AT ALL!  Shall we look at some of what was said by Elizabeth Esther?
Like other Christians, I talked about the “sacrifice” of abstinence. There were princess-themed books about saving our first kiss. Some of us wore purity rings and made pledges to our Daddies not to have sex until we’re married.
Ultimately, we implied that a woman’s inherent worth and dignity could be measured by whether or not a man has touched her.
I understand why we do this. Christians are alarmed by what we see as a sexually permissive society. America no longer seems to share our values. This scares us. The less sacred sex seems to the broader culture, the more sacred we insist on making it among fellow Christians.
The intention might be good but over-emphasizing the specialness of virginity has unintended, harmful consequences.
We start by making ridiculous promises to our daughters. We tell them that “sexual purity” is a guarantor of a more intimate married sex life. We tell them that if they “lose” their purity, they will never really get it back. Oh, yes. They can be forgiven. But. You know. They’re damaged goods.
Christians say that the world objectifies women through immodest dress and a permissive sexual ethic. However, by idolizing sexual purity and preoccupying ourselves with female modesty and an emphasis on hyper-purity, Christians actually engage in reverse objectivization.
Notice that Elizabeth Esther mentions that America no longer seems to share our values – and she is speaking about abstinence.  She acknowledges the ‘sexually permissive society’.  So how they get the ‘do as they please outside the bounds of traditional matrimony’?  Seems to be a VERY popular tactic in the  ‘we must attach a motive even if it isn’t there’ train of thinking.  OR – as I said before a serious ‘comprehension’ issue!  Take your choice!

They seem to accusing people that want to have this discussion that ‘losing your virginity’ is no big deal.  That’s NOT what they are saying.  They want to discuss how we handle it if people do.  BIG DIFFERENCE! 

Then the others I have read about state they bring this up so people don’t ‘feel bad’ about losing their virginity.  Yet, that was never addressed either.  Talking about what to do with those feelings, doesn’t mean not having them.  Hello!

The point was the term they acknowledged as: reverse objectification.  Sadly, it seems the Gospel Coalition has to much “Sex in the City” type of viewpoint towards her and others.  They have bent it so badly out of shape they honestly can’t seem to grasp what was being said.

People focus in on that, completely miss the point of what you’re saying.  - Dr. Benjamin Carson
For Heaven’s sake TAKE OFF the ‘Sex in the City’ glasses, and READ what was said!  There was no ‘commitment free’ comment there, and if there was?  No doubt you would have quoted it!  You didn’t though!  Why?  It wasn’t the point of the articles you linked too!

It’s bad enough that our Politian's and our media have to twist facts, quotes, and leave out the context of what is being said!   For an organization called, “The Gospel Coalition” to do the same?  Seriously?!  What happened to honesty, integrity?   Is this your example of ‘Godly Leadership’?  These beliefs are hurting the fathers, mothers, and children. 

If you watch the documentary they glorify relations to the point most virgin daughters are going to be surprised on the first night.   They don’t talk about the pain.  They don’t go down roads that need to discussed in other areas either within the marriage bed that happen.

They build up these poor fathers to be something quite honestly only CHRIST can be for them!  Father’s are important, but we need to find our value in Christ…no? 

If you listen to what they were saying?  They don’t get that part.  No doubt Christ is part of their life, but we seem to be placing loads to heavy on the fathers and children.  We can teach, guide, love etc. our children.  We can’t always hide the pain from life from them.  We may be successful in certain areas of pain, but life as a way of showing you other ones.  They seem to teach the men in their lifes will FIX that, and he just can’t do that.  It’s not possible, and they are setting up a train wreck.  Did you not notice that? 

My prospective on this, and the ones that are speaking out against this movement… and then we have the Gospel Coalition that is so tied up in their ‘sex it the city’ vision they can’t even acknowledge the issues!  It’s almost as if they go searching for that ‘sex in the city’ attitude, because it has to be there…I mean she is FEMINIST…RIGHT?!  How biblically correct of them.

No one said you shouldn’t save yourself for marriage.  They asked for discussion on how to handle things if you didn’t.   How would Jesus have us handle it?  What would he ask us to do with the guilt?  The shame? 
For generations, this model of marriage has proven remarkably resilient. In this context, love can be truly maddening—people do crazy things like have children together, stick together through debilitating diseases, and mutually endure declining health. On the other hand, what reason do the "really committed" have not to jump from one sex partner to the next? One could conclude that such "commitment" is merely strong emotion—a passion of the moment—that has little to do with true resolve.
Thankfully, healing is possible for couples who do not abstain. The gospel of Jesus Christ can overcome any sin! Still, pastors who counsel couples tell me the process of restoring trust is long and painful. Virginity does not make someone "better," but young Christians deny themselves the fullness of romantic love by fornication. They will only make things worse by lying to themselves about it.
For the longing singles among us, we have heard it said that love is patient. So go out there, date, and maybe get married. Just do not make allowance for the lustful flesh.
Guess what?  If you read the articles you linked to?  They were not asking people to LIE to themselves about it, but learn to move past it.  Big Difference. 

They were not tearing down the aspect of abstinence, or telling people to go for a commitment free relationship.  Hello!  Take off the sex it in the city glasses, and read what was SAID!  You might learn that even feminist’s don’t live the life Mary Kassian has been telling you about.  Shocking that it is – it can happen!

It’s okay to talk about this.  We MUST talk about this.  What they are scared of?  Talking about it doesn’t endorse it.  No doubt it started to happen after Adam and Eve…don’t you think its time to start?   I have to wonder if that isn’t the point of the silly commentary.  They feel people might think they are endorsing something that they can’t in good conscience.  Do they doubt their power of communication, or fear that others may put words or motives in their mouths?

What?  They don’t want the biblically correct crowd doing the same to them?

This article just SCREAMED we need to use our stereotypes about feminist’s, and wrap it around what was said so we can have the proper BIBLICAL aspect.  Did anyone else see the connection?  I saw it right away, and bugs me.

We’ve got to get over this sensitivity. You know, and it keeps people from saying what they really believe.  - Dr. Benjamin Carson

Other Articles of Interest

The Purity Conversation - My Two Cents
Sex, Marriage, and Evangelical Purity Culture

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Mara Reid on 2:12 PM said...

Thanks, Hannah, for taking the time to explore the implications of the Gospel Coalitions poorly conceived response to EE's excellent post on purity.
You have expressed it very well.

Sarah on 5:34 AM said...

I agree. I found Elizabeth Esther's post to be very balanced and didn't for a moment believe she was suggesting a sexual free-for-all.

I have recently read what was basically the character assassination of another blogger/author on Juicy Ecumenism IRD blog. The title of the post refers to this author as "Evangelical" the quotation marks around word mark the post-writer's territory pungently - you can almost hear the sneer: "Evangelical?" *snigger*. The comments following the post were hysterical and resorted to childish name calling. It would be so nice if Christians could review each others' books writing without knee-jerk reactions to the latest trigger word. For goodness sake, review the book - fine, critique the doctrine - yes, - but let's leave motive and whether the author is a 'real' Christian or not up to God. As you point out, this demonizing and lack of respect is depressingly familiar now amongst the brethren - the lines are drawn and the ammo is stockpiled.

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