Monthly Archives: June 2019

What Christians and Gay People Have in Common: Millennials Don’t Like Us

Atheists love to quote statistics about Millennials leaving churches “in droves,” supposedly because Christianity is a horrible religion, and the Millennials aren’t going to take it any more.

“It’s an ancient, irrelevant superstition that will be totally extinct in just a few years!” they insist gleefully.

religion is dying western world

To hear them tell it, the young people are always right.

If a millennial doesn’t like going to church, it’s the church’s fault…

The christians need to adjust their beliefs or be less judgemental, or simply do a better job giving young people what they want.

“Young people are finally figuring out that what they’ve been taught by religious parents is a joke!” I’ve been told this…dozens of times.

6.30.19 Leaving Church in Droves (#1)

So what does that say about the new polls that indicate young people are less and less tolerant of LGBT individuals?

Lol.

Check this out: “Results of the LGBTQ survey are alarming!”

“Young people are growing less tolerant of LGBTQ individuals, a jarring turn for a generation traditionally considered embracing and open, a survey released Monday shows.

The number of Americans 18 to 34 who are comfortable interacting with LGBTQ people slipped from 53% in 2017 to 45% in 2018 – the only age group to show a decline…”

The article goes on to theorize that millennials have been brainwashed by a hateful culture because they are very “impressionable.”

But that’s not what I’ve heard about the amazing intuitive powers of American young people!  I’ve heard they are simply good at recognizing bullsh*t, and they don’t feel the need to agree with you unless you’ve demonstrated a good reason for it!

I’ve heard millennials simply know what they want–and, they’re just waiting for you to ask, so they can help you do better.

Millennials don’t want to spend time hanging around Christians AND they don’t want to spend time with gay, trans, or queer folks…  Interesting, huh?

Just for the record, there have been HUNDREDS of articles (like this one) written about how churches can win back the millennials, by being more loving and more sincere and less awful.

If anyone from the LGBT community wants to read those articles to get the Millennials to like them, I’d be happy to pass a few to you!

😉

No need to thank me. But you’re welcome.

Together, both Christians and Gay/Trans People can learn how to win the approval of America’s youth.

Your Counselors are Killing You

Dear Suffering One,

I see you.
You’re asking for help in a hundred different ways…

The things you say–on your bad days, yes, but even on your good days–which say loud and clear that you’re hurting and searching for answers.

You talk about your many physical aches and pains, or your depression and anxiety, which are cropping up again.

Or you post dozens of songs and quotes and pictures, to which you’re clinging for a bit of hope. (Things like, “I’ll get through this” or “I’m a fighter” or “God’s got me.”)

Other times you’re very clear that you’re struggling:

Not Okay

Suffering One, I want to help you.

But, when I see the type of counsel you’re running toward, I’m just not sure how to intervene.   Quite frankly, I’m afraid your counselors are killing you, but that sounds so negative, doesn’t it?

That’s bad, because those deadly advisors have taught you to shut out the “negative” people who question anything you don’t want questioned.   “GET RID OF THE TOXIC PEOPLE,” they say.

“Just keep consuming what we’re feeding you.”

How can I help you get better when you think you’re already getting the treatment you need?

—–

There’s an eating disorder called “Pica,” in which people crave non-food items.

Hair?  Dirt?  Rocks? Paint chips?

A person with Pica wants to eat those things.

Here’s a lady who appeared on the show “My Strange Addiction,” because she couldn’t get enough toilet paper.

I can’t help thinking of this lady, when I see some of the “advice” y’all are validating on social media.

Stuff about remembering that you’re “enough”…

Stuff about how to be less of a “people-pleaser”…

How to diagnose all of your exes as “narcissists” and set up “boundaries” so that you can surround yourself with “supportive friends” rather than the “toxic” kind…

Suffering person, I have to tell you: that’s a whole lot of toilet paper you’re eating. 

So often, those encouraging quotes are paint chips and balls of hair which you’re devouring because no one wants to cross your boundaries by saying “WHOA, GROSS!”

I’m afraid you’re just going to call me a “hater,” just like your toilet-paper-eating counselors have said.

Too many of you suffering, broken, grieving, hurting, traumatized individuals have built walls around yourself, so that no one can get in except other hurting people…

…but now you’re in there, sharing paint chips with your friends, and all of you are wondering why you’re not okay. 

What can I do?  Can you even hear what I’m saying right now–through the wall?   Or have you already dismissed everything I’m trying to explain, because it doesn’t taste like Charmin?

How can I help you recognize healthy food?


 

Financial advisor Dave Ramsey often says, “Don’t take financial advice from broke people.” He gets frustrated because clients come to him, asking for help, and then they refuse to give up the lifestyle that led to being broke in the first place.

He writes:

“Taking financial advice from broke people is like taking dieting advice from fat people. In other words, it’s dumb.”

The point should be obvious: Show me where your advice comes from, and I’ll show you where YOU will be in the near future. 

So many confused and hurting people are allowing OTHER confused and hurting counselors to mentor them.

I actually know a Christian who recently shared an article about recovering from childhood trauma.  The article came from a website called “Let’s Queer Things Up.”  (That alone ought to give a discerning Christian something to think about.)

Furthermore, within the 2300-word opus, the blog author put himself in a position to assist other people with their trauma solely because HE is dealing with trauma himself.   Openly admitting to multiple patterns of unhealthy behavior, including addictions and eating disorders, and he eventually writes this:

“I’m sharing this because, holy shit, my friends, the number of traumatic relationships I’ve thrown myself into — professionally, personally, romantically — to get stuck in this cycle, with my self-esteem pulverized, has made my heart so heavy.”

I’d like to speak with anyone who thinks this guy is in a position to help Christians with their “self-esteem.”   But it seems to me that he presumes to be a teacher (James 3:1), because he comes from a culture that says the best counselors have “walked a mile in your shoes.”

(Some of you have found that to be a shareable meme!)

walk mile my shoes

 

The problem is, the “walk in my shoes” rule requires your advisors to come stand where you are–in the pain and confusion–which is the opposite of wisely choosing advisors who are walking in the shoes you would like to wear someday.

You’re taking hiking advice from people wearing your busted-up boots.

You’re taking spiritual advice from Spiritually Broke people.   

I know those Spiritually Broke people are calling their methods “healing” or “therapy” or “empathy.” But, really, they can’t offer anything other than toilet paper*.

(*The author of the above article endorses Pete Walker, M.A.–to whom he gave glowing praise for shaping his thinking. It turns out, Mr. Walker’s “self-help” books are based on the tenants of Taoism, which is an ancient, godless philosophy that contains all the nutritional value of 2-ply.)

…but there’s no point in delving further, if you’re more concerned about having a wallow-buddy to commiserate with than a successful person who can teach you how to grow.

Suffering, traumatized people, my heart goes out to you.  I’d really love to support your recovery.  But, if you crave unhealthy things, I simply can’t in good conscience give you what you’re asking.  Trust me, I get no pleasure for standing by helplessly–immovably– while you beg for more of what you’re getting from Let’s Queer Things Up.

All I can do is ask God for Wisdom on your behalf: asking Him to change our appetites and lead us in the path of righteousness, so that both of us can walk more loyally in HIS shoes.

I ask God to supernaturally intervene and protect us from unqualified counselors, who are only dishing up more and more of what is killing us…   

 

How to Empower a Young Girl

Last week, my dad wrote a letter to girls who let their boyfriends paw all over them…   

It was probably tough for some young ladies to hear.  But, actually, it was a very encouraging and EMPOWERING message if you know where real, lasting confidence comes from.

We empower people–both men and women–by giving them the opportunity to take ownership of their decisions. We empower them by giving them the tools to change their mistakes. 

Unfortunately, there are people who struggle with this truth, because holding people accountable feels kind of mean.  It feels like “ganging up” on girls to write a letter directly to them…

Sometimes empathetic Christians want to stand up for the girls and shield them from the empowerment process, because they mistakenly see it as some type of punishment.

These people may say something like this:

Now, it’s important to understand that I’m not sharing this screenshot (unedited) in order to PUNISH Jenna.   I’m sharing it because taking ownership for the things we say/write in public is one step in the Empowerment Process.  If I’m misunderstanding or misjudging Jenna, then I am accountable for that.  It makes me a stronger woman to dialog with people and identify disagreements and to defend the truth to the best of my ability…

…and, when I’m wrong, it makes me stronger to admit it and apologize. 

But, by the same token, Jenna is accountable for the incongruent statements she makes about “shame,”  and she is accountable for devaluing the “Letter to Girls” by changing the subject toward a topic that she likes better.  (By the way, my dad DID address the boys in the original post, and he also wrote this follow-up letter to appease those who found his focus unbalanced.)

Anyway, I’m passionate about helping women like Jenna start to explore the question of where REAL empowerment comes from…because I worry that her interest in “Boys-as-Intiators” ends up weakening the girls/women in the long run.

She’s certainly not doing it intentionally!  But it’s not helpful to introduce words like “shame” into the conversation when a teen girl is being given a Dad Talk.  In that moment, remember that the Dad genuinely cares about the girl, and his confidence in her intelligence is motivating him.  For Heaven’s sake, THANK HIM for loving the girls enough to pour wisdom into them… don’t get in the way!

Again–it’s important to be clear:  my goal is to give both Jenna and Ashley the opportunity to DEFEND their position, or to CLARIFY their comments, or to CORRECT their view, if they no longer stand behind their original points.

But, if they are unable to do that, I suspect they are still in need of the very same Dad Talk they had a problem with…  Ironic, huh?

It truly burdens me that so many Christian women lack confidence in their beliefs…but it’s hard to help them understand that real confidence comes from being challenged over and over and over.  (Real confidence doesn’t come from asking the pastor to talk to your boyfriend for you.)

It’s frustating because insecure women sometimes lash out and/or they delete their comments.

Sometimes they even block me.

But very few are willing to learn how to take criticism and RISE to a challenge. 

If we looked at disagreement as an opportunity to GROW, it would change the world.  Hundreds, maybe thousands, of women who currently feel weak and uncertain and easily-intimidated would start to come out of their shells…knowing that whether they are wrong or their opponent is wrong, the most important thing is seeking the Truth together.

I wish I had the opportunity to tell Jenna and Ashley that we are all on the same team. We’re daughters of God and sisters in Christ, who have no reason to feel squeamish when someone tries to correct us.  In fact, the Bible says a wise person LOVES correction and LOVES the opportunity to learn.

Instead of defending young girls when they are being given a lesson–we should THANK the teachers who are brave enough to empower them in a culture which calls that “sexist.”

Instead of BLOCKING a Christian sister who says, “You’re absolutely wrong about this” perhaps thank her for the chance to learn something new?

I know it’s hard.  Actually, getting along with people who think differently is a miracle of the Holy Spirit! (No joke.)

But maybe…just maybe…the next time we see a man writing a letter to the BOYS, we will have the perspective to say, “I certainly hope you plan to write a letter to the girls, as well.  They are capable of making decisions and learning from their mistakes as well. Give them the gift of correction!”

Please, please, respect women and girls enough to hold them accountable for the things they say and do.   They will be stronger for it.