Opinions on faith and life

Spiritual Turnoffs

2008-01-22

Recently I went net surfing to get a sense of why many people reject Christianity. Aside from the common “all religion is stupid” (to put it politely) and cut-and-paste rants, two principle complaints emerge:

  1. Calvinism
  2. Misogyny

It’s just a fact, people. Do a search and you’ll find many rejecting “a God who would make people sinners against their will and then send them to eternal hell for being sinners” (Calvinism), and others because of a blatant double standard between Christian men and women.

Calvinists will object of course, but I have not misquoted the expressed teachings of their founders and exalted proponents. When unbelievers tell you this is the reason they’re not Christians, you have to take a second look at what you’re teaching. But I really have said enough about Calvinism in my writings, and it isn’t the main point I’m writing about today.

In one of the articles that cited “Christian misogyny” as one, or the main, reason for rejecting Christianity, they cited an experience which repulses me as much as it does them. They related a trip to a restaurant, where the family seated next to them looked perfectly normal except for one glaring thing: the women alone were covered up completely and almost seemed to want to be as ugly and yet conspicuous as possible. The males were dressed as any other males in our society-- jeans, jackets, decently groomed-- but the women were wrapped in something like 1900s-era curtains. This gave the unbeliever the impression that Christian men hate their women and consider them property that should be hidden from other male eyes.

I agree that such terrible examples are responsible for turning people away from the message Jesus actually gave us, that things are supposed to be radically different among his followers. Instead of egalitarian Christians being the ones to bow to society, it’s the male supremacists, who freely admit that the societal norm throughout history has been clearly misogynistic. Only here in the west, in recent years, have Christian women begun to finally hear the message of freedom Jesus brought us, and Christian women were the driving force for women’s equality in the US. Yet somehow we are accused of being the ones to bow to society.

Even worse is the fact that most unbelievers take male supremacist theology as what the Bible actually teaches. They, too, have been sold the idea that it is God who hates women and has relegated them to second-class status at best, and evil witches and animals at worst. Part of the reason they believe the Bible says such evil things is because of the “church fathers” (see earlier post on “Misogyny’s War...”). But sadder still are the current efforts of many “Christian” leaders to reinforce this hatred of women. They are driving people away from the gospel!

But the God of the Bible says he loved the world (not just men, and not just some) and so sent Jesus, the Jesus who treated women like people and took them as students and important witnesses.

For any of you who have rejected Christianity because of Calvinism, please see my “Go To Heaven” article and check the Calvinism category. For those who have rejected Christianity because of misogyny, please see the Egalitarianism link here.

[Side note about “choice”: Some view Christianity’s anti-abortion views as misogyny but that’s a lie. The baby’s body is exactly that-- the baby’s body. It isn’t the woman’s body. She has no more right to kill the baby inside of her than she has to kill the baby after it’s born. No competent doctor still thinks the baby is merely an appendage or abnormal growth that has no genetics of its own and can therefore be removed like some tumor or defect. That lie won’t work anymore. Abortion is murder, plain and simple. Nobody has that right.]