Boundless continues to beat “the only true beauty is a good personality” drum.

17 Oct

I guess it’s been too long since Boundless reminded everyone that your personality is the only thing that matters, so they had uberbeta Andrew Hess whip up an article that not only shames people for liking attractive people of a healthy weight, but also blames pornography for unrealistic standards of beauty.  (Um…has he seen the women who act in porn?  Unrealistic, yes.  Beautiful….um.)

The whole article was completely all over the place, as if Hess were grabbing at anything that could even slightly strengthen his argument, which basically boiled down to, “Pretty people have it better, and that sucks.”

First, he lamented the old Sprite slogan that said “image is everything.”  Because darn it, some people actually believe that image matters.   Then he was sad that people had to debate whether a fat man was fit to be President (no shout-out to William Howard Taft?), and even slammed The Biggest Loser for providing the drama of watching obese people lose weight “fast.”

Next, he brought up the ominous statistics of the $60 billion-a-year weight-loss industry and the 75 million Americans currently on diets.  (And this is a bad thing because…?)  And whoa, can’t forget the whole clothing and makeup markets.  Tsk, tsk.

Then Hess asked us what the “real costs of a culture over-emphasizing image and attractiveness” are.  Wellllll, if fat Americans going on diets – and statistically, the U.S. has a majority of its adult population that is overweight – and wanting to dress fashionably constitute “over-emphasizing image and attractiveness,” is that necessarily a bad thing?  Shouldn’t a nation of fat people desire to be less fat?

But instead of discussing his own ideas of what would constitute an ideal world (where I guess it doesn’t matter if you’re fat), Hess bizarrely then starts bashing pornography as creating a population unable to appreciate true beauty.  WHAT?!?  Is he honestly trying to say that if pornography didn’t exist, the average person would find fat people more attractive?  I mean, it sure sounds like it.

Hess then makes an appeal to the spiritual:

The teachings of Jesus and the other New Testament writers point people toward a focus on spiritual realities rather than physical ones. In fact, Peter clearly instructed first-century women to focus on their inner beauty rather than the external, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:3-4). Peter taught women to think about beauty in terms of their spiritual conformity to Christ’s character, and in the same way, men should think about image and attractiveness in terms of character.

Hess is trying to tie two things together that don’t belong together.  Peter correctly admonishes women to cultivate their personalities, because physical beauty is temporary.  But I’m pretty sure Peter wasn’t speaking to a room full of Weight Watchers members, either.  These verses aren’t an excuse to let yourself go crazy with the Ho-Hos because you’ve got a good personality.

Hess continues:

When the Bible describes the beauty of Christ, it always speaks of His love, His humility, His sacrifice for His people, His continuing work as their mediator, and many other things He is and does. It never even mentions what He looked like. We must learn to see the beauty in ourselves and others in the same way.

This is classic churchian logic:  your exterior doesn’t matter so long as your ~heart~ is beautiful.  But this is utterly ridiculous, because deep down, people know that their insides eventually show up on their outsides.  That is how most people can (often correctly) identify people’s character traits from their appearances.  You wouldn’t want a disheveled, sloppy person to work for you, because that sloppiness indicates interior character failings.  So why are we as Christians continually asked to pretend we are blind?  I’m not advocating a lack of compassion by any means, but I really resent being told to ignore cues that are necessary for society to operate properly.

Hess finishes up:

In a culture that boasts image is everything, let’s remember true beauty is a heart growing in the likeness of Jesus Christ. We should regularly recalibrate our hearts upon eternal reality and not spend our time, energy and money chasing physical beauty that simply will not last. Turns out godliness is everything; image is a distant second … if that.

Absolutely unfair to apply this kind of thinking to something that is a true problem and is unhealthy for society, to families, and to individuals.  But maybe it’s just indicative of the culture as a whole, that perspectives are that out of whack that someone can write an article like this and think it represents a well-thought-out idea some sort of social justice.

It would be nice if Boundless could produce a writer who could craft a persuasive argument that was worth reading.

 

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171 Responses to “Boundless continues to beat “the only true beauty is a good personality” drum.”

  1. Eumaios October 17, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    “We direct the fashionable outcry of each generation against those vices of which it is in the least danger, and fix its approval on the virtue that is nearest the vice which we are trying to make endemic. The game is to have them all running around with fire extinguishers whenever there’s a flood; and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gone under.”

  2. Eumaios October 17, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Boundtard: “In fact, Peter clearly instructed first-century women to focus on their inner beauty rather than the external,”

    This kind of thing is the exact reason I no longer tolerate churchians. I mean to say (as Bertie Wooster might say), the facile equation of “adornments” with bodily physical beauty is pretty rummy, and deserves 39 of the juiciest.

  3. A October 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    A romantic relationship must be at least partially based on sexual attraction, at least in the beginning, and sexual attraction in women is based on looks. This is just reality. It may sound bad, but in practice it mostly isn’t.

  4. Jennifer October 17, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    “Wellllll, if fat Americans going on diets – and statistically, the U.S. has a majority of its adult population that is overweight – and wanting to dress fashionably constitute “over-emphasizing image and attractiveness,” is that necessarily a bad thing?”

    Haley, you’re going from one extreme to the other. I don’t think the Weight Watchers comment was necessary or even relevant; many members are not near morbid obesity and are there, in fact, to watch their looks. Our culture IS obsessed with looks and the result is women obsessing over defeating the forces of nature and age with artificial means. It should say something that America is the most image-obsessed country AND one of the most overweight. We’re either getting shot with messages that say “You’re perfect the way you are!!” or “Honey, those 130 pounds don’t look good on you, try slimmin’ down, like that air-brushed model up there.”

    “I’m not advocating a lack of compassion by any means, but I really resent being told to ignore cues that are necessary for society to operate properly.”

    That’s a good statement.

  5. Jennifer October 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    Holy gosh, the author even LOOKS like a major beta..*knocks head on the desk*

    It wasn’t a horrible article, but it left so much out; basically rehashed a lot of been-made statements about inner beauty without really addressing anything new, or the important stuff in-between. The people on “Biggest Loser” are hugely overweight, and I love seeing them succeed at gaining healthy standards. There are other great articles on the site, but they definitely need a less squishy feel.

    “In Italy, prosecutors claimed Amanda Knox’s beauty helped her win her murder trial appeal.”

    That’s a better example of beauty over sense. How anyone could find that little b*tch likable is beyond me, beauty or no.

    But he also said, “good news for the beautiful, bad news for everyone else.” Making it sound like you can’t help whether you’re beautiful or not. Actually, most people can; most people can be beautiful. Let’s face it: no matter how much I agree about love over looks, I never ever stop loving the moment in films when the former geek/overweight person becomes better kept and stunning. Never ever; I still sigh a little when I see Anne Hathaway emerge with that incredible face in “Princess Diaries”.

  6. jkcrosslin October 17, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    There really is a link to media saturation and not finding those around you locally attractive.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200107/why-i-hate-beauty

    This can be true of porn too. Look at this quote from another article.

    “Here’s a very recent PT post comment from a 15-year old, distressed because he’s noticing that his classmates aren’t turning him on. Only porn is getting the job done. (In contrast, my husband assures me that he was walking around with a perpetual erection at 15.)”

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201007/not-all-warnings-about-porn-are-moralistic-or-unscientific

    My whole point being that not all of the modern day American male or female’s problems with attraction are due to fatsos walking around. A lot of it is due to over-stimulation and the creation of overly high expectations by media and societal pressure to believe a certain modern day fantasy about what is normal and expected in one’s prospects when one looks for a mate.

    That’s not to say that people shouldn’t get physically fit. In fact there are a lot of links between good physical fitness and good mental and emotional health, just that the author of the original article does have a few good points. And really if one’s unplugging from excessive media consumption, then they’re probably doing something constructive with their mind, soul or body anyway.

  7. anonymous x October 17, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    I want someone who takes care of herself both internally and externally. And does so because she wants to be consistent throughout her life.

    It’s no good to be a real Christian believer in the mind if she’s treating her body like crap by ingesting too much food and not wanting to take long walks, let alone see the inside of a gym. Or dressing like People of Walmart. Or both.

    At the same time, it’s no good to be fit, dress well and feed herself right if she’s spouting the feminist party line either in the church or outside of it. Or otherwise has a disagreeable disposition.

    If genetics have not rendered her too ugly, then if she does both, she should get noticed by men looking for those kind of women. Hopefully before her sell-by date. Of course some of that is to figure out where those men are. Hint… they are not likely to be attending your church. Or theirs.

  8. njartist49 October 18, 2011 at 5:22 am #

    I can only assume that the men at Boundless, and each according to his rank, has incredibly ugly beautiful wives and/or girlfriends; leaving the most poor beautiful women for the loser sinners.

    At moments like these, I always imagine their wives chasing cats down the road.

  9. Will S. October 18, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    The dumbass there doesn’t even get the Sprite slogan right; in fact, he gets it exactly backwards: “Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst.”

    If you’re going to start an article with a quote, get the bloody quote right. Otherwise I can’t be bothered to read beyond the first error.

  10. Chris October 18, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    Will, you know more pop culture than me. Everyone, being fat and unfit decreases more than your dating value… the. churchians are tolerating gluttony

  11. AnonymousDog October 18, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    People are attracted to what they’re attracted to. If a guy is attracted ti thin, glamorous women, fine, he doesn’t have to be shamed as ‘shallow’. But by the same token a guy attracted to curvy, ‘voluptuous’ women shouldn’t be shamed as a ‘chubby chaser’ either.

    It’s one thing to encourage people to aspire to fitness, it’s another to tell people what they should or should not be attracted to.

  12. Jennifer October 18, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Amen, Dog.

  13. Jennifer October 18, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Meant to add this above: actually, America’s not the most image-obsessed country. If Meg Cabot is right, Cuba actually has women surgically removing their calf muscles to slim down their legs. That’s so gross I can’t even re-read it..

  14. terri October 18, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    I think JkCrosslin and Anonymous Dog both raised excellent points.

    It is entirely true that the more you saturate your mind with media images of perfection, the harder it will be to see anything attractive in someone normal. This is common sense.

    Additionally, I agree that everyone should try as mush as possible to eat well and live a healthy life. But if everyone underwent a drastic lifestyle change today and stuck with it, not every woman would be a size 4 or even a 6. But there will still be men interested in those women who are their best physical selves.

    It’s true that (online at least), if a man indicates that he is attracted to anything outside of the media approved image of beauty he can be branded a chubby chaser even if the woman isn’t chubby.

    The boundless guy is a bit out of line here, frankly. To try to force men to be attracted to women that don’t do it for him is just as wrong as convincing men that the only women worth dating and marrying are the ones who are picture perfect.

    Live and let live I say. At least on this issue. A Christian guy has the sense to make a decision based on the right things. And if he doesn’t want a fat girl or a short girl or whatever, there is absolutely no sin in that.

  15. Aunt Haley October 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    jkcrosslin–
    “Here’s a very recent PT post comment from a 15-year old, distressed because he’s noticing that his classmates aren’t turning him on. Only porn is getting the job done. (In contrast, my husband assures me that he was walking around with a perpetual erection at 15.)”

    I agree that consumption of porn or just of media images can alter your perceptions of attractiveness in a way that is out of the norm. But Boundless tends to indulge in the apex fallacy when it comes to porn: that anyone who looks at porn is going to become a porn junkie who can’t find a healthy, normal-sized, normally proportioned woman attractive. This is just not true. How many of that 15-year-old’s classmates were ALSO looking at porn but still having no trouble finding their female peers attractive? Probably most of them.

    Will S.–
    The dumbass there doesn’t even get the Sprite slogan right; in fact, he gets it exactly backwards: “Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst.”

    QFT.

    AnonymousDog–
    But by the same token a guy attracted to curvy, ‘voluptuous’ women shouldn’t be shamed as a ‘chubby chaser’ either.

    It’s a sign of the times that being curvy or voluptuous is somehow equated with being overweight.

    Granted, the female figure that is now en vogue is a thin, athletic, boyish one. But even if you look at the more voluptuous screen sirens of old movies, those women were in no way fat or even close to chubby.

  16. y81 October 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Haley is right, that article is certainly all over the place. America is a large and diverse place, and it’s generally not possible to fit all phenomena into one template. In this case, Sprite ads, weight watcher campaigns and pornography fit rather uneasily into the template of “too much concern with image over reality.”

    But Haley is making something of the same mistake. On the one hand, out in real America, there are lots of people with serious weight problems. A hundred years ago, traveling 50 miles from a city would put you among oafish peasants (in Europe) or clueless Rip Van Winkles (in America). Nowadays, it puts you among flesh mountains.

    On the other hand, there aren’t too many fat, slovenly people in upscale urban areas, or in urban, “seeker’s” churches. What there are a lot of is guys who care primarily about a girl’s hotness, and girls who care primarily about a guy’s earnings. Our pastor commented once to the effect that romantic relationships at our church were more astringent, but not less superficial, or somee such.

  17. Will S. October 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    @ Chris: I used to watch television, and a lot of it.

  18. OffTheCuff October 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    How many of that 15-year-old’s classmates were ALSO looking at porn but still having no trouble finding their female peers attractive? Probably most of them.

    Right, and that kid probably doesn’t even know what he’s talking about. I bet you you a case of beer if you got one of his cute cheerleader classmates to kiss his neck, and stick her hands down his pants, that his junk would react JUST FINE.

    You can’t fool the body, it knows when there is a real woman there, who is a real prospect.

    The whole porn-causing-too-high-standards-causing-ED idea is a joke. See: Coolidge Effect, The.

    What excessive porn *can* do is deprive guys of the initiative and risk-taking necessary to date a real girl. That’s just a subconscious cost-benefit analysis – he gets 25% of the feeling at 0.1% effort with 100% chance of success. (Note I say excessive, as in more than a few times a day.) 25% of something is better than all of nothing. It has nothing to do with finding real women less attractive. It purely is a risk-reward thing.

  19. Chris October 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Look, some time ago… I had a fight with Alte that the sneaky miss turned into a post. Looks matter, being fit matters — when I say long walks I mean four to six hours. But playing music and reading voraciously are huge plusses.

    traditionalcatholicism.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/does-game-matter-equally-everywhere/

    And Terri it is not about being model thin. It is being right size for you… and many of us (me included) are too fat.

  20. terri October 18, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    And Terri it is not about being model thin. It is being right size for you… and many of us (me included) are too fat.

    Yes Chris, I agree. I said as much right here:

    I agree that everyone should try as mush as possible to eat well and live a healthy life.

    I said that women should work to be their best physical selves.

    Look, I work out every day and spend an inordinate amount of time chopping vegetables for salad when it would be easier to grab some of my husband’s potato chips, LOL. I’m not excusing the tendency to let yourself go.

    I am not fat now but for a full two years after having my last baby I was way too fat. I’ve been on both sides. I was simply pointing out that Jcross had a point. Unhealthy levels of media consumption can cause a distorted view of what’s normal and what’s not.

  21. Will S. October 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Hear hear, OffTheCuff. Guys know, that they’re never going to meet a woman like the airbrushed picture-perfect images they see in porn, in real life. Whereas women really expect to be swept off their feet by their ‘soulmate’ like they see in ‘Twilight’, and romance novels, or find life as exciting as ‘Sex in the City’, and get disappointed that real men aren’t / real life isn’t like that. IMO, chick porn is worse than guy porn in creating unrealistic impressions of the opposite sex. But because the Church only goes after consumption of photographic porn, unrealistic romance-novel, Hollywood-film-and-TV fantasies are eagerly consumed by silly girlies, and influence behaviours, even of adults; witness the revolting, appalling spectacle of ‘Twilight Moms’…

  22. Spencer P October 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    I’m liking y81’s comment.

    Slovenliness and gluttony are problems.

    Vanity and superficiality are problems.

    The question is, which of these is *most prevalent* in Boundless’s target audience? Speaking for my church, most of the singles tend to appear healthy and dress appropriately. I don’t know the hearts of all my fellow churchgoers, but if they aren’t having issues with weight, then perhaps a post against vanity *is* more beneficial to them.

    Hess’s complete shunning of physical beauty does seem extreme. As a man, yes, I want to “think about image and attractiveness in terms of character”–but not exclusively in those terms.

  23. jack October 19, 2011 at 12:40 am #

    OffTheCuff has correctly diagnosed the porn issue. Risk/reward is everything.

    The excessively picky, implacable average girl is beyond the reach of her male peers.

    The loss of physical response to women is the realization that most of those women will reject you, carousel-ride or carousel-watch for her 20s and 30s, and then grudgingly marry you at 36-ish. Sex will be dispensed like canned rations on a drifting ship: for minimal sustenance and occasional motivation.

    Any girl who is trapped in the Twilight mindset is simply seeking a raging girl-boner. This is just lust, erroneously renamed “romance”.

    We cannot put the toothpaste back into the tube – the majority of our women have been poisoned by pop culture and it will probably be at least a couple of generations until some trend back to the norm is realized.

    The parallel as I see it is the 40 years the Israelites spent in the desert. A whole generation had to die off before God could deliver them fully. And I think this is going to happen to us – this generation and probably the next will have to go the distance into old age, and pass away unmourned by spouse or child.

    I have one younger sibling that I plan to leave my assets to when I go (in 30 years or so), and that will be that. It does give me some satisfaction that I will be depriving some selfish woman of my attention, caring, loyalty, and provision.

  24. Eumaios October 19, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    Will S.: “IMO, chick porn is worse than guy porn in creating unrealistic impressions of the opposite sex.”

    Stories have more power to subvert than do images. The pen is more powerful than the porn.

  25. Will S. October 19, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Exactly.

    And evangelical church culture even has ‘Christian romance’ novels – Janette Oke, etc. But no-one takes issue enough with this to actually confront and challenge it. Imagine the uproar, if someone were to suggest ‘Christian porn’. Why the double-standard? ‘Boundless’ shows which worldview dominates in evangelicalism, who evangelicalism caters to. That’s why I left it behind for a more conservative, traditionalist, confessional Reformed church, nine years ago.

  26. Eumaios October 19, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    Calling romance novels “porn for women” isn’t really accurate, even though it suggests the right ideas to those who have ears to hear. The danger to women is in the dramatic structures which culminate in erotic scenes, not the actual erotic matter. Narrations of hot monkey love don’t subvert anything worth subverting.

    A romance novel containing nothing a churchian would recognize as a sin can still be pernicious and culturally destructive. Normal people will not understand us if we call such things pornography.

  27. Eumaios October 19, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    A question then is: What language can we use to subvert the subversion of romance novels? Best I can do:

    * Christian sexual fantasy novels
    * Esther II, Christian Boogaloo

  28. CL October 19, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    Jennifer reveals her nature again. She loathes betas and engages in shit slinging with the hardest seeming men on the Internet (Will, Svar, TFH…) Another argument for “all women are, indeed, like that”.

  29. Jennifer October 19, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Spencer, awesome post; nailed it everywhere. And emotional games can indeed be very risky, especially flamed by fiction. One critic of a Christian book with stories and advice said, “The author tells girls never to spend time fantasizing about boys or reading even pure romance books because ‘their hearts aren’t ready to be afire’, yet she does constantly describe men as knights in shining armor?” It was an excellent point. Though since the author raised her girls in a conservative Christian circle, they were more likely to marry the kind of traditional, super-protective “knight-like” guys.

  30. Hana October 19, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Will S. – have you read Janette Oke novels? I don’t see how they can realistically be called the equivalent of porn, even “female porn.” Most people who are anti-pornography argue that it creates unrealistic expectations of sex. I would agree that romance novels like Twilight often do create unrealistic expectations of romance, so I see the equivalent there. But Janette Oke novels? The romance is cliched and maybe idealistic, but not all that unrealistic. To me, Janette Oke novels are the equivalent of a photograph of an attractive, clothed woman. Both can stimulate fantasy in the mind of the reader/beholder, but neither are “pornographic.” Not all romance novels are harmful, and neither are all images of attractive women.

    On the other hand, Twilight and Harlequin romance novels are different. They do create wildly unrealistic notions of romance….just like pornography creates wildly unrealistic notions of sex. I think that’s the core of the problem, the way jkcrosslin’s articles explain it. It’s like the North American diet – full of sugar and fat! A lot of us – especially if we’re young – can get by without any ill effects from eating unhealthy stuff. Similarly, guys can watch porn and still be attracted to “real women” and girls *can* (yes, really!) read romance novels in a detached way that recognizes them for fantasy. But that doesn’t mean porn, or romance novels, are good for you any more than the typical North American diet is healthy.

    Which goes right back to the idea of obsession with weight/image in America. I think…if one half of the population is hyper-aware of their looks and goes to considerable lengths to maintain an image, and the other half of the poulation has given up completely…there is a real problem somewhere!

  31. Will S. October 19, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Hana, no, truthfully I haven’t (no interest, being a guy), but I did glance at a couple of them, once or twice, in a Christian bookstore, just out of curiosity; like Eumaios clarifies, romance novels in general are not like porn in terms of being sexual, but in terms of fantasy / wish-fulfilment; women dream of the sorts of romances depicted in romance novels, while guys dream of the kind of sex they see in porn. So Eumaios is correct to say the two are not exactly the same, but there is an analogue, in general.

    That said, I’m sure there is a difference between Janette Oke and the world’s romance novels and chick flicks / TV, but I wonder if it’s a distinction that is hardly important, in terms of ultimate effects: yes, Janette Oke is going to be more ‘chaste’, but are her novels going to create as unrealistic impressions of what a romance should be like, as do SATC and Twilight, and is this as unrealistic as guys’ impressions, based on porn, of what sex and sexual relations, ought to be like? That is my concern. Maybe I’m mistaken. Maybe Oke’s novels are like some of the erotic literature out there aimed at couples; I’ve seen some, though obviously none that is Christian, per se; that would be unthinkable.

    I guess I think men and women would be better off without porn AND romance novels / films, and I wish the church would encourage both sexes to abstain from both. And I’m not sure that Christian romances are any better. I think very little, from what I’ve heard of them, of the movies like ‘Fireproof’, and the like.

  32. Old Guy October 19, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    “I agree that consumption of porn or just of media images can alter your perceptions of attractiveness in a way that is out of the norm.”

    Is there any reason to think this is so? It makes for a plausible narrative: a man’s senses adapt to representations of exceptional or artificial female beauty and he becomes desensitized to the women around him. Exceptional or artificial beauty becomes the new normal for him, and he loses interest in normal women, somewhat as he becomes unable to detect the cooking smells that linger in his own home.

    Haley suggests this isn’t common or representative and OffTheCuff elaborates. (I was going to say “agrees and amplifies” but realized that’s not the term of choice.) They’re right to be sceptical.

    Lots of plausible narratives, particularly narratives about psychological processes, are false and this one has the look of a convenient myth. Media representions of women are unrepresentative and porn is nasty, but the idea that these are bad or worse because they turn men off normal women is just barking. Are any men actually like that?

  33. Jennifer October 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Hanna, I’ve read numerous books with romance, sappy and otherwise; there can be pretty large distinctions and similarities. Janette Oake is somewhat sappy at worst, from what I’ve seen, but her books are wonderful, as are stories like “Fireproof”, that prove there are people who are different, dedicated to God and each other. Harlequin is trash, encouraging both unhealthy and unrealistic erotic fluff, and don’t get me started on Twilight (though that at least has suspense and a plot). There are plenty of “gentle” novels, though, pure in heart and content, that are also misleading. Check out Lori Wick’s gentle, mushy-hearted people in peaceful towns. Simply put: ew. Not all her books are like that, but those that are lose my patience fast.

  34. Will S. October 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    ‘Fireproof’ is more evil male-bashing misandrist feminazi femingelical agit-prop; ditto with all the other movies that church has created. Over at Full of Grace, Seasoned With Salt, we’ve discussed such, including the new movie those twits have recently put out:

    http://fullofgraceseasonedwithsalt.blogspot.com/2010/06/movie-about-biblical-fatherhood-at.html

    Fellow Christian MEN (I’m not talking to the wimminz, so don’t bother jumping in, any biotches so tempted to confront me, go jump inna lake): I’m not giving these damnfools one red cent of my hard-earned money, and I’d encourage you to think long and hard, whether you want to really do so, too. Or, for that matter, whether you want to attend a ‘church’ that supports such, whose church culture encourages people to go see these; where people pass around DVD copies of ‘Fireproof’ and other such movies, as, alas, I found to be the case at a church I used to attend (where, also, children at their Christian school were told it’s okay for girls to hit boys, but not okay for boys to hit girls. I’m not joking; that was the case, at the Canadian Reformed Church’s elementary school in the Toronto area; the kids themselves there told me about that. No way, should I ever live there again and be married, would I let my kids be propagandized thus.). I say, leave the used-up, worn-out, man-hating churches, and find one that doesn’t bash you, just because you’re a man. To hell with them. And I mean that, literally; I’m not taking the Lord’s name in vain, or using strong language frivolously; I mean every word I say here.

  35. y81 October 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    I agree with Off the Cuff (and, relatedly, with Haley). No guy is turned off real women by porn. For one thing, most porn actresses aren’t that good-looking. I mean–showing my age here–Michelle Pfeiffer is stunningly, hauntingly beautiful; Jenna Jameson is no prettier than a hundred girls you might see on the street, although she displays a greater enthusiasm for immediate fellatio than most of them do. What porn does is offer an inferior substitute, which I agree could cause some guys not to do the work of meeting and courting actual women. But solitary drinking, or TV, or various other activities can do the same.

    On the other side, do romances cause women to turn away from real relationships? My impression was that most readers were married women in boring marriages, not single girls sitting at home pining for a pirate captain to ravish them. But others may know more than I.

  36. Eumaios October 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Porn offers a substitute for variety.

  37. Jennifer October 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Will, believe it or not, I had the same thoughts about Fireproof. It wasn’t man-hating at all, but the wife was such a brat I wanted to smack her. After the movie, I jumped online right away and wrote a review fuming about her, discussing how spoiled she was. But after re-watching it, while I still think she’s a brat, I noted some reasons why she was so irate the whole time: she was scared shitless. Her husband had good friends who encouraged him; her friends pandered to her and filled her with doubt. And at first, his efforts to her were half-hearted, and she came home after his first few gestures to find him once again looking at porn. Needless to say, that killed it, and it cemented her fear that he was just trying to butter her up for the divorce like one of her friends suggested.

    Then, her husband found Christ and had the foundation of Him as well as his Christian friends; his wife had neither and was basically confused and scared, not sure whether to trust him (he never told her he converted and really wanted to save the marriage). I was still royally pissed with her and skip part of one scene, but the message of the film was not about men being bad at all, or even doing all the work, but about persevering when times are hard. In fact, we find out that when Kirk Cameron’s father’s marriage was bad, it was the wife who did the Love Dare and fought for the marriage when she received resistance.

    I think films like “Courageous” are vital because they’re aimed towards encouraging and celebrating men, and we need this. A book based on the film is out, called “The Resolve” for men, and there’s also a “Resolve” book for women. Both say women need to be submissive in marriage.

    I disagree with the guy on Laura’s blog who said men have a higher responsibility in marriage. In response to Terry though, Tyler Perry is awesome; in his film “Why did I get Married”, both sexes are held accountable and the worst wife (and ex-wife) are taken down some pegs by the husband.

  38. Jennifer October 19, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Speaking of betas and men for leadership and all that, Haley, have you noticed that a lot (though certainly not all) uber-conservative men look rather feminine? Does Kevin Swanson look beta to you?

  39. Ruth October 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    I know Swanson was all kissy-mushy about the Botkin girls when he interviewed them. They’re all like that, you can just see them going, “All girls should be perfect like YOU..” and big nose-kiss. Really?

  40. Chris October 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    Jennifer, thank you, not I’m trying to lose the married pounds….

    y81… there is a difference between porn and beauty. No one is arguing with you about the true beauties in this world… the closest they get to porn is being snapped by a paparazzo for a woman’s gossip magazine.

    Haley, as a reader of genre fiction (hard SF) most christian fiction is inferior. Compare the left behind series with any top techni thriller writer. Inferior. Superior roman e gets, like all superior fiction into the classic group… consider Lewis or Tolkien. here. Overtly Christian, but wrote good fiction, and did not need to be in any ghetto…. or Dorothy Sayers (if you do not know Lord Peter Wimsey, ladies, you are missing good mystery and romance).

    I like my cofee strong, my whisky neat and my books well written. Most new christian stuff is insipid.

  41. Chris October 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Sorry for bad spelling… tried to touch type on a tablet. My bad.

  42. Jennifer October 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Another out-there comment from CL up there, who’s apparently fascinated with determining my sexual preferences. CL, I don’t respect people I insult. Only one comment before your post went towards betas and that was for the uber one that wrote this article; I don’t like mushballs of either sex. I’ve heard you hate as*holes yourself, so I have no idea why you’d take insults of them for admiration, or the obsession with masochism and how you try to relate them to me. Unless of course you’re just taking the piss again.

  43. Jennifer October 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    No problem Chris, I’m trying to lose some pounds too; I think you look pretty good for your age. Oh for the days of swimming; when did I get so damn squeamish about salt water?

  44. Jennifer October 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    As for Christian stuff, it can be insipid. Francine Rivers and Liz Curtis Higgs are pretty awesome.

  45. Gwen October 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    Queen-Sized is an awesome film. The heroine has to change her image of herself, which comes first, but once she does, she stops making excuses for her weight and throws out all her junk good.

  46. Gwen October 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    I mean “food”.

  47. lifeinlonglegs October 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    I didn’t read through all the comments…. however…

    The Christian attitude addressed here is one I believe stems from 1) translating scripture into English rather than learning the original languages and 2) a false theology of ‘flesh’ always meaning ‘body’ or physical nature in scripture, when more accurately the translation of ‘flesh’ would be similar to “a direction away from God” – to be led by the Spirit is to follow the Shepherd. To be led by the flesh does NOT always mean to be led by the body, though flesh is sometimes referred to literally —- but rather, it may mean to be led astray in a direction that takes one further from God’s purposes for us [to worship and love Him above all else].

    A direction away from “FLESHLY” things would in this understanding include the gluttony so accurately described. But it would also describe an obsession with our physical nature taking precedence over our obsession with God, or at least – one that does not stem out of a desire to worship Him with our whole selves.

  48. CL October 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    I’ve heard you hate as*holes yourself,

    Where have you heard this? Hate is too strong a word. I don’t give assholes much thought unless I had some really spicy food.

    the obsession with masochism

    lolwat? Where have I demonstrated an obsession with masochism? Let me guess, it’s the spanking jokes. What little I’ve said about that hardly shows an obsession with spanking, let alone masochism. Of course, returning to these blogs and trying to answer drivel might be a form of masochism, so you may have a point there.

  49. Jennifer October 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    I had no idea whether you’re serious or not about spankings, as many who have had similar comments really have some weird practices, or whether you perhaps believe that displays of anger or hatred equal lust. For me, I’m just like my dad; he hates Obama, but he couldn’t stop watching the news criticizing him even when his blood pressure rose. Well, you’re right about one thing; my urges to return are mostly stemming from the urge to fight, to assert myself, but it does feel like self-punishment sometimes. Or like I’m just pushing myself to test myself. Whether that’s a natural form of OCD, or just a deeper anger, I don’t know.

    LOL You nailed it about so much stuff being drivel, all right; I take things online too seriously, though it can be hard to distinguish sometimes between the constant mockers and the jerks who take themselves seriously and demand that everyone else does. But like 7man said, making your reality pliable is a baad idea. I’ll just need to ignore extremists, no matter how blue in the face they get when they describe their own version of “everyone’s” reality. This site, though, I promise I don’t return to out of masochism; Haley’s not one of the aggressive weirdos.

  50. Jennifer October 19, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    “I don’t give assholes much thought unless I had some really spicy food.”

    :P I eat spicy food to forget about them.

  51. Will S. October 20, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    Oh, puh-leeze! ‘Flesh’ = ‘body’. The lusts of the ‘flesh’ = the lusts of the ‘body’. Maybe some people are taken in by attempts that the Word doesn’t mean what it says or doesn’t say what it means, but I sure as hell aren’t. I wonder what the heck they’re teaching in seminary these days – other than that those of us Christians who haven’t studied Koine are somehow deficient theologically, that our current translations of the Koine are somehow unreliable or deficient – and that those who have studied Koine have some sort of secret, esoteric, neo-Gnostic understanding of what Scripture really means. What B.S.! And of course following the desires of our flesh tends to mean moving away from God’s leading, because our flesh, our bodies, are corrupt and stained with sin. Until our flesh is transformed at the Resurrection, we can expect it to ever be thus, so long as we live. But once our bodies are like His body, we will then never have to face the flesh as one of the three enemies we face in this world (the other two being the world and the devil).

    This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered the B.S. “that’s not what the Greek really means” argument, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. It’s what those with an agenda opposite the plain meaning of Scripture, always resort to, to justify some incorrect, unBiblical understanding.

  52. CL October 20, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    But like 7man said, making your reality pliable is a baad idea.

    That isn’t what he said at all. He said that women’s reality is pliable and nowhere did he say it’s a bad thing, just that it’s so.

    The drivel to which I was referring was yours, Jen. You don’t make a lot of sense and you ramble on like a ranting drunk. Get a grip!

  53. 7man October 20, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    My observation is people are obsessed with how the world “should be” (according to them) rather than accepting how the world is. Women’s reality IS more pliable and God designed it this way. It works better when men lead. But if a woman is so insecure that she must assert herself and be confrontational, then there will be HUGE power struggles in any relationship. I described my views in Whose Reality Prevails?

    Ironicly it is the smarter women that are less inclined to need to fight for the equal leadership. They can accept that male qualities are different than theirs and that not competing for the masculine role in no way diminishes their worth.

  54. Will S. October 20, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    Very true, 7man. Though there nevertheless are some less intelligent women who happily accept male leadership, and make most pleasant girlfriends; my last one fell in this category. She never felt the need to try to one-up me, to try to pull rank; she was most agreeable, and pliable, happy to be led by a man she acknowledged as brighter than herself (and for the cynical lasses reading, no, she wasn’t buttering me up, or otherwise manipulating me like your ilk do, she was just acknowledging the truth). Alas, she was a heathen, though she pretended to be faithful, so it wasn’t right for me to be with her, and I had to end it, upon realizing this. Too bad; I have yet to personally meet a Christian girl as agreeable as her, though I know some exist and I’ve encountered such online occasionally…

  55. CL October 20, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    I’ve come to the conclusion that a woman is much happier with a man who is at least a bit smarter than she is and if she just chills out, trusts him, and as Will said, doesn’t try to pull rank. Having always been the smarter one in relationships up until recently, I know that it just doesn’t work.

    It’s frustrating for a woman to have to take the lead all the time, to outwit her man at every turn and to have to deal with him creating drama because he’s insecure being with a smarter woman. I may be an outlier in this regard because it’s hard for me to find someone who isn’t dumber than I am (not meaning to sound like a narcissist; it’s just the reality on the ground for me).

    The biggest piece of advice I’ll give my daughters is to find someone smarter than they are and let him lead in the relationship. That doesn’t mean they go where they don’t want to go or that is clearly morally wrong, but obviously there will be further discussion as things come up (they’re 8 and 6 now, so I’m well ahead of myself).

    “Equal leadership” is an oxymoron. It’s a case of too many cooks; either someone is leading or not. When you have two people trying to steer the ship at the same time, it’s not going to be a steady ride and could be pretty dangerous (in fact, at some point it is almost inevitable that the ship will go off course or sink).

  56. CL October 20, 2011 at 7:03 am #

    That doesn’t mean they go where they don’t want to go or that is clearly morally wrong

    Should read: That doesn’t mean they go where they don’t want to or do something that is clearly morally wrong…

  57. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    “He said that women’s reality is pliable and nowhere did he say it’s a bad thing, just that it’s so”

    It is a bad thing, and I’ve seen it over and over, whether that was his point or not. Letting a man lead doesn’t mean she needs to let her reality be altered or set by someone else, and claiming weaknesses are designed by God isn’t good either. Don’t worry CL, I’m sure you’ll find the guy who meets your requirements in no time.

  58. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    Jennifer, hypothetically speaking, if there is a person whose reality needs altering, how would that person ever know?

  59. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    I’m guessing they’d generally have to notice by realizing that what they’ve been led to believe isn’t panning out. A general clue is not feeling healthy or happy, like being in a bad relationship. I.e., having your spouse not react well when you try to sooth by constant supplication.

  60. Ruth October 20, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    Will, you say the GF was pretending to be faithful to apparently please you. What makes you sure she wasn’t pretending to think you were brighter as well?

  61. Will S. October 20, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Because she wasn’t bright enough to pull such a thing off. And it was more of a self-deception, on her part, rather than a maliciously trying to deceive me, into thinking she was a Christian; she really believed she was. Well, she may have been dumb enough to fool herself, but I wasn’t fooled, not for long.

  62. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Poor girl.

  63. CL October 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    Don’t worry CL, I’m sure you’ll find the guy who meets your requirements in no time.

    I don’t generally have a list of “requirements” so much as a few deal breakers but don’t worry, already found one. And it’s not “constant supplication” either. You said you were going to have to stay away from “extremists”, which is ironic given that you go to extremes with everything.

  64. OffTheCuff October 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    And it was more of a self-deception, on her part, rather than a maliciously trying to deceive me, into thinking she was a Christian; she really believed she was.

    Pardon my lack of knowledge, but if you’re not married and have a girlfriend rather than a wife, aren’t you a heathen too?

  65. Will S. October 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    No. The whole point of dating, for Christians, after all, is for people to evaluate the potential for marriage of each other, whilst enjoying each other’s company.

    Obviously, if you’re just going to date continuously, sleep together, move in, etc., while not marrying, yeah, that’s a heathen thing to do.

  66. 7man October 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    About my claim that women’s reality IS pliable, Jennifer said, “It is a bad thing, and I’ve seen it over and over, whether that was his point or not. Letting a man lead doesn’t mean she needs to let her reality be altered or set by someone else, and claiming weaknesses are designed by God isn’t good either. “

    Reality is a bad thing? A woman being pliable and adjusting to male leadership is a weakness? This just is how God made women! Why should women hate their very nature? Women are happier when finding a good man, trusting him and being supportive. It is an insecure woman that seeks to control a wussy man that becomes unhappy and unfulfilled. The influence a smart good woman has under the traditional patriarchal dynamic must be experienced to be understood. Jennifer, have you ever FELT this freedom?

    The denial and contrarian comments from women with virtually no experience in these matters is astounding. I wish you the best Jennifer! You cannot even begin to match wits with my woman!

  67. OffTheCuff October 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Sure, makes sense. Dating is the same for some of us heathens too – as I married my first and only girlfriend.

    But you said GF, not dating. In my book, an adult who has BF/GF, it means “sleeping together”. Sorry if I assumed otherwise, but I’ve never personally encounted (IRL) an adult, Christian or not, who wasn’t.

  68. Will S. October 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Doesn’t have to mean that; it usually does, for heathens, yes, but for Christians, the terms don’t necessarily imply that; it simply means exclusivity, not dating other people. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll end up as fiance / fiancee, and spouses; that may happen, but may not.

  69. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    When I come across extremists, CL, I tend to be on their polar opposite. You mentioned at least one requirement, and I’m not surprised it wasn’t hard to fulfill. You assumed the extreme too, by claiming my words about constant supplication was meant to reference comp women. In fact, none of the other comps I keep close touch with share the extremism I’ve seen around TC and here.

    “Reality is a bad thing?”

    I very clearly said that pliable reality is a bad thing, and it is. Letting a man lead, again, is not the same as letting him rearrange everything you think, believe, and know. What harmful freedom indeed that would bring.

    If by patriarchy, you mean a system in which one has protective male relatives and lives in a place that has mostly men governing and almost all men fighting, I do indeed relish this freedom. It’s natural for men to mostly be in government, because women must raise children, most of us; that automatically means less women working at some point, so more men in the highest government positions; I like this and really appreciate our fighters and protectors. Strong female influence is in fact often a kind of leadership, which few dare to admit, and it’s clear throughout history. I don’t fear male influence and I respect every man in my life, without fearing him ruling me or me ruling him. That’s what I find extreme, the ridiculous strain I see of who leads then and who leads now and who must have the MOST leadership, like women must measure their influence by a yardstick to make sure it doesn’t overcome their men. I find that ridiculously fearful, and don’t have that chain on my wrists at all.

    “Women are happier when finding a good man, trusting him and being supportive. It is an insecure woman that seeks to control a wussy man that becomes unhappy and unfulfilled”

    I agree. My comments about women keeping their own reality and not fearing how much they influence have nothing to do with controlling. As for experience, I’ve witnessed marriages my whole life, as well as had myriad interactions with men and males. I was foolish to ever let any stranger’s dictation of how things and people work trouble my mind.

    “I wish you the best Jennifer! You cannot even begin to match wits with my woman!”

    LOL Always love the put-down and the good wish simultaneously. As it happens, you couldn’t possibly match wits with any of the best men I know. All the best.

  70. CL October 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    OTC, you are not a heathen if you were baptised and raised in the church. You are an apostate.

  71. CL October 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    When I come across extremists, CL, I tend to be on their polar opposite.

    I don’t know how you are defining “extremist”, but if you are the polar opposite of one, then you are one.

    You mentioned at least one requirement

    I did? Refresh my memory. Also, what is a comp?

    Letting a man lead, again, is not the same as letting him rearrange everything you think, believe, and know.

    Jumping to the extreme conclusion again. No one said anything about rearranging everything; that would be ludicrous.

    As it happens, you couldn’t possibly match wits with any of the best men I know.

    The argument known as “no, you!”

  72. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Jennifer said: “When I come across extremists, CL, I tend to be on their polar opposite.”

    Isn’t it ironic?

  73. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    “Letting a man lead, again, is not the same as letting him rearrange everything you think, believe, and know. What harmful freedom indeed that would bring.”

    Unless everything you think, believe, and know is incorrect.

    This indeed is the essence of the good news we bear you, Jennifer. You’re wrong, and that is why you’re unhappy.

  74. CL October 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Anyway Jen, I won’t bait you any further even though you seem to enjoy the torture it provides you as you keep coming back for more. If it’s OCD then this is just cruel, but you know, you might be better off just letting it roll off your back. It takes practise, but it can be accomplished. It’s just the Internet; don’t sweat it.

  75. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    CL: “you are not a heathen if you were baptised and raised in the church. You are an apostate”

    You may wish to clarify what situations turn a Christian into an apostate. Neither slutting it up nor stringing along a harem really qualify. Nor does heresy.

  76. CL October 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Oh, and don’t bother answering my questions; I’ve reconsidered and realised that I don’t actually care, so you might as well save yourself the bother.

  77. CL October 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    You may wish to clarify what situations turn a Christian into an apostate. Neither slutting it up nor stringing along a harem really qualify. Nor does heresy.

    I may be wrong, but deliberately rejecting God and religion would qualify, would it not?

  78. CL October 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    a·pos·tate
       [uh-pos-teyt, -tit]
    noun
    1.
    a person who forsakes his religion, cause, party, etc.

  79. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    “Jumping to the extreme conclusion again”

    From the rather extreme view that it’s apparently healthy for a woman to let a man rearrange her reality. Doesn’t that mean ALL of it? This was one of my points of confusion.

    “The argument known as “no, you!””

    From the argument, “My woman’s smarter than you.” Kind of endearing, his trust in her wits, though.

    “You’re wrong, and that is why you’re unhappy”

    What makes me unhappy, is having the observations of male leadership I’ve made myself inflated by others into such extreme definitions; all of a sudden, it’s not just men teaching or initiating anymore. It’s “men are smarter and women should think like them” and “women should limit their sphere of influence or trust in their own minds” (I’ve seen both sentiments in different places). I never would have given this matter a bit of thought if I hadn’t suddenly come across the whole “women shouldn’t lead and must guard their influence” arena. Then, it became a years-long struggle, with me often seeing women’s fabric as complete human beings threatened, depending on who was speaking. All of a sudden, it’s not just “women are intelligent and capable, but men need to lead.” It’s “women are ammoral and must be taught morals from men” (Alte). “Women’s realities were made to be pliable and set by men” (7man). “Women should be less intelligent than their men” (CL). All these are theories or observations, but they’re sworn to be law. You guys see me as extreme because I go the other way so strongly, yanking at the threads of your truths as hard as I can. In reality, we see a lot in common when it comes to certain basics, but we don’t discuss those and they can be hard to discern from the more extreme beliefs. Game, too, combined from all the sites it’s featured on out there, is a knotted mess of total truths and total lies, or truths blurred with bad advice or misapplication.

    Eumaios, even if I were a complimentarian, I wouldn’t approve of the extremes I’ve seen here. Do you look down on your wife’s wits in regular life like you seem to online? Or make the same kind of often scathing judgements, calling the Pope a dipshit and making fun of a woman who committed suicide? I’m serious with these comments; you have not shown a mind of good leadership with many of the statements you’ve made.
    The good news is this: men can lead and women can influence without either one giving their entire mind to the other for altering. Yes, one’s beliefs can be entirely incorrect, but they should never hand them over to another just because of emotional attachment.

    “I won’t bait you any further even though you seem to enjoy the torture it provides you as you keep coming back for more. If it’s OCD then this is just cruel, but you know, you might be better off just letting it roll off your back. It takes practise, but it can be accomplished. It’s just the Internet; don’t sweat it.”

    Wise advice. Thank you CL, you’re the first to offer any real empathy about OCD. I know it’s up to me to control it, and it’s slow going. But as for not taking things too seriously, it can be tough when you’re young and older people (especially Christians) tell you something in dire tones and swear it’s truth, like the extreme beliefs I’ve already mentioned. Other things I’ve already learned to let roll off, but Christians can seem pretty serious even online. I am learning to let more go, to rely more on reality and my own life off the Net. But one of my underlying fears has been that I will fall apart, that my mind can be turned if challenged enough. So, I return repeatedly, to prove to myself that it won’t, that I can go through critical fire and emerge whole. And I fight because I fear other people going into doubt like I have, and have a nagging voice telling me it’s my job to fight for them and set the record straight; I don’t enjoy either impulse, but they are loud and compelling. And sometimes I go from people saying, “You NEED to see this, or you’re in for a hard life” to people saying, “Chill, would you? Don’t take this so seriously.” I do take things to heart, and mixed messages are conflicting. Still practicing and praying for discernment and wisdom.

  80. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    Thanks for the definition, I never knew the exact meaning of apostate before.

    OTC, don’t want to sound condescending, but i do hope you find God again. Nothing’s quite right or complete, no matter how good your life is, without Him.

  81. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    “Eumaios, even if I were a complimentarian, I wouldn’t approve of the extremes I’ve seen here”

    I should have said “online” not merely “here”. The worst stuff has certainly NOT been here on this site.

  82. 7man October 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Jennefoer wrote: “But one of my underlying fears has been that I will fall apart, that my mind can be turned if challenged enough. So, I return repeatedly, to prove to myself that it won’t, that I can go through critical fire and emerge whole.”

    Jennifer your whole existence is tenaciously clinging to a sliver of stability only by your fingernails. Your words are the words of a troubled woman that is not capable of being a suitable wife to a good man. You would be in constant battle with any man and few men will sign up for that. All the blame would fall upon him and you would increase his burden by a hundred fold rather than being supportive.

    The rope of your reality is frayed and now only a thread remains to keep you from falling into an abyss. It is a scary way to live and every comment you make is fear based. You take shots at most people that interact with you.

    Women are quite irrational when insecure. I doubt you can be cherished and treasured along with finding a feeling of safety, protection and security on the path you walk. You are adversarial to men and thus no man can touch your heart. You may think my saying this is cruel and uncaring, but mincing words to in order to soothe, pander and placate you is not what is needed.

  83. PT Barnum October 20, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Actually, what’s funny is that they would go crazy if actual demands that benefited the man were made on princesses actions.

    “I want her to try to stay in shape. Not succeed mind you, but genuinely try to make me happy.”

    Oh that’s going to go over well. You want a Christian wife to try to make her husband happy? EVIL DOER!

    “My opinion better be more important to her than her girlfriends opinions.”

    OH MY GOD!

    “I want her to have decent women as friends. The divorcee who is slutting around has to go.”

    OH MY GOD!

    “I require sex at least twice a week after marriage. Failure to do so will result in real and unpleasant consequences.”

    Can we see what is going to happen here?

    “I want her to be able to talk in an entertaining way.”

    This man clearly hates all women.

    The line about “inner beauty” only is trotted out because no man in America has any expectations at all on his future crazy, selfish, loony-toon wifes actual behavior.

    Which is pretty much what he should expect.

  84. PT Barnum October 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    Reality is a bad thing? A woman being pliable and adjusting to male leadership is a weakness?

    If he is a bad man, then yeah, it kinda is. In America, I’d lay odds on him being a bad guy. WYSIWYG

  85. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    Actually 7man, I take shots only if people give me abrasive words. You have no idea what I’m like in person, around real people I either trust completely or give the benefit of the doubt. Unless they threaten the fabric of my beliefs, I am an extremely peaceful and open person; I’ve discussed submission and relationships with various men and women, whose conduct and hearts I trust completely even when we disagree. I’ve loved before, and you couldn’t be more clueless (since you’re a total stranger) about my common existence, day to day life, regard for men and love for the one I choose. I’m not adversarial to males, just people who try to basically circumcise womanhood, and few men are like you or the others I’ve seen online; even other comps I know don’t have the strange beliefs I’ve seen from you and others around Alte’s blog. And it’s ironic, because people afraid of women, fearful of what happens when women don’t give them utter control, like the poor creatures who see Game as Gospel and warn men never to love them TOO much, never to love any woman who doesn’t surrender completely, are the only ones who tell me I’m unhealthy. Women can’t be given an inch, but men must be given the world; women can never lead, but men must determine their very realities. That’s what it comes to then, women must give all or they’ll take all, pernicious and lost creatures that they are. It’s not me who stresses over who leads, 7man, it’s you. It’s complimentarienism, not feminism, that made me fear a man wanting to rule me. You believe in a church ruled by rungs of male human flesh and that men can be as God to the women in their lives; you have more faith in dust than I ever will. So do all comps, though usually at a very mild level in comparison.

    “All the blame would fall upon him”

    On the contrary, I would never leave my “sanctification” or my reality up to Him; that’s God’s business. I don’t find your words cruel or menacing 7man. As a faceless stranger God knows where, they don’t contain anywhere near enough importance to me.

  86. CL October 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    few men are like you

    This is exactly what makes him so great.

  87. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    As far as men telling women how they should think and love, there are actually many like him. But not in my life, or even comparitively in the sites of the people online (including comps) that I know the best.

  88. 7man October 20, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    ??? Tell a woman how to think and love????
    That would be like trying to herd cats! I don’t attempt the impossible.

  89. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    CL: “person who forsakes his religion, cause, party”

    It seems to me you are conflating “lifestyle” sins with forsaking the Way entirely. I used to know at least one homosexual who did not live chastely, did not agree that he ought to live chastely, yet clung to the church. He had loyalty to the king, insofar as I could tell. Apostate?

  90. CL October 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    OTC, from what he has told me, gave me the impression he’d more or less given up, but maybe I’m wrong. If I am, then he’s just a sinner. Like the rest of us.

  91. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    Actually, I should disclose that it was really the hardest aspects of game that made me more suspicious about men than anything else, including anything on Alte’s blog. Basic game is cool and beneficial, and I should have stopped there. But after going through various other sites, I found over 20 at least partially bitter men issuing warnings against women and how to get loose sex. Almost every site, even the better ones, had at least two articles and many commentators sharing either bad stuff about women or immoral, secular advice to either sex about manipulating their partner; it could be subtle and sometimes mixed with true statements. I struggled to juggle everything I heard, bad and good, and how it lined up with the Bible, my own experiences, and even Christian comps in comparison. I even struggled with how one blogger’s advice differed from another’s, and hated how both sexes were simplified. Combined with severe comp-ism, it all soured inside me. Considering my fiery expressions over this, it’s not surprising you were worried, 7man. But happily, I’m a lot more peaceful when I get offline and have dropped almost all such sites.

  92. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    “That would be like trying to herd cats! I don’t attempt the impossible.”

    LOL True, you generally don’t. I guess that was projection on my part; similar beliefs with a few different parts can blur after a while.

  93. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Jennifer asked:

    * Do you look down on your wife’s wits in regular life like you seem to online?

    I’m even harsher to her in person. She thrives on it. I require great things of her, so she is grateful for feedback and guidance. Women have a deep need for order, but they are fundamentally incapable of creating it.

    Not sure what you’re thinking of when you say “wits”. She’s fairly intelligent, probably in the +2 stddev IQ range. I exceed that by a significant amount, so of course I “look down” on her in that particular sense. She has not historically exhibited rational behavior on a consistent basis, so I describe her as lacking sense.

    * Or make the same kind of often scathing judgements

    My judgments are always scathing, else why make them? Would you like to hear about how my wife’s sister divorced her husband and now she lives in a commune?

    * calling the Pope a dipshit

    Hey Svar, did that bother you?

    * making fun of a woman who committed suicide?

    You should have been there when I quoted Chesterton’s bit about suicides to my father, in regards to his little sister.

  94. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    CL: “OTC, from what he has told me, gave me the impression he’d more or less given up”

    I did not realize you were specifically referring to a known case. My mistake.

  95. CL October 20, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Eumaios, maybe he will come back eventually and set us straight, lol. People can always return though and I kinds hope he does, somehow.

  96. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    “Women can’t be given an inch, but men must be given the world”

    Absolutely true. Because we’re capable of being meek, and you’re not.

  97. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Man, a bear in most relations-worm and savage otherwise,-
    Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
    Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
    To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

    Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere be lay the wicked low,
    To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
    Mirth obscene diverts his angerl Doubt and Pity oft perplex
    Him in dealing with an issue-to the scandal of The Sex!

    But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
    Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
    And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
    The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

    She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
    May not deal in doubt or pity-must not swerve for fact or jest.
    These be purely male diversions-not in these her honour dwells.
    She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else

  98. CL October 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Women have a deep need for order, but they are fundamentally incapable of creating it.

    Before Jen gets offended, I just wanted to agree with this statement. The sooner she realises this truth, the better off she will be. Until then, she will continue to pull at the thread of “our truths” and rather than unravelling those, will herself come apart at the seams. It’s a bit cringe-inducing to watch.

    Also, wrt the harshness, women need varying degrees of it – some need very little, some need lots. Trufax!

  99. Chris October 20, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    This is what happens during sixteen hours in the air… we have move from beauty to attitudes. Like boundless

  100. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    I said: “Women have a deep need for order, but they are fundamentally incapable of creating it.”

    I forgot to add that one of the important things women can do is help sustain order, as well as making it comfortable and cozy-like.

  101. CL October 20, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    You know Eumaios, it’s such a simple thing when it works, yet so many people reject it out of hand because of PC nonsense and fear. I mean, if you treat your wife harshly and that’s what she likes, and you’re both happy and functional, why do people have such a problem with it?

    Ironically, these are often the same people who have no problem with polyamory and other deviant “lifestyles”. To be clear, I really don’t care one way or the other what people do – I can think it’s wrong without it affecting what I think of them as human beings – but if you have no problem with “alternative lifestyles” (and I’m not saying anyone here necessarily fits that characterisation), why the huge beef with traditional complementarianism?

    It’s a funny old world!

  102. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    “complementarianism”

    Too many syllables; can’t take seriously.

  103. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    “if you treat your wife harshly and that’s what she likes, and you’re both happy and functional, why do people have such a problem with it”

    Because they’re afraid it’s what they need. Most everyone is borderline solipsistic in their apprehension of the world. The ideas that terrify them are the ones that threaten the inward orientation.

  104. CL October 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    “complementarianism”

    Too many syllables; can’t take seriously.

    Heh heh. Got a better word? It is kind of ridiculous, admittedly.

  105. Eumaios October 20, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    “Got a better word?”

    Sexed.

  106. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    Women can’t create order now and require harshness? That’s more amusing than offensive. I’m not a rag doll, CL, I’ve been ignoring and dismantling Internet stuff for years now. Yours is, at the end of the day, pretty easy to do.

  107. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    As far as harshness goes, all people need basic, hard truths and firm handling at different parts of their lives; this isn’t specific to sex. It’s not comp-ism alone that people hate, it’s the brand that looks down at women, which shouldn’t need explanation.

  108. jack October 20, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Show me a matriarchal society that has rule of law and property rights and well-behaved youth.

    In the absence of the male framework of order, women will discipline a society based on feelings rather than sound policy.

  109. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    LOL Too true, Chris.

    Interesting points, Barnum. The original topic does need more focus. I think Stacy Mcdonald does an awesome job of balancing the need of appreciation for inner beauty with keeping yourself up; she says character is longer lasting than looks, but also dedicates a chapter in her book for girls on how important personal hygiene is. It is, in fact, feminine. And game also shows us how effective male self-keep is.

  110. Eumaios October 21, 2011 at 5:46 am #

    “Women can’t create order now and require harshness? That’s more amusing than offensive. I’m not a rag doll, CL, I’ve been ignoring and dismantling Internet stuff for years now.”

    Scoff scoff assert scoff, ignore.

  111. Eumaios October 21, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    “rungs of male human flesh”

    Hehe.

  112. OffTheCuff October 21, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Apostate? srsly? What a boring highfaultin’ word, even if totally correct. Heathen sounds so much better.

    E: CL has me pegged correctly. (Wait, not “pegged”. OK, well, *maybe* pegged.)

  113. CL October 21, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Ha ha ha @ both OTC and Eumaios. This was fun.

  114. OffTheCuff October 21, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Jennifer: not condescending at all. It’s one of the best things anyone could say.

    I’m not even opposed to coming back, really. But not until it things makes sense, and unfortunately it doesn’t. I have a vain hope of understanding by being around here, but not much confidence in it.

  115. Jennifer October 21, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Yeah, I’d say here’s not the best place for it OTC. Not that Haley’s not a good Christian, it’s just not a big topic. I might recommend some books :)

  116. OffTheCuff October 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Actually this (and by this I mean relationship blogs, plus the intersection with Christian ones) *is* the best place. It’s a window, probably the BEST one, into sexual morality as you actually think about it; not the fakery and delusion taught by (my) church

    To this day, I’m still sort of shocked how mercenary women are about sex, and Christian women are no exception. I actually cringe at the topics and details you all go into. In a way, I’m still reeling from that fact that it’s not private, and you actually talk about in with others, in great detail. The rabbit hole goes deep. Carry on! It’s fun to watch.

  117. 7man October 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    @OTC
    You are a seeker. I hope you do stick around. The apostates often are the best once they get things sorted out. BTDT

  118. Jennifer October 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    OTC, sex is private. It’s one thing to discuss sex in general, but I would never discuss my own life or address someone else’s sex organs online in a crude way (the exception is sometimes when I’m angered after having someone degrade me first, but I’m trying to avoid this). That is, in fact, why many sites are not good, even ones by self-claimed Christians. Many would be horrified by mercenary attitudes around such sites, and there are still much more private women (plus, please recall that it’s very different to discuss things when faceless online than face-to-face in real life). If your church told you sex is sacred and private, that’s not a delusion. It is good to discuss sex in general in honest ways, rather than let young unmarried adults stumble around in the dark.

    Linda Dillow wrote a brilliant book about sexual intimacy, noting gorgeous terms used for the female body in analogies. Luke Wilson has a classic book called “A New Man” about the recovery from porn which is brutally honest. “My Lover is Mine” and “taste the Textures” are two gorgeous books of sensual and sexual poetry written by Christians, somewhat similar to the Song of Solomon. The Bible’s quite open, but it too also maintains the unique nature of personal sexual relationships.

  119. Jennifer October 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    *Taste The Textures

    Ugh, I hate not capitalizing properly.

    OTC, who’s the lady in your picture?

  120. OffTheCuff October 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    If your church told you sex is sacred and private, that’s not a delusion. It is good to discuss sex in general in honest ways, rather than let young unmarried adults stumble around in the dark.

    Depends on your definition of private. Until recently, I’ve never *anything* with anyone. That’s what “private” meant: you get your abs-ed, you shut up, and never say anything to anyone. Other than the necessities of family planning, you don’t even talk about it with your spouse.

    Yeah, well, as I know now, that’s not how it works… sold a false bill of goods.

    As for my lady, I’m married and we’ve been together almost 20 years. We’re a bit like Athol & his wife, except not as low-libido as them.

    Probably best to move this OT stuff to CL before H cramps up.

  121. CL October 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    As for my lady, I’m married and we’ve been together almost 20 years. We’re a bit like Athol & his wife, except not as low-libido as them.

    LOL And sure, bring it over to the CL blog. :) We like secks over there. Good stuff coming up real soon.

  122. 7man October 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    At the CL blog it will be like a bunch of monkeys with a banana thrown in the middle of the room. Come and watch the antics. The decorum is still under construction and the “padding of truth” is being attached to the blog walls.

  123. Jennifer October 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    “Depends on your definition of private. Until recently, I’ve never *anything* with anyone. That’s what “private” meant: you get your abs-ed, you shut up, and never say anything to anyone. Other than the necessities of family planning, you don’t even talk about it with your spouse.”

    Whoa, yeesh, definitely not accurate. if you go to CL’s, I’ll miss you. But I might show up if it’s just sex that’s discussed. CL, I’ve been wanting to ask: Is 7man your husband?

  124. Will S. October 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Not yet, but will be, soon, heh heh.

  125. Jennifer October 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    That explains a lot. I thought the joint blog might be a couple’s thing, heh.

  126. Kathy October 21, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Sheesh, Will, what a blabbermouth. Tell the whole world why don’t you. ;)

    It wasn’t me this time, okay, CL?

  127. Will S. October 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Kathy, they didn’t tell me, I just figured it out. I mean, to anyone with eyes and a brain, it’s pretty bloody obvious…

  128. Jennifer October 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    I had my suspicions too, but wasn’t sure.

  129. Will S. October 21, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    Harold Camping’s predictions that the world would end on October 21, 2011, have failed.

    He’s proven a fraud, again – and his followers, fools.

    Just a reminder, all.

    Off-topic, but I couldn’t resist.

    Cheers.

  130. Jennifer October 21, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    I wasn’t even aware of that prediction. Just as well. Why does he keep trying?

  131. Jennifer October 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Well, it was my church’s lovely 100th Anniversary celebration today. Glad the world stuck around long enough to enjoy it :P

  132. lifeinlonglegs October 22, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Will, you read much into what i wrote – again.

    This is a concern because I didn’t say flesh doesn’t EVER mean body – I said that it doesn’t ALWAYS refer to the physical body in a direct sense. Good grief. Is putting words in people’s mouths and lumping everyone new in with everyone from your past a hobby of yours?

    Listening to the flesh can just as easily mean we take care of ourselves, e.g. eat when reasonably hungry, exercise when we need to, go to the doc or rest when we aren’t well, etc. The body in and of itself is neutral.

  133. Will S. October 22, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    It’s a distinction without a difference; obviously, for a Christian, following the flesh = following the leanings of one’s body which is still sin-corrupted, until we receive our resurrection bodies; thus, following the flesh = not following God’s ways, His leading by the Spirit = following the ways of the sin-stained, material parts of our being, whether in terms of overindulgence of the flesh / body with food (gluttony) or inappropriate satisfaction of the temptations of the body / flesh (fornication), etc. The body’s desires are natural, yes, but even nature has become corrupt with the fall, such that a natural desire to not starve can easily morph into a desire to overeat, and a natural desire to procreate, can easily morph into a desire to do so outside of the appropriate marital confines, into fornication.

    Far as I can tell, you’re just being obstinate for the sake of argumentation. If you can actually demonstrate how ‘flesh’ and ‘body’ are truly practically different; i.e. how gratifying sinful desires of the flesh is NOT the same as gratifying sinful desires of the body, i.e. if you can truly demonstrate an instance where the two mean totally different things, where following one understanding will cause one to make a mistake, where the other understanding should be followed, then I might actually listen to what you have to say, because you will have then shown how our supposed misunderstanding of the original Greek actually impinges on our understanding of what God’s Word means in such passages. If you can do that, great! I’m all ears, and I’ll recant anything I’ve said thus far, contrariwise. If not, then I’ll continue with my dismissive prejudice against what I thus far see as your pointless babbling and showing off of your Greek education.

  134. Jennifer October 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    “The body’s desires are natural, yes, but even nature has become corrupt with the fall”

    God knows that’s happened to men and women.

  135. Chris October 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    Sheesh.

    Let’s go back to some basics, OK?

    Men and women are different. Men tend to be attracted visually, respond to physical affection (and lust) and learn to consider character. This generally involves symmetry, clear skin and eyes, and a healthy figure.

    Women are attracted visually and by the qualities of personality… it is less about what he looks like and more about who he is… and the learn to avoid certain types.

    In general, that is the way we are wired. Always have been, always will be. If boundless shames men into not using their eyes to see the beauty in their wife (or wife to be) shame on them. If boundless makes women think they should not pay attention to being a girl and enjoying being beautiful, shame on them. If boundless thinks men are like women, shame on them.

    in Christ we can hold ourselves with honor, agreed. (If you decide to marry, get on with it before the burning gets you… because you are supposed to have desire for her). But we are in this body, and we all have imperfections — physical, moral, spiritual. We all need to work on these.

    Because the flesh exists. We cannot deny that — no more than we can deny our emotions. It is how we act — what we do or say — that counts

  136. Will S. October 22, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Agreed, Chris. Well put.

  137. 7man October 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Chris is blunt and on target.

  138. Will S. October 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    Absolutely, 7man. Unlike many of the rambling, babbling commentators here, who seem to want to argue without having any point to make…

  139. lifeinlonglegs October 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    Will – having said nothing of my education, e.g. bible college… which for some reason you mention in your first post but of which I have said nothing whatsoever — again – you read far more into things than are really there and the only person you are arguing with is in your HEAD.

    what I have said is that ‘flesh’ does not always mean body – though it does sometimes. However, the generalization to attribute all biblical mention of the flesh to our common understanding of what that word may mean may leave us in a situation where we reduce the importance of the body and see its maintenance and care as being AS evil as its neglect.

    I thought to myself…gee…. “this guy isn’t listening” but then discovered that you yourself had admitted that: “then I might actually listen to what you have to say”. So, while you may enjoy a long existence with your conditional listening skills. I’ll enjoy a long existence with my awesome body which in no way is evil in and of itself. It is my direction away from God’s will for my life [including for my body] which corrupts even my body itself: it is my direction within, towards, and in obedience to God that brings that body closer to its intended state.

    You can enjoy the last word. I won’t be posting on this matter again.

  140. Will S. October 23, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    You have not provided a concrete example for your assertion that “the generalization to attribute all biblical mention of the flesh to our common understanding of what that word may mean may leave us in a situation where we reduce the importance of the body and see its maintenance and care as being AS evil as its neglect.” You have simply asserted, and not explained how such a situation as you describe might arise.

    Ah well. I suspected as much. In any case, I’m as happy to end this conversation as you are. Enjoy your existence with your ‘awesome body’.

  141. CL October 24, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    I have lately come to the realisation that arguing with the vast majority of women is fruitless and frustrating. There are men who argue this was as well, but once you know what to look for in unskilled, ground shifting in the BBS (bullshit baffles brains) style of argumentation, it gets easier to save your breath and typing skills for those capable of rational thought.

  142. Will S. October 24, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    Indeed, CL. Still, I find it hard to resist the urge at calling people on their bullshit. Perhaps I should consider learning to pick my battles more fruitfully though, like you said, saving my energy for those with whom it truly is worth doing battle. Food for thought…

  143. jack October 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    It is generally understood that Biblical references to “the flesh” occasionally referred to as ‘carnal’ refers to the physical body, but also refers to the motivations and will of a person that originate from their fallen condition.

    Any attempt to sequester the term ‘flesh’ to mean only things that pertain exactly to the physical body without including the human will is just silly.

  144. Hana October 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    I’d have to do more research into the Biblical use of the word “flesh” to arrive at a conclusion either way, but here’s something to think about: If I were arguing against Christian rock music, I might very well say, “some Christian rock concerts are ‘of the flesh’ and not ‘of the spirit.’ ”

    Now that I’m sitting down and thinking it through, I find myself wondering what I would really mean by that. Would I mean that Christian rock concerts are “of the physical body” while other Christian music is more “spiritual”? Or would I mean that Christian rock concerts depart from God’s will, whereas other Christian concerts do not?

    Gnosticism suggests that the material world is evil, and that we can triumph over our corrupted flesh by the use of our wills and intellects. I don’t believe the Bible teaches that. The Bible says that material reality is “fallen”, but so are our wills, minds and emotions. And in some sense, I think “the flesh” can refer to all these – body, will, mind, and emotions.

    To go back to the idea of a Christian rock concert: I would say some Christian rock concerts are “of the flesh” because they stimulate the senses through intense noise, strobe lights, and exciting visuals. But they also stimulate the emotions through lyrics about Jesus as a best friend and lover. The one thing they don’t do – in my opinion – is encourage worship that comes from the spirit.

    When discussing sexual attraction, we know that men look mostly at the physical body, whereas women look at personality traits like social dominance and intelligence. But does that mean that women are relying less on “the flesh” than men are? If we’re talking about physical needs, emotional needs, and spiritual needs, then we could say that men look primarily at the physical side of things,while women look primarily at the emotional side of things. But if we’re using only two terms – the flesh and the spirit – then I think physical and emotional attraction both have to be lumped in with “the flesh.”

    I’m not quite sure what I’m saying anymore and should probably stop before this turns into an essay…maybe it’s just food for thought :)

  145. OffTheCuff October 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    But does that mean that women are relying less on “the flesh” than men are?

    No. In the woman’s case, her girly bits and carnal wants are the “flesh”, not the guy’s dominance ringing it like a tuning fork.

  146. Will S. October 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    I said from the get-go, I believe, that I’ve understood that the body, while created good, became tainted with the Fall, so that even the parts of our body’s natural functions and desires that, pre-Fall, in and of themselves, were neutral, in and of themselves, have become tainted with sin.

    The human will is a product of the mind. The mind is a product of the brain. The brain is made of flesh. The mind can be used for good, and can have good thoughts, and neutral thoughts, but also evil thoughts.

    The ‘flesh’ surely includes everything the ‘body’ does, including the brain and its processes, therefore mind, and therefore the will. I really fail to see the importance of any supposed distinction between the two.

    Various different Christian traditions have all emphasized, reasoning from Scripture, that our three biggest enemies are the world, the flesh, and the devil. I take the word ‘flesh’ to encompass the body, the mind, and everything else that pertains to our material natures. Because we have immortal souls, but also a flesh that will be renewed at the resurrection, with which we will live forever, thereafter, these things of the flesh are mysteriously connected, in some inexplicable fashion, to our spiritual side, as well. Which is why, though our bodies, our flesh, be separate from the world we live in (in our bodies), and the devil (since, as Christians, we can only have the Holy Spirit in us, not demonic possession – that, we need not fear – and if any Pentecostal / Charismatic folks are reading this, and disagree, all I can say is, from my reading of Scripture, you’re wrong, far as I can tell; sorry), we nevertheless can, while in this flesh, these bodies, be negatively influenced by the world and the devil, and therefore, must be alert to spiritual evil, obviously, and try to fight it, with God’s help. That said, we have the enemy in our own being, insofar as our own flesh, which our body consists of, working against us, since all matter is become corrupt with the Fall; our own bodies can, and will, sometimes lead us astray.

    I fail to see, based on my understandings as described fairly fully above, what I’m missing here. If anyone can show me concretely how my understanding of ‘body’ and ‘flesh’ is lacking, how I am mistaken, and what exactly the dangers are in my misunderstanding, I will be happy to be thus corrected, so that I attain a rightful, proper understanding. Assertions alone. I do not see any way that I am falling into any Gnostic errors; if I am, please show me, concretely, how so.

    I really feel people are arguing over semantics here, nitpicking over nothing, making a mountain out of a molehill. But feel free to explain to me exactly how I am in error, and if your explanation makes sense to me, I will run with it. Seriously; I’m not perfect, by any means. But I think I have a pretty good handle on the basics of Reformed, Protestant, Christian theology. I also think God didn’t intend for us to all need to learn Greek to understand everything; I guess I’m trusting that, by His Spirit, He has superintended the translations of His Holy Word into all languages, such that, whatever minor differences may remain in exactly what a word means in one language versus another, that we all have God’s Word available to us, in our own languages, that we may rightly understand God, His created world, how we are fallen and in need of a saviour, what we must do to be saved, and how we are to respond to God’s grace and mercy. Again, if I be mistaken, show me clearly how I am wrong, please. If I’m not wrong, then why are we even arguing? Just to show off how supposedly knowledgable we are, about ancient languages, to show that we have some hidden knowledge, like the Gnostics claimed, if we have a Greek language education? Sheesh!

  147. Will S. October 24, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Assertions alone, don’t cut it for me, I meant to say in the one line above.

  148. Eumaios October 24, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    Will S. makes a powerful point in equating the esoteric practice of interpreting the NT Greek with Gnosticism. If Paul’s distinction between flesh and body can only be properly understood by scholars and seminariettes, what have we gained over the gospel of Thomas?

  149. y81 October 25, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    I would never assert that you can’t know the Bible solely in English, or achieve true knowledge of Christ only through the Bible in English. However, I would certainly encourage anyone who has the time and aptitude to learn Greek. You will encounter insights and nuances that aren’t available in English–not insights that are essential to salvation, but insights that will enrich your knowledge of the Almighty and understanding of His apostles.

    Just to take a random example, the NT word for sheep–the animals to which we are constantly compared–means literally “the walkers” or “the plodders.” That is how you look to God, plodding endlessly forward, thinking only of your next meal, while the riches of the Universe are spread out for your delight, if only you would wake up and look.

  150. Eumaios October 25, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    N.T. Wright has written, in one of the mammoth volumes of his Christian Origins and the Question of God, that the scriptures should be considered the first four acts of a play, and we the players in the fifth, performing ad libitum. How much time ought the players devote to studying the previous acts, that they may best complete the story?

  151. Eumaios October 25, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Wright, by the way, looks to be the Robert Jordan of theology. What odds that he actually completes his series (in his present tent, at least)?

  152. CL October 25, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    The human will is a product of the mind. The mind is a product of the brain. The brain is made of flesh. The mind can be used for good, and can have good thoughts, and neutral thoughts, but also evil thoughts.

    The ‘flesh’ surely includes everything the ‘body’ does, including the brain and its processes, therefore mind, and therefore the will. I really fail to see the importance of any supposed distinction between the two.

    I would agree with this. The mind-body separation is some bollocks Descartes came up with and doesn’t appear to have any basis in reality. Furthermore, it leads to all manner of evil and confusion (such as sexual identity confusion).

  153. Will S. October 25, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    Thank you, Eumaios and CL. Glad to see at least some get what I’m saying. Why, you’d think I was speaking Greek!

  154. CL October 25, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Well I’ve often been accused of being an intellectual. ;)

  155. Will S. October 25, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Not without reason, either.

  156. Hana October 25, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    “The human will is a product of the mind. The mind is a product of the brain. The brain is made of flesh. The mind can be used for good, and can have good thoughts, and neutral thoughts, but also evil thoughts.

    The ‘flesh’ surely includes everything the ‘body’ does, including the brain and its processes, therefore mind, and therefore the will. I really fail to see the importance of any supposed distinction between the two.”

    Yes, that’s a good way of saying it. I think this is the conclusion I came to while writing my own post. The “mind” is just the brain – which is still part of the body…

    That begs the question, though: if our bodies and minds are fallen, how can we trust them to be reliable indicators of what we really need in a mate? They can tell us what we’re attracted to, yes…but how good are they at guiding us towards what we really need, for life? (And this goes for both men and women.)

    That’s something I’ve been thinking about recently: we have spiritual, emotional, mental and physical needs. The hook-up culture meets the human need for physical gratification; relationships of a couple years’ duration (Hollywood-style) meet people’s emotional cravings for “romance”…and then we have the Boundless sub-culture, which seems to see spiritual compatibility as the only need that really matters. I’ve been thinking, though, that something is getting missed in the middle of all of this, and that is that God ordained marriage as a union between one man and one woman, for life – a union that was meant to meet *all* our needs – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Not that any one person can meet all our needs perfectly; but God did intend for each married couple to be companions who would satisfy each other’s basic needs as long as their lives lasted.

    I think somehow that gets overlooked in any discussion of dating. Romantic relationships aren’t just about the flesh, but they’re not just about the spiritual side of things, either. We’re shouldn’t be looking for the “hottest” mate we can possibly get or the “godliest” mate, for that matter…we should be looking for one person who can best meet both our spiritual and physical needs, for life. But then, because our flesh is “fallen”, I think often we’re not discerning enough to know how to go about looking for that person. People either get so distracted by “the flesh” that they don’t notice incompatibility until the dopamine wears off, or they become so desperate (and the desperation is the flesh talking, again) that they make themselves miserable by trying to fit themselves with the wrong person, just because he or she happens to be “Christian.”

  157. CL October 25, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Hana, you are misusing your terms: Begging the question.

    You’re welcome.

  158. A October 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    The mind-body separation is some bollocks Descartes came up with and doesn’t appear to have any basis in reality.

    Its rather bizarre to see dualism attacked by defenders of traditional Christianity.

    In any event, our dualism is intuitive and has deep biological roots. It wasn’t just something invented by Descartes. See Paul Bloom’s Descartes’ Baby

  159. Will S. October 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Why is it bizarre, A? (That’s ‘it’s’ rather than ‘its’, BTW.) How does dualism fit with traditional Christianity; why is it better than alternatives?

    Can you give us at least a synopsis, or some quotes, rather than just tossing out the name of a book? Anyone can do that… (“You’re wrong; this book here says so!”)

    It’d be nice if people who wish to dispute something someone says actually develop their arguments, cite passages, etc. A lot of people out there who don’t know how to debate, it seems…

  160. Eumaios October 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Leibniz thought the dualism problem originated with the new ways of knowing promulgated by Descartes, et al. And Leibniz wasn’t trying to shoot down Descartes; far from it! He sought a fusion of the best of the old and new.

  161. Eumaios October 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Not appealing to authority with the GWL reference, btw. If Leibniz attributed the dichotomy problem to a recent (to him) development, that shows that Will isn’t pioneering sophistries.

  162. Will S. October 25, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    I hope I’m not engaging in any sophistries, either, Eumaios; certainly, such is not my intent.

  163. Old Guy October 26, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    CL: “Begs the question” gets misused ten thousand times for every time it gets used to refer to an argument that assumes what it purports to demonstrate. Aspiring poseurs won this one several years ago, so it’s difficult to blame people who simply re-use the term as they’ve invariably heard it used. (And it’s not as if Hana is particularly guilty of showing off her undergraduate degree for us and needed a smack upside the head.)

    Even George Jonas misused the phrase in the Post last weekend. Fall back to a new line of defense and try to get people to use “disinterested” properly.

  164. samsonsjawbone October 26, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Fall back to a new line of defense and try to get people to use “disinterested” properly.

    YES. It doesn’t mean “uninterested”, folks.

    And stop using back-formations. “Orientate” is a hideous devil-chimera that should never have darkened the universe.

  165. Jennifer October 26, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Quite interesting thoughts indeed.

  166. Eumaios October 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    samsonsjawbone: let’s all pretend that “orientate” is a portmanteau of “orient” and “potentate”.

  167. Chris October 27, 2011 at 2:25 am #

    Back to the issue at hand, with a little theology and some neurobiology as a chaser… :-)

    Paul argued that all creation is groaning and waiting a return to normality. That the fall was abnormal, was wrong, and this evil has tainted all creation. It is not just us.

    but we are also told that we will be resurrected in a body. We are not some ghost in the machine: the body matters. Indeed, the brain (now we can do detailed MRI scans) has been shown to be quite plastic, with marked changes in brain morphology if one is depressed… psychotic… anxious… following birth… and a reversion to usual (or the usual changes in morphology through the menstrual cycle) with recovery (which is not dependent on medication: similar effects occur with people treated by psychotherapy alone). There is less and less evidence for dualism.

    Onto the topic here — we still reflect the glory of God’s creation. It is broken, yes, but we can see the beauty that was there. This may not include the structure of our relationships, but it does include what makes us desire people. And that includes beauty. You cannot spiritualize this.

    What our society is doing, by prolonging adolescence and destroying the usual patriarchal rules (women marry in late teens early 20s to a man about 5 -10 years older who can provide for her; she’s young enough to be pretty for 10 — 20 years, and he’s old enough to be respected by the village: adultery stigmatized, but so is uxoriousness) is that we are asking people to deny their erotic impulses throughout the peak period of erotic interest, indeed often marrying when that desire is waning in their late 30s.

    Which is why we have a re-occurence of the Marcian heresy: spiritual good, phyisical bad, and asceticism is holiness. We would be better to repent, and return to the ideas of the puritans and papists: if you cannot be celibate, then marry early and well.

  168. CL October 27, 2011 at 5:14 am #

    Old Guy, I wasn’t “blaming” (wtf?) I was providing information.

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