Unplanned Review: Truth Triumphs Despite Suppression

You have to know that the message of a movie cuts to heart of our secular humanist and feminist society when no major network except Fox News would show commercials for it.  The producers of the movie “Unplanned” were told their money was no good at these other networks due to the “controversial nature” of their film.

So, what is so controversial about this film? Well it tells the life story of Abby Johnson, a pro-choice woman who rose up quickly in the ranks of Planned Parenthood to become one it’s youngest clinic directors ever.  She even won the Planned Parent Employee of the Year Award.  While she had two abortions herself, she had never seen the procedure from a spectator’s viewing point, and certainly not from the view point of an ultra-sound.

But after assisting with an abortion and witnessing the baby being torn apart on an ultra-sound as it struggled for its life her views completely changed.   She immediately resigned from Planned Parenthood and walked down to one of the groups that had protested outside her clinic for years, the Coalition for Life, to tell her story.

Her defection from Planned Parenthood was a gut punch to the organization.  She has since helped hundreds of abortion workers to leave the abortion industry and the clinic she once directed shut down in 2013.

Not only did major networks refuse to accept advertising dollars for the film, even the MPAA (The Motion Picture Association of America) attempted to limit the exposure of teenage girls to film by giving it an R rating meaning that those girls under 17 cannot see it without a parent.

The executive produce of the Unplanned, Ken Rather, made the following statement according to HollywoodReporter.com:

“A 15-year old girl can get an abortion without her parent’s permission, but she can’t see this movie without adult supervision? That’s sad”

Even after appealing the R rating, the MPAA would not budge unless the abortion scenes were removed from the film although it had no sex, no violence.   Yes, this film did have one scene of explicit violence.  It showed a baby on an ultrasound being violently pulled apart by a doctor using a suctioning tool.  And it had a scene showing Abby bleeding and clotting after taking an abortion inducing drug and another girl bleeding from a botched abortion.  So yes, this movie did show several implied murders of unborn children through abortion although it only showed one in explicit detail with the ultra-sound.

But now let’s contrast Unplanned with another one of my favorite movies – “Taken” which came out in 2008. Taken tells the story of former government operative, Bryan Mills played by Liam Neeson, who has retired to spend more time with his daughter from his previous marriage.  His daughter goes to Paris and is kidnapped by a human trafficking ring.   Bryan uses his “very particular set of skills” to find and rescue his daughter while at the same time racking up a body count by killing 32 members of these human trafficking groups until finally rescuing his daughter at the end of the movie.

I loved Taken for its sense of primal, Old Testament, Avenger of blood justice.  But how does a movie as violent as Taken with sex trafficking and a lot of brutal killing get a PG 13 rating yet a movie about abortion which shows one explicit murder of a baby on an ultra-sound gets an R rating?

The answer is obvious that it was given this rating as part of a larger effort to limit the message of this film getting out as much as possible.

Unplanned Beat Expectations at the Box Office

Unplanned cost 6 million to make and was only expected to make 2 to 3 million its opening weekend but doubled expectations in bringing in over 6 million dollars despite only being shown in a little over 1000 theaters.  To put that in perspective, Dumbo, which cost Disney over 170 million to produce, had ads on every major channel for weeks, and showed on over 4000 theaters and it grossed around 45 million well under expectations.

Just imagine how well Unplanned would have done if it had the advertising Dumbo had and the amount of theaters Dumbo had and it had it a PG 13 rating as it should have had? The numbers would most likely have been far greater.

My Own Experience with the “Unplanned” Movie

My 17-year-old daughter is a huge pro-life advocate and designs her own shirts for pro-life and talks to girls at her school about it all the time.   She was trying to take one of her friends to see it and at the last minute when her friend’s mother found out what movie we were going to see she would not let her go because her mother was pro-choice.

I found it to be well produced and well-acted despite all the critics in the media saying it was just a “propaganda” film.

In UnPlanned we saw the greatest tool God ever gave us in the fight against evil shown when a Pastor quoted the following passage from pulpit:

“13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

Psalm 139:13-14 (KJV)

The Word of God is clear – human life begins at conception.  Period.

But Unplanned also uses another tool.   It uses the human heart.  I often rail against our society’s mantra of “listen to your heart”.  And I do so based on upon the explicit teaching of the Word of God:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)

But Christ also made the following statement in the Gospel of Matthew:

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

Matthew 22:37 (KJV)

So, we are told that our hearts can deceive us, yet we are also told to love God with all our heart.  What then does this mean and how does this apply to the movie Unplanned?  The following Scripture ties all this together:

“Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”

Psalm 86:11 (KJV)

We should all seek to learn how God feels about our every action and our feelings should reflect his.  Our hearts should be after his heart as King David’s was.  Our greatest empathy as believers should be toward God, to understand how he feels and why he feels as he does and to unite our hearts and our feelings with his.

And with our hearts united with God we as Christians should feel sorrow for millions of innocent lives snuffed out by abortion and at the same time feel a righteous anger and resolve to end abortion in our nation.

Over 60 million innocent babies have been murdered since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision made abortion legal.

We need to fight abortion by protesting it as we saw in this film but also in how we vote. We must continue to fight against this in State legislatures to make abortion as difficult to get as possible and ultimately, we need to pray that our Supreme Court can revisit this decision one day and overturn it.

I highly encourage all Christians to bring their friends to see the movie Unplanned.  This truly film could truly be used of God to change many lives.  Click here to go to their site to find movie times and tickets.

And to learn the true roots of Antinatalism in America, including abortion, see my article “The Root Cause of Antinatalism in America”.

Why God’s Identification as Male Is the Key to Understanding Life’s Meaning

Is the only reason God is identified in the Bible by masculine titles such as Father, Husband, Son and King and not also as Mother, Wife, Daughter and Queen because of the “misogynist” and “patriarchal” times the Bible was written in? Many non-Christians and sadly even professing Christians today would have us belief this.

On the other hand, we have Bible believing conservative Christians who tell us that “Everything created in woman that sets her off from man comes from God and reflects something of him… God is not male and God is not female… And yet God’s self-chosen titles matter”. So, these Bible believing Christians are basically saying God is not masculine or feminine and they don’t understand why he chooses masculine titles or even why he established male headship, just that he did and we must accept it. It is a mystery to them as to why God consistently reveals himself in the masculine sense.

What if I were to tell you that God’s Identification as male in the Bible is not because of the “misogynist” and “patriarchal” times the Bible was written in nor is it a mystery we must just accept. What if I were to tell you that understanding why God identifies as male can actually answer the greatest question any man or woman could ask and that is “Why am I here?

Recently I received an email from one of my readers asking me to tackle this issue. She told me she had people throwing verses at her that seemed to present God in a feminine sense. The people who gave her these verses claimed these passages proved God was both male and female – or that God split the attributes of his nature into male and female human beings so only together do man and woman represent the nature of God.

While writing a response to her concerns I decided to look into a few other conservative Christian sites to see their response to this issue in comparison to my own. I found an article written by Tony Reinke on DesiringGod.org called “Our Mother Who Art In Heaven?”. In this article he was reviewing “The Shack” movie which came out in 2017.

I decided that I would answer this reader’s question by reviewing this “review”. The reason is that while Reinke was right in some of his condemnation of the gender fluid portrayal of God the father in “The Shack” the problem is he really did not go far enough in his explanation of why it was wrong. In fact he and John Piper are both wrong in their position on the nature of God as it relates to gender.

So, I think this will more than answer this reader’s questions and show that even in conservative Bible believing circles there is unfortunately a great degree of ignorance regarding the nature of God.

Reinke starts out his review with the following synopsis of “The Shack”:

“With the recent launch of The Shack movie, we are reminded of a whole mix of theological questions raised by the novel, and the problems of projecting the divine onto a screen. One of the lead characters in the book, for example, is a woman named Papa, who plays the role of God the Father, and her character reignites questions over divine identity and gender language.

I am neither male nor female,” Papa self-discloses in the novel, “even though both genders are derived from my nature. If I choose to appear to you as a man or woman, it’s because I love you. For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.”

So now let’s look at Reinke’s response to the issue of God’s nature in relation to gender. He starts off quoting the Words of Christ and then John Piper:

“It’s worth saying from the outset, in the words of Jesus, “God is spirit” (John 4:24). God is not a sexual being, nor is he a biological male. He is spirit. “From eternity,” says John Piper, “God has not had a physical body and, therefore, he doesn’t have male features: facial hair, musculature, male genitals, no Y chromosome, no male hormones. Male is a biological word, and God is not a biological being” (Ask Pastor John, episode 294).”

And here is the first mistake in theology which comes from John Piper and then is repeated by Tony Reinke. Male is not just a “biological word”. Male, in the sense of male human beings, describes a set of both physical and psychological characteristics that are common to men. Here is a list of psychological differences between the typical man and the typical woman:

  1. Men are systemizers and women are empathizers.
  2. Men are logical and duty driven and women are emotional and feelings driven.
  3. Men are physical and women are relational.
  4. Men are competitive and women are cooperative.
  5. Men are aggressive and women are gentle.

I could go on with many more comparisons, but the fact is there is more to male and female than just genitalia and chromosomes. And before the transgender and gender fluid folks say “ya that right!” let me help you here. In Genesis 1:27, the Scriptures tell us “male and female created he them” and God makes the following declaration in the book of Deuteronomy:
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
Deuteronomy 22:5 (KJV)

What that means practically speaking is if you are born in a male “vessel” as the Bible refers to our bodies, then you are required by God to dress and act like a male. If you are born in a female vessel then are you are required by God to dress and act like a female.

In other words, being cisgender is not just “a privilege” as some call it today, but is in fact the command of God.

So, in this case, both sides are wrong. I know for sure that Reinke and Piper both oppose transgenderism but they are wrong in limiting male to simply a biological term. Male describes both biology and nature.

Reinke then goes on to list 26 passages where he says “God’s character and actions are revealed by feminine imagery”.

Let’s take a look at a few of these passages that he mentions:
“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
Isaiah. 66:13 (KJV)
“I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.”
Isaiah 42:14 (KJV)
“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.”
Isaiah 49:15

What do all these passages have in common? They are metaphors for behavior, not titles for God. And Reinke acknowledges this when he states “But even taken together, the evidence does not warrant us praying to “our Mother who art in heaven” and then he gives his “three compelling reasons” why.

In his first point Reinke states:

“in Scripture we find many masculine titles for God: Lord, Father, King, Judge, Savior, Ruler, Warrior, Shepherd, Husband, and even a handful of metaphorical masculine titles like Rock, Fortress, and Shield. While feminine titles for God — Queen, Lady, Mother, and Daughter — are never used.”

And this is a point I have made several times on this blog. Every title for God in the Bible is a masculine title and never ever feminine title.

His second point is in my opinion is quite silly. He tries to show that with the incarnation of Christ in “biological maleness” that there is a “sharp drop-off with the feminine metaphors for God”. He seems to be saying God became more male after Christ took on a male biological form.

I mean no disrespect to Reinke but this argument really is foolishness. The Trinity did not become more masculine because Christ took on a biological form, but rather Christ took on the form of a man because God ALWAYS had a masculine nature as we will show here in this article.

Now that I have been so hard on Reinke for his second point, I will give him some credit on his third point. For his third point as to why we should not refer to God as “Our Mother in Heaven” he states:

“Third, as theologian John Frame points out, it is not uncommon to see in Scripture feminine imagery intentionally applied to men (as in 2 Samuel 17:8). This makes sense to us, as we often speak of the feminine side of men today, meaning that men can (and should) display qualities often associated with women, like gentleness.

The apostle Paul’s anguish over the growth of his churches was for him like the pain of birthing a child (Galatians 4:19). And Paul’s apostolic gentleness was something like the kindness and patience of a nursing mother (1 Thessalonians 2:7). Obviously, Paul’s maleness is never brought into question by these female metaphors.”

That is a fantastic point about the Apostle Paul comparing himself to a mother in his behavior several times.

The point here is that just because I, the Apostle Paul or God himself uses a metaphor invoking the behavior of a woman does not mean we are saying we are both male and female. It has nothing to do with our identity as men.

But even on his third point Reinke makes this statement that needs correction – “we often speak of the feminine side of men today, meaning that men can (and should) display qualities often associated with women, like gentleness”. While I am not against men being gentle when a situation warrants it – one of the worst parts of our modern society is the teaching that men should be more like women. And sadly, this is even taught in many of our churches today.

Reinke concludes his review with the following statement from John Piper on this subject:

““Everything created in woman that sets her off from man comes from God and reflects something of him,” stresses Piper. “Woman was not modeled after some other god. There is no other god. She was modeled after God. When the Bible says she and he were created in the image of God, it means she is also made after the model of her Creator. So, it is important to say that in his essential divine being, not referring to his incarnate union with humanity, but in his essential, divine essence, God is not male and God is not female. Maleness and femaleness are God’s creation, as biological bearers of masculinity and femininity, both of which are rooted in God” (Ask Pastor John, episode 294).”

There are many false statements made here by Piper and repeated by Reinke. But before I show why they are false I need to show you a passage of Scripture that is not mentioned in this review:
“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
I Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV)

The word “man” in I Corinthians 11:7 is a translation of the Greek word “Aner” which literally means “male human being” while woman is a translation of the word “gune” which literally means “female human being”. Throughout the New Testament aner is translated as “man, men or husband” depending on the context it is used in and gune is translated as “woman, women or wife” depending on the context it is used in.

What this passage is saying is that the male human being is the image and glory of God, but the female human being is the glory of the man. It is a clear comparison and contrasting statement.

In fact, the passage above gives the very reason for which God created man and woman. He created man to image him and thereby bring him glory and he created woman to be the glory of man. The Old Testament tells us that God created the woman for the man as a helper (Genesis 2:18) and it also tells us that a woman is to be her husband’s “crown” or glory (Proverbs 12:4). The New Testament goes further into man’s imaging duties telling us that “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body” (Ephesians 5:23). All of these Scriptures passages and many more confirm for us why God refers to himself in the masculine sense in the Scriptures. It is because the masculine human being is the one who is his image bearer.

John Piper even blatantly denies what I Corinthians 11:7 so clearly states for us in another article he wrote specifically on I Corinthians 11 entitled “Creation, Culture, and Corinthian Prophetesses”.

In that article Piper states:

“Verse 7 tells why a man should not have a sign of authority on his head: “He is the image and glory of God’ but woman is the glory of man.” This is parallel to verse 3 (NAS): “Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman.”
These verses do not necessarily imply that Christ is not woman’s head nor that she is not the image and glory of God. Paul’s point is that man was created by God through Christ and woman was created by God through Christ through man. The point is not to lessen the intimacy of her relation to Christ (she is receiving prophetic revelation!), but to clarify and establish her relation to man.

Man is God’s glory in that he came from God through Christ without coming through woman, and so is to reflect Christ’s true nature as his divine head. Woman is man’s glory in that she came from God through Christ through man, and so is to reflect man’s true nature as her human head.”

Is there anything in this passage that states “Man is God’s glory in that he came from God through Christ without coming through woman”? Absolutely not. These verses do not just “imply” that “she is not the image and glory of God”, they EXPLICILTY state it!

This is why I always chuckle when people act like John Piper is this big traditional gender roles guy. He is NOT. Yes, he teaches male headship, but like most complementarians today he does not teach the REASON for male headship.

God did not just flip a coin and put men in charge of women. He put men in charge of women because the male human being “is the image and glory of God”. And because Piper and most Christian teachers refuse to acknowledge this truth that is staring them in the face – they cannot fully understand the purpose in why God placed men over women.

Now let’s return to the final statement by Piper that Reinke uses in his conclusion. I will take several key statements comparing them with the Scriptures:

Piper states:

“Everything created in woman that sets her off from man comes from God and reflects something of him”

This is FALSE. There is not one Scripture passage that says everything that sets a woman apart from man reflects something of God’s nature. In fact, in I Corinthians 11:9 we are told this truth:
“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

That means that everything that “sets her off from man” was created in her FOR MAN, not to further reveal the nature of God.

Piper states:

“Woman was not modeled after some other god. There is no other god. She was modeled after God.”

This is what is called a strawman argument. Who said woman was modeled after some other god? The false argument Piper is pushing is woman must be modeled after a god, and therefore since we know there is only one God then woman must be equally modeled after God in the same way man is.
The fact is that woman is NOT modeled after God or man while she does share common attributes with man whom she was taken from and therefore God as well because man was made in the image of God.

I used to say in error “Man is the image of God, and woman is the image of man” but I realized that statement is also theologically incorrect. The Bible never states that woman is the image of God nor does it state she is the image of man. She shares a common human nature with man but she is not his image as her nature is still very different.

Woman was given her core human traits like self-awareness, creativity, the ability to feel emotions, the ability to appreciate beauty and the ability to learn to make her a “help meet” (Genesis 2:18) for man. Man was given these same core human traits and then addition traits of increased strength, competitiveness, aggressiveness and many other traits we understand as masculine for a different purpose.

Man was given his masculine human nature to image God and thereby bring him glory. Woman was given her feminine nature not to be God’s image bearer, but instead to be a HELP to his image bearer. This is the truth of the Word of God.

Piper states:

“When the Bible says she and he were created in the image of God, it means she is also made after the model of her Creator.”

This is FALSE. No passage of the Bible says “she and he were created in the image of God”. Piper like many Christian teachers attempts to build this false argument on the following verse from Genesis:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Genesis 1:27 (KJV)

Does that passage say God created “she and he” or “male and female” in his image? It does not. It states two different things. First, it states that God created “him”, not “them” in his image. Secondly it states that he made “them” – male and female. Nothing here states that the female was made in his image as well. Many of tried to argue that the Hebrew word for man here “adam” means “mankind” and sometimes it does. But not when it is used with speech about a particular man. The Hebrew translated as “he him” literally means “this same man” and it is speaking of particularly of Adam the man.

We then learn from the Apostle Paul giving us divine commentary that it is all male human beings “aner” that are “the image and glory of God”. Mr. Reinke and Mr. Piper need only to accept the clear and explicit teaching of I Corinthians 11:7.

Piper states:

“So, it is important to say that in his essential divine being, not referring to his incarnate union with humanity, but in his essential, divine essence, God is not male and God is not female.”

Again, the statement that “God is not male and God is not female” directly contradicts the reading of I Corinthians 11:7 which Piper chooses to explain away and ignore:
“For a MAN (“aner” – the male human being”) indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he IS the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”
I Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

If the male human being is “the image and glory of God” then we can we rightly say God IS male in the sense that the Trinity is imaged in the masculine human nature. Now does that mean God is biologically male? Yes and No. Christ is the God man, but God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are spirit as the Bible tells us:
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:24 (KJV)

Conclusion

God using feminine metaphors to picture his behavior or feelings no more makes him female in his nature than the Apostle Paul using female metaphors for his behavior made him female in his.

There is no conflict in saying that God is spirit and yet God has always possessed a masculine nature even before the incarnation of Christ. God did not become more masculine after Christ took on the form of a man, but rather Christ took on the form of a man because God was always masculine.

To women reading this. The truth that you were made for man and not to image God does not mean God loves you any less than man. The lie you are taught in America and Western civilization is that equality equals humanity.

We are told that if we embrace the truth of God’s Word that woman was not made in God’s image then we are saying women are less human than men, and less valuable to God. This is false. God loves men and women equally and men and women are equally saved by Christ and can both become part of the body of Christ as the Scriptures tell us:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28 (KJV)

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
I Peter 3:7 (KJV)

The male and female, like marriage itself, is for this world and this time as the Scriptures tell us:
“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”
Matthew 22:30 (KJV)

But in this world and in this life, God has made “male and female”. If we are born in a male vessel than our life’s mission is to be the image bearer of God. We are to display his masculine attributes throughout our life. If we are born in a woman’s vessel, then we are called to find and dedicate our life to serving a person in a male vessel in marriage. This service of the female vessel to the male vessel was designed by God to picture the relationship between himself and his people.

And what I have just described answers the most important question that we as human beings can ever ask and that is “Why I am here?“. If we not only accept that God identifies as male, but accept why he identifies as male then we as men and woman, can know the meaning of life. But if we do as so much of the world today does and reject the fact that God identifies as male and why he identifies as male then we reject our very purpose for being here.

Is BiblicalGenderRoles.com advocating for overthrowing the government?

I love both the institution of government and my American nation in particular and I also love the institution of the Church as well as my local church that I attend.  But that does not mean that I will not point out failure and corruptions that have occurred in both these institutions that are ordained by God.

There is a feminist and egalitarian writer on Patheos.com name Suzanne Calulu that has been reviewing various articles on my blog for some time.  She is not really writing full reviews – but they really are just quick comments.  Every once in a while I will check out what she has to say about my blog if I am in the mood for a chuckle.

If you search for the tag “Larry Solomon – Biblical Gender Roles” on Patheos.com you will see all her reviews of my past articles.  If you look closely at many of her reviews (which are just a couple of paragraph comments) you will see she often misrepresents me to build a straw man for her audience.  Up until now I have not felt the need to respond but because of recent accusations she has made against me regarding my views of government I felt I needed to publically respond to her libel.

Suzanne Calulu posted a review of my blog on April 5th 2018 entitled “Seizing Christian Evangelical Control Over the Government by Suppressing Women?” in which she stated the following:

I have used screen shots here just in case she tries to delete the article or change her wording.  So if you notice in her title she says I that advocated for Christian evangelicals seize control of the government.  Then in her comment she writes that I said Christians need to “overthrow everything…in order to establish an Evangelical Theocracy.”

In a second review she posted on April 12th 2018 entitled “Suck It Up Brown and Black People – White Folks Rule According to Larry Solomon” Calulu writes the following statement below:

Calulu ‘s statement “He has advocated the violent overthrow of our government by his Theocracy buddies…” and then she insinuates that I should be on the radar of the FBI for what I have written regarding government.

If you look at the two articles she is referencing, which she does not even mention because she does not want her readers actually reading my site, you will find no such assertions by me in either article or for that matter any article on BiblicalGenderRoles.com.

The two articles she is reviewing are “The Case for Christian Nationalism” and “Why Whites Don’t Have to Apologize For White Privilege”.   Read these articles for yourself and you will see the falseness of her accusations.

In the Case for Christian Nationalism I write this about how I envision it would be possible for Christian Nationalism to come to power:

“Secular humanism, feminism, egalitarianism and a host of other false gods have fortified themselves much like Jericho did.  They control the courts, legislatures and media.  Only God can take down the stronghold of these false gods that are entrenched in our society.  But we must do our part as Christians to call it out until he does and when he does we as Bible believing Christians need to be prepared to go in after God brings the walls down.”

So, in no way was I advocating for the “violent overthrow of our government.  I said clearly that only God can take down the strongholds that exist in our government and that eventually the government will collapse and I did not insinuate this would happen due to some evangelical Christian army invading Washington, D.C. But rather it will collapse because God brings it down for violating his design of government, nations, marriage and genders.

How will God cause the collapse of the United States?

My wife and I like to watch home remodeling and improvement shows.  What you will find when watching these shows is when they look to knock out walls they must take into consideration that there might be main support beams.  They have to work around these beams or if they can’t they have to add additional supports elsewhere.  If they just cut out the support beams what used to be a solid house structure will eventually crumble.  Sure the house might look nice cosmetically, but if its structure is not sound none of that will matter and it will eventually fall.

The same principle is true in a nation.  As I showed in my article “The Case for Christian Nationalism”, there are three main pillars which support any nation.  These pillars are common religion, common ethnicity and common language.  If you remove any of those pillars eventually that nation will fall.

I showed the United States started as a nation whose people were overwhelming Christian, were mostly of British descent and who spoke English.  I said the founders in their efforts to guard against Christian Church-State governments left the door wide open for secularism to take over America.  Eventually this pillar, that of common religion, began to collapse.

After the Civil War and then changes in immigration law in the 1960’s another pillar was badly damaged and this is the pillar of common ethnicity.  Previously there were quotas in place to make sure most immigrants to America came from Northern European white countries.  These quotas were removed.

So, in a way it is like someone took a saw to two of the main support beams of a house (common religion and common ethnicity) and cut three quarters of the way through each one.  Eventually when one of them snaps the house caves in.

I believe that God has been holding the weakened supports of the United States together but at a point very soon he will let go and allow his natural laws to take full effect.  We in America have sowed “diversity” or what it really is – “division” and we will reap the consequences of that.  Racial, political and religious differences on multiple fronts will eventually lead to the collapse of the United States.

My point in my statements in previous articles was not for advocating for the violent overthrow of the United States government by some Evangelical Christian army.  But instead it was that once the government collapses due to a variety of factors Christians should be ready to take control in the absence of a functioning government as opposed to overthrowing a functioning government like what we have now (despite its many flaws and imperfections). Even then when I talk about taking control what I am really alluding to is secession or the mutual breakup of the United States into smaller more unified and thus less diversified parts.

Update 4/25/2018:

I was going to do an article with small short story illustrating a possible future breakup of the United States scenario.  But I have really gotten into writing the story and it is growing and will take some time to get all my ideas into it.  So I will do some other shorter articles in the meantime and get back to you when this story is done.  I am really enjoying it and I might have some friends help me proof read it and make adjustments for style.

Do Christian Values Cause Sexual Harassment?

With the revelations of famous men acting badly toward women and the rise of the MeToo# movement we are having a national conversation about the causes of sexual harassment.  Some have made a startling accusation that it is the “toxic” system of Christian values which is at the root of this evil behavior. The sad part is many Christians in America have been so indoctrinated by feminism that they would not even recognize that Christian values are being attacked.

In an article he wrote for Inc.com entitled Yes, We Can Defeat Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. Here Are 6 Powerful Ways to Do It Marcel Schwantes says the fight against sexual harassment is “about deconstructing false values embedded in toxic systemic thinking”:

“Both men and women of good conscience are fearlessly acknowledging the elephant in the room — the disturbing, age-old trend of men in power taking advantage of their status to prey on women (and other men) working below them.

Therefore, the fight is just as much about deconstructing false values embedded in toxic systemic thinking, and the thinking of sick minds. In the BBC article, Eden King exposes a root cause of sexual harassment: “A belief that women are inferior to men, the belief that men should have power over women,” and, she adds, a belief that “men should be aggressors and women should be gatekeepers.” The process of shifting mindsets doesn’t start in training rooms. King says it should begin in the earliest days of childhood education and development.”

Do Christians believe in “toxic” and “false” values that lead to sexual harassment?

Eden King lists these 4 values that she believes are false and Marcel Schwantes calls “toxic” ways of thinking that actually lead to the sexual harassment of women:

  1. “A belief that women are inferior to men”
  2. “the belief that men should have power over women”
  3. “men should be aggressors”
  4. “women should be gatekeepers”

So let’s now examine each of these beliefs as to their whether they are true or false and whether they lead to sexual harassment or actually would help to prevent it.

“A belief that women are inferior to men”

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

I Peter 3:7 (KJV)

Women are equal to men in their humanity as we all have the blood of Adam (both men and women).  But women are not equal to men in strength and many other attributes. Women were designed to be weaker than men so that they would need men as mankind needs God.  Believing women are inferior to men does not mean we do not honor women.  But as the Scriptures tell us we give honor to women as the weaker vessels God designed them to be.

So, this first supposed “false value” is not false based on the Word of God.  This means this value that has been held by civilizations even without the Bible for thousands of years is actually a TRUE value and a righteous value. Accepting this truth has not lead most men to prey on women, but rather it leads men to protect women.

“the belief that men should have power over women”

“3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God…

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.”

I Corinthians 11:3 & 10 (KJV)

The Bible tells that God’s order in this world is God the father is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man and man is the head of woman and that woman should have a sign of authority or a sign that there is a power over her head which is man.

Again, this second supposed “false value” is not false based on the Word of God.  This means this value that has been held by civilizations even without the Bible for thousands of years is actually a TRUE value and a righteous value. Accepting this truth has not lead most men to prey on women, but rather it leads men to desire to lead women.

“men should be aggressors”

“Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight”

Psalm 144:1 (KJV)

“10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, 11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; 12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.”

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 (KJV)

This third supposed “false value” is not false based on the Word of God.  The Bible tells us that God has made men aggressive by nature.  Man’s aggressive nature when it is used for sinful purposes can cause great destruction and evil.  But when man channels his aggressive nature toward godly purposes this helps him to accomplish great things – including taking a wife.

Accepting this truth that men are aggressors or initiators in life is not something that should cause men to harass women or otherwise act badly toward them.  Instead this truth that men are aggressors should lead men to channel their aggression into their work so they can be successful in their business endeavors to be able to provide a home for a future wife. It should also cause them to aggressively seek out a godly woman who wants to fulfill her God given purpose as a wife and mother.

“women should be gatekeepers”

“20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:

21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”

Deuteronomy 22:20-22 (KJV)

Finally, this fourth supposed “false value” is not false based on the Word of God.  The Bible tells us that God has in fact assigned the role of gatekeeper to women regarding their sexual purity. In the Scriptures if a woman lost her virginity before marriage it could relegate her to a life of celibacy and if she hid the loss of her virginity it could cost her life.

While we are no longer under the civil penalties of the Old Testament law – the moral law remains.  God has given women a serious and lifelong task to protect their bodies and keep them only for their future or current husbands.  Her husband is the only one that she may and in fact must allow through the gate to access the pleasures of her body.

Accepting this truth that women are tasked by God to be gatekeepers of their sexual purity does not excuse men from acting badly toward woman. But this is why God created woman’s sexual nature to be so different than man’s. Men are designed by God to be primarily physically driven toward sex and only secondarily relationally driven.  Because of this a man can very easily have sex with a woman regardless of their relational status.  But God in his perfect design of woman for man created her with a relational    sexual nature that causes her to only desire to give herself to one man and one man only – her husband.  She is literally built with a self-protection mechanism that protects her for her man.

Conclusion

I could not agree more with Marcel Schwantes that returning to values would help to greatly reduce sexual harassment in the workplace.  However, I completely disagree with him as to what values we need to return to.  The values he and Eden King calls “false” and places as the root of the evils of sexual harassment are in fact the values that could greatly reduce the sexual harassment of women if we as a society returned them.

The “values” Schwantes and King believe we should return to do not find their basis in the Word of God, but rather in Second Wave Feminism and the Sexual Revolution which brought us these destructive changes to society:

  1. Women leaving their gatekeeper role and engaging in extramarital sex
  2. Women seeking higher education while delaying marriage
  3. Women putting off having children even after marriage
  4. Women having financial independence from men
  5. Women rebelling against their subordinate role in marriage and society

The truth is, it is not Biblical values that have lead us to the sexual harassment crisis our culture finds itself in today, but rather it is the values of Second Wave Feminism and the Sexual Revolution which are the true root of the problem.

Is it wrong to judge a Pedophile?

Does the Bible forbid us as Christians from feeling “a burst of rage” when we hear about cases of pedophiles molesting, raping or killing children? Are we putting ourselves in the “Judge’s seat” when we feel such special anger and rage toward people who would do such things to children?

A Christian blogger calling herself “SeriouslyServing” answers both of these questions with a firm “YES”.  In her view Christians are forbidden from feeling a burst of rage or anger or feeling any differently toward cases of child molestation than any other sin.

In her post “Thank You, Lord, That I am Not Like This Paedophile” SeriouslyServing writes:

“Every time a news story breaks about a new case of child sexual abuse or a child porn user, a slew of people rush to the comments section to declare their thoughts about the criminal.

“Scum of the earth…”

“Bring back the death penalty…”

“Let him stay with the general population in prison, see how he likes that…”

In one sense, I can relate. Nothing sickens me more than the thought of people hurting and abusing children, especially since I’ve had kids of my own. At times, I’ve read details of these horrific cases and felt a burst of rage, and contemplated what justice might look like for that person.

So we put ourselves firmly in the seat of Judge, and we mete out what we would consider Justice. I have to laugh at the incongruity here, given one of the maxims of our day is “don’t judge”…

“Don’t judge” – unless the person you’re judging is a paedophile.

“Don’t judge” – unless it’s someone who is clearly way worse than you.

“Don’t judge” – unless it’s publicly acceptable to do so.”

To be clear, SeriouslyServing, is admitting she has struggled with reacting to the actions of pedophiles differently than any other sin.  The rest of the article is her telling herself and us why she thinks she was wrong for feeling that way and why we should feel wrong as well.

And just a note – the different spelling of “Paedophile” has to do with the fact that SeriouslyServing is using the British spelling of the word.  The American spelling is “pedophile” so that is what I am using.

SeriouslyServing bases her premise that we are wrong to feel a burst of rage or any differently about what pedophiles do to children on this passage from the Gospel of Luke:

“9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14 (KJV)

SeriouslyServing has completely misinterpreted the meaning of Christ’s parable that we have just read.  The emphasis was not on judging sin, but on a person, being self-righteous.

Christ said this in another part of the Gospels:

“When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Mark 2:17 (KJV)

Jesus was saying here that unless we see ourselves as sinners in need of the great physician which is Christ we cannot be saved.  This is the same message Christ was giving in Luke 18:9-14.  The Pharisee who thanked God “that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” was showing God he did not see himself as a sinner before God.  He thought his good outweighed any bad he did and that his works made him righteous before God.

Luke 18:9-14 is actually a beautiful picture of what it takes for us to be saved.  I have used it many times in sharing the Gospel.  We cannot look at the good we do or compare ourselves to others and think because we do more good than some others that we are saved.  We cannot think that because we don’t do certain things others do that we are saved.  Each us must do what the Publican did and pray “God be merciful to me a sinner”.  This is the only way we can be saved.

Does God view all sins of equally?

Is it wrong for us to feel a special rage toward those who harm children or should we have no burst of rage or anger toward such sins and regard them as no different than someone getting a speeding ticket?

It is absolutely true that all sin condemns us to hell.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned

Romans 5:12 (KJV)

Whether we sin little, or sin much the smallest sin will condemn us to hell.  But just because all sin equally condemns us to hell – this does not make all sin equally heinous before God.  The Scriptures show that God views some sins as more heinous than others.

When the Jews said that Jesus did his miracles by the power of Satan he said:

“31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

Matthew 12:31-32 (KJV)

So, as we can see ascribing the miracles of God to Satan is something especially heinous to God and is set apart from other sins.

Jesus in speaking to Pilate said:

“Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

John 19:11 (KJV)

Christ was saying if Pilate sentenced him to death that would be a sin against God in that he would be sentencing an innocent man to death.  But the “greater sin” was committed by the Jewish leaders who handed him over to Pilate for death.  They were rejecting Christ as their Messiah and calling Jesus who was the sinless son of God a sinner worthy of death.  Theirs was truly the greater sin.

Again, in the New Testament Paul has a warning for those who are teachers of God’s Word:

“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”

James 3:1 (KJV)

If a person sins because they have been wrongly taught that it is ok to do something they will still be judged by God.  But God judges the teachers who taught others to do such things with a greater condemnation than those who simply followed the wrong teaching.

Here we see God specially targets sexual sin:

“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

1 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV)

So, as we can see from the Scriptures – all sins condemn us to hell but not all sins are judged equally by God. Some sins receive a greater condemnation than others.

Is it wrong to judge?

But what about judging? Doesn’t the Bible say we should never judge others sin?

A lot of Christians and non-Christians alike misunderstand what Christ said about judging below:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)

If you look at the passage in its context Christ is condemning hypocritical judging, not all judging.  If we are doing the same things or worse things than what someone else is doing we have no business passing judgement on what they have done.

Besides hypocritical judging there is one other type of judging the Bible condemns as seen in the passage below:

“1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”

Romans 14:1-2 (KJV)

We are not to pass judgement on our brothers regarding disputable matters.  There are some things in which we must seek the Lord’s will for personal decisions in our lives.  As Christians we may come to different conclusions on some matters and we must do what we believe is right before the Lord based on searching the Scriptures and seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

So, as we have shown from the Scriptures God condemns two types of judging – hypocritical judging and judging on disputable matters or matters of conscience.

But we are in fact commanded to judge righteously as opposed to judging hypocritically or in matters of conscience as seen in the Scriptures below:

“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

Leviticus 19:15 (KJV)

“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

Proverbs 31:9 (KJV)

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

John 7:24 (KJV)

Too many Christians and non-Christians alike believe that no one can say anything against their sin. They say “the Bible says judge not lest ye be judged!” But they are absolutely wrong in their assertions of what the Bible says.  The Bible tells us not judge unjustly.  It tells us not to judge hypocritically.  It tells us not judge in matters of conscience.  But where God speaks clearly and we are not guilty of such things ourselves we are commanded by God to “in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor”.

This means that Christians can and must speak out against things like murder (including the murder of the unborn) rape and fornication including one of the most wicked and heinous forms of fornication which is child molestation.

Is it always wrong to get angry?

Like in the matter of judging, many Christians and non-Christians alike believe the Bible condemns all forms of anger or hatred based on passages like this one below:

“43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Matthew 5:43-45 (KJV)

Was Christ condemning all forms of anger or hatred? The answer is no.  We can see from Christ himself that he acted in anger:

“13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”

John 2:13–17 (KJV)

Like judging, not all anger is according to the Scriptures.   The New Testament tells there is a righteous form of anger:

“26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.”

Ephesians 4:26-27 (KJV)

If we look back to the Old Testament we can understand what kind of anger is actually righteous in God’s sight:

“Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”

Psalm 97:10 (KJV)

“21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”

Psalm 139:21-22 (KJV)

 

Many good men who had righteous anger toward wicked things that happen in our world have allowed their righteous anger to be turned into sinful bitterness and this is something we should always guard against in our lives as Christians.

However, there is a zeal, an anger or hatred for evil that is in fact righteous before God.  Christ demonstrated such righteous anger when he put a whip together and drove the money changers out of the temple.

So, if Christ was not condemning all forms of hatred in Matthew 5:43-45 what was he condemning? To find the answer to this question we must look to another of Christ’s statements later in the Gospel of Matthew:

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”

Matthew 24:9 (KJV)

Christ was saying that if we are hated for being Christians we would should use that as a way to minister toward our spiritual enemies. We should love those who hate us for being Christians and show them the love of Christ.  But this was not a condemnation of us being angry at evil or hating evil acts against innocents.

Christ had a special hatred for those who would harm children

In the same way that Christ had a zeal for those would abuse his father’s house he also had a righteous hatred toward those who would harm children:

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matthew 18:1-6 (KJV)

Several times in the Gospels Christ told his disciples that in order to enter the Kingdom of heaven they needed to become as little children.  He was using children as a symbol of innocence.  Children are trusting.  Child place their dependence on others for their provision and protection.  Only if we humble ourselves as a child seeing ourselves in need of God’s forgiveness and grace can we be saved.

Christ then gives a stern warning against those who would offend (or harm or lead astray) one of these “little ones”.  He says it would be better for them to have a millstone hung around their neck and be cast into the see than to commit wickedness against one of these “little ones”.

This warning has multiple applications of course.  In its most literal sense as Christ holds a child in his arms he is talking about those who would commit wickedness against the innocence of a child. But he is also using this in the spiritual sense of those false teachers who would come along and lead believers astray with false doctrines.

Conclusion

We have demonstrated from the Scriptures some very important principles.

Luke 18:9-14 rather than being a condemnation of us being angered by the wickedness that others do is a condemnation of having a self-righteous attitude toward God in the matter of salvation.  We can only be saved when we see ourselves as wicked sinners and we must not think because we don’t do certain things or do certain things that this provides the justification for our salvation.

While Romans 5:12 shows us that all men have sinned and all sin equally condemns men to hell, other passages like John 19:11 and James 3:1 show us that there are in fact greater and lesser sins in God’s eyes.

On the subject of judging in the Scriptures we read that we are actually commanded to judge righteously (Leviticus 19:15 & John 7:24) while at the same time we are forbidden from judging from a place of hypocrisy (Matthew 7:1-5) or from judging other Christians in matters of conscious (Romans 14:1-2).

The Bible actually commands us to be angry at sin and hate evil acts (Ephesians 4:26-27, Psalm 97:10, Psalm 139:21-22).  Jesus Christ acted in zealous and righteous anger in whipping the money changers and driving them from the temple (John 2:13–17).  The Bible warns us against allowing our righteous anger to turn into bitterness.  Christ commands us to show love toward those who hate us for his name’s sake.

Finally, we showed that Christ did single out those who would commit wicked acts against the innocence of children.

So, we can rightly say using the principles that Christ laid out that it would be better for a man to have a large stone hung around his neck than for him to commit wicked acts against the innocence of a child.

It is absolutely true that God offers forgiveness, mercy and grace towards sinners including murders, rapists and yes even pedophiles. But God also commands us to judge from a righteous position these heinous acts.  Just because God offers forgiveness and grace does not mean he is not filled with anger and hatred toward such acts and he commands us to be “Be ye angry, and sin not”.

There is a reason that social workers, police officers and soldiers feel “a burst of rage” and a different kind of hatred when they find children having been abused, molested, raped or murdered. There is a reason that even the hardest of criminals feel this way toward pedophiles.  It is because children are one of God’s greatest symbols of innocence and when their innocence is violated in these heinous ways it should evoke a righteous anger and hatred in all of us, if it doesn’t that is the problem.

Why the movie “Fireproof” offers unbiblical and BAD marriage advice

One of the biggest of problems with the Fireproof movie is that it turns marriage into an idol. People are exhorted to do just about anything to save their marriage. Fireproof was released in September of 2008 and it became an instant hit in churches around the country. The “love dare” and many other books and marriage teaching materials spawned from this movie and some churches to this day still use this movie to teach advice about marriage.

Movie Synopsis

Fireproof features Kirk Cameron in the lead role as a firefighter named Caleb Holt. The movies shows right from the beginning a strained relationship between Caleb and his wife Catherine. He is short with her and she is disrespectful with him.  Eventually Catherine says she wants a divorce and they go through the divorce process during the movie. Caleb talks to his father who had become a Christian in recent years and his father tells him of marriage troubles his mother and he had.  He offers to send his son something that he wants him to try before he gives up on his marriage.

It must be pointed out that neither Caleb nor his wife Catherine are Christians at the beginning of this film.

Caleb receives a handwritten journal that is later referred to as “The Love Dare” and it gives Caleb 40 days where each day he must working on his marriage with most days asking him to do something kind for his wife.  In the middle of the movie when Caleb feels his efforts with the love dare are not working his father uses his failed efforts to bring him to Christ.  Then after becoming a Christian he redoubles his efforts despite his wife basically spitting in his face the entire movie only for her to accept him back at the end of the movie.  She becomes a Christian because of the change she saw in him and they renew their wedding vows as Christians.

So now we will dive into the problems that make “Fireproof” a movie that Bible believing Christians should reject.

The chain of events that lead to the breakdown of Caleb and Catherine’s marriage

Most Christian reviewers of the movie as well as the people who produced the movie itself want your primary focus to be on Caleb’s wrong behavior and not Catherine’s. There is only one small scene in the movie where a Christian nurse confronts Catherine’s sinful emotional affair with a doctor at the hospital. Catherine’s behavior is seen simply as a wife’s natural reaction to a mean and self-centered husband and we are supposed to believe Caleb’s behavior came out of thin air.

Caleb says the problems started about a year earlier. So now I will present what I think were several problems that lead up to breakdown of their marriage based on several key statements made in the first two arguments of the movie.

Here is the chain of events that eventually lead Catherine to seek divorce from Caleb:

  1. A year earlier Catherine comes to Caleb asking for him to use part of his savings for his boat to pay for a new hospital bed and wheel chair for her disabled mother who is living in a nursing home and Caleb refuses to part with any money from his savings feeling that he works hard as a firefighter and after saving for years deserves to get his boat.
  2. Catherine reacts to his refusal by going to work full time as an administrator in a local hospital. Caleb tells her that if she is going to work full time then she will need to help pay the bills in the house while he will continue to pay the house payment and their two car payments.
  3. Catherine begins spending much more time with her mother on the weekends in addition to working full time and Caleb becomes frustrated by his wife’s neglect of him and her home.
  4. Caleb begins looking at porn at some point and Catherine starts sexually denying him and tells him that she won’t give him sex while he looks at that “smut” and she would not compete with it. She later tells him that he has lost all honor in her eyes because he looks at porn.
  5. Catherine’s bitterness toward Caleb over her feelings about him being selfish with his savings, his looking at porn and his not doing enough in helping with the affairs of the home leads to a very disrespectful attitude toward Caleb.
  6. As could be expected in any marriage that has experienced these types of issues there is also a complete breakdown of even the most basic communications between the couple.
  7. Caleb gets frustrated with Catherine’s disrespectful attitude and he finally let’s her have it. He yells at her in frustration and gets in her face telling her how ungrateful and disrespectful she has been after she has spent several minutes smarting off to him.   She goes from being a defiant and disrespectful wife all of sudden to a fearful victim who begins to cry in fear.  She tells him “I want out” and thus begins Caleb’s and Catherine’s journey into divorce.

It must be noted that beside Catherine’s neglect of her home, her sexual denial of her husband and her highly disrespectful attitude toward him she compounds her sinful behavior by beginning an emotional affair with a doctor at the hospital where she works.

The sins that Caleb and Catherine each committed

Caleb acted selfishly in not wanting to part with any of his savings for his boat to care for the legitimate needs of Catherine’s mother for a hospital bed and wheel chair.

Catherine began to grow bitter at Caleb for his selfishness with his savings and at the same time decides to put her mother’s care ahead of her duties to her home and her husband.

Catherine’s comment acknowledging she has been sexually denying her husband and that she would not “compete with that smut” (the porn he had been looking at) also reveals a sinful heart of pride on her part.  While much our current culture (including Christian Churches) teach that a man must have eyes only for his wife this concept is not supported by the Scriptures (see my post “10 Hard Truths Christian Wives must accept about their husbands and porn”).  Even if it were sinful for him to be looking at porn and it was required by God for him to focus all his sexual thoughts and energy on her it still would not be right for her to sexually deny him.

Could Caleb have helped more around the house with his wife working full time and helping to care for her mother on the weekends? Probably.  But there is an argument to be made that unless a husband asks his wife to work to help support the family and if she decides on her own that she needs/wants to work then he has no obligation to help her with the duties of the home.  In essence she as decided to pull “double duty” – to work outside the home while fully keeping up with her duties to the affairs of her home.

In either case it appears that Catherine has also been woefully neglectful of her home.   There is also another question regarding whether or not she should have been spending all those weekends with her mother at the nursing home.  Did they not have nurses to care for her mother?

Even though Caleb was not a Christian man he worked many hours as a firefighter and expected and had grown accustomed to his wife being the keeper of the affairs of the home. This is a natural instinctive expectation for any man in regard to his wife even without knowing anything about the Biblical commands for wives to occupy this role. Our society has tried to reprogram men to be “joint keepers of the home” with their wives but this reprogramming has still not taken affect with a lot of men. The refrigerator and cupboards being stocked, meals being made and his laundry being done were all things Caleb had come to expect from Catherine.  Then when she went to work that began to change.

I believe this change in Catherine’s neglect of her home was due to several factors.  She believed that since she had to work due to her husband’s selfishness with his money that she was no longer going to take care of all the affairs of the home.  He was going to have fend for himself – he deserved that for how he had been treating her.  She also decided that her mother’s needs were more important than her husband’s wishes. Even if she was right about all the wrong things he had done – her wrong behavior in reaction to her husband’s behavior caused a destructive spiral of sinful behavior in their marriage that eventually lead to their divorce proceedings.

Right behaviors that could have prevented the collapse of Caleb and Catherine’s marriage

First Caleb could have realized the true need of Catherine’s mother for a hospital bed and wheel chair and sacrificed his dream of a boat to help her mother’s real need. This would have strengthen her love for him. But rather than do what was right Caleb acted selfishly and refused to help her mother.

However, Catherine could have chosen to act to both preserve her marriage and at the same time help her mother at the same time.  She could have taken the difficult road of fully taking care of the needs of her home and working full time at the same time.  Would this be tiring for her? Absolutely.  But then she would have been fulfilling her duty to her home while at the same time helping her mother. Another thing to remember is Catherine and Caleb had no children so really Catherine’s duties to her home would not have been as burdensome as if they had children.

Caleb could have chosen to be more discreet about his porn use and least given his wife the perception that he was not looking at it anymore after she caught him the first time knowing how much it hurt her feelings.  He seems to be have had little regard for being discreet about his porn habit.

Catherine felt great emotional pain regarding her husband’s porn use as she felt she was to be center of all his sexual thoughts and that she should not have to compete with images or thoughts of any other women on the part of her husband. But even with her hurt she could have decided to act in a right way and not drive him to look at porn further and also increase his frustration toward her by sexually denying him.

Caleb tries to save his marriage

At first both Caleb and Catherine just want to pull the eject level because of hurts they each feel they have suffered at the hands of the other.  But then Caleb’s Dad convinces him to fight for 40 days to save his marriage using the love dare journal.

Caleb while not being a Christian yet out of respect for his father decides to give it a try. In the beginning he is doing these things expecting his wife to notice and then apologize for her behavior and they could make up and cancel the planned divorce.  But as he does each kind thing toward her she becomes more and more hostile instead believing his actions are not based on genuine changes she would like to see.

This is where we get into some unbiblical concepts and misapplied biblical concepts that are introduced by the love dare and Caleb’s father.

Fireproof confuses God’s unconditional love with God’s conditional affection

Many Christian men and women do not know that God has two kinds of love for us. There are certain actions God performs toward us that are completely based on God’s unconditional love for us. His salvation for us is chief among these actions and this passage is used in the movie to refer to God’s unconditional love:

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (NIV)

This passage is used as central theme in teaching Caleb to unconditionally love his wife.  Now should a man unconditionally love his wife? Absolutely.  That is what all men vow to do when they take a woman as their wife.

However when a man vows to unconditionally love his wife he is vowing to unconditionally provide for her, protect her, care for her when she sick, lead her, forgive her when she sins against him, show her kindness, teach her, discipline her and sacrifice himself for her.

When Caleb refused to take money out of his savings he was not sacrificing himself for his wife’s true needs as he should have.  When he became a Christian he realized what that meant to sacrifice himself for his wife and took the money out of his account and paid for her mother’s hospital bed and wheel chair.

But the Bible shows that God’s affection for us is in fact based upon our affection toward him:

“No, the Father himself loves you BECAUSE you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” – John 16:27 (NIV)

The word here in the original language for “love” is different than the word used in Romans 5:8 in regard to love.  This word could be translated as “affection” so it could read as this:

“No, the Father himself shows affection for you BECAUSE you have shown affection me and have believed that I came from God.”

See my post “Why doesn’t my husband love me anymore?” for more on this subject of unconditional love and conditional affection in regard to both God’s love for us as individuals, his love for Israel and a husband’s love for his wife.

Getting back to Fireproof – they teach that God only has one kind love and it is always unconditional. In the view of fireproof a husband is not only to unconditionally love his wife by providing her, protecting her and sacrificing himself for her but is also called to perform unconditional acts of affection toward her.

The message we get from Fireproof is that a man should do things like buy his wife flowers, make her romantic dinners, clean the house and a host of other acts of affection despite his wife’s continued sinful behavior including complete and utter disrespect, a generally critical and hostile spirit, neglect of her duties to the home, sexual denial and even an emotional affair.

The Biblical truth is that while God calls husbands to unconditionally love their wives he does not call them to unconditionally perform acts of affection toward them in spite of their rebellious and sinful behavior or to cause them to turn from their sinful behavior.

What did God do in the Old Testament when his wife acted in rebellion against him, disrespected him and she became unfaithful like Catherine did here in this story?

“41 They will burn your houses with fire and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women. Then I will stop you from playing the harlot, and you will also no longer pay your lovers. 42 So I will calm My fury against you and My jealousy will depart from you, and I will be pacified and angry no more. 43 Because you have not remembered the days of your youth but have enraged Me by all these things, behold, I in turn will bring your conduct down on your own head,” declares the Lord God, “so that you will not commit this lewdness on top of all your other abominations.” – Ezekial 16:41-43 (NASB)

From Ezekiel and many other Old Testament passages we can see just how God handles a rebellious wife.  He brings her conduct on her head. He disciplines his wife.

Notice in this next passage from the book of Isaiah how God removes his blessing from Israel because of her rebellion:

““What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it?

Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?

5 “So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard:

I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed;

I will break down its wall and it will become trampled ground.

6 “I will lay it waste;

It will not be pruned or hoed,

But briars and thorns will come up.

I will also charge the clouds to rain no rain on it.” – Isaiah 5:4-8 (NASB)

God did not continue to bless Israel and do even more for her and perform unconditional acts of affection toward her while she was in her rebellion. God’s example as a husband to his wife Israel is in DIRECT contradiction to what Fireproof advices husband’s to do with a rebellious and unfaithful wife.

But didn’t God show that he would “allure” Israel back to him?

Often times Hosea and the prostitute God called him to marry are brought up to bolster Fireproof’s approach to the rebellious and unfaithful wife. But if you closely examine the story of Hosea you will see that God had Hosea take a prostitute as his wife who was later unfaithful to him and he took her back to show that AFTER Israel repents and turns from her wickedness God would remove his discipline and restore her blessings and her rightful place as his wife.

For more on the subject of a husband disciplining his wife see my post “7 Ways to Discipline your wife”.

Fireproof does get it right about a husband confessing his sin to his wife

God calls husbands to confront sin both in themselves, their wives and their children. But before a husband can confront his wife’s sin he must confess his own and make it right.

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Luke 6:42 (NIV)

Caleb did do this with his wife in the movie after he became a Christian. This is something the movie actually gets right.

I do though think it was silly in the movie that he paid for her mother’s hospital bed and wheel chair and he did not tell her about it. He could have used that as a powerful moment to let her know how sorry he was for being selfish with his money and that he had paid for her mother’s hospital bed and wheel chair to demonstrate his repentance.  It could have avoided prolonging their problems and if she would have never thought to ask who actually paid for it they may have continued with the divorce.

Fireproof teaches the false doctrine of “Happy Wife Happy Life”

During an exchange early in the movie before Caleb’s conversion he is talking about how is respected everywhere he goes except in his own home.  His fellow firefighter tells him that he has been there before his wife not feeling respected and it was a rough place to be. His friend tells Caleb that ultimately his marriage problems were not about his wife’s disrespectful attitude toward him but rather it was because of his mistreatment of her.

He offers this advice that he learned in marriage counseling “Your wife is like rose, if you treat her right she will bloom but if you don’t she wither and die”. This is the essence of “Happy Wife Happy Life” that is taught in both secular marriage counseling and sadly in most Christian marriage counseling in our society.

Today marriage counselors often say that most marriage problems come down to the husband’s treatment of his wife. If the husband would just love his wife as she desires to be loved and do whatever she wants their marriage will be great and in return she will love him and be the best wife to him.

But this is blatantly false.

God calls Christian husband’s to make their first concern to honor God with their lives and to model the relationship of God to his people in their marriages. In keeping with that primary goal of marriage husbands are called to sacrifice themselves not for their wife’s happiness – but rather for her holiness:

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” – Ephesians 5:25-27 (NIV)

In most Christian churches when they teach on the sacrificial love that God calls Christian husband’s to emulate with their wives they stop abruptly at “gave himself up” but they never explain for what purpose a husband is to give himself up for his wife. The primary purpose of a husband’s sacrificial love for his wife is to make her holy not to make her happy.  In fact often times a husband will be called to make leadership decisions that his wife disagrees with but he believes are in the will of God.  This might make her unhappy. He might have to confront his wife for some sinful behavior she is doing and this will definitely make her unhappy.  But the goal is his wife’s holiness, not her happiness.

Now is it wrong for a husband to try and make his wife happy where he can? Of course not.  If what his wife is asking for would not conflict with what he believes God would have him do then by all means he should do it.  If a husband were presented with the same scenario with saving for some boat or other unnecessary thing and a true need arose for a close family member he should sacrifice his wants in these kinds of cases.

Now there is also the case of a selfish wife where is she is very demanding of her husband’s time and money on a regular basis and not for legitimate needs like a hospital bed and wheel chair for her mother.  Men need to be careful in these cases to not spoil their wives.

See my previous post entitled “Does the Bible teach “happy wife happy life”?” for more on this subject.

I have personally seen the damage that the Fireproof movie has caused in marriages

When Fireproof was released in September of 2008 I was in the midst of my divorce from my first wife. My story in many ways mirrored the story of Caleb but in some ways it was different.

First let me state the biggest difference is that my wife and I were both professing Christians and we both had attended church for most of our lives. When I say “professing” I don’t mean that I did not truly believe because I have truly believed in God since I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior at the age of seven years old.  But by “professing” I mean in my opinion I am not sure that my ex-wife was ever truly a genuine believer.  I cannot say for sure that she is not a Christian as only God knows that.  But the fact that she has rarely graced the door step of a church in years and the way she has lived her life since our divorce has not given me any cause to think her faith is genuine.

But the reasons for the breakdown in our marriage were similar in some ways to Caleb and Catherine and different in many other ways.

My first wife thought I worked two much – I worked a full time job and a part time job to support our big family with five children. Unlike Caleb though I was not tight with the money and pretty much anything my wife wanted she got if we had the funds. In fact in many ways I was too soft on her as she was an extremely lazy woman with a princess mentality.

Like Caleb I also had a habit of viewing pornography although it did not affect my desire for my wife in the least bit and for all of our marriage until the last year of it we had sex several times a week. At the time though and for most of my life I condemned myself on a regular basis for viewing porn and I ask God’s forgiveness and her forgiveness on a regular basis. After my divorce from my first wife God finally revealed to me that my self-condemnation for viewing porn was misplaced and that I could view some type’s porn guilt free as long as it did not lead to obsessive behavior or affect my desire for my future wife.

Now the reason that our sex life decreased rapidly in the last year of our marriage was not due to my porn habit or any decrease in desire on my part for my wife.  The decrease came because for the first time in our marriage she began to sexually deny me.  At first it was only a decrease in our relations and then eventually she started to flat out deny me.

What I eventually came to learn is that she had been having an affair with another man for the past year (which completely explained the change in our sex life). She cited my working too much and my history of viewing porn as her primary reasons for the affair. She felt that she should have been the only woman that I desired to see naked and she should have been the center of all my sexual focus and really my life’s focus.  She wanted to be number one in all areas of my life and she felt she did not occupy that position based on me putting so much into my job and my viewing porn.

I started attending a support group at a church for people facing the possibility of divorce or actually going through divorce. The director of that group was a huge fan of what was at the time new “Fireproof” approach to handling the wayward wife.

He actually told me that I needed to do what Caleb did in the movie and compete for my unfaithful wife. He convinced me for a time that my porn use was just as unfaithful to my wife as he being unfaithful to me with this man she had been sleeping with for the past year.  Many good Christian men have fallen for this false comparison as I once did.

I did what Caleb did and I apologized to my ex-wife in tears on my hands and knees.  I begged her to return to me and that I would treat her like the “jewel” she was if she would just give me another chance while I knew she was still seeing this other man.

For a time following this horrible Fireproof advice I was given I convinced myself that my ex-wife was not truly the lazy and the self-centered princess that she truly was.

But then I realized very quickly what this man from this church support group was saying was wrong and that I was trying to convince myself of a lie. Was I the perfect husband? Certainly not. Did I work too much at times and was I neglectful of her at times? Yes. But what I did certainly did not justify what she did.

Did God win back his unfaithful wife by performing acts of affection? No way! He brought down the house on Israel because of her sin. My ex-wife and other Christian men who had unfaithful wives saw their wives emboldened in their unfaithfulness by the example of the Fireproof movie.

It was their husband’s fault not theirs and their husband’s needed to win them back.  What heresy! What an utter and complete false teaching this is!

Yes the story of my first marriage did tragically end in divorce and with her quickly marrying the man whom she had the affair with.  It was interesting that not long after our divorce before I married my first wife she realized the mistake she made and this guy was not all he acted like he was and she wanted me to consider taking her back but of course there was no real repentance for what she had done. I told her NO WAY and even if I remained a single Dad for the rest of my life that would have been better than being with a wife like her that I could not trust.  About two months after that I met the women who would later become my future wife.

As I have written on this site in other places my second wife is a good Christian woman and she certainly has more character and is a far more trust worthy person than my first wife ever was. She truly loves my children and has been a great step mother to them.

But I came to realize that she was indeed a “rebound relationship” not long after we were married and I realized all the differences between us we had overlooked even while both being Christians with her feminist upbringing being a big red flag I overlooked.  But I have learned a lot from my first marriage and this second marriage has taught me a great deal as well.  We have our rough days and she and I both struggle with certain sins.  I still struggle with working too much at times as my wife will attest to. I have tried to carve out some time together and we try and schedule date nights (something I did not do in my first marriage).

But we do love one another and care for one another and we try to do our best to make it work despite there still being many conflicts of marriage philosophy in our marriage. And to answer the question everyone will ask in the comments – is my wife still a feminist? Yes but not as much as she was when were first married.  Over the years through our many discussions (some more gentle and others more heated) God has worked through me trying to teach her God’s Word on this subject and she is not the same person she was when we were first married.  But we still have a ways to go and sometimes my wife will have relapses and revert back to her old feminist attitudes and it gets tough during those days.

In my first marriage I never disciplined my wife and I did not confront her sinful behavior until the end of the marriage when it was too late. I provided for my family but I did not lead in all areas the way I should have. But in this marriage I have learned to stand up and lead and sometimes do the difficult task of confronting my wife’s sinful attitudes and behaviors while admitting I have some sinful habits and behaviors myself too.   It’s not that I don’t still struggle with disciplining my wife and my kids – because I certainly do – but at least now it’s happening.

Conclusion

We have demonstrated that one of the biggest of problems with the Fireproof movie is that it turns marriage into an idol. People are exhorted to do just about anything to save their marriage.  God does NOT call us to enable sin to save our marriage.  Our faithfulness to God and his will and design for our life is the most important thing.  Some marriages cannot be saved due to unrepentant behavior on the part of one or both spouses.

Do I think Kirk Cameron and those who produced this movie had good intentions toward helping couples to save their marriages and stem the tied of divorce? Yes I do. I think Kirk Cameron is truly a man of faith and so are the people who produced this movie and they were sincere in the beliefs about what they thought love in Biblical marriage looks like. But sometimes Christians can be sincerely wrong.  Egalitarianism is evident even in the movies theme phrase “Never leave your partner behind”.  Despite modern misconceptions about what Christian marriage looks like the Bible never ever refers to marriage as a partnership.  It calls a wife a husband’s companion but never his partner.  Instead the Bible refers to marriage as a patriarchy.

Contrary to Fireproof’s motto “Never leave your partner behind” – God did in fact leave his wife Israel behind after he disciplined her and  she failed to repent of her rebellion and unfaithfulness toward him and then he divorced her.  He tells us in the New Testament that he has taken on a new wife in the form of the Church to make his first wife Israel jealous and one day Israel will repent and be restored as his wife in addition to the church.

I am surprised it took me so many years to write my feelings about this movie but now I am glad that I have.  I hope that Christians will realize that while there is some good in Fireproof the good DOES NOT outweigh the bad.  It completely distorts how God’s unconditional love works and neglects the discipline of God and his conditional affection.

2 million pageviews in 19 months!

I am happy to report that since my interviews for the Daily Mail and the Alan Colmes show in just the last two months since I reported this blog had reached 1 million page views we have already reached 2 million page views just two months later! Over 1 million more page views have come in just the last two months.

I want to thank the Lord for blessing this ministry and the impact it is having around the world.  I routinely receive emails from Christians in Africa or India or Europe and some have even asked permission to translate some of the writings on this blog into their countries native languages.

Pray that God will continue to bless this ministry.