New Warhorn Media post by Joseph Bayly:
These are general comments, but how is this likely to work itself out in the Christian community in particular?
Seems to me that some of the preliminary sexual ethics of all this have have gotten established already amongst Christians. It’s been a couple of decades now since Barna established that premarital sex between so-called evangelical Christians has reached the incidence you see it amongst nonChristians. Divorce/remarriage is also the same between believers and unbelievers.
And, now, the campaign to find gayness acceptable to Christians has come out fully into the open. Need I say that “Christian feminism” is rampant across evangelicalism, including ostensibly orthodox PCA communities?
You don’t see the rabid MGTOW dynamics among evangelical men yet - at least not like Pr. Joseph has detailed here. But, all the foundations for it have been laid for many years now.
Think a resurgence of quotes from the ancients explaining the inferiority of women, etc.
I am familiar with quite a few Christian men who basically view the relationship between man and woman as a zero-sum competition. Any benefit that one gets is at the expense of the other.
Not long ago I watched My Fair Lady with my family. It had been a long time since I had seen it. It occurred to me as I watched that Henry Higgins is a MGTOW. Of course he isn’t by the end.
Higgins is a caricature. He’s there to represent one extreme of the never ending quarrel between men and women, and to represent it in an exaggerated and funny way. The audience is in on the joke.
The thing about MGTOW and Red Pillers is that they unironically think the things Henry Higgins says. It’s not a joke to them. Just as it’s not a joke that biological men really can compete in women’s sports now.
I know of a number of Reformed Christian men around my age (Gen Z) who have really taken hold to some of the MGTOW philosophy, and I believe that number will only continue to increase. The presence of counter-cultural biblical teachers who have risen in popularity over the past few years (Renn, Bayly, Foster, etc.) has been a bulwark against this, no doubt, but the MGTOW/TRP crowd is larger and much more visible at first search, especially for men outside of conservative, Reformed circles.
My hypothesis for why is multivariate, but I think one significant factor has been evangelicalism’s lack of “robustness” in how they address the sexual dynamics of our day. Young single men who are struggling in the dating world turn to both their own pastors and “celebrity” church figures for help - only to find over-spiritualized and pietistic “answers” that leave them still spinning.
MGTOW and “The Red Pill” proper make the opposite error. Founded on pure rationalism that has its origins in evolutionary psychology, these ideologies give logically-minded men the illusion that they have the “key” to solving their problems, but because they are not built upon Scripture, they wind up polarizing the Christian man against his broader worldview, leading to internal turmoil.
For example, the divorce statistics touted by MGTOW’ers scream “don’t get married,” but God’s Word says “it is not good for man to be alone.” A choice has to be made, and I predict it will increasingly become the wrong one.
I am thankful for shepherds who handle these issues with realism yet hope, taking their cues from Scripture, not culture. May God give us more.
… God’s Word says “it is not good for man to be alone.” A choice has to be made, and I predict it will increasingly become the wrong one.
Of the single men in the church, the bulk of them would, I think, like to be married. Why this isn’t possible is a good question to ponder as well.
Very true, but rather than assuming any semblance of responsibility for past heartbreaks and continuing to seek a wife through prayer and practical means, many are becoming bitter and jaded - blaming women and feminism for all their problems as if they themselves don’t bear any blame for relationships gone awry. The TRP mantra “all women are like that” (AWALT) is a child of this exact mindset.
Don’t read what I’m not saying. The rise of feminism has added to the difficulty of young men finding a spouse mightily, no questions asked, and should be considered at the forefront when factors for the increase in prolonged singleness are discussed. Modern women have been conditioned to prioritize career over family and personal mission over her husband’s, and such women are many even in the church because we men don’t want to do the hard work of confronting sin in women and place them on pedestals.
But excessive whining and blame-shifting from men is another issue that is on the rise and is to be guarded against. I think men often throw themselves into MGTOW/TRP after a divorce or other traumatic circumstance where the woman’s level of fault is very high, and they receive little to no support from the men called to bear their burdens and watch as they treat the woman as if she simply forgot to fill up the car with gas. Such a counter-response often leaves the question unasked and unanswered though, of why did the man allow such a situation to ensue in the first place. He chose to marry or date that woman, likely despite numerous glaring red flags. If his reasons for doing so are never uncovered and repented of, and he only speaks of being “deceived,” he is likely to find himself stuck in a vicious cycle of similar occurrences, albeit more resentful with each iteration.
Humanly speaking, America’s reformation is contingent on men taking responsibility in the domain God has given us. Such a role cannot be assumed if we view women as predators whom men have no power to “overcome” and constantly ingest “men’s rights” content that keeps us happily satisfied with this narrative.
Just my two cents. I am but one man.
Often, but perhaps even more often, his failures weren’t in dating and marrying her, but in what he did or didn’t do after they got married to discipline the both of them toward godliness. And sometimes even though he had real failures, he was basically doing what was right, but she decided to make shipwreck of her life and faith. Just like sometimes men decide to do the same, in spite of a godly wife.
I believe you, in the case of married couples. I am not yet married, so I speak here in part from my own experience and that of many men my age.
Jackson - this has been a problem for much longer than a lot of evangelicals know (assuming they even care). Twenty years ago I was brainstorming with several young men in their 20s who were eagerly “dating” in their own evangelical circles, looking for a wife, who were also keen to assess the prospects on their competence, and especially their willingness, to embrace a vocation as wife, mother, and home-maker. Their complaint to me, 20 years ago (!), is that the single women they encountered were already fixated on a career outside the realm of homaking.
Evetually, one young man found what he sought, but it took him about four years of diligent, frustrating searching. He deems it worth it now, but my prayers for him, my exhortations to him at the time, were for perseverance.
On the other hand, I also know of single women who would have loved to be a wife and mother. Guess what? She claimed the same! She could ot find a man who didn’t not expect his wife to be a female analog to himself as far as working in the world! This young woman finally resorted to online dating sites - and she found her husband on farmersonly.com. He is a solidly mature Christian man whose legacy culture (Christian, agrarian) inculcated in him the Biblical qualities of a woman and her vocation when married.
Looking backward, it seems to me that evangelicalism generally has embraced religious feminism to the detriment of Biblical marriages and the career of a woman as wife, mother, and homemaker. What has not happened is some form of “institutional” solution to the need for matchmaking when the Biblical vocation of women has largely been abandoned by broadly evangelical Protestant Christians.
Hi Jackson, if I can comment:
Maybe. What is clear in the older (30+) reaches of the Christian singles’ community is that there are many more women than men. What I think is the case is that a good number of these women are open to marriage & family, but they take a look at what is on offer and then figure that they are better off staying as they are.
But excessive whining and blame-shifting from men is another issue that is on the rise and is to be guarded against.
… What has not happened is some form of “institutional” solution to the need for matchmaking when the Biblical vocation of women has largely been abandoned by broadly evangelical Protestant Christians.
May I suggest that in some ways, technology has stepped into the gap; twenty years ago we did have the first Christian dating sites, and there are many more now. I think they are helping; certainly, one can write a profile and be very specific as to what one is or isn’t looking for.
What we also need to do is: (a) work with at least the medium-term single men to help them “lift their game” and (b) sort out our men’s evangelism so that amongst other things more single men get saved. That would do something about the gender numerical imbalance (=more women than men).
Hi elder brother,
This is a good insight and you are correct in my view, however, I’d posit the dynamic you mentioned above can still be traced back largely to feminism, namely, the feminization of the church.
The kind of masculine men godly, feminine women seek as husbands often struggle to “find their place” in mainstream churches because biblical manhood is not taught or emphasized. Such men often flee to smaller, more conservative churches or check out of their current church’s “social life.” A lot of singles’ groups definitely seem to appeal to the feminine; whether that is the result of the gender disparity or the cause I am not entirely clear, but I lean toward the latter more than the former.
The dynamics among the online Christian dating world is of particular interest to me (not just because I am seeking a wife). I am familiar with several Reformed singles’ groups on Facebook - one in particular of which I was an admin for a period of time. In a lot of ways, I feel like I’ve gotten a “backstage pass” into some of the challenges singles of both sexes currently face beyond those I’ve experienced myself.
This group is designed exclusively for Reformed Christians who have traditional views on marital roles and masculinity/femininity, so one would think marriages should happen at the snaps of fingers. However, there seem to be many in the group who have very dogmatic distinctives that are dealbreakers (vaccines, masks, baptism, head coverings, birth control, etc.), narrowing the already-small pool of compatible spouses significantly, especially when you also take into account other factors like personality and attraction.
Obviously, Christian dating sites work, because marriages do happen. I predict (not necessarily as an ideal) that I will meet my wife through some form of online medium. They often spare one from wasting time with someone who is fundamentally incompatible, but it’s interesting to observe how there’s an “easier said than done” reality at play also because those in our camp tend to be more firmly planted on various issues.
Couldn’t agree more.
Putting these two things together makes for a rather bleak picture. The state of modern American pairing-off for marriage and child rearing is a very sorry one. The evangelical church runs somewhat counter to the overall trends, but not by very much. It would behoove us culturally and in the church to get a handle on this.
What are some ways we can “get a handle on it”?
Seems there is a disconnect between a lot of Sanityville conversation and the reality of the Church at the present time. Does anyone here really think we who believe in Biblical sexuality concerning, for instance, authority and all forms of copulative anarchy, are ever listened to by anyone a part of the mainstream Evangelical and Reformed churches in the West? We may have their ear occasionally if we criticize Phil and John or Al and Russ, but never otherwise. And this doesn’t just include the St. Louis/Wheaton/SBC/PCA ghetto, but also the Escondidoites (URC/RB/R2K/OPC).
I think it much more likely that men who are pagans and elite liberals will repent and believe than SBC/PCAers, if by repent and believe we mean preach and believe in Biblical sexuality and preach against and refuse to practice the bloodshed of the unborn, chemically.
Let me put it this way. Writing “Church Reformed,” it was clear to me all the way through that most of the Church today rejects the very things our fathers in the Reformed world declared sine qua non for a church to be a church. As I see it, the marks of the church are largely dead within the Evangelical and Reformed world of North America, at least. Start with the sacraments: where is the fencing of the Table our Reformed Fathers viewed as foundational to the right administration of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper? Without that fencing (warning), we do not have the right administration of the sacraments. No regular fencing of the Table at the Table, no true church.
Why say that in this thread?
Well, because we’re talking as if we are in place to think about and do something helpful for Christian men and women at odds with each other who attend churches that are not churches and who don’t listen to us.
So I guess what I’m saying is that I think there’s more hope for us to evangelize pagans and libs today than so-called Christians who have been rendered “without compunction of conscience” (Luther’s words) by pastors who refuse to preach the fear of God, the Law, and repentance, but only faith and grace.
The patterns here at Trinity Reformed Church (and also in much of Evangel Presbytery, I’m guessing) is that pagans repent and believe, but also children of Evangelicals who have come to uni and find this church and hear the preaching of God’s Word and also repent and believe. And of course, given their age and life circumstances, their first steps of faith are rejecting rebellion, abdication, lechery, fornication, divorce, as well as the Godphobic rhetoric of the trans debaucheries. So let me finish by saying, you can’t help those seeking Creational sexuality in marriage until they believe in Jesus Christ and are added to the Church.
The true Church recognized by the marks of the Church.
Which comes back to our evangelism; I’ve not quite thought of it in these terms, but the real need we have here is to evangelise our own, even in Biblically solid churches. That’s a scary thought.
As you put it, “So let me finish by saying, you can’t help those seeking Creational sexuality in marriage until they believe in Jesus Christ and are added to the Church”. Maybe I’ve missed something, but for someone to be seeking Creational sexuality is a pretty good indicator that they do believe in Jesus Christ, I would have thought? Having them join part of the true church should not then be too difficult.
Coming from a once ok-ish church turned mega-church that went woke to joining Clearnote, I do see a lot of mainly young men (from my old church) sensing something something is off. Many of them like Jordan Peterson or respond positively to some of the stuff Warhorn has put out on sexuality. One of the biggest hurdles to get them to actually leave a false church is that these churches are where the majority of single women also attend. Speaking from experience for me, it was just a band-aid I had to rip off and I finally did in 2020. I wonder how many are actually willing to do that though. I predict some continued trickling away from dying churches to better ones but not as much as I would hope for.