Lately we Christian male bloggers have been writing and commenting a lot about back-to- basics things. Dalrock calls pastors to repent and confess, for example, using Fathers Day as a jumping off point. The comments that follow that post are the type of discussion that inspired me to become a small part of this loosely organized community. We cannot sufficiently point out the obvious because there is always someone reading it for the first time. We know that those who agree and participate have mostly been brought to our knees by familial trauma, either that of parents or our own marriages. We also know that, short of a traumatic experience, most men are content in their supplication for a host of reasons.
So in an effort to bust a spring in the comfy chair of the complacency of conventional wisdom I am sharing here a trauma indeed; a horror so profound that one need be inhuman to not internalize the event for a time. Then, I will magnify the sheer stupidity of the traditional church when it comes to missing the point for being too afraid or lazy to leave the confines of the comfy chair.
I know I pick on Rainey a lot. I had decided to slow down on posting every dumb thing he says because it has become repetitive. Then I wake up today to find the following in my inbox:
I still remember hearing about the 1995 murder of three children in their Little Rock home. Riley Noel and three accomplices wheeled into the driveway of Mary Hussian’s house that night, high on drugs. They were certain that either Mary or one of her kids had been involved in a recent drive-by shooting that had taken the life of Noel’s brother.
Riley Noel ordered the three children in the home–ages 10, 12 and 17–to lie down on the living-room floor, where he shot them execution style. Their mother escaped after a struggle. But she spoke these chilling words at a news conference soon after the tragic event: “I stand here with the blood of my children still under my fingernails. My kids were all I had. I plead with the youth today–don’t send another woman to bed crying the way I’m going to cry tonight!”
Unfortunately, Barbara and I can’t write this book fast enough to keep up with the latest news story out of another major city, or even a secluded farmland, about a young person who has gunned down even more of our nation’s children. But no matter what the papers are reporting as you’re reading this today, I urge you to put an end to your fear and apathy.
Rainy called this short email “Bold Resistance”. Lets look at how much thought went into what and how to resist, and how bold it really is (emphasis mine):
I urge you to pray, as 600 or so of us did in a city-wide prayer service soon after the Hussian children’s deaths, confessing our sins and committing to action.
I urge you to confront immorality when you witness it within your home or in public settings.
I urge you not to be ashamed to call others to godly accountability, from governmental leaders to pastors to the people you work and associate with.
And I urge you to demand righteousness of yourself, because societal change always begins with one person, one home, one man or woman, one boy or girl, willing to make a difference.
Prayer is excellent advice. It is advice, however, that is offered more because it is safe than because of its power. If it were to be offered as powerful advice there would be far more specificity offered on how and for what we should pray. Sadly, prayer is only the beginning of the safe advice that follows Rainey’s articles that highlight family problems.
Confront immorality and hold others to account including yourself. That is good advice in general, but lets look at the context.
The necessary information is out there and surely Rainey has it. Perhaps the most well known source is Judith Wallerstein who wrote “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce”. The information is compelling which is exactly why, even if Rainey was to mention it, he would never mention it in the right frame. To do so would actually create stigma on divorce and stigma on divorce upsets women who are divorced and the useful idiot men who react to their angst.
A summary of another Wallerstein book (co-written with Sandra Blakeslee) called ” “Second Chances: Men, Women, and Children a Decade After Divorce” offers the following information that is directly related to Rainey’s topic.
3. Increased Delinquency and Violence:Wallerstein explains that while some children of divorce turn their anger inward toward themselves and become depressed, others, especially boys, turn their anger outward toward society and engage in violent and criminal behavior:In our study, one out of three of the young men and one in ten of the young women be-tween ages 19 and 23 at the ten-year mark are delinquent, meaning they act out their anger in a range of illegal activities including assault, burglary, arson, drug dealing, theft,drunk driving, and prostitution
Many of these children get involved in one episode of breaking the law before age 18, but a disturbing number of them continue this delinquency pattern into their early twenties.
What the hell is so complicated here? How can a man write an article like that and fail to mention a glaringly obvious root cause? How can a man write simultaneously and often about the importance of family, the tragedy of divorce, the immorality of young adults, and the general increase in social pathologies, have all the statistics available at hand, and fail to see the thread running through it?
This angers me to bubbling over. I don’t care if some pastors out there are not doing this, or if there exists a handful who may even be coming against it, this IS what we call the church today. This IS where the vast majority of Christians get their instruction on how to think. Rainey exploits, perhaps inadvertently, the notion of not judging anyone directly except on the handful of vetted and approved churchian issues like abortion and gay marriage. He and his ilk devote millions in resources to treat the pathologies that result from the feminist church driven destruction of the Christian nuclear family, and then he offers safe platitudes in response without a wit about what is happening in each and every pew of every church out there.
The mess is so widespread that Dalrock’s call to repentance may not be enough. These false fortresses must be collapsed. These harmful ministries crushed. That Voddie Baucham is on the right track is a place to start. This means that in addition to writing about the bad things, we must write about the good things. We must reveal and rebuke the snakes and support and edify the lions. Cane’s steadfast defense of Baucham set me thinking. I went and watched several of his videos and unless something out of left field happens, I stand to support his efforts, and any like him, and will do so here in the coming weeks.