Friday, April 22, 2011

Clueless Evangelicals

. . . because sometimes you have to throw a flag on your own team.

RBC Ministries publishes a daily devotion guide called Our Daily Bread that is popular among evangelicals.  I was introduced to it in high school myself and have used it off and on for some 27 years, more consistently so since I’ve had children with whom we have daily scripture reading.

In its commentary on Romans 5, the January 7, 2011 devotion began:

I read these words on a young woman’s personal Web site: “I just want to be loved—and he has to be amazing!”

Isn’t that what we all want—to be loved, to feel cared for by someone? And so much the better if he or she is amazing!

The one who fits that description most fully is Jesus Christ. In a display of unprecedented love, He left His Father in heaven and came to earth as the baby we celebrate at Christmas . . . .

and on in like vein.

Where to start?

Truth be told, I don’t have daily devotions to have every tick of my social critique reinforced.  And it may be that I have eaten too much of the tree of knowledge for my own good.

But.

Really?  Are you seriously telling me that you read this expression of the culture’s license to unbridled female hypergamy and the only reaction you could muster is, “oh, look, what a cool metaphor for Jesus!”  Because if that’s the extent of your cultural engagement, if “don’t fornicate” is truly the limit of your moral imagination, then frankly, you will have deserved your own irrelevancy.

4 comments:

Elusive Wapiti said...

Perhaps this is why Christian men don't always jump at the idea of dating devout Christian women...because they intuitively recognize, even if they can't put a finger on exactly why, the unrestrained hypergamy inherent in her love-worship of Jesus.

And let's face it, quite a few Evangelical worship songs can (and do) easily double as secular love songs. So I do think there is something there that may interfere with a woman bonding to a man for life if such hypergamy is not recognized and restrianed.

How can she accept the relative Betatude of an earthly guy if all she wants to be is loved...and he has to be amazing, remember...and her ultimate alpha male is Jesus?

Professor Hale said...

This is a problem with an organization that has to publish 365 witty, fresh, copyrightable, inspiring items that each fit on a 3x5 page every year on a subject that has been extensively covered by other authors for the past 2000 years. They are bound to write a stinker every once in a while.
This same problem is faced by the rest of the professional clergy that has to entertain their audiences with amusing anecdotes for an hour every Sunday. Every organization has its blind spots and the Christian church is no exception.
The biggest blind spot is in its very existence and role. Jesus never asked anyone to build churches and cathedrals or create a professional class of clergy.

Dexter said...

I suspect that the "amazing" love that the woman in question wants from a man is, ermmm, of the fleshly sort, in other words, not the type of love that Jesus provides. Thus the quote isn't really appropriate.

Φ said...

EW: Well, it sounds kind of creepy when you put it that way. But I think that religion gives a man an opportunity to demonstrate spiritual leadership, even if only within his own family, and that wives express their appreciation for this in constructive ways.

:-)

Hale: You certainly nailed the structural problem RBC faces, and while their lessons are accessible, few are especially memorable. But I'm not really picking a fight with the institutional church as it has been organized for, roughly, ever.

Dexter: my point exactly, and I'm disappointed that the Daily Bread editors didn't get it.