Well, it’s been an exciting week. Not only did my review of Jesus and John Wayne make so many people angry, but Rachel Hollis is busy being canceled for her unrelatability. I must say, it’s so hard to choose between the two, and the other interesting events of the day. But perhaps the most epic thing for me–maybe epic is too exciting a word–is that I have been subtweeted for the first time to my knowledge. I don’t know, of course, but I think this might be about how hateful my review is:
Here’s how this works, folks. Discredit people and you won’t have to disprove them.
The trouble we will go to in order to keep from actually humbling ourselves and listening and prayerfully considering whether a critique has merit is absolutely astonishing.
— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) April 6, 2021
I am not the least bit astonished that, apart from many accusations that I didn’t read the book–I read it twice, much to my chagrin–so far no one has engaged with what I’ve written. The outrage boils down to explanations that I shouldn’t have been the one to write it because I’m not “from here” and other reasons that are deeply upsetting to the twitterverse. I don’t feel like going into them, because I never have. Anyway, as I said in the review, Du Mez decided not to engage with what evangelicals actually believe (she says this in many podcasts) because they never can adequately express what they believe but only buy a lot of junk from Christian bookstores and listen to terrible music and generally, as a voting block, love the military. Their men are weak but they aspire to muscular strength. They live their lives by propagating fear and panic over sex and race. They voted for Mr. Trump.
So anyway, as I said, the unseriousness of this is, as they say in French, profound. The book is not history, but ideology, and I’m sorry that so many people have taken her “critique” as their lodestar. Christianity in America is in a bad state, of course, and men are evil–all of them–and most of the women too. And you can see the bad state of things by the way the twitter “conversation” has unfolded. Du Mez is allowed to demonize an entire demographic of people and is lauded for her brilliance, whereas actual Christians on twitter pointing out a number of salient points are publicly and privately called to repent. What are these salient points? Let’s just number them quickly:
- The Patriarchy was established before the fall.
- Wives submitting to their husbands is in the New Testament
- Unrepentant homosexuality will keep you out of the kingdom of heaven
- Pastors and Influencers who preach and promote the LGBTQ+ heresy are leading the Lord’s little ones into the darkness and it would be better that they tie millstones around their necks than lie to themselves that they are being clever or brave
- The peace-loving Christ is also the one who comes to judge the world with fire and a sword
- Abortion is a sickening evil that no one cares about because there are so many sexier problems in the world
- God is our Father (coughpatriarchcough) and Christ is our Brother. The church is the Bride. If you are gender-confused the Bible will not make sense to you
If Du Mez wanted to understand the messy and strange behavior of evangelicals over the last seventy years, there could have been a way for her to do it. It would have meant going at her task without first deciding the quality and quantity of their wickedness. As I said in the review, she didn’t have to bother, because evangelicals do love to buy stuff, and they did rush out and acquire her book, self-flagellating themselves in lieu of repenting of their actual sins. And for totes real, their sins are so many–they are biblically illiterate, they don’t know the gospel, they love fads, and they want to be loved by all people…although, this is actually true of almost all Americans.
One final word, before I wander back to my kitchen, I wrote this review not out of naive ignorance–not knowing that the CBMW is at least out of fashion, at most beyond the pale–but because I know that a lot of people out there don’t really know Jesus. They might sometimes stumble along and think that he resembles people like John Wayne, or Mr. Trump, or Mr. Obama (surely you remember how Mr. Obama was going to be Messiah–or is it just me?), or worse, Themselves. They might read Jesus and John Wayne and think that Du Mez has spared them from the fire of cultural disapprobation, and be grateful to her. They will repent of their whiteness and their conservatism and go off feeling justified, but no closer to God than when they were listening to Petra.
OR, they could face the Land of Unlikeness to battle the strange beasts of the wilderness who threaten to devour the soul–the beast that the LGBTQ+ heresy is being swallowed down as if it is of God, and will not send a generation of young and old to perdition if not repented of; the beast that God is a jealous God and does not bless the shibboleths of the day; the beast that the blood of the babies is crying out against us and we don’t even care–and turn to the Lord who always has compassion, to our God who stands under the flood of his own wrath to forgive us and let us go free. But only if we repent. Only if we beg him–like beggars who are owed nothing–for his mercy.
Don’t worry, I won’t be defending myself anywhere, and you needn’t either. But don’t be confused. The wolf comes along wearing sheep’s clothing, pretending to be a prophet, but actually devouring the sheep. You can know them not only by what they say and what they tweet, but also how ticked off they are when you don’t like their conspiracy theories.