Sometimes Smart People Can Be Really Stupid
Bad news – Smart Christians are not immune from acting like jerks. Even in apologetics, smart Christians can be really stupid sometimes. Good news – there’s a safe haven from the Jerky McJerkfaces. If you’re one of the Jerky McJerkfaces, stop it. Stop it now.
Finding Your People Is Hard
Today I am humbled and heartbroken. One of our fabulous women in our Christian Women Apologists community shared an article she wrote for her blog on the difficulty of finding your people. Sneaking it in on an unrelated comment, she said she had been meaning to share it.
Curious and nosy, I checked it out. After you read this article, I encourage you to read hers. I’ll link to it at the bottom.Finding your people is hard. Sometimes your people make it harder than it has to be. Click To Tweet
Sometimes Your People Make It Harder Than It Has To Be
As I read Sarah’s words my heart broke and I became indignant. How dare they! I may or may not have had some less than gracious thoughts towards some of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I might need to repent a little.
Sarah wrote about her experiences in trying to find her tribe of people in life, and in the workforce. I can relate to that. I’m an introvert, so it’s difficult for me to find my tribe in almost any situation. It takes me a good 6 months of seeing the same faces at church every Sunday before I feel comfortable being BFFs, and I try my best to not make eye contact with the door greeters at church.
Then Sarah laid it out on the line and wrote about the difficulty she has encountered in finding her people in the Christian apologetics space. Then I became angry and forgot for a hot second I am wearing an invisible crown.
Just like my two previously mentioned employers, I was disappointed to see the attitudes and actions of my fellow believers. I would join apologetic groups on social media, elated to finally have a place to ask questions and encourage one another. Instead, what I experienced was another place for the intellectual astute to flex their muscles. Another platform to chide one another or sarcastically tear down the lesser of the minds.
Sarah is not wrong. I have also experienced intellectual arrogance in the Christian apologetics community. And the women in our Christian Women Apologists community
When we formed the community group, there were several reasons behind it. I had been studying and applying apologetics for a few years at that point. In fact, apologetics was critical to my understanding of Christianity as a new Christian and became indispensable for my spiritual growth.
I love apologetics because I discovered God invites me to reason with Him (Isaiah 1:18), assures me I have a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7
Christian, please understand how momentous this is for someone who has been raised in a high-control, toxic faith context. Imagine you live in a system that does not encourage you to use your mind, question your leaders, or debate rigorously – but you are contentious for asking questions. Doubt is not welcome. You’re weak. Put it on the shelf and ignore it.
Don’t question, don’t think. Just follow.
Historical Christianity has a long and grand tradition of vigorous debate. We should be rejoicing when a Christian pursues apologetics and outraged when Christians behave badly. Instead of ignoring the problem, or intimidated because somebody knows more, or has some form of celebrity – speak up. Do not be a respecter of persons.
Maybe it is time we publicly call out these behaviors when we see them – regardless of who it is. If we truly believe Scripture has authority over our lives and is inerrant in its original autographs and all that it teaches, then we should not be a respecter of persons.
I encourage everyone to read a little gem I found a few years ago: Contentiously Contending: A Word to Today’s Apologetics Emphasis by Anton Bosch. It’s free! No excuses.
If you know a jerky Christian Apologist, I encourage you to pass the book along to them. Maybe email it anonymously?
My heart broke. And I will share something else, it has made me fearful to ask questions. Who wants to be talked down to or totally brushed off because you don’t know as much?
And you could forget me ever sharing any of my articles with the apologetic community. Terrified does not begin to describe! I saw the storm of insults other writers were getting. I still watch as wonderful, godly men and women receive email after email of crude insults…and its not from skeptics, but fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
After I took up apologetics, I did the same thing Sarah did. I found some online community groups. Groups who I thought would be my people because we shared similar interests. After participating in these groups (and noticing the same things Sarah has) I also noticed something else.No one wants to be talked down to or brushed off because they don't know as much. Invite new apologists into the conversation. They have something valuable to contribute that only they can. Click To Tweet
Where were the women?
Sure, there were women in these groups. Brilliant, faithful women who love devoting their mind to God but we need more women to join the adventurous life of the mind.
So, I (with the help of some awesome women friends) created a new group for Christian apologetics for women. I met resistance from some brothers in the beginning, absolutely. Some didn’t see the need for a separate group just for women – and made sure to provide me their uninvited opinion. But I knew there was a need, and I knew God was calling me to do it.
That was in 2015, and the group is still going strong. Growing one woman at a time. Exactly as it should be.
Frankly, none of this makes any real sense to me. I do not have formal training. I’ve never been to seminary. I haven’t finished college. But maybe that’s the reason we are doing it – so everyday Christian women see other everyday Christian women doing this every day, in their everyday lives.
We are privileged to hear stories of heartbreak and triumph from our ladies. Stories of a prodigal child, and a mother whose heart is broken because she doesn’t know how to answer the truth claims her newly minted Neo-Atheist child is making. Skeptic loved ones turning to faith and choosing to trust The One they formerly denied. Stories of how apologetics has helped rescue their own faith from doubt, or the faith
Even in times I have struggled to find my people, online, I have always found precious, hidden gems in the apologetic circles.
I was humbled as I read Sarah’s words. She considers Christian Women Apologists a precious, hidden gem. Not gonna lie – I got a little teary-eyed.
Sarah, thank you for bringing your article to my attention. I am sorry Christians were Jerky McJerkfaces. I am thrilled you are pursuing ministry and inviting other women to
Perhaps this resonates with you, Precious Daughter of God. Maybe you long for a community of faithful women who love engaging their minds for God. Or maybe you are intimidated, but long to be a bold and fearless force for God. Please forgive our brothers and sisters who have not shown you kindness and patience. You are a much needed force. You have a valuable contribution to make. Come join us.
If you’re not sure where to begin, you could start with this popular article How Can I Be More Confident In My Faith Conversations?