Wednesday, September 4, 2013

purity and modesty claptrap.

Elizabeth Smart, on the despair she felt after being kidnapped and raped...

" …Smart spoke at a Johns Hopkins human trafficking forum, saying she was raised in a religious household and recalled a school teacher who spoke once about abstinence and compared sex to chewing gum.
“I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away.’ And that’s how easy it is to feel like you know longer have worth, you know longer have value,” Smart said. “Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value.”

"Smart said she "felt so dirty and so filthy" after she was raped by her captor, and she understands why someone wouldn't run "because of that alone."

I remember SO clearly being indoctrinated into purity and modesty culture. First as a child, then through homeschooling "raising women of virtue" type books, then through books and classes and talks at bible college, through seminary and more. I was asked to read and speak on books that told women that immodesty caused so much junk in their hearts that Jesus couldn't get in. I remember being told that evil lie "a woman worth being kissed won't be easy to kiss" because we ALL KNOW that women don't WANT to be kissed right away and if they DO then they are just a slut and if they are just a slut then they aren't worth anything! 

Of course, you *can* wear immodest clothes, but you *know* what that does to men, and when you *know* then their reactions become your fault/responsibility.

The right kind of guy will only want to marry the right kind of girl.

Men are more sexual and visual than women - and if you are a sexual, visual woman, something is wrong with you.

Toe cleavage - don't even wear sandals/shoes that show toe cleavage because that reminds men of boobies.

Everything reminds men of boobies.

If you dress like a slut, you'll get treated like a slut.

Well, she was asking for it because she wore a mini-skirt.


These attitudes as normal in our culture is a symptom of rape culture, and the shaming/purity vs impurity that is added in christian purity culture is just a disgusting, worse and more disturbing form of rape culture.

Purity/modesty crap promotes rape. It promotes rape culture. It promotes the devaluing of women.

All while pretending to empower women.

Honestly, I'm not interested in making a purity culture is rape culture case here - as I know that most of my readers are probably unaware of rape culture or refuse to believe it exists. Actually, most people who read this blog probably are or were, like I was, active participants in promoting or living in rape/purity culture.

I'm not interested in shaming anyone who has been taught rape culture and is recycling it.

I am interested in encouraging everyone to stop. promoting. rape. culture. stop. shaming. women.

And stop treating men like they are inherently rapists.

At the very least to reconsider why they may act/react the way they do, and if there could be a better way to live.

This rant brought to you by the recent over-share of this blog. It is NO WONDER that being raped could cause a captive to despair when there are mothers of boys feeling it is right and noble to publicly shame young girls who post photos of themselves in pjs and subsequently tell them that they are blocking them on facebook. Essentially, sharing a pj photo makes you not good enough. Not for her boys.
"It teaches men that women exist on a spectrum of worth determined by their clothing and that it is their right as men to determine which women are worth more – and yet, modesty culture masks it as “keeping away from sexual sin.” It teaches men irresponsibility and plays it off as “integrity.”

Read that ^^ instead.

"Because consensual sex isn’t something that men take from you; it’s something you give. It doesn’t lessen you to give someone else pleasure. It doesn’t degrade you to have some of your own. And anyone who implies otherwise is a man who probably thinks very poorly of women underneath the surface."

( why yes, I will be discouraging my daughter from ever falling for a guy who promotes rape culture/purity culture/modesty culture. )

"Heterosexual men’s sexual pursuit of women who do not express consent becomes normal. In fact, it becomes ideal, since the “high-designer, gotta-have” woman never expresses desire and the woman who actually wants to have sex is “a turn-off.”

"Rape culture is the idea that only certain people rape—and only certain people get raped."

(go to that link and read all the links. read everything.)

( ^^ a few good notes on another horrific example of purity culture as rape culture. christians are not above using shoddy research to try to shame people into buying their crap.)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

one of them

Rewind to Spring, 2012.

I had known for a year or more that I was "out" and there was no going back. I asked too many of the wrong questions. Those we fellowshipped with on the campus could ask all kinds of questions and have all kinds of varying opinions on things like justification, sanctification, TULIP and more - but as long as they agreed on the big things, they were "in."

What do I mean by the big things? I mean abortion. I mean homosexuality. I mean evolution.

A teacher dared to believe that Creation may (just MAY, not certain, just may) have not been a literal 6 days... and that was it. He was gone on his own accord, but we all knew that wasn't really the truth.

Seminarians would teach and blog and write and expound on Calvinistic principles, would revere the Young, Restless and Reformed teachers - all of which are antithetical to Lutheran views on TULIP - and even though those doctrines were the core of the faith, they were still "in" and revered and respected.

Boards made decisions to bring in spiritually abusive teachers whose views on sanctification and justification were opposite of Lutheran theology because they taught "gender roles and differences" and that was "more valuable."

If I taught young girls that the purity of men's minds depended on them? In!
If I taught young girls that if they filled their hearts with boyfriends and magazines then Jesus couldn't get in? Totally IN!
If I shared with the women that men who didn't find husbands for their daughters were sinning? Ding-ding-ding, you guessed it - IN!
If I believed that God ultimately cared about His glory? IN!
Conversely, if I believed that God ultimately was concerned with loving His children? Also IN!
If I believed that children of divorcees were fundamentally flawed and lacking and damaged, irreparably? IN!
If I held to arminianism? Still IN!
If I combined lutheranism with arminianism? Totes FINE!
If I held to mostly Calvinist beliefs? Well, that's a LEGIT way to read Scripture!
If I mutilated Lutheranism and Calvinism together? Awesome. You get to be a cool Lutheran AND get some YRR street cred. Still... IN!

But if I had the audacity to question gender roles? I was out.
Questioning why hell was essential for faith? Out. 
I told someone I thought that gay marriage should be legal? Way, way out.

It was so, so tribal - but the delegitimization of those they disagreed with was NOT based on theology and doctrine, not consistently. It WAS consistently based on the political Religious Right.

When I read this article today, by Zach Hoag, it all came flooding back. 

"The catalyzing force behind what appears to be the rise of a new religious right from among the neo-reformed ranks is, of course, marriage equality legislation. Like abortion legislation before it, this will, as the aforementioned pastor likes to put it, “separate the men from the boys” among those who claim conservative (true) Christian faith. Who will be willing to continue standing against gay marriage – in the pulpit and in the polls? This will reveal who is “with us” and who is “against us.”

I might have been "out" of the tribe for questioning, but more than anything else I knew the determining factor was my beliefs on homosexuality. If I practiced an egalitarian marriage and didn't parade my feminism about? Eh, I was shunned and gossiped about, but no one was going to stop me from ministry. If I questioned why hell was an essential doctrine? Well, the Seminarians told my husband I was a heretic, but they left me alone.

Hearing the rage over our egalitarian marriage was one thing. Sam being told that he needed to get me under control and tell me what to do was one thing. Friends, upon hearing that I supported marriage equality, telling me "If you ever turn gay we can't be friends" was horrifying, but it was one thing.

The animus unleashed on those whose views differed on the sinfulness of homosexuality? 

That. Is. Frightening.

I don't think policing your group's boundaries in such a zero-sum, us vs them kind of way is ever right, or ever promotes growth or learning or anything good - but what really gets me is the inconsistency. Pick and choose, pick and choose.

Disagree on essential scriptures? Disagree in love!!

Disagree on ONE VERSE? You're bringing down the world, destroying this country and Christianity. 

You're one of them.

As Fred Clark said in the article I already linked to above, "The belief that anyone who does not believe in “the big four” is an “outsider” and cannot be allowed to call themselves Christian is inaccurate. It is untrue — just as each component piece of the big four is untrue.
Embracing untruth as the very definition of one’s faith and the core of one’s identity is not a recipe for peace of mind."  
This is how I lost my confidence in Christianity. I was sold an untruth, in a community where any search for truth was shunned. I was given a packaged lie that only certain things can be true and can be believed if you are actually a real, true, Christian. 
Fred Clark is right. This Christian tribalism is NOT a "recipe for peace of mind" and if any of the defenses so carefully constructed to keep your mind safe from those evil librul not-really-true-christians is breached, then you find the foundation you built your life upon crumbling to dust.
The very things that are clung to SO tightly are the things that bring the end.

Friday, August 2, 2013

i have no words.

Live in a closed world of your own making long enough and you lose all touch with reality.

The consequences of that can vary, but they are a bit more visible when you are a Christian who runs an apologetics website - and you decide to participate in a Comedy Central show.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I'm not in the mood to mock this poor guy - he got enough of that on television. But there is a point in the interview where he makes claims about straights being targeted for bullying by homosexuals. You can read here how he believes he was misrepresented in the show.

The funny thing is, what he ends up saying about the *one* case he can point out where he *believes* there was homosexual targeting of a straight person makes him appear even less able to think logically than the interview does.

He says: "Is that the same thing? [being bullied specifically for being homosexual, vs the rape and killing of a child by homosexuals] Jesse [the victim] was definitely not homosexual, but the two homosexuals attacked a heterosexual. But, dare we say it was because he was young and the homosexuals were also pedophiles? Why did the media not mention this hate crime?"

First of all, because pedophilia is not a hate crime. It does not fall under the legal definition of sexual orientation (which includes that little word "consenting") and is not protected under any hate crimes legislation. The year before Jesse Dirkhising died, 1495 children were murdered. Granted, Jesse Dirkhising was a gruesome case, but there are thousands of children whose deaths have never been mourned to the extent they should have been. And, a month after the incident, the media was all over the situation, using it to their own purposes.

Also, Matt Slick may feel he can say with confidence that "Jesse was definitely not homosexual" in constrast to the perpetrators who claimed he was a willing participant. Obviously, there is no way to know if an abused and then murdered 13 year old had a sexual orientation that Mr. Slick would approve of. It certainly would be convenient for him if he could say that definitively, wouldn't it?

An apologetics leader who can't be bothered to acknowledge that he

A. Has no way to determine the sexual orientation of a dead child (and shouldn't be trying, good god)
B. Misuses and misrepresents hate crime legislation/definition
C. Is upset that the media didn't report the murder as something it actually wasn't

Just one little footnote on an article where he is supposedly defending himself and already his ability to think critically is in question.

Not. Exactly. Comforting.

The rest of his website is full of that crap. In the "Persecution" section he parrots Kirk Cameron's whining that Facebook blocked his promotions for his new film, Unstoppable. In his complaint he acknowledged that he couldn't put the full link because that would set off FB's filters. Matt Slick claims that fb later allowed the promotions without an explanation. Strangely enough, there IS an explanation, one that is easily found. His link used to be a different site (a spammy, virusy site) and FB had to verify the new site and change their automatic filtering before it would just go through.

Instead of looking for the truth, or a real explanation, Matt Slick uses it as a talking point:

" Who knows, but the fact is that Facebook apparently doesn't like Christianity.  What else are we to conclude?  After all, do you think they would have banned a link to a move that promoted homosexuality?  Of course not.  If they had, it would have been on the news circuit and late night TV.  The hypocrisy of double standards is alive and well in the media, and subtle, but increasing, persecutions like this one are on the rise."

Yep. Persecution of Christians is SO REALZ. What else are we to conclude?!?!

As a side note, the CARM website of said Matt Slick was one of the things that thoroughly undermined so much of Christian thought for me. It wasn't the ever-present poor logic, circular reasoning or appeals to ridiculous doctrines like Federal Headship - well, yes it was. It was all of that. But it was also the convenience of someone who claimed that the Bible was inerrant and infallible and without contradiction writing page after page of contradictions and expounding with their unsubstantiated and poorly argued bull.

There are no contradictions in Scripture!

Oh hey, here are all the contradicting verses and I'm going to explain them all for you!! Of course, if you don't agree with my exact doctrine and theology then these explanations fall apart. BUT don't worry because of all the theologians and historians and academics and brilliant men in all of history, I have the right combination of answers that magically makes the Bible WORK.


Saturday, June 22, 2013


We have been house hunting and, because of our inclination to DIY everything and our budget, we were looking at a lot of homes from the 1900s-1950s, homes that would need a lot of demolition and renovation. I knew that older homes just might have issues with asbestos, and I knew that was something I didnʼt want to mess around with. So I did what I do best - research. To be honest, I only took the time to research because I was worried about the kids. I didnʼt want them to deal with asbestos or lead poisoning as preschoolers. In this case, as usual, I wished I hadnʼt learned a single thing. 

Apparently asbestos was common until the 80s. And was used in everything from insulation to ceiling tiles to floor tiles to oven lining to oven mitts. It was used to wrap pipes and mixed into cement. It was a cheap building material and was widely applied. Apparently the tiny, invisible asbestos fibres enter your lungs and hook themselves into the lining of your lungs, never to leave again, but instead to wreak havoc on your health. 

The thing with asbestos is that as long as it stays in a solid state it is relatively harmless. For example, if you have asbestos wrapping your pipes, then as long as the insulating material is intact, youʼre most likely fine. Once it becomes damaged or ripped or the fibres are exposed to the air, you are at risk. Your best bet, in that case, is to encapsulate or seal the asbestos, to leave it as undamaged as possible, because any demolition is likely to cause more issues than it will resolve and be very, very expensive. (*side note* always use a professional abatement crew to deal with asbestos!) 

When I was in high school and leaning toward attending the bible college that was my future home, the reasons for attending were often recited to me. The most common reason was to “grow and become solid in your faith in doctrine, so you will not be shaken by the world” and it was said so confidently, as if all you really need is to seal up your faith with the right lessons and doctrine, to be “in the word” so much that you were f ireproofed from the world, the flesh and the devil. I had been fireproofed against all of that since I was born - with all the right doctrine, all the right restrictions, all the right everything that conservative christian parents were taught in that era. My parents, in fact, went further than most, working hard to keep their children safe and saved, and to live according to godʼs word. 

My entire formative years were spent building a home for my faith. My parents laid the foundation and my church and homeschool group and conventions and youth retreats and friends and books and bible college and, finally, the Husbandʼs stint at seminary, were all part of that home that was being built. Extensive work went into making sure it was fireproof and 100% safe and secure. 

It wasnʼt until I had my own children that I began to examine this house of faith with a critical eye. Suddenly there were portions that looked unsafe, or could possibly harm or damage this beautiful human that Husband and I had made. 

There were a few, just a few, things that I wanted to re-examine, and possibly demolish. So I tore off a few pieces of drywall, exposed some insulation underneath. I took up a few floor tiles, punched a few holes in the ceiling tile. I cut into some pipes to see what, exactly, there was once the outside veneers were torn away. What I released into the air poisoned me. 

That poison did not give me mesothelioma. It did not cause me to die before my age. But in a very real emotional way, I found myself dying. The very home that had been built and fireproofed and painted and sealed and decorated - the very home that had been built to the specifications of those wise men and women in my life - it was poisoning me. All it took was a few holes. I was given a home without substance. When I broke through the veneer - what I had been handed and told “this, and only this, is true” - I found the inside was hollow. In some places there was nothing, in others there was painful, poisonous materials. 

At that point, I had a choice. I could seal up the holes I had made, I could ignore what I had found and take the easy road. It was easier to ignore the problems, inconsistencies and hurts. I could have made my home beautiful again, lived in it for my entire life and then passed it down to my children.

 But. I couldnʼt. I canʼt. 

So demolition began in earnest. 

Those who had a hand in building the home - and even those who hadnʼt, but whose homes resembled mine - couldnʼt imagine why I would want to gut my beautiful home! It made no sense to those whose homes were still whole, whose “asbestos” (if they had any) was still well buried and not causing visible harm. Instead of happy interest and curiosity over my remodel, I was met with gossip, disdain and, strangest of all, pity. My shock at the pity was a measurement of how far I had come since I began the remodel, since the days when I didnʼt know there could be more behind my walls - let alone something poisonous. 

This remodel was a thing of JOY. It was hard, hard work, but it was work that was going toward making something beautiful that was whole and solid all the way through. This remodel is still ongoing. I doubt it will ever be finished. That can be exhausting, and sometimes depressing. And once in a while I wish I could just mentally and emotionally walk into a finished “home” and find a whole and coherent view of life and faith there waiting for me. 

But I would never trade comfort for a beautiful home built with poisonous materials

Thursday, June 13, 2013

just. annoyed.

Somehow this ridiculous blog made it onto a news site.

I don't think something this crazy really needs criticism. It's one of those writings where those who are predisposed to believe it will drink it down and spread it around fb as this GREAT new thing they are reading!!!!11!!! and those who aren't already in that mindset... won't.

It's not like what I'm writing is going to be some great revelation or change something.

I'm just hella ANNOYED.

Because guys. GUYS.

He starts the piece with "Two years ago, the cutest girl in Indiana was taken off the market! "


Let's all take marriage advice from the guy who has been married two years.

That's not even the bad part. "The cutest girl" and "taken off the market!"

Eeeeew. Let's just start a marriage advice post by objectifying your wife and making it sound like you acquired her in a particularly lucrative deal.


I know that sometimes those things are just "sayings" but they scream disrespect. My Man has been around those sayings plenty and never once, not in conversation OR a (hopefully) thought out written piece has he EVER said something like that about me.

Combine that with the rest of the piece and here's what you get:

(allow me to translate the christian-ese for you)

"OMG! Being married is harder than I thought - even though I married the HOTTEST girl! Somehow that isn't quite enough! And since I'm a Christian, we don't actually RESPECT each other - not without Jesus FORCING us to. BUT NO WORRIES! Because we have COMMITMENT. That my wife is committed to me is all I need to know about her! And her hotness when I bought her - I mean married her! Because that's way more important than whether we even are compatible or like each other because, ya know, Jesus conquers ALL. Even sucky marriages. Because society can't give us solutions for any marriage problems! Oh, and trust me. I've been married for two years."

That last line he actually says. ("Trust me. I know. Because I've been married, two years now, to a girl who has relentlessly committed to this task with me.")

And then the false dichotomy he creates, making it sound like the secular world ("by society's standards") is the one that tells people they need/deserve/can find a super spouse. HA. Because Christians TOTES don't do that!



Guys. GUYS. I just can NOT STAND IT.

Okay, I get the gist of what he is saying. No one is perfect. No marriage is perfect. And some people have their sights set a little too high and that's gonna come back to bite them in the butt. Probably for this guy and his wife this really IS a huge step in the right direction. And I know that when we married at the absurd age of 20 that we didn't have a full grasp of the realities of daily life with another person.

But there are a million other blogs that say that with much more intelligence, clarity and kindness to others who have a different experience. Someone who doesn't talk about his spouse like they are a piece of meat. Whose two freakin years of marriage haven't given them the impression they have the answer for everyone. Someone who is smart enough not to say that there are two kinds of people: "...wrong people who pretend to be right, and wrong people who are becoming right, through Jesus."

I have two friends who are a-religious and both married 40-some years. They speak in terms of soulmates, true loves and such things that this young man claims do not exist. And when I ask what their secret is they laugh and you know that, no matter the hard times, loving this person has been easy and right and beautiful and they tell me "I married my best friend, we respect each other" and one added "we never swear at each other!" This is just a tiny sampling of just people I know whose lives refute his certainty.

If believing that his marriage will always be hard work and that lowering his ideals is the only way to be happy, then good for him.

Some people don't have to live in that mental place, and are happy for 40+ years.

I can't even BEGIN to explain how much better, how much easier it was and how much more confident I became that I more than married the RIGHT one - I married a true friend, lover and soulmate - AFTER I let go of just the ideas and ideals this blogger promotes for everyone ("whether you buy the biblical view of marriage or not") and just approached our marriage as ours and cared for it as I would something beautiful, transcendent and oh so VERY "right." But that's me. That's US.

So go ahead, write what you know.

But when you're tempted to make it sound like you've found THE solution, and demand people trust you because you've been married two years?


Friday, May 24, 2013

ignorant children

I'm just one of many who has, at some point in time, resolved to try to do better as a parent than my own parents did with me. Of course what that meant for me has changed a lot over the years.

As a college student I imagined that as a parent I would be sure to have family devotions every day, that my children would know, first and foremost, how important Jesus was to me. 

That changed.

Some of our friends had children around the same age as ours. I watched their children grow in "knowledge of the truth" and marveled at how such a large percentage of their funny-kid-stories were about how much of the Bible their children knew. Their kids talked about Jesus and knew the resurrection story and what that meant for their salvation. They sang hymns and knew Bible trivia and all kinds of stories. Two, three years old and they had it down pat.

Suddenly I saw how little of anything Bible my kids knew. We were still on the Seminary campus, still going to church regularly, still reading our Bibles, still immersed in Christian culture and the Word, still everything, or so it seemed. Husband and I told each other that we were just too exhausted to take the time to teach the children all the stories, to sing all the songs, to be *those* parents.

It was having three children in a year. Yeah. That's why.

I can't speak for Husband, but that wasn't why. I tried not to think about it, but when I did I realized that I really didn't want my kids to be talking or thinking about Jesus dying on the cross. I didn't care if they knew about Noah's Ark or David and Goliath and I didn't want them hearing stories of David and Bathsheba or Sodom and Gomorrha. 

Suddenly the stories I had heard and been told to love all my life seemed too disturbing and full of problems for my own children. Most especially the crucifixion - the heart of the entire narrative I had been given.

There was a time where this lack of Christian anything in my children bothered me a bit, mostly because I had been taught that it should bother me and that I wasn't a good parent without teaching my children, without bringing them up the way they should go.

Now all I feel about their ignorance is relief and a tinge of pride at what great children they are in spite of me and in spite of my failure to moralize and shame them into being who "god" wants them to be. 

And they know, first and foremost, how important they are to me.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

in the name of god

We lived in Oklahoma for a mere six-ish months and in that short time the area sort of worked it's way into our hearts. More specifically, the people worked their way into our hearts.

I mourn with them, from afar, and will do the small things I can with my effort and money to help them in their time of need. Because they are people, and all people are my people. Because my parents experienced the terror of children in the path of tornados while distance separated them.  Because horrible things are horrible, and there are no platitudes or answers.

Of course, some (many?) Christians think there are answers. Or platitudes. Or prayers that make everything okay. Or that belief in God means - without exception - hope. Our only hope. 

Pat Robertson says insensitive crap. As always. And since it's Pat Robertson, you can lay his crazy at the feet of his own ridiculousness, his own self-absorbtion, his own need to decide when and for what other people are punished.

But John Piper, my least favorite famous pastor, from my own hometown, tweets Job 1:19 - "Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house and it fell upon them and they are dead." And I watched the retweets add up (at least 65, and 23 favorites) during the short time before backlash drove him to take it down.

The always gracious Rachel Held Evans chronicles a fraction of John Piper's insensitivity to anything other than God's feelings here, and she does it with much more grace than I can muster toward Piper on a good day, let alone a day when he writes that about a place I love, for and about people who are hurting.

RHE, along with others who share her theology, are Christians I can like, who interpret the Bible in a way that can be beautiful and kind. And they have Scripture to back them up. Rachel says "What does the Bible actually teach about suffering?
That we don’t know exactly why suffering happens in every situation, and we shouldn’t claim to,
That we are to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep,
That when God wrapped himself in flesh and walked among us, God suffered too.
The great irony of Piper using the book of Job to support his theology is that the story of Job stands as an ancient indictment on those who would respond to tragedy by blaming the victim. That’s exactly what Job’s friends did, and the text is not kind to them for it, because Job is described as “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” "
rit A year ago or more, I would've found great solace in the above - and said myself that the Bible, the book that most informed and guided my life, supported RHE's theology. I would've done my research, made the exegetical argument, gathered Scripture passages and maybe written a twenty-five page paper on exactly why the Bible is the way I want it to be, why my theology is the one that is correct.
But. I. Can't. Do. That. Any. More. 
I agree with RHE that John Piper's theology is abusive.
But I can't seem to get to a point where I can ignore the Bible passages that support it. They exist. Not that passage in Job, no. But his idea/theology of God's sovereignty is not some ridiculous construct that has no basis in Christian thought, or in the Bible. The idea of God using nature as punishment is not crazy. The thought that the only good thing is God and the only thing to live for is His Glory - and we are not even deserving of that! - is not without support in the Bible and many Christian faith traditions.
When we left seminary I was told "Remember, people will always fail you, but God never will." 
God, if he is there, already has.
A god who never condemns slavery has failed the human race. A god who can not make it clear whether or not he punishes people punitively and vengefully has already failed all of us. A god whose holy book punishes one gender with death and another with a fine makes it impossible for me to find in christianity the equality that is the first and most important line of defense against abuse. A god who creates people specifically for hell (as Piper believes) or a god who claims a victory in the end as 80% or more of the world burns in hell -  has already failed.
People like Patterson and Piper just point out how easy it is to abuse others in the name of God.