If you’ve been on WordPress for more than five minutes, you’ve probably heard about the Matt Walsh Blog. Kind of hard not to – it’s the most popular blog on the site, totaling somewhere around 40 million hits. The blog is doing so well that, just a few months ago, its creator, Matt Walsh, was able to quit his conservative radio talk show and devote himself to blogging full-time.
If only we could all be so lucky. Am I right? 🙂
Highly conservative, Matt is an adamant promoter of stay-at-home moms, homeschooling, marriage and family, gun rights, pro-life ethics and personal responsibility. He’s also a diehard critic of liberal ideology, Barack Obama, feminism, abortion, public education and affirmative action. His detractors have called him “a young Rush Limbaugh.”
With so many people following his blog, I imagine some of my readers are following him, too – as am I. However, I happen to be one of his critics. And today I want to explain what I see as the major problem with his writings for someone who calls himself a Christian and, supposedly, writes for other Christians.
First, though, I have to give credit where credit is due. Once in a while, Matt really gets it right. His post on modesty a few weeks ago was a refreshing, philosophical departure from the typical “woman, cover thyself” fare that is normally making the rounds this time of year. And his sentiments on being considerate to people in the service industry are something everyone could take to heart.
But most of the time, Matt’s posts just make me cringe. Here’s why:
According to Matt, we Christians are at war. We’re at war against a liberal public school system that wants to “brainwash” our kids into atheism. We’re at war against radical feminists (all feminists being radical) who are emasculating men, killing babies and dismantling the traditional family unit. We’re at war against pro-gay advocates who are striving to redefine marriage as they see fit and persecuting anyone who disagrees with them – mainly by getting their reality TV shows canceled. (I’ll pause here and thank them for doing us all a favor. 😉 ) We’re at war against abortionists who are destroying our country and pissing off God with their blatant disregard for human life. And maybe, he says, it’s high time to start fashioning whips and overturning tables like Jesus did to show our disapproval.
There’s much I could criticize here: Matt’s militant and inflammatory tone; his propensity for name-calling and insults; his black-and-white, us-vs-them mentality; and his inability to view or portray the people he disagrees with as people God deeply loves and desires to redeem. But my main hangup has to do with his proposed strategies to combat the rising tide of immorality in our culture.
According to Matt, Christians need to take a stand against these different groups and their ideologies. Taking a stand involves the following actions: pulling your kids out of public school, getting women to stop working outside the home, boycotting the work of Hollywood secularists, electing pro-values candidates, opposing liberal legislation, being vocal about your convictions, and keeping a white-knuckle grip on your handgun in case your opponents turn violent.
In other words, Matt advocates using worldly tactics to combat spiritual problems.
According to the Bible, we are at war. But not against gay people, working women and public educators as Matt claims. The Bible says,
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).
And how does one combat these spiritual forces?
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. […] Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people (Ephesians 6:11, 14-18).
The Bible goes on to say,
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
Guns. Condemnation. Politics. These are the weapons of the world. These are how secular authorities assert their power. And these are the weapons Matt encourages his readers to use. It’s like trying to clean a dirty car by flinging handfuls of mud at it. It doesn’t work. Engaging in secular methods to affect spiritual change only makes the world more worldly.
The Bible says our most effective weapon against evil is prayer. “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18). However, I have yet to read one post on Matt’s blog where he advocates prayer as a force for change – primary or otherwise. Everything he promotes involves acting solely within one’s own strength, using the world’s tactics, to turn our nation toward something that only resembles Christ-likeness.
And as the saying goes, the choices we’re offered are not simply between good and evil, but between good and the appearance of good.