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.
I’m glad someone finally said it.
Dear April–take this however you may, it is meant as a complement…I have never heard of him. I rarely read Xian ( my two fingers to type with are worn out from today) stuff because my own experiences are so outlier–you are the rep for me of that entire world (not supposed to be a burden!)…I am an estatic mystic (rare in all spiritual populations) and that’s a strange kettle of fish…and I have inferred that his kind of writing is not based in love, so that’s sad…can’t waste precious energy on that. Bless you for your willingness to speak up.
For being your only rep in the Christian world, that is a high compliment indeed! And very humbling. 🙂
Peace be with you.
Never heard of him. I like your thoughts in this post. For that matter, all your posts.
Butch, you are a treasure. Thank you!
I could have lived the rest of my life without knowing that there is Yet Another Rush Wannabe with a blog. I was raised by a liberal minister who was schooled in the 19th century liberal idea that knowing facts helps you to find truth. He also taught that the revelation of the word and the revelation of creation can not be in conflict but that the word must be interpreted metaphorically as it applies to the modern world revealed by science. Having followed these teachings for more than 6 decades and having a marriage which started more than 3 decades ago, I can not see that marriage as an institution is threatened by people who love each other joining together as a socio-economic unit. I don’t see how the right to arm bears has anything to do with what we learn from the word — I have a BB gun that I use to startle rabbits out of my garden by kicking up the dirt next to them. I get more from the local, state, and federal governments than I pay in taxes and that includes the schools that my children no longer attend.
I have no use for people like what’s his name.
April, I, unfortunately, was on the attack end of one of Matt’s blogs. I had responded to one of his articles – not so much the content but the tone – because, as you stated, it was militant and inflammatory. My response was loving, yet questioned his approached. He never responded to my comment, but his next blog was about the “Nice Doctrine.” I proceeded to respond in a blog of my own called, “Am I Beating a Dead Horse” (http://wp.me/3lS), but noticed that his first blog had already received nearly 800 argumentative comments, and I’m certain he was well pleased he had spawned this hateful debate.
This is certainly not following Christ, and I can only pray that one day, he and other Limbaugh wannabes will have ears to hear and eyes to see that they are causing Christians to stumble, and keeping those not of the faith out of the kingdom.
You have said it perfectly; he is using worldly tactics to try to solve spiritual problems, and placing his agenda before God’s. Keep up the godly work, April.
I enjoy the entertainment value offered by Matt’s blog. As in, he often makes me chuckle. I was recently berated for my thoughts on birth control. Not to get into that debate here, but in case you’re curious, my point was that not every woman using birth control was a whore. It has other medical purposes. Nobody wanted to hear that.
I got the same impression that Susan had. I think that Matt has some valid points here and there, but he and his audience often come off a bit rough with no chance or opportunity for actual discussion.
I have enjoyed reading over your blog so I followed. I just started blogging again after a brief hiatus. Looking forward to reading your posts 🙂
Welcome to the blog! Glad to have you on board. 🙂
Good article, but it should be pointed out that Matt was fired from radio, the third station in as many years. (Technically, WLAP’s station manage simply said Matt’s contract wasn’t being renewed, a contract that apparently expired before a full year was up.) The man can’t hold a job down.
We’ve been following Matt since 2010, when he was morning host on a Delmarva rock station and long before anyone outside of the Delmarva listening area knew who he was. He recycles the same stories, as you’ve already outlined, and none show any intellectual “growth”. It’s as if he’s written a handful of basic themes four years ago and regularly recycles them in rotation. And when his blog ratings go down, you can guarantee to see the three main posts that are his traffic drivers: anything blasting gays, abortion, and drugging of our kids to fit the government program of acceptable behavior at our government schools.
Interesting. Thanks for sharing.
There are some counterbalances to Matt Walsh that are looming on the horizon. Here are some interesting statistics:
Jerry Falwell Dead
D. James Kennedy Dead
Tim LaHaye 88
Hal Lindsey 84
Pat Robertson 84
Paul Pressler III 84
James Dobson 78
Bob Jones III 74
Gary North 71
There are probably more. It all reminds me of a couple of verses from Psalms 37:
“I have seen the wicked in great power and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.”
Yaaaaay April! Why can’t more conservative Christians understand like you?
Hmmmm…. I think Matt is the best blast of fresh air we’ve had in a long time. He’ll hopefully tone down his confrontational style as he matures. But he’s MUCH more than a Rush wannabe.
April, I agree with you. I wish he’d mention prayer more also, much more. But are you saying God wants us to JUST pray? My kids are grown and went to public schools, and it was ok, not great. Would I send them now? Not sure. Because I know what goes on there — I’m not sure the other commenters here do.
Should we not vote? Vote for anti-values candidates? Should we watch trashy movies? You have a blog — I assume you’re vocal about your convictions? Can’t Matt also be?
Matt has about 20% of his presentation that is flawed: he is angry and sarcastic and judgmental to a fault. But his good 80% is SO NEEDED. He’s young, passionate, Christian, full of family value and discipline and right and wrong. He’s for people working hard and standing on their own instead of depending on the government (which is truly Satan at work today).
I don’t think he’s converting anyone to Christianity right now — he’s preaching to the choir a bit — but I do think he’s converted this current internet iPod generation to a position of good vs evil, innate right vs. wrong … and this instinct is what C S Lewis claims IS the proof of God within each of us. 🙂
God bless you. Thanks for letting me rant on!
Thanks for your comment. There are a couple of points that I would like to address.
1. Does God want us to just pray? No. He clearly told us to also love our neighbor, to care for the poor, to defend the cause of the oppressed, and to preach the gospel. I don’t see Matt doing or encouraging any of these things, either. However, Jesus said that if anyone asks anything in his name, he will grant it. Is that not enough? How big do you think your God is?
2. There is no scripture that indicates that relying on the government for certain services is sinful or satanic. If you can find one, I’ll take it back.
3. I love C. S. Lewis as much as anyone, but I’m a bit more concerned with what Jesus says is proof of his indwelling: love. And it’s hard to see love in Matt when he’s calling people nasty names.
In fact, I’d reverse your numbers for Matt: 20% good and 80% hot air. And that’s a generous estimate on my end.
Matt definitely has a right to his opinion. However, for someone who almost never quotes a scripture in his posts, I don’t think he has the right to call it the gospel.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-9 (NIV)
Warning Against Idleness
6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching[a] you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.
You didn’t say WHICH services. I am not saying Christians need to withdraw into their homes and not drive on taxpayer funded roads, nor to not use the services of the police or firefighters. But for taking cash support for which you have not contributed directly — that seems to be problematic. Unemployment compensation is a gray area. In some states the employee and the employer pay taxes for that benefit, and in, the compensation is keyed to your length of employment and the total pay you earned. Welfare is entirely different. And I believe that this scripture applies to Christians for taking welfare.
That scripture does not indicate that accepting welfare is a sin – for Christians or anybody else. Paul even indicates that he had a right to be cared for by the believers, but he thought that working for his keep set the better example – so that no one could slander the gospel by his behavior.
Paul’s key words are “idle” and “disruptive.” Having been raised in a family that occasionally had to rely on food stamps to eat, I can tell you that the majority of people who receive some form of welfare are hardly idle. Most welfare benefits are temporary and not enough to survive on alone (less than $200 per month for food), and since the welfare reform of the 1990s, most require recipients to hold some kind of a job (or spend a documented 40 hrs per week job searching) in order to qualify. Welfare is not an “idleness reward system,” it is a safety net for people in difficult circumstances – also known as helping the poor, which the Bible supports. Using scripture, I could make a much stronger case that paying people less than a livable wage for their work is immoral.
I can see that you’re one of those people who want others to be coerced to support those who won’t or cannot support themselves. I don’t believe that is scriptural. It is the SOURCE of the extra support for those who are in need that is problematic. The church should be doing that. And was until the progressive/statists who think government is the answer to all problems, took it over and the church ceded it as well at the same time.
As far as a “livable wage” is concerned, that is an entirely different argument. You’re mixing apples and oranges here. I conclude from your allegation that you also want government to dictate to individuals and to employers what is a fair wage. That’s not government’s job. I think, Miss April, you’re a statist cloaking your arguments in scripture and I shake off the dust to you.
Actually, if you’ve read some of my other posts, you would know that I advocate very strongly for churches and Christians to help the needy. I never said that government welfare was scriptural, or that the government should dictate anything to anybody. I said that accepting welfare was not a sin listed in the Bible, and I have proven my point. You are putting words in my mouth and trying to start a political argument over it. You are free to believe that government welfare is problematic. But don’t come here trying to claim that the Bible says something it doesn’t. I think, Miss Heather, you are confusing faith with politics.
II’ve been following Matt’s blog for a while, and I really enjoyed reading your opinion, seeing that very few people seem to counter him from this perspective – most of his critics use even more irony and name-calling when talking about his blog.
However, I have a question I believe needs to be asked: did Matt ever claim his main purpose in writing was to “call it the gospel”? I might have missed it, but I can’ recall having read such a thing.
The way I see it, he addresses political and philosophical matters from his point of view as a citizen – a citizen which struggles to live as God wants him to live. He’s trying to be engaged and to participate in society to be able to create a society in which Christian ideals and values are viewed as positive. He doesn’t seem to write just to convert people – though I believe he wouldn’ mind if his articles had just that as a side-effect.
Maybe I digress a bit, but I believe God wants us also to do what Matt does – though how he does it is a different story.
“He’s trying to be engaged and to participate in society to be able to create a society in which Christian ideals and values are viewed as positive.”
What is the point of this? Our call is to live out the gospel, in spite of how it will be received by the world. Focusing on creating a nice society that likes our Christian values misses the point – living out the gospel is the point.
I ran across this blog, which has often helped me understand why I have such a problem with MW’s perspective. http://whatismattwalshwrongabouttoday.com/
Not only do I find his methods appalling in terms of being “christian” but I often think he hasn’t a clue when it comes to his secular logic.
So as a Christian should you just be nice and quiet when the culture of abortion and homosexuality is basically force fed to you?
I don’t think Jesus would agree
In today’s culture hose who actually support christian values are attacked much like the days of Jesus. Matt has the courage to engage the battle.
No, in Jesus’ time, Christians were flogged, crucified, beheaded or fed to lions. Having your reality TV show cancelled hardly qualifies as persecution. By all means, please tell believers in India or Egypt how persecuted Christians in America are. How horrifying that we have to put up with gays and abortion.
I’m not being forced to participate in this culture. No one has a gun to my head making me have an abortion or kiss another woman. I don’t even have to vote on these matters if I don’t want to.
And it doesn’t matter what logic or emotion says we should do to combat this culture. It matters what God in His Word says. He said to pray and love. If that’s not good enough for Matt, he lacks faith.
Matt can be a little over the top and I have only started reading him recently but I must say I agree with him on almost everything,
For example his recent article on white privilege was great. White privilege is an excuse by non whites for whatever they did not achieve. It’s tiresome and matt was spot on.
Also the whole you must accept the homosexual life style with open arms or have a fanatical bunch of idiots pushing to ruin you career is also ludicrous.
Matt has the courage to say it like it is although he is very long winded.
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Thank you so much for deftly organizing and articulating the thoughts that have been rolling around inside my head for a long time now. Well done.
Glad to be of service. 🙂