My Beef with the Matt Walsh Blog

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.

 

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43 responses to “My Beef with the Matt Walsh Blog

  1. He sounds from your description like everything we are fighting against in the Middle East- he could just as easily be a radical Muslim part of ISIS. And I’m sorry that I now know about him, as it will only stress me out.

  2. It seems to me that there are more than enough people like Matt loudly screaming from the mountain tops what a Christian looks like according to them. I am not a regular reader of his blog but I have many friends who have shared his blog regularly through social networks and so I have read several of his posts. They often have many good points but at the heart they feel like the religious manipulation many political parties exploit to gain a following rather than the earnest desire to see God’s message spread. I couldn’t finish the most recent post condemning suicide in response to Robin Williams’ death. His insensitivity and lack of compassion for the way a person might feel that could cause them to take their own life shows how far from God’s loving example his ideals fall. Thank you for putting to words what I had been feeling.

  3. Pingback: Depression: An Open Response to Matt Walsh – Big Smooth

  4. April,

    I’m a lot with what Chris Fuhs says. He is great. He is getting people to talk. He proves that young Christians can expertly use blogs and social media to advocate and argue “old-time” Christian values. His piece about why Jesus was not “Mr. Rogers” was one of the best online writings I have come across in a long time.

    Oddly, I also agree with a lot of what you say, (not the “hot air” comment–lol. Rush Limbaugh is hot air, though.). There is a strong strain of Puritan, DIY, by the boots-straps culture, which permeates, not only American thinking, but American Christianity itself. There is too much, “I am the captain of my Soul” bunk, which takes the idea of personal responsibility to the nth degree (who else could practicing American Christians find common cause with that atheist/materialist Ayn Rand?). And yeah, the constant dependence on individualism borders on an idolatry of the self.

    On one hand, I believe in accepting personal responsibility for one’s actions. I am wary of fostering a culture of dependency. And I do not like the proliferation of openly anti-Christian (and anti-Humanist values) in our popular culture.

    However, people do fall down, and sometimes the family support structure is not enough. Government agencies, charities and other outside benefactors can lend a vital and necessary helping hand (they have for me). I am glad my tax dollars can now help someone else who needs it.

    Also people (at least grown people) should be able to decide what they take in regarding the popular culture. It’s one thing to criticize, another to create viable alternatives. No question the rise of family networks, publishing and other media constitute an alternative from what today’s media establishment.

    I also saw the Matt Walsh piece recently on depression and suicide. Oddly, I know what he meant, but he was wrong being right. Yes, suicide is a choice, but choices can be influenced. Yes it seems that people are praising Robin Williams, and claiming he is now at peace (only God knows for sure), but few are advocating suicide as the answer. As someone who has depression, I am careful to judge any soul considering such a staggering decision. I’ll just say, what Scripture says, “Choose life.”

    Best and blessings to you,

    Lyonel

    PS – in all fairness to Mr. Walsh, if I hadn’t googled him, I would probably not come upon your own blog.

  5. I think anyone who claims to write the Absolute Truth about anything is creepy and narcissistic. Never heard of him until now. Won’t pay any attention to him anymore. He’s an embarrassment. It just goes to show…a little learning – a VERY little learning – is a dangerous thing. How thankful I am I discovered progressive Christianity.

  6. I am not an avid reader of the Matt Walsh blog, but I do think he hits the nail on the head in some occasions. I am also a gun-Toten conservative and I believe that the Lord has given us worldly tools to fight against the powers of the world as well as fight through consistent and intentional prayer. The problem I see with your blog post is this: you’re criticizing him instead of encouraging him to change. You posted an entire blog calling him out! How is that encouraging him to change? If you were successful in helping him change .. those 40 million readers would benefit! Think about that! That would be a huge deal for the kingdom of God.

    “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. ” (‭Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭2-4‬ NIV)

    • I see what you are saying. But the post is not addressed to Matt. I wasn’t “calling him out” so much as evaluating his Christian worldview. Matt says he is a Christian, but many of his opinions and attitudes are in direct opposition to the gospel. I wrote his post for the benefit of Matt’s readers, so that they can know that what Matt is often encouraging them to think and do is not always what Christ would have them think and do. And my Bible tells me that the apostles didn’t bat an eyelash at pointing out dubious teachings. Paul did it to Peter in front of an entire congregation of people!

      I hope and pray that Matt does change. I really do. And if this post helps achieve that in some way, I’ll be overjoyed. But experience has (so far) shown me that Matt isn’t interested in changing his views or rhetoric. Aside from the acidic way he responds to corrective feedback, his tagline is “professional sayer of truths.” Matt believes he’s right and that no ‘college-educated drone’ can tell him otherwise.

  7. Well written post; I agree with your sentiments. In fact, the number one issue I have with Matt Walsh and any others like him (such as independent fundamental Baptists) is that they are not living the Christian life as Jesus intended at all. It was never supposed to be anti-culture or even counter-culture. I would guess that most so-called fundamentalist Christians who have all their counter-culture ducks in a row (home schooling, modesty, no TV, whatever) neglect the majority of the spiritual and heart issues that Jesus’s teachings center around. It comes down to assigning values for sins, partly, but mostly a blatant disregard for the very passage you quoted in Ephesians 6: that our true fight and defining characteristic as followers of Christ is spiritual warfare. Any sort of attitude that is bitter, sarcastic, nasty, presumptuous, or haughty is a win for the devil. No bones about it. I am now following your blog and look forward to hearing more of your perspective as the Holy Spirit leads you.

  8. Matt has great thoughts and ideas. You have great thoughts and ideas. You differ in your approach as to how to solve the dilemma Christians face in today’s society, but you both have essentially the same end-goal. I don’t think it is necessary for you to oppose one another. Why not search for the common ground and build on that, rather than tearing down another person who wants a lot of the same things you want? You say the most effective method for change is prayer, but what of faith? And by faith, I mean action. We kneel and pray to God, and when we’re done praying, we must get on our feet and go to work, trusting that he will amplify our efforts to create positive change in society. We cannot simply pray, and do nothing more. I do not religiously follow Matt, but I have enjoyed reading his posts from time to time. I think he’s doing a great thing to try to reach and influence a large group of people and encourage them to resist the liberal tidal wave sweeping over our country.

    In regards to using worldly weapons, I ask you, why did God, in the Bible, lead the Children of Israel to go to war and wipe out huge swaths of people in the surrounding area? Why didn’t he just tell them to pray them away out of the lands? I have no doubt that they prayed before their battles, but they still picked up their swords and their arrows and went to war.

    I’m not saying we should all pick up our weapons and spark a literal war with all liberals/progressives, but we should certainly be doing more than just praying.

  9. I had never heard of Matt Wash until today and while looking up more of his work, I came across your article. But I found it interesting that everything you listed about him that was “bad” are things I agree with and I had never even heard of the man.

    Granted, I haven’t read but two of his articles, but from what I could see, he seemed to understand my point of view.

    Do I pray about these issues? OF COURSE! Does Matt pray about them? I don’t know, but I would assume that he does. But Stehpen wasn’t stoned to death for praying. Peter wasn’t crucified hung upside down for praying, John wasn’t exiled to Pathos for praying, Paul wasn’t crucified for praying, John the baptist wasn’t beheaded for praying….do you get my point? All of these men spoke out against the political AND religious leaders and all of them were martyred for it.

    I am a stay at home mom who home schools my 9 year old. I don’t watch much tv, and I go to the movies about once or twice a year, usually to support a Christian film or see a documentary. I have always claimed to be a Christian, but sadly, most of my life it was a title; not a reality.

    But I haven’t always been this way. There have been times where I worked 3 jobs, my oldest son just graduated from public school last spring-I never home schooled him. I use to love tv and movies. But over time I just started realizing that the world was changing and as I was changing we were going in opposite directions.

    I got tired of battling with liberal teachers over things my son was being taught. I got tired of them belittling our faith in order to defend their ideology. Teachers treated me like I was the enemy because I disagreed with them and didn’t want my son being exposed to the liberal dogma. Even when my son was a freshman in high school and stood up politely to a teacher, she spent the rest of the school year insulting him and his faith in front of the class-even speaking about him negatively one day when he was absent-saying that she was glad he was gone that day because he’s too rigid in his beliefs. This was an English class, mind you, not history class, or philosophy, or science-classes where you might expect a certain level of disagreement. She was expounding her political and anti-moral beliefs on a classroom held captive by fear of retaliation if anyone spoke out or tried to leave. I reported her to the school but nothing seemed to be done and no one even contacted me back. He left her class at the end of the year with a “B” but not without working his butt off. He had to work twice as hard on every assignment so that there was no room for her to grade him lower as English is more of an arbitrary subject where teachers can grade you on content.

    Then he had another lesbian high school choir teacher who had been in a relationship with another teacher in the district and used her classroom to speak negatively about that other teacher. She cried a lot in class and even shattered something in spare room in a fit of rage. She was constantly having the students talk about their beliefs and feelings and reading articles and poems about acceptance-hardly something you’d expect in a choir class. he was in a the top honor choir class and she treated them very special-saying things like “your class is the only thing that keeps me from killing myself.” Eventually she was fired-but really for being rude to a student and also for discrediting this other teacher-not for her outbursts in class or mental instability. There are other incidents with these and other teachers but I can’t list them all without writing a 20 page paper here.

    So don’t tell me that liberals are not pushing their agenda in the classroom. We are in a small conservative half-rural and half suburban area. I shutter to think what school is like in more liberal areas.

    So when my 9 year old was about to start school and I lost my job about the same time, we made a decision that I would stay home and home school our younger son. I wanted to see what the outcome would be of a public school vs home school education. So far, I am much happier with the results. Granted, both of my boys are very intelligent, so the educational difference between my 9 year old now and my 18 year old at age 9 are really not much different. But my 9 year old has no fear of rejection. He doesn’t know what public humiliation is. He is comfortable in his own skin and he is a lot happier in general than my 18 year old ever was. My 18 year old took dance, voice lessons, and is an actor-appearing in a lot of local commercials and doing a lot of professional theatre so kids at his school would constantly ask him if he was gay and insult him for being a boy dancer. My younger son has followed in his footsteps and I am grateful that there is no one making him feel less masculine because he doesn’t play sports. I am also grateful that I control his curriculum but give him the freedom to decide which topics in history and science he wants to cover each year. Most kids don’t get that kind of freedom. This year he opted for chemistry and physics and US history.

    As for TV-it’s not like I boycott Hollywood on purpose, but I want to enjoy watching a show. Why would I watch something that makes me feel uncomfortable? For example, I recently decided I’d like to watch a new show called “How to get away with murder” but after watching a couple of episodes, I realized I couldn’t stand it anymore. One of the main characters is gay and they constantly show him making out with guys. shirts off-kissing, rubbing bodies, going down, etc. That makes me sick to watch. And it’s not like I can fast-forward through it. SO I just quit watching the show.

    As a Christian, most shows offend me. If they are not making the father look stupid, they are making fun of Christians, promoting homosexual relationships, or using a lot of profanity. All things which prick my conscience and make watching television or seeing movies very uncomfortable for me. The Holy spirit within me does not like to view those things.

    But there was a time when none of this bothered me. But as I have drawn closer and closer to the Lord-probably by being home with my child and out of public, and reading the Bible more now with more spare time on my hands, my relationship with God is different. My convictions are stronger. I can’t watch much tv or see many movies.

    So you could say that I boycott Hollywood, but really Hollywood just abandoned me with their liberalism. I didn’t rally against the public school-the public school abandoned me with their hiring of liberal teachers who have to use their classroom as a sounding board for all of their liberalism.

    it seems like you want Christians to separate their moral convictions, (which you seem to equate with politics) from their faith because because being

    1. pro-life (per Psalms 139:13-16)
    2. opting not to support the Hollywood liberalism (per Philipians 4:8)
    3. choosing to take charge of their children’s education, (per scripture Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
    4. staying home (per Titus 2:4-5)
    5. Not supporting gay marriage (tons of scripture on the institute of marriage)

    But you consider all of these things political issues in a way. But they are not-the world made them political, but God was before politics. His commands, his words, his institutions, are forever-these topics are political today because man wants to destroy these things and what better way to do it than to turn them into politics so people can tie them to politics and separate them from scripture?

    I disagree with your assessment of Mr. Walsh. After finding him today, I do think I will read more of his articles in the future. If he’s anything like you have described, I feel I will agree with most of his positions. I am not a backseat Christian. I prefer to take the “Paul approach” and speak out against immorality. I do not fear retaliation. I expect it. I fear God more than any man and I will not sit back and watch Christianity in this country be destroyed because you think we should be absolutely silent and pray in secret. I will pray in public, I will speak in public. We are told to spread the gospel and the gospel includes marriage, life in the womb, teaching your own children, and women raising their children and not handing that job over to someone else.

    I [think] you fear man more than you fear God. If you didn’t care about pleasing man-you would not have a blog you use to discredit one of the ONLY people that is choosing to speak out against today’s new morality in a witty new way. You position is “typical worldly.” Telling Christians to just shut up and pray is exactly what the world wants us to do. It’s what every liberal politician and Hollywood director keeps telling us and I don’t see any fruit of that labor. But praying AND speaking out-now we are finally getting somewhere. It may not be where you think we are suppose to be, but you know, the Bible tells us that when we are nearing the end, very few will be converted anyway no matter how we try to present the message, and even those who claim to be Christians will be led away with smooth talk with false doctrine and I do believe that your article here is false doctrine that not only have you swallowed yourself, but are promoting to lead others astray. Your claim that we should only pray and not really speak out goes against the teaching of Paul and the example of all of the disciples who were murdered for speaking out.

    • Hi, Melinda. Thanks for your response.

      I think you misunderstood me: I never said that Christians should remain silent. I said that Christians should stop resorting to worldly tactics to oppose sin. There is a difference. True, Peter, Paul, John and Stephen were all martyred for speaking out. But what they were speaking was the gospel: Jesus Christ crucified for the redemption of sin and his kingdom come. Paul et. al. wasn’t running for office or trying to overthrow the emperor. In fact, Paul told the Christians in Rome that they should respect and pray for their governing authorities (who had been established by God) and try to live at peace with everyone when possible. And this was during the reign of Nero, btw. The political leaders didn’t like what these men preached because it threatened their own god-like notions of authority. They didn’t want people thinking that there was another (higher) kingdom they could pledge their allegiance to. In this light, Christianity was one of the first religions to attempt to separate faith from politics.

      Those things you listed as being part of the gospel, aren’t. The gospel is summed up in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He sent his one and only Son, that whoever would believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The gospel is that God loves people, wants to have relationship with people, and through Jesus has freed us from the condemnation that we faced as sinners under the Law so that we might commune with Him freely. That is the message Jesus commanded Christians to preach, and it is the only message that brings spiritual transformation. If this isn’t the message we are presenting to others first, then all of that other stuff is just life-coaching. It is Law. It is dead.

      By all means, please speak up and share the gospel. But make sure that what you’re preaching is actually the gospel.