Week 28 in the year of our Lord 2022

Based Christianity is so 2021

9 minutes to read

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There is a lot of “based Christianity” content and hot-takes out there. It has become a kind of subculture.

Unfortunately, a lot of it (not all) is also “so 2021.”

Here’s what we mean:

All the madness of 2020 caused huge numbers of Christians to question the watery, and often poisonous, nonsense they were been fed by their churches.

This was good thing.

They cast about for voices of sanity, and the ones that rose above the crowd tended to be those that spoke with less nuance, and more hyperbole.

That’s the nature of it. Times of crisis require bold men and bold words, not careful men and careful words.

The discombobulated masses of Christians listened to these “based” voices, and many of them made big changes.

Again, this was largely a good thing. It produced changes for the better in the lives of many people. And it gave the based voices more influence and attention.

However, it also led to some overcorrections.

Again, this is only natural. Sometimes to get back in shape, you have get extreme for a period of time.

But the activities that lead to correction are different from the activities that sustain the correction.

In time, that intensity levels out to lifestyle of healthiness.

A lot of the “based” or “hot” takes are good for the correction phase. But at some point you have to level out into new stasis of living.

A lot of the based rhetoric is good for attracting people in search of a problem. But it isn’t always good at providing livable, well-rounded solutions.

There is also a danger that “based” becomes the new cultural fad de jure. Now that it’s cool to be based, now that there’s a market which is hungry for that kind of rhetoric, cue all imitators and wannabes, riding the coat-tails. Meanwhile, the OP voices are in danger of doubling down to keep their relevance, and making “based” their whole identity.

But based is a one-trick pony. It’s a tool—not the tool.

It’s good to be bold about your views, and not care what others think…if you are right and they are wrong.

It’s good to be bold about your views, and not care what others think…if they are the enemy.

It’s true that without based churches, our culture won’t change. But…churches can’t be built on being based alone. We shouldn’t turn a situational rhetorical tactic into the foundation of a religious culture. We need to be forward-thinking, focused on developing maturity, and using all the tools at our disposal.

We don’t need churches run by people who have slipped into a mindset that if someone doesn’t think they’re an edge-lord, they aren’t being faithful any more. There is a real danger that being based, ironically, becomes a reactive and blinkered mindset.

Being based will remain important. But only churches that can join it with the boringly mundane spiritual disciplines, will grow long term.

Many people foresee 2020 repeating itself. That means more waves of people leaving weak and compromised churches. We agree. It seems likely that we will see a huge wave in the fall. Hopefully they can find solid churches that, while still based, have leveled out.

Clear words reflect clear thoughts. Discipline your communication skills, discipline your mind.

The wise in heart will receive commandments; but a prattling fool shall fall. (Proverbs 10:8)

Well-ordered speech both reflects and produces a well-ordered mind. A famous copywriter once said that good writing is good thinking expressed clearly. By corollary, bad writing is bad thinking expressed confusingly.

The more we see of young people’s writing, the more disturbed we are about the state of their minds. Not only do they think in a breathless tumble that is more emotional than rational, but they are so lacking in self-reflection that they can’t even tell (and/or care) that the thoughts which spilled randomly out onto the keyboard are poorly expressed or incoherent.

Not only are their minds undisciplined and incapable of clear thought, but they have been conditioned to believe that there is nothing shameful about this, or to not even recognize it at all. They instead believe that everyone should accept and even praise the arbitrary verbal garbage they spewed onto the page because it is an authentic reflection of their precious persons.

This is fundamentally upside down. We need to not only obliterate such disordered thinking in our own lives, but teach our children to do the same. Part of teaching this requires understanding the effect of various forms of discourse on our thought patterns. As one man in our members group noted:

When a mobile phone and the internet are your parent and friend then the thoughts, speech, and writing habits you’ll develop growing up will be like comments sections on YouTube or Twitter.

A society of people whose internal thought processes look like the comments sections on YouTube or Twitter, is not a society long for this world. A society of people who think that whatever nonsense they happened to emote is respectable just because they emoted it, is a society that cannot long stand. A well-ordered society cannot be built from fundamentally disordered hearts and wills. The ability to order and regulate our own minds, to think well and make wise decisions, is foundational to everything.

In other words, to make good decisions, you have to be able to think well. And a great way of learning to think well is to develop your communication skills. Learning to write well, learning to speak well, teaches you to order your thinking well. It wears the right grooves into your mind.

There are two kinds of people who are scared of authority #

  1. Those who have suffered under wrongly-exercised authority;
  2. Those who wrongly exercise authority themselves.

The former is easy to understand. They simply generalize their experiences. They are afraid of authority because they imagine that all authority will be like what they have experienced.

The latter is a case of projection. These people are afraid of authority because they imagine that everyone will rule like they do.

Best home-schooling pick-up lines #

For those of our readers who hit the young, single, homeschooled trifecta: Michael asked his Facebook friends for pick-up lines that you can use. Here are some of our favorites:

  • If I marched around you seven times, would you fall for me?
  • My mom told me to write a paper on the finer things in life, and I was wondering: could I interview your daughter?
  • Sup, girl, I’d like to get to know you. Can I get your dad’s number?
  • Sick jean-jumper, is that homemade?
  • Girl, go tell your dad I will work 14 years just for you.
  • Hey girl, I was determined to kiss dating goodbye until I met you.
  • Want to have a classical conversation over dinner, and then see a movie?
  • Your hair is like a flock of goats.
  • If I sent my servant on a journey, and you saw him at a well, would you water his camels?
  • Were you forged by Sauron? Because, girl, you’re preciousssss.
  • Hey babe you wanna grab a homestead with me and try some permaculture?
  • Dang girl, are you a Platonist? Because you’re the IDEAL form of beauty.

And here’s an actual line that someone reported (no confirmation on success though): “Do you want to go out to eat with me? Your dad already said I could.”

Notable: #

On this point, evangelicals underestimate how destructive fornication is, both to individuals, and to society. They underestimate how difficult long-term chastity is for your average single person. And they underestimate the need need to protect and encourage biblical marriages.

One reader also noted a connection between Unwin’s findings and the Mouse Utopia experiments. When mice or rats were given all the food and space they could want, free from predators, they became hyper-violent, neglected their offspring, became homosexual, and the mothers would attack their own infants. Eventually they died out, because no more babies were being produced after the last ones had become infertile with age.

Talk again next week,

Bnonn & Michael

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