You probably don’t know me, but I’m a blogger too. I just spent some time writing a post that was titled “5 Reasons Why The Matt Walsh Blog Is The Absolute Worst,” but I scrapped it. You know, there are a lot of reasons NOT to write a post with this title–One reason is that most people would probably be like, “Who the crap is Matt Walsh?” You’ve got a lot more readers than I do, but you’re far from a household name. An even better reason is that if I were to get in a “No YOU’RE the one who is stupid!” sort-of-argument with you, I’d probably lose. But then, in a fight between “I’m certain that I’m right!” and “I could be wrong,” “I’m certain that I’m right!” almost always wins. The best reason I had for scrapping what I had is this: When I told my wife the title, she said, “Oh no, Sweetie.” And her instincts are way better than mine. Anyway, that sort of post is really not what I’m about. And if it IS what I’m sometimes about, it’s not what I WANT to be about.
The first thing of yours that I read was a post about stay-at-home moms. Someone sent it to me because they thought I would like it. I did! It was a little on the pissed off side, but it was well-written. And man, I get it–I get pissed off a lot too. But when I read some of your other posts, it became very clear that, ideologically, we have landed at very different places. I don’t know what you believe about everything, but from the 15 or so posts that I’ve read, I’d say it’s safe for me to predict where you stand on an issue by choosing the exact opposite of what I believe. And that’s frustrating for me, because you seem like a smart guy. How can a guy who is clearly intelligent get things so consistently wrong? But it’s also strange because you and I both call ourselves Christians. And that’s where I feel the need to speak up.
For those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus, I believe there’s plenty of room for everyone on the ideological spectrum–conservatives and liberals and fundamentalists and progressives and all the other labels that divide us. As is usually the case, you probably don’t agree. I just clicked on your your most recent post, you say, “The enemy — the self-worshipping death cult known as modern liberalism — has become increasingly vile, violent, and deceitful.” Not a whole lot of room for common ground there….
But really, the kind of stuff you pump out is everywhere. If I were to spend every waking moment from here on out trying to respond to all the conservative bloggers who see the world in stark, black & white terms and credit The Almighty as being the reason for their ideological certainty, I’d never have the time be able to reply to them all. So why respond to your posts? It’s partially because people have sent me some of your posts wanting me to respond. It’s also because you’re good at what you do. When Sarah Palin says, “Waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists,” almost all Christians can see the twisted nature of what was said. But the places where you get it wrong aren’t always as apparent, and it’s easier for people to come away from the things you write thinking, “I guess that makes sense….” But the main reason I’m writing is not because I think you’re wrong–There are a lot of people I think are wrong. The main reason I’m writing is because I have hope. I have hope that you might recognize some shades of gray in your black & white world, and I have hope that someday you’ll be the sort of person whose words are recognized by their love and not by their anger.
I honestly don’t see a lot of hope in your writing. Or love, for that matter (Though, there seems to be quite a lot of faith. And 1 out of 3 ain’t bad. If we’re playing baseball, that’ll get you into the Hall of Fame). There’s a whole lot of anger. If you’re out there saying, “Hey, look at me. I’m a Christian blogger!” and everything you write is full of anger, what do you think that tells the world about Christians? Your posts also seem to be very colored by a certainty that this world is going to hell in a hand basket. But this world is being redeemed. Believe me when I say that I know there are a lot of things to be discouraged about, but there is beauty and truth and love out there too. It’s easy to see, especially when you’re looking for it. And I believe followers of Jesus are called to look for it. We are at our best when we are looking for it.
The Gospel is NOT a message of Personal Responsibility. There’s a time to preach personal responsibility, but if you believe it’s going to solve everything, you’re either being ignorant or you’re being dishonest. I hope that, for you, it’s the former. Many of your posts give the appearance of logic, but it’s logic that’s free from compassion. We are not called to use our words to be talented snipers…. We are called to use our words to love. And encourage. And inspire. And yes, challenge, but not in a way that says “Everyone who doesn’t think like me is an idiot.” And I realize that what I’m writing right now is being critical, so it might seem like I’m being hypocritical. Maybe…. I don’t think so. I believe that when people hate and over-simplify in the name of Jesus, the Church has a responsibility to stand up and say, “This isn’t right.”What you’re doing isn’t right, Matt.
I don’t think your posts are as bad as Breitbart and FoxNews and the sort…. I think they’re worse. Because your brand of anger mixed with a message of religious certainty is the sort of mixture that can end up strapping a bomb to its chest. I see you’ve got some shiny new ads on your blog, and that you’ve partnered with ultra-conservative Liberty Alliance (having articles with titles like “Obama the Jihadist) and Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, so that should mean some more money coming your way…. But please, dude–There are enough voices in the world providing overly simplistic answers to very complex questions and crediting it all to “Christianity.” I have learned (and am still learning) that asking the right question is way more powerful than having the right answer. Acknowledging complexity might not bring in the same amount of veiws for your blog, but I guarantee it will bring in more people to the arms of Jesus.
So here’s my challange to you (and anyone else who happens to read this): Read some of Rachel Held Evans‘ stuff. Or, if that is too theologically radical for you, read some Jen Hatmaker–She’s probably a bit closer to you on the Liberal/Conservative spectrum. Listen to the way they inspire and challenge and reform, all while keeping LOVE at the forefront of their words. There is a humility there that I haven’t yet encountered in your writings. You are pumping out stuff on a daily basis to a wide audience, and it’s all filled to the brim with anger and division and hatred, and you’re proclaiming “This is what Christianity looks like.” There is a fire in your writing, but Christianity does not look like a fire of anger and division and hatred…. It looks like the fire of Peace and Reconciliation and Love. Find THAT fire, and use your considerable talents to fan that flame.
And as for the rest of you, if you come accross a Matt Walsh Blog post someone shared, and you’re not sure how to verbalize why it makes you feel so discouraged, feel free to put up this blog post as a response. Or, even better, find something that Rachel Held Evans or Jen Hatmaker has written on the subject, and post that as a response. They’re a lot better at this than I am. If you’re interested, you can follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheBoeskool, or you can Like My Facebook Page for some other fun stuff. Peace.
Yes. It is so easy to get discouraged by the hate-mongering. Thanks for calling it out and doing it in a way that leaves the door open for dialogue. Nicely done. 🙂
Your posts remind me of this, in all the best ways: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”.
Thanks for doing what you do!
Thanks for reading, Sara. 🙂
Man, that Jesus guy NEVER got angry, ever. Not even when he beat banksters out of the temple with a whip. Actually, that must have never happened because Jesus was the ultimate nice guy.
I don’t know why you think this blog post was saying anger is always wrong, or that Jesus ‘never got angry’. Saying Christians shouldn’t be characterized by habitual anger is pretty clearly Scriptural. (Not really listed in passages about the fruit of the Spirit)
Jesus did get angry. A few times, not just in the Temple. The interesting thing is I hear this fact brought up so often by Christians who are using it to justify their fury over liberalism… and the ‘world’… and ‘non-Christians’… and Democrats… but when Jesus got angry…
He didn’t get furious at sinners who knew they were screw-ups: prostitutes or local barkeepers or zealots, or even money-loving tax collectors or confused Samaritans with sexual promiscuity issues and wonky beliefs about God…
When Jesus got ANGRY, spitting mad, cursing people mad, making whips and throwing tables mad, it was always very specifically at the Pharisees and religious leaders… the ones who believed they had God on their side, completely figured out, and everyone who didn’t agree and toe the line was literally going to Hell. The ones who placed impossible burdens on people trying to find God. The ones who kept pagans out of the temple. The ones who made God seem like a cold, implacable dictator instead of a Loving Father.
The ones who cared more about being RIGHT than about compassion.
Somehow, this never comes up when somebody wants to use the ‘Jesus got angry sometimes’ argument to defend their vicious rants against SINNERS/PEOPLE WHO DON’T AGREE WITH ME.
this is a great response to the ‘Jesus got angry and threw tables!’ justification… well said Sivandra!
Dang, Sivandra! Preach sister!
I love it when people like Sivandra respond better than I could have. 🙂
In the spirit of Sivandra’s kind response, here is a quote from someone named Barbara Brown Taylor:
“Whatever Judas’s degree of guilt and whatever his motive, it is extremely important to note that Jesus identifies his betrayer by feeding him. Not by turning over the table and casting him out. Not by tying him to his chair so he cannot carry out his plan, but by feeding him – dipping a morsel into his own cup and giving it to Judas, whose feet he has just washed.
Knowing who Judas is and what he is about to do, Jesus does not throw him out. He bathes him and feeds him, which means that Judas is never – never – excluded from the circle of friends. He is included until he excludes himself.
Jesus went on giving himself away to the one who would give him away, because his faithfulness did not depend on theirs. When he dipped the morsel in his cup and handed it to Judas, he not only revealed who Judas was, he also revealed who he was. The one who feeds his enemies – who goes on treating them as friends – loving them to the end.”
This is the second time this week that I have seen this example of Jesus used to justify Christians being angry and not acting like Jesus. I blows my mind.
I believe taking His righteous anger out of context to justify not acting loving towards those we don’t agree with is not what He would want us to do.
Jesus is God and I am confident His response was perfect each of the times that He was angry. I believe PEOPLE should start their interactions with other people in the spirit of love, especially if their goal is to introduce them to their Savior. Arguing/attacking/shaming/pointing out sin/faults as an opener puts people immediately on the defense and closes doors of communication. How can we expect them to hear, and believe, “Jesus love you” when we have started with an attack?
Jesus made it clear that love is most important. What if we, as His followers, actually believed Him? What if, in this fallen world outside of God’s plan that is so much more complicated than black and white, we chose love as our compass to navigate complex issues? If we all chose love? Wow, what a world it would be.
I am a conservative politically and Catholic by faith and as much as I admire Palin for many other things, I thought her waterboarding was at best ill advised and at worst indicative of a very twisted view of Jesus.
Before you start feeling good about yourself let me stop and say I probably would view your vision of Jesus as just as twisted. From your comments I think I am capable of inferring all your views as well in the same way you beleive you can Walshes. Its not a trick or skill, most of us who spend any time thinking about these issues can usually know on the spot what kind of person we are dealing with after a few quotes. Its a skill that doesnt really depend on party affiliation.
Let me tell you what I think your Jesus represents. Your idea of Jesus all encompassing love probably translates into indiscriminateness, that is because Jesus ministered to sinners you think it meant he was ok with their sin. He was all about love. Your kind is also big on “let those among you without sin cast the first stone” because you dont like hypocrites judging you and making you feel guilt but not so big on the following scripture where he says “now go and sin no more”., well because frankly that might make you feel guilt. Your kind also thinks you get brownie salvation points from Buddy Jesus by agreeing to pay higher taxes and compelling others to do likewise because in your twisted view, government is Jesus and salvation is not a personal journey but a communal one which you get just by behaving like you think compassionate people do. You define compassion not by the actual people who are clothed and fed and educated and healed from it but how it makes you feel warm and fuzzy about yourself. Your Jesus wants women to be all they can be so abortion is a-ok with him. Your kind is so self righteous it makes you feel superior and compassionate because you feel sorry for those poor misled conservative Christians who dont know Jesus is for a higher minimum wage, free pot, sexual libertinism, and a nation run by wise compassionate sages like yourself.
Wow, MC. You got that much wrong. I am a friend of Chris’ and a non believer by faith and you are way off on all of the above. As I’m writing this I’m second guessing myself and almost believe your post was satire.
Chris is for a higher minimum wage, but let’s not be crazy… he expects people to pay for their pot.
Agreed, Andrew. I can’t tell either way.
MCollins–Would you tell me what your view of Jesus is?
Are you angry that people think he cares about some of the “social justice” things you mentioned above, or are you angry about people who don’t really care or work for those social justice things and just use Jesus’ name to feel good about themselves? Or is it something else? Or, are you angry at all? You seem a little angry….
And, if you have time, you seem upset about the concept of a minimum wage. Why is that?
Probably Jesus wanted to love people indiscriminately. There seems to be a lot of evidence for that.
I like you, Skyride. 🙂
There is Biblical evidence, but there is also the evidence of our conscience, you know? Some weighty evidence….
If that comment was NOT satire, it was so awful in it’s blatant assumptions and stereotyping and bitterness and ignorance that I’m not sure whether to laugh or feel really really SAD.
Not bad, not bad at all. Not that my affirmations count for beans, but I also think Matt Walsh gets a bit vitriolic. I also agree that focusing on the world being redeemed is the better, more Christlike approach.
Thanks Josh. They count for beans in my world.
*standing and applauding*
Well done, Sir. Thank you for taking a stand against those who seek to distort Jesus’ message of love and redemption.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1Cor. 13:13
“Jesus replied, ‘Love The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
So… I guess I do not understand how Christians trying to follow God’s call to love can be seen as some kind of guilt-blocking feel-goodery. God’s depth of love for us is more powerful than we can fathom, and when we let it into our hearts it will spill over into every aspect of our lives. In our dealings with others, our political views, our work ethic, our life goals, and in every little thing it will be there.
Matt writes flame pieces under the pretense of trying to make a good, Christian point. This is a great post.
Thank you for this post. My Facebook stream is always filled with fellow Christians sharing Matt’s posts and I’m glad to know I’m not the only Christian that finds them bothersome.
I like your ads much better than Matt Walsh’s ads.
Dear Boeskool, Right wingers vex me too – trouble is, they’re usually well informed, either through sound education, direct (work) experience or both. As for Sarah Palin, we all need wimmin politicians like we all need tooth decay.