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NEWSFLASH: What's Wrong With Christ's Church? Too Many Women 'Pollyannas' And Men With 'Peter Pan Syndrome'

What's wrong with Christ's Church?

It just occurred to me and it's quite simple really (though I might be preaching to the choir here).

I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the problem with Christ's Church today is that it's members are comprised of far too many women "Pollyannas" and far too many men with "Peter Pan Syndrome" who collectively treat the things of God like it's all part of some "Game of Life" where you have to be able to mark "Member of a Local Church" off your Checklist for those who want to live "The Successful And Victorious Christian Life" and who collectively treat His Church like a "social club" too where "fellowship" means "Which Of The 15 Fellowship Groups Will I Join This Month So I Can Just Do Fun Things With Other Christians And Never Have To Worry About That Dirty 'D' Word 'Doctrine'?"

Yep, Pollyannas and Peter Pan Syndrome reigns supreme from my limited vantage point! Yours?

For those who don't know, "Pollyanna" is a best-selling 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter that is now considered a classic of Children's Literature, with the title character's name becoming a popular term for someone with the same optimistic outlook.

Pollyanna's philosophy of life centers on what she calls "The Glad Game," an optimistic attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation.

Christian women who are seduced by the "mystical" likes of Beth Moore, Paula White, and Rachel Held-Evans (only to name a few false teachers), are often drawn to them for their predominantly "emotional" and "feelings-based" faith rather than anything truly rooted in the Word of God like a Romans 8:28 Biblical mentality.

It's why they can hear a certain song twice on the car radio in the same day and become convinced that it is "Proof That God Was Speaking To Me Today!" and it's how they can justify becoming Women Pastors since "God Gave Me This Desire And Feeling Inside To Be A Pastor And That's Why I Am Convinced That He Wants Me To Do This For Him!" despite what God's Word says quite clearly and to the contrary.

Men who suffer from "Peter Pan Syndrome" are a much different breed I'm afraid (and far more dangerous within Christ's Church, IMHO). Peter Pan Syndrome is the Pop Psychology concept of an adult male who is socially immature. The category is an informal one invoked by laypeople and some Psychology Professionals in popular Psychology. It's not listed in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a specific mental disorder though, which is a good thing too since a majority of the population would probably be diagnosed as such.

Interestingly enough, Peter Pan Syndrome is derived from the concept of "Puer aeternus" which is Latin for "eternal boy" used in Mythology to designate a "child-god" who is forever young; psychologically, it is an older man whose emotional life has remained at an adolescent level. The puer typically leads a provisional life, due to the fear of being caught in a situation from which it might not be possible to escape. He covets independence and freedom, chafes at boundaries and limits, and tends to find any restriction intolerable.

Sound like any popular mega-church Pastors or Christian men you know? I would add that the men who suffer from Peter Pan Syndrome within Christ's Church also seem to be the ones who lack a confessional spine. Sure, they confess belief in Jesus Christ, but that's about it. I mean, why would they want to go any further when that's the common denominator anyway, right? For them, the Gospel -- no, the entirety of Scripture -- is reduced to John 3:16 because they believe that's all that matters and that it's the best recipe for true unity, and we all know that "Unity At All Costs!" is the battle cry (if not also the ultimate prize) for those who suffer with this ailment.

In that sense, I guess we could say that they're "risk averse" too. In other words, these men fear being bold and steadfast confessors of "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3), because there's way too much risk involved in being that kind of a man.

What Peter Pan type wants to be "combative" and "divisive" about doctrine with their fellow believers? After all, these men hate being disliked by anyone -- especially those within their congregation -- and so they will often go out of their way to please anyone and everyone at any personal (spiritual) cost. This includes letting other people's personal opinions rule the day while also allowing them to go unchallenged in the name of "Love! Peace! Tolerance! Unity!" even if it clearly contradicts the Word of God or a particular denomination's confession of the faith.

Besides, adherence to confessions, creeds, doctrine, and tradition are way too restrictive for them whose hearts and minds are wide open, wild, and free!

Hey, come to think of it, the Peter Pans sound an awful lot like the Pollyannas! Maybe they can both team up, or start one of those Evangelical Online Boycotts And Petitions, and submit a motion to remove Jeremiah 17:9, Proverbs 14:12, Proverbs 16:25, Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45. Such pesky verses that stand in their way on the path to "true unity" within the Christian Church. I wonder what made the writers decide to include them in the Bible in the first place? How "unloving" of them, huh?

While they're at it, those Pollyannas and Peter Pans within the Lutheran Church might want to ditch that dusty old hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" and replace it with Pharrell's hit "Happy" starting with this week's Contemporary Worship Services.

Pollyanna only lost her legs and Peter Pan his ability to grow and mature into an adult. However, the real-life Pollyannas and Peter Pans within our churches today have so much more to lose if they're not careful and if they don't heed our persistent warnings for them to repent and turn from their sins. A soul lost for all of eternity and separated from the Lord due to causing "shipwreck" to one's faith (1 Timothy 1:19) is much, much worse, isn't it? Hopefully, you find that question to be rhetorical if you're reading this.

Finally, if you're somehow immune to all of this, then be careful. No, I don't mean that you need to be on guard so that you don't catch the "Lack of Discernment Diseases" running rampant that they have (although you most certainly do!). I mean that you need to be ready to be treated as if you were "Mr. Pendleton" (the "miserly bachelor") and/or "Captain Hook" (the "evil pirate") for your constant desire for "unity in doctrine and practice" and your unwillingness to just fall in line with the rest of the crowd and stop being such "A-Debbie-Downer" or "A-Stick-In-The-Mud" already.

As frustrating as it is, I will continue to confess, and continue to pray for His grace, courage, and patience while pleading that the hearts, minds, eyes, and ears of fellow loved ones would be opened to the truth for so many well-meaning, but deceived family members, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances.

Bottom line, it's time for women to be women and men to be men. It's time that both sexes put their faith and trust in the divinely inspired writings found in the Holy Bible rather than putting their faith and trust in the ego inspired writings found in Children's Literature.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, what's wrong with Christ's Church? Too many women Pollyannas and men with Peter Pan Syndrome.

NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

1 comment

  1. A great piece that every "Peter Pan" needs to prayerfully consider...


    Grace And Peace,


Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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