Jordan Peterson and the Shame of Christians

Jordan Peterson puts Christians to shame. He’s agnostic in the sense that he doesn’t believe anyone can know for a fact whether God exists. Yet, Peterson definitely believes there is something beyond humans. He doesn’t know what. Yet, I’ve seen people who claim it was because of Jordan Peterson that they came to the Christian faith. I’ve heard stories about how he’s helped young men find meaning and purpose in their lives. How fathers and sons have been reconciled to one another. So, what is it about Jordan Peterson that is shaking up our world?

He’s a genuine person who is the same in private as in public (according to Dave Rubin who opened for Jordan on his 12 Rules for Life global tour). And Peterson is serious about making sense of the world we live in when most scholars are deconstructing it. The Canadian clinical psychologist brings meaning into a world that has lost its way and its purpose. His message resounded across the globe catching flack from multiple sources. Peterson is not striking out to be controversial, but has drawn the ire of politicos and social justice warriors for speaking the truth.

This monolith of a man has been missing in action due to his personal health, but has recently begun his comeback by announcing his new book Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life. Peterson has left a hole for the past 18 months. And this is why I say he puts Christians to shame. A man who doesn’t necessarily believe in the Christian message as literally true is bringing people to the faith. Further, he’s probably done more to bring people to Christ than most Christians will ever do in their lifetime (his international platform aside). His departure was more noticeable than if any single Christian had disappeared (with the exception of the pope). Christians have to do better. 

Now, I’m not necessarily endorsing everything Peterson has said and done (particularly his Biblical series which is quite popular). However, he gets a lot of things right and it would behoove Christians to take a look at Peterson’s work. I have personally learned a lot from his lectures on various subjects and I’ve found his book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos to be challenging me in a way most Christian teachings haven’t. Peterson’s message meets his readers (and watchers) on a visceral level. He’s making sense of our chaotic world. This is what Christians are supposed to be doing. We’re supposed to be a light in the darkness. Yet, we’ve let a clinical psychologist – who doesn’t truly believe – take the lead. 

Christian pastors, theologians, and scholars need to stop analyzing, systematizing, and criticizing the Bible through their contrived methods of “discernment.” That’s what led us down this path of broken Christianity and a chaotic modern world. Further, too many of our aforementioned leaders don’t know God because they do not pray enough and they do not fast enough. Whatever happened to the holy men of old? Whatever happened to the saints? Is the Holy Spirit still at work? Certainly He is doing a mighty work through Jordan Peteson, but it seems our Christian leadership missed that bus while they were reading the latest commentary or systematic theology. 

It’s time we tear our clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes. We need to heed the words of Christ to “repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” or else we too will be called “whitewashed tombs”. We should do the will of God or else be told “Depart from me you who practice lawlessness, I never knew you.” Let us “seek first the kingdom of heaven” and the righteousness of God or else be reprimanded as a “wicked and lazy slave”. Let us not be put to shame any longer by an agnostic, but preach the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Lord have mercy!

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