Mailvox: by their fruits

Despite the protestations of his defenders, I have yet to hear a single example of anyone becoming a genuine Bible-believing fundamentalist Christian as a result of Jordan Peterson’s non-proselytizing non-Christian witness. I have, however, heard the opposite:

I forget the exact quote and am unable to find it now, but I believe you once said that Jordan Peterson’s philosophy may be helpful to a few really messed up young men but is overall more damaging and detrimental to young men who are well-adjusted and psychologically healthy. When I read that (or heard it, you may have said it in a Darkstream), I agreed not for any theoretical or philosophical reason, but from experience. Jordan Peterson’s influence is in part to blame for my life taking a turn for the worse.

I grew up Christian, was heavily involved in my church as a young man. Personal events in my early college career disillusioned me somewhat regarding my church and my involvement deteriorated. However, I still fully believed in Christian teachings. I graduated college, got married, joined the military, avoided debt, worked hard. I had always been more or less straight-laced.

Enter Jordan Peterson.

I have no idea who it was who first introduced me to Jordan Peterson, sometime during my wife’s pregnancy. I saw him pop up now and then on different blogs. He said some interesting things, and things which I agreed with, such as ideas on gender and biological sex. I watched some of his lectures, and noticed that he always looked and sounded as if he was thinking out loud to himself, but I didn’t attach any significance to it. I just assumed it was his style of speaking.

In listening to his lectures, I began to get a general sense that he believed that God was not an entity but a powerful force stemming from our choices, choices that to Peterson had natural consequences, good or evil. To him, as far as I understood it, these consequences were ultimately unavoidable. If you chose badly, they would catch up to you, and if you chose well, they would reward you and allow you to live a good life. Basically, “Chaos and Order.” God was the force behind chaos and order, not a god, per se, and the line between chaos and order was the real place to be.

This idea sunk in. I had never thought about it in those terms, and it shook my faith. I began to doubt His existence. Maybe God was just an inexorable natural force and not the real deal. And, too, the marital problems and selfish, sinful decisions I had made incentivized me to look for an escape from God’s judgment. Sin always looks to justify itself, and sinners are no different. I wanted to justify my sin, justify myself, and avoid the consequences. All of it together brewed into a perfect storm, which subsequently broke. I told my wife I didn’t know if God existed, that I doubted, and that I hated Him for imposing restrictions on my life. It was hardly coherent. She was understandably shocked and appalled.

But I want to be absolutely clear in order to leave no doubt in your mind or the mind of those you may show this email to—I never doubted God’s existence prior to Jordan Peterson. Peterson’s philosophy shook my belief and deepened my despair and destructive spiral.

Jordan Peterson is a sower of Chaos in the guise of a prophet of Order. It should not be surprising that those who accept his guidance and follow his teachings soon find themselves wandering away from both truth and Truth alike.

Jordan Peterson is NOT a man of the Right, he is NOT on our side, and he is NOT helping anyone come to the the truth. He is like a Menshevik opposing the Bolsheviks who have gone too far in order to fix Communism.

Let’s figure out how I can dispense with my white privilege and so that you can tell me when the Left is going too far, since they clearly can, and that’s what this debate is about, about political correctness. It’s about the Left going too far, and I think it’s gone too far in many ways. and I’d like to
figure out exactly how and when so the reasonable Left could make its ascendance again and we could quit all this nonsense.
– Jordan Peterson, Debate with Michael Dyson, Michelle Goldberg, and Stephen Fry.