Idols and the perversion of Florence Nightingale

For over two years I have been researching and writing for a book about idols who are accepted as Christian (or accepted by Christians). The adoration of such idols makes them millstones around our neck. We are encouraged to act in imitation of them, to construe their behaviour as Christian, even though on closer inspection they disregarded most of God’s commands and set themselves up as saviours of mankind. By worshipping such men and women, we lead others into idolatry and far from their duty before God.

I stand at the halfway point in my writing, pausing for breath after the exhausting task of tackling Florence Nightingale. She was a wicked and degenerate woman in both her religion and her behaviour. The myth is all we can admire about her. The truth is found in her own letters, essays and unpublished thoughts. There is nothing to praise, nothing to imitate and everything to abhor. The eight people I studied before her were subversive destroyers of men and women; but Nightingale took the prize as the most pernicious and epistemologically self-conscious anti-Christian influence.

Today I saw this article by the Christian Institute:

Nursing icon Florence Nightingale, for instance, is apparently a lesbian. It’s a suggestion dismissed by David Green, Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum. He has confirmed there is no accepted evidence to support the theory, and substantial evidence to the contrary.

The general tendency towards finding same-sex figures in history in order to normalise such behaviour today is an issue. But it is not new. It was certainly not invented by those who have written the guide for teaching in Scotland.

The dismissal of the evidence by the Christian Institute via the Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum is perfunctory. There is plenty of evidence of Nightingale controlling younger women by pet names such as “Goddess”. And her only serious male romantic suitor was a notorious pornographer. Was she? Wasn’t she? Do we care? Is it important to defend the chastity of a woman, who was a vicious atheist and spread a subversive message of salvation without God? Rather than try to defend such idols against the machinations of the Scottish education system, we should reject the idols themselves on the basis of their heresies.

Here is Nightingale in her own words:

“Is there anything higher in thinking of one’s own salvation than in thinking of one’s own dinner? … What shall I do to be saved? is generally the most selfish question.”

“Let the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Christian each live in his God’s sight, doing His work rightly.”

“… at last there shall arise a woman, who will resume, in her own soul, all the sufferings of her race, and that woman will be the Saviour of her race. … The next Christ will perhaps be a female Christ.”

It is no better for the Christian Institute to retain a false Pelagian view of history (as though it makes Christianity appear to be in the majority), than it is to impose a false liberal view in history. The truth is not found in either camp.

Nightingale is to be condemned. Her legacy should be obliterated. We do that, as Christians, by maintaining the doctrines she despised, loving the Scriptures she censored, and obeying the God to whom she would give no fealty.

Statue of Florence Nightingale

Statue of Florence Nightingale

This is not the first Christian Institute journey into idolatry. Their well-publicised booklet on “Non-Violent Extremists” included Harriet Beecher Stowe. She also gets a chapter in my book, charting her journey from Christian upbringing to a Spiritualist willingly controlled by demonic powers. Analysis of her must be reserved for my book’s publication, but one quote indicates that her non-violent status was not justified:

“Stowe recalled how a black man named Denmark Vesey plotted a slave rebellion back in 1822. Vesey was hanged along with thirty-four others in Charleston, but now Harriet fancied that the spirits of these insurrectionists were “invisibly wing[ing] the bombs and shots at southern troops.” 

We do not serve the Lord God with all our hearts and minds, by adoring false gods who hated the Lord Jesus Christ, whether they be Florence Nightingale, Harriet Beecher Stowe or that master-manipulator Charles Finney. If we propagate them as idols then we perpetuate their errors, promote their heresies and further their labours towards the destruction of Christendom.