“Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – from CBE site, by Carrie A. Miles
As I wrote in a much older posts, Christian single men need to strongly reconsider supporting gender complementarianism, if they do so already, because GC (gender complementarianism, as espoused by Christian groups such as “Council for Biblical Womanhood and Manhood” and by people such as preacher Mark Driscoll and many other male pastors, as well as entire denominations, such as Southern Bapists), discriminate against single, childless men.
These groups not only promote sexism against women, and limit women, but they do so against MEN as well, especially un-married, childless men.
Under patriarchy beliefs, or even standard GC (gender complementarian) teachings, Christian men are told that they are demanded or expected to marry, marry young, and to have lots of children, and it’s argued that the Bible itself supports those propositions (though it does not).
If men do not marry, do not marry young, and do not have children, they are told, they are in disobedience to God, breaking biblical rules, defrauding women, and are displeasing God.
Depending on the particular GC preacher or organization, men will further be told that they are not “real” men if they don’t have a career with a paycheck that enables their wife to stay at home and raise children.
If you are a man who has a wife, and she must work to help pay bills, you are considered a “man fail” by these groups.
Also depending on the particular GC preacher or church, men who are artistic, creative, sensitive (I don’t mean homosexual, all I mean are men who are not as into “manly men” stereotypes as others), men who are not into MMA or NFL, men who do not fit stereotypical he-man American pursuits and interests, are derided for being wimps and “pussified” (their word) by male, GC preachers (see this link for some examples).
If you are a conservative, Christian man and want to read opposing views to GC by other conservative Christians who interpret the Bible literally, you need to start researching Christian gender egalitarianism books and sites.
One such site is CBE, Christians for Biblical Equality.
CBE is not a group of man-hating, liberal feminists who allegorize the Bible. They are conservative Christians, and sometimes have male authors write their articles and blog posts, in addition to female authors.
The following editorial supporting adult celibates and refuting the Christian obsession with family, marriage, and procreation is from CBE. Even if you are a gender complementarian, you shouldn’t see anything, or not too much, in this that you disagree with in this article on an egalitarian site.
Here are some excerpts.
- by Carrie A. Miles
- On issues of the family and scripture, Christians are in a bit of a pickle. It is not always clear how our convictions about “family values” mesh with what the Bible teaches, especially the Gospels.
- Jesus, for example, did not assign the great spiritual and sentimental significance to family life that many Christians do today. How then do we reconcile the expectation that all good Christians should marry with his example of lifelong celibacy?
- Or our championship of family with Jesus’ warning that following him will set sibling against sibling and parent against child?
- Endorsing family values poses particularly interesting issues for biblical egalitarians, since many of our fellow Bible-believers hold that these values should include a hierarchical model of marriage.
- In order to understand Jesus’ attitude toward the family, we must understand that family practices in the first century were not based on emotion as they are today, but rather on material, economic interests.
- In my book, The Redemption of Love,1 I show that the family values prevalent in Jesus’ day were the economic consequences of the Fall. These family practices, now known as patriarchy, were corrupted by the human decision to have our own way and live outside of God’s abundance.
- I join New Testament historian S. Scott Bartchy in arguing that rather than support patriarchy, Jesus and other New Testament writers (especially Paul) intended to over- throw it. Thus, Jesus’ teachings, which seem anti-family today, reflect his intent to dissolve the materialistic motives for family and replace them with relationships based on doing the will of God.2
- In this passage Jesus challenged another ancient family value—the expectation that every respectable person should marry. He noted several reasons why people might choose not to marry, including the decision to devote themselves entirely to the kingdom of heaven (v. 12). Between this teaching and his own example of celibacy, Jesus made it clear that it was acceptable for godly people to remain single.
This was a radical claim, since singleness had rarely been an option before. Historically, most marriages were arranged by families to further their own interests, often with little consideration for the preferences of the bride and groom.