Mark Driscoll pastor of Mars Hill – views on singleness

Driscoll wrote(source: “Single Like Jesus”),

So this is a growing number, because people are waiting longer to marry. In 1960 the average man was 23, the average woman was 20, upon marriage; today the average man is 27, the average woman is 23. And so people are waiting longer to marry – but is that because they love Jesus and are maintaining their purity and using all of their time to memorize verses? No. Because they’re all having sex – a new F-word is fornicating, for some of you, and that is sex before marriage. We dealt with that last week. And what singles tend to do is wait longer to get married but have sex until they get married, to the degree that 41 percent of all women will have cohabitated – shacked up, lived with a boyfriend – before marriage at some point in their life; 4 out of 10 women.

Notice he wrote “they’re all having sex.” Driscoll is rude and presumptive.

I am a Christian woman, early 40s, never been married, never had sex, and have never co-habitated. The same is true for roughly one third of Christians over 30 who have never married (see the book “Quitting Church” by author Julia Duin for citations and stats on that). Get your facts straight

Driscoll He opens that same page by saying,

This section of Scripture remains wildly misunderstood. Singleness is not ideal, marriage should be honored by all. Practically, however, there are seasons and reasons that provide exceptions to the rule of marriage for some people.

No Christian disputes that “marriage should be honored by all” but then, so too should singleness. (The Bible in fact says that both singleness and marriage are ideal. Paul goes so far to say that the single have more undivided attention to spend on the Gospel where as the married are more consumed with pleasing their spouse.)

The married in the Christian community are supposed to honor the singles, too, not just vice versa as Driscoll states; this is not a one-way street.

One reason so many older singles stay away from American churches is that there is far too much emphasis on and “honoring” of the married already going on in churches.

Singles are ignored. The only time pastors or the rest of the church pay attention to singles is when they expect the singles to cater to the married couples but the married couples are never expected to meet the needs of the singles.

Driscoll, like many other Christians, mistakenly think it’s oh- so- simple and easy for any Christian to get a mate: why, if you just get rid of your “baggage,” fix your flaws, lose ten pounds, or overcome your “issues,” you can instantly merit a spouse.

Sorry, Driscoll, but no, it does not work that way.

God does not reward or grant spouses based upon how “perfect” or “responsible” or how “together” one is.

If God expected perfection (or near perfection) before allowing Christians to marry (which is what Driscoll is advocating in essence), then absolutely nobody would be married.

God does not demand we have it altogether and cleaned up before we come to him for salvation – and it’s no different in any other area of life. God is a God of grace and mercy.

Marriage is not to “be preferred” to singleness, as Driscoll argues – the Bible considers both equal in status.

The truth is that some Christians will NEVER MARRY THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN and to continue to put singleness down and say that marriage is supreme and above singleness is to insult Christian singles!

This is one of the few places in his sermon where Driscoll shows any even-handedness at all:

So some of you have very practical reasons to wait, and for you gals, you have the most practical reason: no dude has asked. That’s a huge variable. If …[a] guy doesn’t want to marry you, you pretty much aren’t getting married, right? That’s a huge variable.

In my case, I had a marriage proposal once, but the guy was all wrong for me, so I broke up with him. That was my one and only chance at marriage.

Other men have not asked for my hand in marriage. It’s not my fault that no other men have pursued me, but the majority of these Christian idiots (such as Debbie Maken and other marriage mandaters) playing the “blame game” with singles always make it sound as though I, the single woman, have intentionally fended off many suitors – which is not true, I’ve had only the ONE guy pop the question.

As for these comments by Driscoll, I felt they were incredibly biased AGAINST singles:

This includes Titus 2, where it says that older married women can help train younger women; you know that they have certain knowledge to impart. So generally speaking, there are certain things ministry-wise that married people are most capable of handling, but there are also other ministry responsibilities, opportunities, that single people are far more strategically capable of handling. For example – I’ll give you some examples. Let’s say for example there is a closed Muslim country that desperately needs Jesus. Should I go, with my wife and five kids, or should I have a single guy go and lean over the plate and take one for the team?

I should send the single guy, right, because if he’s there, and they capture and kill him – which is what they do if you preach the gospel in a Muslim country – at least he doesn’t leave behind a widow and orphans. There are lots of ministries like that. There are ministries in this church that are altogether held together by unmarried people

Think about what Dirscoll is saying there – it’s okay for a single guy to get killed by natives, who cares? The life of the married guy (Driscoll is arguing) is of more value just because he has a wife and maybe a kid. How insulting.

If anything, if a single man is “more qualified” to preach the Gospel to angry, murderous natives, that makes him more than man enough to preach or lead married people in a local American church.

Most of the rest of his comments are in the vein of singles have more free time to serve God.

As an older single, I’ve been ignored or treated like dirt by other Christians.

When my family member died, other Christians did not comfort me but either ignored me or criticized me, telling me my “X” (family member) being dead really is not so bad, I ought to look on the bright side because even though X is dead, at least by golly, I am not a homeless person.

I have no interest in serving a church body that takes no interest in helping me, in being considerate of my feelings, or in meeting my needs.

It’s not until much later in this sermon that Driscoll says,

“Marriage and single are both honorable.”

If that is how you really feel, that should have been the FIRST line out of your mouth, because you spent the first part going on about how great and honorable marriage is, or how it is to be “preferred.” Preferred to singleness? Or over burning in lust? If he did NOT mean singleness, he should have made that clear.

Basically the rest of his sermon was to direct young single men to stop leading their girlfriends on – if they don’t know if they want marriage or not, or know that they don’t, he advises them to break up with the girl and set her free, which is not bad advice. (It is most certainly selfish for a single man to keep stringing a woman along.)

More insulting views about singles by Driscoll (this is at another blog):

Driscoll: Single men “cannot fully reflect God”
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Related posts, this blog:

(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias

(Link): More Singles Commentary by Mark Driscoll (“Two Mistakes Singles Make”)

(Link): Mark Driscoll on Single Christian Women Who Desire Marriage – the positives and negatives of his piece

(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Bashes Single Christian Males Some More

(Link): Obnoxious and Sexist Preacher Mark Driscoll Wants Christian Singles to Stay Single Indefinitely – And Even Though Unwanted, Prolonged Singleness has Been a Huge Issue For Christian Singles for A Couple Decades Now – Driscoll: ‘Christians should not marry pro choicers’