Southern Baptists Pushing Early Marriage, Baby Making – Iranians Pushing Mandatory Motherhood – When Christians Sound Like Muslims
I first saw mention of this via (Link): Defend The Sheep’s Twitter feed (Julie Anne of SSB blog).
From The Christian Post, August 20, 2014:
(Link): Southern Baptist Leaders: Christians Should Make Themselves ‘Marry-able’ Younger
And today, I saw this on my Twitter (via a Childfree account I follow, (Link): Childfree Agent):
(Link): Iran’s Plan for Population Growth: Mandate Motherhood
I have blogged before (see links at bottom under “related posts”) about the conservative Christian concern that Christians are not marrying at all, or not until later in life – but their real fear seems to be that Christians are not reproducing – and at that because they are afraid the Non Christians will “out breed” them.
Some of them may also be adhering to this unbiblical notion that America’s morality can be restored only if Christians adhere to strict gender role views, which includes the very unbiblical idea at woman’s only godly, or most high calling, is to marry and have babies.
I should pause here to mention a few other things.
First of all, most Christians seem oblivious to the fact that most Christians are not marrying, or not until they are age 30 or older. The fact that there are many Christian women who want marriage but who cannot find a mate well into their 40s and thus remaining single against their hopes is eluding most of them.
Secondly, some conservative Christians are honestly unaware that other Christians are advocating early marriage, such as radio host Janet Mefferd – see this previous blog post of mine, (Link): Mefferd Guest Focus on the Family Spokesperson Stanton Incredulous that Preachers Push Kids To Marry Early.
If I remember her reaction correctly, and her male guest’s, I think Mefferd and her guest both thought the idea of pushing kids to marry before college (or during) was a very strange one, or legalistic – but yet, yes, some Christians are in fact guilting or lecturing young Christians to marry prior to their 25th birthday, and they’ve been on this kick for at least the past 3 or 4 years now, maybe a bit longer.
If self-professing Christians are repeating some of the same doctrines or views of Non-Christian groups, this ought to give them strong pause. Here you have a predominantly Muslim nation, Iran, mandating motherhood, and a lot of evangelical Christians and Baptists doing the same thing to American Christian women.
If you think the salvation of America or individual souls or the church relies upon whether or not American Christians marry and have babies, you are following Islam. You are not following Christianity.
The propaganda of “Marry and make babies to save the world, save the church, and to lead people to Christ” is not the Gospel.
You Christians who are fretting about American (or Christian) population decline and hounding the youth to marry and crank out children to avert whatever disaster you think is awaiting America, are lacking faith in the God you profess; you have elevated marriage and the nuclear family above Jesus; and you have turned marriage and “the family” into IDOLS.
There are other problems with these “early marriage” views. The Christian guys quoted below think churches should encourage kids to marry young… problem with that.
Christians are inconsistent on this point; they say they want Christians to marry very young, but: as soon as you (regardless of your age), a single, tell another (married) Christian you desire a spouse, that you very much want to be married, they will tell you that you are “making marriage into an idol,” you will be fed platitudes such as, “be content in your singleness,” and that you should not “pursue” it; that if God wants you to marry, God will magically drop “Mr. Right” into your lap.
So, on the one hand, Christians tell Christian singles to seek marriage, but if singles do seek marriage, they are told to stop doing so because they are making an idol of marriage. Christians often send many conflicting messages on topics, and this is but one of them.
Here are excerpts from the pages. I have additional comments to make below the excepts, so please stay tuned.
- BY MICHAEL GRYBOSKI , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER August 20, 2014|3:43 pm
Christian couples should marry sooner, an ethicist and a pastor with the largest Protestant denomination in the United States argue.
Andrew Walker, director of policy studies for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Jon Akin, senior pastor of Fairview Church in Lebanon, Tennessee, made the argument in a column for the Baptist Press earlier this week. While not advocating a specific age for marriage and noting the diverse situations for people, young people should still look toward marriage sooner, they said.
“We do not advocate a specific age; rather, we believe that young people should make themselves ‘marry-able’ younger,” wrote Walker and Akin.
“They need to push against the cultural norm that extends adolescence for an indefinite period of time and reach maturity more quickly so they can be ready for marriage sooner than the national average.”
Where does the Bible teach that Christians are to “push against the culture norm that extends adolescence” and to marry by the time they are 25 years of age? That is this guy projecting his own beliefs, prejudices, and fears on to other people.
God does not suggest or command any one to marry at all or to reproduce, let alone specify at what age a person should marry (if they should marry).
Christians, get out of “be fruitful and multiply” mindset in Genesis, where you guys remain hopelessly stuck – and fast forward to the Gospels, where Jesus Christ un-did that command.
Jesus said your spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ are your family now, not blood relation.
You are to carry the Gospel to atheists, Hindus, and such, not try to spread the Gospel by marrying another Christian and popping out babies – babies who may grow up and reject Jesus.
Christians marrying Christians and having kids is not a guarantee that said children will grow up and be Christians too. And sometimes such children will grow up to marry a Non-Christian.
More excerpts from the Christian Post:
- Walker and Akin also stated that it’s “impractical and unhelpful to advise and encourage young men and women who reach sexual maturity at the age of 12 or 13 to wait 15 years before marriage and still remain pure.”
It’s not impractical or unhelpful at all.
I’m over 40 years of age, was engaged for several years, spent many nights alone with my ex – and I’m still a virgin. I was waiting until I got married to have sex but am still single.
Christians need to stop perpetuating the Non-Christian view that remaining chaste is a heroic, impossible feat, or is possible only to a select few who God “gifts” and removes sexual desire from.
Anyone can refrain from sex, all it takes is will power and self control (personal conviction on this issue means nothing if one lacks self discipline). God did not “gift” me with celibacy, nor did God remove my libido.
I’ve blogged about this topic before, such as:
(Link): Typical Erroneous Teaching About Adult Celibacy Rears Its Head Again: To Paraphrase Speaker at Ethics and Public Policy Center: Lifelong Celibacy is “heroic ethical standard that is not expected of heteros, so it should not be expected of homosexuals”
Continuing with excerpts from Christian Post:
- “The question of when a couple is ready for marriage is one that requires wisdom and discernment for each person considering marriage and, ideally, the involvement of a local church that seeks to shape and influence potential spouses in a way that prioritizes and mirrors the Gospel in covenantal fidelity.”
Walker and Akin’s column comes at a time when Americans by and large are either not marrying or are waiting to get married.
…Walker and Akin are not the only SBC ethicists in recent years to advocate for marriage coming sooner. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, also made a case for marrying early.
— end —-
Walker and Akin are overlooking a key factor.
I wanted to get married, and at that, by the age of 30.
My engagement to my ex did not work, and I broke up with my ex when I was around, 31, 32, or 33 years old. I did not meet anyone after my ex. The selection of men on dating sites – a joke. There are no single men in their 30s or 40s who attend churches.
What Christians need to understand: Having a desire for marriage does not guarantee marriage. I’d love to marry but have been unable to find a compatible partner. Many Christian women find themselves in that position.
At any rate, it’s not the church’s place to dictate when or if people marry and when or if they have children. The New Testament leaves such life choices up to each individual. There are no “Thou must marry and have children” commandments from God in the New Testament.
The other article:
(Link): Iran’s Plan for Population Growth: Mandate Motherhood By Karen Malone Wright
- … imagine instead that in August 2014, you’re a 28-year-old, college educated Iranian woman who’s just learned that her parliament has voted to ban permanent forms of contraception. No vasectomies. No tubal ligation. Doctors who violate the ban will be punishable by law.
Oh, and no more advertisements for birth control, either, but the ministry of health will help pay for infertility treatment.
Reuters reports that previously, condoms were widely available and “family planning considered entirely normal,” but Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is calling for measures to increase the population. ASAP.
According to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNS), Iran’s birth rate is now 1.8 children per woman, below the 2.1 replacement rate needed for a strong population. The reason seems clear. At least, it does to me. At the risk of upsetting the Ayatollah any further, I have to say that Iranian women are the same as women everywhere else: Education equals options.
From The Washington Post:
“But as [Iranian] women delayed having babies, more of them entered schools and the workplace (gender segregation in schools after the 1979 revolution also contributed to more girls from conservative families getting educated). Women began outnumbering men in universities in 2001.”
Those pesky degrees. They raise a girl’s standards in men and in herself. In her mind’s eye, she may see herself as a wife and mother, but she’s pushed back the timeline for those traditional roles just a little. Or, a lot.
- –end article excerpt–
Aug 11, 2014
The Iranian parliament has voted to ban all forms of permanent contraception and prohibit the advertisement of birth control. The vote endorses Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s calls to increase the population, local media reported.
The bill was approved by 143 out of 231 members present in parliament, IRNA reported. It prohibits all surgical operations to permanently prevent pregnancy, including vasectomies and female sterilization, unless the surgery is urgently needed due to health risks.
Any violation of the bill will be considered a crime, and violators will be fined, according to the state news agency.
Parliament also passed a law prohibiting media from giving publicity to birth control or the reduction of childbearing.
The bill will now be considered by a panel of theologians and jurists appointed by the Supreme Leader, in order to determine whether the proposal complies with Islam.
It comes after a decree issued by Khamenei in May, which criticized Western family planning policies and called for producing more children in order to “strengthen national identity.”
The supreme leader had made similar remarks before, urging Iranians to help increase the country’s population, which he described as aging. “If we move forward like this, we will be a country of elderly people in a not too distant future,” Khamenei said in October, as cited by the semi-official Fars news agency.
…The fertility push renewed under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2012, when health authorities eliminated funding for the population control program.
In October, Khamenei admitted to making a mistake by previously trying to curb birth rates. “One of the mistakes we made in the ’90s was population control. Government officials were wrong on this matter, and I, too, had a part. May God and history forgive us,” he said during a speech in Khorasan province, as quoted by Al-Monitor.
According to the UN, the country’s fertility rate is well “below replacement level,” which is approximately 2.1 children per family. Iran’s fertility rate stands at 1.7. UN Chief of Population Policy Vinod Mishra called it “one of the most dramatic declines” in the world.
According to experts, it is an uphill battle to encourage Iranians to have more children while the country is under Western sanctions and facing 36 percent inflation and high unemployment rates.
- [—end article excerpts–]
That all sounds very, very similar to what Quivering, Reconstructionists, and other types of Christians are advocating here in the United States.
When your Christian faith is echoing the sexist, family-worshipping, population-panic, natalistic obsession, of an Islamic nation, that may be a clue your “Christian” concerns have no basis in the faith or the Bible.
(Link): Salvation Army Bans Duggar / Quivering Cult’s ‘Retreat’ (Called ‘Get Them Married’) that Promoted Arranged Marriages for Teen Girls – Quivering Advocates Are Anti-Adult Singleness and Anti-Celibacy
(Link): Pastor charged in wife’s murder was headed to Europe to marry boyfriend, prosecutor says – Single Xtian Ladies: Kick that Be Equally Yoked Teaching to the Curb! Also: Marriage and Parenthood do not make people more godly or mature or loving or ethical
(Link): Over 10 Million Men of Prime Working Age Are Unemployed in the US and Experts Think It’s Causing Declining Marriage Rates
(Link): Married Preacher, Father of Eight Kids (and promoter of “Family Values” and Leader of wacko Quiverfull- and- Patriarchy type groups that promotes idolatry of “the family” and Marriage and of Having Lots of Children), Used Nanny as Sex Object – update on Phillips story