John Morgan’s Incorrect Assumptions (and Heresies) That There Are Only Two Groups: Called to Celibacy, or Called to Marriage

John Morgan’s Incorrect Assumption That There Are Only Two Groups: Called to Celibacy, or Called to Marriage

(This post has been edited a few times since being published to add a few more points)

As I was just remarking (Link): in my last post

  • There is no such thing as “being called to” marriage or to celibacy.
  • God does not choose who will marry, who will stay single: God allows you to choose which of those routes to go. Using terminology such as “called to” suggests there is no human free will involved, that your marital status was pre-determined in eternity past. I’m not a Calvinist. So no.
  • Secondly, Morgan knows damn well there is a 3rd group: women like me who are, to use his bogus term, “called to marry”, yet God has not sent me a husband.
  • I did not deliberately set out to be single into my 40s. I do not want to remain single.
  • Not everyone who is single and/or celibate WANTS TO BE.
  • I do not want to be single. I do not want to be celibate. I simply find myself in a position of such.

Yet, in his latest blog post, (Link) The Language Of A Eunuch John Morgan ((Link): my one time stalker) has this to say:

  • The idea of God calling someone to live without sex and focus exclusively on his concerns is a foreign concept. It only follows then that churches define singles strictly on the absence of a marriage license.

While I sort of agree with the second half of his statement – churches don’t respect singleness in and of itself, but only view singleness as a temporary stop on the way to marriage, without recognizing that not everyone marries – I do disagree with the first half. The Bible simply does not teach that God calls anyone to marriage or to singleness.

Morgan says:

  • Apostle Paul makes it clear that there are only two lifestyle choices for the Christian, both of which have equal value: Celibacy as a eunuch or marriage as a spouse.

Yes, singleness and marriages are CHOICES, left up to adults; singleness/ celibacy is NOT a calling or a gift.

Marriage is not a calling or a spiritual gift.

Morgan keeps presenting this false dichotomy:

1. that there are only those who do want marriage and who eventually marry

and

2. those who don’t want to marry, who prefer celibacy, and who live as celibate singles

There are more groups out there, including women who want sex, who in fact have sex, but who do not want marriage, so they “shack up” with a man.

Then there are Christian women who are involuntary single and celibate. They WANT to have sex, they WANT to be married, but find themselves single, and, if obedient to the Bible, they stay celibate while single.

Morgan makes absolutely no other distinctions in his universe: all single celibates in his thinking are single celibate because God forced that lifestyle on them and they DESIRED it  (they were “called” to it, or “gifted” with it).

He completely overlooks the boat loads of single Christian women who RESENT being single and celibate, who very much want marriage and sex. Morgan also says:

  • When it comes to celibacy being a spiritual gift, even the thought is offensive to most Protestant churches. Consider the First Baptist Church of St. John’s, MI:
  • “When Paul speaks of singleness as a gift, he isn’t speaking of a particular ability some people have to be contentedly single. Rather, he’s speaking of the state of being single. As long as you have it, it’s a gift from God, just as marriage will be God’s gift if you ever receive it.”
  • The Bible does not tell us that we choose our own spiritual gifts. God does that.
  • …Acknowledging spiritual gifts would acknowledge God’s presence in the world. Churches today can’t do that, especially when it comes to human sexuality because they think they know more than God

Edited addition to this post: Morgan is incorrect. The idea of singleness and celibacy being a “gift” is NOT offensive to most Protestant churches.

In fact, most Baptist and Protestant churches teach that singleness is a gift when adult singles such as me cry, act sad, or become discouraged about being single.

When single, adult women who desire marriage ask Protestants, “Why has God not sent me a husband, I want a husband!,” one typical reply is for these Protestants to tell single women: “Cheer up! Singleness is a gift of God!”

The old “singlness is a gift” line is one that is often trotted out to try and encourage single adults who want to be married but who find themselves single over the age of 35.

The “GOS” (Gift Of Singleness)  crapola is intended, by Protestants, to soothe the feelings of anxious, lonely heart women who want a marriage, so they are forever portraying singleness as a “gift” when confronted directly by an angry or weeping single woman who asks them why God has not provided her a spouse.

(The rest of the time, of course, Protestants behave as though singleness is a second class citizen position in life, and married people are superior to singles.

You will hear married pastors go on and on in the pulpit about how great marriage is, and how it’s superior to singleness…

UNTIL that pastor is confronted in his office, in private,  (or on a forum or a blog), with a weeping single woman who begs him to explain how is it she is still single, has God not heard her prayers for a spouse? It’s in such situations that Baptist or Protestant preachers will dredge up the GOS bull sh_t.)

As a matter of fact, this incorrect Baptist, evangelical, and Protestant view of singleness being a “gift” is so entrenched among those groups that a small number of Christians (including marriage mandater Debbie Makken) had to do research debunking the whole idea.

While I do not agree with Christian marriage mandaters on every point (they tend to be just as insulting to singles as non-marriage mandaters), they are correct in pointing out that apsotle Paul never taught that singleness is a gift (spiritual or otherwise), as Protestants and other Christians keep arguing or assuming.

So Morgan is quite incorrect when he says that Protestants object to singleness being a gift: they most certainly do believe and teach that singleness is a gift.

It’s only a small minority of Protestants who are starting to question this view point of singleness being a gift, since more and more women who desire marriage are still single now, into their 40s.

When Morgan used to post on my blog, he was fairly insistent that his celibacy or singlehood was a “gift of God.” I think the guy is deluded.

I tried telling him on my blog (before I banned him here) there is no such thing as a calling to, or a gifting of, celibacy or singlehood.

He remains tone deaf.

Whether to be celibate or get married are both simply life style choices people make, or fall into – as in, some women who are single hate being single and want a spouse, but they cannot find a decent man to marry.

I can only assume he wants all Christians to regard singlehood and celibacy as “gifts” or “callings” because he thinks this will cause the church to finally treat singles who are celibate with respect…. and he is wrong.

That won’t change a damn thing. The Baptist and Protestant church ALREADY pays lip service to singlehood and celibacy being respectable, but in practice, they don’t bear this out, because they go easy on fornicators and worship marriage and pro-creation.

Being celibate is a choice, not a spiritual gift.

In his lists of spiritual gifts, Paul NO WHERE mentions celibacy or singleness. From (Link): 1 Cor 12, Paul says:

  • Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
  • To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,
  • to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
  • 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
  •  11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Yeah, you see things such as wisdom, healing, and faith mentioned, but NO CELIBACY.

Paul never holds celibacy or singleness up as being SPIRITUAL GIFTS.

Stop teaching this heresy, Morgan.

Stop making up garbage like this just because you are cheesed off at churches for treating singles like dirt.

The Bible no where teaches that celibacy is a gift that God forces on to anyone; a gift that is thrust on someone ceases to be a gift but a command

A gift is something freely given, with no strings attached, and is gladly accepted.

There are many women who are celibate who want to be having sex. They sure as hell do not consider their singlehood or celibacy as “gifts” or “callings.”

Morgan again:

  • God does that. We live in a world though where no one can have a “particular ability” that everybody else doesn’t have.

Maybe I am misunderstanding him on this score, but Morgan seems to be arguing that celibacy is a super gift or a special power God grants some humans and not others, which is false.

The truth is that anyone can practice celibacy.

Many Baptists and other Christians also fall into the mistaken notion that because only a few people are “gifted” or “granted the super power” of celibacy by God, that nobody else can resist sex.

One needs this “super power” given by God to not cave in to fornication, they believe.

Ergo, they teach that the majority of people should marry, and should marry young, in order to avoid fornication.

The Bible does not teach this at all. It is pure heresy to teach that celibacy or singleness are “gifts” or “callings,” as it implies that both are forced on to people, and that both are only possible for certain groups of people. In reality, the BIble teaches being celibate is a choice, and one that anyone can master.

The Bible says that humanity is capable of SELF CONTROL. A person does not have to “have a gift of” or a “calling to” celibacy to be able to practice sexual self control.

To teach otherwise is to open people up to falling into fornication – this is what John Morgan and many other Protestant evangelicals and Baptists are doing with these teachings.

Morgan wrote:

  • As those know who are familiar with this topic, Jesus addressed the topic of the gift of celibacy in Matthew 19 by using the metaphor of eunuchs.

Jesus may have discussed something resembling celibacy in Matthew 19, but he did not do so under the rubric that celibacy IS A GIFT. Do NOT put words into Jesus’ mouth, Morgan. Morgan says,

  • Instead of eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven, we have support for singles meat markets.

No, no, no. Most churches do not offer such services for adult singles, precisely because they are scared shitless that singles classes will turn into “meat markets.”

I for one would WELCOME a church that offers means to fix me up with a hot, sexy, single man with the goal of MARRIAGE being in mind. So speak for yourself, Morgan.

There are some churches that do offer special courses just for single adults, but those courses turn out to be “singles ghettos” where adult singles are dropped off and forgotten, never to be included with the rest of the church, which is terrible.

Or you have churches with zero courses and ministries for singles, because churches don’t want to “waste” money or resources on singles, which I find terribly insulting. Morgan says,

  • How are your “family values” holding up? Who talks about fornication anymore? The church latched onto the world’s language of “premarital sex” and never looked back.

There’s nothing wrong in and of itself with the phrase “pre marital sex” as it means the same thing as “sex outside of marriage” or “fornication.”

Morgan writes

  • There’s only one tiny problem with that: Jesus never used the word “single.” He used the word “eunuch.”

I for one do NOT want to be called a eunuch. No thanks.

Who the hell would want to join a “eunuch’s ministry” at a church, should a church offer one? Please join us in reality, Morgan.

I prefer the word “single.”

Morgan needs to get over his disdain of the terms “single” and “pre marital.”

Morgan writes,

  • Do you prefer God’s language or the world’s langugage? Jesus tried so hard to make it clear that there was an alternative to marriage, yet so many professing Christians today, especially preachers, don’t have a clue as to what he was talking about. For most, the only alternative to marriage they can think of is homosexuality. So the big question in life is who to marry.

There is a grain of truth in what he says here, for most Christians totally ignore HETERO adult, celibate singles.

However – Morgan himself confines his thinking to only these two groups or categories:

  • 1. married people who wanted to be married
  • and
  • 2. single celibates who are quite happy and content being a single celibate

The dude makes NO allowances for involuntary single celibates, such as myself. I sure as hell do not want to die a virgin or be single the rest of my life.

Morgan writes,

  • Can you think of a better metaphor for someone with the gift of celibacy?

I am celibate, John, but it’s not a “gift.” It is simply a choice I made and can be chalked up to self control, not some magical ability God bestowed upon me.

Morgan says

  • But there is absolutely nothing biblical about a courthouse document.

Oh yes there is.

Jesus and Paul, in some passages, taught you are to go with your culture and not stand out and look like a weirdo, and you are to respect your governing authorities.

In our nation, America, the governing authorities do not consider you legally wed unless you’ve lived with the person for 7 years (common law), or filled out the legal paperwork.

If you do not seek government sanction for your marriage, and you are having sex with your partner, you are “living in sin” with your partner, by American standards – you are co-habitating, you are “shacking up,” which is considered a sin.

Morgan said,

  • Rather, I think he was trying to explain why celibacy is a gift given only to some, because it is that difficult.

That is total bull shit. Being celibate is not that difficult. Not a cake walk, but not super hard.

Remember, I did not choose to be a virgin this long (I chose to be a virgin until marriage assuming all the while when younger I’d be married by the time I was 30 or 35; I did not realize I’d be single over age of 40).

If I can hold out this long, anyone can Some of his opinions about singleness, marriage, and celibacy are way bonkers, and there isn’t biblical support for it.

—–

(post later edited to add clarifying comments)

————————-

Related Posts:

(Link):  John Hugh Morgan Still Lurking At My Blog as of summer 2015 – What Nerve

(Link): Gift of Singleness Gift of Celibacy Unbiblical – Those Terms and Teachings Contribute to Fornication / Editorial About Sex Surrogates

(Link): There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or A Calling To Either One

(Link): The Myth of the Gift – Regarding Christian Teachings on Gift of Singleness and Gift of Celibacy
(Link): Douglas Wilson and Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – No Body Can Resist Sex – supposedly – Re Celibacy

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2 thoughts on “John Morgan’s Incorrect Assumptions (and Heresies) That There Are Only Two Groups: Called to Celibacy, or Called to Marriage”

  1. Single Christians, especially single women really are disdained by churches. I am in my mid 50s and never married nor had children, despite the fact that I wanted a husband and children greatly. And if I had a nickel for each and every time Proverbs 37:3,4 was quoted to me re this issue, I’d be a multimillionaire. Churches really do make an idol of sex, marriage, and the family. They also ignore that the number of singles is skyrocketing, yet continue to treat singleness as a waiting period. Look on any bookshelf in any Christian bookstore–they are crammed with advice to marrieds yet sparse on singlehood. If they do acknowledge the latter, it is about those who are divorced or widowed–rarely the never married like you and me. Sure I could have married a few times–to violent and abusive men. So choosing between marriage to men like that or celibacy for me has often felt like I had to choose between cutting off an arm or cutting off a leg. Whereas it seems that God seems to grant even the most petty, selfish, and spoiled desires of others. And quite frankly, it amazes me to this day why God lets some people have children when I see kids abused (sometimes from so-called Christians).

    This is another reason I try and avoid going to church on Mother’s Day like the plague. How many times have I seen childless women–single or married–politely yet pointedly ignored? How many times have I seen mothers receive flowers, cards, etc in churches yet other women are barely even acknowledged. Even the usual crapola about the mother love of God just doesn’t do it for me. In addition, I lost my own mother almost 10 years ago. I also lost a pregnancy when I was 21. So for me, Mother’s Day is completely irrelevant at best, and utterly painful at worst.

    One of the most painful memories I ever experienced in church was nearly 30 years ago the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I had just broken up with my fiance and had the unhappy suspicion (which turned out to be correct) that I would never marry and have children. The pastor went on and on about how his first child was born on Thanksgiving. Listening to that was like having salt poured into a gaping and bleeding wound. To this day, I ask myself why I just didn’t stand up and get the hell out of there. I was subjecting myself to spiritual abuse and I didn’t know it. Not surprisingly and for the longest time, I outright hated God and didn’t hesitate to tell Him so.

    At least egalitarians are making a greater effort to affirm singles and singlehood; still another reason I am egalitarian and not complementarian. Complementarianism has nothing positive or productive to say to single and/or childless women with their insistence that God’s highest calling for a woman is to be a wife and a mother. (Silly me, I thought a believer’s calling–whatever our sex or marital status–was to be a disciple of Jesus.)

    Thank you for your great insights on this topic. And many thanks for letting me vent my own frustration and pain with a church that seems to go out of its way to ignore me (or worse still, feel sorry for me). Unhappily, sometimes it seems that God doesn’t give much of a damn about my pain either.

    1. Thank you for visiting and leaving comments.

      I’m sorry your post went into moderation first. I approved it to appear as soon as I logged in and saw it.

      I have the setting of my blog to where all or most posts have to be moderated. I do that so people who are trolls or jerks cannot spam up my comments. I’m not sure, but I think if you post on my blog two (or is it three?) times, that every time after that, any comments you leave will automatically be published.

      Oh believe me, I know how awful most Christians and churches are to never-married and childless people.

      They can be pretty bad to divorced people and widows/widowers, but it seems to me that never-married adults over 35 are THE most neglected.

      I’m sorry to hear about your losses. I know how horrible Mother’s Day can be. I lost my own mother a few years ago.

      Prior to that (even when my mother was still alive and I went to churches alone), I loathed Mother’s Day holiday or recognition services by churches because they were reminders that I was still single.

      I went to a church once, and it was NOT Mother’s Day – but the preacher asked all the mothers of newborn infants to step forward, and they did, and they brought their babies with them.

      The preacher said a little prayer over them and said some kind words about mothers.

      I was never too much for or against having children – but what bothered me about that ceremony thing at the church that day is

      1. that no warning was given.
      Had I known they were going to honor mothers of new babies, I would have stayed home that day
      and

      2. though I didn’t care much if I had a kid, I always believed a kid is something you have only after marriage, so the baby in my mind = being married, so their ceremony was a stab in my heart that I was still single.

      I don’t know how often you visit my blog here, if at all, but I’ve done several posts about how churches are about Mother’s Day.

      I personally think churches should stop with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrations or sermons altogether, as it has nothing to do with Jesus, and all it does is wound people in the audience who had miscarriages, whose mothers are deceased, etc.

      Well, something even worse than that (than churches making a big deal out of motherhood during services) is the out-right hatred I’ve seen from Christian men and women over this topic.

      I visited blogs looking for material about Mother’s Day and how churches should be more sensitive about it.

      I was shocked to see under some of those blog pages I found relating to that topic how utterly cruel, nasty and selfish some of the Christian moms and dads were being.

      Christian parents feel deeply entitled to be honored in church on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and they don’t give a f_ck if the feelings of childless women are crushed.

      All these assholes care about is getting a pat on the back from the preacher for being a parent, and they want their carnation.

      Those were the types of views in the comments the Christian parents were leaving under blogs by other Christians saying, “Please, let’s remember to be sensitive to the childless and single women this holiday.”

      I agree with you about the egalitarian Christians. They are far more willing to recognize that women come in different flavors – not all women will marry, have children, or will stay married (as I point out on my blog, even if you are married, your spouse will die one die, or possibly come down with dementia).

      I’m not sure what I am anymore, what label I would give myself. I was a conservative Christian for many, many years, up until about two, three years ago.

      I haven’t totally left the Christian faith, but I am teetering on the precipice of it, I’m a bit agnostic, for a bunch of reasons I won’t cover here and now, but this singles issue is definitely one, also, the sexism.

      My mother was a Christian, and she believed in the complementarian teachings, although I do not believe the term “complementarian” was in existence when I was growing up, but my mother agreed with many of the views they teach.

      Over and over again as a kid, teen, and adult, I keep seeing the very conservative Christians go on and on about how a woman’s only calling or highest calling is to be a wife and mother. So, where does that leave me, a woman who never married or had a kid?

      Conservative Christians are too enamored with the nuclear family, marriage, and children. I don’t feel as though I belong among them. They don’t make much effort to recognize or reach out to or minister to never married (or other types of singles) adult, or the childless or child free.

      I swear to goodness, God, Jesus and the Bible put NO WHERE NEAR as the amount of attention on “the family” and “marriage” as American evangelical / Reformed/ Baptists do. I do not know how these groups who claim to be faithful to the Bible can be so incredibly ANTI-biblical in their views on family, singlehood, marriage, etc.

      BTW, some of the gender complementarian groups are way, way worse about things now.

      They are teaching bizarre tripe like there will be marriage in the afterlife, and wives will still have to submit in the after life. I did a post about that several months ago, with links.

      Other blogs have been posting stories and exposes about how CBMW and other gender complementarians are equating submissive roles within marriage to the Gospel.

      That is to say, some of these Christian gender complementarian preachers and organizations are basically teaching that you have to believe in and practice a gender comp marriage to be saved.

      Some gender comps are defending their sexism by using something called “ESS” (Eternal Subordination of the Son). They are teaching that Jesus is permanently subordinated to God the Father, so God expects wives to do likewise to their husbands.

      I think ESS mirrors an ancient heresy that asserted Jesus was not equal to the Father… but you have gender complementarians using this as a way of keeping women subjected. Their stupid sexist Gospel means more to them than the actual, true Gospel.

      I was engaged once, btw. They guy I was engaged to was a self-abosrbed, financially irresponsible weenie. I dumped him.

      I don’t always like being single, but I think it’s better to stay single than walk into a marriage you know would be terrible.

      I wrote a post or two about my ex fiance, like I mentioned him (Link):here – post about Male Entitlement in Dating
      (my mention of my ex is about half way down that page, under the part that says, “Personal Experience with Male Entitlement”)

      I apologize for going on so long, but I enjoy chatting with you. 🙂 Drop by the blog again, anytime you like – your next post or two may sit in moderation, but after that, I think any posts you leave go through automatically.

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