Evangelical Adoptions: Churches Are AWOL in Helping Parents of Special Needs Kids by Julia Duin – Churches Are Useless (and Not Just Re: Adoptive Families)

Evangelical Adoptions: Churches Are AWOL in Helping Parents of Special Needs Kids by Julia Duin – Churches Are Useless (and Not Just Re: Adoptive Families)

By Julia Duin, who has also written and has been interviewed about how churches have let down single adults over the age of 30, and who wrote a wonderful book called “Quitting Church.”

This article discusses how so many evangelical churches encouraged Christian couples to adopt babies (usually from foreign nations), but once those adopted babies grew up to have all sort of developmental or personality disorders, churches would not help these parents.

This is like so much of American, evangelical, Baptist and Protestant Christianity:
Sell a certain deed, or a type of life style (or whatever it may be – let’s call it “X,” whether it’s adopting a baby, or whatever it is) as being so “godly” and “pure,” but once you live X out, and X either does not work out, or it creates a whole new batch of problems, those same Christians, or ones like them who promote X, refuse to help you.

I went through something similar in regards to adult singlehood. I wrote about that (Link): here.

I followed all the Christian dating advice I was taught as a teen and 20- something, Christian advice that taught me if I wanted to get married I would, if I just followed “biblical” wisdom, and the Christian persons, books, and magazine articles spelled it out for me.

However, when I remained single into my mid-30s, in spite of having followed the Christian teaching I had been given by other Christians when younger, and when I began asking Christians online (on various blogs and discussion forums) who dish out this swill to singles, why I didn’t have the husband I had been promised according to their teaching, interpretations, and worldview, I was yelled at, judged, and criticized by these Christians.

I was told God didn’t owe me anything, etc, and how dare I expect God to “reward” me with a spouse just because I did Z, Q, and R (i.e., just because I had followed Christian teaching and advice on the topic).

Christians will do this to you – they will sell you and market you on doing X, and so you carry out X, but five, ten years later, X did not work out and maybe even left you with a set of problems you need help with, the same Christians that sold you X in the first place are now not willing to help you, and may even insult you when you go to them telling them that X did not work, and you could use their help.

You end up getting punished for taking the very life-style advice, for buying the marketing, these Christians sold you, guilt tripped you, or conned you into taking in the first place. 😤🤬😡😣😫

It’s demonic and perverse, I swear.

It is crazy-making and despicable how Christians set people up in these no-win or stressful or miserable situations, then fault those people when they try the Christian advice, and admit to defeat, stress, and they ask for help.

Christians set people up for failure with their stupid advice, then have the audacity to victim-blame those people (who earnestly took and followed the advice) for failing. 😡😤🤬

After having read through the testimonies of the parents on this page (see below, link with excerpts), it sounds like exhausting, hellish work to raise these adoptive children who turn out to have medical and behavioral problems.

I cannot, in good conscience, condemn any adult who realizes after so many months or years, they don’t have the mental or physical strength to keep parenting such children and so decide to return these children back to the adoption agency.

I appreciate the work Dee of Wartburg Watch has done against abuse, but I recall years ago, she ripped into famous Christian speaker Beth Moore, because Moore returned one of her adoptive children back to his mother.

I wrote about that situation (Link): here, towards the end of the post, under the sub-heading “Beth Moore / Judgementalism.” (You can scroll down that page to find the Beth Moore section, which is buried under a long discussion about YEC.)

It’s very easy to sit in judgment of someone else when or if your life is more or less going okay at the time and the person you’re criticizing has a life that is falling apart, or they’re in the middle of a calamity, or you may have a different temperament or inner strength the person you’re criticizing lacks.

I personally do not think I’d have the fortitude, endurance, or patience to put up with an adoptive kid who acts out constantly, even into their late teens. I’d want a break from that, too.

I have way, way more comments below this long excerpt, so please keep scrolling to read everything; thank you:

(Link): Evangelical adoptions: Churches are AWOL in helping parents of special needs kids

Excerpts:

by Julia Duin
June 2022

For years, evangelical Christians were enthusiastic supporters of adoption by sponsoring conferences, targeting adoption-friendly Sundays and staging adoption fairs in parish halls.

… Parents now say that the churches that encouraged them to adopt in the first place aren’t there for them now.

…Few statistics exist on the number of adoptions gone wrong, other than a 10-year-old study by the US Department of Health and Human Services reporting “adoption disruptions” ranging from 10-25 percent. This little-known statistic points to a meltdown in the industry and a sign that adoption and foster care have become a landmine for many families who believed God had called them to help these children.

No one told them there could be an aftermath. Here are some of their stories.

[I will not be pasting in ALL stories. These are just a few from the page]

Evangelicals adopted at a higher rate than others
“Joy” was a social worker in Tacoma, Washington, who adopted a 9-year-old boy in 2000, hoping for the best. She had 32 years of experience working for the state and a Christian agency where she’d helped more than 600 people adopt foster children.

The divorced mother of two was prepared for challenging behavior, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and developmental delays and PTSD from the child’s six years with mentally ill biological parents.
What stunned her was that by age 15, her son was a registered sex offender. Bad relationships, drug abuse and a child out of wedlock followed. Now 30, he cannot hold down a job.

Continue reading “Evangelical Adoptions: Churches Are AWOL in Helping Parents of Special Needs Kids by Julia Duin – Churches Are Useless (and Not Just Re: Adoptive Families)”

How Everyone Got So Lonely by Z. Heller (Article Discusses Incels, Sexism, Being Single By Circumstance, other topics)

How Everyone Got So Lonely by Z. Heller (Article Discusses Incels, Sexism, Being Single By Circumstance, other topics)

(Link): How Everyone Got So Lonely

Excerpts:

The recent decline in rates of sexual activity has been attributed variously to sexism, neoliberalism, and women’s increased economic independence. How fair are those claims—and will we be saved by the advent of the sex robot?

By Zoë Heller
April 4, 2022

[The article opens by going over all the information I’ve been posting to this blog the last several years: more and more Americans (and people in other nations as well) are remaining virgins or celibate, and some are opting out of dating and marriage.
Some are doing so out of choice – with some they may want to have sex and/marry but are still single or celibate due to circumstance.]

… The chief driver of this so-called “sex drought” is not, as one might expect, the aging of the American population but the ever more abstemious habits of the young. Since the nineteen-nineties, the proportion of American high-school students who are virgins has risen from forty-five per cent to sixty per cent.  …

[The article covers many of the explanations various studies and authors have been citing to explain the lack of sexual activity, especially among the young – everything from more people in their 20s and 30s living at home with their parents, to porn, to video games.]

… For the British economist Noreena Hertz, the decline in sex is best understood as both a symptom and a cause of a much wider “loneliness epidemic.”

In her book “The Lonely Century” (Currency), she describes “a world that’s pulling apart,” in which soaring rates of social isolation threaten not only our physical and mental health but the health of our democracies.

Continue reading “How Everyone Got So Lonely by Z. Heller (Article Discusses Incels, Sexism, Being Single By Circumstance, other topics)”

Why There’s No Such Thing as Casual Sex by S. Schrobsdorff

Why There’s No Such Thing as Casual Sex by S. Schrobsdorff

(Link): Why There’s No Such Thing as Casual Sex

Excerpts:

By Susanna Schrobsdorff
March 24, 2022

Christine Emba has a radical proposition: What if there’s no such thing as casual sex? In her new book, Rethinking Sex: A Provocation, Emba posits that sex itself is inherently not casual—it’s not just a physical interaction, even if we’ve tried to internalize the modern assumption that sex is like any other social activity.

Emba argues that sex involves the spirit as well as the body, and that the sexual liberation which promised lots of fun, no-strings, easy-to-access consensual sex has actually left us miserable.

Emba, a columnist for the Washington Post, believes that thinking about sex and our sexual partners casually—and commoditizing them on dating apps—has created a bleak romantic landscape.

Too many people, she writes, are having “too much of the kind of sex that saps the spirit and makes us feel less human, not more—sex that leaves us detached, disillusioned, or just dissatisfied.”

…If all of that sounds kind of old-school, it is.

Continue reading “Why There’s No Such Thing as Casual Sex by S. Schrobsdorff”

Abstinence and ‘Purity Culture’ Are Often Conflated but Aren’t The Same, Tim Keller Explains, by B. Showalter

Abstinence and ‘Purity Culture’ Are Often Conflated but Aren’t The Same, Tim Keller Explains 

I’m not totally in agreement on Keller (Link) on everything, but he is correct that too many believers (Link): falsely conflate the concepts of being sexually abstinent outside of marriage with the faults in purity culture and unfortunately ditch the concept altogether.

Yet other Christians (Link): falsely believe and teach that the Bible does not support the practice of remaining a virgin until marriage.

The progressive Christians (and (Link): occasionally, doofus conservatives) try to ease the guilty consciences of fornicators (Link): by downplaying fornication.

(Link): Abstinence and ‘Purity Culture’ Are Often Conflated but Aren’t The Same, Tim Keller Explains 

April 17, 2021

by Brandon Showalter

What’s often referred to as “purity culture” is not the same thing as remaining sexually abstinent outside of marriage, though many conflate the two, according to Tim Keller, founder and former pastor of Redeemer Church in New York City.

Keller explained in a Facebook post that in the early church, the Christian sexual ethic — that “sex was only for within a mutual, whole-self-giving, super-consensual life-long covenant” — was “revolutionary,” given the prevailing Greco-Roman ethic of the day.

Continue reading “Abstinence and ‘Purity Culture’ Are Often Conflated but Aren’t The Same, Tim Keller Explains, by B. Showalter”

A Table For One: A Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time (podcast and free book on singleness from author Kinneret Lahad)

A Table For One: Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time (podcast and free book on singleness from author Kinneret Lahad)

The author was also offering a free (yes, free – and it’s totally legal) download or copy of her book about singleness (a book which I have not read; I may do so later).

I did listen to the interview she gave for the podcast linked to here:

(Link): A Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time
^ Podcast on that Page

Why are you still single?

This question is often asked of single women, especially those who are deemed by loved ones or friends to be too old to be single.

In her newest book, A Table for One: A Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time(Manchester University Press, 2017), Kinneret Lahad analyzes this undertheorized aspect of the gendered experience.

Singlehood is inextricably linked to a post-structural analysis of time: not only are single women judged on their single status based on how old they are, but Lahad argues that being single often ages women at a faster rate in the eyes of others.

Continue reading “A Table For One: A Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time (podcast and free book on singleness from author Kinneret Lahad)”

What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway

What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway

The following article (book review) from Christianity Today covers several topics about singleness and the church I’ve been pointing out on this blog for literally years now.

One big point it brings up that I have: there are more single Christian women in the church than there are single Christian men. This means if a Christian single female insists upon following the “equally yoked” rule (that states a Christian may only marry another Christian), she will remain single.

If you are a single Christian woman who desires marriage, it is imperative you ditch the ‘equally yoked’ rule. You must learn to judge men based on their character, not what their stated religious beliefs are.

(Link): What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway

Excerpts:

New survey research sheds light on how believers navigate the stickier matters of dating and marriage.

July 10, 2019

Over the years, Christians have produced and read far more books on how relationships and singleness should work than on how these things actuallydo pan out. Vicky Walker’s new book Relatable: Exploring God, Love, & Connection in the Age of Choice, based on a survey of more than 1,400 people, aims to change that.

Walker writes from a more-or-less Protestant British perspective, but American Christians will find much they recognize.

Over the course of 12 chapters and several appendices, Relatable covers everything from the history of marriage to typical teachings on gender roles to, of course, sex. But she also gets into stickier matters like the role of technology and the church’s significant sex-ratio gap—the latter a topic that raises questions of dating outside the faith.

Continue reading “What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway”

Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Gospel of Shame-Free Sexuality by W. Hill

Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Gospel of Shame-Free Sexuality by W. Hill

I recognize there are flaws with Christian “Purity Culture,” but the response to those flaws (usually by liberal Christians) is just as bad.

The liberal Christians, or others who are opposed to Christian sexual purity teachings, want to reject about any and all sexual boundaries, in the process of rebelling against Christian purity teaching.

However, not all of Christian purity teaching is bad – something the anti-Purity Culture advocates don’t want to admit or discuss.

As I’ve pointed out in older posts, the anti-Purity Culture movement ends up alienating and marginalizing any adults who do choose to remain celibate or virgins until marriage.

We’re living in an age and culture where a lot of us are demanded to respect any and all sexual behaviors, except for virginity and celibacy; those are mocked, as are those who practice them. The tolerance goes only one-way with many Anti-Purity Culture adherents.

(Link): Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Gospel of Shame-Free Sexuality 

By W. Hill, Feb 2019

Excerpts:

We can’t defeat shame by whittling down God’s law to fit our behavior. We need the good news of God’s forgiveness instead

….Doing Away with Absolution

Unfortunately, the pastor who talked up the liberation that comes from admitting you’re in the wrong now seems more interested in helping people understand why they don’t need to.

In her new book, Shameless: A Sexual Reformation, Bolz-Weber is out to set Christians free from the angst and humiliation churches have often foisted on them because of their sexual proclivities and behaviors.

But the way the book goes about doing so is by rejecting wholesale the idea of “sexual purity” and, with it, the need to confess sexual transgression.

Continue reading “Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Gospel of Shame-Free Sexuality by W. Hill”

Unmarried and Undaunted by G. Dalfonzo

Unmarried and Undaunted by G. Dalfonzo

I am not a member of this site, so I cannot access the full article.

My one criticism of this, from what I’ve seen of this little portion, is that it seems to spiritualize singleness.

Spiritualizing it in this manner might possibly bring more respect to adult singles from a Christian marriage-worshipping, Christian marriage-obsessed culture, but for those Christians over the age of 40 who had hoped to marry, this spiritualizing of singleness, to make it sound spiritually noble, is white-washing things.

(Link): Unmarried and Undaunted

Excerpt, from their free article preview:

How singleness can inspire faithful service and hope for the Resurrection.

Christina Hitchcock always assumed she would get married one day. But as years went by and it didn’t happen, she found herself trying to piece together a vision of life without marriage.

Even though she’s now married, Hitchcock, who teaches theology at the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota, wrote The Significance of Singleness: A Theological Vision for the Future of the Church to show how singleness is a valuable way of life that points us to true fulfillment in Christ.

CT features editor Gina Dalfonzo spoke with Hitchcock about cultivating a renewed understanding of singleness for the whole church.

Why is the vision provided by singleness so important for the church?

Paul’s endorsement of singleness in 1 Corinthians 7 isn’t merely about having more missionaries, more martyrs, or more people with more time for the church. Singleness has theological significance because it tells us something important about who God is and what God is doing.

Continue reading “Unmarried and Undaunted by G. Dalfonzo”

Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized By Ella Hickey

Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized By Ella Hickey

I’ve noted in older posts how terrible Christian advice on the subjects of dating, marriage, and relationships are – if you’d like to see my posts on those subjects, some of them are linked to below, at the bottom of this post under the “Related Posts” section.

By the way, I would ask you to click on this link below to go to the page and read it, but, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to read any posts by single adults who leave comments, including one comment by a 60 year old lady with the screen name “janep75_2173,” who has been divorced for 20+ years, on how badly her local church treats her for being single.

(Link): Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized

What’s missing from Christian books on dating, singleness, and purity

Excerpts:

…. [The author discusses having read numerous Christian books about dating, marriage, and relationships when she was a teen-ager]

….Our theology of singleness and the “not-yet-married” has gone unmonitored, unchanged, and unimpressive for too long. Much of it is built on outdated gender roles and unhelpful clichés that don’t apply easily to today’s dating world.

For example, many of these books assume that sexual attraction is the “burden” of men and not something women struggle with.

Or, many of these books assume that men will lead a dating relationship and women will follow. Others encourage men and women to avoid and fear each other to avoid “stumbling.”

Continue reading “Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized By Ella Hickey”

The Good News About Our Longings: Sexuality and Spirituality by R. Villados

I suppose in some ways this is an okay article.

The guy who wrote it is kind of doing a take on some book or article he read about how Christians should approach sexuality, which is all well and good, but the article basically concludes by saying the solution for the chaste is to view Christianity as a “banquet.”

I know you’re randy and want to have actual sex with an actual person, but just think about how great Jesus is and that will take care of it, seems to be the conclusion.

I’ve seen this approach before to this issue by other Christians, but it does not satisfy me. It spiritualizes away a primal, very real and physical desire.

Telling me to imagine pretty sun sets if I have a craving for a piece of lasagna is not going to help me want the lasagna less.

(Link): The Good News About Our Longings: Sexuality and Spirituality by R. Villados

Excerpts

…At the core of this interplay between sexuality and spirituality is desire and longing.

What we do with our sexual desires and longings says a lot about what we believe about God. Which is why we need to clearly define terms.

…Defining spirituality and sexuality can seem like a daunting task because there’s lots of confusion with these words, so in offering a simple way forward, I have found Deb Hirsch’s definitions (found in her book, Redeeming Sex) instructive.

Continue reading “The Good News About Our Longings: Sexuality and Spirituality by R. Villados”

Joy Beth Smith Interviewed About Being a Christian Adult Single

Joy Beth Smith Interviewed About Being a Christian Adult Single

Joy Beth Smith wrote a book about Christian adult singleness called “Party For One” and was interviewed about it on the Christian program “700 Club.”

(Link):  The Subtle Art of Singleness

The Waiting

Joy Beth was raised by her mom and grew up in the Baptist church.

She participated in the True Love Waits movement where young girls betrothed themselves to Jesus and wore promise rings while saving themselves for their future husbands.

When Joy Beth was in 7th grade, she started writing love letters to this future husband and continued this practice for 10 years.  “I wrote letters all the way through college,” says Joy Beth.

She spent hours recording details of her life but one day at age 22, Joy Beth realized that she couldn’t imagine any man enjoying the experience of reading hundreds of repetitive letters.

Continue reading “Joy Beth Smith Interviewed About Being a Christian Adult Single”

My Thoughts Regarding the Article The Hard Truth About Mr. Right by Joy Beth Smith

My Thoughts Regarding the Article The Hard Truth About Mr. Right by Joy Beth Smith

This was an article or a series of excerpts by some up and coming book about singleness. Here are some of my thoughts about it.

(Link):  The Hard Truth About Mr. Right by Joy Beth Smith

A few points where I agree with the article: yes, as one gets older (assuming one wants marriage), one feels more and more pressure, and it gets stressful or sad to see one’s peers getting married off while one is still single. Yes, dating can be horrible and exhausting.

I get the feeling that Ms. Smith is in her 20s or 30s, and her article (or book) is perhaps aimed at younger singles.

I’m in between the ages of 45 and 50  myself presently, so maybe I’m older than her target demographic.  I was engaged to a guy from my late 20s into my early 30s and broke things off with him, but I have never been married.

I’m not sure if my age matters or not, but my age might mean that I’m able to spot wonky thinking in this article that a younger single may be blind to.

Continue reading “My Thoughts Regarding the Article The Hard Truth About Mr. Right by Joy Beth Smith”