Jeannie Mai Says Church People Pray for Her to Want Babies: Stop Shaming Me

Jeannie Mai Says Church People Pray for Her to Want Babies: Stop Shaming Me

It is truly disgusting how deeply Christians and secular culture demand and expect all women to reproduce, even if the woman in question has absolutely no interest in having children.

I cannot BELIEVE how terribly OBNOXIOUS people are! It’s none of anyone’s business why or why not this woman has kids, or if she doesn’t want them and why not, and so on.

Breeding is not an imperative – in the New Testament (see 1 Cor 7), Paul states it is better NOT to be having sex! But Christians push and harass people who choose to stay single and childless, or who find themselves as such due to circumstance.

(Link): Jeannie Mai Says Church People Pray for Her to Want Babies: Stop Shaming Me

BY CHRISTINE THOMASOS , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER

March 7, 2017

Jeannie Mai is speaking out against those who have shamed her for not wanting children, including people in her church who have laid hands on her and prayed for her desire to give birth.

Mai, the 38-year-old co-host of daytime talk show “The Real,” was emotional as she explained the frustration she felt when people expected her to announce her pregnancy with her husband, Freddy Harteis, of 10 years. While she is outspoken about her Christian faith on the show and social media, Mai expressed her issues with people at her church praying for her to want children.

“I’ve even had people like at church, which is why sometimes it throws me off from church, but they lay hands and they’ll pray for me that I’ll want that. [They] lay hands like ‘God you’re going to put that moment in Jeannie where she will be an amazing mother,” she recalled. “‘Let her know, let her feel that.'”

Continue reading “Jeannie Mai Says Church People Pray for Her to Want Babies: Stop Shaming Me”

Abusive North Carolina Church Dictates When, Where, Etc, Members May Have Sex

Abusive North Carolina Church Dictates When, Where, Etc, Members May Have Sex

I first read about this story about a week ago. I tweeted about it at least once. Now, several spiritual abuse blogs are covering it.

The following story kind of reminds me of one about a (Link): church in Ohio I blogged about a long time ago, where the Pastor ordered women in his church to get abortions, and he would ask the men at his church if he could look at their genitalia.

Regarding this church, the elders and preachers of it apparently controlled the sex lives of its members.

There is NO WAY I would tolerate this amount of abuse or control from any one, pastor or not. If I was at this woman’s church, and she started bossing me around, she’d get my middle finger in her face.

(Link): NC church has unconventional rules for sex and marriage

When it comes to relationships, marriage and sex, Word of Faith Fellowship members must follow strict and unusual rules — or risk severe punishment, former members say.

Some of the edicts:

— Congregants need permission from leader Jane Whaley and other ministers to get married, and it then can take months — or even a year — before the newlyweds are allowed to have sex.

— No one is allowed to date without permission, and most relationships and marriages are arranged by Whaley and ministers.

Continue reading “Abusive North Carolina Church Dictates When, Where, Etc, Members May Have Sex”

Come, Let Us Adore … Family? Churches Closing Their Doors on Christmas Day to Be With Family by J. Roys

Come, Let Us Adore … Family? Churches Closing Their Doors on Christmas Day to Be With Family by J. Roys

Yes. I’ve been noting on this blog for the last few years that Christians have turned the Nuclear Family into idols, and this comes at the expense of divorced, widowed, childless, childfree, and never married adults.

(Link): Come, Let Us Adore … Family? Churches Closing Their Doors on Christmas Day by J. Roys

Excerpts:

Christmas this year falls on a Sunday, which has some churchgoers in a tizzy.

…Religion writer Amy Sullivan once suggested that the reason American Christians don’t normally go to church on Christmas is because we’ve adopted a civil religion that elevates the ideal of family “to a sacrosanct level.” The Norman Rockwell image of a family gathered around a tree, she argues, has become a Christmas icon that rivals baby Jesus.

“For most Christians,” she said, “Christmas is a day for family, not faith.”

I think Sullivan has a point. Recently, I was listening to a Christmas album by the a cappella group Pentatonix, which I absolutely love. But the lyrics to their song “That’s Christmas to Me” pierced my heart. The song is beautiful and nostalgic — and completely godless.

After talking about Santa and stockings and mistletoe, they croon, “The only gift I’ll ever need is the joy of family. Oh why? ‘Cause that’s Christmas to me.”

I love my family dearly. But Christmas is about the birth of my savior without whom I’d have no hope for the future. And to me, there’s no better way to celebrate Christmas than to join with my church family, as well as my natural family, to worship our savior.

But again, many Christians attend services on Christmas Eve. So, what’s wrong with foregoing church on Christmas Day? However, Sullivan notes that many Anglican and Catholic Churches similarly hold midnight masses or vigils the night before Easter. (My church does that, and it’s a highlight of my year.) But everyone still shows up the next morning for Easter services. No devout Christian would ever consider missing church on Easter! So why do we not have the same attitude toward Christmas?

As Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay, notes, “If Christmas falls on Monday through Saturday, churches might be closed on December 25 — but almost never on a Sunday.”

Still I wonder, how many will attend church on Christmas Day joyfully as opposed to dutifully? And how many church members will actually show up? Many churches, which normally hold multiple services on Sunday morning, are only holding one service on Christmas day.

…That’s my hope too. I fear we have replaced adoring God with adoring family on Christmas. And as much as I love family, and see it as an incredible gift from God, I love Jesus even more.


Related Posts:

(Link):  The Neglected God Calls Us to Reach Out to the Neglected at Christmas: God with Us and Them—Immanuel (Re: People Who Are Alone At the Holidays)

(Link):  Merry Christmas to Single People

(Link):  Please Shut Up About Family and Christmas – by Laura (some people are alone at the holidays; they are not married, have no kids)

(Link):  Churches Ignoring The Olds: Increasing Population of Senior Citizens In America – Yet Churches Keep Obsessing About Kids and 20 Somethings

(Link):  “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): Post by Sarah Bessey Re: Churches Ignore Never Married Older and/or Childless Christian Women, Discriminate Against Them

(Link):  If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t

(Link): Neither Fully Widow Nor Fully Wife – Married People Will Be Single Again (Married people who have spouses with dementia)

Report: Sleazy Christian Celebrity Evangelist Clayton Jennings Uses Youth Ministry to Groom Young Women Into Casual Sex Then Offers Them Morning After Pill

Report: Sleazy Christian Celebrity Evangelist Uses Youth Ministry to Groom Young Women Into Casual Sex Then Offers Them Morning After Pill

This report comes by way of J. D. Hall, who I am not a fan of (I’ve blogged about him before). My Twitter acquaintance, DefendTheSheep, first tweeted the link to this page, which was written by Hall; she felt it was worth a look.

Even though I do not much care for Hall and consider him somewhat of a bully, I do think it’s good he’s shedding light on this instance of sexual abuse.

(Link): Celebrity Preacher Clayton Jennings: Sex, Alcohol, and the Morning After Pill

Updates:

(Link): Clayton Jennings: His Admission, New Victims and FAQ

(Link): Disgraced Evangelist Clayton Jennings Enlists “Mentor” Tony Nolan for Dramatic Apology Video

(Link): Clayton Jennings: His Victim Speaks Up

(Link): Revoked: Clayton Jennings Loses Ministry Endorsement of Home Church

(Link): Celebrity Preacher Loses ‘License’ After Wooed Women Come Forward Citing Sex, Booze & Morning-After Pill

(Link):  Evangelist Clayton Jennings Steps Away From Ministry After Multiple Sex Partners Come Forward (Dec 2016)

According to Hall’s report, this evangelist guy, Jennings, uses his ministry to groom young women into one-night stands.

According to Hall, Jennings targeted one young woman who he saw on Facebook – he contacted her first and began flirting with her (my understanding is that she was following his Facebook ministry page). He started messaging her, asking her to send him nude photos of herself.

She attempted to rebuff him, but Jennings was quite persistent. He told her he felt as though God wanted him to marry her, etc, and so on – lots of sweet talk.

It appears to me, based on Hall’s writing, as though this Jennings guy is using his ministry to exploit naive, young women who have terrible boundaries.

His pastor father stepped in to defend him, too. The whole family sounds like a family of dirt bags.

This is yet another example of why I encourage single, Christian women to drop the “equally yoked” teaching.

Continue reading “Report: Sleazy Christian Celebrity Evangelist Clayton Jennings Uses Youth Ministry to Groom Young Women Into Casual Sex Then Offers Them Morning After Pill”

NC Pastor Busted For Sexually Assaulting Woman Seeking Counseling: ‘He Started Sticking His Tongue Into my Ear’ -Say Good-Bye to the Equally Yoked Teaching

NC Pastor Busted For Sexually Assaulting Woman Seeking Counseling: ‘He Started Sticking His Tongue Into my Ear’ -Say Good-Bye to the Equally Yoked Teaching

I see no value or benefit for Christian singles to follow the “equally yoked” teaching, especially in regards to dating or marriage, when so many professing Christians are slime ball weirdos, such as the pastor in this news story.

I’d rather marry a polite, kind, non-slime ball atheist than a guy like this. (This is not to say that all atheist men are great – certainly some I’ve known and read about are sexist jerks or creepers too. You need to judge a guy on his character and how he treats you, not his religious beliefs per se.)

Also, as every women raised Christian knows, Christian single men are in short supply anyway, so you might not have a choice but to marry a Non-Christian anyway.

Recall that much of the Christian invented “Billy Graham Rule” presupposes that single women are threats to married Christian men, when the reality is that usually, married Christian men are attacking or trying to rape single (or married) women. Maybe Christians need to invent a (Link): Reverse Billy Graham Rule.

I’m not sure if the pastor in this story is married or a father, but he probably is: if so, this goes to show that marriage and parenthood do not necessarily make a person more mature, godly, or ethical – as Christians teach.

Further, if this pervert preacher is married, it also goes to show that the common Christian belief that married people are more sexually pure or restrained than adult singles is untrue.

I’d also add that Baptists go around crowing about “family values” all the time, but here you have a Baptist preacher sexually preying on women patients, which is in opposition to “family values.”

(Link):  Church pastor charged with inappropriately touching woman

  • The pastor of a Salisbury church has been charged with inappropriately touching a woman he was supposed to be counseling, according to a Salisbury Police report.

(Link):  Minister accused of groping woman he was counseling, police say

  • by M Becker
  • SALISBURY, N.C. —
  • Police in Salisbury have charged a local minister with sexually assaulting a woman whom he was counseling.
  • Police arrested the Rev. Kenneth Darrell Worley Tuesday and charged him with misdemeanor sexual battery more than three months after the woman said he groped her in her home in Salisbury.
  •  “I kick myself now, but he seemed so trustworthy,” the woman told Eyewitness News on Wednesday.
  • She said she met Worley in the waiting room of a local hospital where she was having a medical procedure, and he suggested that he could counsel her further at her home.
  • She said they spoke for about two hours at her kitchen table, but as he got up to leave, he asked if he could give her a hug, then pushed her down onto her couch.
  •  “He started sticking his tongue in my ear, licking on my neck. He was groping me,” she said.
  • She got free and called police, but the investigation took more than three months before officers signed a warrant charging Worley with misdemeanor assault.
  • A spokesman at New Hope Baptist Church in Salisbury said Wednesday that officials there were not ready to comment, but Worley is still the senior pastor there.

(Link): NC Pastor Busted For Sexually Assaulting Woman Seeking Counseling: ‘He Started Sticking His Tongue Into my Ear’

  • BETHANIA PALMA MARKUS
    12 MAY 2016 AT 16:39 ET
  • A North Carolina pastor has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman after she entrusted him to counsel her, (Link): WSCOTV reports.
  • Police arrested Rev. Kenneth Darrell Worley after the woman claims he came to her house in the town of Salisbury to provide her with counseling.
  • After a two-hour talk, the woman, who was not identified, told WSCO that Worley asked her if he could give her a hug.
  • “That seemed okay, you know? Sure,” she said. But then Worley tried to force himself on her, pushing her backward onto her sofa.
  • “He started sticking his tongue into my ear, licking on my neck, he was groping me,” she told the station. She called police but the investigation dragged on for months before she was informed they had charged Worley with misdemeanor sexual battery.
  • Worley is still the senior pastor at his church, New Hope Baptist Church.
  • She said she is speaking out now because she fears there are other victims.

————————-

Related Posts:

Update 2: (Link):  Church Knew of Preacher’s [Tullian Tchividjian’s] Affairs, Advised Him To Keep It Quiet 

(Link): Think The “Billy Graham Rule” Would Have Saved Tullian? Think Again… (Billy Graham rule has all Christians treating single adult women as though they are harlots who cannot be trusted)

(Link):  Update on Christian Rapist Man Who Used Christian Mingle Site To Pick His Victims (he liked to discuss Jesus and the Bible with them before raping them – other details in update) Equally Yoked Teaching IS A FARCE 

(Link): Christian Ladies: Be Equally Yoked to Christian Men Who Like To Have Sex With Dogs! (Re: Jerald Hill news story)

(Link): Forget About Being Equally Yoked: “My Abusive Christian Marriage”

(Link): Resident Christian Marriage Advice Writer at Christian Mag Admits Some Christian Marriages are Sexless

(Link): More Married Couples Admit to Sexless Marriages (various articles) / Christians promise you great frequent sex if you wait until marriage, but the propaganda is not true

 

Conservatives, Christians, Transgenders, and Bathrooms – Addressing Libby Anne’s “Love, Joy, Feminism” Post About Transgenders

Conservatives, Christians, Transgenders, and Bathrooms – Addressing Libby Anne’s “Love, Joy, Feminism” Post About Transgenders

I really don’t feel like devoting too much time on my blog to the topic of Transgenderism.

To date, I’ve done only 2 or 3 posts on the subject, one defending transgender people from criticisms by some Southern Baptist guy, and another that is critical of the transgender phenomenon.

Much farther down this post, I address a recent post by Libby Anne (of the “Love, Joy, Feminism” blog on Patheos) that pertains to Christians, child sexual abuse, and Transgender persons and the bathroom debate.

I would say I am mostly on the conservative side of the Transgender issue but appreciate that some conservatives can be too harsh towards Transgender people and may find myself agreeing with liberals on some of their comments on this sort of topic.

In other words, this is another subject where I neither totally agree with either conservatives or liberals, and I think both sides make good points in favor of their positions, and both sides sometimes make bad, unfair, rude, or stupid points.

messyToilet
“Coming Soon To Women’s Restrooms Everywhere” – (image first discovered on James D. Nichols Twitter)

I see a lot of misunderstanding by liberals of the conservative position on Transgender people using public restrooms.

I can’t speak to every single conservative or Christian who is opposed to Trans people using bathrooms, but there is definitely one component of conservatives and Christians who aren’t opposed to Trans people using opposite gender bathrooms per se.

In my case (as a conservative), I don’t know if I care if a biological male who wears a skirt uses a woman’s bathroom or not – it might make me uncomfortable, but that is not my big problem with this issue.

My problem resides in the fact that – damn, I don’t know all the liberal alphabet soup labels they slap on everything, is it Hetero CIS men? – my problem is that Hetero CIS men who are rapists will PRETEND to be Trans women so that they can have access to more female victims.

Continue reading “Conservatives, Christians, Transgenders, and Bathrooms – Addressing Libby Anne’s “Love, Joy, Feminism” Post About Transgenders”

Christian Speaker Christine Caine Apologizes to Adult Singles For Singles Being Marginalized by the Church, for Church Idolizing Marriage

Christian Speaker Christine Caine Apologizes to Adult Singles For Singles Being Marginalized by the Church, for Church Idolizing Marriage

I was watching the TBN program “Praise the Lord” tonight (April 22, 2016), and Christian speaker Christine Caine (who I don’t know a whole lot about) was a guest.

Caine has a new book called “Unashamed” she was there to promote. I have not read the book; it’s supposed to be released in May of 2016.

If I am remembering the program correctly, Caine said a chapter in her book apologizes to adult singles (especially the women) – the never married, the widows, the divorced – for how the church (as in church universal, all Christians) have sidelined, ignored, or heaped shame upon adult singles for being single.

Caine informed hosts Lori and Matt Crouch that about 57% of people (not sure if she meant 57% of people in the United States or the entire world) are single now – but the church keeps holding marriage up as the example, so that women who don’t marry by the age of 35 are made to feel ashamed or like failures.

Caine also mentioned that the 57% number is also the same figure for the church, that there are many, many single adults in the Christian faith.

Caine said that the church ignores the never-married and the “single again” (such as widows). She apologized to them for this.

The Crouch couple, Matt and Lori, who own TBN, seemed a little surprised or shocked to hear that 57% of adults are single in and out of the church.

Continue reading “Christian Speaker Christine Caine Apologizes to Adult Singles For Singles Being Marginalized by the Church, for Church Idolizing Marriage”

I’m a [Single / Unmarried] Woman, and my Church Didn’t Know What To Do With That – by A D Abdallah

I’m a [Single / Unmarried] Woman, and my Church Didn’t Know What To Do With That – by A D Abdallah

This author hits on a lot of points I have on my own blog in the past few years.

One point she hammers on which I have blogged on a couple of times myself, is that a lot of churches, for some stupid reason, equate having sex and/or being married with becoming an adult.

You can be an adult at age 40, but Christians will still treat you as though you are a child because you have never married, and they associate being married with being an adult. This needs to stop. You don’t need to marry, have sex, or have children to be a full-fledged adult.

The author also discusses another common experience among a lot of Christian women: the huge pressure other people place on you to marry and to marry right away, and that you should change aspects of yourself (such as “dumb yourself down”) to attract “husband material.”

Notice how Christians just assume you want to marry or that all people will marry. The reality is that not everyone wants to marry, and some people, even if they do want to marry, never manage to because they never find a suitable partner.

I am putting this blog post under the rubric of “ageist” or “ageism” because I have noticed that churches, while fine with singles who are under the age of 25, tend to ignore or insult singles who are over the age of 25 or 30.

(Link): I’m a [Single / Unmarried] Woman, and my Church Didn’t Know What To Do With That by A D Abdallah

Some excerpts (with a comment or two below this excerpt by me):

  • Our identity isn’t stagnant, figured out when young, and never changing or developing. No, it is formed throughout our lives, especially during transitions. While some aspects endure, others mature, some are added, and still others are cast off.
  • When I was about sixteen, a pastor told me to be less assertive and strong because otherwise I’d never find a husband. Mom says I came home saying I couldn’t deny who I really was in order to please others.
  • But my husbandless twenties left me wondering about who I was. Not about whether I was assertive or strong, but about my identity as a woman. I had only understood womanhood in the roles of wife and mother, roles I did not have.
  • After college graduation, I moved to South America to teach school. The church kept me in the jovenes group—the one for teenagers and other unmarried folks. Two years later, in my rural Pennsylvania church, people treated me like I was still a college kid. I knew I was in the fourth year of my teaching career, but was I a woman or still just a girl?

Continue reading “I’m a [Single / Unmarried] Woman, and my Church Didn’t Know What To Do With That – by A D Abdallah”

Church Allows Pedophile To Lead Bible Studies – Meanwhile, Many Churches Refuse to Allow Non-Pedophile, Celibate, Single Adults to Hold Any Sort of Leadership Positions (Re: Steve Furtick’s Elevation Church)

Church Allows Pedophile To Lead Bible Studies, Hails Pedo as a “Hero” – Meanwhile, Many Churches  Refuse to Allow Celibate, Single Adults to Hold Any Sort of Leadership Positions

Because many flavors of American Christendom – everything from evangelical to Reformed to Baptist and everything else – continues to harbor this completely un-biblical and insulting perception that marriage and parenthood are necessary rites of adulthood, and because many Christians assume that married persons are above sexually sinning, they continue to prohibit single, celibate adults from holding leadership positions in church.

I have blogged before anecdotes by other celibate, single adults who express pain, shock, hurt, indignation or frustration because their church automatically limits them from doing things such as teaching Sunday school because singles are either regarded as immature or as more liable to sexually sin.

In this story, from the Watch Keep blog, we have an example of a mega-church, Steve Furtick’s “Elevation” church, that not only allows a known pedophile, a Norm Vigue, to lead a Bible study class at their church, the preacher, Furtick, refers to the pedophile as his “personal hero.”

You can read more about that in this post at the Watch Keep blog:

(Link): Steven Furtick and Elevation Church publicly support, celebrate, and elevate a convicted child sex offender before, during and after federal prison: registered sex offender Norman Vigue now leads Elevation Church Bible study (on the Watch Keep blog, by Amy Smith, in conjunction with Wartwatch Blog – a few excerpts, with commentary are farther below)

That is baffling, alarming, and shocking in and of itself, of course, but consider another point or two I’ve raised in my writing before:

  1. Churches are reluctant to utilize adults who are actually sexually pure as role models or as leaders or as teachers (they will not even permit adult celibate singles to teach other adult singles in church).
  2. Churches continue to buy into and promote the stereotype that all adult singles are sexually sinning

If you are a virgin over the age of 30, churches do not want you to speak about sexual purity; their preference is to hire or utilize known or self-professing fornicators as role models, teachers, or speakers.

On her Watch Keep blog, Amy Smith mentions how preacher Furtick has two or three blog posts on his blog describing the child molestor, Vigue, as his hero, and how Vigue will be available after some church service to sign autographs on a book he wrote.

While it is certainly true that God will forgive a repentant child molester, it is shocking that some Christians think the way to express this truth is to promote a child molester as a hero, or as some sort of teacher the rest of us can learn from.

And again, churches are double-minded and hypocritical in these issues two fold:

Point 1: in that they will not only heap praise on a convicted child molester or child rapist but refuse to utilize adult celibates or virgins as examples of sexual morality and God’s grace.

Point 2: pedophiles are permitted to teach and lead in churches, but not non-pedophile, virgin, celibate adults.

Continue reading “Church Allows Pedophile To Lead Bible Studies – Meanwhile, Many Churches Refuse to Allow Non-Pedophile, Celibate, Single Adults to Hold Any Sort of Leadership Positions (Re: Steve Furtick’s Elevation Church)”

A Response To J D Hall’s Vomit-tastic Post about Village Church’s Handling of Certain Members, Covenants, and Marriages

A Response To J D Hall’s Vomit-tastic Post about Village Church’s Handling of Certain Members, Covenants, and Marriages 

Before we get to the post by J D Hall:

Background:

  • The Village Church (TVC) of Texas has placed Karen, who was once a member of theirs, under church discipline because she did not, according to them, abide by the church covenant she signed.
  • Instead of conferring with the church on what to do, Karen, on her own, sought an annulment from the state of Texas, once she discovered her then-spouse, Jordan, was a pedophile.
  • Karen said she spent about 50 days conferring with other Christians (not from the TVC), and in prayer, mulling over what to do, before seeking the annulment.
  • This action of hers has ticked off TVC leadership, because Karen did not get their permission to get the annulment.
  • Matt Chandler is the lead preacher of TVC.

You can read additional reporting of this situation here (additional material is at the bottom of this post):

Here is the page I am responding to:

(Link, off site): A Rational Response to the Criticism of Village Church  by  J D Hall, Pulpit and Pen blog

The covenant that Hall is so rigorously defending – TVC’s membership covenant – here does not even mention annulments.

As Karen explains (off site Link, Source):

  • …it is worth noting here that although The Village Church claims [in their e-mail] that “We see an annulment as a subcategory of what Scripture defines as a divorce in Mark 10:9” …, this cannot be found anywhere in their Membership Covenant or Bylaws.
  • In signing their Membership Covenant shortly after my 24th birthday, I had agreed to nothing in regards to the possibility of annulment should I come to realize that my marriage had been a complete sham from the beginning.
  • There is a vast difference between a divorce and a marriage that is voided on the grounds of fraud, and I had no way of knowing that the leadership of The Village Church would respond to it in this fashion.

Continue reading “A Response To J D Hall’s Vomit-tastic Post about Village Church’s Handling of Certain Members, Covenants, and Marriages”

Church must avoid becoming Fight Club to attract men by H. Coffey

Church must avoid becoming Fight Club to attract men by H. Coffey

(Link): Church must avoid becoming Fight Club to attract men by H. Coffey

Excerpts.

  • Jan 21, 2015
  • When I saw the latest statistics suggesting that the majority of British men don’t believe in God, I wasn’t surprised. Saddened, yes. Shocked, no.This is an issue the Church of England has been struggling with for years.
  • From a purely anecdotal perspective, wander into any Anglican church these days and you’ll likely as not be struck by the gender gap, with females accounting for the majority of the congregation. Dig a little deeper and you’ll probably also find that a core of thoroughly capable women are quietly but determinedly running the joint and keeping the whole place afloat.This is backed up by various reports over the last 10 years, which indicate that women outnumber men at UK churches by up to 15 per cent.It’s a headscratcher, and, like with all sets of data, you can read into it what you will. Around the time the people in this specific study were coming of age (they’re all now in their early 40), there was a bit of an influx of what are jokingly referred to as “Jesus is my boyfriend” worship songs – the type that go something like:
  • “Ooh, I love Jesus so much, I give my heart to him, he is sooooo dreamy.” Admittedly, having to sing this type of nonsense in church might have felt pretty emasculating for a young man, maybe even enough to put him off our Lord for good….What worries me far more about statistics like this being released is the potential response from Christians and the Church.
  • They’re always grist to the mill for dyed-in-the-wool traditionalists who like to wave them around shrieking: “See! We told you this would happen if you let women have opinions, and stand at the front of church, and be vicars. We told you the men wouldn’t like it. You’ve feminised the Church! Of course the men are leaving!”
  • This sexist hysterical crew seem to think that, in slowly but surely embracing equality, the entire Church is being transformed into one long episode of Loose Women. That by letting women lead, it naturally follows we’re creating an environment that is “toxic” to men. What a load of tosh.However, there has been a far darker reaction when we’ve seen reports like this before: a move to create a toughened-up, more masculine Church.

Continue reading “Church must avoid becoming Fight Club to attract men by H. Coffey”

The Rise of the ‘Done With Church’ Population by T. Schultz

The Rise of the ‘Done With Church’ Population 

Julia Duin already called this out in her book, Quitting Church, which came out around what, 2005? 2006?

(Link): The Rise of the ‘Done With Church’ Population

Also visit that page, scroll to the bottom, and read the visitor comments – not that I agree with all comments; I disagree with the one person in the comments who is dragging up the moldy oldy chest nut, “you should go to church to serve not be served.” Sorry no… the Bible teaches that one function of the body is that they are to meet the needs of each other.

(As I type this, their web site is currently down though).

Excerpts

  • by Thom Schultz
  • John is one in a growing multitude of ex-members. They’re sometimes called the de-churched. They have not abandoned their faith. They have not joined the also-growing legion of those with no religious affiliation—often called the Nones. Rather, John has joined the Dones.
  • At Group’s recent Future of the Church conference, sociologist Josh Packard shared some of his groundbreaking research on the Dones. He explained these de-churched were among the most dedicated and active people in their congregations. To an increasing degree, the church is losing its best.
  • For the church, this phenomenon sets up a growing danger. The very people on whom a church relies for lay leadership, service and financial support are going away. And the problem is compounded by the fact that younger people in the next generation, the Millennials, are not lining up to refill the emptying pews.
  • Why are the Dones done? Packard describes several factors in his upcoming bookChurch Refugees (Group). Among the reasons: After sitting through countless sermons and Bible studies, they feel they’ve heard it all. One of Packard’s interviewees said, “I’m tired of being lectured to. I’m just done with having some guy tell me what to do.”
  • The Dones are fatigued with the Sunday routine of plop, pray and pay. They want to play. They want to participate. But they feel spurned at every turn.
  • Will the Dones return? Not likely, according to the research. They’re done. Packard says it would be more fruitful if churches would focus on not losing these people in the first place. Preventing an exodus is far easier than attempting to convince refugees to return.
  • Pastors and other ministry leaders would benefit from asking and listening to these long-time members before they flee. This will require a change of habit. When it comes to listening, church leaders are too often in the habit of fawning over celebrity pastors for answers. It would be far more fruitful to take that time and spend it with real people nearby—existing members.

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Related

(Link): Hypocrisy Among Christians and how it leads some to question or leave the Christian faith

(Link): It’s Okay To Get Your Needs Met At Church ~ The Expression You Go To Church To Serve Not Be Served is False and Unbiblical

(Link): Guilt Tripping or Shaming the Hurt Sheep to Return to Church

(Link): The Unchurched

(Link):  Why Even Middle Aged Married with Children Christians Are Leaving Church Not Just Unmarried Singles | 40 Somethings

(Link): Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts

(Link): Southern Baptists – Still Majoring in the Minors and ignoring the never married (singles) – Why Church Membership is Down

(Link): U.S. Churches Cancel Services for Football – Superbowl – People who are unchurched, dechurched, and preachers who say not attending church is a sin

The Midlife Church Crisis – how churches marginalize anyone who is not married with young children and middle-agers are leaving church

The Midlife Church Crisis – how churches marginalize anyone who is not married with young children and middle-agers are leaving church

I have linked to her material before. I am over 40, never married, never had any kids and noticed by my mid 30s that churches are far too fixated on “family” and children.

This married woman, Van Loon, didn’t notice until she reached her 40s or so and became an “empty nester” (her children grew up and moved out).

I have been saying on this blog for over a year now that many churches, especially Baptist and evangelical ones, tend to exclude every one, except for children and young married couples.

If you are over 30, still not married, or are married with no kids, or are divorced or widowed, you are not even thought to exist by most churches, or your needs are not ministered to.

Everyone is expected to support the 29 year old married couple who has a baby and a toddler.

I see no place in the Bible that permits such favoritism, the negligence, by churches, of entire groups of people (such as adult singles and widowers) to coddle one other group (young nuclear families), but this happens routinely in U.S. churches.

The thing I find sad or frustrating is that while never married, childless adults such as me spot by our mid 30s, or earlier, that churches are too fixated on married with children couples and how this creates all sorts of problems for adult singles and churches, but it takes such couples into their 40s -or older- and it takes their kids growing up and moving out on their own- for these married couples to begin to notice the same thing.

If you’re a 40- or 50- something woman whose kids have grown and gone, and are now just noticing how churches place the “traditional family” on a pedestal and ignore everyone else, welcome to the club. We older, never married, childless singles have known this for years and years and years.

(Link):  The Midlife Church Crisis – In Christ, there is neither empty nester nor new mom. 

  • by Michelle Van Loon
  • ….I’ve had one too many conversations with empty-nester peers about what it’s like to go to church once our kids are grown and gone. Our midlife crisis of faith came from questioning not our beliefs, but our role in the body of Christ.

    When the bulletin is filled with announcements for mothers of preschoolers’ gatherings, family camping weekends, and Vacation Bible School, I know I’m welcome to lend a hand by baking muffins or doing crafts. I’ve gotten the message that, now that my own children have grown, my role is to support the real focus of the church: families.

    Decades ago, baby boomers and older Gen Xers pushed to create churches centered on the young, nuclear family. Sadly, this ministry model now excludes many of us. Having outgrown the local church’s core programs, we’re left to usher, teach fourth-grade Sunday school, or attend committee meetings. At times, I can’t help thinking: Been there, done that. Got the Christian T-shirt to prove it.

  • ….Anecdotally speaking, it seemed that those over age 40 who discovered meaningful service, worship, and connections reported that their church was committed to intergenerational ministry rather than family-centered, child-focused programming. Though there is some overlap between the two ministry philosophies, the congregations that concentrate on families with children under 18 unintentionally marginalize those who don’t fit the profile.
  • … When we church leaders ape our culture’s obsession with all things young and cool—targeting the same desirable demographic groups as do savvy advertisers—we communicate to those who don’t fit those specs that they are less desirable.
  • ((click here to read the rest))

Related:

(Link):  Aged Out of Church by M. Van Loon (For Christians over the Age of 35 – 40 – Churches ignoring middle aged adults)

(Link):  Why Even Middle Aged Married with Children Christians Are Leaving Church – Not Just Unmarried Singles | 40 Somethings Gen X Quitting Leaving Church

(Link):  Mature Christians Need to Stop Allowing the Under 30 Crowd to Direct the Entire State of Christian Affairs

(Link):  Youth Fixation in Churches and how it alienates older Christians

(Link):  Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents

A Response to Blogger Matt Walsh Regarding Depression and Suicide

A Response to Blogger Matt Walsh Regarding Depression

Before I address Matt Walsh’s post about depression specifically:

For anyone who wants to read a compassionate, balanced view about mental health problems, including depression, by a Christian author, please read a copy of the book,

Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded?: Helping (Not Hurting) Those with Emotional Difficulties – by Dwight L. Carlson.

Carlson is a Christian doctor who explains how much, if at all, personal sin, choice, or biology play in issues such as depression.

An excerpt from the book’s page on Amazon reads,

  • It’s no sin to hurt. Thousands of Christians suffer real emotional pain– such as depression, anxiety, obsessiveness.

Many other Christians, including prominent leaders, believe emotional problems are the result of sin or bad choices. These attitudes often only add to the suffering of those who hurt.

In this book Dwight Carlson marshals recent scientific evidence that demonstrates many emotional problems are just as physical or biological as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

While he never discounts personal responsibility, Carlson shows from both the Bible and up-to-date medicine why it really is no sin to hurt.

Understandably and compellingly, Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded? brings profound help for those who hurt and those who counsel. For those who suffer, here is a powerful liberation from guilt. For those who care for the suffering, here is vivid proof that those in emotional pain deserve compassion, not condemnation.

MATT WALSH, ROBIN WILLIAMS, AND SUICIDE/DEPRESSION

In the day or two after it was announced that movie actor Robin Williams died by suicide, Christian blogger Matt Walsh wrote a blog post about it called “Robin Williams didn’t die from a disease, he died from his choice” (url: themattwalshblog.com). A copy of Walsh’s first post appears (Link): here on Barbwire (the link will open in a new window).

The very title of the post suggests, or assumes, that Williams was wholly in his right mind, capable of making rational decisions, and was therefore totally responsible for his own death, that he could have easily avoided his death (if only he had “chosen” joy and/or read a Bible more, etc), and, by extension, deserves no compassion.

Walsh would probably counter, “But I never specficially said he didn’t deserve compassion, or that he should just read his Bible more!”

Well, no, you didn’t say that exactly, but the wording of your blog post heading alone certainly implies it. The rambling in the post itself, which was intended to bolster the claims implied in the title, further suggests these views as well.

Walsh got so much negative feedback from that post, he wrote a follow-up post to it the other day.

I don’t know at this point if I intend on writing a full-scale rebuttal to Walsh’s post here – or, if I do, I may do it in the days or weeks ahead. I’m undecided.

I found Walsh’s commentary so revolting, I can’t bring myself to go back and re-read the piece again. Once was enough. I’ll try to re-visit the pages to grab some quotes, if I can.

I skimmed the Part 2 earlier today. Part 2 is entitled, “Depression isn’t a choice but suicide is: my detailed response to the critics”

The attitude of Walsh’s primary post was very victim-blaming, in spite of his protestations to the contrary.

Walsh evidently feels post # 1 was very loving and supportive of Robin Williams or anyone who deals with depression.

Perhaps Walsh is merely a very poor writer and failed to accurately convey his views in the first place, so that they came out as insensitive as they did, and now he’s upset so many people have taken his post the “wrong way.”

That has happened to me a time or two online – I fail to clearly explain my position on a sensitive issue, and folks take it the wrong way, and assume I’m a heartless jerk. (On the other hand, people are sometimes guilty of reading things into posts I’ve written that I never said or felt.)

If I am not mistaken, Walsh implied in part 1, and admitted in part 2 (again, I cannot bring myself at this time to re-read both to double check this) that he has had depression in the past, or some sort of problem.

Okay, I shall wade into the post again to find the exact quote. Here is what Walsh said in part 2 about his own experiences:

    I actually found myself getting emotional as I wrote it. I’m not suicidal but I have demons of my own, so I submitted that post to the public, praying others would find the same solace in the promise of hope and the power of free will.

From part 1, Walsh says,

    And before I’m accused of being someone who “doesn’t understand,” let me assure you that I have struggled with this my entire life.

I want to pause here to say I find that wording odd, from the quote from part 2. Walsh says he hopes people can find hope in “the power of free will.”

Christians usually feed depressed people the cliché’ that they can be freed of depression in “Jesus alone.”

Just as believing in Jesus alone cannot free a person from depression, neither can celebrating “free will,” or a “pick yourself up by your bootstraps and solider on” mentality.

I’d say often, a lot of people with clinical depression operate under one or both those paradigms for years to start with anyway, along with psychiatric visits or medications, until they realize none of it is working, they get mentally exhausted and want to stop fighting to live.

It is exhausting to live another day when all you want to do is stay in bed all day long with the sheets over your head, or take your own life.

That is, people with depression already have tried to “choose joy” and so on; they don’t need a Matt Walsh telling them to give that a go.

Having severe depression is not an automatic death sentence. There can be a way out, but it might vary from one person to the next.

But the vast majority of people I’ve seen who have made it through depression and lived to tell about it usually do not credit their survival with pure choice (ie, choosing to be joyful), Bible reading, attending church, or Jesus alone.

As a matter of fact, many of these recovering folks will tell you that one thing that made their journey MORE difficult was receiving well intentioned, yet hurtful advice, such as the very things Walsh was writing about and which is common among Christians: believe more in Jesus, attend church, choose to be joyful, etc.

Continue reading “A Response to Blogger Matt Walsh Regarding Depression and Suicide”

Church to Members: We Honor Only Mothers With Biological, Not Adopted, Children (via Ask Amy)

Church to Members: We Honor Only Mothers With Biological, Not Adopted, Children

I don’t know what’s more frightening and sad, that Christians marginalize singles and the childless and childfree or exclude mothers of adopted children, or the Non-Christians (and some Christians too) who DENY these things even happen, or they express shock that it might.

I saw some people leaving comments at an Ask Amy page expressing doubt that a church would or could be so callous towards certain types of mothers.

I have no reason to doubt it. I would actually be surprised if this sort of thing did not happen. Evangelical, Baptist, and other churches/denominations, regularly ignore singles and childfree people, or mothers who don’t fit their particular criteria of what it means to them to be a good or “godly” mother.

If they’re not ignoring these groups, they outright insult them or imply they are selfish or weird, or lacking in some other way.

Here’s the letter to “Ask Amy” (link):

    Dear Amy:
    In the course of the worship service at our church on Mother’s Day, particular recognition was given to some distinct mothers — the oldest present, a single with the most youngsters, a single with most kids present, and so on.

    But this recognition was specified biological mothers only, so this excluded a number of in the congregation who had mothered adopted children.

    I’d like your comment on this restriction.
    — A Bio and Adoptive Mother

    Dear Mother: I’m appalled.

I do not doubt the veracity of this story for a moment. Some churches or denominations can and often are that insensitive.

At least Amy was appalled by this.

In regards to other letters, Amy was catty about women who are over the age of 40 (link to that). Amy also thinks guys over 50 who befriend 22 year old college students are closet pedophiles (link to that).

Churches should stop holding Mother’s Day celebrations. There is no place in Scripture that instructs churches to hold church-wide services in dedication to mothers or fathers. None. It’s a secular holiday carried over into churches, and churches should be spending more time preaching about Jesus, and less about the so-called nobility of motherhood.
——————————-
Related posts:

(Link): Mother Entitlement – Selfish, Self-Centered Mothers Complain that They Are Not Getting ENOUGH Mother Worship from Culture, Church, or Family on Mother’s Day and Some Moms Complain About Churches Showing Compassion to Childless Women

(Link): Mother’s Day Ain’t A Happy Holiday For Some

(Link): Being Childfree, Childless, Infertile, or Dealing With the Death of a Mother on Mother’s Day, Or Dealing With An Abusive or Insensitive Mother, Mothers Who Lost Adult or Young Children to Murder, Abortion, Miscarriages, or Sickness (links)

(Link): Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)

(Link): Motherhood is Not a Woman’s Highest or Only Calling

Continue reading “Church to Members: We Honor Only Mothers With Biological, Not Adopted, Children (via Ask Amy)”

Married Father and Baptist Preacher J D Hall – Another Example of How Marriage and Parenthood Does Not Make a Person More Godly or Mature

Married Father and Baptist Preacher J D Hall – Another Example of How Marriage and Parenthood Does Not Make a Person More Godly or Mature

(There is an update at the bottom of this post).

This involves a lot of back story I don’t want to get into because this blog post would be ten pages long.

I am blogging this primarily for adult singles who have felt marginalized or hurt by Christian denominations or churches that treat adult singles as though they have cooties.

I have a somewhat different motivation for blogging about this than other blogs do. There were a few other blogs who addressed the child abuse aspect of the story, that we have an adult (Hall) badgering a teen kid (Braxton Caner) on the internet.

J D Hall is a Calvinist preacher with a blog called “Pulpit and Pen,” a Twitter account, and a group of fan boys who follow him around online who actually refer to themselves as “Pulpiteers.”

At one time, Hall’s groupies were using the #pulpiteer (or “pulpiteers”) hash to follow each other around Twitter. I’m not sure if they still use the “Pulpiteer” label or not. I will continue to refer to them as such.

This group, and a few other people, have a long standing hatred of another guy named Ergun Caner.

Continue reading “Married Father and Baptist Preacher J D Hall – Another Example of How Marriage and Parenthood Does Not Make a Person More Godly or Mature”

Ann Coulter’s Article Hits Home — Literally, by S. Harris – And: further thoughts on U.S. Christian Priorities and Reverse Racism

Ann Coulter’s Article Hits Home — Literally, by S. Harris – And: further thoughts on U.S. Christian Priorities and Reverse Racism

Below you will find a link to, and excerpts from, an editorial by S. Harris I agree with.

One of the most annoying things about the backlash against the Coulter piece is how Christians arguing against it were tone-deaf or had tunnel vision. They totally mis-read her piece, or assumed things about it that she did not say.

Most of the criticisms I read were operating under the erroneous belief that Coulter said, “Americans should never, ever help foreigners.” -When she said no such thing.

Another variation on that were the idiots who thought Coulter was saying, “Americans should only help Americans, screw the world!” She also wasn’t saying that.

Look, if you are an American living in the USA and you have “Grandpa Joe” living under your roof, you’ve taken him in because he can no longer care for himself….

And good old Grandpa Joe has dementia and is in a wheelchair, and you’re not getting him proper medication, nursing visits, bathing him, -BUT- you are flying to Africa on a plane every four months to go build one room huts for Africans (and you pride yourself in taking these trips to help orphans in Africa), you are the selfish jerk with messed up priorities, not Ann Coulter for calling you out on that hypocrisy.

And sad to say, most Americans do indeed ignore Grandpa Joe, or guys and women like him, to go on humanitarian trips to places like Africa.

And they think this is so compassionate and loving. They cannot see the hypocrisy or insensitivity of it. If God wanted you to go help in Africa, he would have had you born there.

It makes no sense for the Africans to fly to the USA to help Americans, the French to fly to Brazil to help Brazilians, the Saudis to fly to France to help the French, the Russians to fly to Canada to help the Canadians, the Aussies to fly to Russia to help the Russians.

In an extreme situation, in a natural disaster type thing (which to me is different than an on-going disease outbreak that has a 90% fatality rate), I’m seeing a stronger rationale for action.

Where a nation gets blown off the map by a typhoon, or what not, by all means, let’s see the world come together and all nations mail food and fly in equipment and blankets, but the rest of the year, no, it’s a waste of time and resources for everyone everywhere to do these things.

According to several news reports I’ve read, the ebola disease is 60 – 90% fatal (depending on medical treatment), and the whole thing that kicked off the Coulter piece in the first place were these naive, American, evangelical do-gooder doctor and missionaries who flew down there to “lend a hand.”

Now these do-gooders have ebola and were flown back to the United States, and which potentionally exposes other Americans to this.

Someone on another site raised what I felt was a decent analogy – how people voluntarily go on mountain-hiking trips but then get stranded on the mountain, so that other emergency respondents have to risk their lives, and spend a buttload of money, to fly helicopters and what all to rescue them. It’s a similar scenario.

Here is the editorial I agree with:

(Link): Ann Coulter’s Article Hits Home — Literally by S. Harris

Excerpts:

    Ann Coulter’s recent article “Ebola Doc’s Condition Downgraded to Idiotic” really hit home — if you’ll excuse the pun.

    Coulter makes a good argument as she questions why American missionaries don’t stay home and help a country in the violent throes of spiritual decay. She accuses them of slinking off to Third World countries (and coming back with Ebola), while they abandon the most consequential nation on earth — their own.

    It’s a thought I’ve often had as I’ve watched church after church suck their congregations dry for overseas missionary work while the old lady in the house next-door struggles for food — physically and financially.

    These same missionaries are lauded as heroes for going to Africa when their hometowns are awash in drugs, pornography, murders, domestic abuse, pedophilia, and a thousand other byproducts of spiritual darkness.

    I would go even farther and liken the situation to child adoption in the U.S. Couples, often citing impossible U.S. adoption laws and red tape, have been going overseas to adopt children for years while nearly 400,000 American children remain in foster care.

    Roughly 102,000 of those are waiting to be adopted at any given time, and another 58,000 become available for adoption after their parents’ rights are terminated.

    I know a Christian couple who recently adopted five siblings from Bhutan. Another couple, misled about the health of a newborn, adopted a Russian baby who needed so many operations they nearly went bankrupt and ended up divorcing.

    All of this happens while a little boy or girl from Nebraska or Kentucky grows up in the uncertain love and insecurity of foster care. I’ve rarely met a couple who adopted an American-born child.

    The truth is, instead of staying and fighting, Americans developed a pattern of running to other countries — whether for missionary work, adoption, or cheaper labor and smaller overhead.

    …Ann Coulters article was harsh, but it needed to be said.

    … Still, Ann Coulter was right to raise such relevant questions: “…Why do we have to deal with this at all? Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore?”

I encourage you to visit the author’s editorial and read the whole thing, because in it, in a part I did not quote above here, she even has an example in there of a time she brought her India- born- and- raised friend to an American church with her as a guest.

Harris said she was a Christian wanting to find a home church. She said she invited her India-born friend to attend with her one day at a new church she was checking out, so he did.

Harris said that when the church people noticed her friend was from India and was a Hindu, that they swarmed around him to welcome him but they blew her off (she was, to them, an obvious American).

Harris said the next day, the church ladies visited the guy at his home – they had obtained his address the day before – and brought him baked cakes and other goodies, but they brought nothing to Harris.

And Harris was the Christian looking for a church – her Hindu friend did not give a rat’s ass about joining Christianity at all. He was delighted to get free cookies from the Christians but thought the church ladies naive (that was how I understood what she wrote).

I could be mistaken, but I would assume that Harris’ Hindu friend probably had brown skin, probably spoke with a heavy accent – so it was obvious to the church people he was foreign.

I have noticed that U.S. Christians are in fact inclined to do missionary work toward, or help, only certain groups of people – among them, dark skinned people, and especially ones who are pagan in religious beliefs (ie, Hindu, Muslim).

(Though evangelicals will at times make narrow exceptions in America to help suffering Americans, but usually only the most severe, “down and out” cases, such as homeless crack addicts and women who work as strippers in night clubs.)

There seems to be little to no concern by white Christians for white skinned, middle class, “average Joe” people in America.

It’s weird, revolting, and not at all biblical to play “pick and choose” in who you will show compassion to. Everyone is supposed to be your neighbor, not just orphan kids or ebola patients in Africa, or homeless crack addicts.

And no, I’m not a “white pride” person or “white nationalist” or whatever they call themselves. I don’t mind if whites help dark skinned people.

What I am saying is I am sort of turned off by how so many American white Christians view dark-skinned foreigners as exotic pets and/or as being more “worthy” to save or help than their white, native neighbors (and we also have dark skinned Americans in America who could use help). It’s kind of a form of reverse-racism, and Christians should have no part in it, but they do.

Years ago, during what seemed to be a trend of white Americans adopting black children from Africa (and greasing the wheels by throwing their money at charities in those nations), I saw editorials by dark skinned Africans* who wrote they found the white American do-gooder mentality towards Africans offensive and condescending – they say they don’t want or need a “white savior” to fly in and rescue them. You would think white Americans would get a clue.

*(some of the journalists either self-identified as being black people, and/or they had a staff photo of themselves accompanying their editorials.)
——————————-
Related posts:

(Link): Ann Coulter’s Very Accurate Ebola Post Being Criticized As Being Insensitive – But It’s Not; It’s Accurate

(Link): White Evangelicals, White Fundamentalists, and White Baptists: White Americans Don’t Need the Gospel or Compassion, especially not the affluent or middle class

(Link): Why Christians Need To Stress Spiritual Family Over the Nuclear Family – People with no flesh and blood relations including Muslims who Convert to Christianity – Also: First World, White, Rich People Problems

(Link): Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives

(Link): To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan

General Observations Or Concerns About Stuff Christian Culture Likes Group and Blog

This is kind of a follow up to my previous post about SCCL (link at bottom – the group was recently mocking the T. Burpo book).

I found at least one blog post chronicling some of the abusive tendencies within the SCCL group (see link below) – this is so odd.

The SCCL like group members depict themselves as champions of the hurt and abused, but they sometimes bully and abuse other people themselves.

In addition, Drury (who is the owner and maintainer of the SCCL like groups, Twitter account, and blog), who tries to present herself as a feminist, and who also tries to come off as sensitive to homosexuals and more recently, transgendered people and their concerns, has made comments some of them have found offensive on several occasions on Twitter and/or Facebook, but she was reluctant to apologize.

You can read examples here:

(Link): For Surivivors of Christian Fundamentalism seeking refuge in Stuff Christian Culture Likes (group / blog)

A person (Shelly) on that blog left this comment (excerpt from her comment):

Another couple of people [at SCCL] were triggery for me, as they did shit that reminded me of the abuse I received when I was younger, and I no longer felt safe staying there, knowing that

she was perfectly fine to call out the abuse within the church system but wouldn’t call it out within the page that was supposed to be a safe place for the abused.

So I unliked the page, unfollowed her SCCL Twitter (I had unfollowed her personal one after t-gate), and stopped following the blog.

(end excerpts)

I’ve noticed the same thing.

It’s a group that scolds churches or Christian culture for perpetuating certain damaging views, or for allowing or committing abuse, but pretty much allows the regular members to bash the new-comers to the group who may speak up and disagree with whatever topic is under discussion.

I never joined the SCCL Facebook group. I may have left one post at one SCCL blog page once a long time ago (I don’t recall), but something never sat quite right with me about the types of people who post at either the group or blog, so I didn’t join.

The majority of SCCL members can seem kind-hearted and supportive most of the time, but then turn like sharks the next instant on an individual who isn’t keeping with the group think.

I once read a blog post about how even blogs / groups intended for survivors (survivors of church abuse or whatever) can turn out to be just as abusive as the church or cult the person has left. (That post may have also been on Blog on the Way, I can’t remember where I saw it).

If you have been hurt by a Christian, a denomination, or a church, be very, very careful which other groups you choose to align yourself with in the aftermath, or for support or healing.

The group you choose to make your “new home” or support system just may turn on you in the future.

I have seen some people post perfectly polite, fine questions or comments on SCCL Facebook page and get rudely ripped to shreds, ganged up on, by several SCCL members at once over it.

It’s not pretty, and some of the SCCL members, at times, act just as horribly as the fundamentalists, evangelicals, sexists and “homophobes” (what a stupid, inaccurate word, by the way) they complain about.

There are also some hard-core atheists who sporadically show up to SCCL to bitterly complain about theism, the Bible and Christians, and they are some of the most condescending, obnoxious jerks I’ve come across. They usually get shouted down by other SCCL members, but they do post there on occasion.

There is a Christian guy, an older gentlemen (his personal profile photo shows a white-haired guy) named “Warren” who participates at SCCL.

I’d say the guy makes good sense about 95% of the time, but he still gets shouted down and treated rudely by the SCCL regulars – because, in knee jerk reaction, they recoil at anything that smacks of Christian or traditional values.

Continue reading “General Observations Or Concerns About Stuff Christian Culture Likes Group and Blog”

Placing One’s Marriage Ahead of The Church – Preacher Used Prioritizing and Rebuilding His Marriage as Rationale for Bullying His Church Members (Re: Driscoll and Mars Hill Church)

Placing One’s Marriage Ahead of The Church – Preacher Used Prioritizing and Rebuilding His Marriage as Rationale for Bullying His Church Members

(Link): The Storm at Mars Hill Church: Mark Driscoll Explains It All

In that page, there is a description of how Driscoll claims the reason he came down hard on his church members was to save his marriage. He says he and his wife Grace were going through a tough time in their marriage.

Here is an excerpt:

    “For me [Mark Driscoll] to recover, for you [Grace Driscoll] to recover, for us to build our friendship, I feel like we’re kind of at that watershed moment where our marriage is gonna get better or it’s gonna get colder,…

  • I told Grace, I said “I’m going to give it one year, and if it doesn’t get fixed, I’m going to quit, because you’re more important to me than ministry, and I feel like if I quit right now, the church will probably die, and there’s all these thousands of people that met Jesus.” I said “So we’re either going to change it or I’m going to quit, but we’re not going to do this forever and you’re my priority,” and that led to everything that I feared, quite frankly.
  • It was really brutal, and I couldn’t tell the story at the time of and here’s why- because Grace is really hurting, and I love her….

This is an example of what secular researchers call a “greedy marriage.” See this post:

(Link): Do Married Couples Slight Their Family Members as Well as Their Friends? / “Greedy Marriages”

Also:
(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article)

(Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t

As Throckmorton surmises,

    What is striking about this narrative [by Mark Driscoll explaining why he abused people at his church] is the self-focus.

  • Instead of “men stepping up” perhaps this video should be named “men stepping on” others. The implication is that the damage to others (culture of fear, lay-offs, firings, shunnings, the pile of dead bodies under the Mars Hill bus) was necessary because Mark and Grace Driscoll needed time to repair themselves and their marriage.

So, part of Driscoll’s rationalization of why it was acceptable for him to bulldoze over people at his church was to save his marriage.

Even if Driscoll is lying, and his marital troubles are being used as an excuse only to cover his misbehavior, that doesn’t change the thrust of my criticisms.

And yet many conservative Christians think un-married men and women should not serve as preachers?

Let me tell you something, if you had a single (as in, un-marrred) man or woman serve as pastor of your church, there would be no on-going marital stress and strife that would cause them to terrorize and abuse the people of your church.

You would not have an unmarried person stressing out over his or her marriage (because their is no marriage), and abusing church members to work on his or her relationship with his or her spouse – because there would be no spouse.

Evangelical Christians, Southern Baptists, fundamentalists, and some Neo Calvinists, often believe or teach that marriage and parenthood mature or sanctify a person (though the Bible does not teach either concept), and they often portray the never married or childless or childfree as being selfish, but here we have an example of a married preacher who selfishly put his marriage and children above people at his church.

Being married and a parent sure as hell did not mature Mark Driscoll, nor did it make him more loving, godly, or considerate. Far from it.
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Related posts:

(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): How Christians Have Failed on Teaching Maturity and Morality Vis A Vis Marriage / Parenthood – Used as Markers of Maturity Or Assumed to be Sanctifiers – Also: More Hypocrisy – Christians Teach You Need A Spouse to Be Purified, But Also Teach God Won’t Send You a Spouse Until You Become Purified

(Link): Male Preacher Marries For First Time At Age 44

(Link): Adult Singleness and Virginity Ridiculed by Preacher Mark Driscoll from 2000 – and anti Homosexual and Sexist Rhetoric ( Re Driscoll Rant known as Pussified Nation )

(Link): Pervy Preacher from Seattle who teaches men “to objectify women, by his over emphasis of sexualization of women and subservience” (Re Driscoll)

Mark Driscoll’s Hypocrisy About Single Men – and other Driscoll stuff

Mark Driscoll’s Hypocrisy About Single Men – and other Driscoll stuff

This is sort of a part 2, or a follow up to this post on my blog:
(Link): Adult Singleness and Virginity Ridiculed by Preacher Mark Driscoll from 2000 – and anti Homosexual and Sexist Rhetoric

The WenatcheeTheHatchet blog has been covering Driscoll and Driscoll’s Mars Hill church in depth now for a few years.

He has many posts about Driscoll that are eye opening. The main one I wanted to discuss was the page pertaining to Driscoll’s hypocrisy about single men.

First, the other links – ones demonstrating that Driscoll is freaky, has some issues, hates women, and is obsessed with sex:

(Link): Mark Driscoll on the naked virgin Catholic model Adriana Lima at the Resurgence in 2006

(Link): From Mark Driscoll’s 2008 Spiritual Warfare series, on womens’ ministry, ” … you have to be very careful, it’s like juggling knives. … The wrong women tend to want it.”

(Link): Mark Driscoll in 2008 on the efforts he took to protect his wife

(Link): Mark Driscoll, “If you get the young men you win the war. … You don’t get the young men you get nothing. Nothing.”

(Link): Mark Driscoll’s October 9, 2006 Resurgence post ruminating on Jenna Jameson [the pornography movie actress]

In the “if you get the young men you win” commentary, Driscoll writes:

    Most churches are built to cater to 40-something-year-old women and their children and the guys are nowhere to be found.

No, let me assure you, as a 40-something woman, most evangelical and Baptist churches most certainly do not cater to me or to women in general, regardless of age.

Most churches either cater to married men (women and singles of either gender are not permitted to serve in meaningful capacities), or churches are built to support married couples who have two or three young children still living at home.

One reason of many I no longer attend church, and may never return, is precisely that churches do nothing for 40 something, single, childless women such as myself. Mark Driscoll is once again spouting off about a bunch of crap he knows nothing about.

Here is the main reason I am making this blog post – these posts:

(Link): a little clarification on the recent posts–a case for keeping Driscoll’s contribution to public discussion within public access (even if Mars Hill would wish otherwise)

(Link): Pussified Nation in the context of Driscollian real estate in 2000

(Link): The historical and social setting for Mark Driscoll’s development of William Wallace II as a pen name, a kind of postlude/preface to “Pussified Nation”

The point of those posts is that Driscoll, particuarly about ten years ago, ranted and railed against young, single men in books, forum posts, and sermons. He accused them of being lazy, homosexual, wussies, and clowns because they were not self-supporting, did not own their own homes and cars, etc.

What the post goes on to explain is that at the height of his single-man bashing, Driscoll himself was strapped for money. He had to take in young single men as roomies to help him make payments on his home.

Here are some excerpts (from WTH blog, the first link):

    What problem needs to be fixed? The young men need to be yelled at so that they shape up and fly right. They need to get real jobs, find women, marry them, make babies and do all this for Jesus’ fame.

The possibility that many of those 20-something men won’t find “real jobs” because of changes in the economy in a post-industrial context where “we” exported a lot of our unskilled labor overseas or a lot of unskilled labor is unglamorous drudgery “real Americans” don’t want to do may not be on the Driscoll radar.

That neo-Calvinists lament the median age of first marriage has soared up to the highest levels we’ve seen in the last forty years may need to be offset by the observation that the last time that number got so high was during the Great Depression.

Continue reading “Mark Driscoll’s Hypocrisy About Single Men – and other Driscoll stuff”