Unmarried / Single People Are Supposedly Bitter & Have Too Much Baggage – and that’s why you’re still single they say

Old accusation and stereotypes tossed at unmarried people, even if and when it’s not true: “You’re Bitter!” and “You Have Baggage!” (“And that’s why you’re still single!”)

Before I get to the purpose of the post, a couple of points:

1. Wooo! I am on a roll today! This must be my fourth post in a row today. I need to go jogging pretty soon, though, so I will have to leave the computer for that. But your married Christian bloggers can’t complain, since they say my one magical key in getting a husband is jogging regularly (men don’t want ugly fatties, I’m told).

2. As for the blog post’s heading.

I think Google weighs post titles more heavily than post tags, which is why some of my post headings are insanely long or appear strange.

I normally would not put both terms, “unmarried” and “single” in a post subject heading together, but I don’t know if a person out there will be doing a search using “unmarried” or “single.” Now for the post:

— Hey, since you are unmarried, you simply MUST be BITTER and have TOO MUCH BAGGAGE! —

I really intended on making this post after doing one about how Christians approach the issue of physical appearance, especially as it pertains to dating and marriage, before making this one, but I think that one will take longer to write than this one, and I’m not in the mood to write another long post today.

I’ve seen some Christian bloggers – usually married, male ones – who, when they write a blog post about dating and marriage aimed at unmarried people, if they engage with dissenters in their comment area, will invariably throw the word “bitter” at commentators who hold opposing views.

While it certainly may be true that some unmarried people are bitter – because they want to get married but remain single – I don’t think it’s true of all unmarried people.

I will address the topic of “bitterness” farther below, but I wanted to turn attention to the “I bet you have baggage!” stereotype first.

— BAGGAGE —

I think telling unmarried people they have “baggage,” as in, “the reason you are still single past the age of 35 is that potential suitors perceive someone of that age as having too much baggage” is an idea (and insult, really) that is over-used on blogs, in books, and in TV segments on Christian programs about dating and relationships. I have seen this term used on Christian sites and secular ones about dating and relationships on a somewhat recurring basis.

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American Women in the Military – topic on Mefferd Radio Show

I’m a little puzzled by radio host Janet Mefferd’s views about American women in combat.

Janet Mefferd is a Christian radio host who appears to be a gender complementarian and Reformed in doctrine (she interviews a lot of Reformed guys and seems to agree with their take on doctrine – unfortunately.)

I did not even want to listen to this segment (so I did not plan on writing about it).

I tuned into Mefferd’s show to listen to her interview some guy over his lawsuit against a preacher who was harassing him (Link: “Bill O’Neil talks about the Sovereign Grace Ministries lawsuit”).

I tuned in expecting to hear O’Neil but instead, Mefferd begins the show discussing the role of women in the American military.

In this show, Mefferd quotes a long piece by someone at Vision Forum approvingly. I believe that “Vision Forum” is into that patriarchy and (Link:) Quiverfull lunacy, if I’m not mistaken.

The piece Mefferd quotes from ‘Vision Forum’ mentions that women are the weaker sex, and she raised other points against the idea of women serving in the military (in combat positions).

I think Mefferd is forgetting that God placed a woman, Deborah, as a political and military leader over Israel. Deborah led the army of Isreal into battle (mentioned in Judges Chapter 4; and (Link:) you can read more about her here).

Another woman, Jael, drove a tent peg through the head of a sleeping Israeli enemy who sought her protection (see (Link:) Judges 4:21). If God doesn’t have an issue with women being violent, aggressive, and going on the attack (and He does not if the situation warrants it), I have no idea why Mefferd of gender complementarians do.

At one point, Mefferd says, “When you place women on the same level as men, men will begin to treat women like men.”

Well, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

For one thing, Jesus Christ sought to ‘treat women like men,’ if you follow the Gospels: back in His day, Jewish culture taught that women were inferior to men, rabbis should not teach women (I think women were permitted back seat access to temple services but that was about it), etc.

Notice that Jesus treated women as equals to men. He did not talk down to them. He taught them serious doctrine. Jesus treated them as moral and intellectual equals to the males of His day… and all of this behavior SHOCKED his Jewish disciples. It was scandalous.

In the book of Genesis, God tells Adam and Eve that an outcome of the fall (sin entering humanity) is that men will rule over women (which was not God’s plan), and that women will seek this out – they will seek to be ruled (and this is called codependency – meaning, women looking to human males to be their saviors, instead of trusting completely in God).

One reason I object to all this hand-wringing over females serving in the military is that there are situations where a woman is going to be alone and without male protection in civilian life, so the whole point of a female being shot and killed in combat is rather moot.

Some Christian women never get married. Such women don’t have a husband to count on, to financially support them, or to defend them.
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American Churches Need to Address Growing Numbers of Unmarried / Single People

Pew for One: How Is the Church Responding to Growing Number of Singles?

Source:
(WWW.)christianpost.com/news/pew-for-one-how-is-the-church-responding-to-growing-number-of-singles-70586/

Before I paste in excerpts from most of the article, I wanted to comment on this part of it first:

“Some churches are certainly aware of this demographic, but other churches are almost impervious to it,” says Danylak. “The church focuses on marriage and family, with the expectation that by focusing on family, you’re encouraging singles to get married.”

I addressed that very point in a previous post (-HERE-). Focusing on marriage constantly does NOT encourage singles to want marriage more.

The problem is most unmarried American Christian adults already want to be married, but they cannot find suitable people to date! And while they remain unmarried, they are having struggles and issues that married people do not always face, such as a more intense struggle with loneliness, along with other issues.

For a pastor to keep harping on marriage week in and week out, as most do in their services or literature and blogs, only alienates unmarried adults further, and it’s also painful for some, for it’s like eating a bag of potato chips and chocolate cake in front of a friend who you know likes junk food but who is on a diet.

It’s very cruel to constantly throw something in someone’s face that they want but cannot have, obtain, or achieve – yet most Southern Baptists, conservative churches, and evangelicals continue to do this very thing in regards to marriage vs. singlehood to the long term unmarried and celibate.

Here’s more from the article:

Pew for One: How Is the Church Responding to Growing Number of Singles?

By Sarah Hamaker , Christian Post Contributor
February 29, 2012

One can be the loneliest number, especially in the church. Today, there are more singles in the United States than at any other time in history – 43.6 percent of the U.S. adult population are unmarried, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

“The number of single adults in the United States has been rapidly approaching the number of married adults, and this is an unprecedented culture shift that is dramatic,” says Barry Danylak, author of Redeeming Singleness. “This is not an American phenomena – it is seen in nearly all of the modernized and industrialized nations.”

The church, long welcoming to married with children congregants, has been slower to adjust to this demographic shift. “At least 80 percent of every denomination do not have a targeted ministry to single adults,” says Dennis Franck, national director for Single Adult/Young Adult Ministries for the Assemblies of God denomination, headquartered in Springfield, Mo. “However, the majority of churches are not trying to exclude singles, but they are more marriage and family focused, which means singles are not acknowledged very often.

The Rev. Alan Fretto, a single senior in Danbury, Conn., points out, “The church is geared toward children, women and couples. There is very little in most churches for singles, and yet singles dominate the church population. Singles need to be encouraged and included in the process of the church, and should be considered a valuable asset to the church.”

Readjusting Focus

Many churches have yet to formally acknowledge singles in their midst, either with targeted ministries or inclusion in preaching or teaching illustrations and examples. “Some churches are certainly aware of this demographic, but other churches are almost impervious to it,” says Danylak. “The church focuses on marriage and family, with the expectation that by focusing on family, you’re encouraging singles to get married.”
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The Contemporary Church Undervalues Celibacy / Virginity

The Contemporary Church Undervalues Celibacy / Virginity

I am put off and annoyed by common comments and advice I see by Christians regarding sexual sin.

First, it is assumed by most Christians, including preachers, that other Christians over the age of 25 are having sex, and having lots of it, possibly with many different partners.

This assumption annoys me. I’m in my early 40s, and my virginity is still intact. The fact that someone can remain a virgin past 25 years old seems inconceivable to most Christians. I expect that shoddy, short-sighted attitude from secular culture, but other Christians? What a let down.

Secondly, for all conservative Christianity’s supposed upholding of sexual purity and virginity, I see the opposite in practice and in living these teachings out in real life.

As I addressed in my previous post, many American Christians pay mere lip service to sexual abstinence for all unmarried people, and lay it on extra thick for teens and those up to age 25.

But past age 25, especially past the age of 30, Christians who have still refrained from sex are either ignored (we get no material or sermons encouraging us, no practical help or tips on how to stave off loneliness and so forth, or no ‘patting us on the back’ for a job well done), or we get subjected to odd looks, insults, or put downs from the Christian culture. (One reason for this is that it is assumed we failed because we did not marry and have kids.)

In light of all that, it cannot be said that American Christians are truly committed to virginity or sexual purity. They claim they are, but in practicality, where the rubber meets the road, they are not.

If you cannot support those Christians who are over 35 years old who are celibate, you are not genuinely in favor of the belief that ‘sex is only for marriage,’ because if you were, you’d put your money, time, and effort where your mouth was.

One of my biggest pet peeves revolves around how Christians, especially pastors, address sexual sin. (Click the “more” link to read the rest of this post.)
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Blaming the Christian for His or Her Own Problem or Unanswered Prayer / Christian Codependency

I don’t have any answers for these topics I’m raising; I’m only ranting about a couple of topics that have been annoying me the last few years.

I was watching Hal Lindsey’s Bible prophecy show this evening. I usually like this guy’s teachings (or used to; over the years, I’ve lost some interest in Bible prophecy. One can only stand hearing oh- so- many “the world is ending soon!” type lectures and attempts to figure out who the Anti Christ is before it all gets a little old).

Lindsey was explaining today why sometimes a Christian’s prayers may go unanswered – and I’ve also seen pastor Charles Stanley, other Christian television personalities, and Christians online say the same thing – that is, if your prayers are going unanswered, it could be because you have “unconfessed sin” in your life (they also dole out other possible reasons).

This is a variation of a troubling, annoying, infuriating theme I see among Christians from time to time, from preachers and from Christian family, friends, and acquaintances.

Blame The Victim

Any time one approaches these people with any of life’s disappointments, let downs, struggles, regrets, heart aches, and questions of, “Why doesn’t God do “X” for me, I’ve been praying about it for years?,” these sorts of Christians begin reeling off a list of reasons, such as, “You must have unconfessed sin in your life!,” “You must not have enough faith,” or some such rationale.
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The Bible Says Christians are to Help Other Christians First

The Bible Says Christians are to Help Other Christians First

I’ve discussed (Link:) this topic before at the blog. The Bible instructs Christians that they are to first and foremost help other Christians, and specifically Christians in their church or local vicinity, before helping Non Christians in their communities, or helping Non-Christians in foreign nations, and seems to suggest even before spreading the Gospel to the unsaved in other nations (or not at the expense of).

One would not know these facts from watching most American Christian television or from visiting local American Christian churches, which almost always emphasize raising funds to send missionairies to unsaved pygmies in some other country, or the time spent saying how they feel so sorry for starving kids in Africa and India, or helping Thai or Eastern European girls get out of sex slavery, and so on.

As a matter of fact, as I type this message, preacher Jentezen Franklin is on TV right now with two people on his program talking about how they want to raise more money to send more food to hungry people in Haiti.

I’ve nothing against American Christians helping foreign Non-Christians or American ones, but American Christians are so annoyingly lop-sized on this issue to the point they are neglecting their fellow suffering American Christians, and this is in direct conflict to what the Bible teaches.

I’ve also noticed that many middle class American Christians are so hypocritical and harsh when it comes to other American Christians. They will weep and sorrow for obvious “sob stories,” such as abused women in shelters, the homeless, or starving kids in Africa, but they tend to act very unsympathetic and even cold and judgmental towards their hurting fellow Christians who sit next to them weekly, such as lonely, stressed out, Christian divorced women, the Christian elderly people in their church who are sick or dying, etc.

You can imagine how delighted and surprised I was to hear tele-evangelist Perry Stone say on a recent broadcast of his show much of what I said above: he told Christians watching his show that it’s fine to help pagans in foreign nations, but that the Bible instructs Christians they are to help and aid other Christians in their family and church first and foremost. I wanted to cheer when I heard that.
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Part 2 – Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

Please click ‘more’ link to read the rest of the post.

Previous post:
Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour Part 1

As I was saying in Part 1, there is an annoying habit of Christians to jump on one brand of human misery as their favorite “cause- come- lately,” in much the same way some teenagers jump on whatever is the latest fashion trend.

Secularists have also been guilty of this bizarre and tasteless phenomenon (recall Bob Geldof’s Live Aid and Farm Aid, and U2’s Bono and his AIDS and Africa charity relief or whatever).

What I find even more maddening and disgusting is how so many Christians ignore the hurting Christian people in the United States to go and help the (Non Christian) suffering in other nations.

Many American Christians are so preoccupied with helping Non-Christian / Non-Americans that I find this behavior sort of infuriating and a tad hypocritical.

I typically see American tele-evangelists, such as Joyce Meyers and the hosts of the Christian “Life Today” program, begging their viewers to send in money to get foreign children out of poverty or prostitution, usually ones in Africa.

What about American children of all skin colors who are living in poverty, or who are sexually abused? Are American kids, of whatever skin color, any less worthy than typically darker-skinned children in Africa or central or South American nations?

The Scriptures actually tell Christians that while they should try to help all people, that their PRIMARY duty is to help other hurting, suffering Christians in their own group first and foremost (see Galatians chapter 6, verse 10, also 1 Timothy 5: 8), not to place a priority on helping pagan, atheistic, starving, impoverished, suffering heathens outside of their own nation.

(Please click ‘more’ link to read the rest of the post.)
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