Focus on the Family having financial problems – aw, too bad (not!)

Focus on the Family having financial problems

I can’t say as though I feel sorry for them at all.

Previous post:
(Link): Good Grief! Five Million Dollar Family Idoltary on Display: Focus on the Family Launches $5 Million Project Targeting Family Breakdown, Social Ills – Please, when you say you support marriage, be honest about what you REALLY mean

Focus on the Family is one of those Christian organizations that perpetuates the “Worship of the Nuclear Family / Marriage.”

(Link): Focus On The Family And NavPress Layoffs Due To Large Budget Deficit

    Posted: 09/13/2013 4:43 pm EDT

    This fiscal year has been a difficult one for two prominent Colorado Springs ministries, Focus on the Family and NavPress, the publishing arm of evangelical group The Navigators. Budget deficits and organizational changes are leading to large layoffs and staff restructuring.

    Focus on the Family will eliminate 40 jobs in an attempt to alleviate their $3 million budget deficit, reports The Gazette. However, 11 positions will be added in information technology and digital operations, effective as of Oct. 1, the start of the fiscal year.

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Related posts this blog:

(Link): Focus on Family spokesperson, Stanton, actually says reason people should marry is for ‘church growth’

The Way We Never Were (book – Family Idol)

The Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz (Author)

Someone on the Jesus Creed blog mentioned the book “The Way We Never Were.”

(Link): BOOK REVIEW : Skewering Myths About the Family : THE WAY WE NEVER WERE: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz

Review is from 1992, by CONSTANCE CASEY. Excerpts:

    American families have changed in the last 20 years–nearly half of all families with children have both parents working–and our anxiety about change is no delusion.

    There has certainly been some decay in values recently. As Coontz tartly observes, “Twenty-five percent of the people polled in a recent national inquiry into American morality said that for $10 million they would abandon their entire family; a large number of people are evidently willing to do the same thing for free.”

    Coontz believes that what we’re experiencing now, however, is not so much the family’s dissolution as “an erosion of commitment to social obligations in general, and to children in particular.” Furthermore, things weren’t all that great before.

    Chapter by chapter, Coontz takes on the myths. Divorce may end many marriages now, but largely because of high mortality rates, the average length of marriage in Colonial times was less than 12 years.

    The “Life With Father” Victorian family–in which men were the breadwinners and women the domestic angels–owed its existence to the fact that other families were poor. Middle-class women had time to spend with their children because they employed laundresses and maids and cooks. Often these German or Welsh or Irish immigrant servant “girls” really were girls, as young as 11.

    While 20% of American children today are poor, she writes, “At the turn of the century the same proportion lived in orphanages, not because they actually lacked both parents, but because one or both parents simply could not afford their keep.”

    Coontz’s take on the Golden Age of the family–Ward and June, Ozzie and Harriet–is not brand new, but worth restating. “The apparently stable families of the 1950s were the result of an economic boom–the gross national product grew by nearly 250% and per capita income by 35%.” Most important, there was steady employment for the Ward Cleavers of America.

    Ozzie never came home with a pink slip and never applied for welfare. But the Nelsons and the Cleavers were generously underwritten by the federal government. Because of the extraordinary boom, the feds could afford to be generous with everything from education money to housing loans and highway construction.

    Part of the mythology of the Golden Age was that only morally deficient families required government help. As refutation, Coontz provides a wonderfully specific example–Phil Gramm, senator from Texas and staunch opponent of government handouts: “Born in Georgia in 1942, to a father who was living on a federal veterans disability pension, Gramm attended a publicly funded university on a grant paid for by the federal War Orphans Act. His graduate work was financed by a National Defense Education Act fellowship, and his first job was at Texas A & M University, a federal land-grant institution.”

    Coontz makes it hard for us to blame the usual suspects for family decay–those negligent working mothers and those immoral teen-age girls. She demonstrates that most of the family problems associated with working women rise from “the inadequate and incomplete integration of women into productive work.” And she charges that, “The image of teen-age girls having babies to receive welfare checks is an emotion-laden but fraudulent cliche.” If welfare benefits cause teen pregnancy, “why is it that other industrial countries, with far more generous support policies for women and children, have far lower rates of teen pregnancy?” (Incidentally, the highest rate of teen-age childbearing in 20th-Century America was in 1957.)

    “Children do best,” Coontz concludes, “in societies where child-rearing is considered too important to be left entirely to parents.” In order to be elected these days, candidates have to demonstrate that they care deeply about their own children. We should demand that they also care about other people’s children.

Info on the book:

    The Way We Never Were examines two centuries of American family life and shatters a series of myths and half-truths that burden modern families. Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-reaching economic, political, and demographic changes, Coontz sheds new light on such contemporary concerns as parenting, privacy, love, the division of labor along gender lines, the black family, feminism, and sexual practice.

And:

    Did you ever wonder about the historical accuracy of those “traditional family values” touted in the heated arguments that insist our cultural ills can be remedied by their return?

    Of course, myth is rooted in fact, and certain phenomena of the 1950s generated the Ozzie and Harriet icon. The decade proved profamily–the birthrate rose dramatically; social problems that nag–gangs, drugs, violence–weren’t even on the horizon.

    Affluence had become almost a right; the middle class was growing. “In fact,” writes Coontz, “the ‘traditional’ family of the 1950s was a qualitatively new phenomenon. At the end of the 1940s, all the trends characterizing the rest of the twentieth century suddenly reversed themselves.”

    This clear-eyed, bracing, and exhaustively researched study of American families and the nostalgia trap proves–beyond the shadow of a doubt–that Leave It to Beaver was not a documentary.

    Gender, too, is always on Coontz’s mind. In the third chapter (“My Mother Was a Saint”), she offers an analysis of the contradictions and chasms inherent in the “traditional” division of labor.

    She reveals, next, how rarely the family exhibited economic and emotional self-reliance, suggesting that the shift from community to nuclear family was not healthy.

    Coontz combines a clear prose style with bold assertions, backed up by an astonishing fleet of researched, myth-skewing facts.

    The 88 pages of endnotes dramatize both her commitment to and deep knowledge of the subject. Brilliant, beautifully organized, iconoclastic, and (relentlessly) informative The Way We Never Were breathes fresh air into a too often suffocatingly “hot” and agenda-sullied subject.

    In the penultimate chapter, for example, a crisp reframing of the myth of black-family collapse leads to a reinterpretation of the “family crisis” in general, putting it in the larger context of social, economic, and political ills.

    The book began in response to the urgent questions about the family crisis posed her by nonacademic audiences. Attempting neither to defend “tradition” in the era of family collapse, nor to liberate society from its constraints, Coontz instead cuts through the kind of sentimental, ahistorical thinking that has created unrealistic expectations of the ideal family.

    “I show how these myths distort the diverse experiences of other groups in America,” Coontz writes, “and argue that they don’t even describe most white, middle-class families accurately.” The bold truth of history after all is that “there is no one family form that has ever protected people from poverty or social disruption, and no traditional arrangement that provides a workable model for how we might organize family relations in the modern world.”

    Some of America’s most precious myths are not only precarious, but down right perverted, and we would be fools to ignore Stephanie Coontz’s clarion call. –Hollis Giammatteo

    From Publishers Weekly

    The golden age of the American family never existed, asserts Coontz ( The Social Origns of Private Life ) in a wonderfully perceptive, myth-debunking report. The “Leave It to Beaver” ideal of breadwinner father, full-time homemaker mother and dependent children was a fiction of the 1950s, she shows.

    Real families of that period were rife with conflict, repression and anxiety, frequently poor and much less idyllic than many assume; teen pregnancy rates in the ’50s were higher than today.

    Further, Coontz contends, the nuclear family was elevated to a central source of personal satisfaction only in the late 19th century, thereby weakening people’s community ties and sense of civic obligation.

    Coontz disputes the idea that children can be raised properly only in traditional families. Viewing modern domestic problems as symptoms of a much larger socioeconomic crisis, she demonstrates that no single type of household has ever protected Americans from social disruption or poverty.

    An important contribution to the current debate on family values.

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

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

Well. Good luck getting any support if you are a Christian who has remained celibate and single into your 30s and older. Churches would rather serve and help strippers, orphans, homeless people and prostitutes than singles.

Note that I am not saying it is wrong for Christians to help strippers, orphans, and so on, only that I condemning them for being very selective in when, where, and to whom they offer help and compassion.

Christians will help a stripper or porn star but not a Christian woman who is a virgin who has remain unmarried into her 40s. There’s something very wrong with Christians showing preferential treatment to some categories of people, such as helping strippers and prostitutes, but not celibate Christian women who are single.

It looks to me as if you want or need community, friendship, support, or help from most churches that you must become a stripper, a whore, or an orphan in Africa, or a homeless bag lady downtown.

It’s so odd that so many Christians are so quick to help people stuck in sexual sin, or who willfully engage in sexual sin, but treat Christians who have remained sexually pure like garbage.

I guess I can go to work as a stripper in Nashville, and then this pastor’s wife will fellowship with me and bring me home-cooked meals:

(Link): Tennessee Pastor’s Wife Begins Ministry for Strippers in Nashville

Excerpt

    BY JESSICA MARTINEZ, CP CONTRIBUTOR
    August 21, 2013|5:40 pm
    “Strip Church” ministry based out of Nashville, Tenn. began after a pastor’s wife fasted for 21 days in late 2012 for a new purpose, only to learn God was calling her to reach out to strippers and women in the porn industry.

    “I had one clear direction from God, and it was “go feed the strippers.” I had no idea what that meant, but it was pressing so hard on my heart that I had to obey. I realized the homosexual, stripper, child molester, atheist, drug addict, Muslim and abortionist is not the enemy, they are the mission field,” said Stevens to The Christian Post.

    Stevens, who helps her husband, Todd Stevens, lead Friendship Community Church in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., was bewildered but willing to serve so she made her first call to a strip club in downtown Nashville, where according to Stevens, the porn industry market is “huge.” After telling the manager of Déjà Vu that she wanted to go to the club and take food for the dancers with no strings attached, she was surprised that he invited her the following week.

    “She doesn’t spread the gospel at Deja Vu, she just shows the girls love by listening, being attentive, and answering any questions they may have about life or faith,” said John Sanchez, general manager at Déjà Vu, to CP. “The reason she was invited was because she didn’t try to ‘spread the word.””

    During her first visit, Stevens took a home cooked meal to the club and stayed for 45 minutes to hold conversation with the women. There were no “high pressure sales pitch, no Bible and no tracts,” according to Stevens. Now, she goes twice a month for an hour before the night shift begins. In addition, she visits another club in the same area where she “shows God’s love in a practical way.”

    “My vision for the Strip Church ministry is to be able to provide free Christian counseling, free job placement, free GED training or college courses, free childcare, free medical care, and meet benevolence needs the girls may have,” said Stevens.

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Related posts this blog:

Follow Up to This Post:

(Link): On The Bright Side

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

(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

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

(Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity

(Link): Church Gives Shoes to Homeless – Misplaced Priorities – Also: Audacity of Preachers To Shame the Hurting or Victims

(Link): The Bible Says Christians are to Help Other Christians First (not sex trafficked people, not orphans in Africa, not homeless crack addicts, etc)

(Link): Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

(Link): Part 2 – Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

(Link): You Don’t Need to Look Far To Find Hurting People Who Could Use Your Help and Compassion

Unintentional Comedy Piece: SBC Russell Moore Supposedly Concerned about Erosion of Traditional Christian Values – LOL!

Unintentional Comedy Piece: SBC Russell Moore Supposedly Concerned about Erosion of Traditional Christian Values LOL!

You can read about Mr. Moore’s deep concern of the erosion of traditional, biblical values here:

(Link): ‘The Bible Belt Is Collapsing;’ Christians Have Lost Culture War, Says ERLC President Russell Moore, Christian Post

Thank you for the laugh, Christian Post!

Excerpts:

    By Leonardo Blair , CP Reporter
    August 19, 2013|3:50 pm

    President of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Russell Moore, says “the Bible Belt is collapsing” and Christians have lost the culture war in America. However, the latest developments in the U.S. just “might be good for the church,” he explained.

    In a (Link): recent report in the Wall Street Journal, Moore conceded that traditional Christian values no longer define mainstream American culture the way they did up-to 20 years ago, but it could be good for the church because “we are no longer the moral majority. We are a prophetic minority,” he said.

    He explained that mainstream culture has moved away from traditional views on issues like gay marriage, abortion and even “basic religious affiliation,” and the church now needs a new approach to attract and retain believers and influence politics.

    “This is the end of ‘slouching toward Gomorrah,'” he said. “We were never promised that the culture would embrace us.”

    … Moore is looking instead, to direct the evangelical movement to serve as religious examples on life, marriage and religious liberty.
    Christians, said Moore, are losing the debate on gay marriage because they don’t have a real understanding of marriage and they operate under the premise that “my marriage is my business.”

    “We have embraced certain aspects of the sexual revolution,” said Moore, like the “divorce culture.”

So. He’s upset America is in support of abortion (actually, polls I’ve seen the last few years say more Americans now are opposed to it), homosexuality – but I would assume he is peachy keen with unmarried people having sex before marriage, see this:
(Link): Christians Who Attack Virginity Celibacy and Sexual Purity – and specifically Russell D. Moore and James M. Kushiner

He’s such a hypocrite. 😆 He’s fine with hetero singles having pre marital sex, but takes issue with homosexuals having sex (some other Christians get this backwards though, see links below).

(Link): Christian Double Standards on Celibacy – Hetero Singles Must Abstain from Sex but Not Homosexual Singles
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Related posts this blog:

(Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity

(Link): Why So Much Fornication – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity

(Link): Republicans Ditch Family Values As Strategy (article)

(Link): The Church / Christians Have Failed Are Failing Older Single / Never Married Christians

(Link): Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – Easy Forgivism

(Link): Douglas Wilson and Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – No Body Can Resist Sex – supposedly – Re Celibacy

Neo Calvinists / Neo Reformed Are The New Religious Right

Neo Calvinists / Neo Reformed Are The New Religious Right

I am right wing and a Republican but do not completely support the insane attention Christians give in trying to cram biblical morality down the throats of everyone in society.

I agree doctrine is important, but so too is meeting people’s needs.

So I am not a believer in “the social gospel” but do feel that the Bible teaches Christians need to give bread to the hungry and spend less time getting wrapped up in politics or being against abortion, homosexuality and whatever else.

I’m fed up with conservative Christians injecting politics into everything, or mixing religion with politics to the extreme extent they do.

This guy thinks that the old school religious right is dead or irrelevant and has been replaced by the Neo-Calvinists, and I cannot stand the Neo Cal’s. They and their theology are obnoxious.

Calvinism, even in its milder forms, reminds me of Islam, and I consider Islam harsh, unloving, violent, sexist, and it presents a God who is a violent jerk who hates all people (except, in the case of Calvinism, for maybe “the elect”).

(Link): I’m Probably Right About the New Religious Right

Excerpts (but please click the link above to read the entire page):

    I suggested that the neo-reformed movement – the “Young, Restless, and Reformed” that emerged a decade or so ago and have consolidated most notably into The Gospel Coalition, segments of the PCA, Southern Seminary and segments of the SBC, and Mark Driscoll’s Acts 29 network – is giving rise to a new religious right in the U.S.

… And the oversensitive pushback from these influential NR leaders likely just confirms the validity of the point I’m proposing. See, it has been a mainstay of the neo-reformed perspective to officially eschew political preoccupation in favor of “the gospel” and staying “gospel-centered.”

Continue reading “Neo Calvinists / Neo Reformed Are The New Religious Right”

Charles Stanley Kind of Blows it on Suicide Sermon – Also blows it on Anxiety Sermon

Charles Stanley Kind of Blows it on Suicide Sermon – and Anxiety

(Edited to add: I was writing this blog page as I was watching the sermon on television)

(Another edit:, dated Jan 2015: There is another edit below where I briefly discuss Stanley’s awful sermon about Anxiety.)

============================

Edit 2. // Dec 27, 2014. 

Tonight, Charles Stanley’s show is re-running an older sermon on suicide. It might be the same one I critique below, and it’s called “The Impact of Suicide on Believers.”

Stanley’s show aired a few snippets from the episode before the sermon itself airs in full, and it sounds rather victim-blaming.

Stanley tells people on this episode that if they take their own life, they “short circuit” God’s plan for their life, and they may therefore not get whatever rewards in the afterlife that God had intended for them.

Listen, someone whose depression is at such a low point they are contemplating suicide are in such emotional pain, the are not going to care AT ALL about heavenly rewards, or if they are disappointing God. Stanley just doesn’t get it.

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Stanley’s sermon on TV tonight is about suicide. You can probably find video of this sermon on You Tube (aired August 3, 2013, “In Touch” program – if it’s not on You Tube now, wait a few weeks, you can probably find it later; EDIT, Sept 2013: I think I have found the episode, I have embedded it below, please scroll down to view that video). I am blogging this as I am watching the show.

Stanley said suicide is ingratitude towards God and it is usurping God’s authority in the person’s life – both interpretations sound pretty insensitive to me.

But then, Stanley has been an insensitive butthead towards Christians who suffer from anxiety, too, so I guess I should not be surprised his views on suicide are similarly insensitive.

Stanley is saying God permits times of pain and loneliness in your life to teach you lessons. A person who is suicidal is not going to find that a reason to go on, but to end things quicker.

Oh no. Stanley is quoting one of my most disliked Bible verses: Romans 8:28. One of the most over-used Bible verses parroted at hurting Christians. It has become an empty cliche’.

Stanley says taking your life is an expression of selfishness.

News flash: when someone is in such deep pain they are toying with killing themselves, they don’t much frame it in terms of “how is my death going to affect person A, B, C,” which is in part what Stanley means by it “being selfish.”

Oh please. Stanley just said if you are a Christian and kill yourself, this hurts your testimony to Non Christians because they will think, “If Jesus could not help you, what makes you think he could help me?”

That is insensitive of Stanley. He’s showing more concern for regular people than the person watching his show who may be suicidal right now.

Stanley said, “without Jesus as your Savior, you’re not going to make it.” I’m not sure what he meant by that; if he meant is in regards to suicide: he is wrong.

Even Christians commit suicide. I had a Christian friend who committed suicide several years ago. “Knowing Jesus” is not a guarantee that a person can, or will, be able to resist suicide.

Jesus does not magically heal or help every single person with a problem. Prayers go unanswered. It’s wrong to shame Christians out of suicide by telling them, “Think about what kind of witness you’re giving to Non Christians with that.”

I think Stanley is at the end of the sermon and will be answering viewer e-mails in a minute.

All in all, that was a downer sermon. I can’t imagine many suicidal Christians finding solace or hope in it.

I can only assume Stanley gave this sermon because Rick Warren’s son killed himself a few months ago, and the SBC has been putting pressure on SBs to speak out about mental health.

Southern Baptists SUCK at stuff like this. SBs totally SUCK at offering comfort and hope to people. Their standard, automatic response is to condemn, judge and be legalistic. The less SBs say about suicide and other sensitive topics the better, since they are usually incapable of showing compassion.

—–Edit 4, Jan 3, 2015.—–

ANXIETY SERMON

Tonight, TBN is re-airing a Charles Stanley sermon about anxiety. I don’t wish to spend very long on this.

Stanley’s sermon on anxiety is just as insensitive and victim-blaming as his one on depression and suicide. (By the way, it’s quite common for people who have depression to also have anxiety.)

One thing he said is that “anxiety is a choice.” No, it’s not – not for all people in all situations. Some people who have anxiety have it due to biological reasons, not due to “choice” or a lack of faith in Jesus.

Some people, both Christian and Non, have to take medication to cope with anxiety. To shame people for having anxiety or attribute it to lack of faith is very insensitive and is not helpful, nor is it even always accurate.

If you are a Christian struggling with depression or anxiety, please seek professional, medical help – do not be guilt tripped or shamed out of seeing a secular pyschologist, or a psychiatrist or from taking anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications by Charles Stanley or any other preacher, church, denomination or well-meaning Christian lay person!

You are no more a spiritual failure for taking doctor prescribed medications for anxiety or depression than you are when you take Tylenol for a headache, Visine eye drops for itchy eyes, or Pepto Bismol for an upset stomach.

You deserve to be treated with compassion for your struggle with anxiety, not condemned over it or told you’re not trusting God hard enough or whatever. Part of that compassion means acknowledging that faith alone cannot always conquer conditions such as depression, anxiety, etc, and sometimes these things need medications or therapy.

VIDEO: In Touch episode where Charles Stanley discusses suicide:
I found parts of this sermon insensitive, and it does not truly understand the emotional pain people with depression and suicidal ideation are in.

Stanley attempts to shame or guilt those with suicidal ideation into staying alive. That is not compassionate and completely misunderstands how depressed people think.

(Edit 2. The original video about suicide was removed from You Tube. I am not sure if this one I replaced it with is the same exact one; he has given two or three sermons about suicide before. I assume this is the same one, but it might not be. Should this video be pulled, simply go to You Tube and type in “Charles Stanley suicide” and you should be able to find another copy):

(Edit 3, July 2014. Good gravy. This is the second or third Charles Stanley video on sucide that has been removed due to “copyright violation.” Does Stanley’s church run around ordering people to yank his videos? Let me see if I can find another copy – again, I am not sure if this is the same exact sermon I was reviewing above, because he has done two or three sermons on suicide, if I am not mistaken):

——————————————

From The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Or visit their page if you are having thoughts of suicide:

(Link): I Am Struggling

Another resource:

(Link): National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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Related posts this blog:

(Link):  How Laypersons Can Minister to Depressed / Suicidal People

(Link): Over 50 Percent of Christians Believe Prayer, Bible Reading Alone Can Cure Mental Illness (article) – In Other Words Half of Christians are Ignorant Idiots Regarding Mental Illness

(Link): Bayless Conley and Depression – Sorry, dude, but depression can’t be cured by will power & sometimes not even by faith

(Link): The Gospel Doesn’t Deliver People From Depression – brief critique of Chris Rosebrough’s comments / Chuck Collins blog

Republicans Ditch Family Values As Strategy (article)

Republicans Ditch Family Values As Strategy (article)

I am a Republican and a social conservative, but I’m no longer on board with Christians (or Non Christian) Republicans wailing about “family values” anymore.

Hopefully (and if this article is correct), maybe the GOP strategy of ditching family values will filter down to churches, and Christians will stop obsessing about “family values” so much, and all that goes with it, such as worshipping the traditional family and complaining non-stop about homosexuality and abortion (no, I don’t support either one myself, but Christians need to spend more time helping other Christians, IMO, than in confronting secular culture round the clock).

Unfortunately, this article quotes (Link): Russell D. Moore who is a total chump when it comes to the topics of virginity and related matters.

(Link): Republicans Take Up Cause Of Religious Liberty — And Ditch Family Values

A shift from offense to defense in the culture war. “We’re not some sort of moral majority in American culture,” says Moore.

McKay Coppins
BuzzFeed Staff

Aug 1, 2013

When Texas Sen. Ted Cruz sat down for an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network last month, he didn’t spend much time bemoaning the moral rot embodied by the “homosexual agenda.” He didn’t call for boycotts of explicit rap albums, or express outrage at the availability of condoms in high schools, or champion some new law designed to combat the corrosive effects of pornography.

Instead, he made headlines with a dire warning for Christians everywhere: Your pastors could soon be prosecuted for hate speech.

“If you look at other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage, that’s the next step where it gets enforced,” he soberly intoned. “It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage.”

Continue reading “Republicans Ditch Family Values As Strategy (article)”

Get Married This Year! and other lies (from L. Turner’s blog)

Get Married This Year! and other lies (from L. Turner’s blog)

(Link): Get Married This Year! and other lies

Excerpts:

    Part of the New Testament that doesn’t get a whole lot of coverage on Sunday mornings is 1 Corinthians 7:9: “If they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” This has always tripped me up, especially because, as mentioned in Galatians, one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control.

    So if, as Christians, we ought to be exercising self-control and if to exercise self-control means that we need not burn with passion, why do we revere marriage now the way we do?

    Why are political figures leaning on historical Christianity to make a case for the nuclear family when historical Christianity has contained multitudes of definitions of marriage we would now categorically reject–polygamy, concubinism, marriage as a purely practical arrangement between families.

    Continue reading “Get Married This Year! and other lies (from L. Turner’s blog)”

Christian Males Blaming their Unwanted Protracted Singleness on Feminism – They have the wrong target

Christian Males Blaming their Unwanted Protracted Singleness on Feminism – They have the wrong target
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EDIT. From another author, who is a Christian man:
(Link): Feminism, Singleness, And The Idol Of The Nuclear Family

I just now discovered the Spiritual Sounding Board blog made a post about a similar topic back in May of this year that you may want to read (as well as comments by the readers at the bottom of the page):
(Link): What is the Big Deal About Feminism and Christianity?

(Link): Trends in male employment may not bode well for marriage (article)
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Christian Males Blaming their Unwanted Protracted Singleness on Feminism – They have the wrong target

Blaming feminism for protracted, unwanted singleness among males is an attitude that I’ve seen among “average Joe” Christians around the internet the last few years, on their blogs and in forums.

Certainly, conservative Christian groups and think tanks, such as “Focus on the Family,” are probably the most responsible for fostering these views among the unmarried, rank and file Christian males.

These conservative Christian groups blame feminism only, or first and foremost, for everything, for all change in society, or what they perceive as being negative change – for delayed age of first marriage; lower birth rates; women outperforming males in classrooms and on jobs, the rise of divorce, and on and on it goes.

I suppose a feminist was behind the grassy knoll, too. Oswald did not act alone.

If you need a reminder about me (most of this can be found on this blog’s “About” page), and I feel this is pertinent to state up front, because often, male, Christian, gender complementarians (traditional gender role advocates) wrongly assume from the get-go that a (quasi former) Christian woman such as myself, who does not agree with their traditional gender role perspective any longer, must be a bra-burning, Bible-hating, liberal feminist, when the truth is:

  • -I am a social conservative
  • -I am a Republican
  • -I was a Christian since childhood
    (but have been slowly walking away from the faith the last year to two years)
  • -I grew up with a Christian mother who defined herself as being a “traditional wife”
    (in today’s Christian lingo, my Mom was a “biblical gender complementarian”)
  • – I was a “biblical literalist”
    (and still am, to what degree I still identify as Christian)
  • -I tried my hardest to be a “biblical gender complementarian” myself
    … but the older I got, by my mid to late 30s, I saw that the Scripture does not support the view

What I am not, and what I do not believe:

  • -I am not a secular feminist, nor do I agree with all their views
  • -I do not hate men
  • -I am not “anti” family or “anti” marriage

I have on occasion defended unmarried Christian males on this blog.

I think that often, many Christians adhere to offensive stereotypes of Christian men who are over 30 years of age but who have not married.

One common stereotype is that such men are homosexual. Another is that older single Christian males are pedophiles. That they are not as mature as their married counterparts.
Another is that they are not fully in God’s image, that they need to be married (and preferably with kids) to be considered wholly in God’s image. I have written a few blog posts criticizing some of those views.

I do not blame all men every where for the widespread problem of unwanted, protracted singleness among Christians these days.

I also don’t blame feminism. (So it makes me wonder why some of the Christian single men are so vehemently insistent that male singleness is the full responsibility of Christian women. Or of feminism.)

Continue reading “Christian Males Blaming their Unwanted Protracted Singleness on Feminism – They have the wrong target”

I’m Childless, Not Child-Incompetent (editorial by G. Dalfonzo) – The Christian Tendency to Worship Family, Motherhood, and Children

I’m Childless, Not Child-Incompetent (editorial by G. Dalfonzo)

A preface before I give the link to the Dalfonzo editorial:

I’ve never had any children either, which, coupled with the “never married” status, means I do not exist in most churches, or, when I do, I get treated like a freak or failure.

Because, you know, there are a lot of so-called Christians who still believe a woman’s only, or highest calling in life, is to be a wife n’ Mom, despite the fact the Bible does not teach this.

By the way, people who know they do not want to have children usually refer to themselves as “Child free,” or “CF.”

Those who want to have a baby but cannot due to infertility or whatever reason, go under the term “Childless.”

I am somewhere between CF and Childless.

Jesus Christ said that believers should not place any sort of relationship above him – not motherhood, fatherhood, marriage, kids, uncles, grandmas – but Christians continue to disobey Christ on these points.

To refresh your memory, here are Christ’s words (this is from (Link): Matthew 10):

    “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Here’s an editorial by a Christian woman who discusses how culture and churches mistreat women who have never had children – and she is a woman who wanted to have children of her own but was unable to:

(Link): (Link): I’m Childless, Not Child-Incompetent

Quotes from the page:

    by Gina Dalfonzo

… We hear a lot about the Mommy Wars. But there’s another cultural throwdown going on in the parenting sphere, and that’s the back-and-forth between parents and non-parents.

This increasingly acrimonious debate gets summed-up in lists of ill-informed assumptions and casually dished-out stereotypes. Both sides fall back increasingly on the old “You just don’t know what it’s like to be us!,” with blog posts like:

-(Link): 5 Things Parents Need to Stop Saying to Non-Parents
-(Link): 17 Untruths People Believe About Non-Parents
-What Is the Deal With the Child-Free Group Hating Children?
-STFU, Childless People
-Smug Parents

The assumptions we throw at each other are unfair and often hurtful.
Some parents, dealing with the grueling 24/7 reality of raising children, dwell on how the childless just can’t understand them. That sense of belonging to a special, misunderstood group can make anyone who’s struggling feel a little better. Most of us fall prey to that kind of temptation now and then.

Yet, speaking as one of the childless, the non-parents, the “non-breeders,” the truth is: Just because some of us really don’t know what it’s like to be parents, that doesn’t make us completely ignorant. Or inferior.

Continue reading “I’m Childless, Not Child-Incompetent (editorial by G. Dalfonzo) – The Christian Tendency to Worship Family, Motherhood, and Children”

Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts

Single Adults Why They Stay and Why They Stray (from church) Book Excerpts

Note: several questionable people have roles in this book, in the form of editing, or as contributors, such as…

    – a gender complementarian, Wayne Grudem; gender complementarianism (Link):

is not biblical

    ;
    -neither is “biblical counseling,” yet Edward T. Welch, who is a “biblical counselor” also had some kind of role in this book,
    – C. J. Mahaney – accused of being involved in a ten year cover up of child sexual abuse at his churches,

so I offer this link with a caveat.

The author of the particular chapter I am quoting seems okay, and I don’t see too much that I disagree with in his chapter.

What is really funny is that this book (I’m not sure when it was published, I am just now finding it today), echoes many of the things I’ve said on this blog before.

Edit: this book was published in 2003, but this is the first I am seeing it, or reading excerpts from it. It is incredible how the author noticed most of the same disturbing anti-singles views and trends that I have in this blog the last three years.

As I am a NEVER MARRIED woman, I am not going to present the full section under “divorce” in the chapter. You can visit the link to read it if you want.

The following is available for free on Google Books (this particular book is entitled “Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood”) :
(Link): Single Adults in Your Ministry: Why They Stay and Why They Stray
by Dick Purnell

    … Do you know how many single adults sit in your congregation each Sunday? Recently I was speaking in a church to three thousand people. I asked for all the people who were unmarried and twenty-two years old or older to stand up. Over a thousand people stood up! The audience was surprised and gasped at the large number…

Do you realize that the number of single adults in America exceeds the total national population of all but eleven of the world’s 192 nations? How shocked would you be to discover that the number of single parents is greater than the entire population of Colorado and Tennesse combined?

According to the 2000 U.S. census 40 percent of all adults eighteen and older (forty-eight million) are single. We are seeing a tremendous shift in American social values.

The median age of a first-time marriage is now twenty-five among women and twenty-seven among men. The fastest growing family type is single parents.

If your church is in an urban area, the percentage of single adults near you is much higher than a rural area. Singles gravitate to the cities for jobs, things to do, and others to meet. They are searching for connection and community.

They are often afraid of loneliness, commitment, and isolation. Most of those under thirty have never been married. The average age of a married person’s first divorce is thirty-four. That means after years of marriage, they are thrown back into the dating scene. They feel awkward and unprepared. They face the same relationship challenges that teens face, but they feel out of place.

One woman said to me, “I am now single, but I feel married. I don’t want to be single, but that was forced on me.” They have been out of the dating world for so long that they have very little idea what to do. And no one is helping them or even having a discussion about some of these issues.

Most singles are invisible to churches.

… They represent every economic stratum you can imagine – everything from presidents of major corporations to the unemployed and all in between. Fifty-three percent of all unchurched adults are single.

But our churches are built on a mind-set of marriage, and singles are often neglected. They are the “Great Invisible Mission Field.” However, businesses are very aware of singles. If you look at the advertising on television or in magazines, you will find that a huge number of ads are geared to attract single people.

Sports clothing, beer, cell phones, and a myriad of other products are marketed to singles. They have the largest amount of discretionary income. But the church in general has a difficult time attracting them and capturing their attention and commitment.

Many single adults believe that the church excludes and ignores them. They feel like the church is either neglecting them or is just not interested in them. So single adults vote with their feet. They come to church for a few months or years; but when their needs are not addressed or they never hear a sermon addressed to their unique issues, they fade away and go somewhere else – or stop going to church altogether. They hear sermons preached on topics such as “How to be a Godly Husband” or “Becoming a Godly Wife.” But they have never heard a sermon on “How to be a Godly Single Adult.”

… [Singles] don’t stay because there is no emotional glue to keep them there. They are not the “squeaky wheel” that is going to ask the pastor to give a sermon directed toward them or to pound on the door of the budget meeting pressuring for more funding. They just fade away.

Are you desperate to attract single adults to your ministry and get them involved? Here is my top ten list on “Why Single Adults Are Turned Off by the Church.”

Number 10: Frivolous jokes degrade the single lifestyle.
Grandparents, pastors, and married friends all have jokes about singles. All the married people laugh, but the single buries the snub under a weak smile.

I was single for forty-two years. When I served as an assistant pastor in my middle thirties, I heard lots of good-natured jokes, but often the ribbing was not funny to me. “Hey, are you afraid to take the responsibility for a mate?” Here I was in charge of several significant ministries in the church, and they tell me I’m afraid to take responsibility?

“Maybe you are just too picky. Are you looking for a perfect wife?” In other words, if you lower your standards you may get somebody.

“You’re not getting any younger, you know.” That was supposed to pressure me to get moving? Sometimes I would get the big one: “What are you waiting for?” Like I better hurry up before I miss the “right one.” But isn’t there a sovereign God? His timing may not be my timing – or the timing of the people who ask me to hurry up.

In trying to encourage me, people would give what I call romantic testimonies: “I finally gave everything to God, and six months later I found the right one.” But I was forty years old and had been a full-time minister for over fifteen years.

Was there something I had not given up to God that some married twenty-year-old ha already given up to God? All the marriage formulas that people give singles may be individual experience they had, but those formulas are not normative for all believers. Why should I seek the holy grail of marriage if God wants me to be content in every situation?

After four years as a pastor, I resigned from my church. Even though I was no longer was the pastor, I continued to attend the church. A single female friend of mine from Kansas came to our city one weekend to visit some of her college buddies. I brought her to the 11 A.M. church service. As we were walking down the aisle, an elderly usher led us to a front row for seating. The organ was softly playing and everybody was kind of quiet. When we stopped to turn into the row, he handed my friend a bulletin and said to me loudly so most of the people could hear, “Hey Dick, when are you going to marry her?” I wanted to die right there, but first I wanted to punch his lights out.

These kinds of jokes will not attract singles to your church! No way! They degrade single life as if the only bright future is for married people. That idea is not found in the Bible. Even the apostle Paul stated that an unmarried person can have undivided devotion to the Lord (1 Cor. 7:32-35). He did not consider singleness a joking matter.

Number 9: Church leadership is mainly interested in the interests and needs of married people.
The pastor and leaders are usually all married with very little significant empathy or understanding of the unique needs and concerns of single adults.

Single Christians are rarely eligible to be members of the governing board. There are very few single senior pastors. The silent criterion of marriage eliminates singles from serving in many aspects of the typical church. If you carry that to a logical conclusion, the Apostle Paul would not be qualified to be a pastor or elder. Even Timothy would be shut out of the opportunity for leadership.

After four years as an assistant pastor, I wanted to become a senior pastor. I had a total of fifteen years experience in the ministry and two Master’s degrees. However, when I sent in my resumes, not one church ever asked me to candidate, because I had to write on the front page of the resume my marital status: “Single.” Who wants a senior pastor who is single?

It was a bitter experience. I was unqualified to be a senior pastor of a church because I did not have the “Mrs.” degree. Many men graduating from seminary have tremendous pressure put on them. If they want to rise above the level of youth pastor, they must be married. Why is marriage the unspoken golden key that unlocks the door to pastor advancement?

Number 8: Budgeted funds for single ministry are usually inadequate or nonexistent.
Many churches don’t budge anything for singles. When the churches that have budgeted some funds for singles ministry must cut the budget somewhere, the singles ministry often is the one that gets the ax. “Singles are adults – they can handle it,” the budget committee says. But the message that gets across is, “You are not as important as other people in our church.”

… The message the singles hear is loud and cleaer: “You are the lowest on the totem pole. Your needs come last. You are not worth our paying a minister who can meet your needs.” Therefore, singles respond with their feet. They say, “I’m out of here.”

Number 7: Singles feel the church neglects them.
They feel like barnacles on the side of the church ship – there but forgotten. Marriage is espoused as the norm, and singles just don’t fit the model.

I have conducted over three hundred single adult conferences throughout America, Canada, and twelve other countries. Yet only nine senior pastors stopped by to observe and/or greet the crowd.

The even was in their church, in their building, and these are adults. I remember each of the nine because they are so rare….

Number 6: There is a perception that single adults are morally loose.

If a person is not married by mid-twenties, there is something wrong, it is generally thought. A particular church was in the process of trying to hire a youth pastor. Since they could not find one for over a year, they held a congregational meeting to explain the progress they were making. The elder in charge presented all kinds of reasons for the delay in locating the right person for the position. At the end of his explanation, I stopped up and asked, “Does the person you are looking for have to be married?”

You could have heard a pin drop on the carpet. People gasped. It was the unthinkable question. The elder hemmed, and he hawed, and he slithered all over the platform. All I wanted was a yes or no. He was very obviously unnerved by my question. Finally some lady in the very back said, “What we need is a role model for the young girls. So I think he should be married.”

“You mean to tell me, in this entire congregation there is not one woman who’s a role model for the girls?” Silence.

“I tell you what I think the real reason is. You are afraid that a single pastor would be sexually frustrated and have sex with one of the teenage girls. Out of all the pastors I have known personally, four have had affairs and left the ministry in disgrace. Each of them was married. Almost all the other pastors I have read about in magazines and books who have committed adultery were married. True, married people do not have a corner on the market in becoming immoral. But you should not be prejudiced against a single adult simply because he is single.”

I tried to tell them that some of the best youth pastors in America are single. I wasn’t a very popular guy after that. The elders eventually hired a youth pastor. Yes, he was married.

Some churches won’t allow singles to teach Sunday school for fear these men and women will succumb to sexual temptation. That is unfounded fear. We all need the power of God to overcome temptation. Don’t single out single people as the most likely to succumb. That is unfair and inaccurate. Single adults want to be respected and trusted. Let them show by their faithfulness that they have a genuine relationship with God.

Number 5: Marriage is portrayed as normal for everybody.
If someone is not married by thirty something, there must be something wrong with him or her.
(please click on the “continue reading/ read more” link to see rest of the post. Thank you)

Continue reading “Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts”

The Decline in Male Fertility (article)

The Decline in Male Fertility – Is the decline in male fertility a “crisis” or not enough data?

Well this is refreshing. Usually, women get blamed for the decline of baby production…. from secular conservatives and from Christian groups, who assume all single women are whoring around (some definitely are, though not all), and are getting abortions left and right.

Or, it’s assumed by conservatives that all us single adult ladies have intentionally pushed marriage (and possible motherhood) aside to pursue a career (not true for many of us post age 35 Christian women, though who knows about the younger generation).

So, we women get blamed for the lack of bay-bees (babies).

Conservatives such as Pat Robertson feel the way evangelical Christianity can beat secularism and Muslims is by out-breeding the competition.

That Christian women don’t get married for the first time these days until age 35, 40, 45 or whenever, raises a red flag with some of the bay-bee and marriage obsessed Christians, because a woman’s fertility is said to decline over time (never mind more and more articles are saying women are becoming first time mothers in their 40s – I have links to articles about that in older posts).

It’s just so darn nice to see the male gender get blamed for the lack of bay-bees, for a change… even though I am tired of the topic overall. If it’s going to be brought up, I want to see the males equally blamed.

(Link) The Decline in Male Fertility – Is the decline in male fertility a “crisis” or not enough data? WSJ

    July 2013

Are today’s young men less fertile than their fathers were? It’s a controversy in the fertility field, with some experts raising the alarm over what some are calling a “sperm crisis” because they believe men’s sperm counts have been decreasing for a decade or more.

Experts here for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual conference last week debated the issue for an entire day.

One recent analysis found that in France, the sperm concentration of men decreased by nearly one-third between 1989 and 2005. Most but not all studies from several European nations with large databases and the ability to track health records have found that over the past 15 years or so, the counts of healthy men ages 18 to 25 have significantly decreased. This comes after a prominent study from the 1990s suggested that sperm count has decreased by half over the last half-century.

Continue reading “The Decline in Male Fertility (article)”

Confusing or Downer Messages from Charles Stanley (TV Baptist Preacher) Why I no longer watch In Touch that often

Confusing or Downer Messages from Charles Stanley (TV Baptist Preacher) Why I no longer watch In Touch that often

Charles Stanley certainly sends mixed messages. In a broadcast tonight, he said God wants believers to “prosper,” but on previous episodes, Stanley has mentioned God doesn’t care if followers are “happy.” I see the two as being similar; to be prosperous is to be happy. Maybe the concepts are not alike 100% of the time, but they are a little synonymous.

The entire message of his sermon tonight was something like, “The Courage to Obey.”

On Stanley’s weekly TV show, he frequently repeats a line he heard from his grandpa or someone when he was a kid, which was: “Obey God, and leave all the consequences to him.”

Not only am I becoming more agnostic as time goes by, but I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t stomach watching Christian TV shows I used to rather enjoy, including Stanley’s “In Touch” program.

I’ve noticed Stanley has the extremely annoying habit of blaming hurting people for their problems in life (when they write him on his TV show with questions about problems they are having), in addition to his preoccupation with having people “obey” God.

I read a few years ago that Stanley’s yearly income from his church is $300k – $400,000.

I understand the man grew up in poverty:

    That survival spirit was second nature for Charles, whose father died when he was 9 months old and who grew up so poor that he learned about Santa Claus the Christmas morning he discovered in his stocking the orange that had been in the refrigerator the night before. He lived in 17 homes by his 8th birthday.

    (Source: CNN article)

But it’s rather unseemly that someone earning 400k a year, who has been earning that amount for several years now, is and has been lecturing people who are unemployed or under-employed on tithing (Stanley has actually said on prior shows that people who don’t tithe are probably “living in sin”), or on tonight’s show, he sort of nit picked people for not tithing, saying they don’t trust God, so that is why they don’t give their funds to a church.

Considering that (if there is a God), God’s answer is sometimes “NO” to people’s petitions, I don’t blame people for not trusting God with their finances, or with other things.

Stanley is also horrible on mental health topics, and he has gone 180 degrees on that topic.

At one point, Stanley expressed sympathy for folks who have depression and anxiety and who need to see a medical doctor and take pills for it, but in broadcasts in the past few years, he has come out in complete opposition to those views: he chides Christians who have mental problems who see doctors and who take anti- depressant, anti- anxiety medications.

Stanley’s show used to be a bit encouraging, but in the past 5 – 7 years, his sermons have gotten depressing, and he blames people for their problems more and more, even if they did nothing to cause their problems.

There is more emphasis in Stanley’s attitudes and sermons on what YOU can do for God than on what Jesus did for you at the cross.

I’m not sure why I even bother to occasionally flip the channel to watch his show anymore. There are weekeneds when I have skipped it altogether.

Joseph Prince (despite being a WOFer) at least preaches regularly on the grace of God via Jesus.

And for all the lambasting he gets from conservative Christians, at least 90% of Joel Osteen’s sermons remind you that God loves you and is on your side. I’d much rather hear those types of upbeat sermons than depressing, semi-legalistic, “God doesn’t care about your happiness, you need to obey God, and what have you done for God lately” type sermons one gets from Charles Stanley, or John Hagee and others.

Mormons and Christians Make Family, Marriage, Having Children Into Idols

Mormons and Christians Make Family, Marriage, Having Children Into Idols –
Biblical Christians should be very concerned that they are mirroring Mormons

I did a little bit of reading about Mormonism several years ago. I don’t remember everything I read, but I do vaguely recall from what I did read that Mormons place a lot of emphasis upon marriage and family.

Mormons believe in the afterlife that a man can become a god, and he needs a wife and kids to repopulate the planet he becomes ruler over, or something like that (seriously, they believe this stuff.)

It’s very strange, nutty, and very sci-fi. You can read more about these beliefs (Link): here (CARM), (Link): here (CRI) or (Link): here (Let Us Reason).

Mormons place a lot of emphasis on family and marriage and having a lot of children, and it has something to do with how many planets they get to rule in the afterlife.

When doing an internet search about singleness, I’ve noticed about one-third of the blog pages and forum discussions that show up are for and by Mormons, complaining how there are so many un-married Mormon ladies who want to get married, but they remain single into their 30s and older.

The Mormon singles also complain about Mormon leaders ignoring singles, and about the special preference their denomination/church gives to married couples.

I am struck by how similar all this Mormon singleness talk is to how conservative Christianity treats marriage and singlehood, and how conservative Christianity worships marriage.

Some of the blog pages I’ve seen by Mormon single women sound like something I could have written about being a single in a Christian upbringing and environment.

I just came across this while doing a web search today:

    (Link): Family Values. Strengthening Families. [Mormon site]
    Mormon.org

    mormon.org/values/family‎
    The happiest marriages and families are those grounded on the principles Christ … She told me she had read The Book of Mormon but was unable to find anyone that …. We welcome all to visit and worship with us in our Sunday services.

On that Mormon web page is a heading that reads, “Families Come First.”

At the bottom of that same Mormon page is a category heading of “FAMILIES PREPARE US FOR ETERNAL LIFE.”

What is eerie about that Mormon web page title, tag line, and other content on the page is that it resembles the same “Rah rah, family values!” rhetoric conservative Christians continually publish and produce – such as, well, (Link): “Focus on the Family.”

(Glancing over the FoF (Focus on the Family) home page, I notice there is no mention made of the un-married, of singles – FoF should care, because if they can help singles get married, there would be more families for them to focus on. This fact continues to escape these marriage- and- family- obsessed Christian groups.)

Then, about a week ago, I found a page, (Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family), whose Christian author also noticed that some portions of conservative Christianity have deified and idolized family and marriage as much as Mormons have. I would highly encourage you to read that page.

Here’s a blog page by a Christian guy who has lived around Mormons, and he has noted that Mormons have idolized family and marriage, much like some Christians are guilty of:

(Link): What Evangelicals Can Learn From Mormons: Family

Excerpts from that page:

    [After summarizing how Mormons idolize family, marriage]

    Who doesn’t want a happy family? Who wants to see their family die off one by one? Who wants to be alone? I certainly do not and nor does anyone if they have had a decent family experience or something similar.

    This is the hope that Mormons are peddling. It is the leading foot of their Gospel and the discerning believer will see it is just not the Gospel.

    So what can evangelicals learn from this perversion of the Gospel centered on the nuclear family?
    We must preach joy, hope, and love from the Gospel and not life circumstance.

    Whatever joy and happiness can be gleaned through family should pale in comparison to knowing Christ. If family is were you find joy and happiness then you will be sadly surprised in an eternity staring into the face of Christ. Paul considers “everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus [his] Lord.” (Philippians 3:8).

    The Gospel can and will influence and improve our family relations but this is not the ultimate in view. A radical focus on the Gospel, Christ’s work, as our source of joy and happiness then opens the door for people of all life settings to begin to live in goodness of the Gospel among the wider family of God.

    We must reassert the Family of God as primary to the Gospel above the Nuclear Family.
    As Dan Edelen pointed out 1 Corinthians7:1-40, Luke 18:28-30, Mark 3:31-35, and Isaiah 56:3-5; these verses all give good counsel on what the new family of God looks like above and beyond the nuclear family.

    I might add to this list 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 with its picture of the body of Christ and the differently gifted members there within. I would further point my LDS friends to Christ’s discussion with the Pharisees in Mark 12:18-27.

    The marital arrangements of this world will be superseded by a much greater marriage arrangement and that is between Christ and His church.

    We must remember now that our marriages and families, as sweet and important as they are, are only meant to prefigure our future union as the church (family of believers) with Christ.

    We must work hard to understand the role of singles in the Family of God.

    In 1 Corinthians 7:1-40 Paul makes the case for the single’s ability to be free from the anxieties of this world and be anxious about the things of the Lord. This is set against those that are married that must be, by nature of life setting, concerned about the things of the world and not just about the Lord’s work (1 Corinthians7:32-33).

    In Fact Paul points to the fact that those that are married have divided interests (1 Corinthians7:34). Picking up Cheerios in a minivan may be more of a divided interest than living the dream.

    As the church we would do well to promote the health and Godly vitality that singles can bring to the church as those committed first to the work of the Lord; only to relinquish that work do to a calling to marriage or uncontrolled passions.

    Instead of always pushing and prodding singles toward marriage why not push and prod toward Gospel work! One’s singleness can lead to the most fruitful and enriching time with the Lord if the focus is on Christ and His work and not the lack of marital union.

    We must be careful not to take the renewed interest in family ministry within the church to far. The Mormon Gospel of family should serve as a warning to Evangelicals in our endeavors to more fully embrace the family in churches.

    It is a very good thing for us to think about how to minister to families in our churches, but we must not carry our ministry to far and eclipse the wider family of God we have been called to be a part of.

    While I doubt many evangelicals will wrap family in with the Gospel as Mormons have done, we have come dangerously close at times. Family is super-important and is the primary place most of us will live out our Christian witness, but we must keep first things first.

To read the rest of that blog page, (Link): please click here.

Continue reading “Mormons and Christians Make Family, Marriage, Having Children Into Idols”

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

There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or Being Called to Either One

The following reader response (by gortexgrrl) appeared on a blog by a guy named Jeremy, who read a blog post about singleness by another guy named Kostenberger and blogged about it.

Gortexgrrl references Debbie Maken in passing in one of her posts below. I do not agree with all of author Debbie Maken’s views.

Maken pushes for something called “marriage mandate,” and despite what goretexgrrl states below, Maken does go a little “blame the victim” on women who desire marriage, yet who still find themselves unmarried into their 30s and older.

Yes, Maken seems to most heavily blame men for women being single, but I’ve read comments by Maken on other blogs and excerpts of her books, and she does blame women a little bit – she assumes if you are a woman who is still single at 35 or 40, it’s because you didn’t do enough to get a spouse when you were 25, or there was something more you could have done.

The Makens of the world refuse to acknowledge that marriage is often beyond a person’s control: you can join every dating site on the planet and go to every singles church function known to mankind and still find yourself single at 40.

Here are the posts where “Gift of Singleness/ Celibacy” was discussed:

Regarding “Gift of Singleness / Celibacy” and 1 Corinthians 7:7

By gortexgrrl 

The confusion created by the three different meanings of the “gift of singleness” that you’ve aptly described in your first post would seem to be good enough reason for everyone to just abandon the term altogether.

The “gift of singleness” is a term that appears nowhere in the Bible. Nor does “the gift of celibacy”.

When I posted my concerns about the problems created by the “GOS” [Gift Of Singleness] on Kostenberger’s blog, they were removed (along with others, particularly those that questioned whether or not he had actually read Maken’s book, since he seemed to suggest that it was about blaming women, when the blame was really more heavily directed towards men).

Free speech. Academic freedom. Do any of those things have any meaning in the minds of theologians? Here’s one of my posts, you can critique my thoughts on “the gift of singleness” as well as the question of censorship while you’re at it:

Unfortunately, I must vehemently disagree with the glowing reviews in the posts above and object to this mischaracterization of Maken’s book. She does NOT say “women who are in their late 20s or in their 30s and still unmarried have got only themselves to blame for lack of effort”.

If anything, she lets the women off the hook and blames single men and faulty church teachings for the current epidemic of protracted singleness among Christians.

Maken’s critique of the man situation would have been better if she had not indulged in an imbalanced “man bashing” and if she had acknowledged the severe shortage of men in our churches (which is indeed the greatest cause of protracted singleness among the female faithful). However, her indictment of problematic church teachings was ABSOLUTELY GROUNDBREAKING, especially in “rethinking the ‘gift of singleness’”.

With all due respect, there’s no such thing as “The Gift of Singleness”. The original biblical texts use no such term.

“GOS” first appeared in the Living Bibles of the 70’s, and later in The Message, perhaps to mitigate or update the Catholic notion of “the gift of celibacy” (also not biblical). 1 Cor 7:7 in the NRSV reads

“I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind.”

Paul states his own preference regarding singleness/celibacy (scholars have debated for years which one) and makes a aside about the uniqueness (“IDIOS”) in how God gifts us (“CHARISMA”: grace gift, not ’spiritual gift’ per se) using a phrase common to Greek speakers to this day “HOS MEN HOUTO DE HOS HOUTO”, which has an INDEFINITE meaning: “like this and like this (and like this, etc.) It’s meaning is NOT either/or, as in “gift of marriage” or “GOS”, it’s less specific than that!

In light of “the present distress” (v.26) the option of singleness/celibacy is presented by Paul as a RECOMMENDATION, not a “gift”.

Continue reading “There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or A Calling To Either One”

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

Do You Rate Your Family Too High? Are the priorities of God, family, and job the right ones? by Ben Patterson

(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? Are the priorities of God, family, and job the right ones? Ben Patterson | Other Link

by B Patterson.

No one has a higher view of the family than the Mormons. Central to their doctrine of God is the conviction that he is literally a father and a husband, and he has given birth to many spirit children. God is himself the offspring of divine parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents, ad infinitum.

For this reason, Mormons believe family life to be the supreme expression of their faith. To be married, procreate, and parent is to be engaged in the activity of God himself. Mormon bumper stickers which read “Families Are Forever” are taken as literal truth. The family embodies the purpose and meaning of both this life and the next.

The evangelical [Christian] market is now experiencing a glut of books, seminars, films, and magazine articles on the subject of the family and how to enhance it. If that phenomenon is a reliable indicator, and I think it is, then we seem to be emulating our Mormon antagonists.

Increasingly, evangelical Christians are being encouraged to live as though they believed the family to be the chief focus of Christian living. We are becoming the victims of a disease my friend calls “creeping Mormonism.”

Case in point: I’ve lost track of the number of times my parishioners have told me of a decision they have made on the basis of the following priorities:

1) God,

2) Family,

3) Job.

“Those are the Big Three,” they smile and say. “Keep those straight and you’ll keep your life straight before God.”

I can’t argue with number one, but I do have questions about numbers two and three, especially | number two. My most urgent question is “Where does the church fit into this scheme?” The New Testament has much to say about the church and little to say about the family.

What it does have to say about the family is always in relation to the church-“God’s household,” the “family of believers” (Ephesians 2:19; Galatians 6:10). The most prominent New Testament passage that deals with the family is in Ephesians 5:22 through 6:4.

There Paul’s instructions follow a lengthy discussion of church life keynoted by the command for the Ephesians to bear “with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit, to the end that the church may be built up” (4:2-3, 12). The subject of the family arises much later as illustrative of one of the several ways that unity and love in the church should manifest themselves.

As Don Williams points out in his book The Apostle Paul and Women in the Church, the New Testament order is to see family life as flowing out of the life of the church, not vice versa. The church doesn’t need the family, the family needs the church. The family must be planted firmly in the soil of a vital Christian community to bear the fruit it was meant to bear.

The current focus on the family continually misses this crucial point. The most sacrosanct reason that can now be given for turning down a position of service in the church is that “It would take away time I need to give to my family.” Say that, and the discussion is over, the question is laid to rest, and mouths are shut.

Another question I have is “Where does the world fit into this order of priorities?” More than once the command to go into all the world and make disciples has put a strain on family life. So has the call to be hospitable to strangers, visit the sick, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked.

But today, Christians can avoid those problematic areas of discipleship in the name of sustaining the family life. It is becoming increasingly easy to justify extravagant expenditures on vacations, recreational vehicles, land home improvements because it helps to build up the family.

The truth of the matter is that the family has become a convenient excuse for turning our backs on other people. We want to be left alone to cultivate our own little patch of ground, and we baptize that desire by appealing to an alleged God-ordained set of priorities. There is nothing distinctly Christian about a strong family. Buddhists have them, secular humanists have them, and, I presume, even the Mafia has them.

I also have a question about where single people fit into all of this. Nearly one-third of our population will be single by 1987 [by 2013, that figure has gone up to 44% – that is, 44% of Americans over the age of 18 are single]. If churches reflect this demographic in the least, a substantial number of Christians will find themselves outside the most acceptable arena for discipleship. Many do now.

Granted, that figure of one-third single should be some cause for alarm, since it appears that more and more people are single for bad or tragic reasons: divorce, fear, selfishness, and inability to commit. Nevertheless, the avenues for the pursuit of holiness must be broadened in the minds of evangelicals to include the single. After all, God’s supreme will for us all is holiness, not matrimony. Marriage was made for people, not people for marriage.

My last question is “How does the family itself fit in with all of this?” How well is it doing in the number two spot, just below God? Can it bear the weight of responsibility and expectation placed upon it?

I think the family, especially the nuclear family, would do a lot better if it were nudged down the list a bit, or at least connected more strongly to a larger community-the church. We tend to read into the Bible’s statements on the family a lot of twentieth-century assumptions.

The biblical family was large, with a father, mother, sons, daughters, grandparents, other kinsmen, and aliens or sojourners. Marriage itself was a convenant between two families, not just two people.

In other words, a lot more people were intimately involved in the arrangement than usually are today. Jesus indicated that becoming a Christian would increase the number of people involved a hundredfold (Matthew 19 29).

We expect too much of our families. They need help. It is true that the family is a God-ordained institution. It is true that the family remains the best way the world has yet seen to produce civilized human beings.

But it can’t do it well without the extended family of the household of God. If anything, the family needs to be saved from itself, at least as it is now being conceived of in the minds of many evangelicals.

—Related posts this blog:—

(Link):  Misuse of Terms Such As “Traditional Families” by Christians

(Link):  A social psychologist reveals why so many marriages are falling apart and how to fix it (and a history of American marriage)

(Link):  The Isolating Power of Family-Centered Language (How churches exclude singles and the childless) by E A Dause

(Link): The Deification of Family and Marriage (re: Kyle Idleman book)

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

(Link): Mormons and Christians Make Family, Marriage, Having Children Into Idols

(Link): When Mormonism Sounds Like Gender Complementarian Christianity – Also: Man Shortage in Mormonism Just Like Christianity

(Link): Modesty Teachings – When Mormons Sound like Christians and Gender Complementarians

(Link): Family as “The” Backbone of Society? – It’s Not In The Bible

(Link): Christians and Churches Discriminate Against Unmarried People / Singles

(Link): A Critique of the Family-Integrated Church Movement by Brian Borgman – Christians turning the family into an idol

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

Christians Should Stop Obsessing About Culture Wars, Winning Via Politics

Christians Should Stop Obsessing About Culture Wars, Winning Via Politics

I’d say I agree with about everything this guy said:

The Church in Secular Culture

(This is from page 1; click the link above to read the rest):

    As co-director of the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX), John Dickson (author of Humilitas) works to engage Australia’s mainstream media and general public with thoughtful content that explores the relevance of the Christian faith for the modern world. Marshall Shelley and Drew Dyck sat down with Dickson to discuss what American church leaders can learn from his experience with CPX.
  • How would you describe the public’s perception of the church in Australia?
  • In recent years it’s become a dominant perspective to say that religion starts all the wars, religion rapes and pillages, and religion is damaging for society. The subtitle of a Christopher Hitchens book—How Religion Poisons Everything—has become a secular mantra.
  • Recently in Australia a TV talk show was discussing the problem of drugs. One of the hosts said, “Let’s put this in perspective. Drugs have not killed anywhere near as many people as religion. Religion is far more damaging to society than our drug problem.” And it got applause from the TV audience. What a sad day we’ve arrived at when you can get away with that and, worse, get applause.
  • How does the Centre for Public Christianity try to counter this perception of the church?
  • CPX is trying to communicate that there’s another story here. We can concede the bad stuff that the church has done. As an historian, I know the bad stuff, and we will freely admit it. Yet we also want to tell about the positive contributions Christianity has made in Western history. We try to articulate that some of the things we love most about Western secular democracy are actually gifts of Christianity to Western culture.

Continue reading “Christians Should Stop Obsessing About Culture Wars, Winning Via Politics”

Atlanta Baptist Church Missing Person Project Missing the Unmarried – Charles Stanley on Singleness – Unanswered Prayer

Atlanta Baptist Church Missing Person Project Missing the Unmarried

Hats off to these guys – preacher Charles Stanley’s Baptist church in Atlanta – for at least attempting to de-focus on the usual evangelical, fundamentalist, and Baptist favored demographic of “young married couples with kids.”

This Stanley led Atlanta church is focusing on widows, “the needy” (their phrase), prisoners, and one or two other, usually- neglected- by- Christian groups. That is all fine and dandy, but I see no acknowledgement of un-married people in the list of people they hope to cater to.

Almost half the adult American population is single. A lot of Christians are in that figure, too. Where are the programs and appeals to unmarried adults in this “Missing Person” ministry by Baptist Church of Atlanta? Here is a link to their ministry:

(Link): Missing Persons Ministry (Atlanta Baptist Church, Charles Stanley preacher)

SINGLES

See the bottom of that page for the categories of people they are hoping to serve and reach – it includes “The Disabled,” “The Widows,” “The Orphans,” etc, but no mention of never-married adults past 30.

In last night’s broadcast of Stanley’s “In Touch” program, where he talked about people’s desire to be loved, he got on to this spiel about people who are still single, who would like to be married.

Stanley said it’s far better to be single than to be married to the wrong person. This is a common saying spouted off at discontent, unhappy singles, and does nothing to cheer us up.

I was engaged several years to an idiot, so I know that “being with the wrong person” can be worse than being single. But I do not appreciate my desire to still be married brushed off as though it’s unrealistic, stupid, or immature, and that is what that bit of common wisdom does.

Continue reading “Atlanta Baptist Church Missing Person Project Missing the Unmarried – Charles Stanley on Singleness – Unanswered Prayer”

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

Southern Baptists – Still Majoring in the Minors and ignoring the never married (singles) – Why Church Membership Is Down
also: Seeker Friendly Preachers Driving Members Away, Worship of Youth by Churches, other issues

It looks to me like a Christian’s top priorities, tied in at #1 place, are evangelizing the lost and caring for other Christians (Galatians 6:10).

Christian singles past the age of 30 have swelled in ranks the last couple of decades, but SBs (Southern Baptists) and other Christian churches and denominations continue to either ignore singles, or treat them like dirt when they do pay them attention.

Up to half of the American population over 18 years of age is single now, and there are many Christians in that figure.

Then your Southern Baptists lament, cry, and render their garments, or complain about a decline in SB membership and a rise in those who consider themselves “nones” (of no religious affiliation).

I’ve written about this before, but if you are a church who wants your attendance or membership numbers to go up, try ministering to 50% of the population that has been ignored: singles who are over 25 – 30 years old.

I was looking over a Southern Baptist publication recently, and in covering the recent SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) in Houston, where a bunch of resolutions were passed, I noticed that even this article chose to focus on homosexuals in the Boy Scouts (BSA), gender neutral Bibles, youth leadership programs, and seating at the front of the convention.

Some examples:

(Link): Southern Baptists approve resolution criticizing new Boy Scout policy allowing gay members

(Link): SBC critiques Scout policy but no call for mass exodus

This Southern Baptist article, from “The Baptist Messenger,” mentioned nothing about never-married adults, the divorced, or reaching and serving the widows and widowers.

The article also mentioned nothing about the child sex abuse resolution, which it should have. Southern Baptists have a terrible, inexcusable history of sweeping child sex abuse by Baptist preachers under the rug.

(Link): Southern Baptists urge [child sex] abuse reporting

Here is the coverage of the 2013 SBC from a Baptist publication – notice the fixation on cultural war crap including homosexuality and gender roles (vis a vis a Bible version using gender neutral terms)

>> (Link): Messengers ‘Round Up’ in Houston for SBC Annual Meeting, The Baptist Messenger

The article below references CBMW (Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) as being “scholarly.” Oh please! CBMW is a sexist organization whose members keep trying to prop up ways to rationalize the repression of women in the SBC. A far better resource on the topic of gender and church/Christianity is (Link): CBE – Christians For Biblical Equality.

Excerpts (from “Messengers ‘Round Up’ in Houston for SBC Annual Meeting” by The Baptist Messenger); there are additional comments by me below this long excerpt:

    HOUSTON, Texas—
    More than 5,000 Messengers from throughout the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) gathered for the Annual Meeting, which met in Houston June 11-12. On more than one occasion, leaders and speakers pointed to Oklahoma as a shining example of how to give and serve.

    Several resolutions were referred to the Executive Committee (EC) for study to be reported back to the SBC in 2014. They were:

    That the Executive Committee publish a theological position paper on Southern Baptists’ use of gender-neutral Bibles, reconsidering the three SBC resolutions opposing the use of such translations, and consult the “scholarly work found in the CBMW (Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) article, ‘An Evaluation of Gender Language in the 2011 Edition of the NIV Bible,’” offered by Tim Overton, Muncie, Ind., Halteman Village.

    That a special task force be appointed to explore youth programs to teach leadership skills and moral standards once offered by the Boy Scouts of America “seeing they have lost their way and lost their moral compass, the Bible,” submitted by Harold M. Phillips, messenger from Port Deposit, Md., Pleasant View.

    That the SBC reevaluate Article III of the Constitution, particularly subpoints 1 and 2 to update minimal standards used to define participating churches and messengers, offered by John Mark Yeats, pastor of Fort Worth, Texas, Normandale. Yeats noted that the base gift of $250 required to send each additional messenger to the SBC has not changed since 1888, “a sacrificial amount then, but a token amount today.”

    A motion by Paul Cunningham, a messenger from Oklahoma City, Northwest, asked that reserved seating at the front of the auditorium be open to all messengers and not reserved for groups other than the handicapped. The Committee on Order of Business reported that the motion “was well received” and will be implemented.

—– END ARTICLE EXCERPT —–

No mention in that coverage of child sex abuse in SBC churches, and nothing about helping never- married, over- the- age- of- 30 adults, or other types of singles.

Not only should the SBC focus on mature (as in post age 30) singles to get them in to the church (the SBC has made marriage, the nuclear family, children, and parenting into idols that are worshipped, and those who don’t fit any of those roles are shunned and excluded), but they need to stop obsessing over the culture wars.

Even I, who was staunchly a right wing social conservative since my teen years, am fed up with the never-ending complaining and pulpit-pounding about homosexuals, homosexuality, abortion, the Democrats, liberals, and the Obama administration.

The SBC seems to expect that, say, a shaven-headed butch lesbian who is a stalwart, far- left- wing liberal and pro-choicer, and a big fan of “womym’s lit,” is going to get on board with Christian values and begin opposing abortion or homosexual marriage. This is so unrealistic of the SBC that it borders on delusional.

You cannot argue the un-saved world into accepting Christian values, because… they are not Christian. The Scripture says something about non-believers being spiritually dead, and not fully capable of understanding or appreciating godly values.

Ergo, it’s a waste of time, energy, and resources to try to police the un-saved culture on matters or morality. (The cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, who are we to judge those outside the church should we not judge those who are in the church, etc, and so forth.)

I don’t recall the Apostle Paul spending all his time (or any of his time, actually) trying to topple all immorality around him in the secular cultures in which he lived; he simply told Christians living in those areas to resist from joining in the bawdy behavior around them being committed by the un-saved.

The Christians in the New Testament were instructed to stand out of the immoral culture by not adopting its practices. They were not told to fight whole-scale against the immortality of secular society by pounding lecterns and issuing condemning press releases and resolutions against homosexuality, adultery, or what have you.

This continual fixation on non-Gospel and non-helping-people topics by Southern Baptists is another factor pushing me away from any further SB church attendance.

If I start going to church again (even though I’m a bit of an agnostic now), I think I may try other denominations, even ones that may be more left- wing politically or theologically than I’d prefer, if they place caring for people first, and if they don’t opine about their left wing politics and social causes all the time.

I am also fed up with a church body in America that is captivated by youth. Not just the Southern Baptists, but a lot of Christian groups and churches are too narrowly focused on people under the age of 30 or 25.

Churches and Christian media keep publishing article after article crying, whining, or expressing bewilderment about how the 21 year olds of today aren’t married yet, or how they’re viewing porn, or, isn’t it a shame that 20- somethings support Darwinism and reject Creationism, and oh, gosh golly, ain’t it awful that 20 year olds drop out of church?

Meanwhile, you have people who have been Christians for years (decades, even), who, when they get to their 30s or 40s or older (and haven’t married yet), and they start realizing church bodies are not fair to all, that churches and denominations don’t support every one, but that churches typically only support married couples with kids, and the youth, they have no incentive to return to a church.

Most models of church services and church programs are about how to reach married- with- kids couples, and how to attract and tickle the ears of teens and 20 somethings, and in the case of “seeker friendly” churches, how to attract Non-Christian people ages 20 – 39.

The end result of all this is that anyone over the age of 40, especially the un-married genuine Christians, are shoved aside and forgotten, and church services consist of too-loud, obnoxious, lead- guitar- ripping, and playing of inane “Jesus rock and roll ditties,” with a dweeby preacher who wears skinny jeans, Hawaiian shirts, and flip flops on the platform, all to look “cool.”

As you grow older (I should say, as most people grow older- preacher Mark Driscoll, who is in his mid- or- late- 40s, appears to have arrested development), you stop caring about whether a church service is hip, cool, and totally entertaining.

As you grow older and you experience tragedy, say the death of a family member, you want compassion, help, encouragement, care, companionship, and maybe some theological answers to the pain of life in the sermons and in church groups. You could not care less if the preacher is “hip and trendy” and wearing a goatee and flip flops, and you do not care if there is a lead electric guitarist in the church “praise band.”

Not that I’m a fan of totally mind-numbing sermons myself, I hate boring sermons, but as you get older, you’re more interested in understanding life, how to make it through life, and where you fit in to the scheme of things, and why God isn’t answering your prayers, than you are in being entertained on a Sunday morning. I think that is what a lot of early 20 somethings (pre- age- 25) need too, but some of them are too dumb and inexperienced at life to realize it yet.

And why in the name of Frank would you want to dumb down your services to reach only, or primarily, some idiotic college frat guy who is 20 years old? Or some 35 year old agnostic hipster?

Some churches do this. Seriously. Listen to a podcast by Christian Pirate Radio (aka “Fighting For the Faith,” from about a week ago, see link in this blog’s side bar) where a preacher says in the broadcast of his sermon that church is for the lost – although the Bible says church is for the saved, not the lost.

Further, this same preacher says he wants church services to be like “Disneyland” (yes, that was his exact word) so that the un-saved people who show up to his church won’t find his church “boring” and will be apt to return.

News flash for seeker friendly preacher dweebs: Reaching the lost is one goal or task of the church, but church itself is for the saved, even Jesus said so.

That same preacher said if you are a mature believer in the faith, you should just skip his Sunday services altogether (!!!) since they will be dumbed down to appeal to ignorant agnostics and atheists who show up; he said if you are a knowledgeable Christian, you should join one of the church’s Wednesday night small Bible groups.

Amazing. The guy actually admits to not giving a damn about genuine Christians who need help and guidance from the body of Christ. He is willing to toss actual Christians under the bus to reach a 20 year old un-saved twit. Jesus Christ said, “Feed my sheep.” He did not say, “Ignore the sheep to reach the goats.”

(By the way, there are Christians in their 20s who are spiritually mature, maybe more so than some self professing believers who are in their 40s. When I use the word “mature” I am not always referring to age. I was a serious and very devout Christian in my 20s, and I know there are others in their 20s who are like that. I do think many 20- somethings do not take the faith seriously, and are immature about it, though.)

So, seeker- friendly preacher guy, you’re going to ignore 99% of the American population to reach these small, idiotic demographics? That, combined with one or two other reasons I mentioned above (such as churches ignoring singles) is why SBC, fundamentalist, and evangelical churches continue to lose members.

Ministry to Homosexuals, Exodus Int’l, Closes Shop, Some Christians Spaz out

Ministry to Homosexuals, Exodus International, Closes Shop, Some Christians Spaz out

A segment of American Christendom is spazzing out and pearl clutching over the demise of Exodus International (ministry to homosexuals). See links:

(Link): Hour 3- Former Exodus International board member John Warren talks about the closing of the organization. – Janet Mefferd radio show

(Link): Exodus International to Shut Down; Ministry President Apologizes to Gay Community

Mmm hmm. Spazzy spaz, hissy fit. The anger. The outrage. Boo, hiss. The homosexuals are winning the culture wars, oh no, oh no. Indignation. Etc and so forth.

On her radio program (linked to above), Mefferd depicts the Exod. Int. closure as being another blow in the apporaching defeat of traditional marriage and links that to an attack on God’s character, because, as she says, we are created in God’s image, male and female… I’m not quite seeing how all that fits together myself.

I will say if Ms. Mefferd means to suggest that maleness and femaleness can be reflected only within marriage, and only married couples can represent God in all his fullness, wrong wrong wrong wrong! What of Christians in their 40s and older, people who have never married?

The Bible does not say never-married, virginal Christians are not sexual beings, or that they do not reflect God as-is. (Some Christians really do teach that un-married Christians are not fully in God’s image, see this link and see this other link)

And for the millionth time, to avoid any confusion for anyone who is new to this blog who may be reading this: I do not support homosexuality. I am right wing and am a social conservative, but I am sick and tired of how some Christians make homosexuality (and abortion and a few other issues) into their hobby horses.

If you check out The Christian Post and a few other Christian publications today, there are yet more headlines on the home pages, not only about Exodus Int., but other topics pertaining to homosexuality (such as: “Five Questions and Answers About the Same-Sex Marriage Issue By Jim Daly” and “Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski Declares Support for Gay Marriage”), as well as the other pet favorite subject Christians like to harp on, abortion / reproductive issues (on The Christian Post today, on the home page: “Celebrated Christian Artist Launches ‘Before I Formed You’ Pro-Life Campaign,” and “The Government, the Pill, and Our Daughters By John Stonestreet”).

The only thing missing from today’s headlines on Christian news sites are the standard, panicked reports of, “Oh golly no, 20-somethings are leaving church because church is not lovey or pro- homosexual enough for them, and churches still reject Darwinism, they don’t think Creationism is science-y enough, and teens don’t go any more because church is not hip and trendy enough, what will the church ever do, oh me, oh my.”

That mainstream Christian media continue to pound away at homosexuality, abortion, and contraceptives, while about completely ignoring the absolute torrent, the avalanche of never-married Christian singles past 30, in particular hetero women, who want to be married (and some may want to have a kid or two of their own), but marriage is not happening for them (due in part to a Christian man shortage).

Do these Christians who bray, cry, gripe, and moan about homosexuals taking swipes at “traditional marriage,” or about teeny girls getting pregnant, or teens using birth control, not care that they could be helping traditional marriage rates (and maybe birth rates) increase, if they would direct their energies and attention to Christian women who do want to get married and maybe have a kid?

Instead of spending all your time complaining about homosexuals who want to get married, or that the government may allow teen girls access to “morning after” pills, or that Joe Cool College Kid thinks youth groups at church are boring or stupid for not accepting Darwinism, try taking steps to help post-age-30 Christian single ladies get married, hello.