Why Unmarried – Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy

Why Un-married / Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy (i.e., Male Headship, Female Submission, Should Women Be Allowed to Lead/Teach Men, etc)

I don’t want to spend much time on this, but Christian groups, especially the more fringe ones, that believe in and teach sexism (i.e., biblical gender complimentariansim / traditional gender roles/ male headship), teach (to summarize Jocelyn Andersen), that men reflect the “male” side of God and women reflect the “female” side of God.

Further, (they teach, again summarizing Jocelyn Andersen), is that it takes one man and one woman together (meaning married, I assume) to fully reflect God’s image.

The outworking of this is that if you are un-married, you are not a “whole” person, and you are not reflecting God. This applies to un-married men, too, not just un-married females.

You can watch the speech she gives (Link): here. I don’t recall which exact video it is. Or, try (Link): this link (to specific video).

In another video in that channel, another woman (Cynthia Kunsman) gave a lecture covering beliefs of Quiverfull-type groups (a.k.a. “Christian fertility cults” – some of their beliefs are making their way into more mainstream Christian churches and groups, such as the Southern Baptists, and are taught or endorsed, at least in part, by Christian personalities such Pat Robertson on his “700 Club” show), and she said that in these groups, marriage is said to be “normative,” which is considered good.

Singlehood is, I take it, considered by these fringe Christian groups to be non- or un- normative -and hence wrong or bad in some fashion, or not considered to be God’s design for men or for women. I believe you can watch her video (Link): here.

Al Mohler, leader of the SBC, and Debbie Maken (Christian author) have said that being single is a sin.

But you also have these other, fringe groups saying the same thing, and going further, by saying that non-married people do not fully reflect God.

I guess in order for these sexist swine to keep women down, they have to put themselves in a one-up position – they need a wife and kids to rule over and exert their authority over. This is why these “women should submit” teachings impact men too, not just women. That is, un-married Christian men are told if they want to be fully in God’s image, they need to marry and pro-create pronto, so they can be in authority over someone.

If you are a male Christian, and you are single, you don’t matter, you are not fully made in the image of God, or don’t completely reflect God’s image, according to these Christian fertility groups and some of the regular conservative Christian entities and churches.

Also, the women presenters in other videos in that channel point out other ways “male headship/ women submission” teachings negatively influence males.

There are some men who do not view family in terms of a hierarchy and view their wives as equals, but they get bullied and shamed by macho, sexist brute pastors who tell them, “to be a real man, to be a real Christian, you have to rule over your wife,” etc.

I refer you to the videos on (Link): this page for more.

Even if you are a Christian male, and you are single, and you consider yourself a supporter of “male headship / I permit not a woman to teach” rhetoric, be aware that much of the same arguments used to keep women down in marriages and in churches is also the same arguments and rationale to discount you, an un-married man, personally.

These pastors teaching this male headship concept don’t believe that un-married men are fully in the image of God, or that they are equal in authority or importance to married men, especially married men who have children.

So, in some weird-o branches of Christianity, un-married men, and un-married women, are not quite fully human, are not equally created in the image of God (as compared to married Christians, who are thought of being 100% a reflection of God), and are not of any worth.
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Related material on other sites:

(Link): Driscoll: Single men “cannot fully reflect God”
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Related posts this blog:

(Link): There Are No “Biblical Men” by B. Robertson

(Link):  The Masculinity Myth: The Real Reason Men Don’t Go to Church by the Evangelical Pulpit

(Link):  The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link): ‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by Matthew Hagee – Hagee Teaches that Single Unmarried Women Do Not Have a Purpose in Life God has no purpose for singles

(Link): Christian TV Personality ( Jimmy Evans ) Says You Cannot Meet God’s Destiny For Your Life Without A Spouse = Anti Singleness Singlehood Singles Bias Prejudice Making Idol out of Marriage

(Link): Christian Patriarchy Group: God Demands You Marry and Have Babies to Defeat Paganism and Satan. Singles and the Childless Worthless (in this worldview)

(Link): Conservatives and Christians Fretting About U.S. Population Decline – We Must “Out-breed” Opponents Christian Host (Pat Robertson) Says

(Link): Is Singleness A Sin? by Camerin Courtney

Population Decline and Bay-bee Obsession – Patriarchy, Quiverfull, Traditional Family, Christian Gender Complementarian Nuts

Population Decline and Bay-bee Obsession – Patriarchy, Quiverfull, Traditional Family, Christian Gender Complementarian Nuts

More links to be added about this issue to this post as I find them. As this post has already gotten quite long, thanks to the excerpts, I will be making a Part 2, Part 3, etc, to include new links as I find them.

This Part 1 post is an anchor, though. This is probably the post I will direct people to when they want to gripe with me about this.

DISCLAIMER.

I am not necessarily in agreement with all opinions on all pages I link to, or with all views held by individuals or the organizations by blogs and sites I link to. (I may agree 100% with one of their pages but be in total opposition to other pages on the same site.)

FURTHER DISCLAIMERS.

I am not into global warming or environmentalism.

I am not left wing, liberal, progressive, or Democrat. Since my teen years, I have been right wing, conservative, and a Republican, but as I grow older, I am becoming disenchanted with aspects of the right wing (but still continue to disagree with the left wing on most topics).

I do not agree with or support abortion or homosexuality or legalization of homosexual marriage. Some of the pages I have found which refute many of the “be fruitful and multiply” arguments of conservative Christians are by people claiming to be Christians who are sympathetic to homosexuality or who support homosexuality.

I do not support homosexuality but some of their pages (aside from the pro-homosexuality propaganda) make some decent points against the un-biblical fixation some Christians have on “traditional family” rhetoric and their tendency to apply the “be fruitful” verse as supposedly being applicable to all Christians in all eras.

— THE LINKS—

The people behind this site appear to support homosexuality, but they make some very good points on this page:

(Link): The Family Idol

Perhaps the ugliest idol that we see today is the so-called “traditional family.” This idol is widely worshiped in the conservative factions of most religions. It should be obvious to its worshippers that it is an idol when these people see agreement between groups who have traditionally held opposing theological viewpoints. There are Roman Catholics and die-hard Evangelicals who are joining together to worship this idol. Muslim and Christian fundamentalists alike bow at its feet, all the time, pretending to be the true followers of their religion. While they cannot agree on the real tenets of their true religion, they find remarkable agreement in the false religion of “family values.”

The reason that the family idol is so particularly heinous is because it cloaks its emptiness and poison under the “gold-leaf” facade of respectability, social responsibility, and “proper” religion. Like almost no other modern idol, this idol pretends to be True G-d, while it is in fact a golden calf. In order to distract its worshipers from the truth, it points to sexuality and calls “perversion” the “golden calf.”

This idol has established itself firmly on the altars of most churches. It is so clearly cemented in the Free Church denominations (Evangelicals, Baptists, Pentecostals, etc.) that whole campaigns are built around it. Holding the Scriptures in its hand, the family idol cloaks itself as the “word of G-d,” leading its devotees to forget about the Incarnate Christ and the message of love. “Family values” replaces “Christ is risen” as the primary hymn of this religion.

In other circles the idol is less blatant and perhaps less well noted. In the Anglican, Protestant, and Reformed churches, the idol prefers to set itself somewhat inconspicuously on the round tables of committees rather than on the central altar. While these groups often abhor the blatant bigotry of the “family values” charlatans, they nonetheless give the idol voice and vote on their committees and hold back truth and honesty in its name.

… The family idol spreads its immorality very insidiously among all segments of the population. Most obvious, of course, are the many Christians who have given up the Gospel Message to worship the family. Sadly, these former Christians may not even recognize their change in religion.

…Confused by the lies of worshipers of the family idol, many people who do not fit its narrow definition of “family” turn away from G-d and religion altogether.

…The symptoms of the family idol’s worship are very strange. It causes the equation of a heterosexual, dual-parent, child-raising family with some sort of moral ideal.

These groups do great harm to the people who do not fit their narrow concepts. They also draw people away from G-d because they present a false image of G-d. They present a hateful, narrow-minded, bigoted God that no sane person would want to love. Their self-defined “family” is their idol, their politics is their idolatry, and their actions are immorality in the clearest sense of what the Bible describes as such.

(Link): Rethinking Vision Forum

– many resources here refuting or exposing baby obsession, population decline scare arguments, strict/ sexist (gender complementarian) views, pressuring women to marry too early, etc.

From that blog:

(Link): Doug Phillips on the Threat of Population Decline

[Excerpts from the page “Doug Phillips on the Threat of Population Decline”]:

Phillips sets up a dichotomy here: If you don’t want more children (or any at all), you are selfish; if you have multiple children, most especially 6, 8, 10, or more from the looks of the pictures featured on the Baby Conference website, you are following God’s commands. It’s easy to see how susceptible people can fall prey to Phillips’ teachings and to the rhetoric of the Quiverfull movement.

The trouble is of course that choosing to have only one or two children, or even none, does not mean one is automatically “selfish.” There are all sorts of ways to give back to the world and to those around us, to work to make the world a better place, outside of having children. Furthermore, wanting to give each child the best we can, or to raise children with economic security, is not selfish.

On the contrary, because we live in a country that uses exorbitant amount of finite resources, every additional child we have leads to additional environmental strain and potential for resource wars or economic problems down the road. Choosing to have six or eight children, then, is not somehow being “selfless” when it comes to our environment, economy, or the world. Further, choosing to have that many children might mean, for some, raising children in poverty and on the edge of economic disaster. I don’t see this as being very “selfless” either.

Here we also see the tendency of Christian Patriarchy groups to advocate a one-size-fits-all model for families. The truth is, every family is different, with different needs and different challenges. The idea that every family should start having child after child in order to “follow God’s command” and not be “selfish” is stifling and restricting. It’s also environmentally dangerous for several reasons.

Not unexpectedly, Phillips rejects the idea that a continually expanding population could lead to environmental catastrophe or resource wars or food shortages. Why? Because (a) God told us to be fruitful and multiply, not to be fruitful and multiply until there are enough people

Continue reading “Population Decline and Bay-bee Obsession – Patriarchy, Quiverfull, Traditional Family, Christian Gender Complementarian Nuts”

Creepy: ‘Barna: [Christian] Women Value Family Over Faith’

Creepy: ‘Barna: [Christian] Women Value Family Over Faith’

Jesus Christ said:

    “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37)

It looks like this teaching of Christ’s keeps falling on deaf ears, at least among Americans who profess to be Christians.

What happens when American Christian conservative culture and denominations place an unbiblical fixation on marriage and procreation? Something like this (among other fall out):

(LINK): Barna: Women Value Family Over Faith [study was released in August 2012]

    In the second of a four-part series studying Christian women, the Barna Group released survey results at the end of last week showing that, of women who have attended a regular church service in the last six months, more than half said their family was their highest priority in life. Sixteen percent said faith was most important, followed by health, career, and living a comfortable lifestyle.

    Sixty-two percent of women polled said their most important role in life was being a parent, followed by 13 percent who said their most important role was being a follower of Christ.

    …The study also found that 75 percent of Christian women were “heavily influenced” by the Bible, followed closely by the influence of their husbands (63 percent). Only 30 percent said they were influenced by the media.

    Read the full report (LINK): here [from the Christian Post]; author: Jeff Schapiro.

Excerpts from Christian Post:

    The study, titled “What Women Want,” is the second in a four-part series by the Barna Group on “Christian Women Today.” The study was conducted by surveying 603 adult Christian women throughout the U.S. who have attended a regular church service in the last six months.

    Over half (53 percent) of those surveyed said their family was their top priority in life, while only 16 percent said faith was most important. Another nine percent of Christian women said their top priority was their health, five percent said it was their career performance and another five percent said it was living a comfortable lifestyle.

    When Christian women were asked about what they felt was their most important role in life, the results were similar to their priorities. The majority (62 percent) said their most important role was being a parent, and only 13 percent said their most important role was being a follower of Christ.

    David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, said in a statement that some might assume that the research means woman have made their families into “idols” and set them above their relationships with Jesus. Others might view it as a “false choice” women have to make between their families and their faith.

Conflicting Message to Christian Women by Christians About Physical Appearance

Conflicting Message to Christian Women by Christians About Physical Appearance

I plan on making a longer post later about how Christian dating and marriage advice often emphasizes the supposed necessity of the importance of a woman’s physical appearance – and how annoying this emphasis is – but this post, I wanted to keep this post a little short.

On the one hand, going back decades now, conservative American churches and other Christian entities have instructed unmarried women that if they want dates or a husband, they have to stay thin and attractive at all times.

This is the type of advice I would expect to see in secular sources pertaining to dating, and it is in fact often mentioned in secular sources, but it’s disappointing to see it on Christian sites, magazines, and so forth, but it is.

We Christian women get told repeatedly in Christian publications, blogs, radio shows, TV shows, and sermons, that Christian men -(really? This sounds more like it would be more true of secular men)- prefer sexy hotty totty sexy sexy women. Ergo, we Christian women must be clones of sex pot movie star Megan Fox or Jayne Mansfield at all times, until we die. We are not allowed to age, get wrinkles, or facial lines.

(By the way, this extreme, sexist, and unfair fixation on a woman’s looks has earned this topic the tag of “Lookism” on this blog, so if you want to see other posts, past or future, where I discuss this, please see the “Lookism” tag off to the side bar of this blog.)

Some pastors or Christian spokespersons, such as Mark Driscoll and Pat Robertson (see this post at this blog for more on that), have said that if a married man cheats on his wife (or is an alcoholic), it is totally understandable, reasonable, or expected, if the wife has “let herself go.” Married men have a right to cheat on their wife if their wife has gained weight or gotten wrinkles, is the implied message from these so-called Christian speakers.

Please, someone, point me to the Bible passage that says, “Thou shall not commit adultery, unless thy wife has gotten overweight, wrinkles, sags, or grey hair, in which case, I, your most Holy God, am all like, ‘Bro, I totally understand-eth! Thou art excused from the whole adultery thing.'”

So anyway, we women are told -indoctrinated and brainwashed constantly- since our youth, that our value as Christian women resides not in God, but in being quiet, submissive, and PRETTY (and as we get older, the characteristics of “being a wife and a mommy” are added), but BEING PRETTY is always on the list.

That message is obnoxious in and of itself, but what gets my goat is that it’s also frequently brandished along side this next sexist chestnut which conflicts with it; here it is:

Christian ladies, don’t be sexy because it might cause your “brothers in Christ” to “stumble.”

On the one hand, we Christian ladies are pressured to remain sexy, thin, and attractive, lest we turn off our husbands (if we have one), or, for those of us desiring marriage, lest we repel the single men out there, but, we should not look sexy because it might cause a man to have naughty, lustful thoughts.

So, according to a lot of conservative Christian authors, television hosts, and bloggers, I’m supposed to look sexy but not look sexy.
(Please click the “read more” link to read the rest of this post. Thanks)

Continue reading “Conflicting Message to Christian Women by Christians About Physical Appearance”

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

Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians | Re: Marriage Not Happening for Hetero-sexual Christians Over the Age of 30

While conservative Christians keep on despairing that today’s American culture no longer resembles 1950s “Leave It To Beaver” families, the majority of them keep right on ignoring one significant group: unmarried Christians over the age of 30 who want to get married but who cannot find a Christian partner.

About the only Christians who have taken note of this plight are those who are in the group themselves, such as myself.

There are many Christians over the age of 30 who want to get married, but they cannot find a suitable partner at church, through friends, or on dating sites. And their petitions to God on this matter are not working. God remains silent and does not move.

Meanwhile, we unmarried Christians [* please see March 2016 update at the bottom of this post], who want marriage but for whom it remains out of reach…

Stand by and see the never-ending avalanche of blog pages, magazine articles, and booklets printed, or radio shows broadcast, by mainstream evangelical groups bemoaning the fact that 20-somethings are putting off marriage until their late 20s…

Or that they are dropping out of church altogether, with a smaller amount of attention paid to topics such as divorce and how to keep a marriage together.

But there is nothing from the Christian community, no attention, prayers, concern, or material, for those who cannot even get to the altar to begin with (with the exception of a small amount of Christian material which insults us and puts us down).

I was reminded of all this again when skimming over parts of a book online. The book is “Church in an Age of Crisis,” by James Emery White.

In a chapter about marriage (I don’t see any chapters on prolonged singleness among Christians – which is typical), he writes in a sidebar:

— Begin Quote from Book —
The Crumbling State of Marriage

-[1] For the first time since the US began tallying marriages, more Americans of prime marrying age have stayed single rather than tied the knot

-[2] Proportion of married adults of all ages was 52 percent in 2009, down from 72.2 percent in 1960 – the lowest percentage since the US began tracking in 1880

-[3] Cohabitation in the US has nearly doubled since 1990
— End Quote from Book —

As for point 1, (“more Americans of prime marrying age have stayed single rather than tied the knot”), how many of those singles want to stay single? How many of them have intentionally chosen to stay single into their 30s and older? Why is this distinction almost never made?

How many of those singles are like me, who always desired and expected to marry, but it just never happened?

Why do these worried and pearl-clutching conservative Christians always seem to assume that those of us Christians who have remained single past the age of 30 or 40 have deliberately chosen to remain so?

Continue reading “Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage”

Topics: Friendship is Possible / Sexualization By Culture Of All Relationships

Every so often, the “Ask Amy” advice column can be instructive, or it reflects themes I’ve mentioned on this blog before.

A letter I saw today was one of those times; this is a letter from a married person to “Amy,” who answers letters mailed to the “Ask Amy” column:

DEAR AMY:

  • “Worried Husband” asked if it was OK to have a “secret friendship” with another woman.
  • Friendships help us get through life. One problem with our understanding of marriage is that it should be the “be-all and end-all” relationship. That is simply impossible. It’s this wrong-headed belief that drives us to feel as if we must have “secret” relationships.
  • If we can learn to develop honest and mature relationships with our spouses (and our friends), we avoid the destructive baggage that comes with keeping secrets. Your spouse doesn’t need to know every single thing that you do or say or feel, but she/he does have the right to not be lied to.
  • Secrets, in the sense of this situation, are lies. — Sally

DEAR SALLY:

  • I agree. Thank you.

I happen to agree with the letter writer too.

There is a web site which is about friendship, and if I could recall its URL, I’d give the link, but I don’t recall it at the moment. At any rate, one of the site’s guest writers, or maybe the guy who runs the site, laments how everything in our culture, and all relationships are sexualized to the point people just assume that males and females cannot be, or remain, platonic friends.

If and when every encounter or relationship is assumed to have romantic or sexual undertones, or that it will result in that, it makes many people hesitant to reach out to other people. It makes females hesitant to befriend males, males females, and marrieds reluctant to befriend unmarried people.

I’m not saying this is not a possibility, by the way. Many, many times over the years, I’ve had men mistake my platonic conversations with them as flirting. A lot of men assume if you are talking to them, even about mundane topics such as the weather, they assume you are hot for them and want to sleep with them or at least date them, when those are nowhere near your mind at all.

But then, I take it that this is due to the fact that males have been conditioned by churches and secular culture to view all women as temptresses who want them sexually. (I discuss this farther below.)

The church is not immune from this sort of thinking, either. Even Christians assume a man and a woman cannot be friends, or cannot remain friends for long, without the relationship turning sexual and/or romantic.

What this does is isolate unmarried people even further than they already are. (I’m not the first to pick up on this, of course. If you’ve read other blogs or books by and for unmarried Christian adults, you will see they’ve noticed this as well.)

It’s often assumed by Christian and secular culture that all men are wolves with huge libidos who will prey on a woman sexually if given even the smallest of opportunities. That may be true of some men, or even 80 – 90% of them, but not all.

And I have to wonder, even if the figure is as high as say, 90%, how much is that due to the male gender’s intrinsic biological make-up, or how much of that is due to the fall (sin entering the world via Adam and Eve) and/or how much is due to socialization.

I have to wonder, if you keep repeatedly telling a young male from the time he’s age ten or 12 or 15 on up, that he’s an absolute horn dog who cannot resist sex, and he’s supposed to want sex all the time, if he will then begin to think and feel that way precisely because he’s being conditioned to believe it by his teachers, blogs, parents, churches, etc., and how much is truly innate?

And there again, the disturbing, sick, troubling, ironic thing (in my view) is it is not just secular culture via movies, TV shows, movies, and rap and rock songs telling young males they’re horn dogs who have an insatiable thirst for sex, it’s also the typical preacher, Christian dating advice blogs, and Christian relationship books that do so as well.

So maybe it’s more of a self-fulling prophecy. Maybe a lot of young guys with otherwise average- to- low- sex drives would not have sex outside of marriage, or at least not before a certain age, if they were not hearing the implication all the time from pastors, Christian dating blogs, secular sources, etc, that there is something wrong or weird about them for either not acting on the urges they have, or for not having a huge sex drive to start with.

Anyway, the socialization aspect especially intrigues me because I was just listening to an online interview a while ago by a Christian guy who visits high schools to talk about sexuality with students, and he said there are teen males who don’t want to have sex yet, who don’t feel ready to have sex, who approach him in private after his lectures, to say they feel tremendous pressure to start having sex, but they’d rather not. They are looking to him to give them responses they can give to people to get them to back off with the pressure.

These teen males say to this Christian guest speaker that males in particular are ridiculed or harassed for remaining virgins past a certain age – which I do not doubt.

(By the way, if I were them – it’s nobody’s business as to your sexual status. If you are a 15 year old guy and your friends ask you if you’re still a virgin, and you would rather not answer for whatever reason, then tell them, “that is private and none of your business.” You’re under no obligation to tell people about your sex life, or lack of one.)

As a female, I can say this pressure and ridicule is also true for females, and it has been true over the last 20 or 30 years. Maybe it used to be true up until the 1950s or mid 1960s, that remaining a virgin until marriage was a huge virtue for females, or that it was more expected of females than males, but about the time I was a teen (in the 1980s) that was no longer true.

Girls get picked on and thought of as “nerdy,” unhip, weird, or a loser if they’re still a virgin at age 18, 20, etc. Girls get bombarded constantly with these idiotic messages from secular feminists that having casual sex and viewing porn is “empowering” for them, so they feel expected to have sex.)

The teen males aren’t alone in being made to feel like freaks or kill joys if they’re not sexually active – teen girls and women in their 20s and beyond also get subjected to this pressure, ridicule, disbelief, etc.

These male teens I was discussing a moment ago would prefer to remain virgins, at least for awhile longer, but they don’t know how to fight the taunts and pressure from their peers to cave in and have sex.

From a female vantage point, I get sick and tired of married women, or chicks with BFs (boyfriends), assuming I want to steal their man. I’ve been a “goody two shoes” my whole life – I’d never break apart another couple. I’m actually the last woman you have to worry about trying to steal your sweetie. For a woman to behave as though I’m a potential “home wrekcer” has always been deeply insulting to me. (I probably have better morals than they do – which I say not to brag, but only to point out how hypocritical some people can be.)

Secondly, on the part of the man or the woman (for I’ve had married men assume I can’t wait to bed them, so they must keep their distance from me), I almost never find these men attractive….
(please click the “read more” link to read the rest of this post, thanks.)

Continue reading “Topics: Friendship is Possible / Sexualization By Culture Of All Relationships”

Creepy, Creepy and Sexist Pat Robertson

In the future, I plan on doing a post where I will reference this one. For now, here is a collection of links about creepy and sexist things Robertson has said.

I made a post about Pat Roberton’s creepy behavior the other day (here: “Is Pat Robertson of The 700 Club Show some kind of secret perv? He’s Creepy”).

Links (click the “read more” link below to see the rest of the links, and some excerpts):

Awful-Looking Women to Blame For Marital Problems, Pat Robertson Feels

Pat Robertson ‘Shocked’ That Women Watch Porn, Enjoy Erotic Novels Like ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ (VIDEO)

Slatternly-looking wives ruining marriages, says Pat Robertson

Pat Robertson Talks Porn, Makes Everyone Uncomfortable [VIDEO]

Continue reading “Creepy, Creepy and Sexist Pat Robertson”

Unmarried Christian Women Ain’t Got Time Fo’ Dat!

Unmarried Christian Women Ain’t Got Time Fo’ Dat!

I think you can click this picture to enlarge it if it makes it easier to read (I know you got time fo dat):

Sweet Brown says Unmarried Christian Women Ain't Got the Time to follow all your dating advice
Unmarried Christian women ain’t got the time to follow all your dating advice!
.

Reviewers of Dobson’s book about parenting girls confirms it – U.S. Christians fixated on 1950s culture

Hmm. Maybe I should stop listening to Christian radio host Mefferd (her show is online here). The show title was “Mefferd speaks to Dobson,” with no indication of what the topic would be.

I clicked and listened. The show I listened to online is (Link:) here.

Most of her show topics are pretty interesting, but occasionally, she veers off into views I don’t agree with, or she interviews guests whose views make me want to puke.

As it turned out, Mefferd was interviewing Christian author Dobson about a book he wrote a few years ago called “How To Raise Girls.”

I’ve addressed in previous posts how most American churches and Christians are stuck in a 1950s time warp, where they continue to judge all behavior and culture by TV shows from the 1950s.

These types of conservative Christians look upon such television shows or the 1950s itself too, too fondly. I agree that the culture today is vulgar and coarse, and probably more so than it was in the 1950s.

However, and alarmingly, some conservative Christians consider 1950s American culture an ideal one, one to be emulated at all cost – they don’t hold Jesus Christ as the prime example to be emulated, mind you, but 1950s American culture.

Among other topics, I mentioned in the post “American Women Serving in Combat,” that one possible reason Christianity is failing today in the United States and church membership is lagging, is that American Christians spend more time wagging their index fingers at liberals and liberalism, and talking about the evils of contemporary culture (such as the existence of abortion and so on), than in actually helping people – specifically helping other American Christians.

If American Christians spent more time actually meeting the emotional and practical needs of other American Christians, instead of ignoring them in favor of pontificating on abortion, the legalization of homosexual marriage, concern about feminism, or on raising funds (for the billionth time) for rice and beans for starving orphans in Africa, maybe more Americans would find being a Christian more rewarding, practical, beneficial, and want to attend church regularly.

I listened to Mefferd interview Dobson concerning his book “How To Raise Girls,” and was completely turned off.

Gender complementarians (such as Mefferd and Dobson) over-empahsize their view that males and females differ.

Biblical gender egalitarians, such as myself, agree there are differences between males and females.

However, the older I get, I no longer buy the view that males and females are polar opposites across the board.

I think the genders have a lot in common, and both genders are expected by God to imitate Jesus Christ.

There is no “pink” Jesus for girls and no “blue” Jesus for boys.

Anyway, Dobson spent some time telling Mefferd on this radio show that Christian parents ought to raise their little girls to be “lady like.”

That term is rather sketchy and vague, and I don’t recall him clarifying what he means by it. Maybe he was more clear what he means by that term in his book.

I am going to assume for the purposes of this post that I understand what he was getting at with the phrase “lady like.”

I was definitely raised by a “June Cleaver” (1950s fictional television character) type of mom myself – all the way.

I crossed my legs when I sat down, wore panty hose under dresses, did not use cuss words, never wore pants to church services, didn’t sleep around, was never blunt or confrontational – I was a sweet, helpful little doormat who repressed all anger.

I can’t even begin to describe how being raised to be so “lady like” did so much damage to me, how many problems it created.

I am now trying to un-do the years of beliefs and behaviors I was taught was proper, godly, or lady like for a Christian female.

And it’s that very “ladylike” behavior that was so crippling for me (and other Christian women) that Dobson wants other girls to strive for.

There’s this assumption by these Dobson types – the ones who think little girls should be taught to be “lady like” – that if a female is raised to be a gentle, soft spoken, coy, compliant little thing, that this will attract men to her as she ages, and she will be able to get a husband.

I can see how that sort of thinking was true when my mother was a teen ager, but it’s not true for women like me who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s.

Being coy, passive, meek, modest, mild, self-effacing, totally selfless, nurturing, and compliant (“ladylike”) does not guarantee a girl a spouse any more, and is actually a lure for abusive men, which gender complementarians don’t seem to realize – or care about.

Being “lady like” also stunts a girl’s ability to become an independent adult.

After listening to Dobson’s interview with Mefferd about his book about girls,  I went to a book review site and looked Dobson’s book up.

I read reviews by people who read Dobson’s book, and they interestingly echo some of the views I expressed in my post the other day, over conservative Christianity in general.

You will see some of those views here, ones that I’ve brought up before about the state of contemporary Christianity, that these reviewers repeat about Dobson in particular, like how these reviewers notice that….

  • Dobson idolizes 1950s American culture;
  • Dobson, like so many other biblical gender complementarians, portrays un-biblical codependency as being desirable in a female, or mistakes codependency for being some kind of biblical standard for femininity;
  • spends more time complaining and bitching about liberalism than he does in actually dispensing useful parenting advice, etc:

From reviews of Dobson’s book “How To Raise Girls”

Review by Aaron Thompson

(who gave the book a 2 star out of 5 star review):

This review is from: Bringing Up Girls: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Shaping the Next Generation of Women (Hardcover)

I’ll just say I’m not a fan of James Dobson, but I have a habit of reading books even if I don’t think I’ll like them. I got this for free, so I thought I’d give it a go.

True to what I expected, I thought the book was far too negative. The majority of the book is spent talking about how the world is terrible and getting worse by the second. He spends a lot of time recounting “the good ol’ days”, which I assume is when he was a young person. I think it’s safe to say the world was just as bad then, just in some different ways.

I also think he is far too old-fashioned. Call it what you will, but I don’t think it’s necessary for a man to walk on the street side of the sidewalk or order for his date. Those types of behaviors would drive me crazy. In general, I don’t agree with the 1950’s housewife idea he has for women. If a particular woman wants her relationship to work that way, fine. But many don’t.

And lots of men don’t want that, either.

And guess what? We are dedicated Christians. I do like a little romance to be sure, but if my husband acted the way Dobson advocates for, I would feel completely smothered.

Dobson also makes himself sound outdated by comparing piercings to self-harm, such as cutting, and saying that it means you hate yourself.

No, Dr. Dobson, I didn’t hate myself when I got my tongue, nose, lip, and whatever else pierced. I just liked the style at the time.

It had no bearing whatsoever on my relationship with God, and it did not mean I was sexually abused, drank alcohol/did drugs, or had promiscuous sex. In fact, none of those things were the case with me.

I also disliked his assessment on Disney Princesses. He’s a big fan. He says girls love them because they’re beautiful, have it all together, marry Prince Charming, have an unlimited wardrobe complete with fancy dresses, and everyone loves them.

They are the epitome of femininity and represent wanting to feel beautiful and loved as well as secure.

I don’t think those are very Christian attitudes, to be honest.

I would rather be focusing my life on whatever God calls me to, even if it’s hard. Even if it’s dirty. Even if it calls me to be lonely, ugly, poor, or unmarried.

I think the Princesses give the wrong idea that desiring security and beauty is more important than desiring God. Would I completely ban a daughter from playing with Princesses? Of course not. It’s fun to dress them up. But I do worry about her “looking up” to them.

Honestly, I don’t think Dobson includes enough scripture. When he does, the majority is from the Old Testament. That’s not bad, but I would like to hear the words of Jesus and his disciples. To me, the book (and Dobson, for that matter) is about Traditional America first, Jesus second.

There are a few things I found worthwhile in the book. Dobson had interesting information on warning signs to look for in teenagers with things like sexual abuse.

This is helpful, because my husband is a youth pastor. I also appreciated the ideas for daughters and fathers to strengthen their relationship. I know that a lot of girls don’t have fathers in their lives, or if they do, their fathers are distant, so I think this is a great thing for fathers to hear and possibly be convicted about.

All in all, I think there are far better parenting books, but in most books, you can find a few worthwhile things.

(Please click the “read more” link below to read the rest of this post)

Continue reading “Reviewers of Dobson’s book about parenting girls confirms it – U.S. Christians fixated on 1950s culture”

American Women in the Military – topic on Mefferd Radio Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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

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

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

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

Some Christian women never get married. Such women don’t have a husband to count on, to financially support them, or to defend them.
Continue reading “American Women in the Military – topic on Mefferd Radio Show”

Ageism in the Church – The Insufferable, Obnoxious Fixation on the Under-25s Demographic

One of the themes of this blog is exploring how and why so many American churches and denominations and the Christian community in general either ignore never-married Christians over the age of 30, or treat them like garbage.

On a similar note, I’ve noticed that a lot of American Christians are guilty of ignoring or not caring about the needs or spiritual growth of anyone over 25 years of age.

My mother used to take me to church weekly when I was a child. We moved often, so the older I got, we did not attend churches as often.

I definitely remember feeling welcomed at church at ages 3 to 10. I did not feel like an outsider at a young age. There were Bible stories for us read out of kiddie Bibles, and punch and cookies.

I went to different churches here and there, off and on, in my 20s, but not often enough to pick up a feel of how Christians treated 20 somethings.

I began going to church regularly again when I was in my mid 30s. It was then, walking in to a church alone at 35 or 36, that I felt out of place and peculiar. It was then I began to notice how I was one of the few people sitting alone in the pews. Everyone else was part of a couple.

I further began noticing how most of the sermons or activities were for married couples or pertained to parenting.

I had wondered if I was alone in noticing or feeling these things until a few years ago, I began reading the occasional book about singlehood in Christianity.

The authors of these books confirmed it was not in my imagination, and that a lot of other unmarried Christians past the age of 30 noticed the same things I was.

One of the books I read, Quitting Church, by author Julia Duin, mentioned how churches are alienating not just unmarried people in general, but anyone over the age of 25, and I agree. (Please click the “more” link to read the rest of the post)
Continue reading “Ageism in the Church – The Insufferable, Obnoxious Fixation on the Under-25s Demographic”

Jesus’ Family Values by Deirdre Good challenges conservative Christan emphasis on “family” (copy)

As a never-married adult Christian, I am disturbed by the undue emphasis American Christian culture places on “the family,” by which they mean the 1950s standard of man married to woman with one or more children.

Maybe conservative Christian groups are correct and secular culture is hostile towards the nuclear family, but the obsession they have with defending it means these Christians frequently ignore or exclude anyone who does not fall into the nuclear family demographic (married couples with children).

(I discussed this issue in previous posts on this blog, such as: Conservative Christianity Stuck in 1950s Leave it To Beaver-ville)

I came across this book review which also discusses the topic (copy of a post at goddiscussion.com; source: (www)goddiscussion.com/85000/jesus-family-values-by-deirdre-good/:):

Jesus’ Family Values by Deirdre Good offers challenge to conservative Christian views

[The book review opens by describing how some American Christian groups claim that the nuclear family is under attack, as do some European groups, such as the British “Christian Action Research and Education, or CARE for short”].

…. [I]t is quickly apparent that the family is viewed in exclusive terms as being two parents (of different sexes) and children. But the grandaddy of all advocates of the ‘Christian family’ is without doubt the the behemoth that is Focus on the Family a multimillion dollar ministry formerly headed by James Dobson whose aim is to “help families thrive.”

Anyone would think that the testimony of the Bible was unequivocal given the unanimity with which Christian marriages laud their particular vision of family as the very bedrock of civilization.

But, even excluding the First Testament with its references to polygamy and like exercised by God’s righteous the Second Testament is far from clear. To cite one primary example Jesus in Matthew 10: 35-37 makes the startling comment that his mission is not so much to establish Christian families that will form the basis of a Christian civilization but is rather to “set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (English Standard Version).

Deirdre Good in her book Jesus’ Family Values offers a succinct but powerful challenge to this conservative hijacking of ‘the family’ as being a mainstay of Christian civilization.
Continue reading “Jesus’ Family Values by Deirdre Good challenges conservative Christan emphasis on “family” (copy)”

Do Women Need Marriage Anymore? (copy)

I’ve been seeing lots of articles like this lately.

Source:

(www.) citibank.com/womenandco/article/do-women-need-marriage-anymore.jsp

Do Women Need Marriage Anymore?

The New York Times article, “For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside of Marriage,” really got us thinking about motherhood, money, and marriage. The story addresses the changing face of family in the U.S., and how illegitimacy no longer has the same stigma for young unmarried mothers—in fact, it is the new norm.

And while 59% of all women who give birth in the U.S. are married, it is the generation of young mothers under 30 who have tipped the scales the other way—with the biggest jump among white women in their 20’s. So, why are so many young women choosing NOT to walk down the aisle? Is it possible that men are phasing themselves out of their role in society and don’t even know it?

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

In the tradition of marriage, the notion that you marry for love is relatively new. In fact, it was not until the 1920’s that dating became a popular trend. Historically, marriage was a simple economic union between families. It was our human need to ensure our survival and better our position in society. And while most of us today shudder at the thought of living in a loveless marriage, the economic need for a woman to wed has typically outweighed that of men—that is, until now.

Gender Role Reversal
According to a Pew Research Center study, between 1970 and 2007 the education and income levels of married men and women have completely flip flopped. Until the last couple of decades, more men completed college and were the sole bread winners of the household. But today, the tables have turned.

The 2009 Labor Census showed that when the recession hit in 2008, 75% of the decline in unemployment was among men of prime working age, while the growth rate of women in the workforce actually increased. Plus, there are more women today graduating from college than men, and the dual income household is commonplace—with many women making more than their husbands. All of these changing factors have greatly increased the man’s economic need to marry while decreasing the financial motive for women.

Education and Marriage

That said, according to the studies, education—therefore income level—and marriage go hand in hand. The Times article and the Pew Research Center state that college graduates still “overwhelmingly marry before having children, turning family structure into a new class divide.” According to University of Pennsylvania sociologist Frank Furstenberg, “Marriage has become a luxury good.”

Adding to the divide is the finding that educated men have been quicker than their blue-collar peers to give women equal authority and play the partner role. Therefore, the trend suggests that many young, lower income women are finding themselves having children with men who not only cannot provide financially for their family, they are not providing other partnership benefits that would make a formal union beneficial, such as taking on the non-traditional role of stay at home dad.

The New Economics of Marriage

Today’s woman is no longer faced with the inevitability of relying on a man for income. So when faced with the prospect of a shotgun wedding, it’s not surprising a new generation of young mothers are asking: what’s in it for us? And even though statistics show that children born outside of marriage are at greater risk to fall into poverty, fail in school, or suffer emotional and behavioral problems, many women will try living with their “baby daddy”, but refuse to marry him.

For lower income parents, when it comes to qualifying for government aid, sometimes it’s simply more economical to stay single. But it’s not always the motivating factor. Many of these working mothers have no interest in struggling to financially support their out-of-work boyfriends. In fact, they’d rather keep their independence than risk a failed marriage in the long run.

The question remains, what do the men think of all of this? If the traditional role of the man in the family structure is changing, what will his new role be?

Single Christian Women Have No Protection according to some preachers

Single Christian Women Have No Protection according to some preachers

I’m watching pastor Jeff Schreve on his weekly series, “From His Heart Ministries” giving a sermon on marriage today. Schreve seems like a sincere pastor and an all around nice guy, but he seems to believe in male headship, and as (Link): I am a biblical egalitarian, I don’t share his view on that matter.

However, another thing Schreve is talking about that I find disturbing: he said in part of this sermon that a woman is under the protection of her mom and dad until she marries, then she is “under the protection of her husband” when she marries. The Bible does not teach this concept, not in the New Testament.

((edit): This teaching also sounds eerily like Reconstructionist / Quiverfull teachings, see: (Link): Christian Patriarchy Group: God Demands You Marry and Have Babies to Defeat Paganism and Satan. Singles and the Childless Worthless (in this worldview))

Problem: I am in my early 40s, pastor Schreve, and never married. I am single, a Christian woman. So who is my “protection,” pastor Schreve?

I am not the only one, there are many, many Christian women my age and older who have never married, and a lot of them live alone, work jobs, and pay rent alone.

Who is our “protector”? If you say God, Holy Spirit, or Christ, I don’t get it – would that same answer also not be true for married women? Why would a woman’s “protector” go from Father, Spirit and Son to husband just because she marries??

(Edit.) I watched the following Sunday’s sermon, where this same pastor did a topic about the role of women. I don’t recall everything he talked about, but I do remember he once again neglected to mention women over the age of 35 who have never married or had kids.

Schreve again mentioned how there is no higher calling for a woman than to raise children (although, again, the Bible does not teach either concept, but actually holds (Link): singleness and being childfree in higher esteem and no, the Bible does not teach that God “calls” some to singleness, either, so a preacher cannot brush this off by saying, “It’s okay for YOU to be single if God called you to be” – I have addressed these unbiblical views in other posts, so I shall not get into them here – see some of the links at the bottom of this post for more).

See also, on this blog:

(Link): Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother

Some married women are infertile and unable to have a baby: how do you suppose it makes THEM feel to hear that their only God-approved role in life is to crank out a kid, if they want one, and are unable to have one? And neither should women who choose NOT to reproduce, though they are capable, be made to feel ashamed of this, or judged, or condemned.

Schreve basically said that it’s “best” for a woman to stay at home and raise her kids while the husband works outside of the home. That is his opinion, and he is welcome to it, but please, point me to the Bible verses that teach this view (the Bible is silent on the matter).

I could just as easily argue that it’s best for a child for the father to be a stay- at -home dad and raise the kids, while mom goes off to work.

I’m astounded that this pastor, like so many other Christians, continue to assume that everyone over the age of 25 is married and/or a parent these days.

Census data continue to show that more and more Christians over 20 are not marrying at all, or not marrying until much later in life (current percentage of adults over 18 who are single is now 44%).

I sent his (Schreve’s) ministry an e-mail mentioning all this but all I got was a reply saying they would forward my e-mail to the pastor. (edit, Feb 2014. I never got a reply to that e-mail, nor was the topic addressed and corrected in future sermons.)

I wish pastors would wake up and realize this is 2012 and we are no longer living in 1955 America where everyone is married by 20 years of age with three kids.

By hyper-focusing on marriage and parenting, and telling never married, childless or childfree women over the age of 40 that their greatest, or only, calling in life is to be a wife and mother, you are needlessly marginalizing and insulting never- married adults, widows, the divorced, and the childless and the childfree.

If you are a preacher who holds such views about marriage, gender roles, parenting and/or you are neglecting the never-married adults (as well as other singles, such as the widows) in your audience, you are also neglecting, or violating, biblical passages such as (Link): Matthew 10:34-37 and (Link): Matthew 12:46-50 . You need to repent of your nuclear family, strict gender role views, and marriage idolatry.


(This post has been edited to add new links)



Related posts, this blog:

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

(Link): Parenthood Does Not Make People More Loving Mature Godly Ethical Caring or Responsible (One Stop Thread)

(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

(Link): Ever Notice That Christians Don’t Care About or Value Singleness, Unless Jesus Christ’s Singleness and Celibacy is Doubted or Called Into Question by Scholars?

(Link): Marriage Does Not Make People More Loving Mature Godly Ethical Caring or Responsible (One Stop Thread)

(Link): According to Pastor ( Jimmy Evans ) It Takes One Man and Woman Married To Equal A Whole – so where does that leave adult Christian singles ?

Driscoll also has incorrect, unbiblical views about adult celibacy:
(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias

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

(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): God’s gifting of singleness is rare – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage and God gifts only the rare with the gift of Marriage

(Link): The World Does Not Need More Marriage Sermons – They Don’t Stop Divorce or Get People Married

(Link): Preacher Whose 90% of Sermons are About How to Have a Great Marriage Warns Audience Not to Make Marriage an Idol – Kerry Shook Update and Irony Alert

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

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

(Link): A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood (article) – how Christian teachings on gender and singlehood contribute to raunch culture and fornication etc

(Link): ‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by Matthew Hagee – Hagee Teaches that Single Unmarried Women Do Not Have a Purpose in Life God has no purpose for singles

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

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

(Link): The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line

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

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

(Link): Why Unmarried – Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy (some preachers are teaching that unmarried adults are not 100% human, not 100% in the “image of God,” that they must marry first)

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): Christian TV Personality and Preacher ( Jimmy Evans ) Says You Cannot Meet God’s Destiny For Your Life Without A Spouse = Anti Singleness Singlehood Singles Bias Prejudice Making Idol out of Marriage

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

(Link): Christian Stereotypes About Female Sexuality : All Unmarried Women Are Supposedly Hyper Sexed Harlots – But All Married Ones are Supposedly Frigid or Totally Uninterested in Sex
———————-

The Wartburg Watch Blog – YEC, Calvinists, Gender Roles etc

(Please click the “more” link to read the entire post)

I found a blog called “The Wartburg Watch” about a year ago while doing a web search on some topic or another, and then forgot about it, until I found it again about a week ago.

Here is the link to the Wartburg Watch blog:

The Wartburg Watch

In this post, I discuss (sometimes only very briefly), Reformed Theology (Calvinism), gender roles (complementarianism), Young Earth Creationism, Christian speaker Beth Moore, New Evangelicalism (i.e., how important is “secondary doctrine”), spiritual abuse in churches, and other subjects, and how they are addressed at the WW blog.

Areas of Agreement

I do agree with many of the positions taken on the blog by Dee and Deb, who started the blog.

I agree with them on many of the topics they post about, such as authoritarianism and Neo-Calvinism are problematic in Christianity; that the very un-loving tone Christians take towards others can at times cause other Christians to walk away from the Christian faith; and that patriarchy and gender complementarianism are unbiblical and sexist teachings that are doing damage to many women and to the doctrine of the Trinity.

I also agree, to a point, with the blog owners that some Christians wrongly make issues that most would consider secondary into primary- level concerns, which can lead to needless divisions among Christians. (On the other hand, I sometimes get a little bit nervous by Christians who start saying love always trumps doctrine).

The blog owners are also very concerned about spiritual abuse in churches and how to prevent or rectify it, and they are also rightly concerned with the sexual abuse of children by pastors and priests.

So on those fronts, I do recommend their blog.

Areas of Disagreement

I do however, have one or two concerns or disagreements with the ladies behind that blog.

Deb and Dee seem concerned that Christians should be respectful and loving towards other Christians, even when disagreeing on secondary issues – which is a fine and laudable goal.

Young Earth Creationism

However, I don’t see them fully demonstrating that philosophy in regards to secondary issues such as YEC (Young Earth Creationism).

Repeatedly at their blog, I see much disdain for YEC. And I don’t pick up that the disdain is due to their assertion that some YECs are trying to push its relevance.

They claim that some YEC advocates conflate YEC with salvation or the Gospel itself, which I have not seen (though I am not denying that some YECs may do this, but I don’t think it’s as rampant as they make it appear – I have never personally seen or read of an occasion of a YEC saying “Agreement with YEC = necessary for salvation”).

About the only name I have seen them cite as far as YECs, especially famous YECs, who elevate YEC to salvation-level proportions is Ken Ham. (Ham’s site, Answers Outreach)

I’ve read Ham’s material before and have seen him interviewed on TV shows about his views on evolution and creation.

I have personally not seen Ham equate YEC to the Gospel itself.

I have only seen Ham make an argument along the lines that questioning YEC (which usually involves denying a literal interpretation of the Bible and/or allowing a secular / naturalistic-materialistic worldview to color one’s reading of the Bible, including the book of Genesis) can lead people (young people in particular, who are immersed with secular views on evolution during school and college) to question other portions of the Bible.

That is, rejecting a literal, six- day creation interpretation in turn can, or may, ultimately lead them to question if the Gospel is true and accurate, or cause them to wonder if other aspects of the Bible are true.

I think Ham actually has a decent and legitimate point there, and I don’t see that as necessarily “equating YEC to the Gospel,” or to making a belief in it a requirement for salvation.

In one thread on one blog page at Wartburg Watch, one of the blog owners seemed to ridicule or mock YEC Christians who believe that dinosaurs may have existed at the time of Noah and that dinosaurs were led on to Noah’s Ark, or that this could have been a possibility.

This is not the specific thread I am thinking of, but is close to it in content and tone:

The Fred Principle Fundamental Evangelicals Rejecting Reason (Wartburg Watch blog post)

As a YEC, I and other YECs do not “reject science,” we do not “reject reason,” and we are not “anti science,” as we are so often depicted as (including in the Wartburg Watch post above, sadly).

Most of us YECs merely disagree with other people over scientific topics, or how to approach scientific topics.

Disagreeing with someone else on the topic of evolution or the age of the earth does not mean we YECs are “anti science” or “anti reason.” To keep saying we YECs are “anti science” is a strawman and is mischaracterizing our views and beliefs.

In the discussion on YEC, one comment from the Wartburg Watch says (which is again at this blog page):

“No matter what the anointed would have us believe, the age of the earth, complementarianism, the size of our church, and the governing structure of the church are not primary issues. Folks, we have been given a brain. We need to use it.”

I do not believe that the earth is millions or billions of years old or that God used evolution to create and change life forms.

From this blog person’s comments at Wartburg Watch, one would assume that those who do not agree that the earth is millions/billions of years old have not been given brains or do not use their brains. I’m unsure if the bloggers mean that, or if it was an unfortunate choice of words.

(I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some Christian Old Earth advocates and believers of theistic evolution who make the age of the earth or evolution a primary issue, who tell YECs they are unsaved and going to hell.)

This comment is from a blog owner of Wartburg Watch (at the same page)…

“So what was his [the YEC person] solution [when confronted with material that disagreed with YEC views]? He refused to read anything more because it challenged him to the core. He said he would choose to believe Young Earth in spite of the evidence because ‘he couldn’t take it.'”

…Was somewhat uncharitable. Not all YECs are “afraid” to look at the opposition’s view points nor do all YEC advocates recoil in horror, in disbelief, or go into denial after having read work critical of YEC views.

I have read arguments for both sides of the evolution and age of Earth debates in the past, and I remain a YEC.

I was subjected to years of secular macro-evolution education in public schools and a bit in college and was told as a student that the earth is millions and millions of years old, but I still remain unconvinced for old-earth or macro evolution beliefs.

I have listened to Christian scientific personality Hugh Ross, who believes in theistic evolution (or some variety of it) and in an old earth, many times on Christian shows over the past fifteen years, arguing in favor of an old earth view (Hugh Ross’ site, Reasons To Believe).

Ross seems like a very nice man (and very intelligent, too – though he can, in my view, get a bit prickly or condescending at times when debating YECs), and I have no doubt he believes in Jesus as much as I do, but I disagree with him on these particular issues.

I did not find the “old earth” arguments, or arguments in favor of evolution, by Ross or by other Christians, journals, blogs, or TV shows I’ve read or watched compelling, nor was I convinced by secular sources who argue for old earth and for Darwinism.

I am college-educated and made mostly straight A’s while in college, so I am not a hick or a dummy. I made a “B” in a math class (college algebra), a “B” in one science class, and a “C” in one science lab course – everything else, I got an “A” (including one or two other college- level science courses).

I have read material that questions and criticizes the YEC and Intelligent Design view, both by Christians (who believe in theistic evolution and an old age of the earth view) and by atheists – and I am still a YEC.

There seems to be a belief held (and it is condescending), by Old Age proponents, that if only a YEC is confronted with criticisms of YECism by old-earth proponents, we will abandon our views of YEC, because, by golly, Fact, Science!, and Truth are so obviously on the side of the intelligent, educated, old-earth proponents…

And that further, it seems there is also a belief, or attitude, that simple-minded, doofus, red-neck, inbred, wrongly- paranoid- of- liberal- tinged public school system education Young Earth Creationists (who also watch NASCAR, marry their first cousins, have only one tooth, and keep broken washing machines on their front lawns, next to the pink, plastic flamingos) simply cannot challenge or refute anti-YEC teachings, or we are so weak minded, we will faint upon hearing them.

If the situation about the origins of life, creation of the earth and of mankind were as simple as all that, there would not be an old-earth / young-earth / evolution debate at all; all Christians would have converted to old-earth / theistic evolution perspectives many years ago. Obviously both sides have excellent points, intelligent people, and facts to back up their positions.

Dee and Deb of the Wartburg Watch blog may not be questioning the salvation of a Christian who believes dinosaurs co-existed with Noah, but in my view, it is no less alienating, or uncharitable to imply people who do believe that way are rubes, out- of- touch, un-scientific, anti reason, ignorant, or that all YECs everywhere equate YEC to the Gospel – and I do pick up that tone in some of the posts at the WW blog on this issue. I find that baffling, since both ladies usually seem very sensitive to other people’s feelings and concerns.

I am a YEC myself. I do not believe a person has to be YEC or agree with it to “be saved.” (Click the “more” link below to read the remainder of this post…)

Continue reading “The Wartburg Watch Blog – YEC, Calvinists, Gender Roles etc”

It’s not complementarianism; it’s patriarchy

This was a good page (it touches on sexism in the church – also known as gender complementarianism):

Esther and Vashti: The Real Story

I share many of the views and observations as what’s described on this blog page:

It’s not complementarianism; it’s patriarchy

And someone on that page linked to this:

Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained

Continue reading “It’s not complementarianism; it’s patriarchy”