Thoughts Regarding ‘Both Purity Culture and Hook-Up Culture Failed Me’ by A. Murrish

Thoughts Regarding ‘Both Purity Culture and Hook-Up Culture Failed Me’ by A. Murrish

First, here is a link to the page I will be discussing:

(Link): Both Purity Culture and Hook-Up Culture Failed Me

I don’t care for this editorial.

For one thing it sort of spiritualizes the status of singleness, which is grating to any adult over the age of 35, who had hoped to marry, but is still single.

Next, the author points to the church as a solution for singles.

She is essentially telling marriage-desiring singles to lose themselves in church, to find belonging in church groups.

The problem with this is that for many never-married adults (and some divorced and widowed) over the age of 30, most churches either ignore adult singles, or they insult adult singles, because they are too preoccupied with promoting marriage and catering to the needs of married couples.

Continue reading “Thoughts Regarding ‘Both Purity Culture and Hook-Up Culture Failed Me’ by A. Murrish”

The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog – Links, Comments, Thoughts

The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog

Warning: I discovered through further reading that the author of the blog is a complementarian. I disagree with complementarianism; more on that below.

Had I known from the start she is a complementarian, I may not have started composing this post. I am leery of pointing anyone to a complementarian resource, but here we are.


As of today, I see only a small number of posts on the The Rhetoric of Singleness blog, dating from April 2017, and this blog appears to be from a Christian perspective – but then, her blog does not display a list or pull down menu of all her posts.

Even though the blog looks to be on hiatus, I’ll link to it on the off chance the blogger resumes writing again.

The person behind this blog says she’s single, in her 30s, and has yet to marry but would like to.

(Link): The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog – main page

Some of the only posts I am seeing on this blog include:

(Link): Pursuing Marriage

In that “Pursuing Marriage” post, she says she is a believer in gender complementarianism.

For example, here’s part of what she writes:

So, what options does that leave me, a woman with a complementary view of gender roles, of pursuing marriage? I know for some women who see no options left to them there is a strong temptation to bitterness, resentment, and to denigrate our single brothers who are called by God to the leadership role in the pursuit of marriage.

// end excerpt

Oh no. I (Link): used to be a complementarian myself but ditched it by my mid 30s.

I heard all the same stuff from conservative Christians growing up, as this other blogger likely did, such as, how (Link): men are supposed to be the heads in marriages, God supposedly created women pretty much to exist (Link): only to wait on menand so on.

(And I remained a conservative, even after I realized that complementarianism is false and actually quite sexist – it doesn’t just teach that men and women “complement” one another but that there should be a male hierarchy, of men ruling over women.

Contrary to what complementarians would have you believe, abandoning gender complementarianism will not turn you into a left wing, abortion-supporting, man-hating feminist. I am still right wing, even after leaving complementarianism.)

I am no longer a complementarian, but can pin point complementarianism, among a few other things, as being (Link): one reason as to why I am in my 40s and never got married.

Continue reading “The Rhetoric of Singleness Blog – Links, Comments, Thoughts”

WHO: Single People Who Struggle to Find A Partner To Be Considered “Infertile”

WHO: Single People Who Struggle to Find A Partner To Be Considered “Infertile”

I’m taken aback by some of the cranky comments by people who disagree with this decision. Take for example this (source):

Josephine Quintavalle, from Comment on Reproductive Ethics added: “This absurd nonsense is not simply re-defining infertility but completely side-lining the biological process and significance of natural intercourse between a man and a woman.

Well, excuse the hell out of me, Ms. Quintavalle, but some of us find ourselves single by circumstance – we had hoped to be married in our 20s or 30s but just could not find the right guy. I cannot get pregnant now because I have no husband to have sex with to get pregnant, by, HELLO.

You’re saying women like me shouldn’t be able to get help we need or want in having a kid of our own, if that is what we want (I never cared if I had one myself or not, but some women really want one). There is just no sympathy from some people for the circumstances other people find themselves in in life. I didn’t plan on turning out single well into my 40s, lady.

I don’t think that adult singleness should be thought of in a derogatory fashion as a “disability” (God knows we get enough of that condescending attitude from churches as it is), but I don’t see anything wrong with it pertaining to allowing singles who want to have  kid.

I’m also seeing one or two commentators who assume that single adults are more “selfish” than married couples, which is untrue and is (Link): the reverse!

(Link):   People Who Can’t Find Sex Partners Should Be Classified as ‘Disabled,’ Says World Health Organization

(Link):  Being Single Is Now a Disability, According to the World Health Organization

By Rhett Jones

For the WHO’s Dr. David Adamson, one of the authors of the new standards, this move is about creating medical equality. He says, “(Link): The definition of infertility is now written in such a way that it includes the rights of all individuals to have a family, and that includes single men, single women, gay men, gay women.”

Continue reading “WHO: Single People Who Struggle to Find A Partner To Be Considered “Infertile””

62-Year-Old New Mom Encourages Older Women to have Babies

62-Year-Old New Mom Encourages Older Women to have Babies

I first saw this story tweeted by Drudge, and lord-a-mercy, the folks leaving Tweets under it are judgmental little jerk-weeds.

Why do people care if women like this want to have a kid over the age of 50?

I find it hypocritical, too. Society puts all this pressure on women to have kids, and so, if a woman does have a kid, they pick apart when she has a kid, how many she has, does she use birth control or not to space them out, and on and on it goes.

Shut the hell up culture! Stop nit-picking apart women’s choices on when, if, how, or where they have a kid.

(Link): 62-year-old new mom encourages older women to have babies

Excerpts:

A 62-year-old woman from Spain has become a new mom.  Lina Alvarez of Lugo, in northwest Spain gave birth to a girl she named Lina.  She says “it’s impossible to be happier” at having her baby late in life.

Baby Lina was born on October 10th.  She was born a month early due to mom’s blood pressure problems and weighed 5 pounds and 2 ounces.  Lina is Alvarez’s third child.  Her oldest child is 27-years-old and she also has a 10-year-old.

Continue reading “62-Year-Old New Mom Encourages Older Women to have Babies”

The Not Mom Blog: Childless by Chance Topic and Other Posts

The Not Mom Blog: Childless by Chance Topic

From the (Link): Not Mom Blog,
(Link): Childless by Chance

From their blog:

(Link): 15 DIMENSIONS OF CHILDLESS BY CHOICE OR BY CHANCE

    Remember that niches aren’t walled divisions, just different shades of a shared story. Here’s what you’ve told us so far about our many sub-communities. Don’t see yours? Let us know.

    By Choice and By Chance are like the East and West Sides of our ‘city’. Except, our map includes a Venn diagram where the two sides share land for women who describe themselves as Both. They once wanted kids, very much so in many cases, but at some point they realized the effort to conceive was too taxing, or that the idea of motherhood simply didn’t fit anymore.

    …The big umbrella of Infertility/Age includes women who’ve tried IVF, or experienced miscarriage, or simply waited too long before trying to conceive. A partner’s infertility counts, too. And Age can push a woman to declare herself without children By Chance and By Choice: Both.

    Health-Challenged NotMoms may well be fertile, but conditions such as cardiovascular disorders or kidney and liver disease, make the attempt life-threatening.

    Childless by Marriage is a term I credit to Sue Lick, who wrote a book and more about marrying an older man who was already a father and didn’t want more kids. When he died suddenly, her stepchildren vanished from her life, and her age made childbearing distinctly improbable. That was her ‘by marriage’ story, but there are many more.

    Continue reading “The Not Mom Blog: Childless by Chance Topic and Other Posts”

Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams

Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams

Don’t Let Someone Who Gave Up On Their Dreams Talk You Out Of Yours

In a couple of posts in the past (such as (Link): this one), I discussed the disheartening trend I see in Christian books, articles, interviews, or blogs by (1.) other never-married adult Christians who are over age of 35 or 40 (or, (2.) on occasion by married Christians who condescendingly lecture adult singles on these issues).

These (I am speaking of group 1 above) are adults who had hoped to marry, but they remain single into their late 30s or beyond.

(There is also another group, Christians who are over 40 years of age, who are thrilled and totally at peace at having never married and never really cared either way if they ever married or not. They are guilty of what I write about in this post, too.

Hell, I sometimes see single Christians below the age of 35 who are guilty of this, but their views stem more from being naive about life.)

The never-married Christians, who are past the age of 35 or 40, who have given up on ever getting married themselves then turn around in their interviews, articles, and books and shame other post-age-35 singles from pursuing marriage.

I kid you not. They will guilt trip you if you still hope to marry some day, and you are past 35 years old.

They have given up hope of ever getting married themselves, so they go about trying to convince other singles to give up, too. They will try to shame you out of pursuing your dream. They will tell you that at 40, you are too old to be on dating sites and still expecting marriage.

They believe you should only think of “eternity,” or, they will argue, you should be consumed in this life only with thoughts about Jesus or with how to serve Jesus in the here and now.

They will shame you by telling you that it’s selfish, immature, un-christian, or self-centered (or a combination of all those things) to go after an earthly pursuit such as marriage, even though Jesus did not preach a “pie in the sky” theology, but said he came so that you may have life more abundantly – that means NOW, not after you’re dead.

Many Christians believe in a theology of CODEPENDENCY and ASCETICISM, both of which are condemned in the Bible (see for example Colossians 2:16-22). It is okay to seek after your own personal happiness in the here and now. People who tell you otherwise are peddling false doctrine.

Don't Give Up On Your Dreams
Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams

If you are over 35, have never been married, and would still like to be, don’t let anyone else dissuade you from pursuing marriage, especially the ones who once held the dream but have given up.
———————-
Related posts:

(Link): It’s Not Too Late, And You’re Not Too Old

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

(Link): Christian Singles Never Marrieds – it’s okay to get your needs met

(Link): Christian Double Standard – Pray Earnestly For Anything & Everything – Except Marriage?

(Link): Singleness is Not A Gift

(Link): Desire for Marriage is Idolatry?

(Link): Gift of Singleness Gift of Celibacy Unbiblical – Those Terms and Teachings Contribute to Fornication / Editorial About Sex Surrogates

This applies to marriage, too:
(Link): Hypocrisy in Christian Culture – Those who idolize parenting chide infertiles for trying to have kids
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Just How Family-Centered Is the Bible? by J. Starke – An Essay that Hits and Misses

Just How Family-Centered Is the Bible? by J. Starke

I offer this link with a caveat or four.

Before I get to the link itself, here are a few of my problems with it (with additional critique below the link and excerpts from it).

This essay comes from a site sponsored by a bunch of people, “The Gospel Coalition,” a phrase which sounds so darn “biblical,” but I sharply disagree with them (not all their views are ‘biblical’).

The Gospel Coalition is comprised, for example, of Neo Calvinists (or they support Neo Cal preachers and doctrine; I am not sure if every last writer at their site is a Neo Cal).

Further, they are gender complementarian (also known as “biblical womanhood and biblical manhood.” As taught by these people, their views of gender roles are not biblical.

If you’d like to see a contrary conservative, biblical Christian view about gender and gender roles, please read the material at (Link): Christians For Biblical Equality.)

There are some aspects of this writing that seem to be an even-handed essay telling Christians to be careful about not making too much out of “family” and “marriage” to the point either or both become idols, but there are still one or two aspects of this that I still disagree with and will comment on that below the long excerpt.

(Link): Just How Family-Centered Is the Bible? by J. Starke

Starke begins his editorial discussing how marriage today is in trouble, divorce is on the rise, and so on.

Excerpts:

    by J Starke

    …. But with every response [by Christians to issues in secular culture such as rising divorce rates], there’s always the danger of over-correction.

    It’s not that I think some evangelicals have become too conservative or too traditional. I worry that they’ve simply adopted traditional cultural and societal norms, instead of biblical norms.

    Zechariah

    … The two birth announcements in the Gospel of Luke to Zechariah and Mary reveal how a society’s “traditional” family values may not line up with God’s.

    Zechariah, the priest married to a barren woman, and Mary both heard miraculous announcements about impending childbirth.

    Yet while Zechariah responded with skepticism and doubt, Mary responded with faith and wonder.

    So why would Zechariah, a priest, doubt an angel of the Lord? He knew the story of Abraham and Sarah, so the idea of an older, barren woman giving birth wouldn’t be ridiculous to him.

    But consider Zechariah and Elizabeth’s situation. Some of you may know the pain of not being able to have children.

    It’s the feeling of 10, 20, even 30 years deeply desiring children with hopes unfulfilled.

    Zechariah and Elizabeth also suffered shame. Luke 1:24-25 reveals Elizabeth’s heart. She said, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

    By reproach she meant the shame that comes from known barrenness. Maybe some of you have experienced this reproach from more conservative societies, where family is held in such a high regard.

    If you’re nearing your 40s with no children and maybe not even married, you start to receive questions like, “When are you going to get yourself a husband?” “When are we going to start seeing some little ones around here?” You hear the whispers. Every baby shower brings guilt and shame.

    Zechariah and Elizabeth also dealt with questions about whether they did something wrong to deserve barrenness.

    Was there some hidden sin? Worse, Zechariah was a religious leader, a priest!

    Can you imagine how this public shame undermined his position, his authority?

    So for Zechariah, pain and sorrow turned to shame and disgrace. He held on tightly to the cultural idol of family. This idol filled his heart so that there was no room for the truth of God’s promise, even if he heard it from an angel. The good news of a coming son did not inspire joy but unbelief. It’s too late. We’re too old.

    … But there’s another wrong view. A society can make the family the most important thing. It can become an idol, something that fundamentally defines us. We regard anyone who never marries or cannot have children as somehow subhuman. They must have done something wrong to upset God.

    …By contrast, the Bible actually teaches a radically subversive message about the family. God, we often discover, is the cause of barrenness in women.

    Stories of family dynamics rarely flatter. You’ll never find a Leave it to Beaver household in the Bible. Rather, we see constant distress, rivalry, and jealousy.

    Usually this dynamic doesn’t result from undervaluing children. No, we see it when children become the most important thing! Not only that, Jesus also has some deeply alarming things to say about the family, sounding almost cold and uncaring—see Mark 3:31-35 and Luke 14:26.

    And finally, it’s difficult to make family the most central thing for Christians when the two most prominent figures in the New Testament, Jesus and the apostle Paul, were both single. Actually, Christianity made singleness a legitimate way of life for the first time in any culture or religion.

    Christ and the Church

    Before you thumb your noses at traditional values on marriage and family, remember this: When God wanted to paint a picture of his great love for he church and cost of his death, he cited marriage between a husband and wife. God in Jesus Christ is the faithful and sacrificial husband for his bride, the church.

    ….While the family cannot be so important that it invades the space in our heart that only God should occupy, we see that even from Creation, God designed marriage and family to result in a maturing society. Zechariah, however, warns us not to make family the ultimate thing. He turned it into a false god, leaving no room for the truth of the real God.

    … But their [Christians’] convictions should come from the Bible, not simply the norms of traditional societies.

I commend this author for pointing out that some Christians have turned marriage and family into idols, but I feel he gets a few things wrong and makes a few comments that are insensitive to certain types of people.

Here are some additional problems I have with this paper, as outlined below.

Starke starts out sounding sympathetic to barren or single adults who desire marriage and/or children. Starke writes,

    ..Zechariah and Elizabeth also dealt with questions about whether they did something wrong to deserve barrenness.

    Was there some hidden sin? Worse, Zechariah was a religious leader, a priest! Can you imagine how this public shame undermined his position, his authority?

I don’t recall the Bible explicitly saying that this couple was shamed and blamed for being without children, but Starke assumes this was so.

If we grant Starke that point:

When I first read this essay, I assumed Starke “felt” for Zack and Liz (Zechariah and Elizabeth) and how terrible it must have been for this couple to have supposedly been shamed or insulted over their childlessness.

Instead of rebuking the judgmental pro-family types for shaming “Zack and Liz” for being without children, which is what Starke should be doing, Starke instead shames and blames Zack and Liz themselves for supposedly having had made “the family” into an idol (though the biblical text does not say this).

I have more to say about this below this next excerpt.

Starke wrote:

    So for Zechariah, pain and sorrow turned to shame and disgrace. He held on tightly to the cultural idol of family. This idol filled his heart so that there was no room for the truth of God’s promise, even if he heard it from an angel.

There is nothing wrong with Zechariah, or with anyone, wanting to have a spouse or a child.

Simply wanting or desiring something that the Bible does not condemn does not mean one is idolizing it, yet Christians constantly make this leap.

I find this attitude by Stark fairly insensitive.

I have observed for many years now that among Christians who idolize marriage and family, it is made an idol by those who are already married, who are already parents, who tell the never-married and the infertile they are not as good, godly, mature, and worthy as marrieds and parents (hence my one stop threads on (Link): marriage and (Link): parenthood).

It’s the already married and those who are already parents who have turned marriage and parenthood into idols, not the childless and not the singles.

How cruel it is when the majority of Christian culture sets both things up -marriage and parenthood- as idols to be prized and then shames, rebukes, or blames an unmarried person for wanting a spouse, for seeking a spouse, or for an infertile couple to seek medical care to become pregnant.

Christian singles are told by Christians that they are not as mature, godly, or responsible as married couples are, but if they still desire marriage or attempt to get married – by using dating sites, for example – they are told they are “idolizing” marriage.

It’s a highly hypocritical move that Christians foist on other Christians, but they do it constantly.

I’ve written of it before in pages such as:

When Starke advises Christians not to turn marriage and family into idols, who exactly is he warning?

Because it sounds to me as though Starke is, in this essay, further shaming and blaming singles or infertiles who hanker after spouse and children, when he should be solely directing his criticisms at the overall Christian culture, which is maintained and controlled by people who are, 99% of the time, married with children.

Most churches will not even consider permitting un-married adults into positions of leadership, teaching, or preaching. Churches are heavily biased against singles and childless individuals or couples.

Singles should not be shamed for wanting or seeking marriage, and childless people should not be shamed for seeking to have children, especially not in a culture, Christian culture, that keeps cramming the idea down everyone’s throats that marriage and parenthood are more “godly” than singlehood or the state of childlessness, and how marriage and family is so important and fundamental for American society.

Wanting to be married is not “idolatry.” I have discussed that in a few posts before, such as in one by Mark Driscoll (I believe it was this post, (Link): More Singles Commentary by Mark Driscoll (“Two Mistakes Singles Make”), or, it may have been in this post: (Link): Mark Driscoll on Single Christian Women Who Desire Marriage – the positives and negatives of his piece ), and this one:

It also seems to me that the author dances around the stereotype that singles who hate being single and long for marriage are “bitter” which in turn is a component of “singles shaming.”

I’d say most of us older singles are not “bitter” about it, but have either come to terms with it, or feel sad about it at times, or both.

You can largely come to accept your single status but occasionally feel sad about it.

You can also point out how wrong Christians are to idolize marriage and treat adult singles like trash, but that does not make one “bitter” – it’s offering a much needed critique of Christian culture.

(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 SingleStarke writes,

    While the family cannot be so important that it invades the space in our heart that only God should occupy, we see that even from Creation, God designed marriage and family to result in a maturing society”

“God designed marriage and family to result in a maturing society?” He did? Really? Please provide book, chapter, and verse for that, because I don’t see anywhere in the Bible that declares this.

That belief that God intends “family” to be for the “maturing” of society, or to act as its backbone, is not even mentioned in the book of Genesis, which describes God creating the first married couple, Adam and Eve, and Adam and Eve having their first son.

That God allegedly uses marriage for anything (beyond anything other than for continuation of the human species and as one illustration of Jesus’ relationship to the church) -as a building block of culture, to sanctify people, to mature people and such- are merely assumptions Christians make repeatedly, with no biblical basis.

I’ve written about this issue before, like in this post:

Starke says,

    Before you thumb your noses at traditional values on marriage and family, remember this: When God wanted to paint a picture of his great love for he church and cost of his death, he cited marriage between a husband and wife. God in Jesus Christ is the faithful and sacrificial husband for his bride, the church.

I also wonder who these comments are aimed at. Who does he think may be “thumbing her nose at” marriage?

I am over 40 years of age and still would like to be married. I am not “anti marriage.”

I am very disturbed and angered at how highly other Christians elevate marriage, to the point marriage, and the 1950s nuclear family unit, is turned into a “golden calf” they worship.

Continue reading “Just How Family-Centered Is the Bible? by J. Starke – An Essay that Hits and Misses”

Renting a Womb – Women Reduced to Baby Breeders says Professor (editorial from CP)

Renting a Womb – Women Reduced to Baby Breeders (editorial from CP)

I find this bashing of “womb renting” (parental surrogacy) hypocritical on two levels. I have observations below this link and excerpt, where I explain why I find this hypocritical.

I myself don’t know if I support surrogacy or not; that isn’t my point. My point is that I find some of this Christian man’s objections to it hypocritical.

(Link): Renting a Womb (Part 2): Women Reduced to Baby Breeders

    BY ALEX MURASHKO, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
    February 11, 2014|12:39 pm

    Editor’s Note: This is the second part in a series on surrogacy, titled “Renting a Womb.”

    Although not specifically mentioned in the Bible, the act of surrogacy in order to produce a baby should be considered unethical, says Scott B. Rae, professor of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Biola University.

    Surrogacy, Rae argued, diminishes a woman’s role in procreation. The woman, he said, is reduced to a “baby breeder.”

    Rae, who serves as dean of the faculty at the university’s Talbot School of Theology and chair for the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics board, told The Christian Post that the Bible “looks pretty skeptically at any kind of third party contributor who comes outside the matrix of marriage.”

    CP: What is the current social thought on surrogacy?

    Rae: I think the feminists who object to surrogacy because it reinforces a stereotype, that has some merit. The other thing that troubles me is that it separates procreation and responsibility. Scripture is pretty solid on the connection between marriage, procreation, and parenting. This is what troubles me about sperm donation – that you are involved in procreation but overtly disavowing a responsibility for that. Surrogates do the same.

    “It seems to me that procreation is intended to be done by stable, permanent, monogamous, heterosexual married couples,” he said. “The norm is laid out in Genesis 1 and 2 where you have the creation of Adam and Eve, the institution of marriage, and then the mandate to be fruitful and multiply. It sets procreation within that context.”

One reason I find it hypocritical:

Here you have a community – conservative Christians – who set marriage and having children up as idols that all should obtain, and if you don’t obtain one or either, you’re treated as a failure or weirdo.

So if you take actual steps towards either one (marriage or having a baby), such as using IVF, infertility treatments, or hiring a surrogate, you get told you are in sin or in error for it.

Secondly, conservative Christianity already treats ALL women like “baby breeders,” even the ones who do not pay for a surrogate. Case in point:

Gender complementarian Christians, who are present in what seems large numbers in many Protestant and Baptist churches and other conservative churches and denominations, regularly teach that a woman’s greatest or only role or calling in life is to marry and make babies.

See these links:

Conservative Christians already worship motherhood (see Link), and continually tell women their greatest or only God given or God approved role in life is to be a wife and mother.

Christians say this to each and every woman listening to a church sermon, not just women who are surrogates. So this professor has a lot of nerve referring to only surrogates as “baby breeders” when all women in Christianity are viewed as nothing but “baby breeders” (and ‘help meets’ to their spouses, if they are married).

Women who are infertile, childless, or childfree are not made to feel welcomed or accepted in most evangelical, fundamentalist, Baptist, or Reformed denominations. They are made to feel like outsiders, losers, weirdos, or freaks.

Lastly, and as someone in the comments pointed out, Mary acted as a surrogate mother, to carry the baby Jesus, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary was not even married yet at the time. In light of the fact Mary acted as a surrogate, I’m not sure how a Christian university professor can object to other women doing so and not be holding a double standard.
————————————-
Related posts:

(Link): Why all the articles about being Child Free? On Being Childfree or Childless – as a Conservative / Right Wing / Christian

(Link): Is The Church Failing Childless Women? by Diane Paddison

(Link): Don’t Judge Me, I’m Childless (from Today’s Christian Woman)

(Link): Misuse of Terms Such As “Traditional Families” by Christians – Re: Kirk Cameron, Homosexual Marriage, and the 2014 Grammys

(Link): The Fruitful Callings of the Childless By Choice (editorial)

(Link): 23 Responses to 23 Awful Statements Made to Childfree People by TAURIQ MOOSA

(Link): How Not To Be A Dick To Your Childfree Friends (editorial)

(Link): My Secret Grief. Over 35, Single and Childless by Melanie Notkin

(Link): Widows and Childless and Childfree Have Better Well Being Than Married Couples and Parents says new study

(Link): In terms of childlessness, US ranks near the top worldwide

(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

(Link): Bearden: Staying childless right decision for many women

(Link): How American Christians Were Influenced by 1950s American Secular Propaganda to Idolize Marriage and Children and Against Singles and the Childless

Preacher Matthew Hagee Insults Singles on Valentine’s Day

Preacher Matthew Hagee Insults Singles on Valentine’s Day

Maybe a certain someone saw my previous post, (Link): ‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by Matthew Hagee (sermon from 2010) – Hagee Teaches that Single Unmarried Women Do Not Have a Purpose in Life God has no purpose for singles, because this doofus (M. Hagee) actually discusses singles in today’s televised sermon, which is 30 minutes long, and I don’t mean he discusses singles in an encouraging, loving way.

Normally when I critique a sermon, I listen to either all of it, or at least ten to twenty minutes of it. I don’t have the fortitude to do that today.

I just saw a 2 or 3 minute introduction to a sermon by Matthew Hagee (son of blowhard preacher John Hagee) called “Who Do You Love,” where a few high lights from the sermon were shown.

I would assume that eventually this sermon will be made available on this You Tube channel:
(Link): John Hagee Ministries video channel
Or, you might be able to find the sermon on (Link): iTBN.

edit. The sermon may be available from iTBN here:
(Link): Who Do You Love, a sermon by Matthew Hagee where he insults adult single Christians, aired Valentine’s Day (Feb 14) 2014

In the introduction I saw, Hagee did a disrespectful impression, a mocking tone, of what he imagines a single, Christian woman who is praying to God for a spouse might sound like:
“Oh Lord, when will you send me a perfect Mr. Right,” and he replied (doing an impression of God), “Why would I send him to YOU for you to mess up? You are going to ruin him.”

Hagee then did a reverse situation, where he did his impression of what he thinks an unmarried man might sound like in prayer to God for a spouse. Yes, it was also disrespectful.

Hagee also made the comments, “So you say you are single. Well, let me ask you something: How can God answer your prayer until you become someone’s answer to prayer?”

I’m not even going to bother listening to the rest of the sermon, because I doubt it’s any better than those first 2, 3 minutes of the intro.

Just those two minutes are filled not only with derision for singles who desire marriage, but also with some incorrect theology.

Some Christians assume if you are 25, 35, 45 years old, or older, and still single, it must be your fault.

The ladies who are over 25 and 30 who are still single get told often that they are “too picky.” This view, as I saw from the brief video clips, seems implicit in Hagees’ outlook about single women.

Let me just stop you right there.

Okay Matthew Hagee, assuming you have a daughter (pretend that you do if you do not).

If your daughter is still single at 35 years of age, and she desires marriage, would you honestly tell your OWN daughter to “settle,” to marry the 567 pound slobby, abusive, stupid, unemployed man?

No, you probably would not.

Would you seriously tell your own daughter to marry any guy who comes along, even if there is no attraction, or he mistreats her, or she doesn’t feel in love with him, or what have you?

You probably would not, no.

Yet you feel just fine implying these very things on a stage in a church full of people during a service that is being broadcast to millions in the United States and around the world.

Why do you believe that your hypothetical daughter is more worthy of respect than myself or other single women who are not your daughters?

Another mentality that some Christians have is that God is keeping you single until he can “clean you up” or fix you in some way. No where does the Bible teach that God has to take you through your paces, perfect you, or make you be good enough, before he will “reward” you with a spouse.

The Bible does not teach that a person has to “earn” a spouse.

The Bible contains examples of people who stole spouses (David and Bathsheba).

The Bible also has examples of complete idiots who got great spouses (Nabal was the idiot, Abigail his wife, you can read more about them (Link): here. An excerpt from that Bible passage reads: “His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.”).

As a matter of fact, go to my thread at this blog, (Link): Marriage Does Not Make People More Loving Mature Godly Ethical Caring or Responsible (One Stop Thread), to see numerous news stories of Christian married couples who are ungodly, immature, selfish, or abusive. Some married Christians have been thrown in jail for rape, theft, drug abuse, or murder.

If God required everyone to be totally holy and pure before sending people spouses, and forced everyone to get all their personal sins and characters flaws in check before permitting them to marry, how does one account for all the Christian husbands who are pornography addicts, child sex abusers, drug addicts, and wife beaters?

Stop holding out a husband or wife as a reward to good Christians who get their ducks lined up in a row.

I’m still a virgin in my forties, and God never did reward me with a husband for sexually abstaining this long, and I am not fat and ugly – I was engaged for several years.

Non Christian and Christian men have flirted with me, asked me out on dates, have seen my photo at friend’s homes and asked friends if they could be fixed up with me on dates, etc.

That this Hagee person (who is married himself with a kid or two) would choose to mock, ridicule, and bash single adults on a sermon that aired on Valentine’s Day of all days is reprehensible and shows a total lack of compassion and understanding for what it’s like to be a single past one’s late twenties.

It’s no wonder churches are losing members, they keep bashing (when not ignoring) 44% of the American population (i.e., adult singles).

And again, many resources I have seen point out that for every Christian adult man, there are three, adult, unmarried Christian women.

Meaning, not all Christian women who want a Christian spouse can even get one, leaving them to stay single, or marry outside the Christian faith. Do Hagee and jerks like him who bash singles from the pulpit ever mention these facts? Nope.

It’s just rudely assumed by these anti-singles preachers that single women over 30, 40 years of age are single because they are too picky, fat, flawed, are feminist man-haters, or are messed up in some way. That American demographics are not in favor of American single women who desire marriage are never mentioned.

By the way, marriage does not happen just because you want it enough, see this previous post:
(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear

I have several other posts on my blog that refute some of these views by Hagee, such as:

——————

Related Posts:

(Link):  A Valentine for the Single Christian by K L Bishop

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

(Link): The Holy Spirit Sanctifies a Person Not A Spouse – Weekly Christian Marriage Advice Column Pokes Holes in Christian Stereotype that Marriage Automatically Sanctifies People

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

(Link): How Not to Help All the Single Ladies (excellent article)

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

(Link): List of Christian Singlehood Annoyances, Part 1 (includes cliches and platitudes)

(Link): Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault (editorial by a woman who refutes the idea that singles are to blame for being single)

(Link): Topics Preachers Should or Shouldn’t Mention When Discussing Singlehood

(Link): Isn’t It Time the Church Gave Singles a Break? (editorial from another blog)

(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

You can dig around this blog to find many other posts like those, use the post tags, the search feature on the right hand side of the blog for that, or use the archive pull down menu and jump around at random.

Singles Who Desire Marriage and 1 Corinthians 7 – but 1 Timothy 4:3 – Also: Singlehood and Messed Up Hermeneutics

Singles Who Desire Marriage and 1 Corinthians 7 – it’s benefits, drawbacks – also: 1 Timothy 4:3 and Christians cannot agree on biblical doctrine

I first began this post with only an intent on discussing 1 Corinthians 7 in mind, but as I began typing, it meandered a little into other (but related) topics, then I wandered back to the 1 Cor 7 discussion.

(Link): Read 1 Corinthians 7 Online, on Bible Gateway

My commentary is below this long excerpt.

Excerpts from 1 Cor 7,

    8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.

9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

…25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.

26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is.

27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife.

28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

…. 32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord.
33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—
34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.
35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

I have had a blog visitor who says she (or he? Though I think she is a she) loathes and hates 1 Cor 7.

I left her a reply under a previous thread which reads:

    • I actually rather

like

    • 1 Corinthians 7,

except

    when it’s used as a weapon or condescending slogan against singles who want marriage.

But, in other contexts, I like that 1 Cor 7 passage, because married Christians (who are the ones who idolize marriage) need to be reminded that marriage is not better than singleness… that is, churches / body of Christ need to stop showing favortism to married with children couples, as they often do.

If anything, I see some pastors (such as Mark Driscoll, whom I wrote about recently (Link): here ), twist and distort 1 Cor 7 and try to explain it away – because he (and other Christians) view singles as being abnormal, or they view the state of singleness as being abnormal, or not as good as, being married, which is an INSULT to adult singles.

I know it can hurt or be frustrating to want marriage when you are single BUT (at least for me), so long as you are single, until you marry one day (assuming you marry), don’t you want preachers and other married Christians to stop acting as though you are somehow lower or not as godly or mature, or not deserving of a church’s finances and time, just because you are single?

That is why I like to toss 1 Cor 7 in their faces (and other passages).

I’ve sort of written on this topic here:
(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

There are some never married Christian adults who actually LOVE the GOS (“Gift of Singleness” or “of celibacy,” “GOC”) talk, they have stopped by this blog before to say they like these phrases…

I can’t get these types of adult, Christian singles to see that not only is neither phrase in the Bible, but the phrases are mis-used and abused by married Christians and preachers to keep singles single – the ones who want marriage.

The GOS/GOC talk and terms are used to maintain discrimination against singles. (I’ve blogged about that before, just search the blog using the phrase “gift of singleness.”)

I also have many blog posts talking about the cliches that Christian singles who desire marriage get from married Christians, and it annoys me too. Here are a few posts about it:

(Link): Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5

(Link): Annoyance of Being A Christian Single (has list of cliches’ one hears from married Christians and friends at church, in sermons, etc)

… I have similar blog posts, those are just a few.

To sum up, 1 Cor 7 can be a helpful ally and tool in the arsenal of an adult Christian single who runs into Christians who idolize marriage – the ones who behave as though single adults are losers.

I was at a right wing, political blog where all the married people were responding to a news story about childless and single women.

Many of these right wing people on that blog were insulting singles and the state of being childless.

Even secular right wingers tend to make an idol out of marriage, parenting, and the nuclear family.

Many married right wingers, even the secular ones, assume women who are never-married and childless past their 30s are man-hating, atheistic feminists who vote Democrat and have posters of Obama all over their bedroom walls with lipstick-kiss marks on them.

These types of right wing morons never realize that women can be conservative Republican and/or Christians and be single and childless into adulthood, based on circumstances they had no control over, or, based on their choice (but choices which are NOT based on atheism, feminism, liberalism, or hatred of God, country, conservatives, or babies).

Singlehood and childless/child-free are not bastions or life stations of liberal feminists and Democrats only. There are plenty of right wing, Republican, Christian, pro life women who choose to stay single and childless, or who find themselves that way due to circumstance.

Every time these types of right wing jackholes bash liberal feminists for being single and childless, they are also inadvertently bashing Republican, Christian, childless/ childfree women too.

When I tried explaining to these people that I am right wing also, but I am single and childless myself, some of them mellowed out in their criticisms and slams against singles and the childless, but some actually ramped the vitriol up… UNTIL… I quoted this at them:

    8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.

Once I quoted that from 1 Cor 7, that shut the married Marriage and Baby Idolaters up pronto.

Several replied, “You’re right; the Bible and God are okay with singleness, and women are not expected by God to have kids if they are single, and marriage is a choice, not a commandment. You are right.”

So, 1 Cor 7 can come in handy for an adult single who is getting damn tired of hearing she is a failure or weirdo for not being married past her 20s.

Oddly, the fact that Jesus Christ and Paul were single seem to usually not leave much of an impact on married Marriage and Family Idolaters, when that fact is thrown in their faces.

But, and stranger still, Jesus’ and Paul’s singlehood and childless status is none-the-less a tid bit that Married, Christian Condescending People like to remind Non-Content Adult Singles of.

Seems like 30% – 40% of articles I read for singles by married Christians likes to offer the chirpy reminder, “Remember, singles, Jesus and Paul were single and childless too!”

Okay, Enthusiastic Christian Married Guy, it’s good for you to respect singleness and being childless by recognizing that Jesus Christ and Paul was single and childless.

Married Christians should indeed keep that in mind, that Christ and Paul were single and childless, because God knows, Christians often go blank on that and assume Marriage and Kids are God’s default for EVERYONE.

However, while that is great for Jesus and Paul, I personally would like to marry so I can bang a man weekly (ie, get my sexual lusts fulfilled), have some constant companionship, to stave off bouts of loneliness. Maybe get chocolates in a heart shaped box on Valentine’s from a sweetie pie, instead of eating Campbell’s soup for one over the sink again. That sort of stuff.

On the one hand, 1 Cor 7 can be used as a weapon against married Christians by singles, against the types of married Christians who tend to elevate marriage at the expense of singles and singleness. That is to the single’s advantage.

On the other hand, some Christians, usually married idiots, misuse 1 Cor 7 as a battering ram against adult singles who want to get married.

And that is not right; the twisting or abuse of 1 Cor 7, borders on this:

1 Timothy 4:3

    3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.

I’m an American in 2014. There is no “present” crisis going on with me personally in 2014 America, as there was when Paul wrote to people telling them it is better for them to remain as they were (single if single, or married if married), given their “present crisis.”

Whatever that crisis was – maybe Christians were being persecuted for being Christian?

Continue reading “Singles Who Desire Marriage and 1 Corinthians 7 – but 1 Timothy 4:3 – Also: Singlehood and Messed Up Hermeneutics”

Self Professing Christian Guy, Closeted Homosexual, Apparently Killed His Wife (or had her killed) – Also: Christian Group IHOP Sexualizes Jesus Christ and God

Christian Guy, Closeted Homosexual, Apparently Killed His Wife (or had her killed)

Another splendid example of why Christian single women are just as well off dating and marrying Non Christians guys as they are Christian males.

    Disclaimer: I am not suggesting by posting such stories that ALL Christian males are closeted homosexuals, abusive, killers, perverts, crack pots, or weirdos, but enough of them are in the news stories I see to have convinced me by now that Non Christian males are no more a risk to date or marry.

Found via “Stuff Christian Culture Likes” Facebook group:

(Link): Love and Death In the House of Prayer

    Tyler Deaton, a self-appointed apostle in one of the fastest-growing evangelical movements, loved Jesus, Harry Potter and, much to his dismay, other men. When his wife turned up dead, the secrets began to spill out

According to this article from Rolling Stone, Deaton became a member of something called IHOP (International House of Prayer) founded by another guy who sounds equally crack-potish, Bickle. The article described some of the group’s beliefs – many of which are nutty and have zero biblical support.

The following is from page two, referring to the girl (Bethany) who this Tyler person later married and, according to the article, either killed or had killed:

    She [Bethany] could also be lavishly, almost immoderately romantic. She imagined herself as a novelist and professor at a small university, living in a cottage in the woods. “The dream of her heart was to be married,” Herrington recalls. “We used to stay up late talking about it, night after night. She had been praying for her husband since she was a teenager. She had written him letters, before they even met.” She found herself “fiercely attracted” to Deaton and was convinced that God had ordained their union. She was aware of his struggles with homosexuality but believed that God would use her to heal his heart.

There you have it, Christian ladies: you can pray and rely on God to send you a spouse – as so many Christian leaders, dating books, and preachers advise – and end up marrying an apparently violent, psychotic, closeted homosexual, instead of the hetero, Christian White Knight on a Steed you were hoping for and expecting.

One wonders why God, if he exists, would allow a Christian young woman, who was trusting him in this area of her life, (and as Christian girls are heavily encouraged to do by leaders and parents), only for God to let her down in such a spectacular fashion?

The founder of the IHOP group to which Deaton belonged appears to have sexualized Jesus Christ, and the relationships Christians have with him, though he claims this is not so:

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

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

If the words “marriage” or “married” were removed from Pastor Shooks’ vocabulary, would he ever be able to give another sermon ever again? I have big doubts.

With about 44% of American adults now single in the USA, can preachers really afford to keep ignoring singles and singleness and keep giving these stupid marriage sermons?

(Sept. 2014: The adult, American population is now over 50% single. There are more singles than there are married people in the United States. See this link: Statistics Show Single Adults Now Outnumber Married Adults in the United States)

I always feel a wee bit mean criticizing Shook, because he seems like such a well-meaning, genuinely nice guy.

This almost qualifies as a comedy post. Usually I get hopping angry when a preacher is giving another marriage sermon, but coming from him, I tend to roll my eyes or laugh at the absurdity of it.

Most of Shooks sermons are about marriage. No, really. Here are a few examples.

(Link): Kerry Shook Devotes Yet *Another* Show / Sermon to Marriage

(Link): Kerry Shook on Marriage AGAIN. About not letting your flame die down.

(Link): Pastor Kerry Shook’s Marriage-centric Sermons

You see, Shook’s sermonizing on marriage is so frequent, when he finally does a sermon that does NOT discuss marriage, I am so in shock about it, I have to blog about it, like here:
(Link): Shocker: Kerry Shook Show Last Night NOT About Marriage

And, when I was looking for a clip of tonight’s Shook sermon for you, I came across this other Shook sermon, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before:

(Link): Surviving a Marriage Attack (on You Tube)

I have not been able to find a clip of tonight’s show on You Tube, but it is on his official site here:
(Link): The God Centered Life

Oh, it is on You Tube, okay, here it is:
(Link): The God Centered Life

“Idolatry is alive and well on earth. Learn how to avoid three of the most subtle, seductive and destructive traps. (#3175)”
—— end blurb from Shook site —

I sometimes have my television set on while I work on my computer. I had it on TBN as I was on my computer, and I heard parts of Shook’s sermon tonight (linked to above, embedded below). His sermons was about being “centered,” or something.

You have to remember (as I’ve blogged on before), this Shook guy preachers about marriage constantly.

Almost every other, or every third, sermon by him is about marriage. (Many, many other preacher are just as, or almost as, guilty as he is, though.)

Here’s where I discuss what I find ironic about Shook’s sermon tonight about being God centered. I only watched parts of it.

In the parts I did pay attention to, Shook drew a diagram of a wagon-wheel shape on a board and put labels on each spoke. One spoke got the “marriage” label.

Shook then told the audience that anything can take the place of God in a Christian’s life, even marriage. Shook told the audience to be careful not to turn their marriage (he added “if you’re married”) into an idol.

Oh goodness. How can a man who pontificates and lectures about marriage in almost every single sermon, who I’ve never once heard give a sermon about singleness, which implies, on his part, that marriage is more valuable than singleness, warn people about not making marriage an idol?

This reminds me of Christians who regularly treat adult singleness and celibacy like a second-class station in life, akin to biblical leprosy and treat singles like trash, who make marriage out to be better than singleness, and then turn around and SHAME adult singles who admit to wanting marriage themselves, or who actively pursue marriage (by joining dating sites, etc).

If you are going to constantly sermoninze and opine about marriage (and consistently ignore singleness and celibacy), you are creating the very idol you are warning people to be leery of. I cannot understand why evangelical (and other sorts of) preachers cannot see this.

If you preachers would stop painting marriage as normative for everyone, and as God’s highest, only or better plan for all humanity, and stop assuming everyone will get married who wants to (some of us want to get married but a spouse never entered our lives), there would be little to no need to warn married people against turning it into an idol.

By the way, let me mention what will not fix this for me:
1. Shook mentioning at the start of his next marriage centric sermon (this is typical of married preachers), “Remember, singles, this marriage sermon can be applicable to you too!”
2. Giving one token sermon on singleness in a year or ten year’s time (then cramming in the cliches about singleness being a “gift” etc, and assuming everyone who wants a spouse will get one, etc), and then reverting back to non-stop marriage sermons again.

Preachers need to preach REGULARLY about singleness if they are going to regularly cover marriage.

If you are a preacher and you sermonize ten times about marriage per year, you damn well better devote ten sermons to ONLY SINGLENESS per year, too.

If Shook has ever seen my blog posts, he may have to take his own advice from this sermon:
(Link): People who Ruffle Your Feathers (on You Tube) 😆

Here is the sermon video embedded where he warns married people not to make an idol out of marriage, which will replace God at the center of their lives:

—————————————
Related posts, this blog:

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

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

(Link): Astonishing: Evangelical Baptist Marriage Idolater David E. Prince Wants to Know Why Evangelical Baptists Are Not Worshipping Marriage More (than they already are)