Neither Fully Widow Nor Fully Wife – Married People Will Be Single Again

Neither Fully Widow Nor Fully Wife – Married People Will Be Single Again

I’ve blogged on this before: married people left single again in a sense because their spouse developed dementia.

The church – run by married couples – makes an idol out of marriage, treats singles like second class citizens, or doesn’t take notice of singles, and it never seems to enter their minds that one day their spouse will be dead, either of old age, or possibly prematurely in their 30s, 40s, 50s from an auto accident, cancer or some other incident or health problem.

Your spouse could divorce you when you’re both 38 years old – maybe he says he’s fallen out of love, or he wants to run off with another woman.

If a woman’s husband is physically or emotionally abusive, she may have to divorce him.

Being married now is not a guarantee you’ll be married tomorrow or five years from now.

This is one reason it is to the benefit of married people to keep and maintain friendships with other people outside their immediate family (like hey, single adults).

Here’s another article about married people being, in effect, in a manner of speaking, left single again because their spouse has dementia.

(Link): Neither Fully Widow Nor Fully Wife

    Alzheimer’s puts caregivers in painful in-betweens.
    Jamie A. Hughes, guest writer

… But for my grandmother, the outcome isn’t so promising, as her husband will continue to lose abilities with each passing year. She is one of 15 million people in the United States caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

According to a recent report by the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5.2 million Americans are affected by this disease, and the number is expected to climb to 13.8 million by 2050.

… Women bear the brunt of this illness in more ways than one. Not only are we more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but we also shoulder the burden of being primary caregivers. (Between 60 to 70 percent of people nursing a loved one with this condition are female.)

…2 Corinthians 9:11 says that Christians are “enriched in every way to be generous in every way” (NKJV), but I lost sight of that in the confusion of shifting family dynamics.

My grandfather struggled to pray at family gatherings, so my uncle assumed the task. Another person absorbed his duties around the house. Others became the handyman, bookkeeper, and financial planner.

Though I did whatever I could to help my grandfather, I rarely spared a thought for my grandmother. I didn’t fully understand how this disease has eaten away at her life and sense of self.

I came to see that she, too, was mourning—both for herself and the man she’s loved for 58 years, the one she’s losing to a pitiless disease that scours memories from the gray grooves of his brain.

Continue reading “Neither Fully Widow Nor Fully Wife – Married People Will Be Single Again”

No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (Part 1)

No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (PART 1)

This will be a series of posts where my thoughts wander in and out and all over, and it rambles, but there is a point or two behind it.

Since I’ve been in a faith crisis the last couple of years, somewhere between being an agnostic and a Christian, I have noticed I don’t fit in anywhere. I reside in No Man’s Land.

(Even before then, when I was a total, committed Christian, and politically, I was, and am, right wing, I still didn’t fit in at most blogs and forums, including political ones, and including ones for right wingers!

I tend to be one of those personalities who annoys or angers everyone, even those on “my side” of an issue, except a small number of people, who are either on my side of a topic or not, who “get me” or who appreciate where I’m coming from – again, this is true for even the ones who disagree with me on whatever topic we are discussing.)

I am in this really weird place now, where I am critical of some aspects of conservative Christianity, and see where conservative Christians get some doctrines and other things wrong, but, too, I am not fully on board with militant atheism (I find the New Atheists to be arrogant, vile, hateful and rude), and I don’t even care for lukewarm atheism.

Nor am I in the camp of anything and all things liberal Christianity, except where I think they get the occasional point correct (such as their rejection of gender complementarianism).

Since drifting away from the Christian faith more the last few years, I more often began frequenting forums or blogs for and by atheists, ones by liberal Christians, ones by ex Christians, or by Christians who were abused by a former church who remain Christian but who dropped out of Church, or who now are on a crusade to expose abuse by preachers or the absurdity and harm of current evangelical gimmicks.

THE MILITANT ATHEISTS

A clarification: when I say I have been visiting atheist forums and blogs more often, I am very picky about which ones I regularly visit.

I do not like the frothing- at- the- mouth, extremely bitter, biased- against- Christians- type atheistic communities.

The bitter atheist groups sound like a bunch of irrational, hate-filled loons who reject Christianity for emotional reasons, but who lie to others and themselves and say, “Oh no, it’s purely intellectual.”

But their unrelenting, insane amount of hatred at any and all things God and Christian, is just a total turn-off to me, so I try to avoid such sites.

These angry, always-ranting atheists are really nothing more than Fundamentalist Atheists or Taliban Atheists. They are just as dogmatic about their atheism as Muslims are in their Wasabi Islam or Baptists are in their Neo Fundamentalism.

Really, those types of atheists are just as bad as the religious groups they claim they hate, but they don’t seem to spot that they are. It’s ironic – and it’s hard to stomach the day in, day out anger and hatred, so I try to avoid their sites.

HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTIANS VS NON HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTIANS

Also, you have to be honest with yourself, which I do not find militant atheists to be, by and large: not every single Christian is a hypocrite, jerk, idiot, dullard, or complete jackhole.

I say this as someone who is very fed up with Christianity and Christian persons myself these days.

But your average militant atheist will never admit that some Christians are in fact okay and not being hypocrites.

I have known and met a few Christians who were sincerely trying to live the Christian faith out, such as my mother, who is now deceased, and her mother before her (my grandmother).

I’ve met a few honest, sincere Christians online who do help people and show compassion to the wounded.

So it’s not fair to completely dismiss the entirety of Christians and their faith or treat them all like jerks because some are liars, mean, or abusive.

Which is not easy for me personally, because at the same time, I do keep noticing that a lot of self-professing believers do NOT live out what the Bible says.

Many self professing Christians today, for example, do not protect victims, such as young church members who have been sexually molested by preachers.

Nor do many church goers today hold accountable preachers who bilk their church goers out of millions to buy big mansions and jets.

These idiots, these lemmings, actually defend their greedy pastors online, which I’ve written about here: (Link): Your Preacher Sucks – and People Have a Right To Say So And Explain Why.

Then you have a conservative or evangelical culture, which claims to care deeply that people preserve sex until marriage, but if you actually find yourself 40 years of age and still single – and therefore still a virgin, such as myself – these same churches and Christians do not offer you any support.

You either go ignored, or preachers and talking heads of such groups “run down” and insult celibacy as well as older, celibate adults. Churches treat single (and especially celibate) adults as though they are flawed, lepers, weirdos, or losers.

Churches wrongly counsel abused wives to return to their spouses – this is particularly true, again, of churches or Christian groups who buy into “biblical womanhood” (aka “gender complementariansm”) or “patriarchy.”

Churches and average Christians also remain ignorant or callous about matters pertaining to mental health issues, from P.T.S.D. to depression and anxiety attacks.

Some Christians wrongly and insensitively teach that “real Christians” can never get depression or other mental health maladies.

Or, some Christians believe and teach that prayer, faith, service to the poor, or Bible reading alone can cure one of mental illness.

Still other Christians (or the same type) will shame and guilt suffering Christians for using anti-depressant medications, or for seeing secular or Christian psychiatrists and therapists (see this link for more, “Over 50 Percent of Christians Believe Prayer, Bible Reading Alone Can Cure Mental Illness (article) – In Other Words Half of Christians are Ignorant Idiots Regarding Mental Illness”).

Yet other Christians are incompetent at, or unwilling, to provide more ordinary, “every day,” run- of- the- mill comfort to other Christians who are hurting, such as a Christian who is stressed out over a job loss, someone who is in mourning for a deceased loved one, etc.

Christians are dropping the ball in numerous ways.

And this failure, this huge failure, causes life long Christians like me to look long and hard at the faith and wonder if it’s true at all.

It causes even someone such as myself to ask if the faith is true, because

  • it doesn’t appear to be working,
  • it doesn’t make a difference in people’s life who profess it,
  • most who claim to follow Christ don’t actually do what he taught,
  • and some Christians refuse to hold Christians caught in bald faced sin accountable but excuse them for the sin,

~ and it makes you wonder “what is the point, then.”

I find this discrepancy between confessed belief and actual practice shocking, because I myself sincerely tried living out the faith since childhood.

Also, my Christian mother was a role model for me, and she genuinely, consistently lived out and by biblical teachings, including getting up off her ass and actually HELPING people (giving them money if they were in a bind, cleaning their homes for them when they were sick, listening to them cry and rant about their problems for hours without judging them or interrupting them, etc).

I am not seeing most other Christians do any of this. They say they believe in those things but then they do not do them.

BLOGS AND FORUMS FOR SPIRITUALLY ABUSED OR THOSE HURT BY CHURCHES

Before I actually get into this topic (which I discuss more in Posts 2 and 3), here is some background leading up to it.

As far as the sites I have visited by liberal Christians, ex Christians, atheists, as well as sites by Christians for the spiritually abused:

By and large, these have been wonderful, supportive sites and groups to visit (the ones run by Christians for hurting Christians).

I have noticed, though, that there are problems even within these types of communities, and I don’t entirely fit in at them, either.

Continue reading “No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (Part 1)”

The Walking Dead television series – Virginity and Family – One of TV’s Most Popular Adult Characters is a Virgin and Single And Most Are Okay With That

The Walking Dead television series – Virginity and Family

My last post on this topic:

—- SHOW FAVORITE IS A VIRGIN AND SINGLE —-

As the cable series The Walking Dead moved along, character Daryl Dixon had only one living family member left, so far as the show has revealed to this point: his brother Merle Dixon. Merle was killed a couple of seasons ago.

In interviews, actor Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl on the show, assumes that the character is a virgin – yes, a virgin.

In real life, Reedus is currently in his mid-40s and was in a long term relationship with a model in his late twenties (they had a son together). It has not been fully verified on the show what Daryl’s age is, but I would assume Daryl is the same age on the show that Reedus is in real life.

But as far as his Daryl character, Reedus feels that due in part of Dixon’s abusive upbringing, he’s not had much exposure to women and dating. He spent much of his life living in the woods, hunting, and living off the land. Reedus says he plays the Dixon character as though the character has never had sex and is not a smooth Don Juan with the ladies.

The show writers so far (thank God!) have not caved in to the immense female fan viewer demand to pair him up with Carol, Beth, or anyone else on the show. I hope they keep it that way.

You can read more about this subject on these off-site pages (I have additional comments about this below these long excerpts):
(Link): ‘The Walking Dead’s’ Norman Reedus: Daryl is a ‘total virgin’

Excerpts:

    By Liz Kelly Nelson
    Oct 10th, 2011

    Daryl Dixon knows how to handle a crossbow and has no problem putting an arrow between the eyes of a zombie, but when it comes to romance, he’s a bit of a late bloomer.

    “I’m trying to play him like he’s a total virgin,” Norman Reedus tells Zap2it. “Like if someone were to try to kiss him he’d be like, ‘Eeeeee.'”

    Reedus (“The Boondock Saints”) plays Daryl on AMC’s smash hit, “The Walking Dead.” Although the character wasn’t in the original Robert Kirkman comic books, he’s become a fan favorite. If we were comparing this show to “Lost,” which would be wrong because they are two totally different beasts, he’s kind of like the Sawyer of the group: hot, dangerous and — deep down — a good guy.

    Continue reading “The Walking Dead television series – Virginity and Family – One of TV’s Most Popular Adult Characters is a Virgin and Single And Most Are Okay With That”

Elderly Widower Dude is a Slut Says Adult Daughter – Why Churches Need to Teach Celibacy Applies to Even Married People Not Just Under Age 25 Singles

Elderly Widower Dude is a Slut Says Adult Daughter – Why Churches Need to Teach Celibacy Applies to Even Married People Not Just Under Age 25 Singles

So this adult daughter writes to an advice columnist explaining that her elderly father lost his wife (her mother) a few years ago, and ever since, he has been a big slut. (Farther below, I have pasted in her letter to Dear Amy so you can read it for yourself.)

I’d like to point out that “slut shaming” happens to men too, but I usually only hear secular feminists complain that it happens to women.

The woman’s senior-aged father is sleeping around with numerous women, he has several girlfriends at a time, but keeps each girlfriend (GF) in the dark about all the other GFs.

The daughter is afraid someone, her dad, or one of the dad’s GFs, is going to get an S.T.I. (aka S.T.D.).

This is yet another reason Christians need to get over the mentality that teachings about sexual purity and celibacy are for young singles only.

Not only do you have never-married (or not- married- yet) adult singles over the age of 30 who are trying to remain sexually pure, there are plenty of whom are still virgins, but you get these married couples whose spouse dies at some point in their lives, and they go out and start having sex with a lot of people after the death.

Celibacy is not just for young singles, it’s for ~everyone~. !HELLO, Christian culture, HELLO preachers of America!

You have married couples where one partner loses his (or her) sex drive due to stress, physical health (illness), or one or both partners find the sex boring after several weeks or months. As a result, some marriage counselors are telling such partners to go have an extra-marital fling (an affair).

I wrote about that situation here:

      (Link):

Why Christians Need to Uphold Lifelong Celibacy as an Option for All Instead of Merely Pressuring All to Marry – vis a vis Sexless Marriages, Counselors Who Tell Marrieds that Having Affairs Can Help their Marriages

It’s not enough for churches to keep acting as though messages of sexual purity are for teens and college students only.

Another reason they need to step up: a lot of 20- somethings and 30- somethings today, ones who drift away from church or the faith now, reject a lot of the church’s teachings on sexuality – that is, the churches and preachers who even bother to teach that pre-marital sex is a sin at all, because many do not.

(See: (Link): Christian Preacher Admits He Won’t Preach About Sexuality / Sexual Sin For Fear It May Offend Sexual Sinners)

The problem is, a lot of these ex-Christians or uber- liberal Christian types feel that their conservative churches wrongly taught about sex. These types feel that the Bible does not speak out against sex outside of marriage, even though yes, it in fact does. So, they disregard about any and all limitations on sex at all.

Churches need to do a better job, and try a different approach of, speaking about sexual sin, because a lot of the 20-somethings are later rejecting or disregarding what they are hearing about sex in church when they later leave church.

The fact remains that even married adults need to hear sermons about sexual purity, because some of them are failing miserably at it.

If your husband takes a two week business trip, and you find yourself alone, are you going to sleep with your UPS delivery man, or next door neighbor, while the husband is gone?

If you are a married man whose wife is in the military, and she gets shipped overseas for a six month tour of duty, are you going to remain faithful to her, or whore it up with other women while she is away?

What if you’re 50 years old and your 50 year old spouse is physically disabled or gets early-onset dementia, are you going to be true to him or her, or start sleeping around?

Churches need to address those types of situations and stop assuming that sexual temptation and sin is something that besets ONLY 17 year old kids.

Here’s the letter:

Ask Amy: Randy widower worries his daughter

Dear Amy:

I’m really concerned my widower father is turning into something of a slut.

My mother passed away seven years ago, and then my father had the very unfortunate luck of having a girlfriend who succumbed to cancer a few years later.

I understand that he’s lonely, and needs affection that only a female companion would give, but he’s currently courting three women, none of whom know about each other.

I know it is none of my business, but I am actually frightened that these women he met online who so easily jump into bed with him will leave him with an STD.

I’ve heard that the spread of STDs is actually more prevalent among the older generation these days. What would you suggest I do to convince him that these trysts may be more than he bargained for, without overstepping boundaries?

He’s quite headstrong and rarely listens to me; what should I do?

Signed,
— Concerned daughter

You see, preachers need to be preaching about sex in such a way that even married people understand that sex outside of marriage is SIN.

Because evidently, there are a lot of married men who feel okay and fine cheating on their wives while the wife is alive, or like the man in the letter above, they feel just fine engaging in fornication, and with multiple partners, once the wife dies.

Here was Amy’s reply:

Dear Concerned:

I shared your question with a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who responded:
“While CDC continues to find that STDs disproportionately affect younger people in the U.S., it is important to understand that many older Americans face unique prevention challenges (e.g., discomfort in discussing sexual behaviors with physicians and partners and discomfort discussing condom use). It is also important for physicians to assess older patients’ risk.”

Older men may not have gotten the memo about wearing a condom. In their randy youth, condoms were used for birth control; now they are vital disease control devices. Your father could become infected and/or infect his partners.

Onto his sluttiness. There is not much you can (or should) do about his choice to sleep around.

The women he is seeing may also be mutually consenting (slutty) elders, and while this prospect isn’t quite what you want for your dear dad — it is what it is and you may have to accept it and only remind him to speak to his doctor about his risks.

Sexual promiscuity can be a sign of depression, however. If you feel he is out of control, you must do your best to urge him toward a mental health evaluation.

———————————–
Related posts:

(Link): No Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy / Virginity Sexual Purity Not An Idol

(Link):  Sex and Alzheimer’s – Selfish, Perverted Husband Rapes His Alzheimer’s Wife

(Link): Married People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Spouses With Dementia / Married People Who Are Lonely

(Link): Widower to Advice Columnist Talks about Being Stereotyped by Married Couples or Ignored by Other Marrieds Since His Wife has Died

(Link): AARP post: How to Handle a Sexless Married Life – But Christians Promise You Great Hot Regular Married Sex

(Link): Horny Celibacy – Another Anti Virginity, Anti Sexual Purity Essay – Also discussed: Being Equally Yoked, Divorce, Remarriage

(Link): Grieving widow doesn’t need to start dating in order to heal (letter from advice column)

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

(Link): “Family-ing” Single Adults by D. Franck – How Churches Can Minister to Single Adults
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To Tweet:

Elderly Widower is Slut Says Daughter – Y Churches Need Teach Celibacy 2 Married Pple Not Just Teens https://christianpundit.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/elderly-widow-dude-is-a-slut-says-adult-daughter-why-churches-need-to-teach-celibacy-applies-to-even-married-people-not-just-under-age-25-singles/ #Celibacy

“Family-ing” Single Adults by D. Franck – How Churches Can Minister to Single Adults

“Family-ing” Single Adults – How Churches Can Minister to Single Adults

(Link): “Family-ing” Single Adults

I don’t know about you, but as a single adult who has walked into churches alone, my experience has been more like Bob’s than the lady he mentions under “Sandy’s Experience,” which I won’t repeat on my blog page here.

    Pastors have a unique opportunity to attract and positively influence single adults. Here are specific strategies pastors can employ to build a single-adult friendly church.

    By Dennis Franck

    BOB’S EXPERIENCE — WILL HE RETURN?

    Bob arrived at church 10 minutes before the service began hoping to connect with someone to ease the butterflies in his stomach. It had been 3 years since he stepped into a church, but his recent separation and impending divorce helped him recognize his need to develop some sort of spiritual life. A few people in the lobby laughing together noticed him but seemed preoccupied.

    Bob quietly slipped into the back row hoping someone would speak to him. Others around him looked straight ahead as if they were in a trance … or were they just afraid to speak to someone they did not know?

    The service began: “Welcome to First Church. Let’s stand and sing about the love of God.” After a few songs and prayer, the leader asked people to say hello to each other. Bob turned to someone in front of him, but that person was already talking to someone else.

    After an awkward 10 seconds, a man and woman next to him said, “Are you new here? Did you come alone or is your wife here, too?” The word wife stirred feelings that were difficult for Bob, and several questions ran through his mind. Why assume I’m married? Why ask such a personal question? Do I stand out like a fifth wheel here?

    The men’s retreat promotion didn’t help either. The speaker mentioned the retreat was only a month away and that wives should be happy their husbands will come back better equipped to strengthen their marriages. Feelings of loneliness and emptiness flooded over Bob. He didn’t choose to end his marriage; his wife left him for another man.

    Bob hoped the sermon might offer some encouragement to help deal with his impending divorce. The essence of the sermon — family and marriage are God’s desire for us — caused him consternation and pain. His marriage was over.

    The pastor concluded his message by asking couples and families to stand for prayer. Bob noticed many adults didn’t stand, and he assumed they were either single or without their spouse that day. Nothing was said about those who didn’t have a spouse present. Bob didn’t enjoy the service and wondered if/when he would ever return.

    YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

    Your church can make the difference by showing God’s love to others. Bob’s story portrays an experience far too common in many churches today. As a single adult, Bob needed to feel included and part of a family. Bob needed to be “family–ed.”

    “Family” is more than a noun; it is also a verb. Christians need to family each other, especially those who may not have a family due to death of a spouse, death of a marriage, relatives many miles away, or other reasons.

    Churches want everyone to become part of a church and feel included. Accomplishing this, however, requires more than hope. Single adults need the church to realize not all adults are married, and not everyone has family nearby.

    The church needs to understand that single adults want/need people to accept them, maybe even more than married adults who have each other.

    The church needs to know single adults benefit from meeting other single adults with whom they share common interests and needs.

    The unmarried benefit from church leadership using inclusive language that recognizes and affirms individuals representing the many types of marital status: married, remarried, never-married, formerly married, separated, single parent, etc.

    How can your church — the hands, feet, and voice of Christ — help single or single-again adults feel included? How can your congregation help them come to the knowledge of the truth of the gospel?

    Continue reading ““Family-ing” Single Adults by D. Franck – How Churches Can Minister to Single Adults”

Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)

Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)

(Link): How Power Point is Ruining Higher Ed

That page has one slide with screen shots of various tweets by various college students complaining about their professor’s over use of Power Point, including:

    -Being a college professor would be easy. Read off a Power Point you made 10 years ago and give online quizzes with questions you googled.

    -College basically consist[s] of you spending thousands of dollars for a professor to point at a Power Point and read the bullets.

    -I hate when a professor makes class mandatory and reads straight from the Power Point instead of actually teaching… I can do that at home

There are many reasons I no longer attend church and am not eager to ever go to another one ever again, and that is one of the reasons.

Church is boring. (And it’s not personal; churches tend to be impersonal.)

I feel that is a perfectly legitimate criticism of church: church is boring.

I am not saying that from a bratty, entitled, immature, 10 year old kid mentality.

Do not misunderstand. I am not arguing that the only thing a person should look for is entertainment at church.

There are already too many churches today that try to draw in crowds by entertaining them with rock bands, coffee shops in the church building, and gimmicks, primarily the moronic “seeker friendly” churches. That is not what I am advocating.

I’ve read criticisms of the present church model that argue church as we know it today is not how it was when Christianity first began. The first churches were groups of Christians sitting around in someone’s home discussing God, singing hymns, sharing each other’s problems … everyone was invited to participate in those meetings.

A “church service” back at the start of the Christian faith did not consist of one guy at a podium reading verbatim from the Bible, or, in the case of seeker friendly churches, one guy at a podium spouting off personal anecdotes and funny one-liners and pep talk advice while the congregation (the captive audience) sat there in silence.

By the way: the “worship” part of evangelical / Baptist church services don’t uplift me. They consist of people looking straight ahead at a big screen with text on it that is very repetitive. Some people (though this is rare at Baptist churches), put their hands up and wave them around.

I have never felt moved during these music segments at church, and I abhor them. I wish churches would drop the music segments – at least the ones where the entire congregation is expected to participate.

The music sections where some lady or guy stands at front and sings while I sit and listen don’t bother me as much. I don’t like the parts where myself and everyone else is commanded to get on their feet and sing along to words on a big screen.

I am not against music in and of itself, I am saying it feels out of place during a church service. I’ve never felt closer to God during the music part. I don’t see how me mumbling a few simplistic lines from a song honors God.

If anything, the music bits make me feel MORE hollow and empty, because there is this expectation by other Christians that you’re supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy and so, so close to God during the music, or you’re supposed to be basking in the greatness of God, or whatever.

I look around in some churches I’ve been to during the music bits (including one large, non denominational, charismatic church) and see some people with eyes closed, arms uplifted, swaying back and forth. Those types look like they are really getting something from the music.

I hate the music segments. I’m always waiting for them to end the moment they start.

At any rate, church is boring and impersonal.

I am not a supporter of shallow sermons and a rock band – the gee whiz environment that is prevalent in 90% of American churches today. I am not arguing that the antidote to “boring church” is to inject more excitement via rock bands and more coffee shops.

At the same time, though, I have been to one or more earnest churches where the preacher basically reads straight from the Bible – and that is boring. I can do that at home.

I can read the Bible myself and sometimes do, even in the midst of my agnosticism and trying to figure out if I want to remain a Christian at all anymore. (I should explain I don’t read the Bible nearly as much as I used to. I only read very small portions now, every so often.)

I am literate. I am college educated. I can sit at home and read the Bible, I don’t need some guy at a podium on a Sunday morning reading 90% of the Bible to me.

Even the churches that make entertainment a basis bore me. I’ve been to a few Baptist churches, large ones, that have gigantic video monitors and rock bands, with a preacher making jokes and pop culture references in his sermons, and I was still bored out of my mind.

One of the reasons I get bored at church is that there is no “back and forth.” There is no room for me to participate. I am not able to enteract with the pastor or other people. (This is the opposite of my issue with music segments: I prefer to sit out of music performances at church. I hate participating in music at church – but I do want to participate in lessons.)

For those of you who say that is what Sunday School is for – no, that has not been my experience.

In most Sunday School classes I have visited, there is already a pre-planned curricula, a published workbook from “Lifeway” that the class’s Sun. Sch. teacher reads from, or uses as a guide.

It’s not that I object to some pre-planning. I am not saying that use of a guide or workbook is necessarily wrong. If you are a Sun Sch teacher who wants to come up with a plan or topic for the class to discuss beforehand, I am fine with that to a point.

What I don’t like is an hour-long Sunday School class that is 95% a teacher reading from a Life Way workbook, and not much more.

Continue reading “Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)”

Some Lady Tells Singles Not To Feel Sad on Valentine’s Day

Some Lady Tells Singles Not To Feel Sad on Valentine’s Day

This is sort of like my last post,
(Link): Insensitive Valentine Meme – you can’t feel sad about being single if your parents are still living

From Jezebel:
(Link): Instead of Getting Sad on Valentine’s Day, Try Not Giving a Fuck

I’m not sure if the woman who wrote this is single or married.

The odd thing about this woman’s page is that while on the one hand she seems to try to be encouraging singles, it comes across as a form of “singles shaming” to me. Maybe that was not her intent, but that’s how it came across to me.

Here are a few excerpts:

    by M. Davies

  • So you’re spending Valentine’s Day alone and feeling sad about it. What do you do? Curl up on the couch and cry? Stare forlornly into the window of a restaurant packed with couples who are sharing the same long spaghetti noodle like the dogs in Lady and the Tramp? Well, knock it off, sister. You’re a grown-ass woman — W-O-M-Y-N — and it’s time that you figured out that Valentine’s Day only matters when you make it matter. SO STOP MAKING IT MATTER.
  • There was a time when I used to get really sad about being alone on Valentine’s Day. That time was high school, when I was too young and dumb to know better.
  • …But maybe your friends are different than mine and they do make you feel bad about being alone on Valentine’s Day. Well, I hate to break it to you, but you have some shitty friends. That or it’s projection on your part, in which case this probably goes deeper than Valentine’s Day and chances are you’ll be sad on February 15th, 16th and maybe even when you finally get a significant other because, guess what, they won’t solve all your problems either.

That lady’s “buck up, buckeroo about being single on Valentine’s Day” page read more like “shut up you whiny cry baby whiner.” If she was trying to encourage singles who are unhappy about being single, I’m guessing it had the opposite effect on most people who read that page.

Continue reading “Some Lady Tells Singles Not To Feel Sad on Valentine’s Day”

Insensitive Valentine Meme – you can’t feel sad about being single if your parents are still living

Insensitive Valentine Meme

I’ve seen an insensitive Valentine meme go around this year, on several sites.

I didn’t save a copy of it, but it’s some text that says something like, “Single this year? Don’t have a Valentine? Well some people don’t have a Mom. Their Mom is dead. Some don’t have a Dad. Their dad is dead. So shut the fuck up about being alone on Valentine’s.”

Yeah, well, my dear mother has been dead a few years now, and I miss her terribly AND I am still single and would like marriage.

So, to whomever dreamed that meme up, be aware there are people seeing it who experienced both kinds of losses.

I can only guess that whomever dreamed that meme up recently lost a parent (or both), and I know that hurts like hell if you were close to either or both, but it’s not cool to bash people who hurt for being single.

Again, my mother is dead, and it was a painful experience for me to endure, harder than anything I’ve ever dealt with, but if you are reading this and both your parents are still alive, but you hurt because you are alone and would like to be married and Valentine’s Day bummed you out – you wish you had a Valentine but do not – you have my sympathy. And I mean that, that is not sarcasm. I am sorry you are single on Valentine’s Day and found it a difficult day to get through.

I think it’s pretty lousy for someone with a dead parent to chide someone else who has living parents, “you can’t be sad about being single since you still have your parents.”

Sorry, no.

That was like after my mother died, some Christians I ran into would do the same thing, and it was just as bad; they would say things like, “You actually have it pretty good. Your Mom may be dead, but at least you’re not an orphan in Africa.”

As if that made the pain over my Mom being gone any easier to bear? It didn’t. It was insulting.

I realize if your parent recently died and you hear people complain about being single on Valentine’s it can sound moronic… it does sound trivial, doesn’t it? You are missing your loved one who is never coming back, but some single guy or lady you know is crying or complaining because they don’t have a sweetie to bring them a box of chocolates or out on a dinner date. I get it.

Shortly after my mother died, I had one friend who kept bitching and literally crying over stupid stuff like her cell phone battery died, her Play Station unit broke, and another friend would complain over trivial things, like her cat kept puking up hair balls on her carpet. Yes, those sorts of issues did sound pretty trivial compared to my loss. So I do get it.

On the other hand… Don’t tell people they don’t have a right to their pain or grief just because it’s not identical to yours. Some singles, if they’re about 35 or older, may be experiencing Valentine’s Day a lot like death.

Once you get to your mid or late 30s and you’re still not married, it can be crushing. You had really hoped to marry. Your expectation of not being married yet can feel very similar to loss, like loss of a loved one. You may go through a mourning process that is similar… it may take a few years to come to terms with still being single.

So I would not so easily brush off or dismiss every single’s tears shed on Valentine’s over being single. It’s actually rather cruel to tell singles who are having a struggle over being single to just STFU.

I don’t know. It just seemed kind of shitty, rude, and insensitive to me that someone would make a meme saying, “Hey, one of my parents is dead, so nobody else has a right to cry or be sad about anything else!” type thing.
———————–
Related post:

❤ (Link): Men Care More About Valentine’s Day Than Women, Says (2019) Survey by Z. Gervis

(Link): Preacher John Hagee’s Insensitive “GET OVER IT” Sermon – Christians remain ignorant and insensitive to those who suffer tragedy, pain, or mental health problems

Preacher Found Guilty of Murdering His Second Wife, Probably Killed The First One, He Had Affair With Vulnerable, Grieving Woman at His Church

Preacher Found Guilty of Murdering His Second Wife, Probably Killed The First One, He Had Affair With Vulnerable, Grieving Woman at His Church

Not only did this guy murder his second wife (and apparently his first one), but a few sources says he started an affair with a grieving widow in his church. An all around stand up classy guy.

And married people are morally superior to single people. Don’t forget that, now. Evangelicals and Baptists believe that singles are randy rabbits that hump everything in sight and are not as mature as married couples.

I also wonder how sicko freaks like this guy – who manipulate emotionally wounded women for sex, who murder two wives – get spouses, while the decent, normal people of the world go single.

(Link): ’48 Hours’ chronicles murder case of former Jackson Township pastor

    By Andrew Scott
    Pocono Record Writer
    January 04, 2014

    “Death At The Parsonage,” a look at former Jackson Township pastor Arthur Schirmer — awaiting trial in his first wife’s death after being convicted of murdering his second wife — will air on CBS News’ “48 Hours” at 10 tonight.

    Schirmer was pastor at Reeders United Methodist Church in Jackson Township in 2008 when second wife Betty Jean Schirmer died from a head injury her husband said she had suffered in a crash.

    Arthur Schirmer said he was driving Betty Jean to the hospital, after she had complained of jaw pain, and that their vehicle crashed into the guard rail after he swerved to avoid a deer on Route 715 in Pocono Township.

    In October 2008, three months after Betty Jean’s death, police investigated Joseph Musante’s gunshot suicide in Schirmer’s church office and learned Musante’s wife, Cynthia Musante, had been involved in an extramarital affair with Arthur Schirmer.

    Continue reading “Preacher Found Guilty of Murdering His Second Wife, Probably Killed The First One, He Had Affair With Vulnerable, Grieving Woman at His Church”

Being Single During Christmas (by J. Acuff)

Being Single During Christmas (by J. Acuff)

(Link): Being Single During Christmas (by J. Acuff)

(The follow up post:
(Link): The 39 worst things folks said to people who are single during the holidays.)

Excerpts:

    … So instead of simply remixing an old post, I decided to create a holiday-focused scorecard. Think of it like a seasonal ale they put nutmeg in during January. It only comes around this time of year. Without further ado, I give you:

    Being single during Christmas at church:

    5. You good friends hold secret “couples holiday dinners” they don’t invite you to because they don’t want you to feel awkward. = + 3 points

    Wreath
    Wreath

    6. They wince when the world’s worst commercials, Jared’s jewelry, come on TV and some horrible actress gets engaged right in front of you. = +4 points

    8. They try desperately to find the silver lining and say things like, “It must be nice not to have to shop for anyone. My husband is so hard to get gifts for!” = +2 points

    10. They feel slightly guilty for watching romantic Christmas movies in your presence, like “Love Actually.” = +3 points

    11. Someone tells you, “Being single doesn’t have to mean being alone.” = +2 points

    12. Your friends have stopped saying “When you get married” because they’re not sure you’ve got it in you. = +1 point

    21. People spend an exorbitant amount of time telling you marriage success stories, e.g. “The instant my friend Jill stopped looking for a boyfriend this incredible guy came along and swept her off her feet.” = + 1 point

    22. You’re divorced and someone gives you the incredibly encouraging advice, “God will bring you someone who will overlook your past.” = + 2 points

    24. Someone makes a horrible joke about how this Christmas, you got the “gift of celibacy.” = +10 points

    25. Married friends feel compelled to over tell you how difficult marriage is so that you don’t feel like it’s a winter wonderland of constant awesomeness. = +3 points

    32. People try to romanticize the tremendous amounts of free time you must have during the holidays without a family to bother you. = +3 points

Some select reader comments:

    Sydney says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 3:46 PM

    As the oldest grandchild and neice on both sides of my family I have recently been given the guilt trip from my grandparents: “We might not have many more Cristmases left, we need some grandchildren!”

    Selina says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:12 PM

    Yup, I started to hear similar comments in the last couple years (and I’m only 24!). Like from my grandfather “Do you have a boyfriend yet? You need to get married before I die.” As if boyfriends magically appear out of force of sheer will.

    Katie says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 3:48 PM

    “It’s so courageous of you to decorate your apartment for the holidays and send out Christmas cards, as if you had a family”.

    Yep. From a family member.

    I don’t know how many ‘points’ is equal to spending Christmas afternoon in my bedroom crying. Alone, of course. Maybe +20?

    Carly says
    DECEMBER 15, 2013 AT 10:17 AM

    So true! My grandfather gives all my (married) siblings/cousins money (triple digits) for Christmas. Being single, I get $0. Its not so much about the money, but not being considered as “equally deserving of a gift.”

    Sara says
    DECEMBER 15, 2013 AT 1:01 PM

    Me too, Carly! Me too! The exact same thing happens to me.

    Sandy says
    DECEMBER 15, 2013 AT 3:43 PM

    Same here!! I always think, I have bills too and nobody to help me pay them! Am I not worthy of a check at Christmas just because I didn’t provide a son-in-law and grandchildren??

    Claire says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:28 PM

    [In response to someone who says she hates #21 on the list, 21 reads,

    21. People spend an exorbitant amount of time telling you marriage success stories, e.g. “The instant my friend Jill stopped looking for a boyfriend this incredible guy came along and swept her off her feet.” = + 1 point]

    As if God is dangling a gift in front of you and will only give it to you when you stop reaching for it or wanting it! So screwy, but I can’t tell you how many people have thrown this at me in my 35 years of singleness.

    Kelsey says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:53 PM

    I cannot stand #21 or any spin-offs that deal with, “Well, when you focus fully on God, he’ll be right beside you!”

    It implies that all married people are somehow on a separate spiritual playing field than singles. Like they are the first-string players that know how to focus on Jesus better or something—AND FOR THAT, THEY GET A REWARD!

    But not you single people. Go read your ESV study bible and pray a little more. Better luck next season!

    jill says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 5:20 PM

    I’m sick of people saying I should get more involved in church and that I will meet him there. I already go to church and have been for a looong time. No dice. Sitting between my parents each Sunday doesn’t really help either, huh?

    Krista says
    DECEMBER 15, 2013 AT 12:15 AM

    I attend a church and live in a town that has very few single Christian men. My church has none. And I am one of two single ladies myself. Getting more involved will not do anything.

    Selina says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 5:22 PM

    That is fantastic, haha! Yeah, it’s a very good point. A lot of people make comments that imply you’re single because you somehow aren’t putting God first in your life, no matter what you’re actually doing.

    DM says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:10 PM

    ST.WIPS: Stupid Things Well-Intentioned People Say.

    “It’ll happen when…” (and then fill in the blank with any sort of random statement like “when you’re least expecting it…” blah blah blah)
    “God is your husband!”
    “Maybe you should…” (and then fill in the blank with any sort of random advice that is usually a little bit mean. I usually want to respond, “Maybe you should kiss my grits.”
    “Have you prayed about it?” Oh! Now there’s a brilliant idea that I’ve never considered!

    Jon–How many points does one get for being single, alone, and OVERSEAS at Christmas? About 100?

    Monahmartha says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 9:51 PM

    Blechk! Im 35, and married now but wow, did i hate that “youre not putting urself in the right situations…” Its bs im sorry. I was told for many years my husband would come to my church one day. And the non-church people i knew were telling me i needed to go to club to find a man. Otherwise i was dooomed.

    Well every1 was wrong. I just kept living my life and future hubby came to my WORK PLACE. LOL so there!

    And i vowed when i got married i will not become “one of them”. And im didnt. Godmhelp me if i ever do…

    Holly says
    DECEMBER 16, 2013 AT 12:58 PM

    I tell the Church ladies that there is no one single my age at church, so I’m gonna start going to the bars to find a husband.

    That shuts them up quick.

    Amy says
    DECEMBER 16, 2013 AT 3:20 PM

    I once told a girl at my Bible study that I’d been keeping my hair long because a) I’ve been enjoying doing fun updos with it and b) I read that guys prefer longer hair (which is true) . . . but I’d also considered doing a cute pixie cut. I’m just afraid that if I did everyone would think I was a butch lesbian, so if I get to 35 and I’m still not married I might go ahead and give the pixie a shot, since by then I expect most people will think I’m a butch lesbian anyway . . . LOL. (It’s been thought before, even when I’ve had long hair . . . I’m sorry to say).

    Selina says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:17 PM

    Yup, some of these are accurate already. Like the lady at church who always asks me if I have a boyfriend yet because she has to know as soon as it happens. I have a few friends who like to tell me how lucky I am to be single and how guys are so much more trouble than they’re worth. Yeah, so nice to be told that from the person who has been married or in a relationship for years to the girl who has never had a bf. They all mean well, but there comes a point when every single piece of “advice” or “encouragement” someone gives you about your love life becomes kind of insulting and aggravating. I despise those cliched comments from people.

    [In reply to a married about what marrieds can say to singles]
    Andrea says
    DECEMBER 16, 2013 AT 12:52 AM

    Everything else about my life? Because part of what makes it so frustrating/hurtful, is those questions are essentially implying, “it doesn’t really matter what you’ve done or accomplished. Your life isn’t truly valid until you’re in a relationship/married/have kids. Didn’t you know you are defined by your marital status?”

    I have a job I’ve worked hard for and really enjoy (and I work with some really fascinating stuff, which I might tell you about if you showed interest in knowing something beyond my 30-second job summary).
    I have a master’s degree.
    I’ve traveled all over the world.
    I have friends and family all over the country/world.
    I’ve been remodeling my house over the last 3 years.
    I’m in a book club and love to read.
    I enjoy working in my yard/garden.
    I love to bake and cook.
    I love going to the theater and trying new restaurants.
    And yes, I have two cats. And they entertain me to no end.

    But yet somehow, there are people who can’t think of anything to ask me about or comment on except my relationship status?!

    So, what would encourage me and make me feel appreciated? Showing interest in what my life IS (everything listed above), rather than what it might be lacking (a significant other). Celebrating/congratulating me on what I’ve accomplished (job, education, house reno, etc.), rather than focusing on what I haven’t (a husband). Recognizing that I and my life are legitimate and acceptable right now and as is – just as acceptable and legitimate as they would be with a spouse, not just as “it’s nice to see you’re using your time well until you meet someone.”.

    Hope that helps!

    Becky says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 5:28 PM

    Yes! I also stopped telling stories to my parents that involves and single guy within 20 years of me. They completely tone-out what I’m saying and become fixed on that guy. “So you just said Jake, who is Jake, how old is he? Are you interested, is he cute?” And they remember him and check-in on how “jake and I ” are doing for months.

    Selina says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:25 PM

    Ooo, wait, can we add watching all the Christmas engagement posts starting to pop up on facebook with the nauseatingly sappy captions??? Seriously.

    Sharon says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:25 PM

    Being a widow, I get a lot of “at least…” statements, such as “at least you had the time together that you did. “.
    True, but it doesn’t make it any less lonely. These are often preceded by “Wow, the holidays much be so hard for you, being by yourself and all.”
    Thanks for pointing that out, I hadn’t noticed.
    Which is immediately followed by the suggestion that I sign up to volunteer at all 11 services over four days.
    Just because I’m single doesn’t mean I don’t have a life.

    Kaitlyn says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:25 PM

    This cracked me up, especially after the question I got yesterday: “Have you tried Christian Mingle yet?”

    Rachel says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 6:40 PM

    Ah yes. My old friend. I saw an advert for said company online the other day (thanks, targeted FB advertising) with the terrible, theologically worrying and mildly threatening slogan “Worried about going to heaven alone? Maybe not.” As Charlie Brown says, good grief.

    Should definitely be added to the points system.

    Peggy says
    DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 4:29 PM

    I’m divorced and in my thirties. At this point, I hear comments about how God will “restore the years the locusts have eaten.”

    Little do they know that I’m on a wild adventure and I see no locusts in my history.

    I was just starting to write a blog post about Christmas as a single woman! I will have to link to this post.

    Continue reading “Being Single During Christmas (by J. Acuff)”

Widows and Childless and Childfree Have Better Well Being Than Married Couples and Parents says new study

Widows Have Better Well Being Than Married Couples says new study

(Link): Wellbeing higher for widows than couples, National Australia Bank Wellbeing Index finds

    DECEMBER 23, 2013 11:08PM

    WIDOWED people are reporting higher levels of wellbeing than married couples, while women aged 18 to 29 are the unhappiest age group, a survey shows.

    National wellbeing deteriorated to 63.5 points in the last three months of the year, down from 64.4 points in the previous quarter, according to the National Australia Bank Wellbeing Index.

    When it comes to marital status, widows and widowers had the highest levels of wellbeing while singles had the lowest, the survey of 2,100 Australians showed.
    “In particular, mental wellbeing, feeling part of the community and physical health are significantly stronger contributors to the wellbeing of widows when compared to married couples,” NAB economists said.

    Those with no children reported higher levels of wellbeing than those with children, while the highest earners – those on $100,000-plus – were happier than those on lower incomes.

    Overall, wellbeing was highest in South Australia and the Northern Territory and lowest in Tasmania, due to a sharp increase in anxiety over the quarter.

    Those in regional cities reported the highest levels of wellbeing, compared with people in capital cities and rural areas.

    When it comes to age, women aged 18 to 29 reported the lowest levels of wellbeing while women aged 50-plus reported the highest levels.

    “The most important influences on positive wellbeing include personal relationships, your home and personal safety,” NAB economists said.

—————-
Related posts:

(Link): Widower to Advice Columnist Talks about Being Stereotyped by Married Couples or Ignored by Other Marrieds Since His Wife has Died

(Link): Married People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Spouses With Dementia / Married People Who Are Lonely

(Link): Study: People today living alone more than ever before

(Link): Live alone? You’re not alone (from CBS news)

My Secret Grief. Over 35, Single and Childless by Melanie Notkin

My Secret Grief. Over 35, Single and Childless by Melanie Notkin

This author goes on quite a bit about motherhood, but this editorial could equally apply to women who desire marriage but are still single past the age of 35.

Like her, I get very offended by the negative assumptions people make over adult singlehood. The assumptions by people, but especially Christians, that if you are still single (and / or childless) once you’re in your 40s, it must be because you are too flawed to attract a spouse, or you must be career-obsessed, or whatever.

A lot of women, such as myself, stop going to church (and even stop being Christians) because never married, childless adults are not made to feel welcome. Most churches cater to married couples who have children.

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

    … The grief hit me in my mid-thirties without warning.

    By all appearances, my life was fantastic, or pretty close.

    … The sadness I’d feel around my period was deeper than hormonal. I was mourning the loss of one more chance at the family life I always dreamed of.

    And I grieved alone.

    Grief over not being able to have children is acceptable for couples going through biological infertility.

    Grief over childlessness for a single woman in her thirties and forties is not as accepted. Instead, it’s assumed we just don’t understand that our fertility has a limited lifespan and we are simply being reckless with chance.

    We’re labeled “career women” as if we graduated college, burned our bras and got jobs to exhibit some sort of feminist muscle.

    Or, it’s assumed we’re not ‘trying hard enough,’ or we’re ‘being too picky.’ The latest trend is to assume we don’t really want children because we haven’t frozen our eggs, adopted or had a biological baby as a single woman.

    This type of grief, grief that is not accepted or that is silent, is referred to as disenfranchised grief. It’s the grief you don’t feel allowed to mourn, because your loss isn’t clear or understood. You didn’t lose a sibling or a spouse or a parent. But losses that others don’t recognize can be as powerful as the kind that is socially acceptable.

    Continue reading “My Secret Grief. Over 35, Single and Childless by Melanie Notkin”

Widower to Advice Columnist Talks about Being Stereotyped by Married Couples or Ignored by Other Marrieds Since His Wife has Died

Widower to Advice Columnist Talks about Being Stereotyped by Married Couples or Ignored by Other Marrieds Since His Wife has Died

This guy, whose letter I am copying below, was married for twenty years, and his wife died. He wrote a letter to advice columnist “Ask Amy” describing how horribly he was treated after his wife died.

Note that he mentions that married couples viewed him in his new single-again status as “a threat.”

This seems to happen to single women more often, however, as though all unmarried women skulk about, waiting to attack married men and get them into bed.

A lot of Christian material on dating and marriage advises married men to stay away from un-married women (when married women frequently have affairs with married men, yet the church never issues warnings about a married woman being left alone with married men, and sometimes, it is the married man who is the instigator of affairs with both singles and marrieds).

Like the man who wrote this letter to Ask Amy, after my own family member died, I experienced a lack of concern and care from other people, even from other Christians, and even though I pointedly asked for help and support.

Rather than hold my hand as I wept, I was subjected to unsolicited advice, judgment, and criticism! Everyone else avoided me.

Nobody – not even self professing Christians who I knew attended church weekly, including some extended family of mine – wanted to take phone calls and let me discus my emotional pain over the loss.

The others tried to get me off the phone as fast as possible, or dish out critical comments, chiding me for feeling sad over the loss.

Christians should step up to the plate and comfort the one who is grieving, but they DO NOT.

Christians are lazy and selfish. They’d rather dole out quick platitudes than sit and do the actual hard work of helping someone who is in grief, which involves listening to the mourner weep about the loss for two, or more, hours a month.

I related to this guy’s letter on more than one front.

Letter from man who is now single after his wife of 20 years died:

Dear Amy:

    Over two years ago my wife of 20 years (and my companion of thirty) died of ALS, one of the worst ways to go. Death is not a Hollywood movie, and people are not at their best, but I was there for my wife all the way to the end. She died in my arms. But it was what came after that shocked me.

My immediate, misguided reaction was to ask to be left alone to grieve. That was a big mistake, which I corrected as I found an empty house, and world, overwhelming. What surprised me was who stepped up and who didn’t. Many of our friends just disappeared — some despite pleasant words at the memorial service or promises on sympathy cards.

Now, having connected with my veterans — those who have lost spouses — I think that I may know some of the reasons why. I hope you will share this with your readers.

It boils down to more than busy lives, because those who reached out to me were often the busiest.

A widower or widow represents to another couple the absolute certainty that they or their spouse will be in the same boat one day. You are an unwelcome reminder — a mortician at a birthday party. Also, couples are sometimes threatened by a person who is suddenly single. This is so insulting.

Some people just don’t know what to do. And for them, I have some advice: Life for the surviving spouse is a matter of getting through first the minutes, then the hours, then the days, then the weeks, the months and finally the years.

We don’t necessarily need deep talk. We need an empathetic offer of company, a meal, film, a walk. A diversion from grief is what we need, quite literally, to make it to another day. Just offer a respite, a diversion from pain, even for a little while. That’s all you need to do — and that’s plenty.

And if you really offer it and follow through, you will never be forgotten.

— Widowed in Bethesda

Yep. People are lazy, selfish jackholes.

I also experienced the situation of people making promises to help, only later to blow me off when I phoned them up for help/ comfort. I learned the hard way that you cannot count on people, not even at your lowest point. And I did not feel God during any of that. I got through it all ALONE.

Dec 30, 2013

DEAR AMY:

    I would like to thank “Widowed in Bethesda” for his honest and heartbreaking account of what it is really like when a spouse or partner dies. People who have been in your life for a very long time have a way of disappearing. In my experience, the busiest people were the ones who also made time for me.

Like Widowed, initially I wanted to be alone. I wasn’t able to tell people what I needed. The most comfort I received was from people who worked to maintain the friendship, even though my life had changed dramatically.

— Been There

—————————
Related posts this blog

(Link): When You’re Married and Lonely by J. Slattery

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

(Link): Grieving for My Sex Life After My Husband Died by A. Radosh

(Link): Why I, Christian Pundit, Post Anonymously (why I don’t post under my real name)

(Link): You Will Be Ignored After Your Spouse Dies (advice columnist)

(Link): Married People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Spouses With Dementia / Married People Who Are Lonely

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

(Link): Live alone? You’re not alone (from CBS news)

(Link): Focus on the Family advice columnist perpetuates stereotypes about single women

(Link): Study: People today living alone more than ever before

Married Preacher Who Had Extra Marital Affair, Divorce Commits Suicide / Grieving Preacher Whose Wife Died Commits Suicide

Married Preacher Who Had Extra Marital Affair, Divorce Commits Suicide / Grieving Preacher Whose Wife Died Commits Suicide

Many Evangelical, Neo Reformed, Fundamentalist and conservative Christians of other stripes adhere to several fairy tale views, a few of which are:

1. That marriage (and parenthood) automatically (or over several years of marriage) makes a person completely sanctified, holy, pure, godly, self-less, and virtually immune from sexual sin;
2. that “real” Christians will never, ever suffer from depression or other mental health maladies or commit suicide

3. that Christians should not marry non-Christians (based on the “be not yoked” passage, but with some kind of assumption that a Christian man will make a superior spouse because he will not abuse or cheat on his spouse, etc)

Here we have below news stories of not just Christians, but married Christian men who worked as preachers who killed themselves. One of them, a preacher of a mega church, also had an extra marital affair. I believe both men were fathers.

Still, many Christians keep lecturing the rest of us that staying single (though some of us are not single by choice but by circumstance) is sinful, and that if only we would marry and become a parent, that being married and having a baby would make us holy, better, more responsible, and so on. I think continued examples like the following disprove this sort of thinking.

(Link): Church ‘Devastated’ Over Suicide of Pastor Ed Montgomery, Who Shot Himself While Grieving Wife’s Death, Says Apostle Ron Wilson

    BY LEONARDO BLAIR , CP REPORTER
    December 6, 2013|5:30 pm

    Apostle Ron Wilson, founder and lead pastor of the Full Gospel Christian Assemblies International church in Hazel Crest, Ill., says his church has been “devastated” by the news that one of their pastors died after he shot himself in the head while grieving over his wife, who died suddenly last December.

(Link): Grieving Pastor Commits Suicide: Mom and Son Watch

(Link): Pastor son of Obama’s spiritual advisor ‘commits suicide’ after admitting affair and having domestic violence order against him

    – Death of father-of-three Isaac Hunter, 36, announced by his church
    – Resigned last year from Florida megachurch he founded over affair
    – Wife granted restraining order after she told judge she ‘feared for her and their children’s lives’
    – His father, Joel Hunter, has been advisor to Obama since 2008 election

    Father-of-three Isaac Hunter, 36, had been battling problems since resigning from a Florida megachurch he founded after admitting to an affair with a staff member last year.

    A judge also granted his wife a domestic-violence petition after claiming his erratic behavior and alcohol abuse had left her ‘fearing for my life and the lives of our three children.’

    According to court documents, Hunter had written an undated suicide note saying: ‘I have become what I never wished to be, a burden on those I love the most’.

(Link): Son of Obama spiritual adviser dead of self-inflicted gunshot

Excerpt:

    Hunter, a co-founder of the non-denominational mega-congregation Summit Church in Orlando, quit as lead pastor in November 2012 after admitting he had an affair with a church secretary, and filed for divorce from his wife Rhonda this past October.

    His wife had previously filed a domestic-violence petition against him and accused him of having drug and alcohol problems, the Sentinel said.

    They had been married since 1999 and have three children.

(Link): Summit megachurch founder Isaac Hunter found dead in apparent suicide

    By Jeff Kunerth, Orlando Sentinel
    7:00 p.m. EST, December 10, 2013

    Isaac Hunter, the troubled son of Northland Church Pastor Joel Hunter, has committed suicide, according to an email sent to members of his former church on Tuesday.

    Isaac Hunter, 36, resigned on Nov. 26, 2012, from the megachurch he founded after he admitted to other Summit pastors that he had engaged in an affair with a staff member. His wife of 13 years, Rhonda Hunter, subsequently filed a domestic-violence petition against Hunter, describing him as unstable, erratic and suicidal.

Interesting Links Re Christianity and Gender Roles (A.K.A. Church and Christian Approved Sexism)

Interesting Links Re Christianity and Gender Roles (AKA Church and Christian Approved Sexism)

This is a very good editorial:
(Link): Feminism vs Egalitarianism

(Link): Friday Challenge: Guess The Year [‘How Feminine Am I’ sexist and out-dated check list used by Baptist churches] – Stuff Fundies Like blog

Next link. Regarding the nutso Quiverfull-ish, Doug Phillips, Vision Forusm-ish sexist beliefs of treating women like unthinking chattel and keeping them at home with their fathers, even if they don’t marry into adulthood:

(Link): Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions, Part 1: Blurring the Lines (TBB) – from Scarlet Letters blog

Excerpts

    My main concern, however, with the vision of SAHD [Stay At Home Daughters] laid out in [Phillips’ version of] Sleeping Beauty is that it seems to progressively break down healthy boundaries in father-daughter relationships.

    … In Sleeping Beauty, however, it becomes clear that “helpmeet” is only one example of a more extensive terminology shift. Fathers are said to “court” and “woo” their daughters and ultimately “win their hearts.”

(Link): Dan Kirby Kopp, 45, was found guilty of beating his wife with a spoon [for not addressing him as “sir” and other stupid crap]

    The video shows Kopp showing her [his wife] the spoon and giving her a ‘count of three to comply’ with his demand of addressing him with a ‘yes, sir’ in front of the couple’s children.

    He is also heard threatening to ‘cast the demons out of her’ next time she disobeyed him.

(Link): “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” Genre Cheat Sheet Rachel Held Evans’ blog

I don’t agree with what appears to be that blog’s rejection of biblical sexual ethics, or disregard for people who have remained virgins into adulthood, in favor of sugarcoating biblical sexual teachings so as to soothe the consciences of women who say they feel shamed or get hurt hearing that pre-marital sex is sinful according to the Bible, but I do agree with the blog’s disdain for biblical gender complementarianism.

Guest comments at that page (and I agree with these comments):

    My favourite is their “committee” page [the writer may be referring to the gender complementarian group CBMW] where each women’s career is labelled “homemaker” and then proceeds to list all the conferences she will be attending for the next 12 months – I added up one of the women’s ‘away’ dates and figured the only way she could be a ‘homemaker’ was if she lived in a motor home.

And:

    Christina Steve Dawson • 7 hours ago −

    I suspect this is true. Otherwise they would have noticed years ago the irony of women building careers in which they travel, write, and speak, all for the purpose of convincing other women not to have careers.

And

    Rachel Held Evans Mod Christina • 7 hours ago −

    Oh my gosh! This DRIVES ME CRAZY! I went to this “biblical womanhood” conference a couple years ago where many of the attendees were professional women with careers. And the speaker – a professional woman herself – proceeded to dis on feminism as an anti-biblical worldview…starting with second wave feminism and using Mary Tyler Moore as an example of a first step away from biblical womanhood. It was so confusing

——————-
Related posts this blog

(Link): Christian Culture and Daddy Daughter Dates

You Will Be Ignored After Your Spouse Dies (advice columnist)

You Will Be Ignored After Your Spouse Dies

You will be ignored after your spouse dies: though I have to say this problem seems more frequent for females than males. For some reason, people feel more sorry for a man whose spouse has died than a woman, so men seem to get invited out more.

At any rate, this is another example of how even if you have been married, people in your life will pretty much ignore you once your spouse drops dead or leaves you.

Many married people suffer from something I dub “Married People Privilege.” Married people don’t usually don’t notice how utterly shitty society and churches treat un-married people until they find themselves un-married again later in life, when their spouse divorces them, drops dead, or gets dementia.

Ask Amy Column:

DEAR AMY:

    Mine is not an earth-shaking problem. I am a widower, and like most of us widows/widowers, the phone quit ringing after my spouse died. Since I am not a great cook, I call couples we used to socialize with to go out for dinner.

When the check comes, I pay; then they pay the next time.

It doesn’t seem to dawn on them that I am paying twice as much to treat them as they do when they pick up the check. Some of them are much better off than I am. I do not want to make this a major issue, but I do go out a lot and tip well. I cannot think of a way to address this tactfully. Can you? — Wondering

DEAR WONDERING: This may not seem tactful (enough) to you, but if I were in your group of friends, I’d be absolutely fine hearing the following: “Do you mind if we each pay for our own meal when we go out? I dine out a lot and enjoy it, but it’s getting challenging for me to pick up the tab.”

————
Related post this blog

(Link): Married People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Spouses With Dementia / Married People Who Are Lonely

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

(Link): Widower to Advice Columnist Talks about Being Stereotyped by Married Couples or Ignored by Other Marrieds Since His Wife has Died

(Link): When You’re Married and Lonely by J. Slattery

(Link):  The Biggest Threat To Middle-Aged Men: Loneliness

People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Death of a Spouse

People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Death of a Spouse

I’ve read women on other sites mention that while they were married, other married couples would befriend them, hang out with them.

The moment their spouse died (it’s usually the husband – when a wife dies, people tend to show more care and concern for a widower), they say they are instantly persona non grata, to the point that married friends at church don’t so much as say “hello” when they pass in the hall way in church.

I have heard one exception: one adult, never married Christian lady said she noticed that when a woman in church husband died that the church rallied ’round that woman to act as a “surrogate” husband, where the men in the church traded off mowing her lawn, changing the oil in her car for her, etc, and the women in her church brought the newly widowed woman food, etc.

The never-married Christian woman wondered why in the hell churches aren’t that freaking supportive of women who have never married. She never had anyone at her church offer to change the oil in her car, or bring her a meal, and she would have appreciated the occasional help.

I have no idea either, why churches will help one type of person and not another… it’s like after my family member died, I was very broken over it, but the Christians I met, that I confided in for understanding and for comfort treated me like crap, but sat there and cried tears for women in homeless shelters. And these were not women they knew personally, but only saw once a month

You’d think if a Christian is going to show compassion to ‘People Group A’ that they would be equally compassionate of ‘People Group B,’ and everyone around them equally, but no, Christians feel only certain types of people deserve mercy, pity, and help.

If you are not in their preferred “Group O Victim,” they will tell you insensitive bullsh*t like, “stop having a pity party!,” “just think of how orphans in Africa have life worse than you,” and religious platitudes like, “read your Bible more.” No mercy, no compassion, just lectures, insults, and platitudes.

But the majority of anecdotes I’ve encountered are the first variety: the husband dies, and over night, the church ignores the new widow.

The newly widowed woman becomes an outcast the minute her spouse dies. No more invites from former married couple friends.

It is really disgusting to me how society, even Christians, treat people based on marital status.

People who are never married or widowed are not diseased and do not carry cooties, for the love of God. But singles are often treated like total lepers by Christians.

I don’t think the marrieds who don’t even stop to consider the crap singles go through realize that their husband could drop dead tomorrow from a car wreck or something (which is what happened to one aunt of mine, leaving her single in her 50s).

Even if your husband drops dead of natural causes in his 70s – 80s, you will probably out live him and be alone then.

So it might behoove you, you who are currently married, to start advocating for singles around you now, because you will be single again some day – and when you are, do you want to be ignored by the church?

Or, if they noticed you at all, do you want Christians treating you like you’re a temptress Jezebel out to steal all married men?

Do you want them telling you that singles aren’t as qualified to lead Sunday School as marrieds, so they give you nothing to do? Do you want to be left out of weekend dinners hosted by a married couple merely because you are single?

Because that will be your reality WHEN your husband dies. Not “if,” but WHEN.

The moment your spouse dies, your current married friends will drop you like a hot potato. No more dinner invitations from them.

Then you will start to notice how the church has no special programs or ministries for singles. You will start to notice how churches isolate and ostracize the un-married.

And if you’re a man, you will also be ignored or treated to insults by churches when your wife dies, should you out live your wife.

(Though in my opinion, widowers are treated a bit better than widows. For whatever reason, churches feel more sorry for a man who loses his spouse, than for a woman who loses hers. I have no idea why in the hell there is a discrepancy there, but it exists. I don’t know why churches think males deserve more help and compassion than ladies).

Here is the story about a Christian woman whose husband died, and she found herself single later in life.

(Link): Second Singlehood: A Time to Blossom, by Diane Marty

    Guest post by Diane Marty

    [Bella’s intro: This guest post by Diane Marty is the story of how she transformed herself from a person devastated by the death of her husband and the prospect of become single anew at 67, to the person others pointed to as a model of how to embrace second singlehood.
    Diane writes in more of a literary style than a blog post style, which I welcome. She has offered us a mini-memoir of becoming single again and I thank her for that. I also particularly liked her point in the second-to-last paragraph about the kinds of events that single people feel comfortable attending.]

    …the memory of my own experience with widowhood and transitioning back to the single life had flooded into my mind.

    My husband had been dead about a year when the world seemed to come crashing down upon me one day in May of 2008. My five year old Chevy truck had broken down and I was staring at a repair bill over seventeen hundred dollars. My husband always did all the repairs on our vehicles. He was a skilled mechanic and I hadn’t realized how much money he’d saved us over the years. Registering and maintaining two vehicles was expensive and I was in a quandary as to whether or not I should get rid of the truck. My small car was good on gas but the truck with its four-wheel drive was safer for Michigan winter driving. What to do?

    … And then even the weather that May had turned ugly and I had trees down on my property and I’d been without electric power going on the third day. My freezer full of food was defrosting and that was a loss I didn’t need on top of the expense with the truck. If only my husband were alive, I thought, he’d fix the truck, and he’d hook up his welder/generator for power and we’d get through this together. But he wasn’t alive and I went to bed yet another night crying myself to sleep.

    …Though I had some lingering doubts about the ease of returning to the single life at age sixty-seven, I left my house that afternoon ignited with a fresh verve for life.

    …I had a second chance to nurture my individual personhood but I wasn’t sure I knew how to go about it. Those of us raised in the self-sacrificial Christian tradition were taught to suppress individual desires during the coupled years when the needs of the conjoined entity, the couple, are paramount. [ALL Christians get this message that is is sinful or selfish to get their needs met, not just married women — Christian Pundit].

    But I was another entity now—a widowed, newly single-again woman, uncoupled and free to make new choices. All I had to do was figure out how to re-enter the blazing sunlight of unrestricted freedom my regained singlehood offered without getting burnt.

    As I re-evaluated my options from my new perspective as a woman in late-life singlehood, I decided that the quickest and safest way to re-enter that narrow gate into a happy Singledom was to follow the joiner road leading to any group whose activities, interests and philosophy matched my own. I adopted a pro-active attitude knowing I had to take responsibility for myself—that no one was coming to take me by the hand. I began by joining groups open to everyone,

    investigating how the people in each one treated each other and interacted with each other, mindful of my first requirement that people be accepted and valued as individuals.

    What I found confirmed that I’d made a wise choice in gravitating toward groups. It became clear to me that singles congregated in groups precisely because groups are made up of singles!

You can read the rest (Link): here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—– END ARTICLE EXCERPT —–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just wondered (Link): in a post on here the other day if writers from Crosswalk have been to my blog before, because within days of me publishing a post on something, the same material is blogged on their site.

I made a post pointing out that many white (middle to upper class) American Christians have a most strange preoccupation with helping dark-skinned foreign people (and Africa seems to be the preferred area, with some churches opting for Haiti).

I wrote more about that odd situation under the “Side Note” section of (Link): this blog post, and (Link): this post.

Also related to this: I have also written in a prior post or two about this annoying new trend among Christian preachers to make ordinary Christians feel guilty or horrible about living ordinary, everyday lives. These preachers are called “Radical” or “Missional.” You can (Link): read about them here.

Anyway, within a day or two of me mentioning the weird attitude by white middle- to- upper- middle class Christians that only dark-skinned people in Africa need the Gospel and need humanitarian aid, and that they seem to believe that the Gospel is not for white middle class Americans, this page appeared on a Christianity Today blog:

(Link): Suburbia Needs Jesus, Too

Not only are most well-off, white American Christians consumed with caring for dark-skinned Africans (that there are also white people born and raised in Africa seems to escape their attention), but when they do bother to look inwards (ie, to help fellow Americans), they only want to extend a helping hand to extreme sob stories, such as the homeless in the inner city, or crack addicts who are passed out in crack homes all day.

If you’re an “average Joe” or “average Jane” Christian, especially if you are white and in the ‘burbs, and/or if you’re middle class, and you are going through a tragedy in your life large or small (divorce, cancer, your dog just died, your mom just died, you just got laid off from your job, whatever your calamity is) most white American Christians will tell you to get over it or get lost.

Most white American Christians will not offer to give you – if you are a fellow white Christian – a couple hundred bucks for groceries, or offer to mow your lawn while you recover from your surgery, nor will they offer to sit and listen as you sob your eyes out.

Oh no. No no no. God forbid a white middle- to- upper- middle class Christian show compassion to any other white/middle class Christian who is going through a tribulation.

Most often, not always, but very very frequently, white, middle class, American Christians will say things to another hurting white Christians when said Christian approaches them for sympathy or help, such as…

    – “You live in the richest nation in the world. You have in-door plumbing. Two thirds of the world have to pee in a hole in the ground in 20 degree weather. You have it better than starving orphans in Africa, so shut up.”

    – “You’re not homeless. You’re not an abused wife living in a domestic abuse shelter.
    So what if your husband of 25 years just said he doesn’t love you and wants to run off with his 23 year old secretary, who he’s been having sex with the last six months?
    You could have life much worse, you know.You still have life more comfy-cozy than those homeless shelter people, so quiet down.”

    -“Get over it!”
    [I wrote a post about (Link): “Get Over It” here]

    – “Stop your crying and whining about your grandma dying last week, you big baby! You should be over that by now!
    Don’t you realize how blessed you are? You have central heating in winter and an in-door toilet! Street urchins in India who get sold as prostitutes would give their right arm to have your life.”

Yep, I have been on the receiving end of those types of comments first hand (and in my time of deepest pain), I’ve heard other Christians use those remarks against other hurting Christians, and blowhard preachers (such as John Hagee) like to shout those kinds of things at their audiences.
Continue reading “White Evangelicals, White Fundamentalists, and White Baptists: White Americans Don’t Need the Gospel or Compassion, especially not the affluent or middle class”

Christians and Non Christians Attacking Rick Warren in His Time of Grief

Christians and Non Christians Attacking Rick Warren in His Time of Grief – along with militant Non-Christian, homosexual lunatics. (This is my second attempt at posting this. WordPress would not publish it yesterday)

(This post may contain strong language, so if you’re one of those delicate little flower Christians who doesn’t care for cuss words or crude terms, please click away now. If not, read ahead at your own risk, don’t complain to me about the language. Thanks.)

I’ve (Link): written before about Christians who vilify and attack people, including Rick Warren.

I’ve read Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” book and didn’t see anything objectionable in it, nothing unbiblical. He essentially spends the book telling people their meaning is to be found in Christ alone, not in money, career, marriage, or fame.

I have read that some Christians have been hurt by Warren’s “church driven” strategy, which is, if I understand it properly, to make drastic changes to a church and unceremoniously kick out any members, even “long timers,” who disagree with the new approach. If this is true, I’m sure this approach has created hurt Christians, and I’m sorry for that.

However, as this reporter discusses in the page I’ve linked to, after the suicide of Rick Warren’s 20-something son this past week, Warren has been getting harassed over it and receiving hateful comments on the internet not only from Non-Christians, but also from professing Christians.

Link: Christian Leaders Appalled at Hurtful Responses to Rick Warren’s Family Tragedy

Before I discuss the hate mail he’s been getting from Christians: according to a different news source I saw yesterday, most of the Non-Christians sending Warren hate mail in the aftermath of his son’s passing are perturbed because Warren does not support homosexual marriage (I think Warren supported Prop 8 in California, and that is their grudge against the man?).

Continue reading “Christians and Non Christians Attacking Rick Warren in His Time of Grief”