Why Comic Characters and Super Heroes Can’t Marry – Marriage Makes People Selfish

Why Comic Characters and Super Heroes Can’t Marry – Marriage Makes People Selfish

Some feminist blogs, which tend to lean frothing- at- the- mouth in support of all things homosexuality, are upset about this recent Bat Woman comic character development. In the current iteration of the Bat Woman saga, the comic writers have made the character a lesbian and will not be writing a storyline in which she marries her girlfriend.

(Link): Batwoman Can’t Marry, Says DC Pub, Because Heroes Can’t Be Happy
from Jezebel, secular feminist blog (Jezebel writers totally need to shut up about about “slut shaming,” btw, or re-define it – see (Link): On Miley Cyrus Being Sexual at 2013 VMAs – Hypocrisy of Secular Feminists)

One would think a feminist blog would be anti-marriage, since they tend to view hetero-sexual marriage as oppressive for women, but since secular feminists tend to be left wing and very politically correct, it figures, in a weird and hypocritical way, they would make an exception in the case of a lesbian character, and want to see a lesbian get married to a woman.

(Link): DC Says Batwoman Can’t Marry Because “Heroes Shouldn’t Have Happy Personal Lives”

The comics guys in charge of writing Bat Woman stories explained keeping Bat Woman single is because a super hero’s job is to sacrifice personal happiness for the sake of the greater good, defending society.

This explanation rings hollow to feminist writers, but it makes sense.

In reading about singleness by Christian authors, some of them make the same point: not only do they discuss super hero mythos and explain that a hero must choose between dedicating himself to One (i.e., a romantic partner) rather than to the many, but the Christian authors of one book about singlehood provided real life examples of how singles tend to be more giving and less selfish than their married counterparts.

In one book by Christian authors about singleness, the authors re-tell a true life account of a group of families held as prisoners of war in a cramped camp.

The authors tell of how when the overseers of the camp ask the families, who started out with two rooms in their living quarters, were asked to sacrifice one room for newcomers, the families refused.

The families claimed they needed the extra space for their flesh and blood ties.

At that same camp (at least I believe it was the same one; it was a prisoner of war camp), though, a celibate priest – a single guy, he was UN-married – would make the rounds in the camp, visiting everyone, making sure everyone was doing okay, and providing friendship and companionship to anyone who was lonely or alone.

This single man, this unmarried man, put the needs of those around him ahead of himself, and he had no wife or children or other family to worry about or take care of; he had no family to use as an excuse to shirk his duties to helping other people who are not related to him.

There is most certainly a contrast there: married people do tend to turn inwards and care only about their flesh- and- blood ties, even ones who claim to be dedicated Christians. I have copied writings by other authors to this blog before about the same issue, such as:

(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High?

Continue reading “Why Comic Characters and Super Heroes Can’t Marry – Marriage Makes People Selfish”

Divorce. Unpardonable sin? (from CWO) / How Churches Fail the Divorced (article)

Divorce. Unpardonable sin? (from CWO) / How Churches Fail the Divorced (article)

I’ve never been divorced, as I’ve never been married, but I see some overlapping in how churches treat the never-married with how they treat the divorced (which is like crap). So here’s a post about divorce and how Christians treat divorced people like crap too.

(Link): Spiritual cul-de-sac How the church fails the divorced

This is written by a Christian woman who got a divorce [correction: the author said she’s not been divorced but was referring to some of her friends who have been]:

(Link): Divorce. Unpardonable sin?

Excerpts:

    It wasn’t too long ago I rode the high horse of judgment towards divorces. It was my contention that IF ANYONE got divorced it was completely selfish; if you got divorced well, you weren’t trying hard enough. Oh, and also, that God hates divorce. I was pretty good at lobbing these opinions at people, or in public forums. Then someone close to me got divorced. It was very clear that in order to protect her family she did the best thing for them by leaving a man who refused to repent of issues that would/could damage her children.
  • She was, first of all a mother protecting her children. How can that be wrong? And, turns out, from her ex’s actions and lack of action since the divorce, it was the absolute right thing to do.
  • Her church did not help in any way, there was no compassion, support, encouragement, certainly none of Jesus’ grace, mercy or love anywhere. But what was not lacking? Judgment. And plenty of it.
  • Including from her Pastor. When I saw myself reflected in mean self-righteous people acting the way I once did, well, my fall of the high horse was short but painful.
  • Since then, God has lead me to beautiful women whose husbands were chameleon Christians at best and abusive at the least. These men seemed to hate their blessings: their wives and children.
  • By their actions it’s clear thy have no understanding of what a husband or father is supposed to be, it seems they want only something to control, or display
  • The fact that I see this happening more than once is disturbing and I ask myself, is a wife compelled to spend her life in these ungodly conditions? Is this what God would intend for the lives of His children?
  • …A woman whose husband is serially unfaithful, emotionally distant, abusive with anger and feeding a wicked hunger for pornography, a man who refuses to get help because he so narcissistic he cannot see the problem is his, has been abandoned or if you will: divorced.
  • Sad things is, I’ve met many women who have lived this same tragic scenario. How sad God must be when one of His children destroys the very gift God had chosen to bless him with.
  • How do we account for God’s family who should be in place to help, love, care for the bleeding wounded and yet do nothing but righteously judge ‘em and kick ‘em. When we’re down, trapped, lost we need need HIs grace, mercy and love the most, instead this seems to when Christians judgment is most vehement.
  • …The empty chair beside me is a reminder that single people; moms and dads who once had a marriage relationship and participated in church together, must initially, be painfully lonely, coming to a place where they once were two and now sit alone. My friend tells me that even when she was single, never having had the experience of the marriage relationship in church yet, she felt outside, not included.

(Link): Read the rest

You Know Marriage Has Been Made an Idol by Christians When… (Christian guy asks: ‘do you need to be married to get into heaven’)

You Know Marriage Has Been Made an Idol by Christians When… (Christian guy asks: ‘do you need to be married to get into heaven’)

I was watching a late night repeat of Christian TV show “The 700 Club,” when they got to their “Bring It On” segment. This is where the show hosts, sometimes including Pat Robertson, answer viewer mail questions.

Some guy, Jim, actually wrote in to ask,

    “I read an article which said that only married people can enter the Kingdom of God. While I cannot find this anywhere in the Bible, I’m worried now because I am destined to be single forever. Even though I believe in Jesus as my Savior, does this mean I’m going to hell?”
    — JIM

😯 Holy. Freaking. Cow.

How bad has Christian idolatry of marriage become when people think they have to be married to receive eternal salvation??? ❓ ❗ ❓ ❗ ❓ 😡

Even if this guy read this crazy, horrible idea in a Mormon publication, it speaks volumes of Christian idolization of marriage that some poor Christian guy thinks it even sounds biblical or remotely true.

Here is the video where the guy asks the show hosts if he needs to be married to receive salvation…

(Link): Bring It On – 700 Club – viewer asks “Do I have to be married to get into Heaven”
aired July 26, 2013

You can also watch it here:

(Video on You Tube)
—————————–
Related links this blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note: several questionable people have roles in this book, in the form of editing, or as contributors, such as…
-neither is “biblical counseling,” yet Edward T. Welch, who is a “biblical counselor” also had some kind of role in this book,
– a gender complementarian, Wayne Grudem; gender complementarianism (Link): is not biblical
-C. J. Mahaney – accused of being involved in a ten year cover up of child sexual abuse at his churches,

so I offer this link with a caveat.

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

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

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

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

The following is available for free on Google Books (this particular book is entitled “Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood”) :

(Link): Single Adults in Your Ministry: Why They Stay and Why They Stray
by Dick Purnell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most singles are invisible to churches.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Number 5: Marriage is portrayed as normal for everybody.
If someone is not married by thirty something, there must be something wrong with him or her.

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

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

Un-Married Woman Pushes Back Against Stereotype Held By Married Woman That Single Females are Sexual Temptresses

Un-Married Woman Pushes Back Against Stereotype Held By Married Woman That Single Females are Sexual Temptresses

There is a stereotype in American culture, not only with Christians, but with Non-Christians, that all un-married people are promiscuous and have no sexual self-control, and that single females in particular are great big whores who are all man-stealers.

I was happy to see this un-married woman write in to an advice columnist recently and correct this stupid stereotype, and I have reproduced her letter farther below in this post.

I have no idea if the female letter writer, or anyone else involved in this, is Christian or not, but religious beliefs here are irrelevant, more or less, though I would hope Christians would be more fair-minded about things but they are sadly often just as bad as their Non Christian counterparts.

Is there not a Bible verse which advises Christians to think the best of people, and to not automatically suspect them of the worst?

Perhaps I am thinking of this Bible passage:

    1 Corinthians 13:4-8
    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

How often do married Christians violate that passage, to assume each and every un-married woman is a Jezebel, a sex pot, a wanna-be adulteress? I have personally had men over the years – married Christian men – who I’ve gotten to know online tell me that they must cut off contact with me, lest their wife assume we’re having an affair, or that one might happen.

Not only is this attitude rude and unfounded, but I have no idea what these men even look like, since they don’t generally post photos of themselves online (some of them do, some of them don’t). Not that I’d steal a hot-looking man away from his wife, either, but really, most guys I’ve seen in person who mistake my friendly chatter for flirting, are very bland-looking, or ugly or fat, or both ugly and fat – they are quite conceited if they think I want romance or sex with them.

You men out there who assume each and every un-married woman is hot for you -including the ones who merely strike up friendly, polite banter- need a reality check: unless you are a clone of movie star Hugh Jackman, Clark Gable, George Clooney, Gary Cooper, Robert Redford, or Ryan Gosling, and with a great physique, most women aren’t into you, sweetness. To quote from a Duran Duran song: “My obsessive fascination is in your imagination; I don’t want your love.”

Here is the letter from the un-married woman to the advice columnist, Hax, dispelling the notion that all single women are easy lays or are out to sleep with married men:

    On “available” women:

    In a recent column, a husband had a crush on a woman the wife described as a “pretty” and “available.”

    “Available” to whom? To the married man? Does single status imply that a woman would make herself available to a married man? I, and my single friends, see it otherwise. None of us would consider ourselves “available” to any man who wasn’t himself “available.”

    This wife’s choice of words implies that she believes that men can more easily “have” single women on whom they have a crush than married ones. Certainly we have plenty of evidence that married men fall for the wives of other men; yet the wife who wrote you implies that she would have been more comfortable had the object of her husband’s crush been married or otherwise “taken” — as if a married or “taken” woman is better positioned to resist him. Insulting.

    [Signed],

    Annoyed by stereotypes

Women are in fact “visually stimulated,” just as men are, and most women do have sex drives (and contrary to what most in the media and from the pulpit continue to espouse about female sexuality), but it does not follow from this that all un-married women are cheaters or looking to steal a husband away from his wife.

Related posts, this blog:

(Index to topic): SINGLE UNMARRIED WOMEN ARE NOT TEMPTRESSES / ADULTERERS / HOME WRECKERS

The Gift of Singleness – A Mistranslation and a Poorly Used Cliche’

The Gift of Singleness – A Mistranslation and a Poorly Used Cliche’

A lot of times, Christians like to toss the phrase “gift of singleness” at singles, though I have seen some intriguing arguments online that most Bible translations get the phrase wrong.

It’s also interesting to note that one seldom hears Christians refer to marriage as “the gift of marriage.” Christians apparently feel a need to sugarcoat singlehood, because some singles are not happy or comfortable being single.

The problem with the “Gift of Singleness” rhetoric is that there is a sizable percentage of Christians who wanted to be married, and who expected to be married, but who remain un-married into their late 30s, 40s, 50s, and older.

The majority of Christians who are in this position do not regard singleness as a gift, nor has God lifted their sexual desire, nor has he removed their desire for marriage. It is quite insulting and a slap across the face to such singles to tell them God has “gifted” them with singleness.

(This is a post for those Christians, the ones who wanted to be married, but it never happened. This is not a post for the ones who frequently pipe up when this discussion comes up: “Oh but golly, I’m fine with being single, and I do think it’s a marvelous gift!” If you are one of those singles, I beg of you, please don’t chirp in with how gifty you consider singleness, otherwise, you will be one of those Christian singles I’ve blogged about before: (Link): Types of Christian Singles Whom I Find Annoying)

I have seen various arguments put forward that Paul was not saying that singleness is a gift, not in the sense American Christians make it out to be.

Here are links to other sites, blog pages, or comments by everyday Joe’s who are commenting on the “Gift of Singleness” teaching:

From the blog, “Single, Unexpectedly”

Before I get to the links: I find it a tad amusing that the woman who writes it is already lamenting being single at 30 years of age: I’m in my early 40s! I’ve run into marriage minded Christian women who have never married and are in their 40s. If you think it’s bad at age 30, try being early 40s or older. Here are the links from “Single, Unexpectedly”:

(Link): Is Singleness Really a Gift? – Part 1

(Link): Is Singleness Really a Gift? – Part 2

(Link): Is Singleness Really a Gift? – Part 3

(Link):Is Singleness Really a Gift? – Part 4

Excerpt from the above page:

    … the GoS [Gift of Singleness] doctrine is a relatively new doctrine, a Johnny-come-lately interpretation of 1 Corinthians 7:7. It is not how this text has traditionally been understood through the annals of Christian history but has come up only in the last forty years or so to try to explain the recent explosion in singleness among adults. // end of excerpt

Regarding the next link or two: they mention Debbie Maken. Please note that I do not agree wholly with Debbie Maken on each subject: from excerpts of her books I have read, she goes overboard on the topics of marriage and singleness, where she denigrates singlehood, and where she’s into blaming and shaming singles for being single.

Maken acts as though if you just go out a bit more often, or sign up for a few more dating sites, you will get a husband. She is wrong. It doesn’t necessarily matter how much effort a single woman puts into getting a spouse – she can try and try and go out all the time – and still remain single.

Where Maken gets things right is where she criticizes Christians and churches who over-sell, or over-spiritualize, singleness, and who discourage or shame singles who want to be married from trying to get married.

Here’s the Maken link (remember, Maken gets very much into a “blame the single for being single” perspective, so really think if you want to read this – it may be more offensive than uplifting if you are a single):

“Rethinking the ‘Gift’ of Singleness” by Debbie Maken

That page references this one:

(Link): Rethinking the Gift of Singleness

Continue reading “The Gift of Singleness – A Mistranslation and a Poorly Used Cliche’”

Christians and Churches Discriminate Against Unmarried People / Singles

Christians and Churches Discriminate Against Unmarried People / Singles

Single and Evangelical? Good Luck Finding Work as a Pastor … – New York Times

Why Are Churches So Afraid of Single Pastors?

Excerpts:

    by Matt
    ….In late 2005 I was a single man in my early thirties. Having successfully served in youth ministry for eight years I was pretty certain that I would not have much of a problem finding a new church in which to serve.

    Over the year that was my job search I was reminded once again how difficult the job hunt was, how many times churches will unintentionally lead you on or try, “keep you on the hook”, or flat out lie about your status with them.

    As I searched for a church it was common for me to be asked by an interviewer to “tell me about your family”. Knowing what they were really asking for I would tell them about my family of origin, my parents and my sister. When they finally asked me about my wife I would respond “she’s fabulous! I just haven’t met her yet.” After a bit of a chuckle on both sides the conversation would continue, but would be noticeably shorter than conversations where that did not come up.

    I often heard back from my references that they had a conversation about my singleness: “is there a reason that Matt is single?” was a popular question.

    Others would ask if I was socially awkward, heterosexual, or any other version of the “why is Matt not married like the rest of us” type question.

    Throughout the process I got frustrated. Very frustrated.

    Having ended a serious relationship two years earlier I was not ready to be married at this time… though it seemed as if it would have helped me to get a job.

Visit the guy’s blog to read the rest of the post.

Should Single People Be Eligible to Lead a Church?

    By Alex Murashko , Christian Post Reporter
    February 23, 2013|5:18 pm

    As a single and divorced man, it took Pastor Duke Taber eight years and more than 185 rejection letters before finding a congregation that would consider him as leader of their church. Even after three years as the lead pastor of a small church in Pine Haven, Wyo., Taber said he still gets his “feathers ruffled” when someone attaches a stigma about singles.

    …. However, Taber believes statements such as the one his friends made are “seriously prejudicial.” “There is a misnomer in our society,” Taber wrote in his blog post, “Are Christian Singles The New Second Class Christian?”

Are Christian Singles The New Second Class Christian?

    by Duke Taber

    Single People Are Complete People

    There is a misnomer in our society. It is the thought that we have to find someone else to be our other half or that we have to be married to be complete. This is totally against what the Bible teaches concerning the nature of man. God created man in His image. He created them male and female. It does not teach that He created two half beings that when they come together they are complete, but instead it teaches that both male and female are complete creations formed in His image.

    Continue reading “Christians and Churches Discriminate Against Unmarried People / Singles”

Unmarried Women Perceived as Threats – Married Women Won’t Let This Myth Perish

Unmarried Women Perceived as Threats – Married Women Won’t Let This Myth Perish

The old stereotype or fear that all unmarried women are predators of married men, or that married people cannot be friends with singles without things turning sexual, is still around.

Not only are there plenty of unmarried women who would never have an affair with a married man, but married people need to remember that sometimes married men have affairs with married women of other husbands.

That point is never factored in.

At least some secular sources recognize this takes place (anyone catch last night’s episode of AMC’s Mad Men, where married ad exec Don Draper had sex with the wife of a doctor neighbor in his apartment building?) And of course, I’ve seen this happen in real life, I’ve read about it and have known it to happen.

Here’s another example, from a married woman (who is apparently age 35+) in a latter to “Ask Amy,” who perceives unmarried women, especially ones in their twenties, as being extra-marital affairs waiting to happen:

Continue reading “Unmarried Women Perceived as Threats – Married Women Won’t Let This Myth Perish”

The ol’ Christian myth that married couples are impervious to sexual sin but singles have lots of sexual sin

The ol’ Christian myth that married couples are impervious to sexual sin but singles have lots of sexual sin

I am hence forward going to occasionally copy certain stories to this blog: at times I see news stories or advice columns where a married person is arrested for crime, a woman writes for advice because her spouse is addicted to porn, is a drunkard, or is abusing her – bonus points if the people in these stories are self professing Christians – I may be including it on my blog.

I currently already have a few examples already (see this page)

One regularly sees married Christians discriminate against unmarried Christians. For example, most churches, which are run by married people, do not permit unmarried Christians to hold positions of importance, significance, or leadership precisely because of their singlehood.

One will regularly see Christian authors advise Christian unmarrieds that in order to get a spouse, they must achieve perfection and sinlessness in this lifetime.

Marriage is held out by some Christians to be a reward for Christians who have all their sh*t together. Never mind the Bible is clear that nobody has their sh*t together all the time in this lifetime. And never mind that I constantly see people way more messed up than me getting married all the time.

There is a stereotype held by most married people, including Christians, that unmarried people, even the ones over the age of 30, are immature, irresponsible, weird, or horny horn dogs who are more sexually active than a five dollar crack whore.

Further assumptions by Christians and Non Christians is that one must resemble Brad Pitt or Cindy Crawford if one wants a spouse, yet I frequently see obese males and females, ugly people, or baldlng guys get spouses.

I see beautiful models, actors, and rock singers who can’t find a date or stay married.

So I don’t think physical perfection (usually as in air-brushed to death) is a requisite for marriage. (See this page for more, and this page for more.)

The divorce rate in the USA is high for both Non Christians and Christians. So even though some of these people are tying the knot, they are not staying married. If the stereotype is that one must be perfect before meriting a spouse from God, shouldn’t these perfect people be able to stay married? How can perfect people divorce?

Then, there is the gross misperception that being married makes one completely immune from falling into sexual sin.

Here is an excerpt from a page about the impact of pornography on marriages:

(Link): Porn addiction destroys relationships, lives

    According to the Web site Divorcewizards.com, huge numbers of divorce lawyers report that pornography is a big issue in divorce these days, which it never was before the advent of the Internet.

There is a Bible verse that alludes to “get married if you are a horn dog” because it’s “better to marry than burn.”

However, being married does not prevent sexual sin.

Plenty of married people commit sexual sin – by viewing pornography; using prostitutes; fantasizing, during sex with their spouse, that their spouse is their favorite movie actor; married men look in lust at other women all the time; and on and on.

At the same time, many preachers, when they bother to address singlehood, tend to narrow their commentary to SEX.

I’m sure, Mr. Pastor, that you do have a lot of randy 16 year old teen males who frequently confess to you that they’re horn dogs, asking is masturbation a sin, or who confess to looking at “Penthouse.”

But you know, there are still about (my figure may be wrong, but I think it’s around) one third of adult Christians who have not had sex yet, and some are over the age of 30. Some unmarrieds may engage in fornication or struggle with the temptation, but not all.

I was at another blog a few days ago, where a Christian guy was discussing why he almost gave up on the Christian faith.

He got divorced. I think he was in his 30s or 40s when he got divorced. After his divorce, he sank into a deep depression. He confided in his deacons at his church about how depressed he was.

He got a phone call late one night from one of these deacon guys who said, “You must be struggling with pornography. TELL ME THE TRUTH ARE YOU LOOKING AT PORN?”

The guy said, “No.” (And he was not). The deacon guy responded, “You can tell me the truth. I bet you are looking at porn! It’s a temptation for a lot of guys!”

I read this guy’s testimony and was dumbfounded.

It is just assumed that because he is divorced now that he’s looking at porn? A lot of married Christian men are addicted to porn. (Some married Christian women have also admitted to having online porn or dirty movie addictions.)

Based on studies I have read, lots of people in marriages or dating relationships get involved in porn because they find sexual release over porn easier or more rewarding than with their partner ((Link): here is one page that discusses it).

The same studies and other studies say that porn usage changes the brain’s chemicals, so that the person craves more porn.

These studies say it gets to the the point where boyfriends and husbands PREFER air brushed, fake women in dirty sites and magazines to their flesh and blood partners.

It’s very insulting, ignorant, and unhelpful for Christians to continue to assume and uphold this stereotype that sexual sin is the snare or province of unmarried people only, when it appears to be a larger problem among the married.

Continue reading “The ol’ Christian myth that married couples are impervious to sexual sin but singles have lots of sexual sin”

Single / Unmarried People Being Friends With Married People

Single / Unmarried People Being Friends With Married People

I have noticed that married friends of mine usually ignore me, until their spouse leaves town on a business trip, or if the spouse get deployed for months at a time in another nation.

I experienced this when younger. My single friends would spend time with me, until they got a boyfriend. Once they got a boyfriend, they’d pretty much stop calling me as often.

Usually, married people won’t even friend an unmarried woman, especially if they are Christian, because they’ve been conditioned by Christian preachers and material to view all Christian single females as suspicious, as man-stealing sex pots.

Some secular married people have the same reservations about be-friending unmarried women, however.

Out of the married people who do attempt to befriend single people, we do sometimes get brushed off. Singles are often expected to bend their schedules to those of their married friends (or of their friends who have kids).

The married friends (or parents) like to complain and whine about how hard, oh- so- hard or exhausting married life or parenting is (and they do this even on threads devoted for singles to discuss how the church or society discriminates against singles). 

Continue reading “Single / Unmarried People Being Friends With Married People”

How Christians Keep Christians Single part 2 – The Unmarried Movie

How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 2) – The Unmarried Movie

See previous post about this topic: (Link): Christian Teachings on Relationships Are One Reasons Singles Are Remaining Single (even if they want to get married)

(Link): BGBC Survivors Blog has several good posts about singleness in Christianity, by Julie Anne. I believe she has a new blog now, and the old one is shut down.

Here is one post at the old blog location where Julie Anne discusses a video advertising a movie called “Unmarried,” and where she also discusses how Christian teachings about dating, gender, marriage, and sex, are unintentionally keeping singles single.

(Link to blog post): The UnMarried Movie: Singleness as a Result of Rigid and Controlled Parenting

(Link to video itself, on You Tube):

(Link): The Unmarried Movie Trailer, on You Tube

The man in the video describes singleness – or maybe he meant specifically delayed marriage – as a “problem.” Well, yes, prolonged singleness is a problem for those of us who wanted marriage, were assured by Christian leaders if we just had enough faith that marriage would happen, but it did not happen for us.

But to treat singleness as a problem in and of itself is biblically inaccurate and a slap in the face to and an insult to singles, whether they chose to remain single or did not choose to remain single.

The man in the video says that delayed marriage and the “rise of singleness” means there is “no future for the church.”

Only someone who truly idolizes marriage and who grossly misunderstands singlehood could arrive at that conclusion. Christ taught that the church would be increased through preaching of the Gospel to the unsaved, not through patriarchy, or through marriage, or by Christians having babies.

I’d also add that the constant worry over marriage and lack of marriage taking place is another form of IGNORING SINGLE PEOPLE and THEIR NEEDS.

Most churches, from the main stream to the nutty fringe churches, will pay you no notice until and unless you are married.

Instead of continually obsessing on marriage and why it’s not taking place, why don’t these churches start to pay attention to the singles they already have now, singles of all ages, and meet them where they are? Their only need is not to get married. While they live alone, they have other needs and problems.

Here are some excepts from Julie Anne’s page about the video:

—- start quote [by Julie Anne] —

And then there were the purity rules – no boy or girl should ever be alone together. Relationships had to go through the father, girls were given purity rings by their fathers (and mothers) and they pledged to remain virgins until marriage, sometimes signing a covenant . . . . and so on.

As I was thinking about modesty and purity, it made me wonder about the movie, UnMarried. Do you suppose all of these modesty and purity rules may have backfired and contributed to the growing number of singles? The people behind the UnMarried movie come from the patriarchal background. They believe in moms having lots and lots of babies to populate the earth with more Christians. Singleness remains a threat to their way of doing things because no babies means fewer Christians in future generations (as if they are the ones who determines if their child was elect, right?).

For years these [Christian] kids were told [by churches and Christian parents] don’t look at the opposite sex, don’t lust, don’t touch. And now the producers of this movie are telling these same young adults: hurry up and get married. Perhaps they might even say these singles are in sin and preempting God’s plans for His church by their “prolonged adolescence”. I’ve certainly read it before by folks within this movement.

Yup, I think it backfired. It is my opinion that the movie, UnMarried is an attempt at damage control. They are trying to recover from the mess they made by their ridiculous rules of making sure their children were completely modest and virginal. Legalism backfires, people. It just does not work the way people want. It usually produces extremes. In my former church, the result of this kind of legalism was a lot of young adults acting out sexually. It can go the other direction, too – prolonged singleness. They’ve raised a bunch of adult children who have difficulty functioning normally in a mixed-sex society. They may be afraid to look at the opposite sex for fear of lust and sin. They may be afraid to talk to someone of the opposite sex because they aren’t married yet and fear, What would people think? In most circles I am familiar with, a young couple would not be allowed to go to even Starbucks alone unless a little sibling tagged along.

—end quote—

Read the rest of that post (Link): here, and check out the rest of her blog for other posts about singlehood.

Churches really need to start meeting the needs of singles of ALL AGES as they are currently, instead of only obsessing on getting the under- age- 25 singles married off.

The under age 25 age group might have other needs – why do the churches only care about their marital status?

The Bible does not teach that Christians are to be this marriage- minded.

The Bible does not condemn singles who want marriage, but it does not foster this bizarre, overly narrow fixation on marriage nor does it treat singlehood in this derogatory fashion, as though singlehood is a disease that can lead to the ruin of civilzation.

As long as the pagans keep having babies, there are plenty of them to convert to Christianity; ergo, the church will not die off if Christians stop having marriage and babies of their own. There will always be plenty of pagan kids and pagan adults to give the Gospel message to.

These Christians who are so insanely marriage- and parenting- obsessed need to trust God more. Instead, they are trying to rely wholly on their own effort (procreation of their own, or preaching fertility to other Christians) to repopulate God’s kingdom. God says in the New Testament that his kingdom will now be repopulated through sharing of the Gospel.

Christian ‘Married People’ Privilege – Marrieds Think Single Life = Easy / Marrieds and Parents Turn All Topics Into Them And Their Needs / Problems

Christian ‘Married People’ Privilege – Most Marrieds Remain Amazingly Blinded to Christian Discrimination Against Singles Or Write Unmarrieds’ Concerns Off, As Though They Are Nothing Compared to Marriage/ Parenting.

Marrieds and Parents also turn every thing into them, about them, about marriage and their needs/ problems

I sometimes hear left wing people talk about “white privilege” or “male privilege,” and how it blinds white people or males to the true struggles that people of color or females face in American culture.

I’m not left wing myself, but I do kind of see what they’re saying, to a point.

I think there is something similar at work in marriage vs singleness, which I will call “Marriage Privilege.”

Married people, including Christian couples, don’t often notice the discrimination churches and Christian organizations dish out against Christian unmarried people. If they do happen to notice, they don’t care and take no action to rectify it.

I am going to change some details in the following story so as not to expose exactly who was involved and where, but you should get the idea of what went down.

I was at a discussion board where the moderator began a thread discussing how dismally and terribly churches treat unmarried Christians.

The moderator asked for singles to share their woes and tales.

Lo and behold if not even a third of the way or so into the thread when a MARRIED MAN who HAS A KID jumped in to complain how tough marriage and parenting is, and how his single friends just don’t get it.

I shall call him “Oblivious Doofus Guy.”

ODG (Oblivious Doofus Guy) mentioned he totally understands how tough un-married Christians have things, because he did not marry until he was 34 years old.

Even though much of American church culture is aimed at married people and parents, this married guy still shows up to complain about married life and parenting – in a thread for un-married people to discuss their situations.

Leave it to a married person (and parent to boot) to commandeer a thread FOR SINGLES to bitch and moan about how hard married life and parenting is.

Then, on top of that, to complain that his single buddies just don’t get it, and how the single pals don’t want to hang out with him at 7 A.M. when he takes his kid to soccer practice.

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

Continue reading “Christian ‘Married People’ Privilege – Marrieds Think Single Life = Easy / Marrieds and Parents Turn All Topics Into Them And Their Needs / Problems”

Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault

Please click the “more” link farther below to read the entire post.

I disagree with some of the positions of the “marriage mandate” crowd, including those of Debbie Maken, who wrote a book about the issue.

I intend on posting more content about the ‘marriage mandate’ perspective in the future but thought I’d start with excerpts from a good review of Maken’s book and view.

(Link): 30 and Single? It’s Your Own Fault [ by Camerin Courtney]

There are more unmarried people in our congregations than ever, and some say that’s just sinful.

From Ms. Courtney’s article:

By that October, they were engaged.

Following the path afforded by her ethnicity (she’s Indian), she [Debbie Maken] signed up with an Indian Christian Web agency to find a suitable suitor and, aided by her parents’ watchful care, started e-mailing a man in July 2001.

Now happily married and the mother of two young girls, Maken drew a map—in the form of her book, Getting Serious About Getting Married—to the Land of Marital Bliss. She hopes to prevent her daughters and countless single women across the country from having to experience any more “unnecessary protracted singleness.”

….In later chapters, she addresses the well-meaning advice handed to singles in Christian circles—such as “just wait on the Lord to bring a mate to you” or “Jesus is all you need”—and deftly explains some of the erroneous thinking and theology surrounding each.

At her best, in passages such as these, Maken gives platitude-battered single women needed permission to admit, “I’d like to get married, and that’s okay.”

Unfortunately, these bits of trend-spotting and balanced synthesis are drowning in a sea of shame and blame.

Maken seems to think a vast majority of singles view their solo status as a special gift from God (a stance I’ve seen in only a fraction of the thousands of e-mails I’ve received as a columnist for ChristianSinglesToday.com, a CT sister publication), a notion the very subtitle of the book urges them to reconsider.

Continue reading “Article: 30 And Single? It’s Your Own Fault”