The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me

The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me: The Perpetually Sunny Happy Christian Single Who Is Totally Thrilled With Singleness; The Condescending Single Who Brays “Jesus is all you need, your earthly happiness doesn’t matter”; or the Single Who Is Too Spiritual About Singleness

I. The Perpetually Sunny Happy Christian Single Who Is Totally Thrilled With Singleness And Doesn’t Understand Why You Can’t Be Too

To clarify something: there are times when I feel relieved about being single, and there are other times it bothers me. I’m not wholly on one side of the fence or the other.

I was just saying (Link): in a post yesterday I get very pissed off and annoyed over these sunny attitude, Rose-colored- glasses- wearing unmarried women (sometimes men, but it’s normally a woman) who go on and on in their editorials for Christian singles about how they are golly gee whiz happy-happy to be single, they love living for just Jesus by golly!, and they say they cannot wrap their heads around singles who think that singlehood sometimes sucks. They think everyone should be as happy-happy with singleness as they are.

The fact is, some of us are not always happy with singleness 100% of the time, and your constant sunniness about it is unrealistic, irritating, doesn’t acknowledge the pain some of us go through at times, and by being so dang chipper about singleness, you’re sort of denying how most churches and denominations ignore or belittle singles.

II. The Super Spiritual Christian Single Who Likes to Say Over and Over: “Jesus and My Bible is All I Need and To Want Anything Else is Inappropriate, Especially In Church” (Single Who Is Too Spiritual About Singleness)

These are usually the ones who pipe up in blog comments in articles for singles who say church is for worship of the Lord and Bible devotions only, that’s all THEY want when they go to a church, they say they are deeply offended when “Brother Hank” or “Sister Sally” tries to play match- maker for them.

And, they say, singles should not be using church to find a mate, because that’s turning church into a “meat market.” And remember, according to them, church is for worship and Bible reading and study only, nothing else.

If you are the kind of single who wants to view church as a Bible study only, fine for you, but don’t sit there and lecture myself and Christian singles that it’s wrong for another Christian person to use church to meet a mate.

There are other reasons for the creation of the church besides worship, Bible reading, the Great Commission, and helping African orphans.

Continue reading “The Types of Christian Singles Who Annoy Me”

Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

Salvation By Marriage Alone

Internet Monk asks, from a 2010 entry (at least I think it’s from 2010, I may have the year wrong), have evangelicals and Baptists placed too much emphasis on marriage?

To which I would reply: Does the Pope wear a funny looking hat? Do bears crap in the woods? Is water wet?

(Link): Have We Said Too Much? (About Marriage, that is)

And, on that page, I.Monk links to:

(Link): Is Singleness A Sin?

Excerpts from “Have We Said Too Much? (About Marriage, that is)”

Recently, my daughter returned from a conference at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. She had a fabulous time, but she mentioned something unusual. She said that every public prayer contained a request for God to guide the conference participants in finding a spouse. This wasn’t the theme of the conference, but the conference was primarily single young college students. Was this odd?

It didn’t surprise me. Southern has become increasingly visible in the culturally confrontational Christianity of its President, Dr. Al Mohler. (A personal hero of mine, and nothing that I write here changes that, I assure you.) And Dr. Mohler is on a crusade to get Christian young students to make marriage a priority.

In August 2004, President Mohler gave an address to a group of (primarily) Christian singles under the auspices of Josh Harris’s New Attitude conference. Mohler’s summaries of the address can be found at his web site: Part 1 and Part 2. The audio of the address is also available on the site.

The address created a bit of a firestorm, as Mohler did not just endorse marriage, but specifically criticized those who delay marriage.

[snip obnoxious quotes about singles by Mohler]

This debate is a small part of what I see as a major evolution within evangelicalism; an evolution toward overemphasizing marriage at the expense of much that is Biblical, good, healthy, balanced and normal in human and Christian experience. From the best of motives, some bad fruit is appearing.

…How can we over-emphasize marriage? Let me suggest some trends that disturb me, and make me want to suggest a larger, more critical discussion of the current “family values” emphasis before we buy everything that is being sold in all the current rhetoric.

1. Saying that delaying marriage is bad is overemphasizing marriage. This is too simplistic, and we all know it. Don’t get me wrong. Mohler sees a legitimate problem: singleness as an excuse for immaturity and rejecting legitimate adult responsibilities. There are such people. I’ve met them. Kick them in the pants.

On the other hand, there are so many other legitimate, good reasons people delay marriage, it’s almost beyond belief that they are ignored. Mohler is speaking to the culture that he sees influencing America in sitcoms like “Friends.” Let me speak about the single’s culture I see at our ministry here.

…thers are single because they have no real marriage prospects. Some are delaying marriage to care for parents or to pursue a larger career path beyond OBI… Of course, we also have divorced and widowed singles as well.

Frankly, many of the singles I know are more mature than I was when I was first married at 21. I absolutely encourage our high school students to delay marriage until they have matured in many different ways. Mohler is right to point out that marriage is a maturing experience, but it is not the only maturing experience, and it is not an automatically maturing experience. …

…Sometimes, listening to the current advocates, you would think that marriage is unfallen, or at least a refuge from the fall. While I agree it is a common grace, and even has sacramental qualities, it is thoroughly fallen and is not our salvation.

2. We overemphasize marriage when we say only “spiritually gifted” singles are truly in God’s will. Again, when Mohler talks about those called and gifted to be “single” as the only “normative” singles, he is running along a very narrow path, with plenty of ways to fall off.

The contemporary concept of spiritual giftedness has proven to be far from perfect or even helpful in many cases. I have done far more counseling with individuals who were confused about their spiritual gift than those who were finding assurance and joy from knowing their spiritual gift. How does one know he or she is called to celibacy and their delaying or passing on marriage is approved by God? In particular, given the differences in male and female sexuality and sexual development, how does a young man know that he is called to celibacy?

The concept of being “called to celibacy” occurs in the Bible in two ways: purposeful vows to be single, and pastoral advice to those who are single. Where in the New Testament do we see a “gift of celibacy” being considered by young singles in the way spiritual gifts are discussed in today’s church?

I have total respect for all those who believe God has called them to a life of celibacy, but I have to be honest. I know many who concluded God called them to singleness who later married. Our Roman Catholic friends could tell us a lot of stories about this.

3. It is an overemphasis of marriage when marriage is automatically called a “priority” for the unmarried Christian. Here is where I hope my readers will think carefully along with me.

…Does this mean that every Christian young person needs to make “finding a spouse” their major business? I say this as a youth professional and a youth minister who is watching many Christians- especially females- literally make finding a spouse the priority of their lives. Instead of boy crazy teenager girls, we have spouse-obsessed girls, who are seeing marriage as the most important, all consuming principle for living their lives. It is the focus of their prayers, the basis of their reading, the guiding principle of their involvements and a priority in all decisions. This concerns me.

… Should I be advising my daughter to put finding a husband as first on her list of priorities? Should my kids be, literally, pursuing mates in their relationships? (I use that word because I see this increasingly happening, and it’s not particularly spiritual.) Is there no value to a social activity with the opposite gender except what may lead to marriage?

In fact, shouldn’t the priority of general Christian character and growth be clearly ranked above any specific matter like marriage or missions, especially for a young person? Am I wrong to tell young people to pursue general Christian growth as the foundation of understanding God’s will in other areas? And will that general Christian growth always indicate that, yes, marriage should be the assumed priority for their life, even though Jesus wasn’t married and the New Testament shows a remarkable openness to single people in ministry?

4. We overemphasize marriage when those who are not married are out of the “center” of the Christian community, thus violating clear implications of the ministry of Jesus. I am extremely concerned that the emphasis on marriage in contemporary evangelicalism has created an imbalance within the body of Christ. I am already sensitive to this because of my own life experience.

I grew up in a fundamentalistic Baptist Church where the divorced were ostracized, baited, humiliated and blamed at every opportunity. (No, I am not exaggerating. Drinkers and divorced people were what was wrong with the world. Oh….and anyone who married a Catholic was bad, too.) This is why my dad only heard me preach, in person, five times in his life. What is outrageous about this is that 1) it was done by elevating never divorced families to the center of the church community, and 2) ignoring Jesus’ ministry to the marginalized and broken.

Jesus would have included- even preferred in some instances- the divorced, the single and the rejected in his community of followers. It is inconceivable to me that a church pastored by Jesus would put the emphasis on marriage that I saw in my childhood- or in many circles today. Today’s mega-churches specialize in that traditional family with two kids and a dog. Yes, many of them also successfully minister to singles and other groups, but am I the only one who hears such an incessant drumbeat of teaching on marriage, threats to marriage, crisis in marriage, marriage success principles and so forth that it can sometimes appear the church is preaching the “Good News of Marriage and Family” a bit louder than the Good News of Jesus?

I know single people can be whiners. Every pastor has those single members who don’t want to be single and annoyingly keep complaining that God is unfair. But are singles wrong when they say the church looks so much like a club for families that they don’t feel like they are normal, whole and blessed? Are so many family-oriented events and ministries done with serious thought to how Jesus did ministry? Did Jesus emphasize marriage as we do in most churches?

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

Continue reading “Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists”

Conservative Christian Sexist Immature Imbecilic Pressure on Women to Look Pretty and Skinny and to Put Out Sexually

Conservative Christian Sexist Immature Imbecilic Pressure on Women to Look Pretty and Skinny and to Put Out Sexually

Two posts from Christianty Today:

(Link 1): I’m Sick of Hearing About Your Smoking Hot Wife

(Link 2): Stay Sexy or Else? Well, Please Forgive These Mommy Hips

I’ve written about this situation in several older posts.

Christians, particularly certain types of Christian men – either the old fogies (as in they are in their 60s or older) who are still stuck in a 1950s American sexist mentality; or the younger (as they are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s), skinny- jeans wearing, YRR, Neo Calvinist type preachers and their devotees – keep telling Christian women that their looks really, really matter.

Some of these pastors or Christian television hosts – who are frat boys in grown men’s bodies – will sometimes toss out qualifiers or disclaimers to young girls and women in their sermons or blogs, such as, “But remember your value lies in your identity in Christ,” or some such spiritual-sounding platitude, but, their on-going, slavish obsession with telling women to look hot and sexy, be skinny, and please their husbands in the bedroom (even when they are feeling sick), are truer to how they really think and feel about the female gender.

Sometimes, female gender complementarians buy into this sexist, unbiblical nonsense too, and sell it to other Christian women (see this post: “Gender Complementarian Product for Females: Don’t Base Your Value on Your Looks, but Wait, Yes, You Should”).

I’ve yet to hear a male pastor tell his male audience that they must perform sexually no matter what, whenever their wife wants sex, even if the husband is feeling ill. Yet Christian women are subjected to this nauseating swill and pap on a pretty regular basis, and the preaching of this message seems to have increased in frequency in the last few years.

Other than one male Christian blogger who says that males need to stay in shape as well as ladies, I’ve not seen any Christian males, and certainly not any big name pastors (or even any small potato pastors) instruct the men folk to stay trim, muscular, and get hair plugs for the women in their lives.

Looks matter to women, even to Christian ones. They really do, even to the women who try to sound spiritual on the internet by saying, “Oh gosh, I don’t care what a man looks like, as long as he loves Jesus.” These women are in denial. No woman alive is into flabby, obese guys, and most prefer hair. And teeth. But you won’t hear your preacher say any of this from the pulpit or in blogs or books.

Here is a copy of “Stay Sexy or Else? Well, Please Forgive These Mommy Hips” by Janelle Aijian

    Some Christian marriage conferences and self-help books tell us it’s up to the wife to stay looking great and try new things in the bedroom, to (Link): keep her husband satisfied and her marriage strong.

    Mary DeMuth (Link): recently critiqued the popular “smoking hot wife” line, pointing out that for the many Christian wives recovering from experiences of sexual abuse, this kind of imperative makes the difficult path towards healthy intimacy even harder. For a woman trying to find a way to lower defenses, shake off memories, and find true, godly communion with a spouse, being told to act the part of the sexy wife is 11 steps in the wrong direction.

    But the real problem with all this evangelical sex talk is even bigger than that. Any woman trying to live intimately with her husband gets damaged by these sorts of claims, not just those who are recovering from abuse. It’s antithetical to the Christian view of marriage altogether.

    As we remind Christian couples to “stay in shape and try new things,” we can play into a broader cultural premise on sex—that it’s all right to leave a spouse once the spark of sexual excitement and attraction has dissipated, that couples who don’t find sex exciting anymore don’t, won’t, or even shouldn’t, stay together. An adventurous sex life becomes the unspoken requirement for lifelong monogamy.

    Once that idea gets in a woman’s head, it’s hard to shake it. In the back of her mind, she knows the choice to have children also means changing her body forever. Her shape will become different. The sex will be different. Amid the vulnerability of pregnancy and childbirth, women face the fear of becoming less attractive to their husbands, who are meant to find them sexy for years and years to come if they want their marriage to last.
    Continue reading “Conservative Christian Sexist Immature Imbecilic Pressure on Women to Look Pretty and Skinny and to Put Out Sexually”

Video about Family Focused Churches and how not to alienate singles or the childless

Video about Family Focused Churches and how not to alienate singles or the childless

Video on You Tube, discussion about how singles are ignored by Family- and- children- obsessed churches around the 34:12, 35:14 mark (link below, video embedded in post farther down this page):

(Link): Pat Robertson vs. Orphans, Facebook Annoyances, Singles in Family Churches – Faith Today LIVE

If you watch this video you will have to sit through a long conversation about Facebook annoyances, Pat Roberton’s lousy attitudes about orphans before they begin discussing singles in the church.

Unfortunately, one of the guys in the video favorably quotes Mark Driscoll (who is sexist and perverted-see my previous posts mentioning Driscoll), but other than that, it’s an okay video – not stellar, but okay.

To the dude in the video who says singles assume that nobody will like them, especially not married couples, so they isolate and stay away from every one – wrong. Singles, when they do try to reach out in friendship to married Christian couples, often get rebuffed by the married!

Married Christian women also rebuff single Christian ladies, because they fear we single women want to sleep with their husbands. The husbands, being conceited asses, as most men usually are, assume single Christian women want to hump them, even if we don’t.

The moment a married chick with kids finds out I have never been married/had kids, often they get this look of revulsion or disgust on their face, or their face takes on a a look of utter confusion.

The majority of married women have NO CLUE how to relate to a never-married, childfree Christian woman who is over 30 years old.

Most Christian women (and some Christian men) think you are weird, abnormal, a pedophile, or messed up if you’ve never married or had a kid.

And it’s not just me, if you read testimonies by other single Christian women in blogs and books,they recount the same problem: married people who treat them like lepers or wackos the moment they find out the woman is not married and has no kids.

Such Christians will walk off the moment they find out you are single/no kids, after you have introduced yourself to them at church. I can’t compensate for that, video dude. I cannot force church people to befriend me when they think I am weird and choose to walk off and leave me after we exchange pleasantries.

BTW, I do not like children. So I have zippo interest in hanging out with other people’s kids.

Here’s the video. Video on You Tube, discussion about how singles are ignored by Family- and- children- obsessed churches around the 34:12, 35:14 mark:

————

Stigmas and Stereotypes of Single Unmarried Men Over 25 or 30 Years of Age – They’re Supposedly All Homosexual or Pedophiles

Stigmas and Stereotypes of Single Unmarried Men Over 25 or 30 Years of Age – They’re Supposedly All Homosexual or Pedophiles

The reason I put “unmarried” next to the word “single” in my blog headline: I know it’s redundant, but Google seems to index my blog via the subject headings, so in case someone is looking for “unmarried” as opposed to “single,” they will still find this post.


Now, I’m not going to address the “mature single men = homosexual” stereotype in depth here. I bring it up in passing simply to say it exists, even among Christians (oh… so Jesus Christ, who never married by age 33, must have been homosexual, gotcha!), and to say I’ve seen some single older Christian men say on singles Christian forums say they find it a very offensive or painful stereotype. Obviously, not all single men past 25 / 30 are homosexual.

Many unmarried men over the age of 30 are hetero (some are perhaps asexual), and for whatever reason (they don’t want marriage; or cannot find a good single woman to marry; or who knows what their reasons are), but they are not homosexual.

The other stereotype I wanted to mention is the one brought up on occasion that older, single guys are child molesters or pedophiles.

I found a really great article about a month ago that quoted studies that said there are more married men who are pedophiles than singles. Unfortunately, I cannot find that article. I have found one or two other sources that carry the same information, and I will link to those below.

Some of this, of course, also feeds into conservative Christian, Baptist, and evangelical beliefs that married people are more holy, sexually pure, and mature, and above suspicion than older singles, which is a bunch of crap (see (Link): these posts for examples of married men who rape women, beat them up, have pornography addictions, etc, or (Link): these posts for examples.)

The BTK serial killer, Dennis Rader, who mutilated and killed many women, was a faithful attender at his church for years (I think he was also a deacon or elder at his church?) and was a married man. You can (Link): read more about Rader on Wiki.

Older married man Jerry Sandusky, college football coach, was arrested for fondling and raping many male children – and Sandusky was married during all this. ((Link): View Sandusky’s Wiki page)

Here is a series of links to pages that mention studies have shown that most pedophiles, among hetero offenders, are MARRIED MEN, men who are married to women (and some have children by their wives):

(Link): How Could You Be Married to a Pedophile and Not Know it?

(Link): Pedophilia and Child Sexual Molestation

Excerpts from that page:

Most Pedophiles are mild mannered and average-looking men. They are frequently described as “just the nicest man you ever met.”

Active Pedophiles are generally single men between the ages of 16 and 35. Child molesters are generally married men, of any age, who are primarily drawn to their own children and step-children.

Continue reading “Stigmas and Stereotypes of Single Unmarried Men Over 25 or 30 Years of Age – They’re Supposedly All Homosexual or Pedophiles”

Cultural Discrimination Against Childless and Childfree Women – and link to an editorial by a Childless Woman

Cultural Discrimination Against Childless and Childfree Women – and link to an editorial by a Childless Woman / A few things you shouldn’t say to a childless woman, by Wendy Squires

Before I include the editorial, I’d like to remind anyone who reads this that I am a conservative.

One of the most irritating things I have seen on politically conservative blogs is that any time the blog owner runs a link to an editorial like this one, one about childless women, immediately, 99% of the conservative readers assume that the childless woman is a secular feminist who hates men, family, and traditional morals. Some probably harbor a secret feeling that all women who are not crazy about babies sacrifice them to Satan, so strong is their hatred and odd-ball suspicion of women who do not marry and have children.

It does not seemingly occur to these idiots – some of whom again are my fellow conservatives – that sometimes conservative men and women (such as me) do not have children, and will never have children, because we are sterile, barren, infertile, are not married and don’t wish to conceive outside of wedlock, or are just are not interested in being mommies and daddies.

That is, there is no sinister motive or evil reason why conservatives and Christians do not have children. There is no sinister reason for why we are not interested in having children. There is no hidden agenda. But many conservatives and some Christians assume there must be an evil agenda or some perverted reason why other people don’t want kids.

Yes, it is possible to be Christian, conservative, Republican, pro- life, pro- traditional values, pro- family and not have children, or have no interest in having kids.

It is simply not true that all childless or childfree people support abortion or are liberal, democrat, or atheist, or hate children.

But you should see the amount of automatic hatred and vitriol that spills out of conservative people’s keyboards when commenting on childfree/childless testimonies. These types of conservatives are just as narrow minded and hate-filled as the liberals and secular feminists they claim to disagree with.

One common insult by conservatives I see tossed at childless women who write these editorials about the discrimination they face as being childless is that they are “bitter.”

Sure, sometimes childless or childfree women sound angry (but even if they sound friendly because they are in fact friendly and content, it doesn’t stop critics from calling them “bitter” anyhow), but the reason they sometimes sound angry (bitter) is not from the state of being childless, but because they are damn sick and tired of being continually insulted directly or indirectly by our child-crazy culture that assumes a woman is flawed, selfish, or strange if she does not have children, or is not interested in having any.

There is nothing wrong with choosing to forgo motherhood. A woman’s worth is not wrapped up in pro-creating.

Here is a link to the editorial along with most of its content:

(Link): A few things you shouldn’t say to a childless woman by Wendy Squires

Not all women can have babies or want to have babies

There are two words for the woman who reached over the table, grabbed my hand and in a consolatory tone announced, “It’s a tragedy you never got around to having children. It’s the most wonderful thing a woman can do.”

Those words are “shut” and “up” (the printable response) or, more charitably, “think” and “first”. Because it doesn’t take Freud to work out this statement was patronising, assumptive and just plain insensitive.

The would-be Buddhist in me told me these were her issues. This woman was jealous that I exist happily without children. The thought of a life without being a mother is too dark for her to contemplate. She couldn’t cope without ticking that box and believes I should feel the same. She was projecting her own issues on me, transferring her pain.

But I still wanted to thump her. Hard. Not just for me, but for all childless women. I’m talking about sisters on IVF; the ones who can’t carry to term; those who’ve suffered stillbirth or the loss of a child; the infertile; those with infertile partners; the ones hoping and waiting on a committed relationship; the ambivalent; the never intended to and don’t feel the need to justify the fact.

Most of the childless women I know do find peace with their circumstances, even if it takes some time. Until, that is, someone comes along and demands their curiosity itch be scratched as to why no kids or, worse, declares you emotionally or spiritually unfulfilled with uncalled for comments such as the one I endured.

Continue reading “Cultural Discrimination Against Childless and Childfree Women – and link to an editorial by a Childless Woman”

Cloud’s Critique of Family Integrated Churches

Cloud’s Critique of Family Integrated Churches (which idolize the family)

This may not be the exact page I had in mind, but if you look around his site, you can find one or more pages that are critical of family idolatry.

I think Cloud is a IFB and KJVO. Please be aware that I do not fully agree with IFB, and I certainly do reject KJVO (google “KJVO” if you ain’t never heard of it).

(Link): THE INTEGRATED CHURCH AND VISION FORUM, by D Cloud

Excerpts:

    I am writing about the Integrated Church Movement and Vision Forum in one report, because they are so closely tied together. While the Integrated Church Movement is larger than Vision Forum, Vision Forum is probably the most influential part of it.

    The Integrated Church Movement (ICM), also called the Family Integrated Church, is defined as follows:

    “The family-integrated model jettisons all age-graded ministries. Those who adhere to this model view each family unit (single or married, with or without children) as one ‘block’ that comprises the local church. That is, they view the church as a family of families. They view the church’s purpose as equipping the parents, primarily the fathers, to evangelize and disciple their children” (Terry Delany, “Three Perspectives on Family Ministry,” March 18, 2009).

    It is not an organization but a philosophy, and there are many varieties of Family Integrated churches.

    THE DANGERS

    But there are also some serious dangers represented by the Integrated Church movement.

    3. The Integrated Church neglects the Great Commission.

    If you look through Integrated Church literature and web sites, there is little emphasis on the Great Commission and the preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth. I am not saying there is nothing at all, but there is far more emphasis on the family and other things. Their conferences are not missions conferences or evangelism conferences but family and dominionist conferences. Preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth is not even mentioned in Vision Forum’s mission statement.

    …The family is not an end in itself. The objective of both family and church should be the fulfillment of the Lord’s Great Commission, which He emphasized greatly after He rose from the dead and before He ascended to Heaven.

    The book of Acts models the working out of the Great Commission rather than the Family Integrated Church model. Though we believe in a strong emphasis on godly families, this should not be an end in itself. Paul, a single man who could not model the strong family emphasis, preached the gospel and started churches. Paul took the young Timothy away from his family and discipled him apart from his father and mother and grandmother, and there is no evidence that Timothy ever married.
    Continue reading “Cloud’s Critique of Family Integrated Churches”

Mother’s Day Ain’t A Happy Holiday For Some

Mother’s Day Ain’t A Happy Holiday For Some

Presenting a list of links about how Mother’s Day can be hurtful or irritating to some people and how Christians need to wake up and start showing more sensitivity in this area:

(Link): Remember the Infertile on Mother’s Day

Excerpts:

  • Mother’s Day is a particularly sensitive time in many congregations, and pastors and church leaders often don’t even know it. This is true even in congregations that don’t focus the entire service around the event as if it were a feast day on the church’s liturgical calendar. Infertile women, and often their husbands, are still often grieving in the shadows.
  • It is good and right to honor mothers. The Bible calls us to do so. Jesus does so with his own mother. We must recognize though that many infertile women find this day almost unbearable. This is not because these women are (necessarily) bitter or covetous or envious. The day is simply a reminder of unfulfilled longings, longings that are good.
  • ….What if pastors and church leaders were to set aside a day for prayer for children for the infertile?
  • ….In too many churches ministry to infertile couples is relegated to support groups that meet in the church basement during the week, under cover of darkness. Now it’s true that infertile couples need each other. The time of prayer and counsel with people in similar circumstances can be helfpul.
  • But this alone can contribute to the sense of isolation and even shame experienced by those hurting in this way.

There were aspects of this page I did not agree with:

(Link): Is Mother’s Day Insensitive? (from a 2010 blog post)

-But the author was quite correct when he said:

  • Perhaps the church could tone down the celebration, encouraging private family celebrations, while at the same time inviting those without mothers or women without children to partake in those celebrations. After all, we are (supposedly) a family.

(Link): Remember the Infertile on Mother’s Day

(Link): Some Do’s & Don’ts on Mother’s day

Excerpts:

  • Last Mother’s Day I made it a point not to take the whole “Mother’s Day” Phenom inn the church not too far. I talked about how insensitive we can be on Mother’s Day. I talked about barrenness, horrible mom’s, etc. After the service a young woman that recently started attending came and spoke with me. She thanked me. She said for years Mother’s day had been so awkward for her. She felt guilty. She felt less than other women because she was barren. She said that she had never been to a church that made her feel comfortable on Mother’s Day. That really humbled me. It inspired me to be careful on Mother’s day.
  • I certainly hope no one takes this post the wrong way. I have nothing against women. My mom is a woman. I married a woman. My daughter is on her way to womanhood. So please, bear with me. I just want to vent a little bit. If we are not careful as a church we can go a little overboard on Mother’s Day. In fact, as far as our worship service goes, it can become “Smothers Day”. Rather than focusing on Christ our focus can easily shift to people. I am aware that God has lots to say about moms. And I also believe that mothers are under appreciated and overlooked in our society. We could write volumes on those two truths. However, I want to use this space to steer our churches in the right direction this Mother’s Day.

1) Don’t say “Being a mother is the greatest privilege in the world.” Here are a few reasons why we shouldn’t say that:

* It isn’t true. Being a child of the King is the greatest privilege in the world.

* It is hurtful. It implies that if you are a father or a barren/childless mom you can’t enjoy the greatest privilege in the world.

* It is disingenuous. Honest people listening to us know that statement isn’t true. It can cause folks to tune us out for the rest of the service.

2) Don’t plan the worship service around moms. We do not go to church to celebrate anyone except Jesus.

4) Don’t deify moms. I’m convinced that some people want to go to heaven simply because their mother is there. I will guarantee you that there is not a mother in heaven that wants to be the center of attention. Everyone in heaven has their eternal attention on the Lamb of God. And please don’t portray mom’s as the greatest gift ever given to us! I think John 3:16 lays that one out for us pretty plain.

7) Do comfort those that are barren or single or have lost children.

((Link): Click here to read the rest of the post)

(Link): Mourning with Those Who Mourn on Mother’s Day

Continue reading “Mother’s Day Ain’t A Happy Holiday For Some”

American Christians Idolize Motherhood – Mommy Rhapsody

American Christians Idolize Motherhood

Please see my previous post that I just made an hour or two ago before this one:

(Link): Un Happy Mother’s Day – universal church continues to worship parenthood, family

I did not plan on making another post about this subject so soon (or at all, really), but I just listened to an online radio program, hosted by Chris R. (“Fighting for the Faith, Christian Pirate Radio”). Reminder: I do NOT agree with all this guy’s view points (see this post). Sometimes Chris R. is right on the money, sometimes he is very wrong. About this Motherhood topic, I think he’s correct.

Here’s the specific Chris R. radio show I listened to:
Fake It Til You Make It?

On that radio show, Chris mentions that his church will NOT be honoring motherhood at his church this Sunday (Mother’s Day). He says his preacher will not be acknowledging motherhood at all.

What Chris also mentions is that some churches, on Mother’s Day, perform some horrid song in front of the congregation called “Mommy Rhapsody.”

Chris says there are a million videos of different churches putting on a “Mommy Rhapsody” during Sunday church services in honor of Mother’s Day. You can view these performances here on You Tube:

(Link): Mommy Rhapsody on You Tube

I have a pretty good sense of humor, and unlike Chris, I’m not opposed to some frivolity in church services, but this “Mommy Rhapsody” crap is ridiculous. It’s perhaps even worse than the ‘handing of carnations’ to all the mothers.

Un Happy Mother’s Day – universal church continues to worship parenthood, family

Un Happy Mother’s Day – universal church continues to worship parenthood, family

I am not anti-mother or anti-motherhood. I had a mom, and I loved her very much.

Mother’s Day can be painful or highly annoying to different people for different reasons, but do most Christians realize this or care? No, they do not.

Mother’s Day can be a difficult reminder for those of us whose mothers are dead.

Some women want to get pregnant and have a baby, but cannot, because they or their husband are infertile. Some women keep having miscarriages.

Some people are estranged from their mothers, maybe because their mother was abusive to them as they were growing up. They didn’t have a close, loving relationship with their mothers for whatever reason.

All these groups find Mother’s Day difficult.

Churches compound this pain or difficulty by making an idol out of parenting and tossing reminders of motherhood and family into people’s faces.

Many churches try to honor mothers or motherhood on Mother’s Day. The pastor will usually say a few words about mothers during a church service, and hand out free carnations to each Mom in attendance. The mothers are asked to stand in recognition.

Does the church celebrate the never-married adults in its midst? How about the preacher saying, “For the never-married, we salute you! Please stand so that we may honor you and hand you a carnation.” Do preachers ever do this for the child-free or child less, or the divorced or the widowed? No. If such a local church exists, I’ve never heard of it.

It’s not just Mother’s Day holiday in America that get churches going on this parenting celebration.

The idolization of family and parenthood is a year round ordeal. One frequently hears from the pulpit or Christian blogs and television programs how important fathers are, how valuable “the family” (as in nuclear family) is. “The family” is supposedly the backbone of American society (singles don’t matter and are irrelevant apparently).

Why do churches and Christian organizations never discuss how important all members of the body of Christ are, whether divorced, never married, widowed, male, female?

“The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” (1 Corinthians 12).

Where does the Bible say that families or moms, dad, kids are more important than un-married adults or are a backbone, or play a more central role in church or society?

Jesus Christ emphasized His spiritual family, not flesh and blood ties, and He instructed believers to take the same stance.

I went to a church once, and even though it was summer and Mother’s Day was long past, the preacher took about 15 minutes out of a service, to ask all the mothers of new-born babies to step forward, so they all came to the front, some with their babies.

The preacher than lectured about motherhood for a while, and said words of blessings over the babies.

Sounds very charming and what all doesn’t it? But at my mid-30s at the time, and wanting a family of my own, his little ode to motherhood made me feel excluded and served as another reminder of what I did not have. I cried in my car on the drive home.

The thing that makes me even more infuriated, I think, than a Christian culture that keeps excluding those who don’t have a spouse and kids, are the Christians who show up on Christian blogs by well-known Christian publications, when a writer tells Christians to be more sensitive to infertile or childless women on Mother’s Day, to say “we should celebrate with those who are celebrating – so what if a few people in the church are offended, we shouldn’t stop making a big deal out of motherhood.”

It never, ever fails. Every time a Christian site publishes a “let’s all be more sensitive to the child-free or childless on Mother’s Day among us and maybe tone down the “Rah Rah Motherhood” stuff,” some idiot, some jerk (and it’s almost always a woman), will leave a post saying “no way, uh-uh, the childless and the infertiles can just suck it up and deal, because those with children should be recognized. Stop being selfish and demanding church your own way, women without children.”

The depth and breadth of their heartlessness is stunning.

These idiots frequently overlook the rest of the bible passage which says to “weep with those who are weeping.” Handing out free carnations to all the mothers in the audience, while those who can’t get married, who have miscarriages, or who are infertile or who cannot adopt, is the height of insensitivity.

That these idiots are willing to cause deep emotional pain to certain females in their congregation, and all so they can get a free flower and a shout out from the preacher on a Sunday morning, makes me ill. I want to punch them in their stupid faces.

You mean to tell me, you pushy mother (or hyper- pro-motherhood person), that to spare some people’s feelings and hearts from breaking again, you cannot live without a flower, or without a mention from the pulpit on Mother’s Day? You people (mothers) get the rest of the year too, as most churches frequently opine and romanticize motherhood and fatherhood, and marriage, year-round, too.

Nothing is stopping nuclear families from celebrating Mother’s Day at home, or in a restaurant after church services. It is not necessary for a church to put on a Mom’s Day service every year, but many do.

Motherhood is fine, but making people feel excluded or hurt by highlighting motherhood year round, and culminating on Mother’s Day in a big old big ado by a pastor on a Sunday morning service, is not.

The Bible itself holds the spiritual family up over and above motherhood and other fleshly family relations. It’s too bad most churches, which claim to be “biblical,” do not actually follow the Bible on this point.

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Related Posts:

(Link):  Your Church’s Mother’s Day Carnation is Not Worth Any Woman’s Broken Heart – A Critique of ‘When Mother’s Day Feels Like a Minefield’ by L. L. Fields

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

(Link): Mommy Blogger Confesses in Blog Post that Mommy Blogging is a Bunch of Fake, Happy-Clappy B.S. – Kind of Like Most Christian Adult Singleness Blogs

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

Family as “The” Backbone of Society?

I was kind of half-listening to today’s (April 10, 2013) episode Christian television program “The 700 Club,” being hosted by Gordon (Pat Robertson’s son).

I can’t remember the context of the comment he made, it might have followed the segment about adoption, but after bemoaning the number of single parent households and how fathers don’t hang around any longer, Robertson made the comment that “families are the backbone of society.” Are they really? Where does the Bible teach that?

If you would like to posit that families are “A” building block of society, I might not argue with that, but to imply it’s “THE” building block, or the “only” or “the most important” backbone of society? I do take issue with that.

The fact is some people do not HAVE families.

Some people never had kids and their spouse is dead.

There are people such as me who never married and never had kids.

Gordon Robertson is not the first or only conservative evangelical Christian to make this “the family is the building block of society” argument, I’ve seen it repeated time and again for over 25 years by other Christians and even by Non Christian conservatives.

I too am a conservative and am not “anti family,” but you know…

If your theology, doctrine, and world view as a Christian leaves no place, concern, or thought for UNMARRIED people, or for the INFERTILE, or for the WIDOWED, here’s a clue- by- four over your head: you might be making marriage, parenting, and the nuclear family into an IDOL, making something of “the family” that God never intended.

Jesus Christ taught if you put your family above Him and His church (that is, other believers who may not be related to you physically), you are not worthy to follow Him.

Almost 50% of the American population is single these days, so that un-married people are part of the “backbone of society” these days. (Edit. As of 2014, single adults are now over half of the American population, please see (Link): this post)
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Related posts:

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

(Link): Hypocrisy: Conservative Christians / Catholics Pressure Women To Feel Their Only Worth is in Becoming Mothers, But If Women Try to Use Medical Technology to Get Pregnant, the Women Are Condemned by The Same Groups

(Link):  Statistics Show Single Adults Now Outnumber Married Adults in the United States

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

(Link): The Term “Family Values” And Its Use By Christians – Vis A Vis story: Grandma Gives Teen Granddaughter a Vibrator

(Link):  Facebook’s motherhood challenge makes me want to punch my computer screen by F. Everett

Youth Fixation in Churches and how it alienates older Christians

Youth Fixation in Churches and how it alienates older Christians

See these post at Internet Monk:

Wanted: An Adult Faith in a Youth Culture

The Problem With Grandpa’s Church

Excerpts from “The Problem with Grandpa’s Church”

    After World War II, through the 1950′s and especially in the 60′s-70′s and since, America’s culture has been more and more dominated by youth and youth-oriented themes, fashions, preferences, and images. An entire “youth culture” was created and its energy has filled the land. Churches, especially those who have bought in to church growth philosophies, have capitalized on this, changing or throwing out longstanding traditional teachings and practices in order to provide religious settings that fit more comfortably with the lifestyles and preferences of the youth-dominated culture. The more traditional and historic church traditions declined dramatically as the culture of evangelicalism became more and more publicly dominant, energized by the youth ethos.

    That is a very broad description of the religious landscape in which I have lived, grown up, received my spiritual calling, and served as a pastor and chaplain. Having weathered this storm, many of us have now come to lament the destruction this tidal wave of change has wrought to the faith and the church. We’ve chosen to choose what Robert Webber called, “the Ancient-Future” path, hoping that we might find a way forward while recovering a more healthy appreciation and integration of tradition and historical perspective

From “Wanted: An Adult Faith in a Youth Culture”

    I’m done with an approach to the faith that flies by the seat of its pants and calls it “spiritual.” Gatherings that feel like pep rallies, youth conventions, or pop concerts hold no appeal. I need to be humbled, not enthused; to know my place in a diverse, multi-generational community of ordinary people who are learning to “walk and not faint,” nourished by spiritual leaders and institutions that have gravitas and maturity.

    Give me the neighborhood church on the corner, not the big box church on the suburban highway; the robed pastor in the pulpit, not the hipster who preaches from his iPad or the superstar on the video screen. Give me candles and altarware, you can keep the stage lights. Walk me through the Church Year, and help me teach my kids the Catechism. Keep things simple and meaningful. Don’t program us to death with something for everyone. Let us learn to love our neighbors by participating in the community through being involved in the schools, the sports and recreation leagues, the Scouts, the arts and in charitable causes. Give us time to have evening meals with our families and Sunday afternoons at the park or visiting with friends.

    … if you send me a postcard advertising your church as “not your grandfather’s church,” I’m here to tell you right now that is not a selling point. Grandpa’s church is the very one I’m trying to find.

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Related posts this blog

(Link): I Don’t Care That The Millennials Are Leaving Church

(Link): Refreshing: Christian Researcher Disputes that Youths Are Leaving Churches in Droves, Disagrees that Churches Should Be Family Focused

(Link) Pandering to the Youth – Parallel Between Politics and Contemporary Christianity

(Link): Christians and Ageism – Under Age 15 Favored / Declining Youth Church Memership

(Link): Churches Idolize Youth But Do Nothing to Protect Them

Women Are Visual And Like Hot Looking Men (Part 1) Joseph in Genesis Was A Stud Muffin

Women Are Visual And Like Hot Looking Men (Part 1) Joseph in Genesis Was A Stud Muffin

Many secular and Christian males typically place too much emphasis upon female physical appearance. Both groups of males believe if they just have a stunning personality or are very wealthy, that they can obtain a movie-star good looking wife. (I use the term “males” to cover most age ranges: teen aged boys, young adults, and grown men.)

The Christian males in particular get this message indirectly by way of the fact that most sermons and Christian dating advice books and sites forever tell the females only to “look pretty,” to stay in shape, stay thin, grow their hair long (supposedly all men prefer long hair), etc. The silence to males on this topic is interesting, disturbing, and sexist: males of all ages are never told by pastors and in Christian dating advice blogs that women like handsome men with six pack abs, a full head of hair, and so on.

Men are seldom told to stay in shape, get thin, work out at a gym, etc. Christian men also get a double dose of this by being told that God designed males to be “visual” or “visually oriented.” This is used as a rationalization why they have to make no effort to stay in shape or be good-looking to nab a girlfriend.

The truth is that secular and Christian women do care about good looks in a man. Most of us ladies would prefer to date a studly, built, hot-looking guy.

Some of us ladies don’t care if you are a regular- church- attending Joe who lives in a mansion; if, however, you are a male who lacks hair, have a beer gut, or looks like nerdy Barney Fife, we’re just not going to be interested. That is the cold, hard reality.

The American Christian culture, males within it at least, feel safer if they live in this world of denial where they think they can be sloppy fat, have bad breath, have greasy hair (or no hair at all), and look dumpy, but as long as they’re a stand- up, spiritual kind of guy who volunteers at a soup kitchen once a month, they feel they will still rate, merit, or deserve a woman who looks like Angelina Jolie: and this is false.

There are even examples in the Bible where it’s noted that females notice if a guy is sexy, attractive, and good looking – and it’s not terribly relevant that the female examples are non-believers: Christian women care just as much, or almost as much.

Here’s an example from the book of Genesis chapter 39:

Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” (Genesis 39: 6 – 7)

How about that! A woman who has eye sight noticed that a male was smokin’ hot. She was not turned on first and foremost by his integrity, brains, or spirituality… but his buff bod and chiseled jaw, oh yeah.

I find this terribly amusing, because one would get the idea from reading conservative evangelical, fundamentalist, or Baptist literature and blogs about true love, marriage, and dating that women don’t really give a fig about physical appearance – but we do, we really do.

Observe this video from the 2:35 to the 2:50 Mark, taken from a kid’s Bible cartoon show:


(Video: Potiphar’s Wife Thinks Joseph is Hubba Hubba)

In the video, see how Potiphar’s wife gives Joseph a going- over with her eyes, around the 2:35 mark and around 2:45 / 2:50.

Women have eyes in their heads. They notice if a male is in shape, has a full head of hair, and they notice if the guy is a tub of lard, lacks hair, is thin but has no muscular development (i.e., has the body of a five year old boy).

So, if you are an unmarried Christian male, if you want to get a girlfriend or get married, you better make very sure you look presentable.

Looks should not be the only thing a woman cares about, but plenty of women do indeed care about them, contrary to the messages you hear from your Baptist preacher on Sunday mornings, or the messages you see on Christian dating blogs.
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Related posts, this blog:

(Link): Atlantic: “The case for abandoning the myth that ‘women aren’t visual.’”

(Link): Article: Scientists: Why penis size does matter [to women]

(Link):  Yes Women Are Visually Oriented – Hundreds of female marathon runners abandon their race to mob ‘impossibly handsome’ policeman for selfies

(Link): The Annoying, Weird, Sexist Preoccupation by Christian Males with Female Looks and Sexuality

(Link): Conflicting Message to Christian Women by Christians About Physical Appearance

(Link): Gender Complementarian Product for Females: Don’t Base Your Value on Your Looks, but Wait, Yes, You Should

(Link): Superman, Man Candy -and- Christian Women Are Visual And Enjoy Looking At Built, Hot, Sexy Men

Refreshing: Christian Researcher Disputes that Youths Are Leaving Churches in Droves, Disagrees that Churches Should Be Family Focused

Refreshing: Christian Researcher Disputes that Youths Are Leaving Churches in Droves, Disagrees that Churches Should Be Family Focused
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Intersting page. It says that all the hand-wringing over youth dropping out of church and attempts to re-tool churches into “family ministry” focus is ill-founded.

(Link): Family Ministry: Gut Feelings, the Gospel, and the Big Lie About Nine-Out-of-Ten by Timothy Paul Jones

Excerpts:

    Over the past couple of years, I’ve had conversations of this sort with hundreds of church leaders. The denominations have differed, the locations have spanned the globe, and the churches themselves have ranged from minute rural chapels to suburban mega-churches. Yet the script inevitably runs something like this: Eighty percent, maybe even ninety percent, of students are dropping out of church after high school! Can you help us launch a family ministry program to fix this problem?

    ….This shocking dropout statistic represents a starting point for all sorts of demands for modifications in ministry practices—including the launch of family ministry programs. The logic throughout most of these references runs something like this: The standard for youth ministry effectiveness is retention of students beyond high school, and an overwhelming percentage of students are dropping out after high school. Therefore, current strategies for youth and children’s ministries are clearly not successful. If only churches could come up with more effective ministry practices, they could fix the dropout rate and become more effective.

    …. As I have consulted with these congregations, here’s what I have found in many churches: Congregational leaders see family ministry as a quick counterbalance for dropout numbers that they’ve heard at a conference. They perceive partnering with parents as a fix for the problem of a faith that can’t seem to last past the freshman year of college.

    …Perhaps you’ve read about the crisis too. Maybe you heard a speaker mention the dropout statistic at a recent conference. Perhaps that’s even why you are reading this post: You’re convinced that better partnerships between your ministry and the parents might provide the perfect solution to dismal retention rates. If so, I want to make a suggestion that may seem a bit radical at first: The dropout rate is not a sufficient reason to reorient your ministry practices.

    Allow me to unpack why I’m making such a claim: First, it’s uncertain whether the rate of attrition that looms so large in our ecclesial anxiety closet even exists. And furthermore, even if a high dropout rate does exist, attrition rates represent an inadequate means for assessing ministry failure or success. To understand what I’m suggesting, let’s first take a closer look at the numbers behind the infamous evangelical dropout statistic.

    :: Gut Feelings Aren’t Good Statistics ::

    In the first place, when did conference speakers first begin to claim that the vast majority of youth were exiting the church before their sophomore year of college? And was their research reliable?

    The first references to the dropout statistic come from the late 1990s. That’s when a well-meaning speaker reported a post-youth group attrition rate of 90 percent.

    And how did he obtain this number?

    The speaker’s information was based on the “gut feelings” that he gathered and averaged from a roomful of youth ministers.

    Now, there’s nothing wrong with asking a few people how they feel about an issue. Yet the communal hunch of a single group rarely results in a reliable statistic. In this case, an informal averaging of personal recollections resulted in a wildly overstated percentage that received tremendous publicity. As a result, over the past couple of decades, many youth ministries have leaped from one bandwagon to another, driven by the unsubstantiated estimates of a few youth pastors. Another popular percentage—88 percent—has been traced back to the estimates of two youth ministry experts, based on their own experiences.

    Continue reading “Refreshing: Christian Researcher Disputes that Youths Are Leaving Churches in Droves, Disagrees that Churches Should Be Family Focused”

Part 2, The Parable of the Neglected Unmarried – Single – Christian

Part 2, The Parable of the Neglected Unmarried Christian
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(Link): Part 1: The World Does Not Need Another Marriage Sermon
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The end of Part 1 read:
While the conservative Christians remain fixated on giving yet more marriage sermons, and bemoaning the liberal attacks on “traditional families” and “traditional marriage” they continue to ignore the needs and problems and mere existence of people over the age of 30 who are not married or who have never been married.

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–The Parable of the Neglected Unmarried Christian–

Jesus Christ told the story of the Good Samaritan. In that story, several people, including a priest (on his way to temple – “church” – services, I take it), walked on by the guy who was bloodied, beaten to a pulp, and on the ground and didn’t help the guy.

How many pastors and Christian organizations today keep on walking past the bloodied, bruised, hurting, scared, lonely, frustrated or confused, un-married adults over the age of 30, and do not stop to help them?

Cliches and platitudes, lectures, and un-solicited advice hurled at un-married Christians who desire marriage (such as “serve more!,” “read your Bible more!” “Jesus is all you need, He is sufficient!,” “be content in your singleness,” etc.) are not help, by the way. Nor are those approaches helpful.

Most of the Christians walk on by the bloodied, hurting older Christian singles (and other sorts of hurting Christians, such as those who are grieving over the death of a loved one) because they are in a rush to attend their church services to give (or to listen to) another sermon on marriage and parenting, or the threats of liberalism on “traditional family values and the American constitution.”

(Don’t forget the sermons about tithing and how to be financially successful, pastors love those too.)

So imagine that there is an un-married Christian who was attacked and left for dead on the side of the road, and she keeps getting passed by other Christians who notice her, but who do nothing to truly help.

To put another twist on this story, if we were running it parallel to that of Christ, who made the ‘much- hated- by- the- Jews’ Samaritan Guy the “hero” of His version of the story, it would probably be a homosexual, liberal, atheist, pot-smoking, long-haired Democrat who would stop and offer actual and practical assistance to the bloodied, wounded, un-married Christian on the side of the road.

Yes, contemporary, conservative Christianity’s greatest enemy would be the hero of this version of the Good Samaritan story, which most conservative, American Christians would likely identify as a homosexual, atheistic, Democrat (and, for those pastors still ten years or more behind culture trends, an enemy who also plays “Dungeons and Dragons” and reads “Harry Potter” books).

I can see that scenario happening.

I can totally see an evangelical Christian pausing to tell the wounded, and possibly dying, un-married Christian on the road side,

    “Lady, I’m sorry you’re hurting and beaten, but I’m on my way to baby sit in the church’s nursery and write another book about the importance of children and the horror of legalized abortion!

    Children are so important to the church, more so than any hurting un-married adult.

    Children are the future of America and the Christian church! They are our only hope for spreading the Gospel!

    I’ve decided to ignore the Bible passages where Christ says that one’s spiritual family is to take precedence over blood relations, and the parts that talk about converting Non Christians outside my family. Who needs any of that?

    The homosexuals and liberals are trying to destroy the traditional family and traditional marriage, and Muslims are out-breeding the Christians; that will never do.

    I simply must care for Christian youth first and foremost and really shout about the urgent need for Christian pro-creation.

    Wish you well, but I gotta go now!”

Next, I can see Southern Baptist president Al Mohler stopping for a bit, but only to offer absolutely no practical help to the injured, un-married Christian woman, but only to give her a condescending, judgmental lecture
(please click the “Read More” link to read the rest of the post):

Continue reading “Part 2, The Parable of the Neglected Unmarried – Single – Christian”

Videos About Family Idolatry by Christians / Desiring Marriage is NOT Idolatry

Videos About Family Idolatry by Christians / Desiring Marriage is NOT Idolatry

If and when I find new video about Family Idolatry, I will likely amend this post to add the new links at the bottom rather than make a new post.

I was looking for some videos of pastors addressing the problem of the idolatry of family/ marriage/ procreation in American Christianity.

So far, I’ve not found that many. Out of the 3 or 4 I’ve watched so far, they don’t frame the issue in a way I’d like to see.

In the video with Tim Keller of Focus on the Family, he seems concerned only that Christian parents are doting on their kids too much; the same view was taken by some other pastor in another video.

Another pastor (Norbit), in another video, mainly seems to take issue with spouses who place spouses above God. He rants about how Satan may use your devotion to your spouse to distract you from serving God and following God’s will.

Norbit also goes into a strange tangent about how, in his view, some Christians use Jesus as a pagan might use a witch doctor. He chides them for looking to Jesus to get their needs met – which is an unbiblical view for him to espouse; we’re told repeatedly in the New Testament to look to God to get our needs met (financial, physical, or emotional). And I don’t completely get what the “witch doctor,” “church planting,” and “Hindu multiple gods” bits he gets into have to do with making a spouse into an idol.

Contrary to what this Norbit guy says at one stage in the video, serving people is sometimes how one serves God. (Norbit says that Jesus conveyed to Mary that Jesus came only to serve God’s perfect plan and not to fulfill what humans wanted or needed. I disagree with him, depending on how he means it, for God tells Christians it is sometimes God’s will for Christians to meet the needs of other people.)

All this criticism by these preachers of parents catering too much to their children, or of spouses doting too much on the needs of their spouses, is all very well and good, but what I’d like to see exposed is how exclusionairy and alienating family-, marriage-, child- centric Christian culture is for those of us who do not fit the “married with kids” status. But this point is almost never addressed.

I am waiting for some pastor to say from the pulpit,

    “To all the never-married Christians over the age of 30, to the divorced, to those celibates struggling with same-sex attraction, to the widows and widowers, to those married couples childless or childfree, I apologize on behalf of all American Christians who have either excluded you, ignored your needs, or who have repeated and maintained negative stereotypes against those who are not married with children. I am so sorry. This exclusion needs to stop.”

I had high hopes for one video by Bill White, but was annoyed with it.

Bill White admits in his video to being a happily married man with two sons (and I believe one daughter? I listened to his video only one time in the wee hours of the morning while half-asleep, so I don’t recall all the details).

Expecting White to scold Christians for ignoring the needs of, or stomping on the feelings of, never-married Christians or married couples without children, I was dismayed to see him telling infertile couples who desire children and never-marrieds who desire marriage that they are making an idol out of parenthood and marriage!

Gee thanks, Pastor White! As if we never-marrieds don’t get criticized enough already as it is in the chruch. Thanks for adding to the mistreatment even more! Much appreciated /sarcasm.

—- ANTI UNMARRIED STEREOTYPE

By the way, this is a typical attitude (an anti-unmarried person stereotype) I see fostered by pastors and Christian authors often: they are under the misguided notion that each and every unmarried Christian who desires marriage is de facto, automatically “idolizing” marriage.

It’s just ASSUMED that every woman who is single has turned desire for marriage into an idol. This simply is not true. But it’s also a problematic idea, because these pastors almost never quantify exactly how much desire borders on to “idolization.” Telling me that it’s a “heart attitude issue” doesn’t clarify things much, either.

If I think about wanting to get married twice per month, is that idolization of marriage? Or is it ten times per month? Is it 50 times per month? Does it become idolization when I join a single dating site in a year? Or 20 sites? And who, other than God, can really determine when and where that line is?

—- END Discussion of ANTI UNMARRIED STEREOTYPE

I think White tried to qualify his views by saying that if your need to have a kid or spouse is all- consuming that it’s a distraction from serving God, it becomes idolatry.

However, at no time do I recall White going out of his way to re-assure his audience that there is nothing selfish, idolatrous, or sinful about merely wanting to have a child or to be married.

Continue reading “Videos About Family Idolatry by Christians / Desiring Marriage is NOT Idolatry”

What Christians Can Learn From Bob the Tomato Re: Being Unmarried and Childfree / Childless

What Christians Can Learn From Bob the Tomato Re: Being Unmarried and Childfree / Childless

I was watching the kid show “Veggie Tales” this morning. I’ve seen a few episodes before.

They seem to end most episodes by having Bob the Tomato tell the viewer something like,

“Remember, God loves you very much, and you are very special to Him.”

Bob the tomato
Bob the tomato
I think, in a way, it’s sad I get more validation out of a kid’s show than I do from materials by Christian adults for Christian adults.

I sure as heck don’t get told often by most Christians that I, never-married and childfree in my 40s, am special and loved by God.

I have to sit through and endure multitudes of Christian content that gives the impression that if I have not achieved a very set of narrow lifestyle milestones, such as marriage and parenthood, and have not done so by a certain age, I am a failure, or not as important.

None of which is to say I totally agree with every message I’ve heard conveyed in “Veggie Tales.” I once sat through a show where they told kids to be really nice to bullies.

Without going into too much detail, I just wanted to say that is the incorrect message to send. Christ does not call His followers to be doormats and passively take abuse off anyone- He sure as heck did not. You need to teach your kids to stand up to bullies even if it comes to applying physical blows.

Seriously. If your kids don’t stand up to idiots now, it will hurt them later. And secondly, most bullies don’t respond to anything less than a punch to the face or a severe verbal smack down. But Christian shows for children frequently encourage kids to be passive, wimpy doormats in the face of bullying and abuse. Before He went to the cross, Jesus took nothin’ from nobody – and we are to follow His lead on how to deal with jerks.

But I digress.

Hmm. I bet if I got pregnant out of wedlock, then walked into a church and said I was considering an abortion, I’d get all manner of support, help, and encouragement.

I should shove a big pillow under a shirt and try that experiment some time: claim to be pregnant and unmarried, considering abortion, and watch as the pastor and members fall all over themselves to offer me money, shelter, compassion, and assistance.

Thanks to Bob the Tomato for reminding me that God values and loves me, whether I am married, single, a parent or not.

I had to get this message that God loves me no matter what from a cartoon tomato because most churches and Christian publications won’t convey it.

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

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

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

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

DISCLAIMER.

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

FURTHER DISCLAIMERS.

I am not into global warming or environmentalism.

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

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

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

— THE LINKS—

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

(Link): The Family Idol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Link): Rethinking Vision Forum

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

From that blog:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have we made an idol of families? (copy)

Have we made an idol of families?, by Andy Stirrup [Book Reviews] | published June 6, 2011

Source:

growingfaith.com.au/entertainment/have-we-made-an-idol-of-families

    by Andy Stirrup
    Published: June 6, 2011

    ‘How can we idealise marriage and the nuclear family while clinging to a saviour who was unmarried and without issue?’

    In Sex and the Single Savior, Dale Martin asks an important question: have we made an idol of families? Our knee-jerk reaction is to say, ‘‘Of course not’. But Martin reminds us that sometimes we cling to theologically-phrased excuses for what we do, rather than examine what the Bible actually says. When it comes to the importance we attribute to the family (in conversation at least, even though our practice may undermine our ‘theology’), Martin asks how can we idealise marriage and the nuclear family while clinging to a saviour who was unmarried and without issue?

    The book brings together a number of Martin’s previously published articles to get to grips with a number of issues that have to do with gender and sexuality. He examines what classical and early Christian writers would have understood by the Galatians passage which referes to there being no male and female in Christ. He discusses how odd Jesus’ celibacy would have appeared to his contemporaries. But the most provocative chapter, as far as the family is concerned, is the eighth chapter, ‘Familiar Idolatry and the Christian Case against Marriage’.

    Martin begins the chapter with a bold announcement that mainstream Western Christianity (Catholic and Protestant, liberal and conservative) has made an idol of marriage and the family. It is a strong claim but we would have to agree with him that those who do not fit the nuclear family ‘ideal’ usually find themselves on the fringes of church life. Martin supports his claim by turning both to the New Testament and to the writings of the early Church. He suggests that the early Church was culturally much closer to the New Testament period and so they are better placed to understand the intention of the Biblical texts than modern theologians.

    Continue reading “Have we made an idol of families? (copy)”

Bay-Bees – Have Lots of Them (Addendum)

(Addendum to previous post):
“Bay-Bees – Have them, have lots of them and NOW, no matter what!, say some Christians”

I meant to include this in my previous post on this topic but forgot to (someone left me a response in that thread disagreeing with me, and I left her a response). Anyway….

A woman wrote in to Pat Robertson’s show the other day, The 700 Club, to ask if she should permit her daughter to stay in the same bed as her boyfriend when they come over for a visit.

Robertson then got into this tangent where he said, “Marriage is for making babies.”
(Or, he might have said, “Marriage is for pro-creation.” I forget the exact wording of his remark, whether he used the term “babies” or “pro creation,” but he did say, “that [babies / pro creation] is the purpose of marriage.”

I don’t recall any biblical passages stating that the sole reason for marriage is to have babies. (I don’t even remember any verses saying it’s the primary reason – but perhaps it’s in there, and I just forgot.)

I think a lot of conservative Christians – the ones who have made idols out of marriage and having children, and the more extreme patriarchy- type lunatic “Quiverfull” groups – tend to stretch verses such as “be fruitful and multiply” to apply in situations where they do not, or are not, for all Christians for all times in all situations.

I would dare say since God presented Eve to Adam after having said, “it is not good for man to be alone” that one primary reason for the existence of marriage is for companionship. Not baby-making, but for companionship.

Sure, baby-making might be ONE reason for the creation of marriage by God, but it’s not the ONLY reason, as Robertson implied in his response.

This bizarre obsession with marriage and cranking out babies is one reason why so many people, Christian and Non, feel so unwelcomed or alienated from churches, or why they stop going.

People, including Christian people, who are childless, child-free, never-married, or widowed are frequently over-looked by most American Christianity.

The never-married (over the age of 30), the child free, the childless, and the widowers – their needs are dismissed or never acknowledged to start with. They are not usually mentioned from the pulpit, or on mainstream Christian blogs, in magazines, or in most Christian books about relationships.

Most attention by conservative Christians is spent hand-wringing over and worrying about the decline of marriage, the decline of the U.S. birth rate, complaining about the Democrats, or complaining about the legalization of homosexual marriage.

As for the hand wringing about the decline of marriage by conservative Christians, it is highly hypocritical of them to do this.

When older, never-married Christians ask for help from their Christian communities to get married (“please help me get a spouse! Introduce me to some great singles, or create more singles functions where we can meet and mingle”), they are scolded and lectured and get comments such as… THEY, the singles who desire marriage, are

  • “making an idol of marriage”
  • “be content in your singleness, it’s a gift!”

  • “we can’t turn the singles group into a meat market, it’s for Bible study ONLY”
  • “God may have called you to life long singleness”

-and older unmarried Christians get other such un-helpful comments like those.

Note to churches and preachers:
If you want the marriage rate among Christians to sky rocket, get off your asses and start helping Christian singles, who are ages 30+, to meet other Christian singles so that they can date and then marry. Provide practical assistance in this area.

Anyway, I don’t see any biblical grounds for thinking that making a baby is the sole, or primary, purpose of marriage.