Southern Baptists on Boy Scouts and Homosexuals – Misplaced Priorities

Southern Baptists on Boy Scouts and Homosexuals – Misplaced Priorities

I am a social conservative, and I don’t support homosexuality. I probably wouldn’t be too opinionated about homosexual marriage either way if not for the homosexuals who are absolutely militant about their lifestyles and try to sue the crud out of anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or bakers who, due to religious reasons, (Link): don’t want to provide cakes for homosexual marriage ceremonies.

I also realize that militant homosexual groups are very vocal and active in trying to cram their views down the throats of all Americans, which annoys me to no end. I don’t particularly care if people are homosexual, as long as they’d get off their soap boxes about it and stop forcing the matter.

However, many conservative Christians, and certainly the Southern Baptist Convention and series of churches, remains abnormally fixated on all things homosexual (and on other aspects of secular culture), as well as too keen to try to push Christian agendas via politics.

At the recent SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) held in Houston, Texas, here is one consensus they reached:

(Link): Southern Baptists condemn Boy Scouts over admission of gays

Excerpt (by the way, this article incorrectly refers to Southern Baptists as “Protestants”. Southern Baptists are not Protestants):

    The nation’s largest Protestant denomination stopped short of calling for its member churches to boycott the Boy Scouts, but voiced strong opposition to acceptance of gay scouts – with a top church leader predicting at the annual gathering of Southern Baptists that a “mass exodus” of youths from the program that has been a rite of passage for more than a century.

Instead of being preoccupied by those outside the church, Christians are supposed to help fellow Christians first and foremost ((Link): Galatians 6:10), and primarily judge those who are within the body of Christ, not obsessively focus on judging Non Christians in secular culture:

    What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? (1 Cor 5:12)

Southern Baptists and a lot of other Christians claim they are concerned about the inroads homosexuals are making in culture, not just with the BSA (Boy Scouts), but concerning the erosion of “traditional marriage.”

The deterioration of traditional marriage by homosexuals does not really matter all that much, when there is currently a sizable section of Americans, particularly unmarried Christian hetero-sexual women, who desire marriage, but there are no marriage partners (single Christian men of comparable age) for them to marry.

Continue reading “Southern Baptists on Boy Scouts and Homosexuals – Misplaced Priorities”

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”

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:

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Book Review at CP: Sex, Dating, and Relationships: The Dating Friendships Alternative

Sex, Dating, and Relationships: The Dating Friendships Alternative (review by CP about a book by by Gerald Hiestand and Jay Thomas)

(Link): Book Review at CP about Dating, Sex

They’re hyping another book filled with Christian advice about sex and dating.

I stopped paying credence to dating advice books, sites, columns, and magazine articles eons ago, not that I was ever a fan to start with. Such material is a huge waste of time.

If you read the article about the book, the authors hold the view that most Christians are horny horn dogs who have fornicated all over the place. I didn’t see any acknowledgement that there are Christians remain virgins past the age of 30.

On the plus side, the review/ad of this book on CP says that the authors of the new book about sex and dating are not encouraging “courtship” or “kissing dating goodbye” strategies, which is a good thing, because such teachings are one reason Christian singles remain single.

See, most Christian dating advice (such as “kiss dating goodbye”) tells men to stay away from women because Christian single women are big whores who will have sex with them on a first date, and no man can resist sexual temptation. So a lot of Christian single men (and women) accept this screwball teaching and avoid each other.

Now, when single men and single women avoid each other so as to avoid fornication, they can’t chat, get to know one another, fall in love, and ergo, they do not marry. (please click the “read more” link below to read the rest of this post)

Continue reading “Book Review at CP: Sex, Dating, and Relationships: The Dating Friendships Alternative”

Sexual Purity Under Attack in Nation’s Schools, Says Christian Author Dannah Gresh

Sexual Purity Under Attack in Nation’s Schools, Says Christian Author Dannah Gresh

Before you read the link/ editorial below, please see my previous post:

(Link, previous post at Christian Pundit Blog): The Contemporary Church Undervalues Celibacy / Virginity

(Link): (“Sexual Purity Under Attack”)

I can’t get too excited about the page or the efforts, because once again, all the concern is for the under- age- 25 demographic.

Christians don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone who is actually a virgin, still unmarried past the age of 30. Regardless, here are a few excerpts from the page (click the link to read the whole article):

    By Melissa Barnhart, May 11, 2013

    Dannah Gresh, a best-selling author and advocate for the sexual purity movement, was a featured speaker at this year’s TEDxPSU event at Pennsylvania State University, and spoke about sexual myths that are hurting teenagers and college students who are navigating a culture that promotes tolerance of all sexual behaviors and choices, except abstinence.

    “We’re waving the banner of tolerance over the nation, but the one thing that’s not tolerated is abstinence and sexual purity,” said Gresh in an interview with The Christian Post on Wednesday. “Something parents don’t understand is that their teenagers are living in an age where virginity isn’t tolerated.”
    Continue reading “Sexual Purity Under Attack in Nation’s Schools, Says Christian Author Dannah Gresh”

Article: ‘That’s Odd’: On Bias Against Single Pastors

Article: ‘That’s Odd’: On Bias Against Single Pastors

Please note: the following is hosted by the Gospel Coalition Blog. They are “gender complementarians” and tend to be Reformed. I vehemently disagree with gender complementarianism and do not accept Reformed theology (to me, it’s the same as Calvinism, and I don’t like Calvinism either).

Excerpts (the guy who wrote this later went on to get married for the first time at age 44):

(Link): ‘That’s Odd’: On Bias Against Single Pastors

    A friend wrote me about how I would respond to the recent New York Times article chronicling the frustration of singles pursing pastoral positions. I probably came to his mind because I am both single and a pastor. I am completing 14 years as senior pastor at Bethel Church—a church that bucked the apparent bias and took a risk on a 29-year-old single fellow. It has proved to be a great ministry partnership. I am no crusader for singleness in ministry, and I address this subject with a fair amount of shyness. Truthfully, I would very much like a wife and family and have prayed consistently since I was 18 for God’s provision and gift.

    I am well aware of the cultural expectations for marriage and ministry, both here and in other parts of the world. I recall candid discussions in Sierra Leone and Romania where men are not allowed to be pastors without a wife. An unmarried American pastor teaching and preaching there was a source of some concern and amusement. I have experienced countless moments of bewilderment and awkwardness from others when I answer their inquiry about my wife and children by pointing to the lack of a ring on my finger. The U.S. evangelical church’s perspective is well summarized by an experience in North Dakota a few weeks ago. I was enjoying a visit with some former members of our church when their 6-year-old daughter whispered to her mom, “Is he married?” She replied, “No.” The little girl proclaimed loudly, “That’s odd!”

    Not a bad summary of the attitude The New York Times highlighted when it comes to singles in pastoral ministry: “That’s odd!”

    Should It Be?

    The question is, should it be? From the perspective of the New Testament, it is hard to see why. As is often pointed out, the head and hero of the church is a single adult male. Jesus obviously gets a Messianic pass and is not often factored into the “oughtness” of married pastoral leadership. Yet the early church was dominated by apparently single men (at least when the manuscripts were written): John the Baptist, Paul, Luke, Silas, Barnabas, Timothy, and Titus. When this list is combined with a single Savior, we should at least be in a position of neutrality on the matter.

    It would be hard to see Paul as neutral, at least in respect to his own singleness in 1 Corinthians 7. He speaks to the single man’s freedom from anxieties (7:32) and freedom to serve with “undivided devotion” (7:35). The married man (pastor) has responsibilities that “divide” his attention. This is balanced by Paul’s affirmation that marital responsibilities are good and holy and also a “gift” (7:6). Paul teaches neither singleness nor marriage is inherently more spiritual or holy, although the freedoms of singleness lead him to say, “I wish that all men were as I am” (7:8). Paul’s basic starting point is that marital status in the kingdom is spiritually neutral, each with its own benefits and responsibilities.

Click here to read the rest

On the Janet Mefferd Radio Show: Still Too Much Concern About ‘Family’

On the Janet Mefferd Radio Show: Still Too Much Concern About ‘Family’

I listened to a new online Mefferd radio show. I only listened to it once. Here’s a link to that show:

(Link): Mary Eberstadt talks about her book ‘How the West Really Lost God’

After Mefferd did a radio show a few weeks ago about the marriage rate going down and out- of- wedlock births going up, where she (or a guest), if I remember right, blamed feminism or something for this situation, I sent her an e-mail via her site’s contact form to notify her that not all singles, not all female singles, are deliberately choosing to remain single (see this page).

So I find it interesting that in this more recent broadcast, Mefferd did at least mention singlehood and singles in passing. Maybe she got my message.

However, I was disappointed that the thrust of her show and the focus by the guest remained on family, child bearing, and church attendance.

The author seemed to be saying that married people who have kids are more likely to attend church than single people, or people who do not have children.

Well, this information is actually nothing new – it was either discussed in the Duin book “Quitting Church” or “Singled Out” by Field and Colon.

Both Mefferd and her author guest seem to feel this is wonderful information, and also seemed to be linking the deterioration of society and lowering of church memberships with people not having children anymore.

In other words, (and maybe I am mistaken but), they seemed to be saying something that sounded rather circular, as in,
“if only more Christians would marry, have children, and go to church, not only would society improve, but church attendance would increase.”

The solution for making church attendance go up is not by emphasizing marriage and child bearing within marriage; I’ve discussed this before, please see this post and this post.

By only showing care and concern for married people and the institution itself, and none for people who are single, and by constantly pandering to the married or marriage itself, singles feel further alienated and have no desire or interest to attend churches.

This emphasis on marriage and encouraging parenthood by Christians, or in churches by preachers in Sunday sermons, is counterproductive, because it keeps singles away from church; it makes them want to avoid it: the common wisdom was that if a single Christian woman wanted to marry, what better place for her to meet Mr. Right than at a church – but this is no longer true.

This strategy to keep focusing on marriage and making babies is pushing singles away from churches, which keeps Christian singles apart (unless they are sticking to dating sites, and dating sites do not work for all who try them).

Not only are un-married Christian men not attending churches any more (for several reasons, one of which is the unrelenting obsession with marriage by preachers turns them off), but single Christian women have stopped attending in higher numbers as well (this was documented in the Duin book).

Most Baptist, evangelical and fundamentalist churches either ignore older single adults, or, because they tend to hold marriage and parenting up as the “Holy Grail” or Only Standard Of Success for the Christian, those who do not marry and do not have kids are made to feel like failures, and they feel left out- so they stop attending churches that foster this sort of thinking and church culture.

The solution for getting marriage back on track is to start ministering to OLDER SINGLE ADULTS. Start meeting the singles where they are.

One step invovled in that is for married Christians to stop acting as impediments to singles.

Stop telling singles that wanting marriage is “idolary” or that it is “selfish.”

Stop discouraging church as a place to meet and date (“we can’t have church turn into a meat market.”) Stop segregating Sunday School classes by gender, with males in one room, females in another.

In order for marriage to happen, one single has to marry another single, which means, churches need to find ways to attract and keep singles and allow them to mix and mingle with one another.

It’s not rocket science, but idiot churches keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting success but then scratching their heads in confusion as singles never marry, or don’t get married until they’re 40.

If you want singles to get married, then help singles. And help the singles who are still single over the age of 30, do not obsess over the teens and 20-somethings. Stop helping Christian people who are already married, which is what 99% of churches do 100% of the time.

Also, stop with the lamenting over decreased baby-making. Remember, some Christians choose not to have children. Respect that choice. Some Christians want to have children but have health issues and are unable to reproduce. Be more sensitive to that possibility.

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

How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 4) – and Emotional Virginity Teaching

How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 4) – and “Emotional Virginity” Teaching

They say marriage is a great thing and throw fits that Christians aren’t getting married by and large any more, but they are creating the very thing they are protesting: Christians who keep Christian singles single via their stupid or naive dating advice and narrow minded views of women. Here are some more examples.

Source for the following: “My Teen Mania Experience”

Fear of Dating (posted to “My Teen Mania Experience”)

Here are excerpts from the page:

    [Regarding teachings on dating to teens by “Teen Mania” and “Honor Academy” Christian teachers] ….What kind of effed up teachings produce this level of ridiculous fear? This total inability to engage the opposite sex in a normal, friendly manner?

    For once, I knew I couldn’t blame this on Christianity at large, because she was not raised a Christian. The Honor Academy was her only exposure to Christianity and these problems and mindsets did not exist before she went there.
    [From Christian Pundit: I disagree. This “fear of dating/ fear of the opposite gender” perspective is in a lot of Christian material on dating, not just the Honor Academy. It’s also taught among a lot of Christian home schooling families.]

    Now, this may be an extreme example (or maybe not?) but I’ve heard from dozens of alumni – especially women – that after the Honor Academy, they feel incredibly uneasy around the opposite sex. Why is that? I’m going to give a few potential reasons, but I hope you’ll chime in as well.

    1) Strict gender roles: Each gender has their assigned duties and no deviation is acceptable. Men lead. Women follow. Men initiate. Women respond.

    First off, there are many places in Scripture where Godly women pursued romantic relationships, did not submit to their husbands and held leadership roles over men.

    – Ruth proposed marriage to Boaz (Gasp!)
    – Abigail did not submit to her husband’s leadership and took matters into her own hands, which eventually led to her marrying King David. (I Sam 25)
    – Esther entered the King’s court uninvited – which had the potential to be an offense punishable by death.

    This is just a short list. If you research the topic further, you will find many more encouraging examples.

    From what I’ve seen, this teaching leads women to feel that they cannot even show interest in a guy (so how is he supposed to know that you like him?). It leads them to being passive and unable to seize opportunities. They are waiting for a guy to do everything in the relationship, and that is just not normal or healthy.

    2) Friendship with the opposite sex is actively discouraged.

    Many unsuspecting interns have been confronted for “curbside chatting” during their first week of the internship. “Curbside chatting” is exactly what it sounds like – standing on the curb outside the dorms, innocently chatting with a member of the opposite sex. Although this is clearly in public, in full view of all the dorms, its still considered dangerous behavior and will get you promptly confronted by your leadership and/or peers.

    I’ve heard alumni say that they were afraid to even be seen walking on a sidewalk in the same direction as a member of the opposite sex, for fear that they would be confronted.

    Continue reading “How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 4) – and Emotional Virginity Teaching”

Another Blog on Churches Making Family Into an Idol and Christian Dating Advice

Another Blog on Churches Making Family Into an Idol and Christian Dating Advice
– from the blog “More Than Don’t Have Sex – Thoughts on Christ Centered Singleness and the Church”

I left a few comments on this guy’s blog under another post of his (not the one I am highlighting here).

I disagree a little with some of his opinions expressed on another blog page, e.g., on why most women wear make-up (we don’t always, or primarily, wear make-up to entice or capture men, and certainly not to deceive them, which seems to be his take(?)).

We also disagree on should Christian males approach getting dates as though it’s a “game” (with rules and strategies needed), and by over- thinking it (he says yes, I say heck no, that is part of the one reason some singles stay single).

Anyhow, here is his post about how churches turn marriage and family into false gods they worship:

(Link): The Church’s Family Idol And Singleness

The guy at the blog- kudos to him to at least discussing singleness, and especially how churches have turned marriage and parenting into idols, by the way- but he also seems to feel that it’s unfair or wrong that men are expected to initiate dates with ladies.

I don’t mean to put words in his mouth, but if I understood him correctly, he wants to live in a world where women approach men for dates (which I have done myself by the way, and I’m a female. I have initiated flirting and date-asking on occasion. It’s rare for me because for years I was extremely shy, and I am still introverted.)

What I explained to the blog guy at his blog is that it’s no use getting upset at the “men being expected to initiate” situation or blaming women for it (which he seemed to do) – because women did not make this rule in the first place; it’s been foisted upon us.

The vast majority of dating advice I have ever seen, both Christian and Non Christian, favors the man approaching the woman.

Continue reading “Another Blog on Churches Making Family Into an Idol and Christian Dating Advice”

2008 Audio Interview with Julia Duin About Christian Singles

2008 Audio Interview with Julia Duin About Christian Singles

(Link): Interview About Christian Singles with Julia Duin, author of “Quitting Church”

The interview also covers the subjects of unanswered prayer, how single mothers are ignored and single women marginalized, Christian views on sex, and other topics are covered.

I recommend this interview a lot. If you are over 35 and never married, and were a Christian at any time (or still are one), you will totally relate to this discussion. I tried to embed the audio into this post two ways, but neither one worked.

How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 3) – Restrictive Gender Roles Taught as Biblical

How Christians Keep Christians Single part 3 – Restrictive Gender Roles Taught as Biblical

Christian males are being taught to turn their noses up at perfectly good Christian single women due to complementarian gender role teachings and unrealistic ideas about female beauty. Read it here:

(Link): Feminism and Me: When I cannot cook but I am still a person by Emily Joy Allison

Excerpts:
————————
The first time I began to wonder if perhaps the evangelical narrative of gender roles I’d absorbed needed a little tweaking, I was 19 years old and finishing my first year of bible college, and I was in love with him. I sometimes like to think that he was in love with me too (a story for another day), but only to the extent that a heart as superficial as his could possibly be. One morning after a particularly intense cup of coffee the night before, I woke up to a novel in my inbox which basically boiled down to “I like you but you are unsuitable because you are initiatory in your relationships with men and also you cannot clean or cook.”

I began to ask questions like, So what if I can’t cook? So what if I’m expressive in my relationships with men? Does that make me less desirable as a spouse? Is this what the church is teaching people these days? Does every Christian man feel this way?

As it turned out, a lot of them did.
Continue reading “How Christians Keep Christians Single (part 3) – Restrictive Gender Roles Taught as Biblical”

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 Teachings on Relationships: One Reason Singles Are Remaining Single (even if they want to get married)

Christian Teachings on Relationships: One Reasons Singles Are Remaining Single (even if they want to get married)

I’ve discussed this before, but it’s worth mentioning in its own post:

Many Christians say they are concerned that more and more Christians are not marrying at all, or not marrying until later in life. They don’t understand why.

One of several reasons single Christians are remaining single is due to typical teaching about dating and marriage from most conservative Christian preachers, bloggers, and authors.

Because many Christians remain terrified of other Christians possibly getting involved in fornication, most of their relationship advice, even to unmarried Christians over the age of 35, comes down to: stay away from the opposite sex.

Telling females to stay away from males and vice versa, will only result in keeping Christian singles single.

Other approaches, such as “courting” and telling Christians to “date in groups” doesn’t work, either.

I can understand the group dating approach for teens or maybe blind dates, but for adults over the age of 25?

Evangelicals and Baptists guarantee prolonged or life long singleness by making the dating process convoluted and making singles paranoid of the opposite sex, or acting as though each and every meeting between the genders can and will end in sex.

If Christians want Christians to marry, and they keep saying they do, they need to stop advising Christian singles to stay away from singles of the opposite gender.

That should be obvious, but in many areas of American Christianity, it’s not.

–Some Christian Women Shy Away From Marriage Due to “Biblical Gender Complementarian” Teachings–

On another note, I’ve seen several younger Christian ladies say on other blogs that one reason they stay single is that they are afraid to get married.

They are afraid to get married because many churches teach ‘biblical gender complementarian’ garbage.

Continue reading “Christian Teachings on Relationships: One Reason Singles Are Remaining Single (even if they want to get married)”

If your sermon or program supposedly benefits everyone… (post about Christian singlehood)

I was looking for more material about Christian singleness when I found this video:

“How Does Our Church Host a 607 Experience Without alienating Singles, Grandparents, or those without Children?”
(The URL is: http://d6family.com/607/experience/howdoiuseit#howdo )

Edit. Aug 2014. That URL no longer works, they removed the video. You can still view it here: Video Link, Vimeo

I have no idea what the “607 Experience” is, as I did not watch every single video on the page, but from the one I watched, I gather it is yet some other family-centric event for churches to host for nuclear families (nuclear family = typical 1950s American family consisting of husband, wife, one or two kids).

The male host of the video says he recognizes that some Christians may be worried that his “607 Experience” may make singles or MWKS (married couples without kids / children) feel alienated…

But, he feels this program will still be beneficial to singles and MWKS, since it covers topics like how to pray effectively, or some such.

He’s not the first Christian I’ve seen use this tactic. I’ve seen other Christians or pastors say, “Well, my sermon series on marriage may make the never-married and divorced feel alienated, but you should not feel that way you unmarried people, because you can still find information in this series for use in your life!”

Is that so? Well then, what is the point in billing such series or sermons as “for the family,” or putting “marriage” or “parenting” in the titles of these events? If the material can be applicable to all (such as offering suggestions on how to pray better or some other generic, Christian topic) why not title the event, “How to have a better prayer life”?

My second question and concern is, what does this church or Christian group do for singles specifically? In other words, is there a “608 Experience” that is geared only towards the NMNKs (never- married with no kids), where this same man from the “607” video would tell married with kid couples, “But please, don’t feel alienated you married people! Even though you are married with kids, our service for singles can still be of benefit to you!” If this church (or group) is not devoting equal time to singles, then their “607 Experience” is wrong, wrong, wrong, and yes, it will alienate the unmarried and other individuals who don’t meet the “married with kids” demographic.

Forget married couples with kids – the real danger today is for the unmarried Christian. Screw the Christian married couples; it’s singles who need the church’s help and attention. Even secular society discriminates or ignores singles.

The male host of the video said he simply suggests pastors who host a 607 to “just put the elephant in the room right out there.” Just be up front and tell your never-married and divorced or Married- with- no- kids couples that the service will be devoted to marrieds with kids, he advises.

Wouldn’t that be a little like a white Christian host saying on a video for pastors,
“Our series will only focus on how great white people are, and teach people more about white people,” and then telling the pastor,
“But see, that’s okay, because you’re being up-front with, and transparent about, your prejudice.

Therefore, I’m sure any Black, Hispanic, and Asian Christians in your church will be fine and dandy with being so blatantly excluded YET AGAIN. I mean, surely they must agree that white Christian people are under attack by secular society, so I’m sure they’ll be okay and so very understanding with the needs and problems of Asian, Black, and Hispanic Christians being shoved aside, YET AGAIN.”

I swear to goodness the American church is almost completely oblivious to how badly they are excluding people (specifically, never- married people over 35 years old, the divorced, people with no kids, and the elderly) and giving Christianity a black eye to so many people, with the continual insistence upon the self-serving fixation on “marriage and parenting, marriage and parenting, marriage and parenting” mantra.
———————
Related posts this blog:

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

The Right One – Do Unmarried Christians Only Need Jesus in Common to Marry ?

The following content was originally published on my Geocities site in December 2000.

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


Divine Guidance, Reassurance in Marriage / God Providing a Christian With A Spouse

The Right One

October 2008

I was watching Christian network TBN* a couple of nights ago, and the guest on the show I was watching is a Christian gentlemen, Mark Gungor, who is a relationship guru.

Gungor has written a book or two about marriage, and he offers marriage seminars. You can visit Mr. Gungor’s site at (Link): Laugh Your Way.com.

Mr. Gungor is a perfectly nice guy, and he’s got a great sense of humor.

I have nothing against Mr. Gungor personally.

His view point was something else altogether: it angered me and annoyed me to no end, for he stated that it is a mistake for single people, especially for Christians, to think that there is a “right person” out there for you.

Continue reading “The Right One – Do Unmarried Christians Only Need Jesus in Common to Marry ?”