They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud – Christians: Please Learn the Red Flags, Research Cluster B Personality Disorders

They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud – Christians: Please Learn the Red Flags, Research Cluster B Personality Disorders

Before I get to the links way below about a self-professing, devout Christian man who was allegedly swindling customers out of their very expensive purchases:

For any of you super trusting people out there – especially if you consider yourself kind, decent, empathetic and/or a Christian (though what I say below is also applicable to kind-hearted Non-Christians as well):

Please, please educate yourselves and accept reality.

There ARE people out there with what are called “Cluster B” personality disorders (such as NPD, malignant narcissism, or, they’re on the narcissism spectrum, or they are sociopathic or psychopathic) who cannot, or will not, have empathy (and on top of an empathy-deficit, sociopaths lack a conscience, too).

Not all of these Cluster B personality disordered persons are serial killers, as is often assumed(*) – but they all lack remorse and empathy and will use and abuse those in their paths, even their own spouses and family members! (*Some Cluster B personality disordered persons love to financially scam other people or financially exploit them, for instance.)

The primary drivers and motivations of Cluster B persons are control and dominance of other people.

These people can be your neighbor, sibling, parent, spouse, a friend, your boss, or a co-worker.

These dangerous persons can work as church pastors, doctors, school teachers, veterinarians, psychologists, therapists, plumbers, IT professionals, UPS delivery persons, mailmen, hair stylists – any and every occupation, even “care based,” charity based, or church ministry related ones!

These people have learned to “pass” as normal. They will pretend to be normal. Many will act as though they have compassion and empathy for others, but they do not.

Just because someone is working in a care-based occupation doesn’t mean they have empathy and are warm, nurturing, and have your best interest at heart.

Some narcissistic or sociopathic persons who work as therapists or as social workers INTENTIONALLY undermine their patients or others in their care. That’s one reason you must be careful when shopping around for a mental health professional, should you want to see one for treatment.

Some of these personality disordered persons will do things like say they are a “Jesus-follower,” a Christian, they will even volunteer for charity work, attend church regularly, and “play act the part” of loving, devoted Christ follower while simultaneously committing financial fraud (or other sins and crimes) against you or others.

And they do NOT CARE AT ALL how much it hurts your feelings or hurts you financially.

They are not sorry, and they never will be. They do not experience remorse or sorrow for how they hurt others.

Even the non-personality disordered abusive persons out there have very large entitlement attitudes, so their view on relationships is that being mean, lying, nasty, and controlling of or to you is getting THEIR needs met for them, their abusive behavior of you is working well for them, so why bother to care about you and your needs and how YOU are being hurt by them in the process?

They feel they have no reason to change for the better (this is from their perspective).

There is nothing you can do to fix, change, save, or help such persons (even most therapists agree such persons are beyond help or fixing), nor is it your responsibility to fix or change them.

Avoid them as much as possible. No amount of compassion, love, attention, pity, or empathy from you or someone else will change or fix such persons.

No amount of church attendance, Bible reading, or exposure to the Gospel or the teachings of Jesus will heal, change, or fix them.

This includes the marriage context: a wife being “more submissive” or “loving” towards a narcissistic or sociopathic husband will not “heal,” change, or fix the husband and cause him to stop hurting his wife.

Please do some research, and stop allowing people to take advantage of you! Look for the red flags.

Perhaps start out by reading books such as “The Sociopath Next Door” by Stout

(though, caution: in an otherwise very good and educational work, I think she sugar coats her descriptions of narcissism in her book too much – narcissists, especially at the moderate to high end of the spectrum, are essentially watered-down sociopaths, so far as I am concerned,
but, in her book, Stout makes narcissists sound more lovable, redeemable, reachable, and friendly than they actually are,
which contrasts what I’ve read in a lot of research by other mental health professionals and accounts by narcissistic abuse survivors who all specialize in the topic of narcissism),

or “Husband, Liar, Sociopath – How He Lied, Why I Fell for It & the Painful Lessons Learned” by O. N. Ward,
or “Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself” by Shahida Arabi.

There are many other books – and free online articles and videos – that describe all these issues.

Just because someone claims to be a Christian and acts really sweet, caring, and nice does NOT mean they will NOT abuse you financially, or will not abuse you physically, verbally, or sexually in private.

Because such people do exist, and they will abuse or exploit you.

Stop thinking the best of people, stop being so trusting, stop assuming that because someone talks favorably of Jesus that this must mean they are trust-worthy, and stop giving people third, fourth, and more chances if they’ve already hurt or lied to you twice!

Stop rationalizing their behavior, stop excusing it on the basis they told you they are having a bad day, they’re under stress, or they were abused as a child (whether they were or not still does not excuse their abusive or dishonest behavior).

Such attitudes and behaviors on your part, where you keep forgiving, pitying, trusting, and grant repeated chances and do-overs, is what enables alleged frauds like the guy in the article below to scam you in the first place.

I am not victim blaming anyone who has been abused or targeted by any of these abusers or scammers.

Here is where I am coming from:
I just want to pull my hair out in frustration in particular at how Christians, in their sermons, books, social media, blogs, and their attitudes, frequently encourage or pressure behaviors or attitudes in believers that encourage them to be very susceptible to attracting abusive people or con artists, or from eliminating them from their lives once they encounter them.

Christians are setting other Christians up to be attractive and easy targets and prey for sociopaths, narcissists, and other troubled and dangerous people.

Misguided Christian teachings about grace, forgiveness, compassion, helping one’s neighbor, turning the cheek, the “no divorce for any reason” teachings, and giving second chances, and Christian complementarians especially are really bad about this.

Christian gender complementarians promote “gender complementarianism,” where they strongly condition girls and women to adopt beliefs and actions that are indistinguishable from Codependency (ie, which includes things like lacking boundaries, being passive, etc), which makes girls and women reluctant to engage in perfectly healthy and normal actions, such as standing up to abusers or bullying behavior, and leaves them vulnerable from recognizing abusive behavior as being abusive in the first place.

Secular culture of course also re-enforces such harmful beliefs and behaviors in girls and women as well, via traditional gender stereotypes (see the book The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker for some examples; research by others has also been done in this area going back years with the same results being shown).

(Link): They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud

People around the country who have paid Matt Sowash thousands of dollars for the small dwellings after seeing him on TikTok say he never delivered on his promises.

by Sept 20, 2022

By Deon J. Hampton

DENVER — A man who had been convicted of bilking investors out of thousands of dollars and who professed his love for God while selling tiny homes online swindled homebuyers out of their life savings for dwellings that were never delivered, three alleged victims said in lawsuits filed in federal and state courts.

Developer Matt Sowash, founder of the Colorado-based nonprofit Holy Ground Tiny Homes, promoted the small residences on social media, including to his 80,000 TikTok followers, with short videos portraying an upbeat, God-fearing man selling the American Dream — affordable homes with financing and no credit checks.

“For people that can’t pay for a house all at once, we can finance you. Holy Ground Tiny Homes. Get yours today,” Sowash said in one TikTok video.

“Great house, available now, around $45,000 is what this goes for. Come in and take it away,” he said in another video, wearing a T-shirt adorned with “Faith Over Fear.”

Sowash said in an interview that he never set out to take advantage of homebuyers, but he’s not sure he’ll be able to build the 250 homes already paid for, in full or in part.

…A plaintiff in one of three lawsuits filed against Sowash said in an interview that the builder’s persuasiveness and Jesus-loving persona convinced her to part with her hard-earned cash.

“That’s part of what sold me. He’s charming, convincing and I believe in God,” said Clara Virginia Davis, 24, an elementary schoolteacher in upstate New York.

Continue reading “They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud – Christians: Please Learn the Red Flags, Research Cluster B Personality Disorders”

Number of ‘Lonely, Single’ Men is on the Rise as Women with Higher Dating Standards Look for Partners Who are ‘Emotionally Available, Good Communicators, and Share Similar Values’, Says Psychologist

Number of ‘Lonely, Single’ Men is on the Rise as Women with Higher Dating Standards Look for Partners Who are ‘Emotionally Available, Good Communicators, and Share Similar Values’, Says Psychologist

If any of the usual conservative commentators, male or female, get wind of this article by this psychologist, they will somehow try to pin the blame for more men going single longer – on all women, or on feminism.

I’m a conservative who doesn’t agree with progressive woke ideology, but I’ve noticed that other conservatives, despite claiming to believe in the concept of ‘personal responsibility’ never- the- less do not want to hold men accountable for the failures of men, whether on the individual level or men as a group.

Then, these same conservatives, who bemoan the “victimhood” mentality of progressivism, go on to depict all men as being poor, put upon victims.

If men of today are finding it more difficult to get dates, they need to take personal responsibility and work on improving themselves, rather than go the usual “blame feminism” or “blame all women” route, which is what they normally do.

I can see secular and Christian conservatives blaming women for this phenomenon – they are going to blame and shame women, and yell at women to lower their standards.

I find it absolutely refreshing to learn from these articles that women are now vastly out-numbered on dating sites.

I think I read the figure is 62%; that is, 62% of the participants on dating sites are male, the rest are female, so that women have the pick of the litter, LOL. This is a nice turn around.

This is the total opposite of churches.

Most churches have gender imbalances that favor single men – most churches have way more single women than single men. If you’re a single, practicing Christian woman that wants marriage, you need to dump the “equally yoked” rule and perhaps giving dating sites a second look.

Not that dating sites and apps are a god-send, because there are weirdos, rapists, and wackos on there, but you have more single men to choose from on dating sites than in many churches.

(Link):  The Rise of Lonely, Single Men by Greg Matos

Excerpts:

Dating apps and a drastically changing relationship landscape.

KEY POINTS

    • Dating opportunities for heterosexual men are diminishing as relationship standards rise.
    • Men represent approximately 62% of dating app users, lowering their chances for matches.
    • Men need to address skills deficits to meet healthier relationship expectations.

(Link): Number of ‘lonely, single’ men is on the rise as women with higher dating standards look for partners who are are ’emotionally available, good communicators, and share similar values’, says psychologist

August 15, 2022
by Jessica Green

Men are lonelier than ever as they struggle to meet the higher dating standards of modern women, according to a psychologist.

American psychologist Greg Matos wrote in a recent Psychology Today article that the current state of young and middle-aged men’s love lives shows they need to ‘address a skills deficit’.

He said: ‘I hear recurring dating themes from women between the ages of 25 and 45: They prefer men who are emotionally available, good communicators, and share similar values’.

Yet, he claimed he’s found that modern men’s biggest problem is communication, which is ‘the lifeblood of healthy, long-term love’.

It comes as data shows dating apps are overrun with men – who represent 62 per cent of users – and figures collected in the US in 2019 showed more men than women were single.

Dr Matos said society fails to teach young boys the importance of communication, which has resulted in growing numbers of unintentionally single men.

Continue reading “Number of ‘Lonely, Single’ Men is on the Rise as Women with Higher Dating Standards Look for Partners Who are ‘Emotionally Available, Good Communicators, and Share Similar Values’, Says Psychologist”

Guy Cheated On His Girlfriend After She Gave Him One Of Her Kidneys To Save His Life 

Guy Cheated On His Girlfriend After She Gave Him One Of Her Kidneys To Save His Life 

What an ingrate. What male entitlement. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a narcissist or sociopath.

I’d be seething with rage if I were her. – At least for awhile, but in situations like these, if you stay in that anger and rage, it can end up eating you up inside and you can waste precious time that way.

In the long run, it can be best for your mental health if, after you allow yourself time to grieve or feel enraged, to eventually let it go so you can move on.

It’s also stories like this one below that make me feel better about walking away from codependency a few years ago.

Back when I was a codependent, (because my mother and gender complementarian church I was raised in encouraged me to think that being a “godly woman” meant being a doormat, so they instilled all sorts of codependent behaviors into me and my thinking), I was taken advantage of constantly, by so many people – by my ex fiance, co-workers, family, friends.

I could totally see myself having done something like donate a kidney to a friend or boyfriend I knew years ago. These days? Nope. No way. Good luck with your dialysis!

The following story comes from the Bored Panda site, which has a bad habit of telling the main part of their news stories by embedding images (screen captures) from IG, Twitter, texts, and e-mails. I am not going to type all that, so if you want the full context of this story and see the comments this man and woman made to one another, click the link and view the screen caps on the page.

I think the guy in this story claimed to be a Christian – this is another strike against the Christian “equally yoked” rule. Your average Non-Christian guy is apt to treat you better than this so-called “Christian” one.

(Link): Guy Cheated On His Girlfriend After She Gave Him One Of Her Kidneys To Save His Life 

July 15, 2022

by Robertas Lisickis and Saulė Tolstych

… Donating an organ is considered one of the most altruistic things anyone could do, so you’d think there’d also be a high degree of gratitude in response, right?

Meet 30-year-old Colleen Le from Yorba Linda, California, with whom Bored Panda got in touch. Not too long ago, Colleen shared a video in satire form with the caption “excited my boyfriend gets a second chance at life after getting my kidney”. Plot twist, the last fraction of the second part of the video shows Colleen planking on the bed with the caption “cheats on me”.

Oof.

Well, there is context, so let’s rewind.

Continue reading “Guy Cheated On His Girlfriend After She Gave Him One Of Her Kidneys To Save His Life “

Married Father, Mayor of Town, and Prayer Leader of His Church, Arrested for Solicitation of a Child

Married Father, Mayor of Town, and Prayer Leader of His Church, Arrested for Solicitation of a Child

Contrary to what hyper- pro- marriage and hyper- pro- parenthood conservatives will tell you, being a spouse or a parent will not make you more godly, ethical, or loving than being single or childless (or childfree).

Not all self professing Christian men are decent – the guy in the story below is apparently a Christian who was a prayer leader for his men’s group at his church.

You’re better off being married to a  non-child-molesting atheist or other type of Non-Christian than marrying a pedophile Christian man.

(Link):  Source: Pilot Point Mayor Matt McIlravy arrested for online solicitation of a child

DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A source told CBS11 reporter JD Miles that Pilot Point’s new mayor, Matt McIlravy was arrested for online solicitation of a child, a second degree felony.

(Link): Texas mayor and teacher Matt McIlravy arrested for soliciting child online

By Jesse O’Neill
June 21, 2022

The mayor of a town in Texas was arrested for online solicitation of a child, a report said.

Pilot Point Mayor Matt McIlravy was charged with a second-degree felony for the offense, according to KTVT-TV.

The mayor, who is also a teacher, was busted by a Dallas Police undercover operation, the station said.mayorMatt2

McIlravy is a married father of two boys that works as a design engineer and also serves as a men’s prayer meeting leaderaccording to his government profile.

Continue reading “Married Father, Mayor of Town, and Prayer Leader of His Church, Arrested for Solicitation of a Child”

Pastor Who Resigned Over Adultery Accused of Taking Virginity of Purity Ring Wearing Teen Girl on His Office Floor

Pastor Who Resigned Over Adultery Accused of Taking Virginity of Purity Ring Wearing Teen Girl on His Office Floor

This news story is 50 levels of gross and terrible.

If you’ve visited this blog before, you should know the drill:

Being married and/or a parent, contrary to what many churches and socially conservative think tanks teach, is NOT a guarantee of making a person loving, ethical, godly, or responsible.

(Not that marriage or parenthood are horrible or wrong, but neither life station necessarily produces upstanding, loving, ethical citizens, either.)

Self professing Christian men fail so often, and sexually exploit so often, that churches need to start re-evaluating their “male headship” and “complementarian” teachings, because obviously, men are not fit to lead, and, the “Equally Yoked” rule is a waste of time (and quite possibly a misapplication of a Bible verse).

If you’re a single Christian woman who was raised (as I was) to believe in “Equally Yoked” (Christians should only marry other Christians), and that church would be a good, safe place to meet “Mr. Right,” this goes to show that you’d be better off chucking those teachings to the curb.

The professing Christian man you meet at your corner church is not necessarily going to be any more stand-up than the non-Christian Joe Blow you meet on Tinder or Match.

This pastor, or his church, mischaracterized statutory rape as being “adultery.” Churches really need to get on the ball about this – stop depicting statutory rape as being “adultery.” This was not a case of “adultery.” (Edit: The articles say that the woman’s age at the time – 16 – is legal. But the nature of it, the age gap – it looks like he exploited her.)

I think the pastor in this story was or has been married for years – this goes to show that the standard Christian advice to singles I used to see all the time that says you, the single, have to obtain some level of perfection or spirituality before God will permit you to have a spouse is false.

If God allows deviants like this pastor to get married, rest assured, He is probably not with-holding one from you because you don’t read the Bible often enough, or whatever.

(Link):  ‘I was just 16 when you took my virginity on your office floor!’ Astonishing moment Indiana woman, 43, stands up in church to accuse married pastor of grooming her as a teen – forcing him to ADMIT IT in front of stunned congregation

May 24, 2022
by Jennifer Smith

A 65-year-old Indiana pastor has stepped down from his role in the church after admitting he had an affair with a 16-year-old girl in front of his entire congregation. 

Pastor John Lowe II stepped down from the New Life Christian Church after being confronted on stage by Bobi Gephart, a 43-year-old woman who came forward with a microphone to tell their church in Warsaw, Indiana, how he’d groomed her as a teen, starting when she was 16 – the legal age of consent in the state.

…He begged for the church’s forgiveness, then received a standing ovation. 

Bobi then stormed towards the stage with her husband, Nate, to say it ‘was not just adultery’ because she was so young at the time. 

(Link): Pastor Who Resigned Over Adultery Accused of Taking Virginity of Purity Ring Wearing Teen Girl on His Office Floor.

By Leonardo Blair, Senior Features Reporter

May 23, 2022

A Warsaw, Indiana, pastor who drew a standing ovation from his congregation after telling them he was stepping down because he committed adultery with one person at least two decades ago drew their wrath minutes later after a woman tearfully alleged she was only 16 when the pastor took her virginity on his office floor while she sported a purity ring.

Pastor John Lowe II told his congregation at New Life Christian Church and World Outreach on Sunday that he needed to make the confession because it was the “biblical” thing to do, according to a (Link): Facebook Live broadcast shared by Maisey Cook.

[The pastor – Lowe – stood before his church during a service and confessed he had committed adultery years prior.]

…  He [Lowe] painted himself as a hypocrite who applied discipline to others for sexual failure while hiding his own.

He asked the church for their forgiveness and announced that he would step aside and face discipline from the church.

…Soon after he stepped down from the pulpit, a woman and her husband went to the pulpit to address the congregation. The woman said that what Lowe did was not just adultery but a crime because she was only 16 when he took her virginity in his office 27 years ago.

While the age of consent in Indiana is 16, a person who is at least the age of 18 in a position of supervision or trust that engages in any sexual activity with a child over the age of 16 but under the age of 18 commits child seduction, according to state law. …

Continue reading “Pastor Who Resigned Over Adultery Accused of Taking Virginity of Purity Ring Wearing Teen Girl on His Office Floor”

Donald Trump Critical Christianity Today Magazine Editor, Mark Galli, Accused of Sexual Harassment by Multiple Women, CT Magazine Allegedly Did Nothing About It

Donald Trump Critical Christianity Today Magazine Editor, Mark Galli, Accused of Sexual Harassment by Multiple Women, CT Magazine Allegedly Did Nothing About It 

Ah, yes. I’ve mentioned here and there on this blog that many progressives and liberals love to spend a lot of time criticizing evangelicals, Republicans, and Trump voters for not agreeing with or supporting left wing causes, they all hate Trump, so they demonize anyone (especially evangelicals) who voted for Trump, and they like to point at any Christian or conservative who’s been accused of sexual assault.

Here we have a case of an editor of a Christian publication who apparently not only heavily criticized Trump, Trump’s supporters, and criticized feminism (not that I agree with feminism on any and every point myself), but he was allegedly sexually harassing several women co-workers at Christianity Today magazine. Hypocritical!

It is so hypocritical how people on the left sexually harass people while claiming ALL evangelicals or ALL Republicans or ALL conservatives are sexual harassers or sexist (some are, yes, but not all).

The left – progressives, liberals, Democrats – has its OWN failures and problems, including with sexism.

While people on the right side of the political spectrum (of which I am one!) have their problem with drooling, knuckle-dragging sexists and the occasional pervert, SO TOO do the Trump-hating, evangelical-hating liberals, progressives, and Democrats.

Even the VERY SAME conservative- haters and Trump- haters who write impassioned editorials for Christian magazines criticizing behaviors of Trump, Trump voters, and conservatives, are themselves guilty of engaging in sexual assault, and/or some of the very same problems they criticize in others.

It’s more frustrating coming from progressives, Democrats, and liberals, though, since they are always mewling about how “anti sexism” they are. No, they’re not.

The very same guys – the conservative haters or Trump haters – writing these editorials are supposedly sexually harassing multiple women!

So spare me, you “Exvangelicals,” progressives, and conservative haters and Trump haters for your hypocritical sanctimony and outrage against anyone who disagrees with YOUR political stances.

This goes to say – yet again! – that while not every non-Christian man on the planet may be a prize, there’s nothing intrinsic in Christianity that makes a man (or not every man!) a ‘better catch’ for a single Christian woman.

You single Christian ladies that are still hanging on to the “equally yoked” rule in regards to dating and marriage are, in my estimation, wasting your time.

You have a supposed Christian man (working as an editor) at a Christian magazine who was allegedly sexually harassing numerous Christian woman, for pete’s sake!

This guy’s supposed faith in Christ means nothing – his profession of faith in Christ did not make him a better person – but some of you single Christian women who believe in the “equally yoked” rule may have been likely to date this sexist clown if he was single, dating, and matched with you on a dating app – while not realizing that he’s a pervert. Please think that over.

(Link): Two top ex-execs at Christianity Today sexually harassed staffers, magazine says

Excerpts:

Former advertising director and editor who authored anti-Trump editorial named

March 15, 2022
by Mark A. Kellner – The Washington Times – Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Two top executives of evangelical magazine Christianity Today committed “unchecked” sexual harassment of colleagues over the course of a dozen years, the publication said Tuesday.

Mark Galli, who was editor-in-chief of the magazine for seven years before his retirement in January 2020, was accused of multiple incidents of ”demeaning, inappropriate and offensive behavior,” in an online article by CT News Editor Daniel Silliman posted Tuesday.

In December 2019, Mr. Galli — a veteran of several editorial positions in his three decades at the Christian publisher — penned a widely noticed editorial condemning then-President Trump as unworthy of office.

…The editor cited a “stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence” on the part of Mr. Trump that would “crash down on the reputation of evangelical religion and on the world’s understanding of the gospel.”

…Olatokunbo Olawoye, former advertising director at the publication, was accused of imposing himself on female employees. Continue reading “Donald Trump Critical Christianity Today Magazine Editor, Mark Galli, Accused of Sexual Harassment by Multiple Women, CT Magazine Allegedly Did Nothing About It”

Why Are Most Christian Men Living Sexually Immoral Lifestyles? by J. S. Shelton

Why Are Most Christian Men Living Sexually Immoral Lifestyles? by J. S. Shelton

The “equally yoked” rule becomes even more irrelevant in regards to marriage when one considers that this article claims that over half of Christian men don’t see any thing wrong with pornography.

Hmm. Maybe Christians need to start pushing the propaganda to boys and men they used to aim at girls and women all the time: if you, as a single, engage in sexual sin (for the purposes of this post, that would be, specifically, looking at pornography), God will not bless you with a wonderful spouse, if you want to marry.

For years, Christians used to push this at girls and women: if you want God to send you a spouse at all, and a ‘quality’ one, you had better stay a virgin until your wedding night! Turn about is fair play. Time for Christians to start telling men, “If you use porn, God won’t send you a spouse!”

(Link): Why Are Most Christian Men Living Sexually Immoral Lifestyles? by J. S. Shelton

Excerpts:

Churches should be pushing the alarm button…not the snooze button! The sad reality is we are not hearing the alarm because most Christian men are in the clutches of this sin.

Barna Research Group and Josh McDowell Ministries commissioned a (Link): study found that the number of Christian men who view pornography nearly mirrors that of non-Christian men.

How can this be?

Continue reading “Why Are Most Christian Men Living Sexually Immoral Lifestyles? by J. S. Shelton”

Americans Increasingly Ditching Religious Marriage for Secular, Interfaith Relationships: Study

Americans Increasingly Ditching Religious Marriage for Secular, Interfaith Relationships: Study

Not only has there been a surge in editorials the last few weeks by conservative marriage-pushers beating young people over the head to marry and marry really young (I’ve not gotten around to addressing those articles and editorials)-

But I wouldn’t be surprised in the weeks to come if conservatives, both secular and Christian, don’t see this new study about interfaith marriages being on the rise, freak out, panic, and start publishing a lot of fear-mongering editorials or pod-casts guilt tripping or manipulating Christian singles into abiding by “equally yoked” and not even thinking about marrying a Non-Christian.

I have some more comments to make below these two links with excerpts:

(Link): Americans increasingly ditching religious marriages for secular, interfaith relationships: study

Excerpts:

by L. Blair
Feb 18, 2022

Fifty years ago, religious marriage ceremonies were the norm. Most people got married to someone who shared their faith, and just a small fraction of husbands and wives were in relationships where no one practiced a religion.

That trend, according to the latest American National Family Life Survey, is now on the decline as the influence of religion in society has been progressively fading.

…“Only 30% of Americans who were married within the past decade report having their ceremony in a church, house of worship or other religious location and officiated by a religious leader,” the study said.

Interfaith marriage — a union between people who have different religious traditions — has also grown increasingly common and make up 14% of all marriages. Another 14% of Americans are in a religious-secular marriage where one person does not identify with a faith tradition while the other does

Continue reading “Americans Increasingly Ditching Religious Marriage for Secular, Interfaith Relationships: Study”

What Should Christian Singles Know about Online Dating? by S. Bricker

What Should Christian Singles Know about Online Dating? by S. Bricker

As far as Christian dating advice goes, this (article below) isn’t all bad, but it’s pretty pedestrian stuff. If you’re an adult who’s been on the internet for a few years, there’s nothing ground-breaking here.

You really should already know all of the information it contains.

I have more to say about parts of this dating advice article further below:

(Link): What Should Christian Singles Know about Online Dating? by S. Bricker

Excerpts:

According to Pew Research, 12% of married couples in America found their spouse through online dating. While this percentage is not large, online dating has grown in recent years.

People can now easily browse and find compatible relationship matches with only a few clicks or swipes.

Many single Christians find the prospect of online dating appealing as a quick and effective way of finding potential marriage partners, especially when other avenues of finding a compatible match have been exhausted.

Despite the effortless quality of online dating websites and apps, Christian singles need to know that there is more to online dating than what people commonly assume.

Continue reading “What Should Christian Singles Know about Online Dating? by S. Bricker”

Hipster Megachurch in Shambles Over Pastor’s Alleged Affair by Emily Shugerman

Hipster Megachurch in Shambles Over Pastor’s Alleged Affair by Emily Shugerman

I actually blogged about this before, (Link): here.

If I am understanding the reportage correctly, this news story involves a married man who had an affair with a married woman. It’s so important to mention this, because a lot of people – I’d say maybe both in and out of the Christian culture – assume that SINLGE (un-married) adults “hit on” married people and entice them into affairs.

I’m an unmarried adult who is tired of that odious trope.

I periodically see news items about married people who have affairs with other married people, or married people who “hit on” single adults.

Also, if you’re a single Christian, and if you’re exposed to Christian teaching about dating and marriage which suggests that you have to achieve some kind of perfection, level of godliness, or whatever, before God will allow you to get married (I saw this sort of teaching from Christians in the 1980s and 1990s), news stories like this one demonstrates that no, God does not with-hold spouses from imperfect, flawed people.

If God permitted this clown to get married – this church pastor who committed adultery – he won’t withhold a spouse from you.

Also, marriage, contrary to what the “marriage pushers” in Christianity promote, does not always, or necessarily, make a person more ethical, loving, or responsible. If it did, this pastor douche would not have strayed from his wife, and the douche-ette he slept with would not have slept around on her spouse. But they both did. Which means, marriage did not magically conform them to some higher standard.

(Link): Hipster Megachurch in Shambles Over Pastor’s Alleged Affair

The drama has unfolded like a soap opera, with rumors, a parade of employee exits, and a suggestive videotape.

by Emily Shugerman

When volunteers at Venue Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, arrived at their pastor’s house last November, they were hoping to raise his spirits with a surprise visit.

Instead they got a shock: Pastor Tavner Smith was alone with a female church employee—she in a towel, he in his boxers.

The charismatic 41-year-old hurriedly explained that the two of them had been making chili and hot dogs and gotten food on their clothes, according to one volunteer who was present.

But, as the volunteer put it, “I don’t think none of us was that dumb.”

“If she dropped chili on her clothes, why are you in your boxers?” she recalled thinking. “Was y’all like, throwing chili at each other?”

For the volunteer, the scene confirmed something she had long suspected—that Smith, then married with three children, was secretly carrying on an affair with the employee, who was married to another church staffer.

Continue reading “Hipster Megachurch in Shambles Over Pastor’s Alleged Affair by Emily Shugerman”

Lundy Bancroft on Narcissists vs Abusers for The Audacious Life podcast

Lundy Bancroft on Narcissists vs Abusers for The Audacious Life podcast

The first half to two thirds of this video of what the speakers describe, how they describe the typical views of abusive men, is reminiscent of some Christian Gender Complementarians and their views, and what some complementarian adherents believe.

Especially if you are a Christian single woman who’s wanting to marry AND in particular you were raised by Christian parents or in a church that taught traditional gender roles (perhaps under the phrase or label of “gender complementarianism“) please pay special attention to the video below.

Under “gender complementarian” teachings (and just mainstream, evangelical or Baptist and Christian dating advice), Christian women have been taught to accept all sorts of toxic teachings and to accept on-going mistreatment from a spouse (and from other people in their lives).

Chances are good that if you’re a single Christian woman who was brought up to believe in gender complementarian teachings that you were heavily encouraged to adopt people pleasing or codependent behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes, which will make you attractive to abusers and people with personality disorders (many of whom can be abusive).

Additionally, if you do marry an abusive person (whether he is emotionally, sexually, verbally, or physically abusive) the majority of Christian churches and denominations teach women that divorce is not an option, not even in cases of abuse.

You (if you’re an abused wife asking a Christian for advice or help in regards to your marriage) will usually be told just to “submit more,” give your spouse more sex, and to pray about it – but none of those methods will change your spouse or cause him to stop abusing you.

There is nothing you can say or do that will get your husband to stop abusing you – (Link): nor is it your responsibility to try to fix or change your spouse in the first place.

You have to go into a marriage to a self professing Christian man knowing before-hand  that if your spouse turns abusive, that you must eventually divorce the guy, and you most likely won’t get any help or encouragement in that area from your church, church group, church friends, or pastor.

Most churches and pastors will shame, pressure, and guilt trip an abused wife to stay in the abusive marriage at all costs, because they value the institution of marriage above the safety and mental health of the abused wife.

If you’re a Christian woman in an abusive marriage, your church, church friends, and your preacher will never, ever give you permission to divorce – but you don’t need their permission or approval – you just need your own. It’s your life, not theirs.

(Link – to video on You Tube): Lundy Bancroft on Narcissists vs Abusers for The Audacious Life podcast

Excerpts, video description (from text below the video on the You Tube page):

I’m happy to interview Lundy Bancroft, author, and expert on male abuse behaviors and tactics.

Lundy has 30 years experience working in the field of abuse. His book “Why Does He Do That” is a one of the first I read and it helped tremendously.

Lundy is a lifelong advocate for the safety of women and children and it shines through in his books. You may be wondering whether you’re in a relationship with a Narcissist or an Abuser or someone who’s both.

Continue reading “Lundy Bancroft on Narcissists vs Abusers for The Audacious Life podcast”

Staffers Quit Venue Church After Confronting Pastor With Allegations of Affair, Misconduct by L. Blair

Staffers Quit Venue Church After Confronting Pastor With Allegations of Affair, Misconduct

(Link): Staffers Quit Venue Church After Confronting Pastor With Allegations of Affair, Misconduct

Dec 23, 2021
by Leonardo Blair

At least eight employees of Venue Church, a fast-growing congregation based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have reportedly quit their jobs over alleged misconduct by Pastor Tavner Smith, who is allegedly shown kissing a woman who is not his wife in a video that recently surfaced online.

Last Friday afternoon, staff and volunteers confronted Smith about the video recorded in North Georgia, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

Two former employees and four volunteers or members previously connected to the church told the newspaper that the eight employees quit after confronting the pastor about a rumored affair with a church employee.

Continue reading “Staffers Quit Venue Church After Confronting Pastor With Allegations of Affair, Misconduct by L. Blair”