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

Family as “The” Backbone of Society?

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

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

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

The fact is some people do not HAVE families.

Some people never had kids and their spouse is dead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives

Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives

Radical Christianity: what an annoying trend. I hope it dies a quick death. We have pastors who are telling Christians unless they intentionally seek out to live in dire poverty or move to Africa to hand out Gospel tracts, they are not being “radical” enough for Jesus, they are taking Jesus for granted, or are being selfish.

I touched on this issue briefly in regards to preacher Kyle Idleman of “Not A Fan” book and television show fame in (Link): this post (under the heading “Guilt Trips or Condemnation For Not Being Super Christian”).

I have since come across a few web pages and radio shows about it. Here they are:

(Link): Here Come the Radicals!

by Matthew Lee Anderson

David Platt, Francis Chan, Shane Claiborne, and now Kyle Idleman are dominating the Christian best-seller lists by attacking our comfortable Christianity. But is ‘radical faith’ enough?

Online radio show, about one third into the program (you’ll have to sit through 15 to 25 minutes of the host talking about some guy named William Tapley before getting to the specific segment, called “The New Legalism“):

(Link): Radio Show: The New Legalism (from Fighting For the Faith, A Pirate Christian Radio Production)

(Link): The New Legalism, by Anthony Bradley

How the push to be ‘radical’ and ‘missional’ discourages ordinary people in ordinary places from doing ordinary things to the glory of God

Excerpts:

MISSIONAL NARCISSISM

There are many churches that are committed to being what is called missional. This term is used to describe a church community where people see themselves as missionaries in local communities.

A missional church has been defined, as “a theologically formed, Gospel-centered, Spirit-empowered, united community of believers who seek to faithfully incarnate the purposes of Christ for the glory of God,” says Scott Thomas of the Acts 29 Network.

The problem is that this push for local missionaries coincided with the narcissism epidemic we are facing in America, especially with the millennial generation. As a result, living out one’s faith became narrowly celebratory only when done in a unique and special way, a “missional” way.

Getting married and having children early, getting a job, saving and investing, being a good citizen, loving one’s neighbor, and the like, no longer qualify as virtuous. One has to be involved in arts and social justice activities—even if justice is pursued without sound economics or social teaching. I actually know of a couple who were being so “missional” they decided to not procreate for the sake of taking care of orphans.

Excerpts from “Here Come The Radicals” by Matthew Lee Anderson:

The five components of “the Radical Experiment” may not seem that radical; they’re more like basic Christian discipleship. But they struck a nerve at the church and beyond. Forty families and singles committed to moving into a disadvantaged area of Birmingham. As one attendee told me, the news created something of a reputation for the church. “People still ask me,” she said, “whether I go to that church where people are moving into the most dangerous parts of Birmingham.” And the message spread well beyond the city of 1 million. After Platt released Radical in May 2010, it spent more than two years on The New York Times advice best-seller list. Three years later, it’s still on CBA’S (formerly Christian Booksellers Association) best-seller list.

…. At the heart of Platt’s message is his claim that we mistakenly turn the “radical Jesus of the Bible … into the comfortable Jesus of 21st-century American culture.”

He warns that the culture of “self-advancement, self-esteem, and self-sufficiency” and our “individualism, materialism, and universalism” have neutered American Christians’ witness and blinded us to widespread global poverty, an orphan crisis, and the massive number of those who still have never heard of Jesus.

Continue reading “Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives”

Added Blogroll – A few words about the sites I’m linking to

Added Blogroll – A Word About the Sites I Am Currently Linking To on my Blogroll

I added a blogroll to my blog a day ago.

Word Press won’t let me add a link to this site for some reason:

(Link): World – News Site from a Christian View

Please understand I am not always in agreement with all sources I link to, and that includes links in my blog roll.

I have currently linked to the Christian Pirate Radio Show (aka “Fighting for the Faith” blog, whose host is Chris R.), and the Janet Mefferd Radio Show.

I do not agree with Mefferd on some topics. She is a gender complementarian – I am not.

Mefferd tends to fret a bit too much over topics such as abortion, homosexual marriage, the deterioration of marriage (i.e., people delaying marriage) for my taste. These topics come up regularly on her radio show.

I do not support homosexuality, homosexual marriage, or abortion, but, it is now my view that many other Christians need to spend more time “lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness.”

Get out there and help people, instead of ranting endlessly on radio, blogs, in books, and on TV shows, about how evil abortion is etc. and so on.

As far as the Pirate Radio show. I have so far listened to only about 6 or 7 of show host Chris R’s broadcasts. His shows are quite long. I will be listening to more in the future.

I have not confirmed it yet, but I take it that Chris R (the Pirate Show host) is also a gender complementarian (again, I am not).

While I am in agreement with Chris R. on some issues (such as: it’s not entirely good or proper for preachers to defer from the written word of God to make all sermons about themselves, or to turn all sermons into stand-up comedy routines; many mega church pastors are greedy and seeking to fleece people out of their money; preacher Ed Young Jr is shallow and his “Sexperiment” was tacky; and Mark Driscoll is a weirdo who needs to repent), I never- the- less depart with Chris R. on some points.

Chris R., in my view, is a bit of a “hyper- sola- scriptura-ist,” as many Calvinist types are (I assume Chris R. is Calvinist / Reformed).

If I remain a Christian (I have been flirting with agnosticism lately), yes, I do believe Christians should not accept or embrace doctrine that cannot be backed up by the written Word. I am there with Chris R. and guys like him on that one.

However, I believe many hypers (hyper – sola scriptura-ists) unnecessarily toss out any and every Christian report of hearing from God outside the Bible (i.e., the hypers do not accept “personal experience” or inward leading of the Holy Spirit).

I have discussed my views about sola scriptura vs personal experience a little bit (Link): here.

(In short, I believe God can and does communicate with believers outside the Bible today, but of course, if someone’s experience, if what they claim to hear from God, obviously contradicts the written word, their testimony should be rejected.)

The “hypers” seem to feel the Holy Spirit does not work in and through believers today, that we are to use the Bible only as a means of communication from God, or God limits His communication through the Bible alone (this is also a topic that comes up with various guests on the Janet Mefferd Radio show).

Out of the other Christian Pirate Radio programs I’ve listened to thus far, I would say there was one where the host was nit-picking the “Bible” mini-series, which was a turn of for me (see this post).

Not that I’m a huge fan of the Bible mini-series – I was rather “meh” about it, but I can’t understand the extreme critical spirit of the show by some Christians.

Continue reading “Added Blogroll – A few words about the sites I’m linking to”

Getting Married Does Not Necessarily Guarantee Frequent Hot Satisfying Sexy Sex – Husband is Sexless for Eight Years (article)

Getting Married Does Not Necessarily Guarantee Frequent Hot Satisfying Sexy Sex – Husband is Sexless for Eight Years (article)

Apparently, the problem of married people wanting sex but not getting any -because their spouses don’t want to have sex- is common enough that books have been written about the subject, including one called “The Sex-Starved Marriage” by M. Davis.

There are several different fairy tales conservative Christians hand out to Christian pre- teens and young adults to encourage them to refrain from fornicating: tell them to just hold on until they get married to have sex, or, that thought combined with the twist, “just wait until you get married, and the sex will be mind blowing!”

What happens when one partner in marriage, due to low libido, past sexual abuse, being physically exhausted, or just plain old disinterested in sex doesn’t “put out” as often as the other partner would prefer? Why, you wind up with a sex-less (or a non-plentiful sex life, at least possibly from the perspective of one spouse).

Here is an advice column that discusses the situation where a married man is not having sex at all:

Ask Amy: Sexless marriage lacking a connection

Ask Amy Man in Sexless Marriage

  • DEAR AMY: I’m 56 years old. I’ve been married for more than 20 years, and we haven’t made love in more than eight years. Is our sex life over forever?
  • ‘ve brought this up with my wife only five or six times in the last eight years, and it’s always the same. She says we’re not connected, not communicating. If only we were connected more, she says. What does that mean? One time we took a two-hour hike together. She felt ever so slightly more connected to me that day but not enough for sex.
  • I’m like a pot of boiling pasta on the stove, boiling over every year or so, then the heat is turned down, and I find myself simmering instead.
  • I love my wife. I think she’s attractive and I am in love with her. She’s put on weight in the last 20 years, and I know it bothers her, but I think she’s pretty, beautiful and sexy.
  • Sex is one of the only ways I know to show my love and to show that I am loved. I do get to demonstrate my love in other ways, like making her tea when she’s sick or buying her jewelry. I’m a good husband. We share kitchen chores and carpooling. We are as equal as anyone in this department. And I never leave the seat up!
  • We haven’t even kissed more than a quick peck at the departure gate at the airport or when I give her jewelry. What I’d give for a 10-minute kissing session — she’s such a good kisser.
  • I cannot believe that our sex life is over. It breaks my heart.[Signed,] — Sad

So much for the evangelical, Southern Baptist, and fundamentalist Christian promise to all single people that hot sexy sex is guaranteed in marriage!
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Related posts:

(Link): Jason the Christian’s Sexless Marriage – Christians promise hot regular steamy married sex but it isn’t true

(Link): Newlywed Husband Divorces His Wife Hours After the Ceremony Because She Was Too Busy Texting Her Friends to Have Sex on Their Wedding Night

(Link): Why Doesn’t Your Husband Want to Have Sex? by E. Bernstein

 

Hosts on Vince Coakley Radio Program Discuss Churches That Make Family / Marriage Into Idols and Make Unmarried People Feel Excluded

Hosts on Vince Coakley Radio Program Discuss Churches That Make Family / Marriage Into Idols and Make Unmarried People Feel Excluded

(Link): Vince Coakley Radio Program SGM Detox Episode #4: Lifestyle Legalism – by kingdomtalkerin Religion on Sat, Mar 9, 2013

On the following radio show, in addition to discussing…

  • spiritual abuse;
  • how gender complementarian churches are SEXIST and harm women (and marriages);
  • and in addition to discussing problems with home schooling,
  • how some churches are commanding women to refrain from using birth control / Quiverfull / family planning;
  • courtship approach to finding a mate
  • modesty teachings;
  • – both hosts mention that some churches have turned the family into an idol which makes people feel excluded.

    The discussion about how churches turn marriage/family into an idol starts at the 8:50 mark, and the specific comment about marriage/families being an idol in some churches is around the 9:40 mark:

    (Link): Vince Coakley Radio Program SGM Detox Episode #4: Lifestyle Legalism – by kingdomtalkerin Religion on Sat, Mar 9, 2013

    The hosts also discuss how many churches (if they aren’t ignoring singles) mis-use them, take advantage of them, use them as free babysitting service, etc, how they make feel singles bad with their Valentine’s Day parties, etc.

    PREACH IT! PREACH IT! PREACH IT!!!!!

    *applause applause applause*

    DISCLAIMER:

    While on the one hand, some churches hold marriage (and parenting up) to the point they turn it into an idol, there are some Christians out there (even the same ones who idolize it), who tell Christians that wanting to get married means you have made marriage into and idol. That is incorrect.
    It is NOT wrong, selfish, or sinful to DESIRE MARRIAGE for yourself and to PURSUE IT. Desiring marriage does NOT equate to making it in to an idol.

    TBN, Kirk Cameron, and Misplaced Over- Concern On Marriage – What About the Unmarried?

    TBN, Kirk Cameron, and Misplaced Over- Concern On Marriage – What About the Unmarried?

    I am watching TBN’s “Praise the Lord” right now. It’s hosted by Kirk Cameron.

    Cameron is interviewing a young lady about the topic of marriage.

    They are discussing how American society should define marriage.

    In so doing, the lady guest (whose name I don’t know – the male guest sitting next to her has the last name “Stanley”), has made several observations I find dubious.

    She comments that marriage is the building block of culture, and no other relationship binds a man and woman together like marriage can.

    Putting that aside for the moment, why do these Christian talking heads not recognize the huge problem of protracted, unwanted singleness among Christian women? (See this link for more.)

    When is Kirk Cameron going to do a show discussing the huge number of conservative Christian women who desire marriage but who are remaining single past their 30s and 40s?

    Why is all the focus and alarm by Christians on so-called attacks on marriage by homosexual activists and liberals? Why are they not as concerned that Christian women who want marriage (and some want children) are more and more often arriving in their 40s husband-less and childless?

    Continue reading “TBN, Kirk Cameron, and Misplaced Over- Concern On Marriage – What About the Unmarried?”

    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.

    Book: ‘Feminine By Design’ – Married People (supposedly) Fully Reflect God – Singles Do Not / When Christianity Looks More Like Islam and Less Like Christ

    Book: ‘Feminine By Design’ – Married People (supposedly) Fully Reflect God – Singles Do Not (?) / When Christianity Looks More Like Islam and Less Like Christ
    ——————————-
    –REMINDER TO MEN WHO MAY BE READING THIS POST–

    As a reminder, I’d like to mention to any un-married men who may be reading this:
    Arguments and teachings used by ‘biblical gender complementarians,’ who believe it is wrong for a woman to lead or teach men, and who believe that husbands are in authority over their wives, use the same arguments and pre-suppositions about a woman’s role in life, to teach that un-married men are not as fully “Christian” or as “mature” as married men are, and that un-married men are not as fully in God’s image as married men are.
    This is not just a “woman’s issue.”

    ——————————-
    –Book: FEMININE BY DESIGN, BY JOHN GARR–

    I saw a male author, John. D. Garr, interviewed by a Jewish believer in Jesus on his show. I think the show is called “Jewish Voice” or “Believer’s Voice.”

    The book by Garr is entitled “Feminine By Design: The God-Fashioned Woman.” Garr claims to uncover God’s true meaning for women by going back to and re-examining the Old Testament.

    I do not own a copy of this book, nor have I read it, but I would like to.

    I did watch the last several moments of the interview with Garr by the Jewish host, so I heard some of Garr’s views about women and what he discusses in the book.

    I always get a little nervous when a male author writes about women, or opines about them, especially when he claims to be Christian (or a “believer in Jesus”) and is discussing his views about why and how he believes God created females.

    In my previous post, I touched on the fact that more extreme elements of Christian conservatives (e.g., the Christian fertility cults such as “Quiverfull,” the Rconstructionists, etc) are now teaching that a lone Christian, a Christian who is un-married, does not reflect God’s image. (These views also seem to be permeating into more “normal,” less extremist Christian groups, such as the Neo-Calvinist biblical gender complementarians).

    To them, an un-married man is not a man. An un-married woman is not a woman.

    Both un married males and females are considered to be “less than” their married counterparts, not fully human, and not fully made in God’s image.

    (More on this point in a moment.)

    In this interview, Garr used terms or concepts that raised red flags of concern with me, such as “complements” or “God’s role(s) for women.”

    In the portion of the interview I saw, Garr mentioned that he thinks God created women with an innate sense of modesty and beauty.

    What about all the males who also have an “innate sense of beauty?” (And why is discussion of “modesty” among Christians almost always considered a female-only concern?)

    As far as males appreciating beauty, or having an innate appreciation thereof, there are homo- and hetero- sexual males, both Christian and Non Christian, who appreciate sun-sets, flowers, nature, and who work as artists, photographers, interior designers, fashion designers, and sculptors and painters.

    I do agree that secular culture goes way too far in dictating to American women that the “normal” or supposedly “empowering” thing to do is to behave like your average, vulgar, promiscuous, American secular male, and that this is not necessarily a good thing. I agree with Garr on that.

    However, whenever a Christian man starts throwing out terms like “complementary” (as in women supposedly “complement” men, what qualities men lack, women tend to possess and vice versa), and when a religious male begins tossing out terms such as “modesty,” particularly in regards to discussion of gender, I assume he’s a “biblical gender complementarian” which is just as, if not, more dangerous than secular messages aimed at women.

    At least most secular women know they can pick and choose which messages they can accept and reject from secular media.

    Within Christianity, though, females are taught from a young age by Christian authors, parents, and pastors that they have no choice:
    if God says to do or believe “X” in the Bible, and you are a good Christian girl who sincerely tries to please God, then you have no choice but to believe and do “X.”
    –Please click on the “Read More” link to read the rest of the post–

    Continue reading “Book: ‘Feminine By Design’ – Married People (supposedly) Fully Reflect God – Singles Do Not / When Christianity Looks More Like Islam and Less Like Christ”

    Bizarro Video By Bizarro Bearded Guy Giving Mostly Bad Advice to Christian Singles

    Let’s hear it for insomnia! Here’s another 2:00 AM post.

    Bizarro Video By Bizarro Bearded Guy Giving Mostly Bad Advice to Christian Singles

    WTH is this?-

    Video: (Link): Christian singles, beware of divorce and remarriage adultery

    On the plus side, he did offer the standard advice that Christian singles need to look for more in a mate than lots of money or good looks, but that was one of the few sensible things he said in the video.

    Granted, I’m not totally awake as I’m watching this video, but the guy in the video spends the first 2 minutes apparently saying if you’re a Christian but you marry a Non-Christian, you will go to Hell- from sheer fact of marrying an unbeliever.

    This host guy in the video must be reading a different Bible from me, but then, I think this is the same kook that has the ‘evangelicaloutreach’ site that teaches the heresy known as “Conditional Security.”

    He’s been on the web for years, sending out lots of e-mails and letters to preachers who teach OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved) telling them they are going to Hell, and anyone who believe in OSAS is going to Hell. It’s his hobby horse.

    He says that having sex outside of marriage can “lead you on the road to Hell” or it will put you in Hell. I don’t see that teaching in the Bible. There is some line in the Bible about “adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God” etc, but I take it that it does not apply to those who accepted Christ.

    If anything, and as I have written before on this blog, God seems to ignore or even bless Christians who have sex outside of marriage, not condemn them for it, which makes me wonder why God bothers to say he’s against fornication in the Bible.

    Video Host Guy (aka Weird Beard Dude) says not to marry Christians who don’t believe correct doctrine – this includes Christians who believe in Eternal Security. Hmm. I have always believed in Eternal Security (or, more accurately OSAS, Once Saved Always Saved). (Video Host Guy believes in the false teaching of “Conditional Security.”)

    This guy is a wacko, and has too many rules about whom to marry.
    Continue reading “Bizarro Video By Bizarro Bearded Guy Giving Mostly Bad Advice to Christian Singles”

    The Annoying, Weird, Sexist Preoccupation by Christian Males with Female Looks and Sexuality

    The Annoying, Weird, Sexist Preoccupation by Many Christian Males with Female Looks and Sexuality

    (Abbreviation: “Chr” = Christian or Christianity – you can figure out which by the context)

    I touched on this topic in (LINK): my last post.

    —RUTH AND BOAZ–

    I was watching Christian author Laurie Cole interviewed on a Chr. television show, and she mentioned how the Bible character Boaz, an unmarried man, must have noticed Ruth’s “godly character,” and that is what attracted him to her.

    I rolled my eyes when I heard that remark by Cole’s. Cole may be right about that view, but it’s not the norm in most of contemporary American Christianity.

    Sad to say, most Christian males are just as shallow, fixated upon, and judgmental about a female’s physical appearance as most secular males are.

    This is why I laughed when Cole seemed to intimate during the interview, after she talked about Boaz being attracted to Ruth for Ruth’s “godly character,” that a young, unmarried Christian woman should rest assured that she can attract a Christian man to marriage who also has godly character.

    From what I have seen on blogs, books, and forums, most Christian males, even the (I’m going to be blunt) physically ugly and fat ones over the age of 35 (the ones who post their photos, or who I have seen personally in singles classes at churches), all feel entitled to a stick-thin, 25- year- old- movie star Megan Fox clone.

    Further, many Christian pastors and male bloggers coddle such men in this erroneous thinking and reassure such Chr. men that this entitlement mentality and fixation on female youth and beauty is biblical, acceptable, okay, and normal.

    (See, for instance (Link): this post (discusses Pat Robertson and Driscoll), (Link): this post (Christians marketing beauty products to women) and (Link): this post (Christians send conflicting messages about physical appearance to women).)

    I have seen a smattering of blog posts over the years by married Christian males who chastise Chr. men over this undue emphasis and desire for young and hot female wives, and stress that men need to be considering the woman’s character and commitment to God, not just looks. Good for them, I say, but this sort of admonishment is pretty rare.

    My own personal view on looks: physical appearance does matter.

    But looks matter to both genders (most women would prefer to date/marry a good looking man), looks don’t just matter to men only (more on that point in a future post), but physical appearance should not be one’s primary or only criteria in selecting dates or a marriage partner.

    —MOST MALE CHRISTIAN LEADERS PERPETUATE THE UNBIBLICAL, SEXIST HABIT OF MEN TO VALUE A WOMAN’S LOOKS ABOVE ALL ELSE, DO NOT HOLD MEN ACCOUNTABLE / CORRECT THEM —

    For a lot of Christian men, female looks remain top, or sole, criteria – and they are not corrected on this thinking from the pulpits or in Christian material.

    If anything, most Christians encourage Christian males to keep thinking this way.

    As a matter of fact, much Christian preaching and dating advice (usually by males, but on occasion, by Christian females who sell out their own gender) push Chr. women as young as 15 years of age, to diet and look pretty; they stress to Christian females that their value remains in what they look like – not in their brains, talents, or that God loves them.

    Continue reading “The Annoying, Weird, Sexist Preoccupation by Christian Males with Female Looks and Sexuality”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    —- ANTI UNMARRIED STEREOTYPE

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

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

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

    —- END Discussion of ANTI UNMARRIED STEREOTYPE

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

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

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

    The Wartburg Watch Blog – YEC, Calvinists, Gender Roles etc

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

    I found a blog called “The Wartburg Watch” about a year ago while doing a web search on some topic or another, and then forgot about it, until I found it again about a week ago.

    Here is the link to the Wartburg Watch blog:

    The Wartburg Watch

    In this post, I discuss (sometimes only very briefly), Reformed Theology (Calvinism), gender roles (complementarianism), Young Earth Creationism, Christian speaker Beth Moore, New Evangelicalism (i.e., how important is “secondary doctrine”), spiritual abuse in churches, and other subjects, and how they are addressed at the WW blog.

    Areas of Agreement

    I do agree with many of the positions taken on the blog by Dee and Deb, who started the blog.

    I agree with them on many of the topics they post about, such as authoritarianism and Neo-Calvinism are problematic in Christianity; that the very un-loving tone Christians take towards others can at times cause other Christians to walk away from the Christian faith; and that patriarchy and gender complementarianism are unbiblical and sexist teachings that are doing damage to many women and to the doctrine of the Trinity.

    I also agree, to a point, with the blog owners that some Christians wrongly make issues that most would consider secondary into primary- level concerns, which can lead to needless divisions among Christians. (On the other hand, I sometimes get a little bit nervous by Christians who start saying love always trumps doctrine).

    The blog owners are also very concerned about spiritual abuse in churches and how to prevent or rectify it, and they are also rightly concerned with the sexual abuse of children by pastors and priests.

    So on those fronts, I do recommend their blog.

    Areas of Disagreement

    I do however, have one or two concerns or disagreements with the ladies behind that blog.

    Deb and Dee seem concerned that Christians should be respectful and loving towards other Christians, even when disagreeing on secondary issues – which is a fine and laudable goal.

    Young Earth Creationism

    However, I don’t see them fully demonstrating that philosophy in regards to secondary issues such as YEC (Young Earth Creationism).

    Repeatedly at their blog, I see much disdain for YEC. And I don’t pick up that the disdain is due to their assertion that some YECs are trying to push its relevance.

    They claim that some YEC advocates conflate YEC with salvation or the Gospel itself, which I have not seen (though I am not denying that some YECs may do this, but I don’t think it’s as rampant as they make it appear – I have never personally seen or read of an occasion of a YEC saying “Agreement with YEC = necessary for salvation”).

    About the only name I have seen them cite as far as YECs, especially famous YECs, who elevate YEC to salvation-level proportions is Ken Ham. (Ham’s site, Answers Outreach)

    I’ve read Ham’s material before and have seen him interviewed on TV shows about his views on evolution and creation.

    I have personally not seen Ham equate YEC to the Gospel itself.

    I have only seen Ham make an argument along the lines that questioning YEC (which usually involves denying a literal interpretation of the Bible and/or allowing a secular / naturalistic-materialistic worldview to color one’s reading of the Bible, including the book of Genesis) can lead people (young people in particular, who are immersed with secular views on evolution during school and college) to question other portions of the Bible.

    That is, rejecting a literal, six- day creation interpretation in turn can, or may, ultimately lead them to question if the Gospel is true and accurate, or cause them to wonder if other aspects of the Bible are true.

    I think Ham actually has a decent and legitimate point there, and I don’t see that as necessarily “equating YEC to the Gospel,” or to making a belief in it a requirement for salvation.

    In one thread on one blog page at Wartburg Watch, one of the blog owners seemed to ridicule or mock YEC Christians who believe that dinosaurs may have existed at the time of Noah and that dinosaurs were led on to Noah’s Ark, or that this could have been a possibility.

    This is not the specific thread I am thinking of, but is close to it in content and tone:

    The Fred Principle Fundamental Evangelicals Rejecting Reason (Wartburg Watch blog post)

    As a YEC, I and other YECs do not “reject science,” we do not “reject reason,” and we are not “anti science,” as we are so often depicted as (including in the Wartburg Watch post above, sadly).

    Most of us YECs merely disagree with other people over scientific topics, or how to approach scientific topics.

    Disagreeing with someone else on the topic of evolution or the age of the earth does not mean we YECs are “anti science” or “anti reason.” To keep saying we YECs are “anti science” is a strawman and is mischaracterizing our views and beliefs.

    In the discussion on YEC, one comment from the Wartburg Watch says (which is again at this blog page):

    “No matter what the anointed would have us believe, the age of the earth, complementarianism, the size of our church, and the governing structure of the church are not primary issues. Folks, we have been given a brain. We need to use it.”

    I do not believe that the earth is millions or billions of years old or that God used evolution to create and change life forms.

    From this blog person’s comments at Wartburg Watch, one would assume that those who do not agree that the earth is millions/billions of years old have not been given brains or do not use their brains. I’m unsure if the bloggers mean that, or if it was an unfortunate choice of words.

    (I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some Christian Old Earth advocates and believers of theistic evolution who make the age of the earth or evolution a primary issue, who tell YECs they are unsaved and going to hell.)

    This comment is from a blog owner of Wartburg Watch (at the same page)…

    “So what was his [the YEC person] solution [when confronted with material that disagreed with YEC views]? He refused to read anything more because it challenged him to the core. He said he would choose to believe Young Earth in spite of the evidence because ‘he couldn’t take it.'”

    …Was somewhat uncharitable. Not all YECs are “afraid” to look at the opposition’s view points nor do all YEC advocates recoil in horror, in disbelief, or go into denial after having read work critical of YEC views.

    I have read arguments for both sides of the evolution and age of Earth debates in the past, and I remain a YEC.

    I was subjected to years of secular macro-evolution education in public schools and a bit in college and was told as a student that the earth is millions and millions of years old, but I still remain unconvinced for old-earth or macro evolution beliefs.

    I have listened to Christian scientific personality Hugh Ross, who believes in theistic evolution (or some variety of it) and in an old earth, many times on Christian shows over the past fifteen years, arguing in favor of an old earth view (Hugh Ross’ site, Reasons To Believe).

    Ross seems like a very nice man (and very intelligent, too – though he can, in my view, get a bit prickly or condescending at times when debating YECs), and I have no doubt he believes in Jesus as much as I do, but I disagree with him on these particular issues.

    I did not find the “old earth” arguments, or arguments in favor of evolution, by Ross or by other Christians, journals, blogs, or TV shows I’ve read or watched compelling, nor was I convinced by secular sources who argue for old earth and for Darwinism.

    I am college-educated and made mostly straight A’s while in college, so I am not a hick or a dummy. I made a “B” in a math class (college algebra), a “B” in one science class, and a “C” in one science lab course – everything else, I got an “A” (including one or two other college- level science courses).

    I have read material that questions and criticizes the YEC and Intelligent Design view, both by Christians (who believe in theistic evolution and an old age of the earth view) and by atheists – and I am still a YEC.

    There seems to be a belief held (and it is condescending), by Old Age proponents, that if only a YEC is confronted with criticisms of YECism by old-earth proponents, we will abandon our views of YEC, because, by golly, Fact, Science!, and Truth are so obviously on the side of the intelligent, educated, old-earth proponents…

    And that further, it seems there is also a belief, or attitude, that simple-minded, doofus, red-neck, inbred, wrongly- paranoid- of- liberal- tinged public school system education Young Earth Creationists (who also watch NASCAR, marry their first cousins, have only one tooth, and keep broken washing machines on their front lawns, next to the pink, plastic flamingos) simply cannot challenge or refute anti-YEC teachings, or we are so weak minded, we will faint upon hearing them.

    If the situation about the origins of life, creation of the earth and of mankind were as simple as all that, there would not be an old-earth / young-earth / evolution debate at all; all Christians would have converted to old-earth / theistic evolution perspectives many years ago. Obviously both sides have excellent points, intelligent people, and facts to back up their positions.

    Dee and Deb of the Wartburg Watch blog may not be questioning the salvation of a Christian who believes dinosaurs co-existed with Noah, but in my view, it is no less alienating, or uncharitable to imply people who do believe that way are rubes, out- of- touch, un-scientific, anti reason, ignorant, or that all YECs everywhere equate YEC to the Gospel – and I do pick up that tone in some of the posts at the WW blog on this issue. I find that baffling, since both ladies usually seem very sensitive to other people’s feelings and concerns.

    I am a YEC myself. I do not believe a person has to be YEC or agree with it to “be saved.” (Click the “more” link below to read the remainder of this post…)

    Continue reading “The Wartburg Watch Blog – YEC, Calvinists, Gender Roles etc”