Did Gay Marriage Provoke A Conversation About No Marriage At All? (editorial)

Did Gay Marriage Provoke A Conversation About No Marriage At All?

The link to the editorials are farther below. I wanted to take this moment to remind folks of something I think I’ve blogged about here before (well, it’s crossed my mind, though I don’t know if I’ve typed it up).

When Christians drop the ball on HETERO celibate adult singles, and they really, really have, much to their shame, it creates this dynamic for it to make the church wide open to the homosexual agenda.

If Christians stopped portraying hetero marriage as the one and only thing that makes a person a true adult, or godly person, and if they actually acted like singles are equal to married people, and that there is nothing shameful about being single…

If Christian preachers and culture stopped with the wrong assumption that sex is such a powerful urge that NOBODY can resist it past the age of 25 or 30, this would really make it easier to cut down on the amount of militant homosexual attacks made in Christianity today.

It would also, I suspect, serve as a means of encouragement for any Christian who is struggling to remain celibate despite having SSA or homosexual urges.

Instead of holding older (older being ‘past the age of 25 or 30,’ I do not mean to imply senior citizens) Christian virgins up as examples worthy to emulate, many times, Christian culture either ignores them, or mocks them and blames them for failing to marry and reproduce, never mind that getting married and/or having children are not commanded of believers in the New Testament.

Here are links to stories that discuss how discussions on legalization of homosexual marriage is causing some people to question marriage altogether (even homosexuals).

(Link): Gay Couples Choosing to Say “I Don’t”

(Link): Did Gay Marriage Provoke A Conversation About No Marriage At All?

Excerpts from (Link): Gay Couples Choosing to Say “I Don’t”

    By CARA BUCKLEY
    Published: October 25, 2013

    … They are not unique. Now that same-sex couples in 14 states have all the rights and responsibilities of straight married couples, gay couples are rushing to the altar, right? Not exactly. Plenty of gay couples do not want to marry, and their reasons are as complex — and personal — as any decision to wed.

    For some, marriage is an outdated institution, one that forces same-sex couples into the mainstream. For others, marriage imposes financial burdens and legal entanglements. Still others see marriage not as a fairy tale but as a potentially painful chapter that ends in divorce. And then there are those for whom marriage goes against their beliefs, religious or otherwise.

    “It’s a very, very archaic model,” said Sean Fader, 34, an artist in New York who is single and asked to be identified as queer. “It’s this oppressive Christian model that says ‘Pick a person that’s going to be everything to you, they have to be perfect, then get a house, and have kids, and then you’ll be happy and whole.’ ”

    “There are many heterosexuals who feel the same way,” he added. After all, not all heterosexual couples choose to marry. But same-sex couples do seem more inclined to be marriage holdouts. According to a Pew Research poll released in June, 60 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults are married or said they wanted to marry, compared with 76 percent of the general public.

    Continue reading “Did Gay Marriage Provoke A Conversation About No Marriage At All? (editorial)”

More Anti Singleness Bias From Al Mohler – Despite the Bible Says It Is Better Not To Marry

More Anti-Singleness Bias From Southern Baptist Al Mohler – Despite the Bible Says It Is Better Not To Marry

I guess Al Mohler must know better than the Apostle Paul, who wrote,

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do (1 Corinthians)
— end quote —

Here is another Mohler hit piece on singleness (hyping marriage to the detriment of singleness, which God never does in the Bible):

(Link): Two Is Better Than One—Who Knew? – from October 4, 2013

Brief excerpt from Mohler’s page:

    • Nevertheless, married women also survive longer than unmarried women with the same disease. Even husbands really help. Single patients are far more vulnerable.

All this is testimony to the power of marriage, and to the fact that marriage is one of the greatest gifts God has given his human creatures.
–(end excerpt)–

I believe Mohler has several other obnoxious articles against singleness at his blog, that is but one.

Some of Mohler’s contentions about married people living longer and being happier have been refuted by Bella DePaulo (and by others); please see these sites:

(Link): Debunking the Myth that Married People Live Longer

(Link): Living Single

(DePaulo’s blog on Psychology Today where she frequently refutes erroneous ideas about singles and singlehood)

(Link): All Things Single (and More)

(From another source):

(Link): Unmarried and Childless Women Are the Happiest, Happiness Expert Claims (2019 Study)

By the way, where the Bible says “two is better than one,” that is not exclusive to a martial relationship only.

That phrase can refer to a brother and sister, a grandmother to her grandchild, a neighbor to another, a co-worker to another co-worker at a job, or two platonic friends.

Jesus Christ explicitly taught that placing marriage, “traditional family,” and pro-creating above the family of God is sin, and it is also misplaced, and it needlessly excludes singles (the never married adults, the divorced, the widows and widowers), and those without flesh and blood family-

Jesus Christ said:

    • “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10)

“For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” (Matthew 10: 34-36)

“If any man come to Me and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26)

He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)
—(end quotes)—

I guess Mohler is totally unacquainted with the Bible.

He, like many other conservative Christians, needs to repent of making an idol out of marriage, of having children, of the 1950s nuclear family ideal, and for his blatant shaming and degradation of singleness.

He and other Southern Baptists also need to repent of the youth worship: the non-stop fixation on the teens and twenty-somethings.

I used to be a Christian teen and twenty-something and find myself quite possibly walking away from the Christian faith in my 40s, due in part to the youth worship that goes on in Southern Baptist churches (they do not care about middle aged or senior adults), and how singles (or singleness itself) are shamed, treated with scorn, or else ignored.

Mohler also incorrectly assumes (based on other comments he’s made I’ve seen in the past) that a lot of singles are intentionally remaining single: this is false.

Many of us had hoped to marry, but there (Link): were not enough single Christian men to marry, so we singles either stay single or marry Non-Christians.

As I have explained on older posts (but will not belabor here), all this harping on “rah rah, marriage is great!” (as well as gender complementarian) rhetoric is actually perpetuating protracted singleness among Christians of all ages, even among the ones who desire marriage.

Ironically, if churches supported singles and singlehood (and gender egalitarianism), more of us would be getting married.

If the Mohlers of the Christian world truly gave a damn about marriage, they would be helping singles, not disparaging singles or singlehood.

Helping singles and respecting singleness, as well as respecting celibacy in the unmarried who are past the age of 30, would help more singles get married, it would cut down on sexual sin (even among the married Christians), and it would also put a huge dent in the strides pro- homosexuality advocates have made in Christian culture, which troubles the hetero- marriage- worshippers so. These facts keep sailing right over their heads, however.

Responses to Mohler (or like-minded) by Christians, including singles:

(Link):  Singleness a Sin? by Camerin Courtney

(Link): In Response To … Al Mohler on Singleness and Childlessness

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

(Link): Have We [conservative Christians, Baptists, evangelicals] Said Too Much? (About Marriage, that is)

Apparently Mohler believes job discrimination against the unmarried is ethical and “Christian” too; see this page:

From Single and Sane Blog:
(Link): The Single Pastor


Related posts, this blog:

(Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Is Not

(Link): Unmarried and Childless Women Are the Happiest, Happiness Expert Claims (2019 Study)

(Link):  Women Who Stay Single or Get Divorced Are Healthiest by B. DePaulo

(Link):   Please Stop Shaming Me for Being Single by J. Vadnal

(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site

(Link):  James the Single 40-Something Guy Asks 700 Club’s Pat Robertson Why Churches Don’t Help Singles

(Link): Cathy The Single Woman Asks Pat Robertson Why God Has Not Replied to Her Prayers for Years to Send Her a Spouse

(Link):  Never-Married Adult Man Named Stephen Asks Christian Host Why God Has Not Answered His 3-Decades Long Prayers To Send Him A Wife

(Link): Another Christianity Today Magazine Editorial (2019) Expects Single Women To Meet the Needs of Married Women – Christians Never Ask the Reverse

(Link):   Preacher Says in Sermon that Single Men Who Play Video Games Are Losers Who Have Retarded Spirits and This Creates Dating Problems for Women

(Link):  Salvation Army Bans Duggar / Quivering Cult’s ‘Retreat’ (Called ‘Get Them Married’) that Promoted Arranged Marriages for Teen Girls – Quivering Advocates Are Anti-Adult Singleness and Anti-Celibacy 

(Link):   How the Dating Scene Became Stacked Against Women – via CT, by Gina Dalfonzo

(Link): 60 Year Old, Never- Married Woman Asks Christian TV Host Pat Robertson If Some Are Just Not Meant to Marry

(Link): Man / Husband Shortage in Hong Kong – just like in American Christian circles

(Link): What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis (from TIME) (ie, Why Are Conservative Religious Women Not Marrying Even Though They Want to Be Married. Hint: It’s a Demographics Issue)

(Link):  Christian Blogger About Divorce, Pastor Andrew Webb, Thinks All To Most Mid-Life Never – Married or Single – Again Adults Are Mal-Adjusted, Ugly Losers Who Have Too Much Baggage

(Link): Preachers and Christian Media Personalities: Re: Marriage – You’re missing the point stop trying to argue or shame singles into getting married

(Link): When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments [by Christians]

(Link): Ever Notice That Christians Don’t Care About or Value Singleness, Unless Jesus Christ’s Singleness and Celibacy is Doubted or Called Into Question by Scholars?

(Link): Conservative Christians Are Now Blaming Homosexual Marriage on Heterosexual Single Adults

(Link): Douglas Wilson and Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – No Body Can Resist Sex – supposedly – Re Celibacy

(Link): Yes, Some Women Use and Look at Pornography (including Christian ones)

(Link): Why So Much Fornication – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity

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

(Link): Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – Easy Forgivism

(Link): The Myth of the Gift – Regarding Christian Teachings on Gift of Singleness and Gift of Celibacy

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

(Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity (Many Christians Actually -Disrespect- Virginity, Celibacy, Sexual Purity)

(Link): Married (Christian) People Aren’t More Virtuous Than Christian Singles

(Link): There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or A Calling To Either One

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

(Link): Christian Double Standards on Celibacy – Hetero Singles Must Abstain from Sex but Not Homosexual Singles

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

(Link): Anti Virginity Editorial by Christian Blogger Tim Challies – Do Hurt / Shame Feelings or Sexual Abuse Mean Christians Should Cease Supporting Virginity or Teaching About Sexual Purity

(Link): Are Most Churches Too Judgemental About Sexual Sin? (of the hetero variety)

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

(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

(Link): Fatherhood Not Quite the Producer of Manly, Mature, Godly Men Some Conservative Christians Make It Out To Be

(Link): Why Unmarried – Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy

(Link): Christians Who Attack Virginity Celibacy and Sexual Purity – and specifically Russell D. Moore and James M. Kushiner

(Link): Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Leader Al Mohler Makes Tacky, Crass Sex Joke on Twitter

(Link): Christian Males Blaming their Unwanted Protracted Singleness on Feminism – They have the wrong target

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): How About Using Celibates as Role Models For Celibacy? (Oddity: Christians Holding Up Non-Virgins [Fornicators] As Being Experts or Positive Examples on Sexual Purity)

(Link): Conservative Christianity Stuck in 1950s Leave it To Beaver-ville

(Link): Pastor Busted in Prostitution Sting – If Married Sex So Great Why Do So Many Married Christian Men Have Affairs

(Link): New Study Released: Cheaters: More American Married Women Admit to Adultery (links)

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

(Link): Grandma Smashes Infant Granddaughter to Death with SledgeHammer, Slits Infant’s Throat – Motherhood Does Not Make Women More Mature, Godly

(Link): Why all the articles about being Child Free? On Being Childfree or Childless – as a Conservative / Right Wing / Christian

(Link): Motherhood Does Not Make Women More Godly or Mature – another example – (Mother Suffocates New Born and Shoves It In Toilet)

(Link): Focus on the Family Members Practice Infidelity or Homosexuality and Get Divorced and Remarry – links to exposes
——————–
Articles / editorials on other sites:

(Link): Excellent Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness – singles / never married christian

Christian Single Adult Ministry (Video Series and a Web Site)

Christian Single Adult Ministry (Video Series and a Web Site)

Site (below there are links to some of their videos):
(Link): AoG Single Adult Ministries Home Page

I’m not completely up on AoG theology, so do not assume I agree with everything they believe in just because I’m linking to some of their content.

Based upon the first couple of minutes I’ve seen of one of their videos below, they sound biblical enough. I didn’t hear any huge, glaring red flags.

But again, me linking to some of these pages /videos should not be considered a wholescale seal of approval by me of every view or comment in every video or on every page.

I have not watched every video or read every page, so for all I know, some of their ideas or teachings are un-biblical or stupid.

They have many videos. I am not linking to every single one.

Videos from an Assemblies of God group on Adult Singleness:

(Link): Meeting the Diverse Needs of Single Adults

(Link): Misconceptions of Single Adults and Single Adult Ministry
“Marriage is not a half person and a half person coming together to make a whole person,” said one guy in the video. AMEN!
(But – that is a teaching a lot of PREACHERS perpetuate in their sermons.)

(Link): Trends in Single Adult Ministry
-in that video, a few trends are discussed:

    – they discuss online dating sites

    – one guy says his research shows the more healthy a single is, the less likely he or she is to attend a church singles group.

    (I would agree with that. Not just healthy, but the more attractive. Most singles I see in singles classes when I visit are quite dumpy looking.)

    – they mention age of first marriage has gone up in the last 30 – 40 years

    – cohabitation

    – financial problems with older (as in over 30) singles / unemployment

    – poverty, and how it hits widows, single parents, divorced

    – churches are fixating on nuclear families, not singles or step families, etc.

    – churches should be hiring full time adult singles preachers but refuse to

From their site (this is a page, not a video):

I agreed with some of the points on this list, but not all:

(Link): Myths of Singleness

Excerpts (this is not the entire list, and these are the points I mostly related to or agreed with):

    Myths of Singleness

    Single adults are a threat to married adults –
    Some insecure married adults believe this. It is almost always unjustified! It is usually the married adult which feels this, and as a result, alienates the single adult. There are plenty of single adults in this country (82 million to be exact) to discover without looking at married adults!

    Single adults are not complete until they are married
    Because of the emphasis on “marriage and family” in most evangelical churches, single adults may feel like a “half person” at times! Phrases such as, “I want you to meet my better half,” and questions and attitudes like, “Why isn’t an attractive woman like you married yet?” do little to help a single adult feel complete. The truth is, “We are complete in Him!” (Colossians 2:10)

    Single adults have more money than married adults
    There are a few single adults who make good money and may have more than married adults. Generally it is untrue, though! Young single adults are not into their income producing years yet; divorced single women almost always take a huge cut in their income; 60% of single-parent females make less than the poverty level; most widowed adults live on a low, fixed income.

How Not to Help All the Single Ladies (excellent article)

This is an excellent editorial about single women from a Christian source. Most Christian commentary on singleness sucks, but this was good.

(Link): How Not to Help All the Single Ladies

    Blaming women for their own singleness is about as productive as a ‘Cosmo’ checklist.

    by Sharon Hodde Miller

    [snip comments about her meeting with middle aged Christian women friends who had never married]

    Several weeks later, I spoke with another friend across the country who also wondered at her singleness and ached to find a godly man.

    In each of these conversations, I struggled to find the right words.

    Part of me wanted to shout, “What’s wrong with men? These ladies are amazing! They should be fighting guys off with a bat.”

    But the situation is more complicated than that. For one, women in the American church outnumber men. In 2009, sociologist Mark Regnerus reported in CT that there are 3 single women for every 2 single men. Simply put, there aren’t enough Christian men to go around.

    Add to that the elements of romantic chemistry, life circumstances, and God’s providence—all factors that are simply out of one woman’s control. It’s not her fault, and there’s nothing wrong with her. Nevertheless, most longtime single women are tempted to pause and wonder, Is it me?

    Don’t get me wrong. There are certainly single women out there who have difficult personalities.

    But, there are married women with equally challenging personalities who still managed to find a mate.

    Having a strong personality or being independent or failing to look like a supermodel are not deterrents to finding a spouse.

    Dating is not simple. There is no tried and true formula.

    Which is why I become frustrated whenever I come across articles, blog posts and books purporting to tell women why they are still single, and how they should act to snag a man.

    Continue reading “How Not to Help All the Single Ladies (excellent article)”

A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood (article) – how Christian teachings on gender and singlehood contribute to raunch culture and fornication etc

A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood (article) – how Christian teachings on gender and singlehood contribute to raunch culture and fornication etc

This was actually a decent editorial – usually Christian blogs and magazines publish naive or insulting dreck about singleness and women. This editorial points out many of the flaws in Christian teachings and attitudes on singleness, marriage, sexuality, etc.

It also manages to weave into the discussion how Christian teachings about gender roles, women, sexuality, dating, marriage, adulthood, singleness, etc, contribute to societal issues such as fornication and so on.

(Link): A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood

    The dialogue we missed about Miley Cyrus and coming of age.

by Tish Harrison Warren, guest writer

In the overblown bluster about Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance, we neglected a crucial discussion about growing up female in our culture.

CNN highlighted the point Cyrus was trying to make, declaring that “she is, after all, no longer the teen Disney star she once was.”

Her performance was a public pronouncement of her coming-of-age. We’ve seen this before: A young, seemingly innocent star throws off the yoke of childhood naiveté and announces her adult identity in a display of sex appeal and ebullient debauchery. It’s become a predictable script.

That’s why this article is not about Miley Cyrus, Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, or any ingénue du jour.

I’m interested instead in what leads Miley Cyrus or the midriff-baring girl up the street to believe that in order to prove her adulthood, she must become an object of male sexual consumption. And I’m interested in how the church can offer her an alternative.

The widespread agreement that Cyrus’s willingness to be objectified marks her attempt to assume the mantle of womanhood indicates a deep problem with the way we define female adulthood.

Obviously and unavoidably, part of becoming an adult woman has to do with female embodiment and sexuality. We gain the ability to reproduce with all the excitement, responsibility, and monthly annoyance that entails. But biology is not enough to indicate adulthood in our culture. Miley Cyrus had a post-pubescent body long before the VMAs.

In order to be seen as an empowered adult in our contemporary society, we can’t just be mature sexual beings; we must be sexually available. As females, we often demonstrate adulthood by using our sexuality in ways that invite, in fact that practically beg for, the male gaze.

It is a sort of post-sexual revolution version of the debutante coming out.

Some factions in feminism even point to this kind of overt rejection of sexual boundaries or morals as an act of empowerment. I am woman, watch me twerk.

Unfortunately, defining adulthood through sex or sexual activity is not limited to secular culture but has also affected the church. We imbibe these broader messages about how girls come of age, but if our church culture does not provide an alternative way to come of age outside of marriage, young women who remain celibate and unmarried struggle to understand themselves and be understood as fully women and fully adult. Young women in our culture use overt sexual allure and sexuality to show that we aren’t kids anymore.

The church instead must offer another way to attest to our adult womanhood.

If we do not, when we encourage young women to remain chaste and value modesty, it will inadvertently be a message of juvenilization–to remain good “little girls.”

In order for celibate adults to be acknowledged as adults in evangelical churches, our understanding of adulthood needs to be clarified and decoupled from sexual activity or marital status.

Right after I graduated from college, a much-trusted older single woman said to me, “You keep referring to yourself as a girl. You need to refer to yourself, and anyone else your age, as a woman.” (I’m still amazed how often women in church, particularly women in their 20s, are referred to as “girls.”)

Soon after that, another older friend approached me worried that a middle-aged man in our church was flirting with me. I was floored.

It never occurred to me that this man might be romantically interested. He was clearly a grown-up, and I didn’t think of myself as one.

I didn’t exactly think of myself as a youth anymore, but neither did I see myself as a proper, official “Adult Woman.”

I told her as much, and she replied that I was in fact an adult and that it was high time I owned that identity.

She was right. I was 22 and clearly an adult. But I had grown up in an evangelical culture that closely associates being an adult with being married.

I was at that point an unmarried virgin, so through the eyes of both pop culture and evangelical culture, I saw myself as somehow less than a fully adult woman.

Thankfully, I had these individual conversations that challenged me to inhabit an adult identity. But for those who don’t, we have no ecclesial, communal way to initiate single Christian young people into adulthood.

Consequently, I know single women in their 30s who feel marginalized by the narratives of Christian womanhood. They don’t fit in with amped up, youth-group-like singles groups, but they feel alienated by their adulthood-as-marriage church culture.

To some extent, in liturgical traditions like mine, the historic practice of confirmation might serve in part as a coming of age celebration, affirming that a child has grown into his or her own person of faith and commissioning the young into a life of mature discipleship.

However, in order for confirmation to actually be significant as a rite of passage, we must recover a theological and communal vision for the practice.

Perhaps we evangelicals need to consider making this tradition a bigger deal, a significant celebration and achievement.

I have a priest friend who leads confirmation and often finds the ritual can be rote and meaningless for families, even a sort of “graduation” from church.

Lower church traditions don’t have any practice wherein young adults publicly appropriate the Christian faith as their own (outside of baptism, which even in Baptist circles many do as young children).

To truly initiate the young into adulthood in the church, we need a practice that’s rigorous and profound, that calls people to be mature, articulate, faithful believers in Christ, that challenges them to take on the responsibility and joy of being adult leaders and culture shapers, and that is a real communal celebration (with good food and champagne toasts.)

Historically, confirmation provides space for people to own the faith for themselves and to more fully walk in the Holy Spirit as they commit themselves to serve the church.

After our eldest daughter was baptized, we had a big party. Our friend who is an organic caterer and another friend who was a pastry chef pitched in to make it one of the happiest, most beautiful days of my life (with some of the best food). A friend in attendance said, “Man, this is better than a wedding.”

Unlike baptism, confirmation is not a sacrament and does not have the theological import thereof. But if we want our young women to feel valued, welcomed into adulthood, and affirmed as strong, independent women without having to reject modesty and chastity or twerk with Robin Thicke, then we need meaningful, communal rites of passage.

Maybe celebrating confirmation like we mean it is a step in that direction.

When my daughters come of age, I want them to refer to themselves and to truly know themselves no longer as girls but as women, not because they’ve achieved the male gaze or even because they’re married, but because the people of God, as a community, have called them women. And not just women, but women of the church, sealed in the Holy Spirit, with gifts, strength, and worth as members of and contributors to the bride and body of Christ.

————————
Related posts this blog:

(Link): On Miley Cyrus Being Sexual at 2013 VMAs – Hypocrisy of Secular Feminists

(Link): How Christian Teaching on Gender Roles and Sex Can Mess People Up in Adulthood (from Wine and Marble blog, post by a former Christian guy)

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

(Link):  An Example of Mocking Adult Virginity Via Twitter (Virginity Used As Insult)

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

(Link): Christian Males Blaming their Unwanted Protracted Singleness on Feminism – They have the wrong target

(Link): Ryan Gosling and Shirtless, Buff Cowboy Photos on Social Media – Yes, Christian Women Are Visually Stimulated and Visually Oriented (Part 2)

(Link): How (Married) Christians and Christian Teachings About Dating/Marriage Are Keeping Single Christians Single Part 1

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

(Link): Online Dating: Women Want Younger Men (article)

(Link): Women Are Visually Oriented Too – Reminder 1

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

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

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

(Link): Married Women Engage in Sexual Sin – and most men in denial particularly Christian conservatives

(Link): More ‘Men Are Visual’ Baloney, Discussed at Another Blog

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

Single Christian Woman – Mandy Hale – Featured on Christian Show to Discuss Adult Singleness

Single Christian Woman Featured on Christian Show

This is blog-worthy because most Christians shows, most of the time, fixate on MARRIAGE and ignore singleness.

On today’s episode of “The 700 Club” an unmarried Christian woman, Mandy Hale, was interviewed. She wrote a book called “The Single Woman.”

The lady interviewer says that Mandy has been in a few relationships but is now single by choice.

Hale says she has “not kissed dating goodbye” and says she wants to be married, but is trying to be happy while single.

Hale says you are already complete and don’t need a partner to complete you. She says she will be joining Christian Mingle and writing articles about her experiences with them. (But please see this: (Link): Beware of Rapists on Christian Dating Sites (rapist used Christian Mingle site to meet his victims) )

You can read more about that interview with Hale here – there is a link to the video of her interview on this page too:

(Link): Have an Awesome Life as a Single Woman

    APPLAUDING SINGLENESS
    Mandy grew up in a Christian home and was baptized as a little girl. When she was 20, she rededicated her life to the Lord and was baptized as an adult.

    Mandy, now 34, says she had always wanted to get married by the time she was 25.

    Six years ago, Mandy was in a relationship which she describes as unhealthy that lasted two years.

    “Once I got out of the relationship, I was in a new place,” she says. “I was excited to be single and was looking for books about embracing single life.” Instead all Mandy could find were books on how to date a man, land him and keep him.

    “There was nothing about enjoying the moment,” says Mandy.

    She was looking for a voice of hope for single women among all the voices of discouragement. There weren’t any. “So I decided to become one,” she says.

    Mandy started a column, which soon led to The Single Woman Twitter page which almost overnight began to pick up steam. That led to a Facebook page, which led to the creation of a website a year later, which led to an e-book which became a published book, The Single Woman.

    She says many have often labeled a single woman in her late twenties and beyond as “single and desperate.”

    Instead of being viewed as a choice, being single seems to denote a lack of options.

    “Everyone wants to meddle in the life of a woman who refuses to settle: setting her up on endless dates with guys she has no interest in, calling her desperate, lonely, or too picky, or asking, ‘What’s wrong with her?,’” says Mandy.

    The path that Mandy sees is quite different. “The modern-day single woman is something to be applauded as bold and courageous and unique, not lauded as sad or pathetic or weak,” she says.

    HAPPILY SINGLE

    Mandy says being happily single does not mean you’ve sworn off love, or given up on the hope of finding your Happy Ending. “It simply means that you’re determined to have a Happy Everything,” she says.

    Mandy reminds single women to design a life so amazing that you don’t want to be rescued from it. “The only thing we single ladies need to be rescued from is the notion that we need to be rescued.”

    Being Happily Single is also the precursor to being Happily Taken. You cannot have one without the other.

    Many reminds single ladies to watch for red flags.

    Once when Mandy was on a first date, the man was a perfect gentleman all night.

    At the end of dinner, he turned to her and asked her for $40! Though he made up a litany of excuses as to why he needed the money, Mandy says it was the sketchiest first date she had ever been on.

    Obviously there was no second date.

    Maybe your red flag isn’t as blatant as Mandy’s but she recommends that whenever you are feeling a moment’s hesitation to pause and evaluate the situation.

    Mandy says you should be asking, “Is God trying to tell me something,?”

    She reminds us that God has our backs enough to send the signs, but it’s up to us to read them.

    Mandy was chosen by Oprah to be one of her Life Class Bloggers in 2011, was voted “Woman of Influence” by the Nashville Business Journal in 2011 and is a frequent contributor for the Huffington Post and Lifetime’s The Conversation.

    Celebrity Twitter followers include Sherri Shepherd, Nicholas Sparks and Michelle Williams. Visit her website at (Link): www.TheSingleWoman.com [note: this link will forward you to the page selling her book on Amazon.com] or follow her on Twitter @TheSingleWoman.

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

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

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

Some guy, Jim, actually wrote in to ask,

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

😯 Holy. Freaking. Cow.

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

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

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

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

You can also watch it here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misogynistic Christian Single Guy Blog – Keeping Singles Single Re Frank Swift of Geek in the Wilderness

Misogynistic Christian Single Guy Blog – Keeping Singles Single | Re: Frank Swift of Geek in the Wilderness Blog

The individual who heads the blog “A Geek in the Wilderness,” who writes under the name “Frank Swift,” laments the situation of singles in the church, but his views on marriage, singleness, and genders are not only contributing to his own lasting singleness, but his are some of the same mindsets the church at large has as well, and which are making marriage for Christians more difficult.

In other words, Mr. Swift is himself supporting the very marriage and prolonged singleness problems he is so upset about.

Before I continue further, the blog in question is located here:

(Link): A Geek in the Wilderness ( http://geeksjourney.com/ ), and again, the guy’s screen name is “Frank Swift.”

The tagline of his blog is

    “One geek/nerd hybrid journeys through history and the world in an epic search for truth, justice… and great pizza.”

I like pizza, but I can tell you after exchanging a few posts with this guy, he is not very interested in truth.

Swift does not seem open to having his views about gender roles and women questioned. A guy who is in search of truth would be open to re-examining his views, I would think.

Swift keeps parroting the same unproven, unfounded, unbiblical assumptions about women over and over in his replies to me.

I’ve directed him a few times to the (Link): Christians For Biblical Equality site (see Resources > Free Articles) and a few others, such as (Link): Under Much Grace.

I do credit Swift with initially allowing a few of my posts to stand on his blog (I myself don’t do that too much with this blog, since I use it to vent, not to debate).

I was polite in my initial batch of posts, despite Swift’s insufferable, obnoxious sexism on display. He has since replied to a few of those posts and has injected ad hominem into the replies (more about that below).

Mr. Swift’s blog first caught my attention when I was searching for material about Christian singles.

One of his pages turned up in the results, and it was this one:

(Link): How churches today abandoned the Christian single

Aspects of that page were interesting, but some of his views were troubling, such as this (Link): (Source):

    A marriage and family successfully functioning as one cohesive unit provides the skillset needed to run a church as one cohesive unit.

One does not have to be married to have have the skills or competence to “run a church” as “one cohesive unit.”

Some churches have in fact hired un-married men who are in their 30s who successfully ran the churches, though an un-married serving as pastor is very rare, as most churches are heavily biased against unmarried people. But it has happened on occasion, and the un-married were successful in their position.

The Bible does contain commentary along the lines that if a man is married, that he ought to have but one wife and other such qualifications(*), but the Bible does not exclude singles from leadership positions, as Swift believes.
*((Link): What does the “husband of one wife” phrase in 1 Timothy 3:2 mean? Can a divorced man serve as a pastor, elder, or deacon?)

The Bible places singleness on the same level of acceptance to God, and the same level of importance of singleness, as it does marriage, and at some points, the Apostle Paul writes singleness may be preferable to marriage because an unmarried person has more undivided attention than a married person.

None of that is to say that a single who wants to get married is sinning.

There is nothing sinful or selfish about wanting to get married, and other Christians need to stop discouraging and shaming Christians for wanting to get married, by saying things such as, “stop making marriage an idol,” “Jesus is all you need,” and so on, and by refusing to pray for singles, and such.

I explained to this Swift guy in one of my posts on his “Geek in the Wilderness” blog that the church has turned marriage and the nuclear family into an idol (with the “nuclear family” being an invention of 1950s American television programming; it is not quite a “biblical” presentation of family).

I gave Swift Bible verses on his blog where Jesus Christ said that Christians are not to put flesh and blood family before spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ.
(I have many blog pages about this topic, such as these two: (Link): The Bible Does Not Teach Christians to “Focus On The Family” – The Idolization of Family by American Christians (article), and (Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t)

This all seems to fall on deaf ears with this guy.

He, like a lot of conservative Christians, continue to make secular feminism into the “boogey man” and the root of all ills in American culture, which it is not.

I am only surprised that Swift did not drag up the other favorite scapegoat and punching bag of evangelicals and conservative Christians: homosexuals, or the legalization of homosexual marriage.

To recap for anyone who is new to this blog: I myself am right wing, vote Republican, am a social conservative (and so I do not support homosexuality). For many years, I was a devout Christian. (I am by no means a left winger who embraces all views of secular feminism or the Democratic Party.) You can read more about my background and views on this blog’s “About Me” page.

Where Mr. Swift got rude, sexist, and very obnoxious with me was in this thread (I have not yet checked to see if he left me comments in the other thread):

(Link): Single ladies, I’m ready to provide, are you ready to cook?

In that thread, and a few others I glanced over, he continually makes all manner of unfounded assumptions about about women in general, such as this quote:

    Women likewise are more effective caretakers and nurturers because of the experience of raising their own children…

The Bible simply does not rigidly define gender roles or say that God designed women to be “nurturers” and males “leaders.”

Women have been socialized by secular society, parents, and churches, to be passive, sweet, submissive, cookie bakers; it’s not they these qualities are necessarily intrinsic to women.

I am a woman, but I was always a tom boy growing up. I preferred climbing trees, wearing converse sneakers, and watching Bat Man.

I hated pink clothing, wearing dresses, playing with Barbie dolls, and sitting around quietly as a kid. I wanted to go on adventures and have fun.

I had little interest in taking on Biblical or stereotypical “feminine” roles – which equated to being quiet, passive, sitting still, and playing with Barbie dolls.

People do not neatly fall into gender-defined boxes and patterns, no matter how badly you want them to.

I cited, for Swift, examples from the Bible of women who were ordained by God to lead men and women, to teach men (such as Apostle Junia, Deborah in the Old Testament, etc).

I at first was going to link to Mr. Swift’s page about singleness with a recommendation for it.

However, Swift, who makes himself out to be a Christian single, he is very sexist, Misogynistic, anti-singlehood, rude, condescending, and bitter (really, he is – I know a lot of married Christians try to shut down singles who want to air legitimate grievances by calling them “bitter,” but if you read through this guy’s blog, particularly his comments to me, he comes off as quite bitter).

I’m not sure of Swift’s age, but he seems to be in his early or mid 20s, very little life experience is evidenced, very narrow views of how life and relationships ‘should’ be, or how he thinks women “should” be permeate his thoughts.

Here is the first thread of Swift’s blog where I left several comments last night – initially, all my blog posts on his blog went through instantly, but now he has them set to moderation:

(Link) Single ladies, I’m ready to provide, are you ready to cook?

As I explained in a post on Swift’s page (“Single ladies, I’m ready to provide, are you ready to cook?”), I suppose there is nothing wrong with a man having a personal preference for a more demure, passive type partner…

Nor is it necessarily wrong, I guess, if both a man and a woman fully consent to enter a marriage based on a 1950s “Ward and June Cleaver” model, where the husband works all day and the wife stays at home all day baking bread.

However, these days, that sort of lifestyle is not achievable for most people; it takes two incomes, the man and women working, to pay the bills.

Anyway, my problem with this guy is mostly his tone. He demands that all women every where, or any women who enters his life, live by his very rigid gender roles.

He comes off as being very controlling.

I tried to explain to this guy that if he does not re-evaluate and re-consider his attitudes towards women, he will either

1. remain single a very long time (or forever), or

2. will attract only emotionally damaged women

And usually, in scenario 2, such women may develop severe depression and anxiety, and a divorce by either spouse may be a result.

Women who have depression (and / or anxiety) often cannot function. They cannot perform daily chores or tasks, or so much as get out of bed daily and brush their teeth, let alone dust the furniture, cook, do laundry, etc., because their mental health problems prohibit it.

As people grow older, they change over time: their personality, or desires in life, or goals. This is a FACT of life this guy denied, if I remember right.

The person you are when you are at 40 years old is not the same person you are when you were 20. (I’m not even the same now as I was just three years ago.) This ‘changing with age’ business is especially true FOR WOMEN.

That is, you can start out a marriage when you are 25 years of age to a submissive, passive wife, but as she grows older and gains more life experience, she may change her mind about various things – including you.

She may tire of playing the submissive role and demand a change, or she may just decide to divorce.

In a comment to another woman on his blog, Swift said he is advocating submission for any woman he marries, not slavery or being a doormat.

I told Swift that his views on “submission” read the same to me as sexism or slavery. I honestly did not see much of a difference and still do not.

This guy is so incredibly condescending towards me and other females who visit his blog, he will never get a girlfriend, much less get married.

Continue reading “Misogynistic Christian Single Guy Blog – Keeping Singles Single Re Frank Swift of Geek in the Wilderness”

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

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

Note: several questionable people have roles in this book, in the form of editing, or as contributors, such as…

    – a gender complementarian, Wayne Grudem; gender complementarianism (Link):

is not biblical

    ;
    -neither is “biblical counseling,” yet Edward T. Welch, who is a “biblical counselor” also had some kind of role in this book,
    – C. J. Mahaney – accused of being involved in a ten year cover up of child sexual abuse at his churches,

so I offer this link with a caveat.

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

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

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

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

The following is available for free on Google Books (this particular book is entitled “Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood”) :
(Link): Single Adults in Your Ministry: Why They Stay and Why They Stray
by Dick Purnell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most singles are invisible to churches.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Number 5: Marriage is portrayed as normal for everybody.
If someone is not married by thirty something, there must be something wrong with him or her.
(please click on the “continue reading/ read more” link to see rest of the post. Thank you)

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

Church Postcards That Would Keep Me Away From Church (Re Marriage and Family Vs Singles and Childless / Childfree )

Church Postcards That Would Keep Me Away From Church (Regarding Marriage and Family Vs. Singles and Childless / Child Free)

There is a site that sells postcards, banners, and other bric-a-brak to churches. I perused their postcard section, of which they must have one billion post card designs. About 90% of those designs pertain to marriage, sex, and children/parenting. You can see samples of some of their postcards though out this post.

Church postcards: Making Marriage Work, Fireproofing Your Marriage

To the right: “Making Marriage Work” and “Fireproofing Your Marriage.” Based on stats I keep seeing in books and on different sites around the internet, upwards of 44% (or more) of the American population over the age of 18 are un-married. They don’t have a marriage that “needs work” or “needs fireproofing.”

Where is the post card that says “Making Singlehood Work?” I didn’t see them on that site that sells these things, and I looked through many, many of their postcards.

churchFamilies

To the left there, you will see a postcard of a back car window with a sticker family, with a Dad, Mom, and three kids, with “Families” in big letters. Nothing says “Singles, we don’t give a rat’s ass about you” quite like a direct mail piece to people that doesn’t show a lone stick figure – a stick lady standing alone – but only a traditional family of married couple with kids.

It may be that churches who mail these sorts of cards out have fancy marketing information so that only married couples with kids in their vicinity get these marriage and family postcards, but some churches do not have a lot of income for stuff like this and would probably indiscriminately mail the identical post card out to every one in ten, twenty, whatever mile radius around their church, regardless of their marital status.

Meaning, I would not be surprised if some elderly widow with no kids gets these sorts of “family” postcards, or if middle- aged, never- married people get one, too.

Bring the Family This Weekend - postcard sold to churches for marketing purposes. Won't make singles feel wanted, that's for sure
Bring the Family This Weekend – postcard sold to churches for marketing purposes.

This is a postcard (pictured at right) that shows an optional back printing – you can get a map to your church printed on the back of postcards with the phrase “Bring the Family This Weekend!” on it.

Continue reading “Church Postcards That Would Keep Me Away From Church (Re Marriage and Family Vs Singles and Childless / Childfree )”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All these groups find Mother’s Day difficult.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The depth and breadth of their heartlessness is stunning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Related Posts:

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

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

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

Male Preacher Marries For First Time At Age 44

Male Preacher Marries For First Time At Age 44

Please note: the following is hosted by on the site of the “Biblical Counseling Coalition”. I disagree with their views as to the causes and treatment of mental health issues.

(Link): The Bachelor Pastor: Three Reflections From my Single Life

His article is very long, so please click the link above to read the whole thing. Here are just a few excerpts:

    AUGUST 19, 2012: I have waited 44 years to write this. It is my last sermon as a single man. This coming Saturday I will marry the love of my life, Miss Jennifer Terrell.

    The unusual circumstances of my marriage give me an opportunity to say some important things. The first circumstance that makes my marriage atypical is my age. I am 44 years and 7 months old. If the national average age for a man’s first marriage is 28, this means I’ve had more time than average to think about these things.

    The second circumstance is my role in the church. I have been a pastor for 20 years and senior pastor here at Bethel for 15. My observation is that bachelor pastors are rarer than Packer fans at Soldier Field, and they are sometimes treated like them. They receive disparaging comments, questions of sexual orientation, and the like.

    These challenges are often overlooked in the church and I have one last chance to write about them as an insider, before I become one of those married pastors telling singles how they should feel.

    Many people have had the misunderstanding that my singleness was somehow related to a monkish vow of ministry or that I was so focused on Jesus that I had no interest in women or marriage. To the contrary, I have had my marriage radar on high alert since I went to college. I wasn’t desperate, and clearly wasn’t in a hurry, but I have greatly desired marriage and the blessings that go with it. In fact, I would say if I erred on any side, I have erred on marriage being too important.

    Related post this blog:

    (Link): Woman’s First Marriage at Age 40+

Christians and Churches Discriminate Against Unmarried People / Singles

Christians and Churches Discriminate Against Unmarried People / Singles

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

Why Are Churches So Afraid of Single Pastors?

Excerpts:

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

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

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

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

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

    Throughout the process I got frustrated. Very frustrated.

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

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

Should Single People Be Eligible to Lead a Church?

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

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

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

Are Christian Singles The New Second Class Christian?

    by Duke Taber

    Single People Are Complete People

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

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

According to Pastor – Jimmy Evans – It Takes One Man and Woman Married To Equal A Whole – so where does that leave Christian singles ? / Too Much Sex Talk | Making Marriage into an Idol Marriage Idolatry Anti Singles Singlehood Singleness Unmarried Bias Prejudice

According to Pastor It Takes One Man and Woman Married To Equal A Whole – so where does that leave Christian singles ? / Too Much Sex Talk

I’m typing this as I’m watching a Christian show by a guy. I will be referring to him as a preacher, but I think he may just be a talk show host and author; I’m not sure. His site is “marriage today.com.” His name is Jimmy Evans. His wife’s first name is Karen.

I have a couple of points of disagreement with this guy, and one area of agreement.

Evans is repeating the old cliches that men are visually responsive, men turn on instantly, while women are emotionally responsive. (Which is not true – a lot of women are in fact “visual” – (Link): please see this link for more, as well as additional links at the bottom of this post.)

I concede that men and women are not identical in some areas, and that there is a certain amount of truths in those cliches, but this trope about men being “more sexual” and “more visual” while women have no interest in sex and are not visually stimulated needs to die – because it’s not entirely true, not true for all women, or is exaggerated.

Most men may want to have sex more often than most women, but it does not follow from this that all women always want is a cuddle or to read romance novels – and this is the assumption made by male pastors giving marital sex sermons.

Now the preacher, Evans, is explaining that “men are half, women are half, it takes a (married) man and woman together to equal a whole.”

Evans also said it takes half his brain and half his wife’s to equal a whole brain.

I, your blog author, Christian Pundit, have never married, I am alone, so is Evans saying I have only “one-half a brain” and I am not whole as I am? That is not only insulting, but the Bible says singles are whole on their own.

The Bible does not teach that an unmarried person is incomplete, lacking, or less human than people in a married partnership. Yet, Evans seems to be teaching these concepts, and it was one of the more troubling aspects of his sermon.

For people who complain that preachers don’t talk about sex enough – spare me. The opposite is true. This guy I’m watching now, Evans, even went so far as to use the phrases “oral sex,” “sex toys” and “the missionary position.”

He just over shared that his wife Karen has always “met his sexual needs.” I don’t need to know that specifically about him.

The only kudo I can give this preacher guy: he is now lecturing married couples to be sexually pure. He told them to stay away from dirty sites, don’t fantasize about other people, control your thought life.

That is rare. Often, when sexual purity is discussed, it is only assumed by preachers that unmarried people commit sexual sin. It’s assumed that because married people are getting their sexual needs met, they have no cause to commit fornication – this is false.

I disagree with this pastor about his point of “don’t develop emotional relationships” with people outside of marriage.

Sorry, as a single woman, I get isolated and lonely in part because married people will not befriend me because it’s assumed either I am a temptress, or that married men are horny bastards who will make the move on every unmarried woman they meet.

Evans says according to some survey he read, that 90% of married Christian women admit to being attracted to someone other than their husband. Interesting point for several reasons.

I agree with Evans that a husband needs to meet the woman’s emotional needs and pursue her and romance her outside the bedroom. That is very important.

Now TMI (too much information): he mentioned “quickies” – yes, he used that very word – in the context of, “you know guys, sometimes sex in the morning is the best time to have sex.” Really dude, I don’t need to know that you personally enjoy sex in the mornings. Eww.

Evans briefly, very briefly, spent some time telling married men to stop comparing women to women in dirty magazines, one reason being that pr0n (pr0n = dirty magazines, films, sites) spreads the lie that all women are 100% sexual and do not have emotional needs.

There is a lot of truth in that, I suppose, and while I did not whip out a stop watch to time how long he spent on this topic, it seemed to me he spent longer chastising married women over romance novels, much more than he did over men who look at pr0n.

Please click the “read more” link below to read the rest of the post…

Continue reading “According to Pastor – Jimmy Evans – It Takes One Man and Woman Married To Equal A Whole – so where does that leave Christian singles ? / Too Much Sex Talk | Making Marriage into an Idol Marriage Idolatry Anti Singles Singlehood Singleness Unmarried Bias Prejudice”

Why Unmarried – Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy

Why Un-married / Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy (i.e., Male Headship, Female Submission, Should Women Be Allowed to Lead/Teach Men, etc)

I don’t want to spend much time on this, but Christian groups, especially the more fringe ones, that believe in and teach sexism (i.e., biblical gender complimentariansim / traditional gender roles/ male headship), teach (to summarize Jocelyn Andersen), that men reflect the “male” side of God and women reflect the “female” side of God.

Further, (they teach, again summarizing Jocelyn Andersen), is that it takes one man and one woman together (meaning married, I assume) to fully reflect God’s image.

The outworking of this is that if you are un-married, you are not a “whole” person, and you are not reflecting God. This applies to un-married men, too, not just un-married females.

You can watch the speech she gives (Link): here. I don’t recall which exact video it is. Or, try (Link): this link (to specific video).

In another video in that channel, another woman (Cynthia Kunsman) gave a lecture covering beliefs of Quiverfull-type groups (a.k.a. “Christian fertility cults” – some of their beliefs are making their way into more mainstream Christian churches and groups, such as the Southern Baptists, and are taught or endorsed, at least in part, by Christian personalities such Pat Robertson on his “700 Club” show), and she said that in these groups, marriage is said to be “normative,” which is considered good.

Singlehood is, I take it, considered by these fringe Christian groups to be non- or un- normative -and hence wrong or bad in some fashion, or not considered to be God’s design for men or for women. I believe you can watch her video (Link): here.

Al Mohler, leader of the SBC, and Debbie Maken (Christian author) have said that being single is a sin.

But you also have these other, fringe groups saying the same thing, and going further, by saying that non-married people do not fully reflect God.

I guess in order for these sexist swine to keep women down, they have to put themselves in a one-up position – they need a wife and kids to rule over and exert their authority over. This is why these “women should submit” teachings impact men too, not just women. That is, un-married Christian men are told if they want to be fully in God’s image, they need to marry and pro-create pronto, so they can be in authority over someone.

If you are a male Christian, and you are single, you don’t matter, you are not fully made in the image of God, or don’t completely reflect God’s image, according to these Christian fertility groups and some of the regular conservative Christian entities and churches.

Also, the women presenters in other videos in that channel point out other ways “male headship/ women submission” teachings negatively influence males.

There are some men who do not view family in terms of a hierarchy and view their wives as equals, but they get bullied and shamed by macho, sexist brute pastors who tell them, “to be a real man, to be a real Christian, you have to rule over your wife,” etc.

I refer you to the videos on (Link): this page for more.

Even if you are a Christian male, and you are single, and you consider yourself a supporter of “male headship / I permit not a woman to teach” rhetoric, be aware that much of the same arguments used to keep women down in marriages and in churches is also the same arguments and rationale to discount you, an un-married man, personally.

These pastors teaching this male headship concept don’t believe that un-married men are fully in the image of God, or that they are equal in authority or importance to married men, especially married men who have children.

So, in some weird-o branches of Christianity, un-married men, and un-married women, are not quite fully human, are not equally created in the image of God (as compared to married Christians, who are thought of being 100% a reflection of God), and are not of any worth.
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Related material on other sites:

(Link): Driscoll: Single men “cannot fully reflect God”
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Related posts this blog:

(Link): There Are No “Biblical Men” by B. Robertson

(Link):  The Masculinity Myth: The Real Reason Men Don’t Go to Church by the Evangelical Pulpit

(Link):  The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link): ‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by Matthew Hagee – Hagee Teaches that Single Unmarried Women Do Not Have a Purpose in Life God has no purpose for singles

(Link): Christian TV Personality ( Jimmy Evans ) Says You Cannot Meet God’s Destiny For Your Life Without A Spouse = Anti Singleness Singlehood Singles Bias Prejudice Making Idol out of Marriage

(Link): Christian Patriarchy Group: God Demands You Marry and Have Babies to Defeat Paganism and Satan. Singles and the Childless Worthless (in this worldview)

(Link): Conservatives and Christians Fretting About U.S. Population Decline – We Must “Out-breed” Opponents Christian Host (Pat Robertson) Says

(Link): Is Singleness A Sin? by Camerin Courtney