Part 1. The World Does Not Need More Marriage Sermons – They Don’t Stop Divorce or Get People Married

I watched the first three or four minutes of the Bayless Conley “Answers” show today (Feb 24, 2013). He’s kind of right up there with Kerry Shook – it seems like every other program is about marriage.

He’s doing another marriage sermons series (or possibly, this is a repeat of the one he did last year), and he’s letting his wife on stage to deliver the sermon to married men, letting them know what their wives want or need.

The world does not need another marriage series or marriage sermon. Really, we do not.

When about 50% of the population and 50% of Christians over the age of 20 are un-married (this includes never-married, divorced, widowed), marriage sermons are not applicable or of any use to a large portion of your church members and television audience.

The divorce rate among Christians is just about as high as it is for Non Christians (which some Christian sources have disputed). But it does seem to me that even if one wishes to dispute the exact percentage of divorces among Christians, it has to be pretty high if even secular (or Christian sources such as Barna) have taken notice.

As I’ve said before, I don’t have all of life’s answers. I don’t have a solution for how to stop divorces, or put a stop to unwanted prolonged singleness among Christian women, but I do know that another sermon series on marriage is not the answer, because it has not worked to this point. Pastors need to stop giving these “how to have a great marriage” sermons all the time.

Family- and marriage- centric conservative Christian, evangelical, and Baptist churches have been braying about marriage, family values, parenting, the value of children, for three or four decades now, and the never-ending pulpit-pounding and river of books and pamphlets and blogs about those issues by Christians has not helped most people, nor has it stopped sexual sin, divorce, or un-wanted prolonged singlehood.

It’s more than time that pastors, Christian organizations, and churches began paying attention to meeting the needs of un-married people over the age of 30 (especially the ones who have remained sexually pure). Simply acknowledging that they even exist would be a huge step in the process.

While the conservative Christians remain fixated on giving yet more marriage sermons, and bemoaning the liberal attacks on “traditional families” and “traditional marriage” they continue to ignore the needs and problems and mere existence of people over the age of 30 who are not married or who have never been married.
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(end of Part 1. Please see Part 2, The Parable of the Neglected Unmarried Christian. (Link): Click here to read Part 2.)
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Related posts this blog:

(Link): Kerry Shook Devotes Yet *Another* Show / Sermon to Marriage

(Link): Kerry Shook ‘Shark Weakness’ – yet another marriage sermon | Marriage centric sermons

(Link): ‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by preacher 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 / Preacher ( 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):  Why Do Churches Treat Singleness Like a Problem? via Relevant Magazine

(Link): Study: Conservative Protestants’ divorce rates spread to their red state neighbors

(Link): 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

Why I Now Reject “Be Equally Yoked” – and on Becoming More Agnostic

Why I Now Reject “Be Equally Yoked” Teaching – and on Becoming More Agnostic

I explained this in previous, older posts, but here it is, in its own post:

–AGNOSTIC–

After years of being a Christian, I am now going towards agnosticism.

I still believe Christ died and was raised, but that’s about it. Jesus Christ is a wonderful person, but most who claim His name don’t really follow His teachings.

— FORNICATION —

I no longer care what the Bible teaches about almost anything (this would include teachings about sex outside of marriage).

–BIBLE DOES NOT WORK, GOD DOES NOT ANSWER PRAYERS, DOES NOT UPHOLD PROMISES–

The rest of the Bible’s teachings do not work. God does not answer prayers. The promises in the Bible do not work or come true.

–“UNEQUALLY YOKED”–

I no longer abide by the teaching “do not be unequally yoked.”

Christians like to tell horror stories about what will happen to you if you, a Christian woman, marries a Non-Christian. This is fear-mongering propaganda.

–MANY CHRISTIAN MEN JUST AS ABUSIVE AND BAD AS SOME NON CHRISTIAN MEN–

Problem is, plenty of “Christian men” out there are just as bad as abusive as Non Christian men.

Christian men are addicted to porn at the same rates as Non Christian males. They are just as apt to cheat on their wives, divorce their wives for a younger woman, to be emotionally abusive, as Non- Christian men.
(See links at bottom of this post for information with statistics and interviews with abused Christian wives about all this.)

–HAPPINESS NOW, NOT PIE IN THE SKY–

I don’t care about eternity. I care about the here and now. I care about being happy here and now.

— CHRISTIANITY -AS TAUGHT TO ME- DID NOT BRING ME PEACE OR ABUNDANT LIFE–

Being a conservative Christian all my life and sincerely following the teachings of Christ did not give me peace, joy, or an “abundant life.”

Christian teachings and trying to live them out brought me misery.

I was raised that proper Christian girls never get their own needs met, they never express anger, because other people’s needs and feelings are more important than their own.

Ergo, I was taught to just sit there and smile sweetly when people abused me physically, verbally, or emotionally. And I did. When people were rude, mean, or abusive, I wanted to strike back, but just sat there and took it, which only invited more abuse and made me deeply depressed, to the point I have been suicidal since childhood.

I was taught to permit and allow people to take advantage of me (financially, etc).

And most of such teachings were said to be biblical – “turn the other cheek”, “love your enemy,” etc. (Bible verses where Jesus or Paul struck back were ignored.)

It wasn’t til a F.M. (family member) of mine died a few years ago, that I began reflecting on all this.

I bought books by psychologists, both Christian and Non Chr, who said this passive approach to life, allowing one’s self to be abused, placing other people first all the time, is referred to as “codependency” and that, said the Christian therapists, it is not biblical.

So I went through life suffering and miserable for 30+ years living what I was taught by my F.M., Christian books, and preachers, was “Christian” and “biblical,” but it was all a distortion and a lie.

Even many preachers today, under teachings called “biblical womanhood,” “biblical gender complementarianism,” or “traditional gender roles,” will tell you that to be a true woman of God, you must possess codependent behavior (e.g., be submissive to all men at almost all times, be quiet, never show anger, don’t get your own needs met, always place other people’s needs first, don’t make your own choices in life, don’t confront abusive or rude people directly, etc).

Christianity held me back in life. It made me miserable.

The more of Christianity I left behind in the last couple of years, the more peace and happiness I felt.

Christianity, at least as it was taught to me, held me back in life. It made me miserable.

I now bristle at people telling me I “need to” or “should” live by their rules, or the Bible’s rules on life or behavior. I want to make my own choices about my life for once. I want to decide what is right and good for me.

I have a few other reasons why I am leaving the Christian faith, those are just a few.

At this point, trying to reason or argue with me from the Bible will fall on deaf ears. (I don’t care anymore what the Bible says on 99% of topics.)

Here are some links about how Christian men are just as bad as some Non- Christian men, so it doesn’t matter if you date or marry Non Christians:

(Link): The Silent Epidemic -Countless Christian women are battered every day

(Link): Christians For Biblical Equality: Free Articles About Domestic Abuse

(Link): Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence

(Link): Domestic Violence: The Christian Woman Battered and Abused?

(Link): Pastor Comes Clean About Porn Addiction

(Link): Porn to Purity: Christian Couple Bares All

(Link): It Won’t Happen in My Home And Other Myths About Internet Pornography [Christian women talk about their Christian husbands porn habits]

(Link): Christian men get honest about porn addiction

(Link): Barna survey: Baptists have highest divorce rate

(Link): Study: Christian Divorce Rate Identical to National Average

(Link): Biblical Battered Wife Syndrome: Christian Women and Domestic Violence

Excerpts from ‘The Silent Epidemic’:

    It wasn’t until Brenda [a Christian] realized his [her Christian husband’s insulting] comments weren’t true that she approached him. And that’s when he picked up a chair and hit her with it.

    Brenda knew she had to do something, so she went to her pastor. Unfortunately he wasn’t equipped to handle domestic abuse; his suggestions about submitting to her husband only made her home life more difficult. “Our church didn’t know what to do with us,” Brenda says. “They just wanted the problem to go away.”

    … According to Detective Sgt. Don Stewart, a retired police officer who handled domestic violence cases for 25 years, one out of every four Christian couples experiences at least one episode of physical abuse within their marriage.

    In fact, battering is the single largest cause of injury to women—more than auto accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that 3 to 4 million women are beaten in their homes every year. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately 2,000 women are murdered every year by an intimate partner.

Excerpt from “Pastor Comes Clean About Porn Addiction”

    Pastor Jones knows he is not the only person in church leadership that deals with a porn addiction. The statistics are startling.

    Fifty percent of Christian men and 20 percent of Christian women admit that they are addicted to pornography (Christiannet.com June 07).

    Fifty-one percent of pastors say cyber porn is a possible temptation; 37 percent say it is a current struggle (Christianity Today Leadership Survey, December 2001).

    Of Promise Keepers attendees, one of the largest Christian men’s conferences in the U.S., 53 percent admitted to viewing pornography regularly (Internet Filter Review, 2006).

    Forty million adults in the U.S. regularly visit porn sites on the internet (Internet Filter Review). Forty-seven percent of families say pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family Poll, October 2003).

Excerpts from “Study: Christian Divorce Rate Identical to National Average”

    By Audrey Barrick , Christian Post Reporter
    April 4, 2008

    a new study affirmed born again Christians are just as likely as the average American couple to divorce.
    The Barna Group found in its latest study that born again Christians who are not evangelical were indistinguishable from the national average on the matter of divorce with 33 percent having married and divorced at least once. Among all born again Christians, which includes evangelicals, the divorce figure is 32 percent, which is statistically identical to the 33 percent figure among non-born again adults, the research group noted.

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Related post this blog:

(Link): Gender Complementarian Advice to Single Women Who Desire Marriage Will Keep Them Single Forever / Re: Choosing A Spiritual Leader

(Link): Pro Ball Player Convicted for Kid Diddling Three Kids Claims to be an Outstanding Christian (and he’s married with a kid of his own) – again, why should Christian single gals limit themselves to only marrying Christian men? The Whole “Being Yoked Equally” thing is irrelevant and unduly limiting for singles

(Link): Kook Christian Groups / Individuals and Their Nutty Beliefs on Pro Creation and What Constitutes Being Unequally Yoked

(Link): Forget About Being ‘Equally Yoked’ – Article: ‘My Abusive ‘Christian’ Marriage’

(Link): Being Equally Yoked: Christian Columnist Dan Delzell Striving to Keep Christian Singles Single Forever

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”

I see you’ve never heard of Mark Driscoll

I see you’ve never heard of Mark Driscoll

On the Christianity Today page

(Link): When Our Sexual Stories Go Off the Christian Map

We read this comment by one of the site’s visitors, below the article:

    k tra May 18, 2012
    The problem is hardly no talk of sex or sexuality at all in the church. Like the old joke, get bj while you can cause when you get married you never get it. It’s true and it should be the other way around. Everything goes before you get married , but then after that it’s all super clean and missionary. Where’s the “your body no longer belongs to just you” teaching?
    We should be totally free to do EVERYTHING in our marriage bed, but the church is too scared to ever talk about sex, sex toys, bj, anal , spanking, try mentioning any of this in curch, I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU!!!

What rock have you been living under, k tra? Pastors are talking about sex all the time from the pulpit these days. It’s possible this “k tra” person is a troll, but other than that, k tra, I take it you’ve never heard of preacher Mark Driscoll who not only wrote a book about marriage advice for Christians on the supposed joys of anal sex, but who also told his female listeners at his church that they should perform oral sex (“BJs”) on their spouses.

Driscoll has also spoken in vulgar, very blunt terms about sexual acts in lectures he’s given overseas, and he periodically writes sexually explicit material on his blog.

Then you have guys, like this married pastor, Schaap, who carried on an affair with a 16 year old church member, and who simulated sex acts from the pulpit, in front of teen-agers in the church and during a church service (quotes from FBC Jax Watchdogs blog,
fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/2013/01/jack-schaap-blames-decreasing-giving-at.html):

    Jack Schaap Blames Decreased Giving at Church for His Molestation of 16-Year Old Church Member
    Schaap was and is a sick man who as time went on began preaching graphic, sexual sermons at FBC Hammond. Only a man who has a twisted mind, and who answers to no authority, would be able to deliver the sermon Schaap did in 2010 that best demonstrates his sickness.
    At a youth conference, in the middle of his sermon he simulated masturbation for over a minute with a long stick held close to his crotch while he stroked the stick and made painful, orgasmic sounds as he talked to God. Watch it [Link to video]: here, and you’ll see what I mean.
    It is simply unbelievable that a man could behave this way – in front of a audience of teenagers especially – and not be escorted off the property or arrested for his X-rated performance.

You can read more about Driscoll here (all are off site links)….

MARK DRISCOLL, SEX & MARRIAGE

The Church of Sex, by David Kupelian

Real Depravity – The Mark Driscoll Controversy

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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”

Author Laurie Cole: another ‘early marriage’ supporter

Author Laurie Cole: another ‘early marriage’ supporter

Sometimes this blog writes itself. There are times when I don’t go looking for content, it finds me.

After writing two blog posts today, I had no intention of writing another, but I caught the last few moments of an interview with Chr. (Christian) author Laurie Cole, who was a guest on the Chr. television show “Life Today.”

Cole has written a book telling young Chr ladies how they can be women of virtue, or some such.

Cole was saying how females as young as age 12 or 13 today are having sex, and unlike even 20 to 30 years ago, where a horn-dog teen-ager guy had to at least pretend to love the girl and lie to the girl and say, “Of course I love you, baby” to get into her pants, that today, a girl will fall into bed even if the guy doesn’t claim to love her, because these girls feel it’s what everyone is doing, so they might as well too.

Cole at one point got into a discussion about Ruth and Boaz, two characters mentioned in the book of Ruth in the Old Testament of the Bible.

Cole said Boaz was a godly man who saw something godly about Ruth’s character. She seems to think that teaching young girls this view will help them to steer clear of sex outside of marriage, or of being used sexually by males.

—SIDE RANT—

Cole’s comments about Boaz’s character and Ruth’s character reminds me – there’s content for another post right there…

Most male Chr.s who comment on Ruth and Boaz never mention Ruth’s “godly” character or her inner qualities. Male Chr bloggers or pastors always make observations such as, “Boaz must have noticed what a looker Ruth was!”

Some of the more skeezy male pastors all seem to get off on how Ruth later approaches Boaz at night and puts the edge of his cloak over her feet, or whatever… male pastors have this disgusting tendency to sexualize EVERY male-female interaction, and make it all sound tawdry. It’s very unsavory, and it makes me wonder about these male pastors.

(Side note within a side rant: not that I’m a prude or “anti-sex.” What annoys me is where male pastors see sex where there is none, or where they harp on a woman’s looks, and a woman’s appearance is not central to the biblical narrative being discussed.)

I don’t even think the Bible mentions Ruth’s physical appearance (or does it)? I’ve been meaning to write another post about this – the sexist, obnoxious tendency of male Chrs. to always obsess over or comment upon female Bible character physical looks.

You never hear male Christians comment on what the Bible men looked like, such as, “That King David must have been a handsome, muscular man.”

Nope, male pastors, authors, and bloggers reserve all the observations about Bible characters looks to females only.

These Christian males may want to examine their weird pre-occupation with female beauty and sexuality – such pre-occupation is not biblical, it’s sexist, crude, and it’s uncomfortable for women to have to listen to or read.

More on this topic in a future post.

—END SIDE RANT—

At one stage of the interview, Cole said often that Chr. mothers and grandmas encourage their daughters to finish college first, get a career, then get married.

Continue reading “Author Laurie Cole: another ‘early marriage’ supporter”

Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear

Typical Conservative Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough (or at all), Mr. Right will magically appear

As I was saying in my last post:

What follows is a response to [Christian author] Regneus’ advice that Christian couples should marry by age 23.

I didn’t get my first boyfriend until age 27 or 28, so how does telling a woman to marry by 23 years of age really help?

Usually, most conservative Christians operate under the fallacy that if you pray long and hard enough and have enough faith, God will send you a spouse, and at that, by the time you are somewhere between 25 – 35 years old. That does not work. Plenty of single Christian women who prayed and waited remain never-married well over the age of 35 years of age, including me.

There’s another version of that thinking, though. Instead of the old “pray, wait, and have faith” fairy tale, many conservative Christians -mostly married, I note without irony or surprise- continue to act like marrying is simply a matter of your will, that if you want marriage badly enough, “Mr. Right” will magically pop up on your front door step out of the blue.

That is not how it works.

I also think it would be pretty cool to be Queen over ancient Egypt and get to wear those awesome black wigs, big gold necklaces, and nifty ancient Egyptian clothes and cat-eye make-up, but I doubt that will happen either.

It's Magical
It’s Magical

However, if we apply standard conservative Christian thinking about marriage to other situations: because I want to be Queen of Ancient Egypt badly enough, I should magically wake up tomorrow on a litter filled with fluffy, luxurious pillows, being carried by six, muscular Egyptian slaves, and wearing one of those cool headdresses with a gold snake on top.

How many of you think that is going to happen? Me neither.

If you are a Christian woman looking for a Christian spouse and for true love – getting married is not simple or easy at all.

Continue reading “Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear”

A Response by Colon to Regnerus Re: Misguided Early Marriage Propaganda

Please see my previous post about this subject:

The Nauseating, Creepy Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage

What follows is a response to Regneus’ advice that Christian couples should marry by age 23.

I didn’t get my first boyfriend until age 27 or 28, so how does telling a woman to marry by 23 years of age really help?

Anyway, here is the rebuttal, by Colon, author of “Singled Out”-

The Waiting Game [by Colon]

THE WHEATON COLLEGE newspaper recently published an article detailing frustrations that married students experience on campus because of their choice to marry young. The article surprised me. From my perspective, Wheaton College, along with much of evangelical culture, seems obsessed with marriage.

The number of students desperate for a “ring by spring” and the many marriage seminars at local congregations suggest that marriage remains a high priority.

Despite my different perspective, I feel for these married students. Certainly in our society, where strong marriages are so difficult to maintain, the Christian community should rally around these couples.

And as I read through Regnerus’s argument, I found myself agreeing with several of his points. Yes, abstinence rhetoric is problematic, and many singles have difficulty maintaining their purity. And yes, characterizing marriage almost entirely by romance and great sex is dangerous.

But is encouraging early marriage the answer? As Regnerus admits, early marriage is a risky proposition. While some young Christians might be ready, I worry that emphasizing early marriage will hasten the marriages of many who should wait.

I also worry that this solution addresses only one aspect of the problem.

What about those who will not marry early–or at all? Many Christian women in particular must face this reality. What do you do if you are the one in three who doesn’t find a spiritually mature man to marry? God can perform miracles, but despite the assurances of many Christian dating books, he doesn’t necessarily provide everyone with a spouse.

What we need, then, is to change not simply how we talk about marriage but also how we talk about singleness.

Rather than relying on the old standby of “wait until marriage,” we must consider why God might ask some of us to remain single. What does it mean to live a celibate life even if you haven’t taken a vow of celibacy? Can you live as a full person if you aren’t sexually active? Can celibacy be a witness to the gospel?

In a world where a good sex life is seen as essential, I believe that celibacy can serve as a radical testimony to God’s love and provision.

By approaching it as a spiritual discipline that reminds us that our ultimate fulfillment lies in our union with God, we can begin to see singleness as a productive time of serving God rather than a period of simply waiting for the right partner. Is the celibate life easy? No. But by the grace of God, it is possible.

We should support young Christians who decide to marry. But we need to combine that message with another that affirms the value of celibacy and the truth that single adults can live fulfilling lives that reveal God’s goodness: a message that affirms not only older singles who may never marry, but also younger singles who may need to walt before marrying.

Christine A. Colon, associate professor of English at Wheaton College, and coauthor of Singled Out: Why Celibacy Must Be Reinvented in Today’s Church (Brazos, 2009)


Related Post:

(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 

The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage

The Creepy Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage

With news that people are getting married later in life, if at all, some conservative Christians, in the past few years, have been pushing Christians to get married real early, say at age 18 or 19, or some suggesting age 21 or 22.

I don’t know why people are getting married later, though I might be able to come up with a few theories. I don’t know what the solution is, but I know what it is not: pushing kids to marry before age 25.

I found this long, mostly nauseating article at Christianity Today:

(Link): The Case For Early Marriage, by Mark Regnerus, first published in 2009

It’s a four or five page editorial, I’ve only seen the first two pages, and I am already fed up with it. I will address the author’s comments a bit at a time.

After mentioning that most Christians are having sex outside of marriage he (the author, Regnerus), makes these statements:

  • “What to do? Intensify the abstinence message even more? No. It won’t work. The message must change, because our preoccupation with sex has unwittingly turned our attention away from the damage that Americans—including evangelicals—are doing to the institution of marriage by discouraging it and delaying it.”
  • I’ve come to the conclusion that Christians have made much ado about sex but are becoming slow and lax about marriage…
  • Another indicator of our shifting sentiment about the institution is the median age at first marriage, which has risen from 21 for women and 23 for men in 1970 to where it stands today: 26 for women and 28 for men, the highest figures since the Census Bureau started collecting data about it.

Regnerus’ only concern is with “young” Christians (ages teens to 20s). How ageist. How about Christian women today who are age 35, 45, etc., who want to get married but have been unable to? Why is the spot light only focused on the 20 somethings by pastors, Christian blogs, and Christian magazines?

I suspect the hand wringing over young singles not getting married young may have something to do with fertility, given how often this author laments that women’s “childbearing” years are passing them by. He seems primarily concerned with getting ’em married young so that kids can be produced.

This point leads me to another: the author, Regnerus, makes several unfounded assumptions; here is one:

  • [quote missing]

Aside from being ageist – where is your concern for age 40+ women who want marriage? – Christians need to understand that some Christians are highly ambivalent about having children (they don’t care if they have children or not), while others are so firm in knowing they want none, they consider themselves what is known as “child free.”

A Christian should not push for marriage on the sole or primary basis that marriage is about “baby making.”

The author assumes that churches are hyping celibacy too much, but not touting the greatness of marriage nearly enough.

Oh get a clue, pal!

Maybe the celibacy message was poured on thick among teens back in the 1980s or 1990s and a bit today, but if you are a Christian virgin over the age of 30 today, you hear nothing from pastors or Christian blogs about the topic! It is just assumed that older Christians who have never married are having sex.

This author’s “solution,” which is for churches to preach and hype on marriage EVEN MORE than they already are doing (and have been doing for 40 or more years now) is quite similar to what Candice Watters wrote about this subject, and she was wrong too – I gave her the smack down (Link): here.

The author comments about how the average age of men and women for marriage has risen, and he uses the phrase “our shifting sentiment about the institution” in introducing this issue. The ‘rising age’ might not be an expression of sentiment – do not assume that because women are marrying at age 27 that they prefer this; there may be plenty that wanted marriage by 25 but it did not happen until 27.

I certainly felt I would be married by age 30 to 35. I never expected to still be unmarried by age 40+. Do not assume I, or by extension, any other woman, delayed singleness this long because I am expressing “anti marriage” sentiment. One cannot marry if one received no marriage proposals. (I received one years ago but had to break things off.)
Continue reading “The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage”

Family Shortchanges Singles (letter to Dear Abby)

Family Shortchanges Singles (letter to Dear Abby)

Dear Abby: A recent letter expressing concern regarding the manner in which a wedding invitation had been issued prompts me to write you about my objection to the way singles are often treated in that regard.

We have two sons, both past 35 and professional men, who are happily unmarried and have their own homes in cities many miles from ours.

Invitations for weddings, graduations and other occasions, as well as Christmas cards, often come to us with their names tacked on as if they were still children. Anyone who does not have their addresses could obtain them with a simple phone call. Instead, we seem to be expected to call them long-distance or write to them to relay the invitation or greeting. They, in turn, have made it a practice not to attend any function when invited in this manner.

Their grandmother excluded them from her magazine gift subscription list, saying, “That is only for the married ones. They can read yours.” (No mention was made of the miles between us.)

Are single adults being treated in this manner for the purpose of saving the cost of an additional acknowledgment and postage stamp, or is it merely thoughtlessness on the part of the sender? Or are singles not considered valid social entities by some?

Abby, please let your readers know that single adults are indeed adults and should be treated in an adult manner.

[from] Steamed in the Midwest

Dear Steamed: You just did. And I couldn`t have said it better. Thanks for writing.

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”

Confronting the Idolatry of Family by Janet Fishburn

Confronting the Idolatry of Family by Janet Fishburn

Apparently this book was first published in 1991 (or 1990?) but can be read online (or portions thereof) at one or more of the follow sites:

(Link): Confronting the Idolatry of Family: A New Vision for the Household of God by Janet Fishburn – hosted on “religion online”

(Link): Confronting the Idolatry of Family (PDF)

From religion online (please visit their site for a complete list of the links. Below is a partial list.):

Janet Fishburn is Professor of Teaching Ministry at Drew University Theological School in Madison, New Jersey. This book was published by Abingdon Press, Nashville (1991). This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.

(Link): Prologue: Protestant Ideals and Historical Realities
This Prologue summarizes the book. There are three parts: Part 1 is an analysis of the origins of current attitudes about church and family. Part 2 is a discussion of the way values often believed to be “God-given and biblical” are related to the values of the American Dream. In Part 3, describes the role of church leaders in planning educational programs that are supportive of members of traditional and nontraditional families, but not dependent on “the Christian home” as the primary agency of Christian spiritual formation.

(Link): Chapter 1: The Church in Domestic Captivity
Americans tend to uncritically identify loyalty to family with loyalty to church. Congregations in which loyalty to church and family are virtually synonymous are engaged in an American form of religious familism.

Chapter 2: “The Family Pew” and the Church Today
This chapter is about the way “the family pew” ethos affects program planning and leadership roles in congregations. If family loyalty controls the events that matter most in the life of a congregation, the faith commitments of that congregation are misplaced. If love of family is stronger and deeper than love for Jesus Christ, this is family idolatry.

(Link): Chapter 3: The Effect of Family Idolatry on a Congregation
The focus on ministry as spiritual direction requires the pastor to become the servant of all, the person who enables the ministry of every other member of the congregation. To accomplish this objective would require a redistribution of work in most congregations. In that process, both pastor and congregation will find that their understanding of the nature and mission of the church is changing.

(Link): Chapter 4: A Biblical Critique of Family Idolatry
The habit of associating biblical concepts like the Providence of God and the election of Israel with a nation and Protestant Christianity has greatly influenced the way American Protestants regard the nations of the world, the church, their families, and themselves.

(Link): Chapter 5: The Christian Life, Spirituality, and Sexuality
Where the longing for God is satisfied, human sexuality is enriched because spiritual discipline gives form and direction to desire. The mystery of sexual union is heightened for partners who love each other in Christ.” Conversely, exaggerated or compulsive love of any kind is a sign of alienation from God, of a lack of spiritual direction.

Continue reading “Confronting the Idolatry of Family by Janet Fishburn”

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

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

To fully appreciate this post, please see this previous one I made a few days ago on the same topic:

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

Today, I have spent several hours reading blogs that publish criticisms and exposes on nut-ball, lunatic, sexist, patriarchy / gender complementarian/ Quiverfull fringe groups, and one of them had a link to this page (which is hosted by gender complementarians /patriarchy supporters):

(Link): Reclaiming Beauty
– page selling DVDs (or if not a DVD set, it’s a downloadable video in MP4 format and a PDF study series; they are charging about $40 for it)

When I first skimmed that “Reclaiming Beauty” page over, I thought the discussion of how secular society places too much emphasis on females to look pretty and how this pressure is bad, was refreshing.

Usually, conservative and gender complementarian groups browbeat and pressure females to value only their physical appearance, so that they can attract and keep a man, which means conservative “Christian” sources repeatedly lecture Christian females in books, blogs, magazines, and TV shows and in sermons, to exercise, stay thin, fix their hair, and “look pretty” all the time.

Here is how the page selling the “Reclaiming Beauty” products started out – sounds good at first, nothing too objectionable:

    Today’s young Christian women have grown up in the most image-obsessed generation in history, a generation that worships some of the most twisted ideals of beauty the world has ever seen. But whether we love them or hate them… they tend to shape our own perceptions of what beauty is.

    ….It’s time to reclaim beauty. When faced with an industry built on Photoshop airbrushing, plastic surgery, starvation diets, grotesque catwalk styles, and billions of squandered dollars, our response can no longer be, “Beauty is not for us.”

    Join the authors of So Much More and It’s (Not That) Complicated and producers of “Return of the Daughters” [(Link): click here for a critique of “Return of the Daughters”] for an intensely practical, biblical, image-rich study course on the meaning and cultivation of beauty from the inside out.

So, based on skimming that far, I thought it was going to be series of lectures reminding Christian women that their value is in relation to God, not based on their figure, hair style, or other physical aspects. The people on that “Reclaiming Beauty” page seemed to be saying that women should be valued for their inner beauty. But then I skimmed on and saw this:

    Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin [hosts of “Reclaiming Beauty”] guide you through topics as practical as skincare, fitness, posture, voice, modesty solutions, home-made beauty products, color analysis, and how to clothe yourself better for less…

And further down the page, they mix and match these conflicting messages; here are some bullet points where they describe what subjects they will be addressing in the video:

    -Session Two: What Style Is Your Heart, Mind, and Soul? Pardon Me, Ma’am, but Your True Identity is Showing
    -Session Three: Getting Your Temple in Order: The Physical Foundations of Beauty
    -Session Four: Figuring Out Your Look: How to Dress in Character
    -Session Seven: The Focal Point: Being a Good Steward of Your Face and Crowning Glory [i.e., your Hair]

Is it really necessary on the one hand to tell women God values them for who they are and that they are His creation; that they should cherish their inner beauty; that they should not let the culture’s ideals of beauty make them feel bad – but then turn around on the other hand and dish out fashion and beauty advice? They’re contradicting themselves on this.

It’s hypocritical and rather counter-productive to tell a female, “God loves you no matter what you look like, that is all that should matter,” and then say in the next breath, “But your looks do matter so here are some diet and beauty tips.”

I don’t know why conservative Christians like to say out of one side of their mouths to females that God loves women and values their inner beauty, so should they, but then tell them, “You must lose weight, wear a cute hair style, wear lip stick and look stunning.” If my inner beauty is to be treasured above all else, by myself, and God thinks I’m great the way I am, why are they pushing me to starve myself or wear mascara?

I’ve seen the same confusion and conflicting views pushed on other Christian blogs, and mentioned in reviews for Christian dating advice books, where even females as young as 15 are told “God loves you the way you are so don’t fret about your face or body, but, hey, remember, men hate ugly fatties, so you better get a gym membership, starve yourself, and start wearing lip gloss if you hope to get a man!”

Then you have the sexist douche bags like conservative pastors or personalities such as Pat Robertson or Mark Driscoll ((Link): see this post) who tell Christian women, “If your man is an alcoholic or cheats on you, it’s obviously because you are fat or look like a hag.”

So, which is it, my fellow conservative Christians? Should I value my inner beauty and rest in God’s love and acceptance of me for who I am (not what I look like), or should I cave in to secular, and yes, Christian pressure to look hot and sexy to get and keep a man?

And I do think it’s a shame that Christian women get hit with these obnoxious, nauseating “be pretty, for your value lies in your appearance” views not only from secular media, but it is rife in Christian media and Christian culture as well. Christian culture should be freeing women, not enslaving them as the secular world does.
———————–
Related posts, this blog:

(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): Why Unmarried – Single Christians Should Be Concerned about the Gender Role Controversy – because some Christians are teachng that unmarried people are not fully human or not “whole” – preachers who teach that single people are not fully in God’s image unless they get married

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

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

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

(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): 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

————————

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I digress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DISCLAIMER.

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

FURTHER DISCLAIMERS.

I am not into global warming or environmentalism.

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

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

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

— THE LINKS—

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

(Link): The Family Idol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Link): Rethinking Vision Forum

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

From that blog:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creepy: ‘Barna: [Christian] Women Value Family Over Faith’

Creepy: ‘Barna: [Christian] Women Value Family Over Faith’

Jesus Christ said:

    “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37)

It looks like this teaching of Christ’s keeps falling on deaf ears, at least among Americans who profess to be Christians.

What happens when American Christian conservative culture and denominations place an unbiblical fixation on marriage and procreation? Something like this (among other fall out):

(LINK): Barna: Women Value Family Over Faith [study was released in August 2012]

    In the second of a four-part series studying Christian women, the Barna Group released survey results at the end of last week showing that, of women who have attended a regular church service in the last six months, more than half said their family was their highest priority in life. Sixteen percent said faith was most important, followed by health, career, and living a comfortable lifestyle.

    Sixty-two percent of women polled said their most important role in life was being a parent, followed by 13 percent who said their most important role was being a follower of Christ.

    …The study also found that 75 percent of Christian women were “heavily influenced” by the Bible, followed closely by the influence of their husbands (63 percent). Only 30 percent said they were influenced by the media.

    Read the full report (LINK): here [from the Christian Post]; author: Jeff Schapiro.

Excerpts from Christian Post:

    The study, titled “What Women Want,” is the second in a four-part series by the Barna Group on “Christian Women Today.” The study was conducted by surveying 603 adult Christian women throughout the U.S. who have attended a regular church service in the last six months.

    Over half (53 percent) of those surveyed said their family was their top priority in life, while only 16 percent said faith was most important. Another nine percent of Christian women said their top priority was their health, five percent said it was their career performance and another five percent said it was living a comfortable lifestyle.

    When Christian women were asked about what they felt was their most important role in life, the results were similar to their priorities. The majority (62 percent) said their most important role was being a parent, and only 13 percent said their most important role was being a follower of Christ.

    David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, said in a statement that some might assume that the research means woman have made their families into “idols” and set them above their relationships with Jesus. Others might view it as a “false choice” women have to make between their families and their faith.

Rare Reminders from Christians on Recent Broadcasts that Fornication is Wrong and That Older Celibates Exist

Rare Reminders from Christians on Recent Broadcasts that Fornication is Wrong and That Older Celibates Exist

On tonight’s “Harvest” show, hosted by Greg Laurie, aired on TBN, Laurie told his audience in very strong terms that the Bible does not condone sex outside of marriage. He said it doesn’t matter if you love the other person and practice “safe sex,” that God is still not fine with sexual activity outside of marriage.

A day or two ago, Christian singer CeCe Winans was host of TBN’s “Praise the Lord” program, where she interviewed a married Christian couple (I don’t recall their names).

The wife of the couple said she was a virgin until she got married, and she did not get married until she was 38 or 39 years old.

Not only that, but the audience (which is presumably made up of Christians) applauded her for that admission.

So quite possibly there are at least some Christians out there still who are supporting, and who believe in, refraining from sex until marriage. It was nice to see someone admit to being past age 35 before getting married and then having sex upon marriage, rather than before.

It’s a nice change from the usual testimonies from all the Christians on these shows who admit they “blew it” and slept around numerous times, only for the Christian host to turn to the camera and reassure other fornicators,
“Aw shucks, but don’t feel so bad if you have sex outside of marriage, because God will forgive your sexual sin! Just stop doing it and start practicing secondary virginity! Be a spiritual virgin now!”

Reminder and disclaimer:

As I’ve said NUMEROUS TIMES on this blog before, it’s not that I am hoping for pastors to go all Pharisee on sexual sinners and stone them to death with rocks

– but –

I at least want them to start making it abundantly clear when discussing sexual sin, God’s grace, and God’s forgiveness that the Bible none-the-less still teaches that God expects people to exercise self-control and remain virgins until marriage, even if they are 35, 45, or 75 years old.

No more of this “Laissez-faire,” La-Dee-Da, lukewarm, watered down, ‘every one has sex outside of marriage, so go ahead and do it, and God will forgive you for it, nobody expects you to remain celibate past the age of 17 years old, and hey, we totally understand it and get it if you’ve had sex outside of marriage’ garbage.

Have we made an idol of families? (copy)

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

Source:

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

    by Andy Stirrup
    Published: June 6, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

Valentine’s Day – this is for all the Unmarried People / Never Married / Singles

❤ ❤ ❤ Happy Valentine’s Day to all the Unmarried People out there! ❤ ❤ ❤

Happy Valentine's Day from Forever Alone Meme Guy!
Happy Valentine’s Day from Forever Alone Meme Guy!

Valentine’s Day

(Link): Valentine’s Day / Singles Appreciation Day For Never Married People and Other Singles -2014-

I used to dread Valentine’s Day, as it was a reminder that I was still unmarried. As the years go by, the holiday doesn’t bother me as much. At times, I find it amusing.

Here are some links or funny photos to cheer you up if you’re down about being alone on Valentine’s Day…

(Link): Eleven of the Worst Valentine Day’s Ads

(Link): 30 Valentine’s Day Gift Fails

(Link): The Top 100 Most Strange, Odd, Perplexing and Unintentionally Funny Vintage Valentine Cards EVER!

Single and Free
Single and Free
"My life is like a romantic comedy except..."
“My life is like a romantic comedy except…”
Forever Alone With 72 Cats
Forever Alone With 72 Cats
Grumpy Cat says Bah Hum Bug to Valentine's Day! / Grumpy Cat Valentine's Day cookies
Grumpy Cat says Bah Hum Bug to Valentine’s Day! / Grumpy Cat Valentine’s Day cookies

If you are feeling bad today because you are single and it’s Valentine’s Day, well don’t! You’re fine the way you are!

❤ ❤ ❤ Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤ ❤ ❤
———————————–
Related links on this blog:

(Link):  A Valentine for the Single Christian by K L Bishop

(Link):  Meet the Most Vitriolic Valentine’s Day Haters Around the World

(Link): Some Lady Tells Singles Not To Feel Sad on Valentine’s Day

(Link): Insensitive Valentine Meme – you can’t feel sad about being single if your parents are still living

(Link): Chinese Singles Buy Movie Tickets So Couples Can’t Sit Together on Valentine’s Day