Active In Creation

In this modern society of ours, we do use words that are reflective of the things that we do. While the nature of the “work” changes, we still partake in activities and do different things. While it’s harder to say that we are actually doing things of ourselves given the advent of machines and more so the advent of collaboration that has taken hold in the workplace at the same time as feminism, language reflects the state of things. We tend towards using passive verbs instead of active ones, because they are closer to the truth. Then because of collaboration that extends way beyond our concepts we can understand, we use even more dubious words to describe the things we do. In essence, this is because the act of creation has been taken from us in real tangible ways. Our language that we use reflects this change.

In the end, we like to be creators, or at least to be able to point to something and say we had a hand in its existence. Even in a collaborative activity like a huge building, if we had a part in it, it’s easy to point at the finished product and say “my work is a reason why that building stands there”. Even in an activity like walking or bicycling, it is so much more rewarding in one’s base nature to say “I traveled to the next town over”, because your own effort got you there than to have driven there and claim the same thing. It’s rewarding in man’s base nature to be able to point to something tangible for our efforts. This creation nature is nothing that we should be surprised about, since we were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). That God creates and works is evident in that chapter and all throughout the Scriptures.

Even before the fall, man was acknowledged to have this creator nature by God. God told them to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28 KJV) And before the fall, God made a garden for the first man so he could dress it and keep it (Genesis 2:15). The fact that each and every person needs a meaning or purpose in work is self-evident. It is good for us to work and accomplish something.

After the fall, work became the means to provide for our existence and became a hard thing (Genesis 3:17-19), but work has always been a means of existence and identity for each of us. It’s not hard to stumble across actions aplenty all over Scripture. God’s actions, men’s actions, women’s actions. Everyone is doing, acting, creating. It can be said viscerally, that taking this away from someone is one of the worst things that could be done to a person. Everyone from the smallest child to the oldest person wants to be useful.

God in His infinite mercy realized that we needed something done for us that we couldn’t do ourselves. We needed to be saved from ourselves. As a part of the fall, everything about us became corrupted. We could still create by doing works, but we do good works and bad works. In the end, all of it is tainted because of our bad works, because of ourselves and our motives (Romans 3:22-24). God did a work for us through the person of His only begotten Son, and will continue to do work within us, changing us to be more like Jesus. Paul says it like this:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 NASB)

We always want to work for what we get, because it is in our nature. We are not one with our existence if we can’t point to something we have done. That makes it hard for us to accept anything that is given to us out of grace. Even gifts from others can be hard to accept if they are of any particular value. So many work hard to justify themselves through their works, but since our works are tainted they are no good before God. People will even justify themselves after the fact with the works mentioned in verse 10.

But God does recognize we need to create and have a part in things so again by His gift He gives us a garden to tend and keep up, like the first man. This is another act of grace in God, not any obligation that we are given, especially since God is all sufficient and could speak what He wants done into existence. But we should be thankful that we are given this chance. By faith (for it is the only thing that pleases God Hebrews 11:6), we get the chance to step out and do these things within the Kingdom of God by having God work through us (Philippians 2:13). By God working through us, these works are not tainted and are holy and pleasing within His sight. We are all given these things to do, not for the kingdoms of men that pretend towards God (for that is “serve us”), but for the Kingdom of God itself. Anything less is simply tainted make work.

It is not hard to stumble across actions, creations, and works in the New Testament, either. Depending on the translation you are looking at, you can find 40-50 separate actions all those in the church are called towards. We are meant to work and create as disciples of Christ. By grace, God gives us each a garden to tend and then are called into account for the results (Matthew 25:14-30). It’s not hard to see that being a follower of Christ is a very active daily pursuit, given a study of all those actions. It involves building up others, encouraging them, teaching them, admonishing them on the path towards the Lord. It involves bringing people to knowledge of the Lord at all stages of things. In fact, it’s not hard to study Scripture for very long (especially as a man), and see a very active Church that is exceedingly attractive to participate in.

But in the end, the nature of man is to take things, and Churchianity has no different goal in mind. It’s very heartbreaking to see what the Church was meant to be and then be treated to the same passivity, dubious nature, and “soft words” that we find in the world. We are saved to…congregate in a room for an hour, sit, and listen? Maybe sing a few words without any meaning? Go home, thankful that it is all over, and forget it as easily as a fever dream? Sure there will be people that will claim that you need to be “active” before the Lord when you do these things, but what activity do you really see going on? People will even redefine common words to justify such laziness (really to call it what it is). Love has been redefined in this drive – love is a verb and action, not a feeling.

By redefining God’s work as something only a few select Deified Ones get to do, is it any wonder that there are men who are frustrated? Is it any wonder that Churchianity is exceedingly unattractive to more and more? To truly belong in something we need to be able to take a part in it, to be able to create and work in it. The Father in His boundless wisdom has given each and every one of His children continual opportunities each and every day. How unfortunate is it that it is impossible for most to be as active as God would want within their brethren because a few people have chosen to eliminate those possibilities for power and control’s sake?

Manufacturing Singleness Part 2

Last time, the description of some of the factors within the modern Churchian environment which supports the creation of singleness were described. As the text written for this post was getting too long, it was split up. The rest is below:

3. Poor evangelical teaching and instruction about dating and sexuality has existed from the feminist preachers, rendering young men and women unable to relate to one another.

I have so far addressed things that the pastors aren’t teaching. This point addresses some of the things that they have been doing. To talk to them (and in fact most all married folks), if they are honest they will admit they have no idea how they ended up with the wives or husbands they ended up with. There was no purpose or set action plan, just random chance – it just sorta happened. Or if they know what worked, they can only talk about what worked for them. This makes them poor candidates to be teaching about courtship and dating. The fruits of these teachings have been continually self-evident.

One of the most widely books out there in the past 20 years or so that aims to teach about courtship is I Kissed Dating Goodbye. The drive to abstinence beyond sexual motives (Harris describes the book as “my story about giving up the dating game to serve God”) has definitely impeded the willingness and ability of single men and women to interact, along with the trend of segregation (“women’s ministry”, “men’s ministry”, etc). The followers of these books eliminate natural one-on-one interactions of single men and women in favor of segregated group settings or no settings at all, for fear of them getting together to fornicate. That this impedes the natural interaction is without question. Camerin Courtney writes of such dating books:

Finally one day when we were at one of those romantic outdoor concert venues having a picnic together, I asked what on earth this relationship was if it wasn’t dating. After some hemming and hawing and at long last some good honest talk about expectations and getting caught up in semantics, we finally came to the conclusion that dating wasn’t necessarily the root of all evil, that it could be done in a God-honoring way — and, in fact, that we were pretty much doing that already. There was a palpable sense of relief after that — at being able to call a spade a spade, at not being paralyzed by “Christian” fears and expectations, and being free to follow God’s unique purposes for our relationship instead of a formula.

In the drive to speak against fornication, many of the evangelical teachers have duplicated what Paul did with the Corinthians. In 1 Cor 7, Paul responded to a letter of the Corinthians which stated “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (1 Cor 7:1, KJV). In that chapter, Paul attempted to correct the impression some of the Corinthians had after rebuking them for fornication that it wasn’t good to have anything to do with a woman at all. In the drive to teach sexual abstinence (the popular “purity rings” for instance), the impression has been given that single women and men should have nothing to do with each other at all for fear of being tempted into fornication.

Camerin Courtney gives her assessment of the results of such dating methodologies:

I’ve seen singles use non-dating or courting as an excuse to hang out with a lot of different people of the opposite gender (non- dating around, if you will) — leading to all kinds of confusion. I’ve seen these non-dating philosophies used as a way to escape responsibility and commitment. And mostly I’ve seen them used as a means of avoiding the hard work of following God in our day-to- day lives and relationships. While dating can be wonderful and enriching, when it’s done poorly it can also be painful and messy. So instead of learning to do it well, some would have us just not date altogether.

The end effect of “kissing data goodbye” seems to most certainly be kissing marriage goodbye as well.

4. The flesh nature and sins of women are not challenged by the feminist preachers, but are encouraged and celebrated by them.

In the drive to paint women as being without original sin, there has developed a poor understanding of the flesh nature as it exists through women. That the old commentators had a more innate understanding of the dangers of the sins of women is without question, even reading a little bit. As men are polygamous by nature, women are hypergamous by nature. Hypergamy is the desire within all women to marry up in class to someone that is more powerful or wealthy than the man that they currently have. This leads to women continually partaking in serial monogamy, even within the context of marriage. They find a man, then reject them when she has found someone better. The tendency, given that these women aren’t challenged on their sins, is to fornication within these relationships. That serial monogamy to fornication is accepted and celebrated (the flesh nature mode of courtship when it comes to women), even within the context of marriage is a disgusting turn of events in any light before the sight of God.

There is no recognition that sin besets women as much as it does men, when it comes to courtship, dating, and marriage. Furthermore there is no recognition or understanding of the base flesh nature of women that exists. And there is a drive to excuse this sin and blame it upon the men. Then there’s the drive to make these women acceptable despite the consequences of their sins. These consequences will always exist, and chief of those when it comes to hypergamy expressed by serial monogamy is that women will be rejected because of their repeated fornication and other associated sins. No wise and discerning man wants a feral woman, who is unrestrained in any way by moral or spiritual imperatives.

But then again, the apex fallacy (a principle related to hypergamy) states that women can only literally see what is above them in dating status. So I perhaps shouldn’t be too offended by all the man-up rants, since they are in response to the women complaining about how the 10-15% of the men they do see don’t want anything to do with them. They don’t address how the women generally find it repulsive and disgusting to be addressed by the 85-90% that doesn’t meet their hypergamous standards. After all, if they want the Alpha Experience, they should know too that the Alpha just won’t settle down and marry, or follow after Scripture in any way. After all, why should he since the sexual market place is giving him what he wants when he wants it? Given the venom that these feminist preachers put off unjustly, though, it’s hard to not get offended.

There are many more things that could be pointed out. In conclusion, the feminist preachers such as Mark Driscoll, Kevin DeYoung, and Albert Mohler need to look into the mirror and see what they are doing to precipitate the results that they are noticing. When you do certain things within a system you create, these things always create very specific results. Insanity is to expect different results out of doubling down and doing the same things. The man-up rants that they write come off as complaining that what they have set up and supported is not working as they desire. Yet, instead of learning what is really going on in their congregations and making real changes, they continue to double-down on their rants against the single men in order to please the women that they answer to in their churches and homes.

Manufacturing Singleness Part 1

In looking at Matthew 19:12 when it comes to the choice to marry, it was mentioned that there are observations that could be made about Churchianity that I find fascinating. Jesus gives us some reasons by which one could not accept marriage as a choice:

For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. (Matthew 19:12)

To start off with, eunuchs are castrated males (for whatever reason). They were typically employed in the bed chambers of princesses and queens to provide an assurance of chastity towards these women (1). In using this word, Jesus is not referring to physical castration, but relating the desire towards a woman for marriage. This usually leads to reproduction, which provides the link to the choice of the word eunuch.

So Jesus tell us three reasons why a man (let us remember that taking a wife is the first act of headship) could not enter into the commitment of marriage:
1. They were born that way.
2. They were made that way of men.
3. They made themselves that way for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.

These can be applied to either men or women in this day and age in the culture. Paul echoes reason #3 in 1 Corinthians 7:31-35, on why one might go that route. Reason #1 is due to issues of birth, or one that just has a natural inclination of mind not to marry. Reason #2 is where other men forced the man to not be able to marry by castrating them. This often happened to boys that were captured in wars (for example, Daniel and his three friends – Daniel 1).

In application to today, there are several factors out there which have made men and women forswear marriage. These have been created by men, so they have a good parallel to reason #2. While there is no direct action upon men, there are societal factors in the world and Churchianity, which put together create the effect of negating or hindering the ability to marry. In effect, the conditions are created to manufacture singleness. Some of the environmental factors that precipitate singleness within Churchianity will be described.

1. Unrealistic expectation for the women to be “empowered” and have suitors line up for them when they are ready are not challenged by the feminist preachers.

This is nothing different that hasn’t been seen in the culture. Women go off and do their own thing, usually career, but other ministry things, too. They do these things with the expectation that they can find marriage at any time they would like in their lives. It is well known that the available pool of candidates for marriage decreases considerably as one ages. Marriage is just not a priority for these women, but when it comes time that they find that there just aren’t candidates out there. Or they are so set in their ways and their own desires, that they just can’t find anyone to go along with them and get bitter and angry because they couldn’t have their own perfect romance like all the other women around them. Then they always have more chance to get baggage that would keep them from getting married.

One woman writes ( quoted off Dalrock since the original URL referenced in my notes does not exist now):

When I was younger, I always expected to become a mum…As far as I was concerned, the day I became a mum was just out there waiting for me to reach out and embrace it.

During my 20s, I put in long days as an aspiring journalist, and at night I partied with the best of them. In my mid-30s I battled an addiction to alcohol…

Like a lot of women my age, I’d thought 30 was probably an ideal age to settle down. But once I hit 30, it’s was if I hit an oil patch and the years just slipped away. The men I dated either weren’t at the same life stage as me, or simply didn’t have the money to commit to a baby.

Given this trend, it seems the proper course is for “woman-up” rants from the evangelical feminist preachers, not man-up rants. It seems women are just expecting marriage to be there when they are ready for it, after running after being an “empowered woman”, and then are rushing the offices of these people when they aren’t finding it, complaining how men aren’t there to marry them. Then you get the man-up rants out of them because it could never ever be the chaste sinless women’s faults.

2. Unrealistic expectations from women for the perfect man for them are not challenged by the feminist preachers.

Then as was mentioned, there is this building up of women. This is done both in affirmation as well as the fact that women just aren’t called out on their sins. This, coupled with the gospel that likens Jesus to the perfect husband for them, women look for the perfect husband on earth for them. I quoted a woman there describing the perfect man for a husband, which echoes the “Jesus is my boyfriend” view:

I want to encourage all the single women out there. God has that special man for you … the man He has set aside for you. In His time, He will send him to you. Wait on God and wait for your man, so that you won’t make a mistake. . . . Don’t settle for just anyone just because you are getting impatient. Wait, wait, wait!!! It is going to be worth the wait. Let God’s perfect will reign in your life.

So given this, it seems women are rejecting men that are “good enough” in the sight of God to be her husband for the absolute perfect man, who does not exist. Grace requires that we all settle for what is less than perfect, because God settled for us (men and women) who are completely disgusting in his sight.

When I got this post written, the content ended up being much too long for one post, so I will continue it tomorrow, and will describe more factors happening within the Churchian environment which the man-up feminist preachers such as Albert Mohler, Kevin DeYoung, and Mark Driscoll could use their energy and notoriety in more purposeful Godly ways to resolve than to double-down on blaming the men for the sins of the women.

(1) Adam Clarke’s Commentary On the Bible (1715-1832), Matthew 19:12.

Marriage 1.0 (#2) – The Choice

Primary Text: Matthew 19:10-12; 1 Corinthians 7:2, 6-9, 25-28, 32-33, 35; Proverbs 18:22

In the last post on this issue, the commitment that marriage 1.0 entails was described. In this post, the choice involved to marry or not marry will be described from a Scriptural standpoint. In this sense, in writing the man-up rants like Albert Mohler, Mark Driscoll, and others, this choice to marry or not within Scripture is fully unrecognized and is passed off as a extra-Biblical requirement. In fact none of these men can point to where these things are said, and as many Churchian proctors do, when they point to something it is only to support their own position and to not submit to the full counsel of Scripture. As with many things that are said, this is a good example of how the intent of Scripture is warped to support a position that just doesn’t exist in Scripture.

This choice is acknowledged in Scripture by the fact that it doesn’t come down on the position that singleness is sin, or that marriage is an expectation of growing up. It just mentions it as an option. Let us look into what it does say. For example, many will point to this in support of their positions:

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. (Proverbs 18:22)

However, it does not indicate a commandment to find a wife. To find a wife indicates that the choice of a search is initiated. The word favour is also used, indicating a measure of grace that is given by the Lord (lest we remember that we do not deserve anything from the Lord, especially a marriage partner). Most of the older commentators (1) will usually hasten to add that the Septuagint has an addition: “But he who puts away a good wife, puts away a good thing: and he that retains an adulteress, is a fool and wicked.” Again this indicates that choice is involved from the man when it involves marriage.

Culturally, the man still usually is the one to propose marriage (the choice stems from the right of headship the Lord gives the husband), so this hasn’t changed from the Biblical pattern like the allowance of divorce from a woman has, though Mohler, Driscoll, et al are attempting to change this. Edersheim also notes (2) that it was common to ask “Maza or Moze?” in the Jewish culture to new husbands, the first denoting Proverbs 18:22 and the second involving Ecclesiastes 7:26. This relates to the quality of the choice that was made, not that the fact the choice was required. This should indicate that much wisdom and discernment should go into whether to search, and ultimately selecting the wife decided upon to end the search.

But we need not constrain ourselves to this Old Testament canard the pronuptualists always seem to haul out. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7 on the issue of fornication:

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. (v2)
But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. (v6)

Unlike the pronuptualist ranters, Paul is painting this as a concession (v6) and not as a commandment. The pronuptualist ranters tend to paint this as a commandment towards the men with the assumption that they are incapable of not committing fornication (again standard SOP of treating men as vile base creatures that need caged while women are perfect and chaste with no sin in them). Paul goes on, addressing the unmarried and widows (men AND women):

For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. (1 Corinthians 7:7-9)

This suggests that if one is incapable of making the choice to not fornicate, that it is perhaps better for them to marry. Again this is a choice before the Lord that given wisdom and discernment, not a commandment that all must marry or face eternal hell fire! Paul goes on, describing his position on marriage:

Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. (1 Corinthians 7:25-28)

Paul is saying it’s good to stay in your current position, but if you change it you are not sinning. But marriage will bring trouble in the flesh, in the things of this world. Paul goes on in describing that marriage can cause split devotion before the Lord:

But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:32-33)

And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. (1 Corinthians 7:35)

Those that are married will have the additional worldly concern of their spouse, keeping their concern away from the Lord. Then, good wisdom and discernment always involves counting the costs. After Jesus’ teaching referenced last time, the following was said:

His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. (Matthew 19:10-12)

Let us note Jesus’ response. Again, Jesus is non-committal on whether to marry (Paul lays this down as well in many parts of 1 Cor 7). He notes that there will be those that are incapable of embracing such commitment for whatever reason. Clarke describes some of the possible reasons while echoing Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:38 (3): the present necessity, persecution, worldly embarrassments, or bodily infirmity.

There are a number of reasons why a man might choose to marry or choose to not marry, but those are up to him and his discernment and wisdom before the Lord. Scripture very clearly paints marriage as a choice to be entered into, and not something that is an obligation or a commandment. Scripture also clearly does not come down on the side of one or the other as being better. While other men and women can very much be factors into this decision, the final choice of entering in Marriage 1.0 is always the husbands as his first act of headship within the marriage.

So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. (1 Corinthians 7:38)

(Matt 19:12 interests me greatly in terms of today’s environment, so I will be writing a post on this verse alone sometime in the future)

(1) Adam Clarke’s Commentary On The Bible (1715-1832), Proverbs 18:22
(2) Alfred Edersheim Sketches of Jewish Social Life page 135
(3) Adam Clarke’s Commentary On The Bible (1715-1832), Matthew 19:11

Sell Me Marriage

As I write things, I tend to think on them a lot. Whether they are correct, certain things that catch my mind to meditate on, whatever. As I read a number of things lately, my mind comes back to the post Why Young Men Don’t Marry.

It also could be said that there is a lot of anger out there at all the injustices themselves, not only relating to marriage, but all of what the feminists have done. Then there are the Mark Driscolls, Kevin DeYoungs, Bill Bennetts, and Albert Mohlers that compound the injustice by just saying to man-up and marry and just take all of what is going on silently and just be quiet. Most of us aren’t going to deal with the issue like George Clooney in “Up in the Air” (note for those that are offended by such things, there is one “swear word” in the clip, I couldn’t find anything else), and be polite saying “Sell Me Marriage” (where the title of this post comes from).

We’re going to do as he says, observe what we see as examples and see if we want those things. And more of us are, after genuine discernment and wisdom, are just walking away. It’s not worth it to marry. If Churchianity can grasp the idea of a followers words and actions being a witness for Christ, they surely can recognize that what their teachers say and do, as well as the marriages around the church organization function as a witness for Christian marriage. Unfortunately they don’t realize they are failing miserably. As was said, we read and see things on the Internet. But the consequences of Marriage 2.0 are common enough that all we need is a front-row seat, and we have that in spades.

But in referring to the Internet, several good items have come to mind recently. In Dalrock’s series on the evangelical feminist redefinition of marriage (1 2 3 4 5), plenty of good reasons are already given for a young man to not step foot in a marriage. But there are good ones in the comments too.

On the issue of sex as a weapon for the wife to force her headship on the husband:
Bwana Simba writes on Part 5:

The worst thing about sex as a weapon is that all of the men in the church seem to believe that that’s just how it is in that’s perfectly fine and make jokes about it. Hell, there are pastors that include the jokes about men not getting sex from their wives in their sermons. And women wonder why men don’t want to marry.

Then Rollo Tomassi notes about the issue of porn and how it comes up (Then it gets demonized all over the place in movies like Fireproof and elsewhere):

Is it any wonder that modern, ubiquitous pornography would be the first resort for a christian husband’s sexual release in the face of those social controls that tell him he’s not good enough to expect any kind of sex from his wife? He doesn’t need to qualify for porn. Porn doesn’t care if he makes it feel sexy or if he earned it by loving it the way christ loved the church. Porn submits to his sexual desires unconditionally. Porn is a better Christian wife than the one he married.

OK, so if I have these sexual desires that the Churchian proctors are going around crying about marrying for to be right with God like raving idiots because “YOU’LL BURN WITH A PASSION! AAAAH!” then … I won’t get them satisfied anyway by a Christian wife unless I become her slavering lick-spittle, and only then if she’s in the mood and feels haaaaaapy at the time? The rest of my assessment is here, but this isn’t anything I haven’t already heard in person.

Then over on The Christian Men’s Defense Network, we have a whole bunch of testimony about marriage when it falls apart here in the comments. As with most of these stories, there are men that have been through some hard things with no support whatsoever from their evangelical communities, and no justice for them. If I wasn’t angry for my own experiences, I would be angry for them. When they need to be shown the love of Christ the most, they’re unilaterally accused and then shunned. Again, these things aren’t anything I haven’t already had a front row seat to witness in person from family and friends, or the time I had an outing ruined by a woman screaming at her husband like a banshee at the top of her lungs. We see these things. We notice what is going on. For example,
Anon1987 writes on Dalrock part 5:

I can’t see myself getting married and having kids anymore. The very idea scares me now. My first girlfriend lied about being pregnant and tried to blackmail me and my parents with it, so I really can’t see myself having children anymore because I just can’t bear the thought of them being used as a weapon. I don’t want to get married because it makes me feel apprehensive. I feel like I wouldn’t constantly and unceasingly have to prove myself over and over and if I do one tiny thing wrong, there goes my possesions, my money and my life.

And then we just see how “supposedly happy” members of marriages function within public. For example.

Originally gotten from Dalrock:

Originally from CMDN:

We watch these things and we respond as young unmarried men. For pastors like Albert Mohler, vetting these examples that are in public and otherwise are necessary. Most of all, it’s important that support occur for either party on true injustice. As with any instance, getting the story from both and believing and not just the woman is important for true wisdom and judgment. Unfortunately, the SOP of Churchianity is that the woman is always right (i.e. do not have original sin) and the man is always wrong. Since the women are never held to account, it is more and more that the women are indeed the wrong ones. We have seen much of these bad fruits come to pass.

We ask the question “Sell Me Marriage” from as soon as we can figure out why mother and father are together, and continue into where we have the ability to make the decision. Is marriage beneficial to me? What would my life be like if I were married? Given the testimonies that are before us, many of us are increasingly saying “No” To the sales pitch that is currently out there. This is not an immature response, but one reflecting all the years the “Sell Me Marriage” sales pitch has gone on, thought through with wisdom and discernment. If these pastors can recognize that a person can be a witness for Christ through words and actions, surely the time can come when they can recognize the same of marriage for those that are married. The time is drawing short for them to indeed answer the bell and save marriage as God intended it.

Marriage 1.0 (#1) – The Commitment

Primary Text: Matthew 19:3-10; Mark 10:2-12

In the purpose of this blog, it is necessary to define what Churchianity teaches and practices on matters and then contrast them with the Scriptures as handed down by God. In resting on God’s wisdom, it takes necessity to learn what it says on any matter. Therefore attempting to describe the current state of matters as it has to do with marriage, the next few posts will attempt to address marriage as God originally intended it.

Given that we have gone through two or three generations in life on this earth without good solid examples before us, and good solid teaching before us, it can be very difficult to determine this pattern that God has laid out for us. This is further complicated by the multitude of feminist teachers out there that are enforcing Marriage 2.0 within the church and into greater society. I will lean on the older commentators at times to help explain certain things, as I believe they were less corrupted by feminism than the ones that exist today. This post will address the commitment that is set before us if we are to partake in marriage, and when it can be broken.

Jesus spoke of this commitment, which appears in Matthew 19:3-10 and Mark 10:2-12.

The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? (Matthew 19:3)

Both passages have this question (Mark 10:2). It is important to understand the culture in which the question was asked. Alfred Edersheim writes of the culture surrounding this question, and identifies this question as a controversy of the Rabbinic Schools (1) involving the interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1. He writes of them, explaining their positions (I broke them up into separate blocks of text):

“… the School of Shammai applied the expression only to moral transgressions and, indeed, exclusively to unchastity. It was declared that, if a woman were as mischievous as the wife of Ahab, or [according to tradition] as the wife of Korah, it were well that her husband should not divorce her, except it be on the ground of adultery. At the same time this must not be regarded as a fixed legal principle, but rather as an opinion and good counsel for conduct. The very passages, from which the above quotations are made, also afford only too painful evidence of the laxity or views and practices current.”

“But the School of Hillel proceeded on different principles. It took the words, ‘matter of shame’ in the widest possible sense, and declared it sufficient ground for divorce if a woman had spoiled her husband’s dinner. Rabbi Akiba thought, that the words, ‘if she find no favour in his eyes,’ implied that it was sufficient if a man had found another woman more attractive than his wife.”

Edersheim goes on to describe that both schools made it a duty to divorce in the case of moral blame. He describes this as different failures of the Law, as well as such offenses as going in public with an uncovered head, entering into talk with men, brawling, and disrespectfully speaking to her husband’s parents in his presence. They also mention a troublesome or quarrelsome wife or childlessness.

Shammai held stricter standards than Hillel, but one can tell pretty readily that the divorce standards were lax. Hillel allowed divorce for any and every reason (much like today). The culture was different in that women could not act on divorce in that time, typically. But today they can, so we can easily take this question either way. Perhaps, given the state of marriage has it has been redefined, it is more proper to ask if a wife can lawfully put away a husband for every cause. The Bible definitely is timely and addresses the problems of today in these passages. In the time of Jesus, it was the men who frivolously divorced.

Edersheim also writes on the state of Jewish law, regarding divorce (2):

And the Jewish Law unquestionably allowed divorce on almost any grounds; the difference being, not as to what was lawful, but on what grounds a man should set the Law in motion, and make use of the absolute liberty which it accorded him. Hence, it is a serious mistake on the part of Commentators to set the teaching of Christ on this subject by the side of that of Shammai.

Indeed it is a mistake to equate Christ’s teaching with Shammai’s. Instead of siding with Shammai or Hillel, Jesus chooses to side with His Father, relating this to Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:24:

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:4-6/Mark 10:6-8)

So, if marriage is a bond put together by God, then man can not dissolve it at all. But we read on: Moses is appealed to regarding this question.

They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. (Matthew 19:7-8)

God allowed them this for the hardness of their hearts. Jesus later clarifies the reason that divorce may happen and the conditions behind it:

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
(Matthew 19:9)

So Jesus states (c/r Matthew 5:27-28; Mark 10:11-12)
1. Fornication is the only reason given where divorce may happen.
2. If the husband divorces for other reasons and marries another woman, he is committing adultery.
3. If the wife is divorced for other reasons and marries another man, her new husband is committing adultery.

Jesus effectively restores the proper intention of marriage, only to be dissolved by an utter breach of the covenant. Given the culture today, which allows women to divorce, we can take these statements in the opposite form, too. A commitment to marriage with God’s conditions is indeed hard, and the disciples recognized that, given that most of their power of divorce was stripped away. They sum it up easily regarding the gravity of the commitment:

His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. (Matthew 19:10)

It is high time that the same thing be done in our time today as Jesus did then, given the flippant attitudes that people take with marriage. Churchianity doesn’t help, not teaching the permanence of marriage as it has been set out by God, and not enforcing this as a standard within its congregations. Furthermore, it encourages and celebrates the divorce culture by accepting it as an answer in its body for those that are married, and recklessly encourages those who are not mature enough to understand a commitment with such gravity as marriage to marry through pronuptualist teaching. We must recognize that the decision to enter into marriage in the sight of God, is something that should be given much more time and thought than the average car or home purchase. God’s marriage is for life. Let’s restore it as such.

(1, 2) Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Volume 2, page 334.

Why Young Men Don’t Marry

In part 1, the representative views of evangelical Churchianity relating to the entrance into marriage were described through the positions of R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was described that he believes that neglecting to partake in marriage 2.0 at the earliest opportunity is a sin. This assessment is given with no Scriptural basis, and in fact has no valid basis in Scripture. He also uses this as an opportunity to rain down an anti-man feminist rant on young men, blaming his imagined sin upon them and following the standard operating procedure of Churchianity to the letter.

This post will explore the causes of his “modern crisis of marriage” that exists today. I agree with Dr. Mohler in this regard. At the rate things are going, marriage in any form as God designed it is in an eclipse. In fact, there are some commentators that are predicting the demise of marriage as a whole. This is correct in many respects. However, his assessments are completely incorrect regarding unmarried men (in parts, Camerin Courtney shows more wisdom and discernment than he does). As I am an unmarried man who isn’t hooked into the Evangelical Matrix and blind to what is going on, I’ll describe the causes as I see them within Churchianity as to why young men aren’t running head long into marriages. I can’t presume to speak for others in that position, but I’m sure this will resonate with them.

1. We observe the marriages around us as examples, find them wanting, and seek to not duplicate them.

As children we grow up with bad experiences with marriages. We see the way marriages are, good and bad, patterned through our parents. As the divorce culture has lasted into its third generation, broken families and broken homes are more common now than the exception. In growing up, we see all the fights, and how our fathers treated our mothers and how our mothers treated our fathers. For example, Camerin Courtney writes in her response:

We’re the first generation of the no-fault divorce. Many of today’s singles have lived with the consequences of young, perhaps-not-so-well-thought-through marriages of generations before. So of course many single people today are a bit gun-shy about entering an institution they saw, from a front row seat, fail.

We also see the marriages around us when we are growing up as well as those around us in adulthood that are provided to us as examples. We see how they don’t measure up to Biblical standards. We see how they are quickly abandoned for the smallest of reasons. We see the way these marriages are structured and function in public. We see the roles husbands undertake and the roles that wives undertake, and how they relate to one another. We also see what husbands get as the fruit of their marriages, both during the marriage and when it is dissolved, and know that the fruits of getting married are very poor for men. Camerin Courtney writes in her response:

Perhaps many of us are slower to marry not because we don’t take marriage seriously, but because we do take it seriously. Because we’ve seen and experienced the consequences of hasty unions, because we’ve seen the statistical evidence that older first-time marriages have a better chance for survival, because we take very seriously the words “til death do us part.” If anything, I think rushing to marry and preaching a gospel of marriage for marriage’s sake devalues it more than our generation’s hesitancy and seeming passivity.

2. We are educated about Marriage 2.0, how it works, and its pitfalls.

Given what we see in the marriages around us, we understand that something is wrong. This is especially true when the true Biblical script regarding marriage is honestly studied (Marriage 1.0). We have an unparalleled opportunity with the Internet and other factors to be able to learn about these things and see that marriage has been redefined from what it used to be, and see that it is redefined in a light that is very dangerous for men. We also know that these things are true, regardless of how perfect a husband or father you are – in fact, perfect is how the wife defines it depending on her mood each day (copied from White Raven’s excellent research on Elephants & Trees):

Fact #1: Over 50% of marriages now end in divorce.
Fact #2: Women file around 75% of all divorces.
Fact #3: During divorce women typically receive half of the marital assets regardless of the length of the marriage.
Fact #4: Women get primary custody of the kids over 90% of the time.
Fact #5: If she gets custody of the kids, you will be on the hook for child support at least until they turn eighteen. Sometimes you’re even required to put them through college.
Fact #6: Your child support payments are based on your income at the time of instatement; if you lose your job or take a pay cut your child support payments often do not change to reflect your new financial situation.
Fact #7: If you are unable to pay your child support for any reason, they can put you in jail.
Fact #8: The court doesn’t care about your visitation rights. If your ex doesn’t uphold her end of the agreement on her own, nobody is going to force her.
Fact #9: Many women claim physical or sexual abuse in order to keep your involvement after divorce to a minimum.
Fact #10: 1 out of 25 children are raised by a man who mistakenly believes that he is the father.
Fact #11: Even if you can prove that a child isn’t biologically yours, you will very likely still be required to pay child support in the event of divorce.

Given how the “institution of marriage” stacks up in today’s day and age, especially within the church, is it any wonder that men are refusing to marry, even swearing off marriage altogether? We see the Marriage 2.0 for what it is, a meat grinder. We are not fooled and no amount of shaming language will change that.

3. We see the women that are available and find them wanting.

One thing we as men learn very quickly that seek wisdom and discernment of whether to marry or not is how deficient the women today are of being suitable for marriage. Feminism has encouraged the affirmation of women above all standards, including Godly ones, for more than a generation. While it is exceeding rare to find a woman that is Godly in enough of a way for a God-affirming marriage to work, most all of the women available are not even remotely considerable. Gillis Tripplett writes of these women:

Many of today’s women have had sex with Tom, Dick, Harry, Skeet and Pimp Daddy. They are depressed, confused, angry at their ex’s, in need of crises counseling and have multiple children by multiple men. They are on Prozac, have had one or more abortions, crave therapy and are stressed out. They have chosen men who are jerks and have been dumped, played, pimped, tricked and dismissed. Now they are mad at God, bitter towards all men and are going off!

These women not only have bizarre beliefs about men, love, sex and matrimony, they also harbor alarming issues that make them unsuitable mates for any good man. Forget baggage, these females bring the entire store into a relationship or marriage. And it doesn’t matter if they attend church or not.

We can add other things as well: Prideful and arrogant, and their unrestrained hypergamy. Given that they haven’t been corrected for their sins by their parents growing up, or the church at large, they are feral women when it comes to spiritual and moral issues unrestrained by any and all things outside of themselves, especially God, or men. They are incapable of submitting to the leadership of anyone, especially a husband in Marriage 1.0. How can a woman like this even be a consideration for marriage before a discerning Godly man?

4. Poor evangelical teaching, instruction, and support.

As many evangelicals are, Dr. Mohler is either clueless or willfully ignoring these problems. In fact, he notices the results of the problems and answers predictably to placate Team Woman, encouraging the problems more and more. One definition of insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting a different result. This is what Dr. Mohler and the evangelicals are continuing to do. Perhaps this is because they choose to listen to the young women only, perhaps this is because they are snowed in by their feminist world-view. In blaming the men, repeating these feminist shaming rants only acts as a sounding brass or tinkling cymbal sounded repeatedly. Men that have any sense whatsoever have tuned these people out long ago, reacting to what these shaming rants are. Mere noise.

In a lot of ways, evangelicals like Dr. Mohler and others are contributors to these problems. They do not sanction married couples for their faults they show within marriages, especially the predominant one from men, their uxoriousness. They do not endeavor to spotlight good examples of marriage and explain why they are good examples. They do not assure in their reckless promotion of marriage that those involved are mature and suitable enough for it. They do not admonish these women they speak of to practice chaste respectful behavior befitting a Godly wife. Unfortunately, for every Gillis Tripplett that exists, who does point out the problem from the man’s side, there’s 50 of the mold of Mark Driscoll, Kevin DeYoung, Bill Bennett, and others who just want to rant against the men for showing wisdom and discernment.

As some of the rants go, do we play video games instead of chasing women? Sure, but we do other things that are more profitable than partaking in Marriage 2.0. Are we lazy and self-centered? Mostly not. But those of us that desire to have marriage but realize these things are angry, justifiably so because this is all injustice. The one nice thing about the video games is at least most of us can win doing that, unlike partaking in Marriage 2.0.

Living Single Is Living in Sin

In writing on the state of marriage and what it has become, the following topic is something of my introduction into the reality that something is very wrong within the evangelical community when it comes to marriage. It’s the one of the choice using wisdom of discernment of whether to marry or not.

As has been covered previously, the problems that evangelical Churchianity do seem to notice with marriage are the homosexuals lobbying to be included within the governmental definition of it, and the fact that people are just not signing up for their new marriage 2.0. The latter is observed through the almost constant anti-male shaming lectures that are coming from various figures in traditional and evangelical conservatism such as Mark Driscoll, Bill Bennett, and others. In saying this, there is almost too much material to draw from for this issue. Anti-male shaming language directed towards men is a common tactic of feminism, and it should be no surprise that these feminists are undertaking it both in their writing opportunities and in their speaking opportunities. It is nothing different from the usual standard operating procedure of Churchianity coming to the forefront. Men aren’t behaving as these figures believe they should, so they are attempting to shame them back to the plantation.

But the particular patient zero of my experience that I wanted to focus on is the weird and crazy pronuptualist teachings of R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It presents as a great example of both the man-up language evangelicals are using to shame men to the Marriage 2.0 plantation, as well as the sexist anti-male dogma present in Churchianity today involving the issue, so it provides a unique opportunity to see where the two are wedded together. Dr. Mohler writes:

The man and the woman are made for each other and the institution of marriage is given to humanity as both opportunity and obligation.

I see no mention of where marriage is an obligation placed upon all of humanity to undertake by God in Scripture, and Dr. Mohler doesn’t adequately state one. In fact, I see several examples of the opposite in Scripture, including the lives of both Jesus and Paul. If we apply Dr. Mohler’s definition of marriage to Jesus, then He becomes sinful.

From a Christian perspective, marriage must never be seen as a mere human invention — an option for those who choose such a high level of commitment — for it is an arena in which God’s glory is displayed in the right ordering of the man and the woman, and their glad reception of all that marriage means, gives, and requires.

Dr. Mohler constantly in the entire series of text written on this makes this claim. That marriage should never be seen as a human invention and that it should be partaken solely because “God’s glory is displayed”. However, man, including evangelicals like him has undertaken to redefine marriage in his own image as opposed to God’s image. Then, this reads that Dr. Mohler would not view marriage as representing a “high-level of commitment”. Marriage, as God defines it, is a bond between one man and one woman not to be broken for life. If this is not a high-level of commitment, then I would like Dr. Mohler to define what is in his mind. The disciples even recognize this in Matthew 19:10 when Jesus taught on marriage: “His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.” Paul uses similar language regarding marriage in 1 Corinthians 7, describing it as a distraction to serving the Lord. It can definitely be argued that many marriages end in divorce simply because this level of commitment necessary is not reinforced in the church. Rather, predominant divorce culture is accepted and celebrated. Dr. Mohler continues:

Paul celebrates the gift of celibacy for Christian service, but he says nothing about those who simply would choose singleness as a lifestyle option.

Second, the Bible presents celibacy as a gift — apparently a rare gift — that is granted to some believers in order that they would be liberated for special service in Christ’s name.

Dr. Mohler next brings up the nebulous “gift of celibacy”, and then promptly excuses it away for his own view that marriage is a default obligation placed on all Christians and that it is sinning to approach marriage as a grievous decision not to be undertaken lightly, but be taken with wisdom and discernment.

Continuing, I also made clear that this is primarily a problem that should be laid at the feet of young men. While some young women may neglect the call of marriage, a far greater problem is the unwillingness of many young men to grow up, take responsibility, lead, and find the woman God would have them to marry. As a rule, young women show far greater commitment to marriage, far greater maturity about marriage, and far greater frustration about the fact that marriage has been delayed. I thought I had made that point clearly — but perhaps not.

Now we enter into the anti-male shaming portion of Dr. Mohler’s diatribe (Code Green, as most all evangelicals favor). He paints a lighter picture then than many of the other commentators are in the future, but his message is still clear. Dr. Mohler believes that those who are unmarried are children who refuse to grow up, and that if a problem exists it’s in the men. Again, this is standard operating procedure. No doubt he is being flooded in his office with women that desperately desire to cash in on Marriage 2.0, with its fabulous cash and prizes, yet aren’t getting any takers.

Most specifically, Ms. Courtney was offended by my suggestion that, except for those given the gift of celibacy, marriage is the God-given context for the achievement of maturity in adulthood.

Dr. Mohler was challenged at the time by Camerin Courtney, a writer of Christianity Today, and providing somewhat of a response. As for Dr. Mohler’s view, it was crystal clear the first time. He believes that marriage is the event that defines adulthood, and that those who aren’t married are children that need to grow up. He believes that all single women are tragedies, and all single men are vile because they do not marry these women up.

Singleness is not a sin, but deliberate singleness on the part of those who know they have not been given the gift of celibacy is, at best, a neglect of a Christian responsibility.

Dr. Mohler, you were crystal clear on this point as well. You can explain it away all you want, but it’s crystal clear that you do indeed believe that singleness is a sin.

Given this commitment and hope as articulated by these thoughtful young women, it should be clear that when I spoke of a pattern of sin in the delay of marriage, I was certainly not attributing that sin to them.

Dr. Mohler makes it crystal clear, what group he is pandering to. Given the rest of the text involved, he was probably shocked that somehow he offended a member of Team Woman. But he further drives home the point that he does believe not getting married at the first available opportunity is a sin.

I am not calling for high school students to marry, and I am certainly not suggesting that believers of any age should marry thoughtlessly, carelessly, and without sound spiritual judgment.

Indeed you are suggesting that, Dr. Mohler. What you suggest infers that part of moving out of the house on your own with college or the job or both is locating the first available young women and marrying her, throwing aside any thought, care, or sound spiritual judgment.

At the same time, I’m going to be a good bit more careful to make clear that young men must accept most of the blame for this situation.

In other words, “I’ll be more careful to not offend Team Woman in the future by suggesting that they have blame in this, or anything.”

In the next post, I’ll explore some of the things that will constitute the answers Dr. Mohler is seeking regards his laments. Unless he and other evangelical voices are willing to see the true problems and address them, he will find marriage in any form will be confined to the graveyard. Given the attitudes that he and others are taking towards marriage now, this will soon be what will happen.

Homosexuals and the “Sanctity of Marriage 2.0”

With the announcement of Joe Biden and later Barack Obama that they are for gay marriage, it seems proper to analyze the issue. In light of this, we have several organizations and people speaking out for the “sanctity of marriage” that are present, yet what is this call? Sanctity means holiness. We have no further to go than the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment to see what these groups are talking about:

(b) Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman. As a matter of public policy, this state has a special interest in encouraging, supporting, and protecting this unique relationship in order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and its children. A marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in this state.

The full intent of those that speak of the sanctity of marriage involve solely the issue of homosexual marriage. While the prevalence of divorce might be given lip service, this is the sum total of their concerns. Unfortunately, most of these groups and individuals are fighting this fight, distracting from their own head-long assault on the sanctity of marriage they have made over the last fifty years.

It is not without coincidence that the homosexual community notices this, and calls these people hypocrites. The gay rights advocates are seeing it correctly as a sham, because of what these groups pushing the sanctity of marriage have done, and allowed. They are silent or even approving of the divorce culture that is allowed. And they are approving of the feminist view of marriage that is discussed in the last few posts and in other places like the blogs listed in the blog roll relating to marriage and family. The blogosphere as a whole defines this redefinition of marriage as Marriage 2.0 . When these groups speak of protecting the sanctity of marriage, they really mean “the sanctity of marriage 2.0”.

Marriage 2.0, in evangelical terms, is defined as:

  1. A union between a man and woman that consummates the growth of boys into men and girls into women. In this sense, maturity level or commitment of the members involved are not taken into consideration. Marriage is simply seen as something that makes a person an adult. This is why you see all the man-up shaming language and crying about how men just won’t grow up and get married. Of course, the poor quality of men is always a problem to these people and not the poor quality of women. And they are crying about this as much as same-sex marriage about being the death of marriage. Of course, this is in line with how Churchianity has always treated men and women. Some people are just not called to be married by the Lord, some just are so childish they have no business being married. This means primarily women in this day and age given their noted inability to follow God in many respects.
  2. A union where the woman is the head and the man is helpmeet, servant, provider, and emotional center all in one, there to service her every whim and wish, and peripherally her children’s wishes. A woman receives all the rights and choices in marriage while the man receive all the responsibility. Scripture is warped to support this view. So the Biblical submission of the wife becomes preconditioned upon the woman’s view of his compliance to her interpretation of Scripture. This means that whether the man loves the woman as Christ loves the church is irrelevant. The true standard is whether the woman “feels loved” or not, in other words whether her ideal romance and continual courtship is continuing to her plans or not. Dalrock does a fine job in his last few posts developing this point further (as well as describing the world of evangelical feminist marriage, so few seem to undertake this today):

    Reframing Christian Marriage
    Reframing Christian Marriage Part 2
    Reframing Christian Marriage Part 3

  3. A union that may be dissolved at any time by the wife without repercussions and without questions, culminating in the husband’s shame, along with fabulous cash and prizes for her. However the man may not dissolve it for any reason, including adultery by the wife. Since the man holds the responsibility, the woman, and society even blames her own actions on him. For example, “she wouldn’t have cheated if she didn’t feel loved enough.” Or if he says “you don’t love me enough” to the wife, or “you don’t respect me”, it’s taken as a tacit admission that he is not loving her enough. Divorce is encouraged and even celebrated. When you have the Focus On the Family representative Glenn Stanton crying in celebration about a 38% divorce rate among those that attend church regularly and saying “at least that’s not bad as the big bad world”, you still have problems.

Given the most certain notable effects of these changes, the gay community will definitely notice and call “hypocrite” on any of these sanctity of marriage advocates.
David Badash writes:

True love and God’s divine idea of a civil marriage between one man and one woman, like, for example, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. Or, say, the 55-hour marriage of Britney Spears and Jason Allen Alexander, or, say, Zsa Zsa Gabor’s nine marriages (including one in 1983 that lasted one day), or, Alan Jay Lerner, Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor, Artie Shaw, Lana Turner, or Larry King’s eight marriages each, or, say, the three marriages each of Tom Cruise or Newt Gingrich, or, perhaps, if you like, Pamela Anderson’s marriage to rocker Tommy Lee which took place after their first meeting 96 hours earlier. Or perhaps Pamela Anderson’s four-month long marriage to Rick Salomon, or perhaps Pamela Anderson’s four month long marriage to Kid Rock.

I’ll add to the list in the form of support. You had a large percentage of people in the 2012 Republican (supposedly the party of “wholesome family values”) primary supporting Newt Gingrich despite his three marriages. You had the Republican party support John McCain in 2008 (two marriages), and the most per-eminent evangelical feminist in the United States today, Sarah Palin, whose own family can be chronicled as the absolute opposite of “wholesome family values”. And with Barack Obama’s pronouncement, you have Rush Limbaugh (four marriages) railing against him for the pronouncement.

A first good step would be to take back marriage from the governing authorities. Unfortunately, in their quest to formalize their definition of Marriage 2.0, people have rendered what is God’s to Caesar. There should be no surprise then that another group that wants to define marriage into their own mold (Marriage 2.1? Marriage 3.0?), would petition Caesar to do the same as the churches have.

But what is the answer? It’s not as the gay rights advocates speak of, to leave the issue alone. Homosexuality is an abomination unto the Lord (Romans 1:26-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:8-11). To protect the true sanctity of marriage, gay marriage must be opposed everywhere it is pushed for. But Marriage 2.0 needs to be destroyed as well. In fact, marriage needs to be redefined as God intended it (Marriage 1.0) at every point and step of the way. Unfortunately in the process of redefining marriage, there are many feminist women and men that are in direct rebellion with God. This rebellion will need to be put down in order for Marriage 1.0 to be restored.

Hopefully those that are pushing for the sanctity of marriage will become willing to push for God’s definition of marriage all the way down the line. Unfortunately for right now, those that are out there proclaiming the sanctity of marriage are only protecting their own version of marriage they petitioned and laid in place with Caesar.

The Use & Purpose of Music

Primary Text: Ephesians 5:18b-19; Colossians 3:16

be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
(Ephesians 5:18b-19)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
(Colossians 3:16)

In Churchianity, a lot of foundational things are simply not discussed, and if they are discussed, they are not in a true Scriptural light. Music happens so frequently within church services, yet nothing is spoken of it in terms of the proper purpose of it both before the Lord and for a believer that is singing. This will be described in this post and probably will be the first many have heard of these things in terms of the true Church.

1. Music is for the whole body, not for a few select individuals.

We look at Ephesians 4:16, and we find that the whole Church is the body. Given what is said in Ephesians 5:18 & Colossians 3:16, the meaning of “one another” and “speaking to yourselves” intends that all in the Body may be allowed to suggest songs and perform them in the group. There is nothing to indicate that musical performance is important, so even the most musically non-inclined may participate.

2. Music must be consistent with the Holy Spirit and the Word of Christ.

A look at Deuteronomy 34:9 and Joshua 1:7-8 shows a coupling between the two. Joshua is filled with the Spirit, yet is admonished to meditate on the Law (the portion of the Scripture made available to him at this time) day and night. Both work together in the life of the true Christian. The Lord’s words should permeate the being of the true disciple. Most can say that this does not happen today, because most do not take the time to read, study, or meditate the Scriptures. The Word-filled disciple is a Spirit-filled disciple. Undisciplined emphasis on the Holy Spirit is accompanied too frequently by a shallow grounding in the Word of God.

This means that any songs sung must have lyrics that are Biblically consistent with Scripture. All too often, songs are done to affirm people in their places and to make them feel good. Nothing is more catastrophic than a song which does not glorify God in Spirit and in truth. This is especially important since it’s been noted that those in control of the music are often more influential upon the group of individuals at-large than the sermons are.

3. Music must be a call to worship of the true Lord. (Daniel 3:3-6)

Hand in hand with point #2, music must be used for a proper call to worship of the correct things. Daniel gives us an example where music was used as preparation for worship of the gold statute of Nebuchadnezzar. This can be done today, where music is for the wrong purposes. This includes seeking the glory of the church organization, or the glory of the musicians. Performance quality in and of itself is not bad, but people can easily glorify the musicians instead of God. Then you have a situation where the musicians are doing the performances to be seen by men, akin to the people Jesus spoke about regarding giving and prayer (Matthew 6:1-8). As we will see, the performance itself doesn’t matter to God.

4. Music may take any form that is Spiritual and glorifies God.

We are given a list of musical types in both key verses. Any of these are valid before the Lord as music. Psalms are as indicated (anything in the book of Psalms). Hymns are direct songs to God of praise (see Acts 16:25). Spiritual songs are meant to be other forms of poetry or otherwise that glorifies God in His nature or His works. In terms of style, nothing is mandated or denied, as long as it doesn’t conflict with any of the other points made here. It could be argued that a few of these do. This point will be taken up later in this post.

5. Musical instruments may or may not be used in the course of music.

There are some denominations who believe that the use of musical instruments is anathema to God. The use of psalms as a class of permissible songs along the use of the Greek word behind the phrase “making melody” in Ephesians 5:19 indicates musical instruments are permissible. This word denotes playing a stringed musical instrument. In the playing of Psalms, musical instruments were most certainly used, according to Psalm 150. There is no requirement that a musical instrument be used or not used. Much is permissible here.

There is some conflict that one could gather from Scripture based on the permissibility of drums, which are excluded from the Psalm 150 list. There are Christian groups which actively avoid the use of drums in their gatherings, because they know from their previous religions that drums are a means to attract evil spirits. The fact that drums existed even in the time of the Psalms makes this an interesting question, which could use a good answer.

6. We must be able to understand the words of the song in order for it to be edifying before the Lord.

We see in Colossians 3:16, and in Ephesians 5:20 that functions of singing include giving thanks, teaching, and admonishment. For what we do before the Lord, all things are to be done to edify the body (1 Corinthians 14:26). For songs, we need to be able to sing them with understanding of what is being sung (1 Corinthians 14:15; Psalm 47:7).

This means that one must know the words of the songs sung, be able to meditate on them and give genuine assent to them (or be convicted by them) before the Lord by singing them in order to have a pure heart in engaging in the song before the Lord. This is the teaching and admonishing function of Colossians 3:16.

Unfortunately, many don’t get the opportunity to do this due to the projection systems, and if they do, they don’t take up the opportunity. Furthermore, as the market goes for Christian Contemporary Music, there is more of a tendency for churches to switch songs to keep up with what they hear on the radio stations. This means people simply don’t get a chance to learn the words of the songs and digest what they mean in order to be able to give assent to them in their hearts. Or the style of music (heavy metal or rap for example) makes it so the words can not be discerned from the rest of the music, therefore rendering it incomprehensible. Or there are some songs (“Days of Elijah” comes to mind here), which are logically nothing but nonsense when the words are considered.

7. The state of the heart as it relates to the words sung is what matters to the Lord.

When we sing, we have to understand the words and be genuine before the Lord with them for Him to give approval. We are given an example of the importance of having pure hearts before the Lord in songs. We may sing something without thinking, but the Lord knows what is true of ourselves. In Amos 5:23, the Lord admonishes Israel as it relates to their acts of worship before Him. While I’m sure that they sounded good to the ears, the Lord said instead: “Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.” (Amos 5:23)

The Lord said that their songs were just noise. Why is that? Their hearts weren’t in line with the Lord’s will, specifically when it relates to the songs that they sung. Their hearts, as expressed through their actions denied their words, rendering them ungenuine. The Lord knows the hearts of men and tries them (Proverbs 17:3; Proverbs 21:2; Romans 8:27), so while the person next to you might not know whether what you are singing is true to Him, the Lord will know. This is the same as people telling you you are something you fully know you are not. A false flattery, in other words.

In conclusion, let us be ever diligent and recognize that the Lord seeks us not to do the music in and of itself, but to use it as a tool to glorify Him and to test our hearts before Him. Let us be diligent in understanding the words of the songs sung, reconciling them with Scripture, and prayerfully considering in our hearts whether we give agreement to the words.