Because I am single and Christian, many of the discussions on this blog pertain to issues of Christian singleness. As a result, those discussions often involve other matters, such as feminism, masculinity, and tangential issues involving the workplace, the political sphere, and the focus of the Church.
Sadly, looking at the most visible and published Christian leaders, the men are getting kicked around like soccer balls.
We have some “Christian family counselors” suggesting that they have never seen a marriage dissolve in which the man wasn’t wholly at fault. This is reflective of the undercurrent of “headship theology”, the misapplication of which has led to heretical dogma, in addition to the “Marriage Mandaters”.
Take our friends at Boundless, for example.
Whenever they provide a perspective on Christian singleness, it’s almost always either (a) Debbie Maken or someone like-minded, (b) a proponent of “Biblical dating”, or (c) something along the lines of “women are experiencing this, and it’s because men are/are not doing this…”
Or take Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler–who in many instances would qualify as an ally on these pages–who uses his position to browbeat men with ideas that are also un-Biblical.
It is against such backdrops that this blog–and others such as Biblical Manhood–are commenting.
What we do here is provide the other side of the story, a side that is largely ignored by mainstream evangelical leaders. Where possible, we have even included statistical informationi that at least provide a prima facie case that we are hardly being one-sided. (Sadly, statistics on Christian singles is very difficult to establish, because the primary age group from which most of those ranks exist has all but fallen off the map in the Church. More on that later.)
The male bloggers here are usually even-handed. SXM, myself, singleman, and Anakin have a wider set of experiences; Adam is still a young pup; Cubbie has had to fight off demons to which very few of us can relate. One of the ladies–Ame, who has had some harrowing experiences of her own–usually agrees with us.
In fact, it’s a pattern: the older folks usually agree with us. They have seen what we have seen. Even A.J. Kiesling, author of Where Have All the Good Men Gone, concedes many of those same points that SXM, Anakin, singleman, Adam, and myself have made. And her study is more scientific than anything that Debbie Maken bothered to undertake.
No one is perfectly objective, nor do I make any claim to such. On the other hand, we tend to be intellectually honest around here. We’re all grownups, we understand that this is a highly-charged set of topics.
On the other hand, the guys are commenting against a backdrop of leaders who are willfully blind. Like the Pharisees of old, they are too busy seeking the praise of one another that they are woefully unaware of the damage they are doing to men.
While I will not agree on every response to the dilemma (i.e. the “Marriage Strike”), I won’t deny that I (a) understand their point, and (b) I can see a case for what they are doing. At the very least, it sends the message that there is a lot of anger out there, and the men are sick and tired of a culture that blames them for everything.
The anger is real and justified; all the responses are not justified, but the underlying anger is reasonable and substantial.
For the rest of us, we are simply being prudent in our choices. Are all of us perfect in that? No. On the other hand, some risk-aversion is in order, if for no other reason than the fact that our overall risk has increased through no fault of our own.