What We Do Here

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.

23 thoughts on “What We Do Here

  1. SXM: Yeah, but we’re probably more entertaining when we show off our old tricks. We can still do those better than the young dogs who attempt them.

  2. Thanks for what you do! I don’t comment often, but enjoy reading your blog and everybody’s comments. It’s nice to hear a guys view on things once in a while.

  3. There IS another side, and I appreciate the way in which you share it, Amir.

    Unfortunately, *their* side excludes women like me, too, who cannot meet all their “requirements” of what they perceive a godly woman should be.

    Age, when applied, develops wisdom. Through that maturity and wisdom, I believe that you, Amir, are very respectful, balanced, and objective when dealing with such confrontational topics. Very much appreciated.

  4. RE: “one of the ladies . . . usually agrees with us”.
    I’m not understanding how, exactly, I disagree with you and the other bloggers about the problems of singleness and the Church. I may disagree with some of your methods, but the overarching principals I can get on board with.

  5. “Sadly, looking at the most visible and published Christian leaders, the men are getting kicked around like soccer balls.”

    How true, Amir. No wonder they’re walking out of the church in droves.

    In addition to the way single men are treated, I shudder when I hear of proposed solutions such as “Biblical dating,” aka “courtship.” “Biblical dating” contains elements of the shepherding movement long ago renounced by its founders, including Bob Mumford and the late Derek Prince.

  6. singleman: I couldn’t agree more. In fact, last year–when SXM and I were going back and forth with Ted Slater–I think I specifically remember mentioning the “shepherding” movement as an example of the dysfunctional level of control that a church can exercise given the latitude.

    In terms of dating versus courtship and accountability, I’d suggest that there is no one-size-fits all. Some gals, depending on the family, I might go through the parents. For others, I wouldn’t consider any need to do so.

    As for accountability, that’s up to you to work that out. It could be as loose or as stringent as you want it to be, but–again–there is not a specific command with respect to structure.

    When people try to impose dogmatic standards in these areas, we end up with another Pharisaic set of traditions at a time when we need less dogma.

  7. Regarding accountability, I think it’s good for any couple considering marriage to seek wise and godly counsel. And if one’s parents are still alive, I don’t see what’s wrong with seeking their counsel unless good reasons exist not to do so.

    That having been said, I don’t think the church has any business imposing requirements which go above and beyond those set forth in Scripture – avoid fornication, do not be unequally yoked, marriage is between one man and one woman.

  8. *Cough* I found this on my blog this morning *Cough*

    Based on your post’s contents, you’ve bought into feminism; you have feminist ideals; ergo, you’re not suitable for a mate. Before you criticize me for being harsh, please take a GOOD, HONEST LOOK at your words; place yourself in a man’s shoes; then ask yourself, if I were a man, how would I receive these words, and why? You want a good, Godly guy? Then work on being a good, Godly girl. Thank you.

    Its in the comments section of my Pure Frustration post…

    Do you think this is true? That I embrace feminist ideas? Anyway, simply because I say things that men disagree with doesn’t mean I am a feminist. I was incredibly offended by what he said.

    And yeah, I know that sometimes I say things that are wrong. I get that. But we all make mistakes and that doesn’t reflect on my holding to a specific ideal – more that I’m human, young, and still learning.

  9. MarkyMark says:

    I’m a Christian guy, but I have not been to church in decades.

    No need for further discussion. He has no credibility to lecture anyone on godliness.

  10. I think we’re all of us singles leaving church in droves because it’s just an unfriendly place for single adults–especially those without children. At least those with children can take part in family days. Sometimes church is an unfriendly place for you if you are a performer of any kind–something which I have struggled with deeply at many churches. The church I loved as a single adult is still Redeemer Presbyterian in New York–a place that seemed to embrace both my singleness (though not always) and celebrated my performing. In any case, if church does fit our needs, we leave.

  11. SavvyD – in a very tiny nut-shell – church is not a friendly place for single, divorced mom’s … the “child-card” doesn’t work. the church, in general, ignores us, including my children, and treats us as outcasts … very painful.

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