May 31, 2007

Alex Chediak's Graph (What's Wrong With This Picture?)

Alex Chediak, a relatively moderate voice in the Marriage Mandate Movement, has come up with a graph to categorize singles. In the Gifted Single category, he includes those who "don't burn" and use their time for ministry. If you are not in this category and are not planning to marry, then you are immature according to Alex. There are several problems with Alex's graph ...

1. Alex trips over himself in putting unscripturally divorced people in the Gifted Single category. I highly doubt unscripturally divorced people have some gift of asexuality. Their inability to marry throws a monkey-wrench into the notion that most everybody needs to be married in order to stay chaste. I hate to have to be the one to explain a pitting of 1 Cor. 7:11 against 1 Cor. 7:9.

2. I take it from Alex's mention of those "struggling with lust" that he feels 1. Cor 7:9 refers to sexual desire. If that be the case, then I'd like to see him propose that people get married once they hit puberty. As it is, I have addressed this mistaken view of 1 Cor. 7:9 in part 3 of my review of Debbie Maken's book.

3. Alex dredges up the hackneyed canard of the selfish, immature, single. I've already dealt with this one, too, in part 10 of my critique of Mrs. Maken's book. I daresay if single people need to give up their recreation and toys for ministry in order to be spiritual, then so do married people and their children. God is not a respecter of persons. I have a parable for those of Alex's persuasion:

There once was a man who went and bought an expensive sports car that took premium gas. He spent his money on carnuba wax, detailing gear, etc. He spent his time washing and vacuuming. He was always afraid of the upholstery getting stained or ripped. The car stayed in the garage and was taken out only on special occasions. His car insurance went through the roof. So did his anxiety level.

One day his went over to his younger brother's house and noticed a banged-up '94 Mazda subcompact with peeling paint. He chided his younger brother for parking the car out on the driveway for everyone to see: "You are cheap, man! Get a real job and drive a decent car like me. How can you even stand to have the neighbors look at that eyesore."

His brother replied: "You need to chill, bro. You like to spend your money and time on expensive cars. I like to spend my money and time on other things."

The older brother retorted: "You need to grow up and apply yourself."

But the younger one said, "No, you to need to grow up and mind your own business, hoss. Nobody forced you to buy the car you did. You wanted the expensive things and you chose to pay for them. That's your choice, not mine."

What's application of this parable? The older brother is akin to the marriage mandate crowd. So many people want the pretty spouse, the big house, the nice cars, and the smart children. They paid the price and sold themselves for a piece of the dream (second jobs, bills, mortgages, etc.). So are they entitled to a pat on the back and trophy because they had to give up some things? Sorry, but married people have their reward. I am sick and tired of the entitlement mentality that some married people have in this regard. They apparently don't like the idea that the single people are more carefree than them. Too bad. The Apostle Paul said to single people, "I want you to be without care" (1. Cor 7:32); the marriage mandators say the opposite. If single people have to give up being carefree, do married people have to give up sex? The family outings? The suburban fashion show? Whatever train you get on, pay the fare and stop whining.

4. Alex talks about the "Needy and Desperate Single" who blames God and others. He also mentions the Perfectionist Single. I suppose that it never occurred to him that he, Debbie Maken, and others only serve to foster the neediness, desperation, and perfectionism among singles. What else can we expect from messages that tell us that we are hardwired to get married the way we are hardwired to eat? What else can we expect from those who treat men as if they were on a "job interview"?

5. Finally, check out this statement Alex uses to describe "mature," "marriage inclined" singles: "Is Gods [sic] 'will' for them to be married but He may be keeping them from marriage temporarily or permanently to accomplish his secret will." It's God will that they get married, but he may keep them from this thing he willed in order to accomplish his secret will??? Er, ok. I rest my case, dear readers.