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.

62 Comments:

Anonymous someone said...

Well Anakin,

I was wondering what would happen once you finished up with Maken's book and I guess I have my answer. Reading this post triggered so many thoughts in my mind that if I were to write them all out it would take me hours and be longer than anyone wants to take the time to read. For now, I'll just share one immediate response I had to the graph.

My first thought was this: I am a person, not a category.

It seems to be a generally human (and particularly evangelical) desire to label and categorize other people. And, of course, categories can serve as useful heuristic devices. The trouble with this sort of thing is that it can easily lead us to believe that our categories represent all there is to reality and make us unable to engage other people simply as people. In fact, I don't think it unfair to say that this is a noticable trait of the mandatory marriage movement.

Rather than listening to other people speak from their own story and life experience, we feel the need to continually second guess them by insisting that they must fit into one of our assigned categories. Isn't it just possible that real life (single) people might not fit so easily into one of these boxes?


It is somewhat ironic that Chediak informs us that he is an engineer. One can't help but wonder if it ever occured to him to stop and think about whether or not the methods and categories of engineering are appropriate or beneficial when applied to human beings.

I think there is more that could be said, particularly concerning this practice of labeling and categorization and the desire to exercise control over people and situations. I also think this is a noticable trait of the mandatory marriage movement. That discussion, however, will have to wait for another time.

6/1/07, 11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey:

I am a person NOT A CATEGORY

6/1/07, 2:33 PM  
Anonymous someone said...

Anonymous 2:33 PM,

You are seriously imature.

6/1/07, 3:08 PM  
Anonymous someone said...

I misspelled immature. Otherwise, the thought stands as written. In this regard, I confess that my initial statement, on its own, does sound a little cheesy. However, I think the substance of what I was trying to get across is basically correct. Also, the fact that I spent four paragraphs unpacking it and the commenter then chose to single out the statement and mock me rather than engage the actual substance of anything I said is indicative of the kind of people I have encountered ever since I first stumbled across the mandatory marriage movement.

6/1/07, 5:20 PM  
Anonymous A Casual Observer said...

Anakin

I glancingly looked over Alex's graph ...it made me chuckle. I fully agree with Someone 11:41am in the fact that "I am a person, not a category."

While I don't see your parable as necessary to your argument, I like your summary: "Whatever train you get on, pay the fare and stop whining."

I wish...no, I pray...that people would stop complicating the faith of Christianity they [and myself] claim to follow. If Jesus alluded to the fact that our faith should be child-like in nature, then why do we continually add rules, regulations, etc to "solve" the problems we face? Isn't Christ enough?

I believe people have too narrow a view of God and his absolute power over all Creation. As if we need to pervert Christianity with existentialism and kick God out of the process of putting marriages together.

Or maybe it's a resurfacing of Deism.

"Seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."

Pretty simple!

6/1/07, 7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anakin, thanks for sharing this with us.

I agree with the thoughts Someone and A Casual Observer have shared.

Before Alex Chediak or anyone else chides single men for "not pursuing a career that can support a family," they would do well to consider some of the economic circumstances single men face today. The cost of college tuition has grown at a somewhat faster pace than overall inflation in recent years, leaving many graduates deep in debt. Many good jobs are being outsourced overseas or abolished altogether in order to maximize CEO compensation. Also, in many major metropolitan areas it's impossible for most families to afford rent or a mortgage on one income, even for modest accomodations.

And let's not forget that the last five recessions have been triggered, at least in part, by spikes in energy prices. Adjusted for inflation, energy prices now exceed the previous record set in 1981, the year in which the deepest American recession since World War II began.

These are just some of the economic factors single men have to take into account before considering marriage. Yes, God provides and I can testify to His provision in several areas of my life, but He also expects us to be prudent with our resources.

6/2/07, 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent blog, Anakin.

This discussion is interesting because it really is a debate between two very small groups. Your blog and others seek to correct the misuse of scriptures in furtherance of a "marriage mandate" which may or may not exist, but does negate the primacy of free choice in human relationships.

The other group is comprised of single women who desire financially successful men for marriage.

I know the women are frustrated, but they are limiting themselves to very narrow parameters.

First, the men must be devoted Christians who "serve" the Church along with the multitudes of women who currently dominate the Church.

Second, they must be breadwinners who can support a wife and family on one salary alone. The men don't have to be rich, but they must be able to provide a very upper-middle class lifestyle.

Third, the men must be the "safe" kind of men; meaning short on masculinity and high on conformity and controllability.

I simply cannot imagine the kind of men who would agree to marry the Maken girls. Without question they would have to be effeminate and compliant; constantly over-spiritualizing everything and incessantly in prayer. Of course, they would also be working 80+ hour weeks to support their female master at home.

I can guarantee that the "marriage mandate" women will either never marry or eventually make huge compromises simply to beat the odds of lifelong spinsterhood. My guess is that many of them either do not wish to marry, or are so desperately afraid of offending God or the Church that they cannot simply be human beings and allow themselves to become involved with a man.

It would be sad if it wasn't so comic. I spoke to one of the prominent Maken fans recently who admitted a wealthy man was "the ideal" and is "what we are all hoping for".

Pretty much sums up the issue, doesn't it? The Marriage Mandate is merely another form of the popular "prosperity ideologies" that periodically infect the churches.

6/3/07, 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Men have left the Church and they aren't coming back. The denial of this reality is amazing. Why stay in a religion that only serves women?

Christ as your boyfriend, lover and husband?

If men joined what the Christian Church has become, it would really call into question their sexuality; at least on a spiritual/emotional level.

The same features that make women's church experience so fulfilling is not what attracts men. It fills their every need yet creates a dynamic where they are much more disconnected from the possibility of romantic love.

There really is no consequence to the Gift of Singleness. Even Maken's book is a passing fad that will do little damage in the long run. The truth is that Christendom is now so feminine that it is in serious danger of eventually falling to Islam.

I've tried to get other guys interested in going to Church. They are so against the idea because churches today aren't simply too feminine, they are repulsively feminine.

I find dating secular women to be so refreshing after all the nonsense from Christian women. Consider this: If I choose to marry a modern independent Christian woman and attend her very feminine and women-dominated church, won't that make me feel "unequally-yoked"??

I consider being equally yoked to mean being partnered with a woman of faith who also values and expresses femininity and traditional values. Where do I find that with the bitter Makens? The "single for life" McCulleys? The "my way or the highway" others?

Maybe I am deeply in sin for wanting to marry a secular woman, or at least a Christian woman who knows how unwanted masculinity is in the Church. Still, at least I am dating a lot more and enjoying the company of women a lot more.

Perhaps the marriage mandate crowd has priced themselves out of the market. Perhaps they have turned churches into places where men feel not only uncomfortable, but unwelcome. The reality is that most Christian women DO NOT WANT any changes to take place. They care nothing about the concerns of men; only about their desires.

So, they want to be loved by men, but are much more comfortable with churches overwhelmingly dominated by women and seniors. They want successful and attractive husbands, but only after they've gotten their degrees and lost their youth (Maken), or after a decade of radical feminism (McCulley).

I don't think I will ever attend a church again in my lifetime. I'm still a devout Christian, but my religion was taken over by women. I don't feel welcome singing romantic love songs to Jesus. I don't want to spend my free hours doing outreach to more women and more senior citizens while men are ignored.

What I will do is encourage men to drop out and worship in all-mens groups, attend Christian businessmen's associations and slowly remove themselves from all the ladies' clubs and churches. Perhaps if enough men do this, a masculine version of Christianity will eventually arise.

6/3/07, 8:52 AM  
Anonymous foster said...

Lots of men who are good Christians will not consider marrying the "church lady" types.

Consider the religious world of Maken, McCulley and others. It is overwhelmingly female. Do they really want men? I would bet money on the fact that most of these women are extremely uncomfortable with the idea of dating and marriage. Maken seems to have married through a dating service to please her family. No real desire for marriage there.

My sense is that if these women are in churches that serve their needs for a "club for girls", then why continually chirp about wanting to get married? If the only men you find acceptable are completely effeminate and broken, you won't find men that fill your needs.

I agree with anonymous 8:52am. If men are letting women down, not embracing feminine churches and simply not earning enough to please most women, its time to move on to arenas where men can worship without automatic condemnation from single Makenite spinsters who have more hate to offer than love.

Hopefully, women will take over the mainline and evangelical churches completely and men will find their own venues. This may be the best solution in the end. The way things are going, it seems Christianity holds too strong of a feminizing influence for most men; and the women in the church? All they have is condemnation for men who don't "measure up".

Pretty sad.

6/3/07, 12:17 PM  
Anonymous someone said...

I have to disagree with the last few commenters. I really don't think the issue is effeminate men or women having leadership in churches. As a man, I think gifted women should play a role in the leadership of churches, actually. This isn't because I'm "effeminate and broken," but because I am able to recognize God's gifting in my sisters in Christ.

The issue here is rather or not there is some kind of legalistic requirement for all or at least most people to be married. I don't think there is and I think that teaching that there is is destructive of the gospel and the church being what it should be. That's the bottom line, not whether or not the church is "masculine" enough, whatever that is supposed to mean.

Also, Foster, I don't think you're right about Maken's motive for marriage. In the first part of her book she makes it quite clear that marriage and sex is something she personally wanted and that she was angry that she hadn't gotten it. It certainly doesn't sound like someone who was forced into marriage to please her family. Let's please try to keep our facts straight and focus on the central issue under debate, which is whether or not the "marriage mandate" is truly a Christian idea. The other issues, while not completely unimportant, are really peripheral to this.

Sorry if this comment seems harsh. I don't mean it to be, but focusing on the wrong things and giving inaccurate information only undermines the credibility of our protest against marriage mandate theology.

6/3/07, 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One important thing to note here is that more women have ALWAYS attended church more than men [1][2]. History suggests this is nothing new, and neither should it correlate with a feminized church.

There are other things to consider.

I'm not saying that the church hasn't failed in some of it's primary functions. Bringing a secular culture into a spiritual community is never a good thing; and over domesticating men and turning them into "armorless christian soldiers with no bite" is another example.

Personally, I favor preaching that steps on my feet, the kind that does not water down/ compromise certain sins, such as, the modern day illegal divorces and remarriages, for one.

Instead, there's a loosening of the moral compass where the church has sugar-coated sins with "worldly timeouts". I'm tired of the pulpits today sacificing stern discipline to the "be niiice" politically correct/ sensitivity crowd. This is the byproduct of emasculation.


But enough ...

HG

6/4/07, 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seek the authentic, historic Christian faith, and you will find a Church which does not emasculate men.

Peace,
Patrick

6/4/07, 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Carie said...

I don't think a return to fire and brimstone solves any problems. Do we really want to go back to a time when women were universally abused and owned as property, unable to learn to read or write?

At UCLA, I learned how horribly difficult life was for women before the 1960s. I can't imagine not having basic civil rights. Just because our emancipation meant we also have a place in religion, doesn't mean men have a lesser place.

If men are missing from church, does that mean they are missed? I don't think so. Women have only really just begun to see the beginnings of equality between the sexes.

I think what is most frustrating about men is that they seem to have dropped the ball on responsibility and God-given roles in life. It could be reasonably argued that men are avoiding social situations including religion if they aren't in complete control. Sort of a "it's my ball and I'm going home" sort of childishness.

Perhaps Dr. Laura was right when she said men are simple creatures. Simple, yes, but also in need of a reminder of what God directs them to do. Just because women are no longer held in the same class as livestock, doesn't mean we are taking over everything.

It could also be argued that women have had the greatest influence on Christianity and that it should be this way. Women do many things better than men. We are naturally compassionate when men have to be taught compassion. Women aren't naturally inclined to do wrong, yet we cannot build prisons fast enough to hold men who choose to do wrong.

Look at the nature of men and women. Maken is right to point out that Adam was ultimately responsible in his leadership role. Now that women are part of society, men are becoming apathetic. Maybe they don't want to be husbands and fathers. The men who have money seem to be doing their duty. What is it with all the slacker men? Were there always so many men who simply didn't care about life or marriage?

I resent the whining men on this site. God willing, they will join the ranks of the homeless and the suicides. Women aren't going back to slave-status anytime soon, so get used to our leadership in Christianity. At first I thought it offensive to say church was only for girls, but maybe it is only for women and men. The problem is that there are so few true men. Isn't that Debbie's overall point? She has you checkmated on that point, Anakin.

6/5/07, 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good grief. Could this thread 'jump the shark' even more?

Carie, I agree that many of the men who post here have chips on their shoulders the size of Manhattan.

Unfortunately, it appears that you do too.

But perhaps this is a competition to see who can post the most offensive, illogical and idiotic twaddle about the other sex.

Someone Said is one of the very few people here who ever says anything remotely sensible.

SS, you seem to be a nice guy. And while you disagree with Debbie Maken, you never lower yourself to attack her personally.

Philippa

6/5/07, 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carie said... 'women were universally abused and owned as property, unable to learn to read or write'
'At UCLA, I learned how horribly difficult life was for women before the 1960s. I can't imagine not having basic civil rights.'
How ignorant and brainwashed can a person be? There were womens colleges over a hundred years ago. Women were never 'universaly abused".

6/5/07, 3:19 PM  
Anonymous carie said...

No amount of wishing the world was like the mythical 1950s' "Father Knows Best" will make it the truth.

Women have been treated horribly by men until very recently in history. I just think men need to step back and do a self analysis. Is all this marriage resistance and anti-women sentiment because women have DARED to accept an equal role in society?

Think hard guys, it usually takes men about ten times as long to notice the obvious.

6/5/07, 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"At UCLA, I learned"

Ha! Thank you very much,UC system. This "woman" is unmarriageable.

6/5/07, 3:24 PM  
Anonymous someone said...

Phillipa,

Thanks for the encouragement. Like you, I find the things said by people on both sides of this discussion/debate to be disturbing and offensive. It's amazing how quickly things get off track in the comments here from discussing the marriage mandate question, and devolve into infantile insults and insipid gender wars. It's really frustrating when you try to think things through and take the time to say something intelligent and then it's either ignored completely or responded to immaturely. Frequently I can't even believe the things said here are for real. It makes me feel like conservative evangelicalism is in pretty bad shape.

As for not attacking Debbie Maken personally, I won't pretend like it's always easy to be charitable towards her, given the hostility and contempt that I feel continually flow from her and many of her followers, but she is still a fellow Christian even if she thinks my Christianity is suspect for not being married at 36. Also, whatever else one can say about her, I do believe that she holds her position in all sincerity, even though I think her to be about as wrong as wrong can be. And that is really the issue here, not the personal life of Debbie Maken, or the "feminization" of the church, or the economic situation men face today, etc. Is what Maken and Chediak and their ilk teach truly Christian and is it really the only or even the best interpretation of the Bible? That's the issue that's supposed to be under discussion here.

6/5/07, 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone ...

Debbie Maken is not a Christian.

The feminization of the church and the economic situation men face today are part of the issue.

6/5/07, 9:10 PM  
Anonymous singlechristian said...

Men can go to the same church and hear a) they are doing something wrong or suspect for asking someone out and b) that there is something wrong or suspect in their being single or not in some kind of dating relationship. What this tells me about those fellowships is that there is no clear, and firm, pastoral leadership towards those authority figures uttering the contradictory advice. It may be an "invisible" problem to those pastors (all kinds of things get said in small groups, etc. that are said "out of school" but that have the imprimatuer of authority).


>>I find dating secular women to be so refreshing after all the nonsense from Christian women. <<

I have only gone out with a few non Christians but I have to say they were more fun to socialize with, and am glad this man said this. There is a poem in fact about one of them on my blog - a poem about going out with non believers as much as about her.

True story: Met a believer on line. Took her out. Sent her a thank you note by emal afterwards. Got an email commenting on various perceived faults. Later got an email to the effect that she wasn't happy she didn't get a second invite.
Gee? Wonder why she didn't get a second date? She was manifesting the behaviour patterns towards men that she had learned in church.

6/6/07, 3:53 AM  
Anonymous someone said...

The feminization of the church and the economic situation men face today are part of the issue.

Anonymous,

No they aren't. Those things have nothing to do with rather or not the Bible teaches that marriage is mandatory for all people at all times and places. Nothing.

Furthermore, I am tired of hearing men who complain about women having a role in the church as if God does not give spiritual gifts to women and call them to use those gifts for the building up of the body. Remember Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17? They both say "Your sons AND your daughters will prophesy," not just your sons. The church needs the feminine as much as it needs the masculine. In the end, all men and women are called not so much to focus on fitting in to rigid gender stereotypes, but to becoming more like Jesus.

As for your comment about Debbie Maken's Christianity, how could you possibly know that?

6/6/07, 3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The system you have in place is designed to get the results you are getting.

No men? Where did they go? Does the church speak to them in any way?

No men available to marry or support a family on one income? Why did your grandfathers have no problem supporting a family on one income? What changed?

Even as more women support Maken, even less men care about church and are overtly hostile to the idea of attending. What changed to keep men away?

Both sides dance around the issue that things are different than they used to be. Most of the West continues to be leftist/statist. Everyone works and most children are raised by strangers.

This system doesn't really fit with what most of us feel is a Christian life. Men still want to be married and leaders of families, but unless a man earns enough to support a family, he will be very resistant to marry. It isn't because he is actively working to betray the will of God, it is because we have a new social system now.

The rule is: everyone works, sex is divorced from love, children raised by strangers or the state, marriage is unsatisfying for most women and financially dangerous for men.

Being a Christian and living a Christian life is much more difficult when our current system works against what we want or expect.

I don't blame men at all. I don't blame women either. People go where they feel welcome and the message embraces and supports them. Churches don't do this for men. The ideal consumer for the typical church is a single working woman who needs emotional support and a system of friends.

Men such as Alex Chediak are helpful to women who feel men have let them down. According to Alex, men have let women down. According to Debbie, men have let women down.

Anakin was right to say women were created to help men. However, our systems, both secular and religious, heavily favor serving the needs of women. Which of these systems will men embrace?

In the UK and the USA, government at all levels is heavy with women. The same is true of Churches; dominated by women.

Does this mean men are bad or working against God? Not at all. The new power women have has somewhat unbalanced the dynamic between the sexes. Less men will marry. More men will opt to not have children. Many government jobs will be awarded to women as a payback for centuries of male oppression, etc.

Men are dropping out and tuning out because it really is impossible to please women when they approach men from a position of power and want much more from men than they are able to give. When women realize they aren't dominant partners, but helpers to men, perhaps things will change.

In the meantime, we have a bunch of ladies telling men how men should think and feel. They we have people like Alex Chediak tell those same women than men need to improve and make changes.

Argument, shaming, logic, scripture; none of it will motivate men to join systems that primarily serve the interests and emotional needs of women.

The one common feature I've seen in this debate, especially from Maken and her supporters, is a 100% rejection of anything men say in the debate. "You don't agree with us girls, so you're a bad man!"

And the debate continues to go on. Men continue to stay away from church and avoid marriage. Women continue to tell men how they should behave and think and feel.

It's such a mystery to the women. Yet the system serves them and says what they expect to hear. So the problems continue and men continue to abandon the Church.

Solution? Well, I was born male, so my thoughts don't matter. I'd like to go to a church where I felt welcome. I'd like to meet a woman who didn't have impossibly high standards. Instead, I'll continue being a Christian on my own terms, avoid the girls clubs; I mean churches, and go out with my Buddhist girlfriend this weekend.

There is nobody to blame for the system, but it does keep real men away and gives women impossibly high expectations that most men cannot possibly meet. My advice? Stop reading Maken and start reading McCulley. Better to be content and single than angry and resentful.

6/6/07, 6:20 AM  
Blogger wombatty said...

Carie:

First, most of us guys here have no interest in returning to the days where women were treated as chattle. Most of us who have raised the progress of women in our society as an issue have only done so to point out that it does have consequences with which we must reckon. Namely, since women generally prefer to marry men who make more money than they do, the more money that women make, the less men there will be who make even more. This is simply a fact and some women will thus have a decision to make: either give up the dream of marrying a man who makes more money than they do or make peace with the fact that there are less men of your preference from whom to choose a mate.

You wrote:
--------------------
Women aren't naturally inclined to do wrong, yet we cannot build prisons fast enough to hold men who choose to do wrong.
--------------------
This is completely fallacious. First, how do you explain Eve’s sin? Did Adam make her do it? Was it Adam’s responsibility to ‘babysit’ Eve? Was she somehow exempted from accountability? God didn’t seem to think so, as he punished Eve for her transgression.

For another thing, you are conflating the moral and the legal. Just because something isn’t illegal (and doesn’t carry the threat of imprisonment), doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong. Can you point me to the part of the Bible where God says that women are morally/spiritually superior to men? 1 John 1:9 says,

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

Interestingly, some women seem intent on catching up to guys in at least one area: sexual predation of youngsters. Here’s a list of female teachers who have preyed on students http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53859. Since you claim that ‘Women aren't naturally inclined to do wrong’, how do you explain this? Did a man make them do it? Perhaps they are turning to children to fulfill their sexual needs because a ‘real man’ hasn’t stepped up to the plate? (Note: I’m not suggesting that there is gender parity on this issue).

Scroll up and read the excerpt from Eggerichs’ book Love & Respect. You fit his description perfectly.

This is just more 'female superiorism' - and it's no better than the male brand of the same.

You are simply a sexist and a bigot.

You wrote:
--------------------
I resent the whining men on this site. God willing, they will join the ranks of the homeless and the suicides. Women aren't going back to slave-status anytime soon, so get used to our leadership in Christianity. At first I thought it offensive to say church was only for girls, but maybe it is only for women and men. The problem is that there are so few true men. Isn't that Debbie's overall point? She has you checkmated on that point, Anakin.
--------------------

Checkmated indeed! You seem to subscribe to a false dichotomy: either women are the leaders or they are slaves. Needless to say, this is fatuous. You are no better than the few men chauvinists on this site and you certainly don’t have much room to whine about the lack of ‘real men’.

6/6/07, 6:21 AM  
Anonymous carie said...

I have no sympathy for men who cannot support a family. There are plenty of good, high-paying jobs. Here in California, there are wonderful programs to help women get into high paying government jobs. If it takes government to help women get jobs, men must find high-paying work easily.

I'm continuing to simply hear excuses. The more I hear from men, the more I think we should all agree that Debbie didn't go nearly far enough. Any man who doesn't earn over $100,000 should be absolutely denied the company of women. That would get their sorry selves motivated to earn more.

Then maybe we wouldn't have so many unhappy single Christian women!

6/6/07, 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of you really know Debbie Maken. She is not a lifelong Christian and still holds views from another religious tradition.

I attend the same church she does and she is very outspoken and negative when it comes to the concerns of men. Her husband tags along behind her and clearly is not the leader of their family. It is the model marriage of dominant woman/recessive man.

All I'm saying is don't put too much stock in her book or anything she says. A lot of it is subjective and drawn from personal opinion.

My main concern is that lots of sad and lonely women will put Debbie Maken on such a high pedestal that they will not recognize that Debbie's advice is at best unhelpful and very often simply wrong.

6/6/07, 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Wombatty. I was going to belabor the point of carie's misguided and over-the-top victim status, but since we have a few posters in the audience crying "shark", I'm glad I passed.

I think many people who come in here for the first time probably wonder, like myself, why the author has chosen the title, "Scripturally Single - Defending Singleness In A Romance-Crazed World".

It would seem the title bears changing since it seems to cover a broader brush stroke than just the narrow strict view of a few mandaters.

I guess I'm wrong.

Do not misunderstand, decontstructing the marriage mandate issue as unscripturally sound is fine. But when one handcuffs the men (as some criers insist on here)from defending charges of male-bashing and naively believe, instead, that it's not a "possible" centrifugal motive to the debate, then you're living in a world of the Three Monkeys.

This subject matter has emotionally provoked and instigated a can of worms between the genders. Some would call it the Devil's Workshop. I cannot say whether Maken herself is a Christian, but I cannot say she IS one, either.

"Ye shall know them by their fruits".

Steve M

6/6/07, 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attend the same church she does and she is very outspoken and negative when it comes to the concerns of men

What church does she attend?

6/6/07, 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carie,

Six figure incomes indeed. Are you for real? Has the women's studies over at UCLA rotted your brain? You sound proud that you're getting help from the nanny state?

Nonetheless, may I remind you that the Law Of Supply and demand dictate jobs, my intellectual superstar. Then again, with your socialist bent, I'm not surprised you're from Califorinia.

The Law of Supply and Demand is an iron one. If supply rises faster than demand, the price falls. That has been the case for labor, because with the expanded labor pool (women and immigrants) the price of labor has naturally fallen.

Real wages are down around 16.9% to 1973 levels.

With more women in the workforce, the disposable income increased, and so did the initial standard of living where husband and wife both worked. As the standard of living increased initially, the market adjusted, as we hired people or sought services to do the sorts of thing that had been done by a full time worker in the house. Also, prices increased to meet this new standard of living, and so we find two people having to do what took only one, as far as employment outside the house was concerned, in order to pay for even the basics.

Add to this, competition with low wage workers (outside and imported), and you don’t have a very pretty picture. This whole trend of trying to push for importing educated workers is fascinating as well. Our schools are failing, so we need outsiders, leaving citizens with low paying jobs, except these are being taken by low wage immigrants. And for those of us citizens that pay for a college degree, we get to compete with educated low wage imports, many of which probably had their education taken care of by the state.

And how are the husband and wife to compete? By having to work longer and harder for less pay and benefits. All started in part by feminist liberation. Thanks to them, we may end up in conditions associated with 18 hour days, dumbbell housing, child labor, and the “Concrete Jungle” (I think that was the book on the then unsanitary meat industry).

Liberated progress indeed. Hmph!


But if you think putting pressure on the vast majority of women to work, reducing the average number of children to sub-replacement level and having state employees raise those children is likely to turn out well over a period of 100 years, then there's little I am ever going to say that will convince you of anything.

Anecdotal evidence is meaningless. There are always those who benefit from any given situation. None of this is even my problem, I'm fortunate to be a member of the elite class that profits from the suffering of the lower and soon-to-be lower classes.

That doesn't mean that I think the trend is good, right or healthy.

I'm merely observing that we are sawing off the branch that we are standing on. I'm not proposing that we make saws illegal. Take this metaphor any which way you want.

HG

6/6/07, 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its clear carie is not being serious

6/6/07, 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm fortunate to be a member of the elite class that profits from the suffering of the lower and soon-to-be lower classes."

There's some honesty for you. Sort of a "I'm comfortable, so let's laugh as the peasants die off." A true Christian sentiment if there ever was one. And it proves Christianity is now the domain of elitist snobs, effeminate men and liberal women.

Thank the Lord there are no real men left in the Church.

6/6/07, 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:26,

Jumping the gun, aren't you?

I suppose you've never touched stocks, commodities, or futures? How about 401k plans?

Never? You got a retirement package? If so, do you know what you're fund manager invests in?

I suppose if I invest in oil futures, I'm eviiiil. People make money off of other people all the time.



I'll bet the company you're a part of has investors supporting it, and without those so-called "elitist" investors, you probably wouldn't have a job. Now there's real honesty. Don't put your nose in something unless you have all the info. Look at the whole picture of the economy. Everybody has a part in it.

HG

6/6/07, 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/6/07, 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You are a true loser and a d**khead. Do you have balls to tell Debbie Maken how you feel? ...You are a pathetic, despicable, sorry excuse for a human being."

This is what passes for Christian discourse these days.

And people wonder why women with good values and real men have walked away from Christian churches.

Amazing, absolutely amazing.

6/6/07, 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For pete's sake, people, it is painfully obvious that people like Carie, and her male counterparts, are only here to yank everybody's chains.

Someone Said,
Thanks for another good post. :)

Debbie Maken's book mostly drives me up the wall. I gave her the benefit of the doubt, and tried to like it, but her sweeping statements and her extraordinary contempt for older singles made me wince and didn't exactly convert me to the Cause. There ARE some things I agree with. If she had just published chapters 5-11, she would have had a decent book, IMO. I do agree with her that the church has super-spiritualised singleness and hasn't taken on board the fact that circumstantial singleness is an unfortunate effect of our culture, rather than a biblical ideal. But some of her methods and her solutions misfire.

But I don't doubt that Debbie Maken is a Christian. To say otherwise makes her detractors look foolish. This is the same tactic that was used against Carolyn McCulley. It is very obvious from Debbie Maken's book and her blog that she subscribes to a traditional, orthodox view of Christian marriage. So while I don't agree with her on a lot of things, to cast slurs on her marriage is contemptible. And perhaps those people who snipe and snarl about Maken's Hindu background would prefer the church to be made up exclusively of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Excuse me while I roll my eyes.

But enough of that.

I'll let Someone Said have the last word, 'cause this was good stuff:

Furthermore, I am tired of hearing men who complain about women having a role in the church as if God does not give spiritual gifts to women and call them to use those gifts for the building up of the body. Remember Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17? They both say "Your sons AND your daughters will prophesy," not just your sons. The church needs the feminine as much as it needs the masculine. In the end, all men and women are called not so much to focus on fitting in to rigid gender stereotypes, but to becoming more like Jesus.

Couldn't agree more, brother.

Thanks for sounding a note of biblical sanity and courtesy here.

And forget what the more extreme Makenites say, 36 is a great age for a guy to get married. ;)

Philippa

6/7/07, 3:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a pretty speech, Philippa, (and I guess that puts me under the your category of "foolish detractors") because, in my own opinion, Debbie is failing to communicate what is really important.

Debbie's message is more about legalism than the Gospel.

Personally, I recommend that she read the Imonk's article in the link provided.

What we're getting from her book is moral rules above and beyond the demands of Scripture.

If you love Jesus, then you will leave your "self-interest and agendas behind", strive to be like Jesus, and do what pleases Him.

It is not her place to mettle into whether Christian men are married or not, or whatever, compared to what is a more important concern: The Gospel.

However, if you just do what you think Jesus wants done then you are not really doing what He wants at all, and you are no Christian. A sufficiently devoted legalist can keep Sabbath regulations, tithe on all his income, keep himself drink-free, drug-free, smoke-free, porn-free, cuss-free, preach marriage mandate, and otherwise be a paragon of outward virtue. What he cannot do is fulfill what Christ named as the most important commandment: Love God with all your heart.

And that, my friend, is not what I am getting from her message at all. Evidently, we don't see eye to eye. We can agree to disagree. You see furtile grass; while I see a weed.

Steve M

6/7/07, 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am tired of hearing men who complain about women having a role in the church as if God does not give spiritual gifts to women and call them to use those gifts for the building up of the body."

I agree completely.

There are things one can talk about and things one cannot say.

The "correct" parts of this discussion is that Maken and her followers are absolutely right about men. Also, no consideration of what men have to say is necessary.

The "incorrect" parts of this discussion include the reasons why men are abandoning the Church in record numbers. I'm 50 and when I was a child, most of our family identified as Christian. Now, there are maybe three of us out of 30.

What changed? I'd really like to hear the women tell the men what exactly changed to create the dynamic where churches are closing all over Europe and the UK.

Why are men avoiding Church in the UK, US, Canada and Australia?

I'm not attacking women, they have a Biblical role in worship and serving the Church. Since the opinions, needs, concerns and desires of men count for nothing, please tell us why men are fleeing from churches, relationships and "Biblical roles".

Perhaps the Maken girls are right and men need to step up. Why then aren't they? Is it a spiritual battle? Is it the "false teaching of the Gift of Singleness"???

I'd really like to hear a woman explain why men feel unwelcome and unwanted in Church.

Men want marriage and relationships as much as they always did. Why are men avoiding marriage these days?

If the Maken girls have established that men are at fault, that men are eunuchs, that men are reactionary trolls wanting to turn back the clock on women's social gains, then where does that leave the discussion?

Whether one agrees with Maken or not, it is clear that most of the women here support her conclusions.

Tell us then how we came to this unhappy state of affairs. If women are virtually blameless for the falling marriage rates and lack of men in church, is Debbie 100% right about men?

6/7/07, 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 6:23

You may find some interesting theories on some of your questions by reading a multi-part essay from the author, Shrinkwrapped, titled
Narcissism, Disintegration, Suicidality & the Fall of the West: Introduction

6/7/07, 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The essay on narcissism does answer many questions, but I'm genuinely interested in the women on this board telling men what the answers are.

If Debbie Maken has all the answers; if reality is men not living up to God's directives, then I'd really like to know what brought us to this point.

Josh Harris and Alex Chediak can tell us all day what the scriptures ask of men. Still others tell us that there aren't enough men's ministries or outreach programs. Another recent topic on blogs has been advancing ideas to get men "churched" again.

I've spoken to lots of men who consider themselves Christians, but they feel completely unwelcome and unwanted in churches.

There are reasons why men have left and aren't coming back. Women need to understand why this is, because they aren't listening to men, they don't care what men have to say.

Debbie Maken's book is a perfect example of women telling men why men have failed, what they must do, and why any of men's personal concerns are simply rubbish.

I am really wondering why the very valid opinions and feelings of Christian single men are so completely discarded.

Do single men only have a say when they have a high income and have pursued marriage on a certain prescribed timetable?

Are men only being genuine when they join round-the-clock prayer vigils against some mythical demon of singleness?

I think if the Maken/Captain Sensible group could step back and really look at the way they think and feel, they would find that listening to men and offering to consider men's views may lead to an understanding of why men have left the churches.

I've spoken to several pastors about this problem. My own brother has a church in the midwest and has a weekly Sunday service which is about 75% women. His answer? You must preach to your audience. If men aren't there, you don't address their needs. This is a very common sentiment among pastors and is growing stronger as women continue to dominate and increase their share of places in protestant seminaries.

Pastors don't care if men are gone, they have their captive audiences and willing volunteers for outreach or activities. Christian writers serve the needs of female readers.

How about some honesty in the debate?

Those who do daily rants against the obscure "gift of singleness" doctrine really need a good dose of lithium. There is NO church doctrine keeping people single. Those who preach and teach about being content with singleness are probably content with their own lives without partners.

Still, men have very little voice in the Church these days. Women must step up and answer these questions. Pastors who serve only the needs and concerns of women must at the very least consider the feelings and needs of men.

I'm not asking for leadership from men. That died back in the 1970s and women don't want to turn back the clock.

I'm not asking for parity or special programs to get men back to churches.

I would simply like honest answers from women who seem to know what men are all about; how they think, how they should behave, etc.

If women such as Debbie Maken and her supporters are so convinced they understand men and know what to expect from them, why are the men still going away and not coming back? Why are so many good and godly women emotionally starving to death?

I cannot believe any thinking person could believe the things said by Debbie Maken. With such a disrupted social order and women being completely independent from men in every area of their lives, Christian women really have no right to complain about men.

What is a man's role and what is a woman's role?

In the societies that have these fundamentals right, men have purpose and are unashamedly religious. Women marry young and have more than one child.

What is wrong with a society when women want to lead, tell men how they should think and feel, and only want one designer baby at the age of 39?

What is wrong with Christianity when divorce rates among Christians are higher than that of secular folk?

If feminism, women's mass entry into the workforce, the devaluation of men's value, and depressed wages are taboo subjects in this debate, we'll have to focus on the only topic which seems acceptable.

Yes, let's do that. Let's all pretend there is some GoS demon fighting a spiritual war to keep women barren.

Anyone who believes that nonsense is deranged. The simple reality is that things have changed. Women want to earn as much, lead as much, compete as much as men. However, throughout history, the societies which have advanced women into leadership always have crashing birthrates, almost no marriages and dying religions.

I'm not blaming one sex or the other, but women need to make up their minds. So, tell us ladies, tell us why we are failing you and we won't be seeing you this Sunday in church.

6/7/07, 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,

HG posted an interesting article above on the Missing Fathers Of The Church that I considered an excellent read. In some areas, it's an eye-opener. ;)

6/7/07, 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a pretty speech, Philippa, (and I guess that puts me under the your category of "foolish detractors") because, in my own opinion, Debbie is failing to communicate what is really important.

Er, Steve M, did you actually READ my post all the way through?

Do I sound like a Maken cheerleader to you? I've received a certain amount of bashing from her less charming supporters.

I made it clear that I have issues with quite a lot of her book. Yet you think I'm seeing "fertile grass" there ... or something. Huh?

OK, so I did say I agreed with at least one of her claims, that circumstantial singleness - as opposed to someone who really does feel called to biblical singleness (which I don't) - is not a biblical ideal.

I'm not going to repeat myself on where I disagree with her. People can skim my posts or they can read them properly. *shrug*

I thought that the I-Monk article was very good.

But as for this continuing ding-dong between the 'Makenites' and the 'Anakin-ites' (or whoever), quite honestly, it only makes me want to say: "A pox on both your houses."

LOL.

Peace out,
Philippa

6/8/07, 4:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the answers. Read Debbie Maken's book. Invite her to speak at your events and you will know the truth.

I'm willing to admit that the vast majority of men who read Debbie's book simply hate it and the message. If anything, her book will lead more men to leave the church or stop dating Christian women.

But, hey, if that is the cost of ridding ourselves of childish fools and eunuchs of all types, then I'm glad those men are gone.

Now that I see what men are really like (in general), I'm really shocked our mothers and grandmothers married so easily and so young. Marriage used to be the norm, now it is fast becoming a relic of history in our post-Christian societies.

Maybe our secular trends did empower women and dramatically reduce the desirability of men. Maybe we did elevate the Labour government ideals of the "nanny state" which did huge damage to marriage.

The payoff was our own independence, our own careers, a chance to travel and gain higher education.

Of course, we are all single with no children and time is running out. We are desperate for male attention, yet few men can afford to take care of a wife and family in today's economy and horrific legal culture of divorce.

I guess there are no answers. It is a mystery why the real men are gone away and only the losers are left. In a time when women are doing better than ever, men should be doing ten times as well; marrying and having children as God commands.

Men have failed us and the answer is not to embrace them or welcome them back into the fold. They have a lot of work to do before they are minimally acceptable to modern women again. This may mean none of us will ever marry, but at least the Muslims are having successful families, marrying and having children.

6/8/07, 6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading some women's responses on this blog, like previous anonymous, I am not surprised so many modern women aren't married. Men just don't like entitlement princesses. Ladies, it's not the men who should change their attitudes. Unless you are willing to change you will have to enjoy your careers in solitude.
And, anon 6:38 , are you really for serious??? You are glad that Muslims are multiplying so that they will take over and impose sharia laws on Europe??? You will look beautiful in burka, I bet.
Me, I prefer Western men.

A happily married woman.

6/8/07, 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Philippa,

Yes, I did read your post (and I'm amused by your "seemingly" smug and condescending tone {{{from your last post}}}, thanks all the same), the part that said ...

But I don't doubt that Debbie Maken is a Christian. To say otherwise makes her detractors look foolish.

... and that's the part that I was rebutting. I'll even compromise here and state that Maken is "far less" a Christian (if at all) because of the very points in the article about the finger wagging, provoking, instigating, chastising, manipulation, and mettling into affairs that are, in Maken's case, none of her business. And none of these traits exemplify her love for the Gospel. No, not one.

If Debbie Maken believes (even if it's a fallacious insight), that her male brethern have fallen, then her only responsibilty is to pray for them. God is perfectly aware of what is going on in the world. He has everything in control. He doesn't need a squirrel in his kingdom who writes and promotes books tattling on the flock for profit like a little child whose candy has been stolen.

Evidently, Maken has no faith in the love and power of prayer, the Gospel, or much of anything else, so what does she do? Well, God hasn't done anything, thus she decides to do something about it herself. It becomes an agenda, pure and simple.


Steve M

6/8/07, 7:49 AM  
Blogger wombatty said...

Anon 6/8/07 6:38 AM wrote:
----------------------
Of course, we are all single with no children and time is running out. We are desperate for male attention....
----------------------
You wouldn't know it from the way some of you (e.g. Maken) talk. Behaving in an insulting, condescending, dismissive and disrespectful manner isn't exactly attractive to the men you are seeking attention from.

Anon 6/8/07 6:38 AM wrote:
----------------------
...yet few men can afford to take care of a wife and family in today's economy and horrific legal culture of divorce.
----------------------
If you believe this to be the case, why do you fault men for not submitting themselves to that culture. Are they supposed to pretend that everything is 'hunky-dory'?

Anon 6/8/07 6:38 AM wrote:
----------------------
I guess there are no answers. It is a mystery why the real men are gone away and only the losers are left.
----------------------
I'm fascinated by the number of women in this debate who resolutely insist that 'it's all the men's fault'. Apparently, some just cannot imagine that women might share the blame.

I have no problem admitting that men are part of this problem, to the extent that it exists.

Why do you assume that only 'losers' are left? Upon what do you base this assertion? That men are not pursuing you? Have you considered that some men might be wondering where all the 'real women' have gone?

Refering to the men that are still around as 'losers' is not only presumputous, it's also an incredibly poor way of attracting positive male attention. Keep it up, and you'll never see a guy who isn't a 'loser'.

Just imagine: You're in a conversation at church with a few friends and you start carrying on about how 'all the men around here are losers, where are the real men'. Now imagine a 'real man' (apparently, this only includes men who doggedly pursue marriage) happens by and overhears this. How likely is it that he would ever ask you out?

Even if he didn't believe you were talking about him, a woman (or man, for that matter) who smears people she doesn't even know as losers and whines about the lack of 'real men' is going to raise a red flag. Chances are, if he was interested in you, overhearing such a conversation would probably put an end to his attraction.

Anon 6/8/07 6:38 AM wrote:
----------------------
In a time when women are doing better than ever, men should be doing ten times as well; marrying and having children as God commands.
----------------------
What's the logic here? You seem to believe that men's success is locked into some kind stable relationship with that of women. It's not as if progress for women inevitably increases the success of men.

Anon 6/8/07 6:38 AM wrote:
----------------------
Men have failed us and the answer is not to embrace them or welcome them back into the fold. They have a lot of work to do before they are minimally acceptable to modern women again.
----------------------
Perhaps some women have failed men (perish the thought) and maybe even themselves.

Given that these men aren't pursuing marriage now, what makes you think they are interested in getting back into your good graces? Why do you think they are concerned about gaining your approval?

Since, by your own admission, women are desperate for male attention, have you considered that they may have deemed you unacceptable? Have you considered what work you should undertake to become 'minimally acceptable' to them?

6/8/07, 9:30 AM  
Anonymous someone said...

Steve,

Why are you being so defensive towards Phillipa? I don't see anything smug or condescending in her last post. Your tone towards her has been pretty condescending itself ("that's a pretty speech," etc.)

The general content of your posts make you seem like a reasonably thoughtful and intelligent person and I've agreed with a lot of what you've said. I agree that Maken teaches legalism and I really enjoyed the iMonk article, but some of the stuff you're saying comes across as not particularly charitable. I understand the anger that someone like Maken can generate, because I feel it too, and have probably (regretfully)spoken out of it as well, but those of us who are against her position should not destroy our own credibility by speaking uncharitably in response.

Also, I find the following statement from you at least somewhat questionable in principle: "If Debbie Maken believes (even if it's a fallacious insight), that her male brethern have fallen, then her only responsibilty is to pray for them." Based on the logic of this position, no one should ever raise their voice to express concern about any situation, including the concerns raised in the iMonk article or your own protests against Debbie Maken's point of view, we should just pray about everything and never speak out. But of course, this is a completely untenable position. The problem with Maken is not that she has spoken out, but rather the content of her position (biblically and theologically) and the anger and judgmentalism that accompany it.

6/8/07, 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone...

What are you doing on this blog?

Stop attacking every man who dares to speak his mind.

6/8/07, 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:30am,

Er, Steve M, did you actually READ my post all the way through?

The way in which Philippa phrased her post can be construed as patronising. From this, I gather that I'm lazy for what she believes I did not comprehend.

Miscommunication will always be a negative on forums like this. Moreover, I said "seemingly" just in case I was mistaken.

As for my comment about "a pretty speech", I could be out of line.

Then, again, you might say that if anyone disagrees with Philippa's claim ...

"But I don't doubt that Debbie Maken is a Christian. To say otherwise makes her detractors look foolish."

... well, then, they are on the wrong side of the fence, and thus, we must presume, categorically speaking, that they look foolish. What other context is there that I'm missing?

Maken's point of view, we should just pray about everything and never speak out. But of course, this is a completely untenable position. The problem with Maken is not that she has spoken out ...

The problem is -- she's broadcasting manipulation, provocation, stirring up a hornet's nest, etc., etc., which is not what the Gospel is about, and which makes the rest of her claims irrelevant, legalistic, and agenda-driven. Her priorities are way out of line.

Steve M

6/8/07, 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve,

Thank you for being willing to listen and to really articulate a response to what I said. I'm inclined to agree with you about what Maken is doing, based on the rhetoric and attitude that emanates from her and her followers. Nevertheless, I still think that we should take care in the things we say about other professing Christians (Matt 5:21-22).

In that sense, I still think Phillipa is essentially correct to say that people who claim to know that Maken is not a Christian are overstepping their bounds and are opening themselves up to charges of appearing foolish. It comes off like a power move which is meant to shut down discussion and dismiss ideas we don't like by labeling and dismissing people we disagree with. This is what I think Maken and her followers often do, and those of us who object to her teaching should refuse to stoop to that level.

I think it would be safer to say that Maken is acting and speaking in a way that is inconsistent with the gospel she claims to believe in (which is what I do think), and leave the judgments about her actual salvation up in the air. After all, most of us can be charged with some level of hypocracy or inconsistency.

6/8/07, 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone Said,

You rock.

:)

Well, Steve, you were the one who initially patronised ME, with your snide "pretty speech" remark. No wonder I replied in snark-mode!!

As it is, you come across as coherent and genuine.

I agree with Someone Said that it's a non-starter to say that Maken might not be a Christian. It's perfectly obvious that she is, if you've read her book and her blog. I don't even think she's 100% wrong: some aspects of her book I liked. That's the weird thing: some of her book I liked, other parts I hated!

But I don't call a person's salvation into question just because I disagree in part with them.

Philippa

6/8/07, 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone Said,


Nevertheless, I still think that we should take care in the things we say about other professing Christians (Matt 5:21-22).

In that sense, I still think Phillipa is essentially correct to say that people who claim to know that Maken is not a Christian are overstepping their bounds and are opening themselves up to charges of appearing foolish. It comes off like a power move which is meant to shut down discussion and dismiss ideas we don't like by labeling and dismissing people we disagree with.


Sorry, but that's what happens when one gossips. Debbie made her bed, and she'll have to sleep in it. The Bible has a lot more to say about gossip/ tattlers and idle talk, too.

She reminds me of the little old ladies in a country church who know everyone, and talk about everyone.

Steve M

6/8/07, 2:46 PM  
Anonymous someone said...

Steve,

I'm confused by what you mean by applying the word gossip to Debbie Maken. To me, gossip typically means talking about specific people one knows or knows of and their issues, problems, etc. I don't know how that idea applies to anything Debbie Maken has said. It would make more sense to me if you said she was trying to slander or defame the character of single Christian men, than to say she gossips. I guess if you are saying that she has given up the right to be listened to because of the way she talks, I could agree with you there to a large degree.

I'm also confused as to how your response in this case actually bears on the section of my comment that you highlighted. Even if Maken is a gossip or a slanderer or whatever, that still doesn't justify power tactics, disrespect, or our responding in kind. We still need to practice care in what we say about her, difficult though it may be at some times.

6/8/07, 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone,

There's several useful meanings to the word gossip. One such is:

Being a “BUSYBODY IN OTHER MEN’S MATTERS” (1 Pet. 4:5). This means putting one’s nose in other people’s affairs which are none of my business.

I won't go into the rest. Just do a search for the greek definition of Gossip and its several usages.

Um, I disagree with the rest of your argument. Understand that there are around 104 mentions of "bearing fruit" in the OT and around 70 in the NT. Christians can be fruit inspectors.

Christian men can be fruit inspectors (many have here), and what many of them see is a weed choking at the heart of the church. They see instigation, manipulation, and false teaching. The Bible clearly states to avoid those false teachers. And guess what? They have. It's not healthy.

Now I ask in all this mess, what fruit is Debbie Maken bearing? Yes, I think her Christianity is susceptible. Respect has to be earned.

Steve M

6/8/07, 6:01 PM  
Anonymous someone said...

Steve,

My point is that even if we inspect the fruit and find it to be wanting, that still doesn't give us the right to be disrespectful and hateful. I too find the fruit to be wanting in so many ways, but I'm not going to resort to the tactics and tone that Makenites do, nor do I think I'm entitled to. If the fruit's bad, then just say it's bad. If the teachings false, then just point how such is the case. There's no need to do it in a deameaning or insulting way, which would make us no better than the Makenites. That's all.

6/8/07, 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Acceptable, Someone. Acceptable.

I just came in here as a guest from the Amazon site, curious as what all the fuss was about.

From the looks of it, I can see I'm not missing anything, either. In other words, there's nothing to bring me back.

As a single man, I see this whole issue of Debbie's as a non-problem. If she wants to rant, let her go off. I don't have to listen to her.

In contrast, I'm a man who goes his own way. If more Christians focused on the cross, they'd be too busy to worry about what their single neighbors are doing.

I suppose Anakin's blog serves the purpose he was called to do. As for myself, I'd just as soon deal with spiritual reality, and concepts that, for me, are of greater concern, and a lot more concrete, than authors who cry wolf.

Goodbye, have a great weekend, and may your blessings be bountiful.

Steve M

signing out

6/8/07, 8:36 PM  
Anonymous someone said...

Thanks Steve,

Blessings on you as well. I pretty much agree that the whole thing is really a non-problem, though I do think this controversy reveals some of the larger problems of evangelicalism and how we don't really get the fullness of the gospel and all its implications. I guess that's why I think that it's still possible for Maken to be a Christian and advocate the stuff she does, because so many Christians correctly understand salvation in a narrow sense but they don't really get the gospel and the kingdom life in all its fullness. Maken is just one more of these people and her teachings are just one more symptom/manifestation of this. Anyway, hope your weekend is good too. Peace.

6/8/07, 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm.

I noticed something strange in this last discussion.

Philippa acts as some kind of cheerleader, spearheading 'Someone' onward (rah, rah), yet she appears not to practice nor apply herself to any of the charitable respect that Someone prescribed for Christians to act and that she agrees with.

Well, Steve, you were the one who initially patronised ME, with your snide "pretty speech" remark. No wonder I replied in snark-mode!!

So, from this I can gather that Philippa can go into "snark mode" anytime she feels disrepected and its justified. From the way I view it, Philippa, as a Christian, has given herself permission to retaliate against those who don't respect her "first". I don't think that's how the Christian code works.

????

HG

6/9/07, 7:48 AM  
Anonymous foster said...

Let's not abuse Philippa. I always find her comments very sensible. She sees through Debbie Maken when lots of confused women fall for the nonsense easily (Capt. Sensible comes to mind).

Oh, if only I lived in the UK, I'd ask her out for coffee.

Oh, well...

6/9/07, 9:10 AM  
Anonymous someone said...

HG,

I agree with Foster. I don't even think anything Phillipa said in the particular response in question was particularly "snarky" or unkind. She also said, immediately after the lines you quoted, that Steve came across as genuine and coherent, something a diehard Makenite would never say to a challenger. Let's all stop being petty.

6/9/07, 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe Debbie Maken is guilty of one other ingedient not mentioned in this debate: Idolatry.

First of all, I would NOT go so far as to say that no professing Christian can hold opinions different than mine in good faith, or that people with different philosophies than mine must be heretics or wolves-in-sheep's-clothing, and therefore I don't owe them any brotherly kindness or benefit of the doubt. Yet it is a very real temptation, and one to which I've observed many people succumb.


However, I do get the impression Debbie is placing herself in the Throne of the Judge over people's souls, for one thing; for another, it exaggerates a small part of the whole Gospel and thereby de-emphasizes the real focus, the work of Jesus Christ for the glory of God and for our salvation. In short, it is idolatry, setting one's pet ideology above God; and one tends to sacrifice valuables -- truth, courtesy, compassion, unity, even the very hearts and minds of one's own brethren -- at the altar of one's favorite new god.

May God help us all in our efforts to keep our perspective and our priorities straight.

I think what annoys me about the Makenites is that it's so directive to one group: The Single Christian Man. This reminds me of the people who will take one scripture from this book, and another scripture from another book, and from 3 or 4 other verses build their whole religion, without looking at the context behind the scripture, or even the bible as a WHOLE.

It's like calling Jesus a crybaby because of the scripture "Jesus wept" without realizing why he was weeping, or taking into effect all the other times he hadn't wept.

HG

6/9/07, 9:48 AM  
Anonymous someone said...

HG,

Yes, I have definitely thought that one could legitimately say that there is an element of idolatry in the absolute obsession that Maken and the Makenites seem to have on marriage and getting married.

I also agree, as you note, that there is something suspect when people spend a lot of time focusing on what they think are the sins of other people, which, rather conveniently, aren't their own sins.

6/9/07, 9:57 AM  
Anonymous foster said...

"I also agree, as you note, that there is something suspect when people spend a lot of time focusing on what they think are the sins of other people, which, rather conveniently, aren't their own sins."

Very well said.

I enjoy this debate. Even the hardcore Makenites and the angry men have something to add. Let's not get so politically correct and polite that we refuse to address important issues.

Life is difficult and confusing and one of the things that most of us loved when we first read the words of Jesus was his absolute clarity. We are to think better thoughts and act out of love, not judgement or condemnation. Yet, we should have no tolerance for dishonesty or nonsense.

I genuinely appreciate Anakin illustrating where Maken has taken liberties and intentionally misused scripture. I also have compassion for women who really do want marriage and really do want to be loved.

I think most of us agree that there are problems; lack of men in churches, the nature of the church experience these days, the endless empowerment of women which has changed sexual/gender dynamics in a bad way, etc.

It is very important to realize that Maken is wrong with her simplistic analysis. However, I very much understand why she has such rabid followers. Those who feel Maken has all the answers are also the same women who really need someone or something to be angry with. They need something to blame. Through Maken, they can struggle against some imaginary gift of singleness monster, or they can become downright hateful of single Christian men.

I applaud the women who reject Maken's advice. They are the ones who will eventually have prayers answered and find happiness.

6/9/07, 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit I really got excited about "Getting Serious About Getting Married". I thought that Debbie's message was really what was needed.

Slowly I've come to realize that it is a perfect message for women talking to women. It has nothing for men but a little pep talk and a lot of shaming.

Some fans of the book are suggesting that pastors should recommend it to their congregations. Congregations of women and old couples? Give me a break.

I sort of agree with the "system isn't working right" analysis.

Christian singles who meet up informally or through Meetup.com tend to form relationships much more easily. If it is done through the church or through a specifically Christian social group, it never works.

Why would anyone want to "re-church" men who won't attend? Why do men need to be shamed?

Debbie and her fans need to step back and realize her message is doing tremendous damage; mainly to the attitudes of the women who place all the blame for their singleness on men.

Okay, so there aren't a lot of men in church. Once that is understood, you cannot sit and pray all day for them to come back. You cannot shame them either. If you want a man, you have to go for what is available.

If you insist on dating in your own denomination, you reduce the odds.

If you only date on the friends-first model, you reduce the odds.

If you wait until after age 35 to find a husband, you reduce the odds.

If you believe Debbie Maken that unmarried men over 30 are eunuchs - and you follow her advice to tell them they are eunuchs, you reduce your odds.

If you "be content" with singleness, that is what you will have.

The contentment people AND the Maken people are dramatically reducing the chances of women marrying.

Of course, perhaps it is God's will. Only the entitlement princesses are staying single while the rest of us are marrying and moving on quite happily.

For you single girls, good luck finding billionaire single guys after age 40. It ain't gonna happen.

6/9/07, 12:53 PM  

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