July 7, 2007

When Religious Leaders Sound Like Government Bureaucrats

Well, I wanted add a bit more to my recent discussion regarding Michael Lawrence's take on male attraction to women. Yes, I may be beating a dead horse, but I suppose I am like Columbo with my false exits and the need to make just one more point. I recently made the following comment on a post at Boundlessline.org:
I'm going to have to dissent in part here. What Michael Lawrence, Suzanne, and others need to remember is that while looks aren't everything--or even the main thing--they are SOMETHING. Yes, if the choice is between the spiritual girl who looks like a 6 and the worldly supermodel who looks like a 9, then go for the 6 girl. Yes, as a relationship deepens, one's attraction to another person deepens. However--I am disturbed by what seems to be the message that guys have the ability--yea, the obligation--to turn their Physical Attraction Switch on or off as religious leaders dictate. There seems to be these politically correct idea that men cannot make ANY assessments about the looks of Christian women. It's unscientific and unscriptural. I have more to say about Michael Lawrence's articles at my own blog.
Well, Boundless.org staff writer Ted Slater took notice and fired back:

Anakin Niceguy -- I'm not sure what you're "dissenting" about.

Michael Lawrence seems to agree with your points. He writes, among other things, "There's nothing wrong with having physical and personality traits on your list of what makes a woman attractive. In fact, you need to be physically and personally attracted to the woman you marry." He continues, "No one in his right mind ever marries a woman he doesn't find beautiful."

Surely you don't dissent from that position.

You know that you don't *have* to disagree with Boundless articles. Instead of seeing this blog as an opportunity to practice contentiousness, sometimes consider just agreeing with something, and then contributing some additional insights.

I tried to respond to Ted, but my response did not show up on Boundless. To be fair to Ted and the Boundless.org staff, I honestly don't know whether the omission of my response was an accident or not. Nonetheless, the point I wish to make is this: I do not think I am in fundamental agreement with Michael Lawrence. Sure, Michael Lawrence acknowledges that a man should be physically attracted to the woman he marries. However, Michael Lawrence seems to reserve the right to decide what a man should find physically attractive. Note what he has said:
After all, none of us can escape our culture and constant barrage of media images that reinforce our worldly desires. On the other hand, as I've said before it's important you're physically and emotionally attracted to the woman you marry. So here at the beginning of summer, when both men and women are displaying more of what our culture says attraction is all about, I want to offer four steps to recalibrate your sense of beauty.
You see, it seems like Michael and Ted are conceding something when, in fact, there is not much of a concession. Why should a man's sense of beauty be "recalibrated"? Instead of being straightforward and demanding that men ignore physical attractiveness, what we have here is an Orwellian reinterpretation of physical beauty.

Are we really to believe that spirituality trumps all other considerations of external appearances and expediency? I wonder if Michael Lawrence and the other leaders at Capitol Hill Baptist Church would allow a young boy with body piercings, green hair, ripped clothing, and a deadpan look on his face to give their Sunday morning sermon. Would they want their daughters to date and marry this young man, given the way he looks? What thoughts do you suppose religious leaders might have about the spiritual maturity of this guy? Oh, but don't judge by appearances! Do you want some Elmer's glue with that beam in your eye, gents? The fact of the matter is that many men are not even making judgments about the spiritual maturity of plain-looking women. Yet, we are led to believe these men are sinning just because they acknowledge that the realities of the marriage bed demand a modicum of sexual appeal.

Since when do religious leaders get to decide what men find physically attractive? This question leads to me to the major point I made in my unpublished response to Ted Slater: Religious pundits are increasingly formulating doctrine on the basis of what some squeaky-wheel contingency finds a nuisance. Too many discontented single women in the church? No problem. Accuse men of the sin of "delaying marriage." Too many overweight women passed up for skinnier women? No problem. Accuse men of the sin of not cultivating God's idea of what they should find physically attractive. No sound Biblical exegesis is needed for this way of doing theology--just misapplied proof-texts, question begging, and guilt tripping.

I wonder how many Evangelicals today are that much different from the legalistic Pharisees and Judaizers of Jesus' and Paul's time? I see a fundamental failure of the part of many Evangelical writers to distinguish between that which is truly sinful (a breaking of divine law that separates us from God) and that which is merely stupid or unwise. It may be stupid or unwise for a man to have standards for beauty that are so high that he excludes many godly women who could be compatible with him. But is it sinful? Where in the Bible does it say that a man must be willing to date or pursue marriage with a certain class of women? I had a Christian woman turn me down one time for what I thought were some silly reasons, but you don't see me condemning the poor girl to hell for it.

The Bible most assuredly makes a distinction between what is unwise and what is sinful. The Apostle Paul counseled the unmarried Corinthians that it would be wise for them to remain unmarried, but he explicitly stated that they did not sin if they did not take his advice (1 Cor. 7:27-28). We do a lot of stupid and shortsighted things in our lives, but such things do not necessarily separate us from God or jeopardize our spiritual walk with him. Some religious leaders apparently fail to understand this. They remind me of government bureaucrats who want to regulate what we eat, what we choose to do with the seat belts in our car, etc. Essentially, it's the trampling of our liberties in the name of our "best interests." First delayed marriage gets called sinful, then it will be the sin of eating too many sweets--soon, we will probably see articles on men failing to put the toilet seat down for their wives. Where does the lunacy end? Bottom line: the Bible does not condone this type of judging (James 4:11-12).

33 Comments:

Anonymous singlechristian said...

I've read your post, and agree essentially with it in all respects; I don't find anything wrong with your "tone" either. I've also read the boundless post and its comments -- it seems that that a lot of people tend to agree with you to one degree or the other. You aren't the only one reproved by Slater. So, you've made your point. Sometimes you need to the let the seed grow instead of sowing more seed. You aren't at the point of beating a dead horse, not _yet_. But be mindful, for your sake.

Remember Ishmael? God had something for Abraham. It came God's way. Ishmael (the fruit of Abraham's attempt to get what God had for him) wound up being trouble instead.

I'm not qualified to say -- and I don't "do" hinting -- if you are committing "Ishmaels" by tilting at these windmills. I really am not qualified, and I really don't "do" hinting.

Just remember that He can elevate these words of wisdom He has given you; it may not be necessary to go and engage each target of opportunity, so to speak. There will always be believers on both sides trying to use guilt trips on a) people for dating or b) people for not dating. you could burn yourself out on them; but maybe there is a way to focus on main thing: Believers using guilt on each other might be taught rather what freedoms they have.

Keep up the diligence.

singlechristian

7/7/07, 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I want to offer four steps to recalibrate your sense of beauty."

Astounding arrogance. He wants to retrain the male mind on what we should find attractive?

Maken wants to educate men on how to think, feel and behave toward women?

I think there is overall too much talking and analyzing going on. The Makenite and Boundless perspective on dating and marriage is sounding more and more like Soviet Central Planning. It doesn't work, it goes against the nature of the people it is trying to control, and lots of people will simply stop listening.

There are so few authentically masculine men in churches and far too many meddling and obnoxiously over-spiritualizing women.

I don't think there is an answer for the single Christian women out there. The advice they are getting from the McCulley-Maken-Slater crowd is all pretty awful, but the same women won't listen to honest and decent men. They only listen to other women and pastors who serve the needs of women only.

If all they can agree on is that churches need to reach out to women, and men who disagree are serving Satan - or are horribly confused, things are much worse than I thought.

7/7/07, 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Captain Sensible quotes David Morrow saying "What if church is unintentionally designed to reach women, children and elderly folk?" and if it is, "Must the church be this way?"

Answer? Yes, the church MUST be this way. Women love church the way it is. They will strongly resist any change and will be very unhappy if the churches lose their women-centered focus. I also believe no pastor is going to risk his 90% female audience over policy changes.

7/8/07, 12:17 PM  
Blogger Songbird said...

Men and women are equally messed up and are equally, utterly both to blame for all the romantic complications in the planet period. Both genders are equally capable to do evil things. You seemed to forget that

7/8/07, 6:10 PM  
Blogger Anakin Niceguy said...

With all due respect, songbird, I doubt men here have forgotten the fact that men have treated women badly. Here's the thing, though: I have the media, the government, academia, popular culture, religious leaders, and people like Debbie Maken to remind me as a man what I am doing "wrong." The blame-the-guys-first crowd has had the mike for the last thirty years. If you were looking here for some mea culpas from me as a man, I am really not obligated to give them. That side of the story has been told a thousand times. I think it is time for the "other" side of the story to be told.

7/8/07, 9:11 PM  
Blogger Songbird said...

Anakin,

Thank you for the response. It's just that reading all this as well as the statments from the opposition makes a lot of people look rather petty frankly because there are way more important issues to tackle. I just find this whole GoS/GoC vs marriage mandatory movement just rather pathetic especially when it's more about which gender is more responsible for all the bad luck regarding of relationships. A lot of people, particularly the faculty from the school of theology, at my university will honestly find this debate rather asinine. Maybe I feel this way about this debate because I'm not so attached to the Reformed folk in spite of their influence they have. I know they are several Reformed folk who are not siding with Marriage Mandatory thought or the GoS/GoC thought. However, I notice that a lot of those Christian leaders who believed in either the GoS/GoC theology or Marriage Mandatory theology are from the Reformed line of thought.

GoS=Gift of Singleness
GoC=Gift of Celibacy

7/8/07, 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Songbird,

Theologians can find this debate somewhat silly and counterproductive, but with declining church attendance, a fast rising Islam and aggressive secular and atheist humanism dominating our culture, debate is needed.

The "Gift of Singleness" idea is a new creation of pop Christian theology, created simply to help longtime singles feel better about not finding a spouse. It really has no impact on most Christian's lives.

However, if people aren't marrying largely due to women's independence, dominance in the workplace, and their lack of seriousness toward marriage - blaming and shaming men won't help.

Promiscuity, divorce, social trends, etc., they all influence women to raise their standards while they invest less energy in relationships. The result, women aren't working to create successful relationships. 87% of divorces are initiated by women. Marriage is dying both inside and outside the church, largely due to women.

If women are more amenable to quick marriage and easy divorce, men are going to be much less agreeable to relationships where all assets can be lost. Further, Christian women are much more likely to seek divorce instead of working out problems in a marriage.

I know there are few men for single women to choose from, but women have set the bar too high. Consider the qualifiers used by the two top competing singles writers:

McCulley says a man should:
-be a member of my church
-be very active in the church
-be a "friend" first, no dating
-allow himself to be "observed" in his service to the church over time so his character can be discerned

Maken says a man should:
-earn enough on his salary alone
-be very active in the church
-have perfect social skills and habits
-be willing to be led by a woman
-have his wife define what it is for him to be a man

Most of the guys who post here are shocked at how utterly insane Maken and McCulley's advice is.

As the years pass, it seems Christian women's requirements are going through the roof. What will happen and what has already happened to a large degree is that Christian women will simply find it impossible to find a husband. Very few men will wait decades for a woman to slowly make up her mind. Very few men will marry a woman who insists on defining his behavior and manhood.

My Chinese Buddhist girlfriend is so much more relaxed. She doesn't evaluate and try and correct me. We are very supportive and encouraging of each other. It is a very rewarding relationship, unlike the torture tests of a Makenite or the lifelong celibacy and "friends only" requirements of the McCulley crowd.

All the Maken critics are saying is "Don't believe everything Maken says". Just because she wraps everything she says up in scripture, doesn't mean she is right about everything.

7/9/07, 6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SongBird,

Not to be disrespectful, but how is this subject any more petty than, say, placing your astrological sign as Capricorn? Looking into your profile, some lost soul just may think your faith is partially shared with, um, Astrology.

Just comparing apples with oranges, that's all ...

There's a lot of ... I mean a lot of conflicting messages that Christians send out today. Some of us are not even aware of how little fruit we actually bear. The Makenites are just another source of that worldly/ conformist/ social pressure that has a wolf-in-sheep's-clothing peculiarity; it's a message tainted with secular post-modernity and spiritual blackmail. Stir together and you have a wicked brew.

Nevertheless, I will openly admit that both male and female are to blame for the slide in gender relations. The problem, as I see it, is that the women who agree on the surface to this statement, do not apply it in their actions toward men? That's the problem facing many of us in America. For example, it is my hope that if you are going to chastise Anakin in your written statements, that you will equally accommodate Debbie and her followers with the same devout boldness and concern of your words. Perhaps you already have, I do not know.

Cheers :)


HG

7/9/07, 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debbie Maken says:

"When a man refuses to define, set out objectives, clarify intentions to his follower, he is ultimately refusing to lead. He is refusing to be a man."

Yet a woman can reject advances, insist on her idea of how things will go, etc. When men and women meet as equals in the dating scene, a man does not lead; he cannot.

We don't live in the days of Wilberforce when taking a wife meant having a quick conversation with her father, then marrying that same afternoon.

Women are independent, both socially and financially. They will not be "led" by a man into marriage unless he meets a lot of requirements, and then the courtship and marriage will be led by her.

Do the Marriage Mandate ladies understand that you cannot cry out for male leadership when you are insisting for complete relationship control?

What does a man bring to the table except for income and ability to create children? His opinions aren't valid. His needs must be submitted to his wife's whims. He cannot lead, and will face draconian divorce laws if he tries to lead.

It is almost as though these single women are saying "We've made marriage a very bad risk for men; Now, why don't you want us?!?!?"

7/9/07, 7:44 AM  
Blogger Songbird said...

HG & anon 6:44 am,

I have serious issues with Marriage mandatory crowd a long with GoS/GoC crowd anyhow. For example, they are oversimplfying the solutions to the marriage and singleness dilema. Also, I hate it when they say that this current generation is the worse regarding of relationships and among other things. I'm like, oh please. Human nature is constant. There is no utopia in the past or in the future. Those people need some basic history lessons. On top of that, men and women are really in need to be equally blamed for all this okay. Men are just as much of the problems as women. Sometimes, I wish sexuality doesn't exist. I feel like femininity or masculinity is really no more than a liability to everyone at some points. This debate makes it that way

For the record, I'm not into astrology. It's just part of the profile in result of putting your birth year to show your age. I'll take it off if it's a stumbling block.


P.S. to anon 6:44 am,
You do have a point that both Maken and McCulley have serious problem with a lot of their expectations of men and women.
However,I don't see how dating an person who isn't a Christ follower is bringing glory to God. I don't knowhow your walk with Christ like. I'm assuming you are devout to Jesus Christ and you love the gospel. I may not be raised in a Christian home but I do know that dating or marrying non-believers is not God's best nor it is glorying God regardless of how good the relationship is. Your girlfriend is obviously nice and good to you no doubt. That girl is certainly a law-abiding citizen and moral but she doesn't love Jesus, or the Bible. She doesn't share the passion for the Gospel with you. On top of that, your relationship is a stumbling blocking to your other siblings in Christ. It will not be the most beneficial regarding of your walk with God or developing Christ-like character. God's holiness is just as much part of His charcter as His grace.

7/9/07, 9:38 AM  
Blogger Songbird said...

Yes, I do believe we have to find a way hold women accountable for their offenses and wrongdoings while not turning to a blind to or downplaying the sins men have made and their consequence. I'm so not sure people in the Church will pull that off but I hoping it will for Jesus' sake

7/9/07, 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good answers, SongBird. I'll let it go at that.

HG

7/9/07, 10:50 AM  
Anonymous debbie maken fan club said...

I'm glad we all agree that the churches aren't feminine and we should be doing a lot more outreach to women.

We still need truly masculine men in the church, but they must be submitted and serving women as husbands. We already have this! Look into the faces of the very elderly couples in the church. The men are strong fathers and husbands. These are the men we need, not young single guys who drift in and out of churches. As Debbie Maken says, "Jesus isn't for them!"

I would like to see more discussion of how men can share leadership with women, and how churches can finally begin to be made woman-friendly.

Especially here in the UK, we need our churches to do a lot more for women as far as outreach, activities and support groups.

This should be a task we can all accomplish. After all, there are only five men left in Christianity in the UK. Oh, no, sorry. That number just dropped to zero. The last five men just got arrested for pedophilia because they said hello to their own children.

Oh well, Bravo Mr. Blair! Praise the Lord!

7/9/07, 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, the "debbie maken fan club" quotes Maken as saying: "Jesus isn't for them!"
Just for a change on this blog, here is a true quote:
"He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool."
(Proverbs 10:18)
I also wonder what the Lord thinks about providing a public platform for these lying lips?
Just a thought...

7/9/07, 3:39 PM  
Anonymous brian tomlinson said...

An interesting article on men who accept the "mother" role in marriage.

It's funny, but women do not seem to want to listen to or obey men, but they lose respect for men if they don't lead. How can men get along with women when such a paradoxical and illogical situation exists?

7/10/07, 2:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's funny, but women do not seem to want to listen to or obey men, but they lose respect for men if they don't lead. How can men get along with women when such a paradoxical and illogical situation exists?"

Very well done!

You captured the heart of the problem. Before I stopped dating churchgoing Christian women, I realized they were always wanting to take charge. It was a good thing that they were practicing Christians, but the demands and expectations were very high. Combine this with a spirit of competitiveness and control and these women became unattractive on the inside.

When women ask why there are only women in the church, they need to ask if they really want men in the church. Their behavior is keeping men out.

All of this could be resolved within a year or so, but the women (especially the Makenites) aren't listening.

As more women insist on control and competing with men, the institutions that were once male dominated will fall to being girls clubs. But that's just human nature. Men desperately need time away from women because we aren't the turbo-charged-emotional creatures they are. However, women adore men and always strive to mix themselves with men.

That's why there are no all-male meeting places anymore. That's why every single social group or organization is completely integrated with women and women still have their women-only clubs.

Western Civilization has collectively decided that women are good and men are basically useless beyond a paycheck and reproductive material. This belief regarding men is represented best in the casual contempt women such as Debbie Maken have for men.

Women need to lead men? Sex & The City is her favorite program? If men have valid feelings, they don't matter?

I know the Makenites won't even consider what is happening, but Maken is a perfect example of why men don't want to attend church anymore.

Why go to a girls club led by an effeminate man and hear about how men need to step up, how they are lechers and losers and not living up to biblical standards?

Why not simply skip all that drama and leave church to the folks it was designed for: women and very old people.

7/10/07, 6:44 AM  
Blogger wombatty said...

In response to a comment from commenter Jason on her blog, Maken again displays her inability (or unwillingness) to address . Maken had made the comment that

Newsflash: Most women do not want careers, but to be wives and stay at home moms. This is even more true of Christian women.

To which Jason replied

Then why do so-called Christian women like yourself refuse to listen to and dismiss the issues that Christian men raise when they tell you why they are not interested in marriage with "modern" women or attending Church anymore?

Is acknowledging the damage that feminism has done to society, the Church and male/female relationships too much for you to confront because it means you'll have to give up some of your unjust "rights" that discriminate against men?


So Jason has two questions for Maken: 1) Why do you consistently dismiss the concerns expressed by men?, and 2) Why are you so unwilling to acknowledge that feminism has done real damage to the Church and male/female relations?

Those are fairly straight-forward questions; how does Maken respond?

First, she dismisses the validity of his views by simply assuming that he has only two or three friends (that agree with him, in any case):

Why would you ever think you and your two or three other cohorts somehow represent Christian manhood? Whatever made you think your views were somehow universally held among Christian men?

Then, for good measure, she adds a pinch of insult:

You complain of "modern" women; I have my doubts as to whether some of you could have wooed anyone in any century. Please.

Then she repeats her claim that he’s in the minority:

But your lack of numbers really has nothing to do with it, nor your obliviousness to the fact that the vast majority of Christian men do not share your conclusions.

Incidentally, if he is in the minority, I wonder why Maken had to write a book on the subject, much of which is dedicated to castigating ‘Jason and his ilk’?

Maken then pulls out her Carnac the Magnificent turbin and her crystal ball to peer deep into Jason’s dark heart:

The problem is that your assumptions and conclusions are faulty at their core, and that has been laid bare. You do not have truth on your side, and you are angry that the discussion cannot be derailed into esoteric sidebars.

First, motives are beside the point here; a valid question is a valid question, regardless of the questioners motives.

She then regales us with a tale of her service to Christian men:

I have paid great attention to many Christian men, and have aided many in their plight to get married. I now receive wedding invitations from men who have read my book and been inspired to reach biblical manhood through marriage.

Two things here: 1) She basically proves the contention that many have made that, as far as she is concerned, a man’s views are only valid insofar as they are consonant with her own, and 2) she, yet again, demonstrates that she cannot measure up to her own words.

Regarding point 2, note again that she begins her response to Jason by dismissing his views as those of a small minority:

Why would you ever think you and your two or three other cohorts somehow represent Christian manhood? Whatever made you think your views were somehow universally held among Christian men?

Let us measure Mrs. Maken by her own yardstick:

Why would she ever think you and that the few men she has received wedding invitations from somehow represent Christian manhood? Whatever made her think their views were somehow universally held among Christian men?

Wonder of wonders, she just doesn’t quite make the grade…
And what would a prophet be without a prophecy?

Jason, it's not looking good for you and your ilk. The rest of the Christian men are going to rise to the task, take wives, sire children, and you and your sterile single friends can just be a forgotten footnote in history, having only been known for endlessly pontificating how Feminists have so complicated your life that you could not find a decent wife in Church (not the world, a pub, or IBM) despite the overwhelmingly favorable numbers.

That’s right, if you don’t get married and make babies, you will be relegated to ‘a forgotten footnote in history’; a man is only worthwhile insofar as he kowtows to Mrs. Maken’s notions of manhood.

Interestingly, Maken seems to think that content bachelors would be horrified by other men getting married, hence her comment that ‘it’s not looking good for [bachelors]’. This is upside down; it is she, not ‘Jason and his ilk’, who is concerning herself with the marital status of others. Frankly, it wouldn’t bother me and most of my ‘ilk’ if everyone else got married. In any case, I certainly wouldn’t be compelled to write a book heaping contempt and scorn on those who disagree with me.

Now, let’s recall Jason’s two questions: 1) Why do you consistently dismiss the concerns that men voice?, and 2) Why are you so unwilling to acknowledge that feminism has done real damage to the Church and male/female relations? So, did Maken address his questions? Of course not.

Instead of answering his first question, she proceeds to prove its underlying premise, namely, that she is dismissive of dissenting male voices. Elsewhere on her blog, she has claimed that she conducts herself as she does precisely because she is so in touch with the concerns of men. It would be funny if it wasn’t so absurd.

As to his second question, she simply dismisses it by accusing him of ‘endlessly pontificating how Feminists have so complicated your life.

And in other news, Mrs. Maken endlessly pontificates on how single Christian men have so complicated the lives of single Christian women…

I find it revealing, as Jason does (given how he posed his second question), that Maken apparently believes that the only enduring fruits of the feminist revolution are good and worthy. Most people aren’t so myopic.

Maken’s final point?
It is time to stop making excuses.

I rather think that it is time to stop second-guessing motives and answer the questions posed.

7/10/07, 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wombatty,

Excellent discussion. You have a lot more patience with Maken than I do. I'm convinced most Christian men who aren't overly effeminate are repulsed by her.

As I've recounted here before, I've had a few close calls with Maken girls at church and online, some of whom were very intelligent and very sweet; possibly good candidates for marriage in another era.

However, I simply do not want to be led by a woman. Is Christian marriage a pact with a woman which includes serving her with no dissent or disagreement? It isn't clear from Maken and her fans whether they want men to lead or not. They claim men should be taught leadership, but these women behave as if they are intent on controlling a man.

Now I'm in a somewhat un-Christian relationship with a Buddhist girl and I couldn't be happier. She naturally accepts my lead and doesn't dismiss my thoughts and feelings with insults or quotes from Maken or McCulley. I'm having a wonderful time and experiencing a naturally unfolding relationship, not a tiresome matchmaking exercise.

I think the Maken girls have lost sight of so much. I wouldn't mind if Maken and her book were ignored - as they should be, but a lot of decent single Christian girls are wasting precious years devoted to her toxic message and neo-feminist attitude.

7/10/07, 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:21AM,

I'm not going to support dating outside Christian circles or engaging in easy-going and probably immoral relationships, but you do have a point.

Regardless of whatever valid points made in Maken's book, her attitude is downright insulting to men. She holds a fundamental disrespect of men and cannot imagine anymore than one or two men disagreeing with her.

Even if she is right, is Maken's attitude helping to bring men back to churches?

I am concerned about Christian churches dying out or limping along with 90% female attendance. Are Christian feminists such as Debbie Maken helping or hurting? I'm not sure, but one year after her book came out, her message has had ZERO impact.

If there are men who have been helped by Maken's book, they aren't real men. They are probably reflective of what we call "little old ladies of both sexes".

7/10/07, 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well then. If you are in a sinful relationship with an unbeliever, and you willingly entered the relationship knowing full well that it was not scriptual, then you have no right to critize anyone of anything. Not Maken. Not anyone.

7/10/07, 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget! ALL of the criticism of Debbie Maken is coming from ONE pathetic man who is living in sin with a woman of another religion.

99.99% of men agree with Debbie Maken. If only this one loser guy would stop all the lies.

Remember.... "It is not good for a man to touch a woman."

Let's keep the churches free of real men!

Order Debbie's book at www.amazon.co.uk

7/10/07, 10:08 AM  
Blogger Songbird said...

Anon 9:21 am,

I understand that there are disappointments with the whole dating scene but being in a romantic relationship that is unequally yoked is not glorifying God at all. I understand that you girlfriend is sweet and all but it doens't make it right no matter what. The bottom line is that she doesn't love Jesus. She doesn't accept the Word of God or God's view on things as truth. Paul made a case against unequally yoked relationships in 2 Cor 6:14-18. I grieved when I see this kind of thing going on. I know the negative longterm effects because two of my close friends had been dating unbelievers and reality punched them in the face at the unexpected places. I warned them about that even before their relationships ended. Being holy is just as important as being merciful. We need to embody those two attributes in every part of our walk with God including our love lives

7/10/07, 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, at least the man dating the Chinese Buddhist lady is heading toward marriage - after all, isn't marriage the most important thing, even more important that being equally yoked?

7/10/07, 1:06 PM  
Anonymous jason said...

Hello Wombatty.

I was very surprised to see that Debbie Maken allowed my post to appear. I responded to her response to me but that reply has not been published and other posts have since appeared so it seems that I have been censored.

When I read your comment about having a "crystal ball" I laughed because that was exactly what I responded with. I guess that's proof that we are evil anti-Makenite "cohorts".

I shall post the tame response I made to Mz Maken below but, since composing it, I have come to the conclusion that she must be getting desperate to believe that her message is having any positive effect.

The first reason for that is the unfounded and almost hysterical insults levelled at me. Second is the rather dubious assertion that she now recieves many invitations to marriages from men who are grateful for her book. From what I can see on blogs like Captain Sensible's and others, her message is not working.

This was my exact response to her:

++++++++++++++++

Debbie Maken wrote...
"Why would you ever think you and your two or three other cohorts somehow represent Christian manhood?"

I have no "cohorts". I'm speaking for myself but I do agree with a lot of what Anakin Niceguy has said on his blog.

"Whatever made you think your views were somehow universally held among Christian men? That is one of the reason none of you will ever be taken seriously in this debate because you merely represent a very small voice of lonely disgruntled men, of whom most seem to have been unlucky in love. You complain of "modern" women; I have my doubts as to whether some of you could have wooed anyone in any century. Please."

How do you know what my situation is? A crystal ball perhaps?

"But your lack of numbers really has nothing to do with it, nor your obliviousness to the fact that the vast majority of Christian men do not share your conclusions."

The fact that there are so few men in Church these days contradicts that statement.

"The problem is that your assumptions and conclusions are faulty at their core, and that has been laid bare. You do not have truth on your side, and you are angry that the discussion cannot be derailed into esoteric sidebars."

I do not consider the predjudiced and unfair way men and fathers are treated in divorce and family law courts in the west to be an "esoteric sidebar". It is central to why men in general are turning their backs on marriage. And don't even get me started on the "boy crisis" in education.

"This is not a men versus women issue, and never has been."

The huge impact which feminism has made over the last 40 years has made it a men vs women issue (thanks to women).

"This has always been an issue of getting to the truth and seeing how we can help singles into the estate of marriage by removing the Church-made stumbling blocks."

The stumbling blocks are not "Church-made" in my opinion. The Church has tried to accomadate a changing society instead of trying to lead society as it used to. To be quite honest I agree with you that the Church should not promote "the gift of singleness". It should work to gently encourage marriage without excluding those who wish to remain single for whatever reason.

"I have paid great attention to many Christian men, and have aided many in their plight to get married. I now receive wedding invitations from men who have read my book and been inspired to reach biblical manhood through marriage.

Jason, it's not looking good for you and your ilk."


My "ilk"? Do you mean people who look out on all of society, not just Christian society, and try to make sense of what's happening?

"The rest of the Christian men are going to rise to the task, take wives, sire children, and you and your sterile single friends..."

I am not sterile.

"...can just be a forgotten footnote in history, having only been known for endlessly pontificating how Feminists have so complicated your life that you could not find a decent wife in Church (not the world, a pub, or IBM) despite the overwhelmingly favorable numbers.

It is time to stop making excuses."


And I would say you cannot seperate Christians from the rest of society. The laws of marriage are now governed totally by the state, not the Church. That is where a lot of the problems lie in my opinion. Dismissing those issues as being "worldly" and nothing to do with Christianity is just being an ostrich.

7/10/07, 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Sex & The City is Debbie Maken's favorite program, is it?
It's simply amazing how much the man, sorry, "men", that comment on this blog know about Debbie Maken!
If in doubt, just make it up, seems to be the overriding philosophy here.
"Lying lips" don't matter these days anyway!
That was the Old Testament, and we all know anything there doesn't apply any more, right?

7/10/07, 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is only one man, no more. Jason, Anakin, foster, B L ZeBubb and the rest are all just one man.

He also pretends to be a woman and uses the names KellyAnn, carie, shazia and others.

In reality, he is a demonic beast infused with the power of Satan himself! He once admitted to me that he and the devil wrote the "gift of singleness" doctrine back in the seventies.

How horrible! We must resist this demonic attack!

By the way, buy Debbie's book. It's having such a huge impact that the UK churches are overflowing with men and women are marrying and having children at record rates!

Praise God and Debbie Maken!

7/10/07, 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There is only one man, no more. Jason, Anakin, foster, B L ZeBubb and the rest are all just one man.
He also pretends to be a woman and uses the names KellyAnn, carie, shazia and others."
The devil is a liar and mocker.
Five of the seven names listed is more realistic.

7/11/07, 5:05 AM  
Blogger PuritanCalvinist said...

anon [who I think is "Captain Sensible"],

The insteresting thing is that you are not convincing anyone who is actually writing this stuff. We know that your claim is false, because I know I haven't written anything else on here other than what is under my name. Thus your falsehoods are doing nothing to convince any of us who have written against this movement.

The only thing I can figure is that you are simply trying to use damage control, and give these people some reason to not leave the mandatory marriage movement. However, that is a pretty abject reason for staying in this movement.

As someone said on the other blog, if there is one man, that man has a lot of courage, and is a very, very, very fast typist.

Also, did you think that perhaps the person was telling you this stuff to mock what you and Debbie Maken are saying? I don't necessarily agree with that Modus Opperandi, but it is far more likely that he is doing it to show you just how radical and cultic your version of the mandatory marriage movement is. It would make sense, as you try to paint this movement as if it has a huge impact on most single men, and you also try to say that the gift of singleness is satanic in origin.

However, the funny thing is that you have actually taken his mockery to be truth. That tells me that you are not interested in honest dialogue, but are so involved in this movement, that you cannot even tell which is satan speaking, and which is a human being mocking you for the irrational position you hold.

So Sex & The City is Debbie Maken's favorite program, is it?
It's simply amazing how much the man, sorry, "men", that comment on this blog know about Debbie Maken!


And so, what do you do with Debbie Maken's lying lips, where she intentionally leaves things out of quotations from John Calvin, Martin Luther, et al. and, indeed, quotes them out of context numerious times:

http://puritancalvinist.blogspot.com/2007/06/was-calvin-marriage-mandator-this.html

Debbie Maken did no study of John Calvin or Martin Luther before she wrote her book. Most of her citations are from secondary sources, and one she even quoted something someone mentioned to her in passing! She never discussed what the reformers meant when they called marriage a "duty," and she never went into the meaning of celebacy and continence, and, in fact, ended up equating the two! Why don't you say anything here about "lying lips?"

If you are looking for honesty, the mandatory marriage movement is not honest. It has numerious Biblical, historical, and philosophical problems, and, rather than addressing them, they go after the modivations of the ones that present the objections, as if they had some relevance to the issues at hand. They do not. Even if we have the most horrible modivations in the world if we are right, then we are right, and there is nothing you or Debbie Maken can do about it.

By the way, buy Debbie's book. It's having such a huge impact that the UK churches are overflowing with men and women are marrying and having children at record rates!

In case you haven't noticed, our ultimate goal is not to have people have children and marry at record rates. That could easily be done by saying that we are going to execute anyone who does not marry and have children. While we do want marriage to have more honor in our society, and more people to consider marriage we want to accomplish this by a *Biblical* means. Debbie Maken's book is one of the most unbiblical books I have ever read. Thus, using it to increase marriage rates, is just unbiblical as increasing the rates by executing anyone who does not comply.

PuritanCalvinist

7/11/07, 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry "PuritanCalvinist".
No one could make you up!

7/11/07, 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like my work here is done. I won't post again, but I'm not all the folks a certain someone thinks I am.

My provocations were mostly satire and mostly aimed at illustrating how absurd it is that a woman is insisting SHE knows best how men should think, feel, and behave.

Isn't that the same perspective that has kept men away from church?

I don't have a cultish relationship with God. I don't see Jesus Christ as a "boyfriend". As a straight guy, love songs to another man aren't my thing.

However, Christianity is the core of my life. I'm not like a lot of armchair theologians easily fooled by Debbie Maken or others who have never really relied on God, but take a more legalistic approach to their beliefs. I came from the gutter and became successful despite the abuse and isolation of my past because I believed and I prayed everyday to Jesus Christ. I never had to have faith. I KNEW He was there for me, and still is today.

I'm not ashamed of myself. I'm not an effeminate man or a man who needs to be led by Debbie Maken to her version of the truth. I'm disappointed in the women who think Maken has all the answers. She doesn't. In many cases, her idea of how men should behave is very wrong. Only my opinion? Perhaps. However, most men agree with me. We won't date women who insist on leading submissive men. We are going to lead. That isn't nice and it isn't politically correct or reflective of socialist values, but it is Christian to the core.

I'm sorry, Anonymous, if you are offended by "lying lips" and other such nonsense. You know what points I'm making. Number one is: Maken doesn't speak for real men. Real men don't kneel before obnoxious women who quote Sex & The City in her book. Real men aren't dying to embrace overly feminine churches, or live life under the thumb of a dominant woman.

I'm leaving the debate and won't be back. Anonymous, you have so much going for you. I don't understand your slavish devotion to Debbie's message. Much of it is offensive to men. Try and understand this.

I've tried to make my point with satire and provocation, but I feel most women in this debate are happy being single. They don't want to listen to men, they only trust Debbie Maken. Maken only wants to sell books to bitter spinsters; decent men would like to marry. Are you sure your allegiances are right?

Be angry, but please consider that I am speaking sincerely. It's really rather sad to see so many women "circling the wagons" around Maken when she isn't helping anyone. Please, just consider that men have a point of view. If you cannot consider men's feelings, how can you ever be married?

Just a thought.

This is the devils' last post.

Cheers,

B. L. ZeBubb
(just a pen name, really)

7/11/07, 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good riddance, jerk.

Now we can get back to a real discussion. I don't mind debate, but we all need to agree on how important Debbie's book is. She has shown us the way. It's up to us to make the proper changes.

7/11/07, 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B L ZeBubb is just another lonely loser who can't get a date. Clearly there is nothing good in him. He is truly lost. Why would someone spend so much time fighting the truth of Debbie Maken? I hope he dies of cancer or something.

7/11/07, 10:29 PM  
Anonymous SM777 said...

If Christian single men want to really solve the problem of dealing with arrogant "Christian" american women, then the solution is simple and obvious.

Write them off. (Oh, a lot of them are doing that already)

Gentlemen, if you wish to have fulfilling relationships with real women, by all means go foreign. Foreign women prefer to be women as much as american women prefer to be men.

Foreign women are also far, far more fond of men than american women in general. As can obviously be seen by the examples noted above.

7/12/07, 8:22 PM  

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