August 17, 2007

Steve Watters' Misrepresentation

Over at the Boundless Line, Steve Watters wrote:

In a recent comment, "Justin" wrote, "If I don't want to get married until I'm 40, then that is between me and God. Not me and the congregation."

I think by this statement it's fair to say Justin's concept of marriage fits into a category researcher Paul Amato describes as "individualistic" ...

We believe at Boundless that God created marriage to be larger than us as individuals, larger than any one couple and larger than any children that couple has. That "institutional" view puts us at odds with the individualistic zeitgeist.

I wonder if those who are primarily motivated by an individualistic view of marriage realize how much that drive is at odds with sentiments like "marriage is a reflection of Christ and the church" or "for better or worse, for rich or poor, etc." Those ideas end up being like the terms and conditions we so quickly accept without reading as we download software or sign up for a new online service -- things that we know are probably important, but ultimately have little influence on our daily lives.

Let me get this straight: Because Justin affirms that the choice to marry at a later age is between him and God, and doesn't involve the congregation, he is taking a view that puts him at odds with sentiments like "marriage is a reflection of Christ and the church" or "for better or worse, for rich or poor, etc." I'm sorry, but Steve has clearly misrepresented the position of a poster and burned a useless straw man in the process. Justin's position is quite biblical inasmuch as there is no divine law setting timetables for marriage. In the light of such, some people should heed the Bible's admonition to not be "meddler" in people's affairs or unfair judge of their religious brethren (1 Peter 4:15; Romans 14:4).

22 Comments:

Blogger Ted Slater said...

I don't understand what the "straw man" is, or where the misrepresentation is. Justin did write that the decision is up to him and God alone, and that he has no concern for anyone else. Nobody else factors in to his decision.

Steve pointed out that it wasn't always this way, that at one time we considered the opinions of our spouse-to-be, our children-to-be, the community of believers we fellowshipped with, and so on.

I don't understand your contention that Steve is either meddling or being an unfair judge.

Are you just eager to find fault with everything at Boundless? It seems from your recent posts that this is the main focus of your online life. We are not your enemy, "Anakin." We are serving the same Lord, with the same goal of seeing our brothers and sisters enjoy the Lord's blessings. Please consider re-reading what Steve wrote, with a bit of grace and understanding.

8/17/07, 1:04 PM  
Anonymous youngbeliever said...

Christians who think they are accountable to God without being accountable to The Church and other christians are deceived.

This is not to say that we are accountable to every theological advise/teaching/whim of every voice professing Christ.

If the *consensus* of your pastor and church is that there is some problem with your single state, then IMHO it would be wise to either give them the benefit of a doubt and resolve the issue humbly, in a spirit of submission to those you have already acknowledged as spiritual authorities, or find another church.

A spiritual lone sheep in the wilderness will quickly be devoured by wolves.

IMHO anyone demanding you should get married on their terms is a wolf.

Peace,
yb

8/17/07, 1:28 PM  
Anonymous curiepoint said...

Marriage has been around for millenia, and is spread amongst a lot of different faiths, beliefs, and creeds. To say that marriage is a reflection of the church and of Christ is only telling part of the story.

I agree that marriage as an institution is larger than the sum of it's parts, namely the bride and groom. In my view, it's just an extension of my faith in the person I have chosen, hers in me, as well as our shared faith in God and Christ. I only have a problem with the thought that marriage is all that it takes to receive greater blessings in life. Real marriages take work and patience, something most people don't have the time for anymore. A blessing can become a curse in very short order. This is why I shall never believe that God's intent is for me to marry just so the congregation will consider me an adult or a "real man" or whatever. Whom I choose, if I choose, is not for others to determine for me. I must make that choice of my own recognizance, or it just becomes an issue of dogmatic adherence, rather than real faith.

8/17/07, 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While there are no biblical timetables, there are obviously natural implicit ones, since marriage is essentially for procreation, raising of children and mutual help. I would say these limits are the early twenties for women and the midd thirties for men, that's why I have so little sympathy for Makken's minions who after sleeping around in their twenties now demand their Christian millionairs in their perimenopausal years. Where were these women when they were 20? Ok, in college, but why didn't they try to get engaged to a somewhat older marriageminded man? Because they were to busy whoring around.

8/17/07, 3:12 PM  
Anonymous singlechristianman said...

Ted, I challenge you, again, to answer my question qua the question, as you did on my 'blog, for which I thank you. Please hear my irenic intent here.

Do church elders get to choose the china pattern? I gather not. The bathroom tile? I suppose you would say no. Do they get to chose the bride or bridegroom? I think you would say no, but I have a sneaking suspicion (based on Debbie Maken's visibibility as a commentator, rather than a mere poster, on your 'blog) that you might have sympathy with the idea that church elders should be able to discourage unions that they do not think are fit for economic or social status reasons. But I digress. If you say that you don't have such thoughts I will take you word as a christian gentleman on it, but as quick as my christian gentleman son can pull an epe'e from a scabbard I will skewer you if you engage in cognitive dissonance, as is my Christian duty -- a duty, I think, that is far more scripturally grounded than a duty to marry. Iron sharpens iron, and all that.


If I parse your words out correctly, it seems you think that God is not pleased if the "community of believers" is not considered. Would you disagree with this statement of what you believe? If I have misunderstood you, say so. I'm not going to bite. But I will want to know the "why" -- the foundation -- for your ideas as you have expresssed them..

I need, and want, to know if the reason that the "community of believers" has this standing of influence you think is theirs is _because_ God is going to be pleased if the believer in question considers the interest, whatever that is, that the community/church may have in the matter?

Essentially I want you to fish or cut bait on "why" the community is to be considered - to please God, who likes this kind of attitude towards the community/fellowship? -- or is it because the "to marry, or not" question is somehow of such great moral or practical import to the community of believers that you reason forward from this that they should or do have a say such as you say that do as a kind of natural consequence of the significance of the married state?

PS: I've seen, on boundless, more than one statement to the effect that it is not a sin, per se, to be single. Yet you give visibility to a writer whose ideas are very much to this effect. You have elsewhere on this 'blog asked how you can help singles -- one way would be to distance yourself from some of her ideas. Perhaps one way you could do this, without specifically referencing her, it to put forth on boundless an essay to this effect - that single people are not sinning by being single. A little emphasis there would go a long way to cooling tensions. A lot further, Sir, then what looks to me like an obvious misrepresentation or misunderstanding of Anakin's positions, which I have seen you do.

8/17/07, 7:16 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8/17/07, 7:43 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

Ted said:
Justin did write that the decision is up to him and God alone, and that he has no concern for anyone else. Nobody else factors in to his decision.


==Where in Scripture are we told that the decision to marry, or not to marry, is up to anyone but God and the person(s) involved? I am not talking about cultural points (descriptive). I am talking about commands (prescriptive). When Paul talks to men, in 1Cor 7, he makes clear that the decision is between God and the individual. The same is true with the statements Jesus makes in Matthew 19:10-12.

Ted said:
Steve pointed out that it wasn't always this way, that at one time we considered the opinions of our spouse-to-be, our children-to-be, the community of believers we fellowshipped with, and so on.

==Here, of course, is the major assumption: That there "is" a wife/spouse to be. In some cases there may very well be and in those cases both parties must agree to wait (1Cor 7:37). If both parties agree to wait, and their is no sinful behavior (fornication, etc), then there is nothing sinful about them putting off marriage. If there is no "spouse to be" then the fact that the person chooses to wait to marry or never marry directly affects no other person(s). That is a choice the person must make prayerful.

Ted said:
We are serving the same Lord, with the same goal of seeing our brothers and sisters enjoy the Lord's blessings.

==The ends don't justify the means. If your means are unBiblical then it does not matter what your ends are. I assert that the marriage mandate doctrine is false (unBiblical) and that all who are promoting it are in error. Promoting false doctrine, even with good intentions, is still promoting false doctrine.

The Scripture never says that people have to marry or that people must marry by a certain age. Anyone who says otherwise is adding to Scripture. Do we really need a study of Proverbs 30:6 to understand why we should always be careful not to do that?

I am concerned that the modern popular "evangelical" movement plays fast and loose with Scripture.

Martin.

8/17/07, 7:55 PM  
Blogger Triton said...

I wonder if those who are primarily motivated by an individualistic view of marriage realize how much that drive is at odds with sentiments like "marriage is a reflection of Christ and the church" or "for better or worse, for rich or poor, etc." Those ideas end up being like the terms and conditions we so quickly accept without reading as we download software or sign up for a new online service -- things that we know are probably important, but ultimately have little influence on our daily lives.

Regarding the details of the marriage vow, Ted is absolutely correct. These things aren't taken nearly as seriously as they should be, and I believe this element of uncertainty plays a major role in the decline of marriage.

The problem, though, doesn't have anything to do with singleness or the marriage mandate, but rather with enforcement. Ideally, the marriage contract should be legally enforceable to the same degree as any other private contract. If a woman promised to "honour and obey" her husband, then refused to so so during the marriage, then that should be grounds for a lawsuit.

Enforcing the marriage contract would be an excellent first step toward ending the marriage crisis, assuming that's what the marriage mandaters actually want.

Are you just eager to find fault with everything at Boundless?

Since this blog's whole raison d'ĂȘtre is to refute Debbie Maken's book, I think it is more probable that Anakin's disagreements with Boundless stem from Boundless's embrace of Maken. If y'all ditched her, Ted, as you should, then I'm sure Anakin would ease up.

8/17/07, 8:56 PM  
Blogger Anakin Niceguy said...

Ted,

Here is the full comment Justin made in response to another poster:

"The correct answer is, because Scripture teaches that marriage is a good thing, and if that church wants the best for its members, it will encourage marriage."

Fair enough. But you are going to have a difficult time attracting young members with that attitude.

I'd rather go to a church where I am accepted as a single person and not pushed into a marriage relationship. If I don't want to get married until I'm 40, then that is between me and God. Not me and the congregation.


The man doesn't want to be pressured into marriage. I can't blame him. How do you figure from this that "he has no concern for anyone else"? To me, that's a stretch. I share in Single Christian's concerns on this one.

8/17/07, 11:02 PM  
Anonymous someone said...

"The correct answer is, because Scripture teaches that marriage is a good thing, and if that church wants the best for its members, it will encourage marriage."

I'm afraid that I fail to see the logic behind this claim. In fact, it looks like a complete non-sequitur to me. The argument seems to go something like this:

1.) The Bible teaches marriage is a good thing.

2.) Therefore, if the church wants the best for its members it will encourage marriage for everyone.

The trouble is that the conclusion is not logically compelled by the premises. There are many good things in life, but that does not mean that to having them is the best thing for everybody. The Bible also teaches that singleness is a good thing, maybe even a better thing, for those who can choose it. (1 Cor 7:38)Therefore, to simply claim that marriage is a biblical good and that therefore, it is best for everybody is nothing but begging the question.

The truth is that Paul (and God) seem to be far more content to leave people with freedom in this area than some modern day evangelicals do. As the notes on 1 Cor 7 in my Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible observe:

"Even so, he(Paul) does not command one response with regard to marriage. Instead, he encourages people to make up their own minds. Having the flexibility to allow others to make choices different from our own is an important aspect of spiritual life."

8/18/07, 5:35 AM  
Anonymous knightwatch said...

That "institutional" view puts us at odds with the individualistic zeitgeist.

Yes, and your "institutional" view puts me at odds with the 'collective' zeitgeist, Mr Watters.

Sorry. You'll have to forgive my reflexive remark. Sometimes I read more into what meets the surface. As a Christian with Libertarian views, this whole idea of casting anyone who is single as automatically selfish is a logical fallacy. Furthermore, I have a very big problem with groupthink. There is nothing, NOTHING that I can imagine that is more abominable than a group of people, whether it's church elders or government bureaucrats, getting into the mind of an individual and trying to impose (or shame) their intended target with pseudo spiritual psychobabble (because we all know it's for his own good, right?).

Sirs, God gave us a free will to think for ourselves. He gave us the liberty to choose. Marriage is between God and that individual. Period. I wonder if Boundless accepts without question
state controlled marriages?
I'm sure they do because it's "The Way" to the "sameness" path, no matter what the cost or what we have to give up. To blazes with the individual, let us all become products off an assembly line. Take a number, please. Good grief!

While I agree that marriage can be a wonderful institution, and I would never discourage anyone from taking that step, I take exception with the whole philosophy that suggest that the view of marriage as seen today is greater than both political liberty and economic freedom together. The Boundless crew needs a wake up call. Marriage without the inclusion of political liberty and economic freedom is just more chains to the state, and therefore, presents a conflict of interest. That's my opinion, you're welcome to yours. I thank the Lord my convictions go beyond the pale of "let's do it [marry] for the collective body, ask no questions, and blindly follow in foolish faith".

How some Christians can be so gullible as to fall for these snake oil salesmen, such as, Mrs. Maken, is truly indicative of our times where scriptural substance is substituted for style and emotions?

Not to patronise, but seriously, has it ever occurred to you, Ted, that there are a few folks who do think that it's an "unselfish sacrifice" to NOT get married, and that it is the rest of the country who are the willful lemmings refusing to open their eyes to the bigger picture; that of state control?

What disturbs me is to see many of my Christian brethren using their Christianity as an excuse for apathy in regard to the demise of our constitutional republic, as if the maintenance of liberty and independence is not their concern. Oh, but, when it comes to marriage ... now that's different. So what does all this tell me? It proves to me that we want to pick and choose our obligation. And I suppose that's fine. If you don't step on my convictions, I promise not to step on yours.

This, naturally, is not a popular view by any means (and it has nothing to do, in this sense, with Justin's explanation for why he wants to delay marriage until 40). There are plenty of reasons, though, for why people are single. Still, I respect ANY man who has Godly convictions to sacrifice his choice to marry in favor of his right to economic and political liberty. Indeed, it would be great if I could have both, yet if I must choose between the two, you just know what path I'm taking ...

I refuse to become a beast of burden with a heavy albatross around my neck.

Finally, remember, also, that "when the two are joined together and become one", even that "unit of one" can still practice selfish, individualistic behavior, and in some way, on some level, they usually do.

8/18/07, 6:20 PM  
Anonymous mj said...

knightwatch,

then what's the point to encourage the Church to function like a Body of Christ?

8/18/07, 6:28 PM  
Anonymous knightwatch said...

mj,

As always, the Corporate Body of Christ will conduct themselves to "sound biblical doctrine" in the same way the disciples followed Jesus. But every Body of Christ may have a Judas amongst them.

I think maybe your concern is my usage of the word, 'groupthink'. What I'm referring to when using this word is that there is a tendency for group members to conform to a narrow view of some issue. The groups tools are many, some which are shame-based related, manipulation, red herrings, logical fallacies, etc., etc. For that reason, contradictory evidence and opinions within the group are often not presented leaving the group with a false sense of the correctness of their decision. Any dissenters to the group are normally considered troublemakers and are thus shouted down and made to look foolish.

This example is where thinking independently of the group is a good thing. This may not satisfy your question, but ... um, it's the best I can do this late at night. ;))

8/18/07, 9:14 PM  
Blogger Ted Slater said...

So much to respond to, and so much on my plate here at work. Let me address some things, and leave the rest either for another time, or just not go into it again as I've addressed it already elsewhere....

At 7:16 singlechristianman asked about the role of church elders/leadership/pastors in the lives of church laity. You ask if it's my belief "that God is not pleased if the 'community of believers' is not considered." I would say, "Yes, this is my conviction." In Proverbs we're told that we're wise to humbly seek the counsel of several people (see Proverbs 11:14, 24:6). 1 Corinthians 12 reinforces the concept that we should rely on others, recognizing our own limitations. It is good for us to recognize that we are a mere "eye" or "ear" or "hand," and that we should join together with other "parts" of the body of Christ, the church. We truly do need each other, and not just in a metaphysical way, but in a practical day-to-day way. It's arrogance to think otherwise.

We are all under authority (see Matthew 8 where Jesus affirms/commends this understanding). Some are under the authority of their parents, wives are under the authority of their husbands, employees are under the authority of their employers, Christians are under the authority of Christ ... and laity are under the authority of church leadership. Each of these "authorities" "looks" different. They may not require absolute obedience, for example.

With authority comes responsibility. Pastors/elders/overseers, for example, are called "God's stewards" (see Titus 1:7), and hence have been given the responsibility to shepherd those under their care. Elsewhere church leadership is identified as "caring" for those over whom they have authority (see 1 Timothy 3:5, for example).

This "pastoral authority" doesn't require absolute obedience. A pastor can't require a church member to marry or not marry someone. But they do have authority to provide caring counsel, which a church member would be wise to consider. In fact, the church member would be wise to seek out the counsel of their church leadership, and seriously consider what they have to say.

singlechristianman -- do you reject the concept of pastoral authority altogether? Do you see yourself as a man under authority at all? What does your relationship to the "authories" in your life look like. I'd argue that it looks like a humble honoring of the role that God has placed them in in your life.

One last thing. Some of your diction is a bit hard to understand. I'm not sure what you mean by "answer my question qua the question." I think I've addressed your question, but if I've done it differently from your expectations, could you let me know? Thanks.

At 11:02 Anakin asked, "How do you figure from this that 'he has no concern for anyone else'?" Anakin, here's your answer: Justin said that his decision about marriage "is between me and God." The contextual implication is that it's at the exclusion of everyone else, with no concern for anyone else. Is my interpretation wrong? If so, how so?

at 6:20 knightwatch asks me, "has it ever occurred to you, Ted, that there are a few folks who do think that it's an 'unselfish sacrifice' to NOT get married ... ?" Yes, of course. And God blesses them for their sacrifice for His sake.

I'm sure there are other questions I've missed. But I've got to get to work. I look forward to the continued discussion.

8/20/07, 8:29 AM  
Blogger Ted Slater said...

One more question to tackle before I get to work....

At 7:55 Martin asked, "Where in Scripture are we told that the decision to marry, or not to marry, is up to anyone but God and the person(s) involved? "

Let me respond with a question: Are you a man under authority? What role do parental authority and pastoral authority and empoyer authority and civil authority and such play in your life?

Scripture speaks of a parent's authority over his or her children. What does this "authority" look like when one of those children is considering marrying someone else's son or daughter?

Again, as I wrote above, "authority" doesn't look like blind and absolute obedience. But it does consist of a humble honoring of the person in authority, taking into consideration their counsel.

Do you accept the contention that we are all under authority? Or are we all autonomous?

"Authority" is something we don't talk about much any more. We bristle to think that we're accountable to someone, that we're under anyone's authority. But Scripture is clear, and Jesus affirms, that authorities exist.

8/20/07, 8:40 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

Ted Slater said...
Let me respond with a question: Are you a man under authority? What role do parental authority and pastoral authority and empoyer authority and civil authority and such play in your life?

==While all of that sounds real nice it has nothing to do with the issue at hand. What did I say?

"Where in Scripture are we told that the decision to marry, or not to marry, is up to anyone but God and the person(s) involved...When Paul talks to men, in 1Cor 7, he makes clear that the decision is between God and the individual. The same is true with the statements Jesus makes in Matthew 19:10-12."

I also said:
"Here, of course, is the major assumption: That there "is" a wife/spouse to be. In some cases there may very well be and in those cases both parties must agree to wait (1Cor 7:37). If both parties agree to wait, and their is no sinful behavior (fornication, etc), then there is nothing sinful about them putting off marriage. If there is no "spouse to be" then the fact that the person chooses to wait to marry or never marry directly affects no other person(s). That is a choice the person must make prayerful."

and I said:
"The Scripture never says that people have to marry or that people must marry by a certain age. Anyone who says otherwise is adding to Scripture. Do we really need a study of Proverbs 30:6 to understand why we should always be careful not to do that?"

I don't see how Ted Slater's comments on authority address what I was talking about. Parents, pastors, and others in authority cannot command a person to get married. They can advise, they can counsel, but they cannot command. Neither Jesus nor Paul gave commands on this issue. Anyone today who makes commands is going beyond Scripture. I know that modern pop-evangelicalism does not mind going beyond Scripture, but if we are Christians we must stick with the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone as our source for authority.

Martin.

8/20/07, 1:53 PM  
Blogger Ted Slater said...

Martin -- "authority" absolutely *does* have to do with the issue at hand. If authorities exist, then what is their relevance when it comes to marriage?

Regarding these "authorities," you're setting up a straw man, saying that they "cannot command a person to get married." Who said anything about "command"? I didn't. In fact, I specifically addressed "authorities" in a previous comment this way:

"Again, as I wrote above, 'authority' doesn't look like blind and absolute obedience. But it does consist of a humble honoring of the person in authority, taking into consideration their counsel."

My point is that we are members of the Body of Christ, and that there are authorities in our lives whom we are wise to consult in various issues, including the extremely important issue of marriage. Similarly, it is foolish to either avoid or reject their input.

Let me rephrase my question: What role do authorities in our lives play when it comes to such significant issues as whom we marry? And what role do other members of the Body of Christ play in that decision? Surely we're not disconnected from both the Body and our authorities when it comes to such a life-affecting decision.

You may get a bit more insight into my line of thinking by reading the long comment I wrote immediately above the one written specifically to you.

8/20/07, 3:46 PM  
Blogger Anakin Niceguy said...

Ted,

A man may seek the advice others, but ultimately, the matter of when to marry, per se, is a matter of liberty (Romans 14) ... and therefore is between the individual and God.

As for an eldership, its authority is circumscribed by the Bible (Biblical instruction, evangelism, and overseeing the work of the local church, plus discipling wayward members) -- a person is not obligated to seek the counsel of elders on personal matters wherein God gives liberty. An elder is not automatically competent to counsel on who or when a man should marry anymore than an elder might be competent to diagnose an medical condition.

8/20/07, 4:56 PM  
Anonymous singlechristianman said...

Ted, thanks for responding. Perhaps a breakthrough is here in this posting.

To ask one to answer the question (or whatever) qua the question is to essentialy say: Don't take me on a rabbit trail that is not responsive to what was really asked. If I were to ask you about whether boundless has help for a christian in college who was struggling with guilt trips laid on him by his parents because he was single, or decided his parents were wrong about the earth being 10,000 years old, and you said something like "boundless affirms God created the earth!" -- this would not be an answer to either of the stated questions. The answer given might be helpful in an oblique way, but it wouldn't be an answer to the question.

>singlechristianman -- do you reject the concept of pastoral authority altogether? Do you see yourself as a man under authority at all<

No, and yes. As I have appealed to single christian men to do on my blog, they should have a proper relationship to the authorities in their church life. I think we would differ on where both the authorities of pastors and parents lie. I did not go to my dad for permission to marry -- I was on my own. I didn't go to her dad, either; not even as a formality. She was also on her own. And I didn't go to some church figure, either. This was at a time when "submission" and "discipleship" doctrines were the latest fad, in the early 80's. Lots of talk about "staying under authority." Along come some people in the modern day who have some similar language, but who deny similar goals -- but I can't nail them down as to exactly what they mean with that "authority" word.

It is possible that you are using the word as something like the greek word "aegis" -- the word for "shield", and you may mean something like "umbrella" when you use the word "authority." So, pardon me for restating you -- I am trying to understand for certain if you want to step into spheres where I don't think you belong -- thus: Suppose on the original post that got me so fired up you had said something like "biblical dating is under the aegis /umbrella of the church" Would this be an accurate restatement of your position?

8/20/07, 6:20 PM  
Anonymous singlechristianman said...

Ted, ponder this if you would: In the domestic politics of the US, we talk about "equal pay for equal work" -- but when we examine the matter closely, we see that it's not about "equal pay for equal work" (a male nurse's pay = a female nurses's pay" -- it's really about the pay of nurses vs. truck drivers. Or "free speech" might really be about "paid speech" -- public funding of offensive art.

So: This is why we dispute about words, and why it matters. When you use words like "authority" in the plain sense it would be used in any other context (e.g. my authority to act as a nurse comes from a physician's order) you immediately are going to get a lot of attention. So please don't dismiss us when we press for what is meant when something is said -- like "we aren't marriage mandators" - but you give visibility to someone who mandates marriage "scripturally." (hence, I suppose, the title of this blog)

8/21/07, 6:10 AM  
Anonymous KNIGHTWATCH said...

Here on this subject, I forfeit my right to lengthy diatribes and argumentation. Why? Because we could bump heads on and on about this issue and still not get anywhere. There is a lot of disagreement about Church authority in how far that role goes in intercepting/ or counceling the brethern. What I'm trying to do is throw the dice to see exactly where you fall, Ted.

You do realize that the New Testament has very little if anything to say about the authority of one Christian over another Christian outside of Church maintenance, discipleship, and delegation. Often, I think it's according to the Church one attends. My Church leadership practices are closer to the one at this link.

One more thing: While we are, indeed, acting members in the Body of Christ, no member is to think more highly of themselves over other members. Paul warns us about this. A great majority of the time, I'm sorry to say, I do not see that attitude and message of brotherly love expressed to single men at Boundless. Perhaps it's the tone in how I'm reading the message. Not that I approach this as insecurity on my part, because I automatically turn away from those who seem to be full of themselves: The arrogant and prideful who refuse to admit that both sexes are at fault for the demise in marriage. Let's speak more clearly on that issue without the "shame and blame therapy" that has become prevalent in our culture.

8/21/07, 8:07 AM  
Blogger Ted Slater said...

knightwatch -- that was an interesting article you pointed me to. While I find some faults with it (e.g., his denial that the NT portrays believers as having any kind of "authority" over other believers), some of what he wrote resonated with me. Consider the following sentences, for example:

"Leaders in the church are accorded a certain respect which lends their words more weight than they have in and of themselves. And the rest of the church should be 'biased' in favor of listening to what they say. We are to allow ourselves to be persuaded by our leaders, not obeying them mindlessly but entering into discussion with them and being open to what they are saying."

I concur emphatically. Let me go one more step, though. Instead of passively being open to what they are saying, we should actively seek out their "weighty" counsel, if (as he admits) they are particularly worthy of our respect.

You went on to comment, "A great majority of the time, I'm sorry to say, I do not see that attitude and message of brotherly love expressed to single men at Boundless."

I'm interested to better understand how you've come to that opinion. Could you point out a few examples where our attitude/message has not reflected brotherly love? I can think of a couple of instances where I've personally chided someone for his passivity, but the heart behind it was one of brotherly concern. Thanks!

8/21/07, 11:52 AM  

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