August 9, 2007

Wha??!!

At Boundless.org, Thabiti Anyabwile writes:
But biblically, it seems that mature adulthood is defined by marriage and parenthood. In other words, the Bible reserves adult status for those who leave mother and father and cleave to a spouse (Gen. 2:24). Until that time, young men and women are generally under the authority and protection of their parents — which brings us to another recommendation.
So the Apostle Paul had to live at home until he got married??!!!!

*Yours truly shakes his head and sighs*

28 Comments:

Anonymous pretty spiritual girl said...

This sort of irresponsible Biblical and historical revisionism baffles me.

In Eastern/Semitic culture, young women were considered adults and marriageable generally from the age of 13. Young men were also adults at the same age, but did not marry until their twenties.

In Jewish culture since the Middle Ages, the passage to adulthood is clearly delineated for young men: it occurs at their bar mitzvah. Duh. See the Seinfeld episode about it to gain some knowledge, 'I'm a man!"

But a thirteen year old young "man" would not marry until well into his twenties or later.

Marriage is a civil institution, which for believing Christians also reflects certain spiritual truths about Christ's relationship with his church.

I find nowhere in the Bible where an age is mandated over which a young man has the ability to determine his own hair style, whether or not to drink a beer, or when he may take a wife.

People must stop trying to find a verse to prop up their every decision and opinion. Sometimes you must simply use common sense and say, "If your parenst are supporting you, obey them and respect them." That's the sensible and adult attitude to have. If you want a mohawk, move out of your father's house. But for goodness' sake, don't go and get married just because you're so, like, totally an adult.

8/10/07, 6:59 AM  
Anonymous hg said...

Wow, I had no idea that "Yours Truly" was making the same level of contribution to Christendom as Paul.

HG

8/10/07, 7:06 AM  
Blogger Ted Slater said...

Let me challenge those who are dismissing the article ... to actually take the time to read the article. It speaks of referencing parents, not of obeying their every wish. And it speaks of marriage as a traditional symbol of adulthood, not that you have to stay in your parents' home until you're married.

It's really quite a good article. I think you'll be surprised, and challenged. You may disagree with 5% of it. But the 95% will be a powerful blessing should you take the time to read it and see what the Lord might be saying through it.

This kind of misrepresentation and dismissal among Christians really should stop.

8/10/07, 7:23 AM  
Blogger wombatty said...

from the article in question:
But biblically, it seems that mature adulthood is defined by marriage and parenthood. In other words, the Bible reserves adult status for those who leave mother and father and cleave to a spouse (Gen. 2:24)...

My point here is different from Anakin's.

You contend that the article '..speaks of marriage as a traditional symbol of adulthood.... No it doesn't. It claims that marriage (and parenthood) are the very definitions of adulthhood; the title of 'adult' being otherwise withheld.

Until that time, young men and women are generally under the authority and protection of their parents — which brings us to another recommendation.

You are perhaps correct, Ted, when you write:

It speaks of referencing parents, not of obeying their every wish.

But I would say the author needs to be more clear. To be 'under someone's authority' is to be bound to do their will. A soldier is under the authority of his commanders; I am under the authority of my boss. Such people are not free to regard the words of those in authority as a 'reference' to consider (unless they so specify).

The term 'under the authority [of parents]' should be changed or deleted. Words mean things.

8/10/07, 8:05 AM  
Anonymous D. Allan said...

Ted,

Are you kidding????

The whole point and purpose of this blog is misrepresentation and dismissal.

Keep up the good work.

Darren

8/10/07, 8:37 AM  
Blogger Ted Slater said...

Here's Thabiti's quote, once again:

"But biblically, it seems that mature adulthood is defined by marriage and parenthood. In other words, the Bible reserves adult status for those who leave mother and father and cleave to a spouse (Gen. 2:24)."

I'd have to concur with this assessment. Scripture does *seem* to say that adulthood and marriage go together.

Consider Isaac, for example. He was about 40 years old, still unmarried and living at home. Once his father arranged for him to be married, he started a life of his own, as an adult.

Consider the requirements for church leadership, which include being a husband.

There are exceptions (Jesus, John the Baptist, Paul), but the pattern is that marriage and adulthood go together.

As a married man, I can tell you that there's nothing like being a husband and father to facilitate adult maturity.

Ultimately, it's up to each individual what to do with this teaching. If you're older and single, and don't believe you're called to a life of serving the Lord perpetually single, then consider your motivations for staying single.

Is it because you're afraid of change or of rejection? Is it because you're content with the status quo? Is it because you cherish the (selfish) control you have over your time and money? Is it because you'll only settle for a "10"? Is it because you're getting the emotional (and maybe physical) benefits of marriage without the commitments? Is it because you don't want to be inconvenienced? Or are you staying single because doing so enables you to serve the Lord in a peculiarly effective way?

I personally don't want to hear your answers to those questions; that's between you and God. I'm not "mandating marriage," as some are fond of saying. I'm just encouraging us to evaluate our hearts, consider what Scripture says about marriage, and experience the blessings and growth that the Lord desires for us.

8/10/07, 8:39 AM  
Blogger imago said...

Marriage mandators, there's still hope for you yet. "Hot, Eligible, Christian Bachelors" available with just the kind of grand standards that would make any Makenite proud. Better still is the fact that these are Men who lead a "quiet" Christian life. That's right, you CAN have your cake and eat it, too. Just wind these men up, and they'll trust and obey, because there's no other way. No instructions or assembly required. ;)

8/10/07, 11:18 AM  
Blogger Anakin Niceguy said...

Ted,

I agree with Wombatty that better wording could have been used by Thabiti. That is why what he wrote triggered a response from me.

Does Gen. 2:24 really teach that adulthood is predicated on (or defined by) marriage ... or is it really the other way around? Which came first? The leaving or the cleaving?

8/10/07, 12:42 PM  
Blogger Triton said...

Genesis 2:24 has nothing to do with adulthood. It is simply stating WHY a man leaves his parents to cleave to his wife. The reason given is because woman was taken from man to begin with, and marriage represents a reunification - the two are made one flesh; previously separate man and woman are reconciled.

Consider the requirements for church leadership, which include being a husband.

Wrong, Ted. I assume you are referring to 1 Timothy 3:2. This verse prohibits polygyny, not bachelorhood. Church leaders are not allowed to have more than one wife; this is a very practical consideration, since a man with multiple wives would have little time for the church. This also squares with some other stuff from Paul:

1Co:7:32: But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
1Co:7:33: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.


The general theme here is "the fewer wives one has, the better one can focus on the church".

It is helpful to remember that polygyny is not expressly forbidden in either Testament, and was certainly practiced in the first century. The New Testament limits polygyny to laity only; church leaders may have, at most, one wife at a time.

8/10/07, 1:09 PM  
Blogger PuritanCalvinist said...

d. Allan,

The whole point and purpose of this blog is misrepresentation and dismissal.

Proof Please???????????

It is so funny that this is exactly what the people in the mandatory marriage movement do. Just simply take shots at those who disagree with you, and don't bother to substantiate it. Misrepresent the other side, ignore fact after fact, and just dismiss those who disagree with you as "kidults." Such is the evidence of a movement desperate to defend itself.

It is interesting that D. Allan would misrepresent me so bad on the Boundless Blog last January, just engage in mockery when challanged on it earlier this summer, and then accuse this blog of misrepresentation. That is total hypocracy.

Ted,

Consider the requirements for church leadership, which include being a husband.

Can you give men any commentator that agrees with you on this? In fact, Andreas Kostenburger said he knew of no reputable commentator who held this position today. In fact, the position that most commentators hold today was the position of Cyprian, namely, that this text forbids a church officer from being a ploygamist.

As a married man, I can tell you that there's nothing like being a husband and father to facilitate adult maturity.

What about the Holy Spirit?

I personally don't want to hear your answers to those questions; that's between you and God. I'm not "mandating marriage," as some are fond of saying. I'm just encouraging us to evaluate our hearts, consider what Scripture says about marriage, and experience the blessings and growth that the Lord desires for us.

But Ted, you and I both know that what the Bible says is binding upon the hearts of all Christians. If the Bible does indeed teach these things, then the Bible does indeed mandate that most Christians marry. That is the point. When we say that you are "mandating marriage," that is what we mean. That you believe that this is what the Bible teaches.

Also, it is not a matter of just having it be a heart issue that is between you and God. You have published an article by Debbie Maken, and written several of her comments as main posts on your blog. Debbie Maken has said that bachelors should be shamed by the church and their community. In fact, the language that she uses towards single men is totally unchristian. Ted, this is not a matter of simple "it is just between you and God," because these types of ideas have sociological implications. That is why singles authors need to be held accountable.

If you're older and single, and don't believe you're called to a life of serving the Lord perpetually single, then consider your motivations for staying single.

I would turn the question back on you and ask you if you would, indeed, consider your modivations for getting married. Marriage is a wonderful thing, but if you somehow believe that you are incomplete if you are not married, and believe that there is something wrong with you if you do not marry and produce seed, then I would say that you married for all of the wrong reasons. It is a two way street, Ted. If you are right, then we are single for all of the wrong reasons. If we are right, then you married for all of the wrong reasons [BTW, I read about how Albert Mohler's sermon influenced you to get married. That is why I say this].

This is why it is so important to respond to folks who believe this stuff. I hope that God will us my blog, Anakin's blog, Andreas Kostenburger's responses, etc. to be a vaccine against this stuff, expecially for young girls. That way, the sociological impact of this movement will be minimal.

BTW, I do understand your concern about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I did examine the article, and do agree with the author about respecting the authority of our parents. I think that, what we would object to, is the constant throwing foward of this teaching without any acknowledgement of the responses given to this position. The author should show how he got this particular interpretation of Genesis 2:24. We want to see a demonstration that this is the meaning of the passage, rather than just an assertion that this is the meaning of the passage. When you just mention something in passing like this, you have a tendency to avoid the kind of care that Christians are responsible to have for God's word.

PuritanCalvinist

8/10/07, 1:13 PM  
Anonymous d. allan said...

PC,

I didn't misrepresent you.

If you are idiotic enough to compare childlessness with being a nerd, then your foolishness speaks for itself and I have no reason to misrepresent you. Your ego is just hurt that no one pays you any attention so you keep bring up stuff that happend months ago. Even if you refuse to get a wife, at least make some attempt to grow up.

Darren Allan

8/10/07, 1:29 PM  
Anonymous d. allan said...

By way, when did Kostenberger become the be all end all of Christian thought?

Too many little white tapes for you PC.

Darren

8/10/07, 1:30 PM  
Blogger PuritanCalvinist said...

Hello Darran,

LOL, I have a whole lot of people paying attention to me. Chizadek, Anakin, and Ted Slater and I have even gone back and forth on occasion.

BTW, if no one is paying attention to me, then why did Debbie Maken stay in the discussion as long as she did? It must mean that my work is having an impact on these folks, and I will continue to do so, until we can get these folks that seem to have the ability to crank out this stuff ad infinitum and nausium to sit down and have a dialogue with us.

Also, BTW, who ever said that Kostenburger was the end of all Christian thought? Or are you just upset that a major New Testament scholar has come out publically against this stuff?

Also, I leave it to the readers to decide if you misrepresenting me. Given that my context was a specific historical situation at the time when Hanna was pregnant, there is no question that you simply are blinded by your uncritical adherence to this movement. I have had people laugh when I showed them how you were interpreting me. I even had one person who said that I brought up a good point. So, again, I have to point out the hypocracy of your misrepresentation of me combined with your complaints about "misrepresentations" that occur on this blog.

BTW, what ever made you think that I refuse to get a wife. Do you know my personal life? Or do you just assume because I point out that this movement is silly that I am immature?

So, lets be honest Darren. I know all about the labeling game. We can engage in name calling back and forth all night. However, it will not solve the issue. Until the Christian leaders who are promoting this stuff start having the courage of their convictions to defend this stuff, rather than spouting off the name calling you and Debbie Maken do, you both are only shooting your credibility in the foot.

BTW, in case you missed it, the reason why I brought this stuff up is to show your hypocracy, and has nothing to do with your absurd statement that no one is taking me seriously [which I have already shown to be false]. You complain of misrepresentation only a few months after you boldly engage in it yourself. That tells me that you do not care about the truth on this issue.

PuritanCalvinist

8/10/07, 2:22 PM  
Blogger PuritanCalvinist said...

BTW, Ted, read Darren's comments carefully. Do you see why it is that this is not an issue of something that is just between me and God?

PuritanCalvinist

8/10/07, 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darren Allen - God bless you! You are a man of God with a true heart of compassion!
There is one person, in one corner of the globe, that will be asking God in the next life to introduce us, so that I can say a heartfelt: Thank you!
;-)

Ted - You must be new to this blog! You think that is "misrepresentation"?
You ain't seen nothing yet!

8/10/07, 4:25 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

"In other words, the Bible reserves adult status for those who leave mother and father and cleave to a spouse"

==According to the person who wrote this statement Jesus, Paul, Jeremiah, and others were not part of the "adult status". That fact, alone, refutes the position.

Singles are adults as well.

8/10/07, 5:10 PM  
Blogger Songbird said...

I promised to myself to never get myself involve but after reading this post and this one from the good ol' captain sensible (sarcastic)and several other post from here and among others, I'll chime in just one last time.

I understand that you guys have a problem with much of the American culture and its nasty effects on relationships and community, which is totally understandable and legitimate. However, give Ted some stack for a little bit. It is true Ted is pro-marriage and extremely opinionated but he is not really much of a poster boy for the "marriage mandate" (in the eyes of inane Captain Sensible and a lot of her crazy fans pretty much) especially when he got married in he mid-thirties like William Wilberforce. I'll be honest; he's forceful but I can see that he cares a lot about singles, probably more than a lot of people. He wants singles who wanted to pursue marriage to enter the altar well. Boundless is intended for Christian singles who are interested in pursuing marriage. You don't have to read the webzine and their blog if anyone of you guys aren't interested in pursuing marriage. There's other webzines that you guys can go into if you don't share Boundless' pro-marriage stance. Since this is country, however, that's up to you guys, which really fine especially if you are curious (like I am) on what the opposition has to say.

8/10/07, 5:35 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

Ted Slater said...
Scripture does *seem* to say that adulthood and marriage go together.

==Scripture neither implies this nor states this to be the case. Scripture does assume that most people will get married, and I have no problem with that, however it in no way implies or states that a person who is not married is not a real adult. Again I point to Jesus, Jeremiah, Paul, and others.

There is an underline assumption in the quote from the article. The assumption is that singles are selfish party animals who just don't want to take on adult responsibilities. While I am sure there are plenty of unsaved singles who fit that grouping I am aware of many unsaved married couples that are the same way. As for Christians, well to be honest, since I don't believe a true believer can practice sin (1Jn 3:9-10) I don't believe a true Christian can be a fornicator, pervert, or homosexual (1Cor 6:9-10). Those who believe true believers can practice such things are promoting a dangerous false doctrine. Needless to say I reject the underline assumption. There are many Christian singles who live godly lives, who are adults, and who have adult responsibilities.

________________________

Ted Slater said...
Consider Isaac, for example. He was about 40 years old, still unmarried and living at home. Once his father arranged for him to be married, he started a life of his own, as an adult.

==Could I point out that, in Biblical days, many married couples continued to live with the parents of one of the two (in a different area of the house)? It was not at all like our modern age where people, married or single, pack up and move miles away from home (etc). If they did not live with their parents they lived very nearby. Maybe you overlooked that, or maybe you don’t know that, or maybe it just does not fit in with your “doctrine”. Either way Isaac is “one” example. I could, in fact, turn your example of Isaac against you. Notice that he was 40 when he FIRST married. Scripture does not chastise him for that or condemn him. Therefore there is nothing wrong with waiting to marry and since men like Paul did not marry, and were not condemned for it, there is nothing wrong with not marrying.

My point is that you should be careful with your examples.

________________________

Ted Slater said...
Consider the requirements for church leadership, which include being a husband.

==Scripture does not require a person to be married to be in leadership. You are reading into the text (which is dangerous). Scripture does not teach what you are stating nor does it prove it via example. Consider that Paul was not married and he was a church leader. I think we can also assume that Timothy was not married yet he also was in leadership.


Ted Slater said...
There are exceptions (Jesus, John the Baptist, Paul), but the pattern is that marriage and adulthood go together.

==Marriage is part of adulthood for most people, true. However it is not true that a person must be married to be an adult.


Ted Slater said...
As a married man, I can tell you that there's nothing like being a husband and father to facilitate adult maturity.

==That statement is, again, filled with assumptions. I would also say that your statement is overly experiential. Many singles are mature adults and there are many things that motive that. Marriage


Ted Slater said...
Ultimately, it's up to each individual what to do with this teaching. If you're older and single, and don't believe you're called to a life of serving the Lord perpetually single, then consider your motivations for staying single.

==I reject your teaching as unbiblical. People are single for different reasons and Scripture does acknowledge that (Matt 19:10-12, etc).


Ted Slater said...
Is it because you're afraid of change or of rejection? Is it because you're content with the status quo? Is it because you cherish the (selfish) control you have over your time and money?

==Being afraid of change or rejection, being “content with the status quo”, and wanting control over your own time (etc) are not issues that are found only among singles. Many married people fall into these traps as well. Marriage is certainly not a cure for these problems.

Ted Slater said...
Is it because you'll only settle for a "10"? Is it because you're getting the emotional (and maybe physical) benefits of marriage without the commitments?

==If a person is in fornication not being married is the least of their problems (Rev 21:8).


Ted Slater said...
Is it because you don't want to be inconvenienced? Or are you staying single because doing so enables you to serve the Lord in a peculiarly effective way?
==The latter maybe true, or it maybe that marriage is just not in the books for the person. Or, maybe, the person has responsibilities that make marriage unlikely. There are a whole host of reasons why people remain single. Your assumptions are overly simplistic.

Martin.

8/10/07, 6:48 PM  
Anonymous knightwatch said...

Martin, you saved me a lot of time writing. Well said. And I agree with, you, too, Songbird. This is not, in my opinion an anti-marriage blog. I don't understand what this "misrepresentation" is all about. Furthermore, I am so sick and tired of folks appealing to references of Biblical Jewish customs and traditions, like we share in all of them today or something. Did they not also have polygamous societies in those times? Did they not also oppress women in those times?

So what are we doing but trying to twist and turn a verse or two so that it appears to fit some legalistic agenda?

In other words, what we get is ---"You're not married. That means you're not an adult. The Bible says so. La-la-la." It all sounds like something you'd hear from an eight year-old.


Scripture neither implies this nor states this to be the case. Scripture does assume that most people will get married, and I have no problem with that, however it in no way implies or states that a person who is not married is not a real adult. Again I point to Jesus, Jeremiah, Paul, and others.

True. You know, there are many single men who are fighting overseas right now, and I have to ask: Are they considered adults, Mr. Slater? The military can become a powerful influence in a man's life.

I point this out as an example because I believe we need to be careful when people try to redefine in their own simplistic terms what an adult is by merely determining if they're wearing a wedding band or not.

I'm not against marriage. I don't think anyone on this blog is against marriage. If a person seeks holy matrimony, fine. If a person doesn't seek marriage, then I would suggest that you do not judge that person and categorically label him as less than an adult because he doesn't fit into your paradigm.

There is an underline assumption in the quote from the article. The assumption is that singles are selfish party animals who just don't want to take on adult responsibilities. While I am sure there are plenty of unsaved singles who fit that grouping I am aware of many unsaved married couples that are the same way.


I agree. Heck, many SAVED married couples fit into this picture. I don't want to get into a urinating contest here, but I could list several married couples right now who are totally irresponsible. It is what it is.


==Could I point out that, in Biblical days, many married couples continued to live with the parents of one of the two (in a different area of the house)? It was not at all like our modern age where people, married or single, pack up and move miles away from home (etc). If they did not live with their parents they lived very nearby. Maybe you overlooked that, or maybe you don’t know that, or maybe it just does not fit in with your “doctrine”.


LOL. This I liked. "Biblical days"? Gee, I could go as far as the depression era. 'Walton' type families were commonplace during those times and even afterwards. C'mon, peeps, who are you fooling? Where does this grandiose idea come from that most married adults leave the nest and move miles and miles away from their parents and other assorted relatives. I can think of a few couples in my own neighborhood, and even family members, who have 'used' their parents as free babysitters, for one. And how responsible is dropping off your kids to a daycare center? We all know about those horrible places and how they're run, don't we?

And then there's the young married couples who still have that umbiblical cord attached to their parents. Often times the true money source to solving a couple's financial problems or getting that down payment for their brand new home is through mommy and daddy.

8/10/07, 11:05 PM  
Anonymous knightwatch said...

I mean't umbilical cord. Sorry for the spelling error.

8/10/07, 11:17 PM  
Anonymous someone said...

D. Allan,

When you call fellow Christians "idiotic" and make rude comments like, "Even if you refuse to get a wife, at least make some attempt to grow up," you disqualify yourself from serious consideration by others. I don't always agree with everything PC says, but he is right on this one. You're just a rude, mean-spirited person who replaces argument with insult. Unfortunately, this seems to be a pattern among marriage mandators.

8/11/07, 5:50 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

knightwatch said...
This is not, in my opinion an anti-marriage blog.

==Of course this is not an anti-marriage blog. Anyone who takes the time to actual read what the blog, and most of the responders, actually says will know that. However you must understand that there are people out there who believe that if you don't wish to get married, or if you believe singleness is ok, then you are anti-marriage. It does not matter how many times you state you are not against marriage, or how many times you demonstrate that you are not against marriage, they are still going to label you as anti-marriage. There is nothing that can be done about that. That is just the way it is.

Anyone who takes his or her Bible seriously knows that singleness is not a sin nor is it a sign of immaturity or laziness. Certainly it can be a sign of those things but in those circumstances it is only one sign among many others. Singleness is an option that people have. God does not demand that people get married or that they stay single. It is clear in Scripture that God has given people two valid choices. Both choices carry conditions and responsibilities. It is up to each Christian to prayerfully decide which of the two choices they need to make. The vast majority will choose marriage and that is the way it should be. However other Christians, for various reasons, will choose singleness. That is a good and valid option, which the Bible applauds and does not condemn.

The marriage mandate crowd is adding to Scripture and I firmly believe that they will be judged for that. I am not saying that I believe they are lost. I do believe that even Christians will face judgment at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Martin.

8/11/07, 7:09 AM  
Anonymous knightwatch said...

.... I am so sick and tired of folks appealing to references of Biblical Jewish customs and traditions, like we share in all of them today or something. Did they not also have polygamous societies in those times? Did they not also oppress women in those times? ...

.... I believe we need to be careful when people try to redefine in their own simplistic terms what an adult is by merely determining if they're wearing a wedding band or not ...


I wanted to take the time to add something else here that I left out. When we sling words around on what passes for 'adulthood' in our society based on the Old Testament teachings, isn't it just as simple for me to do the same when it comes to those who are lazy???

Follow me on this.

In Genesis 3:19, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

What am I to take from this verse? There are other such references in the Bible that command us to 'till or plow the field', 'work by the sweat of the brow', etc., etc. This, to me, would imply manual labor.

Now, based on the above command, can anyone tell me how many people working in an office cubicle in modern day society are literally working by the SWEAT of the brow? How many people today till the fields?

If I wanted, I could do what the marriage mandaters are doing. However, instead of the application of 'assuming' marriage as the premier requirement for adulthood, I could instead take another approach. In other words, I could take God's command for us to work and then 'assume' that all people who do not toil on a physical sweaty job are lazy and slothful.

It just doesn't make sense for anyone to compare how the people lived and worked in Biblical culture to how we live today. The environment and economics are different.

I know it's a cheap shot but, um, do lawyers work by the sweat of their brow??? :))

8/11/07, 7:58 AM  
Anonymous someone said...

Knightwatch,

I'm not sure your analogy here is a good one. The example you give concerning work would be an example of what could be called "wooden literalism." The attempt to willy-nilly import the cultural practices of the ancient Near East into modern society would be an example of misapplication of scripture. Both are errors and I think both are done by marriage mandate advocates, by they are not the same thing.

8/11/07, 8:39 AM  
Anonymous jason said...

A new article by David R Usher.

PRO-FAMILY RALLY ON THE DC MALL AUGUST 18-19

"Advocates from many kinds of religious and secular organizations will be speaking at the rally. Veterans, children’s rights, women’s rights, men’s rights, attorneys, counselors, Catholics, Protestants, and other religious leaders will be setting forth reform social policy agenda that promises to end the divorce and illegitimacy revolutions, most child problems, and a wide array of costly social problems draining our federal budget and saddling the taxpayer."

Will any of the "marriage mandate" supporters be there I wonder?

That piece has a link to a new documentary called "Support? System Down".

And there is an interesting interview with the director here.

This stuff might help to give anyone interested in why men are turning their backs on marriage a few clues.

8/12/07, 10:23 AM  
Blogger FellowElder said...

A friend just sent me a link to this very good discussion. It's my first visit to the blog and I'm already helped by many of the thoughts and comments. If it's okay, I'd like to try to add a few thoughts, that I hope are helpful and clarifying.

First a couple of mis-statements or inaccuracies:

1. Pretty spiritual girl, marriage is not merely a "civil institution." It's a creation ordinance. It preceeds every civil organization/government in human history. It's established by God's governance at the beginning of creation. This is why marriage in some form is universal. Which is also why marriage and childrearing are normally associated with adulthood. Gen. 2:24 doesn't explicity state marriage is a marker of adulthood, true. However, the entire creation account establishes marriage and childrearing as typically central to adulthood.

2. Wombatty, being "under someone's authority" does not mean being "bound to do their will." A wife is under the headship of her husband, and no person I'm aware of suggests that means she is bound to obey, for example, sinful instruction. Similarly with soldiers in the army, to use your example. No soldier is bound to obey commands that violate rules of war or war conventions. I do hope that if your boss asked you to do something illegal, immoral, or seriously irresponsible you would stand for rigtheousness and refuse... perhaps even seeking his/her dismissal. So, equating the general disposition of being under someone's authority does not at all suggest blind or slavish obedience. That certainly is not my intention or statement when writing about honoring your mother and father as an adult or someone transitioning to adulthood.

3. Martin wrote: "There is an underline assumption in the quote from the article. The assumption is that singles are selfish party animals who just don't want to take on adult responsibilities." That's not an underlying assumption of the article at all. To be frank, the article isn't about singles per se. The article is about young adults (late teens, early 20s, single or married) relating to their parents, sometimes amidst conflict. The misleading thing about this conversation is that it focuses squarely on two sentences in an article which majors on most everything except singleness and marriage.

So what was being said re: singleness and adulthood in the article about honoring our parents? Two points basically:

1. The responsibility for honoring our parents doesn't magically end at 18, 21 or any "adulthood age" for that matter. The 60-year old must honor his 80-year old parents without regard to his age or his marital status. The article suggests some ways of doing that.

2. One way of honoring our parents as adults is to jettison unbiblical notions of "adulthood" itself. This conversation thread is a helpful discussion about that very process--tossing things that may not be biblical but worldly. One worldly view of adulthood is perpetual adolesence--to be differentiated from long-time or lifelong singleness. One is immaturity, the other arises for a range of reasons. What the sentences in question reject is the former (perpetual or extended adolesence) which generally (though not always) makes claims to adulthood based upon age, living arrangement, salaried independence, etc but leaves off other markers of adult maturity.

One indication that marriage is a marker of "mature adulthood" (by which I don't mean single adults are immature or not adult, but that a person is taken on the fuller responsibilities typically assigned to adulthood) is the pressure to marry that almost all singles face from family and friends. Surely that's a wearisome experience, and many folks who intend to help and encourage end up doing precisely the opposite.

But what is being expressed by this pressure to marry? It's an expression of the normative expectation of marriage in adulthood. It's an expression of the creation ordinance still resounding in the ears of fallen men. Single adulthood is the exception, not the rule, and for a significant number of single folks it's an unwanted, sometimes painful exception.

Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Let's not forget that marriage, by God's design, is a mystery that glorifies Him by picturing Christ's love for the church (Eph. 5). Could it be that the near universal practice of marriage and the near-universal desire for marriage is nothing but the yearning of man to glorify God by picturing Christ's love for the church in this creation ordinance?

I think so. And I think that's partly why marriage and adulthood belong together as a general rule.

Thanks for letting me join in. Praying the Lord's joy and peace for us all.
Thabiti

8/17/07, 8:56 AM  
Blogger Ted Slater said...

I'm interested to see someone reply to Thabiti's gracious comments on this thread....

8/20/07, 8:46 AM  
Blogger Ted Slater said...

We published an article yesterday on Boundless, written by Thabiti Anyabwile, on the issue of authority. I'd love to hear your thoughts about it!

9/21/07, 6:15 AM  

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