Learn to Discern: Who would you choose to marry, an abusive Christian or a kind and gentle unbeliever?

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Learn to Discern:  Is it better for a Christian woman to marry a kind and gentle unbeliever or an abusive Christian?

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Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

 

 

Over at Karen Campbell’s blog, she’s having a series of articles on dating/courtship/marriage and as I was reading the following, I about had a flippy fit.  Quick note:  missionary dating refers to young ladies having unsaved boyfriends and hoping to get them converted before saying “I do.”

 

In more recent years, I am seeing even more of an acceptance of missionary dating, even among homeschoolers and for any number of reasons. Pastors are hesitant to preach about this from their pulpits and those who have been badly burned within the patriarchy movement, in their zeal to run away from the extremes of betrothal and courtship, have swung the other direction and say “Whatever! We rejoice in our Christian liberty.” Some even go so far to say, as I have heard more than one homeschooling mom exclaim, “Well, I would rather have my daughter marry a kind and gentle unbeliever than an abusive Christian man.” Where is the logic in that statement? And even one very conservative and long suffering Christian widow I once knew declared, “I tried being married to a Christian man the first time and I was miserable. This time I will marry an unbeliever.”  Source

Ok, folks. Have at it.

 

 

 

photo credit: photo credit: hans s via photopin cc

121 comments on “Learn to Discern: Who would you choose to marry, an abusive Christian or a kind and gentle unbeliever?

  1. I’ll take a stab at this.
    I married a believer in my former “church.” (And I think I got a pretty wonderful man.) However, since we’ve faced the struggle of the last few years, and been out of the abusive “church” environment, we’re both changing. I don’t think anyone can possible predict how a relationship will play out over the years.

    Given that, I don’t think believer/unbeliever should necessarily be the most important check on the list. (If there should even BE a list.) Maybe the Holy Spirit should be guiding this very important decision, too. After all God told Joseph to go ahead and take Mary as his wife, even though it had to have been a scandalous situation.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I haven’t yet been able to predict the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I (Christian background but not practicing) married a gentle, wicked-smart, funny, honest, and talented Jewish (ethnically, not observant) man. There isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t make me laugh, do something helpful around the house, and tell me how much he appreciates me. I am lucky, and blessed.

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  3. It would not be possible to marry an abusive Christian. It is not possible to be an abuser and a Christian at the same time.

    Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:8-10 ESV)

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  4. I’ve been waiting for your comment, Gary. What astonishes me is the idea that someone would consider an abusive “Christian” an option. And of course they mean a life-time commitment and there’s not an appalling shock about the idea of someone having to be married to an abuser. So weird.

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  5. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been staring at one of those optical illusions and missing the obvious. I totally over thought that one. Thanks Gary and JA.

    It’s a little scary that this is even a discussion.

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  6. BTDT – – – That’s why I put it here because in the article, it was a non-issue. Some of these folks are so caught up in rules “equally yoked,” they forget common sense.

    HELLO – what a way to cause a whole lifetime of grief to a wife and children.

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  7. In like manner: While it may be hoped that the great majority of people we recognize as pastors are in fact Christians, no abuser can be either a Christian or a pastor.

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  8. My first boyfriend was a Christian and a guy in my youth group. I was very naive and excited that he noticed me. He decided it was okay to violate me. My second boyfriend was not a Christian. He was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known.

    As far as my kids go, we have been more open in talking with them about sex and relationships. We know that it is ultimately up to them to have a relationship with whom they want. As long as that person treats them with love and respect, I will have no problem with their choice.

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  9. Quote – ‘ “Well, I would rather have my daughter marry a kind and gentle unbeliever than an abusive Christian man.” Where is the logic in that statement?’

    Where is it not?

    Too often, the ‘Christian swing tag’ is a bullet proof shield for the abusive to hide behind.
    I believe that it is very possible for the above ‘kind and gentle’ man to be closer to God than the abusive Christian. Isn’t God made of all things good? And isn’t our goal to become more like him – kind and good?

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  10. It shouldn’t be an either/or. An abuser is certainly not a Christian. Therefore, God’s a Word stands. Do not be unequally yoked with an unbelievers.

    As for the missionary dating of some movements….. Just plain wrong!

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  11. I agree that being a “Christian” and an “abuser” are mutually exclusive. That being said, however, it must be pointed out that abusers disguise themselves in the dating, wooing phase of the relationship. They appear as the knight in shining armor, the too-good-to-be-true guy. One survivor of horrendous abuse said, “If he seems too good to be true, he probably is. Run!”

    Aside from encouraging our children to seek out kind and gentle individuals as romantic partners, regardless of whether they are a “believer” or not, we must also teach them not to be as trustworthy as most of us are. Rather than accept people as they present themselves, it is best to suspend judgment–positive or negative–until we have more experience with them. We need to become far more discerning about people than we currently are.

    Just because they call themselves a “Christian” does not mean we should trust them completely or hand our children over to them–for marriage or in a Sunday School class or youth group.

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  12. Whatever the Bible may say about the wisdom of marrying unbelievers, I doubt whether this is what is being addressed when Paul says do not be yoked together with unbelievers. I do not think my Christian wife is yoked to me as though she were some sort of plow cow. Nor do I think I am similarly yoked to her. At http://tinyurl.com/qgt68ky, when an attempt was being made to use the 1 Cor 6:14 passage as a proof text to demonstrate the supposed impropriety of Julie Anne’s association with Homeschooler’s Anonymous, I wrote the following:

    The word yoke in the New Testament seems to be used in reference to bondage or being in slavery. Acts 15:10; Galatians 5:1; 1 Timothy 6:1. We are servants (literally, douloi, slaves), to Jesus, and we are to take on his (easy) yoke. Matthew 11:29-30. By Paul we are admonished, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16 ESV). In the 2 Corinthians 6 passage Paul specifically associates the yoke with Belial and idols. My suggestion is that Paul is warning us against joining unbelievers in entering into the bondage of idolatrous pursuits. Idolatry is sin. The pursuit of idols will bring us under the yoke of bondage to the idol or idols pursued. Whatever the point of the 1 Corinthians 6 passage may be, if Paul is telling us not to associate with unbelievers, then it would seem Jesus has some explaining to do.

    If a woman is contemplating marriage to a Christian man (or any other man) who thinks she will be under his yoke, run. Don’t walk or jog. Run. Maybe I should say sprint. Of course this would also apply to a man contemplating marriage to such a woman, but it seems men are more prone than women to treat their spouses as property.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Decided to comment *before* reading what others are saying, and who knows, may comment more after reading what others have contributed.

    Two immediate thoughts.

    First, this sounds like the perverse justification underneath “flirty fishing,” a recruitment and conversion technique used waaaaay back 40+ years ago with the CULT then known as the Children of God.

    Second, in terms of discernment skills, the way we ask our question preconditions the shape of our answer. Look at the statement that the initial question was based on: “Well, I would rather have my daughter marry a kind and gentle unbeliever than an abusive Christian man.”

    So, if the daughter is a Christian, do you want her to disobey the clear-enough mandate of Scripture by marrying a non-Christian? Or do you want a son-in-law who disobeys the clear-enough mandate of Scripture by not loving your daughter – his wife – as Christ loves the church?

    Either way, somebody is gonna disobey. And perhaps it is the questioner who came up with that initial statement who is already is a state of doubt, confusion, and/or disobedience.

    None of this is meant to minimize the horror of domestic violence through verbal, emotional, and/or physical abuse. Those behaviors are vile forms of de-powerment and control over another person. None of this is meant to glorify the supposed benefits of a Christian wife being unequally yoked with a non-believing husband. Having known both extended family members and close friends in each of these situations, I can attest to the astounding damage in each. Hence, better to find an question that offers an obedient third-way option to the mix …

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  14. But thanks to a little Screwtape Semantics originated and spread by the actions of Bible-Believing Abusers and Abusive Churches, “Christian(TM)” without any adjectives has taken on the baggage of “Abuser”.

    One of the reasons I’m 58 and never married is because I’ve experienced the Equally Yoked limitations. Christianese women are just not very attractive marriage material. They have NO interests or personality outside of Church, JEESUS is their REAL boyfriend/husband; the best any imperfect mortal like me can hope for is to be a distant #2 and/or ATM machine. (There was even a CCM song about it in the Eighties.) It’s kind of like trying to date a total Twitard and having to compete with EDWARD(TM).

    “Christian(TM)” and “decent person” are definitely NOT synonymous.

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  15. P.S. Another example of Screwtape Semantics is “Discernment”. From “ability to see beneath appearances to the reality of a situation” it has come to mean “Witchfinders-General seeing DEEEMONS under every bed — including the DEEEMON of burned-out light bulbs. DEEMONS DEEMONS Everywhere!” (I’m not making up the one about burned-out light bulbs.)

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  16. That being said, however, it must be pointed out that abusers disguise themselves in the dating, wooing phase of the relationship. They appear as the knight in shining armor, the too-good-to-be-true guy. One survivor of horrendous abuse said, “If he seems too good to be true, he probably is. Run!”

    Anyone remember the Sweet Little Angel of a little girl in the original movie “The Bad Seed”? (Minus the deus ex machina ending the Hays Office tacked on.) I grew up with a male version in my family.

    Successful abusers, successful pedophiles, successful sociopaths are masters at camouflaging what they really are. If they weren’t, they would have been exposed and/or caught long ago. We only hear about the ones dumb enough to get caught.

    And I have been outcompeted in the dating game by “too good to be true” users & abusers.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. @nmgirl:

    Now that the “No True Scotsman Fallacy” has been aptly demonstrated . . .

    Don’t forget Rewordgitation of The Party Line…

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  18. I’m wondering how Hosea fits into this discussion. Didn’t God ask him to marry and stay married to what we might consider an “unbeliever”…or worse? And this was one mighty object lesson for “unconditional love” – showing the nation how God pursues us in spite of our sin; just as Hosea kept pursuing his wife and she kept rejecting him.

    It seems to me that this is the undercurrent for the logic used against me by churches and well-meaning individuals for why I shouldn’t leave my h. “After all…God commanded Hosea to 1) marry his wife and then 2) stay with his wife regardless of how poorly she treated him. Even when Hosea pleaded w/ God to be allowed to leave, God still commanded him to stay married to her.”

    So…I’m interested to hear what you all have to say.

    I agree that the bulk of Scripture points the opposite direction and I do feel released in light of the overwhelming evidence therein. It is this one prophet that I can hear behind their arguments – that seems to fit this particular discussion (shall we marry an unbeliever or believing abuser).

    It probably doesn’t help that I picked Hosea as our covenant passage for our wedding. Gah!

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  19. @Gary W
    “Whatever the Bible may say about the wisdom of marrying unbelievers, I doubt whether this is what is being addressed when Paul says do not be yoked together with unbelievers.”

    You’re probably right. It was Paul who also said “If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband.”

    Why would Paul say that if he was against being “yoked together with unbelievers.”

    Liked by 1 person

  20. @Charis
    “It probably doesn’t help that I picked Hosea as our covenant passage for our wedding. Gah!”

    Oh, Charis. Our marriage ceremony was built around the story of Rebecca and Isaac. Scary when you consider we had never dated, kissed, held hands, or hardly spent any time together.

    We can never really know what we’re getting ourselves into, can we? I’m sorry for what you’re going through.

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  21. I believe Paul was referring to couples where one converted after marriage. That’s different than knowingly marrying an unbeliever.

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  22. Hoppy,

    That’s true. But Paul is still advocating the whole “unequally yoked” thing. I guess the above principle would still apply if two believers marry and one later becomes an unbeliever.

    Life doesn’t always go the way we hope it will.

    My grandmother was raised in a very strict Southern Baptist home. She met and married my grandfather, who was a career navy man on leave during WWII. He was not a Christian by any definition. My first memories of him are teaching Sunday School and being a deacon in their Baptist church. He changed along the way. Of course, my grandmother didn’t bend her principles for anyone– not even my grandfather. 🙂 So he may have had no choice if he wanted to keep her.

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  23. I thought that verse was about Paul telling the congregation of that particular first century church not to be yoked with the unbelieving neighbors who were infiltrating that church in an attempt to incorporate pagan idol worshiping and other practices into the congregational worship of God. He was trying to keep their faith pure and to have the church have nothing to do with false teachings and pagan influence.

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  24. @Hoppy

    Just to clarify, I fall into the “do whatever you think is best” camp on this topic. I don’t want the responsibility of advising someone on marriage. There’s too much at stake in that decision. So, my opinions are just that– opinions.

    I think I’ll go join my kids in their pizza party now. 🙂

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  25. 1. I’ve never thought it was perfectly clear that that “unequally yoked” verse was referring to marriage. Everyone says it is, but it’s always seemed much more opaque to me. So I guess I don’t really know what I think about there being an absolute command for Christians to never marry non-Christians. I can see where people get it, and it’s not really something I would want to do. That being said, the most important questions I think need to be answered are:

    a) What did Paul mean by “yoking”?

    b) Is the inequality in view here a function of a power imbalance in the relationship, or is it inherent to the fact that one party is Christian and the other is not?

    c) If the inequality does spring from a power imbalance, does this verse imply that it’s all right to be equally yoked with unbelievers?

    d) If yes to (c), given that a feature of marriage in the ancient world was a fundamental power/authority imbalance between husband and wife, does this then imply that it would be allowable to enter into an egalitarian marriage with an unbeliever but not a complementarian one?

    e) Can we limit this verse to marriage, since it doesn’t limit itself to that? What does it tell us about other relationships we might enter into? For instance, is it wrong for a Christian to have a non-Christian boss? Business partner? Etc., etc., etc. Note that (b) will also affect our answer to this question.

    So no, I don’t think this verse is as simple as “you can marry unbelievers” or “you can’t marry unbelievers,” but I don’t feel like I have an answer as to what it actually means.

    2. It is a little unfair to set up “nice non-Christian guy” vs. “abusive Christian guy” – if, as others mentioned above, we can fairly call an abusive man “Christian,” which I agree is questionable at best – as the only two options. However, to then claim that there’s no logic at all to that is unfair too, because I think any sensible parent would not want their child to marry to an abuser. So even if it is a bit of a false dichotomy, there is a logic to the statement, even if Campbell feels it violates a Biblical command.

    3. I do know some couples who are perfectly happy and healthy, in which one party is a Christian and one is not. However, I’m sure someone else could produce just as much anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

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  26. I am completely on the same page with Gary – “abusive” and “Christian” do not fit together. However, there are men who troll churches looking for women, and then once they establish a relationship things change. I had been divorced quite a long time before I became a Christian. Then I started seeing a guy from church, and after seeing that he was not any different than non-Christian men, I ended the relationship on that level. We are still friends and many years have gone by. He has grown a lot and so have I, but I made the choice to remain unmarried.

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  27. This is what I learned growing up in the Southern Baptist wife beating Convention.

    1) You can not deny your husband sex, EVER.
    2) If your husband rapes you it is not rape because there is no such thing as rape in marriage.
    3) You can not divorce your husband for raping you.
    4) If your husband beats you it is your fault for not being submissive enough.
    5) You can not divorce your husband for beating you.
    6) You have to breed against your will.

    The way my father treated my mother, I knew I never wanted to be married to a Christian man.

    I will be telling my daughters NOT to marry a Christian man, because they want the Ariel Castro arrangement.

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  28. Pingback: Should Christian Women Marry Non Christian Men? (discussed at another blog) Be Not Unequally Yoked Dangerous Teaching to Single Christian Women | Christian Pundit

  29. Guest, that has not been my experience either. As a divorced woman who has been a member of the same SBC congregation since 1992, I have never felt disrespected in any way. In fact, I am a trustee and a check signer. If this was your home life growing up, I am truly sorry. It sounds more like the alcoholic, unchurched home I grew up in.

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  30. Guest,

    Your father may have professed himself as a Christian. but your description sounded more like an Non-Christ like wolf in a sheep’s skin.

    I think the best advice we can give our children is to marry someone they love and for them to be able to identify if the person they want to marry will love them. :Love is paramount commandment from Christ.

    I have a hard time imagining in your description that your father loved your mom and because of the way he treated your mom I have a hard time imagining that your father was a true Christian in the first place. He certainly lacked emotional connection with your mom.

    It looked like he didn’t embrace 1 Corinthians 13:13 a verse that many Christians and Non-Christians fail at.

    If your father really wasn’t a Christian who didn’t give the kind of love your mom deserved and that is required by God in a marriage relationship, then why wouldn’t you simply encourage your daughters to hook up with someone that truly loved them?

    I’m sure there are a lot of loving and respectful Christian guys that are available that aren’t abusive that would love to hook up with your daughters.

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  31. My sister and I didn’t just “missionary date” we “missionary married”. The heart wants what the heart wants, and all that. After being married just 18 months, my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV incurable cancer. That was the spiritual turning point for him. A couple of months before his death, he accepted the Lord. That was the greatest gift he gave me in his lifetime. I have comfort in knowing I will see him again.

    By the time my husband passed away, my sister and her husband had already been married for about 20 years – he was still not saved. About a year and a half after my husband’s death, her husband accepted the Lord. He said that my husband’s conversion and death was one of the things that changed his heart. Kidney cancer is a terrible thing, but the Lord used it for much good. Romans 8:28!

    Both of our husbands are/were good men in so many ways before and after their conversions.

    What led me to SSB was a short relationship and engagement to a man who claimed he was a Christian, but who turned out to fit the profile of a misogynist (and he was caught up in FIC and Vision Forum stupid stuff). He wasn’t half the man my late husband was, but he thought he was a man among men. I am so grateful that we parted ways.

    In the future, I would like to be married again – to a good man who loves the Lord and others. If he doesn’t exist, I will have to be content on my own.

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  32. What a crazy question. I would definitely choose the non believer. If I choose the abusive Christian then I choose an abusive childhood for my kids. One might say but the unbelieving father might cause your kids to become unbelievers. Ya, well the abusive Christian would definitely cause them to become unbelievers.

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  33. There’s also the chance that an unbelieving spouse could be so impressed by Christ flowing through you as you live out your faith, that your spouse might want what you have, thus being saved. You could win your spouse over to the Lord. 🙂

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  34. FWIW, one of the “certified biblical counselors”at my former church, and a wife and mother at that, counseled a mutual friend who was married to an abusive pastor not to separate from him. This counselor claimed the word “abuse” is not in the bible and thus, does not truly exist. It becomes a hard point to argue.

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  35. jkpvarin,

    Well, now I have one more reason never to consult with a “certified biblical counsellor”. As if I needed any more. I hope your friend got away from that advice, that husband and that church, and that she’s much happier now.

    More generally as to this topic: I have to say that I sympathize with HUG (and Daisy, too, though she hasn’t commented on this thread yet). In my younger days, I was very much determined to marry a Christian woman, thinking it was a safeguard against shipwrecking my faith, if not a hard and fast rule. The result: Now I’m in my 40’s, never married, never so much as a girlfriend in all my life.

    I’ve always known on some level that it would be hard to find someone right for me. Given my hobbies and interests, my lack of romantic experience, my somewhat awkward personality, my hangups and a bunch of other issues, only a very special and patient woman would be able to put up with me, especially on a day-to-day basis. So, limiting myself to Christian women makes the search even harder. And in a nation where maybe 1% of the population is Christian to begin with, such a match will probably require a minor miracle.

    I would still much prefer to marry a fellow Christian. My relationship with God is important to me, and I want a spouse who will help me in drawing close to Him, not hinder me. However, in my romantic endeavours, I’m concentrating on finding someone who’s a good match for me — someone I can laugh and have fun with, who’s patient and responsible, someone I can trust with my feelings and fears. It occurs to me that if I limit myself too much, I might miss out on meeting a woman like Ruth. For all I know, I already missed her years ago… 😦

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  36. “It becomes a hard point to argue.”

    Yes, because the Bible-only crowd have fallen into foolish extremes, and it is impossible to argue with fools.

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  37. The question is a false dichotomy. There are more than two options. You will find abusers inside and outside the “church” and you will genuinely nice guys inside and outside too.

    Looking at the unequal yoke scripture, Paul is talking about the problem that arises when two animals of different kinds are put to the plough. They cannot plough a straight furrow.

    So, if you are a real believer, first make sure that you choose another real believer. That requires discernment. Next, look for somebody who can empathise. Abusers don’t or can’t. It shouldn’t be rushed.

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  38. As most people realize, it’s BEHAVIOUR, not belief, that determines a good person. As a mother of four children who’ve chosen very good people as partners, I think it’s far more valuable to teach children to find GOOD in people than GOD. My two cents worth this morning. . 🙂

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  39. Carmen, I’m putting that pearl in my pocket. Thanks. Also, Serving Kids, my prayers include a good woman for you who happens to be a believer. And just my opinion, shy and socially awkward can be really sweet qualities in a guy.

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  40. Random thoughts:

    1) Yes, “behavior” not “belief”. That says a great deal in and of itself for this situation and many others. It should be on a pillow.

    2) Of course, the original question is a false dichotomy. I don’t think anyone disputes that. However, I have heard comments from folks who would essentially say that the only reason to consider marrying a non-Christian would be if there were no other self-proclaimed Christians left. They’d believe you’re much better off marrying a “Christian” who acts like a jerk than a kind, gentle person who isn’t a Christian. It’s like telling someone you went to see a counselor. First question, “Is it a Christian counselor?”. These are the same folks and they’d say that seeing any Christian counselor (regardless of credentials) is superior than any secular (?) counselor. I knew better. I intentionally picked one based on reputation, education, and credentials.

    3) We can’t forget about the numbers involved here. Women attend church at a higher rate than men so presumably there are more single women at church than single men. If the single Christian women can only marry single Christian men, then…well..theoretically, there aren’t enough men out there for that plan to work.

    4) I have a number of wonderful single friends who I know wish they would marry. I frequently wish I had some way to be helpful or supportive to them regarding it, but I’m often not sure how.

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  41. @JPow:

    Women attend church at a higher rate than men so presumably there are more single women at church than single men. If the single Christian women can only marry single Christian men, then…

    Especially when a lot of these single women are in church traditions that have NO place or role for single women, only “Salvation by Marriage Alone” and “Focusing on the Family”.

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  42. @Carmen:

    As most people realize, it’s BEHAVIOUR, not belief, that determines a good person.

    And too many Christians look on their salvation as an excuse/justification for bad behavior:
    “It’s all Under the Blood.”
    “Die, Heretic! God Hath Said!”
    “Woman, SUBMIT!”
    “Purity of Ideology — I mean, Correct Theology.”
    “SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE!”
    “What fellowship hath Light with Darkness?”

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  43. First question, “Is it a Christian counselor?”. These are the same folks and they’d say that seeing any Christian counselor (regardless of credentials) is superior than any secular (?) counselor. I knew better. I intentionally picked one based on reputation, education, and credentials.

    That’s a great point. I find that even the other day when I was posting online about suffering from PTSD after a major earthquake, I qualified my statement about seeing a psychologist by putting the word “Christian” in front. “I went to a Christian psychologist.” Thanks for helping me to see that. I think I’m going to try dropping the “Christian” part among Christian audiences sometime just to see what kind of response I get. 🙂

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  44. I’ve always known on some level that it would be hard to find someone right for me. Given my hobbies and interests, my lack of romantic experience, my somewhat awkward personality,

    Serving,

    We all have hangups and inadequacies. I just have to say, though, after interacting online with you and seeing you interact with others for probably 2-3 yrs, I don’t see you as socially awkward AT ALL. I know online is different than real life, but I see you as a man of integrity, discernment, good common sense, very compassionate, defend those who are abused, not afraid to challenge those who use their perceived authority in wrong ways, sensitive, articulate. So many times I’ll read a comment of yours and think, “yea, he just said what I was trying to say in 10 words vs my 100 words.” I’m thinking if you had a lengthy Stateside sabbatical at a healthy church, someone would snatch you up. Just sayin’, friend 🙂

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  45. @jkpvarin,

    Thank you so much — that’s very sweet of you to say. Prayer is always appreciated, and in my case may be very necessary. (If comics and TV dramas are any indication, “awkward and emotional” is not too popular among Japanese women. Although the movie “Train Man” gives me some hope. 🙂 )

    @JA

    Thanks for your kind words. Your encouragement means a lot to me. And I’m glad that I’ve contributed something worthwhile to your amazing blog.

    As you say, though, online communication makes a big difference. On a comment board, I can take my time, read through others’ words carefully, and proofread my writing before hitting “post”. I’m meticulous and I like computers, so this medium appeals to me. Believe me, when I’m under stress or time pressures, I’m much less impressive. And in person… well, I’m not Clem Kadiddlehopper, but I ain’t no Orlando Bloom either. 😉

    P.S. Sorry for dumping all this personal stuff on your page — I know my romantic life has nothing to do with abuse. Thanks for listening.

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  46. Regarding HUG’s post about women who want to date a Christianized Edward Cullen (Cullen is a fantasy vampire character from the “Twilight” books and movies). I always like to add the female perspective.

    Just as there are Christian women IRL or on dating sites who want Mr. Super Spiritual, there are in fact male equivalents.

    I’m not quite totally Christian at this point, but not totally agnostic, either. It’s hard for me to describe my faith walk these days. But from my youth all the way up until a few years ago, I was a run-of-the-mill, conservative, Bible-believing Southern Baptist/ evangelical type of Christian. I never did drink, smoke, cuss, sleep around.

    During that time, I tried dating sites (I checked off “Christian” on the dating sites), tried attending churches, and visited forums/blogs for single Christians because I wanted to get married, and I visited the singles forums because I wanted advice or encouragement on how to deal with being a single adult (because there is no support or guidance or encouragement from churches on what to do if you are still single past 30 or 35, and SHAME on Christian culture for neglecting this demographic).

    What I found is that there is a fair amount of Christian men who are seeking an unrealistic Mother Theresa type figure. (With a lot of Christian men, you have to have the spirituality and purity of Mother Theresa plus look like movie star Angelina Jolie.)

    Christian men I saw on forums or dating sites who listed their “ideal woman” would stress Bible reading, doing missions work, giving soup to homeless bag ladies on the city streets, etc, above everything.

    I don’t mean to offend, but honestly, comments from these men, such as, “I want a woman more in love with Jesus than with me…” or, “When I look into a woman’s eyes, if I don’t see a passionate burning for our Lord, I cannot marry her, let alone date her,” were a total turn off to me and made me want to throw up. I do not dig such flowery, maudlin commentary or perspectives.

    Again, this is even back when I was totally with the Christian faith, gung ho about Jesus, not having any sort of issues with the faith. And I was still weirded out by Christian men who are overboard in being Mr. Spiritual seeking a Female Version of Jesus.

    I have, of course, seen the lady version of what HUG was talking about – I’ve bumped into such women at churches, seen them on forums and met a few at parties before, but I just wanted to add that there are Christian men who are like that as well, and I didn’t find them appealing. Maybe there are single Christian women out there who would find them appealing, but they weird me out.

    Like

  47. Post Script. I said,

    Christian men I saw on forums or dating sites who listed their “ideal woman” would stress Bible reading, doing missions work, giving soup to homeless bag ladies on the city streets, etc, above everything

    I did not mean to give the wrong impression. Though there are in fact SOME Christian single men who behave that way, not all do. They run the gamut.

    Some single men are what I consider “normal,” but there are the ones who are seeking a Pornified Pure Mother Theresa (as I mentioned above), but there are also the Christian perverts, which I’ve written about on this blog before.

    The Christian perverts are the “Christian” men who I would get “winked at” on dating sites, who would tell me up front all their favorite sexual habits, who would have vulgar sex jokes on their profile pages, state up front on their list of stuff they like how much they totally dig sex, etc.

    Like

  48. “The word yoke in the New Testament seems to be used in reference to bondage or being in slavery. Acts 15:10; Galatians 5:1; 1 Timothy 6:1. We are servants (literally, douloi, slaves), to Jesus, and we are to take on his (easy) yoke. Matthew 11:29-30. By Paul we are admonished, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16 ESV). In the 2 Corinthians 6 passage Paul specifically associates the yoke with Belial and idols. My suggestion is that Paul is warning us against joining unbelievers in entering into the bondage of idolatrous pursuits. Idolatry is sin. The pursuit of idols will bring us under the yoke of bondage to the idol or idols pursued. Whatever the point of the 1 Corinthians 6 passage may be, if Paul is telling us not to associate with unbelievers, then it would seem Jesus has some explaining to do.”

    GaryW, that makes sense! Thank you for re-posting this explanation here.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. “First, this sounds like the perverse justification underneath “flirty fishing,” a recruitment and conversion technique used waaaaay back 40+ years ago with the CULT then known as the Children of God.”

    Ah, walking down memory lane. An early boyfriend of mine was sucked into Children of God, and then later the Moonies. Or was it the other way around? I forget. I do know he tried earnestly to recruit me to the “True Way” in whatever organization he was in at the time. When he was in CoG, he kept sending me newsletters and missives from the head guy (David?) about how women should dress and wear their hair and conduct themselves. Thankfully an ocean was between us at the time.

    I just found an old letter of his and it creeps me out now even more than it did way back then. Poor fellow.

    Like

  50. “2. It is a little unfair to set up “nice non-Christian guy” vs. “abusive Christian guy” – if, as others mentioned above, we can fairly call an abusive man “Christian,” which I agree is questionable at best – as the only two options. However, to then claim that there’s no logic at all to that is unfair too, because I think any sensible parent would not want their child to marry to an abuser. So even if it is a bit of a false dichotomy, there is a logic to the statement, even if Campbell feels it violates a Biblical command.”

    Not to mention, a “nice Christian guy” can turn into an abusive “Christian” guy if he is tutored/mentored by others who have totally bought into patriarchy.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. (part 1)
    To answer the blog’s original question,
    “Learn to Discern: Who would you choose to marry, an abusive Christian or a kind and gentle unbeliever?”

    I’d go with the Non-Abusive Non-Christian, rather than with the Abusive Christian.

    I strongly disagree with the folks who unilaterally stated “a Christian should never, ever marry a Non Christian.”

    Maybe I am wrong about this, but I would assume the folks who are comfortable tossing that view out there without hesitation are either

    (1) very young (for example, they are 21 years old currently, and expect to marry by the time they are 30, they are possibly engaged right now and will be married in a few months), or
    (2) they are already married
    (2b) already been married once, now divorced, and their marriage to the Christian was so awful, they are so lovin’ being single now, that they feel fine telling single adult Christians who want marriage “it’s always wrong for a Christian to marry a Non Christian”

    I had really hoped to marry. I thought I would be married by my mid 30s. I’ve arrived to my early 40s and have not married.

    At this point, I no longer care if the guy is Christian or not. I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of being alone. That is the crux of it. There is just no amount of finger-wagging, or lecturing or scolding, ie, “but the Bible says…” is going to change my mind.

    It’s easy to be dismissive of something and insist on Total Loyalty to Biblical Concepts if you’re not the one having to deal with it day in and day out and do not want to be dealing with it.

    Secondly, I’ve seen far, far too many blog postings and news articles about Christian men (some women), some who are married, who are child molesters, have affairs, who physically or emotionally abuse their spouses, are pn. addicts (don’t want to spell the “p” word out, as it might trigger moderation?? It’s like the word “BORN” but with the letter “P” instead of “B” at the front).

    Some of these Christian men who are abusive, child molesters, or who have multiple affairs, go to church weekly and are elders, deacons, Sunday School teachers or preachers.

    Nobody, not even the Christian woman they married, ever would have guessed that the guy was a child molester, would-be wife abuser, etc.

    Dennis Rader, the BTK killer (serial killer of woman) attended his church faithfully for ten or 20 years, and he was married. I think Rader was an elder (some sort of position of leadership) at his church, sat in the front pew at every Sunday service (I recall from reading one article).

    The police found out Rader was the killer they had been looking for because they tracked down one of his notes to the police, traced it back to his church’s computer (yes, he used the church computer to type his taunting note to the police). His wife did not know that he was spending his spare time killing other women.

    What did it gain Rader’s wife to marry him, to seek out someone to be equally yoked to? That he appeared by all accounts to be a regular Christian guy meant nothing.

    Rader’s wife would have fared better had she married, say, a sweet, nice Hindu guy who liked to stay at home at play “Tiddly Winks” or watch “Happy Days” re-runs.

    I know I’d personally prefer the Non-Christian Tiddly- Winks- playing- guy to the regular- church- attending, Bible- quoting, Christian “tie women up and beat women to death” guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. (part 2)
    I know that Christians sometimes get sidetracked into the idea that, “Well, thus and so a person, who raped and killed, was obviously not a “real” Christian”

    …..but I don’t know. Maybe they are “real” Christians. More importantly, I don’t think it matters either way if the guy is an actual Christian or not.

    If a Christian woman thinks, truly thinks, a guy she is engaged to is a real deal, genuine follower or Jesus, but she finds out after marriage that he is violent, a killer, or adulterer…

    I don’t know how to explain this, but if you see all the news stories I have of Christian men who have raped, killed, molested kids, and the ones who admit in polls that they view pn sites all day….

    It does not matter what label the guy has, it doesn’t matter if he really is “saved” or not, or says he’s a Christian, and it does not even matter if the guy works in a church, is a preacher, reads the Bible every day, and talks about how great Jesus Christ is.

    Even these guys who have all the outward signs of being a “saved” person are still going around raping or killing people, or using prostitutes, or molesting kids.

    I am single in my 40s, despite having wanted very much to marry, because I was constantly told by other Christians that I should only marry another Christian, and if I waited and prayed long enough, God would deliver me a Christian guy.

    I dated a Non Christian guy or two in my past, prior to dating my ex fiance (who I later dumped) – these Non Christian men were nice, funny, friendly, financially stable, good looking, but I kicked them to the curb because they were not Christian. I was trying to stay faithful to the “be not equally yoked” teaching I was raised to believe in, and I thought I was being loyal to God.

    (Had I to do it over again, I would have snapped one of those guys up in a heartbeat.)

    Single Christian women vastly outnumber the single males. (That’s the truth. If you are a single Christian woman over 25 years old, you know what I mean, especially within churches, when you go to Wednesday night or Sunday morning services – there are little to no men single over 25 years old in most Baptist or evangelical churches, and I’ve read the problem is also big in Calvinist or Reformed churches.)

    Sadly, some Christians or Christian groups attempt to dispute this fact (that there is a severe man shortage) and especially in their material aimed at singles aged around 18 – 25. I think they are going into denial mode or damage control because they have an agenda to push or maintain.

    These Christian “family focus” groups who pump out magazines and blogs for singles age 18 – 25 do not want young Christian single women marrying Non-Christian men, because it will lead to less Christian children to drag in to churches and less tithes to “family focused” or on evangelical churches.

    They’d rather keep the fantasy going to these women who are 21 years old that, “Oh, no, those statistics you keep seeing about the ladies out numbering the men in Christianity are totally bogus! There are plenty of single men for you out there, you just keep trusting in the Lord, and you will get yourself a husband, trust me!” ~That is a lie. Do not trust them.

    Further, the single, self- identifying Christian males I come across on dating sites or in singles classes are either weird, socially awkward, make no effort to stay in shape and look nice, and/ or they are pervy. (There may be some studly, good looking, normal Christian single men out there, but I never encountered them.)

    These are a few of the reasons I don’t go by the “be yoked to a believer” teaching any more. That teaching is highly restrictive and is not practical if you are a single Christian woman who wants to get married.

    Staying true to the Lord, praying, having faith, going on dating sites, staying sexually pure, “serving God,” etc etc etc, did not get me a Christian spouse.

    I have to say, too, since slowly backing away from the Christian faith, and seeing what a zoo it is… I see how odd some of the views are that I used to take for granted, or not question too much. I’ve since noticed too that some Christians are okay and normal, but some are flakes.

    I don’t want to marry a flake or a guy who I cannot have normal conversations with about TV, the weather, books, or politics or this, that, or the other. I wouldn’t want to marry some Christian guy who has authoritarian views about wifely submission, who only talks about theology and Jesus 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    One of my biggest problems, though, which I discussed already:
    I really do not see a benefit in a Christian woman marrying a Christian man, because I’ve seen so many Christian men whose morals are just as bad, if not worse, than Non-Christian ones.

    (I’m sure the situation is also true of so-called single Christian ladies: there are probably a lot of out- of- shape, weird, regularly immoral, and/or flakey Christian single women out there, too.)

    But there’s also a Christian man shortage, so even if I still believed in being equally yoked, I’d remain single because there simply are no men to marry.

    Like

  53. @ HUG, specifically,

    They have NO interests or personality outside of Church, JEESUS is their REAL boyfriend/husband;

    If it makes you feel any better, that “Jesus is my BF,” or “The Lord is my husband” stuff makes me bristle, and sometimes I find it cheesy or strange.

    I do not know why other Christian women enjoy that mindset. I guess they find it consoling if they want to marry and are still single. I saw an article by an unmarried Christian woman a few years ago who argued against it, she was like, “Jesus is NOT my husband and he’s NOT my boyfriend.”

    So there are some single Christian ladies who are not keen on the “God is my BF” rhetoric, just FYI.

    Like

  54. Regarding whether or not a genuine Christian can also be an abuser: after reading Karen Campbell’s post, I noticed she seemed to be bringing up examples of people who had a very bad day, had undiagnosed mental/psychiatric disorders, etc. Those are very different situations from otherwise healthy people who are deliberately abusive, manipulative, and the like. Someone like that who responds to the preaching of law and gospel, we should expect to see radical changes in. If necessary, that may even entail turning oneself in to the authorities.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. @ Guest

    AUGUST 15, 2014 @ 12:34 PM
    This is what I learned growing up in the Southern Baptist wife beating Convention.

    1) You can not deny your husband sex, EVER. (etc)

    I’m very sorry for what you went through and that your church did not help you or your mother.

    I grew up Southern Baptist. The particular SB churches I went to did not endorse out-right spousal abuse and so forth, but yes, I can see how SB views and teachings on gender roles can unfortunately play into, or worsen men who are prone to want to abuse or control their wives.

    I do think that gender complementarian views give men prone to be abusive some kind of loop holes or justifications to be cruel to their wives and children.

    But it’s not just SBs – this is also recurrent among any churches that teach similar views about women and marriage, such as IFBs, or Neo Calvinist/ Reformed.

    Look at Mark Driscoll as an example, he’s a YRR preacher guy of a Reformed/ quasi Charismatic church in Seattle, and he has taught and supported all sorts of detestable things about marriage, sex, and women.

    He also teaches things about men that shames men – if men don’t meet Driscoll’s unbiblical, limited notion of what it means to be a “manly man,” those men feel shamed or excluded as well.

    I do think Southern Baptists need to ditch their gender role views because they can and do enable abusive husbands (I’ve read stories online as such, other than Guest’s here), but I do see gender complementarian teachings and its link to spousal abuse as being a larger problem among American Christianity in general, too.

    My mother was Southern Baptist and believe in the traditional gender role views spouted by conservative Christianity, including Southern Baptists.

    I have to add that emotional and physical abuse is only one possible negative outcome of such gender role teachings, there are other negative ramifications as well, but they don’t get as commented upon as other serious issues.

    I don’t want to get into it here, but my mother, in part due to Christian gender role teachings (as upheld by Southern Baptists and others), ended up being VERY codependent, and she raised me to be that same way, which royally screwed up my life, and set me back in major ways. I don’t want to go into details because it would take 453 pages to explain.

    Like

  56. jkpvarin said,

    FWIW, one of the “certified biblical counselors”at my former church, and a wife and mother at that, counseled a mutual friend who was married to an abusive pastor not to separate from him. This counselor claimed the word “abuse” is not in the bible and thus, does not truly exist. It becomes a hard point to argue.

    When you consider that the OT was written in Hebrew and the NT in koine Greek, is she sure?

    The words “Trinity” and “Rapture” are not in the Bible either, but a lot of Christians believe in one or the other or both.

    I don’t think that the word “Soteriology” is in the Bible, but the Bible does include the concept (salvation).

    I cannot figure out why so many Christians continually place the institution of marriage above the health, safety, and well being and happiness of the people in the crummy, lousy, abusive marriages.

    It’s very easy for some idiot biblical counselor to advise the lady to stay in a cruddy marriage where she’s being abused when he/she is not the one being abused. I would tell that counselor to go take a long walk off a short pier and go divorce the chump of an abuser.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Serving Kids in Japan said,

    In my younger days, I was very much determined to marry a Christian woman, thinking it was a safeguard against shipwrecking my faith, if not a hard and fast rule. The result: Now I’m in my 40’s, never married, never so much as a girlfriend in all my life.

    Yep! Same situation here.

    (((hugs))). I hope you still meet your Ms. Right. I related to your post. I don’t have a whole lot more to add, since I already yammered quite a bit about some of these topics in some posts above.

    I’ve given up on “be equally yoked.” If anything, I think one thing of several that kept me single this long was “be equally yoked,” so I’ve really grown to detest it.

    Like

  58. I’ve seen at least one denial that there is a man shortage in North American churches. I dunno…if even Mark Driscoll can put up a post indicating this is a problem in the Mars Hill churches, then there’s probably something to it.

    My guess is that this is a major reason for the increasing acceptance of dating and marrying non-Christian men, as well as being a reaction from those who got burned by neopatriarchy. I mean, it’s easy to start thinking that the Bible says that as long as I am a Christian, our children who would otherwise be “unclean” are instead holy. And while it’s not a guarantee, the non-Christian spouse could be attracted to Jesus by the life of the Christian spouse.

    While the famous verse about being unequally yoked may have been Paul speaking only in general terms, I can see why Christians have historically applied it to marriage. Given his instrucations elsewhere for widows to remarry only “in the Lord”, it at least makes sense.

    After years of observing my own parents, I also think there is something orthodox Christian women need to keep in mind; considering what the Bible teaches about wives submitting to their husbands (whether believing ones or not), in that sense she has more at stake than a Christian man marrying a non-Christian woman.

    Like

  59. “FWIW, one of the “certified biblical counselors”at my former church, and a wife and mother at that, counseled a mutual friend who was married to an abusive pastor not to separate from him. This counselor claimed the word “abuse” is not in the bible and thus, does not truly exist. It becomes a hard point to argue.”

    David Instone Brewer has some great insight into this from the OT Hebrew pov which we can project into what Jesus was getting at in Matthew and “any cause” divorce. . “Neglect” would have been considered abuse. Neglect as in not treating fairly/justly, not providing needs, not supporting, meanness for burning dinner, etc. That is why Jesus “hated” divorce in that passage. They were “neglecting” their wives. (It is hard for us to wrap our heads around they way they thought. It took me ages to figure out it is often the opposite of what we think)

    He has some videos online that help understand this better and will totally negate what most of us have been taught at church. The fact is the OT wife had no where to go. Someone had to take her in. In that culture her protection was with a man. Not sure it was all that different in the 1st Century culture whether Jew or Greek/Roman. It mainly had to do with wealth.

    Like

  60. @ Forrest

    The question is a false dichotomy. There are more than two options. You will find abusers inside and outside the “church” and you will genuinely nice guys inside and outside too.

    I agree, but, real life doesn’t turn out that way.

    I’ve yet to run into a nice Christian guy personally. He may exist theoretically or even in reality, but what good does that do me if I never meet him myself?

    (Well, my ex fiance was a Christian and was, in some ways, nice, but he took advantage of me.)

    A few of the guys I ran into personally in my past who I dated, or they expressed interest in me, were Non Christian (or marginally Christian).

    I remain single because this Nice Christian Man you say exists has never run cross my path. I’ve mainly only had chances with a few Nice Non Christian Men.

    Because I kept holding out for “nice Christian guy,” I am still single.

    I’m in my early 40s. I just think age is a huge factor here, too. It’s much easier to tell a 21 year old woman, “Hold out for Mr. Nice Christian guy,” than it is to say that to someone at my age.

    I don’t have the time (and no longer the patience or interest) to monkey around waiting, or searching exclusive for, Mr. Nice Christian guy.

    Also, the Christians who say if you pray, have faith, and trust God to send you Mr. Christian Nice Guy, are full of crud. Even if you couple the pray, have faith, and wait along with “Join a dating site, get out there, go to church, and serve” is still not a guarantee you’re going to meet Mr. Christian Nice Guy.

    Like

  61. I agree with Carmen. You have to go by a guy’s behavior, not what he calls himself, or things like, does he read the Bible or go to a church. If he’s a Christian is, IMO, irrelevant.

    There are too many guys who say ‘I am a Christian’ but they are pervs, or abusers.

    By the way, an added layer to this discussion: there are Christians, especially very conservative ones, or those patriarchy guys, or ones obsessed with complementarian views, who have weird and obsessively long lists of who they tell their daughters they can or should marry. (I’ve also seen similar lists written by Christians for single men to follow when looking for a wife.)

    As to the ones for single ladies, you will see idiocy and nit-picky stuff like,

    The Man You Marry (List that Christian Single Women Must or Should Follow When Looking for a Guy to Marry)
    – He must be a Christian
    – Must be your “spiritual head”
    -Must attend church every week
    -Must believe in theological doctrine of X
    -Must believe in Male Headship
    -Must read the Bible X times a week for X hours
    -Must be willing to lead you in prayer
    -Must have a full time job, that pays enough you can be a SAHM
    -Must have six toes on his right foot, and four fingers on his left hand
    -His middle name must rhyme with the word “orange”
    -His favorite DC Comics super hero must be Bat Man
    (exception: unless he likes Bat Man played by George Clooney, then dump him.
    Barely acceptable: Val Kilmer as Bat Man.
    Preferred: Christian Bale as Bat Man(*) – but CB as Bat Man from The Dark Knight, not CB in Bat Man Begins.
    *Must also be able to do passable Christian- Bale- as- Bat- Man- husky, breathy, voice imitation when he proposes marriage to you.)

    I have seen some very long, picky Christian mate hunting lists (or advice) similar to that (obviously I exaggerated a few items to make my point), but some lists are indeed that silly and picky, to the point that any single woman who follows it will never, ever find a guy to marry.

    Rev. Mark Driscoll once said that single women should not consider marrying a man who is Pro Choice on the abortion issue.

    Not that I would think most Christians would be pro choice to start with, but my point is that Christians keep adding more and more requirements on women on whom they should marry. It’s gotten out of hand and is absurd. I now tune out most Christians (unless I know you personally and value your opinion).

    Liked by 1 person

  62. @ HUG said,

    Especially when a lot of these single women are in church traditions that have NO place or role for single women, only “Salvation by Marriage Alone” and “Focusing on the Family”.

    This is one reason of a few I’ve stopped going to church.

    It’s very lonely to sit in a sea of married couples, who snuggle and play kissy face with each other during the service, while church announcements are being read. Even if they’re just sitting there, you feel uncomfortable being alone among all the couples.

    You don’t get invited out by anyone for lunch or tea or anything. Singles are ignored at church – unless the pastor asks all the adult singles to act as Clean Up Committe and sweep the church kitchen, THEN they have a use for us.

    And the marriage sermons!!! Do not get me started about those. Every third or fourth sermon in person or on Christian TV ministries is, “How To Overcome Obstacles in Your Marriage,” and other marriage junk.

    Like

  63. Julie Anne said,

    I qualified my statement about seeing a psychologist by putting the word “Christian” in front. “I went to a Christian psychologist.” Thanks for helping me to see that. I think I’m going to try dropping the “Christian” part among Christian audiences sometime just to see what kind of response I get.

    There are some Christians who don’t even like Christian counseling. They will argue against it. (I am not opposed to Christians seeing either Christian or Non-Christian counselors; I am only describing what I’ve seen other Christians say).

    I’ve been to Christian discernment ministries web sites that have entire sections under the heading “Psycho-heresy.” Under that, is all sorts of pages ranting against how anti-depressant medications, psychology, etc, are all supposedly demonic or evil, and Christians should stay away from it.

    For all the years I had depression and tried prayer and faith alone to overcome it, I got to the point where I did not care anymore who or what could deliver me from the pain, I would have set up an appointment with that that person.

    You get to the point where the pain gets so great, you no longer care if it’s a “biblical” method or not.

    I’ve gotten the same way with this “be equally yoked stuff,” it’s not worked for me, I’m tired of being single. It looks if I want to marry, I will have to consider other options, such as marrying a Non-Christian. That is real life. I cannot afford to keep living in the land of preferences or pristine doctrine. it’s not abstract, it’s very real for me.

    Like

  64. NJ said,

    I’ve seen at least one denial that there is a man shortage in North American churches.

    Yep, I’ve seen the fact disputed on a blog by a single Christian man who dishes out advice to singles (he mostly advises men, but women read his blog), and the fact is also disputed by a certain evangelical magazine that targets young singles.

    These Christians who say, “Hog wash, there are PLENTY single men for the single ladies, don’t you listen to anyone who says otherwise,” are out of touch with reality.

    Single C. women who have been looking for a single C. man to marry repeatedly say in forums and books, “Where are they? We cannot find single Christian men anywhere!”

    It would be interesting to see this broken down by age. I’m in my early 40s, and there seems to be an absence of single men my age. Seems to be true for single C. wome over 30 as well.

    Maybe it’s possible that the CURRENT CROP of 20 year old Christian single women indeed have an equal number of zillions of single Christian men to chose from (maybe these family focused groups are privvy to info I’ve not seen, or new polls), but women my age (or 30s)?

    Nope, nope, nope, stop telling me there are TONS of men my age in church or on dating sites. I never came across any.

    After having been on these blogs before that discuss the chicanery of greedy churches, I really do suspect that the Christians putting out the “Man shortage? There is no man shortage” have an ulterior motive.

    It must have something to do with money. If they keep the C. women single, maybe it gets them more money in some way. If by chance they manage to get these ladies to marry a C. dude, rather than them marry the first nice atheist guy they run across, it means the typical Nuclear Family may form, and the family will go to church, and the church gets more money.

    There has to be something going on behind the scenes for Christian organizations, some bloggers, and churches, to keep telling single women like me, “Bah hum bug, America’s towns and churches are over flowing with eligible single C. men, don’t listen to the nay sayers.”
    ~I’ll believe it when I see it. And I’m not seeing it.

    Like

  65. P.S. NJ said,

    “After years of observing my own parents, I also think there is something orthodox Christian women need to keep in mind; considering what the Bible teaches about wives submitting to their husbands (whether believing ones or not), in that sense she has more at stake than a Christian man marrying a non-Christian woman.”

    I think that may be applicable only for women who buy into gender complementarianism.

    If you reject it like I do, it’s not much of an issue.

    I wouldn’t marry a guy who expects me to “submit” to him, and “submit” being understood by most Christians as, “The husband is in charge, the man is in authority, man gets to make all final decisions, man is boss, wife must do man’s bidding, wife must always stay with the man, even if man abusive or negligent.”

    Like

  66. MissDaisyFlower,

    Julie Anne said,

    “I qualified my statement about seeing a psychologist by putting the word “Christian” in front. “I went to a Christian psychologist.” Thanks for helping me to see that. I think I’m going to try dropping the “Christian” part among Christian audiences sometime just to see what kind of response I get.”

    There are some Christians who don’t even like Christian counseling…”

    On the below video, check out from time frame 2:10 on. He discusses the word “Christian” in front of occupations. Very funny

    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  67. Thanks for the video, Ed.

    Someone (HUG?) on the TWW used to mention this song (I’m not going to include all the lyrics, just part of it):

    So you need a new car?
    Let your fingers take a walk
    Through the business guide
    For the “born again” flock

    You’ll be keeping all your money
    In the kingdom now
    And you’ll only drink milk
    From a Christian cow

    Like

  68. Reminds me of the chocolate cow!!  Well, I need to see the Christian optometrist.  Maybe he will give me some insight!!  Then I’ll go to the Christian Dentist.  I’ll chew on that one for a bit.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  69. I read your blog much earlier today and so haven’t read all the comments. I have recently been studying covenant and came across The Jewish teaching on the Yoke of Torah. This in one of the sites I ended up looking at which looks to be a Hebraic Christian site. Here is the link for the whole article. http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/50_rest.html . It would appear that to be unequally yoked would mean that you were not learning from the older, stronger, more experienced Christian. As we know more than one early church had a problem with Pagan teachings creeping in. So these people, instead of being taught by more mature Christians were yoked to pagans. So, I don’t think Paul’s teaching had anything to do with marriage.

    “Yeshua begins to identify this rest when he says; “take my yoke upon you and learn from me”. Here Yeshua is referring to the Hebrews understanding of “learning” which can be seen as two oxen yoked together for plowing. An older, stronger more experienced ox is placed in a yoke next to a younger less experienced ox. The young then learns his responsibilities from the older through the yoke. The rest Yeshua offers is the yoke with which we are bound to him. What is the yoke? How do we, as the younger ox, learn from Yeshua, the older ox? The yoke is the Torah, the teachings of God. As Yeshua walked the Torah, we who are yoked to him learn the ways of Yeshua through the yoke, the Torah.”

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  70. I think that a man can become a Christian and have some real problems with anger, jealousy, and disordered ways of thinking and lash out at his wife and hurt her emotionally of even physically with his immaturity, pride, and his sinful heart. I would not say on that basis that he must necessarily NOT be a Christian, because there may be a time of sanctification where Christ needs to destroy his worldview and pierce his heart and have the Holy Spirit, and he will still conduct himself in a disordered way.

    That been said more often than not, if the abuse is anything more than the mild travails that couples on occasion unleash upon each other, its probably indicative that the man is not a Christian and is not bearing fruit in keeping with repentance.

    So I would want to know the nature of the abuse specifically, and know how it manifests, and what form it takes and get some specifics, but, if I had to pick one of two options, and couldn’t say “neither” [which would be the smart choice] I would say that it is always better to marry a non-believer than an abusive man who calls himself a Christian, clearly/

    If it’s between a non-Christian and a legitimately Christian man who may be abusive,it would really depend on what it looks like- how the abuse manifests-is it rapidly diminishing, is it likely that it will altogether cease in weeks/months? Is it “mild” Or is it a constant battle and threat? If the former- I might choose the former, if we knew that in a few weeks/months the MILD abuse would be sanctified and that sin would be defeated and they would be able to live the rest of their lives as a Christian couple. You really have to weigh whether or not you feel or think it will be worth it in the long term,- and that is a choice many people may take, and I would not fault them for that. [though lets be honest, that is highly unlikely] If It’s the latter, I would pick marrying the unbeliever.

    In the former option of this limiting and specific hypothetical- I would pick the struggling Christian and then instantly counsel the woman to separate from him, or him from her, as no person should ever have to endure the threat and fear of emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

    And before people launch into attack or try to put worlds in my mouth, I have tried to qualify and nuance my words very carefully in again- what is a limiting and specific scenario. There is a lot I DID not say, and so it would be best not to accuse me of something based on assumptions.

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  71. Thanks for your comment, Dustin. I would say that abuse is someone who puts themself in a position of control over another person in a way that their personhood is demeaned and demoralized, or they are physically, emotionally, or spiritually harmed.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. paperthinhymn,

    Given the assumption of a forced choice, what you say sure makes sense to me. Really, were it allowed within the hypothetical, your recommendation of selecting “neither” makes good sense. Unfortunately, it seems that way too many young women are being deprived of any choice in these matters.

    Have I ever mentioned that I consider patriarchy a great and diabolical evil. But I probably digress.

    Liked by 1 person

  73. Unfortunately marital abuse is a great evil that is not ever addressed in the Church. I have listened to over 10,000 sermons in my life, literally, and I can maybe remember a handful of time where it was addressed directly and “called out”.

    Of course you hear a lot of “men love your wives, wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord” and sermons on how to have a happy marriage and so on and so forth- but NEVER a specific “and wives/husbands, if your husband is not heeding this call and is abusing you or your children in any way, please come see us or get in contact with the pastors wife or an elders wife and we will help you”

    The fact that this isn’t done, at least in the varied sermons I’m listen to from probably about 200 different pastors, is a shame.

    Liked by 2 people

  74. and the word “shame” is too mild. My parents had a great relationship growing up, and they had a heart for the hurting and broken. I grew up in a household where they liasoned with a local churches to help women in difficult circumstances. They often had the guest bedroom occupied with a woman and occasionally children whose husband was abusing her or beating her or behaving cruelly towards her or other reason. And they would counsel, try to get the police involved, and essentially act as a safe-house until she could leave or be reconciled or whatever. Many of these women belonged to a “Christian” sect who literally believed it was ok to whip their wives if they talked back or did not take care of the “women duties” like cleaning, ironing clothes, making all meals, and having sex once a day. Other times these were women from other Churches who felt they had no place to go, and didn’t feel that their own Churches would take them seriously and help them, and so forth.

    Liked by 2 people

  75. Hmm, so Dustin, you are affirming what I have said on another post about “wife spanking” and got a bunch of heat over even though I spoke with someone who was close in with this kind of teaching.

    Your parents rock. But that’s really how the church should respond.

    Liked by 1 person

  76. Many of these women belonged to a “Christian” sect who literally believed it was ok to whip their wives if they talked back or did not take care of the “women duties” like cleaning, ironing clothes, making all meals, and having sex once a day.

    “Sly old slaver
    Doin’ all right —
    Used to whip the wimmen
    Just around midnight…”
    — Rolling Stones, “Brown Sugar:

    Like

  77. Someone (HUG?) on the TWW used to mention this song (I’m not going to include all the lyrics, just part of it):

    Like

  78. @Daisy:

    I’ve been to Christian discernment ministries web sites that have entire sections under the heading “Psycho-heresy.” Under that, is all sorts of pages ranting against how anti-depressant medications, psychology, etc, are all supposedly demonic or evil, and Christians should stay away from it.

    In this, they agree completely with Scientology. Because psychology is unwanted competiton for Biblical Nouethic Counseling or Dianetic Auditing.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. @Daisy:

    By the way, an added layer to this discussion: there are Christians, especially very conservative ones, or those patriarchy guys, or ones obsessed with complementarian views, who have weird and obsessively long lists of who they tell their daughters they can or should marry. (I’ve also seen similar lists written by Christians for single men to follow when looking for a wife.)

    As to the ones for single ladies, you will see idiocy and nit-picky stuff like…

    You must have signed up and flushed money down the same Christian Dating sites I did. That’s not much of an exaggeration, except the real ones demand nothing less than a Christian Edward Cullen with Shekinah Sparkles, so Uber Uber Uber Christian and Uber Uber Uber Spiritual even Christ Himself would fall short. All totally non-negotiable.

    Another reason you don’t see Christian single men (at least not those advertising the fact or identified as such) — after experiencing the above long enough, you eventually just give up.

    Like

  80. @Daisy & @ServingKidsInJapan:

    Serving Kids in Japan said,

    In my younger days, I was very much determined to marry a Christian woman, thinking it was a safeguard against shipwrecking my faith, if not a hard and fast rule. The result: Now I’m in my 40’s, never married, never so much as a girlfriend in all my life.

    Yep! Same situation here.

    Except in the Eighties (when I was in my twenties), I DID have a girlfriend for a while. A six-foot-one Cuddly Amazon, a svelte lioness from the inland desert with a soft, sweet voice. (I kid you not, her voice actually sounded like Fluttershy from MLP:FIM.) The ONLY female in my life since puberty who actually acted like she wanted to be around me. And it turned out to be an act. Just like the act how she was saving herself for marriage, too. (The only other virgin in California.) We broke up 25 years ago, and it still hurts.

    Like

  81. ~ I wanted to break into this thread to announce that John Piper wanted to participate, but he is too busy. He is down by the river watching the teen couples make out, especially she. So carry on without him. ~ 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  82. He also teaches things about men that shames men – if men don’t meet Driscoll’s unbiblical, limited notion of what it means to be a “manly man,” those men feel shamed or excluded as well.

    You know a type example of Driscoll’s “Manly Man”? Well, there was a type example on morning drive-time newsfeed last week:

    There’s this MMA cage fighter who fights under the name “War Machine” who’s currently on the lam from confronting his ex-girlfriend in Las Vegas last month for leaving him, “Confronted” as in most of her facial bones broken, most of her teeth gone, ruptured liver/internal bleeding. When she heard him go into her kitchen and rummage around in the knife drawers, she managed enough of an adrenalin surge to pich herself up off the floor and get away, naked and trailing blood the whole way. The Vegas cops are looking for this guy, BAD.

    Then I read the source news, and it was worse than what they were able to say on the radio:
    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/war-machines-ex-christy-mack-230458187–mma.html
    He was apparently going to rape her before finishing the job, and when he “couldn’t get hard”, that enraged him further. (And his ex-girlfriend’s also a porn star; that also fits the Real Manly Man pattern.) I wonder if the guy’s running for Seattle to claim sanctuary at Mars Hill — buttery doughy Driscoll is a MMA cage-fight fanboy whose ideal of manliness is “I CAN BEAT YOU UP!”

    “William Wallace II” is the fantasy.
    War Machine is the reality.

    P.S. There was a followup on the Web the next day. This news item has now gotten officially WEIRD.

    Not so weird: There’s currently a total of $20000 reward for Mr War Machine, payable upon capture. (Not conviction, capture.)

    A little Weird: Though on the lam, Mr War Machine has enough free time and internet access to post on Twitter defending himself and his actions. (Well, they found “icepick boy” in an internet cafe in Germany, catching up on his Celebrity fame for his Internet-recorded murder…)

    A lot WEIRD: Mr War Machine might end up making a guest appearance on Dog the Bounty Hunter. Involuntarily.
    http://www.foxsports.com/ufc/haymaker/dog-the-bounty-hunter-searching-for-mma-fighter-war-machine-beat-up-porn-star-christy-mack-081214
    (This was when I found out his ex-girlfriend was a porn star. I cannot make up something this surreal.)

    Liked by 1 person

  83. @ HUG,

    And it turned out to be an act. Just like the act how she was saving herself for marriage, too. (The only other virgin in California.) We broke up 25 years ago, and it still hurts.

    I’m very sorry.

    I guess I am a bit more fortunate, because I dumped my ex (ex fiance). I’ve dealt with anger more than sadness since. My ex was very, very self absorbed, and he financially took advantage of me. When I broke up with him, I felt relief (and some anger when I thought about how he had used me and let me down).

    I’m sorry you’ve experienced more sadness than relief. 😦

    Like

  84. @ Hug,

    You know a type example of Driscoll’s “Manly Man”? Well, there was a type example on morning drive-time newsfeed last week:

    WTH refers to Driscoll’s brand of manliness “Markulinity,” a play on the word “masculinity.”

    About that War Machine guy. I’ve not really kept up with that story. I’ve only glanced at headlines of it. I hope the police or someone catches him. I knew it was something to do with him abusing his GF, but that was about it.

    The first few days this story broke, and I saw the name “War Machine” in the news headlines, I kept thinking of the Iron Man movies. (I think “War Machine” is the name of Iron Man’s sidekick in the films?)

    Driscoll was corrected by an actual MMA guy a few years, I think. Some MMA guy wrote an editorial saying he doesn’t like guys like Driscoll who promote manhood or MMA as being nothing but bashing other guys in the face.

    I was looking around the internet to see if I could link you to that guy’s page. I don’t think this is it (or maybe it is, it seems familiar the more I skim it), but this stood out to me
    (from The Confessions of a Cage Fighter: Masculinity, Misogyny, and the Fear of Losing Control by Matt Morin):

    “According to MMA fans, masculinity is deeply connected to the body. For example, in the video clip, Driscoll makes disparaging remarks about the “fat guys” who sit on the sidelines and critique the sport

    That’s pretty rich coming from Driscoll. Most photos I see of Driscoll (from the last several years) he looks pudgy, like he could stand to lose a few himself.

    Like

  85. @ Carmen:
    Thanks for pointing out that Good is Good and doesn’t necessarily have to have a ‘Biblical’ seal of approval.

    Like

  86. I will give you my view of this, I have lived a celibate lifestyle since becoming a Christian back in the early 80’s, I have always been totally ashamed of that. It would have been better if I had sex with many women, fathered several children, refused to make child payments. I would have had a chance. But as a celibate follower of Jesus, I am either a pervert or I am gay. You cannot win, it is the carrot and the stick and winning is the only end game. I understand all that, I walked away from all that apologetic nonsense many years ago. I did meet two women I fell in love with but I did not want to drag them down because I was caring for family members and for the folks I worked with. It was the right decision, it would have been damaging to these two women and I am glad I did not get married. Of course that is pathetic and I should burn in hell for it. Stand in line.

    You know when I first “accepted” Jesus I bought into the forgiveness. I no longer believe that, there is no forgiveness, there never has been. It is a shell game. I grew tired of waiting for God to drop the hammer on me or my family. He never did, it was an oversight. There was a time I use to actually believe Jesus heard my prayers and I was loved by him, I have repented of such nonsense. I cling to two verses, there is no room at the inn, and I am a dog returning to its vomits. That I got in spades.

    Like

  87. Ok, WFTT2, can you tell if I liked your comment? When i clicked it, it now says “Liked by you.” I’m trying to figure this out. On some sites when you click like, your identity is revealed when you hover over the icon.

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  88. Brian, I am so sorry for what you have gone through. Life can throw enough trauma our way, and if our perception of God is skewed and especially if it’s hideously twisted by “the church”, then religion just gets lugged on top of our already heavy load. I believe religion is often the tipping point into despair. I have traveled a long painful road away from christianity to Christ. I read your words and my heart is pulled to you. You are beyond measure, precious. I know God loves me, Robin Williams, and Brian. If anyone tells you otherwise, acknowledge it for the lie it is.

    Liked by 2 people

  89. you’ll have to direct me to the “wife-spanking” post and what you wrote. as it were, the idea of “wife-spanking” of CDD is so utterly dehumanizing, demoralizing and disgusting- i don’t care what the reason or rational you’re using- that anyone who can be PROVEN to teach it or promote it should be publicly shamed and called out

    Like

  90. @ brian,
    I’m sorry. You sound like you’ve gone through a rough time.
    Regarding your comment,

    “[It is assumed that ] I am either a pervert or I am gay [because I’m a celibate]”

    I totally hear you on that. I’ve never had sex. I wanted to wait until I got married to have sex but have never married.

    I expect secular culture to ridicule virginity or to treat celibates like freaks, but that has been happening more and more often in a lot of Christian culture, and it’s even seeped its way into conservative Christian churches or conservative Christian organizations.

    There’s a backlash against virginity and celibacy, even among Christians because a lot of them have grown to disagree with what some have called “purity culture.”

    I do not support all aspects of purity culture and recognize how some of it can be hurtful to some people, but – it’s gone so far that I sometimes see comments by anti-sexual purity proponents who mock and insult virgin adult themselves or the concept of adult virginity / celibacy.

    It’s really hard to get the Christian anti-sexual purity brigade to understand that while their heart may be in the right place, in that they are trying to support people who have had pre-marital sex, that by doing so, they are sometimes shaming or insulting people who have practiced sexual purity (such as you or myself).

    They don’t seem to care that in arguing against sexual purity culture that they are at times bashing the feelings of celibates or virgins.

    And of course, older celibate / never married adults do face stereotypes.

    If you have not married and are celibate into your 30s or older, there are Christians and Non Christians who assume all sorts of things, from, you must be homosexual, to you must lack a sex drive (via a misunderstanding of “the gift of singleness” teaching), you must be a loser who is turning off the opposite sex, etc. etc.

    It is quite tiresome when people assume you are weird or that there must be something wrong with you if you are still single and celibate past the age of 25.

    Like

  91. Julie Anne said,

    Admin note: I just saw that WordPress now has “like” buttons on comments. I turned it on. Let me know what you think.

    I’ve already gotten several Likes on some of my posts by people, thank you. I feel like Sally Field accepting her award, “You like me! You really like me!” 😆

    I just clicked like on WFTT2’s post above, and it says, “Liked by you and one other person.” When I put my cursor over the phrase that is a link (one other person), Julie Anne’s name and mine were displayed in a tool tip box thing.

    Like

  92. I have figured out some vocabulary today. We were talking about some we know who have self-identified as “Christians” but their behavior (as in repetitive sinning against others) suggests otherwise. We were waiting for someone outside a church, and while watching people come out it struck me that some of these abusive people we ‘ve been talking about could be called “churchgoers” instead. It’s like an intersecting Venn diagram. Some churchgoers are not Christians, some Christians are not churchgoers, some people fall into both categories. Somehow it makes sense in my head.

    Liked by 2 people

  93. @Daisy:

    That’s pretty rich coming from Driscoll. Most photos I see of Driscoll (from the last several years) he looks pudgy, like he could stand to lose a few himself.

    I shall let MST3K speak for me:

    Liked by 2 people

  94. It bothers me to make a judgment call like this…….a man who makes a profession of following Christ then go home and abuses his wife and children has a dubious faith.

    Like

  95. I don’t know how I could’ve forgotten this in light of Julie Anne’s blog title, “Learn to Discern.”

    Pat Roberston (former preacher who has his own Christian TV show) said several months ago on one show that a woman who marries a guy who later turns out to be abusive or a serial adulterer (I can’t recall the exact details) “has the discernment of a slug.”

    _Pat Robertson berates woman for ungodly husband: You have ‘the discernment of a slug’_
    (on the ‘Raw Story’ news site, with embedded video of Robertson saying the comments)

    From RS:

    Televangelist Pat Robertson on Monday castigated a woman for marrying a man who later turned out not to be a “born again” Christian.
    In a letter to The 700 Club, a viewer named Patty explained that she had “married a man who presented himself as a born again believer.”
    But she later found out that he was not what he seemed.
    [omit description of husband’s many crimes etc]
    “You must have been crazy or you must have been blinded to get into [that] relationship,” Robertson told the viewer. “He — quote — presented himself [as a born again Christian]. I mean, give me a break. You got about the discernment of a slug.”

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  96. If Pat Robertson says such things, does he not reveal himself to be a predator? It is all the more sad that he beats up on somebody who is already suffering the anguish of betrayal.

    Liked by 2 people

  97. @Daisy:

    @ HUG, specifically,

    They have NO interests or personality outside of Church, JEESUS is their REAL boyfriend/husband;

    If it makes you feel any better, that “Jesus is my BF,” or “The Lord is my husband” stuff makes me bristle, and sometimes I find it cheesy or strange.

    It wasn’t until Twilight hit the best-seller list and became a near-cult that I was able to put a one-line description of this. Not “Jesus is my BF” but “Jesus is my EDWARD Cullen — sparkle sparkle sparkle SQUEE!”

    There are a lot of Weird/Flaky WOMEN on those Christian dating sites as well as Weird/Flaky Men. Including those who WANT to be (or present themselves as) what you called “A Pornified Mother Teresa”. People are weird in general, and on those dating sites, the crazies are running the asylum. (My experience in Furry Fandom has shown me how Loud Crazies have this way of hijacking any group by sheer volume.)

    I think if you ran into me on one of those sites, you may have rejected me because I’m an introverted nerd type. With a mouth. Problem with dating sites/dating services is they don’t send you on dates, but on one-shot, all-or-nothing job interviews with your entire future happiness all on the line. (My job stresses me out enough as-is.) What if it takes several meetings/dates to relax and unwind and show what you are?

    Like

  98. I went and watched a few of the Twilight movies usually at the cheap show where no body was at. I did go to the opening night for the last one and almost got the boot because I could not stop laughing and the horrible acting, and half dimension characters. I mean it, I think it was one of the funniest movies I have ever seen.

    Like

  99. Robertson is a nut, a rich nut but a nut and he knows he is a nut. Take Jack Chick, Jack is a nut to, but he actually believes his tripe, given where he served in the Pacific and mix that in with is world view I am inclined to give him a pass, Robertson is a tool who made bank on the back of a bunch of folks. Not to say that his organization has not done some real good, even he may have done some good, but he still is a tool. I mean I am a tool at times, thank God for a God of grace.

    Like

  100. MST3K is one of the funniest shows I have ever seen, they are all on youtube. Search MST3K shorts now those are some really funny takes. I mean I would laugh until horse. The cheating one is really truly hilarious and the Date with the family I almost fell out of my chair.

    Like

  101. Headless Unicorn Guy,
    Don’t be so hard on yourself. I married a geek, and there are geek loving women out there. I saw some recent list of celebrities that were successful but not seen as attractive. They were thoughtful, complicated, and had remarkably keen senses of humor, so I found them sexy. My father burst into laughter once day when my husband said that I only like the smart asses.

    If I were single, now that Borders Books has closed, I don’t know where I’d go to find a date. I once had a guy hit on me because I was looking at a new edition of an older book discussing Schrodinger’s Cat. It happened when digging through a copy of “The Emperor’s New Mind” by Penrose, too. And now, we have Amazon.

    Like

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