Archive for September 4, 2010

The assaulted women

Posted: September 4, 2010 in Commentary, For brothers

Singlextianman has been cruising the digital highways and byways, trying to learn more about what is up with single Christian women. Thus I have found my way to some little pockets of resistance to the kind of abusive assumptions that I have editorialized against when applied to single men. Here , here, and also here I point you towards a few representative types of blogs by women who have gotten, excuse me, the shaft from hyperlegalistic, controlling men and women in positions of spiritual authority.

It falls to you, as a well educated, ernest single Christian man, to know about this sort of thing. It may fall to you, someday, to even be married to a lady who has been injured in this way; and God’s grace on you for your compassion on her for this!

Alternatively you may be that man who who cannot hear or see what he is doing and saying along these lines, or you may be influenced to some degree by men who do this sort of thing.

Before God, it is not hard to say that He sees their hearts, as well. It is indeed true that single men have been mistreated by church fellowships. It is also an observable fact that great injuries have been visited upon some of your sisters; it seems to me to be something akin to an assault on one of His daughters. It fires the emotions, it does.

Keep these in mind, and keep a gentle tongue in your head if you must reprove one of these for speaking or acting out of her hurt.

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Listen, sisters: If you soak your mind long enough in what passes for dating advice in the Evangelical bookstores and blogosphere, it will alter the reference frame of your thinking. You will thus be mis- and under- informed.

Let’s get back to basics: The single Christian man in your fellowship who is ernestly seeking after God is not (likely) going to be led astray by secular women offering him sexual favors — in the secular dating world, there are players on both sides of the gender aisle doing this sort of thing, but it’s not as widespread as is supposed. He is at risk of being treated with respect by secular women.

How are you treating the single Christian men in your midst? Are you respecting them? You best learn to do this if you want to snag one. You may have to look outside your ordinary Christian sources of insight to figure out how to do this.

Really.

The Outcast

Posted: September 4, 2010 in Commentary, For pastors

I took a walk on a public path near to where I live; it is a delight to horsemen, ladies with strollers, rollerbladers, and all sorts of diverse people. People ride their bikes, stroll, or have picnics there. There are wild berries to be found (if you know where to look), water fountains, and flowers that are both cultivated and wild. Scout troops maintain the cultivated flower beds. If the breeze is right the smell is intoxicating.

…. I found a man seeking solace there, battered by circumstance; one would not overstate the case to say that, metaphorically, his guts were hanging out. His wife had left and had an affair with a man who was “more spiritual” than he was; and moreover it was one that she had planned and executed in advance, even telling some members of her bitch session — excuse me, fellowship circle — about her plans. Said man found himself an outcast in his own fellowship when this became public; for he was thought “diseased” in some way; he had been accused of all sorts of mis-deeds in a public fashion. His wife thought to bolster her case for infidelity by spreading tales. It so happened he had met other believers on his walk. One of them was quick with a “God Bless” and a happy smile and hurried along; he didn’t really want to pry. It was none of his business, and his own wife was in the bitch session. Excuse me; prayer meeting. Another man — I tell you, this is a popular public walkway in the summertime — came along, this one a pastor. It so happens that this pastor had taken in the adulterous wife and put her on his music ministry, since he needed someone who could play the piano. He stopped to commiserate with the man, and told him to make sure he kept himself connected to people, and explained that he thought it better for the adulterous wife to be in church, at least, rather than out in the world, doing worldly things. Or something like that. Anyway I came upon him after all these strange visitations; and he was still trying to make heads or tails of his situation. The normal Christian universe had become inverted; for things were happening that defined explanation. He even had a Christian marriage counselor from his fellowship — she had a cutesy Holy Spirit dove on her business card — decline to address his wife’s infidelity in a joint counseling session. It would have been “unethical” since the wife did not wish to talk about this; it would have been wrong from the standpoint of her professional credential and the canons of the counselor’s profession to press a matter against a client’s desires.

However, he had met this fellow a few weeks prior – we’ll call him Bob (since that was his name) who had had suchlike things happen to him as well, and also had found disfavor in his local fellowship. It’s so obviously the man’s fault, right? Anyway Bob had committed to pray for him and made himself available. Really available for the all the struggles of a newly divorced man. It was interesting that Bob’s help was all under the radar, since the Pastor at Bob’s church had read a bestselling book in which was revealed (!) that all marriage failures are the fault of the man. But Bob stood by his fellow believer. No fees, no condemnation; rebuke when it was called for, and prayer for and fealty towards his injured brother in the Lord. He made a point of checking up on him from time to time; even feeding him a sandwich once…..

….And then I woke up; I had been zonked out. It had been all a dream.. The exertions of my exercise, the warmth of the day, the smell of the flowers.. it all caught up with me. Of course, it had to be a dream. Such things don’t happen in real life.. do they?