Sunday, August 21, 2005

Email: When churches fail singles [JB]

If I may say one thing, I wonder if you are going to the wrong church. Any assembly that criticizes singles (through well-meant idiocies like married people foisting books on you that say don't kiss till marriage) and fails to have any single members or to support an effective singles ministry (i.e. not serving singles' real needs, or else they would be dynamically drawn to serve and interact within the church) or refuses to allow singles to talk to married persons of the opposite sex ... I'm sorry but this is all bullshit, this is what I call crowd-control techniques, [this is fear and ignorance,] this is not having a servant's heart but a you-serve-our-needs fixation.

Like the "war on terror," you don't make headway by burying everyone's head in the sand, or even going on the offensive in enemy territory; you win any war by "winning the hearts and minds" of the oppressed citizenry. How can believers be so blind? [Because they are more about the rule of the beliefs than incarnational compassion for the people those beliefs are intended to heal.] The only frontline options are defense, offense, or directly appealing to the oppressed (and actually meeting their needs). Why do so many believers think that ignoring a problem will solve it or make it go away?

Anyway it's none of their business who you are dating; only who you are serious about marrying. Any church that wants you to "confess" your sins more than other members confess their own, is likely using that information unilaterally to be emotionally manipulative with you. If you feel compelled to tell them that you are dating on the Internet, then they are violating your personal boundaries. If you don't feel compelled to share this, why the heck would you do so? Tell your closest friends but not everyone at church; they hardly know you from Eve [and will only think the worse of you]. Anyway, conservative Christians who married before the Web was invented can hardly be expected to be "with it" enough to understand what is really up nowadays. Yes, the Internet has dangers, but only to people who are blind enough to be fooled. To sum up, if someone can offer you specific reasons instead of vague forebodings surrounding their advice or recommendations, then listen to them; but hot air wastes breath and time, not to mention it makes those who believe old wives' tales just as ignorant as those who convey them.

I hope you find the companionship you seek, in the Lord's time.


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