Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Women At Odds with the Mandatory Marriage Movement

Just in case people from the mandatory marriage movement think that all women think like they do, I just thought I would post these reviews that I found the other day of Debbie Maken's book [all written by women]:

Dianna, A reviewer, 02/17/2007 Customer Rating for this product is 1 out of 5
Not Scriptural, Very Unfair to Men
I bought the book at a Barnes & Noble store. Maken spends too much time blaming men for the vast numbers of unmarried Christian women. Does she show understanding or offer solutions? Not at all. Maken goes to extraordinary lengths to question the manhood of men who do not embrace marriage. Marriage isn't for everyone and is financially impractical for many Christian men. Maken's ideas of courtship and matchmaking are more in line with her Hindu background than her recently adopted fundamentalist Christianity. The sad part of this is that many single Christian women are shaming and alienating the few Christian men who are left in the church. Women are breaking off relationships with good men because they won't marry within Maken's 3-month guidelines. Men are being denounced as eunuchs and 'completely lacking in manhood'. Maken should be deeply ashamed of this book. It isn't scriptural - Maken takes great liberties with certain verses in the Gospels in order to make her points. Don't buy this book.

Jennifer, A reviewer, 02/10/2007 Customer Rating for this product is 2 out of 5
Using Shame to Promote Marriage
Maken does deconstruct the overused 'gift of singleness' but her heavy emphasis on shaming men into marriage makes this a deeply flawed book. It's good to encourage marriage, but Maken is only encouraging a 'blame men' approach. She suggests churches should shame unmarried men and make them feel as unwelcome as possible. I cannot agree with her approach.

Linda, a teacher, 11/05/2006 Customer Rating for this product is 1 out of 5
One Size Does NOT Fit All
I married later in life. I'm glad I did and I'd do it again. But I wasn't ready earlier, and I enjoyed being single. Yes, there were frustrating times when I felt lonely, but I figured that there's one thing worse than being single -- and that's being married to the wrong person! For me, the hardest part about being single was being asked a lot of personal questions that were, quite frankly, nobody else's business! I can't say that married life is 'superior' or 'inferior' to being single. It is different. It satisfies some needs, but not all. Finding that 'right person' doesn't cure everything.

Not only do all of these reviews testify against the marriage mandators, but also consider this post on the Boundlessline the other day from Suzanne Hadley, and look at some of the comments:

bekah had the following to say on Aug 27 at 5:40 PM:
Thank you so much for this post!

I am so encouraged.

I wonder about this a lot, although; the Lord always brings me back to..
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

I do not rejoice in being single, but this is the portion that the Lord has given me TODAY.

And today is a day that the Lord has made.

So today is the day that whether single, or married, I must live for the Lord and seek his face in all things.

And finally, his timing is perfect and his ways are MUCH better than our ways:

Isaiah 55:8
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

So, with that, we have rest in His timing and His perfect Grace, knowing that He already sees All of it.


Suzanne (and Denise), this is one of the most awesome posts I have ever read on Boundless. Your honesty is so encouraging! Thanks for sharing such a balanced view, and for the reminder that God is for us, no matter how we feel.


It's really hard to wait on God's timing but, He knows our heart and honors it. He says in Psalms 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." One of them is our desire to be with someone we want to be with for the rest of our life. Just make it known to Him and wait until He gives that person to us. We'll be surprised that what He gave us is more than what we have expected. Remember that God doesn't give the least but only the best...Have joy in waiting...


As a single in my late 20's, I know that I have certainly not always (or ever?) praised God for my single-ness.

I am, however, learning more about myself and dealing with issues (like selfishness, family of origin issues, etc.) that I know would come up in marriage.

I can only hope that maybe God is giving me a head start on getting those things straight before He drags someone else into the mix :)


You see, the reality is that these folks would like us to think that women are generally on their side. They just simply are not. One of my friends, while admitting that there are many immature men in the church, still disagrees with these folks, and, you guessed it, he is getting married in a month! Most of the girls with whom I am acquainted, have not heard of these folks. When I tell them what they believe, they are just shocked that anyone would believe this stuff. So, the reality is that there are plenty of women out there who do not agree with this stuff, and are currently making (and will make) wonderful wives for the single men in the church that oppose this stuff. Conspicuously, the proponents of the mandatory marriage movement seem to be so busy promoting their position that they have not been able to find the time to put out their wedding announcements.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Technical Difficulties

I am having some problems getting the HTML to work tonight, and thus, my last post is unreadable. I will try to fix it tomorrow.

UPDATE: The previous post is finally the way I would like it. HTML can be really frustrating sometimes, but I finally got it to work. Also, make sure you download and install the Bibleworks Hebrew fonts that I use on my blog, or some of the words won't make any sense. I give the links and explain how to do it here.
Debbie Maken On Women's Accountability

I don't know if any of you remember, but I had said a long time ago that, if you acknowledge that women have a part to play in the "delay of marriage," but you only mention it in passing, then you really cast doubt on whether there is any substance to your claim.

Debbie Maken has once again proven that there is no substance to her claim that "women have a part to play," and, worse than that, she needs to be told to stop playing Old Testament scholar, because she is not an Old Testament scholar. We have another case in point here:

I am going to conclude with Hosea 4:14. It reflects not only God’s scheme of accountability, but also from which sex the redemption must come

The NIV puts it like this:

"I will not punish your daughters
when they turn to prostitution,
nor your daughters-in-law
when they commit adultery,
because the men themselves consort with harlots
and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes—
a people without understanding will come to ruin!"

And the ESV has this:

"I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore,
nor your brides when they commit adultery;
for the men themselves go aside with prostitutes
and sacrifice with cult prostitutes,
and a people without understanding shall come to ruin."

Undoubtedly, that entire book is not only about Hosea’s personal marital problems, but the general infidelity of Israel. We all know what Hosea’s wife was like. To say she had some issues is to put it mildly. But this letter reminds us that God expects men with “great compassion” to redeem this situation, as the Lord God himself has often redeemed His people when they have strayed. The issue ultimately is not going to be decided by the alleged impact of Feminism on Christian women, or the role that women and men have played in our current mess. Men are going to be held accountable when women go astray. They have failed in their leadership and have led women into sin because of it.

Now, we need to understand right off the bat that Debbie Maken has not looked carefully into this text. First of all, Maken is simply wrong to start off by saying that the book has anything to do with Hosea's marital problems. That is entirely contested, and I actually agree with those who dissent from this position. The key is this text:

Hosea 1:2 When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD."

The problem is that none of the words for harlot are used here. The that is used here contains none of the common Hebrew words for harlot:
~ynIWnz> tv,aeÛ. There are many common words for prostitute:[ hn"zO, and hv'deq. are the most common words to describe female prostitutes], but none of those words are used here. Hence, the question is what the specific phrase used here means. In fact, Douglass Stuart has an entire section on this in chapter two of his book on Old Testament Exegesis. He rightly states that the noun ~ynIWnz> has a plural ending, and, one of the major syntactical functions of plural Hebrew nouns is to indicate abstract concepts. Thus, because the book has to do with the unfaithfulness of Israel, Stuart suggests [and I agree with him] that the point of Hosea 1:2 is that the people have committed so much "spiritual harlotry" against God that it does not matter who Hosea marries, she will be a spiritual harlot. Now, what about chapter 3?:

Hosea 3:1-3 Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes." 2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. 3 Then I said to her, "You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you." [NASB]

The issue with this text is one of accenting. The question is whether this is the same woman mentioned back in chapter 1. Here is the Hebrew text to verse 1:

tp,a'_n"m.W [;rEÞ tb;huîa] hV'êai-bh;a/ %lEå dA[… yl;ªae hw"÷hy> rm,aYO“w:
~yhiäl{a/-la, ‘~ynIPo ~heªw> laeêr"f.yI ynEåB.-ta, ‘hw"hy> tb;Ûh]a;K.
`~ybi(n"[] yveîyvia] ybeÞh]aow> ~yrIêxea]

The issue here has to do with the little dot above the yl;ªae in in the first line. That is a disjunctive accent. However, the question is where that accent is to be placed. Is it to be placed over the yl;ae [to me] or the dA[ [again]? The reason why it is important is because the text will break at whatever point the accent is placed. Thus, if the accenting is the way that it is in the MT, it would read as the NASB. However, if the dot is placed above the dA[, it would translate something like, "The Lord said to me again, 'Go, love a woman... Hence, there is some debate in Hebrew scholarship as to where the accent should go. Thus, Maken has not wrestled with these issues, and just seems to take for granted that this is what the book is about.

Worse than that, she has not presented the other side of this text as well. Debbie Maken is known rather well for her ignorance of historical backgrounds of the OT, and I have caught her many times in that ignorance. In this case it is inexcusable, as the context gives it very clearly:

Hosea 4:6-13 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. 7 The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame. 8 They feed on the sin of My people And direct their desire toward their iniquity. 9 And it will be, like people, like priest; So I will punish them for their ways And repay them for their deeds. 10 They will eat, but not have enough; They will play the harlot, but not increase, Because they have stopped giving heed to the LORD. 11 Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding. 12 My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner's wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their God. 13 They offer sacrifices on the tops of the mountains And burn incense on the hills, Under oak, poplar and terebinth, Because their shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters play the harlot And your brides commit adultery.

Thus, the context is the religious leaders leading the people astray for their wickedness. In other words, the context is not about men and women, but about religious leaders and women. Hence, even if this is the correct translation of verse 14, Maken is still guilty of taking the verse out of context.

Worse than that, there are some who say that this verse should not be taken as an indicative, but rather as a question.
Francis I. Anderson and David Noel Freedman have written a commentary on the book of Hosea for The Anchor Bible commentary series in which they argue that very thing. Here is there reasoning:

The apparent meaning of the MT, which excuses the women from punishment (v 14a) because the men are entirely to blame (v 14b), is hard to fit into context. In fact, the apparent negative at the beginning of v 14 is unaccountable. The verb dq;P' is always used by Hosea to announce divine punishment (1:4b; 2:15; 4:9b). It is inconceivable that the women could be exculpated, even if the men were primarily responsible. The problem could be sloved by taking v 14aA as a rhetorical question-"Shall I not punish...?" The preceding word ends in h-, which could be supplied also before al
, either by repairing a haplography, or by scripto continua [p.369].

To understand what he is saying, let us first take a look at the Hebrew text going from verse 13 into verse 14:
`hn"p.a;(n"T. ~k,ÞyteALk;w> ~k,êyteAnæB. ‘hn"yn<’z>Ti !Keª-l[;
~k,øyteAnB.-l[; dAq’p.a,-al{) 14.
~['îw> WxBe_z:y> tAvßdEQ.h;-~[iw> WdrEêp'y> tAnæZOh;-~[i ‘~he-yKi hn"p.a;ên"t. yKiä ‘~k,yteAL)K;-l[;w> hn"yn<©z>ti yKiä
`jbe(L'yI !ybiÞy"-al{)

As you can see, the last letter of verse 13 is a h. What the commentators are suggesting is that the h may have originally been written twice, and when a scribe copied it, he glossed over the second h. The significance of this is that a prefixed h to a sentence is the Hebrew way of constructing a question. Thus, if it is true, the sentence would be translated as "Will I not punish your daughters?"

They also go on to argue that the
al may be asseverative, that is, "the particle may be l. here, if the a is a dittograph" [p.369]. I am not sure if I am ready to put my endorsement on that theory, but it would make sense of the text.

However, all of these other arguments are inconsequential. Maken has ripped this text out of its context. Not only that, but she has failed to realize that there are other exegetical issues which, even if she were right, would need to be addressed. Let's face it. What does it say about a Christian when they would abuse a text of scripture like this to say that they should get out of responsibility for their actions? If Debbie Maken continues to make excuses for what she believes to be her sin, she will find herself under the wrath and punishment of God. This is not the Christian way to answer this problem. Christians do not make excuses for their sin, they repent from their sin. Thus, I know I have resisted saying this for a long time, but I am now willing to say that Debbie Maken is not a Christian. I believe she is an unbeliever, and I believe she needs to be converted just like all of the other pagans. The sad thing is that Albert Mohler has endorsed her book, and thus, given a blank check to a wolf in sheep's clothing. I plead with anyone in positions of Christian leadership who endorses this woman's work to reconsider. What Debbie Maken has said here is something no Christian should ever say.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Complete Meltdown Over at Boundless

I had been having a dialogue with a woman named Jennifer here. Now, you have to understand, you have a woman that has written on the meaning of 1 Corinthians 7:8 using the Greek, and yet, she has never set foot in a Greek class. That, of course, doesn't stop her from making, and continuing to make, all kinds of errors on the Greek text, even when I have corrected her on it before this. She even openly and blatantly commited an exegetical fallacy in this very discussion that no scholar of any language would accept.

Anyway, the other day I tried to post my response, and it told me that I am not able to post messages. I figured that something must be wrong with my computer or something, so I just waited until I could get to school. Unfortuately, Anakin Niceguy posted this:

The Boundless Line blog has a post on the supposed relationship between single people and shrinking churches. Among other things, the post noted:
Dr. Wilcox explains that even while family formation is central to the life of a church, many churches are instead trying to fill empty pews by compromising Biblical positions on family.I tried to respond with the following comment:

If churches are shrinking, is it really the problem of unmarried people, or is it the problem of complacent congregants and church-leaders who couldn't look beyond their comfort zones and heed the message of Luke 4:15-24? The last time I checked the wording of the Great Commission, it didn't say anything about having babies.However, the website rejected my comments and informed me that I am not allowed to post.

Now, of course, I am looking at this, and wondering to myself why it is that this has happened. Ted Slater, the editor at Boundless, posted his reason:

Anakin -- we strive for a conversation on our blog that is productive and cordial. We oftentimes publish comments that disagree with the original post. The thing is, your comments have consistently been contentious, often misrepresenting us. While the comment you mention here is innocuous, other comments have been unacceptable. Such distracting and unhelpful communication is not welcome on The Line.

Thank you for understanding.

My first question to Ted is why it is that she posts, and even gives special blog posts, to Debbie Maken? Debbie Maken is a perfect example of someone who is terribly contentious, and is consistently misrepresenting the reformers, and even altering quotes to prove her case which I have documented here. Yet, the do not ban Debbie Maken.

Worse than that, Ted just asserts that Anakin misrepresents the authors of Boundless. Where does he do that? It takes much more than just an assertion to prove your point. You have to show a distinction between what you are saying and what they are saying. Ted simply does not do that.

Also, what about the other comments that are posted on Boundlessline that I have documented before? Well, Ted has a response to this:

TMD -- Yes, we publish a lot of disagreeable and contentious comments. The thing is, these people have shown in other instances that they are interested in furthering a discussion, in having an honest debate.In Anakin's case, I haven't seen that. I've only seen him bent on misrepresenting Boundless and facilitating contention.

Well, my question is where has Jennifer, Darren Allan, Captain Sensible, or any of these other people agreed with anything we have said? Jennifer is still posting away, Captain Sensible is still pursuing her weirdness, and Debbie Maken does not even think that single men deserve a substantive response. Perhaps, it was Albert Mohler and Debbie Maken that facilitated contention by writing and publishing the things they have on this topic, and using the language that Debbie Maken has in her book? Yet, Ted seems to think that their writing is productive.

Now, have I shown that I agree with Boundless on some issues? Yes, I most certainly have! Consider this article that I wrote a while back, and also consider this post on feminism, wherein I defended Candace Watters. Also, consider the materials I recommended to help people who are dealing with atheists here, and also consider that I further commented on Candace Watters' statements concerning Sam Harris here, agreeing with Candace, and adding to the discussion, presenting more arguments against Mr. Harris. I have also posted on abortion on Boundless, discussed John Piper's use of profanity, and pointed out the self-contradictory nature of the arguments abortion rights advocates. I defended the president of Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson against the attacks of the media here, and I also even discussed Anna Nicole Smith! To say that I am just there to be contentious is simply absurd. If Ted wants to use that argument to say that this is the reason you were banned, then he is going to have to deal with these things. Ted wrote the following to me when I was talking with Jennifer:

It's one thing to be fastidious with Scripture in order to determine doctrinal truth. It's another to foster a critical spirit.

Well, where is the critical spirit in all of the above instances? And, even if I am fostering a critical spirit here, he said that he is willing to publish comments of people who are contentious in one place, but not in other instances. Why then not publish my comments? Ted is simply saying something that is untrue. Ted does not know me, and he does not know my background, nor my personal life. No one is fostering a "critical spirit." We are concerned about the sociological ramifications of a movement that is clearly unbiblical. We are concerned about the fact that the people in leadership positions in this movement are refusing to take responsibility for their own teachings. Apparently, Ted must think that Albert Mohler, Debbie Maken, Candace and Steve Watters, et al. could never teach something unbiblical that has horrid sociological ramifications for single men. In fact, I find it very funny that Boundlessline would publish this comment by Steve Watters:

In a recent comment, "Justin" wrote, "If I don't want to get married until I'm 40, then that is between me and God. Not me and the congregation."
I think by this statement it's fair to say Justin's concept of marriage fits into a category researcher Paul Amato describes as "individualistic." In a book that he (and a team of other researchers) wrote called Alone Together, Amato describes the transformation of marriage to the current individualistic focus:
Marriage changed from a formal institution that meets the needs of the larger society to a companionate relationship that meets the needs of the couple and their children and then to a private pact that meets the psychological needs of individual spouses.
We believe at Boundless that God created marriage to be larger than us as individuals, larger than any one couple and larger than any children that couple has. That "institutional" view puts us at odds with the individualistic zeitgeist.

only a short time after Ted Slater said the following:

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

Of course, this illustrated what I have said all along, and has been demonstrated to be true in my blog series entitled Fanmail from the Mandatory Marriage Movement, namely, that this movement has sociological implications for the way single men are to be treated, and thus, if it is false, needs to be dealt with. However, if you dare suggest that this movement is unbiblical, and then go on to show that the arguments from the other side have no weight, you are viewed as having a "critical spirit."

Let us turn this logic around. Let us say that Ted was on a forum disagreeing with a Jehovah's Witness about the trinity. Now, I am sure that Ted, as an orthodox trinitarian, would not agree with anything the Jehovah's Witnesses say about topic of the trinity. However, when he has addressed all of their arguments, and shown them to be wanting, would it be rational for the Jehovah's Witness to counter by saying that he is just fostering a critical spirit, and then ban him from the board? We could go all the way down the line, and any time Ted would not agree with anything that was said on a board, he would be guilty of fostering a "critical spirit." Indeed, such is absurd.

Let's face it. There was no reason to ban Anakin or myself from that blog. I have a feeling that when Ted says that he publishes comments that disagree with their position, what he means is that he is willing to post comments from people who voice a simple disagreement with Boundless, but he is not willing to post comments from someone who is seeking to examine the writers of Boundless. In other words, they are immune to cross-examination. However, what does the book of Proverbs say?:

Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

Yet, Boundless does not want cross-examination for some reason. They don't want to have to be put into a situation in which someone comes along and examines this mandatory marriage teaching, and shows it to be wanting. That is what is "unwelcome on the Line." As Dr. James White always used to say, "Truth is most clearly seen against the backdrop of error." Yet, interestingly enough, they can't even remain consistent when accusing those who would like to have cross-examination on this issue. To do this, I guess, means that you are "not interested in furthering the discussion." No, it is Boundless who is not interested in furthering the discussion, because they are not interested in cross-examination.

You see, it is dishonoring to God's truth to say that we should not examine each other Biblically, and hold us to sound principles of reason and exegesis. Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms did not shy away from cross-examination. He said that, unless he could be convinced by the Bible or sound reasoning, he would not recant. However, that is just the opposite position of the folks over at Boundless. They seem to say that we will not allow anyone to convince them by the Bible and sound reasoning that they are wrong, because they will not allow anyone to cross-examine them. It is amazing how 500 years of Christian history has changed how much we value truth.

I would encourage anyone who has an interest in this topic to file a formal complaint with Boundlessline. Let them know that you are interested in "furthering the discussion" by, first of all, allowing us to cross-examine their position on their blog, and second, by posting an article with a long, formal disputation between Anakin or myself, and one of the people who have written in defense of this position such as Candace and Steve Watters. Let those who promote this position deal with the criticisms of their position, and do so in a manner in which everyone who supports this stuff can see.

Friday, August 10, 2007

More Fanmail from the Mandatory Marriage Movement

This little note was left to me today over on Anakin Niceguy's blog by a man named Darren Allan. This is the man who accused me of "comparing being barren and childless to being a nerd." I have documented the irrationality of this charge before, and pointed out that I was talking about barrenness in a particular cultural setting at a particular time. The funny thing is that Mr. Allen accused Anakin's blog of misrepresenting people today. I challanged him on this absolutely hypocritical charge, and here is what he had to say:

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

Darren Allan

Again, no discussion of the issues I have raised, just pure acid from a man who is uncritically hanging on the things that Debbie Maken, Candace Watters, et al. are saying. It was funny that Ted Slater was also on the blog, and he said that it was just a matter that was between us and God. Well, when you have teachings that produce this kind of irrational emotionalism, it is not just a matter between you and God. These types of teachings have sociological implications, and Darren Allen is a perfect example of that. Here is a man that is so cavalier in his misrepresentation of me, that he has to engage in this kind of language, and engage in horrendiously hypocritical thinking in order to attack Anakin. I hope that those who care about the truth on this issue will call Darren Allan out on this.

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Look Into the Mind of a Cultic Marriage Mandator

I know I probably should let "Captain Sensible" just run off into all kinds of wierdness, but I think that this is an interesting look into the minds of one of the most radical proponents of the mandatory marriage movement on the internet:

Fern Horst: Is she really saying praying for marriage may lead to a "weak and sickly" soul?

Captain Sensible writes: I don't normally link to sites that contain false teaching on singleness as I wouldn't want to be responsible for spreading their content.

But I really have to raise this horror to be found on "Purposeful Singleness" as I would like to gather some other opinions on it. Have we now reached the nadir of denigrating marriage? Is Fern implying here that to pray for marriage may well result in a spouse, but it might not really be "God's plan" and will therefore result in a "weak and sickly" soul, instead of a "healthy" (single) one? Please tell me I am wrong!

Notice, the first line. Captain Sensible thinks that Horst is saying that marriage may lead to a "weak and sickly soul." However, here is what Horst actually said:

But we must also remember that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us, a plan to fulfill His purpose through us, to give us a healthy soul instead of a weak and sickly one, and He knows just how to accomplish this. Insisting that life goes our way, instead of His, may result in our getting what we want - but we will pay a high price in the health of our soul.

Notice, that Horst says nothing about marriage giving you a sick and weakly soul, but getting what you want when it is not God's time to give it to you yet. She is talking about the fact that God is the king of our lives, and he is molding us into the image of his son. Thus, he is going to give us marriage in his time, not our time. What she is talking about is not getting marriage, but getting marriage at the wrong time, when you do not have the spiritual maturity to handle it. Thus, he gives marriage to us when it will cause us to grow closer to him, and to better our lives as servants of Jesus Christ, not when it will harm the soul because of our own idolatry for marriage.

Notice, here is what Horst says at the beginning of her article:

Throughout my life I have often made requests to God for various things which I really, really wanted. But usually just as quickly the Lord reminds me of this verse, and I'm quick to also pray, "But Lord, more than this particular thing which I really desire, I want your will to be done."

This verse in Psalms is referring to the Israelites who murmured and complained about their circumstances on the journey from slavery and bondage to the Promised Land. God had delivered them from so much and performed miracle after miracle that proved His great love and faithfulness to them. Yet again and again they focused on the moment and what they didn't have. In their ungratefulness they insisted that God give them what they desired - what they thought would make their journey more pleasant for them.

And so God gave them what they asked for, but along with their request they suffered a greater loss: their souls became "lean". For the believer who wants to grow in the Lord, who wants to make Him their first love, who wants to follow Him with all their heart, soul, and mind, this is a dire warning.

Thus, she is not equating a healthy soul with a single soul, nor is she equating an unhealthy soul with a married one. She is talking about a person who refuses to submit to God's desire for their life, makes marriage an idol, and God turns them over to that idol to the degregation of their soul. God has made many things wonderful and good. Marriage is one of those things. However, if we desire those things more than we desire to live for God, and thus shame single men, not caring about God's commandments on how to treat others, then if we get married, it is an act of judgement from God. Why? Because it hardens you in your idolatry.

Debbie Maken is a perfect example of this. I believe this woman is under the judgement of God. She has gotten her idol, and now she is hardened in her idolatry, so much that she does not even have the courage of her convictions to defend what she believes. You have a woman who aimlessly attacks any single man who disagrees with her, and admits that she will not give a substantive response to any single man who disagrees with her, and openly misuses and alters sources in order to get people to believe what she has said. That is a woman whose reasoning is being made foolish simply because she is worshipping marriage rather than worshipping the one true God. I can only hope God will turn her heart, but as I said, the fact that she got what she wanted, given her idolatry, is evidence of the judgement of God.

For Captain Sensible to rip someone out of context like this just shows the shallow reasoning of a movement that is only interested in making converts, and not in actually dealing with the issues put foward. They appeal to the emotions, and appeal to a person's feelings never questioning whether those feelings might be Biblical. I had something similar happen this week on the Boundless blog where a girl named "Jennifer" not only tried to misuse Greek to prove her position, and made a horrible exegetical blunder, but also tried to get away with saying that we are trying to tell her that if she has the desire to marry, then she is engaging in sin. Of course, that is entirely false. I corrected her, and told her that no one had ever said that that, and then explained that we are talking about people who loathe their singleness, and are depressed because they are not married. That is what we are saying is idolatry. Of course, she then tried to say that she had actually heard someone tell her that, and I challanged her to provide one person who is not in agreement with the mandatory marriage movement who heard the same thing being said. Of course, I got no takers. Could it not be that she misconstrued what that particular church leader said, just like Captain Sensible misconstrued what Fern Horst said? This seems to be the MO of the mandatory marriage movement when answering charges of idolatry. Just misrepresent the opposition, and hope the charge goes away.

There is a good reason why they do this. They know that this kind of analysis is accurate, and, rather than deal with what the person wrote, they would like to stay in their sin, and say that anyone who points this out is "denegrating marriage." Let me be perfectly clear. We are not "denegrating marriage," but are preventing people from denegrating it. We want marriage to remain a very good creation of God that he gives as a gift to his people in his time. We do not want to make it something that is so insignificant that it can be given on demand to anyone who just goes about it in the proper way. If you think that God is under some obligation to give you a spouse just because your singleness is causing depression, then you are, indeed, engaging in idolatry. If God gives you marriage in such a situation, it will not be to your benifit, but to your judgement.

Also, I have to ask, why does Captain Sensible not link to websites containing the so-called "false teaching" of "the gift of singleness?" Might it be that they might actually go to these websites and read the truth, and thus, they would have no followers? Reminds me of the same thing that the Watchtower Society does. They try to do everything they can to prevent people from reading literature critical of the Watchtower Society. Why? Because they know that they would never hear the end of it if people found out about their false prophecies, and downright abuse of the facts. Yet, is this not what Captain Sensible is doing? One of the first signs that you are dealing with a cult is that they try to control the information to which its members have access. Yet, she says that she will only allow her readers to see the information she wants them to see.

You see, that is the beauty of having the truth. You can sleep at night. I can link to Debbie Maken's blog, Captain Sensible's blog, Boundless, Albert Mohler, and anyone else who is a part of this movement, and you can read their comments for yourself, and examine my arguments, against their arguments and decide for yourself. Not only that, if there is something on which you would like me to comment, we have a comments section, and you can leave a comment or question. A young lady with the screenname of "Songbird" did that on my previous post. I am more than willing to have a dialogue on this topic with anyone, and thus, I am not hiding any information from my readers. I have linked to websites with false teaching on it many times, because it gives people a chance to read both sides, and to see why it is that a teaching is false. However, when you start having to control the information to which your readers have access, as far as I am concerned, you have turned cultic.