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.