Why the Mandatory Marriage Movement is Dangerious
Recently on amazon.com, there was a review of Debbie Maken's book posted by a woman with the screenname of L. Brown. It reads as follows:
I was a convert to Evangelical Christianity at the age of 21. For years, I struggled with the "Gift of Singleness" teachings and prevailing attitudes in the Evangelical church. I could not bring myself to believe this doctrine was of God. I no longer attend Evangelical churches, but after reading this book, I realized that the modern interpretations of the "Gift of Singleness" doctrines are not Biblical. It was very liberating to realize that I can still believe in the Bible's teaching that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone--without also having to buy into the "Gift of Singleness" garbage. There are so many voices in the Evangelical world that make it seem as if you have to accept BOTH, or you're not Christian. (Or, rather, you're not a "Good" Christian.) I wish the Evangelical people all the luck in the world solving their problems regarding the lack of men and particularly single men in the Evangelical church. If Evangelicals are smart, they will at least read this book and consider what Mrs. Maken has to say.
Now, I wondered what she meant by saying that she "no longer attend[s] Evangelical churches." I thought that this would be a rather strange thing over which to part ways with a congregation, expecially if they are so "smart" and we are just teaching "garbage." Then, I ran into the following comment from Debbie Maken's blog:
Denominations aren't important. You are asked by God to marry another believer. Now, I would submit to you that there are other ways of being a true believer in Christ than what the Evangelicals demand. My understanding of the Evangelicals is that, among other things, they demand that a true Christian believes that the Bible is the infallible and inerrant word of God. My understanding of Methodism is that, while they believe that the Bible is the word of God and true, they would not use the words "infallible or inerrant" in describing it. My husband does not believe the Bible to be either infallible or inerrant, and therefore would not meet the standard of being an Evangelical believer. From the time I was 21 (when I became born again) until I was 36 or so, I believed that, nonevangelical=nonchristian, and nonchurchgoer=nonchristian. Sometime after I hit 36, I came to the realization that I was not going to marry an evangelical Christian man. It is amazing how big my God got the minute I opened my eyes and started looking outside evangelical circles for a husband. I found a husband I loved in ten months. On top of that, I now have a kid, too! To those who would disparage me for not living according to the biblical model (not having an Evangelical husband and not going to church every week) I say, maybe you're right, but continuing to live as a barren, single woman for the rest of my life is not fulfilling the biblical model, either. This way, I have a home, a husband, a child, and a life. I still consider myself a Christian, just not an Evangelical. My heart breaks for the single Evangelical women out there, because for so many years I lived that life. I know how it feels to carry that hurt around with you. My singleness dragged on for years, and then it was all over in a moment. All it took was a change in my own way of thinking.By the way, I know I said that my husband and I have not been to church in a couple of years, but that may be about to change. Now that our daughter is getting to be a toddler, my husband wants to be a good example for her, and has said he wants to start going to church again, which is fine with me. Hope this helps clarify things. I really didn't mean to interject myself into this debate. I just couldn't help but respond to your original statement about women of other faiths, and meant the information about my own journey as an aside. I apologize beforehand if I've offended anyone: I know that I probably have. Have to run, my two year old is demanding my attention. Best Wishes to you in your search for a husband.
So, let me get this straight. Marriage is more important than the doctrine of inerrancy and the authority of the scriptures?????? It is so important that, if you do not get it, then you have a right to redefine the meaning of "Christian" so as to make it include unbelievers????? Is there any greater evidence that marriage has been made an idol than this? Truth is no longer important...only whether or not you get married. I have to laugh at the fact that this woman says that those who disagree with Debbie Maken are believing in "garbage," and that, if we are "smart," we will consider that being married is more important that believing in the inerrancy of the scriptures, and obeying God's commandment to not marry an unbeliever. Of course, she fails to realize that Debbie Maken's critics have caught her using selective citation, taking passages out of context, and engaging in logical fallacy after logical fallacy. Not only that, but it seems that, to consider what Debbie Maken has to say, is to consider the idea that marriage is more important than the inerrancy and ultimate authority of the scriptures. That is something no Christian should ever consider.
I can respect those women who want to be married, and are patiently searching for a spouse, and trusting that he will cause their search to be successful in his time. I pray that God will send them their heart's desire. However, to have an idolatrious desire for marriage which causes you to rebel against God by marrying an unbeliever, and denying the sufficiency and ultimate authority of the scriptures is to show that you are already under the judgment of God. In this case, getting your hearts desire is simply God handing you over to your evil lusts. I hope and pray that Christian women will see this movement for what it really is...an attempt to place your desire for marriage above the truth of God's word.