I will have to begin with an apology. I have been ill recently, and have not even been able to concentrate in my classes. Hence, I don't know how good this post is going to be, but I simply must post this before Captain Sensible gets away with more of this kind of post.
Many people have wondered why it is that I have bothered to respond to Captain Sensible, and I responded in my last post by saying that Captain Sensible is an influential figure in the Church over in England. I said that I could not reveal any more, but, as a matter of fact, I misunderstood the person who fowarded me these things, and I was written again, and told that I do have the ability to release this information.
In other words, how much do you think that these ideas are presented at the social events of London Christians? Probably quite a bit. That is why I have continued to respond to this woman, so that our brothers and sisters in Christ who get involved with these social events will be able to respond in a Biblical fashion to the unbiblical position of Debbie Maken. I want people who go to these events and hear these things to find a website like this, and be able to respond to what is presented to them.
With all of that said, I want you to look at the selfishness of Captain Sensible's recent post. First of all, she says:
We are seriously misrepresenting God when we attribute to Him situations causing suffering that we have actually caused ourselves, because we have strayed so far from the Bible. Talk about blaming God for our wrongdoings!
First of all, Captain Sensible's position is not Biblical. That is the whole point of the debate. If anyone wants to see just how these people respond when challanged with exegetical objections to their position, click here, and read my interaction with Debbie Maken. Debbie Maken was reduced to nothing more than empty accusations when she was put up against someone who actually knew how to do exegesis. I will let Debbie's behavior and her refusal to answer direct objections to her position be the refutation of the idea that their position is Biblical.
Secondly, is it true that we are "blaming God for our wrongdoings?" Apparently, Captain Sensible does not believe that God can ordain the pain that we inflict on ourselves because of our sin to conform us to the image of his son. The whole point of this pain is that it is discipline so that we repent of our sins, and turn to Christ. Hence, even the suffering we inflict on ourselves has redemptive value, because it teaches us to turn from our sin, and turn to Christ. Thus, Christ's purpose in his ordination of our sin, and our purpose in committing that sin are two totally and completely different things. Of course, that is why the exegetical issues in this discussion are so important.
Single Christian women, beware!
Instead of addressing the root cause of the problem, this is another attempt to keep you subdued, by making you feel that you should stoically bear your singleness -- and basically not make too much fuss it.
This will allow the enemy to continue to destroy masculinity in the church, and dishonour marriage by making you feel sinful for not being joyful about the suffering or "discipline" singleness causes.
We, as the contemporary church, have brought this problem about.
Here is where the real selfishness of Deanna Holmes' post shows through. What she is basically saying is "I have the right to feel comfortable with regards to marriage and singleness, and, if I do not, it must be someone's fault, either the man's fault, or the church's fault. In fact, this is the very thing I am going to bring to the scriptures, and interpret the scriptures in this light." As I said in my last post, God does not care one iota about your comfort. He wants to conform you to the image of his son. As I have said before, I am not against being proactive in finding a spouse. The way I found my fiancé and [soon to be] wife is by people in my church praying for me, and by actively pursuing a relationship with her. I think the question has to be asked as to whether or not, when we are proactive, God has the obligation to say "yes." I do not believe the scriptures give us any warrant to such a position.
This is why I always bring up the issue of idolatry. If you say that you must have marriage, and God cannot withhold it from you because your comfort is the most important thing in the world, then, yes, you are committing idolatry. And before they go using the starvation analogy, yes, there are many brothers and sisters in third world countries who are starving to death. And you know what? There faith is far stronger than any of ours ever could be. God certainly can grant food, marriage, and conforming to the image of Christ to any person if he so desires, but he is under no obligation to do so. Captain Sensible appears to want to lower God down to her level, so as to make him take her comfort as the highest priority, when it simply is not. And then, to misuse the text of scripture, and selectively cite the reformers in order to make yourself feel better about your idolatry is just simply to get yourself into even deeper water.
Yet, this is what we have to deal with when we deal with these folks. This also, incedentally, shows us why it is that Open Theists are so popular with these folks. They don't want the almighty God of the scriptures who ordains whatsoever comes to pass. They want a God they can control with their own comfort. The God of Open Theism fits that bill very well. It is a sad thing to see, but, hopefully, what I have written with regards to this topic will enable our brothers and sisters in England to see the dangerous road down which this position leads.
In fact, Debbie Maken has been reduced to the level of saleswoman on her blog. The whole post is nothing more than, "Look at the personal comfort that will come to you if you adopt the ideas presented in my book." That is why we need to be careful. Once we value our own personal comfort to the point were single men are shamed, and the church is blamed for everything under the sun, we might feel comfortable, but we will feel comfortable in our sin. That has to be the major question for the church. Do we value marriage more then conforming to the image of Christ, or do we value conforming to the image of Christ more than marriage? By all means, we should help those who want to get married, but to assume that God must give you marriage simply because of your own personal comfort, and assume that someone is sinning by not giving you what you want is simple idolatry.
This whole fiasco also shows the necessity of having sound teaching on the little things in the Christian life. This is why it is important to pay attention to your pastor when he speaks, and to read good sound books on Christian living. I would very highly recommend the preaching of Pastor William Shishko, anything by Edward T. Welch, and, though I don't agree with him on everything, Pastor John Piper has written some excellent things on practical theology. This is why it is so important to, not just be able to interpret the scriptures, but to see how it applies to our everyday life.
All in all, I am glad my post has had the reaction that it has. It really displays the selfish character of this movement, and shows us why it is that proper training Biblical Hermeneutics and practical theology are things which are so desparately needed in the church today. I am also glad that Ted Slater has posted something very similar on the Boundless Blog, and has gotten quite a positive response from single Christian women. I hope that more and more single Christian women start running from Debbie Maken and Deanna Holmes' ideas as fast as they can. However, until then, I guess this website can be a place to which people can point others who are struggling with these issues, both in England, and around the globe.