A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boundless Shenanigans

Albert Mohler, Steve and Candice Watters, and the Boundless staff in general no longer surprise me with their behaviors. In the last couple of weeks or so, they have been ramping up their predictable marriage mandate nonsense, gynocentrism, and misandry. Some developments ...

1. Candice skewers a young man who is going to be a pastor because he is not committing to a female friend. Read this excellent analysis from Puritan Calvinist on the matter.

2. Boundless staff showcase a series of posts by Tim Challies that excoriate men about pornography but downplay the problem of "female porn" (romantic novels, chick lit, and the such like). Ted Slater makes a point of telling everyone that he even deleted an article on "female porn" from the Boundless site. Well, fortunately we need not depend on Mr. Slater to find out the truth about how "female porn" is ruining relationships between men and women. Thank you, Ted, for being oh-so marriage-friendly that you've turned the other way while women indulge in destructive fantasies about men and relationships. This Boundless reader gets it. Ted doesn't.

3. Candice comes unglued when a Boundless fan writes in about a boyfriend not wanting to have children (see 33:55 of this broadcast). According to Candice, the lack of desire for children is right up there with being unequally yoked with non-believers as a "deal breaker." Of course, when I tried to make the Boundless folks and their readers aware about this post of mine, my comments didn't get published. Needless to say, Candice's rabid pro-natalist dogma is clearly an unscriptural addition to God's word.

4. Ok, this one takes the prize: Albert Mohler along with Steve Waters and Lisa Anderson of Boundless beat the drum about marriage on a radio broadcast. They claim marriage brings people back to Christ in a way that age "cannot." Also, receiving marriage, among other gifts from God, supposedly brings other issues of life into "alignment," giving people a "wholeness" they will never "find anywhere else." Listen to 31:30 onward in the broadcast. If I was standing next to Mohler and the others on a golf course while they said this, I would run for the sand pit and duck so I wouldn't get hit by the lightning. It borders on sacrilege. Marriage is necessary for a wholeness I can't find anywhere else? Marriage brings people back to Christ? Hey, folks! What about the plain preaching of the gospel (Rom. 1:16)? Or the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:11)? Or Christ giving us "wholeness" through our relationship with Him (Col. 2:10)? I fear some people are really going off the deep end.

21 comments:

singlextianman said...

A "biblical mandate [emphasis added] surrounding kids.." - quoting from the Webcast. Amazing. I guess the childless married couple are de facto sinning against God as well as the cautious single christian man. And they wonder where are all the single christian men are when they allow this kind of unbiblical finger - wagging on the air.

Talleyrand said...

I always thought of "Be fruitful and multiply" when Adam and Eve were being kicked out of the Garden as a curse, not a blessing.

If there is anything to shake a person's faith it is actually getting married that will do it.

Once you find out how awful that institution is, you start questioning everything else in the universe.

That being said, the more men realize that marriage is now an evil institution that has no tangible benefits to them, and considerable negative ones on all aspects of their life, the more the shaming language and dismay will be expressed against men that want nothing to do with getting completely used.

Adam T. said...

I don't always agree with you about Boundless, Anakin, but I was quite taken aback when Ted actually said that he deleted the 'female porn' article. They lost some of my benefit of the doubt with that move, I'm sad to say.

They claim marriage brings people back to Christ in a way that age "cannot." Also, receiving marriage, among other gifts from God, supposedly brings other issues of life into "alignment," giving people a "wholeness" they will never "find anywhere else.

Not so sure I disagree with this one. I have found that the idea of marriage, and subsequent marriage itself, has radically shifted the course of my Christian walk in certain ways. (All for the good, by the way.)

And, I mean:

Marriage is necessary for a wholeness I can't find anywhere else?

Umm... yeah? 'It is not good for the man to be alone', and all that.

Adam T. said...

I always thought of "Be fruitful and multiply" when Adam and Eve were being kicked out of the Garden as a curse, not a blessing.

You don't have kids, do you?

If there is anything to shake a person's faith it is actually getting married that will do it.

Once you find out how awful that institution is, you start questioning everything else in the universe.


I have found rather the opposite: that marriage, and contemplating having children, has brought me closer to God than I could ever have imagined. But we may have different conceptions of marriage and its purpose and foundation.

Dani said...

Hey Adam T.

Umm... yeah? 'It is not good for the man to be alone', and all that.

I've recently become convinced that this common interpretation of Genesis 2:18 (ie. marriage being instituted to cure loneliness or bring about true relational fulfillment) is incorrect. Christopher Ash has written a helpful article explaining why he thinks we have gotten it wrong for too long on this count (esp pg 4ff).

http://www.churchsociety.org/churchman/documents/Cman_115_1_Ash.pdf

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Talleyrand said...

Actually Adam, that's a quote from Bill Cosby and it was made at a time he had kids, so you shouldn't make that assumption.

We may see marriage as different. I see it is the foundation of society, and a tool used to yoke men to the service of that society.

I do not see it as a way of fulfillment, or love or any other attribute that people seem to hold it out as. I have seen too much divorce, and seen the hollow look in too many men's eyes, and I have slept with too many married women that attend church regularly and hold themselves out as good christian women to see it otherwise.

SavvyD said...

I agree about breaking up over wanting children when the other partner doesn't. In order for a marriage to work, there must be agreement about its purpose. If two people agree that they do not want children, then there is no problem unless there is an inevitable "accident". That one is headed for divorce court, best break up now.

SavvyD said...

Female porn...I get annoyed with the idea that all chick lit is porn when it isn't. There truly are stories where a woman learns to stand on her own two feet and what really matters to her. I get annoyed with the idea that all women are supposed to sit around reading romance novels. I've often wondered if I would be involved with someone more often if I did those things because it seems like that's what the women who are involved with someone read. I don't. I would rather listen to music, go see an opera and am now reading up on the post-punk era of 1979-1984 just ordered a book about that.

PuritanCalvinist said...

SavvyD,

I don't think Anakin has a problem with it being a deal breaker. I think the issue is the reason why it is a dealbreaker, not the fact that it is a dealbreaker.

Knowing where Candice is coming from on this, she is basically saying that this man is acting in disobedience by not wanting to have children. That is what Anakin is objecting to, and I agree with him. Folks like Candice quote verses like Genesis 1:28 and Malachi 2:15 the way Jehovah's Witnesses quote John 14:28 and Colossians 1:15. I have never yet seen folks like Albert Mohler, Candice Watters, or Voddie Baucham go through and systematically exegete these passages clause by clause, verse by verse, and section by section.

They also engage in labeling, by labeling anything that agrees with their position as "countercultural," and anything that disagrees with their position is being "influenced by the culture."

None if this is serious argumentation. All of this repeating things without ever proving your case is, as Anakin said, a bunch of shenanigans.

What is interesting is that there are legitimate issues here. The bias against large families is there in our culture, as is the bias against those who decide to marry young. Also, we do have a culture that will not serve God in any way including by having children, and thus, they end up serving themselves. However, we cannot then try to force a commadment onto scripture that says that you must have a large family if you can, you must marry young, and you must serve God by having children. That is way too glib an answer. We have to go back to the text of scripture, and let the text speak for itself in order to solve these problems.

God Bless,
Adam

Novaseeker said...

I have to say I found her claim that the guy who was not even dating the woman was, as a result of not dating her but continuing to be friendly with her and so on, as "defrauding" her to be extremely anti-male and frankly outright misandrist.

It also appears that she is not very intelligent in general. She explains what she means by "defrauded", in this context, as:

What do I mean by defrauding in this context? Simply put, a man defrauds a woman when, by his words or actions, he promises the benefits of marriage to a woman he either has no intention of marrying or if he does, has no way of finally knowing that he will.

To be quite frank I simply do not see how this applies to the facts she was addressing. This man did not promise the benefits of marriage to the young woman -- he in fact said he was not interested in dating her. This doesn't even meet Watters's own rather dubious definition of "defrauded", yet she seems to miss this.

Very unimpressed.

Hermes said...

Novaseeker, if you want to understand why she used the word "defraud" that way, you should read the article she linked which that paragraph comes from. (Warning: it will probably make your blood boil.) The author, Matt Schmucker, considers as "the benefits of marriage" pretty much any display of affection, however tame, like holding hands or talking over coffee at Starbucks, and says that it is "defrauding" for a man to do this to any woman he is not married to, whether they're dating or just friends. This implies that he thinks it is wrong for even dating couples to hold hands or talk at Starbucks (and not only wrong, but a wrong committed by the man against the woman.)

Anakin Niceguy said...

Yeah, Hermes, I know all about Schmucker's theory of "defrauding." I have my own thoughts about that.

vysota said...

Of course you don't like marriage, Talley. You're a whore. That's like asking the Wicked Witch of the West what she thinks about water parks. Hardly an unbiased, or particularly well thought-out, position. And while there is nothing wrong with biases -- we all have them -- the lack of thought part renders your opinion rather moot.

Novaseeker said...

That is just insane, Hermes.

Where do people come up with this stuff, really? Do they live in a fantasy world?

Amir Larijani said...

Why does all the fun stuff at Boundless happen while I'm on vacation?

I responded to Slater's comments about chick flicks and romance novels. He seems to overlook that chick flicks and romance novels--like conventional porn--foment unrealistic expectations.

Moreover, the 9,000 pound elephant in the room is the specter of women delving--at an increasing rate--into conventional porn. If this trend continues, the dynamics will only get worse.

As for Candice skewering the noncommittal pastor, I'd say she is being way too hard on him. If he is content being single now, I would simply counsel the woman to move on. It's not personal.

At worst, he could be confused about how to express a desire for her--that hardly makes him ungodly. Candice knows nothing about him, as she only has one side of the story.

It is quite probable that he is interested in the gal, but needs some counsel as to how to be a better pursuer.

Again, I'd counsel the gal to move on. And if he pursues her, then she can resume the conversation and put the ball in his court.

wombatty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wombatty said...

From Ted’s post referenced by Anakin:

Dismissing chick flicks as "female porn" is just lazy, sloppy, uncritical, shallow thinking. In my opinion. :-)

No, Ted, what is 'lazy, sloppy, uncritical, shallow thinking' is your unwillingness to acknowledge the problem and engage the issue. You simply avoid the question with a sweeping generalization.

Dealing with 'traditional porn' (i.e. male porn) is easy; it's immoral on its face and it is readily understood how it can foster unrealistic expectations on the part of men. There are two issues here: the sin of viewing porn and the resulting damage to relationships it can cause. 'Female porn' is a more...nuanced...issue as not all chick-flicks or chick-lit falls into this category. That being said, a good bit of it does. The iconic 'bodice-ripper' novel, wherein the heroine is pursued, ravished & taken (sometimes 'against her will') comes to mind. Ted seems to grasp this a bit:

Some may be beyond redemption because of pornographic/immoral representations, or because they promote unrealistic/unhealthy expectations. But the emotions they may bring up in some people are not necessarily wrong. The longing for true love, for protection and care, for sacrifice -- those are good things, found in many men and found in the Best Man, Christ.

First, note the ‘but’; as if the ends [the legitimate emotions/longings] justifies the means [female porn]. I could just as well say that my longing for connection/intimacy drove me into the arms of porn, where I found some feelings of comfort and closeness, fleeting though they were. Would this excuse a porn habit? Hell, no; and it’s an easy call because porn is immoral at a glance. Female porn takes little more thought to deal with. To coin a phrase, a picture [male porn] is worth a thousand words [female porn].

The problem here is not the emotions involved, but the means by which they are evoked. The 'men' in female porn serve the same purpose as does the porn starlett - a self-serving portrayal of the opposite sex that caters to the erotic imagination of the consumer. In both cases, the consumer wallows in unrealistic portrayals of the opposite sex which can damage their capacity for relationship with real people. And those unrealistic portrayals are just as effective in evoking legitimate emotions as are realistic ones, if not more so. Ted seems to miss the point that the means by which we seek to fulfill our legitimate desires must themselves be legitimate.

[cont...]

wombatty said...

[cont…]

From Ted’s post referenced by Anakin:

So let's not be so quick to equate the gutter slime of pornography with the genres of chick lit or chick flicks. Doing so allows people to not wrestle with the sin illuminated in their hearts, and instead blame the media itself as sinful.

The problem in either case [male vs female porn] is the sin illuminated in our hearts. In this case, it takes the form of turning to illegitimate means to fulfill legitimate needs & desires (in the arena of worship, this takes the form of idolatry). In fact, I would argue that Slater’s whole approach to the issue (i.e. to dismiss it) allows women – to paraphrase him - ‘to not wrestle with the sin illuminated in their hearts, and instead blame the media itself as sinful.’ They can simply follow Slater and claim that chick lit/flicks aren’t ‘gutter slime’ and besides, ‘they make me feel good’. All of this, course, serves to obscure the sin that may well be motivating the consumption of such material.

Further, if Slater regards a focus on the media itself as a diversion from the real issue (the sinful heart) why the recurrent focus at Boundless on the ‘gutter slime’ that is [male] pornographic media? If Slater is so eager to separate these two issues for women, why is it not done with the issue of male porn? Simple, you cannot separate the two; in dealing with the consumption of pornographic media, you necessarily deal with the sin involved (both that motivating its use and that which results from its use). If such a separation is untenable (and I maintain that it is), why is Slater & Boundless so eager to do so in regard to female porn?

My guess is that while it is easy to rail against 'male porn' as it is so prima facie immoral, dealing with 'female porn' takes a bit more thought and effort. Is the material in question pornographic? Where do you draw that line? If it isn't pornographic on its face, is she nevertheless using it to indulge her lust and erotic imagination? If she is, is not this the same as a man looking on a woman with lust? If not, why not? How much of a problem is this in the church? Are women being held accountable in this regard? Given the fact that the more one indulges in porn, the more graphic it must be to satisfy, what does the increasing use of ‘male porn’ by women in church indicate about their use of literary erotica? Perhaps these women are turning to ‘male porn’ because the words of ‘female porn’ just don’t satisfy anymore [suggesting long-term use].

I suspect that Ted & the crew at Boundless would rather just not open this can of worms. Or it could be just 'lazy, sloppy, uncritical, shallow thinking'...

wombatty said...

Amir wrote:

Candice knows nothing about him, as she only has one side of the story.

Blindness, willful or otherwise, to the man's perpsective seems to be a common problem for those on the 'marriage mandate'-ish side of the fence, from Maken to Boundless. The man's side of the story is either not sought out, or it is ignored or dismissed; it's as if the woman's point of view is the only one that matters.

Why the blindness?

Roy Scott Movrich said...

Does not the Bible say that "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; ..."? (2 Tim 4:3)
I guess this fits the bill perfectly. Only the "itching ears" are not of those who will grasp at any straw, but of "itchy mouths" who will propound anything so long as it fits their agenda.
Someone should have warned Waters & Co. that fasting begins with the mouth!

vysota said...

is something wrong with the site?