Friday, 27 April 2018

The Modern Church's Foolish Idolatry of Marriage and Family

The modern Church has made marriage and family an idol. People of conservative Christian circles keep trying to scare young people, especially young women into getting married young, in their early 20s, most of whom are hardly mature enough to look after themselves, let alone look after another person. They love to spread the narrative that a woman who is unmarried and pursued a vocation will be in a nursing home, all lonely and sad in her sixties. 

Do not fall for their lies and scare tactics of these marriage-idolators. If you are serving God and seeking His Kingdom, be it by serving Him in ministry or in a secular profession, He will provide all you need all the days of your life. 

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

(Matthew 6:25-34)

The key thing for single Christians to know is that the push for young people to get married young as soon as possible is based the assumption that marriage will stop sexual immorality, as if marriage will prevent people from committing adultery, pornography and masturbation. This subtly implies implies that all singles are just a bunch of horndogs who need marriage as a restraint, as if marriage will stop a person from committing adultery. No where in the Bible does it say that marriage stops sexual immoral. Rather, it specifies that adultery, which refers to a married person engaging in sexual relations outside of marriage, is a sin (Matthew 5:27-28) The seventh commandment is a commandment against adultery specifically in Exodus 20:14.

What all people need to do, whether married or single is to focus on God, refusing to idolise sex or be obsessed with it. It applies EQUALLY to married and single people, not just single people who married people love to single out for rebuke about sexual immorality. 

It is also to stop young women from pursuing vocations, owing to a fear and discomfort many men feel about women around them who they perceive to be "competing" with them, just because they have a vocations. Note I said vocations, not careers. A career is an earthly pursuit of achievement in work, but a vocation is a calling that is not achievement-orientated, but service-orientated. 

Making marriage and family a priority goes against what Jesus and Apostle Paul said.

Jesus warned that anyone who wants to follow Him must obey Him first, and love Him far more than any other family member: If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:26). This may require one to go against the wishes, desires or demands of one's closest family members. He also said that it is good not to marry if one cannot accept that one cannot divorce one's spouse, except where there was fornication, for whatever reason, by which there would be an annulment of marriage in modern legal terms, not a divorce:

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

(Matthew 19:9-12). 

Apostle Paul said that it is better not to marry if one can remain unmarried, so that one can focus on advancing the Kingdom of God:

But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

(1 Corinthians 7:32-35).

The modern Church need to repent of its despicable idolatry of marriage and family, and stop treating singleness as a disease or spiritual deficiency. It is not. If anything, it is a privilege to be able to have undivided attention in serving Christ.