Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Christian Singleness

Messy Christian is writing about christian singleness. Singleness or Marriage? Why is the church so obsessed with one or the other?

The Apostle Paul's advice on staying single is one of those funny things in Scripture. Its about that only time I ever have heard a scriptural writer say "I'm not sure if this is from God but..." then he talks a lot about how its good to be single. He basically concludes the passage with "...and I think thats inspired." Lots of wiggle room there.

Being single is good. Being married is good. Paul preferred singleness for the freedom it brought in trying times. Jewish tradition on the other hand has taken God's command to be fruitful and raise a family very seriously. So much so that they can't understand where we got the idea of solely dedicating yourself to God outside of marriage. Celibate priests, monks, and nuns? Foolishness!

The singles group at my church had a troubled history with this. The first singles pasator there had a bullet in his mission statement about making people "marriageable." He left over unrelated doctrinal disputes and our current pastor came in. As soon as he saw that bullet he knew he would have to rebuild the group from scratch.

Being single or being married, the church's interests should be the same. You need to raise up a spiritually strong, upright christian. By doing that they will move in the ways that God calls them. The couples who married and "graduated" at my church started a Young Married Life (YML) group using the same model as the singles group. Its been fruitful and is its own ministry separate from the singles group drawing in couples on its own. On the other hand many of the singles have used their singleness in ways Paul would approve, they are involved in short and long term missions. Some of them got married because of that, but others are still single and working in God harvest field. To each their own.

I'm about to start shopping for a ring, so we know which group I'm in. Darn burning with passion.

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