Category Archives: The Church

The Burden Of Iniquities

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Who has believed what we have heard?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
    he was bruised for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,
    and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him;
    he has put him to grief;
when he makes himself an offering for sin,
    he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand;
11     he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous;
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out his soul to death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

(Isaiah 53)

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Filed under Christianity, God, The Church

Market Watch

In my previous post, A Poor Example,  I mentioned a post that Scott and Elspeth wrote about how June Cleaver might be unmarriageable right now. What I want to do with this post is make a series of observations based on what they mentioned in their post, as well as in the comments. I will likely expand on it over time, as I have a chance to re-read the comments. This won’t be an in-depth post, but rather more of a list with perhaps a comment or two of my own.

So here are some of my observations:

  • The Market for devout Christians, men and women alike, is awful. I wrote previously on this topic in my Market Failure series of posts. You can read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 via the links. As for who has it worse, I think that is mostly an academic exercise. My gut says men more than women, but not by a huge amount.
  •  Geography play a huge role in the difficulties of the marriage market right now. Different geographic locations are more or less favorable to men or women. My suspicion is that where I live the ratio between marriageable men and women heavily tilts to men, and that of course makes the market tougher for men.
  • Demographics also plays a significant role. As various Christian groups have splintered, and there is even more separation in belief within groups, the overall pool of eligible mates has dropped precipitously. So while absolute numbers might be up, the actual pool is perhaps smaller than it has been for perhaps even centuries.
  • Most Christian parents are not raising devout Christian children. Much less marriageable ones.
  • Young men are much less interested in marriage than they were in the past. Having a few more years under my belt since I started blogging, I have seen this more and more. Younger men are just less interested in marriage. The why of this is worthy of a whole post of its own.
  • Too many people are doing too little to make marriage happen these days. Marriage needs to be a matter for the whole community.

 

Also, the answer to this:

Is it possible that parents of the last several generations, responding to the cultural cues from blue-pill pastors and other sources have raised both sex children to be pretty useless at “traditional” marriage, and therefore a different approach to finding matches for them may be required?

…is yes and yes.

More to come as I think on it.

Update: A few more observations-

  • The market is seriously hampered by the amount of deception going on. The worst lies, from what I have seen, tend to be those that people tell themselves. Self-deception makes hit harder to diagnose problems, among other ills.
  • Introverts and shy people are especially vulnerable in the market right now. Given how few effective venues there are for meeting eligible mates, each one has to count that much more. For introverts, that is much more difficult.
  • I am among the most the most “pro-marriage” of guys in the Christian manosphere. At least as it applies to my own life. Only a couple might be at the same level as me, such as Deep Strength. I don’t know if that was the case originally, but it seems to be the case now. And even despite my subjective “gun-ho” approach I am still very cautious.

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Filed under Courtship, Femininity, Hypergamy, LAMPS, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Masculinity, Men, Moral Agency, Parenting, Red Pill, The Church, Tradition, Women

Splitting Eros Leads To Disaster

One of Dalrock’s recent posts examines the consequences of the elevation of romantic love to a moral force:

The simple fact is the moment you attribute moral value to romantic love you are creating a rival to biblical sexual morality.  In biblical sexual morality it is marriage that creates a moral space for sex and romantic love (with romantic love not separated from sexual passion).  We have overturned God’s order here, and are now claiming that romantic love is the moral space for marriage and sex.  This is deceptively subtle, and at the same time demolishes the moral meaning of marriage.

Passionless duty sex was for marriage, and passion was for adultery.  Courtly love built upon this idea with a twist.  It added a new concept of romantic love, separating out the emotional aspect of sexual passion.  This newly separated concept of romantic love was worshiped and seen as sanctifying.  CS Lewis summed up the concept of courtly love as (emphasis mine):

“The sentiment, of course, is love, but love of a highly specialized sort, whose characteristics may be enumerated as Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love.”

What Dalrock is examining here is a situation where Eros has been split in two. As a reminder/refresher, the ancient Greeks believed in several different concepts of  “love.” The three principal loves were:

  • Eros- sensual love associated with the body
  • Philos- love in the form of friendship that is associated with the soul
  • Agapos- the self-sacrificing love that comes from God and is thus associated with the Spirit

Now, Eros is a bodily love. However, emotions are as much of the body as the actual “rubbing together of bodyparts.” Which is my way of saying that Eros properly contains both Romance as well as the actual physical acts of intercourse. Passion and Romance go hand in hand, if you will. Dalrock is making a mistake by calling it “Romantic love.” It is really just the emotional aspect of the love we know as Eros. It is not something separate.

What has unfortunately been going on for centuries now is an attempt to split Eros up into a “dirty” part, sex, and a “pure” part, “romance.” However, no matter how many games you play with this, it cannot be done. Eros encompasses both. Any attempt to separate the two is inherently insane. We should expect that craziness will follow from it. Thus, to me it is no surprise that efforts to separate Eros have helped “break” marriage in the west. We have gone against God’s plan for human beings- disaster is to be expected.

God created Man as a union of body, soul and spirit. Marriage, as an institution/sacrament coming from God, relies on a healthy state of that union. If they are unhealthy, or there is discord, then marriage will suffer accordingly. Marriage encompasses each of these loves, because marriage affects and is affected by all parts of that union. Trying to remove the physical component of Eros from marriage effectively breaks that unity and creates disorder in that man or woman- and thereby brings disorder into the marriage. It affects both husband and wife because in marriage the two become one.

Remember, Man was made for marriage. And by marriage I mean what God intends by marriage. Trying to fit man into anything other than what God intended is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It doesn’t work. Alas, we are seeing the proof of that all around us in the West right now.

Update: I should make it clear that the mistake that I think Dalrock was mistaking was calling it “Romantic Love.” I don’t think he failed to grasp the other parts of my post. One of his older posts in fact notes that courtly love is always sexual.

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Filed under Attraction, Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Desire, Marriage, Moral Agency, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Strategies, Sin, State of Nature, Temptation, The Church

You Reap What You Don’t Sow

[Alternate title: Shaking Yourself Apart]

So I caught this in the news recently: One of the Shakers’ last three members died Monday. The storied sect is verging on extinction. An excerpt:

One of the last three remaining members of the dwindling Shaker sect died Monday.

Sister Frances Carr died at the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine, “after a brief battle with cancer,” according to a statement on the community’s website.

It continued, “The end came swiftly and with dignity surrounded by the community and her nieces.” Carr was 89.

Carr was a member of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearance, a Christian group formed in 1747 in Manchester, England. They earned the name the Shakers when critics began calling them “Shaking Quakers” because of “their ecstatic and violent bodily agitation in worship,” according to Sabbathday Lake’s website. The Shakers eventually abandoned this particular dancing-style worship, but the congregation adopted the term, according to the Associated Press.

I remember reading about this particular sect years ago. I am not at all surprised the group is nearly extinct. Here are some of their core beliefs:

The Shakers practice celibacy, in addition to pacifism, equality of the sexes and communal ownership of property.

Their extinction is sort of a given considering their beliefs. Of course, the surviving members think otherwise, but hey, why wouldn’t they? Another point from the article:

Although it may sound like an old-fashioned religious sect by today’s standards, at one time the Shakers were considered progressive. As PBS noted, “Seventy-five years before the emancipation of the slaves and 150 years before women began voting in America, the Shakers were practicing social, sexual, economic, and spiritual equality for all members.”

We can see in the Shakers the end result of “Progressive Christianity” – extinction. This group just happened to (almost) get there a lot faster given their embrace of total celibacy. Other sects will come to the same fate as well, as sooner or later their deviancy will catch up with them.

 

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Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Marriage, Parenting, The Church, Tradition

Set In Stone

I came across this this story recently, and thought that some of my readers might find it fascinating:

The world’s earliest alphabet, inscribed on stone slabs at several Egyptian sites, was an early form of Hebrew, a controversial new analysis concludes.

Israelites living in Egypt transformed that civilization’s hieroglyphics into Hebrew 1.0 more than 3,800 years ago, at a time when the Old Testament describes Jews living in Egypt, says archaeologist and epigrapher Douglas Petrovich of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. Hebrew speakers seeking a way to communicate in writing with other Egyptian Jews simplified the pharaohs’ complex hieroglyphic writing system into 22 alphabetic letters, Petrovich proposed on November 17 at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

“There is a connection between ancient Egyptian texts and preserved alphabets,” Petrovich said.

That’s a highly controversial contention among scholars of the Bible and ancient civilizations. Many argue, despite what’s recounted in the Old Testament, that Israelites did not live in Egypt as long ago as proposed by Petrovich. Biblical dates for the Israelites’ stay in Egypt are unreliable, they say.

You can read the rest at the link.

Something like this could certainly be a publicity stunt. The fact that the archeologist making the claim is writing a book would give that notion some support. At the same time, however, I am also highly suspicious of most modern scholars. I  don’t imagine I am alone in thinking that many of them would go to great lengths to come to a conclusion that just coincidentally argued against biblical timelines.

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Filed under The Church

In Service Of The Truth

This post is not so much a continuation of my last post but rather a further exploration of the nexus of Truth and the differences between men and women. I want to start it with a small story:

Some time ago I was eating at a restaurant and overheard a couple of women speaking about their religious views. I wasn’t eavesdropping, they were just that loud (I am sure my readers know the type). One of them explained that she was Catholic, and had been for a number of years. When she was quizzed on that by the other woman, the first one explained that she was familiar with other Christian sects. In fact she had “tried” several out. And what she had found was that she enjoyed the Catholic liturgy (the new Roman one, anyways) the best.

As if anticipating something the second woman might say, she went on. She said that she “knew” that other people could find God their own way. It was just that, for her, the Catholic liturgy was the best way to “experience God.”

What fascinated me was that there was absolutely no mention during this conversation of the word “Truth.” It never came up, not even once. It was all about “the experience.” In other words, how a particular liturgical experience made either woman feel.

Thinking it over, I wondered if that was the primary motivator in a woman’s religious preference- the desire for something that felt good or right. Based on my own observations, I am inclined to think that many, if not most women, operate this way. Mind you, I know that not all do- I personally know women whose religious conviction was based on a quest for Truth, and not simply feels. Yet I am fairly certain they are the minority.

At the same time I wonder about men. I am sure that some men operate this way too. But I am not convinced that as many men do it as women. I think that men are more likely to base their religious preference based on what they view as True, and not merely something that will make them feel good.

[Incidentally, given the overall greater number of women in Church, I wonder if the percentage of overall truth seekers might be closer than it appears.]

All the same, I am curious what my reader’s thoughts are on the matter. So feel free to contribute your thoughts on the matter. Tell me where I am right… or wrong.

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Filed under Blue Pill, Christianity, Men, Red Pill, The Church, Women

The Blind Spot

My recent post Something Else led to some excellent comments by my readers. Two subjects were raised there that I think should be readdressed in a separate post- this one.

The first is the role of the Church in all of this. Deti left a comment on the subject, and here is part of it:

Zippy Catholic addressed this a while back, saying that “The Church is not your daddy”. The Church’s only job is to administer the Sacraments to the faithful and provide for education and training up in the faith. That’s it. It’s not to help socialize men, provide vocations for them, or help them find wives. So I think you’ll have to convince the Zippys of the world that the church should take up the banner of providing outlets to channel what is essentially untapped and unreleased sexual energy. You have to convince folks like Zippy that helping guys do things other than get laid is something the church should and must do.

He then linked to Zippy’s post on the subject. I would like to make a couple of points here.

First, when I speak of the Church I don’t mean only ordained clergy and the official hierarchy of the Church. I mean the whole body of Christ. Yes, I think the clergy has a role to play in all of this, but they shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden alone.

Second, the Church has historically done more than just administer sacraments and teach/train. From the beginning the Church was helping to take care of its members. The first deacons, Stephen the First Martyr among them, were ordained in order for them to help minister to the needs of the faithful. St. Paul was very active in helping ensure charitable relief. At the same time there is quite a difference between providing food to someone on one hand, and ensuring a vocation on the other.

This brings me to the second comment I want to cover, by feeriker:

This is a blind spot that the Body of Christ on Earth is never going to even acknowledge, let alone address. To do so would lead it to some very unpleasant places and demand some serious introspection, which in turn would lead to an obvious call to re-evaluate doctrine and practice in a variety of areas. Not gonna happen, or if it finally ever does when all [e]lse fails, it will be too little too late.

I disagree with feeriker here on a couple of points.

First, while the Church might not be acknowledging it now, it did in the past. Many of the Fathers of the Church argued against the criminalization of prostitution. While they called it out for the sin that it was, they recognized at the same time the problem of untapped male sexual energy. They knew the problems that would result if men didn’t have an outlet. Hence why prostitution was legal in so many Christian nations (until Progressivism had its way).

Second, the problem right now is not doctrine (at least for Catholic and Orthodox Christians). Rather, the problem is practice. What should be taught is not taught, and what should be encouraged is not encouraged, and what should be exhorted is not exhorted.

Now, I agree with feeriker that some serious introspection is required. And sadly, I agree with him that when it does happen, it will be mostly in the too little, too late scenario. Which I would argue is today.

Now, to try and put this all together…

It is not the responsibility of Church leadership to ensure that everyone is able to fulfill their vocation. Priests aren’t matchmakers (and neither are Deacons or Bishops). That is not only impossible to guarantee, but also outside its sphere of responsibility. Instead of being charged with ensuring “fair outcomes”, the Church hierarchy and clergy is charged with teaching and exhorting those things which are necessary to give everyone a fighting chance. Some examples:

  • Teach and exhort the importance of young marriage
  • Teach and exhort the importance of parents and family helping their children/relatives marry
  • Teach and exhort an anti-materialist/consumerist mindset
  • Teach and exhort parishioners that helping their brothers and sister in Christ to marry is charitable

The laity isn’t responsible for fair outcomes either. However, they are responsible for teaching their children these things as well. In addition, while not a duty to specifically help their fellow Christians marry, it is charitable to help them find their vocation, and thus the right thing to do. This can and should go beyond helping individual Christians to include group and community actions as well.

I should note that plenty of Churches have various ministries which help those in need. There is no reason why lay members of the Church cannot help minister in this area as well. Perhaps not directly as a matchmaker, but in other, more indirect ways. And of course, even if there are matchmakers, they will be limited by the pool of those seeking marriage. So other avenues need to be available. Reader MK mentioned lay orders, and I think that is one path that has a lot of merit.

In summary, there is a lot that can and should be done in this regard. Clergy and laity all have a role to play. Everyone can contribute. But such contributions aren’t taking place and that is a tragedy which will continue to harm many faithful men for a long time to come.

 

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Filed under Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Market Place, The Church