Category Archives: The Church

Compatibility And Failure

A two topic post today. The first topic is this post over at Deep Strength’s blog. In his post Biblical prescriptions with no bible, DS examines an ostensibly Christian article which discusses sex and marriage. As DS points out, actual scripture doesn’t show up very often in the article, and the most important parts (at least of the New Testament) are missing. The key part I want to talk about is his response here:

One would think that those who burn with passion and get married would have “great sex,” especially with lots of practice. If they’re burning with passion, they’re going to have lots of sex. Of course, it’s not guaranteed there will be “great sex,” but if the each spouse is focusing on the needs of the other, then it will definitely improve significantly over the course of time.

Then you have garbage like “sexual incompatibility” which is just a “lack of practice” and “lack of focusing on the other’s needs” and/or “lack of attraction.” In other words, selfishness.

Given how it is used, “sexual incompatibility” is a concept which means both everything and nothing at the same time. It is a catchall term that means whatever the user intends it to mean at any specific point in time, without necessary reference to how it is used elsewhere, or even before by the same person. Thus, it is basically worthless.

The way I see it, most sexual problems in marriage are rooted in one of these problems:

  • One or both spouses is not sexually attracted to the other spouse
  • One or both of the spouses has some sort of mental hangup with sex
  • One or both of the spouses has some sort of medical condition which is tied to sex (perhaps something that causes pain during the conjugal act)

Now to talk about each.

Sexual Attraction is one of those elephants in the room that most Christians will just ignore. And I suspect most “compatibility” issues are tied to this. I’ve written on the subject numerous times before, but it never hurts to repeat myself here. Unless the situation is truly extraordinary, a couple should NEVER marry unless they share at least some sexual attraction towards each other. It is never certain that this will change in a positive direction after marriage, and even then, it won’t make for a fun wedding night. Solutions to a problem here are for another post, but this is definitely a problem.

Mental hangups can come from a number of sources. Perhaps one of the spouses was the victim of sexual abuse in the past, and this has colored his/her view of sex. Maybe one or both of the spouses engaged in sexual sin in the past, and this has interfered with their ability to be one flesh with their spouse (say, because of a lack of bonding or an inability to be aroused normally). Or maybe one or both spouses was raised and taught an improper view of human sexuality which has had a lasting impact on them. For example, maybe they were taught sexuality was inherently “dirty” or evil, and thus they tried to repress their sexuality (rather than discipline and control) it in the past. Finally, there are issues of heart and attitude- normally based in how one spouse views the other. This is mostly a female problem, as it is tied to attraction, which is based in part on how a woman views a man.

Medical conditions are another possibility. Some might not have solutions, but many do. As so many commercials say, see your personal physician about the matter.


The second topic has to do with failure, and relies on this post over at Alpha Game. Vox uses the example of a “Gamma” to explain this important point:

What [the “Gamma”] has to do is adopt the philosophy “fail faster”. The more you try and fail, and the faster you can speed up that process, the more likely it is that one or more of your future endeavors will meet with success.

This is a tough thing for some men to accept. We can grow up with a sense that failure is to be avoided at all costs. That was me growing up (I definitely had Gamma tendencies). But failure is a necessary part of life. Without failure there can be no growth. Everyone fails at some point. Everyone. If you aren’t failing, it means you aren’t really trying. And if you aren’t really trying, you won’t ever get anything of important done in your life.

This is especially true, and especially difficult, when women are concerned. Rejection and failing with women isn’t easy for a man. At least at first. But it is part of the process of becoming good at interacting with them. A man just has to learn to deal with the frustration and feeling of failure. Like death and taxes, it is just part of life.

And yes, I know it is easier said then done. I flopped recently, and it was damned frustrating for a while. But I got over it. And I am still going forward. Self-pity of self-loathing might appear to feel good at the time, but you always regret them in the end. Remembering that helped me overcome any sense of failure, and instead try to look at it as a learning experience. It is always good to remember what Vox has to say in his closing lines:

Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to be seen to try. Even the most successful people fail, badly, most of the time.

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Filed under Attraction, Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Desire, LAMPS, Marriage, Men, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Strategies, Sin, Temptation, The Church, Women

Market Analysis: Collective Bargaining

This post is a continuation of my Market Analysis series, which began in my post Market Watch. In today’s post I want to examine and discuss in greater detail this observation that I made:

Too many people are doing too little to make marriage happen these days. Marriage needs to be a matter for the whole community.

I have two general areas I want to examine here. The first to look at is the community angle. The second is about making marriage happen.

Starting with community, there is a saying about how “it takes a village” which I think is appropriate here.

Marriage is a communal effort. Everyone in the community is involved in ensuring that it works. When the community isn’t supportive of marriage in general, and marriages in particular, then you get what we have today: tons of divorces and a crashing marriage rate.

Looking back at my quote, I had it wrong. I shouldn’t have said “Marriage needs to be a matter for the whole community,” but instead should have said “Marriage is a matter for the whole community.” Whatever we say or think about it, that simple fact cannot be changed any more than human nature can be changed. We are social beings, and our social environment impacts all of our relationships.

The marriage market cannot be healthy unless the community is supportive of it. When that support is withdrawn, then our baser natures will assert themselves. Thus we end up with the sexual marketplace instead. I suppose, to continue with market metaphors, that the marriage market can be described as a fairly regulated market which, absent those regulations, will quickly turn into a real mess.

Let’s expand that first sentence somewhat. What does “make marriage happen” actually mean? I can think of a number of things:

  • Encourage young people to marry verbally- that is, talk to them and spur them towards marriage if that is their calling.
  • Publicly talk about the benefits of marriage and how wonderful it is or can be, especially around young people.
  • Stop badmouthing marriage- eliminate the griping and negative attitude that is so often expressed. [At the same time efforts need to be made to address the source of these woes. But keep it below the radar]
  • Provide financial support and incentives to young people to marry.
  • Discourage and admonish against individualist attitudes which lead young people away from marriage (careerism, travelism, etc.)
  • Rebuke and punish those who break up marriages or treat them flippantly.
  • Reassure young people that the community will have their back during rough spots in the marriage.
  • Promote life and the unique blessing that is children.

Those are just a few ideas I have come up with while thinking about it. I invite my readers to offer their thoughts on the subject. This post is less developed because I am hoping many of you can propel the discussion forward, hopefully towards directions I haven’t thought of.

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Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, God, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Parenting, Red Pill, Sin, Temptation, 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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