Data on Marriage and how No Fault Divorce turned marriage into a revolving door.

The effects of the pill (ca. 1960) and No Fault Divorce legislation (ca. 1970) show up in the data!

Readership: All;

The Data

I was browsing some data tables for marriage at the U.S. Census website.  It’s hard to see trends from looking at raw data, so I made a graph showing the marital status of Americans since 1950.

This graph tells us a lot about marriage over the last 70 years.

First of all, marriage has remained fairly steady since 1950.

The decreasing ratio of widows is presumably because of the increasing life span and better living/working conditions, especially for men.

The unmarried population reached an all-time low around 1960. Right about this time, hormonal contraceptive pills made their debut.  After this, the number of unmarried people rose steadily, and increased more drastically during the mid to late 1990s. I presume this is a direct result of the pill, because the pill effectively removed the primary motivation for people to marry before having sex, and transformed sex into a FUNgible commodity.  “Free Love”, and all that.

No Fault Divorce (NFD) legislation swept the nation around 1970, and this shows up in the data. Starting in 1970, there began to be a much larger proportion of unmarried people who were divorced. This trend continued to grow until it started to level off somewhat in the mid to late 1990s.

We might question why the number of unmarried divorced people leveled off in the mid to late 1990s. This can be understood when we see that the number of never marrieds took a slight uptick around the same period. In essence, people were choosing to remain single, or waiting until later in life, presumably in order to pursue an education a postporniscuous* season of singularity.  This phenomenon was explained by Dalrock, More grim news for carousellers hoping to jump at the last minute. (2012 November 24).

What happened in the mid-1990s that would cause this?  I have one guess… The insanely popular TV sitcom Friends, which debuted on September 22, 1994 and ran for 10 years. This, coupled with the almost total disappearance of wholesome family shows which had been popular since the late 1950s.

Cast of the TV sitcom, Friends, the archetype of “Free Love”, 90s style. Most young adults coveted the glorified lifestyle of cohabitation and promiscuity that was depicted, but few actually attained it.

Never Married vs. Unmarried Divorced

For the unmarried divorced and never married data, there is an ever widening chasm between men and women since 1970.

  • When we compare never married men and women, the number of never married men is growing faster compared to the number of never married women.  In effect, more women got married, and some men married more than once.
  • When we compare the unmarried divorced men and women, the number of divorced women is increasing faster than the number of divorced men.  This seems to imply that (some) men have a greater likelihood of remaining married. But in reality, this means that men can find another wife after a divorce more easily than women can find a replacement hubby.

So what we see here is that women are postporning* marriage, and are getting divorced, but many of these women are unable (or possibly unwilling) to remarry.  As a result, there are fewer never married women than men, and more divorced women than men.

In sum, the pill and No Fault Divorce (i.e. Frivorce) turned the Marriage Marketplace into an automated slore mill, churning out divorced termagants by the millions.

Women Prefer to be Divorced

The numbers of never marrieds and unmarried divorced have grown since 1960 and 1970, respectively, but neither of these seemed to take a bite out of the number of marriages. So why hasn’t marriage taken a hit?  Or maybe it has!  This could be explained by a combination of the following.

  1. The total population was increasing exponentially, not linearly as the married data shows.
  2. The number of marriages was offset by the number of divorces.
  3. More people got married who would have otherwise remained single.

The first point is not hard to understand, and most readers could agree to the second.  But the third point might leave some scratching their heads.  Think about it. If the overall trend in marriage remains linear, but the number of divorced people increased, then the number of people who got married must have also increased.

To flush out this point, I’ve picked out the data on people over the age of 15 who are unmarried, specifically the never married and the divorced, and I calculated the percentage of these groups compared to the total number of unmarried people.  This data is shown in the following graph.

This graph breaks down the percentages of those men and women over the age of 15 who are unmarried, according to whether they were never married, divorced, or widowed.

Of note, there is a positive female sex ratio in the total population data, and a significant difference between the sexes concerning enwidowment. So at first glance, it is surprising that there has always been a larger percentage of never married men than never married women. 

This graph also shows that 20% of all unmarried people were previously married.  That’s 1 out of 5!  Younger people are shying away from marriage now, so this trend has peaked and is starting to decline.

Here, it is sharply obvious that divorce became trendy in 1970.  At the same time, there was also a marked down turn in the percent of both men and women who never married. This suggests that in addition to more people getting a divorce, there were also more people getting married.  This brings us to the next finding.

Playing House

Children have a game called “playing house”, in which a boy and a girl pretend to be a married couple, and other playmates take on the roles of the children and pets.  It’s all for fun, and is largely forgotten before the next day.

This is exactly what happened to marriage after NFD legislation, except that it was young adults who were playing house!

What we see from the data above is that NFD reduced the initial perceived risk of being stuck in an unhappy marriage until death.  As a result, marriage was not taken as seriously as before, so more people were willing to take the chance at getting married.

In sum effect, NFD transformed marriage from a covenantal institution into a social transaction.  It ostensibly reduced the value of marriage while it simultaneously offered the tangible benefits of financial savings, living conveniences, and the self-styled entertainment of “playing house”. Without the sense of permanency offered by a life-time commitment, marriage is essentially playing house with a revolving door.

I like my No Fault Divorce sunny buns up with some bread on the side man (or meat on the side chick)…  Moar postporniscuity* pleez!

Really…  How many times have you heard someone say, “If it doesn’t “work out”, we can always get a divorce and “start over.”?  But if they have a good postmodern sense of morality, they won’t say that in front of their children.

A Few Conclusions

  1. Since 1950, marriage has increased linearly while the total population has increased exponentially.
  2. The percentage of widows is decreasing.
  3. The early to mid-1960s saw an increase in those postponing marriage, presumably because the advent of the pill removed the motivation to marry before having sex.
  4. In addition to (2), a previous post, Contraception Correlations (2019 November 29), showed that the pill also had a delayed effect on the rise of divorce.
  5. No Fault Divorce legislation in 1970 led to an immediate increase in both marriage and divorce.
  6. When more people are getting married, and more people are getting divorced too, this essentially means that people are taking the institution of marriage less seriously. In other words, marriage has been cheapened by the introduction of No Fault Divorce legislation.
  7. Moreover, marriage became a revolving door – More Johns and D!cks get in, more Beckys and Staceys get out.
  8. However, something happened around 1995 that caused marriage to become much less popular.
  9. Since then, more men are staying single (never married), and…
  10. Many more women are becoming divorced.
  11. The data also shows that fewer women are able to “stick the landing” (marry or remarry).
  12. Now, 1 out of 5 unmarried people were previously married.

These trends are sure to continue.  I anticipate seeing the data in 10 years, after the fallout from InstaWh0ring etc. comes home to roost.

* Note: I’ve invented the words “postporn“ (based on postpone + pornography), and “postporniscuity” (based on postpone + pornography + promiscuity) to describe the intentional postponement of marriage (pursuing education, etc.), while at the same time, engaging in sexual promiscuity and idealizing marriage and/or a perfect partner. This behavior seems to be so common that it deserves a name.

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Posted in Courtship and Marriage, Divorce, Relationships, Sanctification & Defilement, Statistics Reports | 16 Comments

Patheological Weddingsday – Leithart’s Myths of Purity

A sampling platter of the Old Testament Levitical Laws.

Readership: Christians;
Note: For the discerning, Leithart’s post has a familiar spirit.

In his post, Peter Leithart’s Side Effects (2020 October 8), Deep Strength brought to our attention a piece written by Peter Leithart at Theopolis.  Of note, our discussion of this article came to the conclusion that Leithart is channeling Boomer Theology, which is essentially Complementarianism.

I also observed that Leithart has a penchant for “sexual mystery” (his words) as something that should not be “dispelled”.  Not to rant about Boomers, but they have done a grand job at passing that “sexual mystery” down to succeeding generations.  Now, our 21st century ignorance of this knowledge has not made us any more righteous nor happy, but instead, it has made us more impotent and imbecilic when it comes to interactions between the sexes.  We now call this pathetic state, being Blue Pilled, among other, less polite monikers.

After looking around in my study notes on the Purity Movement, I found that Leithart wrote three articles about the Purity Movement at Patheos.  The fact that he wrote for theologically pathetic Patheos makes me even more uneasy about his doctrinal beliefs.

This post will examine the first one, entitled Myths of Purity (2017 October 12).  In this post, Leithart kicks around a few Biblical concepts about uncleanness.  His references suggest that he is quite well read, but his hermeneutics of these topics are banal.

Reformed Presbyterian Pastor, Dr. Peter Leithart.

Myth #1: Uncleanness is “dirtiness”.

“Though there is some overlap between “dirt” and “impurity,” the latter has a specific significance.  If we take Mary Douglas’s definition of dirt as “matter out of place,” then the overlap is stronger.  But Douglas’s definition assumes that impurity is a systemic issue, not a matter of “ickiness”.”

A couple problems already…

To add my own comment on this, impurity is a matter of “ickiness”, but it is more than simply physical ickiness.  It also includes visceral, social, sexual, and spiritual ickiness.  I covered these topics in two previous posts.

In my studies of these topics, I came to the conclusion that the main difference between being unclean and being defiled, is that being defiled is a rather permanent state of being unclean, meaning that the person or object cannot be made clean again through washing or other rituals.

Exodus 30:17-21 might be brought in as evidence to the contrary.  Priests had to wash their hands and feet in the laver before they went before the altar or entered the tabernacle.  That indeed suggests that dirt in and of itself is a defilement, and that the priests would have been unclean if they had failed to do this.  Yet there is nothing in the Levitical law that requires lay Israelites to wash before approaching the tabernacle.  Perhaps this was taken for granted, but the omission is significant.  It indicates that if uncleanness is dirt, it’s a special type of dirt.”

His argument is still not clear, but I can see that Leithart is schmoozing the two concepts of unclean and defiled as meaning the same thing — only the dirt is different!  (Maybe he supports the “magic dirt” hypothesis about immigration.)  Not surprising, because this is a common assumption.  A lot of people argued with me when I argued that there must be a difference between the two.

I’m no expert in Greek or Hebrew, so I can’t get into this much deeper with any certainty.  If any knowledgeable reader would care to dig into this any further, here is a list of words on BibleHub to get you started (and there might be more that I missed).  All these words are translated into English as unclean, defiled, debased, impure, polluted, unwashed, etc., and I’m sure every one of these words carries a unique nuance or special context that has been lost in the translation.  Why else would there be so many different words if it was all the same idea?  Are we to believe that these are all synonyms?

HebrewGreek
1351. gaal169. akathartos
1352. goel449. aniptos
2490c. chalal2840. koinoó
2610. chaneph3392. miainó
2930. tame3435. molunó
2931. tame4510. rhupoó
2932. tum’ah4695. spiloó
2936. tanaph5351. phtheiró
3799. katham
5079. niddah
5953. alal
6031. anah

Anyway, the point of Exodus 30:17-21 is that the priests were not to come into the sanctuary dirty.  Washing was necessary because in those days, traveling along the road to the temple invariably made people dusty and dirty.  According to my understanding of unclean and defiled, not washing would have left the priests unclean, but would not have made them defiled.

“Not every type of gross material that we dirty “dirty” [sic] is unclean in the Levitical sense.  Deuteronomy 23:9-14 requires the Israelites to dig a latrine outside the war camp, because Yahweh dwells in the camp and moves through it.  Israel is not to leave any “thing of nakedness” exposed in the camp (v. 14).  Yet a soldier who uses the toilet outside the camp and covers it up, will immediately return to the camp.  He hasn’t been made unclean by feces or urination.”

This is standard protocol for field camps, both military and civilian.  Even dogs don’t doo doo in the dog house.

Concerning his last sentence, feces does make one unclean.  To make my point, stepping in poop might be funny (unclean), but stepping on a used maxipad is never funny (defiled).

Concerning verse 14, I don’t know what translation he’s using.  Only the Young’s Literal Translation uses the word “nakedness”, but it doesn’t say “thing of nakedness”.  All other translations use the words filthy, indecent, offensive, shameful, or unclean.

But overall, he’s making a distinction between unclean and defiled, which contradicts his earlier suggestion, and confirms mine.  Actually, I think he has not made any distinction between these terms as I have.

“Human beings contract uncleanness by emissions from the body (Leviticus 15), but not every emission from the body defiles.”

I can agree on that.  Leviticus 15 states that the emissions that are defiling are semen, menstruation, and purulence.

This image is incorrect. Turkey is unclean, according to Levitical Law.

Myth #2: God gave purity rules for reasons of health and hygiene.

“Nothing in the food laws suggests that foods are prohibited because of the dirty or unhealthy habits of the animal, or the unhealthy character of their meat.  The pig is off limits because, though it divides the hoof, it doesn’t chew the cud.  Sheep can be gross too, but they are not only clean but sacrificial animals.

Shrimp and shellfish are not prohibited because they are bottom feeders or because they are scavengers.  They’re prohibited because they lack scales and fins.  After the Maccabean revolt, Jewish tradition, exalted the pig into the model of the unclean animal but that is an historical “accident”.”

I don’t believe this is totally a myth.  Health and hygiene may not have been the express purpose of the Levitical regulations, but health and hygiene did come as a benefit.

“Nor are other forms of impurity related to health concerns.  Lepers are isolated and quarantined, it is said, to prevent the disease from spreading.  There are several problems with this.  Biblical leprosy is not the same as modern leprosy.  It is more like psoriasis than Hanson’s disease.”

I disagree.  In ancient times, it may have been difficult to distinguish between a case of dermal lesions and a terminal case of Hanson’s disease, especially in the early stage of infection, so they had to take precautions with all.  So all kinds of gross skin diseases were lumped into a general category of leprosy, or rather, suspected leprosy.

“Further, when a “leper” turns completely white, when he is completely covered with the white swelling of his leprosy, he is declared clean automatically (Leviticus 13:13).  If the laws are concerned with contagion, it’s odd that the leper is pronounced healthy when his body is entirely taken over by the disease.”

The text is definitely confusing, and he is not making it any less so.  I’m not a medical expert, but I imagine that leprous sores turn white when the infected tissue becomes necrotic and desquamates, indicating a remission of the infection.

Myth #3: Israelites in a state of uncleanness were pariahs and outcasts, excluded from the daily run of social life.

“Uncleanness prevents a person from approaching the sanctuary.  It doesn’t prevent anyone from living a normal life.”

No, uncleanness prevents a person from glorifying God in the sanctuary.  Going back to Exodus 30:17-21, if a priest delivered a sermon in his gardening clothes, it would be sacrilegious.  A high priest doing this should be dismissed.  In the Old Testament, God dismissed him personally, and permanently.

BTW, how many preachers have you seen deliver a message while wearing a T shirt and tattered blue jeans or jogging sweats? The Washington D.C. area has had them for the past 25 years.

“A woman wasn’t expelled from her home during her period, nor was she prohibited from contact with others.  She and her husband could continue to sleep in the same bed, though they were prohibited from having intercourse.

Her husband would become unclean, as would most of the rest of her family.  They would have to go through rites of cleansing, perhaps every night the woman was menstruating.  It would be an inconvenience, especially if there were several adult women in the house (think Tevye).  But there would be no ostracism, exclusion, or expulsion.”

Maybe it’s not a rejection, but a woman on her period is somewhat of an outcast. Using the analogy, a used maxipad is defiled.  A person or thing that touches that maxipad is unclean.

“There seem to be some exceptions.  Lepers are sent out of the camp (Numbers 5:1-3), along with all people with discharges and people contaminated by corpses, But the camp has a certain degree of holiness to it.  The ark is in the midst, and Israel is organized around it.  This isn’t a precedent for exclusion from daily life, but exclusion from the presence of God.”

This passage actually goes against his argument. And I’m not buying that last line.  God is present everywhere.  A person’s sin, not geographical location, is what excludes one from the presence of God.

“What about lepers after Israel entered the land? 2nd Kings 7 indicates that the lepers were put outside the city.  And this is perhaps implied by the law: A leprous house was dismantled and taken out of the city, so perhaps we can infer that a leprous person was also removed from the city.  Behind that, perhaps, is the notion of a city as holy space.”

Leithart’s cursory review could be misleading.  If we take the time to read Leviticus 13 and 14, which cover the Levitical regulations for leprous people, garments, objects, and homes, we find that razing the building was the very last resort to be rid of a house “plague” (presumably some type of mold or fungus).

“And, finally, we can’t be certain that the treatment of lepers in 2nd Kings 7 is just.  After all, they are being excluded from Samaria, not Jerusalem, and Samaria is a city populated by idols.  Perhaps the fact that the lepers are put outside the city is a sign of the injustice of the northern kingdom, which would only heighten the irony when the lepers save the city by discovering the abandoned Aramean camp.”

Now he’s passing retroactive judgment on the social justice of Samaria during the Iron Age, and using this as an excuse as to why #3 is a myth. Overall, it’s not convincing.  He doesn’t tie this little story back to the main topic of uncleanness.  The article ends there without any conclusion, leaving the reader confused and dissatisfied.

Conclusions

In summary of this post, Leithart has made several errors.

  • His writing style is that of an authority, but the substance of his writing does not carry the power of that authority.
  • He took snippets of ideas from several passages about uncleanness, but failed to explain any of them within context.
  • He fails to offer specific definitions to the concepts he builds his arguments on.
  • He extrapolated certain passages to mean something beyond what is implied in scripture.
  • As a result, he ends up making some pretty extreme statements that have little applicable value.
  • His arguments flitter across several ideas, and as a whole, fail to explain why the propositions are myths.

Leithart’s post is like a rough draft that got published before it was finished.  It was painful to read, and difficult to concentrate. Maybe he had some idea of what he was writing about, but he failed to make those ideas clear, and show how they could reinforce his arguments.  Thus, it creates more confusion than illumination.

If I could believe that Leithart is cunning enough to have adopted an old media strategy of abusing a topic in order to trivialize it, then my best guess is that this post is intended to convince readers that the Old Testament Law is no longer valid, or even ridiculous, or that maintaining purity is a fool’s errand.

<Looks again at Leithart’s photo>

No way.  Leithart’s post was only intended as clickbait, reading fodder, or to fulfill a quota.

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Birds of One Feather Flock Together

A theory of attraction based on the spiritual state of the heart.

Readership: All; Christians; Singles;
Note: In this essay, “soft-hearted” means living in continual communion with the spiritual wisdom and discernment offered by a heart led awareness of the spiritual world.  It does not mean wimpy, effeminate, chivalrous, nor “nice”.  “Hard-hearted” follows the Biblical description of the term, which means being in the habit of relying primarily on one’s own reason and sense of personal justice, and thereby ignoring those things which are spiritually discerned.

Introduction

In a previous post, Looking at the Essentials (2020 June 12), I discussed how single Christians have to consider their spiritual constitution as well as their carnal nature in order to know one’s self more thoroughly.

One of the higher purposes of this introspection is to better identify a potential spouse who might offer a deeper, more fulfilling, and more sanctifying connection in marriage.

This post goes further into analyzing the spiritual aspects and presents a theory based on my own experience and my observations of others.  I welcome any thoughts, additional insights, and constructive criticism that the readers may have to offer.

The Heart-Based Theory of Attraction

Here, I will assume that people tend to form relationships more easily with those who share similar values and who communicate on the same spiritual wavelength.  For proof of this, all you have to do is look at how cliques form within any group.  Did you ever wonder why people gravitate into these cliques?  People don’t make a conscious decision about which clique to join.  It just comes out that way.  And after cliques form, there’s a pecking order that becomes manifested.  No one joins a clique thinking that he/she wants to be the AMOG, or the queen bee, or the butt of all the jokes, or whatever his/her role is in the clique.  It just comes out that way.  There’s something deeper and more fundamental that cements these people together and causes them to assert specific roles in the group.

This same phenomenon happens with intersexual attraction too. People tend to be attracted to certain people and not others.  Those who are hard hearted tend to be primarily attracted to the evolutionary indicators of health, fitness, and fertility that have been discussed in the Manosphere over the past decade. (For the purposes of discussion, I’ll call this a Carnal Attraction.)

Those who are soft-hearted consider these things as well, but they also have a deeper personal awareness of “fit” and overall compatibility. They are more aware of how the other person affects their emotional health and spiritual growth. They may also recognize a larger purpose for being in relationship with a particular person. (I’ll refer to this as a Spiritual Attraction.)

A more mature person will prioritize the discernment of these deeper truths of identity in a Spiritual Attraction, and assign greater credence to this kind of relationship.  Some people call this type of fit a “true” attraction, or a “true” relationship.

For example, when two married couples first meet, they usually exchange stories of how they met their spouse (viz. their Meet Cute experiences). The underlying motivation for discussing this subject is to ascertain the nature, strength, and purpose of the other couple’s relationship. This can often help them understand the couple much faster and better.

Interpreting Some Commonly Heard Terminology

As a praxeology, we often see women size up men based on the table below. A description follows (in green text).

Feminine conception SMV spiritual state

According to this conceptualization, the type of man a particular woman is attracted to depends, in part, on the spiritual state of her own heart.

Soft-hearted women should naturally find soft-hearted men preferable, whereas hard-hearted, fleshly-minded wimmin would be drawn to cads for Tingles.

Likewise, soft-hearted men should naturally find soft-hearted women preferable, whereas lecherous cads inevitably gravitate towards hard-hearted slores for the payoff.  (Cads and slores are hard-hearted by definition.)

Granted, this correlation is greatly oversimplified for the sake of clarity.  I know many readers will object to the real-world accuracy of these assertions, and I am sure there are exceptions in the real world, but this assessment might explain much of the seemingly bizarre attraction that we often see, as well as why some other couples seem to be perfect together.

When you understand that the respective partners in a relationship choose each other for specific reasons, then you can begin to appreciate how they are (or fail to be) perfect together.  If you can’t understand what that reason is, or if you disagree about the value of that reason, then you will not be able to understand why certain people get together.

A Speculum in the Mirror

It seems like good, solid marriages are hard to come by these days. When we find one, we might ask ourselves how they got so lucky.

But this is not due to blind luck. These people must have had a deeper sense of self-awareness and they knew themselves and what was of primordial importance to their lives.  They were also able to identify something within the soul of the other person which resonated harmoniously with their own soul.  Thus, as a result of their discernment of the spiritual implications, they were able to make a better choice. The common term for this approach is wisdom, but wisdom requires a level of discernment that a hard hearted person does not, and cannot have.

For those who find themselves having perpetual bad luck in love, it may very well be a result of the lack of discernment and wisdom. If a man finds that he is continuously attracted to cold, calculating, hard-hearted, sizzling hot wimmin, then this might be an indicator that he is hard core himself.

Likewise, women who are irresistibly drawn to Harvey Wallbangers, even though they know he’ll toss them aside the next morning, are relying totally on visceral cues of carnal attraction, and have no awareness that a deeper and more satisfying form of emotional connection is possible.

I experienced this phenomenon myself for many years, and I was always so frustrated that I couldn’t attract a woman whom I considered to be marriage worthy. It wasn’t until after many years (and a couple marriages) that I realized that I was hard-hearted, and that I was subconsciously attracted to hard-hearted wimmin. This contributed greatly to my difficulties in finding an appropriate person to marry, and building a stable marriage. Since I discovered the Heart-Led Way to interact with life, the nature of these blunders have become more apparent to me.

Like it or not, ex-Prince Harry had his reasons for choosing to marry Meghan Markle. But does he (really) know what those reasons are?

Conclusions

One proposition that has been offered in this post is that people choose their friends, lovers, partners, and spouses for a reason.  Unfortunately, it is rather common for people to enter into relationships without any awareness of what that reason is.  As a result, people are unaware of the kind of relationship it can possibly become and are likely to become disappointed or frustrated because of the inevitable disconnect between expectations and reality.  I will posit that this is a common cause of divorce.

We can safely presume that any relationship formed between two people who are hard-hearted will not yield the maximum spiritual benefits that might be obtained through a relationship, but instead will lead to one (or both) engaging in dysfunctional relationship patterns with the aim of gratifying the desires of the flesh. A profuse dedication to being spiritually obedient to God’s Law might ameliorate much of the pain and dysfunction, but this approach is difficult and unlikely to occur, nor will it yield the full cornucopia of marital satisfaction that God intends.

On the other hand, being soft-hearted brings an added dimension of spiritual awareness which can offer one a great deal of wisdom in choosing a relationship partner. This discernment can also help one detect what kind of potential the relationship might have, before one gets too far into it. Choosing a partner who is compatible, not only in the flesh (e.g. personality, habits, socioeconomic level, SMV parity), but also in the spirit (e.g. having mutual values, a similar life purpose, and a shared source of joy), has the potential to produce a satisfying relationship that possesses the vital essentials necessary to weather the years together.

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Posted in Attraction, Choosing a Partner or Spouse, Courtship and Marriage, Discernment, Wisdom, Divorce, Fundamental Frame, Introspection, Maturity, Personal Growth and Development, Models of Failure, Models of Success, Purpose, Relationships, Self-Concept, The Power of God, Vetting Women | 4 Comments

What is a woman’s desire for her husband according to Genesis 3:16?

An examination of a woman’s desire towards her husband.

Readership: Christians;
Length: 3,900 words;
Reading Time: 13 minutes;
Guide to Imagery: The Mandelbrot set illustrates the seeming complexity of the issue. The apple represents the sinful desire to usurp authority and to control. The banana represents sexual desire. The pear represents fertility. Bread represents provisioning and earning potential.

Introduction

The English Standard Version (ESV) is a revision of the 1971 edition of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Christian Bible that employs an “essentially literal” translation philosophy.  The senior editor for the Old Testament is C. John Collins, and Wayne Grudem is one of the editors.

I’ve only heard good things about the English Standard Version, that it is elegant, yet accurate. Imagine my surprise when I came across this passage.

To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to* your husband,
    but he shall rule over you.”

Genesis 3:16 (ESV) See full chapter.

There is a footnote attached to the phrase “contrary to”.

* Genesis 3:16 Or shall be toward (see 4:7).

How does “shall be toward” translate into “shall be contrary to”?

Approaching the Questions

It would be easy to dismiss this as a confusing passage or even a bad translation, but it would be more difficult to gain a heart understanding of the deeper truth(s) behind these words.  If we can apprehend a firm grasp of what this verse is talking about, then we are in a better position to form an opinion about what it means, and the accuracy of the translation.

So here, I pose the following questions to be addressed in the remainder of this essay.

What is the nature of the desire referenced in Genesis 3:16b?

  1. That women desire their husbands emotionally and/or sexually.
  2. That women desire to control their husbands.

Another hot question concerning the latter part of verse 16 is this: Is a woman’s desire toward her husband a consequence of the fall, or is God merely affirming that this will remain unchanged?  The first half of the verse suggests that it is a consequence.

I have noticed a subtle connotation that has appeared (in Protestantism especially, but maybe in other ordinations too), which is that desire itself is wrong, sinful, or a consequence of the fall.

So the final question is this: Is the ESV’s account of Genesis 3:16 a complete and accurate translation?

Comparison to Other Translations

I compared this to other translations to get a better feel of the meaning.  I found that there are actually two different ideas floating around in the majority of these translations.  The word desire is translated as either a sexual desire, or a desire to control.  This might explain why there is so much discussion and debate about the applied meaning of these verses within Christendom.

Some translations were poignantly obvious about which of these two interpretations was adopted…

The Living Bible suggests a livid sexual desire.

Then God said to the woman, “You shall bear children in intense pain and suffering; yet even so, you shall welcome your husband’s affections, and he shall be your master.”

Genesis 3:16 (TLB)

The Contemporary English Version includes the word “still” suggesting that a woman’s desire was present pre-fall.

Then the Lord said to the woman, “You will suffer terribly when you give birth. But you will still desire your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Genesis 3:16 (CEV)

The New English Translation specifically uses the word control.

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your labor pains; with pain you will give birth to children. You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you.”

Genesis 3:16 (NET)

The New Living Translation also uses the word control.

Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

Genesis 3:16 (NLT)

The Expanded Bible inserts an inline note to specify that this is a desire for control.

Then God said to the woman, “I will ·cause you to have much trouble [or increase your pain] ·when you are pregnant [in childbearing], and when you give birth to children, you will have great pain. You will greatly desire [C the word implies a desire to control; 4:7] your husband, but he will rule over you.”

Genesis 3:16 (EXB)

Interestingly, I found that the older translations are suggestive of a sexual desire, but the newer translations make it out to be a desire to control the husband.

A few translations had a different take altogether.

The Message suggests a joyful submission.

He told the Woman: “I’ll multiply your pains in childbirth; you’ll give birth to your babies in pain. You’ll want to please your husband, but he’ll lord it over you.”

Genesis 3:16 (MSG)

The New International Reader’s Version adopts a poetic stance.

The Lord God said to the woman, “I will increase your pain when you give birth. You will be in great pain when you have children. You will long for your husband. And he will rule over you.

Genesis 3:16 (NIRV)

Of interesting note, the International Standard Version translates desire as trust!

He told the woman, “I’ll greatly increase the pain of your labor during childbirth. It will be painful for you to bear children, since your trust is turning toward your husband, and he will dominate you.”

Genesis 3:16 (ISV)

Aside from the few translations that are unique, most of these translations interpret the word desire as either for sex/affection or for control.  But the meaning is totally different.  Which one is it?  Or is it both?

So after surveying all these translations, we are no closer to the answers. However, I realized that I didn’t understand this passage as well as I had assumed. I realized that Genesis 3:15-17 is a very important verse that serves as a foundational of our conceptual understanding of (1) women, (2) the relationship between men and women, and (3) marriage. Therefore, it is imperative for us to get it right.  So this pushed me to dig and study further until I could find the answer.

Which one is true?

Answers to Prayer

Because of the obvious variance among the many translations (and because most modern translations are conducted by Protestants), I found that I could no longer trust any English based interpretation of this verse.

Therefore, I turned to the Lord in prayer, and I asked Him these questions.  I got three answers.

  1. First, I got the idea that (whenever I have any question,) if I study the scriptures inside out and it is still not clear, then it’s time to pray about it and find out what it should mean to me personally.
  2. Second, I realized that both interpretations have real world validity, so maybe the interpretation could be open to either meaning.
  3. Third, I got the idea that the word desire may not be limited to be a transitive verb, but may simply be an intransitive verb or even a noun describing a generalized state of neediness and insecurity. As such, this desire could be expressed in many ways, not just the two I identified. All humans have desire at the root of our nature, but women much more so.
Bananas make women smile!

Examination of the Original Hebrew

I went back to the original Hebrew using BibleHub.  The word translated as desire only occurs once in Genesis 3:16. An inflection appears twice in Genesis 4:7 and Song of Solomon 7:10.

In the other two places, it shows up with a contextual meaning that suggests one each of the two meanings. In Genesis 4:7 it clearly refers to sin as a being or a force that desires to control us. In the Song of Solomon 7:10 it is obvious that it refers to a sexual/marital desire.

Several Bible commentators, as well as Grudem, have explored the analogy between Genesis 3:16 and 4:7. One commenter at Dalrock, RPC, summed up this analogy quite succinctly [emphasis mine].

“Grudem’s comments point out something I never realized before. The parallel between Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 4:7 is striking:

3:16: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

4:7: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Fascinating. The logical parallel is between the woman and sin. The woman is not the victim, she is the usurper.

Now, if only we could get a pastor to preach this passage in front of a congregation, instead of making arguments behind closed doors…”

Men prefer bananas. Women want the bread.

“I’ve read some interpretations of Genesis 3:16 that agree that “desire” suggests the woman will be tempted to usurp her husband. However, some go on to say that “he shall rule over thee” means that the husband will be similarly tempted to take his authority to the extreme and become oppressive. In other words, they try to spin the verse so it’s not just focused on the woman’s rebellion. It also creates an opening for the “sin of being a doormat” theology.

The parallel with 4:7 creates some problems with this interpretation. In 4:7 the desire that sin has for Cain is clearly negative, a desire to conquer and subdue him. But, is Cain “ruling over” sin also negative? Is it wrong for Cain to exercise authority over sin, even in an extreme or oppressive way? Clearly the intent in 4:7 is to describe Cain’s rule as being positive, not a result of his sinful nature. The aspiration of that rule is TOTAL.

So, 4:7 seems to reinforce the idea that the main problem described in 3:16 is the wife’s rebellious heart, not the husband’s oppressive leadership.

Also, if husbands ruling their wives oppressively is such an important sin, why do Jesus, Paul, or any of the early church fathers fail to mention it? Why don’t they warn husbands to be careful not to oppress their wives? Instead, we have the opposite. The emphasis is on extreme submission on the part of the wife, in everything. Clearly being a “doormat” was not a significant concern for Paul.

Now, dwelling with your wife in love and understanding likely excludes a domineering approach, but this is a problem for such a small percentage of men, it’s not even worth a mention in scripture.”

RPC’s comments at Dalrock (2016 November 22)

I think a connection could be made between these three verses (Genesis 3:16; 4:7, and Song of Solomon 7:10):  Your sin wants to screw you over just like a woman wants to screw her husband (in every connotation imaginable).

During my study of the Hebrew, I snuck over to Google Translate and entered the Hebrew word for desire (תְּשׁ֣וּקָתֵ֔ךְ) given in the passage at Biblehub. Lo and behold, look what came up!

This is not a matter of doubt.

The Word of a Jewish Rabbi / Native Speakers of Hebrew

“The word in question here is t’shookatecha, often translated ‘your desire’ or ‘your longing’. It is a word that stems from the root ‘shook’, from which we get the Hebrew words for ‘market’ or ‘thigh’, also the word for a ‘mass movement of horses or locusts’.

And so the idea behind the most basic meaning of this root word for longing or desire, is a ‘strong movement in a certain direction’. Thus t’shookah, in this context, is the direction of feeling toward an objective; in other words, a striving or a longing.

I don’t see anything that would indicate she will necessarily act contrary to him to oppose him. Although that doesn’t mean she won’t, but I am not sure this is a proof text that she is destined to. If anything, Adam is chastised for listening to his wife when it was his duty to oppose her concerning the commandment which was first entrusted to him.

As far as the verse in Genesis 4:7 concerning Cain, a close reading is critical and is helpful in elucidating the meaning of the Genesis 3:16 verse, but not in the way the translators of the ESV are thinking.

According to a number of Jewish commentators, the Hebrew word t’shookah does not denote the passion of hostility, but always denotes exalted yearning; the devoted longing of love. For example, “I belong to my beloved, the devoted longing of my love” (Song of Solomon 7:7), where this same Hebrew word is used.

The meaning (concerning Adam and Eve, man and woman) does not indicate that there is to be a constant state of war between them — as if the woman is lying in wait for her husband to oppose him and act contrary to him, to overcome him…

Rather the sense is of a loving wife, who finds completion of her own existence in submission and devotion to the aspirations and agenda of her husband and in accepting and submitting to his guidance – he shall rule over her. She is not her own. Her will is subsumed by that of another, i.e. her husband”.

“In the example with Cain, Cain is being admonished that sensuality does have the power to rule over him and not to underestimate its power. Nevertheless, the Hebrew sense is that it lies quietly at the door and will not enter uninvited. However, the moment he invites it to sit at his table, as it were, it will begin to feel at home with him and eventually become his master.

The Jewish view is that G-d created the power of sensuality, not so that it should control us, but that we should control it. Its whole desire is that you should master it and guide it. Not to suppress or kill it, but rule over it and guide it. That is the purpose and mission.

The idea is that when you master your sensuality, it achieves its purpose, which is why its longing is towards you. The same idea underlies the woman’s desire and longing for her husband, who in turn is to rule over her and guide her.

No human quality is intrinsically good or bad – moral use is a key consideration. The idea is that the relationship between man [e.g. Cain] and sensuality resembles the relationship between husband and wife… sensuality waits at the door and its longing and desire is towards you THAT YOU SHOULD MASTER IT AND GUIDE IT. Sensuality and woman both achieve their purpose through subordination to man… I think the editors or translators of the ESV might want to do a little more homework…”

Rabbi B’s comment at Dalrock (2016 November 23)

אליו means “to him” not “against him”.  Wrong is wrong.

ואליו תשוקתך והוא ימשול בך [translated as] “…and to him [your man or husband] will be your desire and he will rule over you” is not ambiguous.

The simple explanation of the verse ואליו תשוקתך “to him will be your desire” has no implication of being against him.  Rather it means the desire of the wife will be towards her husband. אליו “to him” is used thousands of times in the OT and it always means “towards him,” never “against him”.  This is not a matter of doubt.

Avrahan Rosenblum’s comments at Dalrock (2016 November 23)
Shopping around is so difficult. A woman can never make up her mind. But a little variety is… drama!

The Word of a Scholarly Elder

I sent an email to Ed Hurst to ask him two questions.

  1. What is the original or applied meaning of desire in Genesis 3:16, “Your desire will be for your husband…“?  Is it a sexual desire or a desire to control?
  2. What is the nature of this desire in Genesis 3:16? Is it a troublesome thing that is part of the curse of the fall, or is it a good thing that existed before the fall?

The next day, I found a response from Ed in my inbox.  He wrote,

“I didn’t study Hebrew in the standard sense of a translator. I studied Hebrew culture and thinking. My sense is that the word in Genesis 3:16 is ambiguous, and likely means both. That would be typical of Hebrew thinking, in that there is no reason to distinguish between the two. Further, the broader Hebrew outlook on the nature of women seems to support the idea that there is little difference between either kind of desire. When a woman is righteous, it emphasizes the sexual desire she has, but that same desire can be perverted into a desire to control. Either way, she is not capable of simply ignoring men.

Now for the more technical stuff: This particular word [teshuqah] appears only three times in the Hebrew texts of the Bible…”

Ed recounted most of the information I found earlier on BibleHub.  Then he adds,

“Because of the word’s rarity in the Hebrew Scripture, there’s no grounds for pinning it down as being itself either good or bad. Rather, I take it as something that was wired in by Creation, but perverted by the Curse. Thus, my suggestion is that it could take a good direction or a bad one. Based on my understanding of psychology, both the academic and clinical background, along with the pastoral experience I’ve had, I doubt it’s easily untangled in women today. A woman with a pure desire is something we understand easily enough, but finding one that doesn’t suffer from the temptation to control is nigh impossible. But that a woman is drawn to manliness is hardly in dispute.”

Banana, banana, Copacabaña! Carmen Miranda (1947)

In addition, Ed wrote a post on this question.

“The Hebrew word for “desire” is translated variously into English, but it seems to go in two different directions: either she will have a sexual lust for him, or a lust to control him.

But that’s not how Hebrew language works. One of the biggest flaws in textual analysis and expository writing about the Bible is the failure of Western scholars to embrace the Hebrew outlook. It tends to be what we call “gestalt” thinking, that the meaning of the instance depends entirely on the broader understanding of the whole. You cannot compartmentalize or slice-n-dice anything in Hebrew Scripture. Hebrew language is inherently parabolic and symbolic by nature, and is meant to provoke your heart-led consciousness. You are supposed to weigh things against your convictions and your broader desire for peace with God.”

This corresponds with the first answer to my prayers.

“Is this a case where Eve, symbolizing all womanhood, will have a sexual desire for her man, or is this a case of her desire to control him? There is a lot hanging on this question, since it arises from a very highly debated point of theology for the entirety of Western Church History. Does this suggest something that surprises no one, in that humans are wired with a sexual desire from Creation itself? Or does this imply that the Curse of the Fall will make her wish to control her man? In Hebrew thinking, both are quite true.”

This corresponds with the second answer to my prayers.

“…the word in Genesis 3:16 is intentionally ambiguous because it means both. Eve’s natural pure desire for Adam had been perverted in the encounter with Satan to become a desire for control. Adam’s failure is part of the gestalt here. His distraction from the fundamental task of moral guardianship encouraged Eve to exercise an authority that was not hers to wield. And her inherent weakness in moral things, being as she is wired to follow and not lead, was part of the whole downfall of both.”

Radix Fidem: Lust for Sex or Control? (2020 October 12)

Ed’s post answered my second question very well (i.e. What is the nature of this desire?), and I think this was the aspect that was making me very confused. I had the mindset that it was an either/or answer, but it’s both — desire existed pre-fall, but was corrupted by the fall.

I’m tired of bananas. I want to have something different!

Conclusions

In this post, I’ve discussed several questions. Here, I’ll reiterate these questions and provide brief answers.

Question 1: What is the applied meaning of the word “desire” in Genesis 3:16?  “Your desire will be for your husband…”  Is this a sexual desire or a desire to control him?

Reviewing the sources of opinions…

  • Those supporting the idea that it is a desire to control: Wayne Grudem; Novaseeker;
  • Those supporting the idea that it is a sexual desire: Editors of older translations; Rabbinical scholars; Several noteworthy Bible commentators;
  • Those supporting the idea that both interpretations are valid: Deep Strength; Ed Hurst;

Short Answer: The scriptures are not specific. It suggests a sexual desire, but it could be interpreted according to a specific context, including a desire to control.

Question 2: What is the ontological nature of this desire in Genesis 3:16? Is it a troublesome thing that is part of the curse of the fall, or is it a good thing that existed before the fall?

Short Answer: Both are true.  Desire existed pre-fall, but was corrupted by the fall.

Question 3: Is desire itself wrong, sinful, or a consequence of the fall?

Short Answer: No, desire is an inherent part of human nature that was present before the fall.  But the nature and the intention of desire were corrupted as a result of the fall.

Question 4: Is the ESV’s account of Genesis 3:16 a complete and accurate translation?

Short Answer: The ESV’s translation of Genesis 3:16 is extremely specific compared to the original Hebrew, and therefore allows readers to overlook or ignore any other nuances of meaning that might faithfully apply, including the one that native speakers of Hebrew emphatically insist is the correct interpretation.

The specific interpretation used in the ESV paints women as being contentious and disagreeable, and it completely bypasses any suggestion that a woman’s desire for her husband could be (or should be) sexual in nature.  It also adumbrates any of the wider possibilities.

Verdict: The ESV’s interpretation of Genesis 3:16 is not entirely wrong, but it is myopic and therefore incomplete.  As it is now worded, it should not be made part of the permanent version.

The ESV has no bananas in Genesis 3:16!

Related

Arguments based on Genesis 3:16 have come up around the blogosphere quite a few times.  Here are a few.

Posted in Answered Prayers, Churchianity, Courtship and Marriage, Desire, Discerning Lies and Deception, Fundamental Frame, Organization and Structure, Relationships, The Power of God | 36 Comments

Formal attire is making a comeback.

Don’t be a Grungy Bum.

Readership: All; Men;

The Battle for Dignity and Class

Recently this year, I’ve seen authentic style begin to make a comeback. Men are wearing dress shirts, belts, and shiny leather shoes. Women are letting their hair grow, and they are wearing dresses and high heels.

I’m as pleased as spiked punch!

Formality comes and goes in waves, according to social trends. In the U.S., formality has been out of style since 1990, and since then, it has been dated with X’ers like myself. I was in college during the Grunge era of the 90’s, and I always felt ashamed of (what I considered to be) the low-class attire that was in vogue at the time. I know Millennials don’t reflect on the 90’s with such distaste, but I didn’t like it at all — not because it was tasteless and drab, but because it did nothing to showcase one’s personality, nor one’s tastes in style. Simply put, it was not inspiring at all! Anybody and everybody could pull on a black T and a pair of stone washed, acid scourged Levi’s and blend into the tattered gray masses. The mark of individuality was in showing your baggy boxers!

True to the style of my generation, I always prided myself for wearing a black leather belt, Johnson and Murphy captoes, and a blue, Italian hand-stitched tie — only and always silk, which has a smooth, refined texture.

The reason I was so adamant about my personal presentation is because I always recognized that maintaining a sharp appearance is a show of self-respect, a display of masculine power, and a gift of inspiration to those around me. Why should I become common just to avoid being rejected by those opprobrious rejects of decorum?

A lot of people scolded me for being too formal, and told me to “loosen up”. But I dismissed such taunting as juvenile attention from those suffering from a peculiarly acute allergy to class.

Even after I became a professor at a National University, some other professors told me not to wear a tie to the department meetings. After pondering upon the possible reasons for this request, I realized that I was making them look bad, and that they were too lazy to up their game enough to look like a professional. I stopped wearing a tie to the meetings out of deference to my seniors, but I still wore ties to my class lectures and speeches. I also started giving away ties to graduating Ph.D. students as a graduation gift, and I told them to wear it whenever they needed a boost of confidence. They were ecstatic!

Recently, my mother-in-law gave me a bow tie that belonged to my wife’s father, who was also a professor before he retired. I’ve realized that I can wear a bow tie and still look professional without making my colleagues feel insecure. I’ve also discovered that women find it absolutely adorable, adding to my delight and the chagrin of my wife!

Why Be Formal?

One of the most basic qualities of human nature is the fact that we are full of desires. We desire money, we desire relationships, we desire political freedoms, we desire success, we desire attention, love, honor, respect, and so on.

Desire cannot be separated from the human experience.

But the conflict of our desires is a significant source of disparity, dissonance, and desperation, which makes us resemble brute animals competing for resources and opportunities!

Simultaneously, human beings need a sense of self-worth, dignity, and respect, so we have invented “formality” as a way to glorify our innate human quality of desire with a sense of honor.

Logical reasonability, organization, passion, and order henceforth become valuable in the art of self-expression. Thus, it becomes necessary to display consideration, to observe rules of etiquette, and to discuss topics such as goals, purposes, and processes in a non-subjective manner.

This is the essence of formality.

Those who have a mature view of formality, recognize it as a venue in which their deepest heart-felt desires may be charismatically expressed with honor and determination in a social setting.

Formality glorifies God and inspires your fellow man! Jesus himself wore a garment “without hem”.

Concluding Statements

Formal dress allows one to display the liveliness of one’s personality and desire. You would be amazed at how much impact you can achieve, and how much people would love to receive your attention, just by wearing a tie with a bit of flair.

Don’t be a common bum. Be a man who creates an impression, who is memorable, who gives life to others. Dressing the part is the first step in developing charisma.

Do what I did. Dedicate $1,000 to buy a high quality wardrobe that fits your style and persona. Choose colors wisely. Pay a tailor to make it fit right. High quality clothing will last for 20 years (for a man). You won’t regret it. You may even find it was the best decision you ever made.

Related

Posted in Authenticity, Determination, Inner Game | 15 Comments

The Shepherd and the Crook

Giving advice is not as simple or as complex as you might think.

Readership: Men;

The Shepherd, Conrad Eldridge

My father believed that power and knowledge were corrupting.  He always refused to give me any advice.  He thought it to be better if I made my own decisions and found my own way.  He was also afraid that I would blame him if things didn’t turn out as I expected.  Interestingly, his middle name is Conrad, which means “wise counselor”.  This is a name that had been used for many generations in his family, but he chose not to give me this name.  Instead, I inherited a generational moniker from my maternal grandfather’s line.

Looking back on my life, I wish that my father would have been more willing to share the wisdom of his own experience.  However, because of his approach, I now have many of my own unique life experiences to draw from.  There are pros and cons to any style of shepherding.

At the opposite extreme from my father’s style, there are some people who love to give advice because it gives them an ego kick to control or influence the lives of others.  The worst sort of advice (or the best within a viciously insolent frame) is motivated by schadenfreude.  Of course, people like this seldom give out profoundly wise advice.

The best sort of advice is when someone clearly spells out what the choices are, delineates the pros and cons for each choice, and gives an idea of what the most probable consequences might be for each choice.

A wise counselor will not omit choices, or push for one choice or another, but will instead leave that open to the person’s own decision.  I believe that one reason why Red Pill truths have been lost over the last couple generations is because our elders correctly assessed that certain embodiments of knowledge are apt to be used for evil and destruction, and they thought they were doing right by either obviating or excluding those options.  But that is a choice that each person must make for himself.  To be deprived of choice is to be enslaved.  Forced altruism crushes the will, and is thus a gateway to ћә11.  Our ignorance of this knowledge has not made us any more righteous nor happy, but instead, it has made us more impotent and imbecilic.  We now call this pathetic state, being Blue Pilled.

The Crook, Wayne Scott

The name Wayne originated from the occupation of a wagon driver, and by extension, it means “traveler”.  Scott means “wanderer”.

People who seek advice from others are usually people who have the following characteristics.

  • They are too young to know how things work, nor what they are doing.
  • They are emotionally weak and spiritually immature.
  • They don’t have any sense of spiritual discernment to guide them through life.
  • They don’t have any higher purpose in life which would reduce the number of options and simplify the choice.
  • They are unfamiliar with being Heart Led and instead are trying to reason through all their decisions.

They seek advice because…

  • They wish to avoid pain or the negative consequences of bad decisions.
  • They want to know the easiest way to obtain their desires.
  • They want to avoid shame and censure.

They will always be frustrated if they’re seeking after their desires because God doesn’t work that way.  In most cases, you have to go directly to God in prayer, sort out what it is that you want, and why you want it.  If it fits within God’s will, then you can ask for it with confidence and faith.  If it is not, then your repentance is in order.

Sometimes people who come asking for advice aren’t really looking for advice.  They just want to hear themselves, and to be heard by others.  Their motivation to do so could range from extremely selfish, to very wise, and even deceptively cunning.  Here are a few.

  • Some people just want to whine and complain and have someone share in their commiseration.
  • Some feel very insecure, and want to be comforted and affirmed.
  • Others want to hone the validity of their thoughts and build up their confidence with someone they trust.
  • Some are actually people who already know the answer but they just need another person to help them face themselves and get a full grasp of what they’re up against, and maybe a little encouragement to boost their morale.
  • They want to know where you stand on an issue, so that they know better how to deal with you.

Certain individuals may have other peculiar reasons for seeking advice.

The Shepherd’s Crook

In his post, Let me give you some advice (2020 August 31), Adam notes that it is generally unwise to give advice to a person who doesn’t know what to do.  The underlying attitude behind this approach is that, “If you haven’t earned it, you don’t deserve it.”  This is similar to my father’s approach, but with different motivations.  In general, I agree.  But that is not to say that you should never give out advice.

It is important to determine the nature of the person’s question.

  • If it concerns something that the person may be too young to know anything about, then it might be good to educate him.
  • If a person asks for advice on a practical or professional matter, it would be good to tell him whatever you might know.  It would be even better to take him along and show him how it’s done.
  • If you have a vested interest in the person, and/or you are bound to him through contract, blood, or Covenant, then you have the Spiritual Authority and perhaps also the responsibility to give advice.

Often times, it may be better to avoid giving direct advice, and instead take the person under your wing try to figure out what the deeper spiritual issue is about, which may be something that he is not aware of. It will require a good deal of trust between the two of you to dig through this, and this might take some time, maybe even a few years. So actually, this situation is not really giving advice, it’s more like mentorship.

If you do not hold the Spiritual Authority to give advice, then it may be wiser just to be a sounding board.  That is, listen to the person and let him talk through the issue and find the answer for himself.  Bring up what remains unforeseen to him, and correct his logical errors as you see fit.

Reframing the discussion in the style of a debate can often serve as a functional vehicle towards this end.  One major benefit of this approach is that it sparks intuitive insight and conviction.  Another benefit of this approach is that you can get the person to think through the issue and arrive at a conclusion without you having to assume much responsibility for the outcome.  Instead, he will feel like it is his own decision.  It may help to inform him that you are taking this approach, so that he doesn’t think you are simply being an @$$.

Related

Posted in Child Development, Discernment, Wisdom, Discipline, Education, Enduring Suffering, Freedom, Personal Liberty, Handling Rejection, Influence, Leadership, Maturity, Personal Growth and Development, Stewardship | Leave a comment

Mood can be Hypnotizing

More insights on the magic of Charisma.

Readership: All; Men;

Freddie Mercury, the lead singer for the classic rock group, Queen (ca. 1982).

The Link between Charisma and Mood

In A Revised Understanding of Game (2020 September 14), I discussed how charisma is an intrinsic element of Game.

The backbone of solid Game is charisma combined with a steady maintenance of healthy socio-spiritual boundaries (AKA “detachment”).  Everything else about Game can be summed up as a technique, a strategy, or an asset.

So what is it about charisma that makes a man so charming?

Ed Hurst once described charisma as “an ability to draw others into your own world”, meaning that others can “read” your personal identity through your self-expression and without a lot of explanations and arguments, and can intuitively know how to blend into your frame of reference.  This soul connection is also intriguing and enjoyable for all.

Yet, charisma must be expressed through actions and behavior.  Part of it is attitude, part of it is detachment (drawing boundaries), and part of it is in maintaining an upbeat mood.  Even the most positive, indomitable attitude is not necessarily attractive, and can even be a turn-off at times.  Detachment tends to be rebuffing and isolating.  So mood must be the element that draws others in, specifically a mood that is energetic, friendly, patient, and inspiring.  I want to add kindhearted to this list of descriptors, but I think this only works with men who have a very high testosterone, and it only appeals to certain kinds of people/women.

James Carr (Jimmy) Stokley, lead singer of the classic rock group, Exile (1979).

Another word used to describe mood in psychology is Affect.  Below, I’ve summarized a few factoids about Affect from Infogalactic: Affect (psychology).

  • Affect is the experience of feeling or emotion.
  • Affect is a key part of the process of an organism’s interaction with stimuli.
  • Affect is one of the three main divisions of psychology, namely Affect, Behavior, and Cognition, also known as the ABC’s of psychology.
  • Affective states are psycho-physiological constructs which vary along three principal dimensions: valence, arousal, and motivational intensity.
  • Valence is the subjective positive-to-negative evaluation of an experienced state.  Emotional valence refers to the emotion’s consequences, emotion-eliciting circumstances, or subjective feelings or attitudes.
  • Arousal is objectively measurable as activation of the sympathetic nervous system, but can also be assessed subjectively via self-report.  Arousal is a construct that is closely related to motivational intensity but they differ in that motivation necessarily implies action while arousal does not.
  • Motivational Intensity refers to the impulsion to act.  It is the strength of an urge to move toward or away from a stimulus.  Simply moving is not considered approach motivation without a motivational urge present.
  • Science has shown that a person having an Affect that is high in motivational intensity also has a narrow cognitive scope, whereas having an Affect low in motivational intensity broadens one’s cognitive scope.
Elvis Presley performing Jailhouse Rock (1957).

The Link between Mood and Attraction

Long time readers of the Manosphere have observed that Women are attracted to Jerks.  Could it be possible that having a ZFG dramaticized* Affect is seen by other Nice Guys™ as being a jerk, while women only notice the Detachment and the Affect?  It has been speculated that women are blind to the motivations of men, and so that leaves Valence, Arousal, and Impulse, which are presumably interpreted as signifiers of health and vitality.

The link to attraction makes sense if you think about it, because a person’s Affect is one of the first things we notice, and it makes the biggest impression.  It is easy for us to see that wimmin want a guy who can entertain them and give them the Feeelz, but what we cannot see is that a man’s Affect is probably the main outward characteristic that the female intuition latches onto when sizing up a man.

All this explains why basement gamers, dreamy geeks, and other low-energy dudes are not attractive, while athletes, performers, h0m0sexuals, and impulsive criminals are.

“Women are wired to connect on an emotional level.  Men could easily regard women’s need for the Feeelz as an annoying weakness, but if a man knows how to handle a woman’s emotions, then this can become his greatest strength.  The problem is that most men have never been taught how to motivate a woman by creating the Feeelz for her.  Women, even the best of them, will never teach this skill to men.  Men must learn this from other men.

Many women don’t seem to understand what men want, and what makes a man happy.  So a man needs to clearly state his purpose and express his enthusiasm in order to shift the emotional context into a “clean” state.  Otherwise, the woman may feel like her submission is a dry duty, without any joy, purpose, or sense of connectedness.”

Σ Frame: Washing Her Clean (2019 October 21)
A younger Elvis Presley with low Affect (1945).

Overall, the influence of the man’s mood (or Affect) in a relationship, combined with a supportive Frame, is hypnotizing to the woman.  In terms of the Push-Pull dynamic, Detachment is the Push, and a dramaticized* Affect is the Pull.  This hypnotic state is conducive to several vehicles, including attraction, submission, obedience, and her willingness to endure the unpleasant aspects of the discipline that is necessary in washing her clean, according to Ephesians 5:25-28.

If a man can dramaticize* his emotional interaction with people/women, then this might be the trick to switch one’s charisma on, and induce an increased level of attraction.

* Note: I’ve invented the word “dramaticize“ to emphasize motivation and initiative, and also to be distinguished from the connotation of the typical, annoying, feminine drama that is conveyed in the word “dramatize”.

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Posted in Attraction, Authenticity, Boundaries, Charisma, Desire, Passion, Homosexuality, Influence, Maturity, Personal Growth and Development, Models of Success, Personal Presentation, Psychology, Self-Concept, SMV/MMV | 2 Comments

Patheological Weddingsday – When wanton treachery brings shame, not honor.

Rules are lightning rods of shame for those seeking after the flesh.

Readership: All
Length: 3,200 words;
Reading Time: 12 minutes;

Introduction

So far, I have covered two posts at Patheos, written by Jackson Wu.  This post will cover Wu’s third and conclusive article about the Purity Culture at Patheos, When purity brings shame, not honor (2020 August 19). Of note, the title of this post is a gaffe.  True sexual purity brings holiness and honor, not shame and ignominy.  The shame results from the lack of purity.  Let’s not skirt the issue.

Wu hits a lot of topics in this post, so my analysis here stretches rather long. However, I urge readers to take the time to go through it because there are some important takeaways.

Guarding Your Heart

The author brings up a catch-phrase that was common in the Purity Movement,
“You have to guard your heart”, which is based on the following scripture passage.

“Guard your [own] heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”

Proverbs 4:23

This verse uses “keep” instead of “guard” in most translations (ESV, NASB, NRSV, NRSVA, RSV, et al.), but several other translations use “guard” (CSB, HCSB, NET, NLT, TLV, et al.).

It was presumed that “guarding one’s heart” was directed against the possible temptation to sexual sin.  But the author notes,

“Christian subculture sanctioned mass segregation of gender and a guarding of others’ hearts not my own.  Much of the onus fell on women, who were told that their bodies were “stumbling blocks” for men.”

Actually, gender segregation is a common practice in many (if not most) societies, and it has been since before antiquity.  There is good reason for doing so.  People might think this is oppressive, but temptation and sexual sin is more so.  Putting the onus on women is necessary, because if left to their own devices, women will naturally resort to playing games and having fun with their hypergamic sexual proclivities.  It is their nature to do so, although they will soundly deny it.

7 “Lies” that Purity Culture Teaches Women

Wu cites an article written by Natalie Collins at CBE International which listed 7 Lies That Purity Culture Teaches Women (2015 September 8).  So I had to go check out the CBE International site.

When I read through a few of the articles there, I almost choked on all the stars and horns!  To give you the flavor, the banner at the top of the site reads, “Women and men leading together, serving as equals”.  Note that it’s “women and men”, not the linguistically favored “men and women”.

Wowzers! So now I have to segue into this article before I can go on to address Wu’s statements. The seven lies are listed here.

  1. Women are responsible for men’s sexual sin.
  2. Women’s bodies are something to be ashamed of.
  3. Women shouldn’t have sexual desire.
  4. Your virginity is the only thing of worth about you.
  5. Women don’t enjoy sex as much as men.
  6. If women have sex before marriage, everything will go wrong.
  7. There’s no difference between sexual abuse and sex before marriage.

To keep it short, I’ll only go over the 7 lies recounted above. My comments are listed in respective order.

  1. The claim that this is a lie flat out denies that (1) women are the fundamental gatekeepers of sex, and that (2) men are biologically wired to spread their seed.
  2. The claim that this is a lie denies the fact that men are visually oriented, and are easily distracted by the feminine form, which causes them to focus on their fleshly desires.  (See Romans 8:5-8.)
  3. The claim that this is a lie is obviously true, but the motivation behind rejecting this lie is to assert female sexual independence.  The core truth which is never stated (by neither Collins, nor Wu, nor churchianity) is that women should learn to control their bodies (i.e. sexual desire) in a discreet and honorable manner.  (See 1st Thessalonians 4:3-8.)
  4. The claim that this is a lie denies the fact that men prefer virgins for marriage, and for very good reasons.  Actually, “prefer” is an understatement.  In fact, bridal virginity is so important that the Bible says that a woman who is not a virgin upon marriage has “played the whore” and has defrauded her husband, and is therefore liable to the death penalty.  (See Deuteronomy 22:13-21 and 1st Thessalonians 4:3-8.)
  5. At face value, it’s true that this is a lie.  Women enjoy sex even more than men do.  Men just have a greater urge to merge, not to be confused with enjoyment.  On a case by case basis, whether this is a lie all depends on whether the man and woman have achieved a mutual sexual authority in their relationship.  There are many reasons why many women do not enjoy having sex with their husbands, but the most prevalent cause (in this day and age) is because they have forfeited their sexual authority and marital sanctification by cavorting with other men before marriage (AKA Alpha Widow Syndrome), and by waiting so long to marry that they cannot maximize their potential in their choice of a husband (AKA post-wall “settling”).  This further supports the necessity of marrying a virgin.  Collins and feminist churchianity make the mistake of thinking that women should prioritize the pursuit of sexual enjoyment, never mentioning that sexual enjoyment is best achieved through being obedient to God (i.e. having sex only within the marriage covenant).
  6. The claim that this is a lie is a bald faced lie in itself.  Just from my earlier comments, it should be clear why.  However, the problem of natural desire combined with the current SMP, the cultural emphasis on the flesh, and the fashionable delay of marriage all contribute to form an environment in which obedience is d@mn near impossible.  As a result, hamsterized excuses and solipsistic justifications have grown to run the gamut of psychological dissociations, including the anti-shame narrative, technical virginity, “re-virginization”, the fear of sex, hopelessness, and the quirky idea that Coram Deo equals Coram Mundo.
  7. The claim that this is a lie is based on converged victimhood naiveté and it is a denial of moral agency.  Premarital sex is an abuse of God’s gift of sex, so it is not surprising that physical and emotional abuse might be a part of that, because one is excluded from the protection offered by God’s covenant.  Collins talks about consent.  Unmarried women don’t have the moral authority to give consent to illicit sex.  According to the Bible, it is the young woman’s father who has the authority to give consent – NOT the young woman.  And not the state either, by way of those “age of consent” laws.  Collins states that she felt humiliated and degraded after she had premarital sex and then concluded that it was “wrong” for her to think this was a result of her failure to remain pure.  She then blames her then-boyfriend for abusing and exploiting her.  But sweety, it is a direct result of your failure to remain pure.  This self-abuse is the reason why God forbids premarital sex.  There’s no way around that.  If you claim victimhood status by displacing the responsibility for your own sin onto your ex, then you haven’t truly repented.  [Note: This is a red flag.]  Of course, Collins isn’t introspective enough to give her personal reasons why she stayed with a man who was pressuring her to have premarital sex nor why she gave into his demands, but I can guess that she wanted something that wasn’t meant to be hers.  She ate the forbidden fruit, and now she’s crying that it wasn’t fair.  Adam and Eve 2.0.

In summary, only one of these statements is truly a lie (#5 in red).  Six of these seven lies are not lies at all.  Collins doesn’t address where these lies originated from, nor the core reasons for why the Purity Movement failed. She is merely putting a subjective feminist spin on the obedience, wisdom, modesty, and propriety that were emphasized in Purity Culture, and calling them lies.  All this hamsterbation is a result of glorifying the fleshly incarnation, and placing the pursuits of the flesh as a priority.

Going back to Wu’s article…  Apparently, he agrees with all of Collins’ points and this disappoints me.

“If women’s bodies are blamed for lust—if the church claims that they need to be covered up for the sake of men—this inevitably leads to shame.”

The shame referred to by Collins and Wu (and many other critics of the Purity Movement) is the natural consequence of being an immodest temptress.  This is in alignment with scripture.

“Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.”

Psalm 25:3; Romans 10:11 (ESV)

If a person feels ashamed, then it is probably because he/she has violated the most essential requirements of God’s order.  A refusal to acknowledge guilt or shame and correct one’s behavior accordingly is a rebellion against one’s own conscience.

What does Christian subculture do to combat the threat of impurity?  It creates rules to ensure we go nowhere near anything that might possibly resemble or remind us of impurity.  But such regulations are extrabiblical and only fuel shame in those who transgress them, even though various behaviors are not sin.

In the first sentence of his answer to the question in bold, Wu is right.  Without the broader patrilineal social structure necessary to reinforce the values of purity, cold hard rules of the road for fornication have to be implemented, and this patchwork puppy was ineffective and usually legalistic in the application.

In the second sentence of his answer, Wu is woefully wrong.  The Bible contains chapters and chapters of covenantal regulations surrounding sex and marriage.  (Leviticus 15; 18; 19:20-22,29; 20:10-21; Numbers 5; Deuteronomy 22:5,13-30; 24:1-5; 25:5-12😉  The modern Christian subculture ultimately ignores this, yet it is (or should be) a fundamental part of Christianity. But instead, converged churchianity teaches and exemplifies all manner of worldly feminist values.

Wu doesn’t name the regulations he speaks of that are extraBiblical, but things like sexual purity before marriage, propriety in dress, and even gender segregation are indeed small fries compared to the Old Testament requirements under Covenant Law.  Perhaps he believes the Old Testament is only a historical account that no longer applies.

Imagine how life would be if God were to be so excruciatingly exacting that everyone felt ashamed for violating any and every letter of the Mosaic Law.  We fail to appreciate how the common grace of the Lord prevents us from falling into gross anarchy.

The Taiping Rebellion, an illustration of the attack on Canton (1851).

Cultural Comparisons

Instead of comparing our present culture to the Ancient Near East culture of the Bible, the author compares Purity Culture with fundamentalist Islam.

“In [Muslim] cultures, the honor of a man and a family is closely tied to a women’s sexuality. A woman’s body is a potential cause for shame. If she is judged promiscuous or even flirty, severe consequences may follow. Modesty, therefore, is a virtue stressed upon girls from a young age.”

Yes, Muslims are better acquainted with the truths (and responsibilities) of God’s created order than are modern Christians.  This is why Muslims consider westerners to be infidels.

Wu never describes how female immodesty can be a source of shame in Muslim culture, nor does he mention any of the real reasons why Muslims have such strict norms surrounding sexuality.  But he does mention several ugly manifestations of Islamic culture, such as women wearing hijabs/burkas, female circumcision (AKA genital mutilation), and honor killings.  He lumps gender segregation into this mix to build the case that all social regulations surrounding sexuality are offensive and oppressive.  He never entertains the question of why Muslims would deem these extreme measures necessary, nor why Muslims would agree about such things.  Certainly there must be an understandable reason, or does he believe that Muslims are total barbarians?

How much can I get away with?

Next, Wu brings up an important issue.  How do we deal with every teenager’s question, “How far can I go?”  But instead of addressing this question with a view to determine the bounds of decency, he wants to know how much one can get away with.  In today’s culture, the answer to the second question is a second mile past the first.

“One question on the mind of every church boy and girl is this, “How far is too far?”  In other words, what can I do physically where I can still be counted as “pure”?  The obvious problem with the question is that it overlooks the matter of the heart (the subject of my second post in this series).”

Wu is describing the psychological justification of technical virginity.  The problem with this juvenile approach is not only that it ignores the convictions of the heart, but moreso the fact that it represents a mindset that is wholly focused on the flesh and is looking for the optimal way (in the form of rules) to go about satisfying the desires of the flesh.

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.  For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Romans 8:5-8 (ESV)

Now, I would expect that Wu might say something about getting in touch with the true meaning and purpose of sexual purity.  After all, this was the subject of his last post.  But no…

“In the same way, we need to ask the same question to ourselves.  When it comes to teaching about purity, sexuality, among other issues, how far is too far?  The various guards our (sub)cultures put in place often go too far.”

Instead of setting the record straight, Wu is pressing for an answer to this false question, with an admission that churchianity won’t do it.  It is a false question because there is no true answer.  You can’t use a rule to draw a line between sin and holiness.

The range of formal and informal rules men used to control women creates an environment that breeds shame.  Fear and hypersensitivity to mere social guards push one inward, into hiding, not wanting anyone to see what you might have said or done.  A good reputation is quickly lost, only regained at a slug’s pace.”

Look at this!  Now he goes back to discuss the appropriateness of setting rules, and blames the devastation and shame on men’s habit of “controlling women” (c.f. feminist boilerplate rhetoric).

Is he actually fearful that illicit sex is incompatible with virtue signaling within intersectional feminism???  Has churchianity sunk this low?  Get out!

That sentence in bold is loaded.

First, the idea that “men used rules to control women…”  Let’s back up.  Rules are made to protect good people from those bad people who would otherwise capriciously break those rules.  Rules are also for kids who can’t understand the reasons why there need to be rules.  So in effect, Mr. Wu is admitting that women are like bad kids, and that they have no moral agency, but setting rules is not the right way to handle it, because shame.

Secondly, that “the rules create an environment that breeds shame…”  Shame would only result if someone intentionally violated the rules (which IMO, young women feel entitled to do all the time).  Concerning the environment, enforcing discipline on one who violates the rules is the purpose for having rules in the first place, that is, to protect the others and give them safety and security.

I guess I need to dumb this down even more.  Children, if you don’t follow the rules, then you will get into trouble!

But we’re not just talking about rules, are we?  We’re talking about Biblical Law under the Covenant.  If we think that Biblical Law is merely a collection of rules, things we have to do if we hope for God to bless our marriage or to earn salvation, then we are immature kids at best, and legalistically self-exonerating Pharisees at worst.

Again, rules are created to preserve the social order, and to protect it from those who don’t care about preserving it.  We’re free to go against that order, we’re free to “break the rules”, but if we choose to do so, then we should expect to lose out on certain blessings as a result.  Doing so only proves that we are incapable of integrating into the covenant social order, and therefore are not deserving of the benefits of said order.  If one has inflicted significant damage on the social order, then a punishment is warranted in order to teach one not to continue down that path, and to serve as both a security and a warning to others.

One of the many purposes of the Law was to give us a warning about the consequences of our choices, and a promise of blessing if we obey.  The whole idea behind Biblical law is that we are better off if we trust and revere God, and try to live in harmony with His ordained order.  The problem is that the order is so debauched by Feminism (i.e. converged Churchianity) that it’s impossible to navigate with any confidence or surety.

Of the making of many rules… there is no end. We need to be wary of going too far.  Otherwise, we not only foster shame in those around us; we allow it fester inside ourselves as well.”

Maybe he has a point here.  These days, setting rules to reinforce righteousness and to protect the innocent will not work, because the majority have gone astray, even the leaders, and the mountainous task of enforcement would intimidate everyone and sink the whole ship.  But on the other hand, maybe this junk should be scuttled.

Destroying Chinese War Junks, by E. Duncan (1843). British ships destroying an enemy fleet in Canton during the first Opium War in China, 1841. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

The Church fails to emphasize the joy of Shalom in Christian community

One, Stefan Stackhouse, left a worthy comment,

“Lost in all of this is any notion of our all being “brothers and sisters in Christ.”  The scriptural truth is that we are all that first, and remain so regardless of our marital status.  This requires more than basic respect for each other, and must go on to kindness, consideration, caring, compassion, and helpfulness.

Of course we all need to maintain proper boundaries, especially young adults.  Unfortunately, this so-called “purity culture” has reduced what should be their sisters in Christ to mere potential breeding material or forbidden fruit in the eyes of what should be their brothers in Christ.  How is that really any different from pornography?  Both, at heart, are just objectifying women – objects for self-gratification, potential or actual.  Christ calls us to see each other instead as subjects for our unconditional charitable love.

A real brother in Christ would never want to do anything to harm a sister in Christ, but always to seek what is best for her.  This is the true and solid ground for a proper and healthy relationship between young Christians of different genders.”

Here here, we have forgotten the blessings of Shalom!  Feminism has objectified women to the point of being degrading, and the church tacitly looks away.

However, I do believe it is quite acceptable for a husband to objectify his wife on the marital bed.  A good hard rutting is conducive towards marital sanctification.

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Posted in Boundaries, Churchianity, Clothing, Collective Strength, Cultural Differences, Decision Making, Discerning Lies and Deception, Discernment, Wisdom, Faith Community, Feminism, Hamsterbation, Holding Frame, Hypergamy, Introspection, Love, Models of Failure, Moral Agency, Near East, Organization and Structure, Purity Culture, Relationships, Reviews, Self-Concept, Solipsism, The Power of God | 28 Comments

Frauds in Christ’s Name

Shouldn’t we vet the leaders of our church fellowship groups?

Readership: Christian men;

There are some sinister elements who are invading the church and the Christian Red Pill arena.  Like predators, they come in out of nowhere, focus on a target, get close to them, separate their prey from the prey’s group, and go in for the kill.  Rather than harming their target, however, these hijackers co-opt their prey, using them to establish themselves.

The most sinister wolves in the church and Christian Manosphere are self-appointed “authorities” who use the labels of “Christian” in order to gain status and wealth in their own communities, and “Red Pill” for the appeal.  These men may be the only teaching elder or pastor in their church.  If not, they certainly are the shining star of their congregation. Sometimes they obtain the title of Elder as soon as they can, and then run off elsewhere, using their newfound credential to jump start their path to fame.

A funny joke if not for the fraud being perpetrated on men.

Biblical Christianity Marketplace of Ideas

George Bruno, another grifter who is bridging the gap between the 21 Convention scam artists and “christians”.

Over the last two years, men in the Christian Red Pill sphere may have seen attempts by “Christian” “teachers” try this.  Specifically, certain men in the “discernment ministry” at Bible Thumping Wingnut (BTWN) decided to show themselves as fraudulent fools by using George Bruno so they in turn could get in good graces with the 21 Convention, and its leader who goes by the nickname “The Dream.”  (Just a wee bit of a narcissistic name).

The whole scenario was bizarre.  Out of nowhere, BTWN started affiliating with “pastors” with unfriendly theological beliefs (postmillennial theonomists who are Doug Wilson proteges), and then they got into good graces with a YouTube star who was advocating for fornication only weeks earlier.  On a normal day, none of the men should have been affiliating with each other.  Events only became more strange when certain other “pastors” became cozy with the 21 Convention crowd.

Whenever you see a Christian pastor or ministry invite a fornication advocate to your men’s retreat, we have a massive red flag to deal with.  There is a good reason why the Christian Manosphere split off from the secular Manosphere.

Famed Manospherian Roosh Valizadeh made a tough decision and unpublished his books on pick-up Game in order to align his ministry with the work of Christ.

Ask yourself these questions about those “leaders” in either your church or the Christian Manosphere:

  • Do they yoke themselves with secular figures for recognition/fame/reaching out to a larger audience?
  • Do they establish themselves as the one true authority on masculinity?
  • Are they trying to establish themselves as an authority figure over you, while isolating you into their camp? 
  • Do they make you feel guilty or ashamed?
  • Have they been elders at their church for less than 2 years?
  • Have they changed churches/affiliations more than once?
  • Are they accountable to anyone?
  • Is their “ministry” focused on something other than the gospel?
  • Do they hide their theological opinions or affiliations because they know it will hinder them?  Do they operate in the dark?
  • Are they trying to help you, or are they trying to draw you into their sect/cult?
  • Do they handle scripture faithfully – do they let it speak for itself, or do they add newfound interpretations that have never been made in Christendom’s history?
  • Do they hate critics to the point they try to doxx them?

If the person or ministry in question scores negatively on many of the above checkpoints, then there’s a good chance that their “ministry” is fickle and has no foundation.  It is all about the people running the show.  That is one giant red flag that should ring false teacher/con-men alarm bells.

Ultimately, it’s classic branding and marketing, with roots in narcissism.  The personality will do and say whatever they have to in order to stay relevant, grow their audience, and make money.  That explains why a person of one theological stripe will engage in ecumenism, or why a fornicator will show up to a Christian men’s retreat.

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Posted in Culture Wars, Discerning Lies and Deception, Influence, Leadership, Manosphere, Models of Failure, Stewardship | 15 Comments

Is the Pendulum Effect caused by Western Individualism?

Individualism draws people to separate themselves in order to blend into the masses.

Readership: All;

The Pendulum Effect is an enduring feature of Western Societies

In the west we are familiar with how seasons turn and times change.

  • The economy undergoes “Bear” periods of stagnation followed by “Bull” stimuli.
  • Political environments swing wildly from ultra conservative to super liberal.
  • Within society, social consciousness movements reach periodic pinnacles of fervor, followed by an era of good feelings.
  • Fashion and clothing styles swing from bearded homegrown, to clean-shaven formal attire, to stubbly Punk grunge, and then back home.
  • In the Church, religious revivals sweep from laissez-faire licentiousness, to guilt trips, to smart practicality, and then back to hedonism.
  • After young people graduate from high school, they soon leave home, often to travel, attend college, or find a job.  They also leave the church.  They do their own thing for a decade or so.  Eventually, they settle down and have children, and then they return to church.  This is a stereotypical pattern that has existed in Christian churches of the West.  This has gone on for as long as I can remember, at least since the 1970’s, and probably much earlier than that.
  • We even have a cycle of generations having the archetypes of Heroes, Prophets, Artists, and Nomads, as researched by Strauss et al.  (Click on link for more.)  These are more popularly known as successive, self-naming generations, the Boomers, Xers, Millennials, and so on.

This oscillating movement of social trends from one extreme to the other is a phenomenon commonly referred to as the Pendulum Effect.

I’ve often wondered why these patterns must exist.

Why is the West so uniquely WEIRD?

Several years ago, I had the notion that the Pendulum Effect was related to Christendom, but I could not identify how.

Over the summer, I studied the topic of Consanguinity in Modern European History (2020 August 28).  The authors of the original research concluded that the church had “created” individualism by forbidding consanguineous unions.  At the time, I didn’t see strong evidence for this claim, and concluded that it was a conjectured theory.  But if it’s true, then it would explain why individuality is associated with Christendom.

But in fact, Individualism is incompatible with traditional Christianity.

After I started traveling around Asia, I found that most young adults accompany their families to go to the temple and to participate in other regular cultural and religious traditions. 

After living abroad for many years, I have been amused to discover that there are no such pendulum swings in east Asia as there are in the West.  Younger Generations live in harmony with preceding Generations.  They share the family wealth and other resources as needed.

Yes, there are social movements, but these all call for a return to Common Sense and the common welfare of everyone, not just a select group.  There is seldom any violence.

Yes, there are political movements, but none of it becomes too serious unless there has been an egregious abuse of power and a full Revolution is afoot, but this is a rare moment in history.

Yes, there are fashion trends but they are focused on exuding a fresh, bright newness rather than stunning novelty, and this tends to be confined to the middle class.  Furthermore, there is no risqué challenge to the frontier of what would be considered morally appropriate and socially acceptable, as is typical of the West.  There are some people who do dress provocatively, but this is associated with their social identity as one who likes to live on the edge, not as a stratagem in the SMP or as an attempt to be popular.  Instead, the Eastern version of popularity is largely determined by how capable and responsible one is, and how well one can get along with others.

This is not to say that there is no individuality in the East.  In fact, all manner of individuality is tolerated as long as it is the authentic truth of who the person is, deep in the heart.  It is thought that everyone’s personal uniqueness must be accepted and cannot be argued with nor fought against.  But in the West, there are only certain genres of individuality that are considered acceptable, and people are expected to conform to these anti-karyotypes in order to be popular.  Actually, this is not true individuality at all, because it requires that everyone’s soul be stuffed into a mold of social and psychological conformity that is ominously prescribed by personal philosophy, education, and the media.

After reading RP authors for a while, especially Brett Stevens [1] and Ed Hurst [2], I’ve let go of the notion that the Pendulum Effect is somehow rooted in Christianity.  I’ve come to see that it’s more of an embodiment of Western Individualism.

Why does the West cling so stubbornly to the Religion Rebellion of Individuality?

Brett Stevens wrote an excellent description of Individualism.

“Individualism states that the natural order is not important, and that the individual should come first before all else.  The whims, desires, judgments, feelings and impulses of the individual are more important than any other order, including civilization, nature, or the divine.  Individualism became the dogma of the West with The Enlightenment,™ the Renaissance,™ and the rise of egalitarian thought (ideologies dedicated to human equality, which means “no one can be sent away”) centuries ago.” [3]

The spirit of individualism is that which tempts people to separate themselves, to withdraw from common sense, to fall under the spell of the egotistical self, to chant the party line, and to disrupt longitudinal social stability and order, all done in order for one to blend acceptably into the grey masses as a socially shining star and a spiritually dead cipher – and still feel gooed about it!

Conclusions

The periodic oscillation of political, social, and fashion trends is an evil spiritual influence that upsets both the peace within the human soul and the shalom of a society.  The stronghold of this oscillation lies in the western focus on individuality – radical liberalism, egalitarianism, the glorification of the individual, the intense elevation and favor of special interest groups, and the self-perceived triumph of continual self-styled rebellion.

Repent ye therefore, from the witchcraft of Individualism.  Pray that your personal oscillation shall come to a standstill, so that your soul may find peace and rest.

References

  1. Amerika (Brett Stevens): Solipsism (2020 September 6)
  2. Do What’s Right: Covenants 02 (2020 September 6)
  3. Amerika (Brett Stevens): Understanding Individualism (2017 July 9)

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Posted in Asia, Culture Wars, Society | 15 Comments