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Author Topic: The Marriage Lottery  (Read 33814 times)
AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2007, 11:25:48 am »

Nate, I have been thinking about you all day, and it hit me that this is really the first you’ve heard of some of these things. And I was looking back to when I was in your shoes, it made me realize that I need to be patient and wait for God to move in this situation.

Anyway, I really am pulling for you in this situation.

And Sam, where did you go?
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Samuel Lopez De Victoria
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« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2007, 11:26:01 am »

As for where I’ve been today… I teach three psychology classes, then go either to my own office or a doctor’s group to see patients. Today I had 5 back to back after teaching. Right now, I’m fried. Tomorrow, I’ll chill out in the AM and then see 6 folks back to back.

That’s what up.

Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2007, 11:26:16 am »

For the record, I only asked where Sam was because I was afraid that I had hurt his feelings or offended him or driven him so crazy he would never come back, not because I thought he had any ulterior motives. Just to clarify.

Nate how’s the Dave conversation going?

Keep us posted.
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nateswinton
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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2007, 11:26:29 am »

Dave and I are getting together next week. We’ve emailed back and forth some and talked briefly on the phone, but we always have a hard time making our schedules meet up.

We have a date and time set, and he’s looking forward to it. I don’t know Dave *extremely* well, but I know him well enough to know that he likes me and is looking forward to the conversation.

I was invited with the other staffers to the pastors retreat today, so I don’t think I’m out of fellowship yet Tongue
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hope
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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2007, 11:26:52 am »

Haven’t had a chance to read all the posts here yet but i have just got something to say that can’t wait…..



Earlier Genevieve said:

“your actions in the relationship are more important than whether you’re actually dating or courting. Why not just encourage us to have pure, godly relationships instead of pressuring us to conduct our relationships via a prescribed form?”



Wow. I really wish this would have been taught in the Christian circles I moved in during highschool and college.



I just broke into tears over this actually…I have just come to the realization about some things of my past that have been buried for a while. (buried because I have such a happy present and future to focus on now)



While in highschool/college I really desired to have a husband. And of course I wanted a Christian one. i was involved in a Baptist youth group, campus crusade for Christ and a gcm student group. all of which taught from the josh harris bible on dating. And I diagreed…. So where could I go to find my christian husband?



I went outside the church. Long story short- I found myself a really cute atheist, 6 months later he became a christian, 2 ½ years after that we were happily married, and 6 years after that we are still happily married and now have a 16 month old baby boy. So happy ending for me I guess….



But— before I found that really cute athiest (or… rephrased to please my gcm audience: God found for me- whatever!) I had some really painful experiences with boys. Experiences that I believe could have been avoided had I been allowed to search for my husband within those safe christian circles.



I turned outside the church to find one- and luckily (God willing I mean, of course!) in the end it worked out.



this history of mine is why I was so upset when I learned that a group of college men (my peers) in the gcm student group decided to wear wedding rings to ward off unwanted female attraction.



I never really understood why I was so upset before- because at the time I learned of it I was happily married to my amazing and wonderful husband. So why should I care?



But think of those poor christian single girls- where are they supposed to go to find their amazing and wonderful christian husbands? When the christian boys have made themselves “off limits”.



Oh I am so sad right now. And I feel even more sorry for all the poor single women at my old gcm church who never got married….



and now i am reminded of that scripture that talks about making up crazy rules for yourself…hmmm…need to go look that up.



i think this falls into that category.
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nateswinton
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2007, 11:27:08 am »

Hope,

I share your pain and dismay. I also went out of the church for my wife. Much to the dismay of even my closest friends. It was unbelievable to them that I could be happy with this young woman - she wasn’t following God! I’m so glad I trusted my gut instinct.

I’ve never heard of the guys wearing wedding bands, but the concept is very familiar. It really honestly is tragic in my mind too. It’s fighting something so natural and right - trying to control our passions…

I’m naturally extra-passionate, so it’s extra-tragic to me when I see people denying themselves like that.
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2007, 11:27:20 am »

“I’m naturally extra-passionate, so it’s extra-tragic to me when I see people denying themselves like that.”

Same here. If there’s one thing I am… it’s extra-passionate and expressive yet personal and somewhat private. My relationship with my husband is something I never wanted to and never will turn over to someone else for their approval or evaluation. So far… 3 years dating, 11 years marriage… it’s worked so far.

I guess I just think marriage is so sacred and holy and wonderful and fun that I think we need to let people enjoy the dating and the falling in love. Just enjoy it… stop analyzing it!

BTW, I am still a stickler about purity. I think that this is what the church should emphasize. The abstinence till marriage part… not the how to get married part.
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nateswinton
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« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2007, 11:27:33 am »

“The abstinence till marriage part… not the how to get married part.”

YES!!!
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hope
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« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2007, 11:27:43 am »

i totally agree….



and the “abstinence till marriage part” is (in my mind at least) an un-refutable teaching straight from the word…the “how to get married part” isn’t…



however, i really struggled with purity in my relationships. i was one of those burning with passion types that really really really needed to get married.
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Genevieve
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« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2007, 11:27:53 am »

Hope,
I know it’s been a few days, but I wanted to tell you that I’m so sorry you were not given the opportunity to do Christian dating. I think it’s really good that you’re passionate, and I’m so glad you found a great husband!

I found one of the guys in our church who was willing to date (neither of us were very interested in becoming leaders). At the time I felt guilty about dating and kissing, and, ironically, it was that guilt that separated me from friends in GC more than actually dating like Bill Young claimed.

Anyway, I’m glad you found love!
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Genevieve
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« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2007, 11:29:48 am »

GCI Wife’s situation (link) makes me so angry! It brings me back to Bill Young’s 2006 fall retreat message about courtship where he said, “And if you’re wondering about compatibility, listen, if you’re a guy, and she’s a girl, you’re compatible!”

What a load of crap. I can’t believe they’re still preaching this. It makes me wonder again how much things have really changed.
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sistanchrist
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« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2007, 11:30:09 am »

Bachelors’ to the rapture…. having dated… I mean courted…. I mean almost married… one of these creatures, I know how unhealthy this mentality is. If the GCM rules are followed of courtship for six months then engagement for six months someone in the relationship gets rushed and hurt. I courted one of the GCM guys who while did not wear a wedding ring, might as well have for as unavailable as he and the rest of his guys made themselves be. Singleness is such a huge value in some GCM churches that it is sickening what it can do to relationships. While it does provide a good cushion of safety, especially for young Christians who may have struggled with purity in the past, it creates havoc for future relationships. From staunch singleness to set in stone mandates and rules for dating/courting/engagement/and marriage. Something is not right there….. Wait weren’t we all commenting on how controlling GCM can be….. (sarcasm has struck as it is late)
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nateswinton
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« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2007, 11:30:26 am »

“And if you’re wondering about compatibility, listen, if you’re a guy, and she’s a girl, you’re compatible!”

Yea, if all you expect out of the relationship is sex. With extremely rare exceptions, all men and women have compatible sexual organs. I’ll avoid the low blows I could make drawing from the above quote.

That’s a funny joke, but I feel very comfortable saying “I’m not compatible with 95% of the women I’ve met in my life.” And I’m not saying that in a “I’m better” sort of way. I just mean that some women (and men for that matter), I can spend 5 minutes with and know that close proximity with that person is always going to be hard on me. I don’t care what kind of sexual organs she has - we’re not freakin’ compatible.

I can think of two women in my life that I think might have been “compatible” with me. But I didn’t love them. I love the woman I married. And the other two are both happily married now as well.

I don’t think I’m that rare in my narrow view of my own “compatibility”. I think you should marry the person you love, and ideally that person perfectly compliments you. That’s a pretty specified, narrow focus beam. If your focus beam is “the opposite sex”, you’re on the right track but you’ve got some more things about your own identity and desires that need to be ironed out before you start looking for a spouse.

Just my opinon.
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2007, 11:30:40 am »

I agree that compatibility is such a personal thing. I actually have never met someone other than my husband that I would considered marrying. I am a persnickety, picky person when it comes to men and marriage, and luckily God made him or I might never have found anyone!

Everyday, I still think, “Wow! I can’t believe I found him!”

I was always uncomfortable with GCM’s involvement in my life and family… in terms of HOW I should be married, HOW I should parent, HOW I should give my money, HOW I should live, HOW I should carry on a relationship with God, HOW I should spend my time, etc… (and I went to a mild on the outside, old school GCM church on the inside kind of church)… BUT…

The teachings on dating that are still being taught today are the worst in my opinion of all that they do. Nothing else affects your life like who you marry. Think about it! Friendship, sex, companionship, growing old together, raising children, vacationing, nursing each other when your on your death bed… the kind of intimacy involved is so sacred, this whole practical GCM ideal of marrying simply to “further the kingdom” is enough to make me break down sobbing just thinking about it.

I left right about the time, we started thinking more about our philosopy of parenting and although I ignored almost all teachings on this subject at the time, I was beginning to smell a rat, this was yet another “sacred” area I didn’t feel like opening up to the “village council.”
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snoopy
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« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2007, 11:30:57 am »

1 Timothy 4 starting at verse 1 says:



“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”



Every time I read the part about “who forbid marriage” I think about my GCM church. The Greek used there for “forbid” is also to hinder or withhold a thing.



I am aware of cases where marriage dates were determined by the pastors of a GCM church and not the couple and their parents. The wedding date was “withheld” until the “proper” time as determined by the pastor.



Control of dating and marriage, is, of course, a sign of a cult (I’m not saying GCM is a cult, I’m just saying that is “cult like” behaviior).



Also, there are times when a pastor has legitimate reasons to speak out about a marriage because those reasons come under his true “spiritual” authority. In other words, there are Biblical reasons not to marry someone, so it always gets tricky when trying to point out that “the pastor just doesn’t think this is the correct time” isn’t a biblical reason, but “you left your first husband without biblical grounds” is a reason for a pastor not to marry someone.



In one case it is none of the pastor’s business and in the other it is his responsibility.



Picking up on Agatha’s parenting point, this area is another where the pastor’s put themselves between the parents and children.



I am so sorry for the situation regarding the pastor’s wife (is he a current pastor or ex-pastor, I was a little confused?) mentioned in the LP ?’s section. Very sad.



I know some really nice GCM families, but I also know some really dysfunctional ones. Some of the “big stars”, I rarely see with their wives. And, there is little affection between them when they are together. I also know there are a lot of depressed, tired GCM women.



I’ve noticed that for the leader’s and their families, everything in their life is about church. That sounds good, but if everything about your life is church, then you have an idol problem. You have made church your idol.



Everything in your life should be about God, not about church.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2007, 11:35:40 am »

There is writer after writer and speaker after speaker who are not associated with GCM that have suggested similar takes on dating as the Swerver message (see Faithwalkers 2006 messages).

For example:
Tony Campolo’s sermon - Giving your love life over to God
Books such as
Boy Meets Girl and How I Kissed Dating Goodbye are best-sellers among the Christian Book Market.

I think there has been alot of misunderstanding and misinterpretation about alot of the statements that have been made by GCM leadership.

It’s very good to be discerning, and I know there have been mistakes. Every church has their weakness and pridefulness in areas; but God is bigger and all those He calls to leadership will be held especially accountable.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2007, 11:35:56 am »

I posted above… I went into The Rock Church dating a girl. We continued to date. I was of course advised that biblically, we should move apart and have an abstinent relationship… I don’t know any other church with bible-based teaching that wouldn’t ask us to consider that. We continued to date for years. I continued to grow and build relationships and leadership in the church. The Rock teaches grace, sure it holds leadership to high standards, but it’s not because of completely unfounded reasons.

No church is perfect, no group of people are perfect. If you’ve been burned, I’m sorry, your pain is real and I’ve often felt left down by my church family. However, we need to realize that it’s ridiculous to think that GCM leaders are so devisive and malicious.

Over my walk, I’ve been influenced by leaders outside, far outside of the GCM movement. I’m a regular listener to several church podcasts including Acts 29 Network, Calvary Chapel Network and several others who don’t have other affiliated churches.

Granted, I have my criticisms of the church I go to and am affiliated with; but I am secure knowing that Christ is the only LORD.

Maybe one of the reasons there is so much dismay with any given GCM leader is because we may have put leaders on a pedestal which should be for Someone else.
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puff of purple smoke
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« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2007, 11:36:24 am »

There is writer after writer and speaker after speaker who are not associated with GCM that have suggested similar takes on dating as the Swerver message

Perhaps GC should decide what they really believe about this issue. Do they believe dating is not God’s best and is unbiblical because it shows “partiality”, or do they believe dating is a preference issue that should be decided by each person as the church error statement said (We believe that individuals are free to have different prefer­enc­es as to how serious they want to be before they begin dating someone. Pastors may suggest or encourage their own personal preference concerning dating, as well as their reasons for that prefer­ence, but they should be careful to clearly communicate that it is simply their prefer­ence, and that others may be equally valid.).

In my experience, leaders pretend to be the latter when they give “disclaimers” at the end of a sermon or a particular guy/girl relationship pamphlet, but if someone tries to date they are discouraged and looked upon as no longer doing “God’s best.” It doesn’t matter to GC how much accountability is set up.

During my time in GC I heard countless sermons labeling dating as “not trusting God”, and personal testimonies on people who had decided to skip dating and go straight to courtship/marriage. What kind of a message is it conveying when the only couples ever asked to give their testimonies are the ones who have done it the “GC way”? They can say they are tolerate of both views of dating, but their actions prove otherwise.

Also, the dating issue can seem somewhat trivial to some, but it underlies another important problem in GC: a lack of respect for the priesthood of the believer.
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2007, 11:36:36 am »

Although this isn’t a theological issue per se, I think the “Swerver” issue also shows a lack of the appreciation of what a beautiful time of life falling in love is. It’s yet another way that GC imposes it’s utilitarian methods on people in the prime of life.
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Gretchen
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« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2007, 11:36:49 am »

I’ve known my husband since I was 15. When the leadership of our GCwhatever church heard that we had “promised” in HS (you know, that “engaged to be engaged” thing kids do), I think their feeling was that we should honor that promise and get married. We were obedient sheep and didn’t date each other or anyone else during our college years. There were some cute attempts to encourage us, like putting us both on the same committee or whatever, but it really wasn’t neccessary, because as soon as we finished school we flew together like iron and a magnet.



That’s the good news… the bad news is that it took us about 10 years to detox our marriage, which was very much what we both wanted, from all the bad advice about roles, children, etc, that we had gotten and were still getting.



Now, after 20+ years, we love each other more than ever, so what more can I ask? But I know a lot of people who came into the church with no previous commitments were not so lucky, and a lot of arranged marriages foundered.
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