Book Plunge: Our Socially Awkward Marriage

What do I think of Tom and Linda Peters’s book published by Brookside Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I saw this book in an email I got last night for discount books on Kindle. Seeing as it was about marriage and about Aspergers, I bought it immediately. Being on the spectrum myself, I was curious how much I could relate to.

The book is a quick read and a humorous read. Every section could be read at in the most, five minutes. You could go through and just read one section a day, but seeing as I’m writing a review of it, you know I didn’t do that.

A number of entries in here are pretty amusing. One that really sticks with me is with Linda getting frustrated with their teenage son leaving behind dirty dishes and as she prepares to go out somewhere says “Can you show him how the dishwasher works?” When she comes back, Tom and the son are watching TV and the dirty dishes are still there.

She wants to know why Tom didn’t do what she asked and he says he did. He took the boy over and explained all about how the dishwasher works. Linda is indeed a patient and understanding wife. She knew she couldn’t be mad. Tom wasn’t trying to be a jerk or find a loophole. He just heard her say “Explain how it works. As far as he was concerned, he did what he was told.

Stories like this are humorous and I remember growing up with a lot of literalness in my hearing what people said, though I have come to better understand people. Still, I sometimes do something like this just for fun. When I moved into my seminary apartment, a kind husband and wife helped me do so. The next day they had arranged to have a loveseat delivered and when it came, the wife said “Send me a picture of your apartment!”

I knew darn well what she meant, but well, the picture I sent her is a picture of my apartment, but not what she had in mind.

However, in the book in the midst of a lot of the silliness, there is some understanding. For example, sometimes tensions can rise up when one of them is hungry and the solution is to just get a snack and then come back and discuss the problem. Tom is a low-key guy with his emotions, but sometimes they do get out of hand and he needs to vent. He also hates being in a large crowd of people.

Yet there is also the lesson of learning to love someone quirks and all. After all, even if you are not on the spectrum as I am, you have your quirks. There are things you do that don’t make sense, and they might not even make sense to you. Autism can bring its own share of quirks too, but those of us on the spectrum want to be loved just like anyone else does.

If I would change anything here, I would like to see more on what their marriage is like overall. What is it like on a date night? How did Tom behave on the first date? What was it like for Linda to learn about her husband? These are questions I wanted to know about. Maybe they’ll be covered in a future book.

But for now, this is a good quick read if you’re interested in this area and I hope you will get a few good laughs out of it and some lessons about acceptance of one another too.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Dating: The Second Quest

How do you do this the second time around? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

When I was married, one thing I was thankful for was I would never have to worry about dating again. I don’t mean dating my wife, I would always do that. I meant going out and asking girls out and having to see if a girl was the right one for me or not. Nope. Done with that.

Now as I write this, I think about the original Legend of Zelda. When the game was over, you were allowed to go on a second more difficult quest. At this point, I think I am on that more difficult quest.

I spent a decade or so with my ex and didn’t have money or a chance to build up money. Now I have built up a good amount of money, but still not the amount I would like to have built up. It’s a leap of faith of sorts to go to seminary, one reason I keep sharing my Patreon hoping to get support, and now that I’m here, one of my goals is to find a wife again. That also requires being able to provide.

Generally, I rule out someone who has kids then. It’s not because I’m opposed to them. I really want them. It’s because right now I know I can’t provide for kids. That sadly rules out a lot of people around my age.

I also do want to get someone young enough that if we want to, we can have children, and I assume we will want to as I don’t want to marry someone who doesn’t want to have kids. I am only marrying a Christian, naturally, and I want to stay close to my political side in a spouse as well. However, there is the problem with me being divorced too.

Generally, that can be seen as a scarlet letter. Add in for me also that I try to be honest. I know I’m not the most handsome guy in the world, but I’m not the ugliest either. Still, a girl has to accept that and accept my oddities with being on the spectrum. How do I explain my unique diet to someone else? If I dated a fellow Aspie, that could be easier, but that’s even harder to find.

Not only that, but when I send out a like on a dating site or app and don’t get anything back or start talking and get ghosted, it’s like the rejection of divorce again. Rejection is really hard and as an Aspie, it’s hard for me to make the first move, as much as I think I am the one who has to. I do step out of my comfort zone, but it is painful.

I also wonder about the whole process. What will it be like? What will it be like to kiss another girl? What will it be like to tell another girl I love her someday? It’s said the ghost of your ex always haunts your future relationships. I wonder how it will.

I also have set up firm boundaries. A friend brought me a Legend of Zelda doormat that I shared on Amazon saying I wanted. He asked me what a girl would think if she came over to my apartment and saw it. I said she’s not coming over. I’m not coming to hers either, at least if she’s home alone. I know my temptations. I also don’t ride in a car with a woman I’m not dating or not related to.

Add in also I’m very socially unaware. I could have girl flirting at me full throttle and I might not even notice it. It’s one reason I’ve hoped that I could gather wingmen here who would be able to clue me in on if a girl is interested in me or not.

I have heard though that there is such a thing as Aspie speed dating around here. It’s not my favorite format, but it beats nothing. It would be great to find a conservative Christian on the spectrum.

I look forward to the results one day, but for now, I hate the process. Perhaps once I find a good girl to date and start doing that, it will be a lot easier, but getting there is something I don’t care for. Again, I could easily turn to anger, but I am working hard to not do that. Resentment doesn’t hurt my ex and only hurts me. When I tell you all I pray for her, I mean it.

And keep praying for me in this. Pray that I can get enough work and/or Patreon donors to make a good living here and that love will come my way.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Repeated Forgiveness

How many times do you forgive? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yes. I know about what Jesus says with seventy times seven and still more, but there is another aspect I’m getting at here. What I normally have in mind is someone wrongs me, they come to me and repent, I forgive, then they go off and do the same thing again and come to me again. It keeps going until they finally stop overall.

As a divorced man now, I’m thinking there might be more to it than that. For instance, there’s no way really my ex can come to me now unless she does it through others. For my own personal sanity, I had her blocked. I don’t delight in saying that. In reality, I hate it. I hate that things came to that level, but I needed to keep my own sanity.

However, I do believe in having an attitude of forgiveness. Now with forgiveness, I do believe you should let the other person come to you first. However, while that does not happen, many times, when I do think about her, I have to be ready to be in an attitude of forgiveness.

It’s not easy. Now I am in seminary now and as I write this blog, I am in the student center and generally, I’m in a good mood most of the time. I do like seminary and I like the field of education gripping me and getting to know students and professors both. However, I would be lying if I said there are not still times of sorrow.

I can see a happy couple on campus and think “I wish I had that.” I can have a flashback to something of my ex and I based on something I see or hear briefly. Sometimes, I can be climbing into bed at night and regretting that it is just me in that bed, despite the fact that I have woken up to see Shiro at my feet in the morning. Sometimes there is still a tendency to want to cry a little bit over the pain.

This is what I have in mind by forgiveness. I find myself having to be willing to forgive the same offense done repeatedly not at different times per se, but still ongoing. I am still deeply hurt by what has happened to me and I understand that such hurt never goes away entirely, even if one remarries. There is still a sense of rejection.

As one who is looking to date now, and I do plan on writing about that sometime, I still feel the sorrow when I send out numerous likes and don’t get a nibble back even. The one conversation that got started ended with me being ghosted. I keep having a longing and a hope. My therapist has referred to someone who is looking for me as much as I am looking for them.

But still, I have to forgive either way. Holding on to anger towards my ex despite what she did to me does not help me at all. I have seen what bitterness does to people and I don’ t want to be one of those people who is ready to spew venom at the very mention of my ex. If anything, I pray for her repentance and for her to know God better. Her suffering won’t improve me in any way and I should certainly not take joy at it.

It’s not always easy though. Sometimes, the temptation to go the other way and hold on to resentment is strong, but that is a cancer that doesn’t do anything to her and destroys me in the process. Why bother?

So right now, I am also learning forgiveness. I also figure if I can learn to forgive this, most anything else in my life will be much easier by comparison seeing as this is the most painful rejection and betrayal of all.

And if you’re struggling, join me in the journey. It might not be an ex, but it doesn’t matter. Holding on to hostility will do you no good.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

The Feeling Will Be Gone

Do those feelings last? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

She came into the seminary post office where I was working and was talking to me and a co-worker. They were talking about marriage and how she was still a newlywed. She said she still was in that honeymoon stage and that she hoped this feeling would last forever.

“It won’t,” I said.

Hey. I cut to the chase.

I then went on the explain that that’s a good thing. If that feeling lasted forever, you would never be able to function. Who could go through their lives with a lovesick attitude going on around them constantly? When you enter the stage of falling in love, you can’t think of most anything else and the person is the most perfect individual God ever made.

However, because those feelings fade, that allows you to move into a deeper stage. This is a stage that transcends your feelings. I told her that one day if you haven’t already, you will wake up and ask yourself, “Why did I ever marry this bozo?” When you wonder why you married someone, you have to remember that you did marry them and your responsibility to the covenant doesn’t depend on your feelings.

After all, anyone can do loving things when they feel like it. What accomplishment is that? It’s when you don’t feel like it that you are definitely acting out of true love. True love is not demonstrated in the feeling, but it is in the absence of the feeling.

Could this also indicate a danger in our situations today that we are often chasing after perpetuating a feeling, which never lasts forever, instead of building up the covenant the feeling is about? We also do the same with Christianity. How do we know what God is telling us supposedly? Look at your feelings. Do you feel led? Do you feel like you are being called? Then someone feels like God is angry with them or has rejected them and all of a sudden the feelings aren’t reliable. When the feelings are what we want, we trust them. When they’re not, they’re not reliable. Wonderful system.

This is not to be opposed to emotion either. It’s to say that it can’t be our diet. C.S. Lewis said that emotion can be the explosion that starts the engine, but it can’t run on that emotion. It needs to get locked into something steady and unchanging. Something firmer than that. It’s realizing you’re locked into something greater than yourself. You have a commitment to more than just your immediate happiness. You refuse to do what is wrong just because you want something for yourself.

Of course, in any marriage, it’s okay to have disagreements and even fights if you will. I get concerned when I hear of couples who aren’t having those. What will be remembered in the times when the relationship is the hardest is that you made a promise regardless of your feelings. The same applies to your Christian walk as well. Our feelings can be powerful motivators, but they are horrible guides.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge: Saving Your Second Marriage Before It Starts

What do I think of Les and Leslie Parrott’s book published by Zondervan? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This is the kind of book that I’m really thankful is out there, but I also wish I didn’t need to read. Like I have said, divorce is awful. I was actually relieved to read in the book what I have heard said several times, that you spend a lifetime recovering from divorce.

Here’s something else that struck me about this book. This book is great to read even if you are on your first marriage or getting ready for your first marriage. The advice in here is still thoroughly practical. Sometimes as I was going through, it was hard to remember that this was a book that was meant for a second marriage.

Also, the Parrotts wrote in a way that it doesn’t matter what you went through to get to your second marriage. You could be a widow or you could be divorced. The same concept applies. About the only real difference, though even still not so much today, between this and a first marriage is the talk about what to do if one or both of you have children.

If anything, I wish there had been more different material about learning from the first time more. That is in there, but so much of the material was not unique to second marriages. I do remember one question I was curious about that was talked about but never answered was about what to do when it comes to sexual intimacy and a second marriage.

One statement that was made is that the ghost of your ex will always be around. I do have a friend who has been married before and is on his second marriage. He told me about buying some computer equipment early in his second marriage and getting scared that his wife would jump all over him because that’s what his first wife did. Nope. She instead got really excited about it and just wanted her husband to enjoy himself.

It is said to never talk bad about your ex and this is something that I try my hardest to not do. If I have to say something negative, I still affirm always (The virgin birth, but that’s another point) that I still want the best for her and I pray for her regularly and I mean the true prayer for her well-being, not the prayer some exes pray sadly of “May she die in a hideous car accident.” If anything, I would be devastated if I heard such news today.

I really wish this book wasn’t needed today, but sadly it is more and more. It would be great if the times it was really needed was for people who were widowed, but too often now, it’s divorce. For those of us who want to have another try at the world of marriage, I am thankful that this book is here. I wish I didn’t need it, but I sadly do and I hope that assuming such a marriage comes, I will be the better for preparing beforehand.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Anger In Divorce

What are you angry about? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have come to a conclusion that while I am not an angry person for the most part, I do have some anger towards my divorce. I haven’t wanted to express it and to an extent, that is something good. I don’t need to be doing something destructive. However, I also need to realize that anger itself is okay, which I do know, and I really do have something to be angry about.

After all, I gave ten years of my life to a woman and tried to be as faithful as I could, no matter what I was going through. In the end, I was lied to, told extremely hurtful things, and then accused of being abusive. Fortunately, that last one hasn’t really stuck. There’s too many people who know the great love I demonstrated towards her in our marriage.

As I look at life circumstances, I can think that I am in the spot I am to some extent because of what she did. This wasn’t the best news for me when I was working at Wal-Mart. Now that I’m out on my own again and attending seminary, this is something I am having an easier time accepting. I am genuinely enjoying my time in seminary.

Yet still, every day something happens that reminds me of what I went through. We had a ceremony in our chapel yesterday that had several new professors being introduced. I also had my first classes yesterday and what happens in each of these? Pictures. I don’t fault the professors for showing them. I would do the same thing and they should. They shouldn’t walk on eggshells to make sure I’m not hurt and I need to deal with that myself.

Yet I will state that it is very painful. I look at pictures of a happy couple together and I think that I miss that. I see their children and realize that I am nearing 42 and wonder if I will ever have my own offspring.

I walk on campus and I see couples walking together and I miss getting to walk with her and I wish I had a lady to do that with. I do get some hope though whenever i see a woman who does not have a ring and the women I meet on campus do seem to have an upright character which I greatly admire. Still, I never thought I would be back in the dating game again.

Not only that, divorce can be like a scarlet letter. Wherever you go in ministry, you have to explain your divorce. I have talked to enough people in the Southern Baptist tradition which my seminary is part of who agree with me that yes, we need to handle this better.

Mothers are often the ones who know their sons the best and if you talked to my Mom, she would have told you all my life, what I have wanted is a lady in my life. Picture what that is like when you think you have someone who accepts you, desires you, treasures you, and wants to be with you, and then you are left thinking after years that it is all a lie. You have someone who complains constantly about not being good enough for the people in their life and being rejected and then goes and sends you the exact same message. Divorce is a way of treating me like I’m a punishment to her and she wants nothing to do with me.

In fairness, I do think she said she wanted to be friends somehow, but no. Her priest even told me not to go that route. You don’t get to call me abusive, rip my heart out, and then say “But we can be friends.” That’s all painful.

As I think about other girls, I wonder what will happen when I tell them I’m divorced. Will they see me differently? When I tell them someday that I was accused of being abusive, will they somewhere wonder if I’m a really good actor hiding a secret abusive life? Honestly, why shouldn’t they? Look at someone like Ravi Zacharias who greatly managed to conceal a double-life.

Divorce is something that really needs to be understood better. It is in some ways an act of murder as it takes the two that became one and kills that. I am not saying divorce is always wrong, but in my case, it was. I fought tooth and nail to save my own marriage even when it was being very difficult for me. I made a promise to God and I was trusting that my faithfulness would be honored and that if we stuck through the hard times, much better times would come.

Right now, I am learning to accept the anger as it comes. Sometimes, that’s anger towards God. I know He didn’t do wrong, but if you read Scripture, you will see plenty of times His own got angry with Him. Jeremiah had the guts to tell God that He had deceived him and that he was deceived. We can often read how in Islam Allah is the greatest of deceivers. At one time, that’s how Jeremiah saw God.

I think this is important to do also because it would be foolish to deny that there is no anger there. God knows it. I might as well be honest. I know God has done no wrong, but I still am not happy with how things were done. I wonder why He let me get in this relationship if He knew the hardship and pain that would result. Yes. I know the story isn’t over, but we have all been in places where we wonder why God is doing what He is doing. If we call God a counselor, but we think we can’t be honest with Him, isn’t it more of a statement of distrust in God?

It’s also easy to serve God when you think that you have all the benefits, which in my case include a spouse. What does it reveal when you wonder what on Earth God is doing in your life, and yet you strive to serve Him anyway? This is what I choose to do. I have nowhere else to go after all. I have to believe in His goodness.

I don’t want anyone to think I am a constant ball of rage. I am not. If anything, I have far more sadness than rage. When I think about her, it can be tempting to want some kind of revenge, but I also realize that won’t help in the end. Why should I feel better that another person is suffering? True justice is one thing. Pure revenge is another. We can want justice, but we also must remember that Scripture says if we celebrate when our enemy falls, and in some sense she has become that sadly, then God will turn from them and focus on us. There but for the grace of God go I.

As I continue through seminary, I hope that I will also find more healing in the work that I am doing and in the relationships I am making. I am always happy to find friends here and an environment where I belong. When I walked at Wal-Mart, one of the main tunes I would sometimes hum was the theme to Final Fantasy IX called “A Place To Call Home.” I happen to love living in New Orleans, aside from the driving which is atrocious, but I don’t have to do thankfully since even the Wal-Mart is right next door to the seminary. I am working on getting more and more of the income I need through Patreon and other means to finish my education, which I think I can get my Master’s in less than two years.

Still, be praying for me in all of this. I have many goals I want to accomplish in seminary and I hope it to be a beneficial time and I can be a recipient student and learn all that I can. At the same time, I hope to establish good relationships, and especially one with a lady who wants to serve God as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Thoughts On Love On The Spectrum

What do I think of this Netflix series? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

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This is about the American version of the show. In it, we meet six people who are on the spectrum and all are trying to find love. A benefit I want to point out right off on this show is that it is family-friendly. I do not remember seeing any sex or nudity at all, nor do I think it is even mentioned.

There are three men and three women on the show and all have various degrees of being on the spectrum with how much they can function, although it looks like a lot of them do have people who work with them whether they be professionals or family members. You also meet specialists like Jennifer Cook who advises the people wanting to find love. The show shows these people going out and trying to get dates and going on dates.

I don’t know how much of this was genuinely shot accurately or was a recreation somehow. It’s hard to picture a speed dating event with someone coming to the table to speak to the autistic person and being told “Pay no attention to the cameras!” There were some moments I also hoped were not being filmed genuinely. It’s bad enough for a guy when he gets dumped be it on the phone or in person. Imagine that instead being put in a series where everyone can see it happen.

As someone on the spectrum myself, I found the series hopeful in many ways. I consider myself to be very high-functioning. After all, as I write this, I am living on my own in a seminary 10 hours away from my parents in a state that doesn’t even border them and I am making it. (Patreon below if you want to help me keep making it.) The other great goal I have personally besides my education at this point is finding another woman. I am the one who has been married and I definitely want to find someone again who wants to be treasured.

The people are also of various ages as well. I don’t know if any of them were Christian and if so, they didn’t state it explicitly. That would be nice, but people finding love are people finding love regardless. All of them are out there wanting to meet someone special.

Something you learn as well watching this if you are an outsider to the spectrum is that on the spectrum, we are vastly different, but we are also like everyone else. We want to be loved and treasured and we want someone to spend time with. It might surprise some people when I am usually a loner for the most part to know I want that as well. I definitely do. There is something I miss about the companionship that comes with having a wife.

If you are on the spectrum, you need to watch this series. If you know someone who is on the spectrum, you need to watch this series. If you are dating someone who is on the spectrum, I also encourage watching this series. It’s really great to see that people are studying more and more about a real condition and how we can interact together.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

Book Plunge: The Flirtation Experiment

What do I think of Phylicia Masonheimer and Lisa Jacobson’s book published by Thomas Nelson? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I try to read books about marriage despite being divorced. If anything, I read to get help for when my second marriage comes about, Lord willing and may He be. I read books written for wives, for husbands, and for both. This is a book written for wives.

Thinking back on it, I know authors don’t get to choose the names of their books often, but I think a better name might be The Connection Experiment. After all, when you see a book by women called The Flirtation Experiment and see fireworks on the cover going off, I suspect it’s going to be about buying outfits at Victoria’s Secret, jumping into a shower with your husband, and all manner of physical activities which is what a guy usually has in mind when he thinks about flirting.

That’s not to say the material in here is bad. It’s not. It’s really good. It just isn’t what I was expecting. So looking at the good, these are wives who have decided to invest in their husbands, which is also a plus since usually things are always assumed to be the husband’s fault when many times, it takes two.

There are thirty chapters which means you are meant to go through this book in a month’s time, sort of like a shortened version of The Respect Dare. Both women write fifteen chapters which means they go back and forth between themselves. Each chapter is built on a one-word concept and expounded on and could be read in ten minutes max.

The authors also really open up explaining about difficulties that they have had and about how they worked with their respective husbands. Sometimes, the husbands have a brief sidenote where they will write something and these were always a bonus to read. I kept hoping that there would have been one in every chapter.

All of these are built largely on forming an emotional connection with one’s spouse. Thinking about that, that will work for the men and women because the men tend to think about physical connection and when a woman feels emotionally connected, physical connection is a lot easier for them. It also helps that the women take the initiative in this since frankly, many of us guys don’t really know what to do when it comes to emotional connection.

One amusing part I found was in one of Phylicia’s chapters where she thought God was telling her He wanted her to play video games with her husband, so they played some Mario Party. I know I would be thrilled to marry a woman who wanted to play games with me. I remember hearing a story of a husband who really wanted his wife to go hunting with him and so one day she agreed and they went and sat in the same place all day and absolutely nothing happened. No game came out at all to shoot at.

How did the husband take it? He left saying it was awesome. I can guarantee you then that wife never said, “This is stupid! It’s a waste of time! We could be doing something else!” She just sat there quietly the whole time and he treasured that silent time with her as she participated in his hobby.

And yes, I do realize this needs to be a two-way street, but this is a book for wives so I’m mainly talking to them.

Every marriage can always have room for improvement. I recommend this one for the women out there. Get it and see how it works for you. Husbands can also look through and say what would and would not appeal to them.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth.)

Of Marriages And Diets

Is this a valid reason to abandon marriage? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As I was writing yesterday’s blogpost, I had a number of people tag me on Facebook and ask “What do you think of this?” and this was the very picture I was writing about. Today, I’d like to tackle another one that has been making the rounds. It’s another one that sadly convinces me those on the left in this debate really don’t bother to listen to what their opponents say.

First off, the opening claim is just false. Even if you are a skeptic, it should be easy to accept that a redefined marriage of two men or two women is against someone else’s religion is a fact. That doesn’t say anything about the emotional state of the person who holds that religion. The anger is already imposed. (This happens all too often as those of us who are conservative are often accused of having hate towards the other side.)

I don’t go to bed at night steaming about homosexual couples. The issue matters to me, but I have many other things to think about. It’s on the other side unfortunately that if we are told we don’t agree, well here come the hounds out to shut down our businesses and demand our freedom to operate be taken away.

That’s only the start of the problem.

The majority of the real argumentation on the right is not going “The Bible says X, therefore Y should be forbidden.” Most of us are making arguments based on the nature of marriage and a natural law understanding of marriage. Yes. I am sure Pastor Bob down at the local Southern Baptist Church is getting up in the pulpit screaming about what the Bible says and doesn’t have a clue about these natural law arguments, but note I stated the real argumentation. I am not against the Bible, but if one side doesn’t believe it, it has no authority for them, at least in the sense that it doesn’t change their thinking.

Ultimately, when I have seen this debated online, it comes down to what a marriage is. It has always before been understood as two adults of the opposite sex coming together in a union generally with the goal of bringing about and raising children. Now we are told that it doesn’t matter what two consenting adults do.

But why should this be the case?

First off, consider the case of Armin Meiwes. He was a cannibal who was convicted for eating someone. Here’s the relevant part. This person wanted to be eaten. He fully consented to everything. Thus, we have an action between two consenting adults. To make this wrong, you will need another qualifier then. Two consenting adults is not sufficient.

Second, what exactly is an adult? In Biblical times, as was much of the world back then, as soon as the kids hit puberty, it was time to marry them off to someone else. Teenagers in the past would be forming families. Today, having a relationship with a teenager can get you hit with a statutory rape charge. There is nothing magical about the age of 18 that makes someone an adult. We’ve all known adults well over 18 who are essentially children and we’ve all known children younger than 18 who have been forced through circumstances to grow up early and practically function as adults. Also, consider how many children who commit crimes can be tried as adults.

Consent is also not good enough. This is supposed to protect it from applying to children as well, but we constantly make children do things without their consent that is for their good. They go to school, do chores, go to bed, eat healthy, and get vaccinations and medical treatment they don’t like, without their consent. Loving parents who genuinely love their children do this.

Third, we might as well ask about the number two. Why should marriage be limited to two people? The Mormons held to polygamy for some time and were brought before the government for that one. If we are removing the requirement that the people be of the opposite sex, it would be far easier to remove the number. Not only that, there is a much greater historical basis for polygamy than for the redefinition of marriage.

What is being asked is what marriage is and what is the purpose of it. It is not just a union for the happiness of two adults. It is a nation building institution in the sense that these people are the ones capable of bringing about the next generation. The state has all reason to want to promote that as it kind of needs new people to survive. Hypothetically, imagine how much damage we could do to China and Russia if we could launch a biological attack somehow over those entire nations that would sterilize everyone in those nations.

And if marriage is about the continuing of the species, then the state has an interest in promoting the type of union that can do that job. The state has no interest in promoting a same-sex couple as they can never do that. Marriage is not to be meant about the affirming of the people involved, but why the people are coming together in the first place.

Now suppose someone says “Well, Christians can really say that these are the reasons, but we know the real reason is what the Bible says!” Let’s suppose 100% that that’s true for the sake of argument. That doesn’t change the fact that the natural law based arguments are on the table. Those still have to be addressed.

Suppose someone makes a powerful argument to me for atheism and I don’t know how to answer it. It does not work to say, “You only make that argument because you want to be free to live your life sexually however you want.” That could even be 100% true. I am sure there are Christians who hold to Christianity just for the benefits they want to receive and I am sure there are some atheists who hold to atheism because of the sexual freedom.

The argument still has to be addressed.

This meme is not addressing any real arguments. It is not even making one. It is just pointing to motives and trying to read emotions into the other side.

It’s a shame so much has to be written to deal with something because so many do take it seriously.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

Remembering the Sacred

Is nothing sacred? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, I wrote about recognizing marriage as a sacred calling. As I wrote out those words, I thought about that. What is the sacred in our society? Do we have a place for it anymore?

In his book The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Trueman writes about first, second, and third world cultures. First-world cultures put the ideas on how we should live on notions of fate or the gods. They’re not built on anything ultimate in a sense, but they are great and outside of us and we ought to follow them. The gods say it so whatever their reasons, you must obey.

Second-world cultures are those that do base the ideas in one transcendent God who can to some extent be known. Christianity presents such a culture. It’s not just “The God says so” which would be sufficient in itself, but also here is why the God says so and here are the reasons and God can enforce His rules.

Third-world cultures are like what America is in now. Everything is rooted in the secular. There is nothing outside of ourselves that morality is grounded in. It is all built on secularism.

What that also means is nothing outside enforces us. We have to enforce it. That also means there is no longer anything transcendent and lasting. Ultimately, it is moral relativism, but there is a who says going on in this culture. Who says? Whoever is in charge says. That’s who.

Consider our recent Supreme Court scenarios. Under this kind of ideology, the voice of the people is in some ways the voice of God. If the Court says abortion is allowable, then that is that. The case has spoken. The court is closed. Likewise if it says it’s going to stay out of it. Whatever side you take, I hope the problem is apparent. It’s the saying that a government that is big enough to give you rights is also big enough to take them away.

That’s why in America, our founding document is a second-world document. It roots our rights in a creator. The government doesn’t give us these rights. It recognizes these rights. It also cannot take away these rights.

However, if we remove that, then the only way to enforce the powers of the third-world and whoever is in charge is, well, power. Force will have to be used. The more secular a culture is, the more likely it will use this kind of force to control its citizens.

In looking at marriage also, we have lost the sacred. Marriage used to be a sacred calling where the two made a commitment. Now we have cheapened most everything about marriage. In the past, it would have been that if a man wanted to see a woman in all of her glory, he really needed to work a lot and prove he was a man and show the girl he was worth marrying and he would be treated on their wedding night, and hopefully, she would be as well.

Now? Nope. All you have to do is browse the internet for a few seconds and look at porn. If anything diminishes a human being, it is pornography, both the viewed and the viewer diminish one another in this. Internet pornography is one of the most destructive forces in our world today. It is a cheapening of the good gift of humanity and sexuality and turns women especially into objects to be consumed. If women truly wanted to fight the patriarchy, they would take a stand against internet pornography, abortion, and anything else that makes a man give them anything less than a lifetime commitment.

It’s honestly hard to think of anything our world holds as sacred. In a sense, we treat sexuality like the highest good, making it an aspect of your highest identity and if you haven’t had sex, there’s something wrong with you. How else is just a movie title like The Forty Year-old Virgin possible? At the same time, we treat it as simply a recreational activity and say casual sex is no big deal. It’s hard to think of how you can have it both ways. In a Christian worldview, you understand that sex is an aspect of something much bigger. It is indeed part of your identity, in that you are male or female and nothing can ever change that, and as an activity, it is an intimate one that is reserved for the most intimate of relationships.

One aspect of saving our culture is going to have to be the recovery of the sacred. Right now, we live in a culture of power plays and whoever is in charge has the power to enforce what they want and it will shift back and forth constantly as long as we have nothing outside of ourselves to ground it in. Hear this. You cannot be a true moral reformer if you hold to third-world principles of morality. It takes a second-worlder who says “No. This is something greater than us regardless of what the culture says.” You cannot stand up against slavery, Nazism, or any other evil and be a part of a third-world culture truly for you are just going with what you want for whatever reason and as soon as the other side gets more power, they can change that immediately and what standard can be pointed to beyond men to say “This is wrong.”?

Right now, our culture is on a suicide path. Those of us who are Christians and see the danger should be raising the warning alarms and crying out that something must change. We must be the Ezekiel watchman or else God will hold us accountable for not speaking up. When men forget God, what happens is chaos and some men become god for their culture. Nietzsche recognized this and lamented it knowing it would lead to chaos. He was indeed right. Nietzsche recognized the seriousness of the idea of the death of God and would think most atheists today are gutless embarrassments.

The rest of us. Stand strong. Everyday, build up the sacred in your own life and demonstrate it to the world. Remember Lewis also said that outside of the sacrament (And he said this as a Protestant) the most holy sight you see will be your neighbor. It all starts with how you treat him.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)