Unmarried Movie Trailer

Well, the trailer for Unmarried, the Rise of Singleness is not out. My first impression is that it is incredibly bad, and heading down the wrong path:

The catastrophizing of the whole issue is what the trailer begins with. Mark Gungor calls it an “unmitigated poisonous disaster.” Of course, then again, Mark Gungor says things throughout this trailer that are downright absurd. I agree that it is an important issue to address, but an “unmitigated poisonous disaster????????” Kevin Swanson says we must learn the “severity of the problem,” and “if we don’t address this issue, we are done.” It is hard to even know what to say to such catastrophizing. I guess, for some people, marriage is such an idol that when people don’t get married it is a “disaster” and “severe,” and “we are done” if we don’t address it.

Then, Doug Wilson says, “Instead of the church setting the trend, we have sadly been going along with this trend.” Since when is the church supposed to necessarily be going against cultural trends? The trend right now is for people to buy tablet PC’s. Therefore, the church should be going against people bringing tablets to church with electronic Bibles. Right? It is counterculturalism at its worst. In this case, the truth is somewhere in between. It is quite true that God has called some people to marriage, and that we have problems with people heeding that call both in the church and in our culture. Just like we have a shortage of missionaries, elders, deacons, and other forms of ministry, we have a shortage of people getting married and having children. However, our goal should not be to go along with or to go against a trend; it should be to serve God. When we have a shortage of elders, we don’t create a sin of “not being an elder.” Yet, it seems, that is precisely what is done in marriage. Instead, we should be making people aware of the shortage, and ask them to seek God to see if he would have them to serve in this way.

James McDonald says “Most people are not called to singleness. The norm is marriage” I would love to see a defense of that from scripture. As Kostenberger said, it is an assumption on the part of these people that needs to be challenged. The reality is, we can’t know where God is going to call a person to serve. God gives different gifts to different people, and to demand that he give this gift to most people is absurd. Notice how, throughout this trailer, scripture is sparse. That is because these ideas are not coming from scripture; they are coming from counterculture.

Mark Gungor says, “Almost all the major ills that are facing the Christian community is directly tied to this idea of waiting as long as possible to get married.” Really? Exactly how is the Ergun Caner scandal related to waiting as long as possible to get married? How are all of the issues of abuse of power within the church related to waiting as long as possible to get married? Precisely how is the epidemic of extremely poor exegesis within the Christian church related to waiting as long as possible to get married? As I said, Gungor says absurd things throughout this trailer, but this one takes the cake.

Gungor, continuing his absurdities, says, “This porn addiction is a huge plague that has destroyed…and the number one reason the boys have gotten into this up to their eyeballs: delayed marriage.” We have dealt with this many times. This statement comes perilously close to blasphemy, and is an insult to the finished work of Jesus Christ. The Father sends the Son to die for an individual who currently struggles with a porn addiction, and the Holy Spirit is diligently applying that work to a person’s heart. However, apparently, the work of the Triune God will be frustrated because this individual doesn’t have the almighty power of marriage???????? The idolatry at this point is just blatant. The hope for those who struggle with porn or any other sexual sin is not in getting married or in marrying early; it is in the death of Christ which guarantees that this sin will be overcome. If a person clings to marriage to try to solve this problem, then it is idolatry, pure and simple. The problem is that sin does not come from your marital status-single or married; it comes from your heart. The reason why you sin is because you have a heart that loves your sin more than it loves Christ. That can be proven by the fact, if what Gungor were saying were true, we would see no porn addiction in marriage. However, we do. There are even examples of people who have gotten into porn after marriage. Marriage is simply impotent to take away sin. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can take away sin. That is why this view is so dangerous, as it goes to the very heart of the finished work of Christ on the cross.

Doug Wilson says, “There has been a real cultural shift when it comes to how we value marriage, how we prize it, and how we pursue it, what we do with it.” That is true. The problem is, we cannot go too far the other way, and make an idol out of it by demanding that most people pursue it. Not getting married does *not* mean you do not value marriage, just like not becoming an elder doesn’t mean you don’t value the office of elder. Also, what does he mean by “prizing” marriage? I actually, to reference John Piper, make God my treasure. It is far more important to me that I accurately handle the word of God, and that I apply it to my daily life becoming more and more conformed to the image of Christ day by day, growing in how I treat the brethren, and in how I act day by day than I do in whether I get married. That is a slap in the face to these folks, but it is true. I could care less about your marital status, and I could care less about how many children you have. I want to know if you know God, and if you care enough about his word to let him speak. We need a readjustment of our priorities here. Marriage is important, but look at what Paul says:

Philippians 3:8-9 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith

It is incredible that Paul, a man who was probably married at one time due to the fact that his position as a Pharisee who sat in on legal trials would have almost necessitated him being married, says that even his marriage he counts as but rubbish. Even marriage to Paul is something that is but rubbish so that he might gain Christ. Did Paul have a problem with “not valuing marriage?” No, Paul recognized that there are things that make marriage so pale in importance that they are but rubbish compared to Christ and being found in him “not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” That is a lesson which we, as a Christian community, need to learn.

After Gungor makes another absurd comment “I think the women should be the ones screaming bloody murder” [which they have, but, as we have seen, for mostly selfish reasons], Jeff Hurt says, “Okay, you have questions; you’ve heard things; you think singleness is better-that it’s the more desirable thing-that’s what you think Paul is saying? Let’s break it down; let’s get back into the scriptures. What is the Bible saying; what is God communicating to us?” I agree; we should go back to scripture. The problem is, you have to discuss how you are going to *interpret* scripture, before you actually go into the scriptures. Hermeneutics are a major problem, and they must be dealt with first. That is why I would love to see this folks, rather than starting with statistics, start with principles of hermeneutics, linguistics, etc, examine the relevant Biblical texts, and *then* go to the statistics. The problem is, that would totally loose the punch of the entire documentary. The goal is, we have these cultural problems, now we must go back to scripture and read it in the light of these cultural problems. However, once you make it an exegetical study which you then use to examine the culture, all of the punch of this rhetoric is lost. These are serious questions I would pose to Hurt before we would even begin to do something like that, because they are questions that are logically *prior* to going to the text of scripture.

Of course, there is another issue in this film that is not even addressed, and that is something that Karen Campbell says she thinks is directly behind this, and that is the notion of militant fecundity. Think of it, if people get married young, they can have more children, and if you have more children, it is more power to conquer the world for Christ. Never mind that these children will all be sinners. Never mind that it is totally up to God as to whether or not he is going to take away that sin. However, I am aware that militant fecundity has been used in relation to several people interviewed in this video like Kevin Swanson and James McDonald. Militant fecundity is a gross misunderstanding of passages like Genesis 1:28 and Psalm 127, which we have dealt with before. Still, you have to wonder if, for some people in that documentary, it is lurking behind the things that they say. I am not ruling out that possibility.

I have thought of starting a video-cast for some time. If this movie comes out with this kind of bad material, I may just have to start doing that. A video response to a video is much better than a written response. Especially if Gungor keeps piling up those absurdities. It is amazing how many errors you can pile in to a three minute trailer!

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