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There is a trend in our culture where if you are attracted to the same sex, attracted to both sexes, or identify as a different gender than your birth gender, the cultural tide tells you to go with how you feel, be yourself, and live into these feelings and attractions.

It can feel like there are only two paths: the cultural path of living by your feelings / orientation or the biblical path of living according to what the Bible says.  This dichotomy that’s been set up by the Church and by culture doesn’t give the whole picture though; it’s like we’re playing a game of chess with only a quarter of the board.

A primary breakdown in this dichotomy is that “the biblical path” is often seen by both culture and the Church as meaning “the straight path,” as in, if you’re straight, you’ve met the Bible’s standard.  Heterosexual sin within the Church is no big deal, while homosexual sin gets all of the attention.  This dichotomy also assumes that the solution for someone who is gay is for them to become straight, something that is usually not possible.

Is heterosexual sin spoken against in the Bible?  Yes.  Clearly and directly and repeatedly.  From lust, to adultery, to divorce, heterosexual sin is called out as direct rebellion against a holy God.

Why is Jesus so harsh against lust and divorce? (Matthew 5:27-32)  It’s because God created sex to be between a man and a woman in the context of marriage alone.  Does that line feel familiar to you?  It might remind you of debates that go on between culture and the Church (or between the Church and the Church) about homosexuality.  And it begins to reveal a few more of the missing squares on the chess board…

Those who are gay, lesbian and transgender get all of the spotlight when it comes to conforming to the Bible’s design for sex—not that they are asking for it, but as a heterosexual with tons of sexual disorientation issues, I have to say I’m a little jealous. Continue Reading…

I conducted a survey of 504 Christian singles to find out what their experience in church as a single has been.  I wrote several articles based on pieces of the data, but haven’t published the complete data until now.  Below are links to the articles from the data, followed by all of the data (including comments) from the 504 respondents.  There are a lot of comments, but they are on point.

The Best Ministry to Singles Has Nothing to do with Your Singles Ministry

Research shows 77% of Christian Singles are Waiting to Have Sex Until Marriage

Research shows 45% of Christian singles feel outcast within the Church, 3% are LGBTQ

Research Statistics: 504 Christian Singles on Singleness in the Church

And a related article inspired by the survey results:

Stop Shaming Single Christians: The strand of three chords in Ecclesiastes has nothing to do with marriage

Click the .pdf graphic below to download all of the singles survey data.  This includes 21 questions, the first 18 of which are in bar graph format and the final 3 are in short answer format.  Feel free to use and republish the data in any format beneficial to you; please cite Noah Filipiak, atacrossroads.net/singles when you use the data.

singles-ministry-survey-data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does the Bible say about singleness / being single?

Stop Shaming Single Christians: The strand of three chords in Ecclesiastes has nothing to do with marriage

I recently attended a wedding where the pastor used Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 as his text to describe marriage. “Two are better than one…If either of them falls down, one can help the other up…But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  This text is not about marriage.  The laying down together is not sexual, it is simply practical in an era where there was no indoor heating.  You would lay down together so you didn’t freeze!  And the third strand of the cord is not referring to God; it’s referring to a third human (The entire context of the list in these four verses is humans helping humans…God isn’t going to lay down with you in bed and keep you warm…).  When we read these things about marriage into the text (as the pastor did), it not only belittles singles (“oh pity them!”), it also gives an unbiblical emphasis on marriage, which shames singles like they are second class Christians or are Christians God is holding out on.

If you want to use the “cord of three strands” imagery in your marriage ceremony to depict you, your spouse and God, that’s fine.  But don’t preach a sermon saying that the meaning of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is for married people in a way that directly rejects it applying to single people.  The meaning of the text has to do with friendship and community, things that singles are uniquely positioned (much better than married people) to excel in.  Fan the flame of this great teaching into the lives of Christian singles, don’t douse it by reading marriage into the text, glorying marriage to a pedestal the Bible never puts it on.

Is marriage good? Continue Reading…

What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

10 Blog Posts about Homosexuality & the Bible

I’ve posted a lot about homosexuality and the Bible over the years.  Here are the top 10:

Gay Christian? A sermon by Noah Filipiak and Jim Decke

 

Same Sex Attraction / Orientation is Not a Sin

 

3 Ways Christians View Homosexuality in the Bible

 

A Christian’s Guide to Gay Marriage

 

How Gay Celibate Bible-Believing Christians are breaking the mold of the LGBT vs. Christian debate

 

Helpful Words from a Gay Christian on Homosexuality and the Bible

 

3 Reasons I Didn’t Want to Be Gay by Jim Decke

 

Why a Gay Celibate Christian Keeps the Label of “Gay”

 

A Solution to the Kim Davis Debacle, and the Many More that Will Follow

 

Research shows 45% of Christian singles feel outcast within the Church, 3% are LGBTQ

at a crossroads behind the curtain ministry podcast noah filipiakHow would you like to receive the following tweet? You should let all the fans you let down crucify you.  How would you handle that?  That’s a tweet Andrew Maxwell received during his time quarterbacking the Michigan State Spartans football team.

Andrew Maxwell compiled an impressive career as Michigan State University’s quarterback, his biggest season coming as the starter in 2012.  Maxwell finished his MSU career with 3014 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and a 105.5 quarterback rating in 26 total games played.  After going undrafted, he had tryouts with the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots in 2014.

In this interview, Andrew and Noah Filipiak discuss what it was like emotionally for Andrew to be benched in Michigan State’s bowl game in favor of Connor Cook, what that off-season was like, and what it was like to be benched again his senior season.  Noah and Andrew discuss all the ways we find our identity in things other than who we are in Christ, football a primary culprit of this in Andrew’s life, the hard lessons God has taught him about trusting God, as well as why fans say such awful things toward players.

Resources mentioned in the interview:
Interview with Ruth Haley Barton on Performance-Oriented Drivenness, Ego, Pace, Soul & Spiritual Transformation

Interview with Josiah Price, #4 Michigan State Spartans career TD leader for a TE

Words the Gospel of Jesus Says You Are

Book resource: Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST EPISODE WITH Andrew Maxwell BELOW: (or subscribe on iTunes)

Continue Reading…