Singles Conference Debunks Grace Myth

“Now, I am free to quickly judge instead of bothering with the drudgery of loving someone who has made mistakes.”

grace

Atlanta, GA – Thousands of Atlanta singles poured into Germinate Georgia Church this weekend to attend a conference on Singlehood, Dating, and Marriage by visiting pastor Rev. Bobby Jehosephat Murray. Intrigued by the enthusiastic tweets that had popped up on my twitter feed (“Revolutionary!” and “Murray on Fire! #SDMConference”), I loitered outside of Germinate Georgia Church on the night of the last session and was able to snag a few attendees for an interview.

Amanda Jackson, who drove all the way from Chattanooga TN to attend the conference, raved “Reverend Murray did an excellent job explaining how romantic relationships fall outside of the overarching message of Christianity. If I hadn’t attended the conference, I never would have understood these special exemptions.” Intrigued, I asked her to expand on this idea. “Well, I was always taught that Jesus’ death, life, and resurrection meant that I didn’t have to live in guilt and shame about my past, but could live in freedom. But Rev. Murray explained that while that’s mostly true for all other types of behaviors that hurt myself and others, there’s no true forgiveness for sexual sin. And, we should make sure that we frequently remind and judge each other for our past mistakes.”

She rolled up her sleeve excitedly, to show freshly inked tattoos that she had felt led to get after a particularly guilt-inducing conference session. I peered closely to read the delicate cursive in neat rows, surprised to find a list of juicy tidbits, such as “Made out in the backseat of C.S.’s car, 04/03/09” and “Allowed E.C. to cop a feel, 03/25/10”. Amanda continued glowingly “I got these to ensure that I never get cocky about where I stand in the family of God. Now if I ever start to feel free, or a good man starts to pursue me, I have an easy reminder of who I really am and how I don’t deserve any blessings.” An additional bonus, she added, was that now her brothers in Christ could quickly read through her past failures and save themselves from being tainted by her waywardness.

Amanda’s friend Dan Bowman, a friend of Amanda’s who attended the conference with her (they drove in separate cars), was particularly approving of his friend’s tattoos. “As a man who has protected himself from impurity my entire life, I was always a little bummed by the mainstream Christian message that my good works are like filthy rags to God– and that some philandering frat boy who literally decided to follow Jesus yesterday would have the same access to God and His blessings as I did. It never sat right with me.” Dan blew out his breath in exasperation. “But Rev. Murray was so encouraging. Now I know that my behavior has earned me the right to a flawless Christian woman as my wife.” He added, “It’s relieving to know that my hard work is worth something.”

Both Dan and Amanda agreed that another enlightening session had really relieved their anxieties about how to treat anyone they dated. “It was always so messy to try to figure out how to honor someone as a human being instead of just looking at them through the lens of their past,” chimed in Amanda. “Now, I am free to quickly judge instead of bothering with the drudgery of loving someone who has made mistakes.” When I asked them about how Rev. Murray explained the role of Mary Magdalene, Rahab the prostitute, Tamar and others, they both replied in unison, “Liberal propaganda.” Dan then offered me a gloved hand – kindly explaining he has a strict rule of no skin-to-skin contact with a female outside of his family – and he and Amanda headed off into the night (Amanda asked me to pointedly note that her Dad was also present).

For more information on this new theology, stay tuned for Rev. Murray’s new book “Sexual Sin: Debunking the grace myth” coming out this Spring.

Christian Singles: Get your shoot together.

For the love of Chris Tomlin, be chill and stop over-thinking it.

christiandancing

This is an “in-house” appeal to my single Christian brethren and sistern, so if you don’t fall into that category I’m sorry to leave you out. But of course, you’re welcome to read along and cluck your tongue in approval.

I’ll make this brief.

I currently know at least.. 25 women, in their 20-30s, smart, funny, sweet, hold down a job, emotionally stable, love Jesus. You know what else they all have in common? Single as a one dollar bill. What ELSE do they all have in common? They want dang-blatted hubs, who also love Jesus.

I also know at least 25.. well maybe 20.. men, in their 20-30s, smart, funny, kind, hold down a job, emotionally stable, and love Jesus. Single. Want dang-blatted wifies, who also love Jesus.

Yet what else do almost all of THESE people have in common? They’re on frickin OK Harmonious Bumble Match* or whatever wasting their time with men and women who’d make their mama weep. Or, the women are hombre-ing their hair and putting on extra-eyeliner, waiting for a young Louie Giglio to see them across the church parking lot and be captivated by their pure, ethereal beauty. Then we have men lurking around waiting for some woman to “give them a sign.” Which I guess entails slipping them a note, “I like you, do you like me? Check yes or no.”

Here’s an idea. Delete your derned dating app. Women, stop being prideful! It is not beneath your dignity to talk to a guy.. or even INITIATE A CONVERSATION YOURSELF (!!!!!). You don’t have to be a flirt. Just be .. friendly.  Ask them about themselves. Men, start talking to women and ask them to coffee without feeling the need to call a week-long all-men prayer session to determine if this first step is God’s will. If you’re worried about being seen as creepy, just .. don’t.. be. If a woman says no, then take her word for it and FIDO.

I don’t want the church to become a Christian day-club for singles, I’m just saying that.. 99% of the single Christians I know are all fairly miserable being single, but the whole community is in a never-ending cycle of guys who won’t man up and initiate, with women who expect guys to initiate based off.. their fashion.. ? .. and when guys do initiate they’re labeled as creepy because Christian females are incapable of communicating “NO” so the poor guys are left trying to figure out if the woman is playing hard-to-get or legitimately despises them.. and then women who feel unwanted and rejected because a guy that she has ignored for 3 months is unable to read her mind and figure out she would definitely say yes if he asked her to lunch..

*deep sigh*

For the love of Chris Tomlin, be chill and stop over-thinking it. 

DISCLAIMER: I’m not using the #galloblog platform as a not-so-subtle pathetic plea to men generally, or a specific man, to ask the #galloswag out. This whole post truly was born out of my deep indignation that so many of my male and female Christian single friends are so unhappy. Yes, I’m that sweet and thoughtful.

…Go forth and fraternize!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*I know people who have met their bae online, and that is glorious. In general though, in my prideful opinion, it’s a bit ridiculous to go online when you have tens and tens of singles right in front of you. If NONE of them appeal to you, maybe it’s your problem… *drops gallomic*