Optimism and pessimism in the current Christian marriage milieu

Scott makes a comment on Nova’s recent post on Sigma.

Like Andy, who could not believe the things he was capable of while trying to escape to freedom, men today descend into a cesspool of fluid exchange and all other manner of things they know are wrong, (even they aren’t Christian don’t feel right) hoping to find one that will bond to him and say “yes” to marriage. All the while, the Sheila Gregoires of the world shame him for the way is built, and the most strident married men in the manosphere offer him no quarter, or even the opportunity to discuss alternatives. How easy it is for us who have stable loving marriages to look down our noses at those left behind because they weren’t “alpha” (or self-disciplined) enough to succeed at this retarded game.

Myself, fortunate enough to have a decent sized helping of these traits, dove in, swam around in the mud and found mine, and now live like the Eloi, pretending that there is nothing to see here.

I think this has become a larger point of contention given that some people regard me as perhaps much too optimistic/unrealistic.

I’m curious as to all of my commenters thoughts on objectively the percentage of the male population you think has a chance at a godly marriage in this current situation. Make an optimistic, normal, and pessimistic prediction.

I’ll go first.


First, let me ignore the top 10-20% of men with the understanding that most of them will have some relative success at finding a solid godly marriage if they tried. I think most people here would agree on this. There’s certainly a few marriages in most every Church where you can see this is a reasonable assumption.

Thus, now I am talking about the population of 80-90% of men below the top 10-20%.

  • I think any man within this bottom 80-90% of men can get a top 10-20% body within a year or two. This does not mean he will be in the top 10-20% of all men though given other potential traits, but it sure will help given that 60-70% of the entire population are overweight or obese both men and women. This is not including a wardrobe overhaul, good grooming and styling, and such.
  • All men have the capacity to do this just like all men look better in a fitted suit as opposed to baggy clothes. How many men will have the commitment to do this? I’m not quite sure. I’m always making the assumption that all these men can do this, but realistically I’d say probably at least half of men or more won’t do this even if they knew it would help.
  • Give the same man another 1-2 years concurrent practice with pursuing his mission for God, excellence in all aspects of his life (spiritual, physical, emotional/mental), evangelism and discipleship practice, get him in the Word everyday and possible starting to lead Bible studies. This man would at least be prepared to potentially lead a relationship. Maybe not be married effectively, but he has most of the tool to be effective and hopefully a surrounding cast of men to help him.
  • In particular, evangelism and discipleship practice is very important because learning to talk about and be open with your faith and be effective in communicating and leading makes things like asking out women pale in comparison. These conversations have eternal consequences whereas asking out a girl has very little. You can just shrug and be on your way if a girl doesn’t want to go out with you. You want someone who is interested in you anyway not ambivalent or not interested.
  • If he still has issues with improving social communication, get a people job where you have to interact with men and women of all ages and/or take up some toastmaster speaking to improve comfort with public speaking. The more you do these types of things the less scary and sensitive you will be able them. I improved mine substantially by having a people job and then TAing college courses.
  • There was a study I can’t find at the moment, but the only thing they changed was how much a man made on his dating profile. The ones who made less were rated less attractive than men who made more even with the same photos. The same thing applies to having other physical traits like a muscular body to potentially compensate for below average height or face.
  • Most men like most women are not min/max either; it’s fairly rare you’re going to find someone who is short, fat, ugly, no style, bad grooming, zero social skills, crappy job, etc. Usually he may be short but is around average or maybe even above average on other things. Maybe fat but not short, ugly, or have zero social skills. It’s uncommon to have 3 or more of these, so the majority of men aren’t fighting an extremely hard uphill battle.
  • Given all these avenues of potential improvement, this is why I think it’s possible for most men improve enough avenues to where they’re overall above average in most categories which on average would rate them at least above 50% of men if not more. A physical body may be say top 10-20%, but maybe his face is average or slightly below average, his style is top 20%, and grooming is top 20%. On average, excellence in most of these areas will pull up his overall attractiveness even if his face is average or below average.

Obviously, improvement is fairly relative. A man starting out at obese and poor style, grooming, and other physical traits along with poor social skills may not improve as much as someone who is average on all of those already. On average, I’d say most men can gain at least 2-4 points on the 10 scale of attractiveness. Some men can get more than that, but most can get at least that much.

Thus, a man who starts out as a 1 can get himself to at least the 3-5 range, a man who is a 2 can get himself to at least the 4-6 range, and so on for your 5 to get to the 7-8+ range. It’s likely exponentially harder to get up past the >=8 range except in specific instances where things like exorbitant amounts of money or fame come into play. Again, see various progress pics which show men and women that are 1-3/10 range physically can commonly get themselves up to 5-8/10 range.

I’m not sure a standard bell curve distribution would work based on the 1-10 scale, but if it did then each standard deviation would probably be about 2 points of improvement. You’d have 68% of men between a 3-7 range and 95% of men between a 1-9 range. This means that about 13.5%+2.5%=16% of men are rated 7 or higher which is approximately in line with the fact that about 20% of men are rated as attractive by women. Maybe it’s a bit more left skewed at the moment where the average is closer to 4. Your average man who is a “4” could gain 2-4 points to the 6-8 range.


Now to skate back to the original question. What percentage of the male population has an objective chance at a godly marriage?

Unfortunately, this question is mired in the fact that most Christian men and women find it hard to obey Biblical marital roles and responsibilities if their spouse is not attractive. Theoretically, the answer is 100% if people were committed to Christ. Objectively and realistically though the answer is a lot less than that. I certainly know of some godly and happy marriages where the husband and wife are probably 2-3/10 to most people, but this is not the norm. One could argue that it would be questionable or weak faith and trust in God if you aren’t able to follow God despite your circumstances.

Given the stats and assessment on attractiveness playing a role in husbands and wives obedience to God (sadly), it’s likely given the statistics of the improvement of a “4” to the 6-8 range that about only 50% of the 80-90% under the top 10-20% could do this. That means you have about 10-20% + 40-50% which is 50-70% of the Christian population could do this.

Optimistically, I think it could be more than that, but we have to understand that the Christian population is a subset of the actual total population. It’s theoretically possible that we can have most of the Christian men be above average compared to the rest of the population if we had all of them focused on being excellent in all areas of life (spiritually, physically, mentally/emotionally).

Pessimistically, given the apathy of most “Christians” in the Church to actually following God, I think it’s more along the lines of similar to the top 10-20% range itself. We must remember that pretty much about 10-20% of people are likely true Christians in the Church given that this 10-20% are the ones doing most of the serving and loving others. The others are just “attenders” to varying frequencies. It’s probably about 10-20% higher than this, at least according to those who “take their faith seriously” even if they are not involved with serving in Church.

To summarize:

  • Optimistically — 80-90% of Christian men
  • Realistic — 50-70% of Christian men, if you build Church communities of men that take their faith seriously.
  • Pessimistic — 20-40% of Christian men. What it appears to currently be.

I’m curious as to what others will say are their ranges, and what can be done to start helping men.

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37 Responses to Optimism and pessimism in the current Christian marriage milieu

  1. Scott says:

    This would be a far more useful analysis of the following conditions were met:

    1. There was a commensurate/roughly equal sized explosion of Christian/nominally Christian/marginally Christian single women out there who all of the sudden realized what a good quality marriage looks like and decided they wanted one. There are about 7 women who read and internalize what is being discussed here. Most of them married.
    2. Related to number one. Hypergamy did not exist or could be artificially trained out of those same women because if a bunch of 4/10 men became 7/10 men the women would simply recalibrate their unrealistic expectations and those men would still be invisible to most of them.
    3. The mostly heritable trait of motivation was negatively skewed in favor of Christian men so that the list of improvement efforts listed here did not appear insurmountable (ie—all that effort for nothing but a slight increase of a chance to enter the SMP/MMP)
    4. The mix up of SMP/MMP (the topic of that post) could be unscrewed, simultaneously (virginity/chastity became a realistic thing again)

    Just kind of my initial thoughts. But I’m on my phone working right now.

  2. Oscar says:

    Realistic — 50-70% of Christian men, if you build Church communities of men that take their faith seriously. ~ DS

    That’s a big part of it. People are tribal. We tend to behave, and think like the people around us, for better and for worse.

    The mix up of SMP/MMP (the topic of that post) could be unscrewed, simultaneously (virginity/chastity became a realistic thing again) ~ Scott

    There are places where it *is* “a realistic thing”. Not perfectly so, of course. Even the Puritans had shotgun (blunderbuss?) weddings. But, again, that requires a strong community, which then tends to move the needle on all the other factors in the positive direction.

  3. Novaseeker says:

    Let me state at the outset that, as I think you know, I do very much appreciate everything you have been doing here, DS. I know that you are invested in your approach and that it makes sense for you. I also do not doubt that it is effective for some people, depending on their personal bag of tricks. Therefore, my opinion below is not a personal criticism, nor an ultimate one, and should not be taken as such, but is my actual opinion about this kind of approach.

    My perspective is that any approach that suggests that people all get themselves into the top 10-20% of anything in order to succeed is inherently a very “minority report” approach that will have only a minimal applicability and impact.

    Why is this? Because most people don’t have the mental traits (drive, discipline, control, focus, etc.) to get to the top 10-20% in anything in life — that’s just the fact of the matter. It’s why not everyone is equally highly successful in any number of areas in life — the traits aren’t there. And it’s both unreasonable to *expect* people to have these traits, or to berate them, dismiss them, etc., for not having them in terms of their results from being a bog-standard “average” person — that is something that most people will be, regardless. In fact, most people who have the required traits are already deploying them without being nudged, because this is how these kinds of “success traits” tend to work.

    A system which requires well-above-average characteristics (which is what the top 10-20% of anything is, in terms of the mental traits required to get there and stay there) to be at all successful is an utterly broken system. I maintain that the mating market is utterly broken, and moreso for Christians. A solution which is, in its essence “just get yourself into the 10-20% and you’ll be fine” because “it’s easy to get and stay in the top 10-20% given how lazy everyone is” is simply a low-impact approach — it will work for people who have the traits for whom it will work, and for people who don’t (which is most people), not only will it not work, it also inherently berates and belittles them for not having the traits to begin with. So the overall problem will remain intact, with perhaps a few “sleepers” who have success traits somehow lying dormant will manage to improve and maintain their improvement in the way required to succeed in such a system.

    In my opinion, placing the blame on men for failing to have the traits required to become and stay well above average, in any human characteristic (which is what physical appearance, charm and the like are) is not a particularly Christian approach — a Christian approach is one that seeks to make the system itself just so that brothers and sisters of average traits (which is all everyone will mostly be) can succeed in the system, and keep the focus there and the blame there and not on blaming individuals for not being in the top 10-20% in physical attraction and charm.

    Looking at the same issue in a different context, in a system which is economically unjust, a Christian approach is not to berate the people who do not have the traits required to succeed in a free market where only the people in the top 10-20% are doing well — a Christian approach is to (1) draw attention to the injustice of the system, (2) advocate strongly to change the system to be more just so that not only the top 10-20% do well, and (3) while continuing to complain loudly about the injustice of the system, to behave charitably towards those who receive harsh results in such an unjust system, rather than belittling them for being failures and being lazy simply because they lack the traits required to become and maintain consistently well-above average participants in the system. The market for mating is precisely like this, in my view.

    In closing, I think it’s also important to keep in mind that the current system is not working even for many people who are in the top 10-20% and/or have the traits required to get and/or stay there Scott had them — he’s a natural top 10-20% and his first marriage, which was approached/sourced in a godly manner, blew up to Kingdom come.

    Again, not a personal criticism, but a criticism of the approach nonetheless.

  4. @ Scott

    There was a commensurate/roughly equal sized explosion of Christian/nominally Christian/marginally Christian single women out there who all of the sudden realized what a good quality marriage looks like and decided they wanted one. There are about 7 women who read and internalize what is being discussed here. Most of them married.

    I somewhat agree with this.

    The premise assumes that women can’t change which they can. Ephesians 5 assumes the husband is loving his wife for the purpose of sanctification like Christ did for the Church, which means that the husband is helping his wife become more holy which means his wife is following his leadership and is teachable.

    This is why women who respect you and are teachable is one of the top things to look for in a prospective wife.

    My blog is no secret from my wife. I’ve showed and taught her how a lot of this stuff is true.

    Obviously you want a woman strong in the basics – her faith, character, loving and caring for others – but a lot of this other stuff must be taught.

    Related to number one. Hypergamy did not exist or could be artificially trained out of those same women because if a bunch of 4/10 men became 7/10 men the women would simply recalibrate their unrealistic expectations and those men would still be invisible to most of them.

    This doesn’t apply in my opinion. Firstly, we’re talking about communities of Christian men which are by nature smaller than the population.

    Men have been fleeing from the Churches because they’ve become “beta factories.” That’s why you end up seeing a bunch of Christian women going missionary dating to disastrous results.

    If Churches were “alpha factories” and your average man in the Church was more attractive than their secular counterpart, you’d see a lot less missionary dating and likely a lot more women wanting to be around them.

    The mostly heritable trait of motivation was negatively skewed in favor of Christian men so that the list of improvement efforts listed here did not appear insurmountable (ie—all that effort for nothing but a slight increase of a chance to enter the SMP/MMP)

    I mostly agree with you here because the simple fact is that most men probably won’t attempt at least.

    What percentage of the population is this?

    The mix up of SMP/MMP (the topic of that post) could be unscrewed, simultaneously (virginity/chastity became a realistic thing again)

    I’m not sure how well this applies? There’s more than enough men who would marry non-virgins — even Christian men at least unaware of how N-count may affect divorce rates. Not sure how much this would change if there was education about it though.

  5. @ Nova

    Let me state at the outset that, as I think you know, I do very much appreciate everything you have been doing here, DS. I know that you are invested in your approach and that it makes sense for you. I also do not doubt that it is effective for some people, depending on their personal bag of tricks. Therefore, my opinion below is not a personal criticism, nor an ultimate one, and should not be taken as such, but is my actual opinion about this kind of approach.

    Of course.

    My perspective is that any approach that suggests that people all get themselves into the top 10-20% of anything in order to succeed is inherently a very “minority report” approach that will have only a minimal applicability and impact.

    Why is this? Because most people don’t have the mental traits (drive, discipline, control, focus, etc.) to get to the top 10-20% in anything in life — that’s just the fact of the matter. It’s why not everyone is equally highly successful in any number of areas in life — the traits aren’t there. And it’s both unreasonable to *expect* people to have these traits, or to berate them, dismiss them, etc., for not having them in terms of their results from being a bog-standard “average” person — that is something that most people will be, regardless. In fact, most people who have the required traits are already deploying them without being nudged, because this is how these kinds of “success traits” tend to work.

    I agree with this in a general sense, although for Christians who are supposed to fight against the flesh it doesn’t make sense from that perspective at least. We each have certain temptations and proclivities to sin or not “do everything we do for the glory of God.” It’s no excuse to God at least to say well I’m weak in this area so I can’t change. Instead, some of us may have to struggle against it often and for a long time and maybe even a lifetime.

    Jesus’ model of discipleship/disciple-making is a model of taking the few who want to go all-in for God and making them very fruitful. He invites everyone to participate, but many don’t choose to serve Him in the end.

    I agree with you in the sense that most people probably won’t from a realistic perspective though, but anyone who calls themselves a Christian and is trying to live it out if they don’t have certain traits to do God’s mission, evangelism, discipleship, and so on they don’t need the “traits” because these things can be taught and equipped.

    In my opinion, placing the blame on men for failing to have the traits required to become and stay well above average, in any human characteristic (which is what physical appearance, charm and the like are) is not a particularly Christian approach — a Christian approach is one that seeks to make the system itself just so that brothers and sisters of average traits (which is all everyone will mostly be) can succeed in the system, and keep the focus there and the blame there and not on blaming individuals for not being in the top 10-20% in physical attraction and charm.

    Looking at the same issue in a different context, in a system which is economically unjust, a Christian approach is not to berate the people who do not have the traits required to succeed in a free market where only the people in the top 10-20% are doing well — a Christian approach is to (1) draw attention to the injustice of the system, (2) advocate strongly to change the system to be more just so that not only the top 10-20% do well, and (3) while continuing to complain loudly about the injustice of the system, to behave charitably towards those who receive harsh results in such an unjust system, rather than belittling them for being failures and being lazy simply because they lack the traits required to become and maintain consistently well-above average participants in the system. The market for mating is precisely like this, in my view.

    I don’t think anyone is playing a blame game here. It’s more along the lines of from my perspective at least — “how can we help men and women in the current Christian climate when the system itself is not fixable.”

    We all agree that the system sucks. If any one of us could fix the system I’m sure we would, but at the moment we’re left with only individual solutions. My own marriage included. I’m trying to disciple guys who want to be discipled IRL and RPC discord to be fruitful in that regard.

    Of course, it’s up to each individual to make an attempt if they desire to be married. I don’t blame any man for opting out though. There are some who have decided to stay to serve God wholeheartedly.

    I do take issue with people going after people who are trying to help though. If you don’t want the help or think the advice sucks then fine just say so. If you want to complain about it and make things personal like some have done then that’s unacceptable. Certain people have been banned for that.

  6. Lexet Blog says:

    Being alpha and top 10-20% doesn’t matter when the Christian woman is 1- not submissive (not submissive to authority or her husband),
    2- not teachable (partly related to #1)

    So you become Chad thunderchurch. Congratulations, with your convictions, women who flock to you are still undesirable because you know they won’t be good long term. In short, you presuppose the problem is with men. No- it’s crappy pastors and fathers who fail to teach their children.

    The majority of churches do not preach and model biblical womanhood in any way, shape, or form. In fact, they tend to do the opposite.

    Women -in the church- are encouraged to dress the same as men, to cut their hair short, to compete with men, to get careers, live outside the home, etc. when their daughters dye their hair and pierce their noses, the parents give thanks in public and brag about it. When miss churchian gets pregnant out of wedlock the pastors encourage her not to marry the father.

    There are plenty of men who think they just need to be attractive, win the wife, and then teach her over time. Good luck with that. It doesn’t work and it won’t work.

  7. @ Lexet

    Being alpha and top 10-20% doesn’t matter when the Christian woman is 1- not submissive (not submissive to authority or her husband),
    2- not teachable (partly related to #1)

    So you become Chad thunderchurch. Congratulations, with your convictions, women who flock to you are still undesirable because you know they won’t be good long term. In short, you presuppose the problem is with men. No- it’s crappy pastors and fathers who fail to teach their children.

    You’re not wrong, but you’re not right either.

    That’s why you select for women who genuinely want to obey God and the Bible. Trying to have a woman just obey you is probably an exercise in futility a lot of the time.

    There are true Christian women out there.

    The majority of churches do not preach and model biblical womanhood in any way, shape, or form. In fact, they tend to do the opposite.

    Women -in the church- are encouraged to dress the same as men, to cut their hair short, to compete with men, to get careers, live outside the home, etc. when their daughters dye their hair and pierce their noses, the parents give thanks in public and brag about it. When miss churchian gets pregnant out of wedlock the pastors encourage her not to marry the father.

    So you’re counter-cultural like the early Church. This is not a big deal, as long as you’re consistently pointing out why these things go against the Bible and why they’re wise things to avoid. Teaching actions and consequences is a lost art nowadays.

    Better yet don’t attend those Churches and find the smaller Bible believing Churches that preach the Bible.

    I don’t know if I’ve just had good luck or whatever, but I’ve been to small Churches and mega Churches over the past 10 years as I’ve moved around a bunch. I’ve always been at ones that are fairly good at preaching headship and submission. Yeah, they don’t always get it all right in terms of trying to make your wife happy, but they teach that husbands should lead and wives should submit.

    I’m questioning which Churches you are attending if the parents are doing this.

    There are plenty of men who think they just need to be attractive, win the wife, and then teach her over time. Good luck with that. It doesn’t work and it won’t work.

    Good thing that’s not what I’m saying here.

  8. professorGBFMtm2021 says:

    LEX&EVERYBODY,
    You speak much truth about raising children!
    As I have stated on SIGMA &here!I did’nt care if people thought it was okay if I did whatever!This describes most men?What does that realy mean I did’nt care?Mainly this you know I don’t sit &think these replies up right?Every time I’m winging it!That SAVAGE NATION comment lex?Mainly done on the fly!I knew the basic direction,but did’nt worry if it made sense to you!Only that it made sense to me was good enough see?The band you know as KISS here is what co-lead singer PAUL STANLEY said”We wanted to see the band you never got to see!I’m not the commenter you rarely see?Hence why I stick out on here &RL peacocking?, a certain guy dos’nt get this but we do right?KISS has supposedly admited behind the scenes their not very good muscians or song-writers, but that was’nt point of KISS being diffirent was!Just like myself!I as kiss ”ITS MY LIFE”sung by WENDYO.WILLIAMSsays ”I do what I wanna do!I do what I like”!Thats not NATURAL GAME?If you like fine!Am I being diffirent for you or myself?I think mostly for myself right?I’m trying to get you to buy something?Or just doing it ”my way” like FRANK SINATRA!?With my knowledge/instinct guiding me?Just like when I was a 7 year old boy with my 6 year old g.f.!This describes most men or do they worry about planning stuff?I just wing it everytime guys doing anything!I know a certain amount of things!Clearly various forms of music!How many men know more than the most popular songs ever on radio?This is’nt origin of PEACOCKING?What does majority of men in church know about women?P.S.I’m not trying to entertain others or is it almost all for myself!All of you understand this right?Almost everything I do is to keep myself interested ,not others see?That SAVAGE reply LEX was that for you or myself,did I think is LEX going to like this or myself?See men hear women like this or that and do it!I don’t!GENE SIMMONS said ”don’t second guess market” guys!This Is’nt zeroS#$$-given or taken?

  9. cameron232 says:

    Awhile back you said you were considering Catholicism (or maybe Catholicism/Orthodoxy – I can’t remember). It was in your history of the Bible/canonization video post. I’ll assume you decided against it.

    Nevertheless, I’d assume you’re at least understanding to Catholics and Orthodox, not dismissive. When you’re Catholic you have to attend Catholic parishes and marry Catholic women (if you marry). I can’t go to the Sedevacantist parish down the road even if that’s where the most traditional Catholic women are. I can’t go to the Fundamentalist Independent Baptist Church down the road to see if I can hook my son up with Jessa Duggar.

    I’m just saying that for some finding a community where there are reasonably traditional women is a problem. There isn’t a dating website for Latin Mass Catholic girls who want virgin husbands and there probably isn’t one for Serbian Orthodox either.

    So I guess this is Scott’s point 1.

  10. Scott says:

    Cameron

    To be fair, the net is a little wider than that.

    All Orthodox Christians can intermarry marry (Serbs, Antiochians, Greeks, etc) and there is dispensation for them to marry, for example, non-Chalcedonians (like Ethiopians and Armenians.) The RC will let you marry an Orthodox Christian (but the OC won’t recognize it).

    But you’re point is well taken. Bottom line is, Mychael was required to convert and the wedding had to be performed in an Orthodox Church, by an Orthodox priest or it was not valid. We had to promise to raise the kids Orthodox. There’s no way around that part.

    Most Americans, being the Protestants that they are find this bizarre because they literally can’t conceive of a faith tradition that isn’t about the individual and relationship to Christ.

  11. Scott says:

    And it’s not even really a cristisism so much as it as a statement of fact.

    For us, communion (centered around the sacraments) is a show stopper. It’s why when I hear about these communes and churches that have supposedly figured it out my reaction MUST be:

    Cool story, bro. Are they Orthodox? Or at least Byzantine Catholic?

  12. Scott says:

    In other words,

    If I can no longer gather around the chalice with my daughter and prospective son in law, than what good was it for her to marry a “traditionalist?”

  13. cameron232 says:

    Thanks Scott. Dumb question: do EO receive a dispensation to marry Eastern Rite Catholics? Just an anti Latin-Church thing?

    The dispensation to marry a non-Chalcedonian surprises me – I didn’t know that.

    “If I can no longer gather around the chalice with my daughter and prospective son in law, than what good was it for her to marry a “traditionalist?”

    It has (potentially) eternal consequences – this should be explained to Protestants – even if they don’t agree with the theology at least they can understand where you’re coming from.

  14. Oscar says:

    @ Cameron

    I’m just saying that for some finding a community where there are reasonably traditional women is a problem.

    It’s a problem for everyone. Nobody said it was easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Also, nobody said anyone has “figured it out”. I said that faithful Christians are building communities, and doing so imperfectly, with congregations full of sinners. But, the same was true in the 1st century, and at least no one is threatening to feed us to lions, or use us to light Caesar’s garden… yet.

    Therefore, as I see it, Christian men have three options.

    #1. Join an existing community, imperfections and all
    #2. Build one which will be equally imperfect
    #3. Do neither

    Each choice will have its consequences. Good luck, and God bless.

  15. Scott says:

    Novaseeker probably knows better than me, but eastern rite would not be permitted.

    In Catholic tradition, they have some room for what they call “Bi-ritual” homes, and in their own canon stipulate that the home is to be configured around the tradition of the father. (Most Modern RCs don’t know this because it’s way too patriarchal).

    But at least there is a canonical, sacramental tradition there.

    These faiths are the the ultimate “conservatism”

    It’s why it’s so hard to change our customs and traditions. The entire point of an institution is to NOT change. To create multi-generational continuity of our experiences with Christ.

    Whenever someone wants to change something, we look back at the fathers, who figuratively, across time, look at us, as old bearded men with furled brows speaking through the canons and homilies and almost always say “no! We do not permit it. No change for you.”

  16. Oscar says:

    @ Cameron

    It has (potentially) eternal consequences – this should be explained to Protestants – even if they don’t agree with the theology at least they can understand where you’re coming from.

    I understand where Scott’s coming from, even though I’m not Orthodox. I don’t see how that changes the options.

  17. cameron232 says:

    Oscar, I’m just saying “move to Branson” (or Springdale, Arkansas) is a more realistic option for a Protestant/Evangelical since specific membership/communion isn’t an issue. Yes, I agree your basic options are the same.

  18. Scott says:

    What’s interesting is during the time I was writing “the courtship pledge” I was right in the middle of reversion/conversion to Holy Otthodoxy

    This many years on I would be disappointed if imy kids married outside the church

    If my daughters convert to marry a devout Catholic (they are at a Catholic school now and could very well be sitting next to their future husbands in grade school) I could live with that,

  19. Oscar says:

    @ Cameron

    Oscar, I’m just saying “move to Branson” (or Springdale, Arkansas) is a more realistic option for a Protestant/Evangelical since specific membership/communion isn’t an issue. Yes, I agree your basic options are the same.

    I know that’s what you’re saying. What I’m saying is that – at the very least – devout Catholic communities exist (St Marys, KS). I haven’t found any Orthodox communities, but I haven’t looked. In fact, I wasn’t looking when I found the communities I found. If you want to find a community, then start looking for one, or build your own.

    I also understand that the degree of difficulty is greater for some, and less for others. I get that.

    But, remember, you’re talking to a guy whose family uprooted their entire lives, left everything, and moved to a whole other country to escape a really bad situation. Yeah, it’s difficult. I get it. I probably understand better than most. But, it’s a lot easier to move within your own country than to abandon your birthplace and move to a whole different country where you don’t even speak the language, and people do that all the time.

  20. cameron232 says:

    Not so much arguing with you Oscar as discussing/listing the challenges which are, if not unique, at least somewhat different for “bishop Churches” compared to “Bible Churches.”

    St Mary’s is SSPX which is at best a canonically irregular “disobedient” group (of mostly wonderful people). This matters: no dispensation for marriage or sacrament of absolution. Nearby Maple Hill (canonically regular FSSP) has a K-12 school with 39 total students ages 5-18 (when I contacted them several years ago) in the middle of nowhere.

    With the Orthodox, they seem to vary a lot. My understanding is the Greeks are liberal as can be and the OCA isn’t a lot better. The Russians and Serbs are much more traditional but generally fewer, smaller congregations. And both are ethnic communities by the way.

    “or build your own.”

    Then there’s this issue: in the bishop Churches you don’t just build your own.

  21. @ cameron232

    Then there’s this issue: in the bishop Churches you don’t just build your own.

    I was kinda disabused of this notion several years ago.

    I wanted to start a men’s ministry in one of the Churches I was in at the time, but the head pastor didn’t want to. I realized that I could still meet with men and do life apart from the Church itself both to disciple/be discipled.

    Like being a husband where you are the head, you don’t need permission from your wife to be the head. Similarly, you don’t need permission from a pastor to go out and build up other men in their walk and relationships or marriages.

    Basically, you don’t have to have a ministry in any specific official capacity to be effective.

  22. @ Nova/Scott

    Going back to this I suppose the question is:

    Since changing the system isn’t an option and realistically and/or assuming you are correct that only probably some decent sized minority of the population (20-30% +/- 10% maybe?) has the ability and drive to want to change their situation… how do we help the men who don’t have that?

    Individually, I’ve had decent success meeting up with men, inviting them to the house for dinner, and doing discipleship stuff within my sphere, but even those types of things are somewhat self selecting in that some men want to do that and some men don’t.

    What other options do we have?

  23. @ Scott/Nova

    Going back to this I suppose the question is:

    Since changing the system isn’t an option and realistically and/or assuming you are correct that only probably some decent sized minority of the population (20-30% +/- 10% maybe?) has the ability and drive to want to change their situation… how do we help the men who don’t have that?

    Individually, I’ve had decent success meeting up with men, inviting them to the house for dinner, and doing discipleship stuff within my sphere, but even those types of things are somewhat self selecting in that some men want to do that and some men don’t.

    What other options do we have?

  24. Scott says:

    DS

    I don’t know.

    My coaching has begun to attract married guys who found the red pill later. They are “my guys”

    If you have taken up the mantle of trying to help the lastmods of the world (who I have met and had lunch with face to face and therefore less likely to fight with him by the way) than more power to you.

    As a father of two boys and two girls, living in pretty much the most Irish/Catholic state there is (more per capita than even Massachusetts) AND being a member of the Serb community here in Montana (which is also substantial, all things considered— take a look Butte, MT for example) my task is to find these kids spouses that mesh with our thing. Irish/Serb/trad Catholic/Orthodox. (Mychael is Irish and I am 1/4 Irish and 1/4 Scot).

    I think I have created the best shot at that in this context. These hard ass Montana Irish Catholic (and some orthodox) farmboys around here look pretty good to me as potential sons in law.

    I am kind to them. I share my thoughts on these things with them. I am willing to work with their own parents to bring them into husband material. I will let them grow into mature, accountable men and lead their families if they choose one of my girls.

  25. Scott says:

    All the sudden my comments went to moderation

  26. @ Scott

    My coaching has begun to attract married guys who found the red pill later. They are “my guys”

    If you have taken up the mantle of trying to help the lastmods of the world (who I have met and had lunch with face to face and therefore less likely to fight with him by the way) than more power to you.

    I think I have created the best shot at that in this context. These hard ass Montana Irish Catholic (and some orthodox) farmboys around here look pretty good to me as potential sons in law.

    I am kind to them. I share my thoughts on these things with them. I am willing to work with their own parents to bring them into husband material. I will let them grow into mature, accountable men and lead their families if they choose one of my girls.

    Gotcha.

    My work so far at least with men is single and married in 20s and 30s. Occasionally older if they’re willing to come and want help, but it’s generally rarer and typically harder when older.

    I typically find these crowds a bit more malleable when it comes to wanting to learn and implement advice that impacts their mission for God (along with potentially gaining a helpmeet/helper), so maybe I’m generalizing too heavily when I say that I think most men can do it. Maybe it’s really the ones who want to can do it because the men who don’t want to do it won’t come to my house for dinner or will just fail to meet up with me in general.

    I guess it’s much like the parable of the sower. Sow seed where you can, but it’s God that makes people grow. Some seed gets taken away or choked up in weeds at times. It’s up to God to do what He does with it.

    All the sudden my comments went to moderation

    Yeah, I looked this morning and I didn’t see them, but they’re all live now that was weird because I didn’t approve them.

  27. Lexet Blog says:

    Most Protestants do not know what separation is anymore. Even those that practice discipline rarely exercise this, and are hesitant to label heretics. They would rather just start 33rd Baptist church of small town down the street.

    Then comes communion/lords supper/lords table. In the Protestant world of performance art, it’s treated as a weekly 5 minute sideshow at best, and a quarterly ritual at worst.

    One of the most basic doctrines has been ignored by the church for generations.

    The advice for men to hunt these women down in their various micro denominations is asking for trouble, as it shows a lack of conviction on the mans part.

  28. Lexet Blog says:

    See my reply to Scott above. Unfortunately Protestants do not respect communion.

  29. professorGBFMtm2021 says:

    LEXET
    Your right about performance art in churches!
    You know all that crying preachers stuff plus these looking for a fight ”how dare you” PREACHERS always made me cringe!
    What are these guys actors &pro- wrestlers or preachers?
    Jesus told preachers to be actors&wrestlers or to preach the gospel!

  30. Anonymous Reader says:

    Oscar
    #1. Join an existing community, imperfections and all
    #2. Build one which will be equally imperfect
    #3. Do neither

    #4. Find an ideal community, only to be told that you can’t join…because you’re not ideal enough. Uh…

    I’ve been around parts of the ‘sphere for over 10 years and this conflict between the flawed real and the impossible ideal keeps recurring, because that’s part of human nature. Unfortunate, but true. There is no global solution, there is no way to vote ourselves out of this, there are people who need help. Now what? The last lines in Candide are revealing.

    The “good enough” is never ideal, but it is better than nothing. As someone with a pretty heavy bent towards empiricism I am disposed to the less-than-ideal solution ASAP rather than the ideal solution that can never be realized.

  31. Novaseeker says:

    What other options do we have?

    We’re going to be talking about those at Sigma over the next 4-6 weeks or so. It’s going to be a very difficult conversation over a number of posts, and I expect there will be heated and perhaps lasting disagreements. It’s that kind of thing.

    If you have taken up the mantle of trying to help the lastmods of the world than more power to you.

    Yeah it’s not that, but the men between you and him. It’s not strictly binary. There are guys in the middle like me, like Jack etc. Not you and not lastmod. That’s where there can be options I think.

  32. @ Nova

    Not sure why your post got moderated but released it.

    We’re going to be talking about those at Sigma over the next 4-6 weeks or so. It’s going to be a very difficult conversation over a number of posts, and I expect there will be heated and perhaps lasting disagreements. It’s that kind of thing.

    Yeah it’s not that, but the men between you and him. It’s not strictly binary. There are guys in the middle like me, like Jack etc. Not you and not lastmod. That’s where there can be options I think.

    I dig it.

    Honestly, I don’t see any other option than doing what I do now at least in terms of being able to impact the men who are willing both IRL and on here to some extent.

    I obviously am open to discussing and building up all of the men in a particular Church, but generally you invest the most time into those who are interested. Even Jesus only had 3 close disciples, 12 disciples, and 70 He sent out. Only really preached with/interacted with the crowds and didn’t try to do everything. That’s what the disciples were for in the end as they could spread the word themselves and take disciples for their own.

    Looking forward to those posts.

  33. locustsplease says:

    Regardless of what you are doing its a limited and shrinking market. What women consider christianity is bizzare. Its almost turned to a deity there to forgive womens sexual sins and nothing else. And since thats the case commit all the sexual sin you want! Heck maybe jesus cant do his job if your not committing sexual sin? Maybe hes bored? When your getting pounded your really priming the power of god get to it!

  34. @ locustsplease

    Regardless of what you are doing its a limited and shrinking market. What women consider christianity is bizzare. Its almost turned to a deity there to forgive womens sexual sins and nothing else. And since thats the case commit all the sexual sin you want! Heck maybe jesus cant do his job if your not committing sexual sin? Maybe hes bored? When your getting pounded your really priming the power of god get to it!

    It’s both good and bad in its own ways.

    Hostility to Christianity in the west will start to make the lukewarm and imposter Christians fall away. This will eliminate the men and women who don’t take obeying God seriously, which eliminates some of the mines in the minefield of thinking you were marrying a Christian but then they frivorce you.

    On the other hand, a small pool is indeed a small pool of candidates. However, the early Church was able to make it work, so I think the true Christians can too.

  35. anonymous_ng says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve been around these parts. Good to see substantive discussions happening.

    First, I have two brothers and a sister. My sister is still married. The boys are all divorced. That is, our wives all decided that they didn’t want to be married any longer. My sister desires to be married.

    IMO, this more than anything else determines whether or not a marriage is successful. My brothers met their wives at an evangelical biker church. I met my ex-wife in a bar, and we married in a catholic church.

    As I look around my Orthodox parish, I see quite a few marriages that are successful. Perhaps one or two could be classified as strongly biblical patriarchies. It’s hard to say since much of that is not shown to the world.

    Three young women of the church have married in the last ten years or so. All three seem to me to be more strong-willed than their husbands and likely wear the pants as the saying goes. Again, this isn’t something I can know, but all look to have successful marriages.

    So then, what are the odds of a young man growing up in our parish, or a young man joining our parish finding a godly wife? Small. Very small. Among a regular attendance (pre-COVID) of 230 or so, I can only think of perhaps five single women who come with any regularity, and they are still American women.

  36. @ anonymous_ng

    Three young women of the church have married in the last ten years or so. All three seem to me to be more strong-willed than their husbands and likely wear the pants as the saying goes. Again, this isn’t something I can know, but all look to have successful marriages.

    The key then is I think to help assist the single men to be more strong willed and the women to be less strong willed.

    This was the norm decades before at least. It can be done again, but the Church has to taken up the mantle to do it and actually preach against the culture. Harder, I admit, though certainly doable. At least in small circles probably.

  37. Novaseeker says:

    So then, what are the odds of a young man growing up in our parish, or a young man joining our parish finding a godly wife? Small. Very small. Among a regular attendance (pre-COVID) of 230 or so, I can only think of perhaps five single women who come with any regularity, and they are still American women.

    Yeah, as Orthodox in the US if you want to marry another American, you need to look beyond the confines of Orthodoxy, because we are so small here. If you insist on marrying an Orthodox, your chances are good that it will be a Greek woman (just by the numbers, given that Greeks comprise over half of American Orthodox Christians), and while I do not want to take a gratuitous pot-shot at all Greek Orthodox, let’s just say that the spirit of the world is rather stronger in the Greek Orthodox parishes, in most cases, than elsewhere in American Orthodoxy, so that isn’t necessarily the most fertile field to search in if one is looking for a tradtionally Christian wife.

    So as a practical matter you’re stuck with baptized heterodox Christians, or overseas Orthodox.

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