Against singlism

(Singlism, broadly defined as discrimination against the singles, is not to be confused with Singlish.)

This is not good: Is there a prejudice against single pastors in U.S. Evangelical churches? Are we afraid of single pastors?

For those who think that marriage is ontologically superior than singleness, could you defend your argument Christologically? No Adam and Eve, please. To say that humans are created in pairs and use that as a basis of ontological superiority of marriage comes not from the Bible but from the Koran (QS 36.36). Seriously, it is tragic to imagine that Jesus and Paul might be rejected if they applied for the pastorate in those churches.

Reality check: I suspect many of us still harbor the unchecked assumption that, to use Facebook terms, “In a relationship” is better than “Single.” I do not want to sound like as a jerk, though, since you could retort back that saying good things about singleness is easy if you are not one. Nevertheless, on the other hand, if you say good things about singleness when you are single, you will be accused of self-justification or self-consolation! I guess the lose-lose situation in itself perhaps indicates the pervasive bias against singleness. And we must name evil when we see one. I know it is hard to escape the societal stigma, but it does not help if the church actually perpetuates this structural sin.

(On the other hand, to be fair, those who argue for a place for singleness in Christian life must provide their Christological argument as well! Or, better, I guess Paul would put it this way: There is neither married nor single, for you are all one in Christ Jesus!)


12 thoughts on “Against singlism

  1. d

    the last phrase was your justification, aint it.

    or its just ur conflict-hating nature. LOL

    anyway, the interesting point in the nytimes is that.. not only a minister with a wife is preferred, but also with a wife that is not working outside their household a.k.a traditional wife. i am amazed on how people put “traditional visual images” as a number #1 requirement for a “ever-changing unseen spirituality” position. crazy bunch.

    1. septian Post author

      dialectic, dialectic, dialectic! :p

      anyway, ya, the bottom line is: we want to hire 2 for a price of 1!

      seriously, thats another issue that needs to be brought up: exploitation of pastor’s wife to do all kinds of ministries in the church.

      1. dpredie

        economically, yes, but also that “traditional image” of a pastor [soft spoken, etc] is also demanded as a whole- so an “outward” appearance is demanded for an “inward” spirituality job..

        1. septian Post author

          but the “outward” is supposed to be the fruit of the “inward”!

          btw funny how you would agree with peter on this matter although for an altogether different reason haha.

  2. pedro

    i fwded your blog post to my lecturer friend who lectures at mbts, he likes your argument.

    man, i’ve been really busy (or tired after 6 hours of language study everyday), leaving with me no energy to do anything, or even to want to go online.

    1. septian Post author

      haha so how’s your thai now?

      by the way, the (automatically generated) possibly related post above is pride and prejudice, and interestingly today i encountered the first sentence of pride and prejudice:

      “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”



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