In a SermonAudio podcast, the pastoral council of the Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina announced as an objective the promulgation of the expectation that single men are obligated to marry women with children fathered by someone other than themselves.
The pastors went as far as to compare the practice to Boaz marrying Ruth.
It is nothing of the sort.
The vast majority of single mothers these days are not widows.
They are either divorced or have never been married at all.
Secondly, Ruth did not have children.
The Moabitess was a widow free and clear.
Boaz never had to deal with the inevitable “you are not my father” confrontations.
And back then, even if he had, there was not the likelihood of a disgruntled child reporting false abuse allegations to social welfare operatives.
In the discussion, it was suggested it was more honorable for a man to marry someone that already has kids.
The only obligation is for the one having the fun making the children to provide for the children.
A man does not sin if he refuses to saddle this other man's burden.
This is the duty of the child's mother and father.
Why is the man that hasn't ruined his life up until this particular point compelled to settle for second hand merchandise?
If the single woman with offspring is out primarily to land someone to punch her meal ticket and to put a roof over her head, why can't she be admonished to settle for a man with other children like a Brady Bunch situation?
Given the doctrinal fussiness and finickiness of many Independent Fundamental Baptists where you are treated as something of a pariah or an outcast unless you measure up 100% to the sect's rigorous standards that are not always explicitly spelled out in Scripture but are rather opinions buttressed by stained interpretations of divine revelation, this raises a number of very important questions or at least observations.
Will these Independent Baptists now insisting that single men are obligated to marry women with children (especially if these women have been divorced) in the future allow men hoodwinked into pursuing this lifestyle allow them to do anything in church other than occupy a pew or fill a collection plate?
Many of the congregations adhering to this particular brand of theology are governed by covenants and bylaws explicitly forbidding divorced men or men marrying women that have been divorced from holding either the pastorate or the deaconship.
Don't think this is not a valid concern.
At the small Baptist church my grandparents attended, you would have thought the pastor had sanctioned lesbian polygamy when the hardliners revolted over him officiating a marriage between widower and a widow who divorced her drunkard husband two marriages back with her two previous husbands long dead by the time of the disputed ceremony.
Christ does indeed forgive.
However, He often decides to require us to deal with the consequences of our own decisions.
By Frederick Meekins