Last year I linked to this list of courtship questions for potential suitors. It reads more like a CIA debriefing than anything people with common sense, and without religious addictions, would have a part in. Oh, but it isn't meant to be a formula or anything...
This list is NOT meant to be a “checklist,” a “pass-or-fail-test,” or an in depth parental evaluation.
Each young man is free to decline questions he feels are too personal.
And I think we all know pretty much how that'll work out for the young man involved.
The other day I came across Gregg Harris' "The 21 Rules Of This House". It isn't that I see significant problems in the spirit of most of these rules, but rather in why the rules are even in place. It's the beginning of the list and the end of the list that are the problems.
Rule #1 "We obey God." That's indoctrination, and it attempts to replace the Holy Spirit in the lives of the children. Only the Holy Spirit can teach someone to obey God - and to tell a kid who might not yet even understand the concept of God "In this household, we obey God" is to incite mechanical thinking and religious addiction concerning God.
Rule #20 - "When we go out, we act just as if we were in this house". So, there's an element of cultural warriorism in it. This renders the title of the list less than honest. These are rules for LIFE, not for just the house.
Rule #21 - "When we disobey or forget any of the 21 Rules of This House, we accept the discipline and instruction of the Lord." What the...?! So these rules aren't just from the parents. They're from God Himself! That's a huge, huge problem, indoctrinating children to believe that any disagreement with parents is disagreement with God Himself. Essentially, the last rule on the list is a buzz to make you feel guilty about not complying with all the rules that preceed it.
In the house I grew up in, we had two rules - tell the truth and do right by other people. If a person can get those two under control, the rest takes care of itself. My parents didn't feel the need to somehow tie God to it. They weren't setting out to raise SuperChristian cultural warriors.
Like I said, I don't have a significant problem with the spirit of rules 2-19, despite them being somewhat redundant...it just find it unfortunate that Harris didn't find it necessary to practice those principles in his rise to prominence in the Christian homeschooling mafia. I think it's also very easy to see how his son would write such a mechanical, formulaic book as IKDG.
And now, there's this. Another courtship/marriage list courtesy of Ben and Audri Botkin - barely even married and already such experts on the subject that they're
What is a besetting sin? What are yours?
What the...?! That's probably my personal favorite on the list.
How big is your vision for your disciple-making influence?
No religious addiction there. No mechanical approach to faith at all.
Who have been the main disciplers in your life and the people who have impacted and colored your life the most? As a child, adult--whenever.
You see a bit of Geoff Botkin's Shepherding background from the Great Commission cult coming out there.
What do you think a Biblical Church looks like? How is it structured?
Well, some of the churches in the bible were spiritual and interpersonal disasters, but I don't think that's what is actually being asked. What he means is, "If you use the bible as a rulebook (and these folk do), what will church look like?"
Again, not every question asked is without merit, but it all adds up to a formula, and the indoctrination literally oozes off the page as you read it. Rather than "Marrying Well", the webinar should be called "Religifying Marriage" or "How to Remove the Romance from Your Courtship by being SuperReligious".
Maybe I'm just crazy, but I'm starting to think the real money is in coming up with lists - or at least it seems to be with the P/QF, Christian homeschooling crowd.