Forbidding to Marry, the First Commandment and Laodicea :: By Chris Mangan

Much discussion has been given to homosexual rights, etc. However, little or no discussion at all has been given to heterosexual rights, i.e., companion needs, loneliness and other issues faced by Christian heterosexual singles. I feel that in this area, the organized church as a whole is a complete failure in helping out Christian singles.

I am writing of my experiences with some churches in New York City. Some of this material will seem unusual to some Christians because I’m shining a light on their behaviors and practices and some of this is opinion and judgment. Ask yourself after reading this: “Is anything like this behavior happening in my church?” I will not be naming these churches; but some reading this article may figure out who I am talking about.

Going to a Bible-believing church in New York City requires considerable knowledge of doctrine and what the particular church group believes. They may say that they believe in Jesus but that is not enough.

For example, if the subject was brought up among people concerning, which Commandment in the Bible was the First Commandment, I suppose that most people would usually think of the first of the Ten Commandments given through Moses by God. However, I am not talking about the Ten Commandments, which were given to the Ancient Israelites, but of the very first commandment recorded in the Bible as recorded from Genesis 1:28:

“God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

This First Commandment is so important that God reiterated it after the flood, as recorded in Genesis 8:14-21:

“In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”

So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth went out by their families from the ark. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.”

What is implied here in this Scripture is that the God-given institution of Marriage did not change.

Revisionist definition of marriage:

Marriage today, however, does not resemble this ancient joining of man and woman. Indeed, the very definition, or definitions of marriage have been rewritten. As an example, here are two definitions, I found online. The first is from Wikipedia taken some months ago:

Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that create kinship. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but is usually an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged. Such a union is often formalized via a wedding ceremony.

Many cultures limit marriage to two persons of the opposite sex, but some allow forms of polygamous marriage, and some recognize same-sex marriage. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. People marry for many reasons, including one or more of the following: legal, social, libidinal, emotional, economic, spiritual, and religious.

These might include arranged marriages, family obligations, the legal establishment of a nuclear family unit, the legal protection of children and public declaration of commitment. The act of marriage usually creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved.

Some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through divorce or annulment. Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community or peers. It is often viewed as a contract. Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage as a governmental institution irrespective of religious affiliation, in accordance with marriage laws of the jurisdiction.

And here is an online definition from the Merriam Webster website:

Definition of MARRIAGE:

1.a. The state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage, same-sex marriage.

b. The mutual relation of married persons: wedlock.

c. The institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage.

2. An act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is affected; especially: the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities.

3. An intimate or close union: the marriage of painting and poetry – J. T. Shawcross.

Notice the term used in (1a) above – same sex. This term means “gay marriage.” Some people may wonder how this phenomenon came about. I will give you my theories on the subject and hope to show you that perhaps gay marriage should not be the only focus of society. This especially applies to the organized church, as far as the breakdown in morals and damage to the God-given institution of marriage are concerned. This condition has been festering for some decades, even centuries now. The Scriptures below are clear about homosexuality:

“You shall not give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion” (Leviticus 18:21-23).

If there is a man who lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed incest, their bloodguiltiness is upon them. If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them. If there is a man who marries a woman and her mother, it is immorality; both he and they shall be burned with fire, so that there will be no immorality in your midst” (Leviticus 20:12-14 NASB).

The above Scriptures are very clear as per God’s injunction against homosexuality.

My Background and Experience

I consider myself to be an amateur sociologist, with emphasis on the word amateur. No, I haven’t read all of the articles, books and papers dealing with sociology. I’ve just concentrated on a very small area; the area of human sexuality and behavior, and here in this small area, I concentrated on the meeting of men and women for the purpose of marriage and companionship.

During this time of learning, when I was in my early twenties, something occurred – a social phenomenon. Something of which I instinctively knew was somehow wrong. This “phenomenon” was called Feminism.

Feminism and Misandry

I couldn’t put my finger on the why of it. I just knew that somehow Feminism wasn’t what it pretended to be. The leaders of this movement in the sixties and the seventies were saying things such as equal jobs for equal pay, but the movement was about much more than that. Words such as male chauvinist pig were invented to demean the male gender, especially white males. This demeaning of men is forbidden in the Bible.

“And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.”) (Luke 2:21-23 NASB)

“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:1-3 NASB).

Luke says that every firstborn male shall be called holy; and Timothy speaks of men who forbid marriage. Being called ‘holy’ is a good thing, however Men in the United States today are not called holy but rather they are vilified. Men are called jerks and male chauvinist pigs by a number of women. I have witnessed these terms just ‘roll off the tongues’ of a number of women in rather ordinary situations.

Concerning Timothy’s discussion of “forbidding to marry” I have experienced that as well. Let me explain further.

Laodicea is Alive and Well in New York City

In my late twenties and early thirties, around the time when I accepted Jesus Christ into my life, I started to attend a Baptist church where I felt that I might meet and enjoy conversations with fellow Christians – both new Christians and mature believers. What I experienced at this Baptist church was anything but love and understanding.

I had thrown away everything of my former Catholic faith, which is a rare thing for a Catholic to do; throwing away the yoke of bondage which that church subtly forces onto all of their flock. However, none of these people understood any of this. Many had been going to this church all of their lives. They took the church culture for granted, but knew nothing of what was going on in other churches.

The Baptist church was good – they were teaching Bible prophecy, which is what I wanted to hear and learn. Prophecy is proof that there is a God and that He is in control of the affairs of humankind down here. (Saying that statement however, doesn’t mean that everything is working out properly.)

I can hear a Calvinist somewhere saying “Yes, but God is in control!” The Calvinist completely overlooks Man’s capacity for Free Will and I will refer you to Dave Hunt’s book, What Love is This? (The book goes into this argument in detail.)

I will not deal with that issue in detail here except to say that the Calvinists are wrong. They have not taken care of the flock properly what with their Replacement Theology; the Sethite Theory being taught instead of the reality of fallen angelic beings mating with human females and producing the Nephilim; their obsessive defense of John Calvin, who was a murderer of Servatus and was also called the Pope of Geneva; and the element of control they wield in their churches. The fewer popes we have, the better!

Returning to my experience with the Baptist church, I had accepted Jesus there in 1979 after attending the church a number of times. There was one person there who thought too much of himself and was the so-called leader of the youth group. He spoke fluent Greek, and probably because of this, he was made the leader by whatever powers that be. Church politics, from my experiences, always involves “favorites.” Just look in your own Bible: David was NOT the “favorite” in his family.

When we look at the New Testament, the apostles in Acts 1:12-26 drew lots to replace Judas who was a failed apostle, with someone named Matthias. Is it any wonder that God had other ideas; that He would personally meet with Saul on the Damascus Road and change his name to Paul? We never hear about Matthias again; so much for “favorites.”

So, did the singles mingle after the church service? Yes, to a limited degree. I went out with them and began to think that this group was a group that I could open up to, what with my Catholic background. I wanted to dispel all the false doctrines of Catholicism out of my life. The person, who spoke fluent Greek, became offended when I asked one question. He came over to my table, slammed his Bible down in front of me and screamed, “Why don’t you read the Bible?” Everyone looked at me at that point.

And what had I done? I asked a simple question. Nevertheless the Greek man had used his power of influence to slander me and the rest of the group from then on looked upon me suspiciously. I had done nothing wrong. I saw other inconsistencies in the church. I remember the pastor rebuking someone who was simply drinking from a Coke can in the sanctuary. Okay. Maybe he was wrong but the pastor was too hard-handed about it, and when I saw this behavior I left this church for the next few years.

The experience left a bitter taste in my spirit. How can Christians, who have been saved by grace, HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO GRACE IN THEM? Pettiness was one of their major sins. So, for three years I did not attend church at all.

A crisis led me to my second church – a “positive thinking” church. The pastor was well-known and famous. One thing made me join – it was a talk given by one of the female elders of this church where she said “You can’t live the Christian life alone.” That was enough; I joined. Over the next few years I attended this church and out of all of the people that attended, and less than a handful biblically literate.

When I wanted to discuss Bible Prophecy, one young Jewish male member of the church told me that all the prophecies were fulfilled in 70 A.D. Really! How can you deal with this type of stupid thinking, especially now, with everything that is going on? Earthquakes, false prophets, Israel – The church is totally asleep! It’s nauseating.

Returning to discussion of the “positive thinking” church; what was the singles group like you may ask? It was billed as, “Singles in their 20s and 30s.” The problem was the type of people who went to this church (the upscale ones if you know what I mean). This is what the women wanted, not Mr. Ordinary.

My attempts to get a loving wife from this church, was met with total failure; and not just for me but also for a number of eligible men. One of my friends, who was a librarian cataloger at a well-known university decided to pin one of the ladies down and asked her what she wanted in a man. She said “I want a man who will keep me to the style that I’ve become accustomed to.”

There were less than a handful of marriages in this church and this due to the incredible selfishness that existed here. Gold-diggers, galore. The final insult came around 1986 or 1987, around the time of the Stock Market Crash. Letters were being sent out to the members saying in effect “You’re over forty. Get out of the Singles Group.” Age-Discrimination!

This was followed within about two years when a new group was formed in this church. It was called GIFT – Gays in Fellowship Together. The two women who were in charge of the singles group were later found to be lesbian lovers. Now if that is not prejudice against heterosexuals then I don’t know what is. Disgust with this church brought me back to the Baptist church.

So here I was back in the Baptist church. Some faces had changed, etc. but this time I did make some friends. In the beginning, I was blessed, or so I thought. I was happy to use my car to drive people around New York City and even go out of town on various adventures. There was one young lady I had a great time with. She trusted me explicitly and I respected that. I took her driving and we found a place on the other side of the Hudson River with a small town and a state park.

I couldn’t wait to see her again. I thought a connection had been made. Then I heard that she went back to Florida. What had happened, apparently, meant nothing. Some of my other friends, two in particular, were getting close to each other. She was very attractive and he looked like Adrian Brody. I was happy and content to drive them around, hoping to see them get married. That relationship ended.

This may have been due to the pressure put upon them by church elders, I honestly don’t know. The irony after that is that both of them wanted nothing further to do with me. Well, what had I done wrong? Is romance really this hard in New York City? I’ll leave that question for another article, the Lord willing.

After this, a number of us from the Baptist church were hearing about this other new church being set up, so after the 6:00 p.m. service, we’d rush over to the 7-7:30 p.m. service. Same people, different church; mingle after during the coffee hour but nobody was really getting together. I suspect a number of reasons for this: 1) a number of the women were divorced; 2) a number of the women were also abused. This I learned from one or two women who actually confessed this to me, personally. Why me? I don’t know. Maybe they somehow sensed that I was sensitive to abuse issues, but no one was helping these women at all.

I was a friend with one of these women. We knew each other for 16 years and I would go out with her and we would see movies, go driving in New Jersey with her father along for the ride, and other things. She, however, could never get over what her ex-husband had done to her. Worse, she was confusing me as him. I never did that; I never will. At one point however, she started abusing me and I had to end the friendship. I invested 16 years of my life and for what; a failed friendship where I was never seen as who and what I really was.

When I left this church, there were a number of things that I had seen going on here – there were two groups of people. One was the pride-filled and the other was the simple-minded; and the simple-minded were following the pride-filled! Some years after I left, I began to hear stories through the “grapevine.” The business manager, an ex-IBM person, was stealing from the church.

I had watched him years earlier being sarcastic to one of the simple-minded people attending the church. This individual hadn’t learned anything about living from his parents, and the business manager loved to be sarcastic toward him. The sadness here is that the simple-minded person never saw that he was being abused by this thief-to-be.

Then another story came to me of the choir master leaving the church. His music was impeccable but those in church leadership chose to disrespect him so he left and later sued the church for a pension. I think he won and he certainly deserved the money. He did not need this treatment. I heard that the new pastor, who has a famous sister, said to one person whom I believed to be a strong believer, “If you don’t like it you can leave the church.” Pretty arrogant statement!

I don’t know all the details but I did know the believer, and to me, his credentials are solid. Of course, this church used to have an excellent bookstore – one that did have books on eschatology for sale. I still have my copy of Things to Come, which I purchased there in 1978 for $20. The bookstore is long gone.

I returned to this church just a few weeks ago. The music was just awful with the exception of one song. The name of “Jesus” was not in the other three songs; just the generic word “Lord.” They can’t even use Jesus’ name now? They’re ashamed of His Name?

At the new church “Seeker-Friendly” would seem to be a good definition; the pastor would use mostly intellectual arguments to entice his young audience into accepting Christ. This pastor is now famous, and has written a number of books. However, when I entered into a conversation with him, specifically regarding Bible Prophecy, I saw a snear develop on his face and I immediately knew where he was coming from.

He was also pushing a subtle form of Calvinism; nothing about the Second Coming or the importance of Israel; none of the prophetic issues that a Christian Dispensationalist would be interested in at all. Worse, one of the books at the “For Sale” book table was written by Bill Warren who is pushing this thing called “Chrislam.”

Once again, was anybody really meeting anybody? I doubt it. There were a few controlling people mingling throughout the coffee time at this church. There were some cult-like things, such as taping the first few rows of the sanctuary, and understand that this was rented space in a city college! This church forced you to go to the front, get the program and then sit down in the front rows; then they would remove the tape as these rows filled up.

I had a hiatal hernia problem. I needed to sit in the back so I could leave quickly in case the hernia acted up. I actually had one of their ushers threaten me and say in a macho tone: “Do you want to go outside and discuss this?” and “Yes” he said THAT WAY! Threateningly! This steroid freak also threatened a young black woman who had just come to Christ and was looking for a church home. We ended up talking together and the subject of this abuser came up.

We decided to go looking for him but could not find him. The young black woman concluded that Jesus probably DIDN’T WANT HER ATTENDING THIS CHURCH and I had to agree with that assessment. Nevertheless, I was completely angry with this church, so I wrote a rather sarcastic letter to the pastor. He deferred the letter to his senior pastor who simply wrote back that he’d be happy to discuss the issue with me. “Discuss the issue?” You have an abusive usher! Get rid of him! Case closed!

I will simply mention one more point about this Seeker-Friendly church which, for me, makes it a total failure. In 2006, I involved myself in the murder of a young girl. She lived just a few city blocks from one of the rented facilities of this church. I tried to alert people in the church about the girl and what had happened to her, as I felt it would be a good opportunity for them to show the love of Christ to her family in this incredibly violent murder.

I don’t know, but the girl may have even visited the church. When I mentioned this to some of the church attenders, there was not a lot of concern or even interest about what had happened to her, and I was even taking some women home in my car and I showed them where the girl lived. It meant nothing to them; lack of love; misandry (hatred of men), picking favorites, avoiding topics such as biblical prophecy, avoiding Jesus’ name in songs. Is this not Laodicea?

I don’t care what Scriptures you quote or whatever other arguments you may have – I am NOT TITHING or giving any money to an abusive church, a church that doesn’t sing gospel hymns, does NOT teach prophecy, that is ashamed of Jesus’ name, that would discriminate against single heterosexuals because they fear homosexual wrath, and I will not give money to a church that plays favorites. All of this is SIN.

Here is the Scripture from Revelation concerning Laodicea:

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: “The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:14-21 NASB).

Lukewarm – because this church hardly uses Jesus’ name. Rich and wealthy – yes, because they have a lot of material things but where’s the love? Where’s the affection?

The results: Wretched, miserable, poor, blind, naked. Why? Because they didn’t take care of the flock; in none of these churches did I feel loved. Not one of them! Accepted maybe for a while; then, familiarity breeds contempt.

Where were the marriages? Did any of these churches care about the problems that singles faced in a big city? The answer from my experience is a resounding “No!” In my case, I’m certain that if I died, hardly anyone would even notice, much less care. A few of my friends did die. There was some concern for some of them but that quickly faded.

I love Bible prophecy, but understand – seeing this kind of behavior is incredibly depressing. Are there any strong churches in New York City? I don’t think so.

I’ll mention one last church, another famous church. After the pastor died, I visited them and their songs were just as bland. In the background I saw an assembly line of people being baptized while people were singing these canned-songs, all using the word “Lord” but omitting Jesus’ name!

Maybe this is also why Jesus said in Matthew 7:21:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”
This is an incredibly sad way for the church era to end!