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Echoes of MBF in certain kinds of "courtship" 
6th-Jun-2007 10:25 pm
There's an interesting on-line book called "The Way of a Man with a Maid: A Response to the Courtship & Betrothal Movements". It describes and critiques a particular form of "courtship" that may be increasing in popularity among homeschooling "evangelicals". This form of courtship contains themes that are eerily similar to UBF's "marriage by faith" practice, though not as extreme (or cultic), since it's the actual parents doing the arranging, rather than UBF's "spiritual parents". In the Appendix, the author takes care to distinguish the "courtship" that Joshua Harris advocates from the newer, more extreme kind of "courtship". (Harris is the author of "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" and is often made in UBF to sound like a defender of UBF "marriage by faith", when, in fact, the model of marriage advocated by Harris is nothing like UBF arranged marriage.)
8th-Jun-2007 12:50 am (UTC)
Just had a short glance and it seems that's really a good find. I still remember how Kaleb Hong, former Europe UBF leader, told us that "romantic love is only an illusion". There is a good answer to this in the section titled "Romance in Secular Culture".
10th-Jun-2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
I've now read the complete book and I think it is a very valuable resource for UBFers. It has great insights and arguments that apply 1:1 to UBF as well.
13th-Jun-2007 05:45 pm (UTC) - "….it almost doesn't matter whom you marry. You can marry anyone."
You can hear echoes of UBF's marriage system and marriage pressure in the following passage (and the resulting miserable marriages and divorces):

But while a godly character is something that a young man should look for in a woman, I recognize that it will not, nor should not, be his only consideration. It is also important that two people also love each other and that they will be compatible living and working together throughout the rest of their lives. It is also important that they are just really good friends, not in the sense of mechanically choosing that this person is going to be your best friend because they have passed a character test, but because there is a legitimate and natural friendship already apparent.

In much of the literature of the courtship movement, it is assumed that the only necessary ingredient for a good marriage is character. In 2001 the New York Times did a front page article on the courtship movement. One advocate of this approach, a man by the name of Mr. Wheeler, was interviewed. Mr. Wheeler tells about his own experience when a young man named Joshua took him out to breakfast to ask permission to marry his daughter Noelle. "I knew if I could trust his character,” said Mr. Wheeler, “then it would make a good marriage, because marriage is built not on love, but on someone who has the character to withstand the storms that marriage brings, the arguments and the disagreements.” As long as someone has a good character, all other considerations about the people and their potential compatibility (or lack of compatibility), become irrelevant. Hence Mr. Wheeler knew that Joshua would make a good husband purely on the grounds of his character. Phillips states the matter a bit more starkly,

….it almost doesn't matter whom you marry. You can marry anyone. If you bring the mortar of commitment to the joining of the two human bricks, then you've got a workable and permanent marriage.”

Lindvall has recently suggested that emotional intimacy is completely irrelevant. “God,” he writes, “has given us not only the physical capability but also the emotional capacity and personal flexibility to be joyfully compatible with whomever He calls us to marry.”

Against the backdrop of such ideas, it should not be surprising that throughout the last six to eight years, as many people have got married under the influence of such teaching, the disaster stories have literally just been pouring in. One is increasingly hearing of marriages that were supposed to be perfect because they followed the right procedures and both people had strong characters, yet these marriages are actually miserable. Many of these marriages have, unfortunately, been ending in divorce, with the young people blaming the parents for “doing this trip on us.” In other cases, I have received reports of teenage daughters running away from home and getting pregnant simply to avoid having to go through a system of being paired up with someone they do not even like.
19th-Jul-2007 03:34 pm (UTC) - More on how this relates to UBF
In http://community.livejournal.com/rsqubf/49744.html, we saw an example of a female UBF 2ndgen who concluded that her falling in love with a man in her early 20s was just "a chemical reaction in the brain."

Then in http://www.livejournal.com/users/rsqubf/88751.html, we saw an example of a UBF recruit becoming frustrated with the suppression of romantic love in UBF and the frank admission by a UBF "staff member" of what we know to be UBF policy, that love is not allowed to be basis of marriage in UBF.
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