Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day

Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day November 21, 2012

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.”

Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family Rule of the Day: “He who refrains from marriage will do better” (1 Corinthians 7:25-38).

Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are.

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a virgin marries, she does not sin. Yet those who marry will experience distress in this life, and I would spare you that. I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord.

If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly towards his fiancée, if his passions are strong, and so it has to be, let him marry as he wishes; it is no sin. Let them marry. But if someone stands firm in his resolve, being under no necessity but having his own desire under control, and has determined in his own mind to keep her as his fiancée, he will do well. So then, he who marries his fiancée does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

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  • StillCraig

    I’ve never been able to get past the fact that if everyone had taken the Apostle Paul’s advice, if he had gotten his way, the human race would have died out.

  • Carstonio

     Paul is almost totally concerned here with male behavior. At times he sounds like Al Bundy, viewing wives as a burden and an annoyance.

  • More to the point, if Christians follow the Apostle Paul’s advice in that passage, then faithful Christians don’t reproduce– they recruit.

    Hmm, where have I heard someone use that phrase before, in a derogatory manner?

  • Wasn’t the whole thing about women keeping their heads covered in church pretty much about how distracting it was?

  • Justme

     It doesn’t matter, though.  Because Paul knew that Jesus was coming, soon.  Maybe even in his lifetime.  So the priority had to be in creating the Community of God and the Kingdom of God.

  • Carstonio

     Were these men terrified that the sight of a woman’s hair would fill them with such lust that they would lose all self-control?

  • aunursa

    Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.

    Is Paul indicating that this portion of his letter (and therefore, of the New Testament) is not divinely inspired? How do Christians who believe that the entire Christian Bible is divinely inspired interpret this sentence?

  • aunursa

    In the first couple of seasons of Married With Children, Al and Peggy have strong romantic feelings for each other.  In some scenes Al looks forward to having sex with his wife. 

    Reminds me of MacGyver — in the pilot episode, Mac fires an AK-47 at the bad guys.

    It’s interesting how characters behave in the initial episodes of a long-running series –before they are established.

  • Carstonio

    The problem with Married With Children wasn’t establishing characters but pandering to the audience. That’s what downgraded Happy Days, which had better writing and realistic themes in its first couple of seasons before Fonzie became popular. Both shows and their characters devolved into cartoons, with Al becoming the mouthpiece for sexist resentful men.

  • For more details, check out this link:
    Be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart!

  • SisterCoyote

     Yes. Very yes. I don’t think Paul ever even considered the idea that his letters would be taken as 100% divinely inspired.

    How do those Christians deal with/interpret this sentence? They don’t. And if you try to convince them otherwise, they stick their fingers in their ears and go LALALALA until you run out of breath.

  • VMink

    Aw, Paul is just being humble!  It’s just like when LeHaye says, “Now, I don’t presume to know the mind of God, but….”

    Yeah, no, I don’t believe it either.  From either of them. =)

  • rizzo

     Paul thought the world was going to end within his lifetime, he wasn’t concerned with propagating the race.

  • The stuff Paul writes about sex always makes me go O.o and try to decipher what on Earth is the consistent point behind them.

    “Do not seek a wife”?

    Okay, does that mean it’s okay to have sex outside of marriage? Wheeeeeeeeeee.

  • The explanation I’ve heard from a friend who grew up in a evangelical Calvinist community is that he SAID his words weren’t divinely inspired, and he THOUGHT his words weren’t being divinely inspired, but actually, he was wrong, and they totally were.

    Note that this actually still fails to get at the underlying fundamental contradiction.

  • vsm

    I’ve always had a certain amount of sympathy for Paul here. Western culture might be a bit nicer if being in a heterosexual monogamous long-term relationship wasn’t considered the highest point of existence. Not that Paul thought very highly of people in arrangements other than that and celibacy, of course.

    Invisible Neutrino:
    Paul is saying celibacy is the best way to go. If you can’t do that, you should get married. Sex outside of marriage is a no-no.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Next question, of course, being why people think it’s all right to deny marriage to a certain group of people who want sex but not with the opposite sex.

  • Dude clearly had issues.

  • P J Evans

    I figure Paul is a conservative (possibly, in modern terms, Orthodox) Jew who is still coming to terms with the message that Jesus actually taught, and trying to make his own views, learned as a child, fit with the new ones that he picked up after the incident on the road to Damascus.

  • Justme

     Well, “Orthodox” Judaism didn’t really exist yet.  But I think you have it backwards, because Judaism is and was pretty actively pro-sex.   In fact, sex is considered one of the husband’s duties to his wife (In Jewish marital law, a wife has rights to three things that the husband can’t refuse:  food, clothing, and sex).  Refusal to have sex is actually grounds for a woman to divorce her husband.

    It’s Christianity that has problems with sex, not Judaism.

  • vsm

    There seem to have been anti-sex ideas in Second Temple Judaism, though, particularly among the Essenes, which may have influenced Paul’s thinking on how to run a doomsday cult.

  • Joshua

    No, not really. Paul says in 1 Cor 11 that a woman not covering her head is disgraceful, and that she should wear something on her head because of the angels.

    The first part is clearly about the clothing customs of the time, but modern theology has basically no idea what the bit about the angels means. Angels just like woman’s hats? Hate hair? Who knows.

  • Joshua

    There are a number of bits like that. I think 1 Cor 7:12 is a clearer example: “To the rest I say—I and not the Lord—[stuff about marriage]”.

    I have no idea how literalists interpret it, but I interpret it literally. He officially doesn’t have his apostle hat on, and is talking in his capacity as some guy.

  • Joshua

    It might be relevant to note here that the word for wife, here as elsewhere in the NT, is the same as the word for woman. Ditto man and husband.

    So, er, ahem.