Those who find something a stumbling block tend to assume everyone else does, too. Often, someone who has at one point found himself in a proverbial ditch finds that he cannot walk too near that side of the road without falling in. But that doesn’t make the road evil. It makes him prone to temptation in that particular area.
Even if he isn’t prone to falling in, he may be so hyper-aware of the danger of the ditch that he panics when anyone gets too close, warning them away from the road altogether. We’ve seen it before, with regard to the “purity movement.” That seems to be the kind of overreaction I’m hearing in Thomas Umstattd, Jr.’s post, Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed.
I believe that post is fundamentally flawed and, as a result, promotes some highly unbiblical thinking. However, it raises some very important points and opens up a discussion that desperately needs to be had. There is a legitimate need to avoid the danger of the ditch! But let’s find out where the ditch actually lies, so we may walk safely along the path instead of diving to “take cover” in the other ditch.
It’s a really long post, with many points, and with many flaws as well as a good deal of call for rational, balanced discussion. So rather than trying to tackle it all at once, I’m going to take it a piece at a time, in a series. (If you want the overview, you can read my novella of a comment on the original post.) In this post, let’s just start with the underlying assumption made:
“[My grandmother] had predicted the failure of courtship back in the 90s…”
“A commitment to courtship is often a commitment to lifelong singleness.”
“Recently I have seen a spike in divorces amongst couples who courted.”