Yesterday I wrote an article in response to an article in Christianity Magazine. I’ve also written to the editor asking him to act urgently to remove the article and to hold an internal review to understand how their magazine has ended up publishing false and toxic material.
Here’s my letter
I was deeply concerned by your publication of an article on the Premier Christianity site entitled “Could Jesus have married?”
Could Jesus have been married? | Opinion | Premier Christianity
I’ve fleshed out my concerns in more detail here Was Jesus married? – Faithroots but I wanted to write directly to explain why this is so serious and why I’m asking you to remove the article and urgently take time to review how this kind of situation has arisen.
I appreciate that Christianity Magazine seeks to publish a wide range of views. I’ve been concerned in the past that this has involved pushing the boundaries. However, I think this is an example of something that steps over the boundaries. I think you will have seen on social media that many other Christians share this concern.
To be clear about the problems here I would highlight three. The first is that the article was pastorally destructive reflecting toxic and abusive cultures. Why do I say this so strongly? Well as others have mentioned, the obsession with requiring Jesus to be married significantly undermines and attacks the place of godly single Christians within the church. Such an article is likely to reinforce a message that they are not truly whole in Christ and don’t really belong. But I also say it because the article uses exactly the same kind of mix of speculation, gossip and outright falsehood that sadly single Christians -and indeed other Christians who have experienced bullying, gossip, slander and abuse are subjected to.
Secondly, the article contains lies. The author is either completely ignorant of what the Bible actually says or he is intentionally making false claims. As believers in Jesus Christ we should have nothing to do with falsehood.
Thirdly, whilst it may seem like a bit of harmless speculation, as you know, the “Jesus married” myth is at the core of a serious, deeply unpleasant heresy. This was popularised by the Dan Brown book “The Da Vinci code.” Setting up a bloodline from Jesus is intended to turn people’s eyes away from the Gospel and hope in Christ’s death and resurrection.
As I have mentioned above, I am asking that you take urgent steps to correct this. I believe that this requires more than a quick pulling of one article. I would encourage an external review to help you address what has gone badly wrong here.
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