I finished my Hermeneutics Mega Course, part of my uThM Program and chose to do both assignments assigned in the Hermeneutics course from the Master’s Seminary. The topic I chose for this second assignment: Is Marriage the First and Preferred State for the Christian Believer?
You can read all of my course assignments here.
Let’s get started….
Preliminary Discussion About this Assignment
I would like to go over the assignment instructions and share a few comments I have about them.
This course I’ve found to be utterly flabbergasting. The instructor has no business teaching any courses. Throughout the entirety of the lectures, he stood at the front of the classroom, head bowed, and read, nearly verbatim, from his awfully composed syllabus.
Likewise, this assignment I found rather….frustrating. Not the assignment itself. I actually like writing papers and doing research. But, there were a few limitations placed on the assignment I found to be ridiculous (and, of course, I violated them completely in this paper).
First, he limited the topics from which we could choose to write about. No thanks. I’m not interested in rehashing the gap theory in Genesis 1 or the 144k in Revelation, if they’re actually Jews or not. The entire point of this uThM program is to wrestle with issues I’m having personally, to engage in the biblical text, to better understand my relationship to Christ, to his often confounding Bride (if, indeed, the modern church is even his in the first place), and what will be my fate at the end of days.
So, instead of a flippant exercise, I chose an issue I constantly wrestle with. Marriage vs. Singlehood in the church.
Second, I have to hand it to the professor here. He is a true and genuine dinosaur. He not only requires a minimum of 7 sources (that’s fine), but he limits those sources to “scholarly work (typical)” but goes a step further demanding they are print editions only. No digital sources. No print sources cited from digital editions.
I have to ask why?
Is he trying to prove a point here? Is he trying to ensure there is credibility to the research being done?
You find out during the course of the lectures, the professor is a Luddite, and not by protest but by incompetency. He is of the generation that simply has no will to engage in the modern day. He is the kind that chooses to take a buggy and blames the students when he arrives two hours late.
The reality is, I don’t use print editions. In fact, in light of the last 30 years of development and technological advancement, I truly look down on print materials as the inferior source form.
Print materials cannot be searched. They cannot be crawled. They’re data cannot be manipulated or excised. In fact, my sourcing method has changed the last few years simply because the old ways are no longer needed. APA. MLA. These formats are all obsolete and designed specifically for print materials.
If I give you a digital source, anyone can look that source up on the internet, and much more quickly than someone can open a book and turn to the right page. No one has to go to the local library or university campus. No one has to even pay anything. Access to information is all but universal, ubiquitous and without a gatekeeper.
Yet, this buffoon would like to keep students mired in the stacks, wasting countless hours translating digital sources into print references.
How ignorant can you be, Sir?
The internet is here to stay. The digital world is replacing the old, external one. You need to get over yourself and embrace what’s coming. Five years from now, life will be utterly unrecognizable. It’s time to get ready.
The Question being Asked
The question I pose for this assignment is this: Is marriage the first and preferred state in the Christian life, or is it a secondary and inferior state?
I ask this question and chose this topic for this assignment because the modern church would have you believe marriage is God’s plan for everyone. All believers are not only destined to be married, they say, but God has miraculously created the perfect spouse, just for you. In fact, somewhere out there in this big world you have a Soul Mate just waiting out there for you to find them. You just have to get out there and look. You have to make yourself available.
Once you find each other, your entire life and purpose will be fulfilled, and life forevermore will be happy and blissful because you’ve fulfilled your purpose in God…to be married and to raise a family and…yes, to serve your local church. That’s right, with your tithes an offerings.
Is this really true? Is this what the bible actually says about it?
Certainly, most people don’t know what the bible says, since they log more time reading the Vampire Diaries or Twilight than they do God’s word. Most people have preconceived ideas of life and purpose and what they want out of both, so few want to be bothered by what the bible might have to say about such an important matter.
Despite this, let’s take the opportunity to dig into the text and find out.
Two main references come to mind when speaking of the subject of marriage and singlehood, though rarely if ever will these passages be the subject of a Sunday morning sermon.
The first is Matthew 19:1-12. In this verse, Jesus is responding to the question the apostles had concerning marriage. Having crossed the Jordan and entered Judea, he was approached by the Pharisees who were frantic to trip him up on any kind of technicality they could so he could be dismissed entirely. There they posed a hypothetical question: “Can a man divorce his wife for any reason?”
Jesus’ answer was biting, not only for the Pharisees but also for his disciples, who came to him after the fact and said, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” This was the conclusion they reached after Jesus stated Moses permitted divorced because of their weakness, not because it was God’s will (which is interesting that the Law could be wrong). Jesus argued: No divorce, no remarriage. If you do it, you might as well commit adultery because in God’s eyes it’s all the same thing.
There is a misnomer in society today that our current expression of marriage is the same expression instituted in Genesis 1:27-28. What we have today as marriage is quite akin to adultery, since there is no commitment, there is no mutual respect, no foundation in the Word.
Jesus agreed with his disciples, but added, “Not everyone can accept this, but only those to whom it has been given.”
So, there was a way out of this….for some. As we see in 1 Corinthians 7:7, marriage is a gift from God and singlehood is likewise a gift from God. There are few who can accept the truth spoken in Matthew 19:10.
Personally, I cannot begin to count the number of people over the years who have expressed the same sentiment over and over again, no matter the misery it causes everyone involved, “I’d rather be in a bad relationship than be alone.”
This is purely insanity and must be from the devil. For, who in their right mind would wish upon themselves and another nothing but misery and suffering?
Paul talks about this at length in 1 Corinthians 7:28 when apparently responding to his reader’s questions.
“[You] will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.”
The Celestial State & an Earthly Shadow
So, what are these two states, these two vocations we have before each of us at the start of our lives?
Marriage was established at Genesis 1:27, when God brought Eve to Adam and commanded them to go out and multiply and fill the earth.
According to Matthew 19:5 it transcends the familial bond, for the man will leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife, the two subsequently becoming one entity.
But, there was another state already established, it’s origin is not recorded in the bible, but it’s destiny awaits us all.
A few humans have been given this gift of singleness, but apparently not Adam (Genesis 2:18). On the other hand, all angelic beings were and are expected to accept the single state. Those of their race who rejected it and instead sought a quasi kind of matrimony (if what they did can loosely be called marriage) with mortal women, they suffered a fate most likely worse than death, and now await the judgment in Tartarus (Genesis 6:1-3; Jude 1:9; 2 Peter 2:4).
But, this singlehood state is, by its very nature, celestial. It is permanent and timeless, for it is the only state available to us in the afterlife (Matthew 22:30).
Paul was convinced it was not just good, but it was καλόν (G2570) “valuable, virtuous, beautiful” for a man not to join in union with a woman. The translations say “not to touch a woman,” but this is poor, as it is both logically and textually repugnant to assume man should not physically touch the opposite sex. It is an offense to conclude a man cannot help a woman up if she falls. It is also just as insulting to say a male doctor cannot perform surgery on a female patient.
No, the Greek is clear. It is so much the better if a man does not enter into a marital relationship with a woman.
Why does he say this?
Two reasons. 1. Practicality of the situation and 2. The sheer nature of the present age.
Marriage in and of itself is inherently a risk. Given our own faulty expression of marriage (which in no way resembles what Jesus described in Matthew 19), Paul concluded it was simply better to skip out on the shadow altogether, step instead into the celestial state which would be coming for all at the Resurrection.
Likewise, given the age Paul lived (and so much the more the destitute and bankrupt age we find ourselves), the best of all options was and is to pursue heaven over earth.
In our day and age (and Paul’s) so far have we fallen from the state of grace man was created in. Today, to marry someone is to put your life in their hands, to wager your heart, your faith, your trust, your best, all in hope the sinner you’ve married doesn’t follow their base, primal, fallen instincts. It is akin to taking up a wounded snake, bringing it home and nursing it back to health. Once it is revived, it turns and strikes you and as you die you cry, “why did you do this thing to me after all I’ve done for you?” The snake simply replies, “I am a snake. It is what I do.”
In the biblical marriage that Jesus described, the believer must be mature enough in the Lord that every day, every moment, requires you sacrifice your own self for the sake of the other. Your own selfish desires must be repeatedly squelched, day after day, and be certain, marriage is no magical elixir cure to remove all temptations of the flesh. Despite what the modern church would like you to believe, happiness is not a Godly marriage. In fact, Paul had a completely different picture of marriage (no wonder this chapter is never preached from the pulpit) at least in Paul’s day and certainly ours (1 Corinthians 7:28).
His view was of trouble. Difficulty. Issues. Distraction. There was no getting around it. But, there was also no getting around the ever present and rampant sin that ran through his culture.
His acquiescence was bittersweet. “let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2). But it was not his first choice for himself or for others. In fact, Paul wholeheartedly recommended, “It is good for a man not to be joined together with a woman,” and “I wish that all men were as I am” (1 Corinthians 7:3, 7).
Marriage was a concession. A compromise. It was not the first or preferred choice.
His argument went: married people are divided in their devotion to the Lord. They are distracted by all the cares of the world, of making the mortgage, of raising the kids, trying to please their spouse and make them happy. Anyone who’s married or been married knows full well, it is an endless, thankless job with very few perks and a whole lot of downside and even more inescapable risk.
Not only must you give over your own volition, you must every day place your livelihood, your life, your family, your assets – everything – in the hands of another fallen, selfish, dishonest person. That is who we are, by nature. There is no getting around it. No dodging the truth.
Marriage, especially in our day and age, is truly sanctification by fire. It is, at its best, hard and painful, at worst, if you choose poorly, you will most certainly reap the whirlwind. Everything you’ve ever built, everything you’ve put your trust in, can come crashing down around you and at a moment’s notice. It happens so regularly it is now common place. Poor, pitiful souls, wake up every day and discover their spouses just simply don’t “love” them anymore, no longer want to live the life they’ve built, no longer want to share in a self-sacrificial, self-denying relationship (if it ever had been such to begin with).
To all those who venture into these shark infested waters voluntarily, I wish you all the best. I personally learned my lesson after my first and only marriage. What is the adage? Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.
I would disagree with Callaway in his article on marriage and singlehood, “Paul is suggesting here that God gives to some the gift of celibate singleness and to others the gift of marriage. They are both inherently good gifts and should be received as such, but neither represents an “ideal” state to which all Christians ought to conform.”
How could these two be even compared? One is a faulty version of a godly shadow type, brought about by God to spark the population of the earth, the second is the actual state in which we will spend eternity.
It is the state to come, the culmination of our sanctification on earth while we live and through fire once we are resurrected again to live immortal.
Marriage, on the other hand, is a transitory state, much like the intermediate state of death between life an the resurrection. Much like it, death itself will one day find its way to the fiery pit. So, too, marriage and all its trappings and all our talk of soul mates and eternal bliss with loved ones, will go the way to the flames. Even more so, it will simply cease to exist.
There is even a possibility that marriage, as an institution, will cease to be even before our deaths. Our culture is eroding. During Paul’s time, his antidote to this phenomena was, even for those who were married, to act and live as if they were not. In his words, “the form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:29).
The fallen, external conditions of this existence will cease. The mode by which the world operates, the corrupt systems it purports and props up, the engines that drive it, these are all doomed. This includes our interpretation and manifestation of marriage. Never again on this earth, before or after the resurrection will the original institution of marriage return again to the earth.
It is, by its very nature, a doomed institution.
Preference for Singlehood
Paul does make the point, we should not forbid people from marrying. It is their choice. They are free to make it. And, there is even an argument to be made for the gift of marriage being given to some, maybe many (1 Timothy 4:3; Hebrews 13:4). But, more so, the gift of singleness.
His admonishment, though, was for their benefit. He wanted to spare them the inevitable trouble and strife and anguish that inevitably accompanies such unions of fallen flesh (1 Corinthians 7:28).
The single state is one of pure devotion to God (at least, it should be). It should be undivided, without distraction. It should not be an excuse to gratify the flesh or the wishful hopes of the single person. But, as Paul describes, “I want you to be without care” (1 Corinthians 7:7).
There is still, of course, trouble in the flesh, as there is for the married. But, in comparison, it is null.
Likewise, singlehood carries with it some unique challenges, especially that of the tenancy to slide into stasis and neglect the sanctification we are called to.
Married couples, if they apply themselves as God outlined in the beginning, their growth can be exponential. This is much more difficult for the single person, as they have fewer means of sharpening themselves (Proverbs 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:12), especially in light of the church all but abandoning them in their perpetual chasing after mammon (1)(Matthew 6:24).
It is a great and profound mystery, the marriage relationship between a man and his wife. But even more so is the mysterious relationship between Christ and his bride, the church, which marriage is but a shadow of what is to come.
What Awaits the Single Person Today
Singlehood is liberating once it is embraced, though it, too, like marriage, is a great mystery.
If it is a gift given by God, and only those who are given this gift can accept it, why so few? Is it because of their unique makeup, their inner soul, that makes them singularly qualified to step into an eternal state, while the rest must flounder in shadows until Christ’s return?
What is it about singleness that is so difficult, especially for the modern person? For any person?
To these questions I have no answer. As one given to the single state, I do not comprehend the continual self-flagellation of married life. It makes no sense to me, and may never have (most certainly never will). But, as Paul pointed out, “I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that” (1 Corinthians 7:7).
For those who are called, for those who believe they can accept this gift from God (Matthew 19:11), here is some advice.
You will be alone.
The world has nothing for you any longer. Hopefully, your calling is as mine was and you were out of step from the rest of the world from the beginning. Never quite fitting in, never able to comfortably comply. You will be, especially if spiritually motivated by Christ, ostracized from the rest of society. They will brand you. Something will inevitably be wrong with your basic makeup. Socially awkward. Secretly deviant. The most common response I get is, “Oh, so you’re gay.”
Sometimes you just have to laugh at their blindness.
But, once embraced, you will be released from a lifetime of misery and despair, especially in our day and age, where there is no moral compass left in the minds of men, no discreetness, no humility remaining in the hearts of women. All are sinners and chase head long into the wreckage of their sin, they seek after their own indolence, their own depravity, even reveling in it.
You will witness the misery all around you, the “trouble in the flesh” of those who seek satisfaction and fulfillment in others, even though they most often will not, cannot find it.
There are a few you will encounter who seem to have the first state as described by Jesus. Too often, though, they inevitably falter and you will learn theirs was a con put on for the sake of others.
At the same time, you will nightly return to your home, wherever you might lie your head, and you will close yourself in, locking your door, and you will notice how quiet it is. You can hear your own shallow breathing, maybe even hear your own heart beating in your ears.
The silence at times can be deafening.
But, there is, in this stillness, a small voice. And he is gentle and kind and loving and gracious and heartfelt. You quickly discover he will never betray you, never leave you abandoned or broken and will never lie to you and never deceive you with empty or dishonest words.
Christ is ours forever. And we are, likewise, his. Into this mystery we do enter, because we are able, because it has been given.
What great mercy is this?
In the end, we find everything is a mystery before us, whether we are drawn to the married life or to the single one, we are inexplicably tethered to that call. It is what makes us who we are, defines us, motivates and forms our very thoughts. It is beyond our own comprehension, beyond our own finite reality we call existence.
To think we have free will is a fairytale, simple artifice to blind only the gullible and infantile. God’s plan for us is grander and more intricate and more complicated than we could ever hope to understand. We walk in the paths he has set before us, knowing us better than we know even ourselves.
But, it is important that we do not get washed away with the times in which we live. It is important that we place God above all other things, above all other people, and this is to include spouse or family or children.
For these things are superficial, they are sensual, earthly, reticent to life in God, distractive, sometimes even delusional and in some cases a seduction from the faith to idols and fables, as in the case of Solomon (1 Kings 11:4).
The answer to the question, though, as we have seen in this assignment, is no simple answer. All who are of grace are called and gifted with a particular calling. Some for marriage, but others for early admittance into a greater sanctification, for if one desire to marry he does well, but for the one who chooses not, he does even better (1 Corinthians 7:38).
The real question is not which is the first and preferred state, for each is predestined to the state in which God chooses for him. That state is the perfect state for them, the first state for them, the preferred state. In that sense, to be married or to remain single is the first state for each of us, as he chooses.
But, “ο δυνάμενος χωρείν χωρείτω” – the one able to enter in [to that state] should enter in [to that state].
Until my next assignment…..
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Excerpt from Ashen Monk Mountain:
There was an old elm tree near the end of the lawn, with a circular picnic table and several short benches.
“This looks like a lovely spot,” Mr. Eckey said, taking a seat.
He set his briefcase on the picnic table and flipped the latches, opening the lid.
Christopher took a seat opposite him and removed his hood, folding his arms in front of him.
“I have a tablet and a pen here somewhere,” Mr. Eckey said. “I had it when I left, that is. Not sure if I can find it in this disorganized briefcase of mine…”
He chuckled at himself.
“So – ”
Christopher ran a hand over his short cropped scalp.
“I’m confused about all this. I’m not sure I understand why exactly you wanted to meet with me.”
Mr. Eckey nodded.
“How long have you been a novitiate here?”
“Going on seven months now.”
He glanced up at Christopher as he fetched his notebook and ink pen.
“How are you liking it at Saint Joseph’s?”
“It has been – ”
Christopher thought about the question for a moment.
“ – wonderful.”
“I would assume it much different than – ”
Mr. Eckey flipped the first page over, scanned handwritten notes he had on the second page.
“I received some background from the Precept’s office, as well as from Abbot Greenly. You grew up in – North Platte, Nebraska? Is that correct?”
“I’m native of the Boston area myself,” Mr. Eckey said. “Tell me a little about how you came to the decision.”
Mr. Eckey smiled.
“To become a monk. It must have been quite a journey from Nebraska.”
“Not really. I guess. I just – ”
Unwanted images flashed through his mind.
Mr. Eckey took a deep breath before speaking again.
“Mr. Ward, I don’t actually know a whole lot about this request, to be perfectly honest. As you know, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Apostolic Life – that’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it – we are entrusted with monitoring abnormal behavior among those called to the consecrated vocation.”
He tapped his pen on the tablet.
“Tell me, what do you like about Saint Joseph’s exactly?”
“It’s the – well – I feel at home here. Like I belong. I very much enjoy the silence.”
“Yes, I know the Trappists to be quite ardent in their devotion.”
Christopher nodded in agreement as Mr. Eckey took a few notes.
“I enjoy the early mornings, the worship, the offices. The undivided devotion.”
“To God?” Mr. Eckey asked.
“Yes,” Christopher said. “Exactly.”
The stranger focused on his notes for several seconds, silently mouthing the words he wrote.
“Tell me, how does your life now differ from your previous one?”
Mr. Eckey stopped writing.
“Your military career.”
“Oh,” Christopher said, looking down. “I guess – I – I don’t know. There are lots of differences. I’m not – sure I – what is this inquiry about exactly?”
Mr. Eckey put his pen down.
“Mr. Ward,” he said. “The Vatican apparently has interest in your particular gifts and abilities for a – call it – a special appointment. I guess that’s the best way to put it.”
He shifted his weight on the hard bench.
“Normally, the Congregation does not get involved in appointments or a particular monk’s vocational choices. But, sometimes, when the need arises, special arrangements can be made.”
“Are you talking about another monastery?”
“Actually – ”
Mr. Eckey picked his pen back up.
“It’s an entirely different Order.”
Christopher leaned forward as a gust of wind billowed the long sleeves of his tunic.
“I don’t really understand,” he said. “Are you saying the Vatican wants me to move to a different monastery – to a different Order? But…I…”
Mr. Eckey waited a moment.
“Tell me, Mr. Ward, about your military training.”
“What about it?”
“Your experiences. You were a special operator, is that correct?”
Christopher shot him a quizzical look.
“How do you know that?”
“You were part of the 7th SFG? Assigned to operations in Afghanistan for the majority of your enlistment, surrendering your commission as a Captain. Is that correct? What did you like or dislike about your military career? Why was it you left?”
Christopher looked out over the cornfields in the distance.
“Sir,” he said, wringing his hands together. “I don’t really understand why you’re asking these kinds of questions. To be honest, they’re making me a little uncomfortable. I think I – ”
“Please, Brother Christopher,” Mr. Eckey said, putting up a hand. “I don’t mean to pry. As I said, this is a peculiar and rather sensitive situation, not at all normal procedure. So, I do apologize for my rather tactless approach. Let me explain a little, if I can – ”
Christopher tried to relax.
He struggled to repress the memories rising in the back of his mind, the bloody and gruesome images of dead bodies, a horrible, yet all too familiar wave of fear and dread washing over him.
A wave of putrid death enveloped and permeated everything.
He took a deep breath, tried to ignore it.
Mr. Eckey put down his pen again.
“There is a remote monastery in British Colombia. It is of a separate Order, not Cistercian, but similar. It’s rather distinctive, as I am led to believe.”
“What is the Order?” Christopher asked.
Mr. Eckey shook his head.
“You would not be familiar with it,” he said. “There is actually only one monastery in the Order. But it has had a long, and quite fascinating history, to say the least. And, somewhat of a fantastic service.”
“So, why me, then?” Christopher asked. “I’m a novitiate. I don’t have much to offer. I’m not sure what you are asking of me.”
“The Vatican is asking a favor of you, Brother Ward. They are requesting that you take a leave of absence from Saint Joseph’s and visit this other monastery for a time.”
“I’m – I don’t – ”
“I’m honored that the Vatican has called on me,” he said. “I really do feel settled here, though. I would not wish to – ”
Mr. Eckey interrupted.
“Consider it simply a sabbatical of sorts. Without strings attached. We are interested solely in God’s working here in this matter.”
“Are you wanting me to relocate?” Christopher asked.
Mr. Eckey smiled.
“How about we say the Vatican is open and interested in the Father’s call on your life. We simply wish to – test the waters – see if this would or would not be a good fit.”
“So, if I go, and it is not a good fit?”
“Your place here at Saint Joseph’s would be available to you at any time you see fit. Like I said, no strings attached.”
“I would not feel comfortable going without Abbot Greenly’s blessing,” Christopher said.
“You have it,” Mr. Eckey said, his smile widening.
Christopher said nothing.
“Think of it as a vacation. Though, if I’m hearing you correctly, you really are in no need of one. But, then again…. ”
The man shrugged.
“May I – ”
Christopher pondered his words.
“Is it possible to consider this awhile before I decide?”
“Certainly,” Mr. Eckey said. “Because of the situation, though, we would need you to go sooner than later. Is there anything upcoming that you are thinking about in particular?”
Christopher shook his head.
“No,” he said. “I would just like to sit with this for a day or two. Pray about it. How long would the visit be?”
“As long as you need to decide,” Mr. Eckey said. “Preferably a month to start. Longer is encouraged. Like I said, it is a unique situation, so tradition does not really lend itself easily. But, I would ask – ”
He put his notepad and pen back in his briefcase and closed the lid.
“Because of the sensitive nature, the Vatican has requested that you do not discuss this with anyone except me. Not the other monks here, your family, not even Abbot Greenly.”
“But, how – ”
Mr. Eckey put up a hand.
“I’m heading back to discuss the situation with Abbot Greenly before I leave the grounds. He will certainly not have an objection. Not that I can imagine, anyway.”
He fished out a business card from the inside pocket of his blazer.
“Here is my contact information,” he said, handing him the card. “You can reach me on my cell phone any time. Whenever you decide, one way or the other. There is a great need, though, so I do hope you will consider at least visiting.”
Christopher took the card, looked at it, then looked up at Mr. Eckey.
“What kind of need, exactly?”
The man just smiled.
“All in due time,” he said. “Just let us know as soon as you are able.”
Christopher looked back at the card.
“Thank you, Brother Ward, for your time. I do think I can find my way back to the abbot’s office from here.”
He briefly looked around the grounds.
“I do envy you a little,” he said. “What a majestic space you monks have created here. It’s like a slice of Eden. Really.”
He got up, shook Christopher’s hand, then left him there alone, as the stranger retraced his steps to the abbot’s office.
Christopher took a deep breath, then sighed.
The wave of putrid death still lingered as another wind gust blew across the fields, dredging up memories he would have altogether wished could have remained buried, soaking him again in the blood of the past.
He stayed there for a long time, just watching as the endless sea of cornfields waved in the winds.
Buy my book Ashen Monk Mountain to find out what this cryptic and mysterious appointment is the Vatican is asking Christopher to take on. An unheard of monastery, hidden deep in the Canadian Rockies? A secret mission and call? What in the world could be going on?
Click here and grab your copy today! Whatever you do, don’t let this fantastically epic story get away!
But, trust me when I say, you’re not going to believe the truth even when you discover it for yourself. Find out what secrets lay hidden underfoot at Ashen Monk Mountain!