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And like a marriage relationship, though there are certain basic rules such as no cheating, most of it is lived out in pursuit of wisdom and love. But I would prefer if objections can be made on the basis of the Bible and simply upon personal experience or preferences. Any adult couple can quite easily be alone together as much as they want without others realising, wether they are on a holiday or not. While all the above advice is good, it applies all the time. Your sexual purity is only really of interest to the church when it is in the public eye as a holiday is generally known about by quite a few people.
Changing your heart isnt as important to the church as obedience. The same goes with rules about what music and movies to partake in. Thanks for those comments. I agree with you and think that there are broader things to consider from the standpoint of actually caring for and pastoring unmarried Christian couples. I think we need to be careful of demonising things that may very well be innocent. Perhaps we need to normalise healthy platonic relationships between men and women, and start stomping on gossiping and looking for demons under every bed?
Start in the church. Encourage the best and support when things are not the best instead of trying to develop more rules to regulate or punish the wrong before they even are wrong! It is very unhelpful, pushes people away from the church and undermines one of the key characteristics of church fellowship — to come together as broken sinful creatures to celebrate the restorative action of Jesus Christ. We can, with confidence and with no one to doubt us, say that we kept ourselves pure until the day we were married at least physically!!
If they do, then the expectation is that they step down.
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Should we murder so as to stave off the despicable approach of pleasures..? I believe the grammar of the sentence is different Tele….
The idol of pleasure in this case is something that pleases and satisfies the flesh and refuses to glorify God. Hi Pastor Pete, thanks for the great advice and reminder. I agree with what you said and being in a dating relationship myself, I have forgone holidaying with my bf alone for the reasons you stated. Having said that, it IS hard! Nonetheless, yes, travelling can wait because what is of far more importance, is seeking to please God. And yes, I admit it can be easy to have a minimalist approach.
But the questions then is: Or the more important question is: I do struggle with it in my mind but I know the grace of God is more than enough for me. And yes, it definitely does not apply merely to holidaying alone but every aspect of your dating relationship. Its worth it, cause your relationship with God is worth it, it cost God his only Son cause He loves us so much!
I find it a bit strange that people who clearly do what they want, have a great need to justify what they are doing. This is the key. Because we know it is wrong, and being humans and not animals means we can choose not to act on physical urges if we decide not to. Can you trust yourself and your partner? But I think most christians have good self control, and getting married just so you can go on a holiday is really the wrong reason.
Sometimes a holiday is the place where two people really get to know each other without the distractions of others, and find out if they are the right one to marry or not.
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Do you really think that most Christians have good self-control? Christians are still human, which means they still struggle with temptation just as any non-Christian does. I think the other point pete was trying to get as aswell is not to be a stumbling block for anyone. Whilst I see you have thought about thoroughly, I think you are overanalysing.
I have done this before and did not find that there was any significant increase in temptation. In fact it was a great way of seeing how you really appreciate a new place and deal with associated challenges and hence I recommend this to other Christian couples. Pete, thanks for taking the time to write this post. I completely agree with you — and to be honest, your thoughts on removing someone from leadership for this made me raise my eyebrows — but after reading your argument, I have to say, I agree. Well it is for me anyway. I just want to find a Christian girl, get married within a week and kid myself that then all my problems and temptations will disappear.
I think I lack good Christian role models to mentor me. Hi David, I appreciate your honesty. I just prayed for you that you would find: Blessings from the other side of the world. I think unmarried couple holidaying together is not about whether to be unholy or holy.
It is more about an issue of giving a living testimony to others particularly to non-believers. On earth, we all can be holy or unholy at any second. In fact, we have sinned since we were born.
Unfortunately that status will not change until we die and what happened after we die, it depends on His grace and our faith. I have a question, which one is more unholy, a pastor who lives 1m or 1 km or 2 km or 3 km away from Kings X? Thank you very much Pete. Your article is very helpful and I think reflects what Jesus would want of us. When we are involved with the Overseas Christian Fellowship OCF in Sydney in 90s, we had similar issues and some folks thought we were being ultra-conservative in our approach.
We really need to be praying and meditating on what it means not to conform to the pattern of this world but to have our minds renewed and lives transformed so that we might be living sacrifices in worship to God. If God is real.. I never had time to think about why God made me a certain way. All I knew was I needed to find out whether this God or Jesus person was real. Praying that you would meet your heavenly Father, Creator, Friend and Saviour! Some men might feel comfortable holding hands with, cuddling and kissing non in the French way their actual sister, but I suspect the majority of men are not comfortable doing that.
Unfortunately my experiences in the courtship phase of my relationships have been full of failures and regrets. Thank God for his grace! However I do know of couples who are now happily married whose first kiss of any kind was at the altar. I think a good principle would be to err on the side of caution, especially for the guys.
This is definitely a case where wisdom, accountability, openness, communication… those sorts of things are absolutely vital. To say that they are not is dangerous territory, especially if you are enforcing punitive measures such as standing people down from leadership for a supposed sin. Who are we to judge? You see minimalist obedience as a flaw of the Pharisees. They are one in the same! Again, refer to point 1. An unmarried couple will always have both the temptation and opportunity to sin no matter what. Holidays are a rare chance for a couple get to know one another on a more day to day level.
To see if they can actually live with that person for the rest of their lives. On the extreme end, I know far too many Christian couples now divorced because they were rushed into marriage by ownerous and unbiblical expectations. Hi David, I appreciate your thoughts and clear points. If I may, by way of gentle rebuttal to your points:. It seems to me that the principle of love may urge me to refrain from doing something because of how it is perceived in the mind of another.
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Not that this is an entirely parallel situation, but I just want to question the underlying assumption of your first point. However, I think many people misunderstand legalism. If that were the case, half of the New Testament epistles would get thrown in the legalism basket! Why compromise that assumption. I also agree that holidays are a good chance for a couple to get to know another. I suggest that this kind of thinking is devastating for marriages will be the cause of more divorces, not less.
The Scripture you quote is so counter-cultural and the call in 2Tim 2: Thanks for your thoughts. I am a pastor who preaches and writes a lot. This happens to be one issue out of a thousand that for some reason I decided to write on yesterday morning. It is hard to see the big picture without dealing with the individual strokes of life. Many couples find themselves in long distance relationships — can your recommendations be extended to situations where one visits the other interstate or overseas?
For example, I know of a couple in my church who attended an overseas and interstate wedding together. The girl was a bridesmaid. Hi Ari, see my reply above. I do sympathise with exceptional circumstances, and yours is definitely one I had not thought about. I think your heart is definitely in the right place. I wonder though if it would be better though more costly not to share the same room? I read this article with a mixture of shock, disbelief, horror and pity. Not in this century. Not in this culture. I pity the poor souls who lead their lives according to such oppressive prescriptions and interpretations.
That is the nightmare of the Dark Ages. More than a thousand bloody years ago! This is how crusader butchers, flagellants and Taliban are bred! I owe my life to God and my mother and I try to live a decent life so as not to betray one and shame the other. I believe as naturally as I breathe. But even I cannot comprehend the blind fanaticism and bigotry running amok around here. Faith is personal and should not be inflicted on others.
I do not need and would not accept other people telling me what and how to believe. Faith is belief in God and in yourself and responsibility. If these are present, sin would not be a threat. And where love is, sin simply is not. You would be wise to remember that. A final note — I am neither a Catholic nor a Protestant.
Organized religion and its chaotic, senseless denominations really do not interest me. Hi Nick, thanks for commenting. Please remember that the Lord Jesus loves his church and died for his church Ephesians 5: By not willing to be involved in the life of the community of broken saints on the road to eternal life, you are missing out on a big part of what it meant for Jesus to save you, love you and die for you.
This was a really interesting article. Even more interesting were the comments! Living and working in Bangladesh — a very conservative and heavily Muslim country — I see grave dangers in this kind of thinking. What you do on holiday DOES matter! It results in wonderful friendships and a new understanding of what it means to be a Christian. It is pretty weird. But this article is an echo of an extremely odd and inconsistent worldview, with which I am all too familiar.
But d and e , which I will come to, are the most inexplicable and dangerous to me. Then what on earth are you doing going about your daily lives as if it is all OK? There is a real disconnect here. How disconnected to the real world is that? So we then find ourselves at a again……. Thanks for posting your comments. Perhaps a more constructive path would be to deal with the arguments as they stand rather than import baggage that you have with Sydney Anglicans and therefore make it impossible for me to respond in any sort of rational fashion.
He Said-She Said: Unmarried and Vacationing Together
His family lives overseas and we visited them a few times but we also travelled around while we were away shared rooms etc — if you want to know what would be really stupid, it would be letting a girl stay in a room alone in some of the places we were. If we were going to have sex we would have done it on the immeasurable nights that we were alone at each others comfortable apartments — not in a flimsy tent in outback Africa or camping on air mattresses.
Give people a little respect, a little trust and the courtesy of believing that when we make a commitment, God gives us self control. To be honest the hard part was the mental shift to the fact that it was okay to have sex once we were married! Nor is it fair to assume that those who are more mature are more self-controlled simply because of age. Ps Pete, i admire your courage in writing this article, i may not know you but i think we stand on the same line. Looking forward to more of such writings from you! Thanks for your message and for the beautifully sensitive way you have dealt with some of the objections in the post.
Adding blanket bans and rules for other people to live by — rules, which while wise, are not in the bible — can tend to bring out the Pharisee is all of us. The desire to be pure is great and Godly and we should all strive for it but sometimes I think that people stress the appearance of being pure too strongly — you can appear to be pure while all the time your heart is burning with impure thoughts and other people can make up rumours about you regardless of how you behave.
When I reflect on how Jesus let the sinful woman wash his feet with her tears and dry them with her hair — I am concerned that people would not allow him to be in a position of leadership because of his lack of wisdom in trying to show people how pure he is. I think it is particularly strong when people are brought up in the church but can be bewildering to others who have not grown up in that culture. This can be really difficult with cross gender relationships when people can end up feeling rejected or feel that they are being accused of trying to be inappropriate because someone wants to preserve the appearance of being pure and so avoid being alone with someone of the opposite sex.
You have my thanks for keeping the tone so encouraging. I would hate for that to happen at my church! Our church culture has also become so incredibly individualistic, so in contrast I would love for people to see themselves as inextricably connected to each member of the body. Therefore my failures, my sin, but also my experience of grace and restoration, affects everyone else.
That kind of church would be entirely possible, though it may not be any of our experiences. Great article and responses. How do you counter that thinking? Just thought I would leave this note here for you to encourage you to continue to post up biblical wisdom. I believe that the reasons you give as a package are enough reasons to steer clear.
Very nicely summarised and I will forward my Christian couple friends to this post. This kind of brainwashing makes me angry and reinforces how glad I am that I am not sucked into the spiderweb of ridiculous rules that make up Christianity, so to speak. It just makes life complicated. If a couple wants to holiday together so what? If they love each other and want to sleep together, why the hell not?
I knew Pastor Peter many years ago in the 4th grade. I think we were also at high school together before I changed schools but remember our primary school friendship with great fondness. I would like to contribute to this debate by sharing the lyrics of a song by the artist Ron Sexsmith that I find beautiful and inspirational. It expresses the idea of unconditional love more simply and eloquently than I can manage:. I would Ilke to challenge everyone to put the sexual morality issue in perspective.
Surely to be above reproach as a Christian you would have to eschew a little bit more of modernity than an unchaperoned holiday? Sex is such a beautiful, precious and natural part of being a human being. Experience teaches us that the repression of sexuality is much more likely to corrupt and hurt us and the church has a particularly poor record in this department. Is it because it is easier to focus on simple problems where we have a textbook and a formula to follow? There is so much cruelty, inequality and suffering in the world. The computer I am typing on was probably assembled in labour conditions that would be illegal in Australia.
Likewise the clothes I am wearing. Our food production systems often involve considerable cruelty to animals. The majority of our industrial processes are enormously damaging to the environment and to animal and human populations. Surely to challenge the gross and heinous immorality of these processes by refusing to partake of any of the benefits is the only plausible choice for Christians beyond reproach? Yet every day we choose to partake of the benefits of modernity and in doing so we are drawing lines and taking a minimalist approach to moral issues that are far more profound than two people expressing their love for one another.
If you ultimately believe that premarital sex is immoral then I guess the question of whether to address it urgently is either a case of low hanging fruit ie. I am a non Christian who struggles to understand some aspects of Christianity especially the sexual morality as I have some close Christian friends. Hope somebody finds my thoughts interesting in someway.. Thanks for reading if you got this far.. Hey Dylan, great to hear from you! I remember you very well and very fondly. This is certainly not the forum to be able to give a proper defense or apologetic for the reasons why, but at least I hope it gave you a tiny little insight into what Christians think.
The Christian view of sex is tied up with a particular view of marriage. Remember that the majority of charitable organisations in this world that help alleviate human suffering were started by Christians. Lastly I guess I just want to remind you and readers that I have written this blog as a pastor of a small flock of people over whom I have oversight and care. I want them to be able to live out their Christian lives with integrity and joy. It is to them I have addressed this blog. Mate, thanks for being brave and kind in your comments and willing to engage. Of course if the said Christian couple prattles on about their sexual purity to everyone then goes on holiday alone together, there might be a few jokes and eye-rolling but that would be probably about it.
Life would go on. Ironically enough, if there were a few passages in the Bible that basically said it was okay for people to have committed sexual relationships outside of marriage, there would probably be less pent up sexual frustration amongst pre-married Christians — I for one would certainly be less frustrated. The average age of Christian marriages would probably be a bit older as well.
Would there still be plenty of sexual brokenness?
Why I think it's okay for Christian couples to travel alone
I would say so. It comes from where the human heart is. One could be married and rape their spouse and one could be unmarried and have some of the most blissful, satisfying and giving sex on the planet. The married person who has just raped their spouse? We love to manufacture middle class Christian morality by inferring a great deal of meaning from selected passages from scripture to support a worldview that has been influenced by a method of interpreting scripture, that for Evangelical Christianity stems largely from a Calvanistic influence.
The amount of guilt and shame she had wrapped with her sexual identity was depressing — and she had never even had sex! And just for the record, was still a virgin after we broke up — tried my best to be respectful while balancing this with my libido and previous experience kicking in. In fact, the general amount of guilt about all aspects of life that many Christians tend to have is rather saddening.
I have just observed this from general conversations with people in Christian circles. Of course, if two people want to wait until they are married and not go on holidays alone together, then they should totally stick to that. Whatever is important for them in their walk with Christ. And this is why I now tend to avoid dating Christian girls as 1. Probably the root cause to all this, is that I have a problem with authority! This is where I sigh, and go, I should just give this all to God and continue on for another day.
Thanks for your post. I really sympathise with your frustration and can understand why the inner wrestle you feel is ultimately a theological one: Firstly, I want to commend you on not walking away completely. And secondly, I want you to know that even if you feel like a failure on this standard of morality that biblical Christians espouse whether you agree with it or not , the God of the same Bible who espouses this morality nevertheless loves you unconditionally and wants relationship with you, warts and all.
We need to own that we all fail in many ways sexually virgin or not but that Jesus is a great Saviour and still loves us and forgives us by his perfect sacrifice in our place on the cross. As I wrote above in reply, the biblical view of sex belongs to a broader view of marriage. It does make sense, but only when you put it in the context of a web of other things that constitute the Christian worldview on relationships.
When I was married, I wanted even more sex than my husband provided and he provided quite a lot. So you can imagine what it was like for me when I lost him. I greatly desired sex, but had no desire to do it with anyone other than him, and he since he obviously was unavailable…. I wonder if the commenters here will be looking back with hindsight and questioning the wisdom of their stridency here. I found dating incredibly hard, and throwing fuel on that fire with a holiday alone would have been incredibly silly. Hello, thank you for giving your readers a chance to respond.
Hi Clarie83 — I think you have missed a big reason for why he has made these suggestions, you have eluded to why the writer made the suggestions too. He has made these suggestions for how we should live so that in the short term we live happier in the long term. Purity is the biggest trap of them all! If we do not made fail safes to make sure we are pure now, we will struggle not only now but also in the long term too. I was married in Yet the couples who had sex regularly, and who were pregnant when they got married, never had any say a word to them.
They hid their true colours, until the pregnancy could no longer be hidden. Everyone would praise their godliness in relationships, no one ever questioned what they were getting up to, and even after they were married and popped out a few months or even a few weeks after the wedding, no one ever said a word to them. Even lending my then-fiancee my car when I had a day off uni and my parents could drive me wherever needed, was somehow twisted as to somehow meaning we must be having sex together.
We got engaged in and had planned to publicly announce our engagement on my birthday. I was stunned — mainly because there were many girls my age in the church who were engaged and some as young as 16 were dating men in the church more than 10 years older than them and they were not given this lecture. Yet the girls who gush over every guy they meet and who sadly were having premarital sex, nothing was ever said to them, because their very obvious interest in snagging a man was interpreted as maturity.
When I announced my engagement a week after that grill session with the ladies from my church, I could see the embarassment on their faces. While all the couples around me played all cool in public and were the ones having sex. I mean seriously… how can holding hands in public imply that a couple is having sex?
But no chance of any hanky-panky. The unmarried boys slept in one room at the entire opposite end of the house, and I shared a room with my young daughter. Because apparently sitting on a bed with three other in the bed, five right next to you doing a bible study must mean that you and your fiancee are having sex together! Hi Julie, I am saddened to hear about the kind of judgmentalism and real legalism of the church you described. I believe that in my church and the churches most of my friends attend, this is the case.
Until then I wait… for sex, marriage and a good church. Yes it affords us some protection against the emotional pain of intimate relationships, but in turn it deprives us of the joys of these same relationships. Of course if Christian opinion turns out to be correct, then you will reap the benefits in the afterlife. And thanks for your story Julie. I guess although I hold different views to most others who have commented on this blog actually I have genuinely no idea how I found myself here!
There is nothing wrong with a shiny, clean exterior but if too much value is placed on that I guess you can miss what is actually valuable. Hi Krystabelle, as a pastor my income is LESS than the median income for Australians, so if a higher than average income is considered rich, then no. However, God does richly provide my family and I more than enough and we consider ourselves very rich by standards of the world. Wow, yes Pete, Im for everything you said.
It really requires discipline and surrendering everything before the cross, being a God chaser above all. Thanks for taking the uncompromising stand for Jesus. Bro great article but personally I think you are just hitting on the surface issue. Anything that does not copy or model after the church in acts is compromised Christianity. So it comes back to the question of Who Jesus is to us, as individuals and as a church.
Appreciate your article bro but it goes deeper. Pete — What about not holding hands? Or what about not going on dates at all? For me as a sister, I think reputation is important. Another important factor is that there should be boundaries set. Why do I let a guy who is not my husband enjoy my sole company when we travel?! I have no need to sell myself short by giving away my favors so easily. But I think everything has its pros and cons. Even at the expense of them failing. I seem to sit on the fence on this issue because arguments on both ends are strong.
The primary basis is to live above reproach. One thus assumes that this holidaying alone activity is something reproachable. I like how you said obedience is not to be minimalistic. However, my take is that to the pure. All things are pure. And our relationship with God is about personal accountability, and our character is an open bible for all to see.
If in our daily lives we live above reproach, the simple act of going on a holiday as friends would not give rise to reproachable actions. If couples were to go at it like rabbits. They can do it in their own country. The holiday makes no difference to the persons character. People look at the holiday and judge it through perverse eyes. Christians should also refrain from doing that. So to that end. The case is more aptly put simply as living a life above reproach and that applies to both Christians traveling and judging the action.
Hi,pastor pete,this is really useful as my boyfriend lately plan to go for a trip at melacca…. Wow, you have really made a very courageous and difficult choice. It is very unlikely that he will understand your reasoning, especially since you had planned to do it in the first place and then have had to call it off. You probably know already that you owe him a whole lot of apologies, and I would think that even then it might be hard to understand.
If he respects you and your beliefs enough, perhaps he will get over it eventually, and I pray that he might. One more thing though. God bless you and keep you. Is it because there is a high chance of them performing coitus when they are oversea? I have shared this with my parents and they loved it. Both my dad and mom, have never been traveled together and have been practicing abstinence ever since they knew each other some 40 years ago.
Your article has really put a perspective into why each time I buy lemons , they are full of seeds while the ones my mom buys are seedless. The same goes with grapes too. Does this only apply to young adult Christian? Just a few questions I had been pondering about: Will these somehow make people rush into marriage just to be able to enjoy what it brings?
And what if they regret later? Marriage should be seriously entered in to and I hope that for any Christians considering marriage, there would be some form of pre-marital pastoral care and counselling available to them. Check it out here: Only half way through the sermon, but wanted to ask a question….
Having been divorced against my wishes, having had no say in it, fought hard against it, even going to court to fight the divorce, I know first hand, here in Australia, no matter how much you are against divorce, you can be divorced. I never thought my exhusband would turn his back on God and me and our daughter. Also, I think in some situations prenups can actually prevent divorce.
Clauses such as if you cheat on your spouse, you walk away with nothing, or if you leave the marriage for any reason other than adultery or abuse, you walk away with nothing, then it gives people an extra reason to work things out. Is it one of those cultural old testament things that are irrelevant, or is it something that christians should not do under any circumstance? We gave exactly the same arguments you cited and got the same advice. The result was as you expected. I definitely would still admit that even though I push and absolutely agree on keeping sexual purity, I have very poor arguments for it and I also suppose the arguments need to be updated for the new generations.
And that actually really depends on how we trust ourselves. Hey mate, you should read all the comments as that question has been answered already. Hi, how about mixed-gender Christian sharehouses with multiple members of both genders living in the same house? Christians who really want to please God would understand the message you habve sahred here…I am truly blessed by this! As an unmarried christian, this readingwas worth the while. Reblogged this on ahn-drey-ah and commented: I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.
It will always be helpful to read through articles from other writers and use a little something from their sites. I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of space. Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website. Studying this information So i am satisfied to exhibit that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I most indisputably will make sure to do not overlook this site and provides it a glance on a relentless basis. I have been having a sexual relationship with my girlfriend for over two years now.
Only recently has it come to my attention that I am doing something wrong. See, I was a sinner but now I do not wish to sin anymore but please listen to my dilemma. I do not want to have sex.
I do not delight in sex. I find sex uncomfortable and exhausting. I also do not seek after women. Yes, as Christians we maintain that sex is only for marraige. And though a dating Christian couple can go away alone and have a great time without sex polluting it - you probably know from others that it can be the opportunity for very real temptation if you are not wise. As Christians, our greatest goal is to please God and our greatest fear is to offend him. We are a counter-cultural movement. Fornication — like all forms of sexual sin - is spiritually deadly.
Read slowly what God has to say about it: All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually,. Sin is far more deadly than arsenic or uranium. It took the death of the Eternal Son of God to provide a medicine strong enough to overcome its effects.
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Does God forgive all sin - including sexual sin? Yes, if the repentance is contrite and sincere. So, you two must ask yourselves: If not - don't worry, be free. Dating people need a plan on how to please God in the conduct of their romantic relationships before they marry — whether on holiday or not. Sadly, few Christians actually have a plan. Let me give you a practical example. I am friends with a single man. He is also a virgin. He has a girlfriend — and has had other girlfriends before this one.
How is he still a virgin? He practices the fear of the Lord. And yes, the fear of God is to be practiced. It needs to work its way into how we make our decisions whether we feel worshipful or not.