extramarital cohabitation

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by pinoybaptist, May 30, 2002.

  1. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
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    Given our age's liberal views on such sensitive areas as marriage, sex, and homosexuality, do you think a single man or woman in your church may be
    allowed to live under one roof with his/her girlfriend/boyfriend in a heterosexual relationship while unmarried ?
     
  2. Sularis

    Sularis
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  3. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam
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    What scare's me is that this is even a question. My girlfriend and I hold to very high standards, but the thought of living together I know would compramise both of our standards.

    Brother Adam
     
  4. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    In Atlanta the leasing/purchasing process does not involve getting a permission slip from the applicants' congregation.

    I'm sure I've been in several congregations where there were people living together and had no idea. I've certainly done enough weddings for couples who were living together. How would the congregation know?

    Joshua
     
  5. pdp27

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    Joshua,

    It seems to me the question is about church discipline. If an unmarried couple were known to be living toghether should they be allowed to continue as church members or should they be disciplined?

    I am interested in your view on this with regards to discipline.

    My wife and I dated for four years before we were married, with a long breakup in the middle, and we never even considered living together.

    Paul
     
  6. Scarlett O.

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    I understand your question, even though I think it is a moot one as far as "permission" goes.

    We have had "shacked-up" couples in my church before. In fact, we have had ALL KINDS of sinners in my church before. LOL!

    But serously, how we handled was not by "not giving them permission", but by personal and private counseling my a few members, both men and women.

    One couple left our church when explained the Biblical principles concerning co-habitation before marriage.

    And another couple got married.

    What we do very strictly adhere to is not allowing people who co-habitat without God's blessing and permission by marriage to perform in a place of leadership in the church.

    They can't:
    sing in the choir
    teach
    work in Vacation Bible School
    work in Awana
    etc....

    What they can do:
    attend Sunday School
    attend worship services
    attend any other function as a participant and not a worker
    and they are most definitely loved by us all

    As a church body, we don't give them permission nor deny them permission to co-habitat without marriage.

    But they DEFINITELY know where the church stands, it's preached on and a few kind, yet stern, people approach them privately and their roles as leaders in the church are nill.

    But they are welcome to be a "participant" in learning about God a praising God.

    Who know? They might learn something in Sunday School and be so loved to pieces by the congregation that they may change.

    That's my take on it.

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  7. hrhema

    hrhema
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    The Bible is clear about marriage.

    When men and women are weak and sin in this matter one of the things they do not think about is that this will effect their marriage when they do get married because there will always be a suspicion by one of the mates that if they were willing to sin with them why would they not be willing to commit adultery in the future. So the marriage
    can be destroyed by distrust.
     
  8. Johnv

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    Should they be allowed to shack up? no.

    Should the church forbid them from joining worship? no.

    If we closed the door to every sinner, the church would be empty.
     
  9. Helen

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    Amen to Scarlett and Johnv. Excellent posts. hrhma is also quite right.

    Joshua, how BIG is that church that they would not know two of their members were 'shacking up'? Our church is fairly large, having between five and six hundred families, and we would certainly know pretty quickly what was going on!

    I might also add that living together before marriage is one of the quickest ways to damage and possibly destroy the later marriage. Playing house does not get you ready for the real thing. Self-discipline helps a whole lot more; so does getting your spiritual priorities in order.

    [ May 30, 2002, 12:59 PM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    I've pastored a church in the Philippines before and we were pretty strict in our covenant which included living a holy and separate life unto the Lord.
    And the Lord blessed, and added members to that church. Now, the area where the Lord built His church in that small spot in a small spot within this vast universe is pretty "wild".
    The Lord tested us one day.
    A mission pastor in one area near where we were at folded up his mission due to some "difficulties" and joined our church with one of his faithful young people who was a young lady in her very early twenties.
    I found out later on that they were having an affair which was one of his "difficulties", and he was a married man, though his wife had left him.
    You don't have to say it. Yes, he definitely had a spiritual problem, and so did the young woman.
    I split them up, and told the pastor to leave, and if he wanted to stay, then he must avoid the young woman.
    But I did not put them into the embarrassing situation of having to face the church. It was all done very discreetly. Between them, and me, their pastor, and between us, and Jesus our Lord.
    The young woman eventually married one of the young men in the church, and now has three children by him, and the pastor ? I don't know.
    The point of my posing that question is because I have been reading rather liberal views on this board about dress codes, homosexuality, etc., and I think that, as one poster put it, all these views are selfish and hypocritical because I believe those who posted these views would quote
    "dying to self" without batting an eyelash where their take on those issues where they were liberal about were not concerned.
    Living together without the benefit of marriage, despite one of the partners knowing what the Scriptures say, is totally selfish.
     
  11. donnA

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    I also agree with Scarlet O. and Johnv.

    I ahve a question on this subject though.
    Unless the couple goes tot he church and says hey we're living together and not married, how does the church know whats going on in their home?
     
  12. Helen

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    Hi Katie,

    If you fellowship with others in your church, how can you NOT know? At least in our church, people are friendly with one another and have Bible studies together and picnics and church pot-lucks etc. etc. We know one another.
     
  13. Scarlett O.

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    Dear Katie,

    Knowing if a couple in the church who live at the same address is living together without being married is not too difficult. I'll give you some ways that I knew.

    These "ways" weren't and aren't complete give-aways all by themselves because many married couples have some of these characteristics, but in chorus with one another, well...

    1. Neither one wear wedding rings. (Not a dead give away by itself.)
    2. Two different last names. (Not a dead give away by itself.)
    3. Children involved don't call him "daddy" or her "mommy". (Not a dead give away by itself.)
    4. He doesn't call her "my wife" and she doesn't call him "my husband". The call each other "my fiance".
    5. They make it publicly known by telling a few people.
    6. A few busy-bodies in the church, both men and women, make it know to everybody.
    7. Family members express concern to a few and seek guidance from fellow believers as how to "deal with it".
    8. The children involved tell it. [Bless their hearts, children tell it ALL!]

    At my church, we get to know each other. There are some secrets, of course, but not many.

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  14. donnA

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    Helen
    We're friendly too, but I don't know everyone personally, all about their lives or anything. Just becasue we're friendly doesn't mean I'm in confidence for their private lives. I'm sure no one shares just everything about themselves.

    Scarlett O

    I don't know the address of everyone in our church. For most I've never had to know.

    1. Neither one wear wedding rings. (Not a dead give away by itself.)

    Neither do we. We didn't have rings when we were married, my husband has always had a job that made wearing rings dangerous. My fingers swell and it makes it hard to wear rings. I have a wedding ring, but just rarely wear it. My husband keeps telling me to take it off, or we just may have to go and have it cut off.

    2. I know of professioanl people who don't use the saem last name. Whether or not thir christiasn I don't know.

    3. Not everyone has chirldren. And for some they may have come from a different marriage.

    Particapting in gosip, by standing there listening.

    A few, then only those few should know about it.

    And how many people are there at your church? You know everything but a few of there secrets?
    I can't believe either of you coming from a church of any size sits around and talks privately with everyone. You go home with every femily there, or eat out with them, or any fellowship apart from what you do in church. Everyone?

    So how many of these points does a couple have to fail before you determine they are living together?
     
  15. Scarlett O.

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    You asked a question. How do you know when members of your church are co-habitating?

    I answered the question.

    Unfortunately, you have read something in my post that I did not intend.

    I am genuinely sorry if my post seemed somehow arrogant or mean-spirited towards people who co-habitat outside of marriage.

    Peace to you today-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  16. Johnv

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    If a couple is shacking up and is keeping it clandestine, then that's their business and they'll be responsible to God, like all of us are for all our sins.

    I regularly sin, and generally keep those between me and God. The sin of cohabitation is a sin, just as my exceeding the speed limit is. However, the congregation is probably more interested in peoples' sins of the flesh than they are sins of the vehicle code.
     
  17. dave brauer

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    A known case ought to be dealt with according to the policy of the local church, which ought to be based on the Word of God. This on-going sin of fornication ought to not be named among the members of a scriptural church. If your church is a scriptural church, then the church ought to follow the pattern for church discipline as outlined throughout the New Testament. Mathew 18:15-17 and 1 Corinthians are just two examples of this. The couple should be encouraged to continue attending services and receive counsel, but it should be made clear that that they will be dropped from the churches membership until such a time that they are willing to live in obedience to God's word in this area. Yes, we should be even harder on gossips. The next time a gossip bends your ear ask them: Who have you been talking to? Now you've got a list of three (listening to gossip is equated to speaking it yourself). :eek:
     
  18. Ransom

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    pinoybaptist said:

    Given our age's liberal views on such sensitive areas as marriage, sex, and homosexuality

    "Our age" is not what determines what is permissible or not under God.

    do you think a single man or woman in your church may be allowed to live under one roof with his/her girlfriend/boyfriend in a heterosexual relationship while unmarried ?

    If the relationship is sexual (and I am assuming that is what you are asking about), then it is an illicit sexual relationship between two people not married to each other and is subject to the discipline of the church (cf. 1 Cor. 5).

    I don't see why this is even a question.
     
  19. post-it

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    This would be clearly a sin in older times when the State/Church were not separate. However, today the State says you're married when you start to live together. Therefore, it is not possible to live together outside of marriage in our Day and Age. No sin in the US. Romans 13 gives us that clear message that civil law is to be followed and obeyed.
     
  20. Ransom

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    post-it said:

    This would be clearly a sin in older times when the State/Church were not separate. However, today the State says you're married when you start to live together.

    Does this State still require that couples wishing to marry procure a license or have the banns of marriage published in their church (whatever the law is in your jurisdiction)? If so, there is still a distinction between a married couple, and a cohabiting one whose so-called "marriage" has not been solemnized by public ceremony and an exchange of vows.

    Therefore, it is not possible to live together outside of marriage in our Day and Age. No sin in the US. Romans 13 gives us that clear message that civil law is to be followed and obeyed.

    There is no law compelling people to cohabit and consider themselves "married." Therefore, I submit that it is still an illicit relationship unless the "marriage" is solemnized.
     

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