What if you knew something was wrong?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by susanpet, Sep 9, 2002.

  1. susanpet

    susanpet
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    There is this woman that goes to my church who is a close friend of mine. Right now she is seperated from her husband. She has become real friendly with this married man who also attends our church. Often times he will leave his family at home and ride to church with her. He goes to her house very often and mows her yard and cleans her house. He even goes grocery shopping with her! I have told her that she is leading him on and she shouldn't be around him this much. I wouldn't be so concerned but she said that he exposed himself to her one day while at her home.
    They both still confess to being christians. I am worried for her and this man's family.
    Should the pastor be told about this, or leave it alone and let God work it out?
    Please pray about this situation.

    In Christ
    Susan
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon
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    This can be handled in a biblical manner following the steps laided out in Matt. 18:15.

    Step 1) Do not gossip, there may be a misunderstanding that occurred. Discuss what you have obvserved with your friend and let her know that you are very concerned.

    Since you and this other woman are aware of the situation I would suggest that the both of you, and your husband, meet with the male individual. If he has sinned in the manner you stated, he will need to repent. Steps should be laid out so that he is no longer to visit the woman. He will have to make his wife aware of the situation should he repent, she has been sinned against too.
    If repentance is not achieved, Then discuss the matter with your Pastor. He can provide guidance as to the proper steps to take next.
    Again, do not gossip and spread rumors.

    If the woman doesn't want to confront the individual you are in the delicate position of not knowing whether a sin has really occurred, but aware of a great potential for sin.

    Because the matter is between a man and women I would suggest you take your husband and together meet with the man in question. Your husband should take the lead in confronting the man in either case.
     
  3. Lorelei

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    Difficult question, and hard to answer on the facts presented.

    There is an example for us to follow in Matthew 18:15, but I am not so certain that it would apply. It says if a brother sins against you, this is what you should do. The question, are they sinning against you?

    My main concern is that you have not any proof that they are sinning. Though the exposure issue would certainly add some evidence, the details are still sketchy.

    Verse 16 also says that the testimony must be established by two or three witnesses. This doesn't tell me that two or three people can get together and accuse someone with no evidence. They must be witnesses to the facts.

    I also realize that since your husband does not attend your church, having him come along would not be an appropriate answer as well.

    Firstly, I would find out the facts and continue to share your concerns with your friend. Maybe your pastor needs to be informed, but before you do, be absolutely sure of the facts, and offer him nothing other then just that, the facts. Speculating won't help you get to the bottom of the issue.

    Mostly, pray, pray and pray some more. I will certainly join you in that endevour! [​IMG]

    ~Lorelei
     
  4. Deacon

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    I've never had to deal with a situation that completely fit the formula of Matt. 18. There is usually something that doesn't quite fit.
    In this situation there is a married, but separated woman,(no further details provided), which leaves the headship issue clouded. And the sexual nature of the exposure issue also is bewildering; it is not dealt with in Matthew.

    In our church’s employee manual, the portion on sexual harassment has been extensively discussed. The Matthew 18 principles may not apply. The accuser can’t effectively go to the accused in many cases. Sexual harassment is a power issue, where the harasser is abusing their authority over a subordinate. The abused should discuss the issue with their superior, (if the woman had a husband, he would be the one). Perhaps here, she should go to the Pastor (?).

    Susan perceived the impropriety of the relationship, so I think that she could meet with the brother to express her concern. So this doesn't deal with a particular sin but the perception of sin. This is where a meeting would be important. Since a woman meeting alone with a brother is not proper (deals not only with a woman’s submissive role but the potential for further perceptions of sexual impropriety), I counseled that she take her husband along. A man-to-man encounter would probably be more effective. (Perhaps Susan should not even be in this meeting [?])

    Prayer is always proper.

    [ September 09, 2002, 08:34 PM: Message edited by: Deacon ]
     
  5. Mike McK

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    I would tend to agree with Deacon.

    I don't know if she's intentionally leading him on or not.

    If she is, then there's the problem.

    If she's not, then his exposing himself to her is a bad, bad sign and she needs to break of the relationship right there.

    There is the possibility that she's sending him let's-get-together-vibes without realizing it or without meaning to.

    Guys aren't as intuitive as women when it comes to emotional things and when a woman gets close to us, frankly, we tend to lose IQ points.

    Either way, she's just asking for trouble and I think this guy's having exposed himself to her shows that.

    I agree with Deacon. You do need to go to her and tell her about your concerns.

    Mike
     
  6. TheOliveBranch

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    Sorry for the double post [​IMG]

    [ September 09, 2002, 09:01 PM: Message edited by: TheOliveBranch ]
     
  7. TheOliveBranch

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    Because this is a matter of church people involved and the authorities (your husband and hers) are not in the immediate situation, you need to go to her and let her know that ugency of the potential problem. You should not go alone to the man, so your pastor should be the one to get involved. This potential problem involves his members, in which he is the shephard of this flock. He needs to speak with the people involved to alert them of the potential problems and of the possible effects of this situation. Be sure to let her know that this is what you will be doing.
     
  8. susanpet

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    Her husband moved out a few months back, they have been having trouble for years. He comes around about once a week and gives her money for living expences.
    This other man and his family started coming to our church about the same time. At first his entire family would get together with my friend for picnics, eating out, etc. I have even been to a picnic with all of them and even at first I could tell that he liked her because he would follow her around everywhere.
    At first, this man said that he was backslidden on the Lord and that it would take something drastic to happen for him to come back to the Lord. He said that something would have to happen to one of his girls for him to get back with the Lord. Well, a couple weeks ago his youngest daughter was involved in a car crash that almost killed her. Her head went thru the windshield. She is 12 yrs. old. He says that he has since rededicated himself to the Lord. But his behavior around my friend is still not right. He even gets up and follows her to the bathroom at church! I feel sorry for his wife and kids.
    My friend just thinks he is being friendly and I think she is using him because of her husband's absence.
    But the minute he exposed himself, she should have showed him the door and cut off all relationships with him. But you still see them together at public places.

    Susan
     
  9. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    If he exposed himself, then there is a big problem already. He needs to be stopped, before more families are destroyed.
     
  10. Margie Kritzer

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    Susanpet, what you have now is only what you have seen and what she has chosen to tell you. If she's still with him, she is obviously able to overlook what he has done in favor of having a relationship of some sort with him.

    I tend to agree with Lorelei. It is easy to slide into a role of being a busybody, even if you truly care for the people involved. When Clint and I began to date years ago, people ASSUMED that I was still happily married to another man. They did not ask ME anything about it, but over time, they learned that I was separated and that my (now) ex lived out of state.

    What would you like to accomplish? If you have spoken with this woman and she has not changed her behavior, haven't you already acted appropriately? Scarlett O. has a point...is their behavior affecting or offending you personally?

    Prayer IS always appropriate.

    What is likely to happen is the the couple may simply become more discreet.

    If you cannot stand by and wait, then Deacon has a good suggestion. Having your husband by your side protects you from the potential adverse reaction that either or both of these people will have.

    Again, having been misunderstood myself, it can do more harm than good to assume impropriety.

    [ September 10, 2002, 08:53 AM: Message edited by: Margie Kritzer ]
     
  11. hrhema

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    It does not matter if there is innocence or guilt in this situation. No married man has any business being alone with another woman single or married. It really should not matter what people in the church think the most important thing is that lost people may be seeing this and it is hurting the cause of Christ. If unbelievers know these two claim to be Christians and are acting so inappropriately this is not a witness for Christ.

    The pastor needs to be informed. Not to gossip.
    Not to speculate but out of concern for the Cause of Christ.
     
  12. Lorelei

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    Since when does innocence not matter?



    And this is found in what verse of the Bible? When the deacons were called, men were assigned to the task. What was the main job of a deacon? To make sure the widows got thier distribution of food. The Bible tells us to take care of the widows many times, but I don't see any reference where it tells you to only take care of them if you have a shaparone.

    What are you going to say to a single woman who needs help. Sorry, no one else has time to help you and I have no business helping you out because others might think sinful thoughts about it?????



    Evidentally it does matter what they think, for who else is going to stop them?



    Helping someone would never hurt the cause for Christ. I would suggest that those who think something inappropriate may be going on are the ones that are behaving inappropriately. I think you will find that most lost people would be less likely to suspect any evil being done. Even if they do, they are going to find fault with anything you do.

    Of course in the situation stated by Susanpet, there does indeed seem to be some inpropriety, but that is in this case only. You can't say that guilt and innocence just don't matter. That is a personal opinion, not a Biblical one.

    I think the main verse in support of your belief would be the one that tells us to stay away from all appearance of evil. I would suggest again, that the only evil in some of these situations come from the thoughts of those doing the accusing.

    If a man acts out of compassion to help a woman, why must you question his motivation? Maybe it never occured to him that it could be considered evil.

    ~Lorelei
     
  13. TheOliveBranch

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    Lorelei,

    Are you suggesting that Susan wait for something to happen before she does something?

    It is common knowledge that a man not be found alone with a woman, not only to protect her, but also to protect him. If she is in a situation of vulnerability, in this case, she is on the road and in a single parent situation, then she needs the help and support of women, not a man. If the insinuation is there from someone who is calling herself a close friend, then I would trust Susan's instincts.
     
  14. Lorelei

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    No, my response to Susanpet was this:

    If she feels it needs to be addressed, then she should discuss it with her friend and then if she felt it really necessary tell her pastor.

    The argument I was making in my last post was against the blanket statement that it didn't matter if they were guilty or innocent.

    I even stated in that thread that this situation seemed to have some implication of impropriety but my comments were that each situation is different.

    The next time my friend calls me and needs my husband's help, I am not going to tell them that he can't help them because I can't come along to shaparone and someone might think she was having an affair with my husband if I didn't. That is just plain nonsense.

    Why is it ok for a woman to call a stranger and pay him to fix something in her home, but when a friend does it out of the kindness of his heart there is something wrong with it. My husband fixes computers and he won't work on a friends machine at the shop because he won't take thier money for it. But many of you would only allow such circumstance is he were getting paid. Where is charity these days?

    In this situation, something does need to be done. Susanpet should do all she can to encourage her friend to do the right thing, but in the end, it is her friend's life and her friend's responsibilty to do so.

    ~Lorelei
     
  15. Loren B

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    The pastor needs to be brought into the situation. He needs to go to both individuals and find the TRUTH and then deal with the issue. Speculation within the body of Christ is GOSSIP. Turn it over to the man that God chose as the Shepherd of the flock.
     
  16. susanpet

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    I know I am probably coming across as a busy body to some. I don't go around spreading this "gossip" as some might think. I just wanted to get your opinions and I thought this would be a discreet place to seek opinions. I hope I still have the love and respect of this board. :(

    I should have mentioned that she is my first cousin and we are very close. But you never know who is lurking here, right?

    I worry that the church will be hurt in some way. I just don't see how they can sit and pretend that everything is alright. She has told my sister-in-law also about this man exposing himself to her.

    I agree with another poster about how no married man should be at another woman's house all the time. He has his own family and he should be cleaning his own house and mowing his own yard.
    I love my cousin. She just renewed her walk with the Lord only a few yrs. ago. I don't want to see her get hurt and fall back into sin.

    I guess I should have just asked you all to pray about a situation and left it at that. When you come down to it, that's about all I can do.

    Lorelei, I hope you still consider me a friend :( and not some old gossiper. I would not have ever written this post if I thought I would lose you as a friend.

    Susan
     
  17. Mrs KJV

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    I believe that your Pastor should know about this immediately. He will have the wisdom to know what to do about the problem. The flashing on his part is enough for church disclipline. Maybe he has a sexual problem. What does his wife think of this? Please go to the Pastor.
     
  18. pinoybaptist

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    The rule of thumb I would follow is : "preserve the integrity of parties concerned". In other words, prayerful judgment and discretion is the order in a delicate situation like that. [​IMG]
     
  19. hrhema

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    Lorelei:

    I find your train of thought very disturbing. A man does not have to enter the home of a woman who is single, widowed etc to help her. Not only that that man can take his wife or another man from the church with him so there is no suspicion from anyone. Yes we are told to flee the very appearance of evil.

    This has been the downfall of a lot of Christian men including preachers. It is unbelievable to me that you would think that it is appropriate for any married man to be alone with any woman other than his wife. Even a man who is a boss should always take another person with him if he has to counsel one of his female employees.

    There has been too many destroyed marriages and destroyed ministries over this. There has been too many hurt children and families because of people not using decency and decorum. I had women friends in church when I was young and single who were married and there was times I took them places but they rode in the back seat.
    THis was done out of respect to them and their spouse.

    It does not matter one way or the other if you think the people are evil for thinking this way. We are dealing with human nature and the majority of Christians have been taught you don't place temptation in your path. You don't open the door for the Devil.

    Helping people does not hurt the cause of Christ but when we do things we know that looks wrong it does hurt the cause of Christ and yes we are supposed to care what unbelievers think. We are to be above the appearance of evil.
     
  20. hrhema

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    I am married and if a man has to come to my home for any reason either I arrange to be present or my step daughter or step son is present. It has nothing to do with trust on my wife's part it has to do with the fact that neighbors do know we are Christian and we don't want to give the appearance of evil.

    The church we have been attending the pastor never has any meeting or counseling session with a female member of his church without the door being left open or his wife or a female member of their staff present. This has been the case at every church I have ever attended.

    After my wife's first husband passed away she had
    men come from the church to visit. They either came in pairs, came when her daughter was home or if one came alone she left her front door opened and window curtains opened and she sat in plain sight of them. She told me that a couple of the single men came to visit and she thought as long as she did the above it would be okay but these men propositioned her. She said after that she never allowed another one to come inside her home unless her daughter was home even if the doors and curtains were wide open.

    She thought just like Lorelei thinks and found out her thinking was wrong. She thought she could trust her brothers in Christ but found out she was wrong.

    Susanpet I don't think your purpose in writing this was wrong and that you wrote this to gossip.
     

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