Where to Begin?

When having a conversation with someone regarding the church’s condemnation of cohabitation or pre-marital sex, what do you start with? Scripture passages on sexual immorality? A general view of marriage and its purposes? Statistics from leading socialogists? An explanation of sin in the life of a Christian?

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3 thoughts on “Where to Begin?

  1. In light of the ELCA convention I am curious what responses might come of this question. A difficult one. Thankfully the gospel speaks clearly of who should be ordained. Makes that part of the discussion a bit easier.

  2. Personal experience. I co-habited for several years, and all I got out of it was one child (who lived with me at the time) who took years to recover, and anothher that was taken away when his mother left and it’s taken years and thousands of dollars to establish a relationship with him. As the old joke goes, it’s the screwing you get for the screwing you got.

    I know the moral and scriptural reasons are more important, but sometimes the practical costs of cohabitation are more compelling than a theoretical discuussion.

  3. Depends on to whom I’m talking. Does the person profess to be a Christian? That’s one conversation. Someone who views himself as on the outside looking in (to the church)? Different conversation.

    I’m trying to figure out why the topic would be what the church thinks. It should be, what God thinks.

    Often I approach it this way, if I am talking to a cohabiting couple. “Are you free to date around, sleep around? No? Do your close friends and family know that? Yeah? You’re almost married, in God’s view. All you lack is to make it public and permanent. Take out an ad stating that you are out of the dating pool for the rest of your life. Could you see yourself doing that? (if the answer is Yeah:) Then what’s stopping you from getting married? (if the answer is No:) Why not? What part do you object to, the exclusive lock, the making it public, or the permanence?

    At this point, you’ve got them wriggling, and you’ve cut through to the real issues, and can start having the real conversation.

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