Dear Pastor Susan,
My girlfriend and I live together and when we asked to serve at our church, we were told that we couldn’t until we got married. With the economy the way that it is we can’t really afford to do that. What is the policy at your church and why do churches say they need help then turn it down when it’s offered?
Thank God for bible believing churches! We believe the same as your church. You got to get this part of your life settled, then you move into position. Since you’re a believer, I won’t throw scripture at you but here is the best way I can explain it.
You see, Jesus came and bought you with a price. He laid his life on the line for you. He still gave you the choice to follow him or not but you chose to follow him. That carries with it a certain responsibility. It means that when God says if you love me keep my commandments you agreed to those terms. So since you know his commandments and you took the deal you can’t then say that you receive the gift of salvation but refuse to follow the lead of the Father. The two conflict, as well they should. I know that you said it’s not doable right now to get married due to the economy but I’m unclear why. Marriage is a license at city hall and your Pastor conducting a covenant ceremony.
You don’t get to rent a woman and she doesn’t get to rent you. You don’t get to rent Jesus for just a part of your life. In all cases it’s all or nothing. Don’t be deceived by the message that says it’s all good and you can repent for it later. God put these boundaries in place to save you from heartache and the pain it causes. 2 Corinthians 6 (okay, maybe just a scripture!) says we should not take the grace of God in vain. Yes, you are right the church always needs help but it’s working through a process of perfection (meaning maturity).
I’m really glad to respond to this right now. We are learning all about this in our bible study and I’ll write more about that in a future post. In the meantime, we are praying for you and all of those who find themselves in your shoes. I hope you will do the right thing!
One thought on “Bought With A Price”
One more thing: The church doesn’t need the help of those who say they believe in Jesus but refuse to live up to that claim. To be blunt that kind of “witness” is hypocritical and holds Him up for public humiliation again…sort of like the time He was mocked and spit on.
Saying you believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life means you choose to obey His way, which is marriage or abstinence; His truth, which His Word makes clear about this issue; His Life, since He created you, He should know how you would be most fulfilled at living your life.
To say you believe but ignore, sidestep, or by your actions deny His Word on such an important matter is to say you don’t believe He means it. Even if you struggle to obey, admitting your disobedience out in the open tells all that He’s right and you’re wrong. But to offer your help with the work of the gospel and refuse to obey Him because of financial concerns tells me a few things about you: 1) you doubt He can provide for you and your wife. 2) You cannot demonstrate faith in a God you will not obey. 3) You’re unwilling to make Jesus the Lord of your life, therefore you rob the gospel of its authority.
I can understand how tempting it is to think what you’re doing isn’t all that bad. But Marriage is a symbol of God’s unity within the Trinity—three in one, united in purpose and goals. To play at oneness without being one before God is childish and irresponsible. Children play house because they don’t grasp the responsibilities it takes to make one; grownups take responsibility for their choices.
I’m not trying to be harsh here but to spell out that you can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim to serve Jesus with one sentence then deny His authority in your life in the next.