Monday, July 1, 2019

How Can Pastors and Churches Respond to Cohabitation?


As the sexual revolution continues challenging ethical norms and changing culture, the local church will be confronted with related issues in her ministry. In her article on the issue, Courtney Whiting writes, "It is the church's responsibility to maintain a biblical standard among its members and leaders. It is also the church's responsibility to display the love of Christ to everyone without exception. Therefore, the church needs carefully considered guidelines to address this issue."

In 2015, following the Supreme Court's attempt to redefine marriage, a coalition of evangelical leaders adopted the statement Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage. One portion of the document reads, "As evangelical Christians, we dissent from the court’s ruling that redefines marriage. The state did not create the family, and should not try to recreate the family in its own image. We will not capitulate on marriage because biblical authority requires that we cannot. The outcome of the Supreme Court’s ruling to redefine marriage represents what seems like the result of a half-century of witnessing marriage’s decline through divorce, cohabitation, and a worldview of almost limitless sexual freedom."

Here are two thoughtful responses to churches and pastors dealing with cohabitation:

What Intimate Cohabitation Means for Ministry by Courtney Whiting

God’s Plan for Marriage: How to Respond to Cohabitation in the Church by Evan Lenow

Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says the greatest challenge of the church in our modern-day is two-fold: (1) Speak the truth, and (2) Speak it in love.

May God help us to be faithful to do so.

See Is It Okay for a Christian Couple to Live Together If They Aren’t Married? by John Piper.

Will You Marry a Couple Already Living Together? by Piper

See also these helpful articles by Pastor Jack Hayford called Fatal Attractions: Why Sex Sins Are Worse than Others and Why Does God Place So Many Restrictions on Sex?

Image supplied by J Carter via Pexels.

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