Post # 1
I grew up in and still attend a Southern Baptist Church. One of the big reasons why I still attend that church is because my family still does. Over the last couple of years my views have changed a lot. One of the things that bothers me a lot is in almost every sermon the pastor finds a way to bring up cohabitation and drinking. On their employment and volunteer application they ask if the applicant has been in a cohabitating relationship within the past five years. They consider spending the night together or going out of town alone together a form of cohabitation. They believe cohabitation is a strong form of sexual immorality. Drinking is also wrong for any reason. I don’t consider myself a liberal but I really don’t go along with their strong conservative beliefs. I am a believer and read the Bible but I struggle.
I don’t think a person should have sex with just anyone. I do feel that if a couple is committed and loves each other then sex can be an amazing gift. I don’t think a couple waiting for marriage is any better or worse off then a couple who made a different decision. As long as their is honest love and commitment I feel both couples are fine. I feel you should not live wiith just anyone but I don’t feel every couple who cohabitates is wrong.
When it comes to drinking I feel it is all about self control. A person should not go out and get drunk but a drink every once in a while is not bad.
This post might seem long but I had some things I needed to get off my chest. I would love to hear thoughts and opinions from other Christians.
Post # 3
I am a Christian as well who grew up attending a Lutheran church for part of my childhood and a nondenominational church for the other part. One of the things that turns me off about the Southern Baptist denomination is the fact that, in my opinion, it does seem to be more legalistic than faith-based. I dated a Southern Baptist for about two years, so I had a lot of exposure to his church, and it was the same way as you describe here- all about how awful drinking, cohabitation, gambling, etc. are. I personally like to go to church to praise God and grow in my faith, not to condemn others.
You may want to check out other Christian denominations that align more with your viewpoints on these issues. Check out a nondenominational or evangelical church.
I’m with you on the fact that I’m not pro-promiscuity or pro-drunkenness, but I also don’t think it needs to be preached about every time you walk into a church. The church should not be a place where people feel condemned, but where they should feel welcomed, and being legalistic in that way creates an intimidating and condemning atmosphere, in my opinion.
Post # 4
Well, you’re not going to find too many people on here that disagree with you.
I will say that I was raised in an American Baptist church (but in California, so less conservative). I think the Bible is pretty clear about sex outside of marriage. Cohabitation is more about the way you are viewed by others. It’s of course possible to live together and not sleep together but why give yourself that temptation? So basically, yes the Bible says no sex before marriage, whether you want to live your life in that way is your choice.
As for drinking, I think it’s just a matter of not letting yourself be mastered by anything. Jesus obviously drank alcohol so though abstaining is probably the most straight forward way, I would agree that Biblical teaching is more on the side of self-control.
Post # 5
Well as a moderately liberal southern Baptist, I do tend to agree about the cohabitating thing. Christians are told to “Flee sexual immortality” (1 Corinthians 6:18) and that one should not have sex outside of a marriage situation “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 14:3). While yes, one could be totally capable of living together, even sharing a bed, without sex, we, as Christians are told to flee, meaning run far and fast in the opposite direction from the possibility of sin. So why tempt yourself by living/sleeping (without sex) together? Just my opinion though.
As to the drinking, there is nothing inherently wrong with alcohol. The issue, as someone else said is self-control with alcohol, as with anything else in life and so the reason to not drink at all is to not ever been tempted to drink to much. And as Christians we are called to not be stumbling blocks to our fellow bro/sis in Christ (1 Corinthians 8:9, Romans 14:13) so even if you are capable of having a beer or two and not becoming drunk (which is a sin) and someone who knows you are a Christian sees you drinking, they are led to believe, “They are a Christian and they drink so it is okay for me to drink!” but they do not have the same self-control to stop before they are drunk, you have contributed to their sin. Yes, they have to be accountable for their own actions but as a Christian are called to help others, not hinder their walk with Christ. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.” Mark 9:42.
The same issue goes towards living together, because honestly, if you know two people live together you assume they are sleeping together. That is the way life is now. And as a Christian, you are supposed to be different, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ” Romans 12:2.
No crazy conservative rantings, just plain ole’ Bible verses. But you are more than allowed to disagree with me!
Post # 6
Hang in there–I understand how you feel. I hope that you find another denomonation that you suits you better. Does your SO also go to that church? If so, does he like it? If not, maybe you two could go together to find a new church to go to…then it might not seem so odd to your family as to why you left. Good luck!
Post # 7
Theres a happy medium with everything…. Just read and listen to the bible thats what God wants everything else is just what people think… I mostly agree with sarahberah.
Post # 8
First of all, let me say that everyone’s view are different. I’m Methodist, and I personally do not believe in living together before marriage. I’m also not a big drinker. I’ll drink occasionally, but I didn’t have a drink till I turned 21.
However, that’s me. Those are my beliefs. That’s not to say yours are wrong.
The problem, I think, is that your church is no longer supporting your spiritual growth. I agree with previous posters that it would be good for you to find a denomination (or a non-denominational) that aligns better with your beliefs. You’ll be more content and fulfilled if you’re not constantly feeling condemned.
Post # 9
I responded on your more recent post but thought my biblical views were a bit more fitting for this thread.
I’m a Non-Denominational Christian… in other words if it’s not in the bible then I don’t believe in the rule!…
I do believe that cohabitation is out of Gods will for us, more in the lines of it’s “playing house” and God wants you all to himself until you’re one with the man He’s provided for you (yes.. our spouse is God’s provision) and living together will fill you with each other rather than with God. Abiding to this God is able to bless you and your relationship in ways that He couldn’t if you were cohabiting, merely b/c your heart is open to it.
TD Jakes wrote a book that mentioned (paraphrased) When you become married God knows that now, in a way, He shares you…. you now become subject to wifely/household duties, just as your husband now has other things to fill his time…. so UNTIL God brings you to that position He wants ALL of you and your time
I also, personally don’t drink, as God convicted me about it and so for me it’s a sin…. There’s a scripture that talks specifically about God telling you something for just you & pretty much if you feel convicted about then then dont do it…
This is for those things that AREN’T already laid out in his word… like drinking for me OR my DH who have been called to ministry.
I find it hard to fit with ANY denomination these days and can say that your best bet to getting things straight is to take it to God Himself…. Search the word for yourself and spend some time in prayer…. if you’ve never learned anything about fasting it might be a good time to start learning.. fasting is a great way to get close to God and be able to hear His voice on things.
Hope this has helped some =)