Friday, March 26, 2010

More Reasons Christians Shouldn't Live Together

1 Thess 4.3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification:£ that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4that each one of you know how to control his own body£ in holiness and honor, 5not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Its DISHONORING yourself
1 Cor 6.13...The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Rev. 22.12“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14Blessed are those who wash their robes,£ so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Eph 5.31–32 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

So why would you want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with you enough to do it right? Why should YOU compromise with a coward? If they can't commit, you must omit (them from your life.) The harsh reality is that even though it hurts now it will hurt less than when the coward finds someone else more interesting later on.

7 Reasons not to Live Together before Marriage

Ripped from the St Cloud Diocese Website

1. Those who live together before marriage tend not to marry. Over 50 percent of couples who live together will end their relationships before marriage.[1] Moreover, while many couples choose to cohabit in an attempt to test the relationship and prevent the pain of divorce, the "premarital divorce" is often times just as painful as divorce itself. [2]

2.Those who live together before marriage have higher separation and divorce rates. The Journal of Marriage and Family reported marriages that are preceded by living together have 50 percent higher disruption rates than marriages without premarital cohabitation.[3] The Universities of Chicago and Michigan reported that those who cohabit before marriage have substantially higher divorce rates than those who do not; the recorded differentials range from 50 to 100 percent.[4]

The University of Wisconsin at Madison researchers report that cohabitors perceived greater likelihood of divorce than couples who did not cohabitate before marriage and the longer couples live together outside of marriage, the higher likelihood of divorce.[5]

3. Those who live together before marriage have unhappier marriages. A review of 10 cohabitation studies found that those who cohabitate prior to marriage show a significantly lower marital quality and have significantly higher risk of marital dissolution at any given duration.[6]

Couples who lived together before marriage also separated more often, sought counseling more often and regarded marriage as a less important part of their life than those who did not live together before marriage.[7]

4. Those living together before marriage have more frequent disagreements, more fights and violence. Three studies find this to be true. Pennsylvania State University researchers found that those who live together were more negative and less positive when resolving a marital problem and when providing support to their partner.[8] They also found that husbands and wives who had lived together before marriage were more verbally aggressive, less supportive of one another and generally more hostile than spouses who had not lived together.[9]

Another study found that couples who cohabitate before marriage have less problem solving skills, poorer communication skills, and are more negative while attempting to resolve marital conflicts compared to married couples who have never cohabitated.[10]

Research reports couples who live together have more frequent disagreements, more fights and violence, lower levels of fairness and happiness with their relationships compared to married people.[11]

5. Those who live together do not experience the best sex. The National Institute for Healthcare Research found that couples not involved before marriage and faithful during marriage are more satisfied with their current sex life than those who were involved sexually before marriage.[12] Another study done by the Family Research Council found that 72 percent of all married “traditionalists” (those who strongly believe out-of-wedlock sex is wrong) reported high sexual satisfaction. This is roughly 31 percentage points higher than the level by unmarried “non-traditionalists.” Religious women are most satisfied with the frequency of intercourse and were more orgasmic than are the nonreligious.[13]

6. Those who live together before marriage experience more behavioral problems. Compared with married couples, cohabitors report higher levels of:

Alcohol problems.[14]
Aggression is twice as common.[15]
Greater marital instability, lower marital satisfaction and poorer communication.[16]
Depression rates are more than three times higher.[17] According to a study done by the National Institute of Mental Health the depression rates of cohabitating women are second only to those twice divorced. [18]
Women being assaulted is 56 times higher.[19]

7.Living together outside of marriage negatively impacts their children. David Popenoe and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, researchers from the National Marriage Project, found that children living with cohabiting biological parents who are unmarried are 20 times more likely to be abused and children whose mother lives with a boyfriend who is not the biological father are 33 times more likely to be abused than children with married biological parents.[20]

Compared to children in intact families, children in cohabiting households had more behavioral problems and poorer academic scores,[21] and are five times more likely to experience their parents separating.[22]

Numerous empirical studies indicate that living together does not produce healthier, happier marriages, but the contrary. Mature love is built on the security of knowing that your love is exclusive and permanent.


1. Popence and Whitehead, "Should We Live Together?" 2002, p. 6,
2. McManus, Mike & Harriet. Living Together: Myths, Risks, & Answers. Howard Books, New York, 2008, p.61.
3. Bumpass, Sweet and Cherlin, “The Role of Cohabitation in Declining Rates of Marriage” Journal of Marriage and the Family 52 (1991) 913-927.
4. William G. Axinn and Arland Thorton, “The Relationship Between Cohabitation and Divorce: Selectivity or Casual Influence?” Demography (1992): 358.
5. Elizabeth Thomson and Ugo Colella, “Cohabitation and Marital Stability: Quality or Commitment?” (Study of more than 13,000 adults) Journal of Marriage and the Family 54 (1992): 266.
6. Alfred DeMarris and K. Vaninadha Roa, “Premarital Cohabitation and Subsequent Marital Stability in the United States: A Reassessment,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 54 (1992): 178.
7. John D. Cunningham and John K. Antill, “Cohabitation and Marriage: Retrospective and Predictive Comparisons,” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (1994): 90.
8. Dr. Catherine L. Cohan, “Living Together Pre-Marriage May Lead to Divorce,” Journal of Marriage and Family 64 (2002): 180-192
9. Ibid
10. McManus, Mike & Harriet. Living Together: Myths, Risks, & Answers. Howard Books, New York, 2008, p. 72.
11. Susan L. Brown and Alan Booth, “Cohabitation Versus Marriage: A Comparison of Relationship Quality,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 58 (1996): 668-678.
12. David B. Larson, MD, NMSPH, et al, “The Costly Consequences of Divorce: Assessing the Clinical, Economic, and Public Health Impact of Marital Disruption in the United States,” National Institute for Healthcare Research, Rockville, Maryland. (1994): 84-85
13. David Larson and Mary Ann Mayo, “Believe Well, Live Well,” Family Research Council (1994).
14. Allan V. Horowitz et al, “The Relationship of Cohabitation and Mental Health: A Study of Young Adult Cohort,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 60 (1998): 505-514.
15. Jan E. Stets, “The Link Between Past and Present Intimate Relationships,” Journal of Family Issues 14 (1993): 236
16. Ibid 236-260
17. Popenoe and Whitehead, “Should We Live Together? What Young Couples Need to Know about Cohabitation Before Marriage,” National Marriage Project, Rutgers, (1999): 7.
18. Lee Robins and Darrel Regier, Psychiatric Disorders in America: The Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study (New York: Free Press, 1991), p. 64.
19. University of Wisconsin’s National Survey of Families and Households, American Family Association Journal, July 1993.
20. Popenoe and Whitehead, Should We Live Together?” What Young Couples Need to Know about Cohabitation Before Marriage,” National Marriage Project, Rutgers, (1999): 8.
21. Ibid.
22. Cynthia Osborn, W.D. Manning and P.M. Smock, "Married and Cohabitating Parents' Relationship Stability: A Focus on Race and Ethnicity," Journal of Marriage and Family 69 (2007): 1345-1366, p. 1345.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Slide Away from God

Yesterday I was musing to myself how far the US has come from its inception. Originally, the colonies were birthed out of a Biblical world view. While their application didn't always display absolute devotion to God, they recognized a few things very clearly. #1 - Rights come from God. The constitution of the US clearly reveals their view that the Creator has given men rights. #2- The role of the individual is accept the freedom to chase after (pursuit of happiness) the God given rights. #3- The role of government in this view is limited to assuring the ability to pursue those rights that God has given to man. Thus the government is to keep others from infringing upon the right to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Over time we have seen a shift away from the absolute truths of the Bible. Secular Humanistic philosophy differs from the Biblical view in that it puts man in the drivers seat. Human beings determine what is good - therefore (#1) rights come, not from God, but from the collective of men's best thinking This rejection of Biblical absolutes sets the stage for the following. The individuals role then is (#2) to aspire to the greatness of the group and the governments role is to (#3) to codify and insure the rights decided upon by the group.

Next in the slide away from God is the pursuit of Socialism. Based upon Humanism, the morphing is slight but important. (#1) Rights come from the elite leadership of the people, (#2) the individual works for the purpose to secure, for all the group, the rights deemed acceptable, and (#3) the governments role is to enforce the access to those rights and to squash any individualism that might threaten those predetermined rights.

Marxism is the next step in the slide away from a Biblical worldview. Here the rights are determined by (#1) Government. (#2) The individual is simply a cog in the communist machine- he loses all power to own for himself or to express individualism. He exists for the collective. (#3) Government is charged with the redistribution of all wealth.

If you read this far. Thanks. I'm sure that wasn't easy. Notice that in the first worldview people exist because of God's design and the government is the servant of the people. This is completely reversed the further you get away from a Biblical worldview. Man is no longer a free moral agent but the slave of the runaway governing body. Notice also, that Government usurps the place of God. It is the determiner of value, worth, and rights. Friends this is a dangerous slope, because all men are sinners, no men can be trusted with absolute authority.

In the recent days, the US has taken giant steps toward usurping the place of God and the individual. Confiscatory taxes on individuals, Education Reform, Nationalized health care, and the list goes on. Only when we return to the Scriptural understanding of man and God will we find the fulfillment of our aspirations for freedom. Americans need to wake up. Christians need to wake up and see that our country is being lead further away from a Biblical worldview and further into deception. As Government increasingly steals the place of God in the lives of the people we can be sure of a few things... deception will increase, it will be harder to reach the lost, and judgment will ensue.

Friday, March 19, 2010

When the Wheels fall off

Sometimes it seems that there is a constant barrage of stuff to deal with. When the personal life is strong, the professional life is having problems; when that is strong, there are family issues, etc. Is it that we are drama magnets? Is it that we can only focus on one thing at a time? Is it that we are that incompetent at life?

We find ourselves struggling to stay afloat, engaged, active and growing. It is hard. It is life's gut check. Funny how a cancer scare, or a blood test with questionable results, or even the loss of job can stress you out and redirect your priorities. Often when that happens, there is no one around to encourage you. You have to "encourage yourself in the Lord." (1 Sam 30.6)

The people had abandoned David after a failure. They spoke of stoning him. There was no one to encourage him. So...he did it himself. When the wheels are falling off the wagon we have to develop the habit of speaking the promises of God to ourselves. (2Peter 1.4) "The barren soul becomes pregnant only with hope." When the hope quotient is up you can face anything; when the faith is vibrant you can rise above the biggest swell, and outlast every storm.

If that is where you are today... don't give in, encourage yourself with the great promises of God. Today, mine was about God's great power, from Eph 3.20

...Exceeding above all we can ask or imagine...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Get Radically Committed

Acts 5.13 tells the story of how after the deaths fo Ananias and Sapphira people recognized that beign associated with the church was no trifling matter. God was taking this thing seriously. And so many were afraid to "join" them.

What is that joining all about? The context tells us that these folks were still associated with the church but they hung out on the fringe. What God was asking for from his church was a full on radical commitment. Association and commitment! These days the most radical thing you see in church is a soul patch on some dudes face. Christ deserves and demands more.

People don't see the importance of church membership these days because we have reduced it to signing a card. Or attending a set of classes. Church membership is a fearless commitment to the cause of Christ and the vision of a local assembly. I think that commitment is radical by todays standards! Many won't commit to a single thing in their life and they are the poorer for it. Rick Warren says that people who attend church and don't commit to membership are "Spiritual Adulterers" - equating the no-commitment to living together without committing to marriage.

Church membership is a two way commitment too. The Body of Members commit to watch out for one another (speak the truth, encourage, get involved, etc.) and to help one another (food pantry, minitries of helps, help with a bill now and again) as well as provide teaching, opportunities for growth and ministry, and service. God seems to move in amazing ways when people are in committed relationship.

So before you sign the card... ask yourself if you are ready to get radically committed.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Boycotting China

Sara Bongiorni decided that her family would try to live an entire year without using products that were made in China, and her findings are detailed in a book, "A Year Without 'Made in China': One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy."

As she describes in an NPR interview, it is very difficult to avoid buying Chinese products. She spent weeks trying to buy birthday candles, and couldn't find sneakers for her children not made in China. Eventually she found sneakers made in Italy which cost $70 versus $15 for the pair made in China. When her coffeemaker broke, it was impossible to find a unit NOT made in China, so she ultimately was left with the old-fashioned option of heating water in a pan and pouring it over the beans each morning. Does that mean that French presses and Bialetti's are now made in China?

Bongiorni admits, "There's no way you can live anywhere near a normal life without buying things from China." She notes, for example, that nearly all telephones and cellular phones are made there.

So why do I avoid buying Chinese made products?

1) well its not because I am a bigot-

2) it revolves around their persecution of the Church there in China. They are among the most aggregious violators of personal religious freedom in the world.

3) And then there is the issue of censorship & imprisonment of journalists, cyber-dissidents and press freedom activists (consider missionarys who wander over the border and are imprisoned or human rights workers)

4) Consider the child, prison & sweatshop labour (we wonder how we can buy stuff so cheaply)

5) Think about the wholesale slaughter of endangered species & government sponsored slaughter of domesticated animals (several endangered species are almost gone)

6) Catastrophic pollution (16 of the world’s top 20 most polluted cities are in China)

7) Defective and dangerous products (remember the lead painted toy scandals... but maybe consumers are rethinking that)

When I shop, I read the labels. That is all you have to do. I put the "Made in China" thing back and buy the "Made in Honduras (or nearly any place else)" thing in the cart. When I find a made in USA label I give a shout!!!! But I am mostly quiet as I shop these days.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Daley Ridicules Supreme Court

This week Mayor Daley ridiculed the nations highest court's decisions regarding guns ownership. “Why can’t I go to the Supreme Court and sit there with a gun and listen to the arguments? If a gun is so important to us on the street or someone’s home, why can’t I go to the Supreme Court and sit there with a gun? I’m not gonna shoot anyone. But, I have a right to that gun,” Daley said. What an stupid thing for a public official to say! There is a bit of a difference between carrying a gun in to a public environment and being allowed to have one in your home.

Well, Mr. Mayor, the city of Chicago has banned hand guns long ago, how's that working for ya? Is there a dearth of murders in Chicago? Have you seen the end of street violence? Can you guarantee the safety of the citizens of Chicago? Well, of course not. And that is the problem. You have outlawed the ability for a private citizen to guarantee for himself what you are unable and unwilling to do.

But let's take Daley's ridiculous argument on. There are some people who are allowed to carry guns into courtrooms... they do it all the time. They are the police. Evidently, it isn't the gun that is dangerous- it is the mindset of criminal behavior. So, Mayor D you just want your people to have guns... and the rest of us are just potential victims for the criminals, right?