“Spiritual Friendship” is theft

(Joseph Bayly) #1

The more obvious problems have been discussed elsewhere, such as the violation of the 7th commandment and the violation of the “male/female He made them” natural law.

I don’t think I’ve seen the 8th commandment addressed though. Still, once you think about it, it’s obvious.

When you pair off in what amounts to a marriage relationship without sex, you steal each others’ ability to seek marriage, have children, etc. This is why it is extremely important to debunk the idea that homosexuals cannot ever marry the opposite sex. We know they can because we’ve seen it. We know they can because the men often look at heterosexual porn. We know they can because God is able to change people. We know they can because “such were some of you.”

If it were true that they could not, then the justification of claiming these so-called spiritual friendships add something that is missing in their life and that they cannot get any other way might make sense. But what is actually happening is they are taking away the last vestiges of a chance the other has to get those good things in the only way they can truly be gotten. When you make a covenant with each other in that way, it is covenanting to do harm to one another. To steal from one another.

I know of at least one homosexual couple where this is exactly what happened. Living together for years without sexual relations, one had her chance at marriage and children taken from her and only realized it too late.

I also know of a heterosexual couple where this happened.

(Alistair Robertson) #2

An interesting perspective.

Spiritual Friendship is slippery, because it is true that the majority of men (including myself) do not have deep relationships with other men. The Spiritual Friendship espoused by the gay-but-not-all-the-way group is not the way to address it. Their repentance is not deep enough.

What we all need (and sadly, this is theoretical for me) are spiritual friendships that provide strong rebuke for our pet sins. And in the cases you highlight, Joseph, I totally agree - theft is one of those sins. Very helpful.

(Lucas Weeks) #3

This is 100% right. What you’ve said applies to homosexual relationships, of course, but I’ve seen this especially in the case of careless and selfish men hanging around women who don’t realize - or are unwilling to admit - what is going on. The woman might be attracted to the man and think there’s hope, and he’s just being… careless and selfish. And then five or ten years go by and there’s nothing to show for it except heartbreak.

(Paul Ojanen) #4

That’s what I’ve seen and done in young, urban churches. Not so much at the individual level, but at the group level, kinda like a conservative Christian version of the Friends sitcom. The guys were attracted to some of the girls (vice versa presumably), but, taking advantage of spending time with them all through the week, why choose just one, or why risk being rejected and causing awkwardness? We got to hang out all the time, with all of them. Eventually, some even lived in mixed-sex apartments; I was long gone before that happened. Certainly was selfishly lost time. And all that was in a relatively good church, preaching and practicing repentance, doing an above average job of fighting sin.

Singles need help from the church, and personalized help at that. But too much focus on singles ministry will be problematic.

Singles, like everyone else in the church, can get much of what they need from strong small group programs. Being around families, old people, single people, PhDs and CDLs, is where everyone grows. Home hospitality. Like teenagers and their youth groups, singles should not be overly excluded from the rest of the church body. Singleness should not be normalized. Youth group and singles ministry should not lead to less participation in the core of church community. These ministries should be relegated to ancillary positions.

Spiritual friendships are not the right source of whatever they’re getting out of them. A single can get much from small group and healthy individual relationships at church. What’s still missing helps keep the priority of marriage in light.

It would generally be too much for a bachelor to be invited over to homes every night for dinner. If he has housemates, they shouldn’t hang out together every night. It’s helpful for the bachelor to recognize the loneliness of his own home, to feel God’s Word: “It is not good for the man to be alone.”