Casting Your Pearls To Pigs? What Does It Mean?

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”

This verse has always confused me as a Christian. I’ve often wondered what Jesus was talking about. What are the pearls Jesus is referring too and who are the pigs?

Matthew 13:45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

When reading difficult passages in scripture I find that it’s helpful to go to other places where the wording is similar. Pearls here, refer to the kingdom or salvation, which I think is an appropriate way to define what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 7:6.

Who then are the pigs? The only other verses where pigs are used are in reference to the Gadarenes demoniac(s) in Matthew 8 and the prodigal son in Luke 15. Neither, in my opinion are very helpful for determining the meaning of this word.

What I do know from scripture, is that according to the Jewish dietary laws, pigs were considered unclean. Only Gentiles ate pigs.

My conclusion is this: The pigs are unbelievers.

If both the above points are true then this is what Jesus is saying: There are some people who don’t want to hear the gospel/kingdom message and you should not spend the time seeking to tell them about it.

That may seems harsh but there’s a method to Jesus’s madness here. if we’re patient, I think we’ll find that this seemingly unreasonable statement is not so unreasonable after all.

That leads to a few other questions in my mind: Who are these unbelievers? How do we know we’re casting pearls to unbelievers? And lastly, is this applicable in every situation?  

 

(1) Who the unbelievers are that Jesus is referring too 

People who react with hostility when we tell them about Christ. Those are the kinds of unbelievers he is referring too. Jesus does not mean all non-believers here, for if that were the case, no one would ever evangelize. He’s speaking of a very specific kind of unbeliever.

Jesus’s words to the disciples in Matthew 10:14 help shed some light on those specifics.

“And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.”

Jesus here is speaking of evangelism and openly acknowledges that there will be people who will not want to hear the Gospel message.

If people are unwilling to listen, He tells the disciples to move on. The question is: Who are these people?

These are people who are so bitter towards God that anything you say enrages them (Proverbs 29:11). People who will constantly fight and poke fun at you, because they hate God and what he stands for . They refuse to listen and they cannot be reasoned with (Proverbs 29:9)

If we find that the people we are around are incredibly hostile to us because of who we stand for, after having made attempts to reach them, Jesus says to turn and move on.

 

(2) How do we know we’re casting our pearls to swine?

It’s interesting that we see Jesus saying this and yet we see Him eating with what seems like those kinds of people in Matthew 9:10. Does this make Jesus a hypocrite?

No. These sinners that Matthew is speaking of here are different. They welcome Jesus in. Even though they are sinners like the other Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, they are not hostile. The fact that Jesus is able to sit down and enjoy a meal with them shows this. While they may disagree, there is a chance of reconciliation here.

You know your casting your pearls to swine when after repeated attempts to witness and evangelize that person wants nothing to do with you or worse, becomes angry with you. If such were the case with the Tax Collectors and Pharisees Jesus was sitting with, then they wouldn’t have been eating with him.

 

(3) Is this biblical principle to be used in every situation

I think scripture makes it very clear that discernment is an important thing for a believer to have. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says to “test everything.” Not all people who are hostile initially are worth ignoring and not all people who we think are fertile soil are immune to turning hostile towards the Gospel later.

Discernment therefore becomes a key part of knowing how to apply this scripture. Are there non-believers that Jesus tells us we are not to pursue/preach the Gospel too once they reject us. Yes. But does that mean that anytime someone rejects us, that we then have an excuse not to evangelize to them? No. When one sheep leaves the fold, does the Shepherd not pursue it? (Luke 15:1-7)

We must remember that scripture often paints a picture of “possibilities”. In order to know how to engage others, we must daily spend time with God, especially in the Word and prayer in order to know what sort of action is required in each and every possible situation.

These kinds of things will help us to know whether we are dealing with a potential brother or sister coming to Christ or a blasphemer who wants nothing to do with faith.

 

Conclusion:

The harvest is plentiful friends! We need to be strategic in our evangelism. At the same time we should not ignore those in need. Some of greatest Christian converts have been men and women who were the worst sinners. The apostle Paul is a fine example of this truth.

In summary, here’s what I want to say: Witness to everyone and when a time comes where you’ve exhausted all possible options with somebody and they have become furious beyond all reason, then turn and move onto the next person. But don’t forget to pray for them because you never know what God might do!

 

 

 

 

 

The Bachelor: Should Christians Watch it?

I’ve never seen this show, but the reason why it’s been on my mind is because Caila Quinn, the next bachelorette for 2016 visited my church.  It’s not her visit that bothers me, but rather, just how many people (mostly women) were posting about how excited they were to watch the next season. It troubled my spirit a lot. The reason: Because there is, whether we want to admit it, a dichotomy between christianity and the principles the show stands for. I’m writing this specifically for all my christian sisters… And that one strange brother somewhere out there who love to watch this show. My hope is that you will realize just how damaging it is to our christian witness, the institution of marriage and overall holiness.

1.) Modern day dating 

Most dating in America is treated like a test drive for a new car. Take your girl or guy off the lot for the weekend or an extended period of time, and see if you’re “compatible”. The problem with this compatibility is that it’s all about doing stuff that God doesn’t want us to most of the time. It’s often accompanied by excessive amounts of pre-marital sex and sexual immorality.

I think it’s safe to say that we, who are christians all disagree with this dating model. It is contrary  to God’s word who tells us to keep the marriage bed undefiled against both immorality and adultery (Hebrews 13:4).

Here’s a huge problem with this show: It encourages the very thing that God’s word disagrees with. Chris Harrison, the host of both the bachelor and the bachelorette, stated that he believed 67% of all the shows contestants to be sleeping together. This literally means that almost every time we tune our TV’s to ABC to watch the show, we as believers are encouraging this sinful behavior. We allow ABC to run another season of the bachelor/bachelorette and continue to glorify a dating practice that is contrary to God’s word. We are essentially enabling people to sin. I mean, there’s literally a room (The Fantasy Suite) where they let the couples spend the night together. Who cares if one or two people had good intentions and didn’t sleep with the women/men they took in. It still doesn’t change the fact that the whole show is basically just a set up to watch “All the love, lust, hookups, breakups, roses and rings.”  Each time we do, we encourage this behavior.

I wished it just stopped at sexual sin, but the truth is that the show is a cesspool for all kinds of others. We see women gossiping about each other, we see people giving away their hearts to others who are literally going to break their hearts (The bible tells us to guard our hearts in Proverbs 4:23 and not to awaken love before it’s time in song of songs 2:7) and we ultimately we see a dating model that we all disagree with but secretly encourage when we watch.

Any guy or girl that lines up fifteen to twenty guys/girls and decides to hang out/make-out/make love with them to see if their compatible on national television is, according to what we know as christians as an unsuitable bachelor/bachelorette. You would never want to marry someone like that if you knew they were messing around with fifteen other people. You would pull a T-swift, brand them “players” and toss them.

The truth is, we would never want our daughters or our sons dating someone like that, let alone marrying them. So why is it okay when it’s being broadcast to gazillions of people?

2.) The model doesn’t work 

Out of the 30 seasons of both the bachelor and the bachelorette only like, 5 or 6 of the couples are still together. That’s less than a 25% success rate. That’s a failing grade according to our common core educational system. What does this number tell you about the dating model. Is this how love works? Pick from the “best fit” out of twenty other people and try them out to see if you work out? Shouldn’t christians be encouraging good dating practices and relationships that lead to marriage?

God takes marriage very seriously. The picture of the relationship between Him and His bride is one of a married couple. Does the Bachelor contribute or tarnish God’s view of marriage?

The guy or girl who’s the bachelor/bachelorette has to shatter and hurt peoples emotions just to maybe find someone he/she will want to maybe settle down with? That’s really cruel, and wrong among other things.

3.) We look like the World when we watch

Holiness is the mark of the people of God. I’ve had to turn away so many television shows (Game of Thrones among others) and movies because I knew that watching them would anger God. Not only does it displease Him but it hurts our witness to the dying world. It’s like putting a light under a basket (Matthew 5:14-15). The world needs to see that light, they need Jesus!

We need to remember that to be christian, is to be set apart. If people think us strange because we told them that we believe watching things like the Bachelor, Bachelorette or Game of Thrones was damaging to our faith, would we be ridiculed? Probably. But at least we’d be taking a stand for what’s right. Let’s not forget, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Jesus said “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20) Woe to us when people always speak well of us.

Summary:

If it’s causing us to sin or others to sin. Turn it off. The bachelor/bachelorette does just that. Let’s not encourage the system because of a few (maybe, possibly) good eggs aka Sean Lowe. If the batch is mostly rotten, throw it out. A little leaven ruins the entire batch.

 

 

Deadpool and Jesus

Comments about how great the movie Deadpool was, have been blowing up my Facebook newsfeed for the past two weeks since it’s release. So I figured I would put in my two cents on it.

If you’re wondering if I’ve seen it, the answer is no, and I won’t. Why? Well, if we’re being honest, I’m sort of a movie buff. So when I saw the reviews, I gotta say I was tempted. However, my worries were piqued when I read the Rotten Tomatoes synopsis.

“Fast, funny, and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting Deadpool subverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining — and decidedly non-family-friendly — results.”

The words “gleefully profane” and “non-family friendly” had me worried. I’ve read a fair amount of movie reviews on Rotten Tomatoes website, if they’re drawing attention to profanity and raunchy/overly violent non-family fun, then chances are it’s way over the top. Still I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I headed over to Pluggedin.com to check out what they had to say on the movie and… Let’s just say it wasn’t good.

Look, I get it. Not everyone looks into a movie before they go and see them, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. If we call ourselves Christians, would it not be wise to at least consider whether going to a movie such as Deadpool would bring reproach on the name of Christ? After all, isn’t holiness something God demands of his people?

1 Peter 1:16 “For it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'”

Holiness means to be set apart. Are we really setting ourselves apart as believers when we willingly choose to engage in something that glorifies sin to the extreme?

Scenes of Morena Baccarin and Ryan Reynolds performing mad amounts of fornication to draw a laugh? Is that something we as Christians should really be participating in. I posted an article on Facebook a few weeks ago by Tim Challies on the moral quandary that Christians ignore every time they watch two people simulate sex on the silver screen. Do we not realize that, those “fake” sex acts are happening between at least one married person? (Ryan Reynolds is married to Blake Lively)

It’s not just the mad amounts of sex and skin shown in the movie Deadpool that bothers me. It’s the violence. It is one thing to simulate and portray violence to tell a story but it’s quite another to use violence to entertain. It’s like a soft-core Roman Colosseum. The only thing that keeps it from being socially barbaric is that no one is actually dying. For Christians though, that isn’t the case. I understand the line is gray at times, but with a movie like Deadpool, it’s not. For example: Gladiator is a violent movie, but the violence there is not meant to make the viewer rejoice in it. In the movie Deadpool, you as the viewer are actually being coaxed, coached and encouraged to relish every crazy kill that Wade Wilson performs.

We need to realize that when we partake of movies like Kingsman, John Wick, Deadpool or whatever other overly violent movies that are out there, we straight up dishonor God.

Don’t take my word for it. John Piper is a much more Godly man than I and his ministry, Desiring God, posted a fantastic article about this very issue.

Brothers and sisters, we should not, no matter how tempting, be attending movies, such as Deadpool that glorify the sinfulness of man and diminish the glory of the living God. We need to be set apart. “If it does not proceed from faith, it is sin” (Romans 14:32) and if it does not glorify God, it is also sin. (1 Corinthians 10:31) My hope is that if you have seen the movie you’ll repent and be more diligent when considering your viewing choices next time.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Let’s not let our minds be fixed on worldly and sinful things. By abstaining from movies like Deadpool, I believe we will be better able to carry out the above command that Paul gives in Philippians 4:8.

 

 

Christians and Birth Control

This is something that I’ve thought about posting on for a long time but never have. For the record, my goal here is not to draw any hard lines in the sand but rather ask the question whether or not the practice of birth control is warranted by scripture. If you currently use some form of birth control, all I would ask is that you read and consider. I do not believe birth control to be a salvation issue. It is a secondary issue but I do believe it could, at the very least, be an issue of holiness.

There are strong historical arguments against birth control. For example, the fact that no christian denomination before 1930 agreed with the practice as well as strong statements by respected church fathers such as Augstine, Luther and Calvin. These were some of the first things that made me really question the whole idea of the practice, but for this blog I’m going to focus solely on the biblical arguments. If you’d like to know more about the historical arguments, the Catholics have many websites that speak on them.

1.) Dominion

In Genesis 1:28 God says “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (ESV)

He says the same thing in the previous verse as well, in 26. This is probably the most popular argument with Christians who choose to abstain from birth control. God here obviously doesn’t declare a number, therefore why not have a gazillion kids, right?

Although that is an argument, I think a more powerful one is this: In hebrew whenever a word is repeated it’s called a parallelism. In english we underline, boldface, italicize or highlight something to draw attention to it’s importance, but in the bible if something is important, it’s written twice. In short, God is saying we need to pay attention to that word “dominion”.

Dominion is a royal term. It means to subjugate or to rule. Another way to read it would be: Bring God’s glory everywhere, hence the words “the earth”.  God wants His glory to shine all over the earth. How do we do that? By being fruitful and multiplying. Now this argument is insufficient on it’s own to really make a strong case, so stay with me here. The following arguments in conjunction with this one, will help us formulate a more fuller picture of what I think scripture has to say on the whole birth control issue.

2.) Psalm 127:3-5 

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (ESV)

Two things I want to point out are the words “Blessed” and “fills his quiver”.  The psalmist  believes that to have a family (probably a large family from the way its written) makes him strong. He mentions his enemies and being able to stand against them. Let’s not concern ourselves with that part, since most of us have since put aside our Spartan ways and no longer raise up warrior children to defend our bastions (a.k.a. homes).

All I want to show here is that every child is a blessing from God and that God through the psalmist, reveals that a specific number is not really His concern. In my opinion, this is because the assumption is that everyone would be trying to have as many kids as possible.

Voddie Baucham, one of my favorite pastors said it this way: “If you’re boss came to you and gave you a raise would you turn him down? What if he came and gave you four subsequent raises? The bible says your children are a blessing.”

I like this analogy because its simple. If having a child is like getting a pay raise, why would would we not want to be rich? Why do we not want as many blessings as possible? Is it because society has tainted our view of children? Are we letting the culture determine how many kids we have?

3) Confirming our election

“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” 1 Peter 2:10 (ESV)

How do we confirm our election? By being holy and living like Christ.

“Yet she (the wife) will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” 1 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)

We know from scripture that a person is saved only through faith in Jesus Christ and not through works  (Ephesians 2:8-9), but we also know that works are the evidence of a person’s faith (James 2:17). It is safe to conclude that Paul is not saying that a woman is saved by having children, for that would mean barren women would be unable to receive salvation. It makes more sense if we read the verse “saved through childbearing” as confirms her election through childbearing. In other words, with every child, that woman becomes more holy. Why would we not want to be more holy? If every child means growing closer to God why would we stop short?

* If a woman can’t have children, I do not believe this means she can’t confirm her election in other ways. I’m simply stating that having children is one of the ways she is permitted to do so.

4) Blessing vs Cursing

God in Deuteronomy 28 gives a list of blessings and curses. One of the blessings, if they choose to follow him, is that he will bring them children. One of the curses, however if they do not obey, is that they will not have children.

This is an interesting thought. In ancient Israel it would have been considered a curse to not be able to have a child. So essentially, if I were to bring a set of birth control pills, condoms, spermicides, surgical equipment for vasectomies and tube ties etc. to an Israelite family and say “use these”. They would slap them out of my hand and probably spit in my face.

Food for thought. Why do we willingly make our bodies infertile when that’s the way God has designed them? Would the Israelites have done that? Would the early church? From everything I can see, they wouldn’t have.

5) Growing the elect Church

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

God’s Word makes it very clear. If you want to have christian children, teach them to be christian from a young age. But is this verse saying only that? What if this verse is also saying that we as believers and as parents, have an opportunity to help bring a new believer into God’s elect Church?

Remember, proverbs is stating a general rule. If you raise your children to be Godly, they will be Godly. That may not happen all the time but as christians, we don’t argue for the probabilities, the “ifs” and the “maybes”, we go off what scripture tells us. If we have a family of five and we are believing parents, could all our kids turn out to be evil wicked pagans? Sure. Unlikely, but it is a possibility. If we’re really being honest with ourselves though, that’s most likely not going to be the case. If a child is raised in a christian family where the parents are actively pursuing and modeling their faith for their kids, they will more than likely become christians.

So assuming the above is true, that means with every child born, that’s (technically speaking, in light of the above) another believer we can add to the kingdom. Why stop at two believing children when you could possibly commission seven or nine or twelve? Everyone is so concerned about going overseas and evangelizing to our communities, which we should do! But the odds are better with those of our own household. The likeliness that they would be saved, much higher. So the question becomes, why do christians not want to play the odds?

Conclusion

Points three and four are meant to stand on their own. Points two and five I want to now use to tie in with my first point on dominion. More children means more disciples, it means more evangelists, preachers, and servants for the kingdom. If we were to say, “you know what God? I’m scared, but I’m gonna lay it down and have as many kids as you want me too.” What would happen? Would we be able to take dominion of the whole earth? Would we be able to shine God’s glory in more dark places? I think the answer is yes.

Would it be hard? Most definitely. Would we be poorer? Have to live in smaller houses? Not buy our dream car/apple watch/flux capacitor/500 inch galactic plasma-photon-LCD TV? Rely on our neighbors and family a bit more? Absolutely. But would we be better for it? Would we be more desperate and hungry for God? If the answer is even remotely close to a yes, then I don’t see why we wouldn’t at least try.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

The Sufferings of Job

I’m convinced that no one in history other than Christ himself suffered worse than Job. Losing all his possessions and his family, then losing his health and being in constant pain for months (Job 7:3). Not to mention being rejected by his own wife (2:9) and lectured by his three friends (Chapters 2-31). That’s enough to make a man want to die.

I think there are two big ways you can approach the book of Job. The first is to look at it first person, from Job’s perspective. To use it as example of what it means to suffer as a believer, in the event of non-sin. Job after all, is declared righteous (1:1).

The second is to look at it from God’s perspective, thereby tackling the very difficult question: Why does Job have to endure suffering when he has not sinned? This post will try and answer this second point.

The summary of the book of Job is as follows: A guy who is considered righteous and also happens to be incredibly wealthy, loses everything. His family, his money and his health. The rest of the book is then a dialogue between Job, his four friends and God on why God took everything from him.

The answer to that question above comes near the end, when Elihu, the youngest of Job’s friends, basically corrects everyone and tells them all what’s really happening. He says this in Job 32:2:

Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God.”

The young gun nailed it. Job was in the right because he was blameless but he was in the wrong once he used that blamelessness to justify himself. Job was declaring that he did not deserve what happened to him but Elihu corrects this faulty assumption. God himself, does the same thing in chapters 38-41.

What blows my mind is what God speaks to Job. “Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?” (Job 40:8-9)

God basically says “I don’t need a reason. I’m God. You’re not.”

God tells Job from chapters 38 till 41 that unless he can create the earth and control everything in it he should basically just shut his mouth. Why? Because God’s sovereignty and might displayed when He created the world, is evidence of not just His power but His righteousness.

Eliphaz, the first of Job’s friends to speak said this in Job 5:16-17.

“Can a mortal man be in the right before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker? Even in his servants he puts no trust, and his angels he charges with error”

That’s scary. Even the angels aren’t pure in comparison with God. What Eliphaz says is exactly the point God is making. No one, other than God can demand or ask of God anything because… He is not God.

So God’s right because He just is? Yes.

Even if God had chosen to not restore Job’s fortunes and bless him, God would still have been good. He still would have been righteous.

 

I believe this is the great truth of the book of Job. It is far better when God is control, than when man is. God tells the oceans waters to stop at the shores and they do. God tells the sky to bring rain and it does. God speaks and in a moment Job’s fortunes are restored to him twofold.

If Job was doing the choosing, he probably would have opted out of all the suffering but then he would have missed out on what lay at the end. Not more possessions, or hot daughters, or money but a closer relationship and greater understanding of the living God.

God is always in control. When things don’t go our way there may not be a good answer other than that God is sovereign.

As a general rule of thumb, anytime we feel that we know better than God, we should remember Job’s words:

“I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can bet thwarted… I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:2 & 5-6)

 

 

Does God Send Babies To Hell?

This is a question I’ve asked myself over the years. John Piper, a pastor I greatly respect and admire had something very interesting to say on the subject which I think is worthy of considering. The link is below.

In it, Pastor John brings up a good point. Babies and those with severe mental handicaps would not be able to make a conscience decision to reject God or accept him. So why would they be punished eternally?

Although I feel that this argument makes sense logically, it does stand at odds with verses like Psalm 51:5 which states:

“Behold, I (David) was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

As well as Psalm 58:3:

“The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.”

I was having trouble reconciling the two with what Pastor John talked about in Romans and I wanted closure. So I set out to see if there were other OT examples of babies being declared “innocent” before God. My thinking was that if I could find that, then I could better make a final decision on what Psalm 51:5 and 58:3 were really saying. I could also make a better decision on whether or not a just and loving God would throw a child into Hell. Here’s what I found:

In 2 Kings 21:6 It speaks of a wicked king who reigned in Judah called Manasseh. During his reign he sacrificed his own son. Then in 2 Kings 24:4 it speaks of Manasseh shedding “innocent blood.” The only death that Manasseh is credited with being responsible for is that of his own child whom he sacrificed to the Canaanite gods. I believe that God here was saying that Manasseh’s child was actually innocent. Not in the sense that he was without sin but that he was free from condemnation. This interpretation would reconcile both the verses in Psalms and what Pastor John spoke in regards to Romans.

There are two other verses that reveal the same thing:

Jeremiah 19:4-5

“Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind.”

Psalm 106:38

“They poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood.”

Notice the word “innocent” is always linked with the sacrifice of a baby. For me this gives me great comfort in knowing that although there is much sin inside man and that God would totally be justified by throwing every single human being into hell, whether baby or grown up, He does not. I believe this to be consistent with His character. He is a loving God.

 

 

 

Why you should consider asking her dad

*Update as of 11/04/2015 I changed the title to add the word consider because I think some people on here are not understanding my message. My hope is not that you would all agree with me (that’s impossible) but rather that we all might be edified and at least consider the information below. As a disclaimer I do not believe that if you don’t ascribe to this position that it means you are any of the following: Unsaved, sinful or even wrong.

I’m “old fashioned” I tell people. They usually think that’s a nice way of saying “You’re christian, that’s cool.” but when you get that from believers, man, you know you’re just straight up traditional (and probably a bit strange.)

For anyone who knows me, you’ve probably heard me go off on my dating rant at least once or twice. If you haven’t let me summarize. I’m not a huge fan of American dating: dating to test things out, see how far things can go physically and emotionally to see if you’re “forever” compatible seems to me to be completely backwards from what’s written in the bible but that’s just one side of it. The other side of it is transparency, let me explain.

If it’s not clear already, I’m an advocate for a more courtship minded dating structure. I think the accountability from family, especially dad’s is a missing component in many relationships today and that’s why the church has to play defense all the time when it comes to issues of sexual purity. Truth be told, the more I read my bible the more I’m grateful for the blessing and the authority that my parents have over me.

Let me summarize my intent here: I believe that men who are interested in any girl in a romantic way, should ask their fathers first.

Upon reading this you will probably brand me crazy but before you do so at least allow me the opportunity to share my stance with you. Maybe you’ll find that white padded walls and barred windows are you’re thing too.

I’ll be going straight from God’s Word here. If there’s something you disagree with I would encourage you to ask the question: What’s my biblical rationale for doing so? Do I have scriptural justification to believe what I believe?

If you find the answer is no, then I think it’s at least wise to reconsider your stance.

Here’s my list of reasons, in no particular order:

1) Respect 

Yes, Aretha Franklin is playing as I write this. We could also call it honor. It’s a trivial notion that has been lost to time it seems. I personally think there is nothing more respectful than a guy approaching a woman’s father and essentially getting to know him. Think of dad’s like gatekeepers. It’s the gatekeepers duty to protect his daughter, spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. Not only that guys, it’s a great way to build street cred with her father. If she has non-believing parents it may even open up a door to share Christ with them!

2) Does it hurt the relationship to do so?

While I acknowledge there may be exceptional situations that make this situation impossible most of the time I think this is a plausible course of action. I mean, can any bad really happen from this? The worst, men that we stand to suffer here is embarrassment. Her parents, in particular her dad might regard us as strange but who cares! We don’t live for him, we live for the King.

3) Parental Authority

Biblically my support for this position comes from Genesis 1 & 2, both of which document the creation of man and woman. The creation hierarchy is this: God creates man, man creates children. I don’t think this is a coincidence. One of reasons I believe He did this is because He modeled for us His authority structure through His creation. In other words, God didn’t start off with two children because He wanted us to know how the family was to be run. God is above parents and parents are above their children. We see this theme all throughout scripture (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:2)

4) Parental Authority exists until marriage

Go to Numbers 30:3-15 and read. The verses here are primarily in regards to vows. If we look closer though, we can see that they also reveal something about marriage as well as parental authority.

Even though Numbers here is specifically referring to vows, it is safe to say that the larger idea of authority is being considered, if not strongly implied. If we pair what we know from Genesis that I’ve written above with these verses in Numbers, I believe we have a solid foundation to build off of.

Notice the change from verses 3-5 and verses 6-14. When a woman is married, her husband, in this case inherits all the rights of authority that her father had. This is significant because outside of a marriage relationship it shows that the dad is the one who ultimately rules the roost. He is the one responsible for his daughter, therefore he should be the one to get to decide on who she ultimately pledges herself to be married too.

It seems only logical then, since dating leads to marriage to acknowledge that a father should be involved in the decision making process when it comes to who his daughter dates. This is especially significant given that there are so many wolves, in particular wolves who look and smell like christians looking for selfish gain in a relationship. It is the father’s job to weed out these bad apples and find a suitable match that both she and her father agree on. A good first step in my opinion is sitting down with the her Father.

Common Objections

1)  What if we’re already dating?

If you still haven’t met the parents yet it’s not to late but if you have that makes it even easier. Find out what her dad thinks about you! It may be a great opportunity to build that relationship or even share Christ with them, assuming their not saved.

2) Isn’t it just a date? Why would I ask her dad?

A date and dating in my mind are two different things. You going on a date with someone is much different than you mutually pledging to not see and talk to other people while going on dates with that person. Obviously there is a line, if you go on multiple dates and don’t DTR (define the relationship) then you might wanna repent and be a little more considerate of that girls feelings but if you’re going on one date, especially in a group setting I don’t know if it’s necessary to ask her Father… Yet. Be careful with this, once you’ve made up your mind as to whether or not you’re going to pursue her exclusively at that point I think it’s wise to ask her dad. Don’t play games. Your goal isn’t to see how long you can wait before making your relationship Facebook official. If the emotions, physical chemistry and Godliness is all there then, it’s probably close to being that time or it is that time.

3) My girl is independent

This argument is the most puzzling because it relies on the culture to make its argument as opposed to scripture. “My girl’s 26 and hasn’t lived with her parents for five years. Doesn’t she get to make her own decisions?”

According to the world once you’ve moved out of your parents house, you get to live and do whatever you want but the truth is that biblically, I don’t see a point where the parental authority structure is ever broken unless marriage occurs. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

In other words, the age and situation of life are irrelevant. Unless a woman is married, the woman’s father still has authority over his daughter.

Theoretically she could be 40, single and running a company as a CEO and the rule would still apply, assuming her father is still alive. If this point is hard to stomach, ask yourself why you believe this. Is it because of God’s Word or the cultural standard that society has put in place?

4) What if her dad’s no longer alive

Ask the mom. Remember, it’s all about dat respect!

5) What if she doesn’t speak with her parents

I would say, be careful with this one. Gauge the situation. If she has a terrible relationship with her family because of past sins that have gone unforgiven, than maybe this is an opportunity to help bring the father and his daughter into right relationship with each other. In the rare case that the father is so distant and dis-attached, then I think the next best course of action is to go before her “spiritual father” or a mentor and ask them. A good scripture is 1 Peter 2:17 “Honor everyone.” Would it not be honorable to ask the one whom she regards as her father? Who cares if he’s not related by blood. Do not the bonds of Christ make us closer than any earthly family? Honor them. In the words of the great social philosopher Shia Lebeouf, just do it!

Hope this gets your mental gears grinding! Let the discussion begin.