The money and sex game in dating relationships

Often times, we all come across questions like “should I give in to my boyfriend who keeps demanding sex? ” and it’s various variants. The usual and most sensible (or religious) response is of course don’t; never ever to a man you are not married to!

While those responses are very good (even though it’s easier given than practiced), I will definitely add that don’t you as a lady also constantly demand for money from him or make him spend on you!

That may appear an unfair addition but often times, there’s almost always a correlation which sometimes may not respect religious rules. Truth (for me) is that, whether you like it or not, the moment a man begins to spend his money on a woman he is not married to, he is most likely to start placing demands that often include sex. Somehow, he feels entitled to it.

Money is a man’s sweat and blood and every man naturally expects to get something back (returns) on money spent (their investment). Men have always made that very clear, sometimes in seemingly subtle ways. If the man you’re dating hasn’t, chances are sooner or later he will give you that hint of a “red flag” unless you stop being “dependent” on him financially.

The times we live in now, even the best of Christian men, who will be honest to themselves, will tell you that they are not just born generous so that they can continue to be a “milk cow” or “cash cow” for the “Christian Sisters”. I’ve spoken to a few Christian brothers and that seems to be the general line of thought. They will tell you that parting with their hard earned money has nothing to do with religion and they must naturally have the satisfaction of getting good returns on money spent. If they marry you and then spend on you, that’s great for them, but the mere satisfaction of dating and spending freely on a Christian sister “in hope for marriage” will not suffice. What if she ends up not marrying me?

Some argue that if giving sex to a man you’re not married to is wrong, then everything should be wrong also with being made to spend money on a woman you’re not married to. The crust of their argument is that money is to men what virginity is to women…they have almost equal value to the different sexes. A man values his sweat as much as a woman values saving herself until marriage. On the fun side, some said the feeling of being broke as a man is similar to the feeling of a woman breaking her virginity to some idiot. 😊

Again, some argue that, if only the women will stop asking for money at every turn in a relationship, possibly the men will not use it as a leverage to demand sex.

But the real question is, can today’s woman really decide to not live off a man before marriage? Is that even possible? The way women love money…can they really stop demanding money from the men in their lives in order to meet all their needs?

Both Christian men and women want to stay holy in their love relationships, no doubt. But men should not be made to or encouraged by Churches to run “charities” with their money in dating relationships while the women save themselves for the same mutually beneficial goal of marriage…especially in these time of clamouring for women empowerment. The empowerment must be holistic and affect every aspect of life.

Both sexes must be encouraged to save what’s most valuable to them…and it’s fair to say in these times, men seem to value money more than keeping their sexuality in check (saving themselves for marriage). Is it not true that it doesn’t worry a man that much if he loses his virginity but it worries a woman to death? Men must save their monies to spend on their wives and not their dates. The Churches must encourage that and create that balance in the call for holiness and sanctity of dating relationships.

……………………………………………………………………………………..

(Sorry and forgive me if my opinion is wrong or doesn’t make religious sense. Sometimes my carnal mind speaks unguarded 😊)

But why not share your thoughts with us? Will love to read them…we learn as we share!

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Advertisements

Focus not on my sins 

A church that condemns but is not ready to offer help…check that church.

Sin, forgiveness and repentance go hand in hand. Don’t put your focus only on people’s sins…forgetting there’s enough room for the other two: forgiveness and repentance.

One big problem in the church is that sin often becomes public knowledge that attracts all the negatives like shame, abuse, discrimination, expulsion, etc., but repentance and God’s forgiveness is personal. A person may sin and repent in their closet but the church will never believe they have and so continue to shame and judge them.

But somehow God himself seems to value repentance (I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance – Luke 15:7) possibly more than sin and does not abhor sinners or send them away. In Roman’s 4:7, He even called “blessed” those who have repented (whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered).

There are some sins that leave with people immediate lasting evidences but there are some that do not show so nobody sees them. Funny enough, people sin on the daily but because there is no outward evidence, they are held righteous in the eye of the church. What makes one more righteous than another?

Yes, she fornicated and no longer a virgin or probably even pregnant…how do you tell she’s not asked for God’s forgiveness and probably repented?

Yes, he stole and got caught…how do you tell he’s not asked for God’s forgiveness and probably repented?

Subject every sin that comes to mind to the above line of thought and see the answers you will get.

I don’t know the answers but I pray God helps us so that whenever we see people’s sins, our focus does not end there.

The conclusion of the matter is that, we can never do good on our own. Let him that thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Cor 10:12). It is only God that does the good works in us (a note to all self-righteous folks). Only He worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Our focus should only be on continuously working out our salvation [and imperfect lifestyles] with fear and trembling. Even with that, we’ll realize it’s not by might, for by strength shall no man prevail. Init? 😊

Or isn’t it the Bible that said God himself didn’t count people’s sins against them but offered a message of love and reconciliation?
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation”. ~2 Cor 5:19

Offer help church, and not just condemnation!

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Marriage & Personal Development Author

Dating is easy…Marriage is hard work

​Marriage preparations do not end at the altar

You are allowed a temporary sigh of relief and accomplishment at the altar…but almost immediately begins real work; a new reality. Dating is easy…Marriage is hard work. 

When in doubt, remember all the billion people who couldn’t keep it together even at the easy dating stage. If dating could not last…marriage could not too. You may not like that reality but it’s just the simple truth. 

God meant marriage to be forever, of course your Pastor told you that; but it’s not always forever if you don’t put in the works. And who says your Pastor’s marriage is all rosy and a heavenly Jerusalem 24/7; don’t believe that lie, they just want you to see it that way. They go through every thing every normal marriage goes through; are they Jesus? How will you feel if your Pastor comes to say on the pulpit “things are not going too well with my marriage but we’re still working things out”. You think it’s not a possibility? The Pastor’s marriage has good times and bad times just like every other marriage. 

There are no perfect marriages; yours wouldn’t be either. So, chin up and let go of all the fantasies! 

Dear Christian, Are Your Sins Any Different?

There are people in church who commit worse sins than people in the world yet they always feel they are better than the people “in the world”. They feel they should be the only beneficiaries of the grace of God. In life, it is sad that it is the one whose sins are in the open that is seen as the worse or baddest of all human creations. 

It is always surprising for me why we Christians tend to judge people so much…because just a minute’s reflection before you pass judgement on another would have shown you how much of a sinner yourself you are. I thought it is by grace that we ourselves have been saved and not because of any special privilege? I thought it’s the Church that says there’s no greater sin and that every sin is a sin, that the sin of murder is as equal as the sin of lying or even covetousness?

It’s such a shame the way we make the Gospel of Christ look these days!

Is is not Paul that said in 1 Cor 9:22 that, “…I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some“? How is that even possible when today’s Christian always feels he is better that everybody else among God’s creations? 

It’s truly scary that the Gospel of Christ is becoming everything else except the Gospel of love and one that reaches out to even the worse of sinners. This is what happens when today’s men of God care so much about their reputation in society than demonstrating love to those who are seen to be “of the world”. 

Shame on us! 

Man of God, keep acquiring the wealth, keep preaching only in the comfort of your “big churches” and only to Christians…and keep giving yourselves whatever titles imaginable as men of God, and keep being happy about the death of souls that God sent you out to go and snatch from the pit of hell and keep being concerned about only your offertories in Church. 

Keep being only concerned about the monetary benefits or blessings of being a child of God. Keep being busy about preaching only in churches (or from church to church) because of the honorarium or “small envelopes” you give each other for honouring invitations amongst yourselves. Keep forsaking the souls trooping to night clubs, orgies, strip clubs, pubs, souls on the streets, etc because no “small envelopes” comes from that, except the risk to your reputation of going to such places with the Gospel. We know you intercede fervently for us your members do that no harm comes to us, but you need to do more and stand in the gap even more for the unsaved souls out there. When God gives you an opportunity for a soul that needs saving, you need to chase after them; they don’t need to chase after you, I guess? 

Do you even hold one single crusade outside of your church in a year these days? Do you even give just a small part of the monies you keep asking us to sow in church day and night to orphanages and other charities so we can also assuage our consciences of not doing anything for the less privileged in society? Except for invites for which if you are lucky one or two “worldly people” pass through the church, what else are you doing to go out there? You have left that work to campus ministries whose “Students In Church Evangelism (SICE) crusades you have even refused to support lately because to you the “mother churches”, the logistics (expenditure) is always greater than the number of souls won and churches planted from these student programs.  

I thought you believed that no amount of money can compare with the value of a single soul for whom Christ paid the ultimate price? 

Thank God your judgement would be greater as men of God. But for me, I pray God does not strike us down, especially you “men of God”. May He rather have mercy on our souls and be patient with us to change our own ways even in the house of God. It is really our souls that God should have mercy on because it will be much more regrettable if we ourselves miss the mark of the upward calling.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Abuse of the marriage covenant

Here’s a great marriage vow:

“I will be with you, no matter what happens to us and between us.  If you should become blind tomorrow, I will be there.  If you achieve no success and attain no status in our society, I will be there.  When we argue and are angry, as we inevitably will, I will work to bring us together.  When we seem totally at odds and neither of us is having needs fulfilled, I will persist in trying to understand and in trying to restore our relationship.  When our marriage seems utterly sterile and going nowhere at all, I will believe that it can work and I will want it to work and I will do my part to make it work.  And when all is wonderful and we are happy, I will rejoice over our life together, and continue to strive to keep our relationship growing and strong.” ~~ Elizabeth Achtemeier

I don’t know how different it is from the usual “for better for worse, till death do us part” Church vow. But when we say the marriage vow in Church, we are literally saying our spouses are supposed to love us “no matter what” and always find us beautiful or handsome, no questions asked. Of course, that’s the essence of the marriage vow.

index

But sometimes we take advantage of that binding agreement and just let ourselves go intentionally in so many ways. We go like, oh how great it feels that we’ve just signed a contract that binds the other person to us for their whole life and nothing, except sexual infidelity, can save their skin! Sweet! Now I can relax, for every bad action or inaction of mine as long as it is not infidelity, should technically be coped with, endured and at best forgiven. Per the vow or covenant we’ve just entered into, everything is allowed as long as it does not border on infidelity…Hurray!

I vowed to love you “no matter what” so now you are at liberty to take your looks for granted! You can now just let yourself eat all the junk foods ever made, grow fat and out of shape. Oh, he should just understand that I’m now a mother and childbirth, raising children, taking care of him and all that just makes many a woman get out of shape. She should just understand that the ever-increasing responsibilities, stressful nature of my job, late night eating and all that just makes many a man develop a pot belly. Just understand and accept it as it is…so I wouldn’t have to put in any effort.

The deed is done, you have now taken the “no matter what” vow, so you can now stop giving much attention to your physique and every other thing as you used to and just corner your partner with the “no matter what” attitude whenever he/she raises a concern. Just remind him/her of the “no matter what” vow they took so they can stop whining about things you feel you cannot change. You think that’s a really safe zone? How sweet!

eat

Well, these and many others are the sentiments/frustrations shared by many. Problem is too many people treat marriage as a place of arrival, acceptance and comfort; a kind of destination that they arrive at and then everything else in terms of effort stops. People don’t put as much effort into bettering themselves in marriage like they did in the dating phase. After all, if it’s Christian, it never should be broken on any other grounds, right? And then upon that, if you are a man, you are allowed to force your wife into subjection no matter all the ills you do, right? How sad. That’s how God wants it?

“It is so easy to take a spouse for granted, and to take intimacy for license. We can subconsciously think since we’re married, I don’t have to be careful to be polite. We have to love each other regardless, so I can just speak without thinking about how it is perceived” ~~ Shaunti Feldhahn

Right after marriage, many people begin to take so many things for granted. The problem is not the reality that the “no matter what” covenant marriage puts us in. The problem is to be a Christian yet hide consciously or unconsciously behind that and not put in any effort to better anything. I think that is a way of dishonoring your partner and your marriage and making God look stupid for instituting marriage and giving ground rules. Nothing must be taken for granted in marriage. Marriage (and all that comes with it) should not put an end to personal development. We must not pick up a habit of putting our spouses through the “no matter what” test, especially when it is something we can make the effort to change for the betterment of the union.

effort

The caution is that sometimes it becomes too late to salvage anything and we must not let ourselves get to that point. And I hope it is the Bible that said:

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin”
~~ James 4:17

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

twitter

Image source: www.federalna.ba

Unmarried sex and pregnancy

Just “misguidedly” get pregnant without being married and you will know whether the church that claims it loves you or everybody (sinners included) really do. If they don’t call you names, shame you, roll eyes at you like angels…come back and tell me. The church has a history and statistics in that area.

 

The same people that will treat you in church like dirt when your sins or “shortcomings” come to the open, are the same people who indulge in secret sins…some more grave than yours. It’s simple…the church’s attitude screams “do it but don’t get caught”; hide it as much as you can, otherwise you are in for trouble.

 

That is why the ones who get pregnant and immediately marry as “damage control” are more “accepted” by the church than the ones who unfortunately don’t. Trust me, when a church leader gets somebody pregnant, you can bet that the church will encourage and support him to immediately marry her. In that situation, the Church is OK with applying the Exodus 22:16 scripture to support the action [Read old post on that scripture here: Fornication…]. They will do everything possible to clean the mess of a church leader from getting into the public domain. We’ve seen, heard, and read of it countless times. But let the tables turn and a mere church member get tangled in same situation. You will see a different scripture and modus operandi being applied or enforced. Let a church elder or Pastor’s child get in the same mess as a mere member and just watch how both situations will be handled. The church cares more about protecting the image of its leaders and their household than the image of its members.

 

pretense

 

When we say there is no fairness or equality in the church and can never be, people say we are just “fault finders”. Well, whatever it is, some of us choose to live with the simple principle that when you raise your expectations of church, just like anything else, you risk getting hurt. So, just do Christ; don’t do Church.

 

The church as a human setting is full of judgmental people. Period! If you don’t want to be judged and discriminated against, don’t go to church; otherwise, keep an open eye and open mind and expect the worse to sometimes happen. It’s simple…the church preaches forgiveness and repentance but judges and shames “saved” people who fall back into certain sins! Just accept it because it’s the truth everywhere. Some sins are pardonable, others are not…and by now you should know where the sin of unmarried pregnancy falls. The church treats it as an abomination, a detestable thing that is deserving of hate…and not love. If you can deal with it, stay. If you can’t, leave and find solace where your soul will get the peace it needs. Your destiny is not tied to a church, it’s tied to Christ.

perhaps-there-will-come-a-time-when-an-unmarried-mother-will-not-be-despised-because-of-her-quote-1

 

But truth for me is, no child should be treated as an abomination whether conceived in wedlock or out of wedlock. Sadly, the church will rather be happier you secretly kill or abort a child and come back to the front roll next Sunday and shout “glory hallelujah” as if nothing happened. But a church that makes you see a “child from a forgivable act” as an abomination should not be a good environment for you and your child. You may not like it but whether you do or not, nobody goes to or stays at a place where they are disliked. Well, I wouldn’t.

e417a0f01dc263e19ae936027db71852--single-mother-quotes-pregnant-single-mom-quotes

 

Nobody says churches should encourage promiscuity, sin or wrongdoing. Whether they think shaming people deters others from same acts; or accepting, loving and supporting them encourages others into same acts…whichever way they look at it, the ultimate should be doing what Jesus would have done. No good parent teaches or encourages his/her children to be promiscuous, but when they go wayward (because one can never rule out that possibility, even God or Jesus wouldn’t), what do good parents do?

 

Nonetheless, whatever the failings of the church, may God grant grace that we flee fornication so we would not have to deal with all the negatives of unmarried pregnancies.

IMG_20170621_114647

 

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author

twitter

A holistic Christianity…please?

“When you have this very vanilla-type faith presentation, of everybody smiling like they just got their teeth cleaned? That’s not where real people live! Real people live with being Christians with cancer, Christians with AIDS, Christians coming back home with limbs missing from war, Christians being evicted and Christians losing their homes. If you don’t paint that picture too, then I think that you are misrepresenting what the faith really can look like. The faith is not always sunny days. If we don’t do that, then I think that we are selling the wrong message”
~~Kirk Franklin

Lateness at our weddings

I had written this a long time ago but could not publish it because a couple of friends who got married around that time would have said it’s about them. Funny it is, but I have learned one thing in recent times that timing is very important even with publishing of my posts and I still have unpublished posts that are over a year old. So now that at least I know of no close friend whose invite I am honouring soon, I feel at liberty to publish this. Lol.

I thought the day and age where we used to keep people waiting hours at marriage and wedding ceremonies should have been long gone now but sadly it’s still with us. If there was any glamour in it in years past, my dear bride and groom, it’s no longer glamorous. The age we are in now, time is of big essence to throw away waiting for a bride and groom for hours. It adds no value to anybody’s life to have to wait hours for a marriage/wedding ceremony to start. It doesn’t make any bride or groom too any more valuable than they already are. If anything, it rather looks disrespectful of people’s valuable time and for you the bride and groom, it creates a bad image on you especially when you are of the educated or elite class.

Of course we all know sometimes things don’t go as planned and some unexpected stuffs can cause delays but seriously, for hours? Hell no! It’s unacceptable! Of course it’s your day and all your guests have put off important things for your sake just to show their love; but don’t take them for granted! It’s a choice you have to make way before the wedding day.

575088

In this part of our world where marriage is not just between bride and groom but a family affair, it makes it even more important that you accord a little bit of courtesy to important family members most of whom are way older than you that at least you should respect their time. It surely is very annoying when your entire family and important guests gather at the time you yourself has given them and now have to wait for you for hours!

Ok, we in this part of the world are never on time so that’s why if it’s supposed to start at 12pm you let your invite read every 10am? Oh come on! A few minutes late may be pardonable (doesn’t mean it’s encouraged), but not 2 hours late for God’s sake! But that’s what our educated brides and grooms are doing to us.

When I was getting married my wife and I agreed that we are educated and should not embarrass ourselves with excessive lateness. We were glad and even more put on edge when the presiding Pastor also stressed same to us during our last meeting with him a day before the event with the words “you guys are learned so don’t act otherwise and keep everybody waiting”. And he was glad after the ceremony that we did not disappoint him and all the people who had travelled from very far to honour us.

There were circumstances that could have made us late especially my camera man deciding not to show up on time. I remember leaving to the Church without him doing the coverage and sending strict instructions to my wife and the bridal team not to wait for him and that I would be so pissed if we had to go against our “no lateness” resolve because of him. Luckily, he was able to catch up with my wife and the bridal team on their way. So as it were, things didn’t go as planned and he couldn’t cover the dressing and preparations before the wedding as agreed and yet wanted to hold us against our resolve, demanding we wait for him. Annoyingly though he saw nothing wrong with it because according to him it is unusual for weddings to start almost on time and that almost all the weddings he has covered started at least an hour after start time.

photostudio_1476968558448

It is very unfortunate when at a wedding guests begin to make comments like “If I had known I would have taken my time and not come on time or at least eat before coming” just because by the time your reception starts (going by when programme was supposed to start), your guests would have been dying of hunger just because of that little cocktail or buffet. Of course a start time of 10am for a church wedding does not mean groom must be there exactly 10am because they arrive first (that will be great though) but both groom and bride not arriving so many minutes or hours beyond start time in my opinion is disrespectful of people’s time!

Well, maybe it’s just so ingrained in us that we just can’t help it. Then again I thought we only do that while here at home but no, we do it even when we are living abroad. I almost left a wedding of some friends when I was in the UK had it not being that it started to rain just about the time my patience run out. And the atmosphere in the Church that day and the embarrassing expressions of the Pastor, officiating ministers and the groom who had to wait hours for the bride (yet everybody switching to happy mood the moment bride finally entered as if they were not boiling and complaining moments ago) is one that I can never forget.

Shame on us!

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author

 

Like, Comment, Share…and Subscribe!

Unethical Prophets and “Men of God”

There’s so much ethical crisis in the Church (leadership) today, from mishandling and dishonesty with church finances to living extravagant lifestyles at expense of poor church members’ offerings, proud, arrogant and immoral lifestyles, showing no concern for views and trials of church members, increasing interest in cheap fame/popularity and misusing God’s anointing, among others.

When it comes to spiritual things or callings, some people believe they are a law unto themselves and don’t need being regulated. They decide what they want to do as long as they can hide behind the idea that it is a spiritual direction from God…or wherever they get their direction from. They give no regards to normal ethics even in its simplest forms. It appears lately there are no ethics to spiritual callings and the “office of Prophets” especially appears the most unethical. We see too many unethical Prophets and “men of God” these days that an increasing number of people no longer appreciate prophecy or believe in it. And many times one will wonder if they ever learn or are taught anything like ministerial ethics.

What I personally don’t fathom sometimes is how we often see in our churches many unethical Prophets and “men of God” who put people’s personal issues out to the congregation during “deliverance services” claiming they have received one revelation or the other from God about the person. I’ve got no problems with deliverance services or revelations, but I do feel sometimes that the fact that God reveals something to you during your ministration about somebody’s situation shouldn’t give you the right or permission to put it out there just like that without even weighing in on the impact that could yield later. If the revelation is about the person, I believe there is a good way to tell the person without screaming in the microphone about it to the entire congregation!

There are a lot of very sensitive issues that come out mostly in churches and in the aftermath of the “revelations”, peoples’ lives are left worse off…mostly because of the victimization and ill attitude they encounter later from church folks.

I’m tempted to believe in Bible days when God gives his Prophets a revelation about or a message for somebody, the message is for the person’s hearing alone, whether it is a good or bad message? The fact that it is a congregational service doesn’t mean when you call someone forward and a message comes to you about the person you blurt it out there in the microphone, whether it be a good or bad message?

hqdefault

People are told “I see you getting married before the year ends” to resounding cheers and then the year ends and nothing happens and church folks begin to jeer, gossip and do all sort of things. And many times the Prophets are “always right” to many Christians so when the things they declare on people don’t see the light of day, then they blame is on the person who apparently must have gone to commit some sin or not prayed on the prophecy or not acted in ways to bring the prophecy into being so they suffer for it in the sight of other members.

People are told “I see God calling you to be this and that” and some people just forcefully align their destinies with what the Prophet has said and of course the expectations of Church folks to function as such and so end up struggling to function in callings that as it may God himself has not destined for them. Then there are others who after fasting and praying themselves on the Prophet’s “authentic declaration” and being convinced the calling is not for them and so make no effort to “become what the Prophet said” are looked at some way by Church folks; the courageous ones questioning them why they have “refused” to become what Prophet said they will become.

I remember a true story a friend of mine shared with me. She narrated how her church once hosted a Prophet who during his ministration called forward a lady chorister and told the whole congregation “what God has revealed to him” about the lady. And his revelation was that the said lady is a fornicator and has an unholy relationship with her boyfriend who promised marrying her but has been abusing her yet for the love she has for him she is still with him. According to her the whole church was thrown into a state of murmurings, including her fellow choristers; and the lady couldn’t bear the public shame that God apparently was putting her through and broke down crying. According to my friend she herself felt so embarrassed and couldn’t imagine being in the lady’s shoes and all that might be going through her mind. Apparently in her words, the lady is one of the choristers who sing as if heaven has engulfed the church so it was a good day for the church folks who were screaming “eeii” “eeii” to the revelation. She wondered whether the Prophet couldn’t have handled the revelation meant for the lady in a much better way or he was too much under the “anointing” that ethics didn’t matter. Weeks later she told me she hasn’t been seeing the lady singing with her fellow choristers again and she suspects she might have stopped coming to church.

Then there was another lady called forward of whom the prophet said her mother is a witch and the reason for all her many misfortunes and she wondered what use is that sensitive information that can wreck a family to her my friend as a congregant to know. She asked me rhetorically, couldn’t they the congregation have still prayed for the said lady without that information being blurted out? Then she said if it were the lady she would just have stopped the church because she can’t imagine all the eyes that will be looking at her every Sunday and perhaps screaming in their heads “here comes the daughter of a witch”. “Even if my own mother is a witch and I even know it myself, there’s no way I am going to announce it to a whole church so why should God be interested in doing that?”, she expressed in worry.

And the examples go on and on and all over in almost every “spiritual” church. Not everybody is comfortable with every detail about them, whether good or bad, thrown out to public domain all in the name of prophesy? What code of ethics do ministers of God work with anyways?

Many men of God are doing so many unethical and humiliating things to people in the Church all in the name of the practice of spiritual callings. I’m not a Prophet to understand why and maybe I’m not “spiritual” so cannot discern spiritual things with my carnal mind but I sure do not think God’s intention for the prophetic and pastoral calling is how we see it being practiced.

fb_img_1455263628391

As for some of the Prophets and “men of God” who apparently God reveals football match and election results to so that we know and do what about, and whose only motive is to pride themselves with public declarations or “prophecies” about the death of people and not to save them, the least said about them the better. For now all I can say is, if of all the things happening in the world the only ones God cares about to inform us to just know for knowing sake are football and election results, then “I can’t think far” as Ghanaians have coined. And who knows, maybe mere prediction and soothsaying (perhaps under the influence of having eaten too much) is the same thing as prophesying under the unction of the Holy Spirit; or maybe we as Christians are just too gullible.

Well, the thing with opinions…maybe I’m getting it all wrong but whatever it is, God help his people!

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author

 

Like, Comment, Share…And Subscribe!

Featured Image source:
LifeandLeadership.com

Fornication…

“If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife”
~~Exodus 22:16

Many believe that in our present day and age, the enforcement of the Exodus 22:16 verse/law would be a great encouragement to fornication. Some also think applying Mosaic Law in the New Testament dispensation is like crucifying Christ again.

In others view too, if the focus of the new testament is only about fleeing fornication, then what happens in a situation when someone is unable to follow the rules all the way through and where do we find a remedy for that situation. Are they totally condemned because they couldn’t flee?

Again, others feel there should be a balance so we don’t try to live the Christian life only on the basis of the New Testament, after all the Bible in its entirety is our manual, not just the New Testament.

images

So what do I think? I think both verses (Exodus 22:16 and 1 Corinthians 6:18) being in the Bible makes the Bible a holistic book.  Though there are some varied histories behind the Exodus verse and what was the norm in those days, I do not believe the verse is meant for pagans; neither do I believe it is there to encourage promiscuity or the lack of self control. And whether or not its application or relevance should be left to die with the practice of old and not brought into modern day Christianity, the reality is that I believe God in His infinite wisdom knows that even in today’s Christendom, some will get caught up in a situation where they are unable to exercise self-control and have “unmarried sex” and maybe have pregnancy on their hands before marriage. And what should then be the Bible’s requirement when that happens to a virgin or woman of marriageable age? Judge and condemn them because “fornicators” shall not inherit the kingdom of God, and on that basis prevent them from getting married because of the sin? Should they be made to look like the worse of sinners as some Churches do or be allowed to marry even when they are willing?

I do not see the application of Exodus 22:16 as condoning wrong or encouraging sin but just the recommendation of the Word of God. Repentance will not be required of Christians and mentioned in the Bible if God was oblivious of the fact that Christians do sin or will sin (not as a habit though). All sin is sin; fornication (whether a one-time act or serial act) is an equal sin as any other sin. Christians do mess up, don’t they?

Far from it, I’m not encouraging fornication; just sharing my thought on the Exodus 22:16 verse. Premarital sex is a sin and that’s undisputed! Premarital sex is sexual immorality and all sexually immoral (I believe those whose actions have become a conscious habit and not just someone who once fell into sexual sin and repented) will NOT inherit the kingdom of God!

sexual-sin

But what’s the atonement for every form of sin as the Christian knows and lives by? Isn’t it simply a genuine repentance and change from one’s old ways (though some consequences of one’s sins cannot be undone)? And aren’t all Christians, including Pastors, only being perfected in that regard? Is it not true that we all are not perfect; at least, not yet?

So yes, I’m not encouraging premarital sex. I’m only saying that the practice where a Christian brother and a Christian sister are made to feel like the worse of sinners when either by “mistake” or some unrestrained passions they fornicate and even refused marriage by the Church even when they are willing to is too extreme and not a balanced Christian principle in my view. Of course I do not expect the Church to encourage sex before marriage or preach it, but neither do I expect the Church to assume that Christians are without sin. Christians were sinners before accepting Christ and Christians are not without sin after accepting Christ.

What do we sometimes see in Churches? Some churches decline such folk marriage even when the people involved have acknowledged their sin, repented and are willing to. Some churches say they have to punish or discipline the people involved in order to maybe purge out the sin or serve as deterrent to others. To do this therefore they instill certain rules. In some churches the Church Pastor brings them before the whole congregation and shames them, telling of their act. Then, the “fornicators” (not the appropriate tag because I don’t believe someone who fornicates and then repents still qualifies to be called a fornicator) when in Church cannot sit among the congregation but at the far back of the church in specially reserved seats for such folks. He/she is also not allowed to partake in communion; neither is he/she allowed to come near the “altar”, among other restrictions.

The Biblical basis for such actions is sometimes “absurd” to me; but surprisingly many Christians submit to these kinds of treatments by the Church, maybe out of respect for Church elders or “Church discipline”. Those who are unable to handle the ill treatment just leave the Church altogether.  Church discipline especially regarding dating and relationships is a very sensitive and divisive issue to many Church folks anyways.

hold-hands

When two people are unable to exercise self-control which leads them to fornicate, I’m convinced the Biblical solution is to pray for them and encourage them to repent and mentor them. And should pregnancy be the outcome, they should be made to consider marrying especially if they are of marriageable age and offered as much help that the Church can in that regard.

Isn’t that what Exodus 22:16 recommends? Even if marriage is not the option they want to pursue, a lot can still be done for them other than shaming? Why a Church will rather chose to not encourage the praying for, mentoring and marriage option, but be interested in shaming and “disciplining” instead is what is sometimes not [biblically] clear.

Nonetheless, here’s how one Dr Lawson Stone interprets Exodus 22:16:

“Clearly this text has no idea of justifying or legitimizing any kind of sexual intercourse prior to marriage, but is a sanction enforcing marriage as the only setting for sexual union. The Church’s emphasis on sexual sin appears selective, harsh and hypocritical”

Well, the thing with opinions; they are so varied!

God help us!

(PS: Fornication is sin; as much as you can, flee it!)

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author