Monthly Archives: June 2015

It is a sin to hold hands before marriage

I am all about not adding to the Law of God. So, in my mind, this is not that.

Hebrews 13.4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled.” The second half of that verse is fairly simple. But the first half seems under-appreciated by most. Is the author of Hebrews simply saying, “If you have no sexual intercourse outside of marriage, then you have completely upheld marriage in God’s eyes”?

My guess is most of you agree that it is more than just the physical act of sexual intercourse that is forbidden outside of marriage. But if you do not guard all of marriage, you will end up drawing arbitrary lines. You will end up asking the (foolish) age-old question, “how far is too far?” like when a drunkard asks “how much wine is too much?” or a sluggard asks “how little work is too little?”

I say, “let marriage be held in honor among all!” Any benefits of marriage outside the covenant of marriage is sin in God’s sight. It does not honor marriage. This includes, and is not limited to, any romantic actions. Our kids are supposed to be able to look across the congregation and be able to tell who is married (or at least engaged) and who is not by the way couples act. We should be scandalized by seeing non-married couples holding hands without a ring on their fingers (or at least a ring on hers).

I fear non-married “couples” are one of the biggest blindspots of our generation. Let me be clear that dating outside of marriage is not sinful (how else are singles to get to know one another?). Romance is. The reason any of you cannot fathom dating without romance is because you are so defiled by our culture’s view of romance outside of marriage being ok! If someone can prove to me that holding hands is necessary to figure out if you want to marry someone, then by all means, I will repent.

But if you are married, and you would never hold hands with someone who is not your spouse, then you already deep down agree with me. Let all of marriage be sacred in your sight. It helps people understand Jesus’ devotion to His bride.

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Why church and state separation is so crucial

Recently one of our Sunday School teachers made this statement: “I think those who kill unborn children should be killed.”

I agree. In the same way any murderer deserves to be killed (Genesis 9.6). From what I heard, some of the pushback in the class revolved around how it is not the church’s decision to punish evildoers, and how we should have compassion on sinners on this side of the cross.

In response to the idea that the church is not supposed to decide the punishment of criminals, I agree. It is God’s decision. And He has stated in His Word that murderers should be killed for their crime. So when I say I think a murderer should be killed, I am only agreeing with God (for the record, I think the application of Genesis 6.9 is capital punishment, whatever form that may take in a given government). I am not saying that the church should kill murderers. That is ridiculous. But I am saying that the right thing for the government to do is to punish evildoers (Romans 13.4).

In response to the idea that we should have compassion on sinners on this side of the cross, I agree. We, the church, should have compassion on sinners. We should pray for the salvation of all sinners. However, it is not the role of government to have compassion on sinners. Just as the church should not decide on how criminals should get punished, the church should not decide how criminals should not get punished either. There is no such thing as a Christian nation, except for the church (1 Peter 2.9-10).

So pray for less crime. Pray for the state to be harsh toward criminals to curb sin in the world. And pray for all those on death row to hear the gospel, believe, and spend eternity with us!