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Boring minister
Church hijacked by charismatics
Homosexuals in the church
I can't stand the man!
Leader replacement
Mine’s a dying church
Must I go to church?
Remarriage in church
Sexually active teenagers
Should we tithe?
Son's girl friend-sleeping together
Sunday observance
The 'affair'
Tone deaf would-be choir member
Unhappy marriage
Unwelcoming church
Useless through sickness

I belong to a church where the minister is, frankly, boring with a capital B!
The services are just so utterly mind-blowingly boring. He has been with us
for just under 5 years and says he wants to stay another 10. He’s a pleasant
enough man but if we carry on as we are, there won’t be a church in 10 years.
I’ve been in this church since I was 15 (I’m 37 now). My children who used to
attend refuse to come and I really can’t blame them.
Is the only alternative to leave and find another church?
Help, please,

Well let’s start by agreeing that even the Archangel Gabriel would be hard pushed
to please everyone in every congregation (he had a knack of bringing surprisingly
news some didn’t want to hear).

Without having a lot more information about your particular situation it’s difficult to
be specific. For instance, although you fear that the church will have disappeared in
ten years, are you basing that on reliable statistical evidence? That might be just the
place you should start. Has anyone done a demographic study of the membership?
It’s not a complicated task. In it’s simplest form all you need to do is to look at the
records for the past 5 or 10 years and see how many new members have been made
and compare that with how many have left. (You can learn a lot more by analyzing the
gains and losses e.g. are the gains biological –youngsters of existing members- or
transfers from other churches. And are the losses inevitable as would be the case for deaths.)

Basically, if your gains are not covering your losses, you’re in trouble!
And if you haven’t seen any new members made in the last five years, you’re in
even deeper trouble!

If the church is growing, despite your own reservations about the minister, it would
seem to suggest that more are satisfied than dissatisfied.
But assuming you are accurate in your assessment that the numbers are declining and
the minister is not the most dynamic person around, what are the options?
You will not need me to remind you that we all have a duty-and a privilege-to pray for
our minister. He’ll be grateful for that, I can assure you!

Can I assume that you have chatted with the minister about how you feel the services
could be made more interesting? I’m sure you could put that delicately! If you haven’t
spoken to him, he could be under the impression that everything is great. All churches
have some form of administration so if your church has elders, they would be grateful
to hear your thinking now rather than learning your reasons for leaving after you had left.

If you have gone through those obvious steps, it’s time to stop before you make any decision.
This is where you need to ‘pray without ceasing’. The question to resolve is: Do you stay and
accept that, for a while, your ministry needs to be mostly one of encouraging other members
of the church and giving extra prayer support for your minister, or do you leave to join a
church where you receive more than you feel you’re getting at present.

The answer ought to be determined by what God reveals to you. After all, you’re his servant
and he has to be able to rely on you otherwise his kingdom cannot be built or function as he wants.

Here I have to add something which you may not want to hear. The easiest option may
not be the one God wants you to take, so do take time to make sure you have that
settled feeling about your decision.

If it means you are to stay put, resolve to serve with a positive attitude. Look for the
blessings in the service. No service is devoid of all blessings!

Whatever happens in the service, nothing can stop you worshipping God (!) although it
always helps if the contents of the service help the worship.

Do please bring your minister to the Lord continually, especially as he ascends the pulpit.
Be alert to the needs of the other worshippers.
Ensure you ‘take in’ spiritually. There are many excellent Christian books, and there
are some good Christian channels (as well as some rather strange ones!) on TV. There are
also not a few prayer gatherings which would welcome you with open arms.
Why not consider a personal Bible study course and, of course, it is essential that you
maintain a healthy personal prayer time.

You may find your own spiritual life re-energised, despite your present misgivings.
If you still feel your membership must be transferred, go with grace-you never know
when you might want to return!

God can use you whether you go or whether you stay but there are certain things
he prefers us to do. And why would we not want to please him more than anything
else in the world after all he’s done for us. To find what that is, all the issues need to
be covered in prayer.

So, Jane, it’s prayer to start with, prayer in the middle of it and pray it to an ending.
If you do that, you might just find that your minister will be keen to be the minister
of the kind of church to which you want to belong!

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I worship at a church which, until recently, had a traditional
style worship. About a year ago, a group of people with
Pentecostal tendencies started to attend our services and
they’ve more or less hijacked our lovely services. I just don’t
enjoy their charismatic style of worship. It’s not that our vicar
has changed what happens in the service but at the end of a
hymn, these people launch into tongues and loud praising. It
happens every service at some time. It’s ruining my church
life.. Is there anything you can suggest?


I’m a great advocate for there being a variety of worship styles.
We’re all different and I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where it
insists on a particular style. And in the main, people tend to
attend a church which has a style with which they feel happy. So
it does seem unfortunate if newcomers feel the need to change
the tradition of an existing service.
I’m just wondering if you and others have ‘suffered in silence’
rather than expressing your opinion. There is no commandment
which forbids expressing disagreement! And anyway, your
newcomers could be horrified if they knew they were offending
you. If no one has adversely commented, they must think they
have found a very hospitable church!
My first suggestion would be to make it a matter of prayer,
but I’m sure you are doing that.
Then a dialogue needs to be started. Perhaps an invitation to
an informal b-b-q might not be a bad first approach to break the
ice (if you will forgive the mixed expressions). A suggestion over
a charcoal cooked offering, of a meeting to talk about styles of
worship can’t be refused!
In order for the meeting to be productive, both ‘sides’ need to
be willing to consider each other’s views, of course. That doesn’t
mean you have to agree with the views which will be expressed
but you will reach a resolution a lot sooner if you start from a
neutral position.
Because it’s you who have asked the question, my advice is
offered only to your ‘side’.
The charismatic movement brought with it the reviving breath
of God to many churches which were literally dying. Sometimes,
however, in their understandable-and enviable- enthusiasm,
borne of discovering the wonder of the presence of God in their
own lives, they may well have been guilty of trying to revive
some churches which weren’t dying. They were simply enjoying
a more ‘sedate’ expression of worship. And just like someone
enjoying a peaceful sun bathe on the beach who is suddenly
pounced on by Life Guards determined to give the kiss of life,
those churches were not in the least bit grateful. In fact furious
would not be an inappropriate word. It was the right message
in the wrong place.
Do try to be open minded about what ‘they’ are all fired up about.
Even if you understand it more, it doesn’t necessarily mean you
will want to adopt their style but it could mean that you could
worship with them without feeling that you want to eject them.
If neither side is willing to compromise, why not ask your vicar if
he is willing to organize two different types of services. I’m not
convinced that there is a one service fits all. I am convinced that
all who love the Lord should have the opportunity of doing it in
the way they prefer…. but not at the expense of forcing it on others.
People should be able to worship in a way that feels comfortable
to them. Why feel threatened if there are two styles of service
at one church. There are all sorts of social gatherings and church
activities which can be done together. And perhaps over time, an
occasional combined service might just enrich both groups.
So do have a get together because you have more in common
than it might seem.
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The church I attend is dying. Only a handful of people attend.
It’s so dispiriting. We’ve tried the usual things like coffee
mornings and bring and buy sales but nothing seems to work
for us. It it ever right to admit defeat and just close a church?

It sounds as though your question might be academic. If you have
only a handful of people, unless you are sitting on some massive
financial reserves, the prospect of closure must be very real. So it
might be that the real question to be addressed is how to manage
the closure.
Having said that, let’s ignore, for a moment, what seems to be
inevitable and consider another question: What is the mind of God
on the matter?
Like you, no doubt, I can think of reasons for closing what looks like
a dying church but, equally, I can think of compelling reasons to keep
it open. However, what we want isn’t the point-or it shouldn’t be! If
God wants it open, we have no right to shut it, and if he wants it shut,
we have no right to keep it open. And to anyone who recoils in horror
at the idea that God might want one of his churches closed, is it not
conceivable that he might want the people (who are ‘The Church’)
to relocate so that his resources can be better used? If a church was
thriving 30 years ago but it isn’t thriving today, it’s fairly self evident
that whereas it was fulfilling a need, it isn’t today. It could that the
need vanished years ago and no one noticed!
So the first thing I would urge you all to do is to seek God’s direction.
This may well involve you in a time of specific Bible study and fasting in
order to concentrate your minds. Some might shy away from such an
intense approach but it would save you a lot of unnecessary grief.
If the consensus under God is that the church should close, celebrate
its successes-and there will have been some over the years -and ensure
that each member finds a new spiritual home.
If the decision is that the church should be kept open, a detailed plan
of action needs to be agreed and all the existing members would need
to own it.
Before any venture is started to bring people into the church, it is
essential to have a careful look to what they are being invited. If the
church activities are uninspiring, they are hardly likely to be attractive
to newcomers. It will take not a little courage to face up to the facts
but nothing will be effective until and unless this is done.
Dr Robert Schuller, the Pastor of The Crystal Cathedral in the USA,
has a simple but very effective philosophy for building a successful
church, He says ‘Find a need and fill it!’
The people in your area, as in every area, need Christ, of course but
they may not express that in those terms. Knowing what people feel
they need gives you a starting place.
But a word to the wise-don’t collect a page full of local needs and
think it’s your church’s job to fulfil them. You will run yourself ragged
if you do that. What the list will do is to help you to develop relevant
ministries for the new people who will join the church.
How people come to join a church is not a mystery. Between 75-90%
of people join a church as the result of an invitation of a friend or relative.
To use the ‘in’ phrase-it’s not rocket science!
There are a number of reasons why we don’t invite people to our church
and knowing our church isn’t very interesting or attractive is reason
number 1!
Once you have addressed that situation, you may have limited
resources but if those limited resources are powered by God’s Holy
Spirit, you can be certain he will bless you and prosper your efforts.
As you have just a handful of people, my advice would be to concentrate
on one outreach venture only. I’ve seen some great results through
the Alpha course. If you choose to do that, it is better by far to run
the course as it is recommended. Dipping in and using bits you feel
would be ‘helpful;’ will dilute its effectiveness. If you run the course
properly people will come to faith in Christ. They will then choose to
join your particular church if they see it as relevant to them and that
you are enthusiastic about your faith. It’s important to remember
always that our role as Christians is building God’s Kingdom, not
counting how many people we can get into a building. If we
concentrate on the Kingdom, the side effect will be that there are
more people in our churches.
But you still have to get the people to attend the course and this is
where you must call in that ownership. Every member of the church
needs to accept the responsibility of inviting and ensuring that they
bring someone to the course.(if it’s Alpha you choose).
If they don’t do that, you will need to return to stage one and some
more teaching and understanding needs to take place until the people
accept that the church isn’t going to grow by someone else’s efforts!
John, the situation may seem hopeless but if God wants your church
to stay open he will provide you with everything you need!
If you feel there isn’t a suitable person to organize the plan, you could
invite a church growth consultant.
But your concern marks you out as one who could set the ball
rolling. I hope God will increase your vision and he will empower you
for the task ahead, whichever route you are led to take.
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We have a lovely group of youngsters at our church. They
attend the services and seem to enjoy them but we are
concerned that sexually they live in a way which is not in
keeping with what the church teaches.
Do we just have to accept that this is the modern way of living?

Margaret, I’m not sure I agree with all of your assessment of the situation.
Perhaps some of the problem is precisely because the church doesn’t teach
what the Bible says about morals. And if a church neglects to give clear
teaching on sexual morality we can hardly be surprised if our young people
don’t give the subject the consideration it is due. If my observation doesn’t
apply to your church and yours is a church giving good clear Biblical teaching
on morals, forgive me.
Sadly, so many youngsters see the standards of the world and assume that
this is just the way society is ‘developing’. But if the whole of society chooses
to behave in ways which are contrary to God’s ways, God isn’t going to change
his ways to conform with society’s! His standards are constant in a changing

So what do we tell our youngsters.
I’m not suggesting that the pulpit is the place from which to give detailed sex
education but I am suggesting the it is the place where an unequivocal statement
is made that God’s standards include that sex outside marriage is sinful. I
recognize that that may even disturb some faithful worshippers who may have
family members or friends who are in relationships which are not honouring to God.
All too often we hear the excuse ‘well, it’s not ideal but they’re happy.’ I think we
need to develop a truly Christian attitude on this issue by showing we genuinely
love the sinner but we are equally strong in our hatred of the sin. It ought not to
be impossible for our love for the young people in churches like yours to be such
that they feel welcome while knowing there are standards which are expected of
Christians. After all, unless we make them welcome in the church, they are extremely
unlikely to hear what God expects anywhere else.
They will readily understand that if God says something is wrong, it doesn’t become
right because a lot of people do it!
Part of the teaching of the church is also that we must all give an account to God
of our actions. Rehearsing that moment might be a thought provoking discussion!
The young people at church who are admitting to a sex outside marriage lifestyle,
have to be challenged. They really do. We do them no favours by allowing them to
think it is acceptable. And that’s not just because the Bible says such relationships
are forbidden, (good reason on its own though that may be); it’s because the
resulting harm which is done to the youngsters puts them under a handicap when it
comes to building the kingdom of God. The lack of respect, the lowering of self esteem,
while they try out various partners cannot be anything but harmful, however much
bravado accompanies such behaviour.
Neither is the fact that some may be in what they term settled relationships a reason
to dilute the Word of God. Fear of offending such people and losing them to the church
is understandable but, by the grace of God, our approach can be seen as carrying
Scriptural authority while still showing an overriding love and concern for them as
people. We’re not terribly good at condemning the sin and loving the sinner. Let’s
remember that if we’re going to point out errors in lifestyle, we had better be sure
that we’re not po faced ourselves! Honey gets more flies than a swat!
As to your particular youngsters, can I suggest that you have e some Christian
teaching literature very available in the church and perhaps one or two interesting
talks by a committed Christian doctor or specialist who can deal with both the
medical and the ethical aspects. Perhaps such a talk could be part of preparing people
for church membership.
Youngsters today are internet informed and they might be willing to check the
Christianity Today site on which there is some excellent teaching and a wealth of
other Christian sites are there, too.
They might also be interested in checking out the SILVER RING THING in the USA
which is making an impression in the UK as well as other countries. This is the
teenage abstinence from sex until marriage movement. (Just go to a search engine
and type in ‘Silver Ring Thing’)
Margaret, it’s not an easy problem to tackle and the church has not helped by
ignoring it. Bless you for your concern. I pray God’s guidance for you as you seek
to honour him. I know you will cover your young people in prayer. They face
tremendous peer pressure and we must find ways to help them deal with that.
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I belong to a denomination which maintains a very rigid observance of
Sunday. Doing anything other than church is viewed with disapproval.
Would relaxing the rigidity really compromise holiness.

You will not be surprised to see that I start by quoting the words of Jesus:
The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27) but
that might give the impression that I’m suggesting observance of the Lord’s
Day is not important. Far from it. But I do think it’s important to understand
what Jesus is saying. Observance for observance’s sake is not the idea of
the Sabbath.
Having a day of rest each week is God’s idea:
For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all
that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD
blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Ex. 20:11)

I think we have to be careful when we say that Sunday (our Sabbath)
should be a day of worship, because if God is real to us, every day will be
a day of worship.
That on our day of rest there will be time of worship must be absolutely
true but I can remember going to church three times every Sunday and
it was neither a day of rest nor was it conducive to worship!
Sadly in trying to get the balance right so that worship could be done in
a less pressurized way, some churches have simply deleted the number
of services and people have replaced the deleted services with equally
frenzied activities, sport being amongst them.
And that might seem to suggest we’ve lost sight of the idea of the
Sabbath being ‘holy’; not that sport, for instance is un-holy! But the root
of the word holy is ‘hagios’ which as you know means ‘different’.
Our Sunday can be different but extremely unfulfilling if we have to spend
every waking moment trying to prove we’re not having fun because it’s
Many of us can remember our younger years observing puritanical
Sundays on which no games were played, nothing was purchased and
even knitting was considered sinful! There can be no doubt that such
days were different. Whether it made us more pious is doubtful, I suspect.
Such restrictions seem to have more in common with Pharisaical laws
than the lifestyle of the disciples.
Personally, I doubt very much whether God on that great accounting day
will be checking the ledgers to see if we bought an ice cream on Sunday.
But I do think it a shame that the quietness of the Sundays of yesteryear
seems to be a thing of the past.
I think the issue of Sunday now actually has two aspects to it.
1. How can we organize the day so that we can worship without it being
punitive on us and our families so that we can end the day feeling rested
and renewed.
2. How can we observe the day so that it is sufficiently different to the
way we spend every other day of the week and for it to be a witness to
non believers.
If you can satisfy both those aspects, may I suggest that transgressing
some denominational rule may not be too disappointing to God. Of course,
Janice, if you signed up to your denomination’s code of behaviour, you
are honour bound to observe it. If you find you cannot observe it any
longer, why not share your feelings with your elders and see if they might
view your interpretations of the rules as not unacceptable. They may be
more receptive than you think.
If they remain adamant that the rules are unchangeable, and not subject
to any other interpretation, then you, obviously, have a decision to make.
If you stay, you will be agreeing to the church’s stance. If you leave, do
remember that the core beliefs of the church are more important than their
rules. The question is : Are your denomination’s doctrines more important
to you than their rules. If they are, you sound as though your prayer time
may have to lengthen somewhat!
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Unfortunately, my marriage broke down and we divorced about five
years ago.
I have now met someone else but our local church refuses to allow
us to marry there. This really disappoints us as we are both looking
forward to making a new start and had hoped to do that
with the blessing of the church.


In an ideal world, there would be no divorce. But there again, in an
ideal world there would be no sin. It is evident we have both.
Different denominations take different views on the subject of
remarriage-which is a sure indication that it is not an easy question
to resolve. It is hoped that due respect is given to churches holding
differing views as each church will have arrived at their viewpoint
only after much thought and prayer.
In my view, a flexible approach is permissible otherwise, for instance,
a couple who elected to be married in a register officer because they
were not Christians, who then divorce but one becomes a Christian
and wants to marry again, this time acknowledging God in his/her life
and marriage is forbidden to do so. This seems a little harsh.
The basic question, it seems to me, is:
Is there genuine repentance for the hurt and breakdown of the first
marriage? (And repentance includes making restitution as far as is
However, if a couple express a desire to marry in church but it is clear
they are still angry and intent on blaming their former spouse for the
breakdown of the first marriage, I suggest there is some way to go
before permission is given for a church ceremony for a second marriage.
If it was me, David, I would invite you to pre- marriage counselling
sessions on the understanding that a decision would not be made about
whether or not the wedding could be allowed in church, until after the
course was completed. It needs to be clearly established that God is to
be honoured in the way married life is to be conducted.

It has always seemed a pity to me that a couple who genuinely
acknowledge their mistakes, even being totally at fault in the breakdown
of their marriage, but who show remorse and regret, are denied a
second chance. If the church is unwilling to allow the ‘repentant
sinners’ (assuming they are the ‘guilty party’) an opportunity of
becoming new creatures in Christ/if we, the Church, don’t allow them
to put their new relationship on a spiritual footing, we hardly encourage
them to believe that God’s forgiveness is all embracing.

Personally, I have reservations about not agreeing that a marriage
ceremony can take place in a church but instead conduct a service of
blessing in the church after a civil service. Either God is going to bless
the union or he isn’t! Without being unduly humorous at a serious
subject, that looks as though God forgives but the church doesn’t!
Far better, I would have thought, if publicly, there is an acknowledgement
that this marriage is taking place only after the couple have acknowledged
before God the past wrongs. If the couple feel that too personal a
statement, then they aren’t yet ready to be married in my church!
In short, I think we have to meet people where they are and not
where we would like them to be. It’s the church’s job to help to get
them there. Closing doors unnecessarily won’t help.
So David, if one church denies you the opportunity of having God’s
blessing in their building, step back and have a think what that
particular church’s message is. You may feel, on reflection, that
they are right to make their stand about the sanctity of marriage,
and you will feel able to worship there even if they will not allow
you to be married there. On the other hand, if you take a different
view, you will find churches which have a different outlook and you
may be happier worshipping there.
One final word of counsel, together with your wife-to-be, do see if
you can pray together for God’s guidance on your plans. If you’re
not used to praying together, why not ask a Christian you respect
if they will pray with you. I think you will be surprised at how the
future arrangements might not be quite as complicated as they
seem right now.
Every blessing to you both for your future together.
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I’m sure that two of our church members are having an affair. They
are both married and although their spouses are also in the church,
they seem to be unaware of the situation. I don’t want to be a
busybody but it’s not helping my worship seeing them carrying on.
Should I confront them?

Not unless you are a qualified counsellor, Diane, and blessed with a double
anointing of the Holy Spirit!
Before you do anything at all, can I urge you to cover the matter
with much prayer.
I note that you say you are sure these two church members are having
an affair. I’m tempted to ask what makes you so sure?
The two may be behaving in a way that raises eyebrows but proving an
affair is not as easy as some may think. If you do not have proof -and
there has to be strong circumstantial evidence if the couple deny the
allegation- be very very careful before you make comment. If the
situation is not as you suspect, your allegation could do untold damage
to the relationships of both couples. If it is as you suspect, it needs
handling with extreme care. There is a world of difference in dealing
with a wrong relationship problem because we feel indignant that
Christians should behave in such a way, to seeing how the couples
can restore their relationships. Dealing with the aftermath of broken
relationships is sometimes like working in a blitz area. There are bits
all over the place and sometimes they just won’t fit back together.
The very last thing needed is someone expressing righteous indignation.
Restoring the people to God’s favour and to their spouses is the most
important thing to be done. Once that is done, they will show the kind
of penitential attitude in the church which ought to encourage the
church members to kick in on the 70 x 7 command.
Diane, you would not be asking me what you should do if you were a qualified
counsellor so my advice is that you should ask to see your vicar and
express your concerns to him, giving him what ‘evidence’ you have to
support your fears.
If, on reflection, you feel you would have little to support your claim, you
would be offended if I had to remind you that contributing to rumours
would be un-Christian in the extreme.
It’s by no means an easy situation and your vicar’s heart will drop at the
prospect of having to deal with a marriage breakdown so unless there
is real substance to your suspicions, it would be helpful to remain silent,
as I’m sure you would be prepared to do.
Can you find it in your heart to accept the two couples as an urgent
prayer project? Let the vicar decide the steps to be taken, if you decide
to approach him. Your role can be the indispensable one of prayerfully
supporting him and interceding for the people who may be involved in
what could be a very sad situation.
Sometimes it’s tough being a Christian, isn’t it!
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I belong to a denomination in which music plays a large part.
We have a good choir but the leader doesn’t get the best out of the
choir. I know I could be a better leader than the present leader and
feel God wants me to be the leader. Unfortunately the present
leader shows no sign of giving up and the minister seems happy to
let the situation carry on. If God has told me I should be the leader,
should I tell the minister and the present leader?

There seems to be a communication blockage here, Ann!
And what worries me somewhat is that God is usually pretty good
on communication. God doesn’t seem to have told your minister
or choir leader what he has told you. If that’s the case, I doubt you
will gain much by telling them. Shades of Joseph there, telling his
brothers about his dream. He ended up in a pit but he came good
in the end, so all’s well that ends well, I suppose!
So you may be right. You just have to wait. Impatience is the
besetting sin in a situation like yours. You’re obviously chaffing at
the bit, itching to have a go at improving the choir but leading
a church musical group isn’t just about music. It’s knowing how to
handle people. I’ve know some excellent musicians who haven’t been
that hot as musical leaders because their personnel skills weren’t as
good as they should have been. But I’ve also known some, perhaps,
less gifted musical people who have inspired a loyalty to the group
and to themselves personally that the musical standard has been
far better than could ever have been expected.
If a new leader intent on improving the musical standard implements
changes without the skill to manage them it could result in people
exiting stage left. If among them are some of the better singers, it
could end up with fewer members and a worse standard, despite the
best intentions of the new leader. The longed-for improvement
might be a long time a-coming!
Allow me please a word on your belief that this God’s way for you.
God’s timing is impeccable. If the opening is not there at the moment,
it will come….. if it is as you claim. So, confident as you are of what you
have been told, you must be equally confident of God’s timetable, about
which he has not told you. So consider yourself extraordinarily blessed.
You have advance knowledge of what God wants you to do. How
detailed your preparation can and must be. You will be able to study
music in even greater depth. If you haven’t taken a musical diploma
course, why not start studying now. And between now and God bringing
about the appointment, determine that you will be a leader who inspires
loyalty because of the loyalty people see you giving now. You are being
given time to acquire and practise grace. That is priceless for leadership.
It is said that to him who is given much, much will be expected. If you
feel you have the ability to lead a choir, remember that with the privilege
comes responsibility. And be certain of this-it is a heavy responsibility.
My advice would be to focus on making yourself as ready as you can be
and not to worry when a particular appointment may become vacant.
Meanwhile, your present choir leader will appreciate your prayers. As you
will discover, leadership is costly.
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I would like to attend a church but I don’t feel good enough.
I’ve been through two divorces and have an eleven-year old
daughter from another relationship. I did go to a church once
or twice but the people seemed so judgmental and made it clear
they didn’t approve of people with my kind of history even
though they knew very little about me. I know I’m not a very
good example but I feel more welcome at the Bingo club than
at church.

Well, just to redress the balance, Denise, I’ve been in some
bingo halls ‘(not to play, in case you wondered!) where people
have taken one look at my clerical clothing and have it made
it clear they disapproved of me, and I hadn’t said a single word!
You will readily appreciate that churches are made up of all
sorts of people, all of whom are trying to work out how they
can be better people. By the sound of it, you have met some
who still have some way to go before they become the
finished article.

If you’re trying to find a church where all the members are
wonderful, caring, and compassionate who welcome everyone
with open arms, let me know when you find it-I’d like to join
If you can persuade yourself to keep attending a church for a
while, you will find a cross section of people there but
they will have one thing in common-none of them will be
professing to be perfect. In church language, all of them are
sinners. Some will have asked for God’s forgiveness and
have promised him they will try to live lives which are
pleasing to him. And they’ll be successful in that to some
degree or other. The people who you feel were judgmental
are likely to be those who have yet to come to know God,
although even those who have a relationship with God can
sometimes have a lapse or two. Being a Christian doesn’t
make you perfect. It’s just a description of those who are
trying to be like Jesus. Sometimes we make a better job of
it than other times.
Someone very wisely once said that a church is not a
mausoleum for saints; it’s a hospital for sinners.

So I’m sorry I can’t direct you to a place of worship where
no one will ever say an unkind word or express disapproval
of something they dislike. But that’s because they need
God’s refining touch on them. I’m just thankful they’re in
the church because that’s the place where that is most
likely to happen.
Perhaps all churches should have signs outside saying,
‘Please be warned-there are no perfect people in this
church! Enter only if you are prepared to meet people just
like you!’

May I offer a practical point?
Every church is a place where we give as well as receive. It
is easier to welcome someone who is approachable. A couple
of genuine compliments will carry you miles. ‘What a helpful
sermon/lovely anthem from the choir/floral display’ will
encourage your fellow worshippers to realise you are not one
of those irritating people who sit in church for ten weeks never
attempting to speak to anyone, only to complain , having left
the church, that no one spoke to them!
Communication is two way. The people you have met may
have more difficulty than you in starting a conversation.
Attending a church sadly doesn’t give us all that gift. Start by
being a giver if you want to receive.
The hardest thing for you, I suspect, is to attend for long
enough to overcome that initial reaction you feel is there. Do
try, please , because it will give the people time to get to know
you rather than what you have done or been. And I’d almost
want to guarantee that you will find people there who will
show an interest in you and some of them will do so because
they, or people they love, may have trodden paths not dissimilar to
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Am I being a hypocrite? I don’t believe in God but I
thoroughly enjoy attending a church service. I love the
peace of the building and the music of the organ and the choir.
I quite like listening to the sermon, too, as the man seems to
talk a lot of common sense. I don’t disagree with his teaching
about living a decent moral life. I just don’t believe there’s a God!

As you may know, the word hypocrite has it’s origins in the word actor,
those who play a part. They pretend to be something they’re not. So
unless you’re pretending to be a Christian, no, you’re not a hypocrite
as presumably you’re not saying anything different to those with whom
you sit in church to what you have written here.
Your comments, however, are intriguing because although you state
your position as a fact, I think you are closer to believing in God than
you imagine.
People are often heard to talk about their quest to ‘find’ God. Admirable
as such a search may be, I think realizing that there is a God more often
comes because God finds us. His search is more intense than ours.
We wouldn’t go to a cross and be crucified to find him but he did that
for us. (I accept that that I’m stating what we believe, not what you
believe but bear with me for a moment, please. I merely make the
comment as not a few people have come to a belief in God having
realized God has been searching for them.)
As you enjoy a sermon, perhaps you’d allow me a quote from the Bible
as you’ll be used to hearing such quotes, sermons being based on
what it says (unless you attend a very funny church!) It says ‘Be still
and know that I am God.’ (Psa. 46:10) I’m going to make a huge
What you describe as the peace and enjoyment when you’re in church is,
in fact, the presence of God, so while intellectually you may have difficulty
with exercising faith to believe in God, you are already experiencing him.
The peace you feel in church is because of the stillness in which the
Bible tells us we shall realise he is God. The enjoyment of the music is
also connected to that same thought. The Bible says God inhabits the
praise of his people. As music is a way in which the Christian praises God,
he is there as your choir sing and as the organ plays. No wonder you enjoy
When you say that you love the peace and the music I would suggest
you are actually experiencing God. If you can accept that, then believing
in the workings of God as told in the Bible is the natural consequence.
You already enjoy God’s peace and joy. I have a feeling that the more
you do so, the closer to believing in God you will get until you find it more
reasonable to believe in God than not to believe.
Trevor. I hope your journey of discovery continues to be an enjoyable one.
I suspect it will be a short one.
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In the services our minister has begun to include references to tithing. Isn’t that
Old Testament teaching? Didn’t the coming of Jesus signify an end of that kind of
Observance . Surely everything we have, including all our finance, belongs to
God and we use it only after agreement with him?

Are we expected to tithe on our gross or our net income ?

One would have supposed that those who realise what Jesus has done for them
when he died on the cross, would want to make everything they have, available to
him. And if that was so in practice, there would be no financially embarrassed
churches and all the missions and outreaches would be funded and to spare.
The reality is that the average church attender contributes to their
church/missions each week less than they spend on buying a daily newspaper
for the week. If the inference in the question is that we should be giving more
than the Old Testament tithe, the message has singularly failed to get though!
That’s the sad practicality of the situation. If all God’s people just tithed,
the Church would never have to resort to another jumble sale! Now wouldn’t
that be a joy! I really can’t think that God can be over pleased by some
project in his name being stalled until half a dozen jumble sales have been held.

Some wit tells the story of the minister addressing the congregation:
“There’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is that the church
needs a new roof. The good news is that God has given us the money for it to
be replaced. The bad news is that it’s still in your pockets!”

It may come as a surprise to some of us but God doesn’t actually need our
money! He owns everything in the universe. If he wanted, he could stop the
world for an hour, tip it on its end and drain every last coin from every bank
in the world and then put the world back as it was…only penniless.
When was the last time God charged for healing someone, or for resolving
some seemingly impossible situation. He doesn’t need our money but we need
to give to him because that’s the act of obedience he has decided will open the
gates of heaven and pour us out blessings we can’t contain (Malachi 3:10).
The tragedy of those who skim over a methodical way of giving to God (and
that’s what tithing is) is they rob themselves. They might think they are
‘saving’ their money but in actual fact they’re robbing themselves of things
which God wants to supply and blessings he wants to give which money can’t
I speak from very personal experience that God has blessed me out of all
proportion to my tithe.
So the only financial aspect of tithing is that it is the way God opens all his
resources to us. If anyone doubts that, let them try it for six months. If it
doesn’t work and they feel downright miserable,- abandon the experiment!
Why would anyone not at least attempt that experiment when they have God’s
Word telling them it will work.
And to those who want to engage in semantics and suggest that tithing would
actually limit the giving, can I remind them that the Bible talks about Tithes and
Offerings. If the tithe can be accurately calculated down to the last decimal point,
there is no such limit on offerings!

As to Sheila’s question on whether tithing should be on gross or net, I ask her
forgiveness in answering generally, but in 30 plus years of ministry I can
confirm in 99% of the cases who are concerned about such a definition would
be increasing their giving whichever one they chose!
But to specifically address the question, can I answer with a question:
Do want a gross or net blessing?!
My suggestion is to make it a matter of prayer. Please don’t tithe unless and
until you do so with a glad heart.
Your church will benefit not just financially but by the blessings which will be
yours and which you will hardly be able to wait to share with people. And in
that way the gates of heaven open wider and wider to more and more people.

(If you are not committed to a church, Veil Ministries has become a church to
many now and we’ll be pleased if you want to partner us in our ministry by
allocating your tithes and offering to us.)
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I don’t have a problem with the Christian faith. It’s beautiful. It’s
Christians I can’t stand!
In any church you can find them-squabbling, back biting, spending time
on issues which don’t matter to anyone but themselves. They have a
veneer of goodness but they gossip really good people out of existence.
I find better people in the pub.
I spend my Sundays in my own ‘church’….sometimes it’s in the
countryside appreciating God’s wonderful creation. At other times it’s
sitting in my garden shed listening to the God given music of composers
like Bach and Mozart. And I have the Bible which I read regularly and it
feeds me spiritually.
My colleagues at work know that I’m a Christian and I’m often asked for
advice when they have troubles.
I’m not saying that every Christian is less than desirable but put them
together and you seem to have a recipe for the kind of people that
doesn’t impress me. So unless you can give me some compelling reason,
I’ll be staying well clear of churches.

Firstly, I’m glad that you are a believer. That makes you my brother.
You’re in the family. Your garden shed is going to be a bit small for a
family reunion, though! And I do hope you’re not going to be a funny
relative who wants nothing to do with other members of the family.
It’s true that in most families there are those who are a bit short on
tact but most of them have hearts of gold even if you have to do a bit
of patient prospecting on them.
There are all sorts of groupings within families…we call them churches.
Some are better groupings than others but they all have at least one
thing in common. The value of them is in the combined contribution
of all the members. And reading your comments, you’ll forgive me
saying that what seems to be missing is you have been pretty graphic
about what you ‘receive’ when you attend church, but I don’t see any
description of what you’re contributing. There’s an old saying that you
only get out what you put in. If you’re not putting your two
pennyworth in, you really don’t have the right to take four pennyworth
out. Not that I think the Church is above some healthy criticism but
if it needs improving, it’s much more effectively done from the inside.
When I question the value of my church membership, it does me good
to remember that ‘as his custom was on the Sabbath he (Jesus)
entered into the synagogue.’ I’m sure he found the same sort of cross
section of people as we do today but he obviously felt he had a need
to worship with others.
Raymond, you may be one those fortunate people who are self
motivated enough to feed yourself spiritually but to him whom much
is given, much will be expected. There are many people who go to
church who would benefit considerably from what you could give to
them. And when you were received into God’s family you were
‘grafted into the vine’ which means that you were joined on to
another Christian and you can’t unilaterally take yourself out of that
relationship by saying you don’t like where God has put you. What
you are expected to do is to work on the relationship in which God
has placed you. You may prefer some other relationship or no
relationship at all but it’s not your choice. You gave up that option
when you accepted Christ as your Saviour. You see, Raymond, it’s
all about what God wants of you and not what you want to do. So
some churches have people in them who aren’t to your taste.
Too bad-join the human race! O.K. there may be one or two in the
church who need to have more of Jesus in them. You have confessed
that you know the secret of getting spiritual food….time now to help
those who need that skill. And the saints will also be glad of your help
because right now they’re having to do your share as well.
Come on Raymond, the Church needs you and you need the Church.
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I am married, female with two children aged 15 and 12, but my
marriage is completely without affection. My husband is moody and
shows no interest in the family or the home at all.
Although my husband knew before the marriage of my church
attendance, he refuses to come with me. I am just so desperately
unhappy and don’t even want to think of spending the next 40
years like this.
Recently, a friend at church lost his wife and we chat together and
seem to have so much in common. I’m sure we could be happy
together and I really don’t think it would bother my husband if we
Do I have to be consigned to unhappiness when the solution is staring
me in the face?

Well, let’s start with the first three words of your question:
‘I am married.’ I assume you refer to a Christian marriage, when you
promised to ‘love, honour and …..etc etc’ and it also includes that
irritating promise, when the situation like yours arises … ‘…and
forsaking all others…’
Now if you have already logged off the site because I’ve said what
you didn’t want to hear, and out of sheer curiosity, you have returned
to the site to see what other irrelevant comment I have to make (!)
please bear with me and see if the remainder of the comments might
contain a grain or two of practical common sense.
I have the greatest sympathy for anyone trapped in a loveless marriage,
and I do not think that divorce is always wrong, although let me say
immediately that I believe some marriages aren’t given enough chance
to come though the rough times.
It would be foolish of me to offer specific advice without knowing all the
facts. I have counselled for too many years to be unaware that the take
from the other side of the fireplace can be quite different. Sometimes it
hardly seems to be the same problem. So just some general comments.
As you are a church attender, can I ask a very basic question:
‘Are you praying for your husband?’
(Note I didn’t ask if you were praying about your unhappy marriage. I
suspect you won’t need any encouragement to do that. )
You may be pleasantly surprised at the effect it has on him and your
attitude towards him. It’s very difficult to pray for someone and keep
harbouring ill feelings towards them. Sure, he’s probably his own worst
enemy/you feel he’s the cause of the difficulties/someone who makes
people unhappy doesn’t deserve prayer/ etc.
So why should you pray for him?
Because the Bible says (Psa. 68:19) ‘…God our Saviour…. daily bears
our burdens.’
So talk with God, and then talk with your husband. You would
be amazed if you heard as often as I have done ‘I didn’t know he/she
felt that way.’ Communication is key! People-even close relatives- are
nowhere near as physic as we think! Your husband may know how you
feel but my guess is that he doesn’t know the extent of your unhappiness.
Talk to your minister. But bear in mind that not every minister is
competent in counseling so if you sense he/she is not comfortable with
dealing with marital matters, ask if he can refer you to a qualified
counsellor. Your G.P. would also be able to do this, although a good
Christian counsellor would approach the situation in a way which
because of your church membership, would probably appeal to you.
If you accept the idea of counseling, to get maximum benefit do view it
as a way of improving the relationship rather than a way of convincing
your husband of the error of his ways! When you are aware of what it
will take to make the relationship acceptable to you, only you can decide
if you are willing to pay that price.
One final word, if you really want to complicate your life big time, upset
your children, cause endless damaging gossip in the church, give your
minister a prize headache and displease God, go ahead and get involved
with the widower, assuming he’s not averse to doing what God says not
to do.
You cannot build happiness on unhappiness, Jean!
If as a last resort, having done everything possible to deal with your
unhappiness, you decide that your marriage is unworkable and you bring
it to an end, then, and only then, would it be acceptable to consider
another relationship. But not until.
Do remember that Jesus wants us to be full of his joy and he’s more
than willing to do his part to bring that about, so if you do your part,
there is a good future ahead for you …but it will only come about in his
May God bless you as you seek his will.
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There is a man in my church who I just can’t stand. He seems unable
to discuss anything without taking personal offence when someone
voices an opinion which disagrees with his position.
I’ve tried to get alongside him and show him genuine friendship but it
doesn’t make any difference to him. He’s so judgemental and negative.
Any suggestions?

Well, Peter, unless you are both in leadership roles in your church,
there would seem to be no reason why you must necessarily engage
with this chap. We’d all like to get on with everyone all the time but
life’s not like that. None of us likes everyone else although we are
asked to love each other. Liking someone means we enjoy spending
time with that person. Loving ‘simply’ means doing the very best we
can for a person even when we don’t particularly like them.
You are honest enough to admit you don’t like this man. So, having
tried to do all the right Christian things, love him at a distance! That
means that although you don’t seek him out for his company, you
don’t run him down to other church members; you don’t exclude him
from events which are open to everyone else and if he is qualified for
any role in the church, then he gets considered. He is not favoured
before anyone else but neither is he relegated to a position behind
others you may prefer.

On the other hand, if he is in a leadership role, as you are, then
having done your best to work with him, the sensible course of action
would be to meet with your vicar/pastor to explain how difficult you
find working with this person. Your pastor may be able to shed some
light on why the man behaves in the way he does and you may find
that enables you to view him more sympathetically. If it doesn’t,
then one of you should consider relinquishing your leadership role
because conflicting relationships is not good for the kingdom of God.
You can’t be concentrating on building God’s kingdom if you’re at each
other’s throat all the time. Someone should be recognising how
detrimental to God’s work such disagreement is. If it comes to a
resignation issue, he who offers to resign for that reason will,
ironically, be the one who should not resign …but will probably be
allowed to do so! It may take a while for the situation to resolve
afterwards but it will. God is no man’s debtor.
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I feel so useless!
For years I was active in my church and loved being at everything.
Over the past year, because of illness, I haven’t been able to attend
hardly at all and although the church members have been marvellous
by visiting me and keeping me up to date with what has been
happening, I feel out of it.
Why does God allow people to be denied the opportunity of being
active for him when they so much want to be?

Firstly let me sympathise with you for not being able to do what you
obviously enjoy doing in your church.
Having said that, while it’s always satisfying to do what we enjoy
doing at church, there are tasks which may seem tedious but unless
they are done, something akin to chaos can ensue.
For instance, we all like to sit in a nice clean warm building but few
want to spend Saturdays with a mop and brush. And more people than
you might imagine seem to think the building is heated by fairies who
naturally use fuel which costs nothing!
If the church is without a treasurer, books have to be regularly
updated even if it means someone who dislikes figures has to be
Those may seem strange comments in answer to your question, Sue,
but bear with me, please, while I explain.
Sadly, one of the aspects of church life which people don’t exactly
rush to be involved in, is the serious practice of prayer. You may be the
exception to the rule and if so, please forgive me for allowing my
thoughts to wander in this direction but it has always seemed to me
that it would be wonderful if the curse of enforced physical activity
could result in the greatest blessing for others. If a ministry of intercession
could be accepted , it would make a tremendous difference to so many.
Most of us protest that we have so little time to pray. Why not, then,
turn what seems to be a burden into a blessing for others. If I was your
minister, I would be beating a path to your door.
You might be inactive in a church building but you would be far from
inactive in your church! In fact, you might be surprised at becoming the
person most sought by other church members.
People with a specific prayer ministry seem to develop a noticeable depth.
Perhaps it’s as a result of spending time with God.
If you have time left over from setting up and running a prayer ministry,
what about a telephone ministry to other shut ins? Not just for a social
chat but to share a Bible reading and a prayer over the phone. You’d be
amazed how valuable that is.
Are you young enough to be computer literate? If so, researching for your
church magazine or even producing a magazine is something which can
easily be done at home.
You could run a home bible study course or even hold an Alpha course.
You may eventually wonder how you ever found the time to do all your
previous activities.
I’m so sorry that illness has robbed you of doing what you so liked doing.
I’m confident, however, that if you ask God to open doors for you, some
very interesting options will appear.
One last word-open doors are best approached with open minds!
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I would just love to sing in our church choir but the choir leader refuses to let me
join. He says I’m tone deaf and would spoil the hard work of all the other members.
I don’t see that’s any reason as they don’t sound too special to me anyway.

Well, you can’t fault you choir leader for spelling it out but I do hope he was more
diplomatic than it seems!
Whereas it might seem as though I’m suggesting that you haven’t made this a matter
of prayer, I would encourage you to pursue that approach. Waiting on God might
bring you some surprisingly clear guidance in this case.
If it is true-and it might be- that you do not have an aptitude for singing, then
unless God has a very specific reason for you joining the corps, it would seem
unlikely that he would lead you to serve him in that way. And as someone who
has been the Musical Director for several musicals I can vouch for the frustration
of trying to hide away from the microphones some enthusiastic but dreadfully off key soul.

Is there a possibility that you may have not completed one of those very helpful
questionnaires which identify giftedness? They can be extremely useful when you
are wondering in what areas of church service you could make the best contribution.
Perhaps you might also be humble enough to seek a second opinion about your singing
potential. Why not invest in a consultation with a music teacher. It could be that you are
musical but your expression of music needs another form than singing. I have a very
friend who is an exceptionally talented pianist but all he wants to do is sing. The trouble
is, he can’t! That’s nature for you, I’m afraid!
So, Jenny, my advice is four-fold:
1. Pray
2. Complete a spiritual gift questionnaire
3. Allow that the choir leader could be right
4. Have a consultation with a music teacher for guidance.
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Two homosexuals have started to attend our church. They live together and are
quite open about their relationship. One of them has a good voice and has asked to
join the choir. This is causing some division within the church. What would you suggest?

There are two issues here:
1. Their attendance at church
2. Their involvement in church activities

Let me address them individually.
1. The Church is not a place for perfect people (although they should not be excluded
either if any can be found!) so if it’s for everyone, who is to be the judge as to what
standard of ‘imperfection’ becomes unacceptable? We all need to hear he Word of God
so where better for all to gather than at church. As a minister I would welcome people
of whatever persuasion to come to hear the Gospel. The Church is where the name
of Jesus and his teachings are shared. Let our welcome be warm and genuine to all.
2. I’m tempted to launch into a theological treatise(!) but perhaps I could short circuit
my answer by asking a question-‘would your church allow two people who were in an
adulterous relationship to sing in the choir or hold office in your church?’ If not-and
that is the answer that every church should give-the same ruling should apply to every
one involved in practices which God’s Word says are unacceptable to God. Allow me to
add the comment that the excuse sometimes given by those in same sex relationships
that they were born with that inclination is not an acceptable justification. It could be
used by anyone who transgresses God’s laws to justify their actions.

A final word – Such a stand on this issue may bring the Church into conflict with the
legislature of the State as we witness the lowering of society’s standards. Christians
may have to stand and be counted on this one.

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My son is 20. He has a girl friend. Jayne, who he met at university. My husband and I
have met her when we visited our son at university. She is a really lovely girl and we
are happy for them both.
The problem is that they are living together and when they visit us soon, they will expect
to share a bedroom. We face the dilemma of not wanting to allow this because of our
Christian beliefs, yet knowing they could refuse to visit us if we refuse. It’s a nightmare

My sympathy is with you.
May I suggest a change of word in your letter, and I hope you will not feel it is just
I would substitute your word ‘dilemma’ with the word ‘decision’.
Many Christians rarely have to make major choices because of their faith. We live in
a part of the world that for the most part, people are happy (perhaps unconcerned
might be a better word) whatever lifestyle we choose. But occasionally, even in a
reasonably tolerant world, we face having to make a stand on principle. You have
reached what you feel is one of those moments.
I guess you have often thought about the Bible verse Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord
your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ (Matt. 22:37)
Harsh as it may sound when we’re worried about those who are near and dear to us,
it is when our loved ones see our uncompromising commitment to that command that
they respect the stand we take.
That is not to say that their differing views are always expressed in temperate ways
but being a disciple of Christ was never advertised as an easy option.
Your home is a place in which you have the privilege and responsibility to determine
what standards apply. It is not offensive to others if your choices do not meet with the
choices they make in their own homes. For instance, if you do not smoke, guests with
manners would ask if you mind if they do. It causes no problem if you say that you
would prefer that they refrain. It’s your home!
If someone uses blasphemous language by taking the name of the Lord in vain, you
would no doubt ask them not to do so.
So if someone, be it family or not, comes to our homes insisting on behaving in a way
that is not in keeping with our Christian standards, why would we hesitate to say it is unacceptable?
Having established that we have this moral right and authority, we now consider the consequences.
Most people, refused permission to act as they would like, are well mannered enough
to graciously observe our house rules. A few may take issue with our reasons but will,
under protest, honour our decisions. That leaves us with a small minority who may
threaten never to darken our doorsteps and if that is family, it is not a pleasant situation.
However, may I make an observation. It would appear that you have not broached
the subject with your son and if this so, you don’t actually know what his thinking may
be. Presumably, having been brought up in your Christian home, he will be used to
your standards. It may be that the last thing he would do would be to embarrass
you by putting you into a situation which he knows would compromise your beliefs.
Why not approach the situation in a practical way. Why not tell your son how much
you’re looking forward to having your son and his girl friend to stay. Have some
events planned so that they will see how genuinely you want to have them both.
And if you might be considering redecorating or refurnishing the spare room, why
not drop into the conversation that that will need to be done so it will be nice for
Jayne when they come. Your son will get the message!
If he then says openly that he expects his girl friend to sleep with him, it is your son
who is being inconsiderate and the time has come to simply say, ‘Son, you know that
your dad and I uphold Christian standards in the home in which you we have loved and
raised you. That hasn’t changed and you’d be disappointed if it had. If you explain
that to Jayne, she seems like the kind of girl who will readily understand. I do hope
so, because we’ve come to really think a lot of her.’
You will then have taken control of the situation and you no longer have to make a
decision. Your son is the one who has to make a decision and that is where it should
be. You made your decision years ago when you became a Christian.
There are two likely outcomes:
1. He will nod ruefully and say that’s what he expected you’d say. (You can then heave
a huge sigh of relief that you didn’t disappoint your son!)
2. He can storm off vowing never to come home again. Hotheads rarely fulfil their
threats. He will calm down. But the task of the Christian is to witness and often our
own families are the hardest people to whom to do that.

As with every question which arrives, I could not emphasise too strongly the need
to cover the matter with prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to prepare the way by making
your son aware that God has placed in his heart, the best plan for his life.

Audrey, It may come as a surprise, but some parents are afraid that having definite
standards will turn their children away. There is more likelihood that will happen if
parents have no standards rather than high ones.
Show your son how much you love him by being the best example of Christian living.
I have a strong suspicion he’ll bring his girl friend to meet, in his family home, the
parents of whom he is immensely proud.

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