Brothers and Sisters, Unwed Pregnancy Is Not a Sin

pregnant-shadowThere is a glaring hole in our fight against abortion. It is found in our churches among the quiet pre-service whispers as she walks by. It is heard at Sunday dinner as her name bounces back and forth across the table among interjections like, “But she comes from such a good family!” It is seen in the averted eyes and not-so-subtle head wags. “Wait you haven’t heard? She’s pregnant!

If you’ve experienced an unwed pregnancy in your church, your family, or your circle of acquaintances—who hasn’t?—you know the typical reaction. It’s a mixture of disappointment, condemnation, and pity. But there are places across the country where this is not the response to the girl who shamefully mumbles, “I think I’m pregnant.” They are called pregnancy resource centers (PRCs). The women and men who serve in these safe-havens have comprehended something our churches haven’t yet: unwed pregnancy is not a sin.

When a young woman walks into a local PRC, and she makes the painful admission that she’s pregnant by her boyfriend, and she’s afraid what her family will say, and she’s pretty sure her dad is going to kick her out of the house, and she’s worried her college dreams are shot, the response she finds from her counselor is surprising. It’s Christian love, understanding, and joy. Perhaps for the first time since she missed her period, she’s found someone who actually celebrates her pregnancy as a gift from God and does not judge her for carrying a tiny baby inside.

It seems so obvious once it’s stated this way, but the Bible never condemns unwed pregnancies. In fact, the lineage of our Savior has several. Some of his ancestors were conceived through prostitution, incest, and adultery (cf. Gen. 38, Gen. 19:30-38, 2 Sam. 11:1-12:25). It is telling that Jesus himself was an unwed pregnancy. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary became the most vulnerable of women—an unmarried pregnant teen. She was deeply loved by God and in need of care and support. When she traveled to see family, she was not ostracized but welcomed with a beaming smile and these words from her cousin Elizabeth: “Blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42).

PRC counselors seek to be like Elizabeth welcoming these expectant mothers with warm, receptive, and loving arms. They treasure the fruit of the womb as the wondrous gifts from God that they are—no matter how they were conceived. Many of our congregations couldn’t dream of responding this way—even when we are technically pro-life. How do we follow the example of the PRCs across the country? How can we create this kind of celebratory, supportive, and loving culture in our churches?

First, we need to cultivate confession. Christians need to regularly confess sin to one another in concrete ways. In the typical church, the larger the sin, the quieter we whisper about it. However, there is freedom in the light of the Gospel—a light that shines on our sins and provides cleansing blood to wash them away (1 John 1:7-9). When an unwed expectant mother stumbles into this kind of fellowship, she will realize her problems are common to man. Her sexual past will not be gossiped about in the halls of the Sunday School wing or be the subject of dinner conversation. As she and others watch brothers and sisters confess their sins publicly before the church, they will see a church that joyfully celebrates the forgiveness—not condemnation—we share at the cross.

Second, we need to have a Biblical view of sexual immorality. Christians—parents especially—are often willfully blind to the sins of teens in their churches. We are able to keep up the charade until a swelling tummy appears in the youth group. The common reaction is to judge the pregnant high schooler, when it’s possible the only difference between her and the rest of her Christian friends is that her parents didn’t put her on the pill. When we overlook sexual immorality but condemn unwed pregnancy we spread Satan’s lie: “Fornication is fine, but babies are bad.” Churches and parents must be having honest conversations with their growing children about the temptations of sexual immorality. We must help them understand that it is both wrong and forgivable, and we must not allow our rightful stance against sexual immorality to taint our view of pregnancy.

Finally, we must cultivate an atmosphere where all pregnancy is celebrated. Our churches should have the warmth of Elizabeth on that sunny afternoon as she welcomed Mary and her newly forming baby bump with open arms. Rally to support and encourage these expectant mothers by giving of your time and resources to help them prepare. Throw them extravagant baby showers. Pray for them. Send them letters, emails, and messages of Scriptural encouragement. Fold them into your congregation. Disciple their young children. Live what it means to believe Psalm 127:3—“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

Once we move from the realization that unwed pregnancy is not a sin to the reality that all pregnancy should be celebrated as a gift of life from God, then we will truly see what God can do to fight back the terrors of abortion. Don’t know where to start? Your local PRC probably has a volunteer counselor training coming up in the next month or two. Get involved and let them teach you how to rejoice in every new life.

Find a PRC near you:

Care Net Affiliates

Heartbeat International Affiliates

Give to our local Newberry PRC: LIFEBRIDGE.org

(photo credit)


192 thoughts on “Brothers and Sisters, Unwed Pregnancy Is Not a Sin

  1. The babe in the womb is indeed precious, innocent, to be loved, cherished, cared for, built-up through its life yes. We should not judge the sins of others or condemn them because “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 and yes there totally is forgiveness for those who confess 1 John 1:9. And yes indeed every child is a gift from God. Every child. Absolutely.

    But I’m not sure that we can say that because God’s Word does not call something a sin, that it’s not a sin.
    We read of men having multiple wives in the Bible and that seems not to be called sin either. BUT we know that it was not God’s plan for men to have more than one wife.

    We know God is not pleased, He is not happy when these things occur. Why is God not happy? I believe I’m on the right track when I suggest that God isn’t pleased or happy with these things happen simply BECAUSE IT IS SIN and they go against His will. We must be careful not to jump on the bandwagon of “it’s not sin because it doesn’t say it is”.

    Yes, we should rally around the single pregnant woman, the unwed couple.
    Yes, we should extend loving hands and hearts and listening ears to those who fall into sin whether sexual or addictions or other sins. And why? Why should we when we’re affected by it? Why should we when we’re hurting so bad? Simply because “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8.
    Christ died for us while we were shaking our fists of rebellion and hatred in His loving, dying face.

    1 Corinthians 6:9 basically says any who are unrepentant will not be in God’s Kingdom but listed in that verse is sexual immorality. This of course means nothing if we think sex before marriage is OK, if we think it is not sin, and if it’s not sin then it’s moral as opposed to immoral. But I’m figuring we (Chad and I) do believe God only wants sex inside the boundaries of one man and one woman til death parts. So where then does that leave unwed pregnancies?

    All that aside though, for a moment, I leave you with these concluding thoughts – while responding to unwed pregnancies in the right and loving godly ways, I write again we should be cautious about saying ‘sin isn’t sin because it’s not called sin’.
    THE CAUSE of what does not make God happy, THE ROOT of what does not please God, IS SIN.

    Chad Ashby, thank you for this thought provoking article. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood your point – if so I’d love to hear more from you.

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  2. How interesting that in the wake of the Ashley Madison scandal, I’ve seen nothing but “judge not lest ye be judged” and “you must forgive!” across the Christian blogosphere, but when we’re talking about a pregnant girl, the pitchforks come out and stay out. You suddenly need “proof” from this kid that she’s repentant before you’ll come to her baby shower, but you’re just fine taking your adulterous pastor’s word for it that he’s “a changed man” (tho he paid money to sign up for an adultery website) and you let him right back into your pulpit like nothing happened. It was probably his frigid wife’s fault anyway, amirite? AMAZING!

    It sounds like many of you won’t be happy unless you’re allowed to browbeat the poor girl until natural death to let her know that she is and will always be a whore in your eyes. Pitiful. I’m so glad I left this nonsense called “Christianity” behind.

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  3. “Jesus Himself was an unwed pregnancy…” No…Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and His conception stands uniquely separate from any other human, earthly conception whatsoever — the author should be comparing “apples with apples” and bringing proper exegetical context to the magnificent Incarnation, that has no equal or comparison, instead of trying to force it into some merely human, earthly category to justify their subjective redefinition of sin.

    “We must cultivate a culture where all pregnancy is celebrated.” Say Huh?

    A pre-born child is indeed a precious and glorious reminder of the Imago Dei, regardless of how he/she is conceived, but the ACT of conception does indeed matter along with the contextualization of how a female has become pregnant; and not all of these “pregnancies” and/or “conceptions” should be celebrated anymore than I would celebrate my teenager’s lying and cheating which landed him a passing grade on his latest Algebra II test.

    Do we really want to be spreading the message, “It’s okay, just keep “hooking up” and enjoying “friends with benefits” … everything will be fine, because if you end up pregnant WE’LL CELEBRATE WITH YOU!”

    Truly we are already reeling from the heinous effects of this kind of redefinition of sin when we now have an out of wedlock birth rate in the African American community of 72% of all births! This is absolutely destroying the fabric of our communities and the foundational family unit itself.

    A better message to send would be, “Stop having sex outside of the bonds of a healthy, covenant relationship between a man and a wife … it can indeed have life long consequences; like forcing an innocent child to be born into a fatherless home, routine poverty, and emotional insecurity.”

    One of the number one common denominator of all incarcerated males in their late teens and early twenties is the absence of a father in the home — those kinds of pregnancies should NOT be celebrated…they should be warned against.

    I will always support CareNet, because it is an incredible organization and GREAT NEEDED in so many different communities, but the title to this article couldn’t be anymore erroneous than it is…Unwed Pregnancy is in fact A SIN, at least according to the Bible.

    A child wrought in immorality will never be a sin, but the fornication causing its conception will always be.

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    1. I can’t really tell if you read the whole thing or not. Your last paragraph is exactly what the author says. We need to address the issue of sexual immorality/ethics completely rather than only after a woman/girl gets pregnant.

      The point is that once a girl is pregnant, she is not to be shamed in order to be made an example of. Unfortunately that’s the approach of many Christians, maybe with the thinking that by shaming it will cause others to avoid being in the same situation. That is flawed thinking on the part of those Christians, and out of line with the Gospel (i.e. sin).

      The title is provocative on purpose. It’s the only reason I took time to read it, honestly. In the end I did not find it misleading, but an intriguing way to addressand challenge the issue of sexual ethics in the Church.

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  4. One thought I haven’t yet seen mentioned in comments…

    Who do YOU want to call YOU out on YOUR sin? Most of the time, the consequences of our sin are not visible, and especially not in a public place like a church. The people in the church who aren’t close to you aren’t the people you want looking at you askance or questioning your intentions because you, say, lied on your taxes, or envied your neighbor’s house, or yelled at your kids in anger that morning. You would feel more judged than loved, right???

    On the other hand, it’s your close friends, your family, etc. who can approach you and lovingly say, “Hey. that was sin, but there’s hope…” That IS their responsibility! And it’s definitely the responsibility of the church leadership to preach that, as well. And I can see a Pastor finding an opportunity to discreetly speak with one of those who faithfully attend his church, whether that is the angry parent or the pregnant woman. But the rest of the church needs to trust that God is at work and just love on the sinner, knowing we are all sinners as well. Keeping the mercy of God towards me in mind, I can be an ambassadors of His “kindness that leads to repentance.”

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  5. Chad, there is a lot of truth to what you are saying and I appreciate the article. Sex apart from marriage is sin. The resulting pregnancy is not sinful. We all need to remember that.

    I do have to point out some errors in your Biblical exposition. You state that several of Christ’s ancestors were the products of prostitution, adultery, etc.

    Christ Himself of course was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the virgin womb of His mother Mary (unwed teen).

    Christ is also descendant of Ruth, the Moabitess, who was in turn a descendant of incestuous Lot.

    The situation with Judah and Tamar (producing Christ’s ancestor Perez) is a bit more complicated. From Judah’s initial viewpoint the sex he had with Tamar was mere prostitution. From Tamar’s viewpoint it was actually something like Levirate marriage disguised as prostitution. In the end, Judah also recognized it as such when he says “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.”

    The relationship between David and Bathsheba is also complicated. Keep in mind that (according to the Law) it was adulterous only while Uriah lived. Once Uriah died, Bathsheba was no longer bound to him, and could legitimately another man’s wife. Of course David compounded his moral guilt before God by adding treachery, betrayal, and murder to his initial sin of adultery. The initial adultery produced an illegitimate child. This is the child that died soon after his birth, according to the decree of God.

    Sometime later, Solomon was conceived and born to David and his wife Bathsheba. At the time of Solomon’s conception and eventual birth, his parents were legitimately married. The Bible always treats Solomon as a legitimate son.

    Keep in mind that the Law treated illegitimate sons as ceremonially unclean, and excluded them from the religious life of Israel.

    “No one born of a forbidden union may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of his descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord.” Deut. 23:2 ESV

    The forbidden union mentioned here refers to an adulterous union. Many translations (such as the KJV) render this word as “bastard”.

    It is very important to note that all of Christ’s male ancestors were born of legitimate unions (not adulterous ones). Even though some of these unions were polygamous (such as David with Bathsheba), they were none the less legitimate marriages (not adultery). If any single one of them fell into the category described above in Deut. 23, then Christ would have been excluded from entering the assembly of the Lord and would therefore not be able to save anyone. Then all mankind would remain under the curse, and without hope.

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  6. Fornication is sin. It just… is. Pregnancy is the result of biology. God set biology in motion and gave us instructions about how to conduct ourselves. If we follow his intentions for sex – between a man and a woman who exist in a covenantal marriage together and treating one another in the way the Bible describes – biology following its natural course of action produces the blessing of love fulfilled.

    Let’s call sin what it is, pregnancy in unwed people is a result of sex, which is fornication, which is a sin,Mary and the conception if conception of Jesus did not involve vagina-penis interaction, we live in a dark world hold on to the scriptures and not what others say even though using scriptures to justify their sin, sex is a gift of marriage, sex outside marriage is fornication and it’s a sin, a baby in a natural world will not appear without sex, we can twist scriptures to sin comfortably but we can not escape the result of our choices.

    1 Corinthians 7:9 ESV / 8 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

    But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

    1 Corinthians 7:1-40 ESV / 8 helpful votes

    Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control

    You can check with your dictionary.

    Fornication” is defined as “voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other.” “fornicari, ‘to commit fornication,’ from which is derived fornicatio, ‘whoredom, fornication.’”

    Jesus Christ teaches: “Have ye not read, that he [GOD ALMIGHTY] which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:4-6 kjv).

    “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” – (1 Corinthians 7:2 KJV).

    For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3

    “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” – Revelation 2:20

    “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:1

    “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;” – Ephesians 5:3

    “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” – Colossians 3:5

    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators(those who have sex outside marriage account. Dictionary), nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, “will inherit the kingdom of God ” Corinthians 6:9

    Fornication (sex before marriage) is a sin wether it result in pregnancy or not.

    A Christian waits for marriage then have sex, the bible is very clear on that.

    *Fornication defiles the body:
    “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18

    Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:13

    “And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.” – 2 Corinthians 12:21(If you have fornicated in first place you ought to repent)

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  7. You all have been so kind so here’s something to chew on. Perhaps the divide in the church today is exacerbated by the difference between Jesus and Paul. If Jesus ate with prostitutes and sinners–one can easily draw support for fellowshipping with sexually immoral people. When Paul describes this in a church setting in the context of unrepentant believers–the lay Christian will sense the friction between this and Christ’s example. The answer is: Jesus set an example of how to interact with LOST people and Paul is telling Christians how to behave with each other. Then again, what purpose does the church serve if not to provide the example of Christ? Some will argue the church functions as God’s witness to the world but the church SERVICES are for the believer for instruction and training, for worship and fellowship. The big box churches I see in Charlotte (I’m looking at you, Elevation) seem to prioritize “come and see how great being a christian is. While it’s easy to criticize, many of Paul’s letters like 1 Corinthians express a concern over what lost people would think when they stumble upon a worship service/gathering. Are we not called to do what the Newsboys advocated in the song “Shine?” Make ’em wish they were not on the outside! A church will ultimately take on the personality of its official and unofficial leaders…church is something of an insider’s club for the super serious Christian and our lives outside the church are the witness…or the church service is a party to attract lost people and our lives are the training/classroom modules.

    What kind of church do you like and why? (full disclosure, my dad was a pastor of a baptist church in rural VA who ran things very prim and proper)

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  8. It seems to me that the solution is found in the right exercise of true, biblical church discipline. That is something that is seemingly in very rare supply these days.

    It would involve (assuming that the persons involved are actually repentant of their sexual sin) confession of sin, forgiveness, and reconciliation. That way the whispers are rendered moot, and the church body can get on with showing love and support to the expectant mother and her child.

    And it would remind others in the church that 1.) such sins are not acceptable behavior for those who name the name of Christ (and so may help to keep others from doing likewise), and 2.) there is real forgiveness and restoration for such sins.

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  9. This blog and its comments crystallize my feelings on the church, cynical as they may be.
    1. There are good humanitarian, empathetic people who care about others.
    2. They are limited by their dogma and interpretations.
    3. The extent to which they can feel connected to their co-believers is impacted by how their doctrinal stances align.
    4. The churches which prioritize doctrine over people are shrinking and their average member seems to be characterized by a frustrated, alienated and demonstrably bitter, victim mentality
    5. The seeker sensitive churches like Elevation etc. will continue to grow and their gay friendly and etc. aura will further alienate the “real” Christians so the message of the cross is indistinguishable from “I’m okay, you’re okay.”
    6. Burnouts from the seeker churches will try the faddish return to liturgy and swig some dark beers while reading Andrew Murray and G.K. Chesterton, and give it a try.
    7. Burnouts from the liturgical churches will slip down the rung and grasp at ecumenicalism.
    8. Burnouts from both will try to study textual criticism and lose faith in the Bible like I did, then atheism’s warm handshake is ever so inviting. I can recommend atheistic worldviews with little reservation. It’s a salad bar. I remain staunchly pro-life like Christopher Hitchens while also enjoying C.S. Lewis and Richard Dawkins. Just another thought. Hope I don’t inspire hate and anger, and thanks for kindly allowing my posts. I would understand if everyone skips over this one. Thanks again.

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    1. Timmyshort, your words are too accurate, very kind…yet I cannot agree with everything. Having grown up in church, I have seen too much gossiping, criticizing, not loving, etc. We humans are a messy lot. People do burn out if it is more about rules and regulations than a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There has to be balance in all things. The church I belong to does speak the Truth but always does it in a loving, kind way. For too long Christendom has bludgeoned fallen humanity with God’s Word rather than “speaking the Truth in love.” I am so thankful that I know a Savior that loves me just as I am and has hung onto me when I am weary. I am sad that you can walk away from something that has so much meaning for me but I can respect your decision to do so. I hope you have a great afternoon!

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  10. I too was one of those. I was a fairly new Christian when I was 19. AMEN! But the world and my flesh took over on night with someone I thought was a Christina. But.. I was wrong as I realized after one night we let our hormones take over. God knew my repentance was true and I new I best call that relationship off. Too long of a story but God truly knew my sorrow for my sin. True repentance. I fully admitted I was just as much to blame. I then left him. Peace…but worry? Why? I was late in starting my next period. Oh how hard but God knew my repented heart from the very beginning. I’ll never forget my pastor as I told him. “If you know your act was sinful, you pleaded for repentance knowing your sin and all that took place was against God’s guidance in a believers life, then He forgives.” I felt even more peace hearing that from him. My brothers and sisters in the lord were much comfort to me. No shame. Not one looked down at me. God carried me through it all and even brought a wonderful man my way that is now my husband of 27 years. Adoption took place shortly after we were married (my daughter was a bit over 1 yrs old when we got married.)
    So Chad, I assume your story supports those who DO see the sin that was involved. Who DOES admit that what took place was not holding God’s A-O-K reason for getting pregnant. But, if repentance is there, then that baby will
    be, somehow, some way, God’s plan for you. If one is NOT truly repentant of their sin, then that Child is still valuable and God still does not want it aborted because God still knew the outcome of that sin. Hard for us all to understand but, even with unplanned pregnancies, children are a blessing.

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  11. There was NO SEX INVOLVED IN THE CONCEPTION OF JESUS. Adultery is a sin. The child being born as a result of it isn’t. I had one child while unwed. The premarital sex I had was a sin but my child wasn’t. Don’t CONDONE sin on the one hand and “represent” God on the other. It’s not right. Women that have children out of wedlock should know this, that God forgives those that honestly repent. They are not and shouldn’t be condemned because of what they did. They should be encouraged of God’s forgiveness and shown the right way to walk in life as a follower of Christ, if that is her choice (and when she’s ready because if she does it because people push her to do it and not because she felt the Holy Spirit calling out to her it won’t last). No one should ever look down their nose at an unwed mother. There’s no one without sin. ( Saying goes : don’t judge me because you sin differently than me).

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  12. I appreciate the intent of this article, and wish that more in the church would follow suit.
    I was a 17 year-old PK who became pregnant out of wedlock by my boyfriend who was the son of the head deacon. It was my experience that there was a great dichotomy between the grace exemplified by some in the church and the condemnatory harshness exemplified by others. Unfortunately, for us, the harshness far outweighed the grace. Ironically, my boyfriend and I had already repented of what we had done before we ever found out that I was pregnant, and did choose to get married at a very young age as a result of the pregnancy in order to “make it right,” but all of that was overlooked by many who only saw the physical proof of our very private sin.
    Did we sin? Yes.
    Was the pregnancy a consequence of our action? Yes.
    But should the physical evidence of one sin cause those in the church to alienate and knowingly treat the perpetrator of that sin with harshness in order to not appear that they are condoning the sin?
    To that, I would have to say no.
    The observation of our poor treatment at the hands of those who claimed to be followers of Christ caused many unbelieving friends to have yet another reason for rejecting Christ as a result of the actions of His purported followers. They saw that, despite our actions to make things right in the eyes of the church – to the best of our abilities – that a stigma was attached to us, and that we were alienated and marginalized by many. These people could not understand why we would want to choose to be part of a group of people that would still flagellate those who were attempting to follow its rules, and why we would willingly subject ourselves to regular scorn.
    My husband and I have been married for almost 20 years now, and this stigma has still not detached itself from us. Although we are open and honest about our failings so that Christ can be glorified in the good that He has done in our lives, the shame that our church leadership families felt that we had brought upon them still remains potent, and to this day, still affects how they view and treat us. Although our willingness to be vulnerable, repenting and submitting our lives to God so that He could work through us, has made us highly sought after by other hurting people both in and out of the church, we are still treated as pariahs by the more Pharisaical among the church ranks, once people figure out that I had gotten pregnant before marriage.
    I find it grievous that evidence of one sin in the church results in the potential of such horrific treatment – something that can easily negatively affect that person’s relationship with Christ during a time when they are most vulnerable – but that other sins – just as serious in God’s eyes – are somehow not viewed with such a strong stigma of shame.
    So, as a former pregnant teenager in the church, I would ask that others prayerfully consider that exhibiting grace to pregnant girls (or to homosexuals, drug addicts, pornography addicts, alcoholics, or anyone else among all of us in the entire human race whose sins can be covered by Christ’s redeeming blood) is not an encouragement of the sinful behavior, but a way to show love – something by which we should be known (John 13:35), but is sadly lacking in the church today.

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  13. I am truly astounded by all the judgment I have read in the responses to this article. If Jesus were like Bea wouldn’t we all be in trouble. Tell me anyone of you who feels compelled to rebuke these girls for their sin of sexual immorality… do you carry a sign with your sin printed for all to see? I believe it is only fair you should have everyone judging whether or not you have suitably repented. According to your arguments these girls should be made to feel less because of their sin. Until you are willing to tie a dry erase board on and continually write each sin for all to see for 9 months then you have no right to decide if another’s sin is sufficiently forgiven enough for you to associate with that person. God judges all sin the same and sent Jesus for our redemption for all sins equally. Your white lie is no less than my sex outside of marriage. You just hide your sin from others easier.

    I typically do not take time to respond to such negativity nor do I often debate religion but I felt compelled. At 41 I became an unwed mother. Gasp! I know without a doubt my child was a gift from God and answered prayer. I have always wanted to be a mother. As a young woman I feared nothing more than pregnancy out of wedlock. As I grew older I realized my true fear was never to be a mother at all. My child was conceived in love but not in marraige. At 41 I felt I had the maturity to not give a flip what anyone thought of me. I knew I was right with my God and others could judge all they like. I was wrong. Even at 41 we still need love and compassion from our fellow Christians. Love and compassion given without strings. My church family gathered around me like a cloak of armour. They loved me and my unborn child without reservation and celebrated the joy of God’s blessing in my life. They prayed for our health. They prayed for our growth in Christ. My daughter was baptised in front of a congregation full of happy smiles and love. We are joyfully welcomed every Sunday and warmly greeted outside of church. My church family was there for me when I was at my most vulnerable and they are all there for my daughter. We are loved by a group that believes we are all to love one another as Christ loves us. Without judgement, without limits. Love.

    I am 41 years strong, 41 years independent, 41 years worldly. I needed every once of love, support and celebratory well wishing I was blessed to recieve. I can’t imagine what a 16 year old must face in my situation. The author is correct…if we make it easier to hide the sin than to welcome the blessing we will never beat out abortion. Allow God to handle the outcome. I assure you it is always better to err on the side of love.

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  14. I understand what the intent of this is…I do. We don’t want to drive unwed moms from the altar to Planned Parenthood. We don’t want to treat the actual child like it was a bacterial infection. But to soften the blow of sin? No. The expectation of the Church is to address that issue. The expectation of the believer is to repent, and that is up to them; that is in their heart. Abortion will disappear when the option of it disappears. Sadly, selfishness and fear exist even within loving and accepting environments, and many young women don’t want to let the people around them down so they still won’t say anything. I am a father of a girl who was an unwed mother. Her and her boyfriend married 6 months later and are still married. I love them both, but she still had to be humbled by the experience so she could understand that her sin is what got her into an unplanned pregnancy.

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    1. Christ himself softened the blow of sin by standing between us and the blow and taking it for us. How can we do any less than he did? Your comment says, “Well, we love, but when that blow falls, we step out of the way and let it land.” No. We take a vulnerable, frightened woman and love her, fiercely, gently, protectively, standing between her and the blows of loneliness, extreme exhaustion, poverty, guilt, fear, condemnation, hurt, and feeling that she cannot be happy about her child because to be happy would be to send the message that she thinks her sin is okay. If we obsess over whether we can be excited about the first ultrasound, first kick, about cute baby things and about the birth itself (should she give birth alone or surrounded by solemn, sad people shaking her head over the “consequences of her sin” or by happy, encouraging people? There is strong evidence that the emotional state of the mother affects the wellbeing of her child; should the child suffer because people are too afraid to allow the mother to be happy during her pregnancy?), we risk creating a situation that a pregnant woman, already awash in hormones, new feelings, new thoughts, new concerns and worries, feels she cannot handle. She may not focus on what she needs to focus on: having a healthy pregnancy and birth and a good start for her child, because she is feeling the “blow” of the “consequences” of her sin. The child is not a sin. The pregnancy is not a sin. If we really believe that God gives life, then God brought that pregnancy about, and that pregnancy is a blessing. A beautiful, fearful, wonderful life that should be celebrated. She should be able to smile every time she thinks of her child, and she should be able to smile every time she thinks of her lovely, loving church who has helped her through what is always a difficult and complicated time.

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  15. Most of the things that needed to be said in order to counter this article have already been said, but I feel it’s necessary to make a few additional comments anyway. The first is, show me exactly where, using scripture, that love is equal to acceptance? I have read and heard some pretty ridiculous things from liberal Christians about love, most of it equating to a “Peace Love Dope” Christianity where telling someone that they are sinning is not only unloving, but is hateful. Where is that in scripture? Please…show me. Judge not? No. That scripture means to first remove the plank in your eye before you approach another person about their sin.
    The second thing is, how does God DEFINE love? What does he say love is? Does he say that if you rebuke an unrepentant person for a sinful act that you aren’t being “loving?” No. In fact, Christ modeled what love was by telling people the harsh realities of what salvation was. God defines love as obedience. By obeying his commands, we show him that we love him. By spreading the “Good News” of Christ’s death and resurrection, we are showing love. By exercising self-control…something that keeps single females from getting pregnant and single males from getting them pregnant…we show our love for him. Are we perfect at that? Of course not. But if we live him do we repent from and turn from sin, or do we expect people to say “Ah, who cares, no matter. Let’s throw a baby shower!” Are we next going to read an article where Christians with gambling addictions really aren’t sinning ? Maybe pornography…an adulterous sin like unwedded sex…isn’t as bad as we all thought it was?
    People need to know they are loved, yes. But if a person is walking in the faith, the MOST important thing is that they know they are loved by their Creator. Sending a message that people who sin should be cleared of any and all discomfort is wrong. That is the nature of it, and it’s up to the person to know that God’s love is the reason they need to repent. We SHOULD feel discomfort and condemnation for sin. It shouldn’t be “fun” to confess the filthy desires and actions we feel and do. But we must still do it. Saying it isn’t a sin for the sake of the comfort of the sinner is a very dangerous road, and it takes away from the words of scripture.

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    1. God defines love as himself. God is love. In loving others, we are extending the hand of God to them. What has God extended to us? Grace, peace, care, and security in Him. He uses our sins to teach us about himself, about ourselves, and about how we can change. Why shouldn’t the church do that same? Instead, snooty church-goers cast judgmental glances or gossip like the wind. In the end, God says he hates people that cause division, but I don’t recall a time when premarital sex is called an abomination. Hm….

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    2. Again, no one is saying it isn’t a sin. No one is saying, “who cares.” But, the sin is done, the person has repented, God has forgiven. Let’s move on and welcome the woman and her pregnancy with love. And yes, love means treating a person with kindness. It means changing diapers and bringing meals when the baby is born. Treating a person with kindness is not the same as condoning a sin. We all sin. We don’t just rebuke each other forever, that isn’t how life works. We forgive and move on.

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  16. I believe the author is saying that the pregnancy itself is not a sin. As in, the wonderful creation in an unwed pregnant woman’s belly is not a sin. The author is not saying the unwed sex is fine and not a sin.

    She says: “Christians—parents especially—are often willfully blind to the sins of teens in their churches.” And later, “We must help them [growing children] understand that it [sexually immorality] is both wrong and forgivable, and we must not allow our rightful stance against sexual immorality to taint our view of pregnancy.”

    To me, she’s clearly saying that sex before marriage is a sin, but the pregnancy that results is a gift from God and that gift is not a sin. I think a lot of people commenting think she’s saying sex before marriage is not a sin, but in those quotes above she says the opposite.

    If repentant unwed mothers feel judged and outcast by the church, then those future mothers and children risk a life without support from the body of Christ and might even walk away from Christ completely! I believe the author is promoting support, discipleship, and encouragement of the woman and future child moving forward instead of focusing on her past sin.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Also, I’m super sorry because all my “she”s should be “he”s instead when referring to you/the author! I think I focused on the Ashby instead of Chad and I read this at 3am…sorry! I really enjoyed the article.

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  17. This is a crock of crap. There is plenty of scripture to support the idea that God doesn’t condone sex outside of marriage. Do I think we need to treat unwed mothers as criminals, no. But to say that God is fine with this obviously shows that the writer does not know the Bible very well.

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    1. I can’t seem to let this go……You don’t consider sex with someone you aren’t married to sinful in God’s eyes? ” There is no Hebrew or Greek word used in the Bible that precisely refers to sex before marriage. The Bible undeniably condemns adultery and sexual immorality, but is sex before marriage considered sexually immoral? According to 1 Corinthians 7:2, “yes” is the clear answer: “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.” In this verse, Paul states that marriage is the “cure” for sexual immorality. First Corinthians 7:2 is essentially saying that, because people cannot control themselves and so many are having immoral sex outside of marriage, people should get married. Then they can fulfill their passions in a moral way.” also, Hebrews 13:4 “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” There are numerous Scriptures that declare sex before marriage to be a sin (Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7). The Bible promotes complete abstinence before marriage. Sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations of which God approves (Hebrews 13:4). “”Have you not read,” says Jesus, “that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?'” (Matthew 19:4-5; quoting from Genesis 1:27, 2:24). In this passage Scripture clearly states that sex is for marriage and marriage is for sex. Exclusively. That’s because sex is not just a matter of casual recreation. It’s not just a pleasurable way of expressing mutual love. It’s a question of two people becoming one flesh. This fits in perfectly with the apostle Paul’s warning in 1 Corinthians 6:16: “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.'” The same concept underlies Jesus’ unbending position on divorce: “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6). It’s also implied in the commandment against adultery (Exodus 20:14). In the biblical view, adultery includes any sexual activity carried on outside the bonds of committed marriage. This is why the writer to the Hebrews tells us that “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4). This teaching explains Joseph’s certain expectation that Mary would be “exposed to public disgrace” when it was discovered that she had become pregnant “before they came together” in marriage.” I beg to differ on this one.

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    2. They didn’t say it wasn’t sinful. It is sinful. But the mother can ask for forgiveness and repent, just like with any sin. And as a congregation, we need to forgive her too. We need to love her and her child.

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  18. God grace is greater than all our sin. All sin is the same in God’s eyes. Anyone who regrets their sin and asks God’s forgiveness is received immediately without condemnation and without having to hold our head down for a week, a day, or an hour. However, I never found peace with God until I was willing to admit that yes, I had sinned, and asked God to please turn this into something for His glory; even if just showing that He forgives someone like me. In our desire to love and welcome sinners, we can’t just say sin is not sin. Yes, Jesus had a prostitute and adultery in His lineage but that did not mean they did not sin when that happened. It just shows God grace to take what looks like a disaster and to use us still for His glory. It is His glory to show mercy and grace to sinners. To say Mary was an unwed mother is not only inaccurate, but even if that were so it is not proof that having sex or a child out of wedlock is not a result of a sin. But taking the life of a child conceived in sin ads guilt upon guilt and great heartache to the mother and our Lord.

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  19. There is so much wrong with this article that is simply misinterpretation of scripture. The author is trying to justify that getting pregnant outside of marriage isn’t a sin because there is examples of this in Jesus’ earthly lineage – and even calls Mary’s pregnancy an unwed pregnancy! He’s trying to say that Mary herself is no different than the 16 year old girl down the street who slept with her boyfriend and got pregnant. Did Mary “have sex” with the Holy Spirit? What in the world is he trying to equate here?

    And to suggest that a teenager who gets pregnant isn’t really sinning because the parents may just not have had her on the pill – implying that sex on the pill is okay?

    I guess in all his “research,” he forgot to come across the story of David and Bathsheba and what happened to that child as a result of an unwed pregnancy. According to this article, he’s accusing God of wrong-doing in that example because what happened wasn’t a sin.

    When we try to change the Bible to fit our culture, it oftentimes turns out very bad for us. My guess is that this author has a sister or a daughter who got pregnant and is trying to justify their actions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Matt, I think you’ve missed his point. To outsiders, Mary was indeed a girl that slept with her boyfriend and got pregnant. He pointed out how they treated her warmly despite their feelings. Also, the pill comment was made to show that many teens may be indulging in sexual relations, but the only one that gets ostracized is the one with the pregnant belly. Pregnancy is not a sin, though it could result from sin. The same could be said of pregnancy from rape. That pregnancy is no sin, but the rape was. Overall, your comment is wildly misguided and misinformed.

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    2. Hey Matt,
      I’m guessing you did not bother to read the entire article. The same thoughts crossed my mind too when i first started reading the article. But what the author is trying to say is that we ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But the message of the cross is forgiveness,not condemnation. So instead of gossiping about the young girl who made a mistake and refused to make another one by aborting the baby, show her that she committed a mistake and need to be forgiven by God, but do all of it in love like how Jesus forgave the sinful lady who was going to be stoned publicly. Unwed pregnancy is not the sin, unwed sex is. So stop condemning only the girls who get pregnant and teach the entire youth( boys and girls) about holiness and purity. Whether you get pregnant or not, sex outside marriage is a deadly sin. That is what we need to correct. If you are going to keep targeting only the girls who get pregnant, then everyone who gets pregnant will be forced to think of abortion. But it will never make them stop sinning

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  20. No time to really respond to all that was shared, but to Lori, yes, I absolutely think we need to be just as eager to employ the second.

    The second cannot effectively happen without the first. It’s a process of restoration. Absolutely, the unwed pregnant woman may have repented long before the pregnancy became known. Still, I think it is important for there to be transparency about that repentance. We all sin and we all know that we all sin, but I think there is something unique about sexual sins that are public knowledge because they are mentioned in scripture several times, with admonishments about how to progress through situations where they are occurring.

    The story of the prodigal son was mentioned above. In that story, the prodigal did not simply stop by for dinner on his way to the next pig pen and have a feast thrown in his honor. He arrived and declared that he had sinned against his father and against heaven, that he knew he was unfit, and that he wanted to simply have a job as a servant in his father’s house. In response, the father lavished him with love – the relationship was restored.

    The two parables that precede that one also talk about the rejoicing that occurs in conjunction with repentance.

    When I read the scriptures, I see that God wants us to pursue restoration with those who have chosen to embrace a sin. The shepherd pursued the lost sheep. The woman pursued her lost coin. I believe we are to pursue those from the fold who have gone away, as well. And in those parables, each time repentance was acknowledged and communicated, there was rejoicing and restoration and celebration.

    I don’t know that we can simply assume that someone who ended up pregnant is surely repentant because they surely did not want to find themselves in that predicament. I don’t think our job is to sit around with crossed arms in our folding chairs in the fellowship hall waiting for them to walk in and make a pronouncement about their sin. I think we’re to do what we can to lead them to repentance, and then rejoice with and for them when it happens.

    I guess what I’m saying now – and was trying to say before – is that it’s not healthy or Biblical to want to simply fly past the restoration process and jump straight to a lavish baby shower. There is a God-ordained process for bringing people to unity, and when we celebrate without having first achieved that unity, it will be hollow.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You have no business knowing the sins of others. The only one needing to know if a pregnant mom repented is God himself.
      Your judgment needs to stop. Your comments are not helpful. They are damaging. & I’m not saying that as an opinion, I’m saying that because I feel your shaming.
      Only one with out sin shall cast the first stone. No one asks about your sin or repentance because that is between you & God. A pregnant mom does not need to share her repentance with YOU. You are not a part of the holy trinity, last I checked. Father, son, Holy Ghost…& Bea…? Nope. Don’t think so.
      Your only job as assigned by the bible is to love thy neighbor. It didn’t say love thy neighbor if you know their sin, love thy neighbor if they told you they repented, or love thy neighbor only if they were married before getting pregnant.

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  21. I highly appreciate the research done in this article. Every Bible verse added weight to the claims stated and were wise and of godly intent. However, I can not say I agree with statements made.

    I happen to BE 18 years old and have seen, multiple times, that unwed pregnancy is mostly a way of the “boyfriend” quenching his sexual appetite and the girl’s desire for acceptance. Furthermore, the boy bolts in the other direction. And in our modern culture, the results of unwed pregnancies do not usually harbor fruits of the Spirit, UNLESS pleaded for by the parents, child, or loving friends.
    Good does not come from sin only consequences, unless we ASK God for His Will to be done and HE turns what is harmful, into something good. (Hence, the common godly products of prostitution, incest, adultery, rape, and even the Virgin Birth).

    Secondly, there is a beauty in hearing the stories of these prostitutes, murderers, adulterers, etc., accepting God’s words, applying it, and Him using them despite of their past. However, it is due to, as John says, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—” (John 1:12). And as a “child of God”, we aren’t going to be left in the dust when we completely screw up. {Praise God!} “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5) He will not forsake us even when we sin. Because if we love Him and ask for His Will to be done, “..we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) And we are all called. So due to the fact that God knows how to turn something bad into good, I don’t think it is of US to say that “unwed pregnancy” is not a sin. Because He gives us ALL this proof in the divine uniqueness of Jesus’s birth. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) The virgin birth had been done according to “His purpose”. It was a prophetic sign that God chose, so that no man could disprove that Jesus was THE Son of God. It was not a moral statement or a new commandment. And as for Elizabeth’s acceptance of Mary’s unwed pregnancy, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and He told her EXACTLY WHO “the fruit of her womb” would become. As well as, the joy in knowing that HER son, was going to be the one who “prepared the way” for the Messiah. In the moment of Mary’s arrival, God told Elizabeth that John the Baptist’s purpose was going to be fulfilled as the angel prophesied by the child in Mary’s womb! How exciting!

    Thirdly, God firmly believes in the sanctity of marriage. It was in God’s complete and total Will for JESUS (the Son of God) to be conceived from an unmarried virgin.
    “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: ‘It is good for a man to have sexual relations with a woman.’ BUT because of the temptation to sexual immorality, EACH MAN should have his own WIFE and EACH WOMAN her own HUSBAND.” -1 Corinthians 7:1-2
    I’m not trying to disprove your theory, but I am merely saying exactly what God was laying on my heart to convey. We all sin in our own ways, and there is no sin greater than the other. You are VERY Biblically correct in saying, “[You should] Rally to support and encourage these expectant mothers by giving of your time and resources to help them prepare.” Because it was Jesus who said the very same thing to do for all those that were sick, hurt (physically and spiritually), and even self-righteously motivated. But sir, we are NOT to CONDONE the sin. Jesus never condoned the sin of the prostitute that was about to be stoned by the priests of Jerusalem. He merely called out the “modern church” to make them realize that they weren’t any better than she was. Jesus said, “….Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) We are to accept sinners with open arms absolutely, but under the theology of Jesus Christ being the one who first accepted us! Not due to the rise of judgment and lack of sympathy in our churches, although that is a problem. But wouldn’t that issue be better solved under the verse, “We love, because He first loved us”? (1 John 4:19)

    God laid this on my heart to share to you, and I’ve been typing and researching for a couple hours, only to clarify what I’ve read from my experience as a believer. Again, NOT to disprove, rebuke, or disrespect you in any way. You are a godly man of good intention who wants to see the world love as Jesus would. I pray my words can be a tool of God’s love in your life, and I know they will because I shared this under His authority not my own by any means. I respect your words very much, and I pray God blesses you dear sir.

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  22. yes, let’s all petend our souls are untainted and snowy white. after all, that’s what allows us to form opinions and make judgements on the decisions/lifestyles of others. what fine, upstanding Christians you are.

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  23. Bible > NIV > 1 Corinthians 5

    ◄ 1 Corinthians 5 ►

    New International Version

    Dealing With a Case of Incest

    1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.2And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 3For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,a b so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

    6Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

    9I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sisterc but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

    12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.
    Ephesians 5:3
    But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

    This is the instructions for any sin committed in the church. You can be obedient to it or disobedient….but one you remain in Christ by your obedience and one you don’t by your disobedience.
    Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and don’t do what I say? I do not know you get away from me you evil doers….It matters how we live our live in this earth.

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    1. And Paul furthered those instructions when the sinner was repentant in 2 Cor. 2:5-11:
      “5 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure-not to put it too severely-to all of you.
      6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough,
      7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
      8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.
      9 For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything.
      10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ,
      11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.”

      Most women in the church with a pregnancy outside of marriage have repented long before you know they are pregnant. If you are so eager to do the first set of instructions, are you just as eager to employ the second?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yep, that’s how we deal with sin **when it’s done in a flagrant, unrepenant, proud manner. ** Matthew 18 has the backdrop of what has happened long before getting to the “expel” part. Also we’d deal with BOTH parties involved equally– so, the unpregnant dad too, and also the kids who are sleeping around (repeatedly, unrepenant) who aren’t pregnant.

      The pregnancy isn’t a factor. It’s all about the heart. As an old song put it “the vilest offender who truly believes/ that moment from Jesus forgiveness receives.”. It doesn’t matter if the repentant sinner is a new mom or a teen who used a condom or a young guy who stops pressuring his girlfriend to sleep together.

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  24. I was an unwed mother at 21. The father had nothing to do with me or my unborn child. I was left to my own devices and made the best of an unfortunate situation. At the time I believed in God, but had no real connection to him. My baby was born healthy and with the help of family and good friends I was able to raise her while I continued to work and go back to school. These experiences and lessons in life helped to mature me and az a result I grew much closed to God and many years later I accepted him as my saviour.

    I know being an unwed mother is not what he wants for us and I wouldn’t encourage it as it is not an easy road, but He saw me through that hard time and allowed me many blessings!

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  25. Bea, you write very articulately for someone awake at 2 AM. You raised some very valid points and I would be remiss not to offer you the annoyance of my devil’s advocacy services!

    Zaccheus’s motives for attending a Jesus sighting may never be fully known but we are told in the story that Jesus approached him. Jesus offered a proactive forgiveness which prompted some confession and repentance on Zaccheus’ part. When I read this well intentioned article, I gathered the author is promoting the same concept. Your points are well taken, as I am the son of a fundamentalist, indie Baptist church. Some in the church raising their daughters to be pure may feel (somewhat justifiably) offended when they see a lavish display of support for something they pray never occurs in their own situation.
    Fifteen year old Skylar reads devotionals about purity and marriage and dreams of celebrating her own pregnancy after marriage the church family. Perhaps her own mother had a baby shower in the same building when she was born. Skylar and her mother would be a bit shocked to see Amanda’s prom baby welcomed with the same aplomb. It’s as if the church killed the fatted calf…but where did that saying come from? Oh yes, it comes from a story Jesus made up to illustrate how sad it is when the good feel the discomfort and jealousy, the messiness of grace. Jesus commanded a reckless love that destroys this sense of fairness which we can relate to. Skylar did it all right. She dreams of kissing her boyfriend but honors her father’s rule about no kissing nonetheless…she might want to just cry when she sees the youth pastor break out the ruffly presents. Those gifts would look a bit hollow and insincere to many. Amanda reaches for the beautiful ribbon over a box containing a car seat. She puts her hand on the new stroller and blinks back tears as she experiences grace and mercy like never before. She looks at the faces of those in attendance and thinks, “so this is love. This is family. I want my baby to be a part of this.” She becomes a member and receives her first Bible that cost more than 99 cents, whose font size is above 6. She gets cell phone numbers of dozens of women for support.
    Jesus railed against the disgruntled worker in the parable of the laborers (I’ve been here all day! This clown just showed up and you pay him the same?) and the disgruntled brother in the parable of the prodigal son (what’s the noise? Who ordered the bouncy house?) he made his post talk dinner plans with Zaccheus.for crying out loud! This shouldn’t shock us. Jesus extended his hands at the far ends of the cross beams and as the point of the nail first touched his skin–his concern for the soul of Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden and every other human was on his mind–weighing equally. Church government is a debate we will never outgrow but if we are wary, Bea…if we are cautious, Jose…if something is truly at stake and we must choose on which side to err, shouldn’t we err on the side of showing boundless love and warmth from Jesus to the least of these? We are his representatives on earth and with each action we weigh the question–what would Jesus do? Perhaps he would leave the 99 on a case like the pregnancy and go after Amanda.

    This was humbly submitted by a an atheist by the way. I love to play devil’s advocate with Christians and I annoy my atheist friends by playing God’s advocate. I don’t even believe God exists and I personally feel like Christians have an unhealthy obsession with lady parts. I think we should be loving because we can, and because it’s wonderful. Religious oppression of sexually liberated women has gone on for too long and while most American churches don’t hold a candle to what happens in the Muslim world, I think Christians should learn to celebrate sexual intimacy and respect the woman who wants to go back to her boyfriend. I hope you won’t think I am a troll, I went to Liberty University for 7 years and I am fairly new to atheism. The grass is so much greener here though, the boundaries which inhibited my empathy for others have been broadened. I don’t love everybody, but I wish I did and I hope to in earnest. I will leave this here.

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    1. Timmyshort, I felt you did a wonderful job of playing God’s advocate here in this string of comments. For someone who no longer believes, you laid it out very nicely here how Jesus would respond. Loving the sinner is not the same as loving the sinful actions of a person, nor does loving the sinner promote the sin. We are commanded to love one another and sometimes people forget that when they become short-sighted and focused on more self-centered gains. I enjoyed your comment!

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      1. I’m going to throw up if this seeker friendly church doesn’t stop your the reason the world is the way it is because of this seeker friendliness!!!!

        I would never promote this article Jesus told the woman to leave her life of sin just for living with a guy. Explain that to me thru your seeker friendliness

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  26. There is no doubt in my mind that if everyone were to perfectly follow Mr. Ashby’s advice, we’d wake up in about 25 years to discover that unwed teen pregnancy rates have risen dramatically. Economists call this “Moral Hazard”.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. And one thing I forgot to say…

    Regarding some sort of public confession…

    The scriptures talk about situations in which people are choosing to embrace a sexually impure life situation and still showing up at church as though nothing is wrong and it’s no big deal. It was common knowledge among the congregation that the sexual immorality was taking place. Faithful Christians are admonished to not even eat with the sexually immoral, with the hope that they will come to miss fellowship with their church family and ultimately be restored.

    When a church has a member turn up pregnant out of wedlock, the fact that they engaged in sexual sin at least once is obvious (unless of course it was a rape). Church members do have an obligation, when they are aware that someone is participating in sinful acts, to care enough about that person to want them to stop so they can be in harmony with the Lord’s expectations. It shouldn’t be about a nasty holier-than-thou attitude, but a sincere wish for the person to repent. And when they clearly are not interested in repentance, from a scriptural point of view, they are to distance themselves from that person. The Bible SAYS they need to do that as part of the process that might – hopefully – lead them back into fellowship with God’s word and his church.

    When everyone just acts like nothing happened and the unwed mother just carries on as though her situation is like any other pregnancy that process of repentence and restoration is circumvented and nobody feels at ease. When some are celebratory it gives the impression to others that they are approving of the situation and that they think it’s great, when it’s not great if the unwed mom is still having sex with her boyfriend, etc. But unless and until some straightforward statement is made, people simply won’t be able to feel at ease with both the person who is pregnant and those who seem so enthused about the unwed pregnancy.

    So I think if those who love and become close to the unwed mom can encourage her not only to repent, but to identify a venue in which to make it known that she has repented, turned from the sin, and would appreciate love, understanding, and support, I think *she* will feel better or having been transparent, and her church family will have clarity about how they need to respond.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bea,
      What about “he”. You mention the sin of the unwed mother, the sinful acts, how SHE should be repentant……..what about the HE of the equation?? Everyone shames and points fingers at the girl, well of course you do, because it’s obvious SHE has been sinning (according to you) It’s hard to hide a pregnancy.
      Again, what about “him”? Why doesn’t the father of that child need to be repentant? Why isn’t anyone wanting that boy to stand up and confess?? No one shames the male part of unwed pregnancy, it’s always the girls’ fault.
      Last I checked, it takes two…………….. and quit with the shaming.

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    2. Turning our backs on the sinful would result on everyone having their backs facing everyone else. No one is without sin, so why should an unwed mother be treated more harshly than you or I? A congregation that turns it’s back on someone, that withholds love, will just turn that person away and show that person that Christians don’t love or forgive, so why bother with Christianity?
      “And when they clearly are not interested in repentance, from a scriptural point of view, they are to distance themselves from that person. ” Absolutely not. Jesus would never ever give up on someone, no matter how resistant they are to repentance. Talking about sex with our children is what will affect their choice to have sex or to wait. Celebrating a child coming into this world will not.

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    3. You say “unless they were raped” and zoom on by that. Well, what if she was raped? She has committed no sin. What if she does not want to share that she was raped with her church? Well, it might look, to you, like she is unrepentant. Of course she is. She has not sinned. You have no evidence that she is continuing to sin. She SHOULD NOT have to stand up in front of the church and tell a bunch of people, many of which may be strangers or acquaintances, that she was raped. That can feel like being raped all over again, and it could be extremely humiliating. It shouldn’t be; there is no real shame, objectively speaking, in rape, but there can be much trauma. She may barely be able to talk about it in therapy yet, depending on how severe the assault was; why should she have to stand up and share it with the church? In essence, why do you need to know? You don’t. You don’t need to know she was raped; you don’t need to know how she got pregnant to know how to act toward her.

      Odds are that the less she says, the more shame she feels. Don’t heap up more shame by insisting she air her dirty laundry in front of the church. I feel that you would not be satisfied with anything less than knowing the exact circumstances both then and going forward, and that is not your business. It really isn’t. Your business is to love her. The circumstances that the Bible talks about are not secret sins that people got out of somebody by cornering them and worming the gory details out of them. One can assume those sins were public and common knowledge. If you are not willingly made privy to the details of her pregnancy, I would go forward assuming that is because you do not need to know. She does not need to confess to you. If she has sinned, she needs to repent. But that should be voluntary, not coerced, and unless you know the exact circumstances, your distancing yourself based on how you ASSUME things went down is very, very judgmental.

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  28. There is a lot about this piece that makes me uncomfortable. I appreciate the intent, but I think it microwaves something that should be the product of a process.

    Fornication is sin. It just… is. Pregnancy is the result of biology. God set biology in motion and gave us instructions about how to conduct ourselves. If we follow his intentions for sex – between a man and a woman who exist in a covenantal marriage together and treating one another in the way the Bible describes – biology following its natural course of action produces the blessing of love fulfilled.

    That’s a much different thing that that same biology unfolding in a situation that is abominable.

    Ultimately, the child that results from sinfully-orchestrated biological functions is still a child with a soul, and the family of God has the same obligation to that child as it does to a child born in the circumstances God approved. The child should have love, support, attention… and all of that probably in an extra measure when compared to children who have an intact set of parents. Ultimately the goal is for that child to come to know the Lord, and that can only happen if those who already know Him open-heartedly share him. Ostracize the mom and child and you’ve failed the Lord.

    And yet…

    It’s not a celebratory occasion that someone’s sin has created a situation in which a child will be raised in a compromised situation, possibly with no father around, and without that stability and consistency that facilitates emotional and financial stability. It’s *sad* that the child can’t have what God intended for children to have – a married mom and dad. So to throw a party and say, “Hoorah!” fails to recognize the gravity of the consequences of sin.

    Here’s the reality: A baby has no clue if anybody gave him/her a party when they were born or not. The party is for the mom. A shower is to help equip a household with items they will need to care for a baby, and the church does need to step up to the plate and become a support system for someone who is young and in need of both a spiritual circle and diapers.

    But should that support look identical to the celebration that occurs when a family follows God’s path and is, through their married love, blessed with a child? I don’t think so.

    My own experience has been that typically the girls from our church who have gotten pregnant out of wedlock were ‘fringe’ members and not the kids who were showing up every time the door was open. Their friends, too, are fringe members, and they really haven’t had a solid faith-building, truth-informing upbringing that prepared them to make a commitment to stay pure. I watched a set of three girls with loose church ties domino with their pregnancies. It was as though the party with all the cute little ruffly things and the squealy attention the first friend received made it all just seem like a nice path for the other two. It felt like we were headed for an epidemic.

    If we had allowed the process to unfold in a way that acknowledged the weight of the circumstances and came together in resolution to be lovingly supportive to the young mom… rather than doggone excited for her.. I have to wonder if her friends would’ve gotten a different picture and taken a different path. When I would see them in the foyer hugging each other saying how excited they were for each other it just felt somehow very disordered.

    And again in my experience, when I’ve seen the unwed girl – early in the pregnancy – have people who were close to her wrap their arms around her and encouraged her to make a public statement about her situation, the resolution went very, very well. You’re dealing with a church family that is probably very much in the dark about the situation – is the girl still sexually active? Is she repentant? It’s such a public, situation-altering thing and to just continue on without acknowledging the status of the heart of the young mother-to-be eliminates the potential for necessary healing and resolution. When the girl says – in some venue – “I messed up, I did something that dishonored God, the church, and my family, and I ask for your forgiveness and your support,” everyone can breathe a sigh of relief and feel at peace and in unity of mind with her. But when that question is still hanging out there – Is she still sleeping with the boyfriend? Is this a lifestyle she is embracing or the result of one regretful decision? – it’s very difficult for a church family to communicate.

    I don’t say any of this because I want to *shame* a pregnant girl. I am simply saying that when I have seen this situation handled with this level of maturity on the part of a repentant young woman, the church as a whole is better positioned to move on and support her wholeheartedly.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Nicely stated Bea. It’s not to be a celebration of the outcome of disobedience to God’s instruction when people have unintended consequences. As you pointed out that love, concern and support can be given a person who falls short without the green light for others to ignore God’s direction. You handled the subject gently, but firmly. May people not feel so unloved that they settle for less than true love. We must first understand God’s for us thru Jesus Christ, if we are to truly stand firm for God and not settle for less. God’s love can cover a multitude of sin.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The only thing I disagree with is the assumption about who the pregnant teens are. I attend the type of church that fringe members are very short lived. Some of our girls who became pregnant were from the “good” families. I am proud to say that I know of no abortions. I am proud to say that every kindness was shown to them and they were supported by our church family. Some did have showers. Some married. Some did not. Two of the three I know personally got pregnant out of wedlock more than once. Grandparents are raising grandchildren.

      This whole issue is very complex but the majority of abortions are not the population you are speaking of. They are primarily in the black community and it is a matter of not wanting to parent a child for personal and/or economic reasons. These young ladies are not getting abortions because they are ashamed to be pregnant because in that community there is very little if any shame about being in that situation. In some families it has gone on with every female for several generations.

      As a Christian, I am obviously pro life. The question to us all is, “What are we going to do about all these unwanted babies?” The sexual behavior of these young people is not going to change, biologically they are becoming sexually mature at younger and younger ages and the media is sexualizing everyone more and more all the time.

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      1. How typical that racel/culture would enter the picture!

        Sadly, your comments portray only ignorance and narrow-mindedness towards an entire community.

        Christian – grow up, take the beam out your own eye and judge not …

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kat, I do not see what you see in the comment made by B.J. regarding the facts about abortion. There is no lack of Ignorance, narrow-mindedness and judgementalism that we have to deal with on an everyday basis, but I think you missed the point here.
        We have to recognize there is a cultural aspect that has allowed a huge disparity in the number of abortions performed on African American women – this should alarm people, and there should be more questions asked as to why this is happening.

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      3. Your racist comments shows that you know absolutely nothing about real Christianity.

        And by the way, white women make up the highest number and percentage of abortions at 36%. You should probably learn what you are talking about before making such ignorant comments.

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      4. Mr. Niles, I am not a rascist. I have many precious friends that are not white. You need to know that according to the CDC and other organizations that track abortion numbers an African-American woman is almost five times likelier to have an abortion than a white woman, and a Latina more than twice as likely, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just want you armed with accurate information. It is genocide, regardless of the race. We are all created in the image of God…we are image bearers of the Most High God.

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    3. Bea ~ Excellent statement. I initially was impressed by the article, but when trying to share the link with someone (my husband), I was stumbling a bit in writing out my comments. I default back to my friend in VA who worked with some youth at a church and had this situation come up. She didn’t attend the shower, but brought a pack of diapers to the young mom later on. It was a gift for the baby, NOT a party for the mom. Very different. I do agree with the author’s comments that the pregnancy is not the sin, but the visible result of sin, and many “church kids” probably are on the pill at a young age, which only prevents the evidence of the sin, it doesn’t mean the sin is not taking place. There should be shame, but followed by repentance, there should be genuine forgiveness, love & embracing. Unfortunately, the casual attitude with which this situation is met (and treating it as “perfectly normal”), does nothing to discourage young people from allowing this sin to continue in their lives.

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    4. I agree with Bea.. having been that PR counselor I know the ins and outs of this topic. YOU can’t whitewash immorality. Call sin what it is.. but in LOVE. I’m not saying Bash the sinner.. I’m saying recognize today’s morals or lack of them. Teach your children that fornication has consequences. BIG ones.. emotionally and physically. Sex is an intimate act. It should be for Adults. Adults committed to a relationship that lasts a life time. Not a one night hormonal fling. There are a lot of mis-conceptional ideas about unwed mothers. Know the facts. Babies are precious.. even ones out of wedlock. There are couples wanting a child and can’t conceive.. adoption is always an option, The baby isn’t the problem.. abortion and sin is.

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    5. Bea, you said that you aren’t shaming unwed mothers, but as a former unwed mother that is exactly how I felt reading your comment — judged and shamed.
      I was one of the “good” girls my entire life. I was incredibly involved in my church — mission trips, went to a weekly bible study with girls I still consider my best friends 7 years later, and I was a Jr. High leader for a while during college. I was definitely not “on the fringe”.
      And as a daughter, I would have known if my birth wasn’t celebrated. It’s something I talked about with my mom all the time growing up. I have a box of baby things that my mom kept from my shower, birth, and 1st birthday. If that box was empty and my siblings’ boxes were full, I would know. I would know when I ask my mom what it was like during her pregnancy with me or what her baby shower was like.
      It’s not your place to judge where an unwed mother is at with God, but it is your job to love her and support her in motherhood. As a former unwed mother, I can tell you that from the time she missed her period to taking the pregnancy test and throughout all nine months of her pregnancy, the woman you are “not shaming” already felt the shame you put on her.
      Luckily, I was surrounded by family and friends who lived and supported me. There was only one person who brought shame into the picture and she was in my women’s bible study. By that time I had married my husband (my daughter’s father), and my daughter was a few months old. She asked for prayer because she didn’t know how to explain to her daughter how sinful her daughter’s cousin had been when she got pregnant and wasn’t married. In the previous year that I had been pregnant and had my daughter I had never felt as ashamed as I did sitting by her in the church.
      Unwed mothers don’t need a reminder that they’ve sinned. They know it from the second they see the positive pregnancy test (if they didn’t know before that). There is no place for shaming in the church — it will certainly drive the “sinful” people out.
      The “thank God they didn’t have an abortion” attitude is one that makes the church ill. So they are shamed if they kill the baby and shamed if they keep it? There’s no way to win with that attitude.
      I promise you, as a former unwed mom, the best thing you can do is love her. The sigh of relief that you’re hoping for, the one that you say comes after repentence, it’s selfish. No one — especially someone who is alone, hurting, confused, and scared about what is up next — no one needs to fall into your “sigh of relief” category to deserve love. She deserves love simply because God created her. It could be the love and support that you give her that leads her to repentence or leads her to the Lord.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I completely agree. In this day & age, sometimes marriage doesn’t come first. I just found out I am pregnant. I am a 25 year old, college graduate, raised in the church (a good girl). Although, I am not married (yet), I’m in a very committed relationship. My mother just passed away of breast cancer, which changed my perspective & my soon to be husbands perspective. We started trying to have a baby, planned, not a surprise. He & I are ecstatic God blessed us so quickly. He answered our prayers, he’s allowing us as much time with our children as possible. But I know once I start showing I will get those shameful looks, I will be asked what I’m going to do, I will be classified as a sinner. Even though I’m fully prepared & I did nothing wrong. Except not sign a legal document.
        Sometimes, unwed pregnancy isn’t the sin you think it is. But judging someone, especially not knowing their situation, is.

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      2. No, Courtney… planned sex outside of marriage before God & these witnsses is still fornication. In your case I would have urged you and your fiance to go and marry quickly, even just at a courthouse– make a covenant with each other and God– and then enjoy one another sexually. You can do everything else later– find a house, have a big ceremony or reception, whatever– but you can’t take sex outside the marriage relationship because it’s so pivotal to covenental oneness all throughout Scripture. Chad and those who support this article (like I do) do not condone fornication — we are just saying that the pregnancy is not the problem and the baby isn’t who should be treated w shame. The parents need to repent if there was fornication involved, that is never a question.

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      3. mamaszrama, we have made a covenant between ourselves & God. We just didn’t have it made legal by signing any documents (which to me a piece of paper is less binding than making a promise to each other, & to God, to cherish each other & continue to seek a relationship with him at the forefront)
        I just have to ask, have you watched your mother suffer, go through chemo TWICE in her life (the first time when you were 10) & hold her hand as she takes her last breath??? Unless you can tell me that & you know EXACTLY how I feel, please don’t think you can tell me that my priorities & not wanting to wait to have a wedding before having a child are wrong. It is gods will that was done. It was lots of prayers that were answered. God did not answer our prayer with no.
        I really do not appreciate your judgemental tone & it slightly offends me you want to preach about my sin but are not reserving your judgement (which is a sin).
        I’d also be interested to know if you NEVER sinned before marriage? If you are completely pure.

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      4. I’ve got no interest in judging your heart, Courtney. I’m just clarifying what I believe God’s word clearly says, so there is no misunderstanding. As fellow believers, we are called to help one another by speaking truth in accordance to God’s own revealed Word. That’s what love does; it speaks truth. I totally agree w this article 100% that pregnancy isn’t the sin, but fornication is; once repentance and life change has happened there is no shame left because Christ has borne it all. But there does need to be repentance and life change as well as support for the parents and a joy in the new life created.

        As far as my own life before my marriage… of course I wasn’t a non-sinner!! In that sense I wasn’t “totally pure!” That’s why I need a Savior. Did my husband & I sleep together before our wedding night? No. Did we even come close? No. In that sense we have no regrets at all and I’m so thankful for that. It wasn’t easy– but marriage does matter; it’s more than a piece of paper. It’s more than even an agreement between two people: it’s a covenant “before God and these witnesses.”

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    6. Is that how you feel about your child who lies? Who just disown them cause they sinned? I’m glad you were not my parent…

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    7. Bless you for addressing this controversial matter within the church family. It is a subject that is dear to my heart. I am the grandparent that has adopted my grandson from an 17 yr old unwed situation active within youth group and a Christian school. It happens. It was devastating for myself to walk this jouney, but I had to persist for the unborn child that was innocent . I have several points to state from my personal involvement.
      I have adopted 2 children myself prior to this unplanned pregnancy. My daughter was adopted. Clearly, I am pro life and pro adoption.
      My daughter was not dating at the time but she was very promiscuous and rebellious. (Which led my husband and I to adopt, since her life style persisted into more rebellion) When she received the positive test, it was the beginning of a hard emotional hormonal 9 months. The conservative closed minded religious people didn’t help the matter. I struggled within my marriage , my family, and church family. There was not a place that she fit to be steered to within our church structure; Sunday school class ; disciple training; or outreach. I had her Sunday school teacher say “I don’t know how to teach your child ” within the jr /sr class. I debated to leave that church family but stayed. Yes, she should minister and encourage the young teenager while teaching fornication is wrong. Don’t let the sin of fornication get hushed and swept under the rug for those teens on birth control.
      Then I had anxiety of how to provide for a child having a child. Friends of mine planned a baby shower. Then it was controversial about having it in the church building . Seems as that would be to approving. I see the gray line vividly of not to treat the planned and unplanned a like. But how? The baby needs welcomed and needs provisions. I had words said like “that glorified her actions” or “that entices other girls to want attention”. We did have a shower off site which was a fabulous reception for the baby. Several wise ladies came to myself and her to speak love and wisdom of their own past . I know they were Angels sent to help my anxiety.
      Lastly, where are the guys in these situations? In this case, the biological was arrogant and did not step up to responsibilities, much less didn’t claim him in court. I pray for God to help us with my grandson to not feel rejected
      In life. These boys need strong leadership in homes and in the church by their fathers. Yes it’s a controversial subject but raising responsible boys to be men is of great importance.
      Unplanned should not label these children as “unwanted”.. God has a purpose for every conception. God means good to come from hardships just as the many stories in the Bible.
      I am not a super mom or grandmom but I feel this subject weighing heavily on my life.
      Thank you for your careful words that many are afraid to discuss.
      No shame/just forgiveness…no arrogance/ just admission of sin…
      Lastly.. God doesn’t make mistakes….

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  29. This article and the majority of all comments following it bother me greatly. First, when and why did we stop upholding the biblical covenant of marriage as the place for children? The place where even secular research is very strong and clear that children have the best possible outcomes in life. Fatherlessness is crippling our nation …just ask any teacher or counselor working with children. If a girl/woman is not prepared to marry the father of her child, she should look to the option that will provide that environment for her child: adoption.
    Which brings me to the second point, why doesn’t the church encourage this option? It is THE option God chose to create His family (Gal. 4:4-5, Ephesians 1:4, Romans 8:15, etc). And I’m not talking about the adoption of 40-50 years ago where the young woman was forced to do, never saw her child, etc. Adoption today can and is very open, rewarding, healthy and such a great demonstration of the sacrificial love of Christ! Ask any girl who has chosen that plan and she will tell you how horribly she was treated by people: ‘ how could you give your baby away?’ Among other very hurtful and deeply wounding comments/opinions. I know of a 13 year old girl who is being pressured to “keep” the baby she is carrying over choosing adoption by even volunteers at a local pregnancy center. Just because a person’s anatomy works doesn’t mean they are prepared to do the incredibly hard task of raising a child. Marriage and adoption are biblical demonstrations of the covenant and should be taught, celebrated and understood in the framework of this conversation. Sad that neither were. We are where we are because we have chosen to ignore Gods plan…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adoption was my choice when a christian zealot who wanted me for his wife stalked and violated me. I received all those shaking heads and whispers; so did my siblings and parents. I asked my youth pastor how to make this man stop bugging me… he said move out of state. So, after the adoption, I moved. When my daughter hit puberty, her new christian family threw her away; 5 institutions within 5 years, medication & a label. At 19 she became a Jane Doe. I wish I would have raised her myself, even if it meant staying hidden, off the grid, for the rest of my life. Even if it meant going through the custody battle that another well-meaning family within the fold planned on funding for the rapist… my daughter would not have felt abandoned twice over. She wouldn’t have been easy prey for another man to vent his penchant for blind rage… wrong place, wrong time… No. I fell through the cracks when I needed help the most, so did my child. A church is like a hospital. People are sick whether they visit or not. Those who attend are looking to better themselves, but are no better than others who are just as sick. Honestly, christian men treat me with less respect than non-christians. Houston, we have a problem. 20 years of silence and shame has been set free. It was never mine to carry. God will never forsake me, people always will; christian or not.

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