Brothers and Sisters, Unwed Pregnancy Is Not a Sin

There 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.

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(photo credit)

Published by Chad C. Ashby

Instructor of Literature, Math, and Theology at Greenville Classical Academy Greenville, SC

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

  1. Thank you for such an informative article (errors here and there yes but I get the point)

    Supporting a person does not necessarily mean you are condoning or “celebrating” the results of their sins. Yes fornication is a sin. Yes unwed pregnancy is a RESULT of the sin (not the actual sin) but does that mean we don’t support them in fear of being seen as condemning sin? Think about this: What would Jesus do?

  2. Thank you for this! You totally helped to open my eyes to the truth! I have to admit, though, I didn’t “get” it until I started reading the comments, then I re-read the article with a completely different viewpoint.

  3. I understand the tone of your article, but I think you are mistaking God’s will and gifts for natural biology taking place. A girl getting pregnant by her boyfriend is not an ordained gift from God and in His perfect will and timing. God does not cause unmarried girls’ wombs to close or unmarried boys’ sperm to be infertile. But that does not mean He is giving them a “gift” for choosing to fornicate. It is simply the result of human biology. Do I believe we should do everything in our power to help the girl choose life and provide her with necessities? Most definitely. Do I think they need to be celebrated and lavished with gifts as stated in the article? No. Do I feel they are to be congratulated and shown excitement? If so, then let me ask you this: would you show excitement and throw a lavish, celebratory shower for a lesbian couple who just found out they were pregnant? No you wouldn’t, because it’s not that the baby isn’t precious and innocent or doesn’t deserve life, it’s because the circumstances under which he is being brought into the world are against God’s principles. Just like with babies out of wedlock. Do we judge these girls and make them outcasts? No, we bring them in and encourage repentance. We help however we can. But we do not turn the situation into a big celebratory occasion and say that God has chosen to give her a gift. It is never God’s will for an unmarried girl to get pregnant, because it is never God’s will for unmarried people to be having sex (Mary was still a virgin- God did not bring Jesus into the world through fornication). Will He have an amazing plan for that baby and the parents? 100% yes. But you can still love and help someone and show them amazing grace without celebrating the result of their actions.

  4. My mother was 16 when she got pregnant with my sister. She hid the entire pregnancy until she was in labor. That was possible because she lived with one parent, and that parent was out a lot..short version. She wasn’t allowed to keep my sister and couldn’t even leave the hospital with her. A year later, she was living with her father 1000 miles away, and she found she was pregnant with me. My southern baptist, Mississippi politician grandfather sent her to an anonymous maternity home to finish the pregnancy and give me up for adoption. This subject is so near and dear to my heart. Adoptions like mine were not necessary and were incredibly hurtful to young vulnerable mothers. Abortion wasn’t her first choice.. keeping me was. But it was made impossible by those who were supposed to love her the most. Additionally, ethics. My father didn’t know about me until this year. It’s too easy to get around fathers’ rights in adoption. too ridiculously easy both then and now. It’s a big issue. I never did meet my sister, but I always knew she was out there somewhere. She reunited with our mother in 2008 because her birth state allowed her to access her birth she was able to search with a name. (insert plug for adoptee rights legislation) I was searching at the same time WITHOUT a name. We posted on the same website. When they reunited, that birthmother shame was still so strong with our mother, and she didn’t confide in my sister that she had me the next year in a different state. My sister died of a swift cancer 2 years later in the midst of their secretive reunion. So much pain and heartache as the result of “Christian” handling of her unwed pregnancies. At the end of college I also found myself in an unwed pregnancy, but I was supported. My (adoptive) parents didn’t like it, but I was supported and loved. But I still felt judged….. so very judged because I grew up knowing the “proper Christian handling” of such situations..the way I also judged unwed pregnancies..the stigma, the shame, etc. And you know, I guess I have a sort of beef with the way we handle even more than unwed pregnancy. Sexuality. I mean, we are biologically designed to be sexual in our teen years. Our modern culture has pushed back the ideal time for child-rearing. Our culture has changed, but our bodies have not. So we set up our kids for that struggle and are so hush hush about realities of sexuality. We are doing this to ourselves. And my last thought, a lot of people tout adoption as some kind of fix or viable alternative for abortion. It’s not. Family preservation is. Adoption should always be a last resort. It should be only about children and never a service for parents who want children. It shouldn’t erase identities. birth certificates should remain true. Many things. Ethics again. I think about all of this so much. My biological family could have raised me or helped my parents raise me. But my father’s family didn’t get the chance. Or my mother’s family thought it was too immoral and controversial a prospect. How many women and children (and fathers) have suffered because they were treated the “christian” way when they found themselves in the vulnerable situation of teen or unwed pregnancy? We should be adopting THEM, like with pregnancy resource centers, but more personally as well. We invest SO MUCH money in adoption both near and far partly because it is … investment on future goods (a child) received. We aren’t so eager to invest that time, money and love in keeping families together. And there is the great tragedy of our adoption culture. Building families on the backs of broken ones without enough focus on loving and supporting the families that we are profiting off of. If we as Christians had been preserving families all along, instead of ostracizing unwed mothers, there would be a LOT less demand for abortions and perhaps it would barely exist at all. But historically, we have taken the judgmental route and shunned and banished these girls. No wonder we are in this situation now. So yes, unwed pregnancy is not a sin. Great article. Fresh perspective.

    1. Cal, I am sorry you carry the wounds of being adopted. I am the mother of two grown children that are also adopted. Our children were not “goods received”…they are precious blessings from the Lord. Infertility is not a path I would have chosen but it is the path the Lord provided for us and I cannot begin to imagine life without the two the Lord blessed my husband and I with. Adoption? I know so many couples that want a family. My girls are precious. They have grown up knowing we pray for the young people that chose life for them. They have grown up knowing they were loved and prayed for before they were born. They also know that we are their parents. I am thankful, every single day, for the sacrifice that was made…choosing life, choosing to place those babies for adoption with a dad and mom that had prayed for the privilege of being parents.

  5. Women that get pregnant outside of marriage are the ones that got CAUGHT. They are no more sinful than the ones that live that lifestyle but use birth control methods. I would SO much rather we learn to accept them into the church than make them feel like they must have an abortion.

    1. You’re missing the point. Who suffers when mothers are shamed? Who feels out of options when they aren’t loved and supported?

  6. Why should some have to pay the consequences for another’s choice to sin? Forget about rape cases for a moment. My co-worker cancelled her wedding (7 months away) so that she won’t lose her Medicaid before the baby’s born. Our society is so messed up that we reward sinful premarital sex! We pay taxes so that unwed moms and dads don’t have to pay a cent, while some of us pay thousands for a doctor to remove a miscarried baby from the womb that was a planned pregnancy. I will be more compassionate when I no longer have to pay for their medical bills, free school lunches, etc. For those of you who say all sin is the same, I completely disagree. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and Scripture says “all other sins are outside the body” when talking about premarital sex. I’m no expert or pastor, but that sounds to me as if sex outside marriage IS worse than other sins. We need to be teaching our daughters AND sons that abstinence is the best option and specifically how to avoid sin and temptation.

  7. Unwed pregnancy is not a sin. I agree a baby is a gift from god. However sex before marriage is. This is two different things. The act if having sex before marriage is a sin but the pregnancy and baby there after is not.

  8. Craig, I think that your money-of-the-hitman analogy is a poor one. Money is a material thing. A child is a temple of the holy spirit. They are not the same sort of blessing.

    1. Yes! The Biblr also calls children a blessing and a reward. I recall no such statements about having large amounts of money.

  9. I’ve not seen disappointment, condemnation, or pity in my Church. I’ve seen only love and support. This holds true even when I joyfully brought my own daughter with my granddaughter to my Church.

    Funny how this article lauds the PRCs, but a PRC is the only place where anyone judged my daughter. “God doesn’t love you” was the exact quote. That’s not exactly the behavior I think we should set as an example.

  10. I highly disagree on much of what you say. The unwed pregnancy is a result of “fornication” sex out side of marriage which IS a sin. The pregnancy is just a result of sin. You can NOT use Mary’s conception in any of this. She did NOT sin to get pregnant. She was impregnated by the spirit of God. Not by fornication. Elizabeth knew the moment she heard Mary’s words that the child with in her was not a result of sin but of God. Some unwed mothers are impregnated not only by fornication but by adultery as she was with a married man. So sin is sin in God’s eyes and it is forgivable but to say it is NOT sin is so wrong. To celebrate her sin is wrong. To celebrate the child is right. To excuse the sin is wrong! Your teaching to confess your sin you can NOT trust man no matter their Christianity. You MUST be very careful who you trust and reveal your sins too. God is the only one who truly needs to know your sins and for you to confess to him and him alone is the ONLY safe place with a repentant heart. Now he does say to confess your sins one to another but you have to be VERY choosy who you share your sins with. I have been saved for over 20 years and I have learned and grown in wisdom that just because people attend church and act like Christians does not mean they are true Christians followers of Jesus Christ and walk by his virtues. Many are wolves in sheep’s and shepherds clothes ready to destroy and shame.

  11. I’ve noticed in this discussion that the line that separates sin from righteousness and evil from holy is the ritual of “marriage”.

    If that were the case, then Adam and Eve were not married and we are all bastard children.

  12. This is hellish teaching: “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.” By that logic, prostitution, incest, and adultery are not sins either. Fornication is a sin, pregnancy is not. Pregnancy is the result of fornication in some cases. Such a pregnancy should not be celebrated, as it gives approval to the act of fornication and encourages sin in the eyes of others.

    Let’s change the example. Money. Having a lot of money is not a sin. Having that money by being a very successful hitman, is. The Church should not be celebrating all the money the hitman has by virtue that money, in of itself, can be a blessing. Because of the means he procured the money, he should be condemned.

    If you teach this from a pulpit, you are sending people straight to hell, including yourself if you do not repent. These are tough words, but you are a grown man, I would rather put it tough and wake you up then beat around the bush and have you miss the point.

    God bless,

  13. 1 Corinthians 7: 8,9

    But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

    – – – – – –

    Paul specifically mentions to the unmarried that its better to marry than to burn with passion. Yes God is control of His creation even the child in the womb. Yes we are to love everyone even the unwed pregnant women but to say or imply but perhaps possibly it wasn’t your intention to the reader but maybe perhaps a miscommunication. Otherwise to imply that unwed pregnancies isn’t a sin is truly not biblical to scripture context.

    What is the difference with a married spouse who cheats on his wife and gets an unmarried women pregnant?

    The husband not only commits adultery and breaks his covenant of marriage but also brings the unmarried women into the sin too. Now you have a man who has a wife with children more likely and an unmarried women with a child. Yes the child is innocent in the process and we must forgive but both parties are guilty of sin before the eyes of the Lord. We are not to condemn the sinner but we are to pull them out from their errors of sin. Paul expressly mentions this in Galatians.

    – – – – – – –
    Galatians 6: 1,2
    Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
    – – – – – – – –

    You know when Jesus was approached by the Pharisees with the adulterous women they were ready to stone her. But Christ words of power said in blunt terms go ahead but the first one without sin cast the stone first. He knew very well that each stone would drop in the hands of the condemners why because each of them were guilty of their own sins. Jesus showed compassion and mercy to the adulterous women and Jesus had every right to pick up a stone and throw it at her and He would be justified why because Jesus knew no sin. But what we saw was love in the eyes of the master and powerful words which Jesus still says to the sinner caught in action. Even to the Josh Duggar situation “GO AND SIN NO MORE”. That’s the kind of response we must have not just for unwed pregnant women but anyone caught in sin. But to imply that unwed pregnant fornication/adultery isn’t sin or perhaps like I said maybe a miscommunication I just know the scriptures are clear on this topic.

    All in all we must strive towards holiness and lift one another up towards holiness and it starts first by being an example as Paul the apostle lead by example.

    – – – – – –
    Revelation 14:12

    12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

  14. Wow! What a great perspective Chad. As the Director of a PRC I get the message contained within your post. Although the wording might get people a bit ruffled all that’s needed is to read it in it’s entirety to gain understanding. I have indeed seen this many times in the 19 years I have been in our center. The danger that many do not know about is that a Christian girl, coming from a “good family” is very likely to consider abortion to “save face” for herself and her family. Indeed, I have seen Christian parents actually putting pressure on their daughter to do so.

    Openess, transparency and being “real” would do all of us in the Church a world of good and restoring through love is what our Savior modeled for us.

    Thanks for the support of our work and bless you in your own!

      1. Is there a reason a whole huge part of my reply was editted out, namely:

        YOU: “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.”

        ME: By that logic, prostitution, incest, and adultery are not sins either. Fornication is a sin, pregnancy is not.

      2. Craig, I cannot edit comments. They are either approved or not. I approve all comments that are free from profanity/unseemly language, and that are not spam.

      3. Then my apologies, let me copy and paste in full what I wrote:

        This is hellish teaching: “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.” By that logic, prostitution, incest, and adultery are not sins either. Fornication is a sin, pregnancy is not. Pregnancy is the result of fornication in some cases. Such a pregnancy should not be celebrated, as it gives approval to the act of fornication and encourages sin in the eyes of others.

        Let’s change the example. Money. Having a lot of money is not a sin. Having that money by being a very successful hitman, is. The Church should not be celebrating all the money the hitman has by virtue that money, in of itself, can be a blessing. Because of the means he procured the money, he should be condemned.

        If you teach this from a pulpit, you are sending people straight to hell, including yourself if you do not repent. These are tough words, but you are a grown man, I would rather put it tough and wake you up then beat around the bush and have you miss the point.

        God bless,

  15. The devil sure works to distort and take scripture out of context. It smells good, it looks good but sorry this isn’t gospel truth. Yes we all sin and fall short and yes we are called to show mercy and grace but just because we are under grace doesn’t give us permission to get a green pass go and still fornicate! Unwed pregnancies regardless of a baby is born or not any unmarried couple having sexual intimacy is called FORNICATION! The writer has this wrong in fact possibly won’t even let my post be posted possibly because don’t want to hear the truth. Take king David as an example he was married and committed sin before God and he wasn’t married to Bathsheba and got her pregnant but what happened? She lost her baby despite King David fasted and sought mercy with tears. Did David show mercy to Bathsheba’s husband when he had him placed in the front battle to die? Regardless God still showed mercy upon David’s life but not like how David assumed he would receive it. That’s why God sent a prophet to rebuke David’s sin of what he did. What’s the point of marriage? Yes God does forgive us when we sin but then it’s up to us to make it right. If a man gets a women pregnant and they are not married how can this relationship be healed? Both must repent ask God for forgiveness and both should get married and make things right before God or shouldn’t have had fornication to begin with if they didn’t want to marry. You see how sin complicates everything. If we would just follow God’s holy commands we would save ourselves heartache and would receive His blessing of a marriage partner on His time not on our own selfish pleasure of hurting another and sinning before God. Also on top of that Mary was a virgin and there was no sexual intimacy before Jesus was born. God’s power from the Holy Spirit chose Mary and yes she did get married to Joseph but the Son of God was born for a purpose to deliver His people and it wasn’t through sin.

    1. Sin is sin…premarital sex, fornication, adulterous relationships…all sin. As is gossip, lust, murder, etc. Someone said they should just get married. I strongly disagree. Don’t compound one sin with another, potentially, HUGE mistake. I know of a young woman that was in a horribly abusive relationship. She got pregnant but should not have been dating this man….much less marry him. Was it sin to have sex outside of marriage? ABSOLUTELY! But we have walked life with her, loved her, supported her, mentored her. She chose life for her baby girl and is doing well and walking with the Lord, not in that very wrong and unhealthy relationship. We need to be most careful that we don’t impose our views of what we think is the right thing to do. My choice would have been for her to place her baby for adoption…that is my personal bias. But it was not my choice.

  16. The premise that “unwed pregnancy is not a sin” bypasses and glosses over the sexual sin that caused the pregnancy. But it is not ultimately helpful to the woman who is unexpectedly expecting outside of marriage to fail to deal honestly with the wrong attitudes and actions that led to her pregnancy. Certainly, the Body of Christ should be compassionate, helpful, and loving in its response to women in this situation; and we should not hypocritically call out one evidence of sin and look the other way regarding other sin. Rather, we must speak truthfully and warn people about sin and its consequences in a variety of situations, including an unwed pregnancy. Indeed, being told of both God’s great love for her as well as her need for forgiveness from sin may be the very door that God will use to bring a woman in an unwed pregnancy to repentance and faith in Christ, which should be our prayer and ultimate goal for her.

  17. Chad, thank you for this encouragement. I’m convinced if more Christians responded with grace towards those caught in sin the light of the Gospel would shine brighter in this world. As I have read the responses to this post the following verses came to mind:

    “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:20-6:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    Clearly there is a group among those who have commented who have seen Gods grace displayed in your lives through the difficult circumstance of an unwed pregnancy. To you I say thank you for your testimony and praise God for his grace that has led you to repentance.

    It is also clear there is a group among the commenters who does not seem to fully grasp the concept of Gods grace interacting with our sinfulness. To you I say take some time to meditate on passages like Romans 5-6. Consider the parable of the prodigal son. Contemplate how Jesus interacted with the woman at the well. Indeed, God does not deal with us according to our sin. He is exceedingly lavish in pouring out his grace on his people. Which brings up an interesting question. Does someone have to repent or confess in order to receive grace from God or other Christians?

    “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    If God’s grace toward us was as conditional as our grace towards other people, I am afraid we would all be hopelessly lost in our sins. Praise God his grace is the very thing that leads us to repentance! May we show the same grace to others.

  18. You definitely made some very valid points on how the body of believers should react in these cases. I understand that this was a minimal post to highlight a point, but this article could and should be more developed. My brother had an unwed pregnancy, and I did feel the internal disappointment because of my brother’s sin to live by the flesh. However, ALL children, whether in the womb or in the room, are special blessings from God, and his daughter is beautiful, funny, and smart. So how do we divide the sin cause from the blessing effect? From the Christian perspective, it would be redemption, grace, and forgiveness. This is where the Gospel comes in. Just as God has redeemed us through Jesus Christ, God takes our nasty, fleshly, and sinful choices, and God can redeem those choices to produce a beautiful baby. God is so gracious in that we don’t get “struck by lightning” when we do sin (even though we deserve it). God has forgiven us and these situations are forgiven by God and should be by us as well.

    Though, I understand the point you are driving at, but on issues such as this one, it is not best to summarize your argument. Further, you cannot take passages out of context. You cannot use the supernatural virgin birth as part of your argument for natural births that are a result of our choices, even though all births do derive from God. Strangely, you seem to glaze over the fact that Mary and Joseph moved away in part because the perception of their unwed pregnancy. Also, you have to be careful when saying “God didn’t condemn this in this Bible.” There are several things in the Bible that are noted or written because the writers are reporting and narrating events. This would be the fallacy of argument from silence. If you read OT narratives properly, you see that the sins of people in the OT did have consequences that unfolded later. This would be the same as saying that God didn’t shun Solomon from having many wives, so that must be okay. If you read the narrative properly, Solomon’s lifestyle of bad choices ended up having negative effects and consequences. When someone wants to discuss a particular topic, the tendency is to cherry-pick verses to support your point, but one cannot neglect context. When one forgets or neglects context, then people can misinterpret your point or be mislead.

    I greatly appreciate your input on how we as Christians should respond as Christians in these scenarios. I encourage you to take your point, develop your arguments soundly, and connect this to the Gospel itself.

  19. I wholeheartedly agree and disagree with this. As I was a young unwed mother at 17 growing up in the church the fact of the matter is still the fact of the matter, if You have sex before you are married it is a sin if you become pregnant because of it doesn’t make it any less of a sin because babies are good. Yes if you become pregnant and you ask for forgiveness there is grace from God in that and if we confess our sins and turn from our ways then we have forgiveness and done what is expected as far as the church is concerned. But I do not see from this article anything but ‘overlook the sin and accept the fact that there is a beautiful baby to come and we should help the poor young mother.”
    Now don’t get me wrong yes we are to help and yes we are to guide but not the same as if they have not repented and accepted their sin to ask for its forgiveness which is not mentioned in this article. If we jump in and help and make it all seem ok then you are opening a door for it to keep happening, I mean what do you do if the same mother then gets pregnant a second time? Do you still help the same young mother again and again in the same way because its making babies and babies are good? If not then when is ok for you to decide this doesn’t apply, that your resources should be going to someone who is repentant and changed their ways, and who is the one responsible for deciding that?
    Actually being an unwed mother is a sin. having a baby may not be so to speak, but being an unwed mother is a consequence of a sin and we all have to live with the consequences of our sins no matter what they are, forgiven or not. The consequences of sin can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing and sometimes horrific and this is what God was trying to protect us from in the first place right? God doesn’t make all that go away for us when we sin in other ways.
    The fact that the church needs to be compassionate and helpful and and show grace may all be true in the right circumstance with the right message attached to it which should be more like, yes you made a mistake and you have asked for forgiveness from God and your church family that you represent, and we love you, and we are here to help you turn this into something good that God can use in you and others. We do not condemn you or your beautiful child on the way. We are here to support you and lift you up when you struggle on this road before you, because it is a hard one and you will need it. However this comes after the uncomfortable, ya I screwed up and i’m sorry please forgive me and I need help part. after the repenting part. I am speaking as though this was a person already in the church and representing the church. There is a difference with a new person walking in from the outside that has not the understanding of the sin in the first place. There are just to many factors to even write an article like this with a blanket message that the church is doing it wrong.
    The title of this article itself makes me mad just because it implies that there is no sin in the situation in the first place, which comes across as saying the Bible is wrong and addressing the sin in it is also wrong.
    When did being a Christian mean following Gods laws wasn’t hard and full of difficult choices each day that we are fully responsible for and will hold an account for. and when did being a Christian change from helping others to hold themselves and ourselves accountable for our sins to in order to be a good Christian you must accept everything and not call it what it is and make everyone feel better? I know I sound harsh but the truth is there is a harsh side to this not just a baby and it all has to be handled together or it is just condoning the sin and calling it helping.

  20. I understand your point, but your history is flat out wrong. In ancient Israel, engagements as we know them today, did not exist. Young women were married to a man, and then they returned to their father’s house, usually for a year or two, to be further trained to be a good wife. The marriage was not consummated until the bride moved in with the groom, and “knew” him. Christ’s entire life, as he said, was the fulfillment of the law – that includes his conception. Mary was NOT an unwed mother.

  21. I have known all along on a deep spiritual level that God has been behind the creation of our beautiful, gorgeous daughter. However, I was at a loss to explain why to my Christian friends who were raised in church. Basically, I have been raised to believe that what my woman and I are doing is “shacking up”. For those who know the whole story, they know that situations beyond our control led to both of us moving in together, and that actually I wanted to wait. But, circumstances undoubtedly directed by the Good Lord have brought us to this point. I know that our baby is a miracle bestowed on us by God. But I didn’t understand why He had worked it out in this exact manner. If you look at the life of Jesus as He walked this Earth, you will notice that He often did things unconventionally, even confounding upstanding religious leaders. Both of us would be homeless if situations had not worked out the way that they did. Furthermore, the true miracle of this baby can not be appreciated by those unfamiliar with the situation. That is all I can say about that at this time. As far as sin, “DAVE”, it is exactly your blundering uneducated and high-horse attitude that has led so many scared girls to seek abortion clinics, living with that shame and secret guilt carried inside for the rest of their life. A child is the most precious thing, and if you are reading the same Holy Bible that I am reading, you will see that Jesus has a special place in His heart of hearts for them. Before you go off half-cocked and condemn everyone with your self-righteousness, consider this. Satan is the arbitrator of strife and hate. When you, “Dave”, are hurling insults from the back of the line- gleaned from half-read scriptures and quick, judgemental, sneering perusings of articles such as these, take a look. How does it feel, “DAVE”, to be a puppet doing the Devil’s Dance??! The people in front of you are kneeling before a Throne of Grace, on which sits God the Judge, with his public defender Jesus at his side and Prosecutor Gabriel standing at the ready. He alone is meting out justice. You, “Dave”, are a rabble-rouser. Bailiff, clear the courtroom

    1. Woah!! Put on the brakes!! There is a difference between sinning, repenting and finding freedom from shame; and continuing to live in sin and wanting to be free of shame. If you are continuing to live with a woman in a sexual relationship outside of marriage, without repentance or changing… that is sin. If you are living together with your daughter’s mom, with no plan to move out, get married!! Your daughter is not a sin– your continuing to live together as if married but refusing to submit that to the Lord (ie getting married) is quite clearly sin according to Scripture. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you said– but if you are living together I would urge you to either move out (God always makes a way for obedience) or get married (at the courthouse it only takes a few hours).

  22. When Big Sister gets a big party and a bunch of attention, fawning, and affirmation, do not think for one moment that Little Sister doesn’t take notice.

    This thread is a perfect example of what has become of the modern church: the only remaining sin worthy of condemnation is “The Sin of Giving Offense.” How far have we come from when Jesus repeatedly said things like, “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”

    I guess Jesus wasn’t as “loving” as modern Christians.

    1. Jesus said those things to those convinced of their own righteousness apart from Him; the Pharisees. To the sinners who KNEW they were in sin, who repented and were broken & humble He said “your sins are FORGIVEN” and “go and sin no more.”

    2. Don’t you think the little sister will notice how everyone fawns over the baby after it is born? If we treat the pregnancy differently than we will treat the child, we are dangerously like the pro-choice folk.

    3. And when little sister sees the pain, heartache, sleepless nights, and dedication that a baby brings, little sister will take notice.

      And it’s people like you that turn people away from Jesus. Jesus is love. Did you miss the story of the woman who committed adultery and was about to be stoned?! Jesus stopped that and then told her she was forgiven. Without her even asking!
      He also told the woman at the well she was loved! She had been married several times before and was currently with a man that wasn’t her husband!

      Wow. So which “loving” Jesus do you serve (or not serve)?

  23. I had my son when I was 17. I was the typical youth group/Christian school teen who made one terrible decision to sin. Out of that experience I have spoken to churches around the country on the Church’s response to crisis pregnancy. After 20 years of CPC work, youth and collegiate ministry I can testify to this – almost every girl who is unmarried and pregnant in a church has already repented long before th church knows she is pregnant! Because of this 2 Cor. 2:5-11 should be the response of the church.

    Why is someone worried about the message a baby shower would send? The single mother probably is in far more need than the lovely 20-something married couple with two jobs. The reaction and action of a church facing a crisis pregnancy can be the very motivation of the next young women to choose abortion over choosing life.

    Lastly, it is not for the church members to decide the repentance of a young woman or man in this situation. That is left to the student pastor and pastor of the church to address, privately and quietly, if it needs addressing at all.

    Thank you for establishing tangible guidelines for churches to respond in forgiving grace while celebrating life yet holding to the truth of Scripture.

  24. I was raped at the age of 20 and wound up pregnant. I was shunned and whispered about by people in the church. I delivered a very healthy little girl and put her up for adoption. Apparently putting a child up for adoption is also not “acceptable” to some members of the church……”how could she just give her child away…..”

    So, to all the self-righteous, overly pious, pseudo Christians……..I did nothing wrong to earn your contempt, and almost 40 years later I still have no use for organized religion or its dogma. I certainly didn’t see God or Christ-like love in your church, but I have found him elsewhere.

    1. Pat, thank you so much for sharing. It was a valiant, admirable, courageous, and loving act for you to carry your child to term and give her up for adoption. I pray that this article will begin to open the eyes of Christians that women like you deserve Christ-like love, care, and support. May the grace of God through our merciful Savior Jesus Christ be with you! -Chad

    2. So sorry to hear those people mistreated you, Pat; some people just delight in creating no-win situations. But I had to say, my sister and I are both adopted, and both we and my parents would say thank you so much for your courage and your willingness to do that.

    3. Pat, it pains my heart to read your response. The true church is the feet and hands of Christ. Understand that the Lord has said there will come a day where we will stand in judgement and many will cry out Lord Lord but He will cast them away because they never knew Him. There are many people who practice a false religion based upon their righteousness, which according the the Word of God, is like filthy rags.

      The life you created and bore was a gift from God because life only comes from Him. And because of this, that life MUST be celebrated by followers of Christ.

    4. Pat, I am so sorry you were violated as a young woman, and that people in the church were uncaring toward you. I am sick that they then complained when you sacrificially carried the baby to term and gave her up for adoption. What a gift of love and life you gave, both to your daughter and the adoptive family. I grieve that such behavior on the part of people who professed to be Christians has turned you away from the church. I thank you for your gift of life and love, even in the face of terrible circumstances.

  25. “he Bible never condemns unwed pregnancies. In fact, the lineage of our Savior is full of them. Some of his ancestors were conceived through prostitution, incest, and adultery. ”

    I’m interested in this comment. I’ve just checked each name in the Genealogies of Christ in both Matthew and Luke, and haven’t found a single one of his ancestors who were supposed to have been conceived through prostitution, incest, or adultery. Now, admittedly, there are a lot of names in those lists, and I’ve only checked each one superficially, but I figured that if his lineage is ‘full of them’ that’d be enough to find them. Maybe you could point some of them out?

    1. Jeff, I apologize if the phrase “full of them” was misleading. I have updated the language to say “several”. For instance, Tamar (Genesis 38) was the daughter-in-law of Judah and became pregnant by him by posing as a prostitute. Also, Ruth the Moabitess (Ruth 4:13-20), grandmother of David, was a descendant of Moab, who was conceived through incest when Lot’s daughters got him drunk and lay with him (Gen. 19:30-38). David’s son Solomon was conceived with another man’s wife, Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:24), although technically they were married after he killed Bathsheba’s husband. However, even Matthew says, “And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah” (Matthew 1:6), emphasizing the impropriety of the situation. Boaz’s mother was Rahab the prostitute (Matthew 1:5). Hope this helps! -Chad

    2. Abraham and Sarah (Sarah was a sister by his father).
      Judah and Tamar (Tamar prostituted herself in order to fulfill her rights to a child by Judah)
      Ruth and Boaz (Ruth was from Moab, who was the result of Lot’s daughters sleeping with Lot)
      Bathsheba and David (adultery)
      Rahab and Boaz (Rahab wa s a prostitute)

  26. I whole heartedly agree…the unplanned pregnancy is a consequence of the sin…sex outside of marriage. Children are a blessing from the Lord. As the mom of two adopted children, I wish you had addressed the issue of adoption. There are so many married couples that yearn for a family, a baby. I will be forever grateful for the young men and women that chose life for my girls and made the most unselfish, sacrificial choice…the greatest gift they could give by choosing adoption over raising those babies. PS I did cringe a little, over your example of Mary. She was not married but she did not have sex outside of marriage.

  27. I do recognize what you are trying to accomplish here with this article – love in Christ first. That I agree with wholeheartedly. The only point I would add caution to regarding your article is the emphasis that Mary was an unwed teen. God sent an angel to Joseph and told him to take on the care of Mary and her child, and that was after choosing a girl who was engaged to be married. Fathers are so important that God made certain that Jesus would have an earthly adoptive father – a provider and protector. We must remember God’s ways are higher than our ways, and in all of the unwed mother situations I can recall off hand from the Bible (Mary, Bathsheba, even Tamar) there was a present father (adoptive or otherwise) who claimed the child and repented of his sin (Joseph, of course excluded on that point). And yes, I have an unwed mother in my family, and we love that child (and the mother) with all our hearts and with Christ’s love. I write this out of heartache I have from witnessing that child’s pain born of not having a father and growing up in a male-less household. Simply celebrating the child as a gift from God isn’t enough, but loving the pregnant mother is a good place to start.

  28. It is a precious gift of life wrapped up in that child. The mother (and father!) Need to repent of their sin, and the church needs to support them. The act of premarital sex is a sin… simple fact. Jesus Christ died for that sin just like He died for all sin.

    The child should have everything that a child born as a product of a typical married couples baby is provided with. The child had no wrong in the manner in which they were created.

    Its all too easy to condemn the single that produced the child of unwed parents… this is a sin that’s hard to miss. Would people be so condemning towards a person who broke the speed limit getting to church on Sunday morning? How about that “big tither” who made his extra profits by lying on his taxes and cheating his employees?

    Sin is sin is sin. Simple as that. ALL sin is covered by God’s Grace if we ask for forgiveness.

  29. Reblogged this on STORY 2 SUCCESS BLOG and commented:
    Chad this post is a blessing to so many. The babies they’re carrying is a gift and a blessing from God. So who is calling God’s gift a sin. the pregnancy is not the sin but the sex before marriage.

  30. I gave birth to a beautiful daughter as an unwed 21 year old. I chose life. I chose to place her for adoption with a Christian family. I also chose to willfully disobey the Word of God and engage in premarital sex. Only by the grace of God was I able to repent & receive forgiveness. And only by his grace was I able to extend that same forgiveness to those who sat in judgement and treated me harshly. There were believers who loved and cared for me as well during that season. My beautiful birth daughter is an amazing young woman. Her life is no accident. I celebrate the awesome redemptive work of Christ in her & the work he furthered in me because of her conception. It was her life that brought me to a greater understanding of my sin, of God’s great plan of salvation & of his unshakable love for me & all his children. Both my daughter & I have been bought by a great price – the sinless blood of our Savior was sufficient to cover my formication as well as my pride, my stubbornness, and my independence. I am so very thankful he allowed me to see his hand redeeming my sin in this concrete way. I am eternally grateful.

    1. Jen, what a great testimony! Praise God for you and your daughter. Thanks so much for sharing your story of God’s redemptive grace in your life. -Chad

  31. By that logic, if I successfully rob a bank, will you say that robbery is wrong (wink, wink), but rejoice with me that God has poured out His bounty upon me?

    I didn’t think so.

    And to use Mary – a virgin miraculously and non-sexually impregnated by the Holy Spirit to bring the Son of God into the world without the taint of Original Sin – as an example of single motherhood (as if her situation had ANYTHING in common with the churchian girls getting knocked up by their boyfriends) is a disgrace. You need to repent of your slander and twisting of scripture. Single motherhood is a blight, and celebrating it invites more of it.

    1. if you rob a bank you must face the consequences of your actions and bear fruit in keeping with repentance– like giving the money back, working with your hands so you have something to give, and living with the new reputation you have… and possibly serving jail time. Also repenting to the people you harmed along the way– just like any sin. So it is with unwed moms & dads (or any having sex outside of marriage). But in their case, they can’t make restitution by giving the baby back… they can’t undo that consequence. They may also have to live with less positive consequences: an STD, a broken heart, difficult relationships, a child without a dad, or a child with a dad who is not in the home, hard financial times… but in all that, the baby itself is the one positive thing!

    2. Wow. I would hate to run into you at a church service. I would actually be scared for myself (seeing as I am an illegitimate child). You seem like the type of holy person that would take it upon themselves to pour fire and brimstone down on me and my unwed teenage mother. Would you like me to return the toys my mother received when she was pregnant with me? How about the bottles she used to feed me? Is my life meaningless and am I worthless because of how I entered this world? Your comments are ridiculous and hurtful. I hope you are never close to someone that is in this type of situation. You clearly would handle it in an utterly hurtful and ungodly way.

  32. Great article. It’s sad that so many people can’t separate the sin of premarital marital sex from the blessing of the unwed pregnancy. It is this very attitude within the church that gave rise to the abortion industry today. The shaming and shipping off of unwed mothers was commonplace in the years leading up to Roe V Wade. Where the church shunned, the abortionists welcomed with open arms.

    NO ONE is saying to celebrate the sinful behavior but most certainly celebrate the gift of life given by our sovereign Lord!

    1. “NO ONE is saying to celebrate the sinful behavior but most certainly celebrate the gift of life given by our sovereign Lord!”

      Really? From the article…

      “Throw them extravagant baby showers.”

      Maybe it’s time to think about what message THAT sort of thing sends to the other young women in the church who have not committed fornication, but will surely be tempted some day. And what about the people looking at the church from outside the faith? Does the church respond to sin with a demand for repentance, or with a PARTY to celebrate the consequences of that sin? Let that sink in for a bit: if we are to be a beacon on a hill, should that light be the pure light of the Gospel calling sinners to Christ, or a disco ball calling sinners to party-hardy with the promiscuous “church” girls?

      1. My wife and I have four beautiful children. With each one, friends and family threw baby showers celebrating their pending births. Not once did it ever occur to me that they were actually celebrating the act of sexual intercourse with my wife. How odd. Thank you for that clarification.

      2. Agreed. And not one word in this article about encouraging fornicators — whether pregnant or not — to do the right thing and MARRY. How about throw extravagant bridal showers instead (which may come with bonus diapers and footie pajamas)? Why is the Biblical imperative to marry rather than burn with passion nowhere in this article?

      3. At what point will it be okay to celebrate? Would you feel comfortable celebrating the child’s first birthday? Will the child be free of the shame of the circumstances of his or her birth when he or she turns 18? If we truly believe that life is a gift from God, it is proper to celebrate new life. Don’t you agree?

      4. Lynn, I’m a bastard. How long will you punish me for my mother’s sin? How long will you treat me like a pariah, as if I am defined by my parents’ sexual activity? Yes, I would go along with a baby shower. Babies are innocent and wonderful blessings..all of them. And if you can’t tell the difference between a baby and a sexual activity, you have more in common with the pharisees than the Jesus From the gospels who forgave the adulterous woman, who actually ate with tax collectors, prostitutes, and other sinners, who said ‘suffer the little children to come unto me’. How the pharisees must have wondered what message he was sending to the people by doing such questionable things!

        You are horribly in error about this.

        I am not a mere consequence of my parents’ sin! I am a person. I am a human being created in the image of God for whom Christ gave his life for on the cross, who rose from the dead for my sins just as much as for yours and my mother’s.

        I don’t care how you feel about me. I’m a grown woman, and your callous disregard for human life is not my problem. But I care a great deal about how you are treating children and repentant unwed mothers who tend to be extremely vulnerable as it is. Maybe instead of singling them out, you should look to everyone who fornicates. Maybe you shouod treat everyone with the same justice, but you won’t because the baby is a sin-creature in your eyes whose very existence might encourage young girls (in your thinking) to fornicate. Enabling is actively helping someone continue in the sin. Helping pregnant women and celebrating their child is not helping someone fornicate more. It is providinf love and support. Feeding the hungry, clothing the sick, visiting those in the prison house. Enabling fornication wouod be along the lines of letting her spend time alone with boyfriends, celebrating the relationship with the father (instead of taking them to premarital counselling and attempting to get their affairs in order) or alternately, enabling fornication is sitting kids in front of the idiot box where sex is selling everywhere. The distinction is there and it’s not hard to figure out. Celebrate the babies, not the sin. Love the sinner, and not the sin. Not difficult.

        Bastards aren’t ‘consequences’ and pregnancy is not a sin. Full stop.

        I will not participate in putting scarlet letter Fs on both the mother and the child. You can have fun being self-righteous pharisees. I won’t be a part of it.

      5. Beautifully expressed.
        Thank you for writing this. I still feel the Scarlet ‘F’ branded on my flesh (a far more permanent attachment than Hester’s clothing!) after all of these years, and am so very blessed that you – a sweet, precious life like my own daughter, brought into this world in an unplanned pregnancy outside of the sanctity of marriage – can articulate the worth of every life with such eloquence.
        May God continue to give you words to speak on behalf of those who have no voice!

      6. I have 3 children ,& I’m pretty sure my showers weren’t celebrating sex ( or in 2 cases Celebrating the dr who put the catheters containing my husband’s washed sperm in me). Wow, I never knew that’s what my showers were for.

      7. I’m pretty sure the prodigal son got a huge party when he came home, to his obedient brother’s dismay. Just saying.

  33. I heard a message once several years ago around Christmas in which the pastor said “there is no such thing as an illegitimate child, on illegitimate relationships.” I have always remembered that message and I think it’s so right! Another thing I think some times Christians mess up is thinking that the unsaved can be held to our same moral standards. Without the authority of scripture in their life and the spirit convicting their sin why would they?

  34. As a single, Christian, pregnant woman…this really hits home. It describes how I’ve felt from day one of realizing I was pregnant. How are we supposed to encourage girls to not have abortions when the alternative is for them to feel shame and guilt for the rest of her life? It would be so much easier to just “terminate” and no one would ever know. I value life far too much to have even considered this option but it still crosses your mind. Even briefly, because you think “what am I going to do?” Pregnancy is not the sin issue. Unmarital sex is the sin issue. I’ve dealt with so much heartache but I don’t know what I’d do without my pregnancy resource center or my parents who have also suffered some bad mouthing. I can’t wait to meet my little boy! Thank you for this encouragement!

    1. Mollie, thank you so much for sharing! Praise the Lord for the PRC that has helped you. Boys are great. I have 3!! May the Lord give you a healthy and safe delivery, and may he give you grace to raise your precious little guy to know the good news of Jesus Christ! -Chad

  35. Whoever wrote this needs to get their acts together.
    Fornication IS sin, whether it results in pregnancy or not. Whether a condom is used or not. Whether it is with a loved on or not. Whether it takes place once or not. Whether you attend church or not. Whether the resulting pregnancy is aborted or not.

    And, using the example of Mary to promote sexual immorality? OMG. Mary was the purest example of a chaste young woman who waited UNTIL marriage to have sex. Indeed, she waited UNTIL several months AFTER her marriage to have sex.

    Whenever a person has sex with anyone other than their spouse, they commit sexual sin and MUST repent first.

    And yes, I get it. The author is trying to dance around the issue to make sin acceptable to folks in America’s backslidden church. No luck, mate.

    Fornication IS sin, irrespective of the outcome of the sin. Let’s emphasize that.

    1. Mary was a virgin her whole life. St Joseph could not have consummated a marriage to someone who was effectively consecrated in her virginity to God. Hence the term “Josephite marriage “.

      Further, let’s say she did have sex within her marriage, why would we applaud her waiting several months before fulfilling the marriage debt? That would make sex within marriage something to avoid as much as possible.

      But I agree, let’s stop calling her an unwed mother. In Jewish custom, the betrothal was the marriage, and the following year meant as a time to prepare the new household. It was not unusual for couples to be together during that time. This is why scripture also refers to St Joseph as wanting to divorce her–they were already bound. The angel tells him to take her into her home, and that’s what he does, no other ceremony required. That plus no fornication makes this an offensive term.

      1. The tradition that Mary was a perpetual virgin is just that– a tradition. The reason Joseph waited to consumate until AFTER Jesus was born was so there would be NO QUESTION of Who the Father was. But after that, Scripture gives every indication that Mary & Joseph had a normal married sexual relationship, with several sons and daughters — all younger than Jesus.

    2. “Mary was the purest example of a chaste young woman who waited UNTIL marriage to have sex. Indeed, she waited UNTIL several months AFTER her marriage to have sex.”

      Where is this recorded in the Gospels? Hint: Nowhere.

      1. “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” (Mary to Angel Gabriel) – Luke 1:34
        – Mary was a virgin before her marriage to Joseph (after her betrothal)

        “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” – Matt 1:25
        – Mary stayed a virgin until after Jesus was born, so several months after their marriage (at least so far as Joseph was concerned… maybe she was sleeping around with OTHER guys… unlikely though knowing her character from the text and the fact that now she was married.

      2. Matthew 1:25 and KNEW her not TILL she had brought forth her firstborn son and he called his name Jesus….Matthew 13: 55-56 Is not this the carpenters son ? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren James ,Joses And Simon,and Judas And his sisters’s are they all not with us .

    3. Christ emphasized to people that they were greatly loved and he healed their deepest needs. He came near to them though it was not socially acceptable, a friend of sinners. The only ones he condemned were the self righteous religious people calling them a brood of vipers. Every time you post in social media, re read your post and see if you more resemble Jesus or the Pharisees. You are not called to emphasize sin, you are called to reach out with love and to invite all to a place of honor at the savior’s side testifying them that he covered whatever wretched sin you yourself are guilty of. We overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. They know us and him by his love.

    4. You have missed the point of the article. The writer is not saying that fornication is not a sin. In fact, he calls such a claim “Satan’s lie.” Perhaps you missed the specific language of the title, that unwed pregnancy is not a sin. THE PREGNANCY IS NOT THE SIN. By the time we notice the pregnancy, the sin is over and done with. The article is pointing out the inconsistency that is communicated by many in the church by their response to the pregnancy.
      And the article also does not use Mary to promote sexual immorality. The author uses Mary’s circumstances to promote a change in the way people respond to the pregnancy. It is not criticism of Mary to observe that her pregnancy, while not the product of sinful behavior, was, never the less, outside marriage relationship and I suspect Elizabeth’s response was not universal among Mary’s neighbors.
      Finally, it is irresponsible to accuse the author of “trying to dance around the issue to make sin acceptable…”, as the clear intention of the article is to make GRACE acceptable in the church, not sin.

  36. Unwed pregnancy is the consequence of fornication (it’s a biblical word). Mary was not an unwed mother neither a fornicator. I agree that we should seek to guide a young mother through this time but I don’t believe we should try to minimize the sin by rejoicing in the consequence. Deal with the why and how best to handle the situation. I’m NOT saying berate, condemn or lecture we all know how this happened now let’s figure out why and what to do (or not do) to prevent it from reoccurring, as is the norm these days. A planned child is indeed a gift; a child born of fornication is a consequence of your sin (unplanned). Rejoice later, solve the glaring question “Now what?” first.

    1. So many of us consequences walking around on this earth. Regardless of how I got here my parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles always treated me as a blessing and still do this day and I’m 45. To think I’m less of a blessing than my two sisters born in wedlock a few years later is ridiculous.

    2. As the child of an unwed teen mother, it’s very comforting to be referred to solely as a “consequence of sin.” I am a human being. Just because the circumstances of my creation doesn’t match the church’s standards of perfection does not give you the right to refer to me and the thousands of others like me as a “consequence.” That is incredibly rude and small minded. And all the others commenting on here in the same vein as you have clearly never spoken to a child that came from these circumstances. Reactions like this and comments like this only bring shame and condemnation to young women in already tough situations. And not one single person has mentioned telling the father about the “consequence of HIS actions.” Last time I checked it took two to make a baby. All of you need to check your hearts. Young people in these situations already know what’s wrong about it. They need help moving forward and help as they bring a child into the world. And if anyone was wondering, my mother is a wonderful person. And having me at 17 did not ruin her life.

    3. I have read the article and these comments passively until I reached your comment, and I simply cannot pass by without saying something. This is the most judgmental, hurtful, anti-Christian comment in this entire thread – and, trust me, there are some other close contenders.

      “A planned child is indeed a gift, a child born of fornication is a consequence of your sin (unplanned).”

      Do you mean to tell me that because a child is born out of wedlock he is “indeed” NOT as much of a gift as one born of a marital union? I would ask that you take a moment to actually consider this question because I have a handsome, thoughtful, kind-hearted, God-loving 13 year old son “born of fornication” when I was just 16 years old. And I can tell you that he has been a joy and a gift to my life EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. and has NEVER, not in my eyes and not in my Heavenly Father’s eyes, EVER been a mere “consequence of sin”. You are the exact type of “Christian” that this article is directed towards. “…I don’t believe we should try to minimize the sun by rejoicing in the consequence.” That consequence that you so callously mention is a CHILD. A perfect baby formed by the Giver of life for a purpose greater that your small mind could ever comprehend. A baby is NEVER a consequence, he’s NEVER a sin. He is just as important and just as much of a gift as the “planned child” you hold in such high regard.

      I am thankful every day for this “consequence of sin” the Lord has blessed me with. I’m so thankful for the light he brings to my life and the light he brings to those around him, and I’m so very thankful for his desire to love and serve the Lord. And today I pray that the Lord will continuously shield him from the condemnation and spite from “Christians” like you.

  37. IM sorry, but I disagree and the arguments to support your view just doesn’t make sense. Well, Mary was unwedded but she also didn’t have sex before marriage. She was birthed by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is clear that sex before marriage is wrong. I do agree that we need to love and support them Having a baby is a gift even Iif the timing of it isn’t Gods timing.. we shouldn’t look down on or shame women who do get pregnant out of marriage, but we don’t say something isn’t a sin just to make someone feel better.

    1. I thought the point here was that the pregnancy itself isn’t a sin, not that the sex isn’t. Could be wrong (it wasn’t ever clearly stated), but I think that was the idea.

      1. “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.”

        Seems like the author made that explicit point to me.

    2. I think you’re missing the point: the pregnancy is not the sin. It may be the RESULT of sin– it also may be the result of rape– and if it is the result of sin the unpregnant father shares the blame– but the pregnancy itself is a blessing. Sure, we must exhort a leaving behind of a promiscuous life; fornication IS a sin, but the pregnancy itself is just a result. However, as Chad points out here, most of our churches look down on the pregnancy, ignore or don’t ever discuss what led to it, and often leave the father completely out of the reckoning. A girl should never fear being shunned because she’s pregnant– yes, she may rightly fear having to confess her promiscuity (or someone else’s abuse of her)– but she should have feared that LONG before the pregnancy test came up positive. She should instead expect to be applauded and supported in her stand against abortion and for life as she carries this child and either parents or places for adoption. And yes, we should all be saying “go and sin no more” even as we don’t cast stones.

    3. By your logic, having an STD (chlamydia, herpes, hepatitis B) would also be “a sin.” But we’d never say that– we might say it was a result of sin… but it itself isn’t a sin.

    4. I believe every baby is God’s timing. He opens and closes the womb. And the article does talk about talking to them about sexual immorality. The sin is not being pregnant. The sin is having sex outside of marriage.

    5. Since Good is the only one that can create life, then I have to assume that any pregnancy I’d in fact always his timing.

      1. God does create life, but that does not mean every pregnancy is His will and timing. So you’re saying that the homosexual couple who uses a surrogate with their sperm or eggs to make them a baby is God’s will? The baby that is a result of incestual rape is God’s will? Do those babies deserve to live? Absolutely. But were they born because it was God’s plan for that homosexual family to have a baby? Nope. God sets this world in motion, and pregnancy is a natural result of the way God created a man and woman’s body to work together. That does not mean it is His perfect will and timing every time anyone gets pregnant. It’s just the natural result of our biological make up. Saying that because God created life, it must mean every baby is His perfect will and timing is the same thing as saying that since God created love, it is His perfect will and timing whenever anyone falls in love, even if they’re gay. It’s like saying that since God created a body to cease from living when it loses all it’s blood, that it must have been God’s will that a stabbing victim died. There is a huge difference between God’s will and simple biology occurring.

      1. God does create life, but that does not mean every pregnancy is His will and timing. So you’re saying that the homosexual couple who uses a surrogate with their sperm or eggs to make them a baby is God’s will? The baby that is a result of incestual rape is God’s will? Do those babies deserve to live? Absolutely. But were they born because it was God’s plan for that homosexual family to have a baby? Nope. God sets this world in motion, and pregnancy is a natural result of the way God created a man and woman’s body to work together. That does not mean it is His perfect will and timing every time anyone gets pregnant. It’s just the natural result of our biological make up. Saying that because God created life, it must mean every baby is His perfect will and timing is the same thing as saying that since God created love, it is His perfect will and timing whenever anyone falls in love, even if they’re gay. It’s like saying that since God created a body to cease from living when it loses all it’s blood, that it must have been God’s will that a stabbing victim died. There is a huge difference between God’s will and simple biology occurring.

    6. I’m wondering if you misread the title. It didn’t say that have premarital sex is not a sin. It clearly stated that being pregnant outside of the marriage is not a sin. My understanding was that when one repented for our sin it was forgiven. And you said yourself having a baby is a GIFT from GOD.

    7. I don’t think he meant sex outside marriage was not a sin. God is very clear about that. I believe his point is that the pregnancy is not a sin (at least that is my interpretation). They are two very different things. God created that life and that is something to be rejoiced, not ashamed of. The sinful act that He used to create the child is a different matter entirely.

    8. AMEN!! I was coming down here to say the same thing! Comparing a woman who had sex with her boyfriend to Mary becoming pregnant with the Messiah is just wrong! God didn’t wait until Mary was already pregnant to say her child was going to be His son, he made her pregnant! Also, just because Jesus’ lineage includes prostitutes and incest doesn’t mean these things are okay, it just means God can use any circumstances for His glory. This was not a very well thought out article, and it’s slipping into the very popular modern way of thinking that no sin should be called out and we should just pat people on the back and tell them everything they do is okay.

    9. I had the initial thoughts but in reading I see the point the author made. The pregnancy is not the sin. Sexual activity outside of marriage is the sin yet in the church we often turn a blind eye until a girls becomes pregnant. She is scorned while the rest of the teens continue the same sin she had.

  38. In our church family, we talk a lot about the difference between acceptance and approval. I do not need to approve of a person having sex outside of marriage to fully and unapologetically accept her as she prepares to have her child–planned or not.

  39. My only “beef” would be to point out that Mary wasn’t six months pregnant; Elizabeth was! 🙂 Which makes it even more miraculous (and a testimony to the humanity of the unborn from conception) that baby John leapt in the presence of the Messiah, who was so tiny no one would even know he was there!

    Luke 1:36–
    “Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.”

    1. How embarrassing. 😳 duly noted and fixed! And yes, what a testimony! Thanks for the “exhortation” and encouragement!

      1. hehe 🙂 I love this article!! I have had several friends with uh-oh pregnancies and have been dismayed by the response they have faced from many in the Church; “she should be ashamed!” type comments. No, actually, if she has repented then Christ bore her shame and now she is free to enjoy this undeserved blessing of a BABY. I’ll never forget the comment a woman made while I was getting training to be a pregnancy resource worker– “a baby is not the worst thing that can happen from sex outside of marriage– no, it’s the only good thing! A baby is never a bad thing.” Amen!!

        Thanks for writing this and I’m sharing it!

      2. Chad, love the article, but just wanted to also clarify something. Mary wasn’t unwed, she was betrothed, which was the first step in the traditional Jewish wedding. So she was married to Joseph, but not yet living with him which is why it was such a scandal that she came home from Elizabeth’s fully pregnant. This is why it says in Matthew 1, Joseph was going to divorce Mary quietly. If they weren’t married, there would be no need for divorce. Also, if he would have not divorced her quietly, she could have or would have been stoned for adultery.

        Thank you for celebrating LIFE!

      3. Sorry, I didn’t finish my previous thought…By not stoning her, Joseph was also choosing life. He still loved Mary and didn’t want any harm to come to her. Thankfully, the angel cleared everything up for him and he was able to also raise a child that wasn’t biologically his. What a wonderful man and father!

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