The system today's young men and women have inherited for finding and marrying a future spouse leaves a lot to be desired.
We often hear complaints from readers about the confusion, hurt and sexual sin they've encountered despite their best intentions.
I certainly agree with the inerrancy of Scripture, but that's not what I'm talking about here.
The doctrine of the of Scripture assumes inerrancy but then goes a step further.
* * * If you're reading this, you're interested in dating. In our society, dating has become something of an obsession. It's just something you do if you're single and of age (and that age is quickly dropping) in America. In fact, depending on which statistics one believes, the divorce rate for professing Christians may actually be than for Americans as a whole.
You've done it, you're doing it, you'd like to do it, or you need to teach somebody else how to do it. It is considered the natural precursor to marriage, and is generally considered something to be desired, whatever form it might take. If you were to Google the word "matchmaker," you would receive something in the neighborhood of 21,200,000 responses — with a few of these outfits claiming to be Christian, but most making no such claim. As evangelical Christians, we're called to be distinct in the ways we think and act about all issues that confront us and those around us. Granted, not all of these people are evangelicals, but we're not doing so well either.
Many want to know how they can go about getting to know someone and eventually getting married without getting hurt or compromising their faith.
At Focus on the Family, we've offered a range of resources and expert advice bringing biblical principles to bear in this area.
The sufficiency of Scripture is taught explicitly and implicitly in many passages, but perhaps the most obvious is 2 Timothy -17: So how does the sufficiency of Scripture apply to our coming discussions?
Not all will agree with Scott's approach, and we invite feedback from anyone who believes there are better interpretations for the biblical passages Scott draws from.
It's our hope that this Q&A series will be valuable both for those who think the Bible gives sufficient guidance for operating within our current system as well as for those who are looking for a completely countercultural path to marriage. How can Christians think differently about this pervasive issue in media and culture? The answer to that last question is "not well." Surveys consistently indicate that professing Christians behave almost exactly like non-Christians in terms of sexual involvement outside of marriage (in both percentage of people involved and how deeply involved they are — how far they're going), living together before marriage, and infidelity and divorce after marriage.
Some of the messages we've presented have taken the position that Christians can apply their faith in such a way that they can still work within the system they've inherited.
Other messages have stressed that Christians need to be much more counter-cultural.
My point is that we cannot simply state that the Bible "doesn't mention dating or courtship," and then think we're off the hook to pursue this area of our lives either on the world's terms or however seems best to us without diligent, submissive reference to God's Word.