weazworldwide asked you:
hey jed, a friend and i both have friends who are christians in ministry positions but are sleeping in the bed with their girlfriend/boyfriend. they say they’re not having sex and that temptation isn’t an issue, but how should we feel about that? can you suggest any bible passages that may be helpful in talking to them about the issue? love your blog!
Jed Brewer replied:
Sharing a bed, eh?
Well, look, here’s the go-to Bible verse for something like this, but I’d encourage you to read all the way to the end of this post before you act on it:
“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22, KJV)
The Bible is clear that we should work hard to have a good reputation (c.f. 1 Tim 3:7), and avoiding things that needlessly set other people off is part of that. Yes, you can sleep in the same bed as someone without having sex. I can also use an old Jack Daniels bottle to sip water out of while I’m walking on my way to church. But I don’t do that, because it’s a dumb idea.
You asked how you should feel about what your friends are doing. I think you should feel that it’s a dumb idea on multiple levels. It looks really hinky, it *does* increase the level of temptation, and there’s no good reason for it. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be doing anything about it.
Your friends know this is a bad call on their part. They do. And they’re choosing to do it anyway. They’re also, apparently, telling other people that they’re doing it, which is really, really not good. Thing is, the person who should be confronting them about this is the person who put them into whatever ministry positions they hold.
This is a situation where your friends need to be rebuked. They’re wrong, they know they are, and they’re doing it anyway. That’s not a time for discussion and considering some interesting Bible verses. That’s a time for dropping the hammer. I should note that I’m saying this precisely because these are folks in ministry leadership. We all have struggles, but leadership requires a higher standard of accountability.
This rebuke needs to have some authority behind it. In other words, it needs to be a word from the boss. If that isn’t you, then I’d think and pray long and hard before I tried to get in there and deliver one. ‘Cause I don’t think it would go well.
What you definitely should do is be praying for your friends. I’ve been around long enough to tell you that the odds are high that this is not gonna end well for them, on a lot of levels. And they’ll need all the prayer and support they can get, and good friends that will keep on believing in them.