The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

Share this page with your friends

Bookmark and Share

Question

My girlfriend kept telling me we couldn't get married unless we knew for sure that God would accept the relationship or that it was God's will for us to be together. I tried explaining to her that what she was told by her mother was very harmful, so I read more chapters of the Bible to see what it would say about prophecies but she would not listen to me.

Overall I really do love her and I am in no way trying to separate her from her mother who is a pastor. This also has me a bit confused since the Bible clearly states men who are married should be church leaders. This makes me worried that her mother is using God's words to justify her actions. She is very authoritarian and once tried to have me 'delivered' because she felt I was infested with demons since I am very skeptical and like to challenge them if they aren't preaching the right things. I am not sure if I should continue to attend her church due to its nature as a new church and the pastor does not really have any leadership experience. My girlfriend actually told me that her mom started the church because someone prophesied that she would start a big ministry.

On another occasion once her mother found out that we were in a relationship she took her phone away and told me I could not come to church there anymore or talk to my girlfriend. Her mother made her delete her social network accounts and told her that she would move my girlfriend to another state.

I really love her and I would like to one day marry her, but I am not sure whether it's worth dealing with her family. What can I do?


Answer

I've run across women like your girlfriend's mother before. While you didn't say, I would guess that this woman runs a small Pentecostal group. She believes that she is being directly lead by the Holy Spirit and attributes all of her decisions to the Spirit.

There are two main tests of prophets that show whether they are from God or not. Both derive from the fact that a prophet speaks God's Word and God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). It isn't that God chooses not to lie, or that He prefers not to lie, what Paul said in Titus is that God is unable to lie. Lying is a sin, and there is no sin in God (I John 1:5-7).

The first test is that whatever a prophet proclaims must be consistent with what God has already revealed (Deuteronomy 13:1-5). If there is any conflict the prophet must be lying because God never contradicts Himself (that would be a form of lying).

The second test is that when a prophet speaks of future events, it always comes true (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). That is because God always keeps His word and He has full control over His creation.

This woman already has flunked the first test. In speaking of the worship service, Paul stated, "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church. Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 14:34-37). That would be sufficient to prove this woman is not speaking on behalf of God by itself.

I'm positive that she has made statements about the future. Most of the time she words them vaguely so that it generally seems like what she said comes true. However, there have been times she stated something and it did not happen. These type of people count on people not remembering and not realizing the significance of their inaccurate prophecy. If anyone points out the flaw, they cover it be claiming God changed His mind. So even though you didn't mention this, I strongly suspect that you realize that this has happened and it is further evidence that she is a false prophetess. (By the way the claim that you had demons is false because God said he would remove the demons when prophecy ended, which happened in the time period that Jesus brought salvation to the world (Zechariah 13:1-3).

Her mother is using claims that God is behind her to promote her own brand of religion, but a claim is not reality.

I would encourage you to attend a real church that actually follows the Bible. I could recommend one in your area if you would like.

But in regards to your girlfriend, it is going to come down to choosing between you and her mother. Her mother will not accept you because you do not accept her absolute authority over every aspect of your life. These type of women really don't like any challenges to their authority. When you do leave for a better church, she will claim that is proof that you weren't really saved and demand that her daughter no longer see you. I just don't know if your girlfriend will be willing to see that her mother is a fraud. You already mentioned that she doesn't want to see evidence against her mother.

What I would suggest is asking her to go with you and if she declines, go anyway. That will be evidence that you would have to deal with a domineering mother-in-law for the rest of your life if you stay. If she does decide to go with you, realize that her mother will likely first not talk to her and then second try to convince her to divorce you. (As I've said, I've seen these types before and they always play out the same way.)

Since you brought this up, when you say "relationship" do you mean that you and she are having sex? I have to ask because I'm finding people are using the term "relationship" as a euphemism.

I've got to say, you are on the money on these responses.

My girlfriend and I have engaged in sexual foreplay, but we have never had sex and are still virgins. We both have read your article on the subject and agreed to stop and wait until marriage.

My hopes are that she will be able to depart from her mother when the time comes. I've told her before about her mother will ruin our lives because she isn't allowing us to be free with our relationship. We cannot do this or that, but my girlfriend wasn't to be obedient to her mother and father. It is a commandment to honor your parents after all. I explained that there are certain instances where parents may cross the line between parenting and total control.

I don't want to force my girlfriend into anything. But I did warn her that I don't like when we have an argument about our spiritual beliefs. When she told me her mother was on another spiritual level I flipped on her. It made me so angry because it was very unrighteousness and ungodly. God would never allow such divisions into spiritual categories based off levels. This is not like it's a role playing game. I told her I am a Christian not a part of her mother's cult. That was a disgusting way to speak to her but I felt like she was being led astray from God.

I didn't want to mention the Pentecostal thing because I don't want to offend anyone. I get that being charismatic is just showing your enthusiasm, but I feel as though they have taken it to the next level and become carnal. Howling and shouting and acting crazy in church. I'm not sure if that's the way Jesus would want his followers act. What if a person interested in Christ walked in and saw that? Would they not be discouraged?

Charismatic comes from the Greek word kharisma, which means a gift. Thus, Charismatics believe in modern-day gifts of the Holy Spirit. The problem is that they demonstrate none of the gifts seen in the Scriptures and the movement has gone to using extreme display of emotions as "proof" that the Spirit is with them as a poor substitute. You are correct that their behavior is exactly what Paul warned against. "What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say "Amen" at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue" (I Corinthians 14:15-19). Paul was talking about real tongue speaking -- the ability to speak in another person's language; yet, the emphasis is on the fact that worship is a time for all to be built up in understanding. Charismatic put their emphasis on emotions and showiness.

Demonstrative behavior to appear religious is something Christ condemned. "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward" (Matthew 6:5).

You are also correct that the Scriptures teach that Christians are all the same. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). Some may have more knowledge than others, some may have more experience, but before God we are all at an equally low level. What you are seeing is the result of pride: of people wanting to think they are better than others.

A passage that is often misused applies to your situation. "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:1-5). To be in the best position to help your girlfriend, you first need to help yourself. It is clear that you realize that where you are worshiping is not a church that follows the Scriptures. You need to find a sound church to join. From there you can encourage your girlfriend to join you.

Whether she will join you is up to her. You can't force her decision. You can only encourage her to make a sound decision based on God's word and not her family ties. "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26-27). This also means you need to consider the possibility of a future where she picks her family over God and over you.