Question:

Hi! I am 19 years old and I have been a Christian all my life. I am a Pentecostal. I have fallen in love with a man the same age as me and we both agree it's better that we get engaged and seek the Lord in everything we do rather than fall into sin. I went to my pastor to ask her for her blessings and she refused. She said he is not for me and if I marry him she will not marry us. What should I do? I am so sad and I'm starting to lose faith in God. How can a pastor I have looked up to for so many years fail me and tell me I am wrong. I love this man and he loves me. We do pray together, we go to church together, and seek God together. My pastor also threatened to tell the church that I am not a virgin if I continue to marry this man even though I am a virgin and waiting for my wedding night. I am still young and I am seeking guidance. I feel like God has failed me because the pastor said God told her this to tell me. Please, can you help?

Answer:

The one major issue that you've left out of your note is why this woman thinks this man isn't for you. Perhaps she didn't say, but more likely what she said wasn't what you wanted to hear, so you tuned it out. I'm not trying to be mean or to talk this woman's side -- quite the opposite, as you will see in a moment. But I do want you to be a bit more open as to the reasons people say and do things and not get stuck only on what they do.

But I curious why you blame God for this situation. Upon what passage in God's word are you saying that you are being prevented from becoming married? The only case I know where God says "no" to marriage is when one of you are already married (Romans 7:2-3), or one of you have was divorced and cause of the divorce was not fornication (Matthew 19:9; I Corinthians 7:10-11). What you are doing is taking the words of a false teacher in a false religion and then blaming God when things don't go your way.

I know that sounds awful harsh. But Pentecostalism is not what the Bible teaches. See the articles under Pentecostalism for just a few starter issues. Nor does God allow for women preachers or pastors. I know that goes over like a lead balloon in this day of "women's liberation," but is a simple fact. See the articles under Women's Roles for a discussion of this issue. But the real key issue is the woman's claim that God is telling her this. She is claiming to be a prophetess when God said prophecy has ceased. See the articles under Prophecy for what God said about this matter. Finally, you tell me that this woman is willing to lie to get her way. No if that doesn't tell you she is not from God, I don't know what kind of club will get it through your head. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:15-20). A key indicator of a false teacher is when they are not living lives in accordance to God's word. All people make mistakes, and sin occasionally (I John 1:8), but you are not describing a slip but a deliberate manipulation -- something is very wrong and it is with this woman.

So, please stop blaming God because you are attending a false church lead by a false prophetess. Go find a true church, one that actually uses God's Word as its guide. You and your fiance should make it a joint effort. It might take quite a bit of study on the part of both of you and you will likely learn from the Bible that many things that you just assumed were correct are not, but it will be worth the effort in the long run and the two of you are likely to grow closer together because of the search.

If you would like a recommendation for someone to talk to in your area, please let me know.