Question:

Hello,

I came across your web site, and as I readI saw that there was great wisdom in the counsel being given. I have a situation that I need some scriptural clarity on.

Several months ago I met a man in a Christian web site who seemed very spiritually mature and kind. We spoke by phone daily and our conversations were always edifying and God centered. There was a great compatibility between us spiritually and emotionally, and we stated to prayto see if God had possibly brought us together as mates.

In the beginning he was somewhat strong. The first week of our communication, he said "God told him to send me $100," and I was shocked to find a check in the mail. I was uncomfortable and told him so. He insisted that he gives to lots of ministries and people as God leads. After a few weeks, I did cash the check. He also told me he would pay for a flight out for me to visit him, if we felt led to meet at some point, with the expectation of seeking God further for courtship. As the months progressed I felt it was OK to go visit him. He suggested I stay at his house with his daughter there and save money ona hotel. I did a background check on him and his family, researched his friends and everything seemed valid.

As it got closer for the day of the trip, we both agreed that we would just enjoy each others company as friends and see what God would do. This again was with the expectation of courtship and marriage in mind. Well, four days before the trip, he told me that "God told him" he was not to get married, but if I still felt comfortable going out to visit, we could just share time as friends.

I immediately said no way, I didn't need to fly across country and spend time with a man just to have another male friend. I broke off all contact with him immediately.

This man was a worship leader in a church for many years but has now been out of the church for many years, saying that the doctrines in churches are all in error.

He runs a group discipleship class once a week from his home for young people and says this qualifies as "not forsaking the assembling of yourself together."

He is actively involved in prison ministry out reach and other local out reaches in his town, which are all valid -- I checked it out. The reason he didn't come out here was that he is not open at all to God moving him out of his house and away from his children and lifestyle, so any woman who he would marry would have to live in his house and territory. As I write this I am shocked I let this go as long as I did.

Please give me further wisdom on how I handled this, and what was really going on beneath the surface. Neither of us are young. Also, he was on the Christian dating site for three years meeting women, and I find it very unusual the "God" did not tell him he was not supposed to be married back then. He has been a bachelor for a long while.

Thank you for your wisdom.


Answer:

I can't speak about his motivation because all I have are your observations and you aren't certain where these things lead. I can, however, speak about the facts.

People who talk about being led by God to do this or that -- not because of what God has taught in His Scriptures but because they claim to have a feeling inside are simply substituting their personal feelings for God. "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2). Even in the old days when God directly interacted with men, you don't read about Him using vague feelings to guide people. He told people what they needed to do. God's instructions are now written down for us and God said that no more would be coming. "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).

Jesus said you can detect false teachers in part by the inconsistency between their words and actions. "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). What a person does is a more accurate guide as to who they are than what they claim. In this case he claims he was told to remain a bachelor, but he has been looking for dates for years. I wonder why he's been unsuccessful for so long. He claims to be a Christian, but he doesn't attend any church in contradiction to what God commanded. "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25). He asks a single woman to stay at his house even though that is not appropriate behavior for a man.

I think you are better off without him. Too many things point the wrong way.