Question:

Over five years ago, I met a man who became my boyfriend.He was a deacon in his church. He brought me to his churchand there I attended. He has a history of being involved in multiple relationships before being converted to Christ many years ago. He has been divorced and has grown children from different women. He was recently divorcedwhen I met him. He was assigned to teach and preach the gospel every Sunday morning in the morning service assigned to him. The pastor of that morning service left, so he was given the opportunity to teach.We are in a relationship, and we had a sexual relationship.We had sex repeatedly.Last year he broke up with me.

I am over twenty years younger than him. I am immature, and I did not know that fornication is a sin. I never married, although, I am not a virgin. I had a boyfriend when I was 18 years old, but it only lasted for six months. During that time we had sex several times.When I was in my twenties, I met this older Christian man with whom I had a sexual relation.I had a feeling it was wrong, but I did it anyway. While I was attending church, I did not go to church for the right reason. I went to church because my boyfriend then was there.

After we broke up, the church where he was teaching (only having a few members) merged with a bigger congregation and they became one church.

I did not attend church for more than a year because I was emotionally hurt. I made myself busy at work and school.

Recently I contacted my ex, who is now an elder in this church. I asked him if I can go back to church and worship. I have attended before, while we were still dating, so I know the pastor and most of the members. My ex told me that it is best for me to start somewhere else. If I went back, he told me he would leave, and it is a scandal for me to be there with other reasons. He gave me a list of churches I could go to. I visited some of them, and search for a church on my own.

It felt like I was being thrown once again.

I started attending different churches. But I live close to the church where I used to go. I often bump into the members and the pastor.It became a problem to me,I felt like I was hiding from them. It was a tough time,I was still struggle with my emotions regarding my ex. I became obsessed over him, then I became depressed. I had no other way to go but to turn to God for comfort.I prayed. I had a desire to know God. But it was not clear then if my desire to go back to church was because my ex was there or because of God. I started to attend Bible study in that church, since he is unable to attend the Bible study because of work. I started reading the Bible, on my own.

The pastor repeatedly asked me why I was not attending church services. I told him what my ex told me. The pastor said he did not see any reason why I cannot attend the church and worship.The following Sunday, I attended, but my ex was not there. Later that day he told me that God saved the church from humiliation by both of us being there. He could not make it that Sunday to attend church, so I thought, maybe God does not want me there. The following week, I told the pastor that I can no longer be there because of the reasons my ex told me.

Then the pastor talked to me. It was like counseling. The pastor asked me if me and my ex had sexual relations. I told him the truth. He was really upset -- you could see it from his reaction. The pastor asked me if I know what I did was wrong. I told him I only found out from reading the Bible and from the Bible study, but my ex never really mentioned it to me. The pastor asked me if I repented the moment I read it in the Bible, then I knew it is a sin.

The pastor asked me if what I said is true. I said "Yes." I had no intention of destroying my ex's name. The pastor called my ex that day and asked him if it is true that we had sex. My ex denied it. My ex confronted me, asking me why did I talk about something that has been long forgotten. My ex said that his sins are between him and God and he does not need to confess it to a human person. My ex is now facing a church trial.

But, my ex told me I have to take back what I said to the pastor because it is a personal matter.I did what my ex told me and use the script that my ex made, saying, I misunderstood the pastor's questions and therefore what I said was not true.

My ex told me that he spoke with the pastor and the pastor said that I have to face the council and tell them what I said is not true and only a misunderstanding. But my ex told the pastor that he will talk to the council instead, so I do not have to face them.

Now I started going back to this church and attending Bible study. My ex stopped going to the church. He is blaming me for ruining and destroying his name andthe relationship that he established within that church. He is accusing me of robbing himof the thing that he truly love and enjoy: that is to teach.He told me that I let the devil use me to stop him from teaching the Gospel.I did not intend things to turn out this way.

Now, my ex is telling me he can never return in the church because I destroyed his reputation. He is telling me that while I am there, people in the church will know what happened and gossip about me. He is telling me thatit is destructive for the worship because people will not focus during worship.

I am ashamed about what I did -- for all my sins.During worship I cannot focus because I am actively thinking what I have done to my ex. I asked forgiveness from my ex, but he is angry at me and I do not think he can ever forgive me. I feel so much guilt for all my sins. I never intended to destroy his name. I asked the pastor when my ex can return to church, he said no one told him to leave. The pastor said my ex needs to repent.

It feels so great when I worship the Lord and study the Bible, but when I am reminded of what I have done, I feel so ashamed.

I am looking for insights.


Answer:

I find it a bit puzzling that you've reached adulthood and weren't aware that fornication was a sin. The fact that you had a feeling that it was wrong would indicate that you did know on some level, but didn't want to face that particular fact.

What really puzzles me is that you didn't pick up on the fact that this older man knew he was sinning and has been trying to hide the fact that he has been involved in fornication from other members of the church he attends. This isn't about you. He is trying to preserve his pride. It is very common for the perpetrator of a sin to blame the victim.

The problem is that while he claims to be a Christian, he isn't living the life of a Christian. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). The church he attends only makes a shallow pretense at following the Bible. For example, a divorced man cannot be a deacon because a deacon must be married: "Let deacons be the husbands of one wife" (I Timothy 3:12). For the same reason he is not qualified to be an elder: "If a man is blameless, the husband of one wife" (Titus 1:6). He is neither blameless or a husband of one wife.

Further, when it got out that he was committing fornication, he told you to lie and he himself lied. True Christians understand that all lying is wrong. "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8).

The idea that you destroyed this man's reputation is incorrect. He destroyed his own reputation. He knows it and is trying unsuccessfully to hid his sins. He is also lying when he claims that his sins are private matters. As Moses pointed out to Israel, "take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). If he had repented of his sins, it would be true that his past life would not be brought up. However, he is living a double life of sin while pretending to be a Christian. He has not repented of his sins and repeatedly sins to cover up sins. The simple fact that he claims he doesn't have to admit to anyone that he sinned shows how deep into sin he is.

All this said, it doesn't sound as if the church you are attending is following the Bible as carefully as it should be. It isn't organized as it spelled out in the New Testament and I'm sure that is just the most obvious problems that it has. A church should be selected based on its adherence to the Scriptures, not because it is convenient, you like someone there, or you find the services entertaining.

Thank you for your insight using the scriptures.

I knew fornication is wrong, but I took it lightly, I justified that it is okay to do it. Maybe I am not a Christian then, but after everything happened and I started to read the Bible, that is when I really realized that it is a sin.

I am not blaming my ex, but he never really mention or teach about fornication being a sin. After everything came out, I read to him a verse about sinning and he said that I am being like a Roman, taking things literally. After he said that, I thought while looking at my Bible, I asked myself, what is the truth. At that point it was confusing because my ex said something that is contradictory to what the Bible said. And my ex is good in explaining what the Bible say. He asked me to lie, but Jesus said it is a sin to lie, but I still did it to fix the mess that I put my ex. I did not want to lie.

I am naive, or maybe I put all my trust to this man. I believed what he said.

I had a guess that he is dating another woman that he brought to church. I asked him and he said that I am being malicious. He denied it. I believed what he said. He repeatedly denied having a sexual relation with me. He is not attending our church since I came back.

Moving forward ... I also committed fornication, lied and sinned repeatedly. Am I a Christian? What should I do now?

I must disagree. Your ex is not good at explaining the Bible. He is merely good at expressing his own opinions. Yes, you were too trusting of a man who clearly is a false teacher. His claims collapse before the truth: "Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain" (Titus 1:9-11). His particular "dishonest gain" is sex. Paul warned against people who "having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (II Timothy 3:5-7).

Yes, you sinned and you've excused your sins because other encouraged you to sin. But you have a mind of your own and you can read your Bible and see what God requires of you. Learning from your Bible is a start, but it isn't the whole. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). That faith in God should lead to obedience (Romans 16:26). "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). Without obedience to Christ, you cannot really claim to love him. "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).

It isn't just the commands that you find convenient, but all of what is asked of you by God. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11). Where you are attending doesn't sound as if it will lead you to the truth that will save you from your sins.

I just could not understand why, someone who claims that have the desire and love to teach the Gospel would lie repeatedly, and continue to blame me to protect his name. You are right, if he has repented for his previous sins that I committed with him then, he would not cover it up with another sin. He knows the Scripture well, reads the Bible, pray, goes to church. How can he deny the truth?

Thank you for your insights! I want to obey God, and be a true Christian in my daily life. Just very recently, when I became aware of my sins by reading the Bible, I want to know Him more. I have the desire to read his Word and obey Him. God has been merciful and gracious to me for opening my eyes to see and recognize my own sins and really be able to repent and ask God for forgiveness.

There is a reason John said, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (I John 4:1). Read II Peter 2 and realize that your former boyfriend is the type of person Peter was describing.