Busted Halo

Most dating and relationships books, columns and shows won’t go near issues of faith. Author, professor and speaker Dr. Christine B. Whelan assumes faith has some role, and tackles even the toughest questions.

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January 2nd, 2011

Are You A Little Bit Married?

How to know if it's time to walk down the aisle or go your separate ways

 
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Matt, 29, and his girlfriend, Kelly, 28, have been dating for four years and living together for two. They were both raised Catholic, attend Church occasionally, and joke about “living in sin” and being “semi-married.” Kelly told me she was OK moving in with Matt because she just assumed that this was a step in the right direction — toward real marriage. But in the last few months, each time she’s brought up the future in some oblique way, Matt has dodged the issue. “I talk to his parents all the time. We spend most holidays together,” she said. “But I’m just not sure where this is going right now, and I’m beginning to get worried.”

Sound familiar?

Back in the day, love led to marriage. Now, for too many couples, sex evolves into love, which leads to about a decade of being “a little bit married” — the long-term, exclusive relationships that we’ve created as a waypoint on the road to adulthood. In a well-researched and cleverly written pop-sociology self-help book, A Little Bit Married, author and journalist Hannah Seligson explains this new demographic trend.

The vast majority of young adults want to get married — and that’s certainly true of young-adult Catholics. But as we navigate our twenties and early thirties, building careers and searching for soul mates, we delay that goal — yet still want to experience intimate relationships. We think of these long-term relationships as “internships” for marriage: You want to test it out, have some of the fun without all the commitment and see if it’s right for you. Maybe you’ve been dating for two years and have decided to adopt a puppy — with no official plans for the future. Or maybe the two of you are planning a housewarming party for your new apartment — with no ring exchange in sight.

Ladies, some words of advice

This kind of thinking is common among both men and women — but let’s be honest: the ladies get to the marriage idea before the guys do. Maybe it’s how we’ve been raised, or our biological clocks, or that it’s the girls that get more pressure from their families. I know there are tons of guys out there who want to make a long-term, lasting commitment (and I’d love to hear your stories!) but when it comes to long-term relationships that seem to go on and on forever with angst and uncertainty, it’s usually because the guy isn’t ready for — or is dodging — questions about marriage; not the girl.

So, ladies, if this sounds like your relationship, some words of advice:

  • After three years, it’s time to make a decision. If you want to get married and have children, spending your late twenties and early thirties with a man who turns on the PlayStation every time you bring up “the future” isn’t a great idea. Peter Pan guys — child-men who can’t commit to theater tickets next month, nonetheless a lifetime commitment to you — may not be the best mates.

    Whether you are saving sex for marriage or totally shacked up, at a certain point it’s time to make a decision: In your gut, in that place where you hear God’s voice calling you, there’s an answer. Is it time to walk down the aisle, or to go your separate ways?

    A Little Bit Married takes a light-hearted approach, weighing the pros and cons of cohabitation, advising women on how to bring up “the future” without appearing desperate or insecure, and interviewing dozens of couples and experts to get the facts on cohabitation and divorce. (Unsurprisingly, the bottom line is that living together does not help your chance of having a lasting, happy relationship.)

  • Talk to each other, people. I mean, seriously, figure out what you want and say it. One of the reasons romantic comedies frustrate me is because if the couple would clearly express how they are feeling things wouldn’t be so complicated. I had that similar anxiety reading the interviews in A Little Bit Married: Men repeatedly told Seligson they “hadn’t really thought about” marriage, kids and the future. Yes, it’s something they want to do, but “later.” This drives most women bonkers. Yet, because the ladies are too afraid to rock the boat, no one says anything. In “Are we there yet?” a news-you-can-use chapter on how to bring up the future, Seligson lays out empowered ways for women to express their feelings.

    Honest communication is so crucial — for both men and women. If you two can’t talk to each other about your feelings and thoughts about the future, it’s time to move on to a relationship in which you can express those emotions.

  • The time to talk about your faith is now — not later. In an interview, Seligson told me that for most of the “a little bit married” set, couples simply don’t talk about religion and how religious differences might play out in a future marriage. “Religion just becomes another one of those issues that ‘will work itself out’” later, she said. But by not discussing this crucial issue during what is supposed to be a trial run for marriage, couples are doing themselves a disservice. “You can both be Catholic but have polar opposite concepts of what that means in practice. You can believe it means going to confession every week, and he can think it means going to Mass on Christmas Eve,” and those differences are too important to be worked out in a slap-dash way later on.

  • Don’t move in with him until there’s a ring on your finger. Girls think living together is a sign that marriage is on the horizon, but guys don’t see it that way, according to research by Pamela Smock at the University of Michigan. The vast majority of millennial couples will live together before marriage — and that includes Catholic couples, too. That means that this disconnect in motives will cause a lot of heartache for a lot of folks along the way. And it can be avoided: You can learn his quirks and figure out his internal rhythms by spending loads of time together without giving up your apartment. Premarital sex, cohabitation and “playing house” are not necessary to learn if you’re compatible mates: Spending plenty of time together, sharing hopes, fears, dreams and good communication, however, are necessary ingredients for success.

    Plus, research clearly shows that women who live with more than one partner have double the odds of divorce in the future. And even though you might think that the relationship is leading to marriage, have you clearly talked about it? Are you sure you are both on the same page about your emotional expectations as you move your espresso machine into his kitchen? Whatever you do, please don’t “tumble into” living together — a trend Seligson explores in detail — and then shrug and decide that marriage is the next step because it’s too exhausting to think about breaking up, moving out and dating again.

While A Little Bit Married isn’t written for a Catholic audience specifically, surveys have shown that the behavior, concerns and aspirations of young-adult Catholics tends to mirror the American population as a whole. So what do you think? Are you “a little bit married”? Post your thoughts and comments below — or email me at puresex@bustedhalo.com.

Originally published February 8, 2010.

 
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The Author : Christine B. Whelan
Dr. Christine B. Whelan is an author, professor and speaker. She and her husband, Peter, and their dictator cats, Chairman Meow and Evita Purron, live in Pittsburgh. Her book "Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women" is available in stores or at the Halo Store.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Bill

    Kyra makes a great point! It’s exceptionally difficult dating when so many people expect us to “give themselves‚Äìmind body and soul‚Äì to a stranger by the third date.”

    Men can feel the same temptations to stick with “playing house”, even when not living together, under the presumption that “it’ll work out” just to avoid being single.

  • Momma

    My “living together” daughter and boyfriend are now pregnant. He does not want to get married because of the lifetime commitment involved. So, she is good enough to have his baby, but not good enough for commitment. What the hecK! I think a cog is loose.

  • Nicole

    I think these comments are missing a huge sociological issue about societal expectations. I think that there are plenty of young men who want to make their relationships legitimate but are faced with the expectations of buying an expensive ring, elaborate proposals, etc. The cost is what has caused us to delay marriage. As graduate students, my boyfriend and I are were both living off of student loans and did not seem logical to borrow money to buy an engagement ring. While the theological consequences and stigma from older people were a concern, our main objective was just getting by.

  • Kyra

    I’m surprised that the Catholic church and so many self-professed “active” Catholics seem to have no issue with sexual activity before or outside of marriage.
    It seems like such a basic and obvious thing to me that Catholic marriage is a SACRAMENT (or it’s supposed to be anyway) and that sex is supposed to be reserved for that sacrament. Also rather obvious that sex outside of a marital relationship exposes both men and women to greater risk of STD’s, unplanned pregnancies, etc.
    It seems we’re saying that it’s humanly impossible to remain a virgin at, say, age 30, that chastity has no spiritual or societal value, and also that the Catholic sacrament of marriage itself has no real value beyond the attention and fun of a wedding ceremony.
    If that’s what people really think then I would have to be with most guys on this one and say why bother plunking down money for a wedding or bother marrying at all, if it means nothing and changes nothing?
    As for the issue of “waiting so long” and the wait being impractical…in my own case and the case of every still-single woman I know beyond the age of about 25, the reasons we are still single are mainly due to our own bad choices… some married men they were already living with and got divorced, some had unplanned pregnancies and are single moms, most had very long serial relationships/roommates that split the rent with them for a while and then just split, period.
    Would any of us be dating a person for 3+ years, let alone 10+ years if sex were not part of the package? Of course not, that would be torture. Why do we insist on wasting our time with lengthy “play marriages” when we could be either marrying for real and starting our lives, or moving on?
    For myself, in addition to protecting myself from STD’s, an unplanned pregnancy and cloudy judgment, chastity also keeps me from wasting my time on men who have no interest in marriage.
    On the other hand, the expectation of sex in today’s society means that a good person’s commitment to chastity could very well seal their fate and ensure they are alone for the rest of their lives. Because who would “waste time” dating a person who isn’t willing to give themselves–mind body and soul– to a stranger by the third date?
    Being alone is a price i’m prepared to pay for sticking to my beliefs, but I find it sad and odd that those beliefs no longer seem to be upheld by the vast majority of Catholics or even the church itself.
    To me all of these “old-fashioned rules” are more about simple common sense than they are about “mortal sins” and “oppressing our sexuality” and all of that crap.

  • Kate

    As I have gotten older, and I wouldn’t consider myself a “young adult” anymore (37), I’m reaching the conclusion that sex outside of marriage isn’t a mortal sin. I have a hard time believing that sex – and I’m talking here of monogomous, loving sex between two individuals who don’t happen to have an interest in marrying, a la Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn – outside of marriage puts me in the same category as Hitler, Stalin, and other evil-doers. I don’t believe God sees premarital sex in the same light as evil. Now, I grant that it may not be the best idea, for instance if one is promiscuous, but evil? I have a very hard time with that.

  • Chris Brune

    Why don’t the men want to commit? Anybody ever heard the aphorism, “Why buy the cow when you’re getting the milk for free.”

  • Michael

    Theological message board arguments aside, such an excellent and practical article. My wife and I moved in when we got married, but we are the thin edge of the wedge in my cohort. We seem so counter-intuitive and have a hard time explaining our thinking on this to friends, but this does an excellent job. Thanks to Christine and thanks to BH for recirculating!

  • KS

    Genisis and Beyond – I am glad u brought up the theology of the body I have seen 2 few of the DVD series sessions @ the Newman ministry on my campus the ones I saw helped me understand better on gods plan and y it is the way it is.

  • KS

    Victora and Mary I agree with you. We should welcome all people and be open to them and explain beliefs. Also have any of those criticizing this article think that some young catholics might be seeking answers… thats y i use this site.

    I am in college and this helped me know why people shouldn’t live 2gether before marriage. ik premarital sex is a sin and I believe sex is for marriage but i haven’t been told about y a couple has 2 be married before they live with each other.

    Thank you for writing this, y Christine B. Whelan

    (PS: i grow up and still am Catholic)

  • Genesis and Beyond

    Angie you are right about the possibility of leading people to error. It is very difficult as a writer to give the truth and not be accused of being in people’s faces. In trying not to sound as thou we are preaching, we try to write it in a softer way – and at times we end comprimising the truth. So, my sister and I would probably be accused of being “prachy”. So be it.

    I think there is some confusion on what the church teaches about judging. We judge the sin not the sinner. We are not to condemn anyone. It does say in Scripture that we are to go to one if they are doing something that is endangering their soul. If we are not successful, then we are to go the elders of the church.

    In 1965, after the close of Vatican II and the legalization of contraceptives, the same thing happened. Priests and bishops who thought that the church was going to change her stance on contracepting, began to tell the faithful that it would be between their conscience and God. If you read the documents of Vatican II, they do seem like you could take it anyway in one place and then later in the doc they reinterate the teaching. But it has caused major confusion and in 1968 Pope Paul VI released Humanae Vitae.Read Article 17 – he stated what he thought would happen – he was dead on.

    And of course, there is still the issue with being young, and thinking the church should not tell us what to do and the mentality that the popes could not possibly know about relationships. I suggest those who think that way should read some enecyclicals and John Paul II’s Theology of the Body – these holy men do understand – sometimes it is easier to claim they do not so we can keep doing what we know deep in our hearts is wrong. It’s human nature.

  • Angie

    Forgot this part :)

    I think the article should just have been a little more clear about who the target audience is. I don’t believe this is an article for people 1) who are already strong in their faith and conviction in God, 2) who are considering taking that next step of moving in, but haven’t yet, or 3) who are looking for advice from the church about premarital “codes of conduct.” This was an article for you if YOU are the one already living this way. It has some tips on how to get your relationship into, perhaps not the “best,” but a better standing starting from where you are already. It’s also for you if you are not living this way, but KNOW someone who is, maybe you could use these suggestions to help them start in the right direction.

  • Angie

    I just read this article, after first reading the follow up article about the comments. After only reading the follow up, I thought this would be a very good and applicable article. How could anyone but the very extreme criticize it? Now I have read the article, and i see the point from both sides. Yes, this article has useful information that is applicable to young adults today, even those not seeking to grow their spiritual life. Yes, most people know that the church does not support being a “little bit married,” but what they don’t understand is WHY. I, myself, once fit that description, and I can say if I thought I was being too harshly judged, I would simply dismiss anything I heard from that person. They had no more credit and thus no influence on my decisions (except perhaps to make me do the exact opposite, because I can be a little stubborn.)

    Let me get back to the article though. Without going into the rules about what the Bible says we can and cannot judge, the most upsetting thing I found about this article is that in its effort to be non-judgmental, it MAY lead to people thinking the church is now okay with co-habitation (or it is at least starting to change its mind). This was shown when one commenter said, “I especially like the ‘wait three years’ part.” No, the article did not say to wait 3 years. I believe it was trying to say, “For those that are already in this situation, and have been so for 3 or more years, you REALLY need to make a decision.” Not that you need 3 years to make that decision, but if you’ve already spent those 3 years, that is more than enough time to figure it out.

  • Genesis and Beyond

    We have to wonder what it is that the young people of today really want. Do you want the truth or do you want a watered down version of the truth?

    Judging on the responses to this article, as an authors of a young adult study on God’s plan for human love, we would have to surmise a little of both. There are clearly two camps. So what are we suppose to do? Do we give you the truth and risk you walking away because you are not ready for the truth or do we water it down, allowing you to believe something that is not what the Church teaches?

    You see, we left you this legacy – sex out side of marriage, contraception, living together. We are the generation of the 60, 70 and 80’s. We justified our behavior by attacking the very Church that truly has the answers. We just didn’t know it until we were in our 40’s. We had hoped that we could give you the wisdom of others who had lived through it. We had hoped to give you a gift so that you did not have to experience the pain, separation and grief that we experienced after our decisions. You see, believe it or not – what you do now has direct ramifications on society and the generation that comes after you.

    You are living in a society that has split Reason and Truth – won’t you be the generation that puts them back together and become a light on the hill for the future generation?

    Peggy and Marci (Authors of Genesis and Beyond: the Divine Plan for Human Love. http://www.genesisandbeyond.com)

    “Not 100 in the United States hate the Roman Catholic Church, but millions hate what they mistakenly think the Roman Catholic Church is.” Archbishop Sheen
    “The Catholic Church is the work of Divine Providence, achieved through the prophecies of the prophets, through the Incarnation and the teaching of Christ, through the journeys of the Apostles, through the suffering, the crosses, the blood and death of the martyrs, through the admirable lives of the saints…When, then, we see so much help on God’s part, so much progress and so much fruit, shall we hesitate to bury ourselves in the bosom of the Church? For starting from the apostolic chair down through successions of bishops, even unto the open confession of all mankind, it has possessed the crown of teaching authority.”
    The Advantage of Believing 35
    St. Augustine (392 AD)
    Here is some more food for thought:
    Natural Law
    The moral law is the work of divine Wisdom. Its biblical meaning can be defined as fatherly instruction, God’s pedagogy. It prescribes for man the ways, the rules of conduct that lead to the promised beatitude; it proscribes the ways of evil which turn him away from God and his love. It is at once firm in its precepts and, in its promises, worthy of love.
    Law is a rule of conduct enacted by competent authority for the sake of the common good. The moral law presupposes the rational order, established among creatures for their good and to serve their final end, by the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Creator. All law finds its first and ultimate truth in the eternal law. Law is declared and established by reason as a participation in the providence of the living God, Creator and Redeemer of all. “Such an ordinance of reason is what one calls law.”2
    There are different expressions of the moral law, all of them interrelated: eternal law – the source, in God, of all law; natural law; revealed law, comprising the Old Law and the New Law, or Law of the Gospel; finally, civil and ecclesiastical laws.
    The moral law finds its fullness and its unity in Christ. Jesus Christ is in person the way of perfection. He is the end of the law, for only he teaches and bestows the justice of God: “For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified.”4
    Man participates in the wisdom and goodness of the Creator who gives him mastery over his acts and the ability to govern himself with a view to the true and the good. The natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie:
    The “divine and natural” law6 shows man the way to follow so as to practice the good and attain his end. The natural law states the first and essential precepts which govern the moral life. It hinges upon the desire for God and submission to him, who is the source and judge of all that is good, as well as upon the sense that the other is one’s equal. Its principal precepts are expressed in the Decalogue. This law is called “natural,” not in reference to the nature of irrational beings, but because reason which decrees it properly belongs to human nature:
    The natural law, present in the heart of each man and established by reason, is universal in its precepts and its authority extends to all men. It expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for his fundamental rights and duties:
    Application of the natural law varies greatly; it can demand reflection that takes account of various conditions of life according to places, times, and circumstances. Nevertheless, in the diversity of cultures, the natural law remains as a rule that binds men among themselves and imposes on them, beyond the inevitable differences, common principles.
    The natural law is immutable and permanent throughout the variations of history;10 it subsists under the flux of ideas and customs and supports their progress. The rules that express it remain substantially valid. Even when it is rejected in its very principles, it cannot be destroyed or removed from the heart of man. It always rises again in the life of individuals and societies:
    The natural law, the Creator’s very good work, provides the solid foundation on which man can build the structure of moral rules to guide his choices. It also provides the indispensable moral foundation for building the human community. Finally, it provides the necessary basis for the civil law with which it is connected, whether by a reflection that draws conclusions from its principles, or by additions of a positive and juridical nature.
    The precepts of natural law are not perceived by everyone clearly and immediately. In the present situation sinful man needs grace and revelation so moral and religious truths may be known “by everyone with facility, with firm certainty and with no admixture of error.”12 The natural law provides revealed law and grace with a foundation prepared by God and in accordance with the work of the Spirit.

  • Kealey

    I like what most of the people have said since my last post, except for one. Who says that the hierarchy of the church gets to make the rules? Who ever said that they were the only ones who know how to interpret the Holy Bible accordingly? In case we forgot these men are the same as every other man that walks the Earth to this day, created to have free will and sinful. I don’t believe that they should have anymore input than the rest of us, considering most (might I stress not all) live chaste lives and really for the most part don’t truly understand what it is like to be in a committed relationship with someone of the opposite gender (as they got married and chose not to live that life). I honestly don’t think that pre-marital sex is any more rampant than it has ever been since the “apple” was eaten in the Garden of Eden.

    Oh and Ann, great point about these rules and stipulations all being made and put forth by men. I couldn’t agree more with you, they were, are and always will be a way of keeping women under the thumb of a “superior” male figure (By the way I am a married man). And Annie, in response to your comment about women postponing marriage just as much as men do. I think you’re right. My ex-fiance was the reason her and I never got married. She held off for almost 5 years before she finally left. I kept trying to set a date and get the ball rolling on the wedding but she kept pushing it back and back.

    We should use our brains for something more than holding our ears apart and figure out how this whole faith and bible thing apply to our personal lives. Don’t just base it all around what the “Holy Church” says and tells us to do, don’t be like the generations of pre-Vatican 2. Think for yourselves. Question the church and your faith and you will find the answers typically point you towards God and a deeper understanding and a more loving relationship with Him. The church has it’s place within your faith absolutely, but don’t let it be the beginning, middle and end to it. God wants a relationship with you as a person, as an individual. He doesn’t want a relationship with an institution, after all He created people, not buildings!!!

  • Cristina

    What a great article! It’s always great when someone can translate a 2,000 year old religion to be applicable to modern day life. I especially like the “wait three years” part. It’s an ample enough time to really get to know the other person and still have patient but realistic expectations.

    Happy Lent everyone!

  • rb

    Most of these comments seem to be more of a condemnation on the teachings of the Holy Church and a judgement upon the hierarchy that has plainly stated what constitutes a mortal sin. Very judgmental people.

  • Christina

    Thank you for this article. It is an important topic to address and I personally know many young adults who would be more willing to read this article than an article that comes directly from Bishops or other church leaders. I think that when the message is that we are being “judged” this results in people turning away because the message doesn’t feel like it comes from a place of selfless caring. In writing about the issue in this way, utilizing factual information and acknowledging the reality that many young adults do live together before marriage you make it possible for us to hear the message without feeling like you’re pointing a finger…instead, you are simply providing facts and these facts need to be shared. Thanks again!

  • Annie

    I hope that the young people on this board read Nevis’s post on Feb. 9th. What people don’t like about cohabitation is the premarital sex – if these young couples lived together without sex, nobody would complain. I have been married almost 40 years and it has been very good. Only the very daring of my generation actually lived together before marriage, but most had sex before marriage (this is a group that married in their 20s, after college and often after graduate school). Almost all of those marriages have been good and have lasted about four decades so far. Two divorces out of a large group of friends from (Catholic) college days, all of whom had sex with their spouses before the wedding day. One difference then was that few had sex until the relationship was of long-standing and would most likely lead to marriage – sex was less casual then than now, but virginity on the wedding night was very rare. There are no guarantees, and there are far worse sins than making love with someone you love, even if it is before the ceremony. It’s not the premarital sex (or lack of it) that makes the difference as long as the two people are mature and serious and moving toward a likely commitment. If they actually discover through co-habiting that this is not a good idea, it at least prevents a divorce later when there would be children involved. Now young people don’t rush into marriage in order to have sex, which sometimes happened in older generations.

    According to my own young adult children and nieces and nephews, the women these days are as likely as the men to want to delay marriage. It isn’t until late 20s, 30ish that both seem to start to consider the idea of marriage seriously.

    Read Nevis’s pos

  • Ann

    I know this may seem like throwing fire in, but for anyone who passes judgement or points out the “obvious sin”, you do realize that historically chastity, purity and all that was written into the Bible by men to keep women down? Have you ever questioned who wrote anything? Who put it together? Who is in charge? Why they mutilate women in other countries to keep them “pure” until marriage according to the Bible? Everyone has a right to believe what they want, but it comes with a price: Understanding that EVERYTHING from any religion is based on an interpretation. You weren’t there. You have to trust that whoever is telling you moral of the story is right. When you decide to do that, have understanding that people may see it a different way and move on. You have faith, why can’t they?

    My point is that for those of you pointing out the wrongs in what people do: go find something else to do with your time. God gave us free choice didn’t he? I agree with all of those who say that we need a practical way of guiding people in this world. Saying “Or you’ll burn in hell” just doesn’t cut it. Saying “They’ll call you a whore” just doesn’t cut it. Who sets the standards anyway? Is it you or God? Even God loved Mary M didn’t he? We are all sinners, so are we all going to hell? If you sin and repent every day do you go to heaven? WHO KNOWS?! You just have to believe what you believe and give people the right to live as they choose. Period.

  • Kealey

    I personally believe that this is an important decision that should be left to the individuals involved in the relationships in question. If they believe that it will help them in their journey as a couple and that their personal relationship with God will not falter or fall apart than who are we as “Catholics” to go around shoving the term mortal sin down their throats?

    I am a male who lived with his ex-fiance for 4 and a half years. I do not feel that my decision to live with her and have pre-marital sex with her is going to cause me to spend eternity in hell. Instead I believe that God knows the intentions of my heart and has forgiven me for my indiscretions. He loves me no matter what even if I chose to commit “adultery” as the church would have us believe the term. Someone else on here put it really quite nicely, if the people living in cohabitating rlationships without marriage do not practice their faith (as much as others might think they should)than what makes us think for a second that our selfrighteous passing of judgement on them is going to make a difference. Rather shouldn’t we be more like Christ and open our hearts and minds to these people. After all wasn’t it Christ who called prostitutes, murderers and tax collectors to sit at the table with Him at the last supper? I know it wasn’t the Priests and Pharisees that were with Him when He gave His flesh and blood to the apostles.

    And as for those of you who don’t think [assing judgement is a bad thing, IT IS! The term judgement implies certain conditions of punishment. For example a “Mortal Sin” means you are going to hell. These are terms that were made up by an archaic ruling church to control the people. We do not get to pass this kind of judgement, this is left to God and God alone. You can throw all the scripture verses you want at me about how it says we are allowed to do this, but reada little further past those individual verses and take them in proper context, don’t just use them for your own self serving purposes. In most cases you will find that these passages call us to love and accept our fellow man rather than condemning them.

    In closing I would encourage everyone to truly look within themselves and discover what is wrong in your own life before going around passing judgement on others. As the bible says “Take the log out of your own eye before trying to remove the speck of saw dust from your neighbours eye”. Leave the judging to God and just try to live your own lives as best you can.

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