They drifted away because they went to a church that refused to answer their difficult questions and insisted that they were “just supposed to have faith.”There is little doubt that Stanley has put his finger on a critical issue for the church today, and he should be commended for it.
This interpretation is reflected in the following translations: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (NIV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (NASB) “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (NLT) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (NRSV) Many churches (especially within Evangelical circles), emphasize this verse to men and (especially) adolescent boys, warning that if they so much as think of a woman in a sexual manner, they’ve already sinned, that they’ve already effectively done the deed with her.Such an interpretation often works hand-in-glove with the common idea that Jesus “intensified” the Law in the Sermon on the Mount, setting a higher standard in order to show that no person could actually live up to God’s standards, showing that a person could only be saved by recognizing the impossibility of righteousness and then receiving forgiveness (a complete misinterpretation of the Sermon on the Mount I will address at another time). Another key aspect of nearly all the common misinterpretations of this verse is a specific (mistaken) definition of the word “lust.” Specifically, many readers understand “lust” as specifically denoting misplaced or overly robust libido. I grew up as a member of the homeschool community back when we were hiding from the cops and getting our textbooks from public school dumpsters.When I was a teenager, my friends started reading this new book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. After reading it myself, I grew into as big an opponent of dating as you could find."After we got married, we encountered many of the typical newlywed challenges, including the financial ones, but we managed to make ends meet.
"Before long, our son was born and brought us incredible joy, as did his sister who was born four years later.I explained what courtship was and quoted Joshua Harris, chapter and verse. “I don’t think courtship is a smart idea,” my grandfather said.“How can you tell who you want to marry if you aren’t going out on dates? I ignored their advice on relationships, preferring to listen to the young people around me who were passionate advocates of courtship.” my grandmother wondered every time the topic came up. They both obstinately held to the position that courtship was a foolish idea. As I grew older, I started to speak at homeschool conferences and events.I talked with homeschool parents, students and alumni all over the country and started to see some challenges with making courtship work.Stanley, son of well-known Atlanta pastor, Charles Stanley, is the senior pastor of Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, GA.