“Living in Sin”

From a reader of the blog who comes to us for wisdom for a difficult situation in his church:

What to do? What’s your advice?

Here at the rural church I pastor I’m dealing with one of those issues I thought might make for good discussion on the blog. Through the combined outreach of another couple in the church and myself, a 40-something man in our community has come to faith in Christ. The circumstances are not relevant but they are quite dramatic. For the past year he has been attending worship and  participating in a casual form of one-on-one mentoring from me and another man in the church. He desires baptism and I am convinced “that nothing prevents him from being baptized” (Acts 8.36).

The issue is “complicated,” however, by the fact that he is living with his fiance. Their relationship is far from perfect. They have one child and have been “together” for many years. He desires marriage, ASAP, but she is holding out because of a very abusive first marriage. Her position is, she “just doesn’t want to have to sign the paper!” She is not a believer.

I am receiving some push-back from board and church members who say things like: How can we baptize someone who’s living in sin? Shouldn’t his life exhibit more repentance. etc.

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