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Monday, January 30, 2012

Hey Boundless - stop defrauding us about dating

You knew it had to happen occasionally.  Boundless is so busy pushing their idea of "Biblical Dating" that they have taken a scripture out of context, changed its meaning, and used it to support their ideals whether it actually fits or not.
One of their ideas is that you should not defraud someone in your relationships and avoid sexual immorality.  Well, it kind of says that...but really, we are left wondering what the heck this passage is talking about.

The Boundless version comes from the New International Version, noted for its gender inclusivity - which may be a source of confusion for what the Word ACTUALLY says.  Remember, Focus On The Family and Boundless articles are often written by people who are pastors and who have studied the Word.

In the article Biblical Dating: An Introduction by Scott Croft, he writes the following improperly using a Bible verse.

I Thessalonians 4:1-8 (do not wrong or defraud one another in relationships — by implying a relationship or commitment by your words or conduct that does not actually exist)

Generally speaking, it's not nice to defraud someone.  In fact, fraud is illegal in many contexts and punishable by statute depending on the type of fraud and whether or not intent to defraud can be proven.


transitive verb
: to deprive of something by deception or fraud 


a : deceit, trickery; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right 
b : an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : trick
a : a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : impostor; also : one who defrauds : cheat 
b : one that is not what it seems or is represented to be
I think this is a being a bit rough.  I seriously don't believe dysfunctional Christians set out to trick anyone.  They make mistakes because they don't know any better and can't live up to the church's high expectations.  So let's instead look at what the verses really mean in context.

Here is the Today's New International Version with its gender inclusive text.
3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

Here is the Living Translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
 3 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. 4 Then each of you will control his own body[b] and live in holiness and honor— 5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. 6 Never harm or cheat a Christian brother in this matter by violating his wife,[c] for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. 7 God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives.

Oh, now we get it.  This passage is about not sleeping with another man's wife and not harming a brother by cheating with that brother's wife.  Well, well.  This isn't the same thing as not defrauding each other in dating, now is it?

I've been hacking away at these Boundless myths.  I never thought it would be so incredibly easy to pick them apart.  Boundless ought to be embarrassed.  Who is Scott Croft?  I have some idea.  But if he is holding himself out as an authority on dating and the Bible, he has failed.  So has Boundless by not checking scripture.

According to Boundless:  Scott Croft serves as chairman of the elders at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, where he wrote and teaches the Courtship & Dating and Biblical Manhood and Womanhood CORE Seminars. Scott lives with his wife, Rachel and son, William in the Washington, D.C. area, where he is also a practicing attorney.

Shame, shame, shame Mr.Croft.  Any attorney worth his salt would know how to do legal research.  Bible research should be even easier.  Time to go back to school-for something at least.  I doubt you are a very good attorney if you are not looking up the Bible very well.

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Kevin said...

I noticed this as well:


But they still keep quoting that verse as a proof-text.

SavvyD said...

I think if they are spreading a half-truth, they should be held accountable. I certainly wouldn't submit to this man's teachings. Boundless is half right, but half wrong and most people don't have a level of discernment or sophistication to realize that Boundless is actually defrauding them.

Justified by Faith said...

There is no mention of dating in the Bible, so we must form our view of courtship in this world using as much scripture as we can. I cannot agree that Thessalonians 4:18 is irrelevent to dating in this life as "All scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thouroughly eqipped for every good work." So, if we meditate on any part of God's Word, we will benefit. I could also point you to Romans 12 for viewing on your own. Also, I would like to direct you to 1 Timothy 5:1-2 for your own pleasure. Please take in context of these scriptures, but also rest in God's Spirit as you read. Meditate on them as I'm certain you already do with scripture. In the words breathed by God's Spirit through Paul to the Romans, "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ."

SavvyD said...

Scripture in this situation has been inappropriately applied, as explained in the article. I have certainly read those verses, however, it doesn't change anything I wrote.