Dating Without Marriage: Is It A Threat To One's Spirituality?

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 08/22/2014 | 11:00 AM EDT

CentricTV.com editor Gerren Keith Gaynor explores the debate on dating without tying the knot

In the church community there is a laundry list of things that are frowned upon. One in particular centers around marriage and fornication.

 

Bishop Noel Jones and Deitrick Haddon have had to defend themselves over the matter quite often on their reality show "Preachers of LA."


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Haddon, who had two babies with his now-wife out of wedlock, was chastised by fellow preacher Bishop Ron Gibson. But Pastor Jones--brother of singer-actress Grace Jones--has received the most criticism over the controversial choice to not marry his girlfriend of nearly two decades.


Jones' choice is even more exacerbated because he's a "man of God." Because he preaches the Word, he's expected to follow the Word.


But Jones and girlfriend Loretta seem totally fine with their relationship being what it is. It's those within their circle who turn up their nose at the thought of them getting cozy without a commitment of monogamy and love before God.


But is it really anyone's business?


While the interpretation of what the Bible says on this matter should be left to the ministers and experts, it can also be argued that just because you're dating someone, it doesn't necessarily mean you're having sex. With that in mind, it wouldn't be considered fornication...right?


Now realistically, it's very unlikely that Jones--preacher or not--has completely abstained from sex in his 16-years-or-so relationship. But even if he has, that's his choice and his predicament to negotiate with the big guy upstairs.


What's clear, however, is that Jones has his reasons. During an interview with an Atlanta radio station, Jones, who divorced his ex-wife after 22 years of marriage, said that he's ultimately scared to walk down the aisle a second time. He also defended his choice not to marry Loretta from a biblical perspective.


“Paul wasn’t married. He was probably one of the greatest progenitors of the Word of God,” Jones said. “Many significant Bible characters were not married. Marriage is not a prerequisite for being in the pulpit.”

 

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“Remarriage is really a great issue from a scriptural viewpoint,” he added. “Divorce is cool. Jesus said you make yourself a eunuch for the Kingdom of God’s sake.”


Jones went on to question whether or not we, as human beings, should live life based on what “looks good,” arguing that what truly matters is that we do what we know is right and what “feels good.”


While this debate will surely continue to be a contentious one in spiritual circles, what’s clear is that Jones will continue to live out his life based on what he feels is right for him. Isn’t that what life is about? We can only be responsible for our own journeys, so let’s cast aside those stones of judgement, shall we?


(Photo: Tim Brown/Oxygen Media/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

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