I know BGR is a really big topic to most people. As I know from experience out of 10 people who leave Hope during my days 6-7 are because of BGR issues. Because we seem to teach that falling in love is a sin, but we often forget that people have feelings and teenagers from 15-25 are human’s with feelings too.
I know that in Hope we teach that students should not be involved in relationship and we actively discouraged it, but the awful truth is .. how many teenagers have the gift of celibacy ??? Seriously I think many times out of our eagerness we go about it the wrong way. Kids will always be kids, crushes are part and parcel of life.
When I was leading the youth group many years back, I learnt one important lesson. Feelings are uncontrollable. How do you tell a guy not to have crush and stop liking a girl, never seen it happen in my whole time. God make us creatures with feelings, so it is crazy to tell a guy to stop have feelings.
That is why I fully agree with some of the comments, we need to teach positive ways to dating and courtship. I like one of the point out we are not their parents and should not overrule the parents decision.
There was another point that brought to my attention while I was reading the comments. I do not know if anyone has experienced it but I certainly have… there seems to be an unspoken rule that we should only find Christian partners in our Hope Church, it sometimes seem that other churches people are not as good as Hope. The reasoning I always get is they have different vision and better to find from within then outside… but what happens if the guys or girls in the church are not what we are looking for ? And don’t forget there are always more female leaders than guys leaders… so… what happen to those unlucky to not find one by 30 ??
I also have heard and seen people saying that because one couple holds a much higher leadership position therefore they are unequally yoke.. I feel sad for them because my friend was under so much stress. So many people were initially against them, but just for me… who are we to judge who is closer to God ?? Just because you have the title that does not make a person more spiritual, probably maybe just that they joined Hope movement much earlier. Titles are given by Men not by God, title do not make a person holier, look at PN and Dr. Kriengsak, they are a good testimony on the irrelevance of title.
Anyway.. I fully agree that BGR is a very hot topic because in essence there are only 2 things which are crucial to a human need..
1. Love and relationship – family, friends, and a partner and of course God
2. Money and career – to buy a house, food and essentials
And I agree with the comments from John – that we should start giving good positive principles instead of scaring people away from relationship. I know Hope Singapore is changing and some Hope Churches are starting to take the lead in this area.
Hopefully we can start to change from the Hope Movement of Old.. and move away from the dogmatic and controlling system under the Old Hope Movement.