Vol. 12 No. 7 July 2010
Is Kissing a Sin?
Louis Rushmore, Editor
When one has a girlfriend or a boyfriend and they kiss, is it a sin? ~ Onah Oliseh, Ghana
Let us begin by defining “sin.” “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4 KJV). “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4 NKJV). Therefore, whatever the Bible specifies as sinful is sinful, whereas whatever the Bible does not specify as sinful is not sinful. All people living today are bound the New Testament portion of the Bible, since the Old Testament (containing Patriarchy and Judaism) has been replaced with the New Testament (Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14).
Some form of the word “kiss” appears 48 times throughout the Bible. It becomes apparent quickly that not all kisses are the same, or for the same purpose. Often, the kiss was a form of greeting (Romans 16:16). Sometimes the kiss was a sign of affection (Genesis 31:28; 45:15). Other kisses are passionate, either associated with sin (Proverbs 7:13) or innocent within the confines of marriage (Song of Solomon 1:2).
Whether a contemporary kiss between a boyfriend and a girlfriend is sinful depends on whether it is companion to anything in one of the lists of sins found in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8). In addition, we need to be mindful of how other people view something we do, and be careful we do not offend onlookers unnecessarily (Romans 14:21). Further, something may be acceptable to God, yet because of local culture or custom may not be advisable (1 Corinthians 11:16); for instance, public display of affection between members of the opposite sex is banned even in some societies, today.
There are several factors to consider in determining if kissing is sinful. Besides this, culture or custom may have a bearing on the advisability of kissing, too.
Louis Rushmore, Editor
I have a question regarding how to talk to others regarding the truth in a kind loving way. I have a family member who was turned off by another family member who was talking about the church via email. She is upset because she feels my other family member was trying to force her to be a part of the Lord’s church. Their relationship seems a little severed now. My question is how can we approach people with the word without coming off as being forceful or arrogant to the point where people don’t even want to ever come worship with us. It seems that turns people away.
Also, a big issue for me is. When I ask people to worship, they also ask me to go, and I say no but they always say it isn’t fair, and in turn, they don’t want to ever come back. ~ Kia Hinton
First Peter 3:1-2 provides us with a principle, whether we are male or female, on how to influence others with the Gospel when they will not listen to what we have to say. “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.” When our words cannot gain an audience for conveying God’s truths, we must allow those truths to animate us; our conviction and godliness needs to be evident in our conduct. Christian example is not a substitute for verbal instruction in God’s Word when that venue is available, but Christian example is both an alternative to the spoken word when circumstances require, and it also is a necessary companion to verbal instruction.
Faithful Christians have an obligation to God to assemble with fellow Christians (Hebrews 10:25), and faithful Christians have an obligation to the local body of believers of whom they are a part. Invite friends to visit the churches of Christ with you, but if they question why you are reluctant to assemble with them in their religious services, politely explain that your religious convictions require you to assemble at the appointed assemblies of the church of which you are a member. Further, comment that there may be occasions that your friends’ churches may have a program that does not conflict in time with the assemblies to which you are obligate, that you may choose to attend with them. However, be sure that you are spiritually strong enough not to be influenced unduly by religious error that you most certainly will encounter. In addition, do not give the impression that you approve of religious error, such as singing with instrumental accompaniment in their worship services; be polite but refrain from compromise.