Integrating Compassion with the Wisdom of God’s Word


The purpose of Aunt Dara’s Christian Advice Column is to glorify God by addressing human needs with compassion and the wisdom of God’s word.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Dealing with Differing Opinions

Dear Aunt Dara,

I feel like I'm in a very difficult situation.  My father is senior pastor at a small, non-denominational restorationist church that's very conservative but not as much as other churches.  I do agree with conservatives on some things (I'm pro-life on abortion and euthanasia and believe premarital sex is wrong), but I agree with progressives on other things (I'm pro-gun control to some extent, am pro-environment, and consider myself both a feminist and an egalitarian).  Even though I love many of the regular attendees and especially working with the kids, I sometimes feel like I want to be in a different environment.  I have a disability and my parents have guardianship of me.  I live with them and I don't have a car or access to public transportation, so I can't go to a different church.  Plus, it would look bad for me to go to a different church because my father is the preacher.  Even if I did leave I might not be able to find a church that agrees with both what I side with conservatives on and what I side with progressives on.  I'm afraid to talk to my parents about how I feel out of fear of them criticizing me or my beliefs.  Any advice?

Preacher’s daughter

Dear Preacher’s Daughter,

What exactly are the reasons that you feel as if you need to be in a different environment?  Are you thinking that it is difficult to be in a church where other members do not see eye-to-eye with you on some issues, or is there perhaps some other reason?  If you are thinking that you would like to be in a church where the members are more in line with your political beliefs, you could be searching for a lifetime and never find that.  Even married couples rarely see eye-to-eye on everything.  Generally, congregations are made up of people with varying political beliefs and differing opinions on political issues.  The church is not meant to be a place of uniformity on all issues, but a place of unity on the essential elements of the gospel.  You may have heard the saying, "Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent."  The Bible is very specific on things such as the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and what one must do in order be saved.  However, the Bible is silent on such things as the environment, gun control, and how the national economy should be managed.  You may have also heard the saying, "In essentials, unity.  In non-essentials, liberty.  In all things, love."  "In essentials, unity" means that Christians need to be unified on things that are clearly revealed in scripture, especially on essential matters such as Christ's deity, crucifixion, and resurrection, the plan of salvation, the elements of worship, and the importance of avoiding sin.  "In non-essentials, liberty" means that Christians have liberty in their opinion about things that the Bible doesn't mention or doesn't make clear.  "In all things, love" means that we are human and we will have differences of opinions and beliefs (see Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8), but we are unified by our love for God and for one another (Luke 10:25-28, 1 John 4:11). 

Since your parents have guardianship of you and you are dependent on them for your housing and transportation, how would it be practical for you to change your environment?  Would it not be better to accept the people in your church who have differing beliefs on political issues, while loving them as your brothers and sisters in Christ?  For additional guidance on this, please read 1 Timothy 1:4, 1 Timothy 6:3-5, 2 Timothy 2:23-26, Titus 3:9, and 1 Peter 3:8-11.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Will She be Able to Attract an Honorable Man?

Dear Aunt Dara,

I recently ended a 6-month, long distance courtship.  My boyfriend Jerry had known me for about a year before we met face-to-face.  He was a police officer and gave me legal advice when I had a stalker at school, and this enabled me to get help.  Afterward, he had been pretty protective of me.  At first he was wonderful, but when he got relaxed he began to show his veiled personality.  I ended the courtship because he was not choosing me over certain activities the family dropped on him 24 hours beforehand, so I felt as if I were taking second place against a family of 16 people.  Additionally, he started to become dismissive and never took me seriously.  I am hurt.  This was my first relationship and it lasted six months.  It ended as peacefully as it could, but left me hysterical for a while.  Mom said I shouldn’t talk to him at all, and she said he isn’t welcome at our home.  I still respect him.  I do not hate him nor dislike him.  I want to be with Jerry, but mom says that would be inappropriate.  However, I am scared nobody is ever going to look at me the same way.  Jerry was a first, but I am afraid guys will not like me the same way Jerry did.  I may have hugged Jerry, or rested my head on his shoulder during a movie, but we were never intimate physically.  I’ve never kissed a guy either.  The guys who came around before Jerry were too subtle on their intentions, and consequently they moved on because I remained oblivious.  Am I being unreasonable to think that I will be unnoticed by someone honorable?

Single Sophomore at 20

Dear Single Sophomore,

Since I do not know exactly what happened between you and Jerry that caused you to break up with him, I cannot say whether or not it would be appropriate for you to continue to be friends with him.  However, your mother must have very good reasons for not wanting you to talk to him and for him to not be welcome in your home.

As for whether or not other guys will look at you the same way Jerry did or whether or not you will be noticed by someone honorable, I can tell you that honorable men are attracted to women who love God, who have pure behaviors, and have the characteristics mentioned in Galatians 5:22-24 and 1 Peter 1:5-8.  An honorable man will be highly attracted to you if he recognizes your sincere love of God and sees these characteristics coupled with chaste behavior and good works.  So, I suggest that you concentrate in becoming attractive to God, and you will become attractive to the right type of man.

God bless,
Aunt Dara