can you give me a ride? (a question in christian ethics)

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. school of ministry and missions instructor. president of fistbump media, llc.

January 19, 2010

So I noticed her on my way into the 7-11 store. I was on my way to teaching my Homiletics class and I stopped to get a bottle of water. The 21-day Daniel fast that I’m on kept me from stopping at Starbucks for my venti non-fat chai latte, but I needed something with me to drink in class.

christian ethicsShe was clearly upset as she cried on the phone with someone. She was wearing a short skirt, and that just revealed the bruises all up and down her legs. I’m not sure what they were from, but the first thing that I could think of was that she was in an abusive relationship. While I got my bottle of water she had stepped outside.

She stopped me on my way out the door. With tears rolling down her cheeks she looked at me with desperation and asked if I could help her out by giving her a ride somewhere.

Being a married man who is very active in ministry in my local church, I suddenly found myself in a dilemma.

On one hand my Christian belief is to help those who are needy and in times of trouble. That side of me wanted to help her into my car and take her to wherever she could get the help that she needed. After all, I know of several places that could help her regardless of the situation that she was in.

The other side of me kicked back and said, “DON’T DO IT!” The last thing that I needed was to put myself in a situation where I was alone with another woman in my car. A false accusation from her, or even someone I know driving by and seeing this woman with me could bring a world of problems for a faithful husband and servant of the church.

So I told her that I was really sorry, but I could not help her.

This raises the question that I’d like to discuss here. Which of these options should a faithful Christian be more concerned about?

Is it better to not care what others might think, and to just do the right thing to help out another human being in need?

Or is it more important to maintain a level of trust with people like my wife and those that I minister to?

Or is there another way to handle a situation like this?

What do you think?

Editors note: See the follow-up response to this discussion at be ready [compassion and christian ethics].

49 Comments

  1. butterflyfist19

    PERSONALLY, IN THAT SITUATION I WOULD HAVE HELPED HER. IM SOMONE WHO FACES PERSECUTION ON AN ALLMOST DAILY BASIS. FROM PEERS. CO-WORKERS. EVEN OTHER CHRISTIANS. SO I HAVE LEARNED NOT TO LET THE PUBLIC EYE SWAY MY DECISIONS. IVE LEARNED NOT TO LET ANYONE MAKE ME DOUBT MY SALVATION. REGUARDLESS OF THE SITUATION. IT GOES BACK TO WHEN JESUS SPOKE TO THE PROSTITUTE, AND THE PEOPLE WHO STOOD BY WHERE LIKE “HOW COULD HE TALK TO HER.” JESUS WASNT CONCERNED WITH WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT OF HIM. ONLY BY THE WILL OF OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN. WHEN YOU LIVE A CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE YOU ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER THE LOOKING GLASS AND ON THE OPPOSITE END OF FINGER POINTING. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE ONLY ONE YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO IS THE REAL JUDGE IN HEAVEN. NOT ANY EARTHLY JUDGES. SO IN THAT SITUATION I WOULD HAVE HELPED THE WOMAN OUT. IF MY WIFE WERE REALLY MY WIFE AND SHE HEARD THAT I WAS IN THE CAR WITH A STRANGE WOMAN SHE WOULD KNOW THERE WAS NOTHING PERVERSE BEHIND IT. A FRIEND OF MINE GAVE ME THE BEST ADVICE I HAVE EVER GOT IN MY LIFE. DONT LET ANYONE AFFECT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD. IF YOU ARE DOING GODS WORK, DONT LET ANYONE TAKE YOU OFF YOUR HOLY PATH, NOR SHOULD THEY SWAY UR DECISION TO DO THE RIGHT THING. SO WHAT YOUR WIFE, CHURCH MEMBERS, FRIENDS OR FAMILY THINK OF YOU IS NOTHING COMPARED TO DOING TO GOOD WORK THE LORD ASKS OF US. WHEN ITS ALL SAID AND DONE, HELPING THE WOMAN WOULDVE BEEN THE RIGHT THING TO DO. YOU KNOW IT AND SO DOES GOD. THATS WHO MATTERS. SO THINKING, YEA I COULD HELP THIS WOMAN OUT. BUT MY WIFE WOULDNT WANT ME TO. IS LETTING SOMONE AFFECT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. IN YOUR HEART YOU FELT COMPASSION FOR THE WOMAN AND WANTED TO HELP HER, BUT THE THOUGHT OF PERSECUTION FROM OTHERS STOPPED YOU. THEN THERE IS SELF PERSECUTION. WHAT IF THIS WOMAN SAYS I TRIED TO HURT HER OR RAPE HER….. AT THAT POINT ITS YOUR FAITH THAT WILL SAVE YOU. SOMTIMES ITS HARD TO JUST LISTEN TO OR HEART AND GODS VOICE, AND STEP OUT OF THE BOAT AND ONTO THE WATER. THE WHAT IFS ALLWAYS WEIGH HEAVY. BUT SOMTIMES YOU JUST GOTA THROW PRECAUTION TO THE WIND AND LEAN ON FAITH. TAKING THE WOMAN TO WHERE SHE NEEDED TO GO WOULDVE GAVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A NEW FRIEND FOR CHRIST. WHENEVER I DO A FAVOR FOR A STRANGER I TELL THEM NOT TO THANK ME. THANK GOD THAT HE HAS PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD WHO STILL DO HIS WILL AND OFFER KINDNESS TO STRANGERS.

    Reply
  2. twistedxtian

    I've never understood this dilemma, though people talk about it on a regular basis, especially when it pertains to people in ministry. Maybe it's naive of me, but I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I expect to be treated likewise. If someone asks me for help, the last thing on my mind is, “Oh no! What if someone sees me!?!” If someone saw someone get into my car, be it man, woman, prostitute, or whatever, I'd like to think that they wouldn't immediately jump to the conclusion that I was doing something wrong, but that I was doing something right. That I was helping someone, or talking to a friend, someone they didn't happen to know.

    I'd expect that if my wife saw me with another woman in my car that she'd ask me who it was without jumping to the conclusion that I was cheating on her. The people at my church don't know all my friends, so if they saw me driving down the road with a woman in my car that wasn't my wife, they have no reason to immediately jump to the conclusion that I'm having an affair.

    It's just such a negative thought pattern. Yes, I could be accused falsely of something by the person I'm meeting or helping, but that's no reason not to help someone. In churches I have been to, the pastors are not allowed to meet with women alone, and while I understand the allegations that could stem from such a meeting, I don't think this “cover-your-butt” attitude should ever get in the way of your ministry, in whatever form it takes. I think this litiguous society that we live in is taking a negative toll on ministry, and that really sucks.

    Reply
  3. karenbabb

    I think that he could call a friend to come and ride with him to help this woman. A lady friend, maybe even his wife.

    Reply
    • janice phea

      I agree with katenbabb
      The Lord will lead and guide you at the time if you ask. He will give you wisdom and a way of escape if need be. In these last and evil days. The enemy can and will set up diversions and traps, thats why we have to be lead by his Spirit on direction.
      One plants. One waters but God gives the increase. God may have planted her there and maybe you were to water by praying for her. God did the rest
      I say you did exactly what you were lead to do whether you believe it was because of who may see you or not
      Gods ways arre not our ways.
      If we learn to follow his devine guidance
      His will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven
      Be encouraged

      Reply
  4. @bibledude

    The point about Jesus talking to the prostitute is a really good one, but on the other hand we don't see instances of Jesus retreating into the wilderness with the prostitutes. His ministry to them (as far as we know) was very public and out in the open… never in private.

    With that said, I do hear you regarding the need to do SOMETHING…

    It's great to hear from you again Jim! I hope all is well!

    Reply
  5. @bibledude

    I know that many pastors and ministry leaders have a policy about couseling people of the opposite sex. And there is probably good reason for that… But I definitely understand what you are saying about that whole thing. It would be great if everyone could trust each other, but the truth is that we can't.

    Even though I totally understand where you're coming from (that ministry side in me that wants to help people), I also know that trust is one of the biggest factors that determines my success in ministry. If people (my wife or others that I have the opportunity) even question my character (whether I am in the right or not), then I may loose the opportunity to minister to them in the future. That's where my dilema comes in.

    It's great to hear from you on this Chris! Thanks for chiming in!

    Reply
  6. butterflyfist19

    ITS NOT THE FACT THAT SHE WAS A PROSITUTE THAT MADE ME BRING THAT UP. IT WAS JUST TO SHOW THAT YOU SHOULDNT PICK AND CHOOSE THE PEOPLE WHO YOU HELP BASED ON LOOKS. SO IF IT WERE AN OLDER GENTLEMAN WHO NEEDED A RIDE, WOULD YOU HAVE SAID THE SAME THING? PROBLY NOT, BECAUSE WHAT BAD CAN COME FROM HELPING AN ELDERLY MAN. AND IF SOMONE SEES YOU, THEN ITS JUST YOU HELPING AN OLD MAN. BUT THE FACT THAT IT WAS A YOUNG WOMAN AFFECTED YOUR DECISION. AND WHO MAY SEE YOU AND HOW IT WOULD LOOK. THE ONLY POINT I WANTED TO RELAY WITH THAT EXAMPLE IS THAT JESUS WAS IN FELLOWSHIP WITH EVERYONE, REGUARDLESS OF WHAT OTHERS MAY THINK ABOUT THEM.JUST SAYING THAT WE SHOULDNT DO THE RIGHT THING ONLY WHEN ITS CONVINIANT FOR US. OR ONLY DOING WHAT “LOOKS” GOOD. ITS LIKE WHEN HE TALKS ABOUT SIMPLE HEART FELT PRAYER VS. THE BIG LONG DRAWN OUT PRAYER OF THE HYPOCRITES. NO MATTER HOW IT LOOKS OR SOUNDS TO THE HUMAN EYE, GOD ALLWAYS KNOWS THE TRUTH BEHIND IT. GOOD DEEDS INCLUDED
    -jim carter
    love u like a brother dan

    Reply
  7. @bibledude

    Being prepared to show compassion to those in need seems to be the most important thing in a situation like this. And in that situation, I just wasn't prepared to give an answer that would have helped.

    Karen, I think that you bring up an EXCELLENT point. I could have called someone nearby that could have helped me help her, or even just helped her themselves (“I can't give you a ride, but let me call a friend who can…”).

    Better yet, I'm getting the phone numbers for all of the resources that I know of that would be of help so that I can be prepared to call them too. If I had done that, then maybe I could have the organizations that would have been suitable to help find a solution that worked.

    Great points, but I definitely agree that it is important to be prepared to offer alternate solutions that would satisfy BOTH needs… to show compassion AND to maintain trust.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here Karen!

    Reply
  8. butterflyfist19

    (applause) great answer!!!

    Reply
  9. twistedxtian

    So it comes down to a choice between ministering to this person asking for a ride, or the people that could potentially see you and question your character. I can see the dilemma, and understand both sides of the argument.

    And while it is an unfortunate reality, I don't know if I would respond the way you did. It's something I've thought about as I'm on this path to pursue a career in full-time ministry, but I'm not comfortable turning someone in need down in the off-chance that my character is called into question. But then that's where I am in life right now, and while I might get a job where that course of action puts my job at risk, I'd like to think it is an acceptable one.

    Thanks for sharing. I'm enjoying the discussion that it has stimulated. 🙂

    Reply
  10. @bibledude

    That's another great point Jim…
    But you know me. I've led young adults ministry for several years, and through that I've had many opportunities to council and mentor several young ladies. But if you see me in the corner of the sanctuary talking to a young lady, you probably understand that we just need some privacy because we are talking about personally sensitive issues.

    BUT, if you saw me walk out to the parking lot with her and get in my car and leave, then even if you trust me, the question about my integrity rises up. You are more likely to question me if I did something like that.

    Now, consider you see me stepping into my car with a young lady that looks like a prostitute. You now have even more reason to question my character. And even if YOU don't… the likelyhood is greater, and many others would question it…

    The Bible teaches that leaders should be above reproach, and to me that means that we should avoid situations where people can make those character judgements.

    Check out my response to 'karenbabb' below, because I think that there may have been some other options…

    Reply
  11. @bibledude

    Actually, no… I don't think that it comes down to a choice between the two. And for the record, I agree that what I actually did was probably not the right thing. That is exactly why I wanted to have this conversation here.

    I just mentioned in a reply comment to Jim (butterflyfist19) that the Bible also teaches that Christian leaders should be above reproach. I believe that this means that we should avoid situations that allow people to question our character.

    Check out my response to 'karenbabb' below, because I think that there are other things that I could have done that would allow me to balance trust and compassion. I definitely could have done more…

    Reply
  12. Bernard Shuford

    Call a cab for her. NEVER, I repeat NEVER, allow ANY other female besides your wife to ride alone with you. Well, your mom or your daughter, okay. Duh. Let me assure you – you will HAVE no ministry if you compromise this principle. It IS important to minister to the girl, yes. Please find a way to do so. But do NOT give her a ride alone. It's not just what people say about you or what you think they will say. Your wife is FIRST, always. If you can't keep that vow, if you don't honor her above all other women – regardless of how much ministry they need – you will have a problem. Don't counsel them alone, don't get too close to them and let their story get under your skin – and it will – and definitely don't give them a ride. No, no, no.

    Reply
  13. @bibledude

    Thanks Bernard! And this is exactly why I didn't do anything. If I loose the trust, then I loose the ability to impact those who I am already ministering to… particularly my wife. I think that the trust can be damaged even if everything in a situation like this remained honorable and pure.

    So the 'call a cab' solution that you propose is one that I just wasn't prepared to do (or didn't think of). I could have even paid for the cab… But I definitely felt the need to do something more than to just walk away without doing anything (like I did).

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  14. Victoria

    Wow. My first instinct says, God gave her a safe place to fall, and society was allowed to hold her back. Then I see how we are constantly ministering to the world around and I'm right there saying “no” with you. Showing people who might look to us as some sort of example of how to live that picking up strangers is a good idea–that's scary stuff. The being alone with a member of the opposite sex is a wise position for any married person to steer clear of, too. The buddy system won't always be an option, though. I feel for this woman and the lost opportunity to show her Christ just about has me in tears. I think a phone call to let your wife know what you were doing could have helped you to help her, but at the same time, I think it could have sent the wrong message to both your wife and this woman. Getting in the car with a stranger is never a good idea. So, maybe you showed her that she needs to make wiser decisions…or at least got her to think about the potential situation she could have put herself in by taking a ride from a man she doesn't even know. God can work all things for good for those who love Him…so no matter what you would have done, God can work with it! Your love for the Lord is evident!

    Good stuff, Dude!

    Reply
  15. bmwsav

    First, one should not broadcast to the world that they are religiously fasting. This practice is supposed to be kept between you and God.
    Second, yes you should have helped her. What if every married person made your choice when deciding weather or not to help someone in need? My guess is not too many would get the help they need.
    Thirdly, Your wife and congregation should trust your commitment to your wife and your fidelity.

    Reply
  16. Amber

    oooh, this is a tough call. i mean, you want to do what's right but you also, as you said, need to avoid compromising situations. other solutions? tell her you'll be right back and grab a friend to come along for the ride as well, thus providing a witness. offer to call a cab for her. we have this same issue in youth ministry. it's a rule that we can't have teens of the opposite sex alone in the car with us (like if giving one a ride) just because it's your word vs. theirs. you have no idea who's watching you and we have to keep that in mind regarding the choices we make.

    Reply
  17. @bibledude

    I totally respect the idea that God can use whatever I do with the situation, but the knot in my stomach when I left without doing anything made me realize that I should have done something more than I did.

    I hated telling her no.

    Thanks for jumping in Victoria! I always love the way that you think!

    Reply
  18. @bibledude

    Does it make a difference if I helped to find another solution other than just having her jump into my car alone with me? I think that place that I am getting to with this is that there is much more that I could have done to help before getting to the point of putting us in a potentially compromissing postion.

    Regarding the fast… I hear ya! It is a corporate fast that my whole church is doing right now (along with over a thousand other churches around the country). I defintely try not to cross the line that Jesus illustrated when He talked about how the Pharisees acted when fasting.

    Reply
  19. @bibledude

    I know that our church's youth group (which I used to volunteer with) has the same policy, and I agree with it. I think that through this discussion I am getting to the same things that you are recommending…

    I'm thinking that I should program several phone numbers into my phone for the resources that I trust, and cab companies so that I have several options to call upon if I am ever in a situation like this again.

    Reply
  20. Scrubbybubbles

    Dan,

    I think you did the right thing! Had there been someone else with you, it would have been just fine. But, as Christians we are suppose to use common sense, and wisdom when helping others. I don't look at it as a ” caring what others think” think things as much as a ” Being careful to not give the appearance of evil” The Enemy of our Souls wants to set traps for us to fall into something that Looks like it may be innocent, but is really just a trap for us to be caught up in, opening up a door to Destroy Us.

    I like Psalm 101 (NLT)
    101 I have refused to walk on any evil path,
    so that I may remain obedient to your word.

    Choosing to not open yourself up to Suspicion from anyone that may have seen you, Innocent or not. I think was the Wise thing to do. Now, Someone in that situation could have also arraigned for her to get a ride another way if you were so inclined and had the time, but, you certainly are not by any means obligated to help her. I firmly believe that God had it all under control 🙂

    Reply
  21. Serenissima

    Experiences like this one, Bibledude, will prepare you for future encounters. I remember several times while I was in South Africa doing missionary work where similar situations arose, the first couple of times I was caught unprepared and I guess I freaked out a bit, wasn't sure what to do and denied help. however as situations arose as as my knowledge of what to do when encountered with similar situations so to did my ability to help people. In a third world country it was very hard for me to say no, I wanted to help as much as I could and as well as I could. Do I think you did right by refusing help? I would then say you did the right thing in avoiding the potentially dangerous situation. but wrong in refusing to help. I can say that because I know how difficult and uncomfortable those situations can be at times. If I were to condemn what you did without similar experiences I would be no better than the hypocrite or liar or thief. You wanted to help, but felt you should not. could that also have been from your god to keep you safe? It could very well be. I would have you ask yourself one question. What can I learn from this experience to help me tomorrow to be a better person?

    Reply
  22. goodwordediting

    I faced a similar ethical problem when I was a teacher. Sometimes I found myself alone with female students after school–so I tried to keep the classroom door open.

    Occassionally, I would give rides to students, never a single female that I can remember though.

    It always made me very nervous, but I did it anyway. In this instance, I probably would have given her a ride. But then, I'm not saying that wouldn't have been a dangerous thing to do.

    Reply
  23. carlholmes

    Seems you are more concerned with looks. Don'e mean to make that sound accusing, but this is easily fixed. Give her the ride, then tell your wife. Dont wait, tell her after you do it. She should not be worried when you tell her. I do the same thing when I counsel a woman. I tell my wife and make sure she is comfortable. When I can, I allow her to enter into the counseling session if she is uncomfortable

    On time being seen in a car helping a woman is the other persons problem if the bring it up to the elders. They need dealt with, not you. If you are living your ministry above board and give no reason for people to question you, they won't.

    I understand the congnitive dissonance that takes place. It really hurts sometimes. I have recently started wearing a collar, even though I am evangelical, and like it because it adds a layer of accountability to act with compassion in everything I do, at Starbucks, the church, wherever.

    Reply
  24. @bibledude

    I appreciate the insight from your experience! And I think that I agree with you 100%, particularly when you say,
    “I would then say you did the right thing in avoiding the potentially dangerous situation. but wrong in refusing to help.”

    And regarding your question about what I can learn from this… that is exactly why I wrote this post. To answer that question, I think that I could have been much more prepared to offer help that maybe didn't include inviting her into my car alone with no other accountability. There are lots of things that I could have done, including calling my wife. I do know that if this situation (or any similiar to it) were to present itself again, then I will defintely be more prepared to help.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  25. @bibledude

    I definitely agree that Christians should be 'wise as a serpent' regarding difficult situations like this. But I also think that there should have been SOMETHING that I could have done to help.

    It's funny though… when I talked to my wife about this, she told me that I should have given her a ride. I appreciate how much she trusts me. We then talked about some of the other things that I/we could have done to help the woman out that may have been more appropriate.

    Thanks for jumping in and sharing your thoughts!

    Reply
  26. @bibledude

    My wife said the same thing… that I should have just given her a ride. I appreciate how much she trusts me! But whether I gave her a ride or not, I was still not as prepared as I could have been to really help her with getting her the support that she probably needed beyond that ride.

    And THAT is one thing that I plan to do… I want to program phone numbers into my address book on my phone to all of the good support organizations that might be able to help in various situations. So even if I did just give her the ride, I could help in the greatest way possible…

    Thanks for sharing your eexperience and thoughts Marcus!

    Reply
  27. butterflyfist19

    If then your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anothers feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done for you.
    – I think you understand what im trying to say by quoting that verse.

    Reply
  28. @bibledude

    I appreciate your challenge to greater accountability to Christian service. That definitely resonates with me. And that is really what motivated this post in the first place…. the feeling that I got that I should have done something more than what I did.

    I appreciate the insight that you've shared!

    Reply
  29. nancy

    where did she want to go?

    Reply
  30. @bibledude

    Yup, and I agree. I've never disagreed with that point at all. We as Christians should always be motivated to serve one another…

    Reply
  31. @bibledude

    I don't actually know. And that was the first thing that I did wrong. I let my knee-jerk reaction to play it safe prevent me from even getting to that point with her. I definitely think that there was a LOT that I could have done better…

    Reply
  32. nancy

    i have noticed that crying women can cause kneejerk reactions in a lot of guys.

    Reply
  33. seanwrench

    Dan, my personal thoughts are …you help her. I don't criticize you for not, and completely understand why you didn't. And that brings me to the point I'd like to make, Christianity has so muddled what Jesus intended. Your heart was to help the woman, that's the heart of Jesus. But then reasoning kicked in, you started thinking of all the what ifs. Your intentions were pure, and God knew that, so I think this is where our trust in God comes in. I believe you help the woman and trust God that he has your back and that none of those what ifs you're thinking about would ever happen because you are responding to the heart of Jesus and trusting him to take care of everything else. Interesting, because I just had a very similar conversation like this last night. I've been in your shoes many times and not helped because of what ifs. As I sat with friends and discussed this last night my prayer was this, Jesus let me respond to your heart and your compassion and trust YOU with all the what ifs. God bless Dan!

    Reply
  34. goodwordediting

    Good point, Dan. We don't want to serve in the easiest ways and miss the
    larger need. On the other hand, we shouldn't let our desire to do the really
    big things prevent us from doing the small things.

    You know, in this case, you made a judgment call. None of us were there. We
    don't know all of the elements that went into your decision, the things your
    intuition were wrestling with. You were probably not even conscious of
    everything that went into your decision.

    Reply
  35. Mike

    When we judge people we project our own thoughts and values on others, We judge people based on our feelings and our reactions, given the same scenario. How WE would react if given the same choice. When someone asks us, “How could you do that?” what they are really saying is that they would never have reacted in a similar manner. However those who judge us only get a snapshot of the “results” and are not part of the decision making process. They do not have the benefit of every bit of information that went into the decision. There are thousands of bits of minutea that go into every choice that we make and generally we only recall the most visceral. That is why judging someone is so subjective and should be left to God. If people would assume that you were cheating on your wife, I would say that somewhere that judgment is based on feelings that the “judger” dealt with previously. Your decision wasn't based on love, but on fear. That is a powerful motivator and hard to overcome. It would be hypocritical for me to call you out on this as I have made more than my share of mistakes. Your courage to throw this into the light has allowed me to think about how fear dictates choices in my own life as well. As I grow with God, my hope is to begin to let go of fear and choose the path that honors Him.

    Reply
  36. bondChristian

    Yes, I didn't fully agree with the first couple comments, not because of the end results they would chose but for their motive of choosing.

    Instead of talking about why I didn't like those responses, I'll just say that I really liked karenbabb's and Bernard's responses. The idea of making help happen even if you can't do it yourself if wonderful (though of course I'm with you – I doubt in the moment I would have had the insight to think of it).

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

    Reply
  37. @bibledude

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Marshall! I appreciate the fact that I may not be alone in how I responded. I'll be putting up a follow-up post later about how to be more prepared in a situation like this. I hope that one gets as much traffic and interaction as this one did…

    Reply
  38. @bibledude

    You said, “we shouldn't let our desire to do the really big things prevent us from doing the small things.”

    Amen Marcus, amen!

    Reply
  39. @bibledude

    That's true… I wonder why that is…

    Reply
  40. @bibledude

    Sean, dude… I appreciate your grace regarding the decision that I made in that situation. But I think that the best thing that has come out of it is that I (and hopefully several others) have learned from it. This discussion has been very interesting, and I've been able to find ways that I can better help next time. I have the same prayer that you do…

    “Jesus let me respond to your heart and your compassion and trust YOU with all the what ifs.”
    Amen!

    Reply
  41. @bibledude

    Mike, you bring up some great points about dealing with fear, and I'm glad that this discussion has gotten you to think about how you deal with that issue in your life!

    For me doing this post was a big step in overcoming any fear associated with this situation. I knew that if I put it up here that there would be several people who judge me for what I ended up doing (or better said, NOT doing). But my intent of putting this up is that I know that I didn't make the best decision, and now plan to be much more prepared next time.

    I hope and pray that this discussion causes people to think enough about it so that they are better prepared if the same thing happens to them regardless of which side of the arguement they are on….

    Thanks for jumping in and sharing your thoughts Mike! I appreciate you dude!

    Reply
  42. charlie

    I have a question actually, im in a small group and just because I have a car everyone else in the group just expects me to give them a lift. I live in a very dangerous area and once ive dropped them im driving alone a single female at night. I feel like im being exploited. I have never made my problems someone else’s problems, when I didn’t have a car I used to walk to the places I wanted to be till my feet were actually raw. is it wrong or should I just allow people to exploit me?

    Reply
    • Dan King

      that’s a great question charlie! it’s tough for me to fully understand the dynamics of this situation based on what you’ve shared. however, i definitely think that if you feel like you’re being exploited, then you should talk to the people in the small group about how you feel… probably focusing more on the fact that you don’t feel comfortable in certain places alone as a female. hopefully, they should respect that and help to figure out some solutions. i think that basically, you should work with them to find a solution that works for everyone… but if they are not willing to cooperate, then it may be time to find a new small group (or group of friends). i think that your safety should come first…

      Reply
  43. Diane Bailey

    I get what you’re saying, you need to be careful. If it were me, begin a man and a woman asking for help, I might have called her a cab and paid for it. I have no scriptural reference, just that I have been a wife in a simular situation before and people were afraid to help me. So I can see both sides. You need to be careful that you do not place yourself in danger, but she seemed desperate enough to ask a stranger for help. I don’t judge you for your decision, I’m just saying from my life experience what I might do.

    Reply
  44. Karen

    I think the response you gave was wisdom, especially in this day and age we live in. Yes, the “holy” thing to do would be to give the ride but this does place you in a very vulnerable position. Billy Graham had a mandate within his ministry never to be seen alone with a woman. And so he never was. This was the wisdom of God because people do notice things and they will talk. Once the rumor mill starts it is awfully difficult to undo the damage. Is it worth potentially losing years of training and a ministry and a reputation and family members to meet this woman’s particular need – not to mention if this woman’s motives were impure! Wake up everyone. Of course it is not. Furthermore, Jesus said “no” to alot of people during the time of His ministry. And in many ways appeared harsh and unfeeling in His responses, so He was not always serving people the way they wanted Him to. I am sure these other comments have made you feel badly. Alternatives in this situation would be you could offer to pay for a cab, or bus transit. You could offer to make a call to any friends of hers if she was without a phone. Or you could go get your wife or some other friends and come back to pick her up thereby alleviating the precarious issue of a Pastor alone with a “scantilly” dressed woman.

    Reply
    • Dan King

      You’re right, Karen. It is a very tricky situation. I think in the follow-up post that I wrote about this based on all of the response I got, my big conclusion was that I could have done SOMETHING. And there are many alternatives to giving her the ride. But walking away, scared, and simply saying, “sorry, I can’t,” wasn’t enough. You’re right on with where I landed on this idea…. there are lots of other options. I appreciate your feedback!

      Reply
      • Ann

        I think people should understand and practice being decent and in order, After they have learned Also stop lumping your spouses in with just everyone else.No one else is commanded to have equal regard in love and union . The wife should have been the first go to. No Matter what! Also , someone coined what would Jesus do but that person forgot to mention that we are and will never be Jesus.
        More righteous
        way to help the opposite sex is to search for resources 211, 911 to really find a permanent solution for that person and dial those numbers yourself and allow the person to choose from that help. At the end of the day, its man s will or God’s will. Also ask yourself who will get the glory from your actions and understand opening yourself up to such behaviors may induce fire in the bosom type situations. God will give us many tools and resources even a way of.escape but it is up to the individual to choose wisely.

        Reply
  45. Ma.Theresa Alcoy

    I absolutely agree with Karen’s point. It’s hitting two birds with one stone. Helping someone in need and at the same time, keeping the trust of the wife and the people in the ministry. Thanks for sharing. My questions were answered as well. God bless everyone.

    Reply

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can you give me a ride? (a question in christian ethics)

by Dan King time to read: 2 min
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