Examples of Foolishness That Can Happen With “Kissing Dating Goodbye”

Here is an example that someone posted to another blog. It was on the following url:


The primary reason I decided to post was a message C.J. gave back in the late 1980’s (and yes, I can dig up the tape; I don’t have immediate access to it right now, nor do I remember the message title) where, in the middle of the message, he expressed justifiable concern about an incident related to him regarding two church members, a single man and a single woman. PDI at the time had an unofficial but strict no-dating-with-no-alternative policy for teens and singles. Back to the story: The man was driving down a local roadway when he saw the woman on the side of the road, her car broken down and she was in very obvious need of outside help. She saw the man, recognized him, he recognized her, and to her shock he drove right by. When the man was confronted later about leaving his sister in Christ on the side of the road to fend for herself, he responded by saying that he was “fleeing the appearance of evil,” was torn up inside about leaving her, but said he feared verbal reprisal from church leadership over it. This was a sad but true tale, and when C.J. told it, he followed up by expressing dismay over the direction the organization had gone that led up to a virtual re-telling of the good samaritan story with PDI on the non-Samaritan end of it! This eventually led to a lift on the no-dating ban. What I am wondering is where this dismay and concern went when the current practice of kissing dating goodbye lends itself -and apparently has, according to some testimonies here- to more disasters like the story C.J. related? This brief example is just one of many practices where church growth is forfeited by good intentions that morph into popular trends or even fads that further morph into dogmatics that are retroactively defended by poor exegesis of scripture. This pattern is dangerous, and it needs to stop; at least have a system of checks to discern if biblical fruit is yielding from it.

So here we have an example in Harris’s own church going back to the late 80’s where there was a problem with “kissing dating goodbye.” This would have been about 10 years before Josh Harris published his first book. I wonder why examples of defects like these aren’t mentioned in Harris’s book?

Lesson: Be wary of taking something like this to an extreme or on can become like a Pharisee in your approach.

Here is another example. It can be found at the following url:


I recall coming home the summer after my freshman year of college and going to hang out with some new friends from the SGM community. well, they were going to load like 6 girls into one car, while i had a totally empty one. i offered a girl a ride so that there’d be enough seatbelts for everyone. anyways, this 17 year old girl (i was 18 at the time) declined because she knew her dad would freak out if he knew she’d been alone in a car with me. it wasn’t like we were going to do anything, i was merely offering her a ride.
how can this kind of legalism be defended? that’s utterly ridiculous.

Just remember these examples when someone tells you how much better the kissing dating goodbye/courtship practice is.

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7 Responses to “Examples of Foolishness That Can Happen With “Kissing Dating Goodbye””

  1. SavvyD Says:

    I had a guy freak out over meeting up for coffee when his girlfriend was out of town and I was going to be in his town visiting a music store. I just wanted to hang out and wait out the really awful traffic with some company. People have lost all sense of being actually polite and brotherly/sisterly with each other. Really, how rude!!

  2. Ashley Says:

    Where did common sense go? And can we ever get to a point where we follow good Biblical principles simply out of a pure heart and not because of legalism (someone else telling us we have to to be the right kind of Christian)?
    Kissing dating goodbye is a wonderful principle that gets right to the heart of dating…it has nothing to do with refraining from being polite, friendly, and helpful to members of the opposite sex. Being a gentlemen (helping a female when broken down on the road side) is all about having Christ’s love to others…not about hitting on a girl. Yes, abstain from all appearance of evil. But if you have a problem discerning between the two, the Bible itself can help you figure it out.

    However, as for the last example: This is where the dating scene has actually led us. Dating makes us believe we have a mark on someone else. So, if that person has coffee with another person, all of a sudden, they are “betraying a relationship”. It is very sad that a cup of coffee has to mean so much. It would be nice if we could stay friends with people as we grow up. Unfortunately, in our sex-craved, dating-frenzied world, a mere smile or a gentlemen holding the door for a lady has to mean he would like to go to bed with her…right? (sarcasm!)

    Just because some churches (Harris’ included in the 80’s) and some Christians have to make ‘rules’ and ‘laws’ on every good principle and idea that comes along doesn’t mean the rest of us have to throw it out as non-consequential. Nor do we have to discount an entire book because we find one or two things we may Biblically disagree with (I believe that is called throwing the baby out with the bath water :-).

    • steve240 Says:


      Welcome to my blog. As the title of my blog indicates, I believe there is both wisdom and foolishness with “kissing dating goodbye.”

      Unfortunately, many of those who promote “kissing dating goodbye” are reluctant to admit the the problems that “kissing dating goodbye” has caused. Without admitting these problems, it is hard for these problems to be addressed and groups learn from them.

      Also, as I share in other of my blog entries, Harris wrote about his teenage experience and what worked for him due to his actions etc. I am baffled as to why so many people assume that what worked for him at his age and circumstances should be the exact model for others.

      In summary, I also don’t want to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” as you mention but rather than holding up “kissing dating goodbye” as superior, analyzed what part of it works and what doesn’t. Hopefully you have or will read my other blog entries.

      Welcome again.

  3. lauradee24 Says:

    When I was in high school, I worked at a Christian camp one summer, and it got dark while a male co-worker, my (also male) boss, and I were still working. My boss had a 4-wheeler, and my male coworker told me to ride back with him, as it was quite a ways, dark, we didn’t have any flashlights, it was in the middle of the woods, and we had a group there full of people we didn’t know. My boss said, “Uh, actually, Laura, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to take you back, so I am going to have to take Joel instead.” So the two of them rode off and deserted me in the middle of the woods in the dark with no flashlight! Heroic. I am *sure* that’s exactly what Jesus would have done!

    I quit about two weeks later, and still get a little worked up thinking about it.

  4. Liz Says:

    wow…. Maybe it’s just because hardly anyone in England has even heard of Josh Harris (lol), but I had no idea people had managed to warp that book so far. I can’t believe churches actually do that – sounds like it has almost replaced the Bible as far as relationships go in some places. Crazy. I really enjoyed Boy Meets Girl, but mainly because it inspired me to read the Bible more closely and seek God’s wisdom over how to conduct a relationship. If I’d known some older Christians who had been through it all before me, I might have needed it less. And even then, when I actually got into a relationship, reality was a little different from how I pictured things being. I spent time alone in a room with my fiancé WITH THE DOOR SHUT. I know.

    If people remember that that book is not the Bible, we’ll be fine.

  5. Lori Says:

    This is just an example of how legalism makes us less Christ-like.

  6. kikoprincess Says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog and review on IKDG, I would agree that we need to think with our own minds when given advice from others.

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