How do I help my girlfriend see the importance of pure worship?


I grew up in the church of Christ and my girlfriend grew up with a Baptist denominational background. When we started dating, she began coming to church with me. We talked about the differences and she claimed to have been saved at a younger age even though she was never baptized. We studied and she saw the necessity of baptism for salvation so she obeyed the gospel and was baptized about a year after we started dating. Recently, we have been having to do a long-distance relationship and since I’m not there, she sometimes goes to her old Baptist church with her parents. It concerns me because she doesn’t necessarily see their doctrinal error as “that big of an issue since they are all good people who genuinely believe they are following God the way He wants them to.” Even though she understands what their doctrinal errors are, she doesn’t mind worshipping there sometimes.

We have been talking about getting married, but this concerns me and I’m not sure if it should hold us back from taking that next step. I would appreciate your advice.


It sounds to me that she technically understands the differences but she hasn't fully grasped the significance at this point in time. When you read through the New Testament, you see that many of the issues addressed were helping the Gentiles learn to let go of their old pagan practices and helping the Jews learn to let go of their old traditions from the Law. The difficulty is that there are numerous things to learn and a person rising from the waters of baptism doesn't know everything. This is why teaching involves a lot of patience (longsuffering) (II Timothy 4:1-2).

Your girlfriend is still an immature Christian. Figure out what basic ideas she needs additional learning about, such as the seriousness of doing things God's way and not substituting what pleases us for what God commanded. These should be approached in a way that she doesn't see them as an attack on her. For example, studying why Uzzah died when David brought the ark to Jerusalem establishes a number of basic lessons. Naaman's cleansing is another good illustration. A study of I John is good because in chapter 5 you'll learn that loving God means doing His commandments.

What I can't answer is whether you want to marry this woman or not. I don't know how important it is that you marry a mature Christian versus a growing Christian. I don't know how much patience you have. I don't know how much eagerness she has to learn God's Word.

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