Originally Posted by Browncoat
There's no verse in the bible that says: Thou shalt not kiss.
I grew up in the church, and never heard that churches pushed that type of restrictions to dating (until recently when I talked to a few folks here at TAM).
In my church it was just: don't have sex.
That was pretty much it.
I dated my wife for a little over a year before I proposed... and we kissed on our first real date. We kissed on every date after that, and I've never felt the slightest bit guilty about it.
Oh and let me tell you our kisses were VERY VERY long and exciting... and we did it a LOT most of the time we dated and during our engagement.
Like Brownie, maybe I've been fortunate to have been raised up as a Christian in a church that rarely tries to codify sexual relations other than "don't do it" and "if you must do it, be greatly prepared to take responsibility for your actions."
My particular church is not one of those prying, chaperoning, types of institutions that willingly tries to push its theology and political agenda on its parishoners. It does not revile sex as some illicit activity but rather as an act of love between two caring and loving people. The churches job, conversely, is to try its level best to create and foster a personal, special, bond between each parishoner and the Heavenly Father.
That is why people universally find the presence of God in all different places, church and non-church alike. The church is only a vehicle to help foster that! I encourage each and everyone to try to find a church that richly identifies with your belief systems, meaning that if you go to one that you cannot identify with, to keep on trying.
Trust me! God is out there and is waiting for you find Him!