Another main theme of the gathering was what a great witness it would be to the world if they saw Christians have healthy, loving friendships between women and men. As Jim Henderson later commented, “It would be powerful for the church to actually ‘lead’ this conversation but I don’t expect that to happen since its Safety First and Jesus Second.”
As with many things in church/Christianity, we’ve gotten our priorities backward. Sometimes it seems as if for many people, the purpose of Christianity is merely to strengthen marriages and help raise decent kids. But these things are a byproduct of living in Christ, not the main point. When we make these things the target, we actually hurt our chances of actually obtaining them. Yes, friendship is a risk. So is driving your car. There are ways of doing both which make the risk reasonable. Just as it is not wise to drive drunk, there are dangerous ways of having a friendship. No one is suggesting that we should throw caution to the wind and engage in dangerous friendships. What is being suggested is that people living by the Spirit can have meaningful, deep relationships with members of the opposite sex without the relationship falling into inappropriate behavior.