NightCrawler
04-26-2007, 06:58 AM
I searched for "unbeliever" and "yoke", neither dug up this topic. Forgive me if I didn't search long enough.

Is it okay to marry someone of a faith different from your own? What about another philosophy (for example, an agnostic Christian)?

Same questions, switch 'marry' with 'date'?

Paul speaks about being unequally yoked with unbelievers:

2 Corinthians 6 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=54&chapter=6&version=31&context=chapter)
14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[Greek Beliar, a variant of Belial]? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?

Is this about marriage, or something else?

NightCrawler
04-26-2007, 07:09 AM
And another couple passages I found regarding the issue:

Deut 7 {context is God telling the Israelites to go into the land and take it}:
[2b] Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. [3] Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, [4] for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD's anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.

1 Kings 11 {contest is of Solomon's foreign wives}:
[4] As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

So, I guess my question would be more of "where might be a good line to draw for seeking women in regard to their faith?"

Naturally, a devout, mature Christian is the ideal. We need more of those. But are those the only ones to be pursued by other Christians?

skynes
04-26-2007, 08:42 AM
Do I even want to set 'foot' into this topic?

14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[Greek Beliar, a variant of Belial]? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?


Being yoked refers to horses or bulls pulling a plough. you had two of them side by side, with this yoke over their heads to keep them together, walking side by side in a straight line. So it could be seen as a strong metaphorical reference to marriage, with a husband and wife walking side by side working together etc. If they are walking different paths, there would be serious friction as two bulls walking different directions would stop BOTH of them doing anything as the yoke will hold them together.

1 Corinthians 7 refers a bit to virgins and widows. Verse 39 is particular is interesting "A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord."

It's those last 4 words that are interesting. They would suggest that widows may marry whomever they chose, but only those who are in the Lord.

Before anyone goes out and suggests that being married to an unbeliever is somehow sinful, read this:

1 Cor 7: 12-13

12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.

13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.

Same questions, switch 'marry' with 'date'?


I have a problem with the 'dating' concept as a whole, but that's a different topic.

But are those the only ones to be pursued by other Christians?

Disregarding emotions, hormones and general lust. Why would a Disciple of Christ WANT to pursue someone who isn't going to help them be conformed to the image of God?

(truly there are no coincidences)
Destroying Pop-Christian Views of Marital Bliss - 1 by Paul Washer (http://mp3.sa-media.com/media/12007214812/12007214812.mp3)

This is a sermon. You may need to subscribe to hear it, but it's free. This speaks indirectly about this topic, mainly what the goal of marriage is.

Tromos
04-26-2007, 09:37 AM
an agnostic Christian

How does that work? ???

on_a_mission
04-26-2007, 09:50 AM
If you are truly interested in learning more about believers who are married to unbelievers, I whole heartedly recommend the book "Beloved Unbeliever" by Jo Berry. I have read this book and it does a very good job of talking about this from a scriptual standpoint. The back of the cover does a much better job of describing it than I could ever do:

"Discover positive ways to approach the problem of being unequally yoked. Now there's help, truly godly help! Using the scriptural framework of love, Beloved Unbeliever shows how to love your husband into the faith. Jo Berry interviewed dozens of women who are married to unbelievers. They shared the greatest difficulties they encounter and practical ways to handle problems. You'll learn: - How to be a suitable helper - How to deal with hurts, heartaches, and hindrances - How to shoulder spiritual responsibility -- In addition, you'll find workshop questions on each chapter, so you can follow up on the chapter with individual or group study. Beloved Unbeliever will reassure you: happiness is possible in an unequally yoked situation. "

The Lamma
04-26-2007, 04:45 PM
I am just remembering a couple verses from somewhere in the OT (David or Solomon?) talking about walking with fools will make you a fool, and walking with the wise makes you wise. I'm not saying that they are necessarily fools, but yeah...

theelectric3
04-26-2007, 04:50 PM
don't do it. i've none couples where one was a christian and the other was not (be it atheist, or another religion) and it was rough. the only way for the marriage to survive was for the christian to back off, become complacent and compromise in a lot of ways.

(at least based on the couples i've known in the past in that situation)

NightCrawler
04-26-2007, 05:14 PM
How does that work? ???

"I cannot know if God exists or not" -- agnostic

Depending on the definition* of "knowledge", I cannot know if you have any thoughts or even truly exist. Technically, I am an agnostic Christian because I can only know that I exist (and even that is a little iffy), and not God. BUT!... Another definition** of "knowledge," I know that tomorrow I will wake up, get ready, and go to a festival tomorrow.

So, there can be lots of fun with epistemology. :)


* (1) I believe something, (2) the belief is true, and (3) I have no reason to doubt the belief
** What can be inferred inductively regarding the consistency of nature, my ability to operate, and the planning committee of the campus.

Tromos
04-26-2007, 06:31 PM
I'm sorry, but I find the term "agnostic Christian" to be an oxymoron and patently absurd. I'm not challenging what you believe, but since the term "Christ" specifically identifies the "Anointed One of God", by definition a Christian believes in God. Christ wasn't Jesus' last name, y'know.

I can accept the concept of someone who sees Jesus as a good example and chooses to follow that example without believing that Jesus was from God or was God. But that would be an agnostic Jesusian.

BarlowgIRL
04-26-2007, 06:53 PM
oo, oo, I know this one! uhh...it's 1 corinthians 6 or 7. you can marry either but if that person dies or you get divorced you have to marry a christian if you get remarried..

bob
04-26-2007, 07:15 PM
Well, let's chuck the verses out the door for a moment and look at it from common sense. If you marry someone who is an athiest and you're a believing Christian, he/she is going to pull you down.

BarlowgIRL
04-26-2007, 07:17 PM
yeah, there's bound to be arguments. When you have kids you'll fight over what to teach them cause you come from different viewpoints. It just logically doesn't work for a loving caring relationship. And I'm guessing that's what people are looking for...

I Bite
04-26-2007, 07:18 PM
But if God tells you to marry an unbeliever...
After all, didn't Hosea marry an "adulteress" wife, who cheated on him?!? God told him to do it, so he did.

Doesn't that mean God might tell us to date/marry an unbeliever?

bob
04-26-2007, 07:19 PM
Yeah, why put yourself through that trouble. Plus, I don't know how it would go down with anyone else, but I'd choose God over a girl any day.

unshakeable15
04-26-2007, 08:50 PM
But if God tells you to marry an unbeliever...
After all, didn't Hosea marry an "adulteress" wife, who cheated on him?!? God told him to do it, so he did.

Doesn't that mean God might tell us to date/marry an unbeliever?
Hosea was also a prophet. God told them to do things symbolically. Basically, Hosea's life was a big, giant, analogy, all poiting forward to Christ.

Since Christ came, we don't need analogies to point forward, we just need history to point backward. :)

As for the unequally yolked verse, i've heard that it doesn't just apply to marriage, but to any joint effort (say, a business proposition between you and a friend), but that's not for this thread to discuss.

As i think someone asked earlier, what is the point of marriage? Also, why do you need to marry this person when their life will so easily conflict with your own? (Basically, is there only one person for you? Or do we each have the ability to choose who we marry from a handful of people in our lives?)

on_a_mission
04-26-2007, 09:00 PM
I think we agree that it is not sinfull for a beliver to be married to an unbeliever (or else there wouldn't be the whole section about it in 1st corthians).

But just because it is not necessarily sinful, doesn't make it easy. It is not about choosing god over your spouse. It is important to set boundaries and keep god in your life. Live your life in a christ like manner and that example will be more compelling than any amount of nagging, pleading, or demanding the unbeliever to accept jesus.

As to why a christian would marry an unbeliever, the choice is theirs and it is entirely possible for god to work through them to bring the other person to him. Why does anyone marry another person? The answer should be because you love each other. Just be sure to be honest and upfront with each other and set appropriate boundaries and guidelines before you are married.

unshakeable15
04-26-2007, 09:19 PM
But, if as another thread on the Hill is talking about, love isn't an emotion but a choice driving action, can't you choose not to love them with eros but with phileo or agape?

on_a_mission
04-26-2007, 09:33 PM
Yes, love can be a choice. Once you get past the hormones and chemistry of lust, you pretty much have to make the choice of loving or not loving someone.

The real question though, is which choice do you want to make and what burdens are you willing to accept? You can choose to stay with the unbeliever and deal with the extra burdens that implies. Or you can choose to break it off and stop loving them in the eros manner. Each choice has it's pros and cons and it is up to you and god to decide the course of action.

The Lamma
04-27-2007, 08:00 AM
Yes, love can be a choice. Once you get past the hormones and chemistry of lust, you pretty much have to make the choice of loving or not loving someone.

I know this isn't what we are talking about, but that statement struck me false. Your talking attraction, not lust. Lust is sin, and with Christ you can overcome it. Attraction is what comes from hormones, and isn't sin. Granted, lust comes from attraction, but yeah...Back on topic...Lol.

If you do consider marrying/dating and unbeliever, don't assume that you can make them a Christian. Thats a HUGE mistake. Going and knowing that you might not reach out to them spiritually is better than going and thinking that you can change them.

skynes
04-27-2007, 10:01 AM
If you do consider marrying/dating and unbeliever, don't assume that you can make them a Christian. Thats a HUGE mistake. Going and knowing that you might not reach out to them spiritually is better than going and thinking that you can change them.


QFT. Going into a relationship with this in mind is nothing more than a pathetic excuse to make out with someone. You'd do more good staying a loyal friend than you could ever do dating them. (Marriage is an entirely different kettle of fish however.)

Anonymous2011
04-27-2007, 01:59 PM
I don't think it's ok. It's not like you're too good and they're too bad, but you will have more conflict than paper or plastic, if you get what I mean. This is way more serious that little things in your life.

Also, why marry someone who you can't go to Heaven with? Don't settle for "'Till death do us part". I'd be more faithful and say "I'll love you forever" any time.

The Lamma
04-27-2007, 02:11 PM
QTF?? Huh? I probably know what that means somewhere...

And Jared, do remember that scripture says that no one will be married in heaven. The pharisees tried to trick Jesus with something about that.

NightCrawler
04-27-2007, 02:22 PM
QTF?? Huh? I probably know what that means somewhere...
"quoted for truth" -- it just means "I agree! And I'd want to point this out!"

And Jared, do remember that scripture says that no one will be married in heaven. The pharisees tried to trick Jesus with something about that.
Matthew 22:

[23] That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. [24] "Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. [25] Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. [26] The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. [27] Finally, the woman died. [28] Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"
[29] Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. [30] At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. [31] But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, [32] 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'[Exodus 3:6]? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."

The Lamma
04-27-2007, 02:27 PM
Now I know what QFT means. :) And thanks Jonathan for posting the verse for me. You should know by now that I'm lazy...lol

DarkestRose
04-27-2007, 02:34 PM
I don't think Jared's point was to say that the married couples are married in Heaven. I think his point was that, when a Christian marries an unbeliever, that person is making a life commitment with someone who isn't going to be with them in eternity.

Anyway, My belief is that marrying a non-Christian is not a good idea. My thinking goes that, if one married an unbeliever, that person would fail to have a total spiritual connection to their spouse. The Christian would have a viewpoint rooted in faith and the non-Christian would not. So right there would be a problem with either one “getting” each other on issues that may be important to them. It could be lonely. Chances are the only ways the Christian could go would be to start attempts to convert the spouse, which may turn their spouse off, or there would be major compromise in trying to act like religious convictions weren’t going to affect the marriage.

Also, how would the kids be raised? If the unbelieving person is of another religion, they may want the kids to practice their religion. Or if they are an atheist or agonistic, they may not like the idea of the kids practicing any religion. And even if they do decide to raise the kids in Christianity, having mom or dad stay home on Sunday is going to be a good excuse for when the kids are a bit older and don’t want to go to church on Sunday morning. Or the kids could be confused and end up believing in a more religious pluralism type of thing to avoid making one parent right. Or they might have an increased anxiety in knowing mommy/daddy is going to Heaven but the other isn’t.

The Lamma
04-27-2007, 08:23 PM
Ok. Also, it's hard to keep God first, in the middle of your marriage.

somasoul
04-28-2007, 06:28 AM
I think we agree that it is not sinfull for a beliver to be married to an unbeliever (or else there wouldn't be the whole section about it in 1st corthians).

WHOA!!!! Hold up!!!! You gotta remember that lots of those people were married and then came to Christ. Paul, I believe, is addressing them.

I think this is two seperate things:

If you're married and then become a believer and spouse does not, then do not divorce.

BUT

If you are a believer and want to get married DO NOT marry an unbeliever.

WTF would you want to be in that situation. Marriage is hard. Harder than any job you've ever had. Marriage is a ton of work and people divorce in great numbers. Why make your marriage just that much harder?!?! It's nothing short of idiotic.

skynes
04-28-2007, 08:46 AM
So... what did you say that hasn't already been said?

If you're married and then become a believer and spouse does not, then do not divorce.

Yes this is what I was referring to when I quoted the passage in post #3. Cause I knew that if I maintained the stance that marrying an unbeliever is a bad idea SOMEONE would suggest that I'm saying those married to unbelievers are sinning, when I wasn't.

unshakeable15
04-28-2007, 09:16 PM
I just remembered the other iteration for the "equally yoked" verse.

It's not just with marriage, or with any partnership (as i previously mentioned) but it's also in maturity. If you, a mature Christian grown up in the church, start a relationship with someone who just because a Christian this past Sunday, it's not gonna go much differently than if that person was still wandering their own path away from God.

The couple doesn't need to be on the same page, but the more matched they are in maturity, the better things are.

Also, a year-old Christian could be just as mature as a life-long one; it all depends upon the person's desire to take their faith seriously and put what they know into practice.

on_a_mission
04-29-2007, 09:14 AM
I agree, marrying outside of your faith is hard and it is not generally recommended. Heck, even marrying INSIDE your faith is not recommended:

1 Corinthians 7

27 Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife.
28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.


But, if you choose to do so the only way that it will work is if you:

A. Are open and honest up front about your expecations for church and god in your life

B. You set boundaries for what is and what is not acceptable

C. You can both accept each other's right to their beliefs

D. You set a plan for how kids will be raised

E. You don't expect the other person to change

Missionary dating with the expecation that you will win the other person over is just setting yourself up for heart ache and dissapointment.

skilltroks
04-29-2007, 12:05 PM
But, if you choose to do so the only way that it will work is if you:

A. Are open and honest up front about your expecations for church and god in your life

B. You set boundaries for what is and what is not acceptable

C. You can both accept each other's right to their beliefs

D. You set a plan for how kids will be raised

E. You don't expect the other person to change

Missionary dating with the expecation that you will win the other person over is just setting yourself up for heart ache and dissapointment.
Good advice. I can speak from exprience.
PS It will hurt you emotionally and spiritually to date a non-believer.

The Lamma
04-30-2007, 06:59 PM
Heck, even marrying INSIDE your faith is not recommended

The Bible does talk about marriage as a good thing. Things like "Man was not meant to live alone" and the one about a woman leaving her father and being joined to her husband and stuff...

skynes
04-30-2007, 11:12 PM
The Bible does talk about marriage as a good thing. Things like "Man was not meant to live alone" and the one about a woman leaving her father and being joined to her husband and stuff...

Yet Paul says in 1st Cor that it is better to remain unmarried.

DarkestRose
05-01-2007, 12:35 AM
Why is that? It it simply because marriage involves so much work that could be put into serving God?

bob
05-01-2007, 04:47 AM
Perhaps Paul was just saying that because he was unmarried himself. :P In 1 Corinthians 7:40 he says "according to my judgement" so it's his opinion. If every Christian didn't marry and have children we'd kind of fade away quickly. :P

skynes
05-01-2007, 06:56 AM
It it simply because marriage involves so much work that could be put into serving God?

Yep. Cause when you're married your attention is split between serving God and pleasing your husband/wife. Yet when you're single you're focused entirely about God.

To those who are single:

Do you need to ask someone to spend the money you earned?
Do you need to ask someone to go visit a friend?
Do you need to ask someone if you want to go to a concert?
Do you need to ask someone to buy a new game or cd?
Do you need to ask someone to spend 8 weeks in Africa preaching the Gospel?
Do you need to ask someone to take on more responsibilities in the church?

A married person does. A single person does not.

In 1 Corinthians 7:40 he says "according to my judgement" so it's his opinion.

I'm aware of that, but despite it being his opinion it's still solid advice. Yet he also says it's better to marry than burn with passion i.e. desire for some bedroom action.

bobbi
05-11-2007, 06:49 PM
Even though Paul DOES say that it is better to be single, he also (along with others in the Bible) do talk about the beauty of marriage. I see it as a picture of God and his church, really. I think marriage is an amazing picture of the love and intimacy of God to us. Obviously, I'm a big fan of marriage, haha. As far as marrying someone who is an unbeliever, I wouldn't even go there. You are light and they are darkness. Simple as that. It's sleeping with the enemy. If you think of marriage as more than just 2 people spending the rest of their lives together, you'll see that marriage between a nonbeliever and a believer has no purpose. As far as dating a nonbeliever, well...I've known many people who do that and say, "Well, maybe me being with them will lead them to the Lord." Nice concept, but I doubt it. When you date them, you're accepting them, right? So why would they feel that they have to know God in order to be accepted by you? If you told them, "hey, I don't date people who don't have a passion and belief for God," then that could lead them to the Lord. But you don't want your motive in them getting born again for you to be able to date/marry them. I hope I make sense, here...

The Lamma
05-12-2007, 11:44 AM
Yet Paul says in 1st Cor that it is better to remain unmarried.

Yet Jesus uses the analogy of us being HIS bride!!

skynes
05-12-2007, 11:48 AM
Lamma, my comment was partially as teasing.

Paul said it's better to remain single if you can because that way you can serve the Lord better. If you feel led to drop everything and go to Africa, you can! But if you're married, you can't... you have to consider your wife and your family.

The Lamma
05-12-2007, 02:29 PM
They need something so that you can know when people tease...Lol.

I know a family (who are really good friends of mine) who have gone overseas, including Africa, a lot of times for long periods. But yes, it can be a LOT easier when single. Unless you're taking care of your mother, or handicapped sister, ect, ect... My brain feels weird...