Ethics: Christian Converts to Islam to Marry Muslim

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What would you do Wednesday!

TLC’s new TV show All-American Muslim recently had an episode where a Roman Catholic converted to Islam so he could marry a Muslim woman.1 My wife and I had some interesting discussions about this situation. The Roman Catholic mother and father did not seem to be bothered as much as I suspect most people would be over their son’s conversion to Islam.

Today’s scenario is along the same lines as the above situation.

A married couple who is a long time member of your church comes to you with a dilemma. Their child who has just graduated college plans to marry in six months. The child was also a long time member of your church until going to college four years ago.

The problem is that this recent college graduate plans on marrying a Muslim. Upon finding this out the parents questioned their child asking how this planned interfaith marriage could work. The child informed the parents that they will be converting to Islam and having a Muslim wedding so there will not be an interfaith problem.

The parents are shocked. They do not know whether or not they should even attend the wedding. While they want to see their child marry they don’t want to promote the conversion to Islam.

How would you advise the parents?

  • Go to the wedding and support their child?
  • Go and support their child to keep the relationship on good terms?
  • Stand by the child in disagreement hoping to influence change in their life?
  • Refuse to go to the wedding, but try to keep the relationship alive?
  • Refuse to go to the wedding and have minimal contact?
  • Or…

Bonus!

Would you give different advice if the child were to instead plan on marrying an atheist or agnostic? Why?

________________

Let's connect!

tagged as , in Church Issues,Culture

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bruce H November 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm

My children know my heart. I have raised them in the faith and taught them God’s truths in love from birth. We have to go our separate ways with tears if they choose another god. As Noah peered out the door when God began to close it, I can’t help but wonder if he was still pleading with his brothers and sisters to come into the ark. Compromise would have meant that Noah had to step outside the ark and he could not do that. I have scripture principles that I hold on to, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

By the confession to change to Islam he would know what they are saying to me. An interfaith marriage is not just between two people, it is two families. My witness would be honored by Islam by not attending. They would do the same.

2 Mark November 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Bruce, I appreciate and thoroughly understand your answer. We are on the same page.

Thanks!

3 Steve Martin November 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I would go to the wedding. They are still your child, after all. But I would certainly make my displeasure at the whole situation known (beforehand) and let my child know that their very soul and eternal destination is at stake.

4 anon November 24, 2011 at 9:23 am

As pure speculation, I would say, the Roman Catholic parents know their catechism very well—-Catechism of the Catholic Church CCC841 says “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankinds Judge on the last day.”
Therefore, their son and his soul would not be “at stake”—since as a Muslim he would be included in the plan of salvation

5 Debbie Kaufman November 26, 2011 at 1:31 am

I could not turn my back on my child, even if it was the “right” thing to do, which I do not believe it is. I could not and would not do it. I agree with Steve.

Anon: Could you be more specific. According to scripture there is only one God and the only way to salvation is through belief in Jesus Christ. If you are saying however that the Muslim also could come to faith in Christ. I would say I very much agree and that would be my prayer and witness for both my child and the Muslim.

6 toDebbie November 27, 2011 at 4:42 pm

You should read Chapter 19 in the Holy Quran – the Chapter is named “Mary” after Jesus’s mother. It will explain everything you need to know about how Muslims view God and his messenger Jesus Christ. Asad’s translation is the best, check it out: http://www.amazon.com/Message-Quran-ebook/dp/B0037KMWG0/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322428528&sr=1-3

7 Mark November 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Debbie,

How is it turning your back on your child if you do not attend their wedding given the above scenario? How about your child turning their back on God?

Steve, contra what you insinuated in your comment, whether you attend the wedding or not does not make them any less your child. In my mind, the strongest stance letting your child know your displeasure is not attending the wedding.

toDebbie, from a Christian perspective it is more important how God has revealed Himself and His Son, Jesus Christ, in the Bible.

All, it is unclear to me how attending the wedding is not ultimately in the very least giving a nod of approval.

8 Blake November 29, 2011 at 4:02 pm

There is no possible way to justify going to the wedding. Regardless of good intentions, it is the same thing as condoning the marriage. If God commands us to not be unequally yoked (married) with unbelievers, and our defense is, “He/she is still my child and I can’t turn my back on him/her,” then what does that say in regards to where your allegiances lie? You cannot go to an interfaith or non-Christian wedding to be a witness. Likewise, there are no grounds upon which to justify going to a wedding where your child is marrying an atheist or agnostic. You might say, “But their spouse isn’t serving another god, they don’t even believe in or don’t understand about God,” but the error is that the spouse is serving another god. (Themselves)

If you are not serving the trinitarian God of the Bible, you are serving yourself. Therefore, based upon what God commands, you cannot be a part of it without making God subordinate to your child. Then you prove that your allegiance is to your child and not God.

9 Debbie Kaufman November 29, 2011 at 8:25 pm

So be it Blake. That is how you see it. You are wrong, but that is your decision to make for your child. I will not abandon my child. I will always be there for my child. You are wrong in your declaration but no amount of explaining to you would do anything but produce a argument. If you can live with the consequences, fine.

10 Debbie Kaufman November 29, 2011 at 8:27 pm

By the way, have any of you asked your wives this question? They should have a voice in this decision too. They are affected by this as well.

11 Debbie Kaufman November 29, 2011 at 8:30 pm

And remember, the chances of seeing any grandchildren might be out of the question as well. I dare say that I don’t think you have thought this through nor have you read the scriptures with any other motive than vengence or wrath is yours. There are life long repercussions from making such a drastic and rash die hard decision. I imagine you are thinking this is simply hypothetical. But that is wrong and naive thinking.

12 Blake November 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Debbie, if the choice is submitting to the will of God or ‘not abandoning’ your child, how can you say that I’m wrong if I want to submit to the Lord? Christ said that families would be set against one another. How can you say that not abandoning your child and potentially not seeing your grandchildren is right and obeying God is wrong?

13 Debbie Kaufman November 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm

All: I disagree. I also do not think it is God’s will to abandon your child by separation which is what would happen if you refuse to attend the wedding. Dawn, you are young, so I give that to you, but I also think you are wrong. It will be something that you will regret. God would never ask us to choose between Him and our child. Never. It is a gross misreading of scripture to think in this way. This is your child. He/she will always be your child. But this is not the solution and I will be honest and tell you that it is a sheltered world that you place yourself in that would make this decision or try and force others to make this decision.

This is your child. It says not to be unequally yoked. Nowhere does it say to abandon your child if he/she becomes unequally yoked. I am sorry but there comes a time when they are adults and although there are consequences for wrong choices, abandonment by the parents should never be one of those consequences.

14 Debbie Kaufman November 29, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Blake: Look at the full context of the passage you have mentioned. If need be I will give the interpretation but I would rather you all discover it for yourself with scripture interpreting scripture. You cannot do as so many do and take one verse out of context and claim it for this. I am sorry I am so blunt, but this not only shocks me, but angers me that some child will be forced for their family to abandon them, which may be what the Muslim’s family does for marrying a non-Muslim from a Christian family. There is no difference in the two actions.

We are different and should act different. Frankly, you will be behaving no different than any other religion who throws out a family member and abandoning them for becoming a Christian. So are they right in doing so?

15 Dawn Lamprecht November 29, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Hello, this is Mark’s wife. I usually stay out of these discussions, but since it was requested—here I am. I was the one who told Mark about this situation as he came late in the show, and we discussed it. There was not much to discuss personally however, as we already were aware of where we stood on this issue. So there is no mistake or confusion, Mark and I both stand where Blake stands on this issue. This conclusion is not wrong, nor is it one which we came to lightly or without much thinking, as has been charged. We make our decisions not soley for our child, but for God.

We raise her according to what GOD has taught is best for her, not just what WE think is best for her. That is tough to do, but ultimately our children are a gift from God and our greatest gift to them is to teach them to turn to God in everything. The most important consequences to consider in anything is facing God. I am prepared to stand before God and tell Him “Lord, I did EVERYTHING I could to turn her back to you, including refusing to attend her wedding when she was to wed an ungodly man, in defiance of you.” My job as a parent is in part to train her up in the way she should go, as scripture teaches. To attend the wedding is to show approval, which goes against training up your child in the way they should go. I would be more concerned about the consequences of my daughter marrying an ungodly man than the consequences of not attending her wedding.

I promise you, her consequences would be far worse for her than mine would be for me. Would it break my heart? Absolutely, yet I could not stand or sit by and watch as my child spit in God’s face by marrying an unsaved man. Do not worry that this would come as a surprise to her, as it would not. I started when she was young teaching her about courting and about how God teaches us not to be unequally yoked. She is well aware that we would not permit her to be courted by (we don’t believe in ‘dating’) someone who is not saved, let alone an Atheist or a Muslim. She is also aware that we would not attend the wedding should she chose this when she is on her own. My daughter is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, she is such a cherished gift from God. I adore her. I love her soooooo much that I do not want an unsaved man harming her relationship with God. (Make no mistake; anyone marrying an unsaved spouse causes harm to their relationship with God from day one, and it only gets worse once they have children.)

I also love her unborn children sooooo much, my grandchildren that you seem so worried about, that I fear what influence an unsaved man would have on their relationship with God as well. You are correct in that this is not just hypothetical. Yet you are naive in not realizing the lifelong consequences for children and grandchildren and so on for a believer to marry a non-believer. I am well aware of them—-I was once married to one. I know full well the consequences of marrying a non-believer, and the influence my ex-husband still has on our daughter. You are correct in this—the consequences are dire and lifelong, but not just the ones you mention.

I wish and my father wishes that he had stood his ground and not let me marry an unbeliever, let alone walk me down the isle to one (before Mark, FYI). I will not do the same to my own daughter. If such a situation arose, I would show my love for her and my love for God by standing my ground. I would not attend such a wedding, let alone pay for it. I would NOT sever the relationship with her, but I would not attend the wedding. No threats about not seeing grandchildren would make me chose my daughter over God’s word. For me to do so, would not be well thought out. There is no vengeance or wrath here whatsoever; only a deep love for my daughter, and for Christ, and serious concern for her relationship with Christ, and both scriptural and first-hand knowledge about the consequences of being unequally yoked. There is nothing naive in any of that.

–Dawn, Wife to Mark, Mother to Amber

16 Debbie Kaufman November 29, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Dawn: Compared to me you are young and still have a lot to learn. Your child is 18, there is still advice to be given to you, especially in this stance.

You say that more consequences will happen in the marriage than you not attending the wedding. I disagree. It is not approval by attending the wedding, but it is saying I love you and am here for you when those consequences happen.

This could be a breach in your relationship of ever seeing your child again or your grandchildren and for what? The child marries the person anyone, sees this as a manipulation which it is, and possibly never sees you again. No influence on the married couple, no influence on the grandchildren. Yes, prayers can be said and God will hear but the cost to you and your child, your grandchildren who need you and Mark would be irreparable.

I think my words are so strong because not only will Mark as a future pastor and you as a pastor’s wife give others this counsel, which I would hate to happen, tearing up other families who face this, but you are telling me(for an example) to abandon my child or go against God which is something I reject. I wouldn’t care what you thought actually.

I know what I am speaking of by experience and am not just thinking hypothetically. I think it’s a gross misreading of scripture to think that God would want you to tear up your family anymore than he wants a unequally yoked couple to divorce because the Christian half of the marriage thinks they should. That is simply not true.

17 Debbie Kaufman November 29, 2011 at 11:35 pm

To use Matthew 10 as a passage to ok abandoning your child is a gross misinterpretation of that passage. Read it again with the whole chapter which gives it context and along with other scriptures and interpret it with passages in scripture that seemingly contradict that passage to come to a correct interpretation.

There is no reason that you can use God in that you abandon your child. As I said, other religions do this for the teaching of their religion, we are different in Christ. But I won’t try and change your mind, I just hope that you can bear the consequences of such an action or more importantly that your child and grandchildren can. And I sincerely hope that you do not counsel others to do this and tear up their families. I know I am repeating myself, but no family should be separated. This is as wrong as counseling someone to divorce their unbelieving spouse. By your standards and use of the passage in Matthew, they should leave their unbelieving spouse and unbelieving children.

18 Debbie Kaufman November 29, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I do agree we should separate, I just hope this is more hypothetical than action oriented. I feel for the child who is thrown aside because of a misuse of scripture. Don’t worry Blake. God would never ask me to abandon my children and tear up our families. This passage is not talking about us abandoning, but about others abandoning us for our faith in Christ and our stand. Not us separating or abandoning anyone, in fact we are called to do the opposite. God be with those who are abandoned by ill thinking but well meaning Christian parents.

As you can see this is a hot spot with me because well meaning Christian parents choose to abuse and manipulate not realizing the damage they are doing to their children and their children’s children who never know their grandparents. Not attending a wedding, which is a huge moment, is something that seems small but it isn’t. It’s a big deal.

19 Debbie Kaufman November 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm

I don’t want to be ‘right’

You should want to be right Blake. These are your children and your children’s children we are talking about.

20 Dawn Lamprecht November 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Thanks, but 41 hardly counts as young. I am not young and stupid, I am old and experienced and studied. My daughter is 18, and this isssue is current for us as she considers these issues and is pursued by men. We are hardly sheltered; my daughter has always attended public schools and I have worked with troubled children and teenagers and their families. I assure you we are not the only family who put perimeters around our child when it comes to dating. This is part of parenting. Yes, when she is older and leaves our home she will make her own choices. In the meantime, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. One does not abandon their child by choosing not to attend their wedding. It makes me sad that you would think so. I will stand by God and what he teaches, and I will not make my daughter an idol by choosing her over God’s Word. I will also continue to teach her likewise.
As for your charge that God would never ask us to choose between Him and our children: here is what “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” can end up looking like:

Matthew 10:34-39 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter in law against her mother in law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for me sake will find it.”

So much for “never.” Indeed, God would ask us to choose, according to His Word. THIS is what exploring scripture looks like–heeding to the parts we may not like or agree with. You are free to disagree, but you are clearly wrong about what you think God would or would not have us do. That is what scripture is for; it shows us God’s word and what HE wants or says when we’d rather follow our feelings. I understand what it is like to make an idol out of your children and to put them before everything. Yet, I also know what God’s Word says, and just who my Savior is. I will stand by my Savior. Who will you choose?

21 Blake November 29, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Debbie, it is probably best that we part ways, as this conversation is going nowhere with you wrongly accusing me of taking verses out of context and blatantly choosing your children over God. Not attending a wedding is not the equivalent of abandoning your child. Dawn and I are using Scripture to argue our points and I wish you would. I don’t want to be ‘right’, I want to admonish you not to choose anyone or anything over God. It’s a temptation for all of us.

22 Debbie Kaufman November 30, 2011 at 12:35 am

Dawn: Scripture forms my comments too Dawn. That is a typical response from those who disagree. I am a born again Christian for many years, in fact you were only 12 when I became a Christian as a adult. I’ve studied scripture for many years as I am sure you have. The Bible is inerrant, not our interpretations including yours. I disagree with yours here.

A friend or even a distant relative is different than not attending for your child. I have not attended friend’s weddings for the same reason, but they are not my child..

I also know that Mark is reformed and knows scripture interprets scripture. I believe my thoughts to be more than an opinion based on that, knowing that using Matthew 10 is a gross misinterpretation for what I see as a religious zealot view of separation. You as a therapist ought to know what not attending a wedding means to the couple, especially to your child be it the bride or the groom, but to be honest, your being a therapist does not impress me as I see you as just as wrong and hope you do not tell your patients this advice. I hope at least you leave the decision to them to make.

You may not like being threatened with reality such as not seeing your grandchildren, but as a therapist or even just using plain common sense, I think you know that is a huge possibility. This will cause a huge breach in your relationship. They are our children and I couldn’t abandon them or not be there for them if I wanted to, which I don’t. I see the scripture clearly and prayer is a part of my daily life. I am horrified that this type of thinking is espoused, but I will not subscribe to it and I pray that others will not either. BTW I have the same Christ as my Lord and Savior that you do.

I am sorry you are upset by my answer but tearing up families is not the answer either. I hope you see this. Sometimes we invoke God to do things that are wrong, and I see this as one time of many that this is happening. I will abandon the Christian community, but never Christ or God, if this were to be the norm. It’s that serious. As it leads to serious tearing of the family. I guess I have nothing more to say other than please don’t advise others to tear up their family. I am a mother. I will never leave my children no matter the reason. I could give scripture, which are many, but I think you know what they are. All scripture on grace, love, our role as parents, which says nothing of separation from them.

Even as a minister your child could be pregnant without marriage, gay, or a host of other sins against God, will you turn your back on them? Not attending the wedding to the child is the same as turning your back on them. We have to weather the storms with our families. That is what we do. It’s not approval, you have already given your verbal disapproval as you should, it’s saying I am here and love you despite. As a mother I cannot leave my child. I could not not attend their wedding. My husband says that he would be there as well. My children know that no matter what I love them deeply, it is not choosing between them and God. God is not asking me to make such a choice.

23 Blake November 29, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Why do you persist in saying that not attending a wedding will rip your family apart? Dawn and I agree that you should not break ties, just don’t attend the wedding. And again, could you use some Scripture?

24 Debbie Kaufman November 30, 2011 at 12:43 am

I’m sorry but I think we have gone as far as we can go here. My standing before God is just fine, but not because of what I have done but what Christ did on the Cross already. I will not be judge, but the lost will. I am so tired of that tactic as that too is a misreading of scripture. It’s time to stop before we both say something we regret, or at least I may say something I regret.

25 Chris Roberts November 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm

If a child chooses to marry someone of another religion, no religion, or heretical religion, it is the child who separates, not the parents. The child has already made the choice. Debbie, what you are asking is for parents to chase their children into sin. The child has already made the choice for separation. The most loving thing a parent can do is make it abundantly clear that the child has chosen the dangerous path.

This does not mean you cut off all ties with your child. This does mean you do not let them define the nature of the relationship. “If you loved me, you would accept my choice and would attend my marriage!” No, if I love my child, I will remain firm on the side of truth, no matter how much it might cause pain.

To tweak the scenario a tad, what if your child enters a homosexual relationship that leads to marriage? Do you still attend the wedding?

26 Blake November 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm

When I said that I don’t want to be right, I meant that I am not saying these things for the purpose of winning an argument. Debbie, if all you can do is give a bunch of wishy washy “God wouldn’t ask me to do that’s” and can’t use the Bible to prove your point, then we’re done. You won’t bother to refute Dawn’s citation of Scripture because you can’t.

27 Mark November 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Debbie,

Blake is correct in pointing out that he and Dawn have attempted to make their case from Scripture. You on the other hand continue to make assertions about those of us who take the opposite position from yours.

You have been at least partly insulting by arguing that based on my wife’s age she is not wise enough or educated enough to make a proper decision in this situation. You have no idea about her wisdom and insight with which she makes her decisions. If Timothy was qualified to pastor a church at his age I don’t see how you can make age a factor in this situation. Especially, since you’re making assumptions based on age rather than anything objection. More importantly, one can argue from God’s word no matter the age and that argument must be dealt with on the merits of biblical understanding rather than anything about a person’s age, for example.

You also continue to use emotionally charged words like “abandon” as if simply refusing to attend a child’s wedding on biblical ground equals abandoning said child. Another assumption. But maybe there is something more to your position here. Maybe you would severe the relationship with your parents if they refused to attend your wedding so you assume that children whose parents don’t attend their wedding will be cut off.

Is that it? If your parents declined to attend your wedding would you cut them out of your life including out of the lives of their grandchildren?

Concerning manipulation I would point out that attending a wedding that you don’t believe should be taking place with one of the motivations being so you can see your future grandchildren is more in-line with manipulation than our position.

If I counseled other Christians to follow my convictions on this it would not be a dogmatic charge. Someone could disagree with me and we still be friends. They could go to their child’s wedding and we can still be friends and brothers in Christ.

FYI, I declined being part of a wedding of a couple whose relationship I thought started out sinfully. He understood my biblical objections/convictions. We are still friends today.

28 Debbie Kaufman November 30, 2011 at 12:55 am

Yes Mark, if my parents refused to attend my wedding I would have cut them out of my life it would have hurt that badly. Many children do. They are adults, as they see it, and rightfully so. They have to make that decision for themselves. We as parents bring them up, teaching them of Christ, taking them to church. The true test of love as a parent isn’t because they turn out perfect and we are there for them, it’s when they don’t as in this case.

I am not insulting your wife, I am giving a fact. I have lived a little bit longer, and in this case the consequences are not thought out. If we can’t be honest in this discussion then we can’t ever discuss because if I am anything it is outspoken and I put my whole thought out there. Families have been torn up that should not be. Sometimes we have to let our children as adults make their decisions. We are not responsible for them, and as far as scripture there are plenty on love, parenting, who we are in Christ and how we are to relate to others. Separatists do not win a whole lot of people to Christ. And this is our child or children. The Bible says a lot about loving people despite. Our children especially. Just like you would a unbelieving spouse. There is no difference in application here. I wouldn’t think I would have to give scripture, it’s pretty well known and space constricts me, but as a born again Christian who is head over heels in love with Christ, you shouldn’t have to question the fact that I didn’t post scripture. Scripture plus the Holy Spirit forms who I am and my thoughts on this. It’s who I am as a Christian.

29 Dawn Lamprecht November 30, 2011 at 12:05 am

Thanks for your opinions, but they are just that. I prefer Scripture to form mine. Your views on relationships are interesting. I am a licensed therapist, and have already been successfuly counseling people for many years. You continue to insist that to not attend a wedding is the same thing as abandoning the relationship altogether. Also your opinion, but being a therapist I am curious as to how it was formed. Read the scripture for yourself. There’s no missing what is there, unless you just do not like what it says. It’s quite clear that there ARE times we could be asked to choose. You never did answer who you would chose, but it looks like by your actions that you would choose your children over God. Pray for clarity on this-He doesn’t mince words here.

Again, I will not be threatened with my future grandchildren to go against what God teaches believers about marriage. I will continue to train up my child in the way she should go—which is to choose God in all situations. I would be proud to bear the consequences of choosing God, absolutely! It is an honor to choose God and suffer for it! (I’ll let you look up the verses on that this time.) My child will be the one to bear the life-long damaging consequences of disobeying God, along with her children. I pray that I will be able to say “yes, God, I did EVERYTHING I could to point her back to your word.” I love her that much, and I love God more.

You make a lot of assumptions. Such as: that I have not considered these things thoroughly or used scripture to do so, that making threats about me not seeing my future grandchildren would make me choose my daughter over God, that not attending a wedding is the same thing as abandoninging your child, that the child would choose to sever the relationship because their parents did not attend, that the parents were seperating the family by not attending the wedding (rather than the child choosing to mary him being the one seperating the family), and that I would counsel someone to leave their unbelieving spouse (scripture clearly teaches differently, so no, I would not).

We are to stand for God and by God and to follow scripture, not worry about what other religions do or do not do. (Frankly I think it would be easier for a Christian to form and grow in their relationship with Christ without the negative influence from their Muslim family, so yes.)

Along with Blake, I pray that you will see Scripture clearly, and that you will be able to stand before God and honestly say that you loved Him more than your own children, and that your actions will show this.

30 Debbie Kaufman November 30, 2011 at 1:27 am

So the divorce in the first marriage was OK? Come on prchbill. It was your brother in law, not your child. We are talking about our children here. Not a friend, not a brother in law, not a first cousin on your mom’s side. And yes, if anyone will be honest, not attending the wedding would be tearing up the family. And I don’t understand why you wouldn’t attend a divorced woman’s marriage, yet you would perform a divorced brother n’laws marriage and evidently thought the first divorce was hunky dory. Sorry, this subject is veering off into left field and I don’t feel like going that far.

I do apologize for my somewhat strong tone. I am weary of torn families in the name of God and religion. Something I don’t think God approves of. Scripture? Almost all the Bible where it talks of family, parenting and love. It would take a lot of space to mention but I think you know the Bible enough to know which ones they are.

31 prchrbill November 30, 2011 at 1:12 am

My wife and I refused to attend my brother in law’s wedding to his first wife. This woman had been married to his friend and he “comforted her” during the whole process and then they decided to get married. We let them know we wouldn’t come and why. Were they angry? Oh yes.
But, here’s what happened.
They had a child that died at less than a year old. They called me to do the funeral, and I gladly went and proclaimed the gospel (17 hour drive where I got strep throat, it was bad).
Couple years later they had a daughter and then a few years after that the marriage ended.
Now single, my b-i-l was looking for some alone time to raise his daughter etc. Through a series of events, a girl he met at bible college years earlier, great girl, friends of ours too, started talking on facebook. It got serious, she drove to Colorado to surprise and they went and got married at the courthouse.
In July, guess who my b-i-l asked would perform a small ceremony where they could say Christian wedding vows. That’s right, me.
I was thrilled to.
Now they are wonderful couple, trying to serve the Lord to the best of their ability in a local baptist church.

So don’t go all, “it will tear the family up forever’, because that dog don’t hunt.

32 Pat Quick November 30, 2011 at 2:09 am

I agree with Blake, Dawn, Mark and Preacherbill.
Non attendance at a child’s wedding does not equate to abandonment.
Debbie K, perhaps you are confusing non-attendance with the wrong practice of complete “shunning.” There is a big difference. Debbie, question for you, if you did not agree with the marriage, but decided to go, when the minister came to the part where he says if anyone knows why these two should not be joined together let him speak now or forever hold his peace, would you stand up publicly and tell them the marriage was wrong and why it’s wrong?

Very interesting discussion.

Blessings, Pat

33 Debbie Kaufman November 30, 2011 at 6:26 am

Pat: No I would not. The decision is made by the child who is an adult remember? I see no need to humiliate them publicly by objecting again. They know the objection, no need to make it a public spectacle.

As you guys are all digging your heels in, sure you are right, that is the same reaction your child is going to have about marrying a Muslim. Your manipulation, which is what not attending would be, is not going to do anything but put a life long wedge between you and your child and your child’s spouse. To agree with bill is to agree that divorce would be better than your child being married to a Muslim, which the Bible is clearly against divorce except in certain cases of abuse or infidelity.

Pat: You say non-attendance does mean the same as abandonment. But it will because your child is not going to forgive or forget that easily, and in some cases they are not going to care. They will leave you for good in many cases, granted not in all but in many. Their allegiance is no longer to you and your wishes but to the one they are marrying. That is going to always be a wedge between you and your child as they know you do not approve of their choice. They will not be able to remember their wedding that they won’t remember you weren’t there.

34 Debbie Kaufman November 30, 2011 at 6:28 am

that should read, Pat you say that non-attendance does not mean the same as abandonment.

35 Blake November 30, 2011 at 7:24 am

Debbie, again you continue on without Scripture, assuming we already know the passages that support your claim. If you, as a Christian, cannot learn to defend your position with Scriptural proof and not just assumption, then you will get nowhere. You should know that after many years of being a Christian, although you make the mistake of equating your years being a Christian with your ‘wisdom’. I pray that you will realize that hypothetical situation or not, you are putting your children before God, and that demands renpentance. You can rip my family from me, take my wife, kids, parents, etc. but I am persuaded by Scripture that Christ is the one to whom I am to be in complete submission to. We are called to lose it all for Him, if necessary. You keep preaching contextual ‘love, love, love’, but Christ was plain when He said He was here to set families against one another, in regards to the faith. Use the Bible to back up your points. I don’t want anymore of your defenses from a personal standpoint.

36 Bruce H November 30, 2011 at 8:06 am

One thing that bothers me in addition to my biblical standpoint on this issue is how Muslims have come into our country and lied. This is a bit off subject, yet identifies this religion a little better. When I think of Muslim I think of immigrants to the United States. When they stood with their hand in the air and repeated the Oath of Allegiance to become an American Citizen they lied and Islam has said nothing about it publically. The current oath is as follows:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

I have explained this to my children in order for them to have a very clear understanding of the Muslim religion. First, they lie when stating this oath. Second, they would have to relinquish Islam since it is a Muslim State. That will never happen. Third, the Muslim State they left would never allow Christians to be open about their religion and try to convert Muslims. The heart of the lion never changes and it has move into America. They are the enemy of all enemies and we have to view it that way.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is very offensive to all non-believers. It tells them that they are wrong and they are sinners before a Holy God. We must stand with God’s people even to the point of separation. The hard fact is, it is the offence that God uses to bring them to Him or bring them back. If we keep catering to them we lose them In the long run. We must take up our cross in matters like this and love our child in that we let them go. That is a sacrifice pleasing unto God.

37 Mark November 30, 2011 at 11:02 am

Debbie,

I’m going to make some observations and question some assertions in your approach.

First, we are not digging our heels in and believing we are right anymore than you are. You may have missed what I wrote earlier that someone could disagree with my counsel and we’d still be friends.

Second, that you would cut your parents off for not attending your wedding seems to be an unchristian reply. On the one hand you imply seeking forgiveness from the parents for abandoning the faith and marrying a non-Christian. On the other hand, you would fail to exercise forgiveness for the parents non-attendance. Seems inconsistent to me.

Now as to some of your uncharitable assertions.

I am not insulting your wife, I am giving a fact. I have lived a little bit longer, and in this case the consequences are not thought out.

Where’s the proof for these statements?

Separatists do not win a whole lot of people to Christ.

Who is a separatist? Again, you make a general, sweeping, universal claim. The proof?

I wouldn’t think I would have to give scripture, it’s pretty well known and space constricts me, but as a born again Christian who is head over heels in love with Christ, you shouldn’t have to question the fact that I didn’t post scripture.

How about even some prooftexts to start? It is hard to dialogue through a disagreement when one party offers Scripture and the other replies with general assertions and subjective answers.

That is a typical response from those who disagree. I am a born again Christian for many years, in fact you were only 12 when I became a Christian as a adult.

And this is a typical non-sequitor. Your age does not provide you with the correct answers. If you really wanted to get technical I could put my wife’s LMSW training plus years of counseling others in the mix; not to mention the Scripture already offered.

I believe my thoughts to be more than an opinion based on that, knowing that using Matthew 10 is a gross misinterpretation for what I see as a religious zealot view of separation.

We believe our thoughts to be more than opinion. Where’s the proof of this assertion that Matthew 10 being grossly misrepresented? “Religious zealot” and “separatist” are alarming emotional words use for rhetorical purposes that have not been proven and have nothing to do with who is correct in the given situation.

You as a therapist ought to know what not attending a wedding means to the couple, especially to your child be it the bride or the groom, but to be honest, your being a therapist does not impress me as I see you as just as wrong and hope you do not tell your patients this advice.

Now you attempt to use my wife’s credentials against her. How would you know what a therapist ought to know? Do you know how she’s counseled and helped people over the years? Do you know all of the situations?

You may not like being threatened with reality such as not seeing your grandchildren, but as a therapist or even just using plain common sense, I think you know that is a huge possibility. This will cause a huge breach in your relationship.

More assertions about what a therapist should know and now how common sense should inform the situation. It may or may not cause a huge breach in the relationship. More universal assertion.

They are our children and I couldn’t abandon them or not be there for them if I wanted to, which I don’t.

Another unproven assertion of abandonment which is just emotionally charged language.

I will abandon the Christian community, but never Christ or God, if this were to be the norm.

A false dichotomy.

Even as a minister your child could be pregnant without marriage, gay, or a host of other sins against God, will you turn your back on them?

What does this have to do with not attending the wedding?

That is what we do. It’s not approval, you have already given your verbal disapproval as you should, it’s saying I am here and love you despite.

If it is not an implicit approval of the marriage by attending the wedding then what statment is your presence making? As another commenter asked, would you speak up during the ceremony if the question were asked if anyone knows why the two should not be married?

As a mother I cannot leave my child. I could not not attend their wedding.

Another assertion that not attending the wedding equates leaving your child. Proof?

38 Rae Whitlock November 30, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I can’t say what I’d do one way or another… but I’d have more of an issue (and be less likely to attend) if my child did not convert and tried to do the interfaith marriage thing. At least with conversion, there’s no pretense of Christian teaching being made.

39 Joe Blackmon December 1, 2011 at 7:30 am

Debbie,

You are an embarrassment to any thinking, intelligent Christian. The fact that you’re older than Dawn does not give you the right to declare in your hubris “You’ve got a lot to learn”. I also love how you blather on about how “…that’s not what that scripture means…” as if because The Debbie has spoken that makes it true and then offer absolutely ZERO scripture to support your stance.

Besides, wasn’t blogging too much for The Debbie? I mean, don’t you have some covers to go pull over your head? 😉

40 Joe Blackmon December 1, 2011 at 7:33 am

Mark

How darest thou accuse The Debbie of unproven assertions!!! Once The Debbie has spoken, the very words that come out of her mouth become truth. Therefore, once The Debbie has spoken, the discussion is over.

(/sarcasm)

On a side note, they really need to invent a sarcasm font, you know.

41 Debbie Kaufman December 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Joe, why so upset?? Was it something I said??? 🙂

42 Joe Blackmon December 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Debbie, why don’t you try answering those who have already asked you questions with something other than your opinion. Surely, with your well honed research skills (i.e. reading the first page of a Google search–snicker) you can find something to spout off. 🙂

43 Rhology December 2, 2011 at 9:47 am

Debbie,

May we also ask why you decided to comment here, given that you said you’d blogged your last?
I am not making anything more of this than just the simple question. Perhaps you feel a bit refreshed (for which I’d say praise God!), perhaps you’re easing your way back in little by little (to which I’d say welcome back!), I don’t know. But why engage so strongly on this post in particular?

Grace and peace,
Rhology

44 Debbie Kaufman December 2, 2011 at 10:50 am

Rho: I do not know who you are since you seem cloaked in being anonymous, but that sounds like a question meant to intimidate and I don’t intimidate easily. Ask Joe, he’s been internet stalking me for about three or four years. His reference of my research skills has to do with the Ergun Caner issue, which we all worked on together and blew wide open. It went media wide and Caner was demoted from Liberty University due to statements he made concerning his Muslim background which were lies. I bring this up, because Joe is obsessed for some reason on my part in it, which was small compared to others who gathered information and put the truth together.

Why I choose to do anything is not your business. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but intimidation angers me more than anything. It’s bullying and I don’t take that kindly. I do what I want to do because well, it’s my blog. Let’s clear that up at the outset. You disagree with me, fine. But don’t use intimidation or cornering tactics to make that point, with me it rarely works.

This particular post struck a chord with me because to many times as Christians we jump the gun, especially when it comes to our children. Too many families have been torn up because of what I believe is wrong thinking. I’m tired of broken families from misguided Christians. Things are never the same once a family is broken.

We need to take a stand, but there are times when we need to simply be there for our children, especially when they are adults. We can’t make their decisions for them as much as we would want to and we have to ask ourselves if it’s worth losing our children over and possibly our grandchildren where no Christian influence is possible.

Now you, Mark, Dawn, Pat, even abusive Joe here, all can say that this would not offer life long consequences and that is simply not true. Pat answers just are not going to cut it here. I think the thought of a child marrying a Muslim is so out of the question that answers and a digging in of the heels is happening. This should not be something that isn’t thought out. I think I’m more bothered by the flippant and easy, I just won’t go to the wedding attitude that has been flung out here with no discussion, than I am anything. This is your flesh and blood and to so easily say I won’t go, is to not have thought out all the ramifications from that decision and one can say, well if you disagree we’ll still be friends, goes against what is being said in the comment section. I’ve pretty much been beat up for my stand and questions fired at me, that I have an answer for, but ears are pretty much closed to the answers I’ve given so far so I have no reason to think that any more answers are going to be taken in a friendly light. Now I’m not anonymous and have used my full name for over 5 years of blogging, even at the risk of getting hit left and right. So anonymity is not really something I respect or a person I take seriously, just to let you know.

45 Debbie Kaufman December 2, 2011 at 11:18 am

Rho: This is one of those do it and see what happens deals. By then however it will be too late. Believe me when I say, I know what they are saying and I stand by my answers.

46 Debbie Kaufman December 2, 2011 at 11:22 am

Pseudos would fall into that category as well. I am for full disclosure even at the expense of taking the heat such as you attempted to mistakenly throw out to me. It’s called standing by your words.

47 Rhology December 2, 2011 at 11:05 am

Debbie,
I am hardly “cloaked”, and I’m not anonymous. For that matter, my PSEUDOnymity is pretty thin.
Anyway, I was just wondering. No need to get so defensive.

You said:
So anonymity is not really something I respect or a person I take seriously, just to let you know.

Since I’m not anonymous, that’s a relief.
If you meant you don’t respect pseudonymous writers either, fine. I don’t care what you think about me.

I do remember, now that you mention it, Joe Blackmon from many read-thrus of Pastor Wade blogposts. IIRC he has what seems to be an unhealthy preoccupation with you and your pastor. There are numerous places where I believe I would not stand with you and Pastor Wade but one place where I do mostly stand with you is your dealings against corruption in SBC and IMB. I applaud your work there, actually, and very much so with respect to Butch “The Fraud” Caner.

All that to say – don’t make snap judgments about people. It’s a hard lesson that’s hard to learn (which I know from personal experience), but I encourage you not to be too proud to make progress in it, even today.

So, comments like this:
It’s bullying and I don’t take that kindly

are 100% misguided. I was just asking. Your attitude has unfortunately shone through all the more clearly in your non-gentle reply to me.

I think the thought of a child marrying a Muslim is so out of the question that answers and a digging in of the heels is happening

I’m sure that does happen, but all I’ve seen from you is in fact heel-digging, whereas others have presented reasonable, Scriptural argumentation. You have just poo-poohed their arguments, but that’s not the same as answering them.
You have also incorrectly equated (as Mark has told you) not attending the wedding with abandoning one’s children. To make progress here, you need to correct that misapprehension in your own mind and deal with what they’re actually saying.

Grace and peace,
Rhology

48 Debbie Kaufman December 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Blake: You guys have given one scripture (Matthew 10) taken out of context. That is not scripture proof.

49 Debbie Kaufman December 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Joe: Believe me I wasn’t whining. Dave was wrong in telling you what I wrote so thanks for the heads up on that, because that is instigating the flames between you and I, then you know I wasn’t whining but I am against bullying on the internet and more want to punch out the person doing it as I did in your case. I don’t even know why I am answering you now, because you are a stalker I know it won’t quit so I need to stop answering you.

Anyone who knows me knows that is an Achilles heel. I’m a fighter when it comes to bullying or ethical sins especially among Christians who should know better. He’s on my facebook list, but you wouldn’t know since you are not. And blowing my email and comment section with crazy emails and comments is cyberstalking Joe. It’s not normal or right no matter what Dave tells you. But I know, I know…. “you are on a mission from God.” 🙂 God’s name gets used in too many situations that he is not even involved in.

50 Joe Blackmon December 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I never said “This will not offer life long consequences”. I said you offer nothing but your opinion rather than scripture. I mocked the fact that you demand proof from people but offer none yourself. I also mocked your “research skills” because you bragged about how finely honed your research skills were and how you learned them in a junior college. I’d be embarrassed to even post something like that in a public forum.

Oh, and you might want to do a bit more research as to what is legally defined as cyber-stalking so as not to sound quite so ignorant. Hey, I’ve got it. Why don’t you delete Mark off your Facebook list like you did Dave when you pouted at him for how I treated you over at Voices. Don’t expect it to ever stop, Debbie.

51 Joe Blackmon December 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I’ve pretty much been beat up for my stand and questions fired at me, that I have an answer for

And you haven’t given even one answer based on Scripture. Somebody seriously needs to get a bicycle pump, put it in your ear, and give you a refill. You’re a little low, aparently.

52 Blake December 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Debbie, if Scripture convinces me, then I would most certainly change my stance. The problem is, you still have given no scriptural evidence. No one is saying that such a decision could not entail lasting consequences, but it is certainly not guaranteed one way or the other.

Again, will you stop making excuses and give me some Scripture? If you are correct, I want to understand!

53 Joe Blackmon December 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

According to The Debbie, her word IS scripture. If it comes out of The Debbie’s mouth, it is by definition truth. At least in her mind.

54 Joe Blackmon December 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Debbie,

You’ve given no scriptures. That is not scriptural proof.

55 Rhology December 2, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Joe Blackmon,

Enough. Debbie is not going to answer, so stop stalking, please. You’re creeping me out.

56 Joe Blackmon December 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Again, so that you won’t sound so ignorant Debbie you might want to look up the legal defnition. I’ve made a point not to cross it. But if you think I have, I would LOVE for you to go to an Attorney General about it.

57 Joe Blackmon December 2, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Instead of worrying about me why don’t you try to answer folks who have asked you for scriptural proof of your assertions. Oh, that’s right, you can’t. I forgot.

58 Blake December 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Debbie, will you stop telling me what is not Scriptural proof and tell me what is?

59 Debbie Kaufman December 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Blake: I told you already. Twice to be exact. I told you to look through scripture and see what our role as parents are, what relationship and not being religious are both with Christ and our families, who we are in Christ as Christians, you might also read the Parable of the Prodigal son. This just for starters. This makes 3 times.

60 Joe Blackmon December 2, 2011 at 11:20 pm

And not one of those three times have you specifically cited any verse that supports your point. Of course, that makes sense because you can’t. In contrast, the intelligent, godly rebuttles you have received to your incoherent blahter have cited numerous specific scripture passages that clearly support their position.

Are you trying to look like an airhead?

.

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