So You Want My Daughter?

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I’ve always been intrigued about why a Christian would want to date or marry a non-Christian. A solid biblical case can be made that a Christian should only date or marry another Christian.1 In a mixed dating situation the Christian is not trusting Christ nor finding Him sufficient, but is looking elsewhere to satisfy certain needs. Of course, as with many areas in life Christians fall short and there is always places in their lives where Christ is not primary. This is an admission rather than an excuse for Christians to date non-Christians. As one friend of mine said about a Christian girl dating a non-Christian guy, “you’ve already told him that Christ isn’t all that. You’re just haggling over price.”2

I’m almost more intrigued by a non-Christian wanting to date or marry a Christian. A non-Christian seeks a relationship with a Christian who believes that person is going to hell if they don’t accept Christ. They have foundational opposing worldviews even if there is some agreement of life values. If the non-Christian truly cared for the Christian why would they not respect the Christian and stop trying to get them to go against their Lord? Why would the non-Christian encourage the Christian to go against their Christian values? Is that non-Christian, whether atheist, agnostic, etc., really showing love for the Christian?

Some non-Christian guys might ask a Christian father why he is not good enough for their daughter. Simply put, you are not good enough for my daughter because you think you are too good for Christ.

While thinking about who is good enough for a Christian daughter I think Voddie Baucham gives a nice starting point in the middle chapters of one of his books.  Below I’ve listed some of the table of contents with a few additions from the text which makes for at least a nice skeletal structure on the issue.

What He Must Be: …If He Wants To Marry My Daughter
by Voddie Baucham Jr.

4. He Must Be a Follower of Christ

5. He Must Be Prepared to Lead

6. He Must Lead Like Christ (Ephesians 5)

7. He Must Be Committed to Children

8. He Must Practice the Four P’s
Protector which includes:
Personal Holiness
True Gentleness
Great Resolve
Genuine Compassion
True Bravery

Provider which includes:
A Job
Work Ethic
A Plan

Prophet/Priest which includes:
Pray with and for family
Preach to family

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Tags: , , ; Categories: apologetics,books,Church Issues,Culture,morality,theology
The above article was posted on November 15, 2011 by Mark Lamprecht.
© 2004-2014. All rights reserved.


{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Philip Gray November 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm

I’m an atheist that has been married to a Christian for eleven years. I make sure that my wife gets complete freedom to follow whichever path she desires. I help her to be more herself than she could be without me.
In return, my wife allows me the freedom to be myself. She helps me to be more myself than I could be without her.

My wife speaks openly about her faith and why she believes. I speak openly about my rejection of her faith and why I do not believe. Our marriage isn’t composed of a one-sided viewpoint, it’s composed of a compromise between our two viewpoints to co-exist and learn from each other in harmony. Our marriage is also about freedom for ourselves and our children. No matter what religion a person is, they are in a minority group of the earth’s population; and when they lock themselves away from society they risk becoming a fringe cult that can have nothing shared between themselves and others.

2 Davida November 16, 2011 at 10:03 am

Marriage is about a oneness. Two becoming one. A good place to start is with one’s beliefs as this forms the core of a person’s existence, choices and behaviour. I guess if people were hoping to live life independently within the unit then it could work to an extent. In a marrigae as in any form of partnership a common frame of reference is needed without which true unity… which is the goal of the marriage is impossible.

3 Dean Poulos November 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Mark, sorry in advance for the lenght, but it’s necessary.

Hi Mark,
I was brought to your blog via LinkedIn where you had asked people to cast a vote. Obviously, I would not cast such a vote without first reading your blog and unfortunately the first blog entry I came upon was “So You Want My Daughter?.” That forced me to have to read the rest of your blogs which are all nicely done, except when you veer to anything that has to do with dating or marrying a non-believer.
The “believer/non-believer” marriage question is as an atheist or even some Christians who still question the so-called “Problem of Pain,” in 2011. If you don’t think people still ask questions like [how can a loving God allow so much pain and injustice in the world?, etc., etc] believe me they do and very often. Until only the last 5 or so years, even the “new” atheists, e.g, Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins, and Dennett questions the problem of pain. However, Dawkins no longer does, nor do I believe the others do, although they are thickheaded. It took them years to simply acknowledge that even if consolation is brought to a person by what they would call an imaginary God, the consolation in and of itself is measurable and real. Of course that admission led them to more problems than trying to explain how finite beings, could ever conceive if the eternal. But I really digress here, my apologies.
I admit the “marriage question” is not as well understood as the problem of pain and many people misinterpret the bible with no ill intent. The website you visited, “Gotquestions.org” does have some excellent responses to many questions, however, it has the marriage issue dead wrong.
I had first intended explaining exactly what Paul was cautioning the thick-headed Corinthians believers on and why it has nothing whatsoever to do with marriage in this context, I realized you did post this on the Logos Bible Software group forum. Explaining why you were wrong based on the passage, frankly , would take a great deal of typing and although it would not require one to be fluent in The Koine Greek, it helps to have a very good Lexicon. I’m not saying you cannot decipher the passage with Strong’s Concordance, on the contrary, you can. However, it will take much more research, so if your Logos Library has BDAG, I would use it. If not, use Strong’s, louw nida or whatever is in your library and although I really do not like interlinears, that opinion is restricted to teaching methods. In this case, that would help. However, the best way is to take the entire chapter and copy/paste the Greek text into a word document leaving spaces under each line for you to attempt your own translation. Although you can derive the meaning from simply reading the entire chapter and looking at some parallels, if you use the method I suggested the meaning will hit you like a brick in the face as you translate each word. Don’t get hung up on word order, or what you at first will believe to be missing words. What I mean by that is something you’ll easily pick up and you will not need to ask where the word “was” came from in the example sentence below, since doing it this way, you will know the word for “I Teach” is, for example, διδάσκω. The root is “διδάσκ.” If you add ω εις ει ομεν ετε ουσι you’re still using the same διδάσκ.
In other words
διδάσκ ω I teach διδάσκ ομεν we teach
διδάσκ εις you teach διδάσκ ετε you all teach (better is “ye teach”)
διδάσκ ει He teaches διδάσκ ουσι they teach

The example I used (διδάσκων) was intentional. Notice it does not fit with the simple first, second and third person singular and plural? The word διδάσκ ων means to tech, i.e., the act of, however, it can be in the nominative case, present active tense and be a verb/adjective, or it can be past tense. I saw Mark 5 minutes ago and he was teaching. (That could have been 5 minutes ago and Mark could still be teaching, or it could have been 5 minutes ago and Mark could have stopped teaching 3 minutes ago. Same word, but how do you glean the meaning? CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT…. . I saw Mark 5 minutes ago and he was teaching. Let’s go back and check him out. We go back and either find Mark there, or we don’t. Without writing even more, let’s just say scripture is very precise and there are only rare situations where “Let’s go back and check him out” is not part of the context and in those cases there are other ways to conduct a proper exegesis.

4 Dean Poulos November 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Continued>>>
So, here is your example.
Greek Text:
Ὁ υιοῦ τόν αποστὸλου ὶερῶ διδάσκων•
What Strong’s or BDAG will give you (plus the pronunciation, for example, διδάσκω = deedasko) is the literal you can write under each Greek sentence:
The son of apostle temple teaching.
Correctly translated is:
The son of the apostle was teaching in the temple.

Here is why you’re wrong about the issue as a whole, with one exception I will provide. If a man or woman marries a non-believer and compromises in one area, then you would be correct. They are not married in the site of God. They agree to a justice of the peace to “respect each other’s beliefs.” That person is not a Christian.
So, while it took a bunch of text to explain what I just did, showing you where you’re wrong is rather each. In fact, I will cite a crystal clear passage, also part of the Pauline Corpus not only that, also part of Paul’s epistles to the Corinthians
This is part of Paul instructing the Corinthian believers on the rules of marriage and divorce by quoting Christ and relationships and other things which Christ did not point out, Paul makes that clear and not only fills in the gaps, but explains why, by calling on scripture. There is only one difference if a Christian marries a non-believer.
1 Cor 8:10-11. (This is on Divorce)
“10 And unto the married I command, yet rnot I, but the Lord, sLet not the wife depart from her husband: 11 tBut and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.”
If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she wbe pleased to dwell with him, let him not xput her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he wbe pleased to dwell with her, let her not xleave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else ywere your children unclean; but now are they zholy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but aGod hath called us * to peace.
“12 But kto the rest speak I, unot the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she wbe pleased to dwell with him, let him not xput her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he wbe pleased to dwell with her, let her not xleave him. ***14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else ywere your children unclean; but now are they zholy.****
Here is the one difference in v. 15.
15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is ***not under bondage in such cases: but aGod hath called us * to peace.****

Here is the major reason which comes next:

“16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt csave thy wife? 17 But das God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk.”

Mark, you obviously know there are no contradictions in the bible. Granted, the passage you cited never once even mentions marriage and the one above is specific, however, I can understand why it is taken that way if not read in context.

Anyway, you get my vote for the rest of your comments.

I’d be curious to know what you think after you analyze the passage you cited. One suggestion. Unless there is a specific quote from the LXX, which Paul uses frequently, most times you need not go there to find meaning.

In Him,

Dean

5 Mark November 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Dean,

I suppose I need some clarity on exactly why you think I’m wrong in believing that believers and non-believers should not marry. Is it the 2 Corinthians passage in particular that you don’t believe supports such a position? I will point out that I can find a dozen commentators from Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament to Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament who agree that 2 Corinthians 6:14 can be applied to marriage.

What particular areas of life would you apply 2 Corinthians 6:14 to? (If I am understanding your objection.)

Thanks.

6 Mark November 16, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Dean,

I appreciate your vote, but we are still in disagreement on the issue of Christian marriage to the non-believer.

Just as you noted that 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 does not mention marriage; 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 does not give command for whom to marry. Verse 10 states that Paul is writing to the married and not those who are to be married i.e. betrothed or engaged.

There is nothing incompatible with the two passages in understanding that mixed marriages were taking place during that time and one spouse could become a Christian while the other not. Giving instructions to those who might find themselves in a mixed marriage situation is not the same as commanding or allowing mixed marriages.

7 Dean Poulos November 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Mark,

Respectfully-All I can say to you is that I have taken the time and made, what is for me an unusual effort to not tackle the position in typical manner and in the process, I have given you *all* you need to completely understand 2 Cor and 1 Cor. If you do not take the time to do the research as I have suggested and simply cite other sources then you will learn nothing.

There are a number of commentators I respect a great deal, however, if I find error in something they have said either because at the time there may have been some rather, let’s call them “unique” views of grammar and sentence structure, or if their comments did not look at the culture, or the context of what is being said, as well as the overall biblical implications, then it could be Lewis Sperry Chafer whose 9 volumes of Systematic Theology I have devoured a dozen times over who made the claim and I wuld disagree with him as well, despite what I have learned from the man. I am only trying to explain to you, our most revered commentators can be wrong. Then again, of course Chafer never made such a claim about Corinthians.

Since you seem intent on not diving into the Greek despite having the resources and since I gave you the answer when I used a correlation and said: The example I used (διδάσκων) was intentional. Notice it does not fit with the simple first, second and third person singular and plural? The word διδάσκ ων means to tech, i.e., the act of, however, it can be in the nominative case, present active tense and be a verb/adjective, or it can be past tense. I saw Mark 5 minutes ago and he was teaching. (That could have been 5 minutes ago and Mark could still be teaching, or it could have been 5 minutes ago and Mark could have stopped teaching 3 minutes ago. Same word, but how do you glean the meaning?

I’ll take a different tact. Since I am a Fundamentalist Baptist, I have a very, very narrow vision of who truly is saved and who truly is a Christian.

So, given your belief, although I do not know what denomination you are, I throw this to you.

I don’t believe Catholics are Christians. In your view of the Pauline text, who decides who is a “true believer?”

Also, do you believe the early church discriminated against windows, or do you believe it helped all widows and people in need? What’s that line about love you enemy? Careful on this answer, you may want to check early church history if you feel that the primitive church only helped “believing” widows.

Once you find that out, ask yourself what does Paul command of the windows to do if they “BURN with sexual desire?”

Probably the worst of all this is to ignore such a sweeping statement:

““16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt csave thy wife? 17 But das God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk.”

Paul is trying to point out there is a reason everyone is called according to their purpose, predestinated before time who they will and who they will not marry and if God wants them to marry a non-believer and then bring that non-believer to the knowledge of saving grace, how dare we ignore His will?

Or, do you presuppose Mark that no man or woman who ever married a non-believer has ever saved them? If you do, you might want to have a look through history.

Do not forget, I did say, i someone was to marry a non-believer, they are NOT permitted to compromise their beliefs. That includes the marriage and the vows. The result of themarriage and vows has been ordained by God. Why do you think Paul explains an unbelieving spouse and is sanctified by a believing spouse?

I do hope you realize sanctified does not mean saved in this context, so what does it mean Mark?

8 Mark November 16, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Dean,

First, you assume entirely too much in the first part of your most recent reply. I don’t have after every blog comment to dig out my Greek tools or my biblical tools, etc. I merely referenced others such as Wuest since his works are in my Logos software and it is a Greek resource. So I’m not intent on anything. And I’m not using commentators to as if they provide perfect knowledge, but as a quick resource from people who have done some theological study.

It’s a bit ridiculous that I have to go over this and explain it all.

Now, you totally skipped my answer to you on harmonizing the Corinthian passages. I’m trying to get right to the point and would rather not drive around the house to get to the garage when I can drive straight in. I.e. I don’t plan on answering all of your other questions which you think will guide me to your understanding. I’d rather deal with the text directly moving straight to the point.

My argument from the beginning has been that it is not God’s revealed will for a Christian to marry a non-Christian. Do you agree or disagree?

If 2 Cor. 6:14-16 cannot be applied to marriage, what parts of the Christian life can it be applied to and why?

Can you show me from 1 Cor. 7 where Paul is addressing those who are engaged? Or how Paul is not addressing mixed marriages in the culture in which the early church grew?

BTW, here are some quotes on 2 Corinthians from a website I read at times which also has some great resources on wine and the Bible. Cf. Does 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 Include Marriage?.

Oh yeah, I’m a Calvinistic Southern Baptist.

9 Chris Roberts November 16, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Dean,

You say:
“Paul is trying to point out there is a reason everyone is called according to their purpose, predestinated before time who they will and who they will not marry and if God wants them to marry a non-believer and then bring that non-believer to the knowledge of saving grace, how dare we ignore His will?”

Paul’s point is quite a bit different than that. Keep in mind that most of these people would be new believers, and many of them would have unbelieving spouses. He has in mind the unbelieving married couple where one spouse becomes a Christian and the other does not. There is no hint in this passage of whether or not God has predestined some to marry unbelievers. Such an interpretation is reading into the passage a meaning completely alien to the text. It simply has nothing to do with Paul’s point. Paul is telling new Christians, “If you became a believer and your spouse did not, and your spouse wants to leave you, do not restrict him from doing so.”

You also say:
“Or, do you presuppose Mark that no man or woman who ever married a non-believer has ever saved them? If you do, you might want to have a look through history.”

Of course there are those believers who married unbelievers and later saw the unsaved person get saved. I know several such couples. That God had grace on them does not mean they did not begin in disobedience.

10 Dean Poulos November 16, 2011 at 10:08 pm

“I’m a Calvanistic Southern Baptist”

Then I would think you believe as I do. “it is by Grace ye are saved, through faith-and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast”

Since you do not go around anything then can you please explain the text from James below? Is it faith and works as James tells us or just faith?

Explain James using the text and I’ll explain what Paul is saying in 2 Cor using the text.

[19] Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
[20] But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
[21] Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
[22] Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
[23] And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
[24] Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
[25] Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
[26] For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

[19] Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
[20] But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
[21] Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
[22] Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
[23] And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
[24] Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
[25] Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
[26] For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

11 Mark November 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Dean,

Whew! You had me worried for a moment that I said I was a “Calvanistic” Southern Baptist instead of a “Calvinistic” Southern Baptist.

Thanks again for stopping by.

12 Philip Gray November 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I’m glad that I did not classify my wife as being an unworthy mate due to her Christianity. I may not believe what she believes but we have a great marriage.
I also think that people who restrict their choice of mate due to their parent’s viewpoints are restricting their choices for the incorrect reasons. And, if the parent displays too much animosity towards the child’s decisions, the parent risks rebellion and alienation from their kids and grandchildren.
But, you’ve given me something to think about here. I’ll have to keep a closer eye on my wife’s very religious parents to make sure that they are not communicating to my kids that I’m not worthy as a father, or that they aren’t worthy of marrying a Christian.

13 Mark November 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Philip,

I think that 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 would apply for your wife in her situation.

I have no idea what kind of father you are and would not make that judgement. There is always risk of rebellion in children. It is not clear how far to push or retract from a child in order to not spur a backlash of rebellion.

I’m curious though. Were/are your children raised going to church and taught about the gospel and Jesus? How did you handle the spiritual needs of your children given the different perspectives in your marriage?

Also, after reading the above post and exchanges does it makes sense to say based on biblical teaching that it is best that a Christian not seek out a non-Christian for marriage?

Thanks!

14 Dean Poulos November 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Chris,

Sorry for the delayed reply…just returned.

1. You said “Paul’s point is quite a bit different than that.” This was in response to v. 16:

“““16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt csave thy wife? 17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath **called** every one, so let him walk.””

First, the above is a typical Pauline admonishment cf. cf. Rm 9.20 “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God” Rm “2.3 And do you think, O man, that judge them who do such things, and do the same, that you shall escape the judgment of God?”

Second, if you think I am off on Paul’s point, then please explain exactly what “as the Lord hath **called** every one, so let him walk,”” means?

“AS THE LORD HATH CALLEED EVERY ONE???”

Let me see if I have your logic straight:

1. This only applies to those who are already married after they became new Christians.
2. Although Paul is not ordering them to stay together, he is giving a very STRONG suggestion to them to STAY TOGETHER.
3. He gives two crystal clear reasons:

In the first he is quoting the LXX Mal 2.15:

1. “And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a **godly seed.** Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal **treacherously against the wife of his youth.**”

2. In the second, he is explaining that by staying together, one or the other could SAVE the other.

Explain then please:

“23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.”

1. How does one abide with God if they are married to a Pagan? Hmmm?
2. How would Paul allow such a situation to continue, if he did not feel there was a higher purpose to it?
3. He makes it crystal clear as does the entire Gospel to BREAK FROM THE WORLD. Why is it different in this case? It is obviously NOT simply for the benefit of the children to have been born with one saved parent, as it was on the OT.

Paul cites much more. A PREDESTINED purpose, which would be nullified if husband or wife sought to break the relationship.

So, please explain how “Paul’s point is quite a bit different than that.”

Also, if you might assist me with some grammer. What does this mean?

“and he/she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away”

In what tense does the “being pleased” take place? Past, present, or future?

Lastly,

“Of course there are those believers who married unbelievers and later saw the unsaved person get saved. I know several such couples. That God had grace on them does not mean they did not begin in disobedience.”

1. So, God has grace and saves the life of a heathen, after someone disobeys?
2. So, you are saying sin is rewarded by God?

That is an interesting concept.

15 Dean Poulos November 17, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Phillip, you said something which I believe is correct, although perhaps not in all cases. I am curious if you would stand firm on the statement, or error on the side of the parent with some examples I would provide. You said:

“I also think that people who restrict their choice of mate due to their parent’s viewpoints are restricting their choices for the incorrect reasons.”

What if your son or daughter were to come to you asking permission to marry his or her first cousin, or, let’s say perhaps your daughter fell for a biker with no home or means of support and wanted to take her on a ride around the country so “they could both find themselves?”What if you found out the person your son or daughter was dating was a criminal con artist and told them about it, but they rebelled and said, you’re wrong, or said, he or she has changed, but you knew for a fact your child was simply deluded? What f your daughter decided to marry a mormon? Actually, let me be politically correct and restate that. What if she decided to marry someone who was a fundamentalist mormon who believed in polygamy and she was all for it, or perhaps your son decided to join, maybe not so much to be a fundy mormom, but because he relished the idea of polygamy? IF, they then decided to RESTRICT their choice because of your beliefs (I am assuming in the cases I cited you would be against their choice) would you still say they are “restricting their choices for the incorrect reasons?”

However, I DO agree with you on one case. I’ve heard more than one story of a person’s mother or father, who, after their son or daughter became a Born again Christian their parents began to issue threats to the point of a story I heard last week where a person’s (now in his 40’s) father told him when he was 19 years old “if he heard the him say the name Jesus once more, he would throw him out of the house.”

That person was 19 years old when his father told him that. He left home and struggled for many years, but today is missionary to China.

I suppose I agree with you in some cases Phillip. Don’t listen to bad parents, just good ones.

16 Philip Gray November 18, 2011 at 10:58 am

“What if you found out the person your son or daughter was dating was a criminal con artist and told them about it, but they rebelled and said, you’re wrong”

We have a unique family culture where the most accepted phrase in my household is “You’re wrong”. Saying “You’re wrong” is fine in my household, as long as the person saying it can provide evidence to give reason for saying it.
My children might be wrong in their beliefs or I might be wrong in mine; But whatever they decide to do, I respect their decisions because I know they look for evidence and reason to base their decisions on.

“IF, they then decided to RESTRICT their choice because of your beliefs (I am assuming in the cases I cited you would be against their choice) would you still say they are “restricting their choices for the incorrect reasons?””

Yes, they would still be restricting their choices for the incorrect reasons. They must find their own reasons for their actions. I trust my children to be well informed and have good reasons for their actions because I taught them to seek information; I do not expect to be their only source for their information.

“I’ve heard more than one story of a person’s mother or father, who, after their son or daughter became a Born again Christian their parents began to issue threats to the point of a story I heard last week where a person’s (now in his 40’s) father told him when he was 19 years old “if he heard the him say the name Jesus once more, he would throw him out of the house.””

Unfortunately, I heard of many instances where a child was disowned for disagreeing with the parents.
Each one of us has a very limited lifespan to enjoy; So it makes no sense not to be nice to those that are still living, regardless of their beliefs. At some point, Our shared humanity has to come before our sexual, political and religious differences.

“I suppose I agree with you in some cases Phillip. Don’t listen to bad parents, just good ones.”

My motto:
Listen to bad parents, listen to good parents. Listen to bad people, listen to good people. Seek information wherever you can find it, follow your own beliefs and make your own decisions.

17 Mark November 22, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Philip,

I’ll shorten my questions to you.

After reading the above post and exchanges does it makes sense to say based on biblical teaching that it is biblical that a Christian not seek out a non-Christian for marriage? Including if your kids were professing Christians?

18 Philip Gray November 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm

“I’m curious though. Were/are your children raised going to church and taught about the gospel and Jesus? How did you handle the spiritual needs of your children given the different perspectives in your marriage?”

I have one child that is a Christian. One is a Buddhist. One is a Shintoist. Two are atheists. My extended family is Christian and contain two priests and a deacon, so the kids have plenty of time to visit the church. They’ve also attended a unitarian universalist church and humanist group meetings. They follow whatever makes sense to them. We don’t push them in any direction.

Does it makes sense to say based on biblical teaching that it is biblical that a Christian not seek out a non-Christian for marriage?

I don’t know what the bible says about interfaith relationships. I just know that it’s either mis-interpreted or incorrect if it restricts them. My marriage is proof.

19 Mark November 23, 2011 at 12:43 am

Hi Philip,

Quoting one of the articles about Christians marrying non-Christians in the original post.

For a Christian, dating a non-Christian is unwise, and marrying one is not an option. Second Corinthians 6:14 (KJV) tells us not to be “unequally yoked” with an unbeliever. The imagery is of two incompatible oxen sharing the same yoke. Instead of working together to pull the load, they would be working against each other. While this passage does not specifically mention marriage, it definitely has implications for marriage. The passage goes on to say that there is no harmony between Christ and Belial (Satan). There can be no spiritual harmony in a marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian. Paul goes on to remind believers that they are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, who inhabits their hearts at salvation (2 Corinthians 6:15-17). Because of that, they are to be separate from the world—in the world, but not of the world—and nowhere is that more important than in life’s most intimate relationship—marriage.

Regardless of whether or not you believe this is correct based on your worldview, do you agree with it as far as this being what the Bible teaches?

It is interesting that you are arguing for all marriages from the consequences of your own. All that it would take to disprove your conclusion, if consistently applied, is for more than one other example of a similar marriage that did not work. I recently read a whole comment stream where Christian/non-Christian marriage did not work out well and many had regrets that they went that route.

20 Philip Gray November 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm

//Regardless of whether or not you believe this is correct based on your worldview, do you agree with it as far as this being what the Bible teaches?//

Yes, the Bible says not to marry a non-believer. But, I base my morality for my actions on what is right, not what is taught. I take some good moral teachings from the Bible but there many teachings in the Bible, such as rules on who and whom not to marry, that I do not see as moral. Our marriage works because our ideas of moral views are similar in spite of the fact of differing religious beliefs.
I know of no Christian, true or otherwise, that exactly agrees and follows every teaching in the bible.
“There can be no spiritual harmony in a marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian.” <— If Paul said this, he was wrong.

//It is interesting that you are arguing for all marriages from the consequences of your own.//

No, I just used mine as an example of a successful marriage. My argument for marriage is that people should have freedom to choose what they believe or do not believe and, as long as they aren't physically endangering others or restricting the freedom of others, then they should not be discriminated against and ostracized.
Simply put; People do not have to be a Buddhist, Muslim, Christian or otherwise in order to be a good person and good people should be entitled to respect for their actions, not their religions.

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