Christians in love with non-Christians (and their Christian “friends” who object)

Christians in love with non-Christians (and their Christian “friends” who object) May 29, 2013

I recently got in this letter:

Hey John,

I am a Christian young woman engaged to a non-Christian. It is not an ideal situation and I have been reading and praying about it a lot.

He is a good man. We have been together since I was 15. I always said I wouldn’t date non-Christians, but he caught me when I was slipping in my faith due to problems with my mum’s mental health. He encouraged me to go back to church and spend time with Christian friends because he knew it would help me.

Throughout our relationship he’s really encouraged me in my faith … But when we announced our engagement I received a few emails from the pastor saying the Bible is clear that the relationship is wrong and that I need to end it.

The advice I need is how to deal with this. I knew that, out of love, I would receive some hostility from Christian friends, but it is getting to the point where I do not want to go back to church, because of the volume of people telling me to end the relationship—when they cannot give me a reason for doing so, other than him being a non-Christian.  . . .  I just am happy with my decision, and believe that it is not a sin and God will bless my marriage and aid me through the difficulties. But I do not know how to handle the simplistic thinking from many members of the church who think that my relationship is wrong—that I should either end it, or be living in sin. Many thanks. God bless.

And this is a reader’s comment recently left on my post Should a Christian Marry a non-Christian?:

I am a Christian woman; I love Jesus and my heart follows Him. I’ve been dating this man for two years now and he prepared me that he’ll be making a proposal soon. I was overwhelmed with joy, laughter, and excitement. A few days have gone by since the excitement and my heart is torn, I feel guilty for even dating a man who doesn’t follow Jesus. The idea of my Christian friends ridiculing me for potentially marrying a no Christian and even worse the idea of disappointing God himself is bumming me out. Something so good, is so bad cause I’ve dedicated my life to Christ and my bf has chosen his own path.

Dear Christians who make a point of letting their Christian friends who are in serious relationships with non-Christians know that they think it’s wrong for a Christian to date or marry a non-Christian:

If I ever meet you, I am going to beat you up.

Oh, wait. No I won’t. Because that’s not the Christian thing to do. It’s wrong to start pounding on someone just because you disapprove of something that they’ve said or done.

“Verily I say unto you: do not vex me, lest I begin soundly thrashing you about your head and ears, you vapid dinkwad” is not something Jesus ever said.

You know what else is not a Christian thing to do (or what shouldn’t be, anyway)? Putting religious dogma ahead of being a friend.

If you know someone who is in a committed relationship of which you do not approve, an excellent question to ask yourself—especially before venturing to offer any opinion on that relationship—is whether or not anyone but you gives a rolled-up church bulletin what you think of that relationship.

More importantly, does anyone actually in that relationship care what you think of it? Have they asked you what you think about it?

If no one in a relationship has asked for your input about their relationship, then why not actually show you’re a Christian, and be quiet about it? (And don’t talk to anyone else about it, either. Offering unsolicited critical opinions of others makes you a toxic gossip, which is one of the lowest things anyone can be. And basing your criticism on some nonexistent rule that you’ve decided is God’s decree makes you a sanctimonious toxic gossip, which, in the descending rings of hell, puts you just above waiters who spit in people’s food, and just below people who don’t clean up after the dog they’re walking.)

And if it’s your opinion that God automatically condemns the Christian who marries a non-Christian, then you’ve clearly tossed out, along with the baptismal water, Paul, who wrote in 1 Corinthians:

For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. … How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

If Paul was okay with Christians being married to non-Christians, perhaps you could find your way to lightening up on the matter.

And that includes you, pastor.

We live in a tough world. If two people have found each other, fallen in love, and are taking good care of each other, then let them be. Let their relationship grow into whatever it might.

Besides, it’s not like both parties being Christian ensures a wonderful marriage. Christian couples get divorced as often as anyone else.

Love is a challenge. Let’s support it when it happens. There are too many people in the world suffering from a lack of love in their lives for us to spend our time fretting over a love that doesn’t exactly match our idea of what love is, or what love should look like. Love is love. Let’s make sure we’re doing all we can to create more of it in the world, not less.

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  • justfoxie

    Your letter writers may also be interested to check out a recent post on the same topic over on Rachel Held-Evans’s blog (who is also an awesome Christian, by the way)

  • Jill

    “Judge not…” My non-Christian husband and I have been married for 29 years this year. I work on my faith daily as I go through the trials and tribulations of being a Christian. My husband, who is a man of integrity, honesty, humor, intelligence and, yes, faith, is my soul mate. The fact that he refers to God as the God of Moses has made for some lively discussion around the dinner table. My Jewish in-laws have fully embraced me as one of their own, despite the fact that I follow Jesus, and my mother-in-law has even given me a Hebrew name so she can pray for me easily.

    I did have a friend that “condemned” my marriage as doomed to hell (unless of course I converted my husband). If she is correct, then the years I have spent with this man, loving life, creating and raising three incredible sons, living next to someone who can complete my thoughts in his own head, where a touch is always loving, and we cannot wait to see each other at the end of the day will be worth any time I might spend in hell. My God has blessed me richly with a wonderful marriage, beautiful children, and a life of giving – why would he then send me to hell?

    Love one another as I have loved you…I think that’s how it goes. What else is there?

  • Elizabeth

    Hi John. Fifth para from the bottom, lightening not lightning, although a bolt of the latter might be more effective at changing minds than the former. I needed the positivity today. Thanks.

  • It blows my mind that the first letter writer’s fiance encouraged her faith, suggested that church would be of a help for her, and supported her in her beliefs, and that same church is discouraging the marriage.

    Seriously. WTF!

    We don’t have to be on the same page in regards to faith to have a wonderful, loving marriage. Even within Christianity itself you are going to find some diverse schools of thought. Trust me. I’m the liberal in my marriage of just over a year. My spouse is my philosophical opposite in that regard. You can also be sure that we’ll be cancelling out each other’s vote on election day for years to come. But it works for us. We have things we don’t have in common, but so many others were we do. Plus we adore each other, we communicate well, we share, laugh, support, listen to, help…all those mundane, boring things that matter.

  • Wow. Sounds just like the haters who judge same-sex relationships, and basically for the same reasons – “you’re not playing by our rules, and our rules, RULE!”

    Perfect response (minus the fantasy beating), John. Have you ever thought of positioning yourself as the Christian version of Ann Landers?

  • Jason Haddox

    Yay John!

  • Linda Kernohan

    You are one smart cookie, John Shore!

  • mike moore

    John, you had me at “I am going to beat you up.” **

    Dear letter-writer: it sounds like way too many people are getting in your face. Maybe it’s time for a new church.

    (** please don’t tell any of my friends I’m quoting ‘Jerry MaGuire’)

  • The Christian version of Ann Landers…..I’m not sure John would want to wear a bouffant hairdo for any length of time. (what I think everytime I see her name…big hair)

  • Barbara Rice

    I married an agnostic. I can’t say it’s always been easy, but it has made me think seriously about what I believe, what the Bible actually says, and reflect on how it all looks to non-Christians. It’s been very good for me and challenged me tremendously.

    None of my Christian friends said anything – mainly because they know I am a bit thorny about questions that are no one else’s business.

  • Mindy

    Jill, I respectfully request that you and your beloved spouse each give the other a big hug, from me. Because I admire such a union more than I can tell you. Congratulations on building such a life together!

  • Andy

    I also married a non-Christian (basically apathetic), though we had a Christian ceremony. Besides, I vacillate in whether or not I identify as Christian. They’re just labels, anyway. My wife and I have more in common than most couples I know and we agree on almost everything. We have almost no conflict.

    When I first started dating her 11 years ago I was a more conservative and devout Christian, and I had reservations (something about being yoked with non-believers or whatever). I got over it shortly when I realized there were more important things to worry about.

    If someone tells you your relationship won’t be blessed by God because of your different faiths, and your heart tells you otherwise, go with your heart. Life’s too short.

  • i married a non-believer. and he has always been nothing but supportive of my faith journey, and i his.

    and i do pray for him every day that he may come to know the Jesus i know.

  • Jill

    Dear letter writer,

    Maybe my only contribution here would be to say that your situation may not sound ideal to your church and pastor, but I would say instead that sharing love is sharing God. Not everyone is so lucky.

    True friends see us for who we are, and support us to live our best lives. I’m sorry that you seem to be facing a crossroads of whether your church’s love for you is unconditional, but you can ultimately only live your life, not the life of serving others’ expectations of you. It sounds like you’ve got confidence in your choice–perfect! The hard part for you seems to be in confusing your church’s judgments against you as love, which it isn’t. It just isn’t.

    If all else fails to bring your friends around, they were ultimately not real friends to begin with. Guaranteed you’ll find people that can handle this.

    Best of luck to you!

  • Melissa

    See Numbers 12 for an example of how God deals with those who interfere in the relationship decisions of others. Miriam was struck with leprosy for chastising Moses for marrying “outside the faith” as you call it.

  • This post definitely got my heart racing. I know exactly what is like to be caught between a community of faith, family, friends and the person I love. My boyfriend (and very soon to be fiancee) and I have dated for 6 years. I am a Christian, he is Jewish. For years I was a part of a church that taught that my relationship was sinful and that our relationship (and future marriage) was unholy. The only time I felt negatively about my relationship is when I was told these things. I never agreed with them but in the back of my head I’d question if they were right. They are not. Personally, I realized that anyone who damns my relationship with the person I absolutely love- a man who respects me and cherishes me, is NOT a friend. I left that church. I cut off those friendships. My life has been so much happier since I found new friends and a new church (one that respects interfaith relationships).

    I say all of this to encourage the woman who wrote in to consider if these people are truly her friends. I sincerely doubt it. The woman who wrote in should know there are good, loving people out there who will support and encourage her and her relationship. I encourage her to celebrate her relationship and not to end it. An interfaith marriage represents a beautiful thing- and that is love, peace and happiness exisiting between two faiths (or non-faith). That’s something the world needs more of. The woman who wrote in said she does not know how to respond to these people and their simple minded thinking. Here’s what I do- I let the love between my boyfriend and I simply radiate. The way we treat each other is the ultimate voice that speaks louder than any theological argument. It shows our respect and love we have for each other and that includes our beliefs and ideas. Second, as John touched on, there are plenty of ways to argue against their opinion with theology (and pure logical reasoning) but be warned: they will likely never change their minds. Stay strong and don’t let their opinions cause you to doubt the love you share with your fiancee, who sounds like a wonderful person.

    Thank you John, for writing on this topic. Both my boyfriend and I read your blog and your writing has lead to so many great discussions for years now.

  • Kathleen Schwab

    I have a friend who stopped dating ‘Christian’ men because they all treated women so badly. All the ‘Christian’ men she dated were mainly interested in getting sex, and not waiting until marriage, or engagement either for that matter. She got so sick of being hit on, that when she met a nice man who didn’t pressure about sex, and they fell in love, she married him. (He is Catholic. Not exactly pagan.) Since then she has suffered guilt over marrying a non-Chrstian. Although before the wedding, they talked over the traditional Christian creeds, and he assured her that of course he believed all those things, and he goes to (Catholic) church every week on top of it. The rub is that he isn’t into praying out loud, doesn’t talk about his intimate emotional relationship with Jesus, like she remembers all those ‘Christian’ guys doing, and she think the relationship might be missing some aspect because of this. After hearing her talk about all this for awhile, I began to wonder if all the ‘let’s hold hands and pray’ stuff my friend had been getting from the ‘Christian’ guys was seduction dressed up for church. I ended up telling her I thought she had done better with her current husband because he was honest with her – he believed in God and wanted to be a good Catholic and have a nice family. And he was in love with her. He wasn’t mixing his feelings for her in with his feelings for Jesus, and throwing a glow over everything that might be about her, might be about God, and who really knows where the line is. I personally think church people, especally Evangelicals get into that sort of hyped up emotional morass.

  • Donald Rappe

    An excellent reason for finding a different congregation. Perhaps the writer can find the one her fiance thought she belonged to.

  • Elizabeth
  • CJ

    I’m a Christian, and my husband is atheist/agnostic, depending on what’s been happening in the news that week. In general my church has been very accepting of this. There was one unfortunate moment when I was making conversation with an elderly lady after services, and the subject of my husband’s faith came up, and she sniffed, “Well you know, there are no atheists in foxholes!” Which in addition to being complete crap for soldiers in general, seemed to imply that my husband’s faith was due a lamentable lack of suffering in his life, and that I needed to send some bullets his way as soon as possible. Other than that, everyone has been great, even when I said that I did not want my baby to be baptized as an infant, because my husband and I would not have been united in the baptismal vows.

  • The Tom

    I cannot guess how difficult is to translate “vapid dinkwad” into Aramaic…but I’ve a funny feeling someone on here does. Time to start sharing.

  • Jill

    Kristen, may you and your Jewish boyfriend be blessed with as many happy years as I have had with my Jewish husband – 29 and still going strong!

  • Marty

    Excuse me while I run off to thank my fellow church members for loving my Pagan husband as much as they love me. (But then, he’s kind of a lovable guy.)

  • Gretchen

    My cousin went to a church from the time she was 7, and then was told she couldn’t get married there because her fiance wasn’t a Christian. My aunt told her to go to the Methodists. Her husband is now a Sunday school teacher and an awesome dad to 3 kids, as well as a pretty great guy anyway. The problem with this sort of nonsense, is that it stops people from SEEING Jesus through the person they love. Yes, for some, the road can be difficult, but the ones that I know who have that difficulty really struggled in legalistic churches and left the church. The fact that you have a fiance who is supportive in the fact that you need God makes him a pretty cool guy.

    I think a lot of people think that many of the “unequally yoked” relationships are about a Christian trying to “save” the other….like a God complex. People need to get over that. It’s one thing if it’s that type of thing, but wholly another when they are just 2 great friends who love each other. Will it be easy? Not when you have a lot of people making it their business, so find people who support you, pray for you, and love you. Somehow we’ve turned this into a club when it should be doors opening to people. Congratulations on your beautiful relationships!!

  • Gary

    What is it about some Christians? I am a Christian, but honestly -and increasingly- I am sometimes embarrassed by the apparent association. Where do folks come up with some of this allegedly Christian intolerance? I mean, seriously, I know of many wonderful passionate and faithful Christians of many different denominations who are kind, loving, understanding and tolerant of people with different faith beliefs and traditions.

    One of my dearest friends at church, someone who I sincerely miss when he is absent, IS JEWISH and married to a Christian. My wife and I have on occasion gone to temple with him and his wife. And we have always felt welcome there. ( You know, he is more fluent in Christian tradition, heck, HE IS MORE CHRISTIAN in his practices than many I know who proudly parade their mindless claim to Christian traditions. (Like packin’ heat.)

    But then, my church congregation is also open and affirming towards others regardless of sexual identity, skin color, wealth, criminal past, and political persuasion. (Although not many conservative republicans seem to want to associate with us heathens.)

    When I had a stroke last winter, I was hospitalized in an “Episcopal” church owned hospital. That large urban hospital hosts a Pastoral Training Program, and the pastoral student who came and visited me regularly through my stay was a Sufi Muslim. She was wonderfully familiar with my own faith traditions and cared for me sincerely compassionately and (this is important here) FAITHFULLY.

    How is it that judgementalness and intolerance so prospers in some congregations and supposedly faithful hearts?

    Just being pissy now: So what’s up when the Catholic Priest at my nephew’s church refuses me communion? (Actually he wouldn’t marry my nephew and his wife until my nephew converted to Catholicism. And prior to the wedding the groom’s parents were warned that they were not to take communion. It seems that their money was good enough though.) I must have missed something in my interpretation of the invitation from Jesus at the last supper. Geez, at MY church we actually serve real bread and real wine, and ALL are welcome at the table. (Curiously there always seems to be enough to go around.)

    I’m just sayin…

  • AMA

    I hope I didn’t read this wrong but I thought Catholics were Christians. No need to feel guilty about marrying a non-Christian…she married a Christian.

  • Brian W

    For many Christians, they believe the Bible is clear on the issue, Christians should not”yoke” with non-Christians (2 Corth 6:14-17):

    “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you”

    While this passage does not specifically mention marriage, it definitely has an application to marriage. The passage clearly says there is no harmony between Christ and Satan (Belial). 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 . 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.

    The Bible also says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’ (1 Corinthians 15:33). Having any kind of intimate relationship with an unbeliever can (not necessarily will) turn into something that is a hindrance to your walk with Christ. We are called to evangelize the lost, not be intimate with them. There is nothing wrong with building quality, close and loving friendship with unbelievers, but that is as far as it should go. If you were dating an unbeliever, what would honestly be your first priority, romance or thier salvation? If you married an unbeliever, how would the two of you cultivate a spiritual intimacy in your marriage? How could a quality marriage be built and maintained if you disagree on the most crucial issue in the universe—the Lord Jesus Christ?

  • DR

    An atheist that I was in love with showed me more about living the principles of Christ than any Christian I’ve ever met. You seem to be choosing which parts of this letter to pay attention to but that’s generally what people do when they’ve decided that the Bible offers only one very specific way to live.

  • DR

    (and there are a dozen examples people have offered below of the “spiritual intimacy” they share, perhaps you might consider opening your mind and heart – if what you’ve written is what you actually believe – and hear it. Not exactly a lot of the devil’s work happening in those that have shared their relationships with us).

  • Robert

    I read this awhile ago… thought it was interesting…

    “The Barna Research Group, an evangelical Christian organization that does surveys and research to better understand what Christians believe and how they behave, studied divorce rates in America in 1999 and found surprising evidence that divorce is far lower among atheists than among conservative Christians – exactly the opposite of what they were probably expecting.

    11% of all American adults are divorced

    25% of all American adults have had at least one divorce

    27% of born-again Christians have had at least one divorce

    24% of all non-born-again Christians have been divorced

    21% of atheists have been divorced

    21% of Catholics and Lutherans have been divorced

    24% of Mormons have been divorced

    25% of mainstream Protestants have been divorced

    29% of Baptists have been divorced

    24% of nondenominational, independent Protestants have been divorced

    27% of people in the South and Midwest have been divorced

    26% of people in the West have been divorced

    19% of people in the Northwest and Northeast have been divorced

  • James

    sad to say, a lot of protestant evangelicals in the US don’t believe Catholics are Christian, except when they need more bodies present to help protest a gay wedding or an abortion clinic.

  • DR

    Interesting – how does this correspond with overall population rates in the US, do you know?

  • Matt

    Catholics not Christian? You mean, the institution that every Protestant denomination ever started from? As a lifelong Lutheran, I have to say…what the [bleep]?

    I mean, I get that the Reformation was a no-holds-barred, no-kidding-people-died war, but I honestly thought we were over the whole childish “You’re worshipping Satan because you pray to the Virgin” thing. Apparently not.

  • Barbara Rice

    “The Bible is clear on the issue”

    If there’s one thing I know to be true, it’s that the Bible is clear on almost nothing whatsoever.

  • Barbara Rice

    I wish we were over it, but I can attest that many Protestant churches – I can think of two in my area right off the bat – teach that Catholics are in league with The Debbil Himself.

  • Elizabeth

    Does my atheist dad throw off these statistics at three times. Also, atheists are less likely to get married and, when married, less likely to do it young–especially compared to Baptists or people in more rural areas of the South or Midwest. It is interesting; the survey’s just not designed well enough for correlation to prove causation.

  • Sadly the idea that Catholics are not Christian is alive and well. Of course its due to a lack of understanding of the dynamics of the denomination, and ignorance of the fact that the church is responsible for maintaining our bible, many of the traditions which we have adapted to Protestant theology, the beauty of music, art commissioned by that church that we enjoy today.

    Without our elder sister, the church would be so much less than it is today.

  • Elizabeth

    To be fair, he wasn’t an atheist the first time: exactly the sort of human discrepancy surveys should attempt to quantify.

  • Elizabeth

    Yeah, this is such a common assumption I skipped over it the first time. Even Protestant groups that accept Catholics as nominally Christian think they’re ‘less than’. Worshipping of false idols, etc.

  • n.

    i think if the partner were abusive (regardless of religion) and friends knew it, then it would be ok to be nosy.

    but if he’s a good guy and he treats her right, then all the other stuff shouldn’t matter.

    i married a nonbeliever and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

    sometimes i think God sent him to wake me up. he’s a better christian (in terms of doing good things and being patient and general beatitude virtues) than anybody in my hyper-religious family ever was.

  • n.

    yeah that happened to me, too

  • n.

    well the great thing about these couples is they complete each other, without religion.

  • John E Baker III

    “Well you know, there are no atheists in foxholes!”

    You: “You were in World War ONE?!”

  • John E Baker III

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  • Karen

    Another home run John! I’d only like to add one thing… no one knows our hearts but God. I sometimes wonder if the labels we give each other are what God sees.

  • Andy

    This. Many times, this. I look at Brian’s post and think, do you not know many people who aren’t Christian? Because there are plenty of great people in this world who aren’t. And if you do know such people, why would you ever say things like that last paragraph?

    Suggesting that non-Christians are lesser people is, as far as I can surmise, a clear violation of the greatest commandment.

  • Lisa

    When you quoted 1 Cor 7:14, I believe it was taken out of context. The previous verses instruct those already married to unbelievers not to divorce their spouse, and then that their spouse undergoes sanctification from living with a believer in 14. The passage does not say it is right for a Christian to marry an unbeliever. In fact 2 Corinthians 6:14, also Paul speaking, tells Christians not to be yoked together with unbelievers. I’m absolutely not saying fruit can’t come out of a marriage between an unbeliever and a believer, or that God abandons those that make wrong decisions. God loves works in the lives of all of us who make small mistakes every day and huge mistakes in life! However, the Bible instructs Christians to hold each other accountable for these things (Galations 6:1-5, Luke 17:3, James 5:16).

  • Anne

    I agree Karen, Isn’t it more important “as he is in his heart, so is he” a better “rule of thumb” than a label attached to someone. So are we all defined and matched by our labels (names) ie.”Christian” instead of our names, with its biblical meaning (nature) which I reckon God would be more interested in.

  • Jim North of Seattle

    Proof texts! Oh good! I love those things! Sorry, had to get that out of my system first, and sarcams seldom translates well to print in my experience.

    Now, on to some general “biblical” principles. The entire Scripture is a continuing story of our struggle with loss and turning away, and God’s redemption of us through God’s abundant love, demonstrated by the life, death, resurrection and ascendance of Jesus. This is the foundation of our faith, and the story the Christian Bible tells. At no time did God say, “here are detailed instructions on living your life”. The closest we come to that is Paul’s assertion of the use and inspiration of Scripture in 2 Timothy, which in its context is not a proof text. I know you won’t accept this on my short statement, especially since I started out with sarcasm. That’s okay, but let me suggest you meditate on that and seek out thinkers like N.T. Wright. Not that you will…oops, there I go again.

    Sigh. Forgive me.

    On to something a little closer to the point of the letters. Note that, while not claiming Christianity (perhaps because of “Chri….” Nope, don’t go there, Jim.) The first woman’s young man not only supports but encourages her spiritual life and journey. He’s there for her 100%. Contrast this with the condemnatory response of her friends and pastor, who, without knowing this guy, assume that she is imperiling her soul at best, or cohabiting with the Devil at worst. I also contrast this with your automatic assumption that this gentle man, who has encouraged the woman he loves is a “bad character”. Granted, this is based solely on her testimony, but I think I can see who is the Samaritan, who is the Pharisee, and who is the priest on this road.

    In the second case, here is a woman who, without even “going public” already feels condemned and hopeless because of her friends worldview. She loves this guy, who does not happen to proclaim to be a christian. Because of what her friends *might* think about this relationship, she is ready to place herself on a pagan altar, dressed with drapings of Christendom. Explain again how that honor’s the Great Love God has shown us?

    Since you are so interested in proof texts, John here has given you a perfect one that balances the “be ye not…” you quoted. You may as well have used the KJV here. You do not know, and cannot know the heart of this man whom you have never met. You cannot know these women by the scant words she has written. Nor can I. And yet, I see more love on the part of the young man in the first letter, and far more to fear on behalf of the second writer, than you have demonstrated with whip of words and scourge of sanctimony.

    I confess this, I am allowing myself to become outraged on behalf of these two people, and I hold that against you, Brian. I hold your Greco-Roman, mechanistic, rule-bound view of Christianity against you, which is certainly your privilege to hold. In as much as my attitude toward what I consider an deficient view of Christianity has led me astray I ask forgiveness of everyone in this community.

    In all seriousness, I suggest, Brian, that you consider and re-consider your viewpoint in light of the whole bible, and not a handful of check-the-box proof texts.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh, I’m waiting to pick up my suitcase for Vegas, so let me take a swing at the Biblical cherrypicking. I’m using the NIV; speak up if you want another version. Galatians: “If someone is caught in a sin” presupposes love is a sin. “But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted [to commit one]” could just as easily apply to the hypocrisy of assuming anyone is accountable to you. “If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves”, and “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load” read like sound arguments for keeping your mouth shut and your hands off.

    Luke: “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them.” In what way is a relationship any sin against you or anyone else? James: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Again, with no confession and no request for prayer, no dice.

  • Jim North of Seattle

    What a great, compassionate response, John. In my opinion, you got this spot on. I hope the young couple in the first case is encouraged, and that she seeks a more affirming church community with whom to worship. As for the second young woman, I pray seeks guidance from folk like you who are closer to home, and also finds a place to worship that is less bent on “Thou shalt nots…” and spend more time discerning the love and grace that God has given us.

  • Jim North of Seattle

    Yay Elizabeth!

  • Matt

    “I knew that, out of love, I would receive some hostility from Christian friends…”

    Letter writer, I’m really struggling with the idea that love would produce hostility. Honestly, that’s scary. I think you need some new friends.

  • yeah, that’s the line that really jumped out at me too, matt.

  • Remy Schrader

    When you state “Paul was okay with Christians marrying non-Christians.” Sorry, that’s just not so. At all. And its written right there in the same chapter.

    Paul explicitly states who he is talking to in v10: “Now to the married I command…”

    He already spoke to everyone else before that in v8-9: “But I say to the unmarried and to the widows…”

    Paul’s being intentionally unambiguous here. He even goes so far as to state when what he is saying is a commandment from Jesus and when it’s his own opinion. Hey, celibacy’s not for everyone — even Paul recognized that!

    The verse you cite is Paul talking to married people. Specifically a married person who’s conversion to the Gospel occurs AFTER entering marriage but BEFORE their spouse converts (if ever). 1 Cor 7: 14-16 is a firm “No” to the idea that faith in Christ should be motivation for leaving one’s spouse; but also a firm affirmation that if a spouse was abandoned by their partner, they’re not to be blamed and held accountable for what they were not responsible for.

    John, it’s disappointing to see you applying a specific scripture to a group of people it isn’t intended for… especially since your usually so good at calling people out for doing that very thing.

  • DR

    And we all know how good Christians are when it comes to minding any verse that has anything to do with divorce and remarriage!

    It’s so shocking to me to see those of you claim that these verses are “taken out of context” as you willfully ignore how most – if not all – evangelical Christians completely ignore the verses about divorce and remarriage. Ugh.

  • DR

    We have absolutely no idea who Paul was speaking to, to assume some kind of certainty that we *know* is kind of crazy.

  • DR

    Brian doesn’t really seem willing to engage in any dialogue about his beliefs anymore, he seems to post his thoughts and then disengage. I hope he returns to answer some of these counter replies, those used to be difficult, yet pretty fruitful conversations.

  • DR

    I know dozens of women who married “Christian” men who were controlled, manipulated – even raped – by these “Godly” men and it took them years to get out of the relationships because of the crazy fear driven by the “You should not be unequally yoke” bullshit.

    Our hearts and minds were designed in the beautiful and holy image of God. It’s so rare to encounter men and women who are truly, truly pursuing the love and truth of Jesus (even if they are not doing it in His name). Trust your instincts, letter writer, keep things really focused and simple, get new friends and expand this amazing love that you have. Enjoy it. It’s a blessing and gift from the Lord. Much love and peace to you both!

  • DR

    (sorry, women – not men)

  • chewa11

    I agree with the idea of not sticking your nose into another couple’s business. It’s their relationship between two consenting adults, and they will sort it out.

    I think the verse on not being unequally yoked is just being realistic. But I don’t think it’s “Christian VS Not Christian”, but rather “Practising a Faith VS Not Praising a Faith”. If faith and spirituality was very important to one spouse, and not important at all to another spouse, it would be really difficult to agree on how important religion should be in the family. Which, would probably cause the more spiritual spouse quite a bit of pain. If one spouse was Christian, but didn’t really consider church or discussion/reflection of spirituality to be very important, then a marriage with an atheist could probably work. Because from a practical stand point, the Christian is acting as if (s)he was an atheist/agnostic.

  • Remy: Well, here’s that whole pertinent chunk of the text in question, with the parts I used bolded:

    Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

    To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

    To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

    But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

    I’m slow, but not so slow I don’t make sure I read all of the text I’m excerpting to make a point.

    I have no idea how you arrived at the interpretation of these words that you apparent have. I stand by what I said, and see nothing here that contradicts it.

  • Jen Machajewski

    I lived this for a period of time (serious boyfriend high school and college). The pain of betrayal and judgement and arrogance pushed me away from the church I’d grown up in my entire childhood. I still can’t believe their ignorance; I did have one adult in the ministry apologize after condemning the relationship.

    All I can think of is something in regards to judging a tree by its fruit. (I stink at bible verses.) A marriage that brings faithfulness, stability, love, healthy and loved children is certainly preferable over a one that is full of distrust, abuse, hostility and divorce, regardless of which marriage contains same-faith (or same-sex for that matter).

  • David Barrett

    Being in a relationship with a non-Christian should be something that your church supports you in, your relationship may bring your partner that much closer to God. What won’t bring your partner any closer to God is judgmental attitudes and specious arguments based on assumptions rather than scripture. Do they never consider that maybe God wants you to be with your non-believing partner?

  • Maria Christensen

    When I started dating my husband, who is not a Christian, a wife of one of the pastors in my church told me that I would have to choose – I guess between love and the church? I don’t go to that church much anymore and when I do most seem surprized I’m still a believer. I don’t really understand that way of thinking – I’ve always thought be a Christian was about having a personal relationship with Christ. Don’t know how other people come into that equation..

  • Leann Mitchell

    I’m with a person who isn’t a Christian and I don’t care what anyone says about it. I believe God supports our relationship as I speak to him often. I don’t care what anyone says about that either. My relationship with God is personal and it is MY relationship with him. Close-minded, judgemental opinions not welcome. Only God has the right to judge.

  • Bianca May

    Neither my husband or I were Christian when we got married. I became Christian a few years after that. He surprised me by going to church with me after 8 years of marriage & we’ve been going together ever since Point is, I dont think it matters if youre with a non-Christian, as long as youre a good example to them of what you believe.

  • James Norman

    Some Christians who have married non-Christians have found themselves further and further from God. Jut giving an alternative viewpoint.

  • Barbara Farley

    I was fascinated by the concept of being unequally yoked. When I attempted to discuss this at my last very fundamentalist church I used myself as the example. I was the non practicing heathen and my husband was the very practicing Catholic. By their standards he should not have married me. Of course they did not believe Catholics were “saved” so apparently we were equal.

  • Andrew Davis

    I had a “Christian” tell me my marriage was illegitimate because my wife was not Christian (in his view). He was from some back country rural environment – I don’t attend church anymore.

  • Angelo Lopez

    Had to deal with this when dating my wife.

  • Lois Markiewicz

    Well, obviously we should love as God loves, and we know God doesn’t love non-believers (yeah, right)

  • Jeremy Hagy

    i was just thinking about this very subject today, or maybe it was yesterday. i agree with your post. i was in a church for almost 10 years that used the scripture “don’t be unequally yoked with non-believers” as their means of not dating/marrying a non-christian. it always confused the hell out of me.

  • Barbara Rice

    In whose eyes?

    As soon as a Christian begins to question their church and what they’ve been taught, their church tells them their walk with God is suffering.

    Only God knows the heart.

  • PS

    “Since then she has suffered guilt over marrying a non-Christian.”

    Ahem – Catholics ARE Christians.

  • PS

    As others have said, unfortunately we Catholics are still considered non-Christians by a number of folks. My husband grew up in a fundamentalist evangelical household where my in-laws and their friends all went on about how Catholics are in a cult, Catholics worship the devil, the Mafia funds the Catholic Church, blah blah blah.

    Then he turned around and married a Catholic convert in a Church ceremony 😀

  • PS

    Thank you for this lovely post John. I’m Catholic and my husband, well, I guess you could call him a spiritual explorer. He believes in God, admits he’d make a terrible atheist, doesn’t believe in non-Christian faiths, but he does not want to associate with any particular Christian faith tradition either. He’s occasionally identified himself as agnostic, then sometimes goes back to wanting to pray. We talk about my faith’s teachings, other religions, we delve into discussions about Scripture.

    He grew up in a fundamentalist evangelical home and got burned. Bad. I never knew what it was like to resent Christians in any faith until we lived near my in-laws for several years. I also had no clue how bad spiritual abuse could be until they came into my life. Until we were around them on a more regular basis I didn’t understand some of what was behind my husband’s decision to walk away from any religious association. I thought maybe it was a phase… well, I can tell you now, I *definitely* get it, because if I had such hateful people raising me and telling me this was how it was to be a Christian, I’d probably have walked away too.

    As I mentioned in another comment they raised my husband to think Catholics belonged to a cult, were devil worshippers, that the Mafia funds the Vatican, that we practice idolatry, every stereotype you can think of. So you can imagine how well it went over when he fell in love with this Catholic chick, married me in a Catholic ceremony, and we went on to raise our children as Catholic. They would trick us into coming to their church “just for a little ceremony,” e.g., a child’s dedication, then have a “friend” of theirs come over and bombard us about their young couples ministry.

    When my husband finally put his foot down and told them we weren’t going to worship at their church, ever, and that we were happy with the Catholic parish we attended, they upped the ante by regularly making snide remarks about anything and everything we both believed and marginalizing me. When my husband asked if this was in part because I’m Catholic, they just stared at him uncomfortably and didn’t answer him.

    I won’t even get into the craziness we witnessed the couple of times the family encountered a crisis. We’ve since cut off contact because they are so, so toxic. There’s a level of narcissism there that’s hard to beat, and it sickens me that they hide behind Christ’s robes to justify their abusive behavior.

    The experience isn’t in vain. It’s raised my awareness of spiritual abuse big time. It prompted me to take a good, hard look at myself and how I was viewing others with differing beliefs – I admit I had a chip on my shoulder. I’ve never seen Catholicism as an exclusive club, but a part of me was still judgmental of belief systems I didn’t understand or with which I didn’t agree. Now, I’m a more tolerant person and that’s for the better.

    I had forgotten what Paul said about spouses married to unbelievers – thank you for reminding me. That passage is giving me comfort. I have worries about explaining to my youngest why Dad doesn’t come to Mass sometimes and why it’s not an obligation for him like it is for us if and when he asks someday (my oldest is an adult and has made her own judgments against my husband with which I don’t agree, but that’s her choice). I also, deep down, worry about my husband becoming so bitter from his experience that he develops a negative viewpoint against my faith, undermining our marriage as a result. Reading Paul’s encouragement to hang in there and that it can work out no matter what means a lot.

  • Yeah, I saw that comment. What an oucher. (Though I believe she meant it in the same way you were talking about how your husband’s family rejected the idea that you, a Catholic, were “Christian.”)

  • PS: Given your bad experience with fundamentalists, I can’t resist asking if you’ve seen my The Fundamentally Toxic Christianity.

  • Imagine a world without the music of Mozart, the art of Michealangelo, the writings of Francis of Assisi, all Catholics. Imagine that the denomination didn’t work as hard as it did to copy and preserve the text from which we have all those translation of the bible. I am Protestant, but am deeply appreciative of what the denomination from which we all came from has contributed throughout history.

  • That is wonderful! Congratulations & thank you very much!

  • Of course a church has NO right or standing to coerce or condemn a marriage and I hope any person or couple subject to that will find a new church. I can offer some points on why it might be a good idea for two Christians to marry. The first is fellowship; while one is sleeping in on Sunday he or she could be spending “quality time” with the other participating in an activity that is very important to him or her and sharing it with now mutual friends. The next best scenario is separate churches because there reminds the binding in God’s love and Christian attitudes and morals that might otherwise be at variance and to the discomfort or pain of the other. My third point is, if a person’s Christianity is vitally important to her or him , wouldn’t it be the ultimate expression of love to honor that and experience Christianity with the other? Of course coercion and condemnation are out, of course marriages between Christians and non-Christians can work; but of course, there are also reasons why marriage of two Christians is a good idea, even if the relationship doesn’t start out that way, but the church has no standing to require it.

  • Brian W


    You may be the exception, but whenever I hear or read a statement like yours, it is generally from an unbelieving, non-Christian, if that is your case, well then of course the Bible “is clear on nothing whatsoever”.

  • kathleen schwab

    When I wrote that she felt guilty about marrying a non-Christian, I was trying to express her feelings. She had been fed a line about being a Christian meant only evangelical/fundamentalsts. I don’t think that. My dad was Catholic and my mom was protestant, so I’ve always been eceumenical. I was trying to make the point (poorly I think) that this well intentioned friend of mine had been so confused by the church that she thought men who made a show of heartfelt prayers and then tried to get her into bed was a Christian because he said all the right christianese stuff – but a man who treated her with respect and beleived everything in the creeds was not a Christian. (If you believe everything in the creeds what else could you be but Christian. All the basic stuff is in there, plus stuff many find superfluous.)

    Anywho – I very much dislike this aspect of the church, getting judgy on who is and is not a Christian. It doesn’t accomplish anything good that i have ever seen. In my friends case, I’m glad she went with her gut and married a decent guy, rather than one who knew how to play the Christian game. She asked me if I thought he was a Christian (I hate it when the church undermines people’s self confidence to this extent.) I said that if he beleives the creeds of course he is. She still was doubtful, so I said that I couldn’t believe that Jesus came here to suffer and die so that he could nitpick with humanity – He came to save as many as possible. (I personally think he may save all of us in the end, as I tend towards Universalism, but that s more a leaning than a complete conviction – I’m not sure what the end of end will entail.)

  • kathleen schwab

    Christianity was the Catholic church for many centuries, at least in most of Europe. Some of this is just plain provincialism. Christianity spread to many parts of the world starting in the ancient world, but many can only picture American-style protestantism. I personally think it often comes down to sheer lack of education. The Ethiopian Orthodox church dates from the 4th century, and Ethiopia has been Christian as long as Europe – but many in the west simply assume that Christianity was unknown in all of Africa. And yes, many evangelicals think Ethiopian Orthodox are not ‘real’ Christians.

  • kathleen schwab

    I think some of this is explained by the pressure to marry in Christian circles. More people pushed into marriage wll equal more divorces, there is no way around it.

  • Brian W


    Actually most people I know would naturally not be Christians. I will go as far to say that I have a few good friends that are not Christians, but my closest and most dear friends are all Christians (by choice). Though Jesus himself sat with “sinners and publicans for meat” his closest companions were all believers (well except for that scoundrel Judas) with Peter, James and John being his most dear.

    Forgive me if you gleened from my last post that I think Christians are somehow “better” and non-Christians “lesser” people. That is simply unbiblical and not the case. Christians are no “better” than anyone else. I don’t know how you define what a “great” person is, but I suspect it is probably different than how God defines it.

  • kathleen schwab

    Yes, read my further post above. I made a point of saying he believes everything in the traditional creeds.

  • Dallas Jenkins

    The context of Paul’s discussion in 1 Corinthians was about people who are saved after they get married, as he gives his point a couple verses later when he says that people should remain in the situation they were in “when God called them.” The whole point of the passage is, “If you become a Christian, don’t just leave your unbelieving spouse.”

    We can’t try to downplay the meaning of Paul’s writing in 2 Corinthians about being unequally yoked. He gets pretty specific about it. “What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”

    THAT SAID…of course Christians shouldn’t ridicule or demonize each other, especially if they’re not close friends with the person. But obviously, if you’re close friends with someone or have spiritual leadership in their life as an elder or pastor at their church, and you believe they’re making a wrong or unwise decision, you have an obligation to lovingly but firmly express that. But I suspect many people label as “ridicule and demonization” anything that’s said that doesn’t allow them to justify their decisions.

  • Dallas Jenkins

    So you don’t attend church anymore because of a bad Christian? That seems odd. Either you want to follow and worship Christ or you don’t, what do other people have to do with it?

  • Barbara Rice

    Brian, I am a Christian, but I am not your type of Christian. I feel safe in saying the majority of posters here are not your type of Christian either.

  • Brian W


    I agree, athiests can be very loving, principled and honorable people. But, where do these “good” actions come from? It is no farther than their self-righteous (in and of themselves, they believe they’re “doing right”, hense, self-righteous) relative, rationalistic humanism. It comes from within themselves.

    For a Christian, it comes from above – through the new birth. Christians, by the grace of God, have come to a realization that “all have sinned….there is none that does good….there is none that are righteous…” means them on a very deep, personal and spiritual level. Comparing ourselves with ourselves (or by a human based measuring stick) is unwise. They come face to face with thier “filthy rags of their own righteousness”. We must be honest with God and when we are, we have a clear realization how unrighteous and sinful we really are. NOTE: the secular term “no one is perfect” corresponds to the biblical term “all have sinned”.

    Our heart, our mind and our actions are tainted by sin and only through the new birth can we have victory over sin and live a life pleasing to God. Sure you can love people as far as humanistic love can take you, but godly love starts with God and we must first love God with all our mind, all our heart and all out soul before we can really love our fellow man the way God intended. That is only possible through the indwelling Holy Spirit, in and of ourselves we “fall short of the glory of God”. Simply, we need reconciliation with God and that is only possible through his Son, Jesus Christ.

    “For without faith it is impossible to please him…faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God…..”

  • Brian W


    “My type”, can you please elaborate? Also can you please explain how a Christian can profess being a Christian while claiming the Bible is “clear on nothing whatsoever”, if so, how can you clearly be a Christian if its not clear how? Sorry, I’m not the smartest cookie in the cookie jar and it takes time for me to grasp idea’s and thoughts on here. Please be patient, that’s all I ask.

  • Brian W


    Nice post. I made no reference to the young man’s character or how supportive he may be of her Christianity. Clearly, he must be a good guy to the letter writer or she would not have fallen in love with him and want to marry him. I’m in no way condeming her. All I was trying to do is remind her what the Bible says about such unions with unbelievers, it can be dangerous spiritually. From a human standpoint, he can be a “great guy” but as Christians the spiritual condition of the person you want to marry is even more important.

    I was converted in my early 20’s (not married) and after I became a Christian, my “#1 on my list for a wife” was that she was a Christian. For me that was not a point of discussion. I suppose I could have dated an unbeliever and “won her to the Lord”, but I wanted a wife that was already a Christian – selfish I guess.

    John, we live in a society of “rules” and “laws” (even God’s created universe has “laws”), so does Christianity and that somehow rubs you the wrong way? Man’s laws and rules are OK, but God’s are not? The fact of the matter is, we are all bound by God’s spiritual laws, regardless if you believe them or not.

    Biblical Christianity liberates the the sin bound soul, not the other way around. Christianity is true liberty.

  • Barbara Rice


    What I said was “the Bible is clear on almost nothing whatsoever.”

    If you look around here, you will meet numerous people who have come from many church backgrounds (or none) and were told many different interpretations of the Bible, each one absolutely certain that THEIRS was the ONLY true way of reading it, and anyone who disagreed was certainly a lost lamb, if not a complete infidel.

    It appears you are certain your interpretation is the correct one, to which I say more power to you. If God has revealed it to you in a way you grasp, that’s great. But there are many ways that God reveals to people, and I do not believe that one size fits all. Nor do I believe “you can’t be a Christian if —-” (fill in the spaces with the issue du jour).

    We’re here on this site to exchange experiences, not demand that others see God through our eyes.

  • Brian W


    Remy is right, do you have another biblically supported interpretation of the passsage?

  • Brian W


    I stand corrected thanks. I am by no means certain that my hermeneutic is the ONLY way. But most Scrpture is pretty simple to understand (like 2 Cor), you don’t need a seminary degree and be fluent in Biblical languages to undersatnd it. Biblical hermeneutics is the art and science of biblical interpretation and I agree, it is not an exact science (like say mathematics). None the less, Christians are of one accord on the core essentials of the faith.

  • When I was in college a Campus Life minister asked me about my relationship with my boyfriend & his beliefs. I carefully but clearly told him that the BF was raised Catholic, had doubted since he was 7, and had eventually concluded he was at the very least agnostic, if not atheist. I got the advice & “concern” from him about unequally yoked couples – and promptly dropped Campus Life from my life.

    That then-boyfriend has been my dear spouse for more than 3 decades. We’ve raised 3 children together, and he was incredibly supportive when I went to seminary and pursued ordination in our chosen & shared faith. (How supportive, you ask? When I started seminary our children were 19, 17, and 15 years old; our daughters were in their sophomore & senior years of high school – and they were athletes, with all that implies. So, while I was spending half my life in another city for 3 years, he was in the parenting trenches AND managing his own demanding career.) Unequally yoked? Nope, we’re perfectly matched, and we were lucky enough to recognize it!

    Today I counsel couples to have open & frank discussions about faith and spiritual matters, but I never tell them they have to believe the same things. “We need not think alike to love alike.” (often attrib. to 16th C. Unitarian Francis David; more likely a misquote/paraphrase of Methodist founder, John Wesley)

  • Barbara Rice

    “None the less, Christians are of one accord on the core essentials of the faith.”

    No, they’re not.

    If most scripture was “pretty simple” to understand, we would not have multiple Christian-based religions arguing over minute points as though they were the entire fulcrum on which their faith rests. Scripture is open to endless interpretations as seen through language translations, cultural differences, the politics and culture of the time it was written as well as the author’s personality and personal convictions.

  • Elizabeth

    No, Judas was a believer (a meaningless term, since at this point they were all Jews.) And Mary of Magdala was his most dear, being “uniquely among the followers of Jesus specified by name (though not consistently by any one gospel) as a witness to three key events: Jesus’ crucifixion, his burial, and the discovery of his tomb to be empty.” That’s… a little more than dinner with the thieves and fallen women. You need to make new friends.

  • Elizabeth

    As demonstrated above, a passing familiarity with a seminarian or someone who studied a Biblical language at least means you don’t type stuff like “Christians are of one accord.”

  • Elizabeth

    Refer to John’s response to Remy, mine to Lisa, Jim North’s to Brian W, or anything DR types, ever. Pay attention. It’s not fun to repeat ourselves on your unjustifiable position. But don’t worry: I’m not ridiculing you.

  • Barbara Rice

    “if you’re close friends with someone or have spiritual leadership in their life as an elder or pastor at their church, and you believe they’re making a wrong or unwise decision, you have an obligation to lovingly but firmly express that.”

    Because it’s a really good way to weed out who WON’T be invited to the wedding.

  • Brian W


    I guess we can agree to disagree. I believe there are essential core beliefs a person must have in order to be a Christian, if not then you’re not a Christian. There are some “non-essential” points that Christians may differ on, but the essentials, nope, not buying it. For example, the Diety of Christ is an essential core belief. If you don’t hold to Jesus’ Diety, you’re not a Christian.

    Biblical hermeneutics (interpretation), is precisely what you alluded to: what does the text say, what does the text mean (in its original language) in its historical, cultural and political context utilizing the authors personality. When it is approached in a “scientific” manner, there are are not “endless” interpretations. It’s not an exact science, that’s why there are different beliefs on “minute points”.

  • Brian W


    Acts 2:1 says: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”

    Its not that every Christian on earth was there, but every Christian that was there, was of one accord.

  • Brian W


    No, Judas was not a believer, he was the son of perdition, fit for God’s eternal redemptive purpose:

    “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil? Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him” (John 6:70-71).

    The devil? Betray him? Not the actions of a believer Liz.

    As to Mary Magdalene, she was a harlot touched and saved by the Master and indeed a faithful follower of Christ, evidence that she was a believer, so no longer a “fallen woman”.

  • Andy

    I have no idea how I would define a “great” person either, but I don’t think it matters. As we don’t know the mind of God, we can really only consider people good and bad by human standards. And by those standards I know tons of great people that aren’t Christian. Plenty of them have been happily married for years, and have much more successful marriages (again with the nebulous definition) than some Christians I know. In fact, of divorced people I know, more of them are Christian than not. I suppose that proves only that not all marriages between Christians work, but still, it’s something.

    I think it’s great if loving Christians have a lifelong, successful marriage. But it certainly doesn’t happen to all of them, and it happens to a lot of people who aren’t Christian. To suggest that only a marriage between Christians can work, and that one between a Christian and a non-Christian — or two non-Christians — cannot, is just ludicrous.

  • Andy

    “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”

    Was that place a Honda dealership?

  • Andy

    It’s “deity”, and Jehovah’s Witnesses would disagree with your assertion that they must hold that tenet.

  • Elizabeth

    Mary may have been a harlot; she may have been educated nobility. The historical record is unclear. The Gnostic gospels tend to have a higher opinion. Harlot grabs the Western imagination more. She has three separate feast days in the Eastern tradition for three different guises. Thief or no, Judas was a disciple. Jesus only picked twelve.

    How are we coming along on ‘Bad company corrupts good character’ and ‘The Bible is clear’? Because I know from lo-o-ong experience the subsections of the population who shorten my name to Liz: accountants, math teachers, and dogmatists. Nothing wrong with them, I just know we don’t have the same priorities.

  • Allie

    The tradition that Mary of Magdala was a harlot is not based on anything in the Bible. She was no such thing; she is the woman who was cleansed of seven demons. Nowhere in the several mentions of her in the Bible is it even suggested she ever did anything unpleasant.

    The harlot tradition conveniently played into the Gnostic beliefs of a female figure who was wisdom exiled on earth as a harlot.

  • Matt

    Exactly, Barbara. Seriously, what is with all of this “You absolutely must hear what I have to say, because obviously I know every detail you do about your relationship, plus one that you don’t” business? You have an obligation to step in when you are witnessing abuse, or have reasonably strong suspicion of it. Before that, there is this thing called “boundaries.”

  • This is lovely. Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂

  • Barbara Rice

    You got it, Matt. To think you know what’s best for someone else in their relationship, because you don’t approve of the religion/lack of religion of one of the parties, is incredibly pompous and egotistical.

  • Brian W

    The Gnostic gospels are not considered inspired Scripture, so I don’t hold them in same regard as Holy Scripture. It is true that Scripture never labled her a harlot, it is inferred, but not certain. We do know as fact that Mary Magdalene had previously been possessed by demons; watched Jesus’ crucifixion; was the first to see him after his resurrection and was an ardent follower of Christ.

    Judas was a desciple, but not a believer, that was converted by the grace of God, he was the son of perdition. I never denied he wasn’t one of the Twelve, of course he was.

    “Bad company corrupts good character” is clear to me what it means, are you confused or uncertain what that means, especially in light of the entire Bible that has many verses regarding the influence bad people can have on you? Compare Scripture with Scripture, I’m sure that will help you better understand the Bible.

    If Liz offends you, accept my apologies Elizabeth, every Elizabeth I know has no problem with the shorter “Liz”, it was wrong of me to assume it was the same for you.

    I’m none of the subsection of the population you profiled me as.

  • Brian W


    Sorry for the spelling, as for JW’s, they’re not Christians, so of course they disagree with the deity of Christ, just like Mormons aren’t Christians. Now, they can both be fine, loving and outstanding people, they’re just not Christians, that’s all.

  • Brian W

    You are correct, there is no firm biblical proof that she was a harlot. She was possessed by 7 demons, so safe to say, she probably wasn’t a woman you would want to take home to meet your parents. One demon is bad enough, but 7 – yikes!!

  • Brian W

    If you had an adult child or a dear friend that was about to make a wrong or unwise decision, you wouldn’t speak up “lovingly and firmly”?

  • Brian W

    So true…

  • Barbara Rice

    I assume adults can make their own decisions. It is not my place to tell them whats’ “wrong or unwise.”

  • Brian W

    Andy I whole heartedly agree with you, just because you’re a Christian it doesn’t make you immune to a bad marriage and divorce, any more than being an atheist means your marriage will be doomed, nor does it mean that a “mixed marriage” between a believer and non-believer can not be “successful”, they indeed can. Marriage takes work, no matter who you are or what you believe. Paul gave a stern warning that it is dangerous to “yoke” with unbelievers, like in a marriage. That by no means is a statement that it can’t work, it most certainly can.

  • Brian W

    Andy – good one!!

  • DR

    If a friend of mind wanted to earn me against a drug addiction or that I was marrying an abusive man? I’d welcome it. That a friend is telling me that as a result of us interpreting a few scriptures differently, the wonderfully loving supportive and fabulous man I was marrying was “unwise? They’d not be my friend any longer.

  • Matt

    If they asked my opinion or advice, I would give it. If I thought their immediate safety was in danger, I would take action.

    But as Barbara said, adults can make their own decisions. And sometimes it’s the only way that we learn.

  • DR

    The cavalier, careless dickishness of this comment is stunning.

  • DR

    1 John

  • DR

    You didn’t even respond to a thing I actually said.

  • DR

    Catholics have additional books of the Bible that Protestants don’t consider “holy” either. Thankfully, you don’t have the last word on what is Holy Scripture and what is not, I believe the Holy Spirit has that last authority and to the benefit of many, works quite beautifully around your parameters of what is Christian and what is not.

  • DR

    The sinless state of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God is considered by millions in the world to be an “essential” doctrine of faith as a result of scriptural interpretstion. If you do not agree with this, you’re going to hell. Do you believe this essential doctrine? Concerned about your salvation.

  • Matt

    Incidentally, that disagreement is what broke me free of Biblical literalism for good. If we can’t even agree on how many books make up the Bible, how can we possibly say that it’s the literally inspired word of God and perfect in every aspect?

  • DR

    Peter betrayed Jesus not just once, but three times. True believers reject Jesus constantly, several hundred times a day. There are christians in jail for murder. christian drug addicts and adulterers, christians who run huge empires and manipulate people oit of what little money they have. To suggest that you or I or anyone k ows their true devotion or that we know the state of Judas’s ultimate devotion to Jesus is shocking. You don’t know and I suspect the greatest fear of your life is uncertainty.

  • Brian W

    How about wanting to drive after 6 glasses wine? You wouldn’t say a thing? How about an 18 yr. old child that wants to tattoo part of their face? You wouldn’t say a thing? Adults make wrong and unwise decisions all the time and some are so plainly obvious that if you don’t say anything it is wrong.

  • Brian W

    Sure I did, perhaps not the way you wanted, but I did. The Bible is specific how we are to live.

  • Brian W

    Agreed, but there are books of the Bible that all Christians believe are Cannon. Catholics believe there are more than what Protastants believe, but not less. The least amount of writings that all Christians agree as Holy Scripture is contained in the 66 books we call the Bible.

  • Brian W

    Peter didn’t betray Jesus, he denied him. The Bible tells us about Judas’ heart and his fate. I dont need some insight to his devotion, the Bible tells us he was the son of perdition. He was never a converted believer. He sure played the part well, no one suspected Judas as the traitor. Just because someone claims they’re a Christian, it doesn’t mean they are, you know them by their fruits, do you get figs from thistles?

  • Barbara Rice

    You’re absolutely right, I would not say a thing. I have known people who were drunk – hell, I have been that drunk – and there is zero point in saying anything to them. Ever argue with a drunk?

    And 18 year olds getting tatted on their face – if it’s legal, I have nothing to say. I see it all the time. It’s not my business.

    I gave up trying to control other people a long time ago and amazingly, the universe has continued without me.

  • My parents were both stalwart supporters of our Methodist church in Westwood, near the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. They dragged my brother and I there as kids, which we weren’t crazy about, but for a while I participated in youth programs, which I more or less enjoyed. About age sixteen I had serious doubts about Christianity; not about the existence of God, mind you, but the very core beliefs of salvation and the idea of Jesus as God’s divine Son. No one made me go, after I expressed my doubts; even my Dad respected my decision.

    At some point my mother stopped going to church and my father went alone, because he loved the singing, the fellowship and comfort he found there. She never went again after about age sixty-five; she also struggled with alcoholism. She had been brutalized by cancer and eventually slipped into a deep depression before she died from cancer of the colon.

    All this time, I had married. Our two kids were never baptized, to my mother’s chagrin, but my Dad, not so much. In the background, I struggled with alcohol as I suppressed unshakable feelings of being transgendered, or to use the language of the fifties, being a “pervert”.

    I’m sober, still married to the same woman,and more Buddhist than Christian, but my heart and mind remain open. My Dad ended up in a retirement home surrounded by a lot of his workmates from the movie industry who were Jewish; this concerned him at first. He ended up having a late life love affair with a Jewish lady as he approached his ninetieth birthday. The last man of God who comforted him and said a prayer for him was a Rabbi; the circle was completed by me, his trans daughter, and my wife.

    I don’t think that even Jesus would expect us to rigidly enforce a group creed; how does one spread the good news if we exclude those who do not believe the same way, or at all? Jesus the teacher, yogi and holy man would have us welcome all with open hearts, and have find the way to him through our own peace and happiness; just my trans Buddhist two cents.

    When my Dad was dying, Rabbi Arthur asked my wife and I if we knew any prayers. I told him I knew the Lord’s prayer and the Serenity prayer; my wife knew the Lord’s prayer. Rabbi Arthur smiled;”That’s a pretty good prayer”

    “Written by a Rabbi…” I added. He nodded, smiled at me and we joined hands. I’m pretty sure my Dad got where he needed to go.

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Brian! I’m still on the Tarmac and typing left-handed. Forgive my brevity. You mean the Magdalene’s tawdry past was implied not inferred. That’s not nitpicking. In this case, it’s a telling difference. You infer meaning; I infer meaning; a third-grader infers meaning. None of us can know what the writers much less the redactors meant to imply. Several separate stories in the Gospels are suspected to be Mary, not always by name.

    My point with “Bad company corrupts good character” was even simpler. If it were true, it would have been poor judgment for Jesus to expose his ‘good’ disciples to a devil and a whore, not to mention the unsuspecting masses. We follow Christ’s example; you just called Him a corrupter.

    And I don’t mind Liz. I merely find it instructive, Bribri. Off to Sin City. I see you’re in good hands.

  • Andy

    Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons both will tell you they’re Christians. You won’t convince them otherwise.

    Besides, why do you care? Christian is just a word. Unless you think all non-Christians go to hell, in which case it suddenly becomes important. But that’s not a very popular opinion around here.

  • Andy

    “How could a quality marriage be built and maintained if you disagree on the most crucial issue in the universe—the Lord Jesus Christ?”

    That doesn’t sound like you think marriages between Christians and non-Christians can work. Unless you were genuinely asking that question, and I didn’t infer from the context that you were.

    Speaking of context, Paul said that to the Corinthians of 2 millenniums ago. He didn’t say that to us. Not everything he said to his direct audiences is relevant to us today. I’m not sure if this is one of those things or not, but still.

  • Jim North of Seattle

    I’m not sure if you’re replying to me, John Shore, or somebody else. Usually people confuse me with Bill, whoever he is, so this is a first; and I think I am honored that you confuse me with our host. Or not…still not sure.

    A day has passed, in which I’ve become older and in theory wiser, or perhaps just more of a curmudgeon. On the assumption (always dangerous) that you meant to address Jim North of Seattle, I will tackle your response and redirect with my own.

    Your words that you may have meant as a caution are easily read as a condemnation. For example, in paragraph three you say;

    The passage clearly says there is no harmony between Christ and Satan (Belial). There can be no spiritual harmony in a marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian.

    This statement, and using this “proof text”, very directly draws the line between the actions of the compassionate young man of case one and a great evil. By leaving her no wiggle room in your argument, you have also left yourself no wiggle room.

    The distraught young woman, on reading your words acts in one of two ways: she become angry at your (to her) callous comments on a man you know nothing about in a situation where you, Brian, don’t even have half the story–only an excerpt from a letter. Or, if her emotions bend in another direction, she despairs of her decision, perhaps even her life, and becomes a client of Lifeline, the national suicide prevention hot line. I pray not.

    We are unlikely to learn the outcome, however variations on the two scenarios above are more likely responses to your “advice” than a rational, “Why, he’s right! I’ll just tell Joe to take a hike and wait ever so patiently for the Right Man to appear.” I base this opinion on more than thirty years of observation, education and providing counsel to several dozen real people over the past thirty or so years, in venues across the world.

    As has been mentioned repeatedly, you, Brian, do not know whether their relationship is God’s instrument to bring the guy into a relationship with Himself. And yet you would argue her out of it, which potentially puts her outside God’s will and the motivation of the Spirit. We. Don’t. Know.

    Now, you seem to allude that John/Jim/Bill/Elizabeth/Everyone who engages in conversation with you is proposing a life without rules. That is as incorrect as the assumption that Paul’s letters have always been deemed scripture from the day the scribe set them to paper–a fallacy, by the way. Anyway, that is not so. We follow God’s rule to the best of our ability through our faith in Christ and study of His words, deeds, life, death, resurrection, after life and ascension. He did make that much simple.

    Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” Mark 12:29-31

    The letters of Paul are among those accepted by the Western (Roman) Church as canonical, ever since Iranaeus. However, when we start piecing them out, without understanding the cultural context in which they were written, we get ourselves into trouble. Paul was writing to the Church in Corinth, which was experiencing problems with the budding orthodoxy on the one hand and running up against one of the largest populations of Pharisaic Jews on the other. The problems in the orthodoxy were as much rooted in excess and needed stern correction–or so Paul believed.

    Let us rather look at the letter to the Romans who faced the problem from the perspective of Gentiles who knew nothing of Judaism. Paul carefully walks them through a progression of thought culminating in the concept that there is no way to fulfill the requirements of the Law except through Christ.

    So, it is not that I don’t believe in God’s rules. However, I have learned, to my pain, that it is a mistake to think that a legalistic application of “proof texts”, as borne out in American “Conservative” Christianity of the past nearly two hundred years, is a sure road to salvation and bringing God’s Kingdom. Again, I encourage you to read authors like Marcus Borg, N.T. Wright or Brian McLaren, if only to understand where some of us odd ducks are coming from. You might also consider brushing up on Church history, reading more than one point of view. You may find it refreshing; inspiring, even.

  • DR

    You talked a lot in your comment. But you did not actually listen or respond to the thought within my comment. You don’t discuss things, Brian. You preach.

  • DR

    The point, Brian, is you just identified what “holy” is and I’m quite certain you wouldn’t consider the additional Catholic holy scriptures to be in that category.

  • DR

    The game of semantics you’re playing is something you can certainly do if that’s your choice.

  • DR

    Brian, the sinless state of Mary as a result of the Grace of Immaculate Conception is considered by millions in the world to be an “essential” doctrine of faith as a result of scriptural interpretstion. If you do not agree with this, you’re going to hell. Do you believe this essential doctrine? I’m concerned about your salvation and as a Christian, believe it’s my obligation to warn you to embrace this doctrine as your sister in Christ.

  • DR

    Despite a dozen testimonies here of marriages like this working, Brian, Dallas and others who insist on believing a specific way just choose to gloss over the actual “fruit” that our commenters are offering while at the same time, they tell us that the fruit of our choices determines what is Godly and what is not. So it’s very difficult to keep track of when fruit counts and when it doesn’t.

  • DR

    Brian, why do you think people experience you as preaching to them instead of simply sharing experiences together? Are you aware that others are reacting to you this way pretty consistently? I’m curious if you give that any thought and if so, why you think others respond to you with the belief that you actually are quite exclusive in your belief that “one is only a Christian if they do and ___________ this way”.

  • Brian W


    Even Catholics don’t claim the sinlessness of Mary, her Immaculate Conception and Assumption are “essential core beliefs” of Christianity. The virgin birth however, is essential.

  • Brian W

    “Mixed” marriages can work, since there are posts on here claiming they have. Paul gave a stern warning that it can be problematic, so since the warning is so strong, I took his advice and “yoked up” with a Christian woman.

    Though no Pauline epistle was written to us, it doesn’t mean they weren’t written for us. There are indeed timeless spiritual truths contained in them. God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

  • Brian W


    That would be correct.

  • Brian W

    Andy, you’re right I really don’t care what the JW’s and Mormons think or their false claim that “they’re Christians” (heretics is more like it). I do not believe that all non-Christians go to hell. I know what you mean about opinions around here, it’s basically agree with John and the most frequent posters on here and then you’re ok. If you’re a Christian that believes even just a little different than most on here, you’re labelled as a narrow minded, bigoted, “toxic” Christian and are not very tolerated either.

  • DR

    Brian, being a Catholic I can assure you that the Immaculate Conception is indeed, a core essential tenant of faith and is considered as such given Mary to Catholics plays a very, very important role. if you review the catechism thoroughly you will see that’s the case. Do you embrace it? Yes or no?

  • mike moore

    Barbara, I want to believe you’re taking a position that’s more rhetorical than true.

    If, indeed, you wouldn’t say a thing to a drunk person about to drive off behind the wheel, then you really ought to be ashamed of yourself. And if you can’t convince a drunk not to drive, you ought to call 911. It’s not an issue of faith, it’s an issue of saving lives.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh Bribri. You’ve been not only tolerated but encouraged on this thread. And you’re still using the word heretic.

  • Barbara Rice


    In the past I have said something to people about to drive drunk. Did it ever do any good? No it, did not. It is extremely seldom that it does. Drunks can and will convince you they are fine.

    If someone wants to wrestle the car keys away from them, that’s another issue. But I don’t do it.

    And no, I am not ashamed of myself. Sorry.

  • Barbara Rice

    Brian, Brian, Brian. (I can call you that, right?)

    I think you’re totally missing the point. It’s not at all that you “have” to agree with John & most posters. It is that this is a safe place for people who have been burned by dogmatic Christians, toxic Christianity, fundies, and narrow approaches to scriptural interpretation.

    If a poster insists that their way is the only way – say, if they insist that JWs and Mormons are heretics – then maybe they’d feel better in a place that is safe for them and bounces back what they want to hear, rather than a place with diverse opinions, a place who will take you to the mat when they suspect that maybe you’re just here to argue and then stomp off when no one buys it.

    I could be wrong, though. (Which is a great phrase!)

  • Andy

    How is the warning about unequal yoking more stern than the one about women remaining silent, a suggestion that’s never observed today by most people?

    Sure, there are some timeless truths in the epistles. But there were also some things he said specifically to the audience of each one. Unfortunately, he didn’t denote which ones were for them only and which should be observed for all eternity.

  • Andy

    Brian, “Christian” is just a word. As I understand it, it denotes a follower of the one most people refer to when using the term “Christ”. Is there more to it than that?

    The word “Christian” appears only a few times in the bible. I don’t believe any verse in the bible defines the term and gives the criteria that must be met for one to be labeled as one. There’s no authority that certifies someone as a Christian. You don’t get a diploma or anything when you become one.

    So if someone calls himself or herself a Christian, who are you to say he or she isn’t?

  • Remy Schrader

    Hey John,

    Thanks for responding to my comment. I appreciate it. Sorry for the use of all caps coming up but I don’t know how to bold in the comments section — I’m slow too some times.

    Again, what I’m contending is your statement that “Paul was okay with Christians MARRYING non-Christians.” As I read the passage, it seems very clear that Paul is calling believers to REMAIN MARRIED to unbelievers, not go out and GET MARRIED to unbelievers.

    The wrinkle is that nearly all women throughout human history didn’t have a voice in choosing who their spouse would be or when they would be married, including those in the time and place who Paul was originally writing too. So say a young Corinthian woman comes to faith, but then Dear old patriarch Dad marries her off to an unbelieving spouse to secure a dowry or alliance of families… it’s very likely that was a common situation in this church community. Given the cultural status of women as property at the time, I think the sections you bolded are more likely addressing that kind of situation.

    It’s the theme running through the whole chapter. What do you do when you’ve received spiritual freedom through faith in Christ, but you still face physical oppression through cultural authorities via slavery and marriage?

    Paul’s answer goes all the way back to Jesus’ sermon of “going the extra mile.” Whether you are a Jewish man compelled to labor for your military occupiers as an act of humiliation, or a Corinthian woman who’s degraded to a commodity when her sexual value is traded through marriage (or worse – Corinth would make Las Vegas blush), Jesus answer is not resentment and resistance, but joy and service. To CHOOSE to Love those who, according to how the world values relationships, are Unloveable. Christ’s message is that EVERYONE is lovable — including me. And that’s how and why He does Love me. And that’s why I pass that on to everyone. That’s how a Roman executor can come to confess that “Surely this was the Son of God,” and how an “unbelieving [spouse] has been sanctified.”

    Sorry, I need to get back to work, so I can’t fully communicate this idea right now. But before I go, just one last thought for the room: what I’ve written here is meant to understand a specific culture, one where women didn’t have the option of leaving an abusive relationship. It’s not in any way saying women (or anyone) today should remain in abusive relationships. We have freedoms most people never did, and we should use them to be free and to be loved, not harmed. As Paul also wrote, “do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”


  • DR

    It’s crazy to me that you have the opportunity of reading a number of testimonies below where the quote of Paul you used is clearly demonstrated, yet you’re arguing against the edification of these marriages.

  • Believer

    The Apostle Paul also said in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ” Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

    THE POINT is that by marrying an unbeliever, you jeopardize your faith in God. The Apostle Paul also spoke in 1 Corinthians 15:33 (just a few chapters after what you quoted) that “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

    Anything that is displeasing to God IS sin.

    Therefore, marrying an unbeliever IS sin. What Paul was speaking about in chapter 7 were people who were ALREADY married, and one spouse became a believer.

    An unbeliever (which it appears you are, John) has no right to give their commentary on Scripture.

  • Barbara Rice

    (Troll sighting)

    Oh bitch, PLEASE.

    Matthew 7:1

    Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why behold you the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? …

  • Barbara Rice

    Or, as DR said below, “The cavalier, careless dickishness of this comment is stunning.”

  • Elizabeth

    Poor formatting is so displeasing to God. All those pesky italics in the KJV.

  • Believer

    God has made the judgment, and I have pointed out the judgment. Stop quoting the passage as though you know what you’re talking about (which you clearly do not).

  • Believer

    Your lack of understanding Scripture is duly noted.

    You don’t think in terms of what God has said, therefore, your statement is absurd and foolish.

    On that note, believers should not be asking an unbeliever for their personal opinions on Scriptural matters.

  • Believer

    The author of this post quoted the King James.

  • Believer

    Oh wow, such an original comeback: quoting Matthew 7:1 the way you did!

    But seriously, that is always quoted by people who don’t like having their sin pointed out to them. The point of pointing things out like that is for correction. Would you use that verse on a professor on a college final you failed miserably? No. Why? Because you need correction.

    The entire New Testament is about correction and the expounding of doctrine.

    Also, Jesus was talking about people who have the appearance of being religious, but are not, also known as hypocrites. There are people who ARE, in fact, religious, who DO, in fact, know what they’re talking about.

    The point is, you have no clue what you’re talking about either.

  • Barbara Rice

    Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame. Fundie trolls get the boot.

  • Believer

    Not looking for fame, and not trolling. I read an article that was absurdly stupid, and there are going to be believers who read this and go along with it because they think it’s right. IT’S NOT.

    I’m trying to keep Christians from seeing, and believing, this nonsense, and to point out the very obvious flaw in the reasoning; the flaw being the fact that the quote being given as ‘proof’ of an unbeliever’s point is actually not even given to unmarried people.

  • DR

    Lol. You are so silly.

  • DR

    You cute little donkey. Bless your heart.

  • Barbara Rice


  • Barbara Rice

    I’m kind of waiting for the “everyone has to agree with John!” bleating, aren’t you?

  • DR

    I’m correct about what, exactly? That you’d not identify the additional books in Scripture Catholics include as “holy”? If so then welch to what almost everyone on this forum has been trying to show you about yourself for years.

  • Elizabeth

    You know KJV stands for King James Version, right? I studied where they translated the OT. That’s Old Testament. I already seen it, dude.

  • Barbara Rice

    Because, of course, the very best way to convince someone of anything is to first insult their intelligence and tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about. Because, of course, YOUR interpretation is the only correct way. Yeah. Uh-huh.

    *Waits for the “I didn’t say it, GOD said it” excuse*

  • vern

    believer statements seem to come from the extreme right of evangelism – which indicates that anything outside of their very narrow, strict interpretation of the scripture is wrong and unchristian. I happen to have read many Christian authors who are more forward thinking, more progressive and more grounded in the newer translations of the old documents than many others. I have been called a liberal and many other names, but I am not willing to cram down any ones throat what I cannot completely substantiate from scripture and other reading. taking scripture out of context isn’t proof of anything except that you can memorize something, and probably not actually live it.

  • yessor

    why is it when a person quotes the Bible and it doesn’t agree with your ideas, they’re a troll? Apply Matthew 7:1 to yourself.

    The Word, (that is, the Lord) says believers are not to marry unbelievers. A believer who goes against that shows they love their prospective mate more than the Lord. That’s idolatry.

  • yessor

    it appears all you can do it ridicule

  • yessor

    a believer in what? Doing it your way?

  • DR

    “is” ridicule (see what I did there)

  • Elizabeth

    I got mad skillz.

  • Barbara Rice

    As Linus once said, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

  • Barbara Rice

    But can you haz cheezburger?

  • DR

    Brian, here’s the real issue here. You continue to equate a lot of decisions as “destructive” (which clearly getting behind the wheel after too much alcohol) is. And there’s often, an assumptive feel to those comments that you make, meaning you think everyone you’re in conversation with obviously knows that the Bible makes it clear that “insert behavior here” is destructive. What you might want to consider is the people here on this forum just interpret Scripture very differently at times – they still believe in Jesus, they still have a legitimate faith in Christ – there are just a handful of verses that you’ve historically believed each and every “real” Christian interprets consistently and you’re running into people here who have a different take.

    So I think what might be helpful to consider is how you take those verses and explain *why* you believe them to mean something if you run up against this again (you’re certainly entitled to believe Scriptures mean a certain thing, everyone gets to choose their interpretation). You’re such a sweetheart and it’s hard for me to see you keep experiencing this.

  • Leslie Baird

    I fell in love with a liberal nonChristian. It just hit me. I didn’t decide. It is not Satan and it is real love It could be the Lord even. Pastors guide us they don’t control our relationship with the Lord. We recenty had a rift and it is like a theatre of pain. Not a good ticket. Don’t recomnend it. If I ask the Lord to let me out my boyfriend might feel the pain. I love you all. Thx for listening.

  • Annette

    Darya, Thank you for sharing your story, part tragedy, part triumph, bittersweet and lovely. Blessings on you continued journey and congrats on your sobriety.

  • Debby

    Let’s talk societal context a moment. Surveys by the Barna Group show that the ratio of unmarried “Christian” women to men makes it statistically impossible for all female “believers” to be “equally yoked,” even if they all wanted to be. That’s not heresy, that’s reality!

    Personally, my faith is built upon the work of Christ in my life, not the beliefs of my significant other. And the proverbial references to the corruption by bad company is based on the faulty assumption that non-Christians are incapable of possessing good character. Fundamentalists seem to be good at “otherizing” those who don’t believe exactly like them, and by doing so justify looking down upon them — which to me is a bad character trait to have, Christian or not.

  • Rhi

    Hey there… Your relationship sounds a bit like mine, except reversed. My fiance (we just recently got engaged) is a dedicated Christian who lives for God each and every day. He grew up in church and is also the family of the church. When we started dating, I was not a Christian. Some people told him it was not a good idea, while others told him to continue witnessing to me and plant the seed of Christ in my heart. Long story short, I am now saved and a baptized Christian for a year… (and we have been together for about 2 years now). So, the reason I’m telling you this is because my Fiance did not give up on me. He loved me enough to constantly speak the truth, even when he knew I would get mad at him. I can tell you love your fiance, so continue to speak the truth to him. Keep asking God for help, let the holy spirit work through you and touch your fiance. God knows whats best, and he wants us to spread His word, and He wants your fiance to be saved. I wish you the best on this journey… and I’ll pray for you. God bless.

  • Hmm

    May I ask you believers… How many of you speak in tongues? How many of you believe in the holy trinity?

    I think Christians are VERY good at picking and choosing what they believe in. It is very clear with Christianity. Who is anyone to judge someone’s choice of love. At the end of the day if someone chooses to love someone who is not a Christian. who is of the same sex or whatever let it be because at the end of the Christ loves us all.

    Doesn’t it say in Romans 14 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

    God loves us regardless. Marry who you want, Christianity is a walk with Christ and SHOULD be between you and Christ and no other man. Enough said

  • InJesusITrust

    I found this article as I was searching on Google how to ease my heart from my condemning friends who are not supportive of my engagement to my non-Christian boyfriend.. And I admit, it gave me comfort, not in a way that I know the article was right.. But in a way that someone doesn’t want to judge me for what I have chosen to do and this person even is telling people to be supportive of love of any denomination and gender.. So I want to thank John for this article. I will still be marrying this person and asked God to forgive me for this as I know this is not His perfect will for me..

    I also want to say that being ‘yoked’ is not just for marriage.. It’s any relationship that has a commitment be it personal or business.. If lots of people will understand that, maybe they wouldn’t be so condemning of other Christians marrying non-Christians.. Just saying..


  • KL

    I am in a relationship with someone who is not a Christian in the same way I define myself, he is not born again but does not lack faith (even if his faith comes across as very small). According to what Paul says, believers and unbelievers should not be unequally yoked. The Bible also says in 1 Corinthians 10:23 that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. Most people when they are looking for support and encouragement, refer to certain Bible verses to empower a cause or to find correction and this is very much up to that individual (its a pretty good start to go straight to God’s word). One of the best things God gave us is free choice, and every choice we make has a complication and a consequence. Surprisingly enough through this path I have chosen, God has sought my heart and mine His, despite my boyfriend not being a Christian. I have a much deeper relationship with God now than I did before I started dating my boyfriend. And through my growth with God during this time, the most amazing things are starting to happen – for me and for him. It seems my boyfriend is beginning to navigate his own relationship with God. Love really does do amazing things.

    Each decision that we make can either take us closer to God or further away. And all I have seen from my experience is God getting closer and closer to the both of us. God has softened both our hearts. I won’t offer any advice because I am not an expert on the Bible. Or God for that matter. But I do know a few of things, I love God, I love my boyfriend and am becoming a better person through having both of them in my life. With all I have been through in my life, God has proven that in each circumstance He comes through when I commit it to Him.

  • Kim

    This article is a little off according to what the Bible actually says about a Christian and non-

    Christian being married. This passage by Paul that is quoted is about divorce and Paul is saying that if you are already married to a non-Christain don’t divorce them. BUT if you are not married then the Bible is clear to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. And as a TRUE Christian and friend I would most definitely tell my Christian friends to not marry an unbeliever because if she truly wants to follow Jesus the man is the spiritual leader of the household and how can the man lead if he doesn’t even believe. Why would she want to bring potential problems into her life with a man who doesnt have the same priorities. I am single and I love Jesus too. I know that he loves me and I am also tempted by men in my life who don’t believe in Jesus but still I am holding out for the man I know God has for me. I trust that God has a strong man of faith for me but I have to be patient and wait and not just marry someone because I am unwilling to follow God and let him lead me in this very important part of my life. I have a friend who is married to a man who doesn’t believe and she allows her marriage to hinder her own personal relationship with Christ. As for me, my personal relationship with Christ is first and foremost and the Bible says it should be. We are to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. His ways are to protect us and lead us in the best life for ourselves but if we choose our own way then we reap the consequences of our actions. Yes, God is merciful and he is redeemer but why put him to that test and not be willing to wait and pray for his very best from the beginning.

  • Lymis

    You do know that you can feel it’s important to have a spouse who shares your spiritual beliefs and practices without feeling the need to condemn those who don’t, don’t you?

    And for that matter, that the world is full of people who married fellow believers and didn’t have it work out so well?

    I think, perhaps, a review of the Mary and Martha story is in order. Not everyone follows Jesus the same way.

  • Leanne

    wow that is good. I just read that you have come to Jesus and that is awesome. I am glad your boyfriend did not give up on you. I married a very ungodly man in Peru last year who treated me worse then an animal. He was abusive. I left him in Peru and came back home to Melbourne Australia. He has gotten on with his life and I am trying to get on with mine. But I am not getting married again. It is good your bf did not give up on you. My sister never gave up on me either and I came to Jesus in 2005 for the first time. Jesus even gave me dreams and visions so I can believe in Him even more. He is absolutely Loving, and He is the Best. May the Love of Jesus be with you always.

  • Austin

    I think what needs to be understood first and foremost is that Corinthians is written by Paul in his opinion of relationships that involve the romantic form of love as opposed to the fatherly form of love which is the most prevalent type in the Bible.

    He asks his readers to do as he has and as God has guided his life in matters of the heart. He then gives a few words to heed should you choose to do things differently.

    The reason Paul offers his knowledge on this subject…Jesus was never married. The Lord himself has never been in a relationship. Relationships and marriage are mankinds doing that God acknowledged when he created Eve for Adam.

  • Steven Waling

    I really wish I could like comments here.

  • marlyse

    How did he constantly speak the truth to you? How did he keep his walk with Christ and still be with a non- believer?

  • marlyse

    “Asked God to forgive me for this as I know this is not his perfect will for me..” God wants your heart and you…that’s all.

  • Jessica

    I am in the same situation right now. I have been saved and decided to love God and all His glory, but my boyfriend’s friends are skeptical. They think I made this choice to be with my boyfriend, but I honestly and truthfully know I am loved by Christ. Even after my decisions, I feel judged by all my boyfriends friends. I have my own separate identity that I have established in my church and continue to learn and grow in Christ even without my boyfriend. You ask how someone can be truthful while being with a non-believer…no one is a “non-believer” , they are simply lost in sin and need to be saved. God is not going to punish someone for using his power in love with another if it is in His name, God saw my love grow for him and my boyfriend with all his grace gave me exactly what I needed. The choosing of a non-believer in itself is not the sin, God makes paths for people and if he knows that a relationship is wrong he would never not show you that in some way. Being equally yoked is not to be at the same place in Christ, but to be giving the same amount to Christ. If you are just learning and seeking faith but giving as much effort to understand as the saved is to better their connection you are equally yoked, just in different phases of Gods plan for you. If the person shows no interest and support for the faith, why would you want to be with them anyway if that’s what you want for your life, but if they are interested and want to support and grow what are you losing? Only a love that you could regret losing for the rest of your life. It is the sins that may follow that are concerning to everyone around you in a relationship like this, if the one who is saved in the relationship can keep their center on God and know their partner is learning and growing also as equally as they are that is truly a miracle and not many people have that love. Judgment of human love is a sin, as is judging Gods love, judgment is not anyone’s place but God.

  • charlesmaynes

    Love is evidence of God… he does inhabit it.

  • Amy Hoag

    I am a Christian and have been married to my non-Christian husband for 15 years. We had pre-marital counseling and were married in the church (Disciples of Christ). The minister who married us felt like that we were a good fit and we discussed issues that might come up in the future. We’ve always been on the same page and he’s always been fine in us bringing my kids up in the church. I have to say that any negative experiences that I have had when it comes to not being married to a Christian have been from other Christians… (there have been several times of judgement by others) I think that as long as your spouse is respectful of your relationship with Christ and the church and you likewise are respectful then you will be fine. I do have to say that the only time I am truly uncomfortable is when there is discussion of Revelations. I did one study and decided that it was too hard for me to do another one again. Don’t be the judgmental Christian to someone who hasn’t been blessed to have a relationship with Christ and don’t assume you are a better Christian than anyone else just because you married one… God Bless all of you!

  • Liz

    We also have to remember the books of the bible attributed to Paul are letters written to various churches. In many respects, they are his opinion about situations that are specific to each church. While they may offer a good food for thought and contemplation, I think they make a poor foundation for theology. The other part of this is, we do not have the correspondence about specific situation(s) he may have been responding to so to say that his advice to the Corinthian applies to current day situations is problematic at best. If a person finds someone who is respectful, treats them well and supportive of their faith, who are you to judge that it is a problem? To assume that your friend allows her marriage to hinder her sounds arrogant on your part. You don’t know her heart, or everything that goes on in her relationship. Her relationship may be problematic due to reasons that have nothing to do with her spouse being non-Christian. Trust me if you think a spouse being a believer is going to make your relationship smooth sailing, think again. Relationships take work, hard work whether the spouses are of the same faith or not.

  • Shannon Montgomery

    Believer, I think I see the problem.

    You wrote, “The entire New Testament is about correction and the expounding of doctrine.”

    In actuality, the entire New Testament is about Jesus Christ coming to upend societal customs with the radical love of God. Jesus boiled everything God expects of us down to two things: Love God and love each other. That’s really all there is to it.

    There’s a lot of commentary on what that means, but the heart of it is genuinely that simple.

    Love God.

    Love each other.

  • FloBorg

    “being equally yoke” NEVER meant DO NOT MARRY. Here is the explanation of John Gill, 18th Century theologian.
    Please note that part “there is nothing in the text or context that lead to such an interpretation”. Enjoy your relationship:

    Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers,…. This seems to be an allusion to the law in Deuteronomy 22:10 and to be a mystical explanation of it; and is to be understood not as forbidding civil society and converse with unbelievers; for this is impracticable, then must believers needs go out of the world; this the many natural and civil relations subsisting among men make absolutely necessary; and in many cases is both lawful and laudable, especially when there is any opportunity or likelihood of doing them any service in a spiritual way: not is it to be understood as dehorting from entering into marriage contracts with such persons; for such marriages the apostle, in his former epistle, had allowed to be lawful, and what ought to be abode by; though believers would do well carefully to avoid such an unequal yoke, since oftentimes they are hereby exposed to many snares, temptations, distresses, and sorrows, which generally more or less follow hereon: but there is nothing in the text or context that lead to such an interpretation; rather, if any particular thing is referred to, it is to joining with unbelievers in acts of idolatry; since one of the apostle’s arguments to dissuade from being unequally yoked with unbelievers is, “what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?” and from the foregoing epistle it looks as if some in this church had joined with them in such practices; see 1 Corinthians 10:14. But I rather think that these words are a dissuasive in general, from having any fellowship with unbelievers in anything sinful and criminal, whether in worship or in conversation:

    for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? This, with what is said in the following verse, and in the beginning of the next to that, contain reasons or arguments engaging believers to attend to the exhortation given not to keep company with unbelievers. By “righteousness” is meant righteous persons, who are made the righteousness of God in Christ, to whom Christ is made righteousness, or to whom the righteousness of Christ is imputed for justification; and who also have principles of grace and holiness in their hearts, or have the kingdom of God in them, which consists of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; and who being made free from the dominion of sin, are become servants of righteousness: and by unrighteousness is designed unrighteous persons, who are destitute of a justifying righteousness, are filled with all unrighteousness, and are, as it were, a mass and lump of iniquity; now, what fellowship can there be between persons of such distant characters?

    And what communion hath light with darkness? regenerate men are made light in the Lord; they are enlightened into their state and condition by nature, to see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, to behold the glory, beauty, fulness, and suitableness of Christ, so as to be sensible of their need of him, and to be able to look unto him for life and salvation; they are enlightened more or less into the doctrines of the Gospel, and the duties of religion; and their path is a shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect day. Unregenerate persons are “darkness” itself; they are dark and ignorant of God in Christ, of the way of salvation by Christ, of the work of the Spirit of God upon the heart, and of the mysteries of grace; they know not themselves, nor the sad estate they are in; they are born, and brought up in darkness worse than Egyptian darkness; they go on in it, and if grace prevent not, will be cast into utter and eternal darkness. Now, what “communion” can there be between persons so different one from another? for what is more so than light and darkness? these the God of nature has divided from each other; and they are in nature irreconcilable to one another, and so they are in grace.

  • Laura

    see my response below to this very text….

  • FloBorg

    And being a non-christian doesn’t necessarily mean to be a non-believer.

  • Mrs. Cherry

    I pray that us Christians will learn to really yield to the Spirit, and not follow our own flesh and justify our departures from God’s clear instructions. Either we believe and trust Him 100% or we only believe and follow the parts that are convenient or that we like. I pray for true integrity in our relationship with our Father. Jesus says, if you love me, you will obey me. Either you are obeying your own opinion and your own wants, or obeying what the Lord wants, even when his desires conflict with ours. I thought when we say he is Lord, we agree to submit to His entire Lordship over every area of our lives. In any event, I pray we have courage to put Him first as we are supposed to. Read the whole Bible, and watch how grieved God is when His children disobey Him and do what is right in their own eyes. So while you may be happy, know that your Father, who still loves you, is grieved when we choose our own understanding over His.

  • Cocolicious

    read this and felt so comforted by it. i am in the same situation. i love him and want to be with him.but afriad that by doing so i am dissapointing God and not waiting for his best. i really do believe he loves me and we could work. so how did it work with you guys especiall with things like purity?

  • Cocolicious

    I think you need to elaborate more on this sotry in some form.and speak on topics like purity in such situation and how you made things work. because if i decide to let this ‘non christian’ guy go. i dont think ill be happy like he makes me again

  • Jules

    Hear hear…

    If Jesus didn’t take the time to condemn it, anyone claiming something is sinful is highly suspect.

    His message was short, clear, and complete. He never said he was gonna pop up later, blind a guy for a few days, and that guy would fill in the details about how to handle gays, interfaith marriage, and women speaking in church. It’s absurd that the church bases so much un-Christlike behavior based on the words of a fellow fallible human. I’m a Christian… not a Paulian, not a Nicean, not a follower of men.

    I think it’s telling that the only times I remember Jesus acting in anger or frustration was when dealing with the religious hypocrites… From money changers to Pharisees, he saved his harshest words for those who would insert themselves between man and God. He came to bridge that gap, and too many people end up seeking guidance from middlemen rather than reading and understanding His words for themselves.

  • HappyCat

    Being married is hard. Having different faiths is not easy, but it can be done with thought, communication,and love. It seems to me that if a non-Christian spouse encourages you in your faith, is supportive, and there for you through thick and thin, then the choice is clear – find a church that supports you both.

  • Bones

    Seems some have exchanged Moses’s Law for Paul’s Law.

    Paul didn’t get everything right, that’s even if you don’t accept that some of the Pauline epistles weren’t written by Paul.

    As for the post, it depends on the type of Christian you are. If you’re an Evangelical who’s going to spend their life trying to convert their spouse then it would be a nightmare for both.

  • Mrs. Cherry

    While God gives all of us free will to do as our flesh desires, and some believers tell others to marry whoever they want, no matter how unGodly, a woman (or man) who knowingly chooses to marry someone in an unrepentant state should pray to understand the cost. Spiritual intimacy is an amazing gift and experience that you forfeit until your unbelieving spouse becomes a believer. Are you sure your unbelieving mate can lead your future household in prayer to fight the spiritual battles that are really at work in this world. And, I’m curious as to how an unbelieving father can teach and show his child HOW and WHY to trust in the LORD and HIS promises when storms come, given that the man is not willing to do it for himself. Various parts of the Bible tell parents to teach their children the things of the Lord. Are you sure that an unbeliever can speak to his/her children with any spiritual, Holy Spirit filled authority, and be “believable.” Women who chose this path must be willing and ready to fulfill the spiritual headship role of their household by themselves, almost like a “single” mother in the spiritual aspect, until your future husband agrees to accept this role. I pray that God still gets glory from these marriages in the long-run.

  • Mara

    What type of Christian you are?
    There is one body. One Christ. One Follower.
    There are no ‘Type’s’, there are only sinners.

  • To continue the body analogy, there are, as Paul attests, many parts, some of us are blood cells, others are toenails, some may even be ear hair, or the bellybutton, an eyelash, or a lymph node. As the body is made up of a wide variety of parts, each unique in shape, size and purpose, so too are Christians. Therefore there are all types of Christians.

  • Jay

    You know what? it is said that be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers..always remember that satan could offer pleasant things upon your sight just to convince you to the way he wants you to walk with…maybe that unbeliever boyfriend of yours offer a brilliant idea of letting you go back to church and have fellowship with christian friends because he knows it is your happiness but it is not a guarantee that he is good enough and loves you more than himself because if he do, then he would choose to follow your ways and go to a church of which your happiness belong..that is, if he really loves you. sometimes, we were being deceive by our own heart (Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?) a christian woman, before deciding to marry that guy, try to ask God to save your unbeliever fiancee…because if christian married another christian, a divorce sometimes occur then how much more a christian and unbeliever will do?..always remember that there is no fear in love..thus, let your boyfriend decide if he is willing to be inn in the path where Christ is or in the way of which he is in (which we know that, an unbeliever or unsaved is a son of satan). thus, what communion would there be between a christian and an unbeliever? how can you live a harmonious life when you cannot be one in spirit..try to think of this, an oil will never be mixed homogeneously with water. (IICor. 4:13 Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, )

    If he really loves you, he will love your God and receive your father Jesus as his savior .and yes, you are living with sin if you do that…and if you are willing to take the risk then be courageous enough in facing the consequences..and be of good cheer and lead him to the way of life…but if you faint and weak then the truth is, you cant lead them to come nearer to sober, be vigilant…believe me coz my mother had that kind of relationship with father during their 1st stage of relationship but hey! my mother marries my father when my father decided to follow Jesus and yes they face the consequences of her disobedience but because of love they conquer it all and look because of their faithfulness to God..we reap the abounding blessings….you have to choose between blessing or a curse…remember, either of which you’ll choose there is a corresponding blessing or curse that would be pass on from generation to generation depending on which side you choose and live for..

  • Bones

    “an unbeliever or unsaved is a son of satan”

    Complete and utter rubbish!

    Paul is giving advice and his opinion. It’s not Law. In fact, Paul’s quote from 2 Cor 4 deals specifically with marrying pagan worshippers.

    It’s no more relevant than women having to cover their heads or sending slaves back to their masters.

    A non-Christian marrying you would seem like being under a curse.

    I don’t know how those with literal views of the Bible can bear being married to a spouse who they will see one day being thrown into a Lake of Fire and rejoice.

  • Thank you for your opinion and for copy/pasting what appears to be a convuluted to supposedly support your opinion. At the end of the day, that is all this is. Condemning others because you see things differently is quite unattractive. Please think on that.

  • Ruth

    I have been following Jesus for around 10 months now. However I have been in a sexual relationship for 2 years and I am massively struggling with how to change this. My boyfriend is a non-christian and sex is a fairly large part of our relationship when we’re together (it is currently a long distance relationship). I feel the last 3/4 weeks God has been telling me that my sexual sin is what I now need to focus on, now that I have started to fully feel Gods presence in my life (which has been amazing until I sinned a few days ago, now I just feel sad that I’ve let God down). I just don’t know how I can change. But I want to. I have searched the internet for hours the last few days to try and find things to help. If anyone has any advice it would be much appreciated.

  • Bones

    You didn’t let God down.

    Where do you get that from? He created and knows you. He doesn’t love you any less.

    God wants you to be yourself. He doesn’t want you to try to be someone else (cue the cookie cutter Christians).

    That’s who He created – and He said it was good.

    I find the idea that sin keeps us from God (ie Jesus) as medieval and pharisaic. It’s clear from the life of Jesus that ‘sin’ didn’t top Him accepting us.

    As for your sexual relationship, that’s your call and be honest with your partner.

  • Gina H

    It is a very hard road to be in an initimate relationship with a nonbeliever if you are a Christian—at the end of the day, it is impossible for 2 people to stay together unless they changed together. That means one of 2 things will happen: 1) You cannot grow in your faith and holiness without leaving your spouse behind 2) You will leave your faith and God will become smaller and smaller in the life you build together. It’s hard, but sometimes it’s more rewarding to wait for the one that God has ordained for you. Sometimes you have to choose and make a very hard choice: your boyfriend/girlfriend, or GOD. I’ve had to stop myself from pursuing relationships with nonChristians because I know that in the future, I would found myself drifting away from God due to the relationship and there would be nothing but heartbreak in a relationship that is not centered around God’s mercy and grace.

    To the author, John Shore: I believe that the scripture you took from Corinthians is taken somewhat out of context. If you understand the period in which Paul is preaching to the Corinthians, it is a critical time in the history of the Church. News of Jesus is still spreading, so most people are non-Christians. Most probably, people who married before Jesus’ crucification are non-Christians. I think Paul is preaching to those who have recently converted and are debating whether to DIVORCE their non-Christian spouses. I honestly don’t think Paul would encourage a Christian single person to MARRY a non-Christian. Marriage is not for one’s happiness, but to glorify God. It’s the ultimate santification process.

  • I disagree. Your spouse doesn’t define your faith, you do. Just as you don’t define theirs. As long as the two of you respect each other’s beliefs about God, accept that this is a place where you have differences of opinion, and keep things about your faith on a personal level, it can work and work beautifully.

    I’m living proof. He’s conservative southern Baptist, I’m liberal mystic. We compromise by attending a Methodist church, where I attend for the companionship, opportunity to help in community outreach and the music. If he insisted on attended the church of his chosen denomination, I of course would encourage it, but wouldn’t attend. Just as I wouldn’t expect him to venture as I do privately, studying and learning about the myriad of faiths as I discover God in so many unexpected places.

    We respect each other, and each other’s backgrounds too much.

    However if you are so wary of influences to your faith, or that it may grow and evolve thanks to a relationship with someone whose views are different, than sure stay within your faith. There are so many inter-faith couples, just as there are couples who are opposites politically, or personality, or physical abilities. A faith that can be that easily swayed, is either weak, or it needed changing anyway.

  • BarbaraR

    If both people have mutual respect for the other’s beliefs, it isn’t a problem. My husband is agnostic. I am Christian who is investigating Buddhism. To say there would be “nothing but heartbreak” in a marriage with a non-Christian may be true for you, but it certainly isn’t true for everyone. “Marriage is not for one’s happiness, but to glorify God” is not a statement I agree with whatsoever, but if it works for you, have at it.

  • Why do you feel that intimacy with your boyfriend is sinful? Do you feel he’s important in your life? Do you see a future together? Does he treat you with kindness, love and respect? Is there more than just the physical?

    And as Bones has said, God doesn’t want you to change a thing about the person you are. You are adored just like you are right now. if there is a person who makes your heart sing, then God is happy for you. If there is someone who, at least for a time, helps you to feel, special, and loved, then I can’t see why God isn’t delighted in that as well.

    My suggestion is to look at this relationship, if it feels right, even if there is no intimacy, and if you think it can dig even deeper. Set aside the guilt, that isn’t God. I think its what Christian culture, teaches us, because of an odd fear of sex. The Bible is loaded with people who had sex outside of marriage, and weren’t condemns for their actions..

  • I have been delighted with some of the similarities I see between Buddhism and Christianity. I find it such a peaceful faith, and how I practice Christianity is very non-violent, so they are compatible to me.

    And yeah, the idea of “marriage to glorify God, and not for a couple’s happiness” Is a very foreign concept to me. I’ve heard it all my life, but it just doesn’t compute, NOR have I seen one marriage that would fit such a description.

  • Gina H

    Buddhism is not a religion, but more philosophy of life. Christianity is different from all other religions and philosophies because it is centered around God’s grace. Not karma or good works, but what Jesus has already done to atone for our sins.

  • Gina H

    I didn’t say it was impossible or against God. I wrote, “It is a very hard road.” We all make our choices. Some roads are harder than others. If you feel convicted to travel a certain road, no one’s stopping you. I personally believe that if you are in prayerful communication with God, He will guide you always. You will know in your heart if your choices are pleasing or displeasing to God. That’s what we call discipline- training our hearts to listen to God.

  • Gina H

    As a seminary student, everything I wrote is biblical and scripturally based. Marriage as God defines it is a holy covenant between man and woman, one that reflects the holy covenant God made to the world through Jesus and the Church. It is not for our happiness, but for eternal joy that comes through blood and sacrifice. Happiness is a fleeting feeling, much like passion and lust.

    I believe that it would be impossible to have a *biblical* marriage with someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus. Sure, two people can still get married and sign a piece of paper, but spiritual intimacy through prayer, fasting, discipleship, growing in holiness, or possibly church planting would most likely be absent.

  • If a Muslim and a Buddhist, or a Christian and a Muslim, or a Taoist and a Buddhist, or a Wiccan and a Jew marry, their chances of success are just as strong as a marriage where two Christians are married…at at about 50%.

    Ironically divorce rates among conservative religious groups, tend to be higher than average.. one wonder if that religion aspect is as strong as assumed.

  • You are a basing your theory on one way of looking at things, and there are more than one. That is your belief and no one is telling you to believe differently. But do understand that many of us see things differently, and have personal experience to the contrary.

  • Gina H

    In our generation, more people are nominally religious or Easter Sunday church goers. Stats are always misleading or paint an incomplete picture. How many of those “Christians” were truly living a prayerful, godly life? We’ll never know.

    How strong of an influence religion plays in any relationship is dependent on how strong of a believer you are. For example, we can probably make the assumption that Pope Francis will most likely never marry because his faith and calling for celibacy is much much stronger than any lust or romantic ideation he may experience.

    But if you are a nominal Christian and you don’t really have any growing relationship with God, you’ll probably be able to justify dating just about anyone if he or she’s a “good” person.

  • Gina H

    Yes, I agree with you completely. But this is a Christian forum and I’m just trying to respond scripturally. I’m not making up my own theories or ideas. It’s all in the Bible.

  • Gina H

    Allegro63, I think you have good intentions, but your advice is NOT biblical. God is clear as day and night on how premarital sex is a sin and it hurts not only God’s heart, but also ourselves. I have personally felt a strong calling to stop having premarital sex 2 years ago and have since been committed to celibacy. If we truly want to live in holiness, we should be able to give up anything for God. That includes our sexuality. Sex is a beautiful gift of intimacy from God, but outside of marriage, it’s a disgrace to our Father. It’s in the Bible.

  • Gina H

    I applaud and commend your courage in wanting to desire God more than having sexual relations. You haven’t let God down. If you read in the Bible how Jesus interacted with the Semaritan woman at the well, he knew her whole life story–she’d been with countless men. But did he condemn her or call her names? No, he showed her godly grace and mercy. That mercy renewed each and every second of our lives. This story gave me so much hope when I was living in sin. I felt like God was going to punish me, but the very next day I went to church for the first time in a long time and heard this sermon. I felt like God was talking directly to me.

    It’s hard, but if you feel called to work on this area of your life, you have to remove yourself from this relationship. This is not going to be an easy choice because obviously you have emotions clouding your judgment, but simply telling your nonChristian boyfriend that you want to stop having sex is only going to create tension in the relationship. He’s not going to understand because in his mind, it’s not sin.

    At the end of the day, the choice is yours–God or him? This may not be the advice you want to hear, and I know it’s very unpopular in our generation and culture. But God’s wisdom is foolishness to the world and the world’s wisdom is foolishness to God.

  • BarbaraR

    There are many, many, many interpretations of what is Biblically and scripturally accurate. If your definition works for you, more power to you. But not everyone reads/interprets the Bible the same way, including within a marriage..

    I disagree with a great deal of what you’re saying so I wish you a happy life and hope that your path is the right one for you.

  • Wait, a second here. You cannot judge the authenticity of anyone’s religious faith. You don’t have the ability or the authority. When people try to do that…and they are so very horrible at it,,,, its very arrogant, very prideful and very wrong.

    Pope Francis will never marry, because 1. He’s elderly, 2. He took a vow of celibacy. That has nothing to do with this topic being a diversionary tactic.

  • Your guilt tripping her is not helping.

    The woman at the well was in a relationship when she talked to Jesus. He knew she was living with a guy and was sexually active with him. He simply stated it as a fact about her, and moved on, saying nothing further. Not a word was said, about her moving out,or telling her to “stop sinning” or that she was a harlot or an adulteress, or to live a celibate life from that point. It was a non-issue.

    But then this is the same man who was friends with known prostitutes, and people of “low repute” or the ones society deemed sinful or unclean. This same Jesus, who refused to condemn a woman accused, tried and convicted of adultery, with her so called paramour nowhere to be seen…Personally I think the poor woman was raped. Yes, he was friends with the sexually active and not married. He hung out with them, ate at their houses, enjoyed their companies.

    So if Jesus didn’t seem to have any problems with the sexual habits of the people he encountered, why should we?

  • The stories of Abraham Jacob, Judah, Tamar, David, Solomon, Ruth, the woman at the well, say other wise.

    Celibacy is a personal choice. it is NOT for everyone, nor should it be..

  • Ruth, Don’t change a thing.

    God loves you just how you are right now.

  • Buddhism is very much a religion, just like Christianity is a philosophy of life. Other religions focus on divine grace, including Hinduism and Islam. One doesn’t have to look far to see the fallacy of that claim.

    Try again.

  • The range of Christian thought and practice ranges from Roman Catholic from which we all evolved, to Universalists. The thoughts about what the Bible has to say is as diverse as the 33,000 Protestant denominations on the planet.

    You merely represent one of a myriad of views.

  • Just curious, where are you going to school?

  • ChildofArtemis

    So if the non-believer has good morals and values that goes out the window because that person doesn’t follow Christ is very sad. I speak as a non-believer and we I have people trying to convert me or guys refusing to date me cause im not a christian hurts. Im a good person with so much to offer but it goes the window because your church and family don’t want you to marry a non christians its just sad to me – you can have a beautiful relationship with a good person but it gets thrown to the side.

  • Uhm, Not from where I sit.

    You aren’t going to marry a church, or your family, you would be marrying the guy or gal that makes your heart sing, and whom you can’t imagine not waking up next to for the next 30 to 60 years. She could sing in the choir at the local UMC church and you prefer the Quaker service, or you could prefer meditation and he the gym, or you could both love sleeping in and hitting the hiking trails to commune with divine by enjoying nature. He could be Hindu, you agnostic, or she Buddhist and you Catholic. What matters is mutual respect for each others beautiful individuality, spirituality, and personal emotional needs. Faith is more a personal matter than some would like us to believe.

  • Gina H

    Jesus saw that the woman at the well was broken, lost, and defeated. He wanted so, so much more than that for her and offered everlasting water–himself. Yes, God loves us all and he is forever merciful and graceful, but we can’t abuse that. We can’t just do whatever we want and use the “God loves me no matter what” card. It’s not scriptural at all.

  • Gina H

    Ruth her herself says she feels convicted that God has been telling her to no longer ignore her sexual sin. This is obviously something between her and God. How can you tell her not to change a thing? The bible is clear as night and day that sex outside of marriage is displeasing to God. The point of having a relationship with God is to become more and more like Jesus each and everyday. Jesus died for us so that we don’t have to be dead in our sin. We can’t just say “God loves us no matter what” and live unholy lives full of murder, fornication, jealousy, and all that is anti-God.

  • Andy

    And an ascetic lifestyle is hardly plausible for most people. This is why many of us stop trying to worry about whether everything is a sin, and instead whether or not a specific action hurts others. If it harms no one else, ask yourself, why is it a sin? Should it still be regarded as one? I mean, take the unclean food thing…we now have refrigerators. And so lots of people eat that which was deemed unclean by books of the pentateuch. Are they sinning? If not, why should sex undertaken responsibly between consenting adults be one?

  • Andy


    For some, not sharing faith is a dealbreaker. That’s fine for them. But for others, as you mentioned, it’s personal and hardly affects the relationship with their spouses. Different strokes for different folks. As long as each respects the other, a good marriage is possible (contingent upon other things too, of course).

  • Bones

    I’m not interested in what Paul says about marriage.

    Paul said in the beginning of the same chapter:

    “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”

    Get that!

    It’s good not to have sex. Do you agree with that?

    Did God not create us and say we were very good?

    IS that God talking? Or leftovers from Paul’s Pharisaic/ Grecan philosophy influences?

    That’s what I think it is. The whole ‘human desires are evil’ belief has it’s roots in Greek philosophy.

    Then Paul goes on to say if you really have to then get married so Satan doesn’t get you and you have no self control.

    Hardly a modern western view of marriage.

    Paul didn’t encourage marriage, full stop!

    Marriage was a hindrance to him.

    And on this issue he is giving his opinion.

    Which is as relevant as Greek Philosophy.

  • Bones

    It’s interesting the way Christians have exchanged one Law for another.

    I doubt Paul thought he was writing Laws to be followed 2000 years later.

  • Gina H

    There are too many verses in the Bible that explicitly say sex outside of marriage is sin. Do you seriously think “Unclean foods” and sexual immorality are on the same level? Jesus himself says it is not unclean foods that defile a person, but one’s intentions and actions. (Mark 7:19) Here are some of the many verses that warn against sexual immorality. Your views are indeed popular in today’s secular generation, but that’s not the same thing as following Jesus’ teaching.
    [Jesus] said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (NRSV, Mark 7:20-23)

    Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins people commit are outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (TNIV, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

  • She was broken lost and defeated? Sounds like to me that she was a survivor, having accepted her lot, and after Jesus left, she went back to her life as before, wiser, and with greater joy.
    I’ve been down the “do this, don’t do this” route of trying to ensure that God loved me. I discovered the utter futility of such a fallacy. If God doesn’t love us no matter what, then the Bible is useless, Jesus is a liar, and we are all wasting our time.

  • James Walker

    you’re trying too hard to rely on “God said it” as a rationale for telling other people what is or is not moral behavior. I would propose recognizing that the Bible is not “received text” but is instead the product of very human men trying to put into human words what the Spirit was conveying to them about how to be a good Jew or a good Christian.

  • I can tell her that becaue I know God loves her right where she is, as she is, and who she is right now. She’s no more displeasing God than you are. Being like Jesus is learning to be more compassionate, understanding, kind, generous, and to stop looking at others as “other, sinner, unclean”

  • Gina H

    Paul makes the argument that it is ideal for Christians to commit themselves to celibacy SO THAT they have more time and energy to devote to worshiping God. He says, If you are married, you have so many more worries and life becomes much more complicated.

    You can’t just take one verse out of context. Paul also concedes that for most people, a life of celibacy is not possible. He says it’s better to marry than to be consumed by sexual desire outside of marriage.

  • Paul was, of course, writing personal letters, stating personal opinions, without a clue that three hundred years later, a group of religious people, would add his stuff into something called The Bible, giving his works, near equal status with the Torah and the Talmud and the later written gospels with statements from Jesus. I’d say he’d be quite shocked to learn of that.

  • Gina H

    I love it when people use the “But the Bible is an outdated piece of literature written by fallible men” argument. It always comes up when people find parts of the Bible inconvenient to their lifestyle.

    If you believe that the Bible is inherently flawed due to its source, why read it at all? Just make up your own religion and follow your own morals.

  • Gina H

    Are you kidding me? Have you read the Bible? David had to repent for his sin of lusting after another man’s wife and having him killed so that he can taker her. Solomon in the end chose idolatry and forsook God. Ruth patiently waited for Boaz. The Bible says nothing of Ruth and Boaz having premarital relations. Boaz is described as a righteous man.

  • BarbaraR

    Gina, are you familiar with John Shore and the people who regularly seek this forum out?

  • What about all those wives and concubines David had? Solomon forsook God? I think David had to repent more for the premeditated murder of Bathsheba’s husband then his sleeping with her. The evidence doesn’t support that, especially his end of life ode. There is suggestions by scholars, that the ritual Ruth performed precluded intimacy.
    And yeah, I’ve read the Bible, many times, and still reference it regularly.

  • Gina H

    God hates sin, not the sinner. I’m not telling her that she’s unclean, but sin is sin. Churches of our generation are too focused on God’s mercy, and we conveniently forget that He is still a Father who disciplines. He does so with the loving heart of a parent who wants us to have freedom from sin. I’m merely trying to help her as a fellow sister in Christ.

    I can sit here and comment on forums all day, but at the end of the day, everyone has a personal relationship with God. This will be my last comment.

  • James Walker

    hmm.. I didn’t use the word “outdated” so you must be objecting to some argument I didn’t actually make…

    and, since there is no other collection of literature on earth that can teach me how to be a Christian, I think I’ll stick to reading and studying my Bible, thank you very much.

  • James Walker

    it’s fascinating to me that you’re unable to see the inherent contradictions in your own comment.

    To tell another person that some specific action they are doing is sinful IS telling them that they are unclean. That’s exactly what it means to tell someone that their specific actions are sin.

    “loving heart of a parent who wants us to have freedom from sin” how is it possible to study the New Testament and come away from it with this idea that the goal is somehow to live sinless lives? and that “trying to help her as a fellow sister in Christ” involves pointing out her sins to her so she can stop doing them? that’s legalism! you’ve completely missed the message of Paul’s writing not to mention Jesus’ teachings in the gospels. I suggest starting over from the beginning and reading without the chapter and verse markers.

  • Andy

    If you’re comfortable living an ascetic lifestyle, more power to you. But don’t tell other responsible adults how to live.

  • Bones

    Not quite sure what that Bible college is teaching you.

    Paul opens 1 Corinthians 7 with

    “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”

    That is his fundamental position on sex and marriage right there.

    He has to concede that some can’t achieve this higher ideal.

    Does anyone think that is the God speaking through Paul?

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  • Wilbert James Futalan

    how is it possible to study the New Testament and come away from it with this idea that the goal is somehow to live sinless lives?

    It’s found on Colossians 3

    Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your[a] life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

    5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.[b] 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

    how is it possible to study the New Testament and come away from it with this idea that” trying to help her as a fellow sister in Christ” involves pointing out her sins to her so she can stop doing them?

    It’s found on 2 Tim. 3:16
    16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong [that includes pointing out our sins] in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

    And in Luke 17:3
    So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent [if they stop doing them and show that they’re really sorry for their sin], forgive them.”

    Just because it’s in the scriptures we’re guilty of being legalistic. The Pharisees are legalistic because they find pleasure in pointing out other people’s sins. But Jesus is not legalistic because he does not find pleasure in doing that. Instead he looks on with compassion.

    I don’t rejoice when I see people sin, because I am a sinner myself and I know how bad it feels to sin. I just tell them that they’ve done something wrong, and I pray for them.

  • Wilbert James Futalan

    Not that Jesus didn’t seem to have any problems with the sexual habits of the people he encountered, but that he didn’t want to condemn them of their sins. But that doesn’t mean that he tolerates their sins (or sexual habits, as you call it). In fact, he pointed the fact that she sinned.

    “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)

    That is how gracious Jesus is to us. We sin, but then he gives us second chances. That doesn’t mean however that we can stay in our life of sin. He said, “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

  • Bones

    But I thought God can’t be in the presence of sin and the reward of sin is death!

    So according to Evangelical theology, Jesus should have necked her on the spot.

    Cos God hates sin and can’t be in it’s presence.

    ‘Sin’ is vastly overrated and is such a hideous term filled with baggage.

    All it means is to miss the mark.

    My take on it is that ‘sin’ has nothing to do with God or our relationship with God but everything that keeps us from peace, happiness and fulfillment.

  • Bones

    It’s funny cos your sins don’t worry me.

    Mine do.

    But hey life goes on.

  • A certain jewish rabbi, tells this odd little story about a 2 by 4 and a speck of dust. The point of the story was two-fold. Worry about your own extraction, and when you do, then you’ll discover how insignificant the other person’s eye irritation was compared to yours. In other words, deal with your own sins, its a enough of a task to keep you plenty busy.

  • I agree. And the thing is, the parameters of one’s peace, happiness and fulfillment are not found in the one size fits all bin, nor, necessarily, are some of the things that may keep someone from it.

  • Wilbert James Futalan

    That is also found in the Bible, and that is also a good point. Jesus said something very similar to that in one of the gospels. And that’s one danger in pointing out other people’s sins, that we do so to the point that we become blind to our own sins. (Similar to the Pharisees.) That’s why it helps to ask God if I am missing some dark spots, and sure enough I do. (Thanks for that reminder!)

    But there are sins that one cannot simply ignore especially when it causes other Christians to stumble.

    Anyway, a practical wisdom: it helps also to learn from other people’s mistakes.

  • Wilbert James Futalan

    That is true. ” the reward of sin is death!” is a good paraphrase of Romans 6:23:

    “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    “Jesus should have necked her on the spot.” That’s another good thought, especially that God cannot allow sin near him.

    But if that’s the reason why God sent Jesus to the world, then he would have killed everyone, because everyone is a sinner, and that includes Peter (who by the way is a self-professed sinner, see Luke 5:8), and the other apostles.

    This is taken from Romans 3:23:
    ” for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

    Here is where God’s love comes in. Imagine if God is only just and not loving, he would have killed everyone. But he did not. Why?

    Let’s look at John 3:16-17
    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge (or condemn, or kill) the world (because of their sins), but that the world might be saved through Him.

    That’s why I thank God for being gracious. He could have “necked” me, but instead, he died for my sins. (I owe God my life.)

    About sin, I agree that sin literally means “to miss the mark” and that is God’s standard. Sin has something to do with God (had it not, God would not mind sin and would not care if it’s in His presence). Sin is not following His will. What is His will? Part of it is in the commandments (there’s a long discussion on this). But we can be sure that his will is “good, pleasing, and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) and His will leads us to eternal peace, happiness and fulfillment.

    There is emphasis on the word eternal. Because sometimes, God’s will leads us away from our comfort zones. (We know more of this from the book of Acts.)

  • Wilbert James Futalan

    It’s hard to quantitatively set the parameters of one’s peace, happiness and fulfillment, as the specifics vary from one person to another, but all of these have one in common: the joy of being with God. As Augustine puts it, “My heart is restless (not satisfied, not fulfilled) until it finds its rest in Thee.”

  • I disagree. There are plenty of non-deists who have found all three without a need or an acknowledgement of the divine. Then there are plenty of deists who strive mightily for that sense of those three ideals, and fail to see any joy in God’s presence, despite honestly seeking it.

    In otherwords, one’s peace, happiness or fulfillment is not dependent on one’s understanding of divinity.

  • Yet everyone dies anyway. Maybe death is the reward for surviving life. Maybe there is nothing afterwards. Maybe this whole “falling short of God’s ideal” is not God’s idea, but man’s. Maybe God isn’t in the business of killing anyone at all, despite people trying to give divinity the credit/blame for such things. Maybe God has less issues with the human concept of sin, than we seem to. Maybe the idea of God being unable to be in the same place as “sin” means that God is more human than divine, a construct of our making, exhibiting similar limitations to what bothers or offends us.

    You see it is those pondering, that are not easily answered, that don’t fit the neat little box of scripture verses that are the questions that some of us ask. Sometimes its a good idea to set aside preconvieved ideas, dogmas, theologies and holy texts, and simply wonder. It is often in that wonderment, where we discover that when it comes to God, we know nothing…and are awed.

  • Wilbert James Futalan

    Those are questions that many people ask. They are not easily answered (or probably they can’t be answered at all in this life) but here’s where faith comes in. “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 12:1)

    It is amazing that we can never fully know God for our finite minds can only take in so much but through faith, we can hold on to these “snippets” of revelation. “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1 Cor. 13:12)

  • Kyle Matthew

    the logic is frustrating in that is assumes that a person who is “saved” is somehow automatically a good spouse or a better spouse. Arrogance. I think what really offends the church is when they see non-Christian couples having more solid relationships because it becomes more than doing the Christian things and less about being a good spouse. If you found a good partner who supports and uplifts you then you have found something special.

  • nadineharris

    Not a religion? Sorry, that’s simply ignorant. It certainly is.

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  • Eleen

    marriage is also to glorify our father in heaven.

    The scripture commands a christian not to be yoked with unbelievers as it would draw the believer away from god. God designed marriage and He knows what makes a marriage work: a marriage that is built with God at the centre of the union could last. Believers who walk with God can love his/her spouse even when the believers do not like their spouse at times, such as in times of fighting etc.

    Sure, a believer can choose his/her life partner and marry an unbeliever. But he/she cannot choose the consequences of marrying an unbeliever. Meaning you can choose to put your hand in the fire but you can’t choose not to be burned by the fire.

    God give us the freewill to choose but we have to be responsible for our actions should a marriage with an unbeliever didn’t work out.

  • Eleen

    God loves her and all the more He wants her to obey His command to stop fornication. God is holy and righteous and He hates sins. He knows that fornication can leads to disastrous outcome such as unhealthy soul ties which could happen to Ruth should her unbelieving partner leave her. Remember, we are bought at a price. Our bodies belong to God. Therefore do not sin against God for our body is the temple of the holy spirit.

    His ways and thoughts are higher than us for us to comprehend. We can only trust God fully because everything He does is for our own good. If you love God, take up the cross and obey Jesus. Faith without work (action) is dead.

    How could you claim yourself to be a believer if you do not want to observe God’s command that a believer must not commit fornication. God may have forgive our past and present sins. But if you understand God’s character, you should know that He loves us not because we are lovable but He wants us to be lovable and to be more and more like Jesus for our own good and for His glory.

  • Eleen

    So do you think Jesus would allow His believing children to continue engaging in sexual immorality despite being saved by His grace? If you don’t understand the situation, try to understand God’s character. God is love and love is a choice and an action. Your love for God is determined by your willingness to give sacrificially, and it also includes taking up the cross and follow His will. It is God’s will for us to stay pure for marriage and most importantly for God. If one love God, he/she would observe His commandment.

  • Eleen

    As imperfect human, we often sin without knowing ourselves. Our standard isn’t God’s standard and the wage of sin is death. This clearly shows that God is righteous and god of holiness can’t stand sins. Yet, being a god of mercy, if we confess and repent, God forgives and cleanse us from any unrighteousness. We are saved not because we deserve it but we are saved by His grace. However this doesn’t mean that we could indulge in sins such as sexual immorality, lying etc and expect God to forgive us of our sins each time we confess and yet do not repent of our sins. God look at our heart, He knows whether we are truly sorry and have truly repent or not. If we do not truly repent, our prayers would not be heard and our blessings would be withhold. And we could even drift further away from God. We have to strive to lead a holy life for God and be Christ-like for His glory.

    God loves us for who we are. But because He loves us too much, God wants to change us inside out, and mold us to become the person He wants us to be. God first loves us. And if we love God, we must obey him and follow His commandment in order to glorify our Father in heaven. Love without sacrifices is nothing. We must be willing to do anything to please God.

  • Eleen

    Honoring your body as a temple of the holy spirit who resides in you is honoring God Himself.

    When a fellow christian seek advice from others, he/she is to ask God for discernment. If what they are saying is consistent with His Word and spoken in love, it could be God using His children to relate to the person in doubts, prompting the person to turn back on his/her path for God’s path instead.Consistent concerns are red flags God has lovingly placed in our life to warn us of trouble up ahead. Learn and listen.

    “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.” Proverbs 25:11-12

    When someone claims that he/she is a christian but doesn’t strive to live a holy lifestyle that pleases God, then this person is simply a believer but not a true disciple of God for not wanting to follow His teaching.

    In order to build and improve our relationship with God, we have to lead a life of praying, fasting, fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ, obeying and following His way. Not our will but His will be done. One must be willing to exchange all of him/her in exchange for all of God.

  • James Walker

    as Christians, we are set free from the law of sin and death. we have been resurrected with Christ into a new life where the Law of Love has been written on our hearts by God’s Grace.

  • Bones

    This clearly shows that God is righteous and god of holiness can’t stand sins.

    Yeck. Who told you that?

    You need to read more about Jesus if you think God ‘can’t stand sins’.

  • Andy

    Hey, if that works for you, more power to you. But it doesn’t for me. I don’t believe God deliberately places hardships in our path, or that we must abstain from earthly pleasures — as long as we are responsible — just because some ancient writer, who may or may not have been writing to us today, and may or may not have been writing a dictation from God, said so. Life is hard. Whatever gets you through the night, and doesn’t hurt anyone else, is good with me, be it prayer, meditation, sex, or anything else.

    Who are you to find fault with others and their relationship with God? Just…don’t. It’s not your business. Worry about yourself; that should be enough for you.

  • Rob

    Bones I think you’re taking the verse out of context. The full verse actually says “Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”

    Paul was writing to answer. There’s a major difference in understanding if you include the first part of the verse.

    Gina H I would agree with you on most points. Not your two outcomes of unequal yoking, but yea, most of the rest generally.

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    some of those who had the same problem i had and until i found Dr. Alex who
    can cast spell to bring your partner back at first i was hesitant to do so
    but eventually i tried his power to cast spell bring back your partner
    back because of his kind hearted, generosity He did Help me and i am so
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  • Scott Bela

    I had my long distance relationship for almost 4 years now, Our
    relationship was okay and good, but for some reasons I couldn’t understand
    My ex boyfriend broke up with me for almost 3 weeks now, and it me sad,
    frustrated, devastated having mix emotions to face the reality that he
    doesn’t want to work it out anymore, I dint know what else to do until i
    search and bumped into this testimonies regarding Love spell and i read
    some of those who had the same problem i had and until i found Dr. Alex who
    can cast spell to bring your partner back at first i was hesitant to do so
    but eventually i tried his power to cast spell bring back your partner
    back because of his kind hearted, generosity He did Help me and i am so
    happy about it. Thank you so much Dr. Alex you May contact him here ( or call him on +2347036013351..

  • Bones

    Nice twist, Rob.

    Doesn’t work.

    Now concerning the things about which you wrote: “it is good for a man not to touch a woman.” 2 But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. 3 The husband must[a]fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wifedoes. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and[b]come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 But this I say by way of concession, not of command. 7 [c]Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that. 8 But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

    25 Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who [n]by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. 26 I think then that this is good in view of the [o]present distress, that it is good for a man [p]to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife.28 But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have [q]trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. 29 But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.

    32 But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife,34 and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but [r]to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

    36 But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let [s]her marry. 37 But he who stands firm in his heart, [t]being under no constraint, but has authority [u]over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgindaughter, he will do well. 38 So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.

    39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband [v]is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God.

    Oh if only NT Greek had quotation marks!

    Being single is good and the ideal.

    Get married if you can’t control your urges and your passions.

    I though marriage was about family and love? Isn’t that right traditionalists?

    Sensible marriage advice there. NOT!

    And it’s all Paul’s opinions in a missionary culture.

  • She_is_blesses

    Very Good! 🙂

  • She_is_blesses


  • She_is_blesses

    Nice, I’m in the same situation. The man I’m dating we started when I was back sliding and he was my reason to follow God’s ways. I am now a better woman because of it. I’m living with Christ as the center of my life and in turn that makes me a better girlfriend. He now is opening his heart to understand the way of Jesus more. He supports my life change and respects me more. He helps me to fight temptation. He uplifts me and reminds me to use faith when I’m down. I was worried about the relationship because he doesn’t do as I do. But it was brought to my attention that maybe I was placed in his life to help guide him. My only concern is that I need my future husband to be my leader. So, I’m waiting on that answer from God. Blessings!

  • Good

    I have just ended a relationship with a Christian man. We had been dating, had got on well and been having an extremely compatible sex life for 2 years, but apparently his Christian friends objected. He was suggesting that we become celibate up until marriage, whenever that would be. Now to my mind this made no sense as we were perfectly healthy, had no physical problems, and if something wasn’t broken, I didn’t see why it should be meddled with. Moreover, this was exactly the same thing that happened in his first marriage. They did not get married for 10 years and for the following 16 years apparently had no sex either.
    To me this all just seemed like some method of control and he was also exhibiting a tendency to treat people like objects, as well as other narcissistic traits. He was also big on the special brand of two-facedness, snobbery, gossiping, lying and general backstabbing that I have come to expect from Christians. (For the record, I love Jesus but hate Paul.)
    In the end it descended into talking round in circles about the same old predictable shit like we needed to be saved from our sins, Jesus died for us, he thought he would go to hell if he had sex with me one more time and that he would miss out on eternal life, etc.etc. In the end I couldn’t take it any more, I effectively said, “Just.Go.You got what you wanted, now just go!’

  • Good

    I loathe Paul with a passion. He is a nerdy wordy narrow-minded twerp who effectively chucked out the spirit of Jesus and began again with a load of bullshite. If you compare his writings and the teachings of Jesus they have nothing in common.
    I read somewhere that it was no surprise Paul had been thrown in prison, as his writings were an abomination.

  • Good

    God I hate hearing stuff like this from so called Christians. So little compassion, I can’t believe people still spout this rubbish in this day and age.

  • Good

    In fact my parting sentence was “You made your bed of nails now see how you like it!”


    I had my long distance relationship for almost 4 years now, Our relationship was okay and good, but for some reasons I couldn’t understand My ex boyfriend broke up with me for almost 3 weeks now, and it me sad, frustrated, devastated having mix emotions to face the reality that he doesn’t want to work it out anymore, I dint know what else to do until i search and bumped into this testimonies regarding Love spell and i read some of those who had the same problem i had and until i found priest omigodo who can cast spell to bring your partner back at first i was hesitant to do so but eventually i tried his power to cast spell bring back your partner back because of his kind hearted, generosity He did Help me and i am so happy about it. Thank you so much priest omigodo you May contact him here ( or call him on +2348079367204


  • Renee

    I am a christian who married a nonchristian and we have been married for over 22 years. I met him in college and fell head over heals in love with him. I thought that in time I could lead him the Christ. He is a good man but our marriage has been extremely difficult. He has cheated on me 3 times, drinks too much and love strip clubs. He sees nothing wrong with them. We have two sons that are not Christian. He did not want me to teach them thay dogma so they have no religion. My marriage is a complete mess but I stay because I still somehow believe that he and my kids will be saved. He is very unhappy and lost looking for happiness and peace but just can’t find it. I still love him very much but if I had to do it over again I would have listened to my christian friends and pastor and not married a non christian. We are unequally yoked and hos heart is completely closed to ever accepting Christ. So many things we see so differently and God ia not the center of our life or marriage. Marriage is already hard enough but when you see everything so differently it is impossible. Now I go to church every Sunday and continue to pray for my marriage and kids. I somehow feel this is my punishment for disobeying God’s word. Think long and hard before you marry a nonchristian if you want God to be the center of your marriage.

  • Andy

    I’m sorry your marriage isn’t going well, but his cheating on you and drinking and frequenting strippers isn’t because he isn’t a Christian. Lots of Christians do those things, and lots of non-Christians don’t.

    I do hope you’ll reconsider thinking this punishment thing, though. I can’t promise you that it’s not the case that God is punishing you for marrying a non-Christian, because I don’t know. But if you ask a lot of people around here, I think many would tell you they don’t believe that, either. It’s easy to resort to that hoary “something bad happened to me; it must be divine punishment” thing, but there’s really no basis for that other than the fear of God put in us by people who either want to control others or don’t know any better. I do dumb things all the time. Sometimes bad things happen to me afterward, and sometimes they don’t. I see little correlation, personally.

    Remember, you could just as easily have married a Christian man that does the same things your husband does. Or maybe worse. Would it matter, then, whether or not God was the center of your marriage?

  • BarbaraR

    God is not punishing you for marrying a non-Christian. But I think you are punishing you for something you believe is your fault. It isn’t your fault that your husband is making bad choices that impact your marriage. There are plenty of Christians who do the exact same things your husband does.

    The problem here is not Christian versus non-Christian; it’s lack of respect and honoring your marriage. If he can do these things and you still are giving him a free ride without accountability, he will continue to do them. There is no reason for him to change.

    “My marriage is a complete mess but I stay because I still somehow believe that he and my kids will be saved.” Your husband and children will make their own decisions about religion. Despite what many churches tell you, it is not necessary for you to try to lead him to Christ. God really doesn’t need our help in that department. Staying in an unhappy marriage isn’t going to make any difference.

  • Bones

    I have Christian friends whose marriages have busted.

    And that was over infidelity.

    Don’t think that Christian marriages are perfect.

    Their divorce rates are just as high as the rest of the population.

  • Honey, the problem with your marriage has nothing to do with your husband’s religion. It has to do with the fact that he is sexually unfaithful, has a drinking problem and has no respect for you. Him converting to Christianity is not going to make that go away, and there is a good chance he’ll still be a cheater and an alcahol addict. Trust me there are plenty in Christianity just like that. You do not need to stay in such a relationship where there is so little trust.
    Making religion the focal point of your marriage if both people do not agree going in to do so is just going to be an effort in futility and frustration. I’m a very liberal, mystic non-dogmatic person, who’s Christian label is only loosely applied. My second husband (because my first was a drunk, abusive and probably cheated on me at least once) is a conservative southern Baptist. Our religious, social views are polar opposites, but we have happy, peaceful

  • Renee


    Thanks very much. You made some good points and maybe I should focus on the positive. I have forgiven him and things are better so I need to just move on. Life is too short.

  • Renee


    Thanks for your response and I definitely will give it a lot of thought and prayer.

  • Renee

    I understand your point but I am not sure I agree totally. I will continue to pray about it and at some point I need to make a decision to stay or go even though I have left twice and returned out of guilt because of my kids. I wish there was a clear answer. Anyway I guess that is life.

  • Mandy Divanna

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  • Mandy Divanna

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  • Henry Westwood

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  • Dumez Gracy

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  • Brown Emma

    My name is emma brown, i want to use this medium to testify of how i got back my boyfriend after 8months of seperation, I and my boyfriend broke up on the 12th of August because he felt i was cheating on him with a male friend of mine, i tried all i could to explain to him but he paid deaf ears, i was emotionally devastated because i really did love him until i saw a post on the internet about a spell caster, who helps people gain back their lost love, at first i doubted if it was real because i never believed in spells but decided to give it a try, when i contacted this spell caster, he helped me cast a re-union spell and i got back my boyfriend within 42hours (2days). Contact this great spell caster for your relationship or marriage problems via email….
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  • Berry Logan

    My name is Berry Logan from Canada my boyfriend and I were in love for 3 and half years and we lived together almost 2 and half year. He used to care me more than his own life. He used to love me and take care of me like a baby. Then suddenly he started to act wired since February and broke up with me in two week back saying he has a new girl friend. But again he started to come back to me 6 days but But finally on the 5 day I figured out he was sleeping with that girl and me at the same time. That girl is known as a very bad girl and my boy friend knows that but still he is with her. That’s little unusual for him. It almost feels like someone did something to him. Then I met on internet and I told him everything. PROPHET HARRY asked me for my boyfriend photograph then he advised me some remedies and with in a day my boyfriend come back to me and first time he said sorry to me. I am very happy now:His email is:

  • Rene Smith

    I find this interesting as I am a Christian who feels ready for marriage. I was once many, many years ago in a relationship which was destructive and violent. I was not a Christian at that time and was very young. However, now as as a grown woman in her mid thirties, I feel that if you find a man Christian or not who truly loves you, respects and cares for you, helps and supports you and wants to marry you then you should pray, ask God for guidance and he will show you what to do. I know people who are married to non Christians and they have been so for decades. They are happy because they respect and crucially love each other. Some have even come to know Jesus through their spouse. I also know of Christians married to other Christians who are in dreadful, loveless relationships where they are treated badly, disrespected and desperate to divorce. Also know of Christian marriages that are wonderful. Personally, I think that as Christians we should take every decision to the Lord, wait and see what he shows us – and he will show us! Some Christian men are not these wonderful men people make them out to be, some do all types of terrible things in their marriage. So to make out that you will have this amazing relationship where you pray together, go to church etc is not always the case. I feel that as Jesus told us “Love one another as I have loved you” If God brings a man into your life who loves you, he will respect your decision to not have sex until you are married, he will respect your faith and through the grace of God he may even come to know the Lord through you. Maybe it will have been Gods plan… Personally, I will be taking my decision to God first and asking people their views second.

  • Scotty

    I am a Christian, married to a believer. I can not imagine that I could possibly have the same level of intimacy with a non- believer. Why would a Christian not want to share the joy of worshiping together, the sense of community from hanging out with like minded friends, the intimacy of praying together regularly, or the security of knowing that your spouse has a commitment to you that is not just based on a feeling, but on a greater commitment to pursue holiness? Of course we aren’t perfect, but when our marriage gets messy, like everyone else’s, my Christian spouse values faithfulness and forgiveness and is surrounded by other Christians who model the same.

  • It really is not that cut and dried. I’m pretty much a unitarian married to a Southern Baptist. I compromise and attend a UMC church with him, as I won’t willingly regularly attend a SBC ever again. Our views on faith, and society are quite different, but we respect that we are opposites in so many ways. My husband and I simply stay out of each others’ way when it comes to our individual faiths.

    Faith to me is a very personal and highly private matter, something between me and God. I honestly don’t understand your phrase of “pursuing holiness”. I have no idea what that means.

  • Scotty

    I agree!! Marriage is never the same with any two couples. I hope I didn’t sound like I was putting you or anyone else down. By using the term “pursuing holiness”, I meant that my spouse is pursuing God and trying to become more like Jesus. That priority in our lives gives me the security of knowing that our marriage is based on a spiritual commitment that is stable, unlike our feelings. My faith is also highly personal and being able to visit those private, secret places with the person I am married to, in my opinion, is as intimate as any aspect of our marriage. It sounds like you and your husband have a good marriage too and have found a compromise that works. If you ever feel comfortable opening up to him, you might be surprised by the closeness you feel by just saying a prayer with him when you are struggling with something or reading a devotional together. Spiritual intimacy is a beautiful thing, but it does put you in a vulnerable position to allow even your husband into those private areas of your life, especially if you have a history of religious disagreements and have come to a place where you are comfortable. We don’t always agree on everything either and have some lively discussions, giving our relationship a depth that we couldn’t possibly achieve without a common respect for and commitment to our shared faith.

  • oh, my husband is well aware of my views on faith, completely different from his. My religious history is vastly different than his, having moved through three different disciplines of Christianity, where he’s been in the same. We agree on there is a God, and a few tenets of religious mindset and behavior. That’s about it. I have no desire to make any more of it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    My partner of 18 years is an agnostic, and he respects and admires that I am passionate about my faith in God. We have many many shared values, even if they don’t have the same genesis (ha!)

  • Shared values, no matter where they originate, do help make for a harmonious relationship.

  • nadineharris

    That’s great for you, Scotty. But that’s YOU. It’s obviously not true for others — particularly the letter writer. Or me, for instance. I was married to someone of a different faith for twenty marvelous years before he died. Why don’t you keep your narrow-minded opinions to yourself and bitch in private?

  • nadineharris

    Higher. 🙁

  • Katy

    I was 43 years old and getting married for the first time. I was raised in a Southern Baptist Church and was marrying a Jew. Of course that was enough in itself to ruffle quite a few feathers. It was important to both of us to get married in a religious ceremony celebrating both of our faiths. The first Baptist minister I asked to perform the ceremony flatly refused before I had barely gotten the question out of my mouth, as did the second. The third minister we asked was from a more liberal Baptist church (not Southern Baptist) and he readily agreed to perform the service. Then we asked a Rabbi, who was also a friend of ours, if he would also take part in the service and he too flat out refused. He actually refused to even attend the wedding since it was being held in a Christian church. All I could think of was how sad it was that here were two people who wanted their marriage blessed by God and everyone was being so judgmental about who believed what. We’ve been married now for almost 13 years and, while we have very different beliefs, we each have a respect for the other’s faith and have learned from each other. He goes to church with me when I go and I go to temple with him when he goes. It might not work for everyone, but it works for us.

  • Guy Norred

    I do admit that it might be easier if my husband were a Christian in some ways, but truthfully, our values (including putting great importance on faithfulness and forgiveness) are very similar despite his agnosticism.

  • Cesar Nevarez

    I find this article so funny. It’s crazy how as a christian (man or woman) you can be okay with even the idea that you yourself are going to a Heaven because you have Christ in your life but that your unsaved spouse will not. Do not be unequally yoked. The apostle Paul talks about it. Iron sharpens iron. You can’t truly fulfill the call and plan God has for you if your spouse isn’t on board and willing to follow Gods will. If you love someone and it’s God will then I believe they will get saved. But don’t set yourself up for failure. If your christian, be with a christian. Case closed.

  • Yes, you seem like someone who takes a lot of pleasure in humor.

  • Bones

    Checked out the divorce rates for Christians yet?

  • BarbaraR

    Yes, people ridiculed and hounded over who they love has always been a real knee-slapper.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Case closed? Um, no. It’s not, simply because you say it is. Or say that God says it is.

  • Its amazing that people will go through the process to open a Disqus account just to say stuff like that.

  • WilmRoget

    It is kinda crazy the way people come to a progressive Christian site, and proceed to use theological points from modern american fundamentalist televised christianity as if they are universally relevant here.

    “Iron sharpens iron.”

    Other things will sharpen iron as well – anything harder than iron. Industrial grade diamonds, for example, will do a fine job of sharpening iron or steel.

  • Pablo South

    I must admit that when i find a very beautiful woman, who is not Christian, that likes me and wants to be with me, i indirectly or directly dislike the Christian principle of “unequally yoked”. But Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter of how I perceive or try to accommodate my desires to cover the true and lasting principles of the bible, because God has been here for thousands of years, He has seen countless marriage scenarios and He knows better than I do… my opinions or emotions have no validity when the scriptures clearly says the opposite. BTW the argument of this article about Paul’s statement of ” an unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband”.. is referring when the non believing couples marries, then one of them finds Christ and therefore his/her spouse will be sanctified. And by reading this article, I find this writer to have no wisdom about the word of God.. i wouldn’t be surprise that he is not christian neither because his advise contradicts the scriptures.

    Please see this video for further proof:

  • Pablo South

    Dear sister, you are receiving advice from people who just call themselves Christians or want to have that “status” but when their lives are compare to the scriptures, they have nothing that reflects the word of God.. nothing that reflects the Christ that they so much professed. When God told Adam and Eve that “‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” Genesis 3:3.. they didn’t die right then when they ate the fruit, but because of their disobedience now they were separated from God; which in turn, their disobedience(sin) brought a lot of negative ripple effects that we still pay till today. I can’t deny that Sometimes I would like to things to flow in a different direction, more for me, but my desires and “good intentions” or “good heart” means nothing specifically when the scriptures are saying the opposite. Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”.. that’s because we are contaminated by sin; our perception is clouded to see beyond next year, or even tomorrow. The problems that you are facing now is mostly due to the lifestyle of disobedience that you have taken, but even then, still God has been merciful with you by granting you children and life. Throw yourself to Him in prayer and fasting and tell Him everything.. from where you messed up to how you would like Him to help you. Your request has to be specific to Him though. God will answer you but you must plead to Him… regardless if this takes weeks, months. It is like when a child is hungry, they go ask to the parents and they even put themselves to cry because they need food, and they dont leave until they get fed. You need God’s advice and help to heal your land.. you need to plead with fasting and prayer ASAP and go to church. God cares for you.

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  • Bones

    Using your parent analogy and the Adam and Eve one. As a loving parent I wouldn’t put a tree in my garden that causes death.

    Especially the death of all humanity.

    But I’m not God.

  • Vanessa

    John, I respectfully and whole-heartedly disagree with your article and I know what I’m talking about: I am a Christian who married a non-Christian; it went horribly wrong and now I am divorced. So when I read or hear something like the above letters I want to cry out “Don’t do it!” Not because I am critical or sanctimonious, but because I want others to be spared the pain that I went through. I thought exactly what the authors of the letters thought: “He is a wonderful person; we love each other,…” At the time we got married I couldn’t imagine ever loving anyone like him or it ever going wrong. But now I know this: A marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian cannot work. Sooner or later, the Christian will push Christ to the margins of his/her life. Alternatively the non-believing partner will be marginalised. But how can the unity and oneness of marriage (as God intended it) flourish when one partner doesn’t participate in the other’s most important commitment? So please, just don’t do it. I am not saying this because I put dogma before my Christian brothers and sisters, but I’m saying this in the same way as I would tell a friend not to jump off a cliff. I know you would like to punch me now John, but I will continue to tell my Christian friends not to date non-Christian, because I wish someone had told me so before I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. My Christian friends held their tongue all through my relationship with ex-husband because they didn’t want to offend me, no one said anything; I wish they had. Hence, why I will continue to speak up.

  • I’m sorry your marriage failed, I don’t know exactly why yours did, as what usually causes the demise of a marriage is multiple.
    In the comments of this piece are many examples of people who’s dual faith relationship is happy, peaceful and long lasting. Being “equally yoked” in matters of religion is no guarentee for success. The rate of divorce among the more conservative branches of Christianity are as high as in the secular world. What makes successful groupings is respect…respect for each other’s autnomoy, respect for each other’s personality, respect for each other’s beliefs, respect for each other’s history, etc. If any of that is lacking, there’s trouble.

  • Jill

    And you would’ve honestly not married the man, broken the engagement, if your friends told you to do so? Even though you “couldn’t imagine ever loving anyone like him or it ever going wrong”?

    I am sorry to hear that it didn’t work out– it’s heartwrenching when any relationship falls apart.

    There are a lot of assumptions you’re making by sweeping all mixed religion relationships under one narrow rug. Your cautionary tale would be much more helpful if it wasn’t couched in absolutes.

    If every fully Christian marriage worked out, you might’ve had a point.

  • BarbaraR

    I’m sorry that it didn’t work out, but marriages between Christians break up as often as marriages between a Christian and a non-Christian.

    There are multiple reasons marriages break up; it seldom is as simple as differing religious faiths.

  • Jeff Preuss

    My husband’s an agnostic, I am a Christian, and we’ve been together 18+ years. I am sorry that your marriage ended, but even if the core of its collapse is the difference in beliefs, that isn’t necessarily true for all.

  • Jeff Preuss

    That’s not further proof; that’s further reinforcement of your take on the Scriptures, which simply contradicts John’s take on them.

    “And by reading this article, I find this writer to have no wisdom about
    the word of God.. i wouldn’t be surprise that he is not christian
    neither because his advise contradicts the scriptures.”

    How presumptuous.


    I personally do not blame christian women/ girls for marrying or dating non believers in many cases these days its a choice between marrying and having a family or remaining single in cgurch and childless

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’m assuming that each of your attempts to argue with me got deleted, because they both are dead links in my email.

    “In what way am I contradicting the scriptures?” I never said you were, bud. I said your interpretation of Scriptures on this issue contradicts John’s interpretation of Scriptures.

    “You call yourself Christian” That’s because I am one.

    “so please show me your biblical foundation about this subject.” …be…cause you didn’t read John’s above post where he shows some Biblical foundation for his angle? Nope.

    ALL I said to you was that suggesting that someone who disagrees with you on a theological point, basing it off the very same Bible, is highly presumptuous and inappropriate. It’s super-easy to pass off someone on the other side of an issue as “false Christian” or having “no wisdom of the word of God.” It’s FAR more difficult to embrace that all of us who fall under the umbrella of following Christ may just have different takes on issues as guided by Scriptural study. And that it is okay. I would never claim that one such as you who disagrees with me on this issue is not really a Christian – that would be self-righteous, condescending, and incorrect.

    So, from a Christian to a fellow Christian, it’s not your place to declare someone else not of the faithful, simply because he does not follow what YOU think is clear.

  • Frank Welsh

    The Mosaic Law of the Bible is not a guideline it is an impassible wall saying you can’t and that Jesus can. Those who think “at least I don’t do that” have totally missed the words of Jesus. By condemning the relationship out of a false righteousness you essentially kill both people involved making you just as bad if not worse because you twist the words of God to benefit your hatred.

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  • Linda

    I am a believer who thought I liked a non-Christian but after asking God about it I realized something…that man will not go to heaven! Only believers go to heaven. And so if I chose to go out with this man, get married, have a family etc then we might have a great time while here but as soon as we die we will be separated forever. I would want to see my love in heaven. So my prayer now is not to be with him but for him to become saved. Until then there could never be anything besides friendship.

  • BarbaraR

    Not all Christians believe that heaven is reserved exclusively for Christians and that all others will be forced to live in a bad neighborhood.

  • Linda

    Do you have Biblical references to support that in which I can study?

  • BarbaraR

    I don’t believe the Bible is infallible or literal. It is a mass of allegory, history, personal letters, poetry, and prophecy that was written over centuries by people who had no idea that their scribblings would one day be assembled into one book, compiled and amended by people with their own personal outlooks and agendas.

    If you are looking for a non-debatable verse or two that forever and ever proves what I think, that doesn’t exist. No matter what I say, someone will pop up and say, “You don’t know how to interpret scripture.” And I don’t have patience with that kind of thinking.

    You are perfectly capable of looking through the Bible yourself and saying, “Hey, does this really mean what I have been taught all my life – or is it possible that maybe the pastors and Sunday School teachers I had were just parroting what they had been taught? Is it possible there is more than one way of interpreting this stuff? Is it possible I can think for myself?”

    But if you really have to have a verse, here’s one: John 14:6, “No one can come to the Father except through me.” My take on that? Jesus can make the decisions about that stuff.

    I think God is more interested in getting people into heaven than excluding them. It’s not a country club. I don’t think God said, “Hey, only the very few people who have heard about Jesus are getting in. The rest of you? The Hindus, Taoists, Muslims, Shintoists, and all you Native Americans? You are so screwed.” That isn’t the God I know.

  • Linda

    I am perfectly able to look up scripture in the Bible. I was mainly asking you what your basis was. I am going to Bible college. I know what the Bible says. 2 Corinthians 6:14 may be a well known verse about this but it’s true. And it’s not what our take is on a verse either. It’s exactly what that verse says in John 14:6…only we can see God through Jesus. Yes Jesus will make a decision on all of us. And I do think for myself. I read the Bible and go the way of The Lord. And God has every right to exclude those who do not believe in Him. Believers can be of many religious groups: Catholics, baptists, etc. My pastors let us think for ourselves through scripture…. They don’t interpret it for us… They lead us to read tha Bible for ourselves. And we are Gods shepherds who are to lead people to salvation so that they would go to Heaven. This is not what I think… It’s what God says. He doesn’t want people to go to hell.

  • BarbaraR

    Falling back on the “it’s not what I say, it’s what God says” monotone isn’t going to fly here. That’s still parroting what you’re told to say and the fundie way of thinking.

    Is there a hell? No one knows. I don’t. You don’t. Your pastors don’t. (They “let” you think for yourself? How magnanimous.) Anyone can believe what they want but that doesn’t make it true.

    Do I think you need to believe in Jesus or have heard of him to get into heaven? Nope. And would marrying someone of the same religious beliefs lead to a happy marriage? No guarantee. The implication that a couple who are “unequally yoked” will inevitably face strife and distress within their marriage simply does not hold true – it’s no more true than the implication that marrying someone of the same religious beliefs will stay married. There is far more to marriage than sharing religion.

  • Linda

    What church do you go to? Do you read the Bible? Here are some verses for you….John 3:16-7, John 8:24, John 1:12, 2 Peter 3:9, Luke 13:3 and 1 Cor 9:16. By the way. I looked these up in the Bible….my pastors are sleeping so I wouldn’t be able to ask them what to say.

  • BarbaraR

    This is not a space where we throw scripture at each other in order to prove points. Stop.

  • You have to ask pastors about this? Why? Can not your own take away about bible verses satisfy you well enough for your personal beliefs, and aid you in making decisions? Are you of the mind that the Bible/your pastors are the only places where you can find answers to difficult questions of life?

    Does it matter where one goes to church, if they go to church? Does it matter how often one reads the bible, how one interprets its contents, if one reads it at all?

    Do you not realize that for much of the early church, many couples were interfaith, with one being Christian, the other Jewish, or of a polytheistic one, that often parents, children, extended family, staff, neighbors, etc, were of different beliefs, Christianity being a minor off-shoot of Judiasm?

    Do you not consider that there are thousands of happy, contented couples who’s faiths are of completely different constructs, yet respecting each other’s belief, as personal and not a hinderance to a wonderful life together? I happen to be one of them.

    Is a possible afterlife scenario of more value than your life here on earth and all the people you’ll encounter along the way? Are you that certain of who will or who will not be where? If so, where did you get that list?

    Can you so easily dismiss someone you like as incompatible based on only your assumption that he’ll spend his afterlife being as grill fodder, someone you don’t even date, but have an infatuation on?

  • BarbaraR

    Also? I already said I don’t believe the Bible is infallible or literal. When someone says that, pulling a bunch of verses out of it is not going to change their opinion. It’s an old fundie tactic that just pisses people off.

  • Victor Valenzuela

    I just can’t believe that a Christian women would date a non-Christian man… it makes no sense if you understand this simple concept. Why God didn’t want a unequally yoked? because it is not his will. unless he converts later but since he doesn’t share your believes, he might not understand God’s plan in a different way . God has plans for you and the bible clearly states darkness can’t mix with the light. I know you said that He is a good man, but you know very well that being a good man will not take to you heaven, in fact there are many good man in hell right now because they didn’t accept Jesus. also since He didn’t receive Jesus his soul hasn’t been saved and there is darkness there whether you believe it or not. there is iniquity… do you want you baby to be born with the iniquity of his dad? this is why when two people who have been saved can cut down the chain of the iniquity…. any Christian who understands God’s purpose would know what to do. However it is up to you and you make the final decision. I wish you the best in your marriage and God bless you very much. (sorry for my grammar, English is my second language)

  • BarbaraR

    Not all Christians see this the way you do.

  • I’d say a majority don’t.
    I have a couple of horror stories, one personal, when religion mandates who to marry. They are why I chucked all the rules, when I finally let my second husband wear me down and get me to walk down the aisle with him, a decision I haven’t regretted. I keep telling my husband, I wish I’d met him first. For the record, we don’t believe in using yokes. We aren’t farm animals.

  • Snooterpoot

    Without a doubt, you have a right to your beliefs. If you find comfort and peace in your chosen dogma, good for you.

    Now it’s my turn. I think your chosen beliefs are cruel and without any basis in love. Do you really think a baby born of a non-Christian parent comes into this world as a doomed sinner even if it dies shortly after birth because it carries the iniquity of the non-Christian parent? Because that’s what it sounds like to me. It goes back to the doctrine of original sin. How can anyone believe that a baby is born somehow carrying the “iniquities” of a non-Christian parent? How can anyone think that an infant is doomed to hell?

    The theology you expressed here is a good example of one of the reasons I left Christianity. There are millions more people like me who have rejected or are now rejecting the harsh, cruel, genocidal, and vengeful god that is represented in your beliefs.

    I don’t believe in hell. I reject a god that is sadistic enough to create human beings only to subject them to eternal torment if they don’t follow words written by fallible men some 2,000 years ago, who wrote what they knew and called it the word of God, then used it as a means to control others, and women in particular.

    Jesus led a life of inclusiveness. It is my opinion that when you tell a Christian they should not marry a non-Christian you are the very antithesis of Jesus’ inclusiveness.

  • Snooterpoot

    I feel really badly for you that your marriage didn’t work out. It must have been excruciatingly painful for you. But, Vanessa, not all marriages are like yours. I would dare to say that there is not another marriage anywhere that is like yours simply because people are different in so many ways.

    I know you mean well, but to say that any other Christian/non-Christian marriage is doomed to failure because yours did is simply not logically or factually supportable.

    Edited because I screwed up something.

  • Snooterpoot

    Bumper sticker theology. God said it. I believe it. That settles it.

    Well, no, it doesn’t settle anything. It just demonstrates an unwillingness to consider that any other interpretation of the Bible is wrong, and theirs is the only one that is right.

    It’s arrogant and not reflective of the humility of Jesus, the man whom they claim to worship.

  • Bones

    A lot of Christians are pretty dark and ignorant.

    The idea that a baby is born with iniquity is abhorrent. That’s an example of Christians living in darkness.

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  • Andy

    You obviously didn’t read the verses I threw at you, or you’d know that I’m right. Because bible.

  • Andy

    Matthew 21:17

  • Andy

    This is obviously unfortunate, but assuming that other interfaith marriages will fail because yours did is an example of the small sample size bias, or cherry picking. As someone who has (kind of) been in an interfaith relationship for almost 13 years, married for 3, I can provide a counterexample of success.

  • BarbaraR


  • Bones

    Evangelical Christian marriages are more likely to end in a divorce than other faith or non-faith groups.

    So don’t marry an evangelical Christian.

  • Actually, Jewish couples tend to divorce at a slightly higher rate than “born again” Christians, by 3 percentage points.

    This article does mention that many church organizations are likely unaware of true divorce numbers in their membership, because of the stigma people face because of their marital status. I know when I went through mine, a rather hellish one, I was still accepted, but found myself increasingly isolated from volunteer opportunities or social settings within the congregation I was attending. Within six months, I left, and never have felt a need to return to that congregation, finding another, in a different denomination who didn’t give two figs if I was married, divorced, cohabitating, or simply sharing space with four cats.

  • Amanda

    I absolutely disagree with you. My first husband was a devout Baptist, kept a copy of the Bible next to the bed, went to church twice on Sundays and on Wednesday nights, prayed before we ate, the whole nine yards. Our marriage imploded in spectacular fashion because he decided my open-mindedness and pesky ability to think for myself was too much of a burden and he left. The man I’m with now is an atheist. He treats me with more respect than my Christian ex ever thought of doing. He supports me and encourages me to be myself – and that includes my faith. If you let your difference in religion become an issue, your marriage won’t last. But if you’re both open-minded and those open lines of communication are there you can make it work.

  • Amanda

    Very well said.

  • LoriBelle

    What about Christian MEN date/marry non Christian women? What is the difference?

  • LoriBelle

    It’s an evangelical thing in my opinion. I’ve seen it happen at the church I used to attend.

  • LoriBelle

    Question — do you think you unconsciously kept telling yourself that it would never work out because you married a non-Christian? In some sense you expected it not to work out?

  • LoriBelle

    Exactly how do you know what God’s plan is for other people?

  • LoriBelle

    Your husband’s downfalls are not our cross to carry. A co-worker’s ex-husband was an all out-and-out alcoholic — I mean alcoholic-poisoning. Her Baptist pastor kept telling her it was her cross to carry and marriage if forever. Finally, after being called home from out of state work meetings for the 8th time because he was again in the hospital because of alcoholic-poisoning, my friend finally realized that it WAS NOT her cross to carry. She and her children deserved better. This Christian man was destroying their lives. IT’S NOT YOUR CROSS TO CARRY.

  • Andy

    Yes. Absolutely.

    I occasionally read about factors common in lasting marriages — not on a daily basis, mind you — and the constants they find are those familiar values like kindness and respect. I imagine that if we read into it more frequently, we would find the majority of studies concur with this. It may seem rather cliché, but that’s what matters most.

  • Susan

    This really is just an issue of general good behavior.

    Except in rare instances when your opinion is sought, you can’t tell someone they’re with the wrong person. Believe you me, I’ve attended the weddings of plenty of dear friends who I thought were making terrible mistakes.

    I’ve had friends tell me I was with the wrong person. It never led me to leave that person. I’ve had friends who were in relationships I thought were big mistakes. My opinion never led them to split up. In one case, both people were dear friends, and BOTH of them separately asked my opinion on whether they should go through with it within a week of their wedding. I said no. They got married anyway.

    When you push someone to leave a person they love, what gets hurt is YOUR relationship with that person. If you use God as your instrument to push someone, that person’s relationship with God may well be damaged. In no case (unless your opinion is expressly asked) do you help that person make the decision you believe is better.

    I’m happy to say that while some of my loved ones really did end up hurt by the relationships I thought were a bad idea, some of them couldn’t be happier. I certainly couldn’t be happier to be wrong. It goes to show that I better not get too proud of the infallibility of my own opinions. It’s not my life.

  • Kristen Cates

    Where did you find a congregation that doesn’t care about people cohabitating? Because, other than being gay, I find many churches act like people who live together are going to hell with gasoline drawers on and their focus is on getting you to end the relationship and move out of the house when doing that would be disruptive to an otherwise healthy relationship.

  • A methodist one. My husband and I co habed for a few months prior to our wedding. No one said squat. Its frankly none of anyone’s business who lives with who. My son in laws slept over many times prior to my daughters moving out. I was attendin g a Baptist Church at the time. It was no ones business who did what under the roof of my home. I’d since learned that my private life was as public as I chose it to be.

  • Kristen Cates

    I am learning that. I have previously been in churches that were very intrusive and so I’m having to learn that I can keep my business to myself and not have to overshare or look for approval from people who ultimately don’t actually matter.

  • My experience is similar. So I found a non-intrusive church, as well as one that didn’t try to pour heavy handed guilt over the congregation on a weekly basis.

  • Ellen Polzien

    What a sad way to go through life, looking for opportunities for God to “smite” others.

  • Ellen Polzien

    Linda, cherrypicking prooftexts is not a responsible way to read the Bible, no matter what they may have taught you in “Bible college.” The Bible is a complex collection of writings that need to be understood contextually and applied contextually. I’m a Lutheran,and a trained lay minister, and I in no way agree with you that non-Christians “do not pass, go directly to hell.” Salvation is not, a matter of thinking or feeling the right things about God…it’s a gracious gift of a God who loves us and means us well. And it’s neither your nor my job to consign anyone whom God loves and for whom Christ died to an existence outside the embrace of God’s love. Unless you think you’re holier and more just than God.

  • Louie Van Deven

    God told some dude to marry a whore, but yeah you should totally not date a non-Christian. (Sarcasm)

  • Andy

    It’s okay. She was probably a Christian whore.

  • Cori Wolvesbane

    back when i was a christian.. i refused to date christians because of the fact that chances were that we would not get along, i dont like people that think they are high and mighty and pretend to put god before family and friends and everything they do… yes pretend because letting your life revolve around church and the bible is missing the whole point of jesus’ teachings which was mostly just to be good to people… I didnt want to date a holly man because i didnt want some one who wrapped his life around the pages of the book and ignored the teachings… I avoided christians because those were the types of christians who surrounded me, like the ones who judged based on the faith of who they were dating. I just wanted to find a good person who would treat me well no matter what honestly if i had found a christian who was just like me i might have changed my mind on that… but I never found someone as good as my pagan and unlike some christians he didnt care weather i was christian, pagan, atheist… he just cared that we were good together… and that is all that matters.

  • sky simone

    who or what are you talking about?

  • sky simone

    I agree. The reality is that you cannot serve 2 masters. I like how the author deliberately left off where Paul stated “DO NOT BE UNEQUALLY YOKED WITH UNBELIEVERS” – If you look at what a yoke is, it joins 2 work animals together.. How can you go on an african mission trip to evangelise if your spouse isn’t even a christian?
    How can you tithe your income if your spouse doesn’t believe?
    you are in essense choosing to be with somebody, rather than choosing to put God first and potentially be alone.

    I dated a non christian for 7 months when I was 21. I was hounded by people at church, and I didn’t like it. My non christian boyfriend seemed a more genuine friend to me than any of the christians, until the day we broke up. None of the christians were ever my genuine friend, but neither was my boyfriend who went from being ok with me being a christian, to it severely annoying him.

    He went from saying ‘when we get married I’ll come to church with you and the kids’ to ‘when we get married, you can take the kids to church until they’re 3’

  • Andy

    The hypothetical “whore” that Louie mentioned in his comment.

  • Andy
  • Bones

    Paul is giving advice – not law. He wanted everyone to be a missionary and get themselves killed for Christ – heck he didn’t even want Christians to get married.

    No wonder it annoyed him when your friends didn’t like him. It would annoy most people. Why did he need to go to church? Do you go to a church where you have to tithe? Were you dating someone whom you thought was going to hell?

    “None of the christians were ever my genuine friend”. Yeah that’s fairly tragic and typical. A friend is someone who accepts who for who you are. Most Christians have a problem with that and try to change you into them. Which you may well have been doing to your boyfriend.

    Btw evangelical Christian marriages are more likely to end in divorce than others. Wonder why that is?

  • Sarah

    John,the passage you quoted, if you read it in context, is referring to people who are already married to an unbeliever at the time when they came to faith. Some people were wondering if they should leave their spouses in order to better follow Christ, but the advice Paul gave was to keep their original commitment. The hope was that they might help the unbelieving spouse find Christ. (The same advice was given to slaves – to make the best of their position in the hopes that they might influence their masters)

    I think a more relevant passage for the person contemplating marriage to a non-believer is this one:

    NET Bible
    Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership
    is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does
    light have with darkness?
    2 Corinthians 6:14

    I don’t think it’s about being pious or a wet-blanket…just that marriage to someone of a different faith often leads to a lot of problematic practical considerations. Eg. Don’t you want your spouse to pray with you when you’re going through a major crisis? Don’t you want your kids to see your spouse modelling your faith (if it’s a core part of who you are and what you live for)?

  • Jacob Israel

    Sarah, 1 Cor 7:14 was written some time before ( maybe several months before) 2 Cor 14. In his first letter, Paul addresses those Christians who have an unbelieving wife. He does not say if the husbands were believers or unbelievers before they got married, and he does not say if he was addressing only those couples who were both unbelievers when they got married. It is you who has decided that they were unbelievers before they got married- Paul’s letters do not make that assumption.

    In fact, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that there were Christians there who knowingly married unbelievers – that being one of the reasons for Paul’s letter.

    Since his second letter came some time after his first letter, it would also be reasonable to assume that he could not be talking about marriage in 2 Cor 14 because he would have made himself absolutely clear in his first letter and not allowed for any ambiguity. How many Christians had decided to go ahead and marry unbelievers on the strength of his first letter? Would they not be in consternation and in righteous anger against Paul for not clarifying himself properly if he had actually meant that believers should not marry unbelievers and should separate themselves from them? Remember, Paul actually composed and wrote the letter- it was not an oversight in speech. Are we to believe that Paul would have been so careless? I think not.

  • Jacob Israel

    Sarah, 1 Cor 7:14 was written some time before ( maybe several months before) 2 Cor 14. In his first letter, Paul addresses those Christians who have an unbelieving wife. He does not say if the husbands were believers or unbelievers before they got married, and he does not say if he was addressing only those couples who were both unbelievers when they got married. It is you who has decided that they were unbelievers before they got married- Paul’s letters do not make that assumption.

    In fact, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that there were Christians there who knowingly married unbelievers – that being one of the reasons for Paul’s letter.

    Since his second letter came some time after his first letter, it would also be reasonable to assume that he could not be talking about marriage in 2 Cor 14 because he would have made himself absolutely clear in his first letter and not allowed for any ambiguity. How many Christians had decided to go ahead and marry unbelievers on the strength of his first letter? Would they not be in consternation and in righteous anger against Paul for not clarifying himself properly if he had actually meant that believers should not marry unbelievers and should separate themselves from them? Remember, Paul actually composed and wrote the letter- it was not an oversight in speech. Are we to believe that Paul would have been so careless? I think not.

  • Jacob Israel

    I agree with your last comment. But just because some people misinterpret the Bible, this should not mean that you should too? ‘Love God with all your heart, your soul, your mind and all your strength’ ‘and love your neighbour as yourself’. ‘If you love me, you will keep the commandments’.
    And what are his commandments? Are they really so grievious or misinformed? ‘Do not murder, do not steal, do not covet, do not bear false witness, do not commit adultery…’ Aren’t these just the advice of a loving Father who has given a free choice to his children and doesn’t want to see them make the wrong choices? Are we to blame Him for this? Don’t we give choices and advice to our children? We want them to be obedient for their own benefit – and there are also consequences when they ignore advice and do wrong. Are you saying that as parents there should not be any discipline? Think about it. Are you being fair?

  • Jacob Israel

    Linda, those who have not heard or been exposed to the gospel will be judged by their conscience. If they know they are doing wrong and still do it, they will be judged, similarly if they do right. Romans 2 B12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

    13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

    15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; Re 2 Cor 14, please read my reply to Sarah. Marriage is best left up to the individuals concerned ( and that means between male and female – only!). Just be sure you are not introducing your own/your pastors views here- prayerfully read 1 and 2 Corinthians – you may form a less rigid opinion.

  • Jacob Israel

    Er…you are mistaken, this is exactly the place, considering the article was discussing scripture to start with. Just because you have an aversion to it does not mean that everyone else should

  • Snooterpoot

    So, because people don’t understand their interpretation the way you understand yours they are wrong? Do you not see the arrogance in that attitude?

    The commandments are an illustration of how we should all live to maintain an orderly society. I have to wonder why god had to tell the Israelites that they shouldn’t steal, murder, etc. Maybe this didn’t really happen at all. Maybe it is allegorical, like the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden.

    People make bad choices and we suffer the consequences from those choices and we learn from them. I think a loving father allows for mistakes, because that’s how we learn to function in society.

    I think we should give advice to our children and I expect them to ignore it at times. When they do they deal with the consequences, good or bad. Parents are not always correct.

    I think you and I see obedience to god in entirely different ways, Jacob, and I don’t think that’s bad. I think that as we examine different theologies respectfully we grow as people and our understanding of god becomes fuller and more mature.

    I have a big problem with rigidity, with people who say their interpretation of the Bible is the only one that is correct, that the Bible is a rule book we must follow even though most of those rules were written by ancient tribal leaders and really do not apply to today’s society, and that anyone who believes differently is going to suffer eternal torment.

    I think that my awareness and knowledge of god is simply more gentle than yours and the people who follow your theology and I think that happens because so many people use the angry, violent, merciless god of the Old Testament to point fingers at people of whom they disapprove and call them abominations to god. That’s not a god I can worship, Jacob. That’s a god to be feared, to cower in front of, and I simply cannot and will not do that.

    Jesus told us to love god with all our hearts, minds and souls and to love each other. Those were his only two commandments. We are to love. Love fiercely. Love unconditionally. Just love. Unfortunately I don’t see love coming from a lot of Christians and I wonder if they’ve forgotten the only two commandments Jesus gave us.

    I don’t want to get into a longer dissertation on this. There are things I feel strongly about that are not germane to this particular discussion.

    I love you, brother, as Jesus told me to do. May you be showered with god’s blessings.

  • Jacob Israel

    If you actually read what you pasted, you would not be making such silly and arrogant comments. Paul says clearly, “in the present distress”: 26 I think then that this is good in view of the [o]present distress, that it is good for a man [p]to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife.28 But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have [q]trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.

    The reason you guys are all knocking Paul is because you are too lazy to read what he said.
    Jesus also said something about eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, didn’t he? And this was only for those who could accept it.

  • Jacob Israel

    Buddhism may be a religion but it does not believe in a God.

  • Jacob Israel

    Ruth, this may be a little late in the day, but please ignore what allegro63 is saying, she is not a Christian and is following her own made up false doctrine. Your conscience and prompting of the Holy Spirit are convicting you of your sin. You know this. God loves you, that is why He has opened your eyes. If your boyfriend truly loves you, he will understand. Be strong. If you want to continue your sexual relationship with your boyfriend and still claim to be a Christian, you will have to marry him.

  • Jacob Israel

    Absolute rubbish. Have you forgotten James- showing his faith through works?
    Or Paul, when he says ‘shall we continue in sin, to make grace abound? – God forbid!’
    I suggest you follow your own advice instead of promoting false teaching.

  • Jacob Israel

    You really ought to consider a change of name.In this day and age I can certainly believe that there are people like you who have no understanding of God or Christianity.

  • Jacob Israel

    She certainly can tell those who claim to be Christian but who continue in a promiscuous lifestyle of fornication. They are certainly not responsible adult Christians.

  • Jacob Israel

    You have no understanding of God or the Bible. That is bad enough. But trying to lead others on the same path is spiritual suicide.

  • Bones

    And what did Jesus mean by that? And who were the eunuchs?

    I included the whole quotation of Paul’s dude.

    Paul didn’t like marriage and only accepted it for Christians as a last resort to quench their passions.

    Why does a father who doesn’t give his daughter in marriage do better than one who does?

    What we do know about Paul is that he was heavily influenced by greek philosophy – Tarsus was the capital of Greek philosophy. This comes out in his comments against the flesh and sexuality.

    Personally it wouldn’t worry me if Jesus has a wife or had sex because people who have issues with that have issues with sexuality.

  • Bones

    And Jesus is clear.

    Love the sinner. Hate YOUR OWN sin.

  • Jacob Israel

    I see the penny still hasn’t dropped. You can’t see the wood for the trees. Let me spell it out. ‘In the present distress’. Clearly his instruction was given due to the prevailing conditions. Dude.

  • Bones

    Nothing to do with conscience or Holy Spirit. It’s busy bodies like yourself who want to tell people how to live or be condemned,
    You really shouldn’t project your sexual issues onto other people.

  • Bones


  • Bones

    I already claimed it was in a missionary culture, dude.

    And Paul is specific as to who can marry – those who can’t control their urges. So in other words, marry to have sex.

    You still haven’t answered my question about fathers giving away their daughters.

    Maybe it was too hard.

  • Jacob Israel

    Now what trip are you on? Get real Dude. You saying don’t tell a murderer he was wrong to murder? Actually, you don’t know what you are saying, do you?

  • Bones

    Take a ticket and get in line dude.

    Your type are a dime a dozen whether you’re Muslims or christians.

    Don’t project your sexual hang ups onto others.

  • Bones

    Yet they are better than yourself.

    Go figure.

  • Bones

    What sins do you have so we can tell you to stop doing them?

    Do you think about girls? Or boys? Are you greedy and envious? Do you like talking or writing about others behind their backs? What about pride? You love being right don’t you? And your glad you’re not like those heathen, aren’t you? I bet you support policies which limit support and welfare for the poor.

    I’m starting to get a picture of someone not unlike the Pharisees.

  • Bones

    Aaah I see what trip you’re on, Mr Pharisee.

    Come on out with it.

    Tell us about your sins so we can hate them.

  • Jacob Israel

    Did you get your name from Star Trek? You are certainly warped. Strange- I berate you for giving unchristian advice to a Christian girl who sees her wrong in continuing in pre-marital sex and you get upset and ask me what sins I have committed??! Go and get your head examined.

  • Sarah

    Jacob, thank you for your reply. I’m interested to know how you
    interpret the warning contained in 2 Corinthians 6:14, if it’s not
    regarding the choice to marry an unbeliever? What does the mention of
    being unequally yoked refer to?

    The 1 Corinthians 7:13
    reference was written for both husbands and wives (*see passage below).
    It was obviously written to guide married couples who were contemplating
    leaving their unbelieving spouses because of a difference of faith.
    They were already married at that time, not contemplating marriage.

    I don’t think we can build an argument for marrying an unbeliever on
    the basis of this advice to married couples. Paul is not condoning that.
    In that ancient society women had no legal and financial rights apart
    from a husband. Divorce would have caused an immense hardship to her and
    her children. The context of this passage (chp 7) is about how to
    manage a change of status following coming to faith. (See v 17-24)

    “24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.”

    I do acknowledge that there were quite possibly examples of arranged
    marriages (considered legally binding from childhood, in may instances)
    in which the fiance may not have had much choice regarding the marriage
    to the unbeliever. Paul does make an allowance for that, when he refers
    to someone who has a prior marriage pledge (v 27).

    But to be
    pragmatic, there are bound to be problems and conflicts in a marriage
    between two persons who have different core beliefs. Those beliefs guide
    and shape choices, and are so very important when facing crises.


    * “But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who
    is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce
    her. 13And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away.”

  • Sarah

    apologies for the formatting, had to cut and paste)

  • Jacob Israel

    Thanks, Sarah, for taking the time to reply. It is a very important and emotive subject, and there are many aspects which must be considered, so I apologise in advance for the length.

    Let me be clear. I am not recommending that Christians should marry unbelievers, I am saying that there is no prohibition. It is ultimately for the couples themselves to decide. As for problems faced, yes, they may well face more problems in addition to those faced by all marriages, whether Christian or no- and they may not. They may also lead to the conversion of an unbeliever, as has happened and can happen as Paul states. Please note I only use capitals for clarity, not shouting!

    I will try and answer your questions,though they may not necessarily be in the order you asked them.

    You said: “I don’t think we can build an argument for marrying an unbeliever on
    the basis of this advice to married couples.”

    I say: Why not? If you were in that congregation and were at the time contemplating marriage to a person whom you dearly loved who happened also to be an unbeliever, the advent of this, Paul’s first letter, would give you the green light. ‘The unbeliever is sanctified through the believer.’
    2 Cor 6:14, which you claim prohibits it, had not even been written at that time.

    You said:1 Cor 7:”24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.”

    I say:1 Cor 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

    Let’s first clear up the fundamentals:

    Genesis 2:24

    Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.- KJV

    Matthew 19:6 KJV Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

    Hebrews 13:4 KJV

    4 Marriage is honourable in ALL, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 KJV

    9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor ADULTERERS, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

    10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionersw, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

    11 AND SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    Note, Paul says ‘And such were some of you..’ For them to have been adulterers BEFORE they became believers, they must must have been in a marriage deemed valid by God to start with. Clearly, the marriage covenant applies to all humanity and not just for Christians, therefore when people make glib remarks about believers marrying unbelievers or about unbelievers marriages they are not only insulting people but God himself.

    Please point out the verse that says that Paul was only speaking to those couples who married as unbelievers. Why not ALSO to those Christians in the congregation who had knowingly married unbelievers?
    In fact, just as they are doing now, it is probably even more likely that in those times the Gentiles who became Christian had and would take unbelieving spouses due to the shortage of Christians, and also because of Paul’s advice in 1 Cor 7:14, that the unbelieving spouse is sanctified through the believer. If a believer truly loves an unbeliever, what better way to ensure their sanctification than by marriage? And you have not acknowledged the time gap between the first and second letter which I pointed out, there is no statement in 1 Cor 7 saying that believers should not marry unbelievers.

    One needs to think rationally here. If it is a sin, as you claim, for a believer to marry an unbeliever, because you think that 2 Cor 6:14 refers to marriage ( even though it is not even mentioned in 2 Cor 6) then Paul has contradicted his statement in 1 Cor 7:14, and not only that, you are saying that in 1 Cor 7:14 Paul is implying that God wants people to continue living in sin!

    God does not want people to do what he hates.

    You see, it is either a sin or it isn’t.

    Suppose a man divorces his wife and (except for marital unfaithfulness) marries another. In God’s eyes he has committed adultery. Are you saying that God would say “ok, you should not have done that because it’s a sin, but now you have done it, carry on, it’s ok to continue living in sin?”, or do you think God would want him to repent and break off his adulterous relationship? He would have to, because you claim that 1 Cor 6 applies to marriage:

    17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

    Remember, 1 Cor 7:14, the unbeliever is sanctified THROUGH the believer.
    Can you not see the irony in what you are saying? You are saying that if two unbelievers got married and one became a believer, they should stay together, the marriage is holy and their children are sanctified, but if one is already a believer and decides to marry an unbeliever, it is a sin, and the marriage is unholy, and the children are not sanctified. THIS IS NOWHERE IN 1 Cor 7! (I’m not shouting here, it’s just for clarity)
    Yet sanctification, we are told, is through the believer.Not only that, if the UNBELIEVER is pleased to stay, then they should remain together. Here, the unbeliever is given the importance!

    Isn’t what you are saying the same line of thinking which Jesus so despised? It is merely a difference of timing. Have you forgotten his healing on the sabbath day? This was also a difference in timing. The Jews claimed it was a sin to heal a man on the sabbath day.
    Jesus declared he desired mercy, not sacrifice.

    I repeat, the unbeliever is sanctified by the believer and the marriage becomes holy. 2 Cor 6 cannot be speaking of marriage as Paul uses terms Belial, idolatry and infidel, and that we should distance ourselves from them. If he had been talking about marriage, he would have been contradicting himself with 1 Cor 7 when he says that if the unbeliever is pleased to remain with the believer, the believer must not separate.

    Clearly, if the believer involves himself with other religions, then he/she is no longer a believer. In 2 Cor 6, Paul must be be referring to the behaviour of some at the Corinthian church of associating with unbelievers and accepting and participating in their practices and sacrifices, similar to the behaviour of the Israelites in the past of accepting sacrificial offerings to Baal Peor (Numbers 25 and Psalm 106:28).

    The key lies in the term “UNEQUALLY yoked”.

    Therefore, one is ‘equally yoked’ if one remains in the Lord and does not become involved with the religious practices of the unbeliever.

    At best, one may say that one should exercise caution and be prepared that there may be difficulties in marrying an unbeliever, although Paul also applies this to marriage in general, preferring others to be the same as he is if possible.

    “My yoke is easy and my burden light”. The yoke is obviously us being yoked to Christ. There is an ‘unequal yoke’ with unbelievers if we also involve ourself with/practice their religions, as we cannot pull both ways. In a marriage, if the unbeliever accepts this and does not hinder the believer from following their religion, and wants to stay, then ok, that person is sanctified through the believer. This is not so if we join in their practice.

    The comments of various people on this website on their successful marriages with unbelievers testify to this.

    Lastly, please consider the following facts-that if two people decide to marry, then they are OBVIOUSlY IN AGREEMENT with each other, on very many things! A believer will never agree with an unbeliever on matters of religion/belief, and that is what is addressed in 1 Cor 14, not marriage. Do not forget that Paul says that those who have not heard the gospel will be judged on their conscience, the law of their heart. If unbelievers were so devoid of morals then his statement would be of no effect. Believe it or not, unbelievers can become Christian, and many of them do so from a moral high ground.

  • Sarah

    Jacob, thank you for your response, and for doing so respectfully. I appreciate this as this is a very emotive
    topic which many people naturally feel strongly about. Apologies also for the long reply 🙂 :

    1) Yes, there are non-believers who are lovely, honourable people with integrity.However, even the most wonderful unbeliever is not without sin. No Christian ever came to Christ declaring themselves already righteous (without Christ’s gift we would all “fall short” of God’s standard) This is not about being good enough, it’s about people being properly ‘yoked’ with someone who is like-minded at a core level, and who has the indwelling Holy Spirit guiding them.

    2) Just because Paul is advising believers in the early church not to commit adultery/ remain in their marriages with their unbelieving spouses, I don’t think that Christians that are to take this as advice to go and seek out a marriage relationship with an unbeliever.

    If marrying someone actually saved them, then
    Paul and Christ would have advised missionary dating…only certain certain cults do this.

    RE. sanctification of the spouse:

    “Pulpit Commentary

    Verse 14. – Is sanctified; literally, has been sanctified, the status has been rendered (so to speak) theoretically clean. By the wife; literally, in the wife. The bond is still holy; its holiness rests in the believing wife or husband. The reasoning would remove any
    scruples which Jewish Christians might derive from Deuteronomy 7:3, etc. By the husband; rather, in the
    brother. The liberty implied by these remarks, contrasting so strongly with the rigid rules laid down in the days of Ezra (Ezra 9; Nehemiah 9.) recall the change of dispensation. Unclean; i.e. not placed in immediate covenant relation to God. But now
    are they holy.”

    3) Obviously if someone is in a marriage relationship with an unbeliever, the right thing is to do is remain married to them (honouring marriage vows is
    important to God).

    Likewise, Paul also addressed slaves, with advice on how to remain in that situation, but we can’t extrapolate from this that Paul was advocating slavery.

    4) Christians believe that marriage is more than a physical bond or even a friendship, but is a special spiritual unification of a very high order.(Christ
    often likened his relationship to the Church as a marriage). The unbelieving spouse practices another faith (or has a conflicting world view), and so a spiritual unification cannot be achieved.

    In that situation, there is a constant tug on the Christian spouse to compromise. In places in the world where there is religious persecution, faith choices can literally come down to life and death. Even in the West, there is
    tremendous pressure on Christians to compromise their convictions. How much harder that must be when you have a spouse who sees things differently and may
    not understand.

    From what you wrote above, I think we probably agree on this point, that there are several complications when marrying someone of a different faith/ perspective.

    The ancient nation of Israel was led away from God by intermarriage to people who worshiped other gods (with child sacrifice to Moloch being one of these outcomes)

    Deuteronomy clearly cautions against interfaith marriage.

    I respect your right to your own perspective on this issue and want to clarify that I’m not trying to condemn anyone who is in a marriage relationship with an
    unbeliever 🙂

    However, what I understand from scripture and from life observations is that interfaith marriage is not optimal, and should not be sought out due to the risks and probable costs associated with it.

    “Everything is permissible, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up.”

    1 Corinthians 10:23

  • Bones

    Aaaah yes Bones McCoy. Great character.

    So no sins, hey. Just another dude with sexual hang ups projecting their insecurities onto others and using the Bible to justify it.

    Thankfully most people just ignore you Westboro Baptist type.

    He’s dead, Jim.

  • Jacob Israel

    As I said, Warped- to the Factor 9!

    On your bike, satan- do watch out for any black holes on your way down..

  • Jacob Israel

    Thanks for your reply Sarah, there is much we agree on and I am heartened by your closing remarks 🙂

    The reason why I am writing is that it is not such a cut and dried subject as some people like to make out. Comments by Christians who have, in my view, misinterpreted Paul’s letters, can be extremely damaging and hurtful to mixed relationships, and in some cases deter unbelievers from becoming Christians. This has to be wrong.

    Firstly I would just reiterate, I am not recommending that believers marry unbelievers, I am saying that it is not prohibited. It is up to the couples themselves to decide. In a perfect world, everyone would be Christian. We are not living in a perfect world. And remember, there are also those who say they are Christian and are not. There are many unhappy Christian marriages and many Christians have experienced divorce. Positive and negative testimonies can be found on both sides of the argument. Our job is to see if one can say wholeheartedly that a Christian should not marry an unbeliever- and I am saying that we cannot.

    Relevant to both your points 1) and 4):
    You said in your point 4.):

    4) Christians believe that marriage is more than a physical bond or even a friendship, but is a special spiritual unification of a very high order.(Christ
    often likened his relationship to the Church as a marriage).

    I say: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We are the Church.The head of the Church is Christ, and the head of the Woman is Man. The union of Man and Woman is symbolic of the union of Christ to his Church.The husband is to emulate Christ.

    Would you say Man is emulating Christ if he rejects a person SOLELY on the grounds that he or she is not of the same faith? What happened to faith, patience, kindness, and love that never fails?
    I thank God that he does not share the view of some in the Church today, I would have remained dead in my sins and without a hope.

    Although Paul did not sanction ‘missionary dating’ (I dislike that term very much), neither does he condemn it! And as for marriage ‘actually saving them’, it would appear in some cases, it can! -But the generally prevailing view of the churches rules out Peter 3:1.

    You also said in your point 4.)

    “The unbelieving spouse practices another faith (or has a conflicting world view), and so a spiritual unification cannot be achieved.”

    If this is actually the case, Paul did not see this as a problem and says the marriage should continue!

    As there is no evidence to the contrary, we can assume that his letter was addressing two groups of people; those who had both married as unbelievers (where one of them later converted after marriage) and also those new Christians who had KNOWINGLY married unbelievers- Paul does not make any distinction -and neither does he say that a believer should not marry an unbeliever.

    1 Cor 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If ANY brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
    13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

    You see, you cannot escape the fact that it is either a sin, or it is not.

    If it is a sin to marry an unbeliever, then there is no way that God would advocate remaining together! You say that it is a concession given by Paul because God does not like to see divorce. Well, in that case, are you saying that God will permit an adulterer to continue his/her relationship in a new marriage because he does not like to see divorce, or do you think God would he rather that person repent and come out of the relationship? It may be hard, but we both know the answer to that one- he/she must come out of the relationship!

    On the contrary, the concession God gives through Paul is this:

    15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

    The concession is for the benefit of the unbeliever, but otherwise God does not like to see divorce! Do you think this would apply in the case of a person divorcing his wife and marrying another? No, because it is a sin.

    Another reason which confirms to me that the generally prevailing view that 2 Cor 6: 14 applies to marriage is wrong is this- the hostility amongst those who hold such a view. They are unwelcoming and hostile to unbelieving spouses rather than being encouraging and having faith in Peter’s words (Peter 3:1) that some may indeed become believers after witnessing the holy behaviour of their believing husband or wife. Do you not find it odd, that in general, Churches are welcoming to unbelievers, even welcoming to unbelieving friends of believers (and because they are friends of believers sometimes an even warmer welcome is extended), but if the believer happens to introduce his or her unbelieving wife or husband, instead they encounter hostility, judgemental remarks and are made to feel unwelcome? This is all wrong. It also discounts Peter 3:1.

    Re your point 2) I am not suggesting that believers actively ‘seek out a marriage with an unbeliever’, but if a man and a woman find that they have fallen in love and are considering marriage, it is not a sin. The believer must be assured that he/she will be able to practice their faith without hindrance; there must be tolerance on both sides. These and other matters should be discussed and considered.

    One should not be one of those ‘forbidding to marry’ – which is a doctrine of demons- as Paul mentioned:

    1 Timothy 4King James Version (KJV)

    4 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that IN THE LATTER TIMES some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

    2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

    3 FORBIDDING TO MARRY, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

    I am not quite sure of the relevance or importance of the ‘Pulpit Commentary’ to this discussion- the Old Testament rules were applied specifically to the Israelites. The Israelites had been given specific commands by God and covenants were made which the Israelites broke and as a result were punished. Quoting the Old Testament on this subject is fraught with problems. Let’s work through them.

    Looking at the references you quoted:

    Deuteronomy 7

    7 When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;

    2 And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

    3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

    4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.

    5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

    6 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

    My question: Are we to assume then that the Jews/Israelites Christians of today in dealing with unbelieving nations ‘shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them’?

    Contrast: The Old Testament demanded a split in some cases with foreign wives who worshipped other gods. However, the New Testament says that the believer must continue in marriage to an unbelieving wife if she wishes to remain with him. The same can be applied if we consider Ezra 9 and Nehemiah 9.

    Looking at Malachi 2, here a specific covenant was broken by the levitical priests- they divorced their wives and married ‘daughters of a strange god’, and God’s anger was specifically against them:

    4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.

    5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.

    6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

    7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

    8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.

    9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

    10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

    11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.

    12 The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts.

    13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.

    14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

    15 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.

    16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

    We can see that God hates divorce.

    However, in Deuteronomy 21:10-14 KJV, we see that it is PERMISSIBLE for an Israelite to take a foreign wife from Israel’s enemies- and we may assume that she might have been following different gods:

    10 When thou goest forth to war against thine ENEMIES*, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive,

    11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;

    12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

    13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

    14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.

    *ENEMIES imply these people were also of a different religion, yet here marriage is permissible.

    Two things here which are no longer permitted for a Christian- War, and Forced Marriage (in the above case it might actually be called ‘rape’- it does not seem the woman is given any choice) – and here the difference of religion does not appear to be an impediment to marriage. So why are we even considering these old commandments?

    Do you see the problems quoting Old Testament (Covenant) rules in the light of the New Testament (Covenant)?

  • Jacob Israel

    Sorry, re the ‘Pulpit Commentary’, I see he agrees with me re the change in dispensation…I read it in a rush!

  • Jacob Israel

    Sorry, I meant 2Cor 6:14, not 1 Cor 14 above!

  • Andy

    If having sex outside of marriage resulted in the prohibition of being Christian, the religion as a whole would lose more than half its followers.

  • Jacob Israel

    Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen

    Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat

    Sex outside of marriage is not permissible for a Christian as it is against God’s commands. If a Christian engages in such activities but realises the error of their ways and truly repents, then by the grace of God they may be forgiven – but that is between themselves and God, who sees everyone’s hearts. Do not be misled by those so called Christians who believe that sex outside of marriage is ok, do not acknowledge it as a sin, and think that they are saved by God’s grace. Actually, they have departed from the faith and bring the name ‘Christian’ into disrepute.

    Therefore in response to your statement, if that is so, so be it. Jesus’ words are prophetic, and this is to be expected. See God is not bothered about Church attendance figures, or whether people like his commands or not; He is bothered about the people he has called and chosen.

  • Jacob Israel

    I had taken me some time to reply as I was considering whether it was even worth it. This will be my last reply to you, I will not force my views on anyone.

    However, you said these were Jesus’ only two commandments. Actually, there were more. I am sure you can recall his meeting with the rich young man. The man asked him what he should do to obtain Eternal Life. Jesus replied, ‘Keep the Commandments.’ The man asked, which ones? To which Jesus replied ‘Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.’ Jesus has said that the two greatest commandments he gave actually sum up the Law and the Prophets. Please note that it is a ‘summing up’ and not a subtraction.

    May God bless you

  • Jacob Israel

    Of course you don’t- That’s why you are not a Christian!

  • Andy

    Right, I’m sure you never disparage the religion with your sins. Why are their sins greater than yours?

    I’m pretty sure a lot of us don’t approve of your “chosen people” theory, and you’re not going to convince any of us that we’re wrong. We are more than capable of exegesis. Turn your high horse around and take that Calvinistic crap elsewhere.

  • Andy

    “I will not force my views on anyone.”


    “Sex outside of marriage is not permissible for a Christian as it is against God’s commands. If a Christian engages in such activities but realises the error of their ways and truly repents, then by the grace of God they may be forgiven – but that is between themselves and God, who sees everyone’s hearts. Do not be misled by those so called Christians who believe that sex outside of marriage is ok, do not acknowledge it as a sin, and think that they are saved by God’s grace. Actually, they have departed from the faith and bring the name ‘Christian’ into disrepute.”

    Everything in here is you stating your beliefs as if they were facts and not your interpretation. Good job avoiding the sin of hypocrisy.

  • BarbaraR

    Oh hey God! Always wanted to meet You. I am a big fan of Your work. Say, there’s a guy down here calling himself Jacob Israel who claims to know whether people are Christian. Did You contract out some of Your work to him? The part about determining who’s a Christian and who isn’t? Or is he just being an instigating judgmental asshole fundie troll?
    Let me know. Thanks.

  • Jacob Israel

    My chosen people theory? Exegesis? I am surprised you can spell the word considering you don’t know what it means. But we are not talking about my sins here, you dope, or whether their sins are greater than mine. This seems to be the constant refrain from you and others like you on this website- you don’t like to be told what God’s word clearly says because you disagree with it. So let’s shoot the messenger. BTW, Calvin is a friend of yours, not mine, so get your facts straight- and, to coin a phrase from you elsewhere ‘Everything in here is you stating your beliefs as if they were facts and not your interpretation. Good job avoiding the sin of hypocrisy. ‘

  • Jacob Israel

    Listen, why don’t you consider taking up something else? Something you are better suited to…like yoga, origami, voodoo….or even knitting? Because if you claim to have taken up Christianity, you better start walking and talking like a Christian.

  • Jacob Israel

    These are facts to a Christian. It’s very clear in the New Testament. But you say I have made it up. Good luck with trying to convince God of that one when the time comes.

  • BarbaraR

    Silly man. You do not get to judge who is and isn’t a Christian. But I am done with you, so spew your hatred elsewhere.

  • Snooterpoot

    Tucking your tail and running. No surprise there.

    Jesus was quoting those commandments, not issuing them.. In fact when he did issue commandments he stated that all of the law and the prophets rested on those two.

  • Jacob Israel

    On the contrary, it is I who have done with you.

    Titus 3:10: A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject

  • Jacob Israel

    Stop trying to kid yourself and stop playing silly word games. Yes, we can say Jesus quoted them, because he actually stated we should keep them! What are you trying to prove?

    And actually, he did say keep them. He said they could be summed up in those two commandments. Read your Bible again. We are supposed to love our neighbour within the framework of God’s Law, by not committing adultery, stealing, etc, because we obviously would not like to have these things happen to ourselves. in fact the two commandments are a catch all, because God knows there are people who will try and re-interpret his laws, saying that since certain issues were not specifically mentioned in the 10 commandments, therefore they are permissible.

    So in your opinion, how do we ‘Love your neighbour as thyself’ then, if not by keeping the commandments as Jesus commanded?

  • Snooterpoot

    I see. It’s “silly word games” when I repeated what the Bible says Jesus did and I didn’t pretend to repeat what it doesn’t say. Or something.

    My opinion is that we love our neighbors by simply loving them, and if one takes a realistic view of what that actually requires then then enormity and magnificence of that can be really frightening.

    It is not loving to tell someone that living whom they are born to be is an abomination to god. If you (a figurative you, so don’t get all huffy, here) tell someone that and you think you are coming from a position of love, then stop. It’s not loving.

    It is not loving for you to tell others that they must endure lives of celibacy and loneliness.

    It is not loving to tell someone that they must expel a child who is LGBT unless they “repent of the sin” of being born that way. It isn’t loving to tell us we are not born that way. It’s also rude and presumptuous.

    It is not loving to tell people who have brown skin and who speak Spanish that they are not welcome to stay in a country where they are simply trying to provide better lives for their families.

    It isn’t loving to ask a person who has lung cancer if she ever smoked.

    It really all boils down to the Golden Rule.

    What you advocate is using the commandments as the Pharisees used them – as a gotcha you can smugly use on others with the certainty that god is on your side. That didn’t work out too well for them, either.

    The things you believe in and advocate cause real harm to real people, and that doesn’t seem to bother you at all.

  • Jacob Israel

    No, you did not ‘repeat what the Bible said Jesus did’. I repeated what Jesus said. Instead of being lazy why don’t you pick up a Bible and find it – google something like ‘Jesus and the Rich Young Man’. Try several translations. No point trying to steer the subject away from fact.

    As for your other statements, yes, some of these are part of the ‘catch all’ I referred to earlier; Although, I once used to smoke, it was my choice, and if I had developed lung cancer, I would not have been offended if somebody asked me if I had been smoking- actually. I think it would be an opportunity for me to inform them of the dangers – but each to their own.

    Let’s remember what this conversation is about. We are discussing WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS, in clear unequivocal language, and that includes the New Testament. If you want to discuss what YOU SAY and believe, that is a different topic to which I am prepared to listen, but I will not accept it as an interpretation of scripture, because it is just not there. What do you want me to say? That the Bible says we can do whatever we want?

    The Bible says that homosexuality is a choice. You say you/one was born that way. What do you say to those people who were heterosexual, indulged in homosexual relationships for a while and then formed heterosexual relationships and publicly stating that it had been their choice and they choose now to follow heterosexual relationships only? What do you say to those people who openly said they were abused as children or as teenagers and ‘groomed’ by adults and that is why they engaged in homosexual activity but now they know better and have returned to heterosexual relationships? Wouldn’t they find your comments hurtful? You don’t think I find your comments hurtful? Or is that ok, because you are not being hurt? Are they wrong as well, and only you are right?
    People in adulterous relationships may be hurt by being told that it is a sin. So what? What of the wife or husband who has been cheated on? If society welcomes this kind of behaviour it will be to its detriment. And it is certainly not ‘loving your neighbour’ in the sense Christ meant it.

    What of bisexual behaviour? Is that not a choice, or are you saying these people were also born that way? One day they want to sleep with a man, and even on the same day with a woman. People can have a disposition, perhaps due to environmental factors, abuse, coaching, that I can believe. But on all the evidence, I have seen, I do not agree that people are born that way. You still haven’t grasped what I am saying. Sin and Grace are two different things. There is no need for Grace if there is nothing which is identified as Sin. The Bible identifies homosexual behaviour as a sin, just as is adultery, murder, etc. But you are denying that it is a sin in the first place. Acknowledge first that the Bible calls it a sin; then maybe Grace can enter.
    Or will you tell me next that murder and adultery are not sins?
    All we can do is do our best, God will judge our hearts, and how hard we have tried to follow his teaching. If you disagree with the Bible, don’t follow it- but don’t say it says something which it doesn’t.

  • Snooterpoot

    Jacob to Snooterpoot: you are wrong because you don’t agree with my interpretation of the Bible or in my dogma.

    Snooterpoot to Jacob: give up your need to be right, like the Pharisees, and open your heart to god’s amazing, unconditional and fierce love for all of his children.

  • Bones

    Are you God, now?

    So you live a life without sin, judge others and claim to have the opinion of God.

    We have discovered the fourth member of the Trinity.

  • Bones

    You seem to have a problem with hereticks.

    You should see a doctor about that.

  • Bones

    No this is a sight for grown ups. You’re after the site for little children like Charisma.

    Come back in a few years when you’ve started to grow up.

  • Bones

    Still no sins hey.

    Let us no when you come on over from the Dark Side.

    It happens eventually when you realised everything you’ve been told is nonsense.

    Then Enlightenment begins.

    Use the Force.

  • Jacob Israel

    You re-surfaced? Words of wisdom from the man who follows Yoda the animated puppet. Now don’t tell me this is the new religion you are trying to promote? Surely you can do better than that, although I know there are a few dimwit followers just like you…

  • Jacob Israel

    You should come back when you know how to spell properly.

  • Jacob Israel

    Bonehead, you are an amusing fellow, you say that I live a life without sin – I have never said this- if you could read properly you would know this. So instead you go around putting words in my mouth. Good riddance.

  • Bones

    I like this religion of yours where you get to poke at other people’s sins.

    Come on tell us yours.

    We can see what they are.

  • Bones

    Still got problems with hereticks, hey? You can buy stuff for that.

    Run away little boy and go bully other people.

  • Bones

    You don’t like to talk about your sins do you, Lord?

    Much more fun being Judge McJudgy isn’t it? This being right thing is a great power trip hey?

    Btw best thing I did was live with my wife before marrying her.

  • Jacob Israel

    Run away? No, you’re just a lying, angry, confused and frustrated time waster. As my Lord says, don’t waste many words on a dolt. Good luck in accounting for your sins in your own strength.

  • Jacob Israel

    I will pray for her

  • Falken

    Your argument shouldn’t sum up that anyone disagreeing with your point of view is lying, angry, confused, frustrated, or of lower intelligence. That’s a symbol of immaturity and being unable to argue the argument, because it’s own merits have failed.

  • Jacob Israel

    I am afraid you do owe me an apology. I used to love plain crackers but now every time I eat one I am reminded of you. So you have read and agree with all of Bonehead’s statements on this website do you? Are you from Planet Zog too?

  • Bones

    I take it the hereticks are annoying you. Maybe see a vet about that.

    Let us know when you jump into the TARDIS and join us in the 21st century. How’s it going back in the 1500s? You seem to be enjoying it.

  • Bones

    Poor little Jacob can’t bully people, so he has to have a sulk. I find you sort incredibly amusing.

  • Falken

    Not entirely. And no, looking at your various posts, I owe you nothing. You owe an apology for being rude at the jump.

  • Jacob Israel

    Oh I see..forgive me, when you implied I was immature, you were actually being polite. Do you know what the word ‘hypocrite’ means? Let me give you a clue – You are one.

    You said ‘not entirely’- that sounds like lot more than a little, wouldn’t you say? May I ask, which points you agreed and disagreed with him on? You see, you are very much mistaken.You owe me an apology whether you like it or not.

  • Falken

    You owe an apology to Bones, and to the people you slander. Plus, a hypocrite is someone being rude then demanding people defending themselves from slander to apologize.

  • Jacob Israel

    Well then, by your own (unusual) definition, you are a hypocrite then, aren’t you? You still owe me an apology. Nice try, Sunshine, no point trying to divert the subject on to Bonehead. But since you mentioned him, and you say I owe him an apology, you must agree with his earlier false and rude accusations against me,which only confirms my earlier opinion that you are both plain crackers and need your heads examined- that is, if you are not one and the same person anyway.

  • Bones

    Well we are having number 6 next week.

    I pray you get over your sexual hangups.

  • Bones

    What accusation is that?

    That you don’t sin, my Lord?

    My Lord can you share with us your sins so we can hate them too?

    It’s always fun coming back to this page to get the views of someone living in the 1500s.

    They had different ways to get rid of hereticks back then.

  • Bones

    Jesus is more concerned about situations like below than what people do with their sex organs. You wouldn’t know it listening to most Christians. Theirs is the real sin.

  • Elizabeth

    Wow, I am only 14, and this is probably the worst thing I have heard come out of a Christian’s mouth. I am nervous for the people you influence.
    I don’t even know where to begin on how unbiblical this entire article is. You ignored so many verses and took verses out of context, and shamed Christian friends voicing their concern for something that is not right in God’s eyes.

  • Bones

    You need to grow up. There are millions of examples of Christians marrying non-Christians and if you think marrying a Christian makes a better marriage I can tell you they dont from the number of divorced Christians I know.

  • Elizabeth

    I never said Christians make better spouses, you assumed I think that, that is a whole different subject. I said it was not right in God’s eyes, because there are verses backing that up. Of course there are examples of Christians marrying non-Christians and it was fine, I didn’t say that never happened or that non-Christians are bad people. Certainly not.
    But we aren’t supposed to bind ourselves to people not in the Lord, according to 2 Corinthians 6:14, for one example. Also Deuteronomy 7:3-4, one reason being that a nonbeliever would be in a place to lead us away from our faith.
    Or 1 Corinthians 7:39 which says a woman can marry whomever she wants, but only in the Lord.
    He seemed to have no trouble recognizing a verse pulled out of context to protect his faulty point, but ignored all of these verses which in any context clearly tell us not to intermarry with people outside of faith.
    And thank you, I do plan to grow up. ☺

  • Bones

    Far from it. You need to understand the context of Paul’s writings. He was writing in a missionary culture and he’d rather you not marry at all and you were to only marry to satisfy your lust. Hardly sound wedding advice. Furthermore in the context of Paul’s Greek culture, theres an extremely high chance you would marry a pagan. Then you had the persecution of Christians by some pagan emperors. Would Paul be telling Christians not to marry Jews?. Ultimately what Paul says isn’t law. Its advice and opinion. Now you might want to live your life by Paul’s opinion, most don’t.

    And you contradict yourself. It obviously isnt fine to marry people of different faith.

  • Snooterpoot

    Are you a follower of Paul, or a follower of Christ? They are not the same thing.


    this is the worst mistake you can do it makes as much sense as marrying somebody that doesn’t support same sex marriage when you do even atheists do not recommend religious/atheist relationships

  • Bones

    Depends how dogmatic you are. The more dogmatic the less likely you will marry someone different to you.


    I agree with you have a good point

  • BarbaraR

    *rolls eyes heavily*
    In case you haven’t noticed (and I don’t think you have), you are on a page that does not subscribe to the notion that the Bible is the absolute inerrant word of God as dictated by God Himself, which is a fundamentalist tenet.
    Most people here believe that the Bible was composed over many years by multiple writers years after the fact, transcribed with errors and personal opinions, and that it is a collection of legend, allegory, fable, history, personal letters, poetry, and opinion.

    Throwing Bible verses at each other to prove a point is silly (“Boy, I’m gonna get them! Here’s a verse they can’t argue with!” = juvenile). To question the Bible is hardly disrespectful to God – that’s utterly absurd. The Bible is anything but clear – unless you subscribe to fundamentalist teachings (which is appears you do).

    You’re in the wrong place. Many fundies have come here to try to warn us of the error of our ways. We’ve heard it all before and are not impressed.

  • B real

    I remember in the early 90s really liking a guy, Christian, just like me — and I was dissuaded from the relationship due to race!! So forgive me if I don’t care for the “busybodies” who think they have a clearer line to the Lord. They are usually the ones who need to work on their own houses first.

  • AMI

    As a Christian married to a non- Christian. I love this article. It brought tears to my eyes. I love my husband with everything in me. He is a wonderful husband and a wonderful father to our children. I always felt the need to make excuses for him when people at church ask about him. It is true that when we met and had a baby and then got married my faith was not of any importance to me. But why should I have to explain that to anyone? He is very supportive of me raising the girls in my church. He will come on occasion- when our oldest wanted to get baptized and if either of our kids every do anything for the church (a play, sing etc) he always comes to watch and support them. (Sometimes he will even come on Christmas or Easter). It works for us.
    I did struggle a bit (ok, a lot) when I first started going back to church. I just wanted my family to be together, I was raised in a Pentecostal church and I felt so judged. When someone invited me to a single moms small group, I cried. Even though the woman probably just thought I was a single mom. She was just being nice. It was a harmless question. It hurt. But it shouldn’t have!! Once I made the decision to just be at peace with how our family was (and switched churches) it was better for everyone. Sundays are again, a day of complete relaxation for every member of our family. It just so happens that for 1 hour out of that day, I take the children to church and he mows the lawn.

  • Joe

    Why should it matter? You don’t have to be a carbon copy of your spouse in order for a marriage to work as long as they respect your choices. Children will ultimately make their own choice when it comes to religion when the time is right-no need to brainwash them by forcing one viewpoint down their throat and telling them anything different is wrong.

  • Colin Saxton

    I second that Elizabeth. Confessing to be Christian and then throwing out the word of God is just madness. At best they are deceived and at worst they are false teachers.

    He made no sense regarding Christianity – it is lukewarm liberal teaching which will keep people out of heaven.

  • Colin Saxton

    Wrong! The risen Christ put Paul into the ministry and Paul spoke the commandments of the Lord. When you disregard an apostle it is because you are disregarding Christ. The word “apostle” means one that is sent and when Christ “sent” the disciples and apostles he said

    [Luk 10:16 KJV] 16 He that hears you hears me; and he that despises you despises me; and he that despises me despises him that sent me.

    So ignoring the apostles is the oldest trick in the book with false teaching…they use it to pick and choose the new testament teachings given by Christ. Free to disagree – don’t shoot the messenger just showing that what you have said is contrary to the word of God – and putting it plainly – God knows best!

  • Elizabeth

    Yes, I’m glad someone saw my point haha. Thank you. I don’t really see how people could shrug off any of the Bible or classify it as opinion of the human writer. Some things were cultural, of course, but Paul was clearly inspired by God to teach us how we should walk in our faith, and his words shouldn’t be taken lightly.
    It really is sad above all things the way some modern Christians think. ):

  • Snooterpoot

    I am not wrong. Paul never met Jesus, and his writings are from his own mind.

    One can follow Paul, or one can follow Jesus, but one cannot follow both. Paul was a mere, fallible human being. Jesus was not.

  • Elizabeth

    But Paul was inspired by God to write those books and letters. They are legitimate parts of God’s word.
    Of course Paul and Jesus were two separate people, but God gave us Paul to help us grow in our faith and instruct us in God’s ways, just as we have pastors now. It’s not a matter of what person we are following, but that we are following God’s word, or the Bible, which was written by God through man.

  • Colin Saxton

    Hi and God bless,
    I have to disagree with you on this. It is clear from the word of God that Paul met “The Risen Christ” and it was Christ Jesus who placed Paul into ministry to preach the gospel unto the gentiles. If you want to ignore the book of acts then you may as well ignore the rest of the bible.

    In love I am saying this. You are listening to the wrong voice if you think that Paul never met Jesus. The same voice in the garden of eden said to Eve “Did God say?”

    If you don’t trust the bible then I do not know what you are trusting in. If you cannot stand on the word of God you are going to be deceived over and over again by false teaching.

    I won’t be replying to any more of your messages because it could just go on and on and on but I will leave you with this. You are wrong in thinking that Paul never met Christ – and if you are rejected Paul it is because you are rejecting the Christ of the Bible…you are making an image of Jesus from your own reasoning and not from what God teaches us from His word. You need to repent of this teaching brother or you are going to push young believers into all kinds of wrong teaching and the Lord loves the lambs with a deep jealousy.

    Proverbs 12:1

    Good bye and God bless you with riches in Christ and I pray that He will pull you away from this teaching. Remember the Lord pulls us away from false teaching through those who know the truth. The bible is the truth, I have just told it you, it is now left with you.

  • Snooterpoot

    But Paul was inspired by God to write those books and letters. They are legitimate parts of God’s word.

    You believe that Paul was inspired by God. I don’t. You get comfort from your belief, and I get comfort from mine. We simply disagree.

    It’s not a matter of what person we are following, but that we are following God’s word, or the Bible, which was written by God through man.

    You believe the Bible is God’s word. I do not. I don’t think the Word is lore passed down through the generations, poetry, fables, allegory and some history, some of which was passed from one generation to the next orally, and some of which was later written, is the Word. I just don’t think it’s words on pages, written by fallible men, compiled into book and then issued as Biblical canon is the Word that is spoken about in John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    I think the Word is Jesus.

    I don’t think God stopped talking to us 2,000+ years ago, and that the Bible as we know it now is the final framework for us to live by. I also don’t think the Bible is a rule book; no human being could possibly obey all of the rules in the Bible, and I’ve never met someone who tries. And all too often a rule is cherry picked as justification for bigotry – such as Leviticus 20:13.

    There is a lot of disagreement in Christianity. There are also some Christian denominations that claim to have the only real truth ™ and that all other denominations are deceived. I don’t think that God likes for people to claim to know his mind.

    I’m not trying to get you to change what you believe; I’m only trying to point out that there are Christians who do not share your theology, and that statements of one’s theology should begin with “I think,” or “I believe.”

  • Snooterpoot

    If you want to ignore the book of acts then you may as well ignore the rest of the bible.

    That’s all I needed to read. You are right and people who disagree with your are wrong. There’s no possibility of reasonable discussion with people like you.

  • Tim Schutte

    Yeah sure you better understand the bible better dude….Paul wrote in 1 corinthians about people who are already together and 1 becomes a christian not at the beginning,cause they are not equally yoked so it is something God is not happy about…..

  • Mikula Mali

    Paul did meet the risen Christ. OK, he did not meet him in flesh and blood. He met his disciples.

  • Snooterpoot

    Paul claimed to have met Jesus. I could make the same claim, say that Jesus placed me into ministry and then write anything I wanted to.

    By the way, I am a woman so most Christian denominations would discard my claim anyway.

    I think the story of Adam and Eve is allegorical, so Eve never heard a voice because she didn’t literally exist.

    The Word of God is Jesus, not words on a page. Some of you come very, very close to idolizing the Bible while ignoring the commandments of Jesus to love. Just love.

  • Gary Fishman

    As a pastor I have known many on fire Christians who got in a relationship with nonbelievers and were drawn away from God and his purposes. Foe every non believer who gets saved in this manner I know a hundred who either walk away from God little by little or pay a great price by being married to someone who esists them at every turn. This is the doctrine of demons.

  • Elizabeth

    Okay, that’s fine but if you don’t believe the Bible is valid why are you defending your point with a Bible verse?
    And yes I agree, I’m sorry if I came across as stating fact… I wasn’t aware any Christians doubted the Bible as a whole.

  • BarbaraR

    If you’re home schooled, you will never meet any other type of Christian than the type you are being told is the only correct one. In case you haven’t noticed, you are on a Christian page that is affirming to multiple points of view about the Bible, faith, religion, etc. Most people here do not believe the Bible is a rule book or that it should be taken exactly at face value. If you do, fine and dandy; just don’t expect every other Christian to share that opinion (and it IS your opinion – not fact).

  • Snooterpoot

    Where did I say that the Bible is not valid?

    I said that we interpret the Bible differently. I did not say it isn’t valid. Please don’t try straw man arguments. You will get called out on them every time.

  • Elizabeth

    You said you didn’t believe the Bible was God’s inspired word… isn’t that the same as saying you don’t believe it’s spiritually valid?

  • Elizabeth

    Children should/will get the chance to make their own decisions, yes, but as Christian parents, we are instructed to always be teaching them about God. It’s not shoving anything down their throats, it’s doing the right thing if you truly believe God is the only way. Why would you encourage your children to consider something you believe to be false? They can ultimately decide for themselves as adults, of course, but until then I think it’s a parents job to teach them as much about God as you can and encourage them in faith.

  • Snooterpoot

    I said that I believe the Bible was assembled by fallible men. Some of the books of the Bible consist of lore that was passed from generation to generation orally. Have you ever played the Telephone game? Most of the time the original statement is completely obliterated by the time it gets to the last person. That’s what happens to oral history and lore, too.

    Let’s remember, also, that the victors write history, not the vanquished, so we don’t get a full accounting of what actually happened.

    My beliefs about the Bible do not render it as invalid. My perspective is different from yours. You find what you need from your perspective, and that’s good. I find what I need from my perspective and that’s good, too.

    Elizabeth, I don’t think God stopped talking to us 2,000+ years ago. To think that the Bible is the only inspired word of God negates everything we have learned during the time since the books of the Bible were assembled. It negates spiritual growth from our greater understanding of God and Jesus.

    I think that it provides a framework for how we should live by trying our best to love the way Jesus loved. I think the Sermon on the Mount shows us how we should follow Jesus.

    I am 63 years old, and I have been reading and studying the Bible since I was a child. I have studied the Bible from a scholarly perspective, and that has helped to form my beliefs.

    It seems like you are a little threatened by people who don’t share your theology. I hope that at some point you will be able to see the value in thinking about your beliefs and asking yourself if they were spoon fed to you or if you have independently arrived at your conclusions.

    I started to question Southern Baptist orthodoxy when I was 11 years old and a deacon in my church dismissed the murder of four children who died in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham as inconsequential. I found out a little while later that he was a member of the KKK. At that time the Southern Baptist church orthodoxy supported racial segregation, saying that God intended for the races to be separate, and included scripture to support that.

    Even at 11 years old, I could not accept that, and that is when my own spiritual journey began. It has not ended, and it won’t until I take my last breath.

  • Joe

    If Christianity is the only true religion, let the kids find out for themselves by encouraging them to explore Christianity and other religions to come up with their own conclusion. Holy wars have been started due to people saying my way is the only truth (look at ISIS, Taliban, Christian Crusaders, and Al Qaeda). You can teach them about Christ, but don’t stop them and make them feel ashamed from exploring other faiths or reading other holy books. My parents introduced us to Sunday school as a youth, but we didn’t like it so they told us it was ok not to attend Sunday school with the other kids. My wife on the other hand was given major guilt trips and would be grounded if she didn’t go to church every week. This made her hate all religion and make her stop going to church as soon as she left home-she hasn’t gone to church since by choice. In high school, I signed up for a world cultures class that looked at most of the major religions from a foundation of beliefs viewpoint.
    I respect Christianity and most religions as long as they don’t advocate hate, discrimination, or holy war against non-believers. Most religions emphasize good will towards mankind and peace, it’s just differences in how you get there and what happens in the afterlife. None of us are 100% certain that our beliefs are the only correct option.

  • mamalujo2003

    Mr Shore, It would be only fair and just if in advising someone using Scripture that you do so citing verses in context. You quoted 1 Corinthians 14 beginning at verse 14 to make your point, “If Paul was okay with Christians being married to non-Christians, perhaps you could find your way to lightening up on the matter.” Not only did you wrongly advise the woman, you did so by ignoring the preceding verse wherein Paul states, “If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him” (v13). Paul states if a woman “HAS A HUSBAND” clearly advising those who are already married, not about to be. Actually, it would be better to begin at verse 8 where Paul is speaking directly to the unmarried. As for your claim that “Paul was okay with Christians being married to non-Christians…”, let’s see what else Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians. In 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Paul states, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

    “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
    and I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
    Therefore go out from their midst,
    and be separate from them, says the Lord,
    and touch no unclean thing;
    then I will welcome you,
    and I will be a father to you,
    and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
    says the Lord Almighty.”

    Very clear and powerful words! Paul, an Apostle of CHRIST JESUS clearly states that Christians are NOT to marry non-Christians. You would do well to see if I misquoted anywhere, and when having confirmed that I have not you should (a suggestion) modify your answer to this hurt and confused woman so as not to mislead nor misrepresent Scripture and GOD’s teaching on marrying unbelievers. Thank you for your time.

  • “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)
    I have to believe that my non-Christian boyfriend will surrender his will. Please pray with me.

  • squishykiwi

    I think you are drawing on extremes. I think it would be unwise to marry someone who actively dissuades you to abandon your faith, and makes it clear that they don’t support your faith. But to marry someone who loves you, who supports you, who doesn’t object to pursuing faith together (even if they aren’t “there” yet, and maybe never will be), who is a faithful husband/wife…I actually find it laughable you call this “the doctrine of demons.” For every “Christian” couple that gets married and stays together, I also find another Christian couple that gets divorced and has extra-marital affairs. And let’s stop using the phrase “being on fire for God”. Knowing God and following Jesus is not a feeling. It is a decision and choice to wake up every morning and actively pursue love, grace, and forgiveness. If my husband helps me do those things (and may not be a believer), isn’t he actually doing what Jesus wants?

  • literarygeek

    thank you for articulating this so well. it’s one of the most balanced, Christian (as in genuine, “true to what it means to be like Christ” Christian, moderate) perspectives on this issue that I’ve come across.

    I wish blessings and much happiness upon any other Christ Followers who have the courage to be with an amazing romantic partner who encourages them in their personal goals and in their faith but who just doesn’t know Christ yet, despite the disheartening disapproval of certain Christian acquaintances and (sometimes even) close friends.

  • Derek Cisco

    The Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you into all truths. I dont care how many degrees a person has in theology or any other study. Without the Holy Spirit your blind to Gods word. Humble yourself ask Jesus to come in your heart than ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit. When you get filled with the Holy Spirit, hold on to your seat, you’ve enlisted in the army of the Lord and you will experience spiritual warfare… me. The Holy Spirit is also a way to worship God, serve Him praise Him and any other service for Him or towards Him. God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The flesh, the intellect, or any other natural thing cannot tap into the supernatural unless it is connected to God through His Spirit or drawn to Him by His Spirit…… The Holy Spirit, dont do Christianity without It, otherwise its just religion not a relationship. Then and only then will you be able to interpret the hidden truths and the mysteries of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And the Spirit will put an end to all strife and debates.

  • Snooterpoot

    The Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you into all truths. I dont care how many degrees a person has in theology or any other study. Without the Holy Spirit your blind to Gods word.

    I think you mean that if I follow your rather insulting and self righteous advice then my beliefs will be the same as yours, which are the beliefs of the True Christian™.

    No, thank you.

    The remainder of your comment is unworthy of comment, other than to say that your mention of humility is quite hypocritical.

    May you be richly blessed.

  • Derek Cisco

    I already am

  • Melissa Iris

    I really needed this right now. I’m jewish and my boyfriend is very Christian. We have no problems being together. I celebrate with his family (Christmas, Easter, etc.) I go to Church with him because a) I don’t mind it and b) I’m trying to be supportive. But it really makes me so unbelievably mad when all his Christian friends always say to him, “You should really be with a nice Christian girl.” or “I don’t approve of your relationship.” Good for you… you are not dating me so don’t worry about it! It honestly makes me so livid because I’m supportive, I’ve always prayed to God since I was little and I’m just a good person… it shouldn’t matter especially if it doesn’t matter to us.

  • Rachel Kuriger

    I would have to strongly disagree with this article. At first I thought it was going somewhere good…but it’s not. How can you call good advice gossip? Yes, when addressing these types of situations you have to use a gentle tongue but a real friend wouldn’t keep quiet about this. What happened to “do not be unequally yoked?” True Christians would love for their potential spouse to be converted, but whose to say they won’t be led away from their faith instead? If Christianity really is your way of life, how could you risk marrying someone who will never fully understand the aspects of Christianity? Who may never fully understand you?

  • MB from MB

    Hi Gary, I appreciate your view however I have to disagree. When I got married I did everything I was supposed to. I found a believer who attended the same type of church. We were virgins when we got married. We got married in a church and went to church and prayed together and six months in we were sitting in front of our pastor asking for help because physical and verbal abuse was a part of our relationship (on both sides). He said it was normal and not to worry. After 10 years she eventually cheated on me and I on her and we divorced with so much hate in our hearts that even 5 years later after it ended and shes remarried she still enjoys tearing me down if we talk. Now what i didnt mention was that our relationship was fast we both wanted out of our homes and so we got married quick. I didnt realize that this was the underlying reason for our relationship until many years later. Yet I followed all the “Church” rules. Ive never been back to church since my divorce. Many condemned me for getting divorced even though she pushed for it and was living with her now husband before the divorce was final. I have many christian friends and I love Jesus more now than ever but the human rules in church are not for me. And until He shows me where to attend Im happy where I am. I cant explain the term “unequally yoked” referenced in the Bible. Jesus said be in the world but not of it and to go into all the world and proclaim the “good news.” It’s hard to share the good news if we’re not interacting with non Christians or “yoking” with them. So this seems like a contradiction. However like I said im not clear on this. I believe God is always working in all our lives to draw us closer to Him whether at this point we know of Him or not. After my divorce I prayed a lot for God to send me the right woman as the first one obviously didnt work out. I have met a great woman! Loving, compassionate, intelligent, beautiful and she makes me laugh. Shes been there through some very trying times and I love her. We’ve been together 2 years and moving towards marriage. She’s not a believer. I wont end the relationship just because of this. You might say Im being disobedient, defiant even. Id reply if God didnt want me to be with her then WHY did HE bring her into my life? We met online a random occurrence unless divinely ordained. We even broke up once because I was going through some rough stuff and I needed to sort it out first. And yet through all my praying and asking for guidance our lives have come together and we are happy. God is working in her heart I can see it. My family is full of spouses who married an unbeliever and he later accepted Christ. My mom in her first marriage met a believer who turned to alcohol after I was born and disappeared for weeks on end. Later became a pastor of a church and committed fraud and stole $150,000 from people. After he and my mom divorced she met a man who wasn’t a believer but became one years later. My sister did the same, married and unbeliever. He later started searching and her husband is also a believer now. I have found that many go to church and say they’re a believer but its a show. Someone who finds Jesus later often has a truer, fuller relationship with HIm. God is not limited by our weaknesses and our limited thinking, lets remember that.
    I challenge you to play this out. Lets say I listen to Christians who tell me tonight to break up with this woman because shes not a Christian. and that’s the only reason I have. I guarantee you her heart will go cold and hard towards God and Christianity faster than you can “stumbling block!”
    We must remember that the problem with Christianity is Christians! And this will forever be the case! Im sure when Job married his wife who was a believer in God all his family were happy. And yet what we know about her is that when Job was going through tough times She told him to “curse God, and die!” And Im sure when David married Bathsheba her parents were so proud the she found a good godly man and king to boot! (who had her previous husband killed because he lusted after her. sounds like a great way to start a relationship.) The point is no relationship is perfect but its up to the believers to pray for their lost family, friends, co-workers and sometimes spouse. To try to invite them in. My girlfriend and I dont always agree on or faiths but she asks questions and we studying Gods word together a bit more and shes open. Ill let God do the rest. God knows I believe He led us together and God knows how to communicate with me clearly if He wants me to know something to the contrary. Sometime we forget as Christians that FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD! (Everyone throughout all time) THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON THAT WHOEVER SHALL BELIEVE IN HIM (not by doing good works or praying or going to church or marrying the right girl etc but BELIEVING!) SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE!! Amen!

  • TJW

    Excellent article, but I would add that this sort of “toxic gossip” extends to relationships between people of two different Christian denominations, and not just “Christian/non-Christian” ones.

  • Tom Griffiths

    The sad thing about many of the comments below is that they ignore much more important issues. For example, as young women outnumber young men by about 2-to-1 in many churches, are we really asking half of all christian women to remain single for life by preference? Would Jesus or God really want that? A good test of any good relationship is whether each partner supports the other in their morality and their choices, and that includes respecting their religious, political, sociological views and standpoints. If it is a good relationship, there is no problem with it being interfaith or across political, racial, or belief boundaries. I think our grasp of true healthiness (“shalom in the hebrew/ arabic sense”) and our trust in God is a bit lacking if we nit-pick around the minor legalistic details instead of focusing on the big issues.

  • Sparrow

    Just read this article

    I broke up with my atheist boyfriend of 6 months

    He had wanted to marry me, and I also seriously considered him

    it was after much heart ache and sorrow, when I realized it was hard to reciprocate the ‘I love yous’ he said, that I realized it wasn’t going to work.

    To fellow sisters reading through and scouring the deep ends of the internet for information in regards to your current predicament, I’d say listen to what you know is right, break up.

    You’re looking for something, some essay, some stories that work in your favor on how this relationship with a non-believer in the Spirit of God would work out, how you’d finally find your happily ever after.

    The way God loves, he loves without discrimination, and we are called to follow in Jesus’s foot steps. How do you really understand the love of a secular man who claims to love you, but you understand that when he says that, it is in a possessive way, that you are his. This is romantic, I understand, but think a little deeper.

    Will he ever come to the understanding that you belong to God first and foremost, and that every being on Earth deserves love and grace?

    Does he have it in his heart to forgive his past trespasses?

    Forget the number of years you’ve spent with this person (if you’re not married, that is, there are articles that counsel relationships in that area) Do you, or do you not believe in eternal life?

    4 years?8? How is that even comparable to infinity? What does eternal mean to you?

    It is painful, no doubt. I’ve been crying constantly these few days, and I have very strong urges to run to my ex boyfriend, into his arms and feel his warmth.

    He is such a beautiful person, but there are fundamental differences to our worldviews, and in the long run, it isn’t going to work out.

    Take courage my sisters.

    Yes we fear, giving complete reign to God, and we doubt him.

    We doubt whether he’ll show us the road to happiness.

    On that sentence, what is happiness?

    Is it really kisses, nights of passionate romance, and desperate clinging onto mortality, or is it surrendering in his grace?

    I pray for anyone who stumbles onto this post, I hope you make the right decision, not the decision that just ‘feels good’.

    God bless and Godspeed

  • Gwen P.

    Dear Sparrow,

    I am sad to hear that you are going through this, but I believe you have made the best choice for you at this time. Sooner or later, the majority of spiritually mixed marriages hit trouble. Sometimes, that is resolved but there are no guarantees. The important thing is to go into it with your eyes open and prepared to take the consequences. You faced that and you made a very tough decision. God will honour that.

    Thinking of you and praying that you can step out into a new beginning, whaever that might be. Joy will come in the morning…

  • Gwen P.

    Dear Tom,

    You make a very valid point, but even just seeking marriage brings trouble with it – I have Biblical backing there! It is not such an easy road. It is even harder being married to an unbeliever, or to a believer in a different place spiritually. I think the important thing is that people understand the nature of the battle of the Christian walk: it is not a slowboat to Heaven; believer or unbeliever a marriage partner is still mortal, the world still yields thorns and briars, the Devil still wanders around like a roaring lion. However, I appreciate the positive tone of the article and its emphasis on love and support. I don’t advise anyone to rush into a close relationship of any kind with an unbeliever, because it is going to be difficult at some point and isolating at best, but neither is the Christian life purely about looking after number one and becoming part of some holy huddle in an ivory cathedral. Even in nature, genetics, God has built in this diversity. It is better to marry than to burn, the qualification of that being to marry a believer, but if there are none, then what? This is what you sensibly point out.I realy think the church should be more into caring, praying and supporting instead of judging and prescribing. My prayer would be for the young lady in the article to find Christians like these.

  • Gwen P.

    I think there are points which could be discussed in the article – I know how hard it is to be unequally yoked. However, I don’t think that this young lady is getting good advice from her church. The best advice is to ‘seek God’s face’ and fill up with the cup of Lord Jesus; to ask God for wisdom. As it is this girl is not witnessing to anything being said and is left confused and put off. If she stays yoked to an unbeliever, she is going to need fellowship more than ever and through this, her partner could even be brought to the Lord. As things stand, this is not happening so it is a lose-lose. There is no love or wisdom coming through for me and I hope she can find a different place to fellowship.

  • Gwen P.

    Bless you Melissa. We just don’t know the future and can only ever glimpse what God has in mind. In this life, there are no guarantees against heartbreak or problems anyway. The important thing is to own our decisions. You are doing the big thing and going to Church with him, so it is very disappointing his friends are so disrespectful. It does however show the depth of his conviction about his relationship with you if he disregards their remarks. It also shows their immaturity and lack of relationship with Jesus. In my prayers…

  • Gwen P.

    Lovely way of putting it, thank you. Life just isn’t black and white, even if the bigots would like it to be.

  • Gwen P.

    I think this is completely scriptural – Whoever isn’t against is for us; if your partner is happy to live in peace with you… Basically, if there is no problem, then there’s no problem. The unequally yoked thing starts to become an issue when one side kicks off in some way. However, even that shouldn’t necessarily be taken as completely negtaive as perhaps this is where something should be dealt with, if only the Church could or cared enough. Even in the best scenario, however, marriages and other relationshps can fall apart, so I believe life should be treated as a journey. We have to take it day by day, whoever we are and if we want wisdom, God has promised to us if we ask.

  • Gwen P.

    I agree there is a risk Gary, but taking a brother or sister prayerfully through this decision and praying for couples, being there for them is more important than shutting them out with such a stark, blanket decision. Life is really short and the part of our lives when we are likely to fall in love and marry is just one short episode in that. For a woman, her childbearing years are limited and for a man, his energy for working, bringing up kids and taking care of his wife are also limited. Even in the Bible it talks about the ‘flower of youth’ and there comes a point where it is unfair not to let people have the right things happen at the right time, even if there are these incredible miracles that happen at times – Sarah and Isaac, Elizabeth and John the Baptist… I have seen so many spinsters of the parish, as it were – no men for them. I saw them when I was very young and I didn’t want to be one. If I had been gay that would have suited me, but I wasn’t, so it seems you can’t really win in institutional religion!

  • Gwen P.

    I so get you. It is very encouraging to read your words.

  • Gwen P.

    I think it is very important that kids are left free to explore and be supported in that with prayer and guidance. Whatever they decide will come from them, a deep place. If Christians are intolerant then they areno better than the religions they oppose. In fact, some of them promote more love and tolerance at times!

  • MB from MB

    Thanks Gwen. They’re just some thoughts on how I see my life.

  • Melissa Iris

    Yessss exactly. I might as well do something awful because no matter how good a person I am… I’m done with.

  • KN

    Good point Tim and clearly shows how the author of the article took a single verse out of context in an attempt to support an idea that’s clearly not supported in the Bible, not in the OT and also not in the NT.

  • KN

    We can argue about specific experiences (good or bad), but what should be agreed upon between us Christians is God’s instructions in the Biblical regarding believers in the God of the Bible marrying non-believers, including Deut. 7:1-4 and 2 Cor. 6:14-15. As someone else has already noted: John Shore’s reference to 1 Cor 7:12-14, these people were already married when they became Christians. In fact, the very next part of 1 Cor 7 explains this (1 Cor 7:17-24), incl: “..each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them”. The rest of 1 Cor 7 provides guidelines for unmarried believers in Christ.

  • Koko

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this. I am currently questioning my relationship with a non-believer and they are so supportive of me and so sweet…I just love this person and who they are and same for them.

    But I was getting very worried because of the “unequally yoked” thing. I, myself, am trying to become closer to the Lord. Figure out who I am.

  • Christopher

    Many people here are being so judgemental. ” I broke up with him because he was not a Christian!” “I knew in my heart it was not right!” I have been part of churches my entire life. I can tell you many, I mean 85% of the congregation are horrible people that you would not even want to associate with. (Yes I am being judgemental, just as Jesus judged the Pharisees). They walk around I am so holy,have their hands in the air worshipping God but they go around judging and condemning everyone while quoting bible verses. They are like the pharisses and scribes that Jesus despised so much, In their daily lives…. they steal, cheat, manipulate and treat others horribly etc….. Now another Christian will tell me “well then those people are not really Christians!” And I again I will say that makes up about 85% of the church. I totally agree with Tom Griffiths. What if a Christian woman finds a guy who is a good, loving, honest, responsible, caring and supports her Christian beiiefs but is not a Christian himself. I would say go for it, Because those characteristics are hard to find in the church. I clearly know what the bible says about it. God wants you to find someone that does not take you away from your faith. Basically, don’t marry a demon, who is a wife beater. But if you marry a man who respects your beliefs and does not take you away from God. I believe God is totally for it and I believe if you play things right and give you partner love and give great Christian testimony you will for sure turn on your partner to Jesus and he or she will be born again. But most Christians do not do things right… instead of leading someone to Jesus, they turn them off to Christianity completely.

  • Cheryl in France

    There is one interpretive error here, and I think it’s important. When Paul is talking about the wife sanctifying the husband and vice versa, he’s talking about people who were already married as non-believers and one of the couple turns to Christ. Reading it in context makes it pretty clear. So this verse can’t be used as an application to a believer marrying an unbeliever. It can only be applied to a couple who started out as unbelievers and one of them found Christ.

  • Billy


  • michelle

    Hello i am a born again Christian and my friend he believes in God but he is not baptised i love him and soon we want to get married….need advice

  • Billy

    Have you slept with your nonbeliever boyfriend? That could make a difference as many Christian girls who give themselves to the men they date long for those feelings as their men penetrate them. They get clouded in all the sensations their men give them.

  • Kimiko

    Oh, really? I see how that can be true.

  • Snooterpoot

    I generally refrain from name calling, but, Billy, you are just a misogynist idiot.

    You’re a nattering busybody as well. Other people’s sexual activity is none of your freaking business!

  • Billy

    One thing I’ve noticed is that many times, when a good Christian girl gets engaged to a nonChristian, their nonChristian men will often pressure them for sex before marriage.
    To please them, the sweet Christian women will give-into their men’s desires & too easily surrender their Christian innocences to THEM, instead of the Christian man they may later marry.

    I’m sure many will pray about it but all the feelings & sensations they get from the heavy foreplay & “everything…but” (heavy oral short of penetration) they engage in with their men will often cloud their judgement.
    They soon find they’re in no position to try to stop them when their men begin to slowly slide their manhoods into them & take their precious Christian virginities.
    I wonder if they think about God, their faith or convictions as they feel their men push deep into them & burst their holy hymens, especially as they feel them fill their sweet Christian womanhood with their godless spermy cum.
    They’ve now become subservient to their godless men’s sexual desires…

  • Snooterpoot

    I generally avoidad hominem attacks, Billy, but you are a vulgar misogynistic, sorry excuse for a self proclaimed Christian.

    Shame on you.

  • Snooterpoot
  • Snooterpoot

    Only when it’s deserved, Eva.

  • Billy

    I think one reason Christian girls marry nonChristian men is the sexual compromises they make while dating them.
    As innocent Christian girls, they know it’s wrong to engage in sex outside of marriage but they find they enjoy their man’s caressing & take a liking to the heavy mutual “foreplay” or “everything…but” sex they engage in – including “simulated” sex.

    When the men they date (without warning them) begin to penetrate them, who are enjoying all the new sensations, they are not in a position to stop them & soon find themselves having sex with them.

    They too easily give their men their godly Christian womanhoods & find themselves subservient to their boyfriends’ carnal passions.

    As they’re Christians & feel a little guilt over engaging in sex with them, they feel its best to continue the relationship as they’re in no position to claim “moral superiority” if they tell their guys they want to stop to “preserve” their Christian “innocence.”

    Besides, the guys know them VERY WELL & in all sorts of intimate ways.
    They’ve “become one” so feel less hypocritical & won’t leave them.

    They hope their guys become believers like them & in critical moments of feeling their men ejaculate their godless seed inside of them, I wonder if they think of their faith or their convictions, which they so easily “put-aside” to satisfy their men’s ( & their own ) sexual desires.

  • Billy

    As I understand it, may naive Christian girls try to sexually please the nonChrsitian men they date, short of penetration.
    The feelings are so great they won’t resist when the nonbeliever makes the moves to enter her.
    TBH, she’s so overtaken by the sensations that she doesn’t wanna stop.

    Then, after she’s slept with him, she feels natural guilt for so easily giving into his (and her’s) carnal passions.
    She may also feel “bonded” to him, as she did give herself to him & enjoyed the pleasurable feelings. If he didn’t wear a condom, the implantation of his spermy cum into her also “seals” their bond.
    So, while she may feel great remorse, she may well feel subservient to him & less interested in spiritual things.

  • Cheryl in France

    While I agree with almost everything here, I have to point out that Paul’s verses were meant for couples who were already married- if one of them became a Christian, not if a Christian married a non Christian. The Biblical dictum was for already-married couples. (that’s why he says later not to be ‘unevenly yoked’).

    I want DESPERATELY to find a loophole as my daughter is in this very situation. The non-Christian she’s dating is waaay more Christian acting than the Christian guys around her (2 of the 3 that she actually liked suggested cheating on their girlfriends or breaking up with them to see ‘what would happen’. The third was just odd, lol). So in her mind, why date a Christian who is so ready to cheat when she has a non-Christian who treats her like a princess. Honestly, I have no response.

    (just realized I already responded about the interpretational thing- sorry- it wasn’t meant as a double ‘in your face’, but an introduction to my personal story as a mom of a 17-year-old girl).

  • Mrs. Cherry

    There is a “oneness” that God designed for marraiges when the Bible said the 2 shall become 1. “Respect” can be given apart from one’s faith, as one can be trained to show and give respect. A marraige that “works” can be achieved by cooperating adults. But the “oneness” God desires for His children to experience (found in Genesis and Mark (old and new testament)) can only be achieved by His children, i.e., those whom call God their Father by their faith in Jesus Christ. Marraige is more than 2 people “showing” love and respect. It is the “oneness” that makes it the most unique among all human relationships. Marraige also, by the way, is a concept that God uses as a picture of His foundational, covenant, binding relationship to His church of believers. Let us aim for oneness in our marraiges, and for unequally yoked believers, that unbelieving spouses become believers so that such marraiges can be what God created them to be. There is no condemnation. There is hope.

  • Mrs. Cherry

    If a solid relationship is all one wants, so be it. Believers In Christ want God’s best for their lives. Respect love and support are laudable goals. Marital “Oneness” however is an aim that God speaks of to His children.

    This post derives from the author of a letter who is a believer, apparently born again believer, who I assume made the decision to let Jesus come first, not herself.

    Therefore, whatever “happy” marraiges there are among unbelievers, that is not our envy. I never hear them say anything about oneness with their spouse; just love, respect and support. I had love, respect and support from my believing spouse but not oneness until God stepped in. Unbelievers will not seek that from a God they don’t believe in and therefore, they cannot contribute THAT to the marraige no matter how much love, respect and support there is.

  • Michael Cotter

    Please know as you begin reading this I am a professional/Christian counselor trained in both biblical and secular counseling licensed to practice in the state where I live.

    There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:22.

    The heart of the issue here is obedience to the word of God or to the world. I read through a great number of posts here and kept finding a common theme. “I feel”, was frequently used. As creatures with a sin nature what we feel will often not be inline with what God has said. In this instance lust is a powerful motivator given the neuro-chemical responses in the brain associated with infatuation. I say this because over time these responses dull and that is where love really begins. Love is a choice not a feeling. This is why many marriages fail. As the neuro-chemical response in the brain dampens and the rose colored glasses come off the reality of being equally yoked really sets in. When I say this I must point out that this article sites an often twisted statistic about the divorce rate in the church. Those who are like minded in the practice of their faith experience a much lower divorce rate than the rest of the population. The divorce rate in the church is on par with the national average due to the marginally practicing who still respond on surveys as evangelical. However other qualifying items such as regular church attendance, prayer, etc… begin to separate the wheat and the tares which also lowers significantly the divorce rate.

    At the end of the day the issue at stake here is to whom will you obey. I believe Moses said it best under the anointing of the Holy Spirit when he said.

    “I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by OBEYING His voice, and by HOLDING FAST to Him; FOR THIS IS YOUR LIFE and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”…
    Deuteronomy 18-20

    So those reading this have a choice here. Listen to the voice of John Shore or listen to the voice of the Lord as revealed in his word. The choice lies with each of you the reader. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord and not John Shore.

    I do not follow this guy by the way only saw this in my feed on facebook. I encourage you who read this to do the same.

  • Cheryl in France

    YES YES YES! The hard thing is to tell your 17-year-old daughter all of this. In her defense, she did break up with him for a year with no contact in an attempt to ‘forget’ him. The feelings didn’t ‘go away’ and she said she prayed about it constantly. She wonders why God didn’t help- she journaled, prayed, read countless Bible passages and nothing changed. I don’t have an answer for her other than it’s an obedience thing. But it’s really difficult to see someone praying in earnest to do the right and biblical thing and be obedient and nothing happening. (I know, I know- Abraham and Sarah, lol).

    So what do we say? UNfortunately, she’s only had negative experiences with Christian guys- three of them from our church asked her out, one failing to mention he had a girlfriend already, one telling her ‘how about you break up with your guy, I’ll break up with my GF and we’ll see what we could have,’ and the 3rd who said he couldn’t be with her because he was *too attracted* to her and it was making him have lustful thoughts (empirically speaking, she’s gorgeous- blue-eyed blonde who got so tired of the way guys were treating her in general, she only hangs out with gay guys). Anyway, that’s her experience with Christians. Then she finds this guy who treats her like a princess, is just an honest, kind, upstanding boy who treats her with respect and integrity. We’re stumped. It’s easy to say, you should just break up with him, but the reality is much different.

    She’s been baptized and knows that she’s being disobedient. Any advice?

  • Michael Cotter

    Honest conversation, openness with her is your best option. First God would not remove her feelings for anyone as this would be a violation of free moral agency. Feelings are a gift from God as part of being created in the image of God. God also experiences them. The issue lies in what we do with them. Her experience in not unique that any feelings she has for this person remained. As a counselor my question is does she have feelings for the person or the perception of how she should be treated by a male which he has filled. Many I counsel struggle with the gap between the ideal and the real and are often pulled aside by an ideal. At 17 I seriously doubt that she has had a broad range of experience with many males of any maturity. I also would caution where she seeks advice from. If she is hanging out with persons that are unsaved then she is not getting good advice nor is she being exposed to other potential suitors. The world is very alluring and will more often draw a believer away from the Lord than than the unbelieving toward the Lord. Lot was a prime example. My counsel to you is to pray for her, keep open honest non-judgmental communication ongoing, and to allow for mistakes on her part. I can personally attest to how the Lord will take our worst mistakes and turn them into our greatest testimonies. As a parent your teaching role changes as children age but we remain teachers none the less. When, not if this goes bad, it will be important for you to be there for her to help her through the experience and help her to tie it back to what she knows to be true from the bible. Unfortunately we as creatures are not good a taking advice with no correlating experience. I do believe in my 23 almost 24 years of parenting this has been the hardest adjustment that I have had to make. I really wish my adolescent and young adult children would just do what I tell them and trust my experience. I laugh at times and now understand exactly how God feels as we ignore His word and do it our way. Hope this helps.

  • Billy

    You give into his carnal desires? I ask because I’ve read many stories where Christian girls too easily give-up their Christian innocences to the nonChristian men they date.
    They find they enjoy all the new feelings their nonChristian men give them in “heavy petting” & “everything…but” activity.
    When the man begins to push into them, she doesn’t try to stop him (TBH, doesn’t want him to stop), & craves his godless manhood in her Sister in Christ womanhood, which she gives him COMPLETELY.

  • Billy

    I know many single Christians have very satisfying sex lives.
    As a nonChristian, what did you think of him expressing his desire for you sexually, and you accommodating him by giving-into him?

  • Michael

    Hi I’m a non believer of the church I’ve been with the same women for 16 years we have 3 kids together she just got heavily into the Christian church and she says we can’t have a sex life until we get married I love her with all my heart but financial wise we can’t do it I said in a year we could do it I have some loans that Will be paid off will be better off then I can’t go a year with out sex she is willing to separate over this I’m lost I don’t want to loose my family

  • Snooterpoot

    Oh, my, that is a terrible and cruel situation. I believe that God doesn’t require a piece of paper to recognize a marriage. I am assuming that you have been faithful to her in many ways. To be faithful, to honor her with your loyalty, to always acknowledge her inherent dignity as a human being, and to love her – to me those things make a marriage.

    My wife and I could not get legally married until we had been together for ten years, and the District of Columbia enacted a law recognizing our right to marriage. Nevertheless, in our hearts we had been married for that entire decade. Now we have been together for 16+ years, and I can honestly say that our love and commitment grows stronger every day.

    I think that you and your wife, because that’s what she really is, could benefit from a sectarian counselor if she would agree to it.

    I am truly sorry for the situation you find yourself in, and I hope she will drop her ultimatum.

  • he

    I been dating this guy and we used to go to high school together, at that time we were friends and we both we’re in a relationship. In september september I randomly saw him downtown when I was with my cousin, and since that day we been dating. I really like him a lot, he have a lot that I’m looking for in a man, but their is one thing he don´t have and thats faith. Something that means a lot for me. I feel like God is holding me back a lil, by me not giving 100% of myself. My biggest dream is to make him believe, find what i got and thats GOD, my father. At this point i just don´t know what to do. i know we could be magic together, i know we could have a great family with so much love to give each other.

  • Just a thought – why don’t you get married? I know you said you can’t do it legally by the world’s standards, but sans the piece of paper and preacher, why don’t you “unofficially” wed? I mean, I’m not sure of your significant other would go for that, but I just thought about the slaves in the civil war, how they jumped the broom because the state wouldn’t let them marry. They were wed in the eyes of God, not the state. Just a thought.

    On another note, I suggest you at least seriously look into her faith. You might find that God is for you too (which He is), but at the very least you might understand why she’s had such a change of heart. Wishing you two and your kids the best.

  • My boyfriend is a Christian, though it would seem to outsiders that my faith is stronger than his. But he believes in Christ, just is not so active about his faith. Is that unequally yoked? I’ve been told it is, but I love him and am certain God brought us together.

  • helen

    been dating this guy and we used to go to high school together, at that time we were friends and we both we’re in a relationship. In september september I randomly saw him downtown when I was with my cousin, and since that day we been dating. I really like him a lot, he have a lot that I’m looking for in a man, but their is one thing he don´t have and thats faith. Something that means a lot for me. I feel like God is holding me back a lil, by me not giving 100% of myself. My biggest dream is to make him believe, find what i got and thats GOD, my father.

  • Snooterpoot

    My biggest dream is to make him believe, find what i got and thats GOD, my father.

    You can’t make anyone believe anything. If his lack of faith is a deal breaker for you, I suggest you end the relationship now.

  • BluTiger

    Although I agree with you but a lot of the time its usually because they are getting older and want children. For some Christian women, by the time we get a Christian man we will probably be too old to have children. What I find is sad is the Christian dating scene. Its very tragic. I never thought Christian dating would truly be this bad, if I did I probably would have gotten married as a non believer first because it seems very hopeless.

  • Billy

    What has your Christian dating experience been like?

  • BluTiger

    Ive met a few Christian guys. One wanted to have sex with me and I refused so that didn’t work out. Another guy was nice but he didnt know how to direct a relationship. There were a few Ive spoken to but it didnt go anywhere.

  • Janine Cassell

    I just came across this today and would like some advice. I was talking to a that I met online through Facebook. I believe we connected because I thought I knew him. I don’t know exactly who sent the friend request. I am a born-again Christian, and based on what I can tell, he isn’t. But we initially connected in 2014 and we were talking on and off. Last year, our relationship became more serious but I told him I wanted to finish school first. we’ve been doing the long distance thing and I’ve never officially met him in person. after some time of talking to him, I offered him money because I felt like I was in a place to give it to him and I felt like he needed it. he’s asked me a few times after, and i gave it to him. i don’t think he wanted me to feel sorry for him but I did because I care about him and I actually do have strong feelings for him.

    After a while of keeping the relationship a secret, I told my sister close to the end of last year, and she immediately started telling me that I should end it because of the distance. The next time she asked me if I was still talking to him and she threatened that if I didn’t stop talking to him, she would tell my mom and dad everything. She began to tell me that he is using me because of the fact that I gave him money. I had been praying about it but she tells me that God wouldn’t allow someone to use me like that. I don’t think he is using me but maybe I’m blind to see it? He assures me that he is not going anywhere and that he is willing to be with me. He tells me he wants to have a family with me but now I have never been more confused about something than I am about this situation. How should I go about this?

  • Janine Cassell

    My sister has a bit more relationship experience than I do, but I feel like she’s judging him based on what has happened to her because she was in a long distance relationship. when my aunt told my parents about it, my mom said that she didn’t think that he was right for her. I remember they got into a huge argument about it as well, as she was defending her relationship with him to them. he was also not a Christian even though he grew up in church. A couple years ago, she ended the relationship with him because while they were in the relationship together, she found out that he had a baby with the same woman that he had his first daughter with. I know she doesn’t want to see me get hurt like she did, but sometimes I feel like she is too bossy. After the third time she asked me about the guy and whether or not I was still talking to him, I started to lie and say no I wasn’t because I knew that if I continued to say yes, she would tell my parents everything, and I just don’t think I can handle that right now. I’m not proud of the fact that I lied and I’ve asked for forgiveness from God. i believe that if she knows i still talk to him, she’s going to be very upset! Sometimes I feel like I’m a hypocrite because I told her I’m not talking him and I still do. I feel like I don’t want to lose contact with him and he’s told me that he feels the same way. I don’t know if God will allow us to ever meet in person. I think about him a lot and whenever I do, I cry. This whole situation is very upsetting!

  • Billy

    How long had you been seeing that one guy that wanted to have sex with you?
    I think most Christian girls wait a little longer, maybe after several months of dating, before they sleep with their men.

  • Billy

    I imagine, when most couples make love, their views on religion don’ usually come up 🙂

  • Billy

    At least you didn’t offer him your body.
    You didn’t willingly give him your Christian innocence.

    I don’t think talking with him is wrong.
    Sending him $$$ may not have been wise, but not necessarily wrong.

  • Janine Cassell

    I agree, especially when you say it may not have been wise to send him the money. I felt like he needed help, and I thought that I was in a position to do so. I remember at one point, I even questioned myself if I was doing too much for him. But I still pray about it, and when the timing is right, if it is God’s will, he will bring us together. He seems like he is willing to wait, no matter what circumstances may arise. And he assures me that he is not going to go anywhere.

  • Billy

    BTW… I don’t have any issue or problem with Christian singles engaging in sex. I think it’s completely natural.

  • Shanai Winn

    Hello all I have to say is Amen Amen really that’s what it comes down too thanks I needed to hear this who will u listen to. God said my sheep know my voice and no other voice will they follow. Thanks again be blessed in Jesus name

  • Shanai Winn

    You speak of Christian men in your church you can’t blame all Christian men for what a few have done second if he is a true believer worshiper not just holding the title Christian because he is in church. In my opinion she is 17 and I encourage you not allow her as a minor to make life decisions suchs dating or hanging out with in out Christian’s or lack there of. Sh is still young and impressionable and it would not be wise. God will equipment such man in due time. She sound unready for dating and as her mother be that her mother no harm done I hope be blessed in the Lord I pray for you and your daughter

  • Janine Cassell

    No. Well, we’ve done stuff over the phone but not physically because we’ve never met. I’ve never had a boyfriend before, although many guys would ask me for my number and stuff like that and I would turn them down. With this guy, I realized that things were progressing probably a bit too fast at the time. I had to completely shift my focus. But I do think about him a lot although I don’t know if he is really ‘the one’ that God has in mind. I have also told him that I would want to build a relationship with him first before anything were to happen. I feel like God is telling me to focus on me first (school, health, spiritual growth, etc.) and he will take care of the rest. However I do feel a very strong connection to him and I never really had feelings for anyone else the way I do for him. I’ve heard of relationships that have occurred for a long period of time long distance before the couple would actually meet. I think I’m scared of the fact that I fell in love with someone who may not be right for me. I think if and when we meet, then I would be able to know for sure. But again, only if it’s God’s will.

  • Billy

    It’s good that you’re truly an innocent Christian virgin.
    How old are you?
    Many Christian girls are tempted by their nonChristian boyfriends, and will engage in a lot of “everything…but” with them.

  • Billy

    He treat you well?
    Are you having sex with him?
    No judgement if you are, as I know many Christian women give themselves to the guys they date, but that could affect your view of him and your objectivity.

  • Billy

    That’s true. Many good Christian have sex with the nonChristian men they date.
    There is also the possibility that the nonChristian guy, in making passionate love with her, will see the light of her faith in her, and her submissiveness to his desires, and want to take-on her religious views.

  • michelle

    Hi no sex and i broke up with him he was not treating me right

  • Janine Cassell

    I’m in my late 20s.

  • Billy

    Is it hard or difficult to retain your Christian purity, or virginity? I’m sure it’s very tempting to give-in & sleep with the guys you date.

  • Janine Cassell

    It’s tempting for many people. I do think about it but it’s not something I would do just because I don’t want to give it up to just anyone. I believe that if that was the case, I probably would have done it already.

  • Billy

    That’s good that as a Christian girl, you don’t wanna give it up casually.
    I know many will in long-term committed relationships.
    I’m glad you’re not into that kind of thing.
    You will present yourself to your husband on your wedding night as an innocent & pure virginal Christian woman…

  • Janine Cassell

    Yes. Thanks for the advice as well.

  • Billy

    What kind of stuff you do over the phone? (If i can ask).
    No judging here, just curious as I know Christian women engage in that kind of thing (+ more).
    If this is too personal, you can privately message me through FB @

  • Janine Cassell

    exactly the kind of stuff that you imagine, but I would rather not answer because I think that’s a little personal. Its very hard not to be tempted with sex and sex-related activities, and I find that is the case with me. Sometimes I find it hard to say no. I’ve never physically had sex, but I’ve had “phone sex”. But at the end of the day, we’re all human and we make mistakes.

  • Billy

    I can understand. I’ve engaged in a lot of that myself, much like the “everything…but (penetration)” some Christian girls let me do with them when I was younger.
    It does feel good to get release like that. Christians shouldn’t be ashamed to admit they enjoy sex.

  • Snooterpoot

    Purity and virginity have nothing to do with one another. Virginity is patriarchal, and its requirement is anachronistic.

    You seem to be unhealthily concerned with the sex lives of strangers.

  • Cori Wolvesbane

    that was the most hilarious thing i have ever read

  • Ray Smith

    You cannot make him believe. In fact no one can make (force) themselves to believe anything. We must be convinced a thing is true. Faith in any other area of our lives is not a good way to find out if something is true. People have faith in all kinds of things that are not real – like Allah, Santa Claus, gods and goddesses.

  • Sheryl

    I’m Christian and I’ve been in an booty call relationship with a dark Muslim brother since over a’s a very long story. He never told me was a Muslim only through someone he knows he only told me he was spiritual . Last year he’s been verbally and emotionally abusive to me whenever I’d call it visit him he gave me spiritual attacks and it would rain. He gave me a mild std last year. This year the demons subsided but he gave me another mild std. I hope he’s not a new daddy. now he finally wants to end the relationship with some Gucci chick.can someone give me advice on this please? thanks.

  • Groups Guy

    Many Christian girls are tempted by their nonChristian boyfriends, and will engage in a lot of “everything…but” with them.

    Their nonChristian boyfriends will tell them something like this:
    “I respect your faith, but you should know Christian girls give themselves to the guys they date all the time.
    “It won’t hurt that much & I will be with you all the way.
    “Anytime you want me to stop, including before I break your hymen, I will stop.
    “You will learn to enjoy my passionate thrusts & will learn what guys will expect from you.

    “I won’t tell anyone this thing we do, and you can go on portraying
    yourself as or pretending to be this innocent, good Christian girl, even
    though you give yourself to me in all ways…
    “I respect your convictions, but I really want you & wanna complete our love….”

  • Groups Guy

    Removed… this is highly inappropriate & I apologize for posting it.

  • Snooterpoot

    Hmmm. You sound like a verbal voyeur to me.

    I don’t think God gives two hoots about what consenting adults do with their genitals. I think he has more important things to worry about, like convicting Christians to follow Jesus’s commandment to love one another. There’s also this:

    Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    I think that many Christians in the USA completely ignore this.

  • indian

    I live in a country with less than 10% of Christian population. My mother’s family of 8 brothers and sisters were born again during their teens. They eventually married non-Christians while continuing their faith amid opposition from their spouses. Within fifteen years, all of the spouses came to Christ as did the children. We are a family of over 50 individuals including children and grand children, deeply in love with the God of the Bible. The children and grand children have gone on to marry other non-Christians and we know that they will come into the knowledge of Christ as they are sanctified by marriage. I believe God leads us to the people we fall in love with and he honours that love with marriage. He further goes on to honour our faith by sanctification of our spouses.

  • Groups Guy

    Good points.
    I have removed my offending post, which was highly inappropriate & wrong.

  • Snooterpoot

    Thank you for doing that. You have just earned my deep respect.

  • Bern

    Finally I’ve found a blog that isn’t trampling and condemning Inter-religious marriages.. Thank you!!
    I’m in love with an unbeliever but its a stern ‘no’ from my family. They quote II Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” and other such verses. I’ve raked my head to argue with them but don’t get anything.. Can someone please give me a way around it..?