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Keralabrethren.net: General Forum: Could a non believer marry a believer?

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# 08248 :  Could a non believer marry a believer?

Hello,

Thought I would jump on a bandwagon which was started by a reputed bible teacher who posted this question in a group which he has created. 

THIS IS MY TAKE and I would love to hear the others on what they think.

This is a topic that raises more question marks than answers. Those who take a stand for or against it generally tends to get very judgmental and completely disregard the fact that the Lord does not want us to judge anyone (James 4:12).


Now on the topic, it is very subjective. When Paul writes that one should not be unequally yoked with the world, in another context in 1 Corinthians 5, he talks about the company of the world who are sinners. He never said not to disregard them, even in the matter of being ‘unequally yoked’. I have heard a lot of interpretations from bible teachers around the world. And the conclusion: there is a lot less guidance of the spirit in this matter. 


Before I start my rationale. Please note, I am not for or against. Only giving perspective.


Let me explain. If one says, one should not marry an unbeliever. One should also substantiate that in the context of marriage from the NT (most bible teachers just mix and match and put some rationale in it). If I were to believe that the Lord has ‘predestination’ as a purpose for all His people and His calling. Then we do not know who is called and in which manner He/She is/was called. If someone argues and strongly refutes an association on a believer who has feelings or has fallen in love with an unbeliever. Then he/she refutes our Lord who comes from the line of Ruth (read curse on the Moabites) and Rahab (read punishment for prostitution) in the genealogy. This is where it is complicated. Why? We do not appreciate or understand the mercies of the Lord and how it can work between believers and unbelievers. There are lot of examples of good marriages where the families have come to faith, all because of the mercies of the Lord resting on them. They live good Christian lives and are not as flamboyant as our current minsters who advise otherwise. But there are also bad ones as well. We love concentrating and talking about the bad ones.

So, to conclude, though it is advisable that one marries within the Christian community. One does not really know who the Lord has planned for them when they truly are in the faith. It’s all about submission. Who knows, your marriage to so called believer or a non-believer is the Lord’s calling for you to show them the true light of salvation.

Regards,

Joe

PS. I really hope some previous elements dont turn up and start spewing hatred on this topic and start being high and mighty online.

Post by : paizanjoe  View Profile    since : 10 Dec 2016


Reply by : ichabod   View Profile   Since : 15 Dec 2016 10:42:14 AM Close

My take on this topic is that... We have a free will to choose... nobody knows "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.( Mat 10:9 KJV )". Nobody knows if it was god who brought them together or evil or man.. Only time will tell.. We can always argue that "god has plans for them" when a Believer gets married to an unbeliever or we can say “he is backsliding” none of that matters as long as they used their free will to decide their life. Its left to them to prove us right or wrong with time… my personal take on love is that… its between two souls that think alike have similar or approaching to similar likes and wants etc …. So if a believer feels his thoughts are aligned with that of an unbeliever, probably his first preference in personal life, isn’t spirituality. Or probably his level of spirituality is so so.. Well that’s his prerogative. We can’t judge or complain. We could pray though.

If you ask what the bible says? Well if you understand the Bible well… it only gives us directions… we do the choosing for good or for bad. Most instances in the old testament show how people got misguided by falling for the beauty of an unbeliever and even getting punished for it.. Even so, like a modern Christian would argue, “I could bring him/her to our faith” well that’s great, god luck with that… like I said, its ones free will… nobody needs to boss over and impose their view as the view in the Bible, cos as far as I know, the Bible is much more open minded than most believers today…

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Reply by : joyboy   View Profile   Since : 15 Dec 2016 8:44:17 PM Close

Quotes in Italics, preceded by >>>. My comments in normal font.

>>>This is a topic that raises more question marks than answers. Those who take a stand for or against it generally tends to get very judgmental and completelydisregard the fact that the Lord does not want us to judge anyone (James 4:12).

This is not true.  We are to judge sin as sin, and to expel serious unrepetant sin from the church.  See, for example, Paul's treatment of the man sleeping with his father's wife in 1 Corinthians 5, or John's calling out of Diotrephes in the book of 3 John. Other examples exist, I'm sure, but aren't coming to me now.

 

 

>>>Now on the topic, it is very subjective. When Paul writes that one should not be unequally yoked with the world, in another context in 1 Corinthians 5, he talks about the company of the world who are sinners. He never said not to disregard them, even in the matter of being ‘unequally yoked’. I have heard a lot of interpretations from bible teachers around the world. And the conclusion: there is a lot less guidance of the spirit in this matter. 

>>>Let me explain. If one says, one should not marry an unbeliever. One should also substantiate that in the context of marriage from the NT (most bible teachers just mix and match and put some rationale in it). If I were to believe that the Lord has ‘predestination’ as a purpose for all His people and His calling. Then we do not know who is called and in which manner He/She is/was called. If someone argues and strongly refutes an association on a believer who has feelings or has fallen in love with an unbeliever. Then he/she refutes our Lord who comes from the line of Ruth (read curse on the Moabites) and Rahab (read punishment for prostitution) in the genealogy. This is where it is complicated. Why? We do not appreciate or understand the mercies of the Lord and how it can work between believers and unbelievers. There are lot of examples of good marriages where the families have come to faith, all because of the mercies of the Lord resting on them. They live good Christian lives and are not as flamboyant as our current minsters who advise otherwise. But there are also bad ones as well. We love concentrating and talking about the bad ones.

>>>So, to conclude, though it is advisable that one marries within the Christian community. One does not really know who the Lord has planned for them when they truly are in the faith. It’s all about submission. Who knows, your marriage to so called believer or a non-believer is the Lord’s calling for you to show them the true light of salvation.

Appreciate your thoughts, Joe, but in my view, you're mixing up two thoughts together, namely: "What the Lord could do", and "What the believer should do".  There is no question as to what the Lord can do.  However, there are also consequences for sin. See Solomon, or Samson for example.  both were corrupted by unbelieving women yet the Lord redeemed them both. Ruth seem to already have put faith in the God of Israel (see Ruth 1:16), and Boaz wasn't just marrying a Moabitess, he was marrying a kinsman's wife, thereby redeeming her, fulfilling his legal and moral obligation.  In Rahab's case, it seems that she was saved by having faith in the God of Joshua; this is further proved in Hebrews 11, as she is mentioned in the hall of faith.

The unequal yoke concept is very clear, and isn't subjective as you allude.  2 Cor 6:14 "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?"  Why is this the most often quoted passage with regards to marriage? Because a yoke is an instrument by which two beasts of burden (oxen) are forced together along a journey. (see here for a pictoral example: https://eveunyokeddotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/yoke.jpg).  

It's a very apt image for marriage, as marriage is a journey along which husband and wife move in tandem. In this regard, it seems to be clear enough that it's wrong. Why?  How can two people navigate life together if they disagree with each other on its most important part?  if they disagree, but are bound together by the yoke how will they move? They'll veer to the left or to the right.  

This is where the imagery of hte yoke comes into play again:  with a yoke, it's imperative that the oxen be of the same strength/size, otherwise as they walk, the yoke willl veer in the direction of the animal that's stronger.  This animal will then tire out quickly and then the weaker animal will have to carry the load for both, which will tire it out also.  

The imagery is clear.  Moreso the language: it's given as a command, with the authority of an apostle: "do not be...". So this is even more clarity.  

If this yoke discussion by the apostle Paul isn't enough, there are numerous stories from the OT about the israelites marrying their pagan neighbors and causing them to sin/backslide/walk away from faith. I mentioned solomon and samson above, but there are many more who did not have favorable outcomes.

(BTW, not in the context of this discussion, but I believe the context of the unequal yoke passage applies in any situation where the unbeliever is yoked together with the believer--marriage is the biggest one, but also business contracts.)

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Reply by : paizanjoe   View Profile   Since : 16 Dec 2016 12:17:22 AM Close

Hello Joy Boy and Ichabod

Thank you for your valuable opinions. It is good to see that there truly can be a conversation on th forum that does not amount to name calling J.

Joy Boy, you have raised some valuable points that I would address now in points so that it is easier to understand.

  1. With regards to the judgement that we ought to make. It is a worthy argument but lacks ground. Because we are not to judge no one. God has already judged sin in you and me and we had fallen short of His glory. Now, with regards to the context of the apostles doing so, if you read clearly – He talks about fornication first. When you read the passage here. You see even the one who had committed such a deed was not condemned to hell (v5). Though he was separated from the church for a time being he was yet brought back, 2 Corinthians 2. This is where we must understand the magnanimity of the Lord’s example in forgiveness. The Church is a representation of His forgiveness. We do not have the authority of the apostles here anymore. Even the apostles after the foundation and strengthening work was done, came down to our levels (Peter calling himself a fellow elder)
  2. I hope the earlier bit is now clearer? Now the next aspect – there was no indication whatsoever on what the Lord/God can do. He is God. Case closed. In 1st Corinthians, it talks about staying away from brothers who walk like the heathen. Then in 2nd Corinthians it talks about not being unequally yoked with unbelievers. The second epistle and its chapter talks about not falling off from what you have been called. You cannot live like as explained in the earlier epistle (I Cor) live like a heathen and then call yourself a brother.
  3. The institution of marriage is holy whether it is between a believer and non-believer/believer. If you think otherwise, then the everything that is on the earth is not of the Lord. Which is not the case.  The beauty of salvation is in all believers. The passages of 1 Cor 7: 12-17, stunningly reveals the plan of God through a believer and commands one to live a Holy life.
  4. You are clearly missing the point in Ruth. She was a Moabite. Do you know what the curse on the Moabites was? The Lord instituted it when they were sojourners. Leave fulfilling kinship? They were not allowed into the sanctuary of the Israelites even to the 10th generation, (Deut 23:3). If one follows the laws put by God for the people of Israel wholeheartedly, then think, would she have ever been of the line of David? Now another example. what about Moses? – he could have put away his Midianite/Ethiopian wife. After all, the revelation and commandments about marriage was given to him by God, right? Okay let me give you one more, Joseph. Surely, he is the biggest transgressor because he married a priest’s daughter. A priest’s daughter that means, Joseph who is beloved of God has a wife who worships the elements! He should then per logic, that was given, go to hell/punished. Or for that matter Rahab, irrespective of her giving residence to the spies. There is a clear law on harlots.  Do you get it now? Why it is vain to think about what the Almighty God’s plan is?

So, when you look at all this, how can we, who are just a speck of dust decide on what His institution and plan is for someone?Regards,

Regards,

Joe

 

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Reply by : joyboy   View Profile   Since : 16 Dec 2016 4:28:00 PM Close

1. I think we will have to agree to disagree here.  I firmly believe we are to call out sin for sin. We are to avoid judging motives and intents, for only God can see those truly.  Be we can see the actions themselves.  If your believing friend started cohabiting with a woman outside of marriage, wouldn't you tell him what he was doing was wrong?  If you saw someone stealing some thing from a  store, wouldn't you tell him that was wrong? Isn't this judging?  How do you discipline your believing children if you cannot judge them?

2. Not sure what you're saying here, but I'll leave it as is.

3. Agree marriage is holy.  but marriage's holiness has nothing to do with choosing whom to marry.  Let me clarify: If you think you made a mistake and have married the wrong person*, your reference to marriage's bond in Christ is appropriate.  But we are talking about deciding before marriage whom to marry--a believer should never knowningly marry an unbeliever.

*for whatever reason, because he/she is not saved, because he/she has anger problems, because he/she was misrepresented to you, whatever--reason doesn't matter, 

4. God acting over and above man's sin is not the issue here.  I will have to study the moabite curse for myself further. but suffice to say God redeeming the sinful acts of man for his own glory, and for his own purposes do not justify the sinful acts of men**. That's the beauty of grace and mercy, that God still uses us despite our sinfulness, and outright disobedience.  

**BTW, I'm not conceding Boaz' marriage to ruth was sinful, just using his example, for the sake of the discussion.

5. Unless I am missing the discussion topic completely, we are discussing whether it is ok for a believer to knowingly marry an unbeliever. I submit to you that it is 100% wrong. See the above discussion on the unequal yoke.

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Reply by : paizanjoe   View Profile   Since : 16 Dec 2016 11:27:23 PM Close

Hello Joy Boy

There are no issues in agreeing and totally disagreeing. I never said one needs to marry an unbeliever. Let me elaborate to make it clear so that we do not have selective interpretations. Here are my answers to your points

  1. Motives and intent lead to action. Are you saying that you are so holy that will judge on what the brother’s personal preferences are? Just because he chose to marry someone out of love even though the person is an unbeliever? You need to meditate upon these passages in 1st Corinthians 7 and also 1 Cor 13 as well. The other point of co-habitation. Then you will be in for a shocker. Since apart from KB, in many parts of the world. There are believer couples who stay together without the official certificate of marriage. They do get married eventually but that’s the practice that they have. Would you go and tell them you are wrong? Fyi, the institution of marriage does not have a certificate in the scriptures. Man, meets woman and he joins with her and they are one – this is scriptural. Certificate and legal implications are manmade. Though for our benefit and I state, which we need to do because it is the law of the land. About kids, Ephesian 6 first few verses are good reminder about how children to should be raised. It is also seen in normal good unbelieving family – people raise their children to be a good human being.  So the point of stealing and doing something illegal really does not arise in a typical good family.
  2. What does 1 Corinthians 5 say about how a believer should be with the people of the world? Now if you understood that, then you will understand that Ap. Paul never told to stay away from an unbeliever but to stay away from a person who calls himself a believer and acts like an unbeliever. Then you ideally should understand the passage in 2 Corinthians – do not act like a heathen by going back and adopting their customs again.
  3. Okay, you say not an unbeliever. Define an unbeliever on this context that Salvation is for all mankind. Then look at what God talks about divorce in Malachi. That was for your reference to ‘marrying the wrong person’. You can only understand these things if you believe in predestination and God’s eternal plan. Or, you can try and prove explicitly that you should only marry believer. I am all ears and eyes. I will give you an example of what I have seen before you go about it. You would know that there are a lot of KB missionaries/evangelists who go across to tribal areas and ‘bring’ them to the faith and talk about what their union in Christ is all about – beautiful things. Now in many instances, there are young boys/girls who come to the faith and desire union. The right thing per you, is that they should marry someone from the faith. They do not. Not because they do not wish to, it is because OUR people do not give them brides/grooms since they are tribal (There are also instances in the KB community that says that the prospect does not have enough money or status as well, even though they are of the same ‘caste. But that is another topic, though relevant but not to be discussed here now). So, they marry within their community from different faith and then if God has a plan through them, they come to faith. Now judge. What is right and wrong. And now I hope you see where I am getting at. Or if you still believe is 100% wrong, then we have reached impasse.
  4. I have not strayed from the topic of marriage.  Different contexts have been interpreted to come to conclusion on the topic. None of them are ‘stray’ if some references are stray, then even the point of ‘father judging a son’ is also considered irrelevant. But to the topic and for
  5. I have not only given you the example of Boaz, but others as well. So are you saying *but suffice to say God redeeming the sinful acts of man for his own glory, and for his own purposes do not justify the sinful acts of men**. That's the beauty of grace and mercy, that God still uses us despite our sinfulness, and outright disobedience. * refers to Boaz, Moses, Ruth and Joseph? Remember, you are calling out the stalwarts/God’s examples out with your statements. Where is context of sin here? I do not know how it deviates or how you do not get the point. Each of the characters in the scriptures that I pointed out to you, had a controversial marriage. God DID not see anything wrong in it. But you or I would, because we like to be ‘holier than thou’. That is why you may study as much as you want about the Moabites and Ammonites, but it is blatantly clear. They would not ENTER. So, the union from the start should have been disallowed. But it happened and the Christ came from that seed. We do not know the relevance of unbeliever in marriage and what God intents. We do not know what God intents in many occasions. Therefore, we live it to His judgement and revelation through the spirit to guide us.

As I said in my opening post. I am not to or for it. I am only putting up a relevant aspect of what one should consider before one finally judges something to be right and wrong.

Regards,

Joe

 

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Reply by : raghu   View Profile   Since : 12 Jan 2017 9:09:07 AM Close

Hello,

according to bible it is not possible

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Reply by : paizanjoe   View Profile   Since : 13 Jan 2017 1:52:19 AM Close

Raghu,

Could you tell us where in the bible it is written that it is wrong?

Regards,

Joe

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Reply by : godblesskeralaonly   View Profile   Since : 25 Apr 2017 1:53:22 AM Close

No.  Don't mix your fleshly desire with evangelism!

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Reply by : paizanjoe   View Profile   Since : 25 Apr 2017 1:24:51 PM Close

Godblesskeralaonly (the name itself is controversial and derogatory), 

As much as I like vague posts. The statement you have made holds merit if you can back it with scriptural understanding. We do not want EK Nayannar style 'one liner and deal with it' in a discussion. 

Regards,

Joe

 

 

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