Thursday, May 10, 2007

An Atheist-Christian marriage can work

Cori’s blog post about our marriage caused quite a bit of interest. Not only did many readers respond in the comment section, but both Cori and I have received emails from Christians and non-believers alike, interested in the fact that we have managed to make our relationship work despite our differing worldviews.

Liesbeth left the following comment on Cori’s post:

My husband is an atheist and I think one of the hardest things is the idea that he won't be saved. But when I read the Bible I really think it tells about hell too, whether I like it or not.

One person who emailed me indicated:

When I saw that your wife is still a 'believer', well that was what really forged a connection, as my wife is also a Christian, and my struggles have been a source of great worry to her.

It seems that this is something that some couples struggle with. Cori and I had a discussion the other day, trying to identify how we have managed to make it work. The following is what we came up with:

The person is more important than ideas
Cori and I have decided that individuals are more important than the beliefs they hold. I guess the question is: do you love and fully accept a person because they believe one thing or another (e.g., if they believe in God or not), or do you love them for who they are? If your partner changed her/his beliefs, would you still love and fully accept them?

Meeting in a shared space
Cori and I are not extremist in our views: Cori does not hold fundamentalist beliefs; I’m not a staunch Randian. Both of us roll our eyeballs at tele-evangelists and young earth creationists; both of us get frustrated with aggressive atheists who are highly disrespectful. Not being fanatical about what we believe has enabled us to meet in a shared space where our beliefs overlap.

Celebrating diversity
Cori said it so well when she responded to one of the comments:

I think the most frightening thing in any intimate relationship is accepting that someone is different from you. I remember the pastor who married us telling me once that we always get so excited when we find someone is just like us! And then feel such frustration and disappointment when they're actually not . . . the true strength of a relationship is not trying to be the same, but celebrating the difference, the diversity.

I hope this has shed some light for those who were wondering about us. Despite 2 Corinthians 6:14, this is one example where two individuals, with differing belief systems, have managed to create a happy union. I'm sure many other couples can do the same.

****

Read my other articles related to our marriage here

38 comments:

Hard Rain said...

Am I alone in noticing a strange gender correlation of women and wives often being "believers" and men and husbands who are atheist or non-believers?

Anonymous said...

Kevin,
I would be very interested to know how the two of you dealt together with 2 Corinthians 6:14. I have thought about this question a lot lately, and would love to know more about your (and Cori's) personal views.
From a Christian viewpoint, I think there are a few possible ways to approach the passage.

Response #1 - Conclude that the verse does in fact teach that a Christian and an Atheist can not marry, and because of this, decide to end the relationship.

Response #2 - Conclude that the verse does in fact teach that a Christian and an Atheist can not marry, but since this goes so strongly against your desires and what you feel is right, choose not to obey its teaching. Perhaps also reasoning, "well we all make mistakes, I need to make my own and learn from them, I need to make choices for myself".

Response #3 - Conclude that the passage does NOT in fact teach that a Christian and an Atheist can not marry. While going against the majority of mainstream Christianity and it's best scholars, this viewpoint now makes it so that the verse seems to present no real problem to a potential marriage. If one feels that they have good reason to in fact believe the majority of Christians are mistaken on this verse, this seems like a reasonable enough approach.

Other distinctions can be made concerning how the Bible is to be taken.

View#1 - The Bible is a source of objective truth, and the truths apply to all of humanity. Individual Christians are to have the goal of alligning themselves as much as possible with the objective truths contained in the Bible.

View #2 - The Bible is a book that is read by a SUBJECT. The subject needs to determine what the Bible is saying TO HIM. In this view, the scriptures are more open to individual interpretation, and Cori recently posted a similar thought in http://allaboutcori.blogspot.com/2007/05/living-word.html

From the Atheist's point of view, I think the following questions come up.

Question #1 - Am I causing my partner to go against their own faith by agreeing to be in a relationship with them? Will they experience guilt as a result of being in a relationship with me?

Question #2 - Am I comfortable being in a relationship with someone who is willing to go against their own God in order to be in the relationship?

Question #3 - Is it my responsibility to encourage my partner in self examination and intellectual honesty? As a non-Christian, does that make me a hypocrite? (by encouraging them to be faithful to the Bible that I personally don't believe in?)

Question #4 - How important is it for me to understand my partners own view and interpretation of that verse?

The relevance of these questions depends on your answers to the first set.

These are just some of my thoughts on how a couple may respond to 2 Corinthians 6:14. More than likely, there are many answers that I am overlooking. I would love to hear more from you.

- Anonymous

Martin said...

Kevin, I found your "the person is more important than ideas" bit quite interesting.

We so often try to simplify people to fit into what usually ends up being a narrow definition - when in reality, people are an immensely complex (and importanty, constantly changing) mix of ideas. Accepting this "dynamic mix" nature of a person is very important!

Well put though.

Cori said...

Anonymous leaves us with quite a number of clearly set out thoughts and questions.

The one I want to refer to is the interpretation of the Corinthians passage: perhaps this is playing with words but the term 'unequally' seems interesting and open to interpretation. Is it possible to be unequally yoked with a believer? Equally yoked with an unbeliever?

What is particularly interesting to me is the variance in how much we take one passage to heart and skip over another passage that is as demanding ...

Anonymous said...

Cori,
Referring to your last comment: It seems you are saying that this verse receives undue attention when this question comes up. Are there other verses that you like to refer to that bring more of a balance to your understanding? Or do you simply think it receives too much attention and weight because it is commonly quoted and referred to as a set rule, while perhaps it is being misinterpreted, or perhaps it would be better if the individual reader was left to read it and apply it to his/her own life?
I agree with you that it is quite interesting that some passages are taken very much to heart while others are skipped over. What/who do you think is responsible for this? The individual? Church leadership?

-Anonymous

Kevin Parry said...

Anonymous wrote:

From the Atheist's point of view, I think the following questions come up.

Question #1 - Am I causing my partner to go against their own faith by agreeing to be in a relationship with them? Will they experience guilt as a result of being in a relationship with me?

It takes two to tango when it comes to relationships. Not only did I agree to marry Cori, but she also decided to take a chance on me, knowing full well that I had lost my faith. In other words, I am not causing Cori to go against her faith at all – she made the decision to stick with me.

Question #2 - Am I comfortable being in a relationship with someone who is willing to go against their own God in order to be in the relationship?

I guess the assumption in this question is that the person I’m married to believes that she is going against her religion by being with me. What if she believes that being married to an atheist isn’t an unforgivable sin? What if she doesn’t feel any guilt at all?

Question #3 - Is it my responsibility to encourage my partner in self examination and intellectual honesty? As a non-Christian, does that make me a hypocrite? (by encouraging them to be faithful to the Bible that I personally don't believe in?)

I don’t support Cori’s religion, but I support her as a person. Although I don’t provide active support in her belief (I don’t go to church or pray with her), I do give her the freedom for her to follow her own journey.

Question #4 - How important is it for me to understand my partners own view and interpretation of that verse?

I think it is fairly important. A Christian’s view of that verse will determine their willingness to engage in a relationship with a non-believer. I don’t think our relationship would have survived if Cori held a conservative view of that verse, and if she was overwhelmed with worry and guilt as a result.

Anonymous said...

My husband is a christian and I have a spiritual belief. We love each other for the person that we are, no matter what the other may do in their life. We are extreme opposites right down to being interracial, we couldn't imagine life without each other.

Anonymous said...

I am atheist, my husband a strong Baptist and we have three wonderful little girls. My admiration for you and your wife to compromise is hope for my marriage to work. Despite some rough times, we are still here, still working. Thank you for this post.

FightingIllini said...

Having been atheist since high school, I've pondered several times whether a relationship with a Christian is possible.

I see it this way...

From the Christian's perspective:
She's in a position to convert me, an atheist of seven years. My conversion to Christianity would say a lot to my family and friends since I was your typical loud-mouthed, arrogant atheist in high school (and to a lesser extent in college). So in terms of glorifying the Kingdom of God, she not only adds one more soul but her actions make a profound statement about the power of Christ to believers and non-believers. And if I ever do become Christian (again), some atheists might be more willing to listen to me, an ex-Christian ex-atheist Christian, about my Christian beliefs.

It seems like a Biblical thing to do, despite what 2 Corinthians 6:14 says. The end can certainly justify the mean through this relationship (or marriage).

From my perspective :
If my girlfriend succeeds in converting me, I can look forward to my baptising night.

Cha Ching! Hot passionate sex incoming.

I certainly see no problem with it.

Ellie M said...

I am an Atheist and my husband is a Christian - how do you have an intimate relationship with someone who thinks you are going to burn in hell for an eternity?

Please comment

Anonymous said...

I'd also like to know how a relationship like ellie m mentioned can successfully work. How can you manage a relationship where one person doesn't think a relationship has a future where they see you (the Atheist) burning in hell for all eternity. And how do you make a decision based on how the kids would be raised-Atheist or Christian? How can something like that be compromised? I'd really love to hear your insights b/c I'm currently struggling with this issue now.

Eric Carpenter said...

My marriage nearly directly reflects the situation you describe, down to our attitudes.

My wife is Episcopalian and a leader in her rather large church. I'm a happy atheist (meaning I don't have a problem with people believing whatever they need to believe as long as they don't force it on me).

Thankfully, she's not a fundamentalist or literalist. She understands the history of the Bible as a document as well as a scripture and as art and poetry. She doesn't condemn me for not being able to believe, and I don't berate her for being religious.

She accepts who I am at face value. We treat each other as equals and respect each other's beliefs (or lack thereof).

I have been to some church functions when I'm supporting her singing or when she's escorting a group of kids to some event. Why? Not because it's religious, but because I support and love my wife. If there's an event that's important to her, I'll be there to support her.

When we were married in the church, we were lucky enough to have a priest whose husband was an atheist perform the ceremony. She understood our 'issue' and could provide counseling directly on point. She was nervous when she asked about children and the church, and I think she was a bit surprised when I said I didn't have a problem...though I wouldn't be willing to lie about my lack of belief to my kids.

My first child was born a month ago, and in November, she'll be baptised at the church. I'll be there. Not because I'm supporting the religion, but because it's an important event to my wife and child and I need to be there to be supportive of them both. I'll do the same if my daughter has a concert at church in the future.

Laughably, I've been accused by other atheists of betraying atheism...as if atheism was a monolithic entity with a series of behaviors. To add to my list of horrors in their eyes, I also put up a Christmas tree and give out treats at Halloween.

Anonymous said...

Hi my fiance is an atheist and i'm a christian, we were just discussing what ceremony we would have at the wedding, we accept each others beliefs but feel it would not be fair to ask the other to do it their way. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

You might be an Atheist but she is not a Christian, not by definition. All a person has to do to earn the title Atheist is to not belief in any religion, especially Christianity. But for a person to be a Christian they must obey the word of God. Yes, I know the excuses, but religion has been twisted through time to it's current shadow of itself. In all seriousness a true Christian would want to be true to their God, above and beyond any mortal, or suffer the very real possibility of Hell. The word of God was not originally meant to be taken lightly or interpreted loosely. Christianity today is not a religion but a selective organization whose sole purpose is to collect contributions.

In that sense I would say that she doesn't REALLY believe in the WHOLE thing herself. She has reservations and doubts. This alone is a sin and being married to you is a sin.

I am an Atheist and my wife is very spiritual. We are both recovering Christians, I recovered first. My wife finally got what I was saying about the biblical contridictions and evils of religious ideas and actions but she still beliefs in ghost and karma and such.

We don't go to Church any more and have no interest in it. I'm always pointing out where I see religion doing bad or being contradictive and she always tells me how tired she is of hearing it. We may argue once in a while but we find our corners and come out kissing.

If anything, I did "turn" her from Christian to Agnostic and I'm satisfied with that.

How do I know what a true Christian is? Just before I went Atheist I wanted to become a true believer. I knew that I had to read every word of the book and obey his words religiously. Why? Because of the very real need to get "close to him" and to make sure my soul would be saved from the very real idea and belief in Hell. If you REALLY believe in the stuff, you don't and would not mess around. Frankly I was thinking of becoming a priest or preacher. Frankly, anyone who truely believes would also give up all they have and know for a life devoted to him. That is a true believer and a true Christian.

Anonymous said...

wow, it's clear that the person who posted above me does NOT understand the concept of grace! you made the following claim about your attempt at becoming a 'true believer': "I knew that I had to read every word of the book and obey his words religiously." that's impossible. the only person who obeyed every one of God's rules was crucified! thank God for grace. and thank God you didn't become a pastor with that attitude! we don't gain assurance of salvation through any works we do. in fact, if you read every word of the Bible, you'd see that our righteousness is as filthy rags to God. we can never be "good enough." but that's the beauty of Jesus' sacrifice - we don't have to be "good enough" or try to earn our salvation. it's a free gift from God to His children, whom He loves no matter what they do. (now that's not to say we should do whatever we want. there's naturally a desire there to serve Him because He has extended such grace and love to us.)

i'm a Christian engaged to an atheist. we've been together for 3 years. i'm not going to lie, it's challenging. we're different in a LOT of ways. but unlike the poster above, i know it's not an 'unpardonable sin' or a deal-breaker with God.

For all of you Christians out there, it's important to remember that God is not legalistic in the way that many people are :)

Tye said...

I am a Christian, but consider myself more spiritual than religious. I came to this site and read through the blogs and realized I wasn't the only one going through the "chistians marrying athiests" situation.

I've been dating an Atheist for six months (please don't jugde me). I didn't intend to date him at first. We were friends and eventually through time, decided to be in a relationship.

The issue within myself being a christian, and he an atheist is always an issue. My issue. Never his. We don't argue over it or anything like that. He is very supportive of me, goes to church with me to try to understand my faith. And I respect the fact he believes in nothing. It's difficult to understand, "how can he not believe"? I couldn't imagine my life without God. But I repect it.

Lately he's been talking about marriage. He wants to get married in a year. I struggle because I am so afraid of dissappointing God, not being in his favor, and not receiving his blessings if I do marry him.

I was married for 17 years to a christian man. We divorced because he left myself and his children for another woman (whom also say's she's a christian). I have dated Christian men, and been more dissappointed and hurt by them than the non-christians. Go figure. I think because the expectation was higher on my part. Expecting them to be better men, because they knew the Lord.

So, I'm struggling with this. If I marry my BF, does that mean I love him more than the Lord. I feel like that's what I am up against.

I believe we are to love the individual but hate the sin. Myself being a christian, I have flaus and am imperfect. And I know it's by his Grace that I am covered. I can't earn it.

God's word say's to not be unequally yoked. Iv'e heard different interpretations of it, from marriage to cultures and races shouldn't mix. I'm confused and confusion doesn't come from the Lord.

So, any advise from any party would be most helpful.

I love my BF, and I also know I cannot force anything from him. And I have never tried. But it's my struggle within.

Tye

Juno said...

1 Cor 7:13-14 says the following:
And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband...
Christians always seem to forget this part in the Bible.
I had a conversation with a friend the other day, she walks the road of a Christian very narrowly and somehow we stepped upon the topic of having non-Christians as friends. I challenged her with the saying that one should not be unequally yoked with a non-christian because I wanted to see what she would say about it. She responded by saying that one can have friends who aren't believers but then, with such judgement in her voice added that the quote was meant for marrying someone who doesn't believe in God. I asked her if she knew that the Bible also speaks of a non-believer being made right unto God through marriage with a christian, and she did not know about this.
I don't know if anyone has any views on this part of the Bible.

Anonymous said...

I have read the scriptures that you referred too. All I can say is that for myself, I need a praying man beside me. My relationship ended, not soley on the faith issue, but looking at the entire picture, I knew it wasn't right for me.

Regarding my Faith issue in the relationship: In noway was I being judgmental of he or any non-believer. I do respect others beliefs. I have friends that are of different faiths and beliefs and from all walks of life. As for my relationship, for me I learned I have to be with a man of faith. The issue was never his. It was always mine. He would say he loved me, but didn't believe in God. That was difficult for me to understand when God lives in me, and the woman I am was created by God, whom prays and believes. It's difficult to understand how he didn't believe in God, when the things he loved me for, where God. My faith is something I have to be able to share with my partner. For us to lift one another up before God in our victories as mush as our trials. Maybe that's why we aren't suppose to be unequally yoked. "Iron sharpens Iron".

All in all, everything is just the way it's suppose to be. We have no hard feelings, and I am thankful for the time we were together. I learned more of who I am.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

After reading the messages left, I have to ask," why does the bible say to not be unequally yoked, and then in another verse say, "And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband..."?

Was this Gods way of saying "if you do choose to marry an unbeliever"?

I'm torn. ....

Any insight would be welcomed!!!

A woman whose god is physics... said...

Am I alone in noticing the "" marks around "believers" are not accompanied by "" around non-believers...

Thank you for degrading someone's beliefs,
AND being sexist..

- a deity-less woman.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Passage in Corinthians, about a woman married to a non believer, and she should not send him away. ...My interpretation of that was, if two marry as unbelievers and then one gets saved, she/he should not send either partner away, they are sanctified through the saved partner. But if she/he wants to leave....let her/he.

Dion said...

Howzit Kevin. I'm a Atheist getting married in August to a Christian. I need to find out how Atheist wedding ceremonies are conducted. My future wife has agreed for us to have a Atheist paster but I don't know where to find one. We are gettng married in Naboomspruit. Please can you help? Thanks,
Dion Mostert. (Hillcrest, Durban)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's an oximoron.....LOL

Anonymous said...

I am an Athiest and my wife is a christian.

As mentioned it all comes down to respecting the person. I respect my wife; I love her with all my heart. She knew my views before we got married but not a great deal of time was spent on the topic.

When I go to her parents’ house I participate in grace.
Why?
Because it's important to them.
Do I believe saying grace will help? No
But it never hurts to be thankful and wish others well even if it won't affect anything.

There seems a need to be combative in one's beliefs...if you truly love your partner arguing over something that won't get resolved is pointless.

It would be much like me attempting to convince my grandfather that Honda makes a decent car. While I believe it to be true I could talk to him until blue in the face and both yelling at each other for no good reason. In the end he may smile and nod but you can bet there won't be one in his driveway.

In this way "converting" my wife is never going to happen, nor is it my job to convert her. If couples relies that they should not attempt to change there partner there is a lot less tension.

This in no way affects my belief that the belief she holds is silly...much like Honda does produce a fantastic car...

Anonymous said...

My wife is a christian, I am an athiest.

We are both strong in our beliefs but we do not discuss them as there is no real point. We both believe what we believe because we think it is correct. Niether belief impacts day to day living or how we live our lives. Or even how we raise our child.
Yes our child will learn about god.
Yes our child will learn to question that belief.

Every belief should hold up to questioning.

So my question is: How do you talk about your views in a controlled fashion such that no tempers are raised, no feelings are hurt, and everyone is happy.

I find it hard to explain why i don't believe, with out picking apart what she does believe. this can come across as insulting as you are insulting there blief by pointing out flaws and absurdities.

anyother topic pointing out flaws in a view or argument are not insulting but in religion it is. I can't point out contradicting passages telling people to sacrafice goats without it being taken as an insult to the bible despite it being quoted from the bible.

Thus far my wife and I know each others views but rarely discuss them for just this reason. We respect each other and don't want to upset the other.

While there is no issue between us at present there has been an odd moment or two when i mention evolution saying I came from an ape when i do something clumsy or silly.

I would like to discuss our views but fear it becoming confrontational. I do truelly believe christianity is silly. As are many other religions. But if asked my view of christianity must I bite my tounge and give a politically correct response to preserve the peace?
Just not sure how to cultivate i civil dialog on this topic. if it is even possible. Both sides believe they are right very passionetly.

sattler said...

This is a thoughtful post and I agree with a good many of the reflections in this thread. Our own story didn't end well. My ex-wife and I divorced after 25 years together. Whilst I could be upbeat and say that her loss of faith wasn't an issue honestly I would have to say it was. To say that the person is more important than ideas is laudable but it's hard to keep up. It seems to reduce faith and ideas to the status of a hobby, like stamp collecting or birdwatching. I can't speak for atheist 'inner life' but faith 'integrates', i.e. it is imbedded at the heart of ordinary life. Sadly, in the end my ex-wife and I simply ran out of common ground.

John said...

I can identify with this post as my wife and I are currently separated (not by my choice though). I'm an athiest and my wife is a Christian. We have two great kids that have parents who have very strong opposite views. We have been married for 16 years and over the years, it's gotten harder to get along with each other. This, in my mind, is due to the fact that as we get older, we are more set in our ways. I still think about how we can work it out but become more doubtful as time goes by. I've tried for years to talk with my wife about our beliefs and why we believe the way we do. To me, understanding each other is a way of respecting each other. I would think this would help in our relationship. But it only hurt it as she thought I was always trying to "convert" her.
Anyways, to the young people that are planning on getting married or in a serious relationship with a person of differing religions or world views, I would caution them because pretty much everything you do comes down to what you believe in. Thanks for sharing...

Anonymous said...

We were both christians when we got married over 20 years ago. Over time, I first stopped going to church and then eventually became an atheist maybe even an anti-theist. My wife has become more religious over time and more rigid about me needing to be a believer. There is no way I'll ever be a believer again.

What a mess!

isculpt said...

It is great to hear someone else on the internet Talking about this sensitive subject. My husband and I have just started podcasting about our lives as husband and wife. He as a an atheist and myself as a Christian. We would love to know what you and your wife as well as others think

http://blog.godsword.net/2011/04/inspirations_0093-inspirations-host-bridgette-mongeon-shares-her-family-secret.html

http://blog.godsword.net/2011/04/inspirations_0094-inspirations-atheist-and-a-christian-in-marriage.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said (at 1:15am): "Niether [of our] beliefs impacts day to day living or how we live our lives. Or even how we raise our child."

If your wife is a Christian, and believes that God is her Father, King and Saviour, how can this not impact on her life? As a Christian, God should be at the centre of your life, guiding everything you do. Christianity is not about 'works' - doing good things so God will accept us - but our faith and love for God should be evident in our works. Otherwise, what is our faith for?

I am a Christian and my boyfriend is an Athiest, so I get that it can be really hard to talk about differences in belief, especially with someone so close to you. But sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do the hard thing. If you have an open, loving relationship as husband and wife, you should be able to talk about everything with each other. Otherwise, the tension will just boil under the surface. It is certainly not going to go away. My boyfriend and I disagree on a lot of things and sometimes we do get into arguments, but in general through patience, love and the ability to listen and respect each other's beliefs, we are able to discuss our differences and seek ways to overcome them.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm an atheist and my soon-to-be husband is a believer. The only thing I wish for with him is that he doesn't ask me to lie to his pastor (pretend to be Christian) so that he'll marry us

Anonymous said...

I am a Christian and I married an Atheist . I got tired of all the fake Christians and then judging me when I messed up . I love my husband unconditionally . He treats me better than any man I have been with on this earth . I knew he was not a Christian most important not a hypocrite . I still have faith that God will save him . God will not condemn us to hell for marrying an Atheist . Christians marry Christians and still end up in divorce or kill one another . I asked God to forgive me for marrying my husband . I was disobedient for doing it , but I have a good relationship with my husband and he treats me like a queen . I used to be totally against a Christian marrying an unbeliever . Now I am married to one hmmm never say what you will not do . I think this marriage was meant to be . Because someone can say they are a Christian and truly are an enemy of the Cross of Jesus Christ by their actions . For example , hating others and cursing and having sex outside of marriage . And point fingers at others,and hiding secret sins . I love God with all my heart and I know He still loves me even though I married an Atheist . So if you day I am not a Christian than you judge yourself . Because God has not condemned me to hell for marrying an Atheist . Love and prayers to all and keep praying for that Atheist wife or husband that God will reveal Himself to them . Awe God loves Atheist too just like He did the Religious people who hung Him on the Cross . Amen

Anonymous said...

I know you probably won't see this, whoever posted above, but I wanted to thank you for your comment. It was given me hope for my relationship. Thank you. I love my girlfriend but do not want to dishonor or grow further from God by continuing this relationship.

Anonymous said...

HI

I am a christian and my boyfriend is an atheist and we plan on getting married and having children together. It was refreshing to hear stories of other couples in the same situation that are happily married. My question to those couples is, if you have children, how did you make it work? Did they have a baptism, communion etc. I want my children to have that, but I know he doesn't but would do it to make me happy. But I don't think it is right for me to just get my way. What is a good compromise? Anyone have any ideas?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one with this problem. I'm personally more of an Atheist, my girlfriend is a Christian, and the topic of evolution came up last night while we were conversing. It wouldn't be the first time, since I'm fascinated by prehistory and on many occasions she insists on me lecturing her on it. She is well aware and very accommodating on my beliefs (or lack thereof), and she has expressed on very vehemently that she has no problem with my passion, and is not at all offended by it. But she has yet to really express her own Creationist views to me, and I want to be as restrained as possible before going into a talk with her about it. I don't want to play Devil's Advocate and cause her to lose her own faith, or for this to become the core point between us.

We're both teenagers in high school, almost a year of being together, and are different in many ways. (She Repub. me not so much, she white me black, etc.) So far, we've been together 10 months now, and we've been able to smooth out a common ground on all of our other pertinent differences. Religion is our last hurdle, and I really want to get it over with before our anniversary. We both really care about each other, and we don't want to lose one another over a debate over religion. We plan on getting this talk over with within the next two months so that between us we can be worry-free going into our first of hopefully many years together.

Any of the elders on the blog care to provide advice?

Anonymous said...

1Co 7:13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away.
1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.
1Co 7:15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.
1Co 7:16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the issues with 2 Corinthians 6:14, my Christian boyfriend and I discussed and researched it rather thoroughly. I came out of fundamentalist Christianity myself, so I have more than a passing knowledge of Scripture.

The conclusion we came to is that the term "yoked together" refers not to marriage, but to business partnerships. In Paul's day, a marriage was not seen as a partnership, but a situation in which the man owned the woman as valued property. Only men could enter into business partnerships.

The very term "yoked" implies oxen plowing together. Both oxen are male, and they are connected together only to perform a job. There is no other relationship between them.

If a search of the Bible is made, looking for other uses of the word "yoked" (try www.blueletterbible.org) you will find that not once throughout the entirety of Scripture is "yoked" used to refer to marriage. It always refers to work, business, slavery, etc. Always among men.

The early Christians were very secretive about their beliefs. They had to be, under Roman rule. If a Christian man and a Roman man entered into a business partnership, likelihood of discovery escalated, so it only made sense to avoid such entanglements. If I recall aright, Paul also advises not to take legal matters before Roman authorities, but if you must present a lawsuit, present it before a Christian court.

Our personal conclusion is that the verse does not apply, and that there should be no guilt associated with dating each other and possibly marrying.

Meow Opre said...

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