Most Christian girls know the Sunday School answer to the question: “What are you looking for in a guy?” The correct answer is, “A strong spiritual leader.” Too bad most of them don’t seem to be looking for that, as all sorts of considerations become far more relevant: Hotness, money, success, charisma, athleticism, height, etc. To be fair, Christian guys also know that they are supposed to look for a Christian girl who loves God and wants to grow, but their problem is simpler: Throw a hot girl in their face and all bets are off.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder pastors frequently get questions about whether or not it is wrong to marry an unbeliever. Biblically speaking, this should be a blindingly obvious answer: Yes, it is wrong. If you are a Christian and if you have some measure of choice, you should not marry an unbeliever. There is absolutely no way an unbeliever can even attempt to reach the marriage ideal set out in Ephesians 5, nor can they help the other side with their spiritual walk with God. It is dumping yourself in an “unequally yoked” relationship for sure (2 Cor. 6:14). The Bible does address situations where there is a Christian married with a non-Christian (1 Peter 3, 1 Corinthians 7), but by no means does that justify knowingly and willingly getting into such a union in the first place. The very reason such situations are addressed is because they are problematic, though sometimes it cannot be helped (someone converts after marriage, an arranged marriage where one has no choice, etc.). But again, if you can help it, don’t do it. To even consider otherwise says a lot about the poor state of one’s own spiritual walk, because if one truly loved God and Christ was the center of one’s life, he or she would look for someone else who shares what is most important to him/her.
So that should be pretty clear. What is often less clear is whether or not it is wrong to date an unbeliever. How should Christians answer that?
Edit: People have asked for the link… so here it is. I didn’t want to give it, but whatever. Warning: If you hold to limited atonement, you might not like the sermon, but I really don’t care :).
This past Sunday, I preached at my church for the third time. Add in the other times I’ve preached (three times during preaching class, one time in Austin), and that brings my total of actual sermons to just seven. I’ve taught many Bible classes before and I’ve spoken at large group settings, but I’m not really a preacher kind of a guy so I don’t seek opportunities to preach.
Nor have I tried to go back and listen/watch myself, even though you are encouraged to in class in order to improve. As most people know, it’s weird listening to yourself and to watch yourself. Your voice sounds weird to you, your mannerisms are weird to you, and it’s embarrassing if you screw up. I don’t mind reading the stuff I’ve written, but it’s pretty awkward watching and listening to myself engage in public speaking.
However, on Tuesday, I went online to our church’s website and decided to give my sermon a listen. The good thing was that it was only audio so I didn’t have to watch myself; in some ways, that’s not as useful because I can’t evaluate my own nonverbal motions (or lack thereof), but whatever, nobody wants to watch a skinny Korean dude wave his arms around :).
Things I learned:
I’m done with an assignment that was dull, so let’s write some fun stuff.
There are many Christians who recoil at the very word “philosophy,” because they have the sense that it is a bunch of fancy-shmancy, meaningless fluff talk about nothing, which is at best useless and at worst actively deceiving and harmful. Philosophy, they think, focuses way too much on the logic of man rather than the truth of God. This is why many people use such arguments in theological debate as, “Oh, you’re just using philosophy!” or “That position is philosophical, while this one is biblical.” The ironic thing, of course, is that they are using philosophy themselves, although they often do not realize it. The very act of trying to systematize the Scriptures into a consistent manner is a use of philosophy, for example.