Saturday, September 1, 2018

Can a Christian Marry a Non-Christian [Part 4] With Bishop Nelson Nzvimbo

“It feels so right, so right. How can it be wrong?”

The Old Testament warns against marrying unbelievers.


In the rest of Genesis, we see a huge effort made to ensure the people of God would only marry those who trust the Lord.
In Genesis 24, we see the great lengths Abraham goes to—combined with God’s amazing answer to prayer—to ensure that his son Isaac marries believing Rebekah.

In Genesis 27:46–28:9, we see Rebekah and Isaac’s disgust at the marriage of her son to Canaanite/Hittite women. This isn’t racism: It’s religious.
Can a Christian Marry a Non-Christian [Part 4] With Bishop Nelson Nzvimbo
In Genesis 34:8–9, Hamor invites the sons of Jacob to intermarry with the daughters of Shechem (a town that has just proved its character in the mistreatment of Dinah). To intermarry with this town rather than distance themselves from such defilement would have been the ultimate compromise; it would have destroyed the people of God in the first generation.

In the conquest of Canaan, the Lord gives strict prohibitions against intermarriage:


Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. (Deut. 7:3–4)

This prohibition is repeated in Joshua 23:12, and the trajectory of intermarriage never assumes or expects the Canaanites would end up being converted.

Intermarriage is also the downfall of kings: even the super-wise Solomon (1 Kings 11) and most obviously Ahab (1 Kings 16–19). More positively, a sign of repentance for God’s people was their repentance of intermarriage in Ezra 9–10. On the other hand, if a foreigner was already converted, then there was absolutely no prohibition against marrying them. In fact, this is seen as a positive (Zipporah, Rahab, Ruth).

All this biblical evidence makes me think that “I’ll keep following Jesus even with an unbelieving spouse” is a very proud statement that underestimates our own weakness, and presumes upon God’s grace.

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