I recently saw the article far below from a Catholic source warning Catholics not to marry non-Catholics, which caused me to once again ponder the hardship of mixed-faith marriages.
My wife and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary last week and I’m so grateful the Lord has saved both of us and that we share the same blessed hope in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s difficult for me to imagine being married to an unbeliever, but I know many Christians do struggle with that circumstance. Young believers need to be warned of yoking with unbelievers in marriage.
In our current era, plurality, tolerance, inclusiveness, and relativism are exalted social principles and the church is not impervious. On a large scale, we see vital Biblical doctrines being set aside in the search for ecumenical false unity. Some evangelical pastors and para-church leaders are embracing Roman Catholicism as a Christian entity even though it teaches a fundamentally different gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.
On a smaller, personal scale, there are many young evangelical men and women who marry Roman Catholics thinking they are Christian because they also mention “faith,” “grace,” and “Jesus the Savior.” The current ecumenical climate encourages such reckless undiscernment, but after the wedding ceremony and honeymoon are over, the evangelical Christian soon realizes that they’re not on the “same page” spiritually as their spouse. They find that their Catholic husband or wife believes in the following anti-Biblical Catholic dogmas:
- Praying to Mary and the saints.
- Belief that bread wafers and wine are literally changed into Jesus during mass to be eaten by the congregants.
- Confession of sins to a priest.
- Belief in purgatory as a place to expiate all minor sins and any remaining temporal punishment for mortal sins.
- While there are MANY other differences, the most important difference is the belief held by Catholics that salvation is merited by receiving the sacraments and obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!).
The evangelical newlywed is surprised to discover that the Catholic (c)hristian who they married has never repented of their sin and trusted in Jesus Christ through faith alone and been spiritually born-again.
Again, I cannot imagine being partnered under the same roof for fifty or sixty years, facing all of life’s many challenges, with someone who might practice their legalistic religion, but who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone.
“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.’” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
To my Christian brothers and sisters who are married to an unbeliever and are reading this post, I know you’re praying for your spouse every day. I add my prayers to yours today, that the Lord will work in your spouse’s heart and show them their need for salvation in Christ. I pray for you, that you will continue to be a patient witness and example to your spouse of the great love of Christ Jesus.
Is it right for a Christian to date or marry a non-Christian?
What does it mean to be unequally yoked?
The long read: why Catholics shouldn’t marry non-Catholics