By Vivian Bricker, Crosswalk.com
Interdenominational dating isn't talked about as much as dating and marrying an unbeliever. While we know it is biblically inadvisable to marry an unbeliever, we are not told if it is okay to date or marry someone who is of a different denomination than us.
As an example, if a person is a Methodist, can they date or marry someone who is a Baptist? These are important questions that deserve answers and advice.
1. Date and Marry Christians
For all Christians, dating needs to be with the end goal of marriage in mind. It is not biblical to date around or to date many people at one time. Rather, if we date someone, we should date them with the viewpoint that this might be someone we want to marry one day.
As we think about this, we have to understand their faith system. If they are a believer just as you are a believer, then it is a marriage that honors God.
However, one raises the question of interdenominational dating and marriage. Since Methodists, Pentecostals, Baptists, and Presbyterians all hold the same view of salvation, it is perfectly okay to marry someone of a different denomination than yourself.
As long as you have an agreement on salvation, Jesus' divinity, and the Trinity, then it should be okay. It is important to remember that since you will have different beliefs surrounding practices and beliefs of sacraments, traditions, or other nonessential doctrines, there could be some disagreements or arguments.
Especially in the matter of a Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, or Pentecostal marrying a Catholic, there could be many problems. While there are Catholics who come to know Christ and place faith in Him, one cannot be dogmatic to say that all Catholics have placed faith in Christ.
This is because the Catholic religion in and of itself doesn't align with Protestant beliefs. If you are dating or considering marrying a Catholic, it is best to go over these things ahead of time and ask about their view of salvation, their testimony, and their core beliefs concerning their religion. This can help you determine if the person will be able to be a good match and a good life partner.
If you and your partner have too many disagreements concerning doctrines, salvation, or church traditions, it might not be a good match, and the best route to go might be to end the relationship.
Our ultimate relationship is with Christ, and we don't need to place anything as being more important than Him, including our partner. It is more important for us to obey God rather than to date someone who could lead us into false beliefs.
In the best-case scenario, you and your date or potential spouse should be able to work through any differences and respect each other and have different beliefs of nonessential doctrines of the Christian faith.
However, if you find that your date or your potential spouse doesn't have a proper view of salvation, hasn't placed faith in Christ, or doesn't care about their relationship with Christ, then it would be best to walk away from the relationship.
You should still pray for this person and share the gospel with them, yet you should stay away from any romantic relationships at the time.
The most important aspect of dating or marrying someone is to know they have accepted the Lord and now follow and obey Him. If they don't know the Lord or don't see the importance of obeying Him, it probably won't be a good match.
When it comes to various denominations, it can be hard since there are many different teachings being taught in their churches. You might find you and your date has much less in common than you originally thought.
2. Talk about Your Faith and Beliefs
This is why it is important to talk about your faith, beliefs, and your love for Christ within the first few dates. You don't want to keep staying with someone if you know you are not compatible with them.
Jesus always needs to be your top priority, not someone else. A person might belong to another denomination, yet they never even heard of Jesus being preached in their church.
If this is the case for your date or the person you are seeing, you should share the gospel with them and help them know Christ; however, as stated before, you probably need to distance yourself romantically from this person until they have a solid faith in Christ.
This is not to say it is impossible for two people of different denominations to get married because it isn't. It is just important to know that there will be problems, and it could impact your walk with Christ if you choose to continue to see this person or get married to them.
If you feel there is a strong bond and the person does love Christ despite having different liturgical practices than yourself, then know it is okay to date or marry this individual.
God desires for marriage to be between two believers; this means a man and a woman who both have placed their faith in Christ and follow Him. It doesn't matter which denomination you are a part of. As long as you are both believers, it is okay to date and get married.
While you might never have problems in your marriage surrounding theology or liturgical practices, you might also have times when you have arguments or quarrels surrounding your different beliefs within your own denominations.
Since denominations are different and vary in practice, there is room for disagreement. However, if you both respect each other and are willing to talk about your differences, your relationship should grow stronger.
3. Agree on Who the Lord Is
Therefore, it is perfectly fine to date someone of a different denomination as long as they have truly placed faith in Christ. Since all Christians belong to Christ, denominations shouldn't separate two people from getting married in the Lord.
It is also important to note that mixing Protestantism and Catholicism can become tricky. Catholicism has many different beliefs than Protestantism, and it is important to be aware of these differences. If you are already dating or married to a Catholic, make sure he or she has truly accepted Christ as their Savior and Lord.
If you are only dating them and they said they haven't placed faith in Jesus, it is best to step away from the relationship. However, if you are married to the individual, it is important to share the gospel in your actions and in your words.
Since you are already married to them, you don't need to get a divorce. Rather continue to make Christ known to your spouse who doesn't know the gospel. It is highly possible once you explain the situation to your spouse that, they will understand and choose to accept Jesus as their Savior.
It can be hard to be confrontational or bring up difficult issues, but it is important. What matters most is your relationship with Christ, and you need to ensure that nothing comes between you and the Savior.
Marriage is a beautiful thing as long as it is treated in the way God designed it. It can turn into a nightmare if the married couple are on two different pages. If you are considering marrying someone of a different denomination, pray to God and seek out His counsel.
He hears your prayers, and He will help you make the right decision. It may be hard to let someone go if that is where God leads; however, if God says no to the relationship, we can be assured it is not a good match for us.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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