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Excommunicate Non-Believer

My church said that if I marry my non-Christian fiancee I won't be allowed to fellowship or attend bible study anymore because I will be considered a non-believer. Is it biblical to "excommunicate" a member for marrying a non-Christian when both of us still want to attend church?

Moderator - Why are you disobeying the Word of God which states not be be unequally yoked - rebellion?

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Please head this word of advice from someone who has been here and done this--don't marry a non believer. Please. Long story--but to make it very short-I was out of the church-away from God doing my own thing and ended up getting remarried to a non believer. I am now back with God, back in the church and still with him and it is a struggle every single day! Your life will be struggle after struggle with this man. Maybe he will come to God-but what if he doesn't? Will he bring you down in your faith? Will Satan use him to get to you? Please don't marry him. It's just not worth it.
---cindy on 1/7/09

i think its great that your fiance is willing to attend church with you.
it would be entirely different if he was fiercely adamant against your beliefs.
- it seems like your church doesnt see the opportunity to preach the gospel and possibly bring your fiance to the place of salvation.
- excommunication doesnt look very good in the light of the admonition the church has to reconcile the sinner unto God.
---opalgal on 12/15/08

I think 1st Peter 3: 1-7 is very appropiate here. If your husband is an unbeliever live YOUR life in such a way as to show Christ to him and bring him to conversion.
Also I remind those who would make these hard ,fast judgements to re-read Matthew 7:1-3.
And lastly ,where IN SCRIPTURE did Jesus forbid any one from comeing to hear the word taught regardless of their spiritual condition?
---Mike on 11/24/08

It isn't Revelty that is wrong, but you and the Church who are wrong.
If it is a sin to marry a non-Christian why is Paul speaking on the matter not as a sin, but for hope of Salvation?

1 Cor 12-16 If any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she is willing to go on living with him, he should NOT DIVORCE her,....For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieveing wife is made holy throught the brother....For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband, or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

She should take this Passage to the Bible study. Plus, you the Moderator needs to be at the Bible study to debate it.
---Nicole on 9/21/08

This is for all of you...if the believer, puts GOD first in their life ABOVE all else I do not believe any of you have the right to judge.As we all know you all cannot possibly follow the Bible truly in you're own lives.Otherwise GOD would not have had, to send his one, and only son JESUS to die for ALL THE WORLD !!! the only commandment we are to follow is the one JESUS said on the cross before he died. Follow this one commandment.."LOVE YOUR ENEMIES AS YOU LOVE YOURSELVES, AND AS I HAVE LOVED YOU " !!
---jasmine on 9/19/08

I do not know of any church that has refused 'fellowship' to an unequally yoked couple but I do know of several where they have refused to let the marriage take place in their church. On one occasion the mother of the bride-to-be complained to me that her daughter could not marry in the church she attended because she was marrying someone who didn't believe.
---RitaH on 4/20/08

2. I shocked her by saying that the church was right. She (the mother) was a Catholic and I suspect that, if her daughter had also attended a Catholic church and wanted to marry a non-Catholic she would have got the same answer or he would have had to convert to Catholicism. The scripture DOES say, be ye not unequally yoked TO UNBLIEVERS. We should not encourage unequal yoking.
---RitaH on 4/20/08

I am amazed your "church" would not have given you scriptures and explanations if there was an ordinance against marriage as you describe. We should not marry outside of God. A Christian shouldn't marry a non-believer b u t, reading what Paul says would be your best help. Seek scriptural help and be cautious of a church that has someone simply tell you something is wrong without scriptural backup.
---mikefl on 4/19/08

Small point of order: the questioner referred to "fiancee" which is the feminine of "fiance", so if this was not a mistake, the questioner is a man thinking of taking an unbelieving wife. This is of course disobedient to God's Word. So why would you want to attend a church that teaches this?
---Ktisophilos on 8/1/07

Compare Co-ach's attitude with Romans 6:

"Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?"

There is simply no grounds for disobedience to God's clear instructions, just because some good might arise later in God's grace in spite of this disobedience.
---Ktisophilos on 8/1/07

Im glad to see that there are still some churches that follow their beliefs, but the replys I see are saying go to another church where you can worship together. Is he a christian or not, are you a christian and not just a member?
Have you thought that he may try to stop you from going to church? Maybe not today, but when it gets inconvenient. If you compromise here, where does compromise stop?
---Andrea on 8/1/07

Check out 1st Cor. 5 & 7, but also check out Matt. 18. A congregation may cut off fellowship, but I don't think your marriage or your churches actions are well advised, but I also wouldn't kick you out of my church.
---Gilbert on 8/1/07

When a church sets one out for lawless acts which he/she will not repent of, it is for the individuals potential restoration and the churches protection(a little leaven spoils the whole lump). I am not sure of the history here of what has transpired between you and your pastor. wheather he advised you to not date this man and subsequently not to marry him. However, He is the Pastor and His authority must be respected. It is HE who will justify it before God for the sake of YOUR soul.
---jodyj on 8/1/07

The church does not have the authority or right to ex-communicate anyone. All things should be done decently and in order, in the churches of God.
What I am most concerned about is your disobedience to God. Does this fiancee have more influence over you than God! Your fiancee attends church,that is ok, but he needs to give his life to Jesus. You are out of order. You need help, guidance and direction. Are you saved?
---Robyn on 8/1/07

Moderator has a very good point as usual. Why did you? Why did God let you? Are you sure that you are a true believer. Mabe not listening. If that is the case I would be nervous about the whole thing. WOW!
---catherine on 8/1/07

That is absolutely rediculous! They are 'casting stones'...what you decide is between God and yourself. We all have lived against His word and direction for us...that's why we are sinners. Praise God that he is almighty forgiving and loving tha we are saved by His grace. Go to another church.
---Hislove on 8/1/07

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Carla...maybe you are right that i think about it I was already saved before i met my wife, yea thats it i must have forgotten.
I do believe I would know better than you whether i was on the road to heaven or hell before i met my wife.
Drugs,alcohol,adultry,fornication,cursing GOD,hating life and everyone in it.....sounds like a Christian to me!!!
---co_ach on 7/4/07

The Bible tells us to love unbelievers and help lead them to JESUS if we refuse to associate with unbelievers how are they going to see JESUS in us????Unequally yoked means one is stronger than the other we(Christians)cannot be the weaker and should lead them down the path we are taking not follow the the path they are on!!!
---co_ach on 7/4/07

well if the guy u want to marry is willing to become a christian, i think he must change and to become a christian before u marry him or u cant change your mind later inthe sense that u cant divorce himm so it is better you work out things with him before you marry him
---michael_nsowaah_juni on 6/29/07

The church is trying to follow Mt 18:15-17 & Gal 5:9. But they should make room for contrition & repentance.

There are very practical reasons for not being unequally yoked, so that God will permit a parting if they cannot maintain peace - 1 Cor 7.

But if you have already been intimate then you should repent, marry & change churches.
---a_servant on 6/27/07

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Hey there Matthew
In this respect of a yoke going in the same direction it means working together for the same purpose and outcome, working toward the same goal. Are we as Christians not working or going in the same direction. We have the same meaning but different wording. Though her fiance is not saved as of yet he is in church and as I suggested to her keep praying for him and let the Lord guide her steps.
---evangelistjerry on 6/26/07

*Same thing with unequally yoked, it simply means that a Christian should not be living and following the same path as a non believer.*

It says we must not have fellowship or communion with unbelievrs. I consider marriage a fellowship and a communion.

14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
---Matthew on 6/26/07


One other thing Jerry. A yoke's main purpose was for two animals to connect their energy. Both the animals worked together as a team, becoming one force. I don't believe you got these ideas on your own. Whatever teacher you got them from is a false teacher, and I would run.
---Matthew on 6/26/07

co ach was more likely on the path of straight an narrow before he met wife he just didn't realise it. I am very close to some one that is mentally/physically drained by her non believing hubby to the point of exhaustion, Go a head I say and repent as she is at lesuire, not all have the faith to endure satan and his hosts! You can eventually end up giving up yourself, is that worth the sacrifice, You've never done it, so how would you know? The bible said DO NOT for a REASON!
---Carla5754 on 6/26/07

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First, why are you condidering marriage to a non-Christian? The Bible is very clear at this point. Second, it is WRONG for the church to lay a guilt trip on you by stating you are a non-believer if you marry a non-believer. While they may make you a non-member of that church, they can't effect your relationship with Christ. I would suggest you find a church where you won't be threaten if you don't let them control you.
---wivv on 6/24/07

Susie..before i could comment Jerry`s comment said it for me.
---co_ach on 6/23/07

I understand what your church is saying. If you do marry this non-Christian, you will be unequally yoked. If the church lets you to continue to go to chruch there along with your non-Christian husband, knowing your situation, they will be condoning your marriage. Which would be wrong in God's eyes because you're marrying a non-Christian. Remember if you are weak Christian, your fiancee will pull you down with him. If you are a strong Christian, you might be able to bring him to the Lord.
---Rebecca_D on 6/23/07

I must say that I think some people have misinterpreted the verse unequally yoked. Is not a yoke a band that keeps two animals going in the same direction. Same thing with unequally yoked, it simply means that a Christian should not be living and following the same path as a non believer.
---evangelistjerry on 6/22/07

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Also one good example is that our 76 year old clerk married and unbelieving husband but through prayer and the way she lived her husband came to know the Lord. I think that if you spouse to be is going to church keep praying and let the Lord guide your steps through prayer AND fastings.
---evangelistjerry on 6/22/07

john, I think you made an excellent point. Nowhere does the bible say to follow our hearts, in fact it says the heart is deceitful and wicked above all things. It is God's word we need to follow.
---maryj9396 on 6/22/07

coach....So, you disagree with the Bible which clearly states we are to avoid relationships in which we are unequally yoked?
---Susie on 6/22/07

Yes, co_ach . . . if a Christian marries an unbeliever, things CAN work out, later, so the unbeliever gets saved.

And we have plenty of cases in which unsaved spouses get "worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived", like Paul says unbelievers will do (2 Timothy 3:13).

Their loving behavior and charm act breaks down as they find out they're not getting what they want.
---Bill_bila5659 on 6/22/07

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The fact that you stated that you both wish to attend church negates that you would be unequally yoked. Unequally Yoked applies only to a Christian and a pagan. But I would personally be reluctant to associate my self with a church composed of unscriptural bigots. The fact that your prospective partner wish to attend services indicates she is open to prospective affiliation to some Christian community in the future.
---Phil_the_Elder on 6/22/07

Whoa!!!!!!......What am i hearing from all of you men and women of GOD.If GOD is in control of your life and you are truely "sold out" to GOD then being YOKED to a non-believer is going to cause the non-believer to travel down the path GOD takes you!!!!!!!!
If my little wife had thought as most of you do i would still be on a straight path directly to HELL.
Don`t forget that GOD is in control and HE can use any methods HE wants to!!!!Even one that you would never use!!!
---co_ach on 6/22/07

What's this "follow your heart" teaching? Jesus never taught that. He taught follow him and the word of God. Our heart is just full of emotionalism and makes mistakes all the time. Why would anyone follow that when God says to follow him?
---john on 6/21/07

The bible teaches that Christians should not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. It is more important that you follow what Christ teaches than worry about what your church thinks. I do not believe excommunication is the answer and if you do marry this person it will not make you a unbeliever, but the issue here is being obedient to the Word of God.
---maryj9396 on 6/21/07

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Omar if God wanted us to follow our hearts why did He give us His Written Word? Why did He warn us that our hearts are deceitful?
Our heart is so wicked we cannot know it. We must follow God's Word even when it is not comfortable to do so.
---Elder on 6/21/07

The problem here is not your church. It's you trying to do something you know that is wrong and now the church is going to be forced to make a rather unpopular decision that will obviously cause a lot of discord among the members. You could go to any church and cause a division with this. If you would do what God says you would not marry this person unless they were born again.
---john on 6/21/07

The church shouldn't be in the excommunicating business. The purpose of excommunicating is to eventually restore them. Read 1st and 2nd Cor. However, I would caution anyone about marrying a nonbeliever. I think it opens one up to heartache and a split household. How do you raise the children, etc. I would still consider someone who did marry an unbeliever as my brother/sister and would never seek to excommunicate. But, wise counsel is wise counsel. Contact me directly if you'd like more discussion.
---michael on 6/21/07

If, you are a "Christian", why would you want to marry someone, who is not a "Christian"?
---Ruby on 6/21/07

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In case you do not know this, our Apostle Paul has written,

"Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Also, I would consider that being ENGAGED to an unbeliever is also being unequally yoked. If you choose not to do what your church has for an agreement with its members, YOU have made this choice to go against your covenant with them.
---Bill_bila5659 on 6/21/07

I think Christ would want you to follow your heart. There are other places on this site that tell you not to go along with society, and if you read Christ's messages, he says the same. If you feel that your church is disrespecting your right to marry whom you choose, perhaps it is best to find a new church.
---Omar on 6/21/07

This is clearly and more Importantly a BIG Marital issue and one that 1Corinthians 7 explains will cause one to depart from the other. Use your common sense and see if it will not cause your children to be father less and YOU to be husbandless it's not worth the stupid gamble. satan ain't finished with your unbelief that God knows what he warns us against that same thing we go do. Just make sure that you have the Saint's prayed up when the storm blows.
---Carla5754 on 6/21/07

No, it is not Biblical to excommunicate a member because they marry a heathen. But, it is Biblical not to marry a heathen if you are a Christian. Who do you want to please? Man or God? God doesn't want you to marry a non-believer.
---Susie on 6/20/07

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You know I don't believe your church told you that.
Your church probably told you it is sin to marry a nonbeliever and you could be put out for that.
If you love this person enough to marry why are you not concerned about his/her soul?
Wait until they get Saved then marry.
Maybe you are both lost and need to be Saved together.
---Elder on 6/21/07

It would be scriptural for your church to remove you from membership if you yoked up with an unbeliever. It would not be scriptural for them to not allow you to come to meetings. Every sinner needs to be in church and hear the word of God so they can come to repentance. But the church is not supposed to have membership with unbelievers and neither should you.
---john on 6/21/07

If you love each other and have a plan to deal with your differences in faith (particularly for raising children), then an overly fundamentalist church shouldn't stop you from following your heart. There are other churches that will be happy to have you both join them to praise God together. They tell you that if you do this, you can't attend Bible study? This may be the impetus you need to break away from a group of people who do not have the love, acceptance and forgiveness of Jesus in their hearts.
---Carrie on 6/20/07

Excommunication is generally the last step in dealing with an unruly member who will NOT reform his/her life. It's still always understood as CONDITIONAL, with these or similar words, "in token that if s/he repent not, God will blot his/her name from the Book of Life."

But if everyone who entered into a mixed marriage were to be excommunicated, churches (even pop-evangelical ones) would be much smaller.
---Jack on 6/20/07

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