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Tola Odejayi
Oct 10, 2007, 10:27 PM
Most of us are familiar with mixed ethnic marriages (which are becoming increasingly common in urban areas), but it's less common to find mixed religious marriages.

I've been pondering this, and I'd like to throw out a few questions (seasoned with my observations):

Is this what you observe as well, i.e. do you agree that mixed religious marriages are less common?

If so, could the reason for this be that religions are much more formal in their disapproval of mixed marriages? I know of the ordinance in Islam which condemns an apostate to death, but surely it is possible for a Muslim to preserve her religion if married to a Christian (unless of course the Christian decides to invoke this passage (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Cor++6:14) and not marry her after all).

Is this disapproval of mixed marriages something that also exists between denominations of various religions, e.g. Pentecostals should not be married to Catholics?

Is it fair to say that a religious mixed couple who decide to get married after all will probably have a stronger marriage? After all, if they could decide to go ahead and marry in the face of adversity, then the love must be something else, no?

If you have come across a mixed couple, how have they managed to negotiate the differences in their world outlook, especially in matters like raising children? Is it no different from how an ethnically mixed couple does this? Or is it more difficult because religion can be more important to a person than his ethnicity?

Just as ethnically mixed marriages are hailed as a means of bringing about ethnic tolerance (by some), do you think that we should encourage religious mixed marriages as a way of strengthening religious tolerance?

As an incentive, any answer to these questions gets a gold-plated 'Thank You' from me. :D

Cheers,

Shoko

No Smoking
Oct 10, 2007, 11:43 PM
Nor be gold-plated incentive we want. Na dat kunu, ehn o.

Mixed marriages are laced with problems from the beginning to the end. The inter-racial problems linger as long as the communities involved wish to stretch it.

Inter-ethnic marriages tend to stabilise quickest, with more chances of success (barring internal conflicts).

The religious variety is a tough cookie. Usually, it comes with a strong demand from one group to have the intended spouse converted first, before the wedding can go-ahead. Pakistani and Nigerian muslims tend to impose this demand, plus wedding according to the muslim rites.

Coming to Christian inter-denominational marriages, take the high profile case of the Blairs of UK as an example. There's the strain of separate houses of worship, because the two faiths have certain differences blocking full integration. Tony is nearly completing his cross-over arrangements to the Catholic Church.

Make I go come. Abeg pass di kunu to emj to celebrate her thanksgiving.. :biggrin:

emj
Oct 11, 2007, 12:22 AM
If you have come across a mixed couple, how have they managed to negotiate the differences in their world outlook, especially in matters like raising children? Is it no different from how an ethnically mixed couple does this? Or is it more difficult because religion can be more important to a person than his ethnicity?

Just as ethnically mixed marriages are hailed as a means of bringing about ethnic tolerance (by some), do you think that we should encourage religious mixed marriages as a way of strengthening religious tolerance?

As an incentive, any answer to these questions gets a gold-plated 'Thank You' from me.

Cheers,

Hmmm......u don start again with ya mind exploring reasoning.....okay, come let us reason together, but sha dat ya incentive too small se u get.:cool:

Okay now......ethnically mixed marriages last longer than mixed religious marriages. I've seen a lady who is a Christian, married to a Moslem.....they are still together. They've learnt how to negotiate their way through, though the man insist than his kids shld not go to church with her, she's allowed to attend service. They pray together in the morning. He prays and she prays and both say amen. It's a difficult huddle, but they love each other to bits. She's learnt to respect him, and vice versa, but as an African man and Nigeria, he's the head of the home.

As per Pentecostal and Catholics, i see more of those too, cos one that is born again always feel that he or she will convert the other.....it takes the grace of God to do that.

As to mixed religious marriages curbing religious intolerance.....hmmm......don't know...religious intolerance runs deep in some parts of Nigeria se u get.

As per NS...No smoking's request to send the Kunu to me, don't mind him......he's one of those Nigerian Men stalking me on NVS, and i've reported him to ISL..........VQAS:eek::p

crimsonbabe
Oct 11, 2007, 01:39 AM
Most of us are familiar with mixed ethnic marriages (which are becoming increasingly common in urban areas), but it's less common to find mixed religious marriages.

I've been pondering this, and I'd like to throw out a few questions (seasoned with my observations):

Is this what you observe as well, i.e. do you agree that mixed religious marriages are less common?

If so, could the reason for this be that religions are much more formal in their disapproval of mixed marriages? I know of the ordinance in Islam which condemns an apostate to death, but surely it is possible for a Muslim to preserve her religion if married to a Christian (unless of course the Christian decides to invoke this passage (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Cor++6:14) and not marry her after all).

Is this disapproval of mixed marriages something that also exists between denominations of various religions, e.g. Pentecostals should not be married to Catholics?

Is it fair to say that a religious mixed couple who decide to get married after all will probably have a stronger marriage? After all, if they could decide to go ahead and marry in the face of adversity, then the love must be something else, no?

If you have come across a mixed couple, how have they managed to negotiate the differences in their world outlook, especially in matters like raising children? Is it no different from how an ethnically mixed couple does this? Or is it more difficult because religion can be more important to a person than his ethnicity?

Just as ethnically mixed marriages are hailed as a means of bringing about ethnic tolerance (by some), do you think that we should encourage religious mixed marriages as a way of strengthening religious tolerance?

As an incentive, any answer to these questions gets a gold-plated 'Thank You' from me. :D

Cheers,

Shoko

IMHO, mixed ethnicity marriages will be easier than inter-religion ones. My parents may ask me a few more questions than usual if I wanted to marry a guy from a different ethnicity but once they are satisfied that he's a good guy and I love him, they will be fine with my choices. Maybe because its not a big deal anymore. I have all sorts of cousins that are 1/2 this or that...

But the inter religious one is difficult sha.. who decides what religion the children follow, what about the family? I think a family that prays together stays together. So how do you pray as a family. I dont understand the one of everyone says their own prayer and then Amen.. For me, its important that all my children are brought up with the same strong christian values that I was given. Its a huge part of who I am today, the whole package thats CB. My sense of self is strongly linked with this belief system and my moral compass is fervently guided by this. That wouldnt work if my husband and I are not sympatico in that respect. I believe I owe it to my children to impart and share all and more than my parents shared with us... I dont know how else I can get this but I'm sure there are other ways but I can only use the tools iat my disposal and the man one is my faith...

As for the inter denominational marriages,, that is so a non-issue IMHO.. again maybe because its so common too.. I know so many mixed denomination e.g. catholic and anglican marriages that have worked for decades adn still working.. of course many, one person converts but still common enough where they maintain their faiths.. Funny enough many of the young couples I know that are mixed denomination dont even go to either now and are now pentecostal with their children..

My very good friend was born anglican and recently married a catholic in a nice catholic church in Nigeria and parents were happy (as per, I was brought up to say that you follow your husband to his church:D:p) but they both came back to the US and continued going to their pentecostal church.. and everyone is happy..

Having said all this.. I know inter denominational marriages are not easy too.. i personally know many Igbo catholic families that refused to let their daughter marry a non catholic boy but that is not as common as it used to be... We, the daughters have all open eyes:D and many are going against papa and mama.. This was happening to my cousin and after the 2nd guy that she was talking marriage with didnt work out becos her parents no gree for the non catholic thing, she was 32 and met this really nice bobo, who loved her to bits but who definitely wasnt catholic and her dad started the same old song and she just told her parents that they can choose to be a part or not of her wedding and while they were still deciding, she was gonna go ahead and start trying for a baby before her eggs dry up while waiting for a nice catholic boy.. went ahead, planned wedding, printed invitation.. and of course the parents came around:D.. Her mum is on he 2nd omugwo and the world didnt end:D

My $0.2
CB

ISL
Oct 11, 2007, 02:02 AM
I cannot possibly express in words how dear this topic is to my heart....

Tola Odejayi
Oct 11, 2007, 03:12 AM
No Smoking,

Nor be gold-plated incentive we want. Na dat kunu, ehn o.
As we speak, the boffins at Shoko Loko Labs (a fully incorporated subsidiary of MadIdeas plc) are working on the digitization of kunu as a top priority project. I'll keep you posted... :D

Now to the topic at hand:




Mixed marriages are laced with problems from the beginning to the end. The inter-racial problems linger as long as the communities involved wish to stretch it.
Can you expand on this? Are you talking about how different racial communities frown on mixed marriages? And assuming this is the case, does this imply that the problems with inter-religious marriages could also lie with the different communities and families as much as the couple themselves?




Inter-ethnic marriages tend to stabilise quickest, with more chances of success (barring internal conflicts).

The religious variety is a tough cookie. Usually, it comes with a strong demand from one group to have the intended spouse converted first, before the wedding can go-ahead. Pakistani and Nigerian muslims tend to impose this demand, plus wedding according to the muslim rites.
I've certainly heard of Christian women converting to marry Muslim men, especially where the man is very influential in society. I do wonder whether this conversion is more symbolic, to give the impression that the man can maintain an outwardly harmonious household, rather than because he wants them to be zealous about following Islam. So as long as she changes her name, dresses the part and shows up at important occasions at the mosque, everything is all right. But I may be wrong, and I hope someone can enlighten me.




Coming to Christian inter-denominational marriages, take the high profile case of the Blairs of UK as an example. There's the strain of separate houses of worship, because the two faiths have certain differences blocking full integration. Tony is nearly completing his cross-over arrangements to the Catholic Church.
I wasn't aware of this. I'm surprised, because I thought that British people were much more liberal in matters of religion. I guess it's all personal...



Emj,

Hmmm......u don start again with ya mind exploring reasoning.....okay, come let us reason together, but sha dat ya incentive too small se u get.
I know - but that's just the way I am. The day my access to knowledge and information is stopped, life will lose its meaning for me.




Okay now......ethnically mixed marriages last longer than mixed religious marriages. I've seen a lady who is a Christian, married to a Moslem.....they are still together. They've learnt how to negotiate their way through, though the man insist than his kids shld not go to church with her, she's allowed to attend service. They pray together in the morning. He prays and she prays and both say amen. It's a difficult huddle, but they love each other to bits. She's learnt to respect him, and vice versa, but as an African man and Nigeria, he's the head of the home.
I'm not sure many Christian women would be able to follow her example. I don't know what harm it would do to let the kids attend both mosque and church and make their minds up as they grow older - but I'm sure she probably finds a way of letting them know about her faith.




As per Pentecostal and Catholics, i see more of those too, cos one that is born again always feel that he or she will convert the other.....it takes the grace of God to do that.
I don't think that's a good attitude to enter the marriage with, especially if the converter finds out that they cannot easily convert the prospective convert, and ends up even irritating the prospective convert.



CrimsonBabe,

We will fight one day o! Have I not warned you about devaluing your opinion? Two cents my foot!

Anyway...

IMHO, mixed ethnicity marriages will be easier than inter-religion ones. My parents may ask me a few more questions than usual if I wanted to marry a guy from a different ethnicity but once they are satisfied that he's a good guy and I love him, they will be fine with my choices. Maybe because its not a big deal anymore. I have all sorts of cousins that are 1/2 this or that...

But the inter religious one is difficult sha.. who decides what religion the children follow, what about the family? I think a family that prays together stays together. So how do you pray as a family. I dont understand the one of everyone says their own prayer and then Amen.. For me, its important that all my children are brought up with the same strong christian values that I was given. Its a huge part of who I am today, the whole package thats CB. My sense of self is strongly linked with this belief system and my moral compass is fervently guided by this. That wouldnt work if my husband and I are not sympatico in that respect. I believe I owe it to my children to impart and share all and more than my parents shared with us... I dont know how else I can get this but I'm sure there are other ways but I can only use the tools iat my disposal and the man one is my faith...
So my suggestion of both parents imparting their values to the children wouldn't work in your case? Surely, it can only be good if they have the opportunity of comparing both religions and deciding which to choose... and if they choose yours, I believe they will be much fervent believers than if they were just made to believe by default, in so far as they made a conscious choice.

In fact, one thing that puzzles me is the way that a spouse of one faith wants to impose their faith on the other spouse. My thinking is that as a husband, I should find out my wife's goals, decide that they are not materially or emotionally injurious to her and then support her in those goals as much as I can. If those goals include being a good Muslim, then even if I am a Christian, I should still support her to the extent that it does not compromise my own faith. I mean, I could drive her to the mosque, I could show an interest in her activities... does that make me guilty of sin? I don't know. But actions are a much more powerful testimony that a million words, and it might make her more likely to end up believing what I believe.




As for the inter denominational marriages,, that is so a non-issue IMHO.. again maybe because its so common too.. I know so many mixed denomination e.g. catholic and anglican marriages that have worked for decades adn still working.. of course many, one person converts but still common enough where they maintain their faiths.. Funny enough many of the young couples I know that are mixed denomination dont even go to either now and are now pentecostal with their children..

My very good friend was born anglican and recently married a catholic in a nice catholic church in Nigeria and parents were happy (as per, I was brought up to say that you follow your husband to his church) but they both came back to the US and continued going to their pentecostal church.. and everyone is happy..
:lol: "Everyone is happy" as long as nobody knows what is happening in the States. It's interesting that the pressure to remain in the Catholic church seemed to come more from the family than the church.




Having said all this.. I know inter denominational marriages are not easy too.. i personally know many Igbo catholic families that refused to let their daughter marry a non catholic boy but that is not as common as it used to be... We, the daughters have all open eyes and many are going against papa and mama.. This was happening to my cousin and after the 2nd guy that she was talking marriage with didnt work out becos her parents no gree for the non catholic thing, she was 32 and met this really nice bobo, who loved her to bits but who definitely wasnt catholic and her dad started the same old song and she just told her parents that they can choose to be a part or not of her wedding and while they were still deciding, she was gonna go ahead and start trying for a baby before her eggs dry up while waiting for a nice catholic boy.. went ahead, planned wedding, printed invitation.. and of course the parents came around.. Her mum is on he 2nd omugwo and the world didnt end
:lol: :lol: I'll remember that tactic if I encounter any opposition marrying my Buddhist Korean ex-stripper girl friend!




I cannot possibly express in words how dear this topic is to my heart....
Please try, ISL - there's a gold-plated thanks in it for you :D

Cheers,

Shoko

No Smoking
Oct 11, 2007, 12:51 PM
Chei, Lunch time don run out on me.

@SLB
I still dey come.

@emj
Ehn, yu wan take me curry ISL favour, ko?? :rolleyes: :biggrin: :lol:

Myne Whitman
Oct 11, 2007, 01:16 PM
I think that mixed religious marriages are also less common than mixed ethnic marriages. The latter is so common while the former is another story altogether. This might be explained a bit by religions frowning more on mixed marriages, but also by the fact that in Nigeria, ethnic groups are more mixed up than religions. For instance, the percentage of Muslims to the total population in Kano will be a lot higher than the percentage of Yoruba in Lagos. I use these states cos they are both commercial centres and are the home states of the illustrative religion and ethnic group. In another example, while almost half of my extended family intermarried with other ethnic groups, only one of them married a Muslim. She converted and brought up her 2 children as Muslims. The condition for keeping them when the couple separated was that she remain a Muslim and she is almost a pariah in the family…

The disapproval against interdenominational marriages was stronger when it was virtually only the Roman Catholics and the Anglicans that held sway in the country. With the advent of Pentecostal churches, it is not as pervasive. It is still a factor though for parents who are entrenched in their churches with one title or the other and answerable to the Archbishop or even the Pope himself. LOL. However, most young people tend to get away with marrying outside the denominations since they attend Pentecostal churches already…

I knew this couple back in naija who had been married for just over 5 years, both in their thirties. The guy is a Yoruba Muslim while the wife is a calabar MFM Christian. For the time I knew them, it was love ‘nwantiti’ all the way. The man went to his mosque on Fridays and prayed as many times a day as he was supposed to. The wife went to church as many times as she wanted with their two daughters. They had a baby boy early last year and the cracks appeared. The man had agreed that the children will follow mum to church till they are old enough to make up their minds. Now he has changed his mind, it was time the girls started learning about islam and the boy will not even go to church (he was dedicated in church sha). The woman later said that she had thought to convert the guy who was not so serious when they met, had even come to church a few times. In the absence of that, to indoctrinate the children in church so they can never convert. Well they are still together and hopefully, that strong love will conquer all…

On whether religion is more important than ethnicity to an individual, or whether religious mixed marriages will lead to greater tolerance, I will leave that for another day. One thing I have to say about all mixed marriages is that they rarely happen in the enclaves of either the religious or ethnic chauvinists but in already cosmopolitan areas and as such, their impact is watered down…

No Smoking
Oct 11, 2007, 09:44 PM
Mixed marriages are laced with problems from the beginning to the end. The inter-racial problems linger as long as the communities involved wish to stretch it.


Can you expand on this? Are you talking about how different racial communities frown on mixed marriages? And assuming this is the case, does this imply that the problems with inter-religious marriages could also lie with the different communities and families as much as the couple themselves?

Yawa. Mulan contributed along that line, too. "Honour killings" are at the extreme end of such hostilities. A whole stretch of other minor discomforts can be expected, where the families and/or communities remain unrelenting.

Going back to some of Mulan's examples, you may find a young man born into a muslim family, but who has not taken up the tenets of the religion seriously himself. From his clubbing and general socialising, he lands a non-muslim GF. If the relationship grows either into a noble wedding or just a pregnancy out of wedlock, that's when the boy's muslim parents and elders swing into action, applying pressure on getting the GF and any proceeding infants into the muslim way.

Can anyone upgrade my memory about the Edewor man who married Abiola's daughter?? Did he get to covert to Islam? I followed their progression for sometime, but since lost track.

.bebi
Oct 11, 2007, 09:53 PM
I do not see inter-religious marriages becoming very common in a not too distant future,unless we r talking about lukewarm christians and muslims till they die.I have a cousin who is not a practicing christian,met,dated and eventually married a muslim.When they were dating,becoming a muslim was not even in de agenda.Dis guy used to buy her skimpy outfits and they painted the town red together.Fast forward to marriage in England and this same guy was now insisting on her covering even her face.Ofcourse the marriage did not work out for various reasons bordering on religion.
.About inter-denominational marriages, they r already getting very common but do they foster tolerance?Maybe, maybe not.Inter-ethnic marriages are common now and I believe soon,every family in Nigeria will have an Ahmed,Essien,Nnenna,Olawale and Esoghe and our dream of one Nigeria will come true.yipeeeeeee

Tola Odejayi
Oct 12, 2007, 12:27 AM
It's interesting that in all the religious mixed marriages that have been cited in stories so far, it's been a case of a Muslim man marrying a Christian woman. I wonder if it works the other way? No Smoking gave the example of the Edewor-Abiola marriage - I seem to recall that the man (Edewor) was asked to convert, but I somehow doubt if that marriage would have lasted long.

I think I agree with .Bebi (is the dot optional?) when she says that inter-religious marriages work better if both parties are relaxed about their faith. I wonder about the story she cited where the man did a 180 degree turn regarding his wife's adherence to Islam - perhaps it was community induced pressure that made him do this? Perhaps his people didn't care very much when his wife was just his girlfriend, but as soon as things became serious, they swung into action (as No Smoking has said they do)?

Of course, sometimes there may be an interplay of ethnicity and religion in the workability and tolerance in mixed marriages (something that I think Mulan has alluded to). For example, I think that a marriage between a Yoruba Christian marries a Yoruba Muslim is more likely to be stable than a marriage between a Hausa Muslim and a Hausa Christian. This is because there are large enough communities of both Yoruba Christians and Muslims that some intermixing and tolerance would have developed between the different religions. Of course, my theory can be tested to see what happens with other ethnic groups where there are large communities of different religions, and where there are groups with almost just one religion. Has anyone heard of an Igbo Muslim marrying an Igbo Christian, and how did that work out?

DoubleWahala
Oct 12, 2007, 07:22 PM
Interesting topic, Shoko.

I choose to focus on inter-denominational marriages because, it is more relevant to my immediate circumstance.

I'm Anglican. I was born into an ardent Christian (Anglican) home. My parents are both Christian Anglicans. My old man is even a knight of the church, but I digress....

However, I'm not a particularly serious or ardent Anglican Christian practioner...or a practioner of any other religious or spiritual faith, for that matter.

I met two Igbo women this year. One lives here in the US, while the other lives in England. They're both Catholic Christians.

After just about a month or so of interacting with the one who lives in the states, she, on her own volition, without any prodding or enquiries from me, bluntly told me that she could only think of having a full catholic wedding.

She also informed me that she would not be willing to bring up her kids in any other denomination, but the catholic faith....even if her husband is not catholic....no matter what her future husband may think of such an arrangement.

The one who lives in England was more subtle. I asked her pointedly about what she thought about inter-denominational marriages and its potential impact on the parents' decision on how to raise the kids along religious lines.

She 'hemmed and hawed' her way through, waffling all the way, without giving me a precise answer. Mind you, before then (on various occasions) she never hesitated to 'impress' her catholicism upon me. So, did a cat bite-off her tongue this time around?

I was really amused with both women. When I asked the first woman (resident in the U.S.) if it didn't matter to her that I am not catholic, or that I may have a different take on her stance, she muttered something about me not being a "serious" Christian, and implied that I should let the more religiously "serious" partner unilaterally decide whats best. I just smiled. As far as I was concerned, her position was a no-brainer for me. I just backed-off.

If from the get-go, she was so gung-ho about this sort of thing, then there was no point really. What ever happened to concepts like discussion, agreement and/or compromise?

Now, regarding the one in England...she appears smarter, but more convoluted than the other one. She failed to give me a categorical answer, even when it was clear that I considered her views on the issue to be quite important.

The irony of the whole thing is that I'm not particularly strident about my religous convictions. I believe in 'live and let live'. However, the moment my wife purports to make unilateral decisions, supposedly based on the fact that I'm not "serious" religiously, without consulting and/or reaching a compromise or agreement with me, then it means that that union is on shaky grounds.

In the final analyses, I think it is an issue that shouldn't be glossed over before going into marriage. It should be openly discussed and freely and willingly agreed upon, before taking the ultimate step.

DW

OverLoad
Oct 12, 2007, 08:05 PM
Its no longer a serious issue at all..used to be an issue back in them days in nigeria, but now things are fast changing.( As far as I know), especially for 9jans in diaspora.
Inter-denominational, Inter-Religious marriages work out 99% of the time again as far as i know...

Most Nigerians are more forgiving of Inter-Religious marriages than of Inter or Intra Ethnic Marriages.
If yur parents say ..."oh you can't marry him he belongs to the prebystain (sp) chruch..try saying to them, oh okay i will marry my hausa/yoruba/AA bf who is catholic and see how they will turn around and accept d first guy fast, saying at least hes a xtain and i know his family or can find out in the village"...sad........

Personally I think what matters most is your heart, how you treat ur fellow brothers and sisters,what your thoughts are towards the next person, (all of these ideally should be part of religion, but unfortunately, not always the case)..

I have a muslim friend that married a xtain guy and looking at them i guess love supercedes...and they are doing well....
Fine its good to agree in terms of faith but its not a necessary prerequisite for happy marriages.
Infact I think its good , cos you give your children the freedom to chose whatever path they please and help them develop tolerance for other religious sect.

And shuuuu....for ppl abroad, where dating pool is not as large as in 9ja...all dis 'list' ppl make up for marriage partners, they all disappear when they age...a womon who is 39 looking at 40 , even if she meets iron worshipper, she will pray on it rather than say its a NO-NO.....i guess as you grow older your list grows shorter.....

Ethnic marriages on the other hand are tougher...theres language barrier...depending on the family they might hate you , for not being one of their own and usually when you marry someone , you marry their family too, so that makes it harder.

Bottom Line its all about tolerance and above all , it all depends on the 2 ppl involved and how far they are willing to travel together in the same suit.

crimsonbabe
Oct 12, 2007, 08:24 PM
I'm very surprised to read DW and Overload posts above.

@DW

I am really surprised that these 2 girls were that particularly about whether or not you were catholic in 2007. Most Igbo girls I know are really not that particular abt the inter-denominational thing. I have various friends and relatives who are married anglican and married to catholics and vice versa (I use Anglican and Catholic becos there are the 2 orthodox christian sects that I am most familiar with)..

Maybe these girls have to been exposed by knowing others that inter-married or maybe they are very young..

@Overload

i guess its different strokes and all. becos I am of the extreme view to yours. IMHO, inter-ethnic marriages.. so very easy relative to inter -religious ones for me.. having said that, maybe it does depend on what ethnic group one is from in 9ja.. I would go as far as hazard a guess that if one is from an ethnic group with mixed religions.. muslims, christians etc.. chances are that its pretty common to have mixed religions in one family so as a christian marrying a muslim or vice versa.. of the same ethnicity, no problem since you may have cousins, aunts, uncles etc that are muslims.. but I would say for me, since I dont personally know any Igbo muslims (i have heard that there are a few.. but I dont know them), the chances are that if i marry a muslim, he would also be non-igbo..

My $0.2
CB

Amy
Oct 12, 2007, 09:20 PM
Hi SBL,

Very interesting topic, no doubt. I believe the concept of mixed religious marriage is what my 9 year old will call a dis-pa-ra-te! Any of the siblings that dares to make grammatical errors of any sort in the house gets a resounding "dis-pa-ra-te" yarn from her.

Anywaz, back to the topic. I just can't conceive the likelihood of marrying someone that does not share my basic spiritual beliefs because spirituality forms a huge part of who I am- my worldview, decision making, lifestyle and what have you. In fact, it was the number #1 consideration for me when I was single and ready to get involved in a serious relationship that will result in marriage.

As someone else said, mixed religious marriage can only make sense for two religiously uncommitted individuals, in which case they are actually "religiously" bonded in their unbelief, if you get my drift.

Marriage by it's very definition is a deep-sitted agreement or covenant between a man and a woman. Personally, I think one of it's foundational elements is a shared belief system or lack of the same.

Initially, blinded by infatuation, passion or loneliness, some couples that subscribe to divergent religious traditions/faith may seem to get along, but sooner than later, the disagreements, arguments and despairing feelings of alienation begin to surface and by then, it is too late to negotiate a common path for the relationship.

A recent incident readily comes to mind. A relative of ours called to discuss her marriage plans with me. When I found out he is a serious catholic while she is not, I asked her why that did not constitute a concern for her, given that she claimed to be a religious person. I mentioned children and how they will be raised; which set of beliefs they will be exposed to and so forth. At that point it dawned on me that she had managed to mentally block such considerations from her thought process in the bid to go ahead with the marriage at all cost. The best answer she could come up with was that she was a little confused but was trusting God that things will work out for them and maybe he will change his religious persuasions with time. At that point, I knew she was simply living in denial and was unprepared to look reality in the face and call it by it's name. Needless to say, they went ahead with the traditional rites but never got to the alter because the guy pummeled her a few times just months after she moved in with him. They just couldn't agree on any one issue. They are now separated and bitterly so, thanks to the lady's shortsightedness and other confounding veriables.

I have always believed that the recipe for staying happily married is to choose right from the get go. If religion plays an important role in ones life, marrying someone that is averse to such religious persuasions is a recipe for katakata in the marriage. It is almost guaranteed that conflicts will be ignited at every turn when the time comes for serious family decisions.

Furthermore, when the sore trials come, bible believing couples, for instance, tend to turn to God in prayer, fasting, studying the word and leaning on each other for comfort, encouragement and solace. If that common understanding does not exist, it will seem like a wedge exists between two people that should be walking in the same direction. In short, it is near impossible to build a spiritually solid home if one party is not inclined in that direction.

Conversely, if both parties do not have any serious religious inclinations and only consider religion to be a label, then they will be better disposed to explore other options in unison when the tough times come. Conflicts will certainly be minimal if their lack of commitment to a given set of religious beliefs is mutual.

Personally, I will not advise anyone to get involved in a mixed religious marriage, especially if one of them is a deeply religious person simply because it tends to be problematic as time rolls by and family decisions have to be made that could involve hinging such decisions on religious traditions.

Living a life of compromising your spiritual persuasions because you feel the need to cave in to your spouse's wishes must be very frustrating and disappointing. Life is too short to perpetually spend it living a lie that you know could have been avoided from the start. I will rather be married to someone from the remotest part of the planet than be unequally yoked with an unbeliever from my village in marriage. No game at all!

Besides, why would anyone intentionally want to stay hooked for life to someone that does not share his or her spiritual persuasions, if spirituality means anything to such a person? How will their discussions flow if they do not gel on that basic level? I have observed that Atheists, agnostics and others of no known spiritual persuasion tend to flow best with partners that are similarly unattached to any given set of religious ideals. Generally, I believe it will be difficult for two people to walk in the same path in life's journey if they disagree on a foundational(spiritual) level, IMHO.

Later o.

Exxcuzme
Oct 12, 2007, 09:33 PM
I have a sister who is a hardcore member, now of Redeem Church, and she is married to an Alhaji for over 25yrs now. She does her thing while he does his thing. The kids are not forced into any religion. However the boys are Muslims while the Girls gravitate toward Christianity.

In my house, no one tells you what religion to dabble in, though my Parents are Muslims but they did never tell us not to go to Church or Mosque (expecially Akara Saara). Growing up, I dabble in Christianity due to the pressure of evangelicals who would come to Mushin then to display horrible pictures of hells. Since I do not want to go to hell and mix with red people with horns depicted in their pics I will go to their church. The next night another denomination would come with their own pics saying if you dont join their church, you will go to hell. After so many of them, I got confused and stop going to Church all together. After high school I tried being a Muslim but the inability of learning the Quran, laziness of waking up in the middle of the night to pray and the inability of learning Arabic to pray made me fashe/left the religion.

When I decided to marry, I found most Naija girls that are christians have turned into fana as in fanatics. Apart from that, being a smart man that I am, I figure I could convince a Muslim woman that if I need to take a 2nd up to a 4th wife, if I so wish, therefore, I chose a Muslim woman instead. How smart is that? ughn?

Shoko, give me mine!
:D:D

Soul Sista
Oct 12, 2007, 10:06 PM
Personally, I cannot understand how two persons committed to their religions, two different religions, can be married to one another. But, my world view on this matter is deliberately limited. I would not support inter-religious marriage of any sort for reasons better expressed by Amy than I could hope to express myself. Marriage is tough enough without adding that extra layer of stress. But, to each his/her own.

Soul Sista a/k/a Soul Sizzling

DoubleWahala
Oct 12, 2007, 10:54 PM
Come to think of it, growing up in Lagos, most of my childhood friends were/are Yoruba.

I discovered that many-a-times, a friend's mom may be Xtian, while the dad is Moslem, or vice-versa. It did not affect their upbringing in any way. The kids, as they grew up, usually identified with one religion or the other.

As a matter of fact, I remember that such families even observed all the different religious ceremonies/holidays; Ileya, Xmas, etc. It was great fun, back in those days because, I happily partook of the 'double-celebration(s)', what with the endless 'chopping' and general 'jollof'. :)

I believe that historical facts/forces shaped this turn-of-events in south-western Nigeria. They, more than any other area of the country, have had a long and rich history of accomodating both faiths side-by-side.

For some reason, which I'm yet to fully understand, this long history of tolerance and acceptance of each others' religion (in the south-west) is dying out. Everywhere, folks are becoming more strident about their faiths and conviction, yet the country is decomposing at an even faster rate......an unfathomable contradiction, but I digress.

DW

oh baby
Oct 13, 2007, 03:01 PM
I don't subscribe to people of different faiths getting married,there are the kids to consider,that being said,hmmm,there are other things to take into pesperctive,both parties involved, do they respect each-other's beliefs?,not with outsiders telling them what to do.

One more thing, if the boy or girl did not meet anyone they are compatible with,or the girl's time clock is running out, no boyfriend at 40, someone comes along, that you reallly,really liked, educated, good manners, loves you, and what she aspires for in a partner, you will not do because of a different faith, i beg make una answer my question, cos there is someone in that shoes now, she played ball.

Tola Odejayi
Oct 13, 2007, 06:43 PM
So with the clear exception of OverLoad (and possibly Exxcuzme), everyone seems to feel that mixed religious marriages are difficult to sustain, and some (notably Amy and Soul Sista) would not even have considered entering into them.

I can understand Amy's argument that two zealous members of different faiths might find it hard to coexist. However, this is really only an issue if both faiths stress the need to maintain the purity of the faith by avoiding continuous and prolonged association with those of other faiths - something that is the case with Christianity and Islam, the two major religions in Nigeria.

As it happens, I believe that most people (Christian, Muslim and non-religious) have a broad agreement on what kinds of interpersonal behaviour are right and wrong, based on the ethic of reciprocity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethic_of_reciprocity). I think the differences between Christianity and Islam are mostly on doctrinal matters, like where to pray, how to pray, what spiritual beliefs to have, etc.

In fact, I think it is possible that a non-religious person could marry someone with a strong religious belief and the marriage could work. The proviso is that the non-believer should still be someone with a high ethical standard, and she should love the believer enough to respect his belief and even support him as he follows his faith. After all, we all take an active interest in the affairs of our loved ones, even though we may not participate in those affairs ourselves.

As to raising children, the believer could take them to his place of worship if he wanted, and the non-believer could simply put her point of view to the child and stress that it is just her point of view. As to raising the child, if as I said the non-believer has a strong sense of ethics, I can't really see the problem.

Amy
Oct 13, 2007, 08:42 PM
As it happens, I believe that most people (Christian, Muslim and non-religious) have a broad agreement on what kinds of interpersonal behavior are right and wrong, based on the ethic of reciprocity. I think the differences between Christianity and Islam are mostly on doctrinal matters, like where to pray, how to pray, what spiritual beliefs to have, etc.


I tend to believe based on the pivotal teachings of both belief systems that the differences run deeper than that. Even the standards of acceptability differ, so the two don't always mix if we stick to the elementary teachings of both religions. The prime example that aptly delineates the varied standards will be the concept of marriage in both religions. While Christianity sanctions Marriage as a sacred bond between ONE man and ONE woman, Islam permits a man to have as many as 4 LEGAL WIVES according to surah 4:3. If that fundamental difference is not sufficient proof of the radical difference in outlook that has the potential of igniting serious problems for couples from the two religious traditions, I wonder what could be more disparate.

A typical Christian will consider it immoral for her husband to bring other wives into their matrimonial home while the Muslim spouse will view it as standard practice, so marriage between two such individuals can be accident prone. Granted that there are Muslim men that by choice commit themselves to just one wife, it is difficult to tell from the start that the guy's vow to remain loyal to only one wife will not change when the storms of life arrive. e,g. childlessness! I personally think it is risky to toss out the fundamental differences that an aspiring so called Christian wishes to ignore in the bid to marry a Muslim for whatever reasons.


In fact, I think it is possible that a non-religious person could marry someone with a strong religious belief and the marriage could work. The proviso is that the non-believer should still be someone with a high ethical standard, and she should love the believer enough to respect his belief and even support him as he follows his faith. After all, we all take an active interest in the affairs of our loved ones, even though we may not participate in those affairs ourselves.

That it is possible under the conditions you have delineated goes without mentioning, however, it all depends on the authenticity of the religious party's devotion to Christian doctrines, for instance. If we are talking about a true believer in the teachings of Christ, then the internal conflicts and deep-seated sense of guilt that could stem from the commission of a deliberate act of wrongdoing in not heeding the bible teaching that prescribes that a christian should marry "only in the Lord" I corn7:39 may constitute an appreciable level of discontent in the marriage. I will personally hate to constantly feel I am living in disobedience to the teachings of the Master by binding myself in marriage to an unbeliever.

Furthermore, even if the unbelieving party is so special that he/she is willing to support the believing wife, I don't envisage that I will personally derive any joy from knowing that my best friend and husband is merely tolerating my beliefs, given the fact that deep down he will rather not hear the name of Christ mentioned around him. I like keeping it real and I see the scenario you painting turning me into a thoroughly depressed and melancholic wife because the joy of living with a true soul mate would have been taken from my heart.

I have friends and associates that are atheists and of other faiths. We flow remarkably well because I do not have to internalize our ideological differences or intellectual exchanges. I respect their personal persuasions just as they respect mine and we just get along on that impersonal level. When we are discussing marriage, I think it is the deepest level of union/intimacy possible and I personally don't think I will flow with someone that I know does not care for the spiritual precepts that mean everything to me. I will be living a lie to say I will marry a non-believer, no matter his uniqueness and level of maturity. If I am married to an individual I want to bond with the person first and foremost- spiritually, intellectually and emotionally, in that order. Anything short of that will constitute thorough vexation of spirit for me. I speak only for myself though.


As to raising children, the believer could take them to his place of worship if he wanted, and the non-believer could simply put her point of view to the child and stress that it is just her point of view. As to raising the child, if as I said the non-believer has a strong sense of ethics, I can't really see the problem.

Perhaps this whole discussion really brings to the fore what one considers as spirituality as opposed to mere religiosity. I tend to prefer the former and know that it is superior to merely going through the motions of attending a church service on Sundays or celebrating one set of religious holidays as opposed to another. Those are outward observances that really do not run that deep and if one party's claims to religiosity is on that outward level, then by all means, it will be no struggle living happily ever after with a decent 'moralistic' non-believer.

However, if the believing party's concept of spirituality involves a stubborn adherence to the teachings of the Master as a way of life on a per minute basis, then it will be difficult not to feel an emptiness and lack of fulfillment in having to be the only one admonishing the children in the ways of God.

Besides, you talked about both parents contributing in teaching morals to the kids. Well, I tend to see a potential source of confusion in one parent hinging moral instructions on the existence of a Supreme entity that has authorized a given set of laws and has the ability to reward the faithful while deploying punishment on offenders, while the other parent comes along and insists that morality is a matter of pragmatic reality and one does not necessarily need God to explain our perception of right and wrong. For older kids, such conflicting notions may be a welcome spiritual adventure but I tend to think it could confuse younger kids and perhaps compel them to doubt from an early stage in life rather than belief.

In the end, it is all about the believing party's level of spirituality. If the individual's faith is weak and she is really not interested in adhering strictly to the bible rules, for instance, then a decent unbeliever could very well be a fulfillment of her dreams. However, if she is seriously committed to the dictates of Christ, for instance, internal conflicts will trail such an individual for a long long time because it will be near impossible to truly feel like your unbelieving spouse is in every sense- the flesh of your flesh and the bone of your bone since both of you have no binding ties on a deep spiritual level. I think it is really all about depth. The deeper a believer is to the core teachings of Christianity, for instance, the more unlikely it is that such an individual will feel completely fulfilled in a mixed religious marriage with a person of no faith or a conflicting faith. To me, the very notion of mixed religious marriage is stress-inducing and life is too short for all that. It better suits individuals that are not that seriously committed to any faith in particular.

Later o.

No Smoking
Oct 13, 2007, 11:25 PM
I don't subscribe to people of different faiths getting married,there are the kids to consider,that being said,hmmm,there are other things to take into pesperctive,both parties involved, do they respect each-other's beliefs?,not with outsiders telling them what to do.

One more thing, if the boy or girl did not meet anyone they are compatible with,or the girl's time clock is running out, no boyfriend at 40, someone comes along, that you reallly,really liked, educated, good manners, loves you, and what she aspires for in a partner, you will not do because of a different faith, i beg make una answer my question, cos there is someone in that shoes now, she played ball.


Desperation should not be allowed to overthrow sound judgment. Neither marriage nor parenthood is a mark of a successful and/or satisfactory life. For any christian geeting into a panic over their clock running out, please remember the saying: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path".

Exxcuzme
Oct 13, 2007, 11:33 PM
When most people in Nigeria had food to eat, there was religion tolerant and you can see, especially in the SW people of different faith intermarrying successfully. Nowadays, as Fela would sing "Everything is Upside down!". There is no tolerance anymore. People of become fanatics...with no common sense.

Anike
Oct 14, 2007, 12:31 AM
I don't think it's safe for people enthusiastic about different religions to marry each other, just as I would not expect people with two opposing views on certain vital issues to inter-marry.

That being said, what matters to me is that the other party is Godly. I actually can't see myself being married to a person that is too religious (I don't wanna use the word fanatic), be it a Christian or a Muslim. Godliness I can't compromise.

BTW:
Has the Bible a position on polygamy? Also, I am always very curious about the reference to nonChristians as unbelievers by Christians. Unbelievers of/in what?

Alexa
Oct 14, 2007, 12:32 AM
Amy,I love your take on the matter.
Mixed religious marriages in Nigeria still have a long way to go.Personally,I won't marry someone who does not have Christ in his heart as his savior.What freaks people about me is not my christianity but my parents religion.I have become so relaxed about it that it doesn't even bother me anymore.For those who are christians(walking in Christ),there's no way you can be comfortable marrying an unbeliever except you have completely shut your mind to God's word.Two shouldn't walk together except they agree.The most important agreement should should be the spiritual agreement.It's suprising how much people downplay the importance of religion in a marriage.

lionking
Oct 14, 2007, 12:55 AM
I'm very surprised to read DW and Overload posts above.

@DW

I am really surprised that these 2 girls were that particularly about whether or not you were catholic in 2007. Most Igbo girls I know are really not that particular abt the inter-denominational thing. I have various friends and relatives who are married anglican and married to catholics and vice versa (I use Anglican and Catholic becos there are the 2 orthodox christian sects that I am most familiar with)..

Maybe these girls have to been exposed by knowing others that inter-married or maybe they are very young..

@Overload

i guess its different strokes and all. becos I am of the extreme view to yours. IMHO, inter-ethnic marriages.. so very easy relative to inter -religious ones for me.. having said that, maybe it does depend on what ethnic group one is from in 9ja.. I would go as far as hazard a guess that if one is from an ethnic group with mixed religions.. muslims, christians etc.. chances are that its pretty common to have mixed religions in one family so as a christian marrying a muslim or vice versa.. of the same ethnicity, no problem since you may have cousins, aunts, uncles etc that are muslims.. but I would say for me, since I dont personally know any Igbo muslims (i have heard that there are a few.. but I dont know them), the chances are that if i marry a muslim, he would also be non-igbo..

My $0.2
CB

@ CB

Most Igbo girls in diaspora may no longer be so particular about non-Catholic men because the harsh reality is that their options are limited compared with their Igbo sisters at home in naija. Come visit Igboland of today and you'll discover the age-old prejudice is still very much alive. Its a bit better in Lagos and Abuja and a lot also depends on the socio-economic strata of the families involved. But in general back in the East, the Catholic church is still doing its best to indoctrinate its adherents against marrying outside their church or even having anything to do with a non-Catholic. Not even to socialize. Even in politics it is there - Catholic vs Anglican is a major factor in Anambra politics for example.

I can tell you so many stories of experiences of friends of mine with Catholic ladies. Where do I start? With the one whose parents dragged him to the Catholic bishop to swear oath and sign undertaking that he would convert and agree to raise the yet unborn kids in the Catholic church before they would consent to his marying their daughter? Or the one that his mother-in-law would visit his house and be praying loudly for the souls of her 'pagan' grandchildren and 'pagan' SIL who attend Anglican church?

Or do I tell you how Catholic priests and parish leaders blackmail elderly women not to allow their daughters marry non-Catholics by excommunicating the women from Legion of Mary or any other of those their Catholic women's associations? In my town, you'll will see Catholic parents going on their knees to beg their daughters not to disgrace them by marrying non-Catholic. The parents are terrified of being expelled from their church societies and being denied honours in the church for allowing their daughter to be taken from the fold by 'pagans'.

The problem in Igboland is with the Catholic church in particular. They go to all lengths to discourage their adherents from marrying Protestants. They will insist that the couple must pledge to raise the kids as Catholics whether or not the man is Protestant. They will even insist that the man should convert to Catholic as the price of marrying his love. None of the Protestant churches do this - only the Catholics.

No Smoking
Oct 14, 2007, 01:12 AM
............
..............
BTW:
Has the Bible a position on polygamy? ........

This Bible reference (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20timothy%203:1-12;&version=64;) does not favor polygamy.

Alexa
Oct 14, 2007, 01:20 AM
No Smoking,it's not true that protestants don't do this.They do especially when it comes to marrying a catholic.The christians who intermarry with little difficulty are those in the pentecostal denominations.

Amy
Oct 14, 2007, 04:27 AM
I fail to see the substantive value of evoking the concept of religious tolerance in a discussion about mixed religious marriage choices and the potential spiritual dilemma that could come about as a result of bonding with someone that is unfavorably disposed to one's spiritual values.

By all means every rational person should endorse religious tolerance/diversity and welcome inter-faith understanding as an imperative on a general level. However, when we are talking about the spiritual bond between married couples, I see no sense in tolerating your spouse's convictions for the rest of your life if spiritual bonding is of optimal importance to you. It's about being in balance and catering to your mental health really!

Besides, there is nothing fanatical about having the presence of mind to pick a partner that will encourage the level of spiritual balance that you desire in your personal life and marriage. I call that common sense or practical wisdom!

Tolerating different faiths on a regular day is not nearly on the same par as tolerating your spouse's spirituality or lack of the same for the rest of your lives on this side of eternity. The reason for that is simple- more often than not a spiritual person's general outlook on life is informed by his/her belief system and it will be self-defeating, if not crippling, to ignore that vital factor when choosing a marriage partner. Same way a non-religious person's lack of attachment to any given set of religious values will reflect on such an individual's perspective on life's issues. It stands reason, therefore, for singles to properly assess the issue of spiritual compatibility before taking the leap of faith into matrimony.

Forever sounds like a pretty longgggggg time to be tolerating each other's divergent beliefs, lifestyles and practices. What's the point of all the stress anywaz?

@ Anike:

Polygamy is prohibited in the teachings of Christ. Matthew 19:4. God's original purpose was a union between one male(Adam) and one female(eve). Marriage was from the beginning God's idea and it is fundamentally a covenantal agreement between TWO partners for life.

Believers and unbelievers are the only two classes of people recognized in the new testament. The former refers to those who have repented of their sins and are consciously living according to the dictates of Christ. The later group consists of everyone else. References can be found in 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 7:14. My perspective as iterated on this thread is taken from the Christian perspective, so my reference to believers and unbelievers is from that vantage point. I guess a Muslim could press the same argument based on Islamic teachings. Each to his own, I guess.

Later o.

Tola Odejayi
Oct 14, 2007, 12:34 PM
I tend to believe based on the pivotal teachings of both belief systems that the differences run deeper than that. Even the standards of acceptability differ, so the two don't always mix if we stick to the elementary teachings of both religions. The prime example that aptly delineates the varied standards will be the concept of marriage in both religions. While Christianity sanctions Marriage as a sacred bond between ONE man and ONE woman, Islam permits a man to have as many as 4 LEGAL WIVES according to surah 4:3. If that fundamental difference is not sufficient proof of the radical difference in outlook that has the potential of igniting serious problems for couples from the two religious traditions, I wonder what could be more disparate.
Fair enough - but I did say 'broad agreement'. I can quote many examples where both Christianity and Islam do agree on how their adherents should relate to other people (do not steal, do not lie, do not commit adultery, etc.) - but let's not turn this thread into a debate on comparative religion. :)

However, I do understand that a Christian woman would have more of a guarantee of her husband not getting a second wife if his faith frowned upon such (even if he desired to do so, he might not want to face the wrath of God and the ostracism of his fellow believers)




That it is possible under the conditions you have delineated goes without mentioning, however, it all depends on the authenticity of the religious party's devotion to Christian doctrines, for instance. If we are talking about a true believer in the teachings of Christ, then the internal conflicts and deep-seated sense of guilt that could stem from the commission of a deliberate act of wrongdoing in not heeding the bible teaching that prescribes that a christian should marry "only in the Lord" I corn7:39 may constitute an appreciable level of discontent in the marriage. I will personally hate to constantly feel I am living in disobedience to the teachings of the Master by binding myself in marriage to an unbeliever.
Of course, we can argue as to whether that scripture is a commandment or a recommendation. The question is, why does it recommend this? I imagine that it would be recommended because of the desire not to see the Christian's spiritual life suffer by being 'unevenly yoked'. But as I said, if the unbelieving spouse actually does support the Christian in her spiritual life, surely there isn't a problem (unless you believe it is a commandment).




Furthermore, even if the unbelieving party is so special that he/she is willing to support the believing wife, I don't envisage that I will personally derive any joy from knowing that my best friend and husband is merely tolerating my beliefs, given the fact that deep down he will rather not hear the name of Christ mentioned around him. I like keeping it real and I see the scenario you painting turning me into a thoroughly depressed and melancholic wife because the joy of living with a true soul mate would have been taken from my heart.

I have friends and associates that are atheists and of other faiths. We flow remarkably well because I do not have to internalize our ideological differences or intellectual exchanges. I respect their personal persuasions just as they respect mine and we just get along on that impersonal level. When we are discussing marriage, I think it is the deepest level of union/intimacy possible and I personally don't think I will flow with someone that I know does not care for the spiritual precepts that mean everything to me. I will be living a lie to say I will marry a non-believer, no matter his uniqueness and level of maturity. If I am married to an individual I want to bond with the person first and foremost- spiritually, intellectually and emotionally, in that order. Anything short of that will constitute thorough vexation of spirit for me. I speak only for myself though.
Well Amy, the reality is that there are no two people on earth who are so identical that they share exactly the same beliefs, world views, prejudices, preferences, etc. This means there will always be the need for tolerance, as there will always be some aspects of a spouse that the other spouse may not like or agree with. However, the overriding thought in the tolerating spouse's mind should be "It makes her so happy to do this or say that, and I like seeing my spouse happy, so I'm happy to see her say this or do that".

In other words, the unbelieving spouse will be happy for the believing spouse to mention the name of Christ because he can see what it means to her and how happy it makes her. But of course, while this may work for some, it may not work for others - perhaps there are some who would also want the unbelieving spouse to feel the same kind of joy that they feel when they mention the name of Christ.




Besides, you talked about both parents contributing in teaching morals to the kids. Well, I tend to see a potential source of confusion in one parent hinging moral instructions on the existence of a Supreme entity that has authorized a given set of laws and has the ability to reward the faithful while deploying punishment on offenders, while the other parent comes along and insists that morality is a matter of pragmatic reality and one does not necessarily need God to explain our perception of right and wrong. For older kids, such conflicting notions may be a welcome spiritual adventure but I tend to think it could confuse younger kids and perhaps compel them to doubt from an early stage in life rather than belief.
Well, I don't believe that it will necessarily confuse children to have each parent explain what their different world beliefs are. I think it depends on whether both parents consider the issue a battleground where they are fighting for the minds of their children (which is what you imply when you talk about the unbeliever "insisting"), or whether they simply stated what they believed and left the child to make up his mind. The bigger issue is whether the parent's beliefs are so different that it creates problems when deciding what exactly the child's behaviour should be, i.e. is allowed to do and not to do. As I said before, if the unbeliever has a high ethical standard, there may not be that much of a problem. But I understand that this arrangement may not be comfortable with believing spouses who want a united front when bringing up their children.




If [an individual] is seriously committed to the dictates of Christ, for instance, internal conflicts will trail such an individual for a long long time because it will be near impossible to truly feel like your unbelieving spouse is in every sense- the flesh of your flesh and the bone of your bone since both of you have no binding ties on a deep spiritual level.
The bolded bit puzzled me - this may well be true, but is it sinful to feel this way? Or do you believe that it will make the believer unhappy in the marriage?



Anike,

I'm curious - when does someone cross over from being 'godly' to being 'fanatical'? Please enlighten this unbeliever. :)

Soul Sista
Oct 14, 2007, 02:25 PM
I fail to see the substantive value of evoking the concept of religious tolerance in a discussion about mixed religious marriage choices and the potential spiritual dilemma that could come about as a result of bonding with someone that is unfavorably disposed to one's spiritual values.

By all means every rational person should endorse religious tolerance/diversity and welcome inter-faith understanding as an imperative on a general level. However, when we are talking about the spiritual bond between married couples, I see no sense in tolerating your spouse's convictions for the rest of your life if spiritual bonding is of optimal importance to you. It's about being in balance and catering to your mental health really!

Besides, there is nothing fanatical about having the presence of mind to pick a partner that will encourage the level of spiritual balance that you desire in your personal life and marriage. I call that common sense or practical wisdom!

Tolerating different faiths on a regular day is not nearly on the same par as tolerating your spouse's spirituality or lack of the same for the rest of your lives on this side of eternity. The reason for that is simple- more often than not a spiritual person's general outlook on life is informed by his/her belief system and it will be self-defeating, if not crippling, to ignore that vital factor when choosing a marriage partner. Same way a non-religious person's lack of attachment to any given set of religious values will reflect on such an individual's perspective on life's issues. It stands reason, therefore, for singles to properly assess the issue of spiritual compatibility before taking the leap of faith into matrimony.

Forever sounds like a pretty longgggggg time to be tolerating each other's divergent beliefs, lifestyles and practices. What's the point of all the stress anywaz?

@ Anike:

Polygamy is prohibited in the teachings of Christ. Matthew 19:4. God's original purpose was a union between one male(Adam) and one female(eve). Marriage was from the beginning God's idea and it is fundamentally a covenantal agreement between TWO partners for life.

Believers and unbelievers are the only two classes of people recognized in the new testament. The former refers to those who have repented of their sins and are consciously living according to the dictates of Christ. The later group consists of everyone else. References can be found in 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 7:14. My perspective as iterated on this thread is taken from the Christian perspective, so my reference to believers and unbelievers is from that vantage point. I guess a Muslim could press the same argument based on Islamic teachings. Each to his own, I guess.

Later o.


Amy:

In an earlier post, you stated that you spoke for yourself. Well, you speak for me as well. Thanks for putting these our views across so clearly, succintly, and without the least offence.

I have heard the religious tolerance point of view many times in discussions of this issue with friends. I don't see why I should tolerate such a fundamental difference in my spouse. There is no yoking together that is greater than the yoke of marriage. Why would I want to tolerate such a divergence in something that is so fundamental to me? In marriage, the two shall become one . . . in everything. It is a completely different thing with ordinary or even close friends, colleagues and people that do not share the level of intimacy and companionship that a husband and wife have.

My 2Cents.

Oh Baby:

I know someone who refused to date a person who would otherwise have fulfilled all her criteria because he was not of the same religion. She was 35 at the time. It was painful but she is happy that she made the right choice.

I believe that with God all things are possible. I also believe that delayed marriage is not denied marriage. Therefore, age ain't nothing but a number. So, I won't advise any friend of mine to allow the fear of lonliness or the biological clock to cause her to ignore this, in my opinion, fundamental issue in marriage. The worst thing is to wait so long to get married only to realize that you have jumped from the society's frying pan to a private fire in your home.

Of course, I won't impose my view on anyone, friend or foe. I think it depends on the individual and commitment to the religion.


Soul Sista a/k/a Soul Sizzling

Tola Odejayi
Oct 14, 2007, 04:34 PM
Amy,

I just saw this in one of your previous posts:


Besides, there is nothing fanatical about having the presence of mind to pick a partner that will encourage the level of spiritual balance that you desire in your personal life and marriage. I call that common sense or practical wisdom!

Even though my hypothetical non-believer might attempt to offer such encouragement, the reality is that such encouragement won't be as effective as the encouragement offered by the believer. This is because the believer's knowledge would be backed up by experience living the faith and knowledge of the faith.

So I guess that iron really should be left to sharpen iron. :)

naijafulani
Oct 14, 2007, 04:36 PM
Some can't live with mixed religious marriages, others can. When a sophisticated lady meets an equally sophisticated man, sometimes religion becomes less important.My friend is married to a Christian woman, and he is Muslim. The union is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. The guys are growing up to be Muslims and the gals Christians.I am not sure it matters when you love your girlfriend beyond religion.I do know that's not the case in other people's reality, many just can't compromise their faith, it is what they are. I think that equally makes sense, it balls down to how far can you go for the other person.

Fjord
Oct 14, 2007, 05:17 PM
In fact, I think it is possible that a non-religious person could marry someone with a strong religious belief and the marriage could work. The proviso is that the non-believer should still be someone with a high ethical standard, and she should love the believer enough to respect his belief and even support him as he follows his faith. After all, we all take an active interest in the affairs of our loved ones, even though we may not participate in those affairs ourselves.

As to raising children, the believer could take them to his place of worship if he wanted, and the non-believer could simply put her point of view to the child and stress that it is just her point of view. As to raising the child, if as I said the non-believer has a strong sense of ethics, I can't really see the problem.

Shoko,

this description, in general, fits the many examples of marriages like this that have worked, and are working. What makes what you describe above uncommon is that the disposition requires people of more than average general and emotional experience; usually, these are also the sort of people who wouldn't get married in the circumstances in the first place. One addition: the believer would need to not make a duty to convert the non-believer; this takes a certain 'sophistication' in a believer, since many believers are known to consider those who don't share their faith as being of an 'outside group', meaning, essentially: 'I am right, you are wrong; ultimately, you'll be dead'.
.

Anike
Oct 14, 2007, 06:10 PM
Believers and unbelievers are the only two classes of people recognized in the new testament. The former refers to those who have repented of their sins and are consciously living according to the dictates of Christ. The later group consists of everyone else. References can be found in 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 7:14.Amy,

So, if a nonChristian lives a life that happens to be in accordance with the dictates of Christ, would s/he still be an unbeliever?


Anike,

I'm curious - when does someone cross over from being 'godly' to being 'fanatical'? Please enlighten this unbeliever. :)

SLB,

When a person's focus shifts from pleasing God to demanding that everyone else please God his own way, I think the person is leaning towards extremism.

Godliness:

Doing things that will please God/being committed to pleasing God at all times. I think loving everyone around you just as much as you do yourself is the root of all that God asks of us, and if you love God, you'd do what he asks. I think if/when you love other people, all the commandments as taught by religion will be second nature.

Fanaticism:

[Religious] arrogance. When religion becomes more important than Godliness. A form of idolatry, imo. "If you don't serve God the way I do, then you are serving a mini-god. Your righteousness is equivalent to my unrighteousness. If you were [un]fortunate to be born into a Muslim, an Eckankar, a .... home, you have to convert to my religion before you have a right to call yourself a child of God." To me, at the root of these sentiments is a desire to commandeer others' minds. A power struggle, if you will. At times, some people actually refuse to treat other people with love, under the guise that those people are not of the same religion as they are. These people, imo, are fanatics.


No Smoking and Amy
Re: Christianity and Polygamy.

Thanks. I have heard the story of King Solomon and his numerous wives, and how he was/is greatly favored in God's eye. Confusing!! What is the spiritual significance of being married to one or more people. I am averse to it, but I really don't know how polygamy takes away from a person's spirituality, granted that everyone involved is okay with it.
My .5 pence.

Amy
Oct 14, 2007, 06:36 PM
Amy,

I just saw this in one of your previous posts:



Even though my hypothetical non-believer might attempt to offer such encouragement, the reality is that such encouragement won't be as effective as the encouragement offered by the believer. This is because the believer's knowledge would be backed up by experience living the faith and knowledge of the faith.

So I guess that iron really should be left to sharpen iron. :)

Bull's eye, Bros mi...!

The highlighted line sums it all up succinctly.

By the way, for a self-professing unbeliever:), you seem to know quite a few verses of scripture. I guess useful insights can be gained from wise sayings regardless of their origins. I enjoy reading Buddhist literature for the same reason.

Later o!

@ Anike,

The laws of God were seriously abused in the old testament dispensation. Christ came to correct that and his injunction is one man/one wife and no more! Christianity is fundamentally hinged on the tenets of faith as presented by Christ in the new testament.

Hope that helps a little. Take care.

Anike
Oct 14, 2007, 07:32 PM
Christ came to correct that and his injunction is one man/one wife and no more! Christianity is fundamentally hinged on the tenets of faith as presented by Christ in the new testament.

Hope that helps a little. Take care.

Thanks Amy.

The word of God is unchanging. God is unchanging. If Solomon was held in high esteem by God BC, I think a Solomon after the birth of Christ would have still been held in high regard. If Solomon was one of those who abused the laws of God, I wonder on what grounds he became highly favored above others.


The laws of God were seriously abused in the old testament dispensation.
Would it then be right to say that, before the birth of Christ, not everyone who lived did so in sin? However, because a large percentage of people did, Christ came to be a living example of how to live. Would this not mean that if a person walks in this path without necessarily falling under the religious label Christianity, s/he is considered by God to be righteous?

I once asked my sister this question, and here is her answer "It is important to fellowship with people who share your belief to encourage yourselves to continue to walk in the light". I agree with this, but I wish she'd understand that that exactly is my point. Religion is really a social thing that is not necessarily bad if people will just stop imposing their religious group on others. This, I think, is why, even in the Christendom, we have several groups competing for dominance.

Folks in a church don't always have a common outlook on things, I don't think. Several times, I would complain about something my then pastor or a deacon[ess]/brother/sister in church did that I thought was wrong, and I would get a response similar to this "just do your part and let God be the judge". Why do we continue to fellowship with each other then because this, imo, defeats the "fellowshipping with co-believers" phrase?

When I was a Catholic, other Christians said I was not Christian enough. My church members said I had to bow to these images of heavenly people. My church's Father, when asked why, pretty much said I just had to do it because the doctrine says so. I did for a while, but I felt so guilty each time I did. When I became a Protestant, some other Christians thought I was too hip for a Christian. My aunt said that, as a Christian, I am not supposed to wear jewelries. I am supposed to cover my crown. When I asked her why she wears wrist watches... listen to this.. "she said it is not gold" (she is not stupid, she just knew she had no point on that score but still had to save face. I am sure had she worn a gold watch that day she'd have said "it's not leather"). That's when I knew she needed salvation more than I did. Overtime, I had had it and I just said "please, give me God and keep the rest".

Anyway,

O ye olohun.

SLB,

How does this relate to your question on intermarriages? Beats me! No vex. At least I stated my position before attempting to derail the thread.:)

katampe
Oct 14, 2007, 07:55 PM
What is the truth and who speaks it ? Everyone is marketing his/her own version of the truth. Only God knows what is right.But, isn't it right to at least ask questions? I think folks should bring up their kids to do just that and make up their minds and not pass their own version of truth from generation to generation.

Reading through this thread and the way folks speak with so much conviction on issues beyond everyone is amazing. It is just the way of the world, lies, and then damn lies!

Fjord
Oct 14, 2007, 08:19 PM
So, if a nonChristian lives a life that happens to be in accordance with the dictates of Christ, would s/he still be an unbeliever?

Exactly the sort of question that should expose fundamentalists of any hue, when the question is made a general one. It could get more interesting: "If a fellow who live sin North Korea and hasn't ever heard of Jesus the Christ but happens to live a life in accordance with the dictates of Christ..."

The answer's blowing in the wind, and God and Jesus the Christ are smiling too.

.

No Smoking
Oct 14, 2007, 08:27 PM
The word of God is unchanging. God is unchanging. If Solomon was held in high esteem by God BC, I think a Solomon after the birth of Christ would have still been held in high regard. If Solomon was one of those who abused the laws of God, I wonder on what grounds he became highly favored above others.

Solomon's life may have seemed to be so successful and enjoyable. But the guy himself described it this way in Eccl 2:7-11:

7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.

8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well— the delights of the heart of man.

9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

10I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labour.

11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.

.bebi
Oct 14, 2007, 10:33 PM
2 Corinthians 6:16 (The Message)
14-18Don't become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That's not partnership; that's war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God's holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives.

If my faith means so much to me(it does really),then why would I compromise on it?

Lymbic3
Oct 15, 2007, 02:53 AM
SLB: Trust you to come up with a thread like this :D I very much like the manner in which this thread has taken shape. There's a lot of truth to be garnerd from the various imputs. One thing the various contributions highlight and allude to, is the fact that we must all look before we leap!!!

If we all have a set of guidelines to aid us in choosing our life partners, then there will be hopefully, less reason for splits, divorce or breakups. Making a conscious choice as to what you consider important in a relationship and your life partner, goes a long way to ensure the longevity of the relationship. Whatever the basis of your guidelines or choice criteria for a partner, are yours and not mine. No one should influence the reasoning behind your choice of a partner other than your preferences, desires, aspirations, inclinations or beliefs. These are yours, not mine or anyone else's!

The saying goes, as you make your bed so also will you lie on it. I say, any which way you choose to make your bed, if you are happy with it, then please go ahead and lie on it, no questions asked.

Bottomline: different strokes for differnt folks. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa.

Amy: Highlights the fact that the Bible frowns upon polygamy while the Muslim faith embraces it. I beg to differ! Just as the Bible is subject to misinterpretation, so also is the Koran. Some Muslim scholars have pointed out (which I also agree with) that there is a clause before a Muslim can marry more than one wife; the ability to love them all equally Most Muslims take this to mean that if they can provide material wealth equally to each wife they have fulfilled the clause.

Tell me, is there any man alive that can love two women equally? Tell me when you find such a man, when you do, you would have found God.

The issue of believer/non-believer is applicable to all and sundry, if put into proper context. If I believe in swinging as part of my lifestyle, I would very well do well to ensure my partner shares or is willing to share same. Anyone who falls outside my "belief system" or lifestyle would be an "unbeliever" period. So within the context of Christianity, an "unbeliver" would be someone who does not share my beliefs.

Having said that, Anike has raised some valid points:


The word of God is unchanging. God is unchanging. If Solomon was held in high esteem by God BC, I think a Solomon after the birth of Christ would have still been held in high regard. If Solomon was one of those who abused the laws of God, I wonder on what grounds he became highly favored above others.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy
The laws of God were seriously abused in the old testament dispensation.

Would it then be right to say that, before the birth of Christ, not everyone who lived did so in sin? However, because a large percentage of people did, Christ came to be a living example of how to live. Would this not mean that if a person walks in this path without necessarily falling under the religious label Christianity, s/he is considered by God to be righteous?

Where there is no law there is no sin. Abraham was called the friend of God, but he he had more than one wife and he was a liar. Solomon was no different. Before Christ there was no law condemning such actions, such that God is able to attribute good qualities to such individuals based on what obtained during their time. Fast forward to the present, I believe that anyone who lives a "godly life" based on one simple precept/commandment: "Love ye one another, as I have loved you", regardless of stepping their foot inside a Church, will be considered foremost by God before anyone else who purports to be a "believer" or "born again" who is hard-hearted, unforgiving and judgemental.

There is a significance to everything in the Bible. The two thieves that were crucified to the left and right hand side of Christ, (LHS) signify that from the time of creation to the coming of Christ, there has never been a righteous man in existence, and from the (RHS) time of Christ till eternity, there will never be any righteous man, but we are saved by grace, as indicated by the "enlightened" thief.

God is not interested in religious behaviour as he is interested in our way of life. It would be arrogant to assume that non-believers are not saved or will be saved sometime in the future. Only God knows wrong from right, good from bad. We can only assume to know.

Did God not create the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Did he not create this before Adam and Eve? Did he not know the consequences of this creation? Since God created evil can we not assume that he has a purpose for it? Many things we call evil or bad, how do we/you know that these are not the will of God and therefore good? How do you qualify what is evil if you don't know the will of God, since we attribute most things we consider evil works of the devil? Isaiah 45: 5 -7 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2045:%205%20-%207;&version=9;), 1 Samuel 2: 6 - 8 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20samuel%202:%206%20-%208;&version=9;), 1 1 Samuel 16: 14 -15 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20samuel%2016:%2014%20-%2015;&version=9;), 1 Samuel 18: 10 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20samuel%2018:%2010;&version=9;) and Romans 9: 9 - 20 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%209:%209%20-%2020;&version=9;)


Based on the insightful thinking of Anike, it's quite easy to see how "believers" and "born agains" very easily fall short of the standards they hold so dear. In declaring that you will have nothing to do with an unbeliever, are you not indirectly condemning someone else? When you claim the moral high ground, are you not saying you are better than others? Would these not be considered sins of pride and judging others? Taking it a step further, (for those who love "spreading the Word"), if you have been preaching to a particular person for a while and you can seem to make any headway with the person, why conclude the person is "lost" or "has refused to accept Christ into their lives"?

The misconception is that you the believer made a conscious choice and chose to "follow Christ". Nobody chooses God! He calls and chooses us, highlighting the topic on predestination.
John 6: 44 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%206:%2044;&version=9;),
John 15:16 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%2015:16;&version=9;), Romans 8: 27 - 30 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%208:%2027%20-%2030;&version=9;)

Ultimately, for those who subscribe to a higher purpose/being, if you allow yourself to be guided by the Spirit of God and not dogma, you will find that you might be lead into a relationship with a non-believer and win him/her over by your way of life and not your words or intention to "convert".

Alexa
Oct 15, 2007, 03:00 AM
Too much preaching but still the same bottomline.

lionking
Oct 15, 2007, 05:05 AM
SLB, thanks for this your thread which is evoking the deep seated prejudices that lies beneath the surface of much of what passes for Christianity among Nigerians today especially of the Pentecostal variety.

I have come to believe for quite a while now that Nigeria is as much in danger of Christian fundamentalists as the Muslim extremists whom many of us have been schooled to fear and abhor. There are many among Nigeria's Christians whose worldview does not differ from that of the Muslim extremists - it may be that they do not yet have occasion to exhibit their extremist tendencies.

We are slowly getting there. In many parts of the southeast today, there is great danger to life and property in publicly proclaiming your adherence to agnosticism or traditional religious beliefs. There are even Christian vigilante squads which go around villages witchhunting traditionalists, torturing them, stripping and parading them naked in the market square, seizing their properties, burning their houses etc on the excuse that the traditionalists are all involved in ritual murders and that they are responsible for all deaths and other travails in the community plus the individual personal failures of members of the community.

Amy
Oct 15, 2007, 04:13 PM
Amy[/B]: Highlights the fact that the Bible frowns upon polygamy while the Muslim faith embraces it. I beg to differ! Just as the Bible is subject to misinterpretation, so also is the Koran. Some Muslim scholars have pointed out (which I also agree with) that there is a clause before a Muslim can marry more than one wife; the ability to love them all equally Most Muslims take this to mean that if they can provide material wealth equally to each wife they have fulfilled the clause.

Tell me, is there any man alive that can love two women equally? Tell me when you find such a man, when you do, you would have found God.


Hi Lymbic3:

What really is your point? That Muslims are not allowed to marry four wives or that they can't love all equally? I believe my limited assertion borders on the former and is abundantly evidenced by the fact that an overwhelming majority of polygamists in the world today are practicing Muslims. I don't know of any Muslim that will dare to contradict my basic assertion, given that it is contained in the holy Koran.

The rest of your diatribe is really besides the point I was making.



Fast forward to the present, I believe that anyone who lives a "godly life" based on one simple precept/commandment: "Love ye one another, as I have loved you", regardless of stepping their foot inside a Church, will be considered foremost by God before anyone else who purports to be a "believer" or "born again" who is hard-hearted, unforgiving and judgemental.

Both of our opinions are just that opinions and make no significant difference to the elementary tenets of Christ's teachings as contained the new testament. We can not kick against the bricks and only do so to our own peril. All that counts is what is WRITTEN in the pages of the new testament and expressly detailed as God's plan of salvation and not our various preferences as to what the rules ought to be! God need not consult any of us or present His positions before a focus group before they can be confirmed as binding rules. What's God's plan of salvation and not yours/mine is the relevant question to ask. From the holy scriptures-

Jesus answered and said unto him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Jn 3:3.

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.

"And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:30-31.

My friend, the scriptures declare that all our righteousness are like filthy rags in the Lord's sight. It is only by the enablement of the Holy spirit that believers are able to stay in right standing with God. It is not by works of righteousness but by His enabling Spirit that resides in those who believe that salvation is guaranteed. We can argue all we care but God has set HIS standards according to Christian doctrines and that settles it.

Besides, bringing in an extreme example such as a hard hearted born again is an attempt at obfuscation. First of all, no one living according to the dictates of Christ can be hard-hearted and unforgiving, so even the notion of hard-hearted, unforgiving and judgmental born-again is an anomaly because no one can truly say that they are living in accordance with the new testament and reflect all those dispicable vices you mentioned. Let's keep the discussion real and not bring in extraneous conditions to undermine the facts.

I do not believe in denominationalism because there are no denominations in the new testament. The body of Christ in one, so your reference to church attendance is irrelevant to the points I have made on this thread.

Christianity and church attendance are not the same, so let's not posit church membership as a substitute for repentance and commitment to the teachings of the Master on a per minute basis. I didn't make the distinction between believers and unbelievers. Christ did so himself all through his teachings (compares sheep to goats; those on his right hand to those on his left- it is always a binary dichotomy throughout the scriptures) and later his Apostles did the same also, so anyone that has problems with that can refer it to the Master.

Later o.

DoubleWahala
Oct 15, 2007, 04:53 PM
As my man, Lionking observed, this thread is (perhaps, inadvertently) throwing-up all sorts of deep-seated prejudices.....as if Christianity is based on exclusionary principles.

Some (like my dear .bebi) even quoted (out of context, in my view) directly from the scriptures, passages purportedly supporting this exclusionary stance.

And the question which I ask is this: What would Jesus do?

When He came, did He not spend more of his time with the thieves, prostitutes, and otherwise "immoral" people in the community? Did he exclude them from his teachings, associations, and/or examples?

The funnier factor about all this is that salvation (for those who believe in it) does not necessarily lie with the self-declared "believers".

In the final analysis, God (and God alone) will be the ultimate judge of our hearts, minds and deeds. A loud self-proclamation of one's faith/conviction does not necessarily equate with Godliness.

All in all, this thread has been quite interesting, to say the least.

DW

OverLoad
Oct 15, 2007, 05:06 PM
You better be careful with the Bible thing, cos sometimes the bible can be contracdictory if you dont apply it the right way.

ain it the same bible that wrote:

But to the rest speak I,: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

,....and i know you will prolly come with , that applies if they were both unbelievers before marriage.....fine ,but still if one converted after marriage ...your unequally yoked analogy is saying...the believer is not suppose to continue living with the unbeliever right?...so what you do now divorce em?...
Same Jesus broke bread with unbelievers...remember that!!!


thats I Corinthians 7:1-17 by the way....


2 Corinthians 6:16 (The Message)
14-18Don't become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That's not partnership; that's war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God's holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives.

If my faith means so much to me(it does really),then why would I compromise on it?

Amy
Oct 15, 2007, 05:19 PM
The word of God is unchanging. God is unchanging. If Solomon was held in high esteem by God BC, I think a Solomon after the birth of Christ would have still been held in high regard. If Solomon was one of those who abused the laws of God, I wonder on what grounds he became highly favored above others.

Hi Anike,

I think you have it completely wrong regarding Solomon's standing with God. Solomon's limited commendation in the Scriptures was for the exceptional wisdom he displayed in his judgments and for his initial devotion to the worship of the Almighty and not a blanket approval of everything he did. In fact, nothing can be farther from the truth.

Solomon's dedication to God dwindled as the scope of his kingdom expanded. To keep his many foreign wives happy, Solomon also built elaborate temples to strange gods and began to worship the idols himself. Although Solomon had a strong heritage, unparalleled wisdom direct from the hand of God, and all the worldly wealth a heart could desire, he lost his way and his devotion to God. Scriptures expressly state that God became angry with Solomon. In fact, God told Solomon he would tear the kingdom away from him and give it to one of his officers as punishment for his idolatry.

Christ said that the plan of God was monogamy from the beginning and so the fact that due to the hardness of men's hearts, they delved into polygamy in the OT does not in any conceivable way raise questions about God's consistency. Bear in mind that by God's own choosing, he opted to make mortals free moral agents, so our voluntary choice to deviate from the perfect plan of God is not an indictment on the Almighty in any way.



Would this not mean that if a person walks in this path without necessarily falling under the religious label Christianity, s/he is considered by God to be righteous?

Very interesting question. I believe this scripture in Romans aptly answers your question.


Rom 2: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

From those verses of scripture, I believe those who in this dispensation (New testament) have not heard the truth shall be judged by the law of Conscience, simply because God is a righteous judge and will not condemn anyone based on laws the individual was never exposed to. That stands reason. The same applies to the OT, the concept of right and wrong is written in the hearts of all human beings. God looks at the sincerity of an individual's heart and not on mere appearances of righteousness. It is not about who we say we are in the open but who God confirms we truly are in secret!

Actually, it is the empowerment to adhere by what we know in our hearts to be right actions that is lacking and that the bible tells us is due to the fact that all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. According to Christianity, Christ came to reconcile humans back to the Almighty and became the connecting link between believers and God. Belief in that elementary tenet is the core of Christainity as I understand it. If men/women could please God without divine enablement, which is what Christ affords believers, then Christ died in vain. If I can please God in this current dispensation without believing, then what's the point of Christianity?

I guess your questions are concentrated on doctrinal issues and I doubt that SLB meant for this thread to take on that form. Anywaz, I can only speak for myself and myself alone. I found it difficult to live a pure/godly life on my own without Christ. It was after much spiritual searching and contemplation that I surrendered to the Master and have had no regrets to this day.

True Christianity (not all the glittering, wishy washy stuff that go by the Christain label these days sha) simply made more sense to me than all the other religions that presented alternative options. We all are entitled to our compelling stories and that is why this is clearly a marketplace of perspectives for real. That does not mean I do not have a few lingering questions. Only that the preponderance of my questions have all been answered in Christianity and as for the unrevealed details, I think I can wait to ask him face to face when hopefully we meet by his grace.

Spirituality is clearly an individual quest and I believe it is on that individual level that we are touched by the spiritual options/belief systems/many faces of 'TRUTH' that are available in the world today. To each, his own is really what it boils down to at the end of the day.

Later o.

salstep
Oct 15, 2007, 05:45 PM
Mix religion: Receipe for disaster. I know, cos i have tried it. No matter how open minded or liberal u are, eventually the moslem will usually pull a stunt. I say moslem cos like one of the earlier postings mentioned, U have to convert b4 marriage, and u either keep up the pretence in front of family members or na wahala.

Make u mix religion and race then na double trouble.

Lymbic3
Oct 15, 2007, 05:54 PM
Amy don't take offense at what I wrote. As per Muslims right to polygamy, they have an excuse to do this, be that as it may one that other Muslims also consider invalid. To buttress this point, I point out that if no man can love two women equally, then it invalidates any right that might be claimed to polygamy.

The rest of what I wrote is actually directed to Anike, in response to her previous post.


Besides, bringing in an extreme example such as a hard hearted born again is an
attempt at obfuscation. First of all, no one living according to the dictates of Christ can be hard-hearted and unforgiving, so even the notion of hard-hearted, unforgiving and judgmental born-again is an anomaly because no one can truly say that they are living in accordance with the new testament and reflect all those dispicable vices you mentioned. Let's keep the discussion real and not bring in extraneous conditions to undermine the facts.



I think I need to clarify certain points to remove any confusion you think exists in my writing. There are people who purport to be one thing, yet their actions betray them for what they are. Such people are the focus of my writing. Do you really believe such people do not exist? If everyone who claims to be "born again", "saved", or a "believer" were truly what they claim to be, these same scriptures would not tell us to test all spirits so as to ascertain that they truly of/from God. You might think or believe such examples do not exist, but I have come across people of such persuasion. These are the group of people that give Christianity a bad name and portray it in negative light!

My maternal parents established one of the long standing Churches in Ibadan in the 50's / 60's and it still exists to date. They owned/own a lot of land in Ibadan (i.e the land on which the Coca-Cola factory is situated on belongs to her and her siblings, since their parents have passed on. Now, the point of this story is that my mum called me last week to inform me that a pastor whom she has never met before, meeting for the first time gave her a revelation about members of her family, all supposedly born-again, God-fearing, loving people. The message: If she doesn't relinquish all claims to the family inheritance, they will destroy her children. I have met these people: You would never believe they are capable of such!

I know of people that have encountered Church leaders who use use ungodly powers to do God's work (healing etc) in their churches. I know things that I have encountered in life confirming what I write about. So forgive me if you don't share such experiences.


I do not believe in denominationalism because there are no denominations in the new testament. The body of Christ in one, so your reference to church attendance is irrelevant to the points I have made on this thread.

Christianity and church attendance are not the same, so let's not posit church membership as a substitute for repentance and commitment to the teachings of the Master on a per minute basis. I didn't make the distinction between believers and unbelievers. Christ did so himself all through his teachings (compares sheep to goats; those on his right hand to those on his left- it is always a binary dichotomy throughout the scriptures) and later his Apostles did the same also, so anyone that has problems with that can refer it to the Master.

Once again, your response is misdirected since it was not intended for you :smile: but since you have responded, I will point out that I wrote in response to Anike:


Originally Posted by Anike
So, if a nonChristian lives a life that happens to be in accordance with the dictates of Christ, would s/he still be an unbliever?

You say Christianity and church attendance are not the same, but their are numerous people that consider themselves righteous simply because they attend Church almost every day! That is not to say there isn't a handful of committed people who are considered children of God, who genuinely are an asset to the Church by their self-less nature and constant presence in the Church. I believe that what commends me to God is the manner in which I choose to live my life, hence the opinion expressed in my previous post.

Amy I apologise to you, since it seems like I didn't express myself clearly enough for you to know my writing was not directed at you.

Amy
Oct 15, 2007, 06:23 PM
When He came, did He not spend more of his time with the thieves, prostitutes, and otherwise "immoral" people in the community? Did he exclude them from his teachings, associations, and/or examples?

Hi DW,

Very interesting perspective you have there. You are certainly right on the mark about Jesus mixing with sinners. Jesus most certainly mingled with the unworthy, the lowly and sinners with the ultimate aim of CONVERTING/INFLUENCING them to become his followers. He was obviously not hanging out with sinners in order to indulge in their sins but rather he reached into the pit where all of us are situated at birth and pulls us up unto the light. Mary Magdalene and Lazarus the tax collector are prime examples in that regards. Obviously, Christ is an example for Christians to emulate on this issue. Believers ought to mix with others but not just for socials. I tend to also believe that there is a sharp difference between a believer mixing with people of all persuasions/lifestyles on a daily basis as they ought to and marrying an unbeliever sha, if such a believer is seriously committed to the teachings of the NT! We are admonished thus, "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." I corn 15:33.

On the issue of exclusivity, Christianity is obviously, by its very definition, an exclusive belief system, so saying that Christians have an exclusivity about them is restating the obvious as I think that ought to go without mentioning, IMHO. I tend to similarly view all other religions in the same light as they are all exclusive identities and world views.

That said, in a discussion about the place of religion, is it not to be taken for granted that every adherent to whatever set of spiritual beliefs have some appreciable level of exclusivity attached to their claims? Did Christ himself not champion an exclusive message of salvation like none other before or after him? In fact, was he not murdered for his exclusive claims to being the son of God? Did he not claim that he is the ONLY way, the truth and the life? Still keeping it real, wouldn't you say that it is that same exclusivity that differentiates the various religions from one another as they each present what is held by faithfuls as an exclusive path to salvation? Pushing it, it is not the case that even Atheists have an exclusivity about them in the sense that they are marked by their lack of belief in a divine entity?

Really, is there any way a given religion can be presented without the presumption of exclusivity? Just wondering sha...

Later o.

Alexa
Oct 15, 2007, 06:29 PM
Lionking,what you described happened in my very own hometown about a year ago.Christ never commisioned anyone to become a vigilante,our commision is to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations.The people that do these things are simply doing what they conceived of in their minds.I hope their actions would not confuse those that want to follow Christ for real.

Amy
Oct 15, 2007, 06:37 PM
Amy I apologise to you, since it seems like I didn't express myself clearly enough for you to know my writing was not directed at you.

Haba Lymbic3,

This is a friendly discussion o, so there's no place for apologies. Abi... did I come across like I was antagonistic towards you? No... not at all.

I only commented on aspects of your post that caught my attention... no more, no less sha. Also since Anike's post that you were responding to was directed at me really, I figured I could chip in with my 2 cents sha.

All I meant to delineate is the fact that Christianity or any other religion, for that matter, ought to be judged by the elemental facets of the teachings and not the counterfeit versions out there. I tend to believe that if a professing Christian is not living right, for instance, it is not an indictment on the gospel message but a manifestation of personal weakness on the individual's part. Often, people point to extreme examples of hypocrites parading themselves as Christians in order to condemn the Faith and I was just pointing out that that is a wrong approach.

Anywaz, nice chatting with you.

Later o.

Oluwato
Oct 16, 2007, 02:02 AM
Interesting discourse.

I noticed that the word marriage was not defined. Perhaps if marriage were defined, we would discover that inter-faith or mixed 'marriages' were just an aberration.

The purpose of marriages has not been defined either. IMHO, raising children and marriage are separate things. When a proper definition is given, the possibility of mixed marriages would be clear.

Lastly, faith and religion though complimentary, are unique. Faith is global but religion is local. Many religious people do not practice their faith when it comes to marriage.

Having said all that, Amos 3:3 says, two cannot walk together unless they are in agreement. It is possible to agree on marriage terms but not on faith or religion terms. Love many times is blind, but it is not deaf not dumb. If the terms of relationship are met through love, money or whatever means, then faith/religion may not be limiting.

Oluwato

ISL
Oct 16, 2007, 02:33 AM
Godliness:

Doing things that will please God/being committed to pleasing God at all times. I think loving everyone around you just as much as you do yourself is the root of all that God asks of us, and if you love God, you'd do what he asks. I think if/when you love other people, all the commandments as taught by religion will be second nature.

Fanaticism:

[Religious] arrogance. When religion becomes more important than Godliness. A form of idolatry, imo. "If you don't serve God the way I do, then you are serving a mini-god. Your righteousness is equivalent to my unrighteousness. If you were [un]fortunate to be born into a Muslim, an Eckankar, a .... home, you have to convert to my religion before you have a right to call yourself a child of God." To me, at the root of these sentiments is a desire to commandeer others' minds. A power struggle, if you will. At times, some people actually refuse to treat other people with love, under the guise that those people are not of the same religion as they are. These people, imo, are fanatics.




This is probably my favorite quote on this issue, pretty much sums up how I feel about it

lionking
Oct 16, 2007, 05:39 AM
Lionking,what you described happened in my very own hometown about a year ago.Christ never commisioned anyone to become a vigilante,our commision is to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations.The people that do these things are simply doing what they conceived of in their minds.I hope their actions would not confuse those that want to follow Christ for real.

Christ never commisioned anyone to become a vigilante but some who invoke his name today and profess to be Christians seriously believe non-believers to be sub-human and therefore to be consigned to fire here on earth at the hands of the Christians before being consigned to hellfire after death by their master, Lucifer. Going by views expressed here on this thread [and similar threads] I can easily see a number of NVS folks who'd happily moonlight as Christian vigilantes. Nigeria is in very great danger of militant Christianity.

Oru-Ama
Oct 16, 2007, 10:45 AM
[QUOTE=No Smoking;209177126]

Mixed marriages are laced with problems from the beginning to the end.

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I agree with this statement totally. This is because I know a couple of people in mixed religious marriages and the difficulties the offspring of those marriages are facing. Back home in Nigeria, I had this colleague (who is a Muslim as well as her hubby). Three years after marriage, they couldn't conceive and somehow she ran into an old school mate who took her to a Pentecostal church a couple of times and she got pregnant and had this 'handsome boy'. Somehow, she started reading Christian literatures, listening to preachings on TV and radio. By the time the boy was nearing three, the man wanted his son to be introduced to Islam. For a three year old boy, it was difficult. Whenever the father takes him to the mosque, the little boy will be shouting in Jesus Name, Amen. This did not go down well with the father. It took the guy threatening the wife with [B]'bringing in' another wife for her to start covering her son's mouth whenever the boy opens his mouth to shout in Jesus Name. Love may be enough to conquer all but in mixed religious marriages, am yet to see it conquer...

Toku.A
Oct 16, 2007, 03:54 PM
As long as our religions are on our birth certificate or some kind of dotted lines, it is easy, but when people get serious with their religious practises it becomes a thorn in the marriage. One has got to convert or the other will give way. It has always been like that.

fixing it
Oct 16, 2007, 06:44 PM
I have a sister who is a hardcore member, now of Redeem Church, and she is married to an Alhaji for over 25yrs now. She does her thing while he does his thing. The kids are not forced into any religion. However the boys are Muslims while the Girls gravitate toward Christianity.


When I decided to marry, I found most Naija girls that are christians have turned into fana as in fanatics. Apart from that, being a smart man that I am, I figure I could convince a Muslim woman that if I need to take a 2nd up to a 4th wife, if I so wish, therefore, I chose a Muslim woman instead. How smart is that? ughn?Shoko, give me mine!
:D:D

Exxcuze me,

Does your woman know say you marry her so that you can add am with another palaver. Na wa for you sa. you are one of those that make some muslim girls self they marry christian. like say the religion sef say you must marry more than one. Wait o till your wife know your plan , na then you go no say muslim or no muslim, women no they like make them be 2. This is man to man advise . be warned.

fixing it
Nov 2, 2007, 07:00 PM
As much as I hate to dable into religious stuff I think, I have to say this for the purpose of those that are doing it . I'll say stick to your fellow partner( i.e someone you share the same religon with).
I know a friend of mine once married a christian with the hope that this guy would be married to him alone, she was surprised when he left her after 2 children to marry another wife ( a divorcee with 2 children from her previous marriage).
Another typical example is of a very close friend too , despite the fact that his religion says, marry one, he still went ahead to marry two, and those two ladies are both muslims, he does not want them to take all his kids to mosque, neither does he practice christianity. If you ask his Children what religion they are practicing, they will tell you any religon as long as that religion is having their festive season, like ileya or Christmas. during Christmas season they are Christian , and during Ileya they are muslims, and if you ask them why they'll tell you "oh my mum is a muslim" or "Oh my Dad is a Christian."
This is the reason why i think it's better to think before doing it , especially if you plan to have kids.
come to think of it all this kids that were not properly raised in the way of God, those are the ones that grow up without the fear of God. they are the ones that will grow up to be prostituting all about or they are the ones that become a proper wife beater.

elgaxton
Nov 3, 2007, 02:06 PM
As much as I hate to dable into religious stuff I think, I have to say this for the purpose of those that are doing it . I'll say stick to your fellow partner( i.e someone you share the same religon with).
I know a friend of mine once married a christian with the hope that this guy would be married to him alone, she was surprised when he left her after 2 children to marry another wife ( a divorcee with 2 children from her previous marriage).
Another typical example is of a very close friend too , despite the fact that his religion says, marry one, he still went ahead to marry two, and those two ladies are both muslims, he does not want them to take all his kids to mosque, neither does he practice christianity. If you ask his Children what religion they are practicing, they will tell you any religon as long as that religion is having their festive season, like ileya or Christmas. during Christmas season they are Christian , and during Ileya they are muslims, and if you ask them why they'll tell you "oh my mum is a muslim" or "Oh my Dad is a Christian."
This is the reason why i think it's better to think before doing it , especially if you plan to have kids.
come to think of it all this kids that were not properly raised in the way of God, those are the ones that grow up without the fear of God. they are the ones that will grow up to be prostituting all about or they are the ones that become a proper wife beater.



Fixing IT

There's something you have not fixed yet o, That is your VISA... goto the village square and Introduce yourself properly before U start posting everywhere, as you can see u are the only one with sub Tag JJC below ur handle...

Kia kia go intro urself:(

No Smoking
Dec 23, 2007, 07:55 PM
Further to my earlier post, Tony Blair has completed his cross-over.. :)


The service to receive former Prime Minister Tony Blair into the Roman Catholic Church was "moving", Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7157998.stm