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The Bible was teaching that Jesus took the penalty upon Himself, so that I might be forgiven for free, not by my good works, not by my religious rituals, but simply by receiving Him, placing my faith in Him for the forgiveness of sin. I did exactly that, experienced a spiritual rebirth, every trace of guilt departed, and I have lived with that freeing reality ever since.I then ended up moving to New York, studying in seminary for a Masters in New Testament studies, and eventually a Ph D in philosophical theology.The most important piece of advice is that saying he knows Christ doesn't mean he has a relationship with Him.Marriage based on a common faith is for our benefit, blessing and protection. Make the decision to follow Him and allow Him to help you find the right mate for you.That way, I could skip all the Bible passages that urge singles only to “marry in the Lord” (1 Corinthians ) and not “be unequally yoked” (2 Corinthians ) and the Old Testament proscriptions against marrying the foreigner, a worshiper of a god other than the God of Israel (see Numbers 12 where Moses marries a woman of another race but the same faith).You can find those passages in abundance, but when someone has already allowed his or her heart to become engaged with a person outside the faith, I find that the Bible has already been devalued as the non-negotiable rule of faith and practice.Most Christians know that the Bible discourages sex before marriage, but what about other forms of physical affection before marriage? Like many issues we face today, there is no black and white answer to whether or not kissing is a sin, but instead, we have to ask God to guide us in the direction he wants us to follow. Now we have reached the real question: When is kissing a sin? The real issue, then, is whether or not romantic kissing before marriage is a sin.
If only I could pair those sadder and wiser women—and men—who have found themselves in unequal marriages (either by their own foolishness or due to one person finding Christ after the marriage had already occurred) with the blithely optimistic singles who are convinced that their passion and commitment will overcome all obstacles.Within Catholicism the Church frowns upon it though, because the Church regards parents are principally responsible for the education of their children, consequently, religious instruction and rearing the child in the faith.To better understand this one has to grasp what "sacramental" means in Catholicism and what the nature of the concept of the "Church" is in Catholicism (which differs from the Protestant concept of Church). That's probably more likely that she's less Christian if she is baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith, and I say that going back to my points above.Over the course of our ministry, the most common pastoral issue that Tim and I have confronted is probably marriages—either actual or proposed—between Christians and non-Christians.I have often thought how much simpler it would be if I could remove myself from the conversation and invite those already married to unbelievers do the talking to singles who are desperately trying to find a loophole that would allow them to marry someone who does not share their faith.