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Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue #28380
Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:24 PM
Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:24 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 2
Stillwater, OK
E
ELECT Offline OP
Plebeian
ELECT  Offline OP
Plebeian
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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 2
Stillwater, OK
My sister is pregnant and the father is not a Christian. He is committed to my sister and his child but they are not yet married. What does the bible say on matters such as this? Should they marry? Or should the fact that he is not a Christian keep them apart? I am torn and it is causing a great deal of strain in my family. Any direction would be appreciated.

Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue [Re: ELECT] #28381
Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:25 PM
Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 88
Morgantown, WV
lazarus Offline
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lazarus  Offline
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Morgantown, WV
Had this situation in our last church. First of all, I'd have to question the 'confession' of someone dating/sleeping with an unbeliever...but not to digress...I'd say that two wrongs won't make a right. No wedding to further complicate an already sinful situation.

Blessings, laz

Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue [Re: ELECT] #28382
Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:37 PM
Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:37 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,856
Northwest Indiana, USA
Wes Offline
Needs to get a Life
Wes  Offline
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Northwest Indiana, USA
Quote
ELECT said:

My sister is pregnant and the father is not a Christian. He is committed to my sister and his child but they are not yet married. What does the bible say on matters such as this? Should they marry? Or should the fact that he is not a Christian keep them apart? I am torn and it is causing a great deal of strain in my family. Any direction would be appreciated.


The questions you've raised have serious implications and it would be unwise for anyone on the Internet to assume to know how to answer you without more information. Questions like: What is your sister's relationship to the Lord and His Church. Is she repentant for the fornication she has committed? Has she approached the pastor or the elders to confess her sin and ask their advice? What is the situation in your home? Have your parents taken a position on this situation? Is your sister interested and able to raise this child or would it be best for her to place it up for adoption? There are many more questions I could ask as well but I think a discussion with a biblical counselor would be more appropriate.

Basically you're asking should you marry a believer and a nonbeliever; that is, an "unevenly yoked" couple? R.C.Sproul has answered that question in one of his books this way: "The basis for your question obviously is the biblical text that says we ought not to be yoked unequally with unbelievers. The assumption, of course is that this text has direct reference to marriage. The Bible doesn't explicitly say that. The Bible doesn't say that a believer is not permitted to marry an unbeliever. That metaphor of unequal yoking of oxen in pulling an ox cart is the only reference we have.

Now I will say that in the tradition of the church the vast majority of New Testament scholars have understood that passage to mean precisely that--that it is a biblical prohibition against marrying of a Christian to a non-Christian. This follows in the Old Testament tradition, where the children of Israel were called to seek wives from their own nation--people who have the same religious persuasion. The assumption is that a person's religious committment, if it is a genuine one, is of great importance, and if a person is united in the closest intimate relationship a human being can have with another human being and they do not share that profound passion and committment, it can be disastrous for marriage. So the practical wisdom of the church has been, for the most part, to take a dim view of marrying believers and unbelievers because it provokes so much difficulty.

We also know that today the whole estate of marriage is under siege; we've already passed the 50 percent rate of divorce. People have enough problems in seeking a healthy and successful marriage without adding this extremely difficult point of tension to it.

But if you ask me would I, as a minister, perform such a marriage. As a general rule, I do not. I don't do it because I'm convicted that God does not allow me to do it. For example, in the traditional wedding ceremony, in the service we use to solemnize weddings, the standard words go something like this: "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of God and of these witnesses to unite this man and this woman in the holy bonds of marriage...." and so on. One of the phrases of the marriage ceremony reminds us that God not only instituted marriage and ordained and sanctified marriage, but God regulates marriage by his comandments. And so I am not free to perform the marriage rite for just anybody. In fact, my own church forbids me from marrying a believer to an unbeliever except on one occasion, and that is if there's already been a physical union and a child is to be born. In those circumstances I would perform a ceremony."


Sproul doesn't go on to explain what kind of ceremony he would perform, just that he would do it. As you probably know abortion is not an option for a Christian because it is killing another human being (Deut. 5:17). I would recommend that she not make any hasty decisions but get the counsel from the pastor and the elders of her church.


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue [Re: Wes] #28383
Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:59 PM
Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,511
NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

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Quote
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (ASV) "Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you, And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

I am rather surprised that Sproul would vacillate on this matter in regard to this text and suggest that it does not directly apply to marriage. Is not marriage the most profound experiences of fellowship? Is not marriage one of the deepest examples of "communion"? And since a believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit and unbelievers are idolaters and under the power of the Evil One (Belial), how could this text NOT directly govern marriage?

On the basis of this text alone, I would say that no marriage is justified between these two people, i.e., a marriage performed and sanctioned by the Church. Nor is this person who professes to be a believer permitted to marry someone who is an unbeliever or even one who professes to be a believer but whose testimony is suspect. A sin has been committed and although there is full forgiveness available to the believer, there are temporal consequences which may result. (cf. King David and his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah) There is no room here, IMHO, for "Situation Ethics" nor pragmatism. The Scripture is clear.... no believer is to join with an unbeliever, especially in a relationship which exemplifies Christ's intimate union with the Church.

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue [Re: Pilgrim] #28384
Thu Oct 06, 2005 2:00 PM
Thu Oct 06, 2005 2:00 PM

A
Anonymous
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Quote

If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. (1 Corinthians 7:13-14 ESV)


How would this verse play into things though?

And isn't sex what makes marriage in the eyes of God, not the ceremony?

Quote

Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:23-24 ESV)

Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh." (1 Corinthians 6:16 ESV)


All things considered, their marriage has already been sanctioned in the eyes of God. Doing the ceremony would (1) legalize their marriage and (2) bring the church into covenant with them to promote the health of their marriage and in raising the child in hopes that he/she will come to faith.

Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue #28385
Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:25 PM
Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,511
NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho
Pilgrim  Offline

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Posts: 13,511
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Quote
Kalled2Preach said:

If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. (1 Corinthians 7:13-14 ESV)


How would this verse play into things though?

This text does not apply because Paul is addressing those who are already married.

Quote
Kalled2Preach also asks
And isn't sex what makes marriage in the eyes of God, not the ceremony?

Not in my opinion. Were not Adam and Eve married before they had children or before they had relations? Marriage is the entering into covenant, where each party vows certain stipulations and publicly professes their commitment to each other. Sexual relations is a privilege reserved for those who are married and does not make a marriage. Marriage is to be sanctioned by God Who has set forth the parameters both in regard the legitimate partners (believer to believer) and the privileges and restrictions of the parties involved.

Quote
Lastly, Kalled2Preach remarks:
All things considered, their marriage has already been sanctioned in the eyes of God.

Again, I disagree on the basis of 2Cor 6:14ff which specifically says that a believer is not to be joined to an unbeliever and that any such union is antithetical to the very nature of God's creation. For a believer to disregard this injunction is sin and would simply compound the sin of this woman who did that which was not permitted, i.e., to have sexual relations out of wedlock.

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue [Re: Pilgrim] #28386
Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:24 PM
Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,060
Chicagoland
gotribe Offline

Old Hand
gotribe  Offline

Old Hand
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Posts: 1,060
Chicagoland
KalledtoPreach:

I think it would be a good thing for you to think through the relationship between the marriage of a man and wife and how it is a picture of Christ and His bride, the church, as Pilgrim said:

"The Scripture is clear.... no believer is to join with an unbeliever, especially in a relationship which exemplifies Christ's intimate union with the Church.

There is more to significance to the union of man and wife than is commonly acknowledged today, even in the church.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue #28387
Fri Oct 07, 2005 8:56 PM
Fri Oct 07, 2005 8:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Virginia
CovenantInBlood Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian
CovenantInBlood  Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Virginia
Quote
And isn't sex what makes marriage in the eyes of God, not the ceremony?


To marry is to enter into a special kind of covenant, as Pilgrim said. Marriage involves more than becoming one flesh through sex, otherwise there would be no such thing as adultery or fornication.

Quote
Doing the ceremony would (1) legalize their marriage and (2) bring the church into covenant with them to promote the health of their marriage and in raising the child in hopes that he/she will come to faith.


What disastrous consequences might result from having the woman marry an unbeliever, and him raise the children? He could very well lead the children astray, if not her; she must not be joined to him in marriage.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue [Re: ELECT] #28388
Sat Oct 08, 2005 6:02 PM
Sat Oct 08, 2005 6:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 281
Michigan, USA
MHeath Offline
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MHeath  Offline
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Posts: 281
Michigan, USA
I am glad to see this thread. I can't agree more with Pilgrim and Wes and Kyle, and Kim...

I will only say to Elect, that if your sister truly is a Christian, and she marries this man.. she is only headed for great heartache. This situation is a sort of "crisis" in a sense, and it's good that counsel is being sought on it. Many people make rash and unwise decisions in a crisis such as this. I will pray for your sister and your family. I am so glad there is a new life coming!! Still, though.. it's not under ideal circumstances, I would warn your sister that in the long run, not marrying him would be better for everyone.

Just one other thing I would mention here. If it is at all possible, she may consider what she tells the father of the baby. Tooooo many times a woman will say she can't marry so and so because she's a christian and he's not. Then, voila.. the man all of a sudden goes to church for a few sundays, and is "saved." So the woman is happy.. and thinks her example has brought him to God! Such silliness. Then they get married, and they later find out that this conversion was all a ruse.

Oh dear.. if we would all follow God's commands things would be SO much easier eh?? But we ALL sin, and we all do such silly and stupid things. I'm not trying to belittle your sister or anyone here believe me. These are just my two cents..

Michele

Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue [Re: ELECT] #28389
Tue Oct 11, 2005 6:31 AM
Tue Oct 11, 2005 6:31 AM

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Quote
ELECT said:
My sister is pregnant and the father is not a Christian. He is committed to my sister and his child but they are not yet married. What does the bible say on matters such as this? Should they marry? Or should the fact that he is not a Christian keep them apart? I am torn and it is causing a great deal of strain in my family. Any direction would be appreciated.


I wonder if the posters would change their advice if a Christian man had impegnated a non-Christian woman (Ex. 22:16).

Repentant Christians honor even foolish commitments. If a commitment of marriage was made during the course of this adulterous relationship, it is binding on the Christian (1 Cor. 7:13,14).

Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue #28390
Tue Oct 11, 2005 10:27 AM
Tue Oct 11, 2005 10:27 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,511
NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

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Quote
speratus said:
I wonder if the posters would change their advice if a Christian man had impegnated a non-Christian woman (Ex. 22:16).

So are we all now chauvinist pigs? Gender has nothing to do with determining what is the right action to take before the Lord, according to His holy Word. Getting pregnant or causing a pregnancy out of wedlock does not demand one make a commitment to marriage and then consequently marry.

Quote
speratus offers more foolishness:
Repentant Christians honor even foolish commitments. If a commitment of marriage was made during the course of this adulterous relationship, it is binding on the Christian (1 Cor. 7:13,14).

Christians should repent of foolish commitments including offering to marry an unbeliever. No believer is bound to follow through with a sinful desire or intent to sin. Resistance to sin is a virtue as far as I know. But 1 Cor. 7:13, 14 is dealing with those WHO ARE ALREADY MARRIED which is not applicable to the situation described in this matter.


2 Timothy 2:15 (ASV) "Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth."



In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue [Re: Pilgrim] #28391
Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:22 AM
Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:22 AM

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Quote
Pilgrim said:

Quote
speratus offers more foolishness:
Repentant Christians honor even foolish commitments. If a commitment of marriage was made during the course of this adulterous relationship, it is binding on the Christian (1 Cor. 7:13,14).

Christians should repent of foolish commitments including offering to marry an unbeliever. No believer is bound to follow through with a sinful desire or intent to sin. Resistance to sin is a virtue as far as I know. But 1 Cor. 7:13, 14 is dealing with those WHO ARE ALREADY MARRIED which is not applicable to the situation described in this matter.


Do you think Paul considered the betrothal contract to be any less binding upon a couple (husband and wife) than the actual marriage ceremony (Deut. 22:23-29; Matt. 1:19)?

Until recently, evangelical churches identified breach of promise as a sin and the civil authorities marked it as offense against the civil code. But, in today's antinomial world, it's ok to bear false witness and defraud a person to whom a pledge has been made simply because "he/she is not a Christian".

Last edited by speratus; Wed Oct 12, 2005 1:13 AM.
Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue #28392
Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:44 PM
Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Virginia
CovenantInBlood Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian
CovenantInBlood  Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Virginia
Quote
Do you think Paul considered the betrothal contract to be any less binding upon a couple (husband and wife) than the actual marriage ceremony (Deut. 22:23-29; Matt. 1:19)?


Impregnating a woman is not betrothal.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue #28393
Wed Oct 12, 2005 1:13 PM
Wed Oct 12, 2005 1:13 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,511
NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

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Posts: 13,511
NH, USA
speratus,

Do you suffer from the modern so-called "affliction" of A.D.D.? You really need to READ [Linked Image] both what Paul wrote and what I also have written which is totally in agreement with Paul. The text you refer to was written in regard to those WHO HAVE ALREADY BEEN MARRIED. The situation described by ELECT is one of two UNMARRIED individuals who engaged in the sin of fornication and consequently pregnancy resulted. There is no marriage involved. rolleyes2

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: Pregnancy/Unwed Mother Issue [Re: CovenantInBlood] #28394
Wed Oct 12, 2005 5:52 PM
Wed Oct 12, 2005 5:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 969
USA
P
Peter Offline
Old Hand
Peter  Offline
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P
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 969
USA
You are correct Kyle it is actually a type of seduction or rape. And should be treated as such.


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
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