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Handling a Theologically-Divided Relationship

Mar 1, 2017 | 5 Comments

“Should we marry if we’re theologically divided?”

Good question. Thankfully, Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, answered it on his blog a few years ago.

The original question came from a Reformed dispensationalist fundamentalist and a Pentecostal, but the principles Dr. Moore puts forth can be applied to any couple who, while hailing from different denominational traditions, can be described as “godly people trusting in the blood of Christ and received by faith into the kingdom of God through the Holy Spirit.”

Here’s a quick summary of six key points from Dr. Moore’s blog. These are the things he says are critical to pursuing marriage. (But please don’t stop with these! Read the full post for more context, much wisdom, and a good dose of humor.)

  • You both believe the gospel of Christ is paramount to theological systems like Calvinism and Arminianism
  • You go into marriage assuming you will never change your spouse’s position
  • The wife is willing to follow her husband cheerfully and respect his spiritual leadership
  • The husband is willing to lead his wife sacrificially
  • You’re able to be unified in your child-rearing
  • You’re able to be unified in your church membership and participation

You can work through minor issues like how to squeeze the tube toothpaste after you marry. But differences in theology should be clearly understood, discussed, and prayed over before you reach the altar. Preferably even before you get engaged.

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