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Interfaith Relationships Christian Dating Non Christian

Those in interfaith relationships might say "I'm marrying him, not his faith." But you may find out later that you are terribly wrong. Some religious groups believe that they have not only the right, but the duty to interfere in the married lives of their members.

In the baptism of the children, in the religious instruction and church relationships of the children, and in any matter regarded as related to morals, such as birth control, some church groups intrude actively and often with serious results.

It is no wonder, then, that breakups in interfaith relationships were shown by one study to be two-and-a-half times as great as when the relationship was with one of the same faith. Those who contemplate dating/marrying across religious lines should carefully stop, look, and listen before proceeding. What is an interfaith relationship? The vast majority of Protestants belong to about a half dozen main church groups.

Between most of these there is so little difference that a marriage across denominational lines is not an interreligious marriage as we understand the term. Serious problems are likely to arise only in interfaith marriages as follow:

Catholic-Protestant. Both Catholic and Protestant leaders recognize the seriousness of such unions, and often oppose them. If the marriage is by a Protestant minister, the Catholic will be dropped by his church.

If it is by a Priest, the Protestant must renounce any control over the religious growth of his own children. And in matters such as the right of the couple to regulate the size of their own family by the use of contraceptives, the ideals of the two groups are directly in conflict.

These situations will not contribute to the harmony of any relationships.

Orthodox-Liberal. Within Protestantism the teachings and practices of such groups as Jehovah's Witnesses, Mennonites and Seventh-Day Adventists are sharply at variance with those outside that particular sect. Intermarriage may lead to strenuous efforts at conversion.

The whole family or even the whole church may join. Differences in what is regarded as right and wrong involving Sabbath observance, dancing, and similar conduct, can lead to serious friction.

Within the major Protestant bodies there are both ultra-liberal and ultra-conservative wings. Even within one's own denomination, serious religious cleavages can result which threaten the marriage. Such possibilities should be considered carefully.

The time to go over all such questions and make your decisions is not merely before the marriage, but before you become seriously dating.

When young people deliberately select their mates, instead of just falling in love with someone who happens to be around, there will be fewer occasions for the difficulties and risks of interfaith relationships.

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