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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






17 August 2005

Muslim-Christian Marriage


Q: I am Muslim and while I don’t have anything against Christians, I just wonder if a lady in your congregation asks you about marrying a Muslim man, what would you say to her? What is the Christian way to approach this situation? My Christian girlfriend and I are seriously considering marriage and want to think about everything. Thank you very much. I’ve just started to read your website and I think it’s very cool.

A: Normally, I will counsel people to seriously consider the Christian Scriptures, especially the Apostle Paul’s caution to Christians: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)” Even though Christians, Jews, and Muslims are often classified together as “people of the Book” and as monotheists, only Christianity claims that, while One, God also exists as three distinct Persons and that one of the Persons took on human flesh and lived and died on this earth.

Because of this life and death and through His glorious resurrection from the dead, we believe that we inherit heaven not because of our own works but through the merits of Christ as we believe in Him. Thus, committed Christians will, if married to non-Christians, be constantly concerned about the eternal salvation of their spouses. While an earthly marriage may be blessed, even if one partner is Christian and the other isn’t, a Christian will also be looking forward to an eternal “marriage” — that of Christ with His Bride, the Christian Church. We want those with whom we live on earth also to live forever in heaven in perfect joy and we know in our hearts that this can happen only through faith in Jesus Christ — true God and true man — as our Savior from sin.

You’ll need to talk all this through with your girlfriend and with her priest or pastor to see if you all think that your marriage will have a chance. In my own heart, I would desire you to immerse yourself in the Christian Scriptures and be brought to faith in Christ through the power of God the Holy Spirit.

Addendum: See also the 2008 Q&A Muslim-Christian Marriage Possibility

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

7 Comments:

Blogger calkid said...

I was recently doing some online surfing regarding Muslim and Christian marriages out of curiosity to see how each side views the question and I came across a blog at this site: http://xrysostom.blogspot.com/2005/08/muslim-christian-marriage.html
In the blog the Muslim youth questions you on your views of Christian and Muslim relationships or marriages and you respond with a verse from the bible: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Cor 6:14)”. I was deeply bothered by your one sided response. The reason I was disturbed by your reply is because, so often pastors or religious leaders take quotes or verses out of the bible to make a point which serves their personal belief or demonstrates only one side of an argument, when very often there exists an equally valid verse which would defend another point of view. Take for example (I Corinthians 7:12-14 )“12To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy”.
Why would you fail to mention this verse to the young Muslim asking you about what the bible says regarding such marriages?

03 November, 2005 01:45  
Anonymous Daughter Of Sarai said...

Well, unless you've been there, you cannot speak from an educated viewpoint.
My new blog is precisely on this topic of Christians marrying Muslims.

So far, only the Catholic Church has taken a firm stand on this topic. More and more women will speak out, the reality of marrying Muslims, divorce, laws, etc.

I cannot stress my point enough. Educate yourselves. For the Muslim male inquiry, his girlfriend should be responsible enough to study Islam thoroughly, the Laws also BEFORE considering this marriage.

And calkid, the children may be sanctified, however, under Islamic law the children must follow the father's religion.
He may be sanctified, but this does not change her rights, or lack of rights.

17 December, 2005 23:28  
Anonymous Daughter of Sarai said...

I am doing a posting on Cardinal Ruinis advisory. I feel all Clergy should follow suit.

This is a moral duty. Read below:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1898451,00.html

17 December, 2005 23:31  
Blogger naomi said...

Muslim-Christian Marriage?SO? I am one of those wife who is living with those so-called losing my religion.Let me describe my view first.
And speaking of ideal wife'
"When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She obtain wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands. Like merchant ships, she secures her provisions from a far. She rises while it is still night, and distributes food for her household. She picks out a field to purchase; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is girt about with strength, and sturdy are her arms. She enjoy the success of her dealings; at night her lamp is undimmed. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle. She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. She fears not the snow for her household; all her charges are doubly clothed. She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing. Her husband is prominent at the city gates as he sits with the elders of the land. She makes garments and sells them, and stock the merchants with belts. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come. She opens her mouth in wisdom and on her tongue is kindly counsel. She watches the conduct of her household, and eats not her food in idleness. Her children rise up and praise her; her husband, too, extols her.
Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all.
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her a reward of her labors and let her works praises her at the city gates."

This little message I dedicate for you all the mothers.
Well I guess the answer for Muslim-Christian Marriage is simply Don't. Don't despite of the idiosyncrasy. Don't for culture clashes. Don't for a bamboozle children. And just Don't simply because of a dodgy marriage.
Hmmmn who would wanted that?

I've been there!Make sense(:

17 June, 2006 18:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is 8.5 years later, but this is a good answer to at least one of the hurdles and challenges of such unions that I have been wondering about. The other is how to actually raise any children, even if they are considered holy and sanctified.

03 June, 2014 09:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I believe it is more likely than not that God exists, I don't believe anyone can say with 100% certainty that God exists. Since we don't have absolute proof, because religion is a matter of faith, what if he doesn't, and those who say that all religions are fairy tales are right? It seems that your answer could for no good reason lead people to shattered dreams and unfulfilled lives. If God doesn't exist, I think the argument for marriage at all falls apart, except for any legal or secular reasons why it is still necessary.

03 June, 2014 10:20  
Blogger Unknown said...

Can an ordained christian minister marry a muslim man and chtistian woman

09 July, 2016 10:32  

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