Using The Words of Life To Speak Death

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”  Book of Second Corinthians

“Stunned” is the only word that came to mind as I listened to a local Christian radio talk show host and his guest, a Bible scholar, give “christian” advise to a caller to the show. The host had invited people to call in with questions for said Bible scholar, so on the other end of the line was a woman with a question concerning her daughter.

The question went something like this, (although throughout this dialogue, it is my a paraphrase), “My daughter has walked away from her faith and the church and is living with her boyfriend, who is not a Christian. They have decided to get married and my daughter is looking to me for help. What should I do?” 

Bible Scholar answers using the verse that I started this post with,“According to the verse in 2 Corinthians,  if we are to truly live our lives out of a commitment to the word of God, it would be wrong for you to offer her help because what she is doing in marrying a non-believer, violates the Word.”

Woman caller, “Yes, that is what I have been taught about that verse. But do you think that it would be wrong for me to attend the wedding?”

Bible Scholar, Sometimes being a Christian is not easy. Sometimes, if we are to be faithful to Our Lord we need to make difficult choices, and not attending the wedding of your daughter is a difficult choice. But I believe that when we make those difficult choices, God sometimes uses them to impress upon others their need for Him and they turn back to Him”.

“Thank you so much for your help, I believe that is what I need to do.”  Caller hangs up.

So I sit there in my car, in my driveway, and all that comes into my head in that moment is WTF. Here is  a woman calling the show, probably a bit confused because she loves her daughter but has been taught something that goes against unconditional mother love and is told that the best way to love her daughter back into the Kingdom is to reject her?

I looked up that passage in numerous translations, and I compared several commentaries on 2 Corinthians, man stated that there is no concise understanding of what Paul exactly meant concerning interaction with the world, perhaps it involved intimate friendships, or  business partnerships, but none of the commentaries said that the passage was being specific on the issues of marriage.

But even if it had been specific, the passage says nothing about a mother helping or attending her daughter’s wedding day. That is what is so upsetting about how this ivory tower “bible scholar” counseled this woman. If she goes through with what was suggested, she will only alienate her daughter further and this action may shut the door to anything spiritual again. Her daughter may also feel that her mother does not love her and allow a toxic wave of rejection and hurt overwhelm her. It will most certainly keep the future son-in-law from ever considering becoming a Christian, and this woman, because of how she hurt her daughter, may never have any contact with future grandchildren.

Here is my advise. One of the greatest attributes of God that we can mirror to others is unconditional love. While this woman’s daughter has chosen to try a path contrary to what SHE ALREADY KNOWS are the beliefs and wishes of her mother, her mother, in Christ’s love is there for her. She is there in spite of her discomfort with the whole situation. Her daughter, and possibly her new son-in-law begin to see the love of God in a different light. Seeing maybe for the first time that Christianity is not about rules and regulations but about forgiveness, patience, and grace. Curious, the daughter begins to ask her mother questions and through love she and her husband are drawn to God and new life.

The “bible scholar” used the Word of God that would have brought death to several relationships. That is not what the “Words of Life” were meant to do.




18 thoughts on “Using The Words of Life To Speak Death

  1. You know what frustrates me? People who say they have high regard for Scripture and then they use Scripture in a proverbial manner–picking one Scripture out of context and using it for your own purpose. Then if anyone starts calling out “what is the context?” They cry that person is liberal.
    You are right Mark, that passage does not talk about marriage. More than likely it is about business partners. When it talks about being united with idols and temples–the practice for businesses/ artisans at that time were to have a “god of your guild”. The business/artisans of that guild would worship that god in hopes of good business. If you didn’t worship the god, you could not be part of the guild, if you were not part of the guild, you could not sell your wares in the market. And so, to be yoked in business meant you have to worship an idol. If you didn’t you could not make a living easily……..

    1. I will never understand that dicotomy about saying one believes the Bible yet refuses to really understand it.

  2. Sorry I hit the submit early…… early Christianity, there were still cultures who were practicing “arranged marriages,” How could this passage really be about marriage?

  3. If you watch Trinity Broadcasting or any number of Religious tv programing this sort of advise goes on all day long……scary.

    1. I did watch it again and all the Christian stations…more about that in the next post.

  4. Thank you for sharing this. I am a daughter (strong if Christian faith but moved from fundamentalism to universalism) whose mother remains fundamental. Because I do not support Israel 100% and choose to have compassion on the Palestinian people, I am antisemitic and cursed (according to her scripture reference in Isaiah). The separation between parent and child happens within the faith as well. For the sake of my own wholeness and spiritual well being, I’ve chosen to sever my relationship with her until further notice. Her rigid beliefs (political and spiritual) and lack of willingness to admit wrong on any issue causes me to run the opposite direction from her. I feel guilt because I was raised to “Honor thy father and mother”. I cannot and will not expose myself to abuse. So, I choose to go against what I was taught and trust the Lord to carry me through. So far, He has shown himself faithful and loving towards me. God Bless.

    1. I am so sorry for how things have turned out with your mother. I do not think that is what is suppose to happen when a person is a Christian, especially a parent to a child. As an aside I think that the whole Israel thing has nothing to do with Christianity and it has been detrimental in being able to share the Gospel. Because one stands for human rights and calls the Israeli’s out on their violations does not you antisemitic. Pray that you continue to seek and follow God and He will continue to reveal Himself to you.

  5. The irony is the Mom’s question starts with “My daughter has walked away from the faith…” and yet her question then goes on to presume her daughter is a believer and potentially unequally yolked if she marries the man she’s already living with! The question itself is flawed, if the daughter walked away from the faith, she’s not unequally yolked at all if she marries the guy. If the show guest was really a Bible scholar he would have picked up on that and turned the whole “unequally yolked” question into a moot one and challenged the Mom to continue to bring her daughter and new husband the gospel. The Mom could attend the wedding without the least hint of guilt. In fact, marrying the guy she’s been living with is a HUGE step in the right direction for the daughter and the Mom should be rejoicing in it and praising God for it.

  6. Had a similar confrontation with a mother who was going to boycott a her son’s wedding… told her i was glad “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Rms 5:8.
    Mom went to the wedding, has great relationship with son, daughter & grandchildren… love the Word, hate the religion…

    Thnx 4 the gr8 blogs Bro/Sis

  7. I am beginning to believe that the average Christians are really being driven by evil. How is not attending a wedding, shunning, shutting someone out of your life going to make them repentent and turn back to God? For me all it has done is made me a bitter, bitter, man, especially toward God. Perhaps that approach worked at one time in one place????? Maybe it works for the Amish?? As far as I go it will make me not want anything to do with your God because I don’t want to be anything like YOU, and you are a representitive of your God!!!!!

    1. Once again all I can say is that I am sorry for what has happened to you in the past and your intereaction with the “religious”. But many of the “religious” have lost focus on Jesus and grace and mercy and unconditional love. It is out there but you have to cut through a lot of thorny plants to find it.

    2. Shunning her daughter has nothing to do with bringing the daughter back to God, it has everything to do with making the MOTHER feel better. She herself is obviously uncomfortable with her daughter (who she admits has “walked away from her faith”) marrying an unbeliever. The mother doesn’t seem as concerned that the daughter has walked away (or that the unmarried daughter and boyfriend are living together) as she does whether or not she should attend the wedding. It seems, like MANY Christians I know, the mother is probably more concerned with how OTHER Christians (perhaps guests at the wedding and people with whom she goes to church) will view HER.

  8. My Son is getting married in two weeks, and they are living together already, My son was taught what Gods word says on the issue. I chose to love my son and future daughter in law and hopfully they will come to believe in Christ’s love and Grace. Please pray for me and my family and we Celebrate this time in my son’s life.

    1. The reason you can chose to love them is because you understand His love and grace. You are seeing an example for them, by living it out befroe them. God will work through you. THere are many, many Christians that woule not see things the way that you do.

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