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Author Topic: Marriage to Non-Christians  (Read 1218 times) Average Rating: 0
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Carefree T
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« on: July 03, 2012, 06:14:35 AM »

Hello to all,

My situation is interesting. I've been dating a wonderful girl for about three years. But when our relationship began, we were both secular subjectivists with no particular religious beliefs. But in the course of time I came to the Church (I was chrismated somewhat over a year ago), and at this point I've been strongly considering Paul's words about binding "harlots" to the Body of Christ, and as such I've brought it unto myself to consider my relationship as a sort of duty, which is not to say I don't love this woman and that I am legalistically pursuing this relationship because of what was written in the New Testament concerning fornication; I do truly love her and she I, and she is accepting and supportive of my faith even if she doesn't understand it.

Anyway, before my conversion we were carnally bound to each other, but not to anyone else on both our parts. I intend to marry her (as the intent should be in a romantic relationship), but she has never been baptized by any church and grew up in an a-religious family, though she has said she would be willing to marry me in my church by my priest because I believe it must be that way and she accepts and understands that. Is it acceptable to the Church to marry an Orthodox Christian to a non-christian in these circumstances? She is very skiddish about being "forced" into religious "obligations" and I would never will her to be baptized without a full understanding of what that means and entails. I'm not trying to convert her explicitly or implicitly and I make that clear by my actions. She wants to be baptized some day, but she has comfort-related reservations about the formality and "strangeness" of Apostolic Christian praxis compared to the more "comfortable" ("culturally relevant" I'll loosely say) Christianity of her nondenominational friends. If she doesn't want to take on the full meaning of baptism into Christianity at the time, would the Church marry us?

I've just been fretting about this for a long time now. I know the standard answer will be to ask my priest, but until I have the courage to discuss it with him, I would like my fellow Orthodox here to give me some input.
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 06:28:18 AM »

1. Non baptized can not be married in the Orthodox Church.
2. It has to be in the name of the trinity and by emersion.

While marriages to non Christians work they to tend to be a struggle. When both are on the same journey you have each other for support. I know I would not be where I am at without by Orthodox wife/partner.
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2012, 09:48:06 AM »

1. Non baptized can not be married in the Orthodox Church.
2. It has to be in the name of the trinity and by emersion.

While marriages to non Christians work they to tend to be a struggle. When both are on the same journey you have each other for support. I know I would not be where I am at without by Orthodox wife/partner.

It's true - Orthodox Christians may only marry non-Orthodox Christians who have received a Trinitarian baptism.
The Orthodox Church believes that marriage is more than a private transaction between two people. Rather marriage is a sacrament, an event in which God Himself participates through the blessings of the Priest. The "ecclesial" dimension of marriage as a sacrament will help you understand why marrying a non-Christian is a personal choice that will place you outside the Church. People are never forced to marry “outside the Church” – that is the decision of the individual.  Orthodox Christians who choose to enter into marriage with a non-Christian are no longer considered in good standing with their Church and are unable to fully and actively participate in its life, including receiving Holy Communion. This is a matter not only of ecclesiology but also common sense – if we do not believe in the teachings and practices of the faith, why would we want to participate in its Sacraments?

So a personal choice to marry a non-Christian, your own personal decisions, will unfortunately resulted in a self-imposed restriction on your full participation in the sacramental life of the Church.

Aside from all this, for me personally, it is extremely important that my spouse and I share the same faith. My faith is the deepest truest part of me - the part that I want to share with him, and not something that is a constant source of disharmony or compromise.

Please talk to your priest about this ASAP.
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2012, 09:55:15 AM »

It seems to me there is a grey area insofar as your relationship began before your conversion. St. Paul exhorted Christian converts not to separate from their pagan spouses, and, while you are technically not married, how much validity did pagan marriages have anyway?

Your priest may or may not have a different opinion, but it seems to me that giving you the options, "Convert her or break up with her" would be rather hard-hearted.
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2012, 10:03:58 AM »

It seems to me there is a grey area insofar as your relationship began before your conversion. St. Paul exhorted Christian converts not to separate from their pagan spouses, and, while you are technically not married, how much validity did pagan marriages have anyway?

Your priest may or may not have a different opinion, but it seems to me that giving you the options, "Convert her or break up with her" would be rather hard-hearted.

I'm not sure there is a grey area here, at least not so far as marriage goes. He will not be able to marry in the Church unless she has a Trinitarian baptism. My wife's and my relationship pre-dated my conversion (I was actually a catechumen when we married) but the priest who married us was adamant about that and my priest in Britain offered to write a letter to the priest who married us confirming that my baptism was indeed Trinitarian. If they'd married outside the Church before his Chrismation it would be different, otherwise I'm certain that everything katherineofdixie wrote is correct.

James
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2012, 10:20:45 AM »

So if they'd been wedded in a courtroom somewhere the situation would be completely different?
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2012, 10:27:06 AM »

So if they'd been wedded in a courtroom somewhere the situation would be completely different?
Yes in that marrying outside of the Church would not result in his not being in good standing (as he wasn't in the Church at all at the time). No in that they would still not be able to marry in Church.

James
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 10:38:05 AM »

It seems to me there is a grey area insofar as your relationship began before your conversion. St. Paul exhorted Christian converts not to separate from their pagan spouses, and, while you are technically not married, how much validity did pagan marriages have anyway?

I believe this was a concession for unity of the family and not for the participation in the sacraments of the church. To abandon your family because you converted and your partner did not is not the Christian way. Besides by revealing your conversion in your gradual changes and actions in daily life will impact and hopefully draw your partner to Christ and the Church.
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 10:42:24 AM »

And in many ways, it's not simply theological nitpicking, but rather common sense. It's the idea of being unequally yoked - the Orthodox Church has a specific understanding of marriage as a calling and a spiritual path. A priest once told my husband and I that God Himself had given us to each other - to help each other on the path to salvation. That is a very different understanding from other Christian denoms.

Also I grew up with parents who were of different faiths (though both Christian) and it's no picnic. Though they treated each other with love and respect, it was still a very lonely, insecure and confused feeling as a child to attend church without one or the other parent.
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2012, 10:48:44 AM »


From the GOA website (a lot more information here)


http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/marriage/interfaith/marrynonchristians

"With the increase of inter-Christian marriages around the world in the late 19th century, a large part of the Orthodox Church (which includes the Greek Orthodox Church of America) determined to modify its position regarding these types of marriages. As long as a couple was willing to meet the following conditions, Orthodox Christians could remain in good standing with their Church.
1.   Their wedding needed to take place in an Orthodox Church.
2.   The non-Orthodox Christian partner needed to be baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity and in water.
3.   The couple needed to agree to try and raise their children in the Orthodox Church.
Finally, even though the Orthodox Church believed that these couples would encounter many additional challenges, it decided to modify its position because it also believed that inter-Christian partner's belief systems are sufficiently compatible to permit individual, couple and family religious and spiritual growth.
Interreligious Marriages
Conversely, the Orthodox Church continues to hold to a more jaundiced view of interreligious marriage. It believes that the differences between both partners’ belief systems preclude individual, couple and family religious and spiritual development. As a result, it continues to discourage its faithful from entering interreligious marriages. Orthodox Christians who decide to enter an interreligious marriage (a) will be unable to wed in the Orthodox Church, and (b) lose their sacramental privileges."
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 11:12:05 AM »

Carefree T - I was in a very similar situation.  We were together for almost three years.  I have always been Christian and have been Orthodox most of my life.  She was Christian when she was young but had become agnostic/atheist as time went on.  This is where she was when I met her.  Most of the atheists I had know up to that point were the teenage angsty sort, so I had usually just considered atheism to be a sign of immaturity that would grow out.  It did not in her case (and since then I have met plenty of mature atheists).  Eventually it got to the point where marriage came up.  I told her that we could not be married in a Church since she had consistently refused to renounce atheism.  She then suggested secular marriage and I told her my views on marriage - in general secular marriage is a lopsided contract where the man stands at a major disadvantage, in particular I told her that I figured a marriage between us would be the first step on the road to divorce.  That broke her heart.  We eventually broke up, I being the deciding factor in it more than anything else.  But I will tell you, if she had treated me better in the relationship, I probably would have married her despite every other factor.

I'm not sure what advice I can give you.  I would never tell anyone to buck the Church's teaching.  But I will also tell you that I hope to never be in this situation again.  If you two actually love each other and after three years the relationship is going well, you are kind of stuck in.  You could give her the "convert or we break up" ultimatum.  But I will not advise you to do anything I could not do.  If for some reason I get involved with a non-Christian again, if it gets to that point...I don't know.  I seem to think shooting myself would be easier than going through that again.  The only reason breaking her heart like that didn't just destroy me the last time is because she treated me like crap for most of the time we were together so I kind of wanted out regardless.

If things are going well, I'm not sure I would throw that all away if I was in your position.  If you think you can find a "good Christian girl (TM)" if things don't work out, you might reconsider.  I tried that route.  I will probably try again.  But going to church and calling yourself Christian makes you about as good as going to the lake makes you a duck. 

Sorry for the rambling.  Hopefully you can get something from my experiences on this issue.  May God be with you and grant you discernment.  If I have said anything contradictory to the Church I recant, though I doubt my opinions on the matter will change any.
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 11:44:57 AM »

Stop worrying or change your screen name Smiley

This is too complicated for normal advice to help much. I am not one for saying just depend on prayer but this is a good thing to do in this case. if you marry her you will be out of communion. If you don't marry her, you will have hurt yourself and her very deeply at this point in your relationship.

So pray and fast like you have a dread disease and need a cure, Go to a wonder working icon and pray before it. Give alms double what you normally do. Ask God for guidance. Beseech your guardian angle. Then get out to the way.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 11:45:42 AM by Marc1152 » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2012, 12:30:44 PM »

Hello to all,

My situation is interesting. I've been dating a wonderful girl for about three years. But when our relationship began, we were both secular subjectivists with no particular religious beliefs. But in the course of time I came to the Church (I was chrismated somewhat over a year ago), and at this point I've been strongly considering Paul's words about binding "harlots" to the Body of Christ, and as such I've brought it unto myself to consider my relationship as a sort of duty, which is not to say I don't love this woman and that I am legalistically pursuing this relationship because of what was written in the New Testament concerning fornication; I do truly love her and she I, and she is accepting and supportive of my faith even if she doesn't understand it.

Anyway, before my conversion we were carnally bound to each other, but not to anyone else on both our parts. I intend to marry her (as the intent should be in a romantic relationship), but she has never been baptized by any church and grew up in an a-religious family, though she has said she would be willing to marry me in my church by my priest because I believe it must be that way and she accepts and understands that. Is it acceptable to the Church to marry an Orthodox Christian to a non-christian in these circumstances? She is very skiddish about being "forced" into religious "obligations" and I would never will her to be baptized without a full understanding of what that means and entails. I'm not trying to convert her explicitly or implicitly and I make that clear by my actions. She wants to be baptized some day, but she has comfort-related reservations about the formality and "strangeness" of Apostolic Christian praxis compared to the more "comfortable" ("culturally relevant" I'll loosely say) Christianity of her nondenominational friends. If she doesn't want to take on the full meaning of baptism into Christianity at the time, would the Church marry us?

I've just been fretting about this for a long time now. I know the standard answer will be to ask my priest, but until I have the courage to discuss it with him, I would like my fellow Orthodox here to give me some input.

I'm in a similar situation, a non-christian seeking the Church, living with and engaged to an non-christian. Neither of us have been baptized and it was explained to us that both of us would need to be baptized to be married in the church. In fact, both of us would have to be baptized for me to even be allowed to receive Communion,which I think is because we live together.
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2012, 02:48:01 PM »

Some what the Church says about these matters are necessary legalisms. Some other parts of this is sound advice for those seeking thesis and union with God.

To the extent that you can pacify yourself and turn your passions to God then strive to do that. There will be great rewards.

On the other hand let me mention a funny legalism that effected me. I was married for 27 years and had two children who are now grown ( by in large Smiley. She died. I had converted two years or so before she passed, she never converted nor wanted to and was unbaptized ( to say the least).

When I remarried three years ago the Church considered it my First Marriage.... Oh okay.. 27 years is a long time. I'm pretty sure in the eyes of God we were quite married.

But when I courted my new wife, I had the luxury of following Church teachings to my benefit. We did not live together even though it made a lot of sense financially if we did.

So sometimes things shake out in funny ways. Just do your best and keep your eye on the main issue, furthering your salvation and that of your spouse.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 02:49:23 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2012, 03:30:49 PM »

Assuming this young lady meets the requirements of the Church before y'all get married, the bigger question is have you thought about what marriage to a non-Christian would be like?  The wedding lasts only a day but the marriage is forever.  Forever!  The problems you'll encounter are not insurmountable, but they will only add to normal problems married people have.  And what about children?  Is she ok with them being raised Orthodox, because they'll have to be.  Are you prepared to answer them when they ask why mommy isn't a Christian?  Are you prepared to attend church by yourself if she changes her mind about attending with you?  That can be really lonely.  During your trials and tribulations, will she encourage you to seek guidance from God and His Church?  Put aside the "Can I marry a non-Christian for a moment?" and strongly consider the rest of your life. 

Here's a wonderful article written by Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra, Mount Athos.  It should only take you 10 - 15 minutes to read but will give you much food for thought. 

The rest of your life... this is serious business.
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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2012, 03:49:13 PM »

Thank you all for the sober words. That's rough, but I understand why the Church has this position.

Because of her relationship with me she has grown more curious about Christianity and, like I mentioned, she somewhat frequently brings up the topic of being baptized, so I guess my only recourse right now is to keep on keepin' on and hope she follows through with a trinitarian baptism somewhere or preferably agrees to be baptized in the Church as part of following through with the marriage.

@GabrieltheCelt
Yes, I understand the implications of "the rest of my life." We talk to each other about the monumental meaning in the marriage vows, and she wants the children to be in the Church and wants to be Christian herself. She just has comfort issues because of the foreignness of the Church to her (our Church really is the proverbial "strong meat" and she the "teething babe," having no cultural familiarity or experience with Christianity of any type from her family). During trials and tribulations now she encourages me to pray, talk to my priest, etc. I have personal experience with what you're describing as the children's perspective. I was raised Roman Catholic, and my mother attended Church and my father never did; he encouraged my involvement, but openly estranged himself from it. So I've thought about that angle, too. It's part of why I'm stuck.
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« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2012, 03:51:09 PM »

You said she seems uncomfortable in the Apostolic Church compared to the loose Non-Denim Churches? Strange. Most atheists/secular people I have met find the laid-back 'contemporary' Churches to be more silly and 'mediocre' as I have heard them say before and actually have more respect for the traditional liturgical Churches.

Anyway, back on topic. This is definitely something to speak with your Priest about, who will probably even contact your Bishop. It is true that St. Paul orders us not to unite harlots to the body of Christ, but He also urged people to remain with their pagan spouses and partners after their conversion. Your situation seems complex so I think it's best for your Bishop to decide what to do with this subject.

On a positive note, I think that a marriage with an atheist could work. In fact, if anything, it may even be easier and more successful than marrying a non-Orthodox type of Christian. The reason being that if you marry a non-Orthodox Christian like a Protestant or Roman Catholic, they will probably come in conflict with you when it comes to religiously raising the kids. They will try to feed the children their heretical views about God while you are trying to teach them the proper Orthodox teachings, thus confusing them. But the good thing about an atheist spouse is that she will probably not care about what you teach the children religiously and will not conflict with it or confuse them by telling them heretical views about God. She'll probably just leave it all to you. I know that I would rather marry an atheist than a different type of Christian or an adherent to a different religion.
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« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2012, 04:04:11 PM »

I know that I would rather marry an atheist than a different type of Christian or an adherent to a different religion.

The Church disagrees with you.
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« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2012, 04:05:04 PM »

What are you asking for?

If she is OK getting baptized by some non-dom, then have a Unitarian or whatever give her a Trinitarian baptism.

That is all that is required. Probably better that it not be a Unitarian, but you get my point.

I know people how have had their spouses-to-be get "quicky" Baptisms to satisfy a Priest. And no for the peanut gallery, we ain't just talking about some nominal Orthodox folks here.

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« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2012, 04:06:25 PM »

I know that I would rather marry an atheist than a different type of Christian or an adherent to a different religion.

The Church disagrees with you.

The Church has a stance on who JamesR would rather marry? And we say the RCs over think things . . .
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« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2012, 04:09:23 PM »

I know that I would rather marry an atheist than a different type of Christian or an adherent to a different religion.

The Church disagrees with you.

I said what I would 'rather' do. And in man instances what I would 'rather' do is far different than what I can/will do.

Besides, why not? Wouldn't an atheist parent opposed to a different type of Christian parent be healthier for the child? Think about it. A different type of Christian parent might come in conflict with you and teach the child non-Orthodox teachings about God whereas an atheist parent will probably not care or teach the child anything about religion, thus respecting your place and allowing you to teach them the proper orthodox teachings unimpeded.
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« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2012, 04:33:39 PM »


... and she wants the children to be in the Church and wants to be Christian herself.

Oh, I see.  It sounds like she just needs to get acclimated to the Church.  AFAIK, you can only do that by participating as often as possible.  For your fiancee, take her to the services as often as she feels comfortable going.  And when the opportunity presents itself, try explaining 'why' the Church is so different.  The difference between Eastern Orthodoxy and other churches is part of what attracts most converts.  It's also what causes stumbling blocks, even for those who are interested.  Is she receptive to talking to your priest either with or without you?  Is she receptive to reading about the Church?  Encourage her to voice her concerns and questions so that you can read up and formulate answers.  And if you're comfortable you can share those questions with us so that we can help each other.

BTW, I re-read what I wrote earlier and I apologize if I sounded condescending.  Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2012, 04:38:42 PM »

I know that I would rather marry an atheist than a different type of Christian or an adherent to a different religion.

The Church disagrees with you.

I said what I would 'rather' do. And in man instances what I would 'rather' do is far different than what I can/will do.

Besides, why not? Wouldn't an atheist parent opposed to a different type of Christian parent be healthier for the child? Think about it. A different type of Christian parent might come in conflict with you and teach the child non-Orthodox teachings about God whereas an atheist parent will probably not care or teach the child anything about religion, thus respecting your place and allowing you to teach them the proper orthodox teachings unimpeded.

Your assumptions about atheists are not always the case. There are many "militant" atheists out there. "No, dear, don't listen to your father - it's all lies and superstitions."

A friend of mine who is now Orthodox had just that kind of militant atheist parents. His father would boast about having discussions with Christians for the sole purpose of undermining their faith.
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« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2012, 07:19:02 PM »

I'm in a similar situation, a non-christian seeking the Church, living with and engaged to an non-christian. Neither of us have been baptized and it was explained to us that both of us would need to be baptized to be married in the church. In fact, both of us would have to be baptized for me to even be allowed to receive Communion,which I think is because we live together.

If you are married prior to your reception into the Church, it should not be an obstacle to communion for you.
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« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2012, 07:58:23 PM »

I know that I would rather marry an atheist than a different type of Christian or an adherent to a different religion.

The Church disagrees with you.

FWIW, the Orthodox priest who baptized me does agree with you, James.
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« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2012, 08:06:20 PM »

I'm in a similar situation, a non-christian seeking the Church, living with and engaged to an non-christian. Neither of us have been baptized and it was explained to us that both of us would need to be baptized to be married in the church. In fact, both of us would have to be baptized for me to even be allowed to receive Communion,which I think is because we live together.

If you are married prior to your reception into the Church, it should not be an obstacle to communion for you.

Such has been the case for myself, for the most part. I was very interested in the Church for some time while engaged to my non-religious fiance of many years. As soon as I married her and relocated, I began looking into the possibility of becoming baptized. I was honest to the priest at my new parish about my situation, and he said it was acceptable - and indeed preferable - that I become an Orthodox Christian. This was perhaps a bit of a back-door approach to joining the Church, and certainly not the ideal route from an Orthodox standpoint, but I thought I'd share my situation anyway.
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« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2012, 08:30:18 PM »

I know that I would rather marry an atheist than a different type of Christian or an adherent to a different religion.

The Church disagrees with you.

FWIW, the Orthodox priest who baptized me does agree with you, James.

That's interesting. Everything I've ever read has led me to believe that an Orthodox Christian, under certain circumstances, may marry a heterodox Christian, but may never, under any circumstances, for any reason, marry an unbaptized person (I'm not referring to staying married here, if you were married before conversion). That's why I said what I said.
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« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2012, 11:18:28 PM »

What are you asking for?

If she is OK getting baptized by some non-dom, then have a Unitarian or whatever give her a Trinitarian baptism.

That is all that is required. Probably better that it not be a Unitarian, but you get my point.

I know people how have had their spouses-to-be get "quicky" Baptisms to satisfy a Priest. And no for the peanut gallery, we ain't just talking about some nominal Orthodox folks here.
I guess namely I'm asking for her to "endure" the Church's requirements to marry us. I'm somewhat confident that in the long run she might be drawn into the Church by exposure. She's not opposed to being baptized, she just feels that it would be a "lie" to God because she doesn't feel like she's "good enough" because she doesn't know "how" to be a Christian and can't live up to Christ. So it isn't that she's indifferent or hostile to the faith, she's just ignorant in the best meaning possible for that word.


... and she wants the children to be in the Church and wants to be Christian herself.

Oh, I see.  It sounds like she just needs to get acclimated to the Church.  AFAIK, you can only do that by participating as often as possible.  For your fiancee, take her to the services as often as she feels comfortable going.  And when the opportunity presents itself, try explaining 'why' the Church is so different.  The difference between Eastern Orthodoxy and other churches is part of what attracts most converts.  It's also what causes stumbling blocks, even for those who are interested.  Is she receptive to talking to your priest either with or without you?  Is she receptive to reading about the Church?  Encourage her to voice her concerns and questions so that you can read up and formulate answers.  And if you're comfortable you can share those questions with us so that we can help each other.

BTW, I re-read what I wrote earlier and I apologize if I sounded condescending.  Smiley
She is very receptive and has a great will to learn, but she's the kind of person who has trouble doing anything that she's not familiar with; for example, she's the kind that is really reluctant to try new foods. She wants to learn, but the participation part is where she gets hung up.

I like your idea about addressing her concerns and relaying them here - I'll try to do that. And I didn't find you condescending, I thought you were sincere and concerned, which means a lot to me Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2012, 10:53:47 AM »

What are you asking for?

If she is OK getting baptized by some non-dom, then have a Unitarian or whatever give her a Trinitarian baptism.

That is all that is required. Probably better that it not be a Unitarian, but you get my point.

I know people how have had their spouses-to-be get "quicky" Baptisms to satisfy a Priest. And no for the peanut gallery, we ain't just talking about some nominal Orthodox folks here.



I dunno.. Getting "Baptized" just to fulfill the "requirement" in the lowest common denominator "Church" without a whiff of faith, boarders on Phariseeism.   God may be able to figure that one out and give you detention after class.
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« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2012, 10:32:59 AM »

I know that I would rather marry an atheist than a different type of Christian or an adherent to a different religion.

The Church disagrees with you.

I said what I would 'rather' do. And in man instances what I would 'rather' do is far different than what I can/will do.

Besides, why not? Wouldn't an atheist parent opposed to a different type of Christian parent be healthier for the child? Think about it. A different type of Christian parent might come in conflict with you and teach the child non-Orthodox teachings about God whereas an atheist parent will probably not care or teach the child anything about religion, thus respecting your place and allowing you to teach them the proper orthodox teachings unimpeded.

Your assumptions about atheists are not always the case. There are many "militant" atheists out there. "No, dear, don't listen to your father - it's all lies and superstitions."

A friend of mine who is now Orthodox had just that kind of militant atheist parents. His father would boast about having discussions with Christians for the sole purpose of undermining their faith.

Seconded.  One of the things you need to watch out for with an atheist is the belief that the children should be raised religiously neutral so they can make the decision when they become adults.  I believe that there should be a firm religious upbringing to give the child a foundation.  They can make the decision to stay Christian or to apostatize when they get older regardless.  Apostasy is easy.  Learning about a faith without a spiritual upbringing denies them something.

(As a side note, this is the reason why one dating experience ended half way through the second date.  All in all, I am glad we got this out of the way quickly since our relationship is becoming a good friendship even though we won't be dating.)
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« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2012, 01:39:14 PM »

What are you asking for?

If she is OK getting baptized by some non-dom, then have a Unitarian or whatever give her a Trinitarian baptism.

That is all that is required. Probably better that it not be a Unitarian, but you get my point.

I know people how have had their spouses-to-be get "quicky" Baptisms to satisfy a Priest. And no for the peanut gallery, we ain't just talking about some nominal Orthodox folks here.



I dunno.. Getting "Baptized" just to fulfill the "requirement" in the lowest common denominator "Church" without a whiff of faith, boarders on Phariseeism.   God may be able to figure that one out and give you detention after class.

Welcome to the structure of nearly every behavior. It is not Phariseeism, you are looking for here, for they took very seriously the cultic structure of their faith. Remember their righteousness is a benchmark to exceed for salvation.

Time to find a new whipping boy. I have my suggestions where to find him, but I'll leave you to your good sense to find him.

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« Reply #31 on: July 07, 2012, 12:42:00 AM »

Carefree T, from my reading of this discussion it seems like you have a wonderful lady. She just sounds nervous. I'm relatively new to the EOC, so I don't understand all the spiritual consequences, but I do know that marriage to a lady who is your complete partner is a wonderful thing. My wife and I have been married 12 years, working on forever. So, don't give up on her.
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« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2012, 08:48:28 PM »

Carefree T, from my reading of this discussion it seems like you have a wonderful lady. She just sounds nervous. I'm relatively new to the EOC, so I don't understand all the spiritual consequences, but I do know that marriage to a lady who is your complete partner is a wonderful thing. My wife and I have been married 12 years, working on forever. So, don't give up on her.
Thank you Gary, I appreciate the comfort Smiley She is a wonderful lady and she's the one for me, and I guess "nervous" would be a good way to put it for her. I'm willing to take as much time as she needs, in return for her loving support of my faith. I just want her to get baptized knowing what the implications of that are and not just to fulfill a requirement for my sake.
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« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2012, 10:11:47 PM »

I know that I would rather marry an atheist than a different type of Christian or an adherent to a different religion.

The Church disagrees with you.

FWIW, the Orthodox priest who baptized me does agree with you, James.

That's interesting. Everything I've ever read has led me to believe that an Orthodox Christian, under certain circumstances, may marry a heterodox Christian, but may never, under any circumstances, for any reason, marry an unbaptized person (I'm not referring to staying married here, if you were married before conversion). That's why I said what I said.

I see. I became Orthodox after already being married to a non-Christian. My priest thought it was, in some ways, better that my wife didn't have a bunch of weird Protestant beliefs or baggage. He felt that my being in the Church would perhaps attract her to it, or at least would afford her some of God's grace via my participation in the Church. Regarding an Orthodox Christian marrying an unbaptized person, you are correct. Perhaps I misunderstood you.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 10:13:22 PM by stavros_388 » Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton
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