The Meaning of “Unequally Yoked”

This is an old post that I wrote back in November in the aftermath of my post on permarital sex for iMonk. Since I’m admittedly a bit starved for material to write about at the moment, I suppose this is as good a thing as any to talk about.

Here’s a thought inspired by something StuartB said in my premarital sex post. What is “unequally yoked” anyway? Assuming for the moment that it means what I was always taught that it means which is not to marry non-Christians, I wonder about how the evolution of society, specifically the creation of the numerous denominations and different ways of understanding the Bible has impacted how this concept should be examined. In my fundigelical education, it was said that this concept is meant to warn against marrying non-believers because of all of the assorted problems it could cause due to conflicting views, (Which typically meant, upon reading into it a little, that non-believers may not share the same political views as fundigelicals.) but with how many different views on Christianity have arisen, couldn’t these same issues arise among a Christian couple with differing theological views just as easily? For example, an SBC evangelical may have some pretty severe disagreements with an Eastern Orthodox or a liberal Episcopalian. They may both believe in God, but they may do so in vastly different ways that aren’t compatible with living a life together. On the other side of the coin, a post-evangelical may have more in common beliefs-wise with an agnostic than an SBC evangelical, so which of these potential relationships has a higher likelihood for problems? I’d say that it is probably the one with the SBCer and the post-evangelical, assuming the relationships are equal in other non-theological ways. In fact, one might say that they are so different as to be “unequally yoked.” I’m not entirely sure what to make of this thought and I may be starting out with the wrong premise to begin with anyway. Anyone else have anything to say about this?

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The Meaning of “Unequally Yoked”