Periodical Reviews -- By: James F. Rand

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 113:452 (Oct 1956)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: James F. Rand

Periodical Reviews

James F. Rand

Barnhouse, Donald Grey, “Mixed Marriages,” Eternity, 7:8:8–9, 39–41, August, 1956.

The Christian public has learned to expect forthright statements from the editor of Eternity on current Christian problems. They will not be disappointed in this article which sets forth clearly the basic premises and Biblical teachings involved in an understanding of the problem of mixed marriages.

Dr. Bamhouse points out: “The commands against mixed marriages, therefore are plain, incontrovertible and fixed by God. Anyone who disobeys these commands commits willful, direct rebellious sin against God, perhaps committing the sin unto death (1 John 5:16). In spite of the strength and directness of these commands there are those who willfully go into mixed marriages. They do so because they are out of the will of God; because they have determined that they are going to do only what they want to do themselves; and they rush into marriage thinking they are going to get something good out of it.” What is the cause of such an attitude? Dr. Barnhouse answers: “The answer is that such a believer has not come to the place where he or she has found all sufficiency in Christ.”

Such counsel needs to be given to our young people who are in danger of being involved in mixed marriages long before they reach the point of actual decision. He discusses four types of marriages between believers and unbelievers. The most serious is one between a Christian “and one who belongs to one of the non-Christian religions of the world, including Islam, Hinduism, Unitarianism, Christian Science and similar unitarian cults, and Judaism.” The seriousness of such a situation is indicated by the fact that involved is a wedding service “at which a professed Christian would go through an act of public apostasy.”

A similar situation exists when a believer marries a Roman Catholic. In neither instance can there be any kind of lasting basis for marriage for there is no basis for fellowship. Dr. Barnhouse also considers the situation of the believer who is already married to an unbeliever and points out that it must be considered in the light of the answer to the question, “Was the mate who is now a Christian a true believer at the time of marriage?” “If there has been a marriage between two people, neither of them Christians, and if one of these becomes a Christian, the situation is covered in…1 Corinthians 7. The Bible flatly says that the believer is to stand by the marriage.” Dr. Barnhouse says that “where there is a mixed marriage that is the result of the sin of a believer who has departed from the Lord a...

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