2 Corinthians 6:14


#1

Does 2 Corinthians 6:14 which says "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" refute the Catholic doctrine of inter-religious dialogue? If not, what was the passage truly saying?


#2

[quote="Catholic4Jesus, post:1, topic:325283"]
Does 2 Corinthians 6:14 which says "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" refute the Catholic doctrine of inter-religious dialogue?

[/quote]

No, I don't think so. If the passage meant "don't talk to anyone but Christians", then we'd have to call out Paul for being a hypocrite, wouldn't we? I mean, he evangelized among the Gentiles!

Now, you might object -- after all, that's 'evangelization', not 'inter-religious dialogue', right? Not so fast, though! Look at Paul in Acts 17 -- he's talking to the Greeks, and as he does so, he brings their own gods to the discussion. In other words, it's inter-religious dialogue!

In order to understand the passage, then, I think that we need to consider the word 'yoked'. When two animals are yoked together, then they must follow the same path. If one wants to go in a different direction, he's unable to do so, since he's yoked to the guy next to him. I think what Paul's getting at here isn't that we should avoid contact with those of other (i.e., non-Christian) faith traditions, but that we should avoid putting ourselves into situations in which we'll be tempted, invited, or led in directions away from Christ. When we 'yoke' ourselves to them -- in whatever context that might be -- we find that it's difficult to pull away, when they try to lead us in a direction that we shouldn't be going...!


#3

[quote="Gorgias, post:2, topic:325283"]
we should avoid putting ourselves into situations in which we'll be tempted, invited, or led in directions away from Christ. When we 'yoke' ourselves to them -- in whatever context that might be -- we find that it's difficult to pull away, when they try to lead us in a direction that we shouldn't be going...!

[/quote]

^^ This, and ...

If inter-religious dialoging people should find themselves embracing a new faith tradition based off of their discussions, then I would say they are 'yolked'. I'm sure that goes on and perhaps that is where the Biblical quote in question does come in.

Just a guess though.

Maybe the passage only has to do with marriage. However there is such a thing as spiritual adultery, isn't there?


#4

[quote="Catholic4Jesus, post:1, topic:325283"]
Does 2 Corinthians 6:14 which says "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" refute the Catholic doctrine of inter-religious dialogue? If not, what was the passage truly saying?

[/quote]

I’ve always read this in a similar light with our own prayer and devotions and scripture reading. It is about maintaining a strong hold on the “true foundation” as you explore personal devotions. So, read scriptures and allow yourself to be enriched by its wisdom, but first, pray the divine office to keep yourself rooted. Pray to the Father for your petitions, but first pray the Lord’s Prayer so that your intentions stay pure.

If we through away the “standard devotions” and only indulge on our personal prayers and reading, there is a risk of nurturing a personal faith with personal interpretations. There is also a risk that the spirit that begins to guide us might not be the Holy Spirit.

So intra-faith communications is good for evangelization to the truth as long as we stay rooted on the true foundations first; if not, we may find ourselves being pulled from the faith and into errors.

my :twocents:


#5

I thought that this referred to interfaith marraiges. :shrug:


#6

[quote="coachkfan1, post:5, topic:325283"]
I thought that this referred to interfaith marraiges. :shrug:

[/quote]

I was kind of beginning to think the same thing.


#7

[quote="coachkfan1, post:5, topic:325283"]
I thought that this referred to interfaith marraiges. :shrug:

[/quote]

Me too.


#8

coachkfan, Catholic4Jesus, and Nita:

If the Church's interpretation of this passage were that Paul was forbidding marriage between Catholics and non-Catholics (or even, in today's situation, between Christians and non-Christians), then how might we understand Paul's assertion that the unbelieving spouse is made holy through their Christian spouse in 1 Cor 7:12-14?

There are some non-Catholic Christian preachers out there who preach that 2 Cor 6:14 forbids a marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian (a situation that the Church names 'disparity of cult'). Here's what the Church says about it in the Catechism (I've italicized some relevant portions):

1633 In many countries the situation of a mixed marriage (marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic) often arises. It requires particular attention on the part of couples and their pastors. A case of marriage with disparity of cult (between a Catholic and a non-baptized person) requires even greater circumspection.

1634 Difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage, when they succeed in placing in common what they have received from their respective communities, and learn from each other the way in which each lives in fidelity to Christ. But the difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated. They arise from the fact that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome. The spouses risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of their own home. Disparity of cult can further aggravate these difficulties. Differences about faith and the very notion of marriage, but also different religious mentalities, can become sources of tension in marriage, especially as regards the education of children. The temptation to religious indifference can then arise.

1635 According to the law in force in the Latin Church, a mixed marriage needs for liceity the express permission of ecclesiastical authority. In case of disparity of cult an express dispensation from this impediment is required for the validity of the marriage. This permission or dispensation presupposes that both parties know and do not exclude the essential ends and properties of marriage; and furthermore that the Catholic party confirms the obligations, which have been made known to the non-Catholic party, of preserving his or her own faith and ensuring the baptism and education of the children in the Catholic Church.

1636 Through ecumenical dialogue Christian communities in many regions have been able to put into effect a common pastoral practice for mixed marriages. Its task is to help such couples live out their particular situation in the light of faith, overcome the tensions between the couple's obligations to each other and towards their ecclesial communities, and encourage the flowering of what is common to them in faith and respect for what separates them.

1637 In marriages with disparity of cult the Catholic spouse has a particular task: "For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband." It is a great joy for the Christian spouse and for the Church if this "consecration" should lead to the free conversion of the other spouse to the Christian faith. Sincere married love, the humble and patient practice of the family virtues, and perseverance in prayer can prepare the non-believing spouse to accept the grace of conversion.


#9

Gorgias,

You asked:   "then how might we understand Paul's assertion that the unbelieving spouse is made holy through their Christian spouse in 1 Cor 7:12-14?"

I was always told and I was taught that in the case mentioned above, the spouses were already married before one of them became a Christian and that was what St. Paul was talking about.


#10

[quote="AnneElizabeth, post:9, topic:325283"]
I was always told and I was taught that in the case mentioned above, the spouses were already married before one of them became a Christian and that was what St. Paul was talking about.

[/quote]

This is the essence of the Pauline Privilege, which is found in canon law (cf cc.1143-1147). The terms of the Pauline Privilege require that neither spouse was baptized at the time of the marriage. However, that does not imply that this is the only way that this Scripture passage finds interpretation. After all, the situation in Paul's day was vastly different than it is in ours: back then, it would be quite common for one spouse to convert to Christianity and then be in the exact situation that Paul discusses!

Nevertheless, if the passage has only the narrow interpretation that you claim, then essentially we're playing games with Scripture: we're not allowed to be married to a non-believer, but if we do marry a non-Christian, then we should stay with them and not abandon them. How is there internal consistency in that logic?


#11

Hi Gorgias,

I'm not sure what you are trying to say.

#12

[quote="AnneElizabeth, post:11, topic:325283"]
I'm not sure what you are trying to say.

[/quote]

Hmm. I'm not sure which part was confusing -- the part about the Pauline Privilege, or the part about why it seems not to make sense if we look at 1 Cor 7 and 2 Cor 6 together?

I was just trying to point out that your claim sounds like a statement about the Pauline Privilege. The Pauline Privilege is one particular application of the notion is 1 Cor 7:12-14. As such, it deals with the particular circumstance that you're talking about: neither spouse was baptized at the time of the wedding, but later, one spouse (and not the other) was baptized. However, this one use of that passage doesn't mean that it's the only way to look at that passage.

Is that what you were asking about?


#13

[quote="AnneElizabeth, post:9, topic:325283"]
Gorgias,

You asked:   "then how might we understand Paul's assertion that the unbelieving spouse is made holy through their Christian spouse in 1 Cor 7:12-14?"

I was always told and I was taught that in the case mentioned above, the spouses were already married before one of them became a Christian and that was what St. Paul was talking about.

[/quote]

Me too.

Another situation in which the passage would apply is a mixed marriage arranged by the parents. I think in those cultures an arranged marriage was more the norm and not an exception. I can see such a situation arising - especially if neither set of parents were Christian.
I know there have been some who suffered martyrdom rather than submit to an unwanted marriage, but I don't think the Church has ever required resistance to that point.


#14

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