About unbelievers...?


#1

Hey! So I have a questions about how Catholics are supposed to act toward unbelievers. Scripture says that we need to not be unequally yoked, and I know that in the Old Testament there were laws against mixing fabrics that spiritually refer to mixing with unbelievers.

However, Scripture also says that it isn’t sinful to associate with unbelievers. How far is too far when it comes to association? Can we watch TV? How can we avoid being “mixed”?


#2

Be respectful, be loving, but don’t be provoked if they disrespect the faith. Mix as much as you please. If they want to learn more, be proud to be an ambassador for the Holy Mother Church. Tell them everything, freely and willingly. If they mock your faith, ignore them. Better still, pray for them. It will win you special graces in heaven.

God Bless you on your faith journey.


#3

But the OT laws’ fulfilled meaning is that we can’t mix…


#4

We follow the teachings of our Lord…Love God and Love neighbor. (Luke 10:27)

St. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 6:14 is not telling us to sever relationships with unbelievers, he is warning us pull away from relationships that threaten our faith.

When it threatens your faith. For example if you are a Catholic and not strongly rooted in understanding your faith it would be unwise for you to attend a Bible study with a non-Catholic community, because you are sure to learn something that is contrary to your faith. However, if you are strong in your faith there is no reason you couldn’t fellowship in a Bible study with non-Catholics. I love to be questioned about my faith, this is the best way for me to retain what I have learned.

Depends. If you want to watch something wholesome go for it. If your friend is watching something like one of those reality shows about conjuring up dead relatives I would say you are best to take a pass on that one.

There is no reason to avoid being mixed, unless it’s contrary to the faith like say a satanic ritual.

Live out your faith among non-believers, by your actions they might come to see the truth.

God Bless


#5

How are you coming to this conclusion?


#6

Ignore them. They do not hold the fullness of the truth, and we are not at all bound to follow them.


#7

Because that’s what I’ve been taught… I was told that the spiritual application of the “no mixed fabrics, no cross-planting crops, don’t yoke an ox and a cow”… laws was that believers and unbelievers should not be mixed.

It makes sense. I mean, Paul in the new testament uses the “yoked” analogy that refers back to the old law.


#8

I already explained that up their.

This is part of the old testament Levitical law. These laws are not binding on Jesus’ Church. They were done away with. St. Paul mentions this here…

Colossians 2:16

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

Hope this helps,

God Bless


#9

So what do you do when you are at school and at work, with unbelievers?
You live your life to honor God and be a light to them. We need Catholic doctors, Catholic taxi drivers, Catholic people, sound in the faith, to be salt and light to the world.
When looking for a life partner to marry look to find a practicing Catholic, who also has a faith journey, goes to the sacraments, etc.

When hanging out with friends, it’s good to have Catholic friends to help and encourage each other.


#10

Ahh okay I think you may be a bit confused on what I mean. I believe that the old testament law has been “fulfilled”, as in, the true meaning has been brought out. And I’ve been told that the true meaning of those laws is the no-mixing thing.

I wear mixed fabrics, and eat plants grown by cross-planting, but I’m just wondering about the spiritual aspect :smiley:


#11

How could we ever evangelize or show these people the truth of Christ if we were never allowed to intermingle with them???

There is no point preaching to those who already know the truth. We are called to spread the truth to those who DON’T and you can’t do that without forming relationships with unbelievers.

Trust the Catechism. Don’t rely on your own interpretation of Scripture because it’s easy to misunderstand.


#12

Yeah I see what you mean now. From a Catholic standpoint when we say Jesus has fulfilled the law we don’t say that the “true meaning” has been brought out. By this understanding it would make it seem like the OT meaning was false.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The Law has not been abolished, but rather man is invited to rediscover it in the person of his Master who is its perfect fulfillment” (CCC 2053).

The solemnity of our Lord’s opening pronouncements and his clear intention of inaugurating a new religious movement make it necessary for him to explain his position with regard to the [Old Testament law]. He has not come to abrogate but to bring it to perfection, i.e. to reveal the full intention of the divine legislator. The sense of this “fulfilling” . . . is the total expression of God’s will in the old order . . . Far from dying . . . the old moral order is to rise to a new life, infused with a new spirit. (861)

So taking this into account we need to read St. Paul’s words through Jesus eyes not the OT.

Jesus tells us to Love God and Love neighbor we need to keep this in mind when we read St. Paul telling us not to be mismated with unbelievers.

We need to put these words to the test. If the “true meaning” here is to not mix with unbelievers is it possible to do this and still Love God and Neighbor? Well God wants us to share the gospel with everyone, including non-believers, is this possible if we avoid them? If we don’t bring them the gospel (obviously if we were given the gift of evangilization) are we loving the neighbor?

If we avoid the neighbor we aren’t loving them so this can’t be what St. Paul strictly means here. However, if we put ourselves into a situation that will pull us away from God then we aren’t loving God, so there has to be the happy medium which is what I said up there.

:point_up_2:

Hope this helps,

God Bless


#13

If they are being a bad influence you better distance yourself.


#14

Unbelievers as well as sinful people (which is everybody) need to be loved and giving up in prayer and served and ministered and treated with the unalienable dignity that is given to them by God. Never assume you are better than them. You haven’t lived their life. You have only lived your own life. “If but for the grace of God, there go I”. Not doing these things is a sin of omission.

If you’re casually hanging out with a person and doing the things that they do, and laughing at jokes that you shouldn’t be laughing at, and nodding your head in conversations that you shouldn’t be nodding your head to, etc., two things are happening 1) you’re either in a near occasion of sin or you are sinning, 2) you’re committing a sin of pride by assuming that they won’t affect you psychologically/spiritually, which they always do no matter your spiritual and/or physical maturity.

Don’t be yoked with the unbeliever.


#15

Where do you think secular TV fits into this? Is it wrong to watch wholesome shows with no sex or cussing?


#16

Yeah, of course. Why wouldn’t it be?


#17

And what show would that be? I have seen some shows that should be ok but the commercials made me blush.
If you are living at home and your parents are deciding what shows are appropriate for the family, then it really doesn’t matter what anyone on here says.

I am glad you are on here asking questions! God bless and guide you.


#18

love thy neighbour


#19

The unequal yoking you need to be more concerned about at this stage is your non-Catholic background and influences on what you are learning and discovering in the Catholic faith. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, but simply to say that it’s a real source of confusion for you - and that’s what St. Paul was writing that we need to be on alert for and avoid (moreso even than just the casual, on-the-street nonbeliever).

For example, as pointed out above, there is no “fulfilled meaning” to these Levitical verses; they were meant to be taken literally at that time - no mixing fabrics, period. There’s no special decoding required, no spiritual application, no hidden meaning. It’s historical context. We’re not bound by it, but the Hebrew people were.

I say all of this only because I know it can be very difficult and challenging to break out of the mindset that you’ve grown up with or subscribed to for a number of years, but that awareness and effort to do so will let you best embrace what you’re learning in the authentic Catholic faith.


#20

I assume you meant “no” if this is a response to the above post (#15)? Or, “yes, of course it would be OK” = “no, of course it would not be wrong [to watch wholesome shows…]”.

Sorry, just trying to clear up any confusion.


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