Cross religion mariage

by 2k 16 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • 2k

    I have a friend who recently married a witness. He isn't a witness, and this is causing some issues with the family. I'm curious what is cosidered the appropriate way that the families should deal with the issue.

    I'd like to see initial responses of people reading this forum before I post how the family of the bride is responding to the situation.

    The more specific references you can provide, the better. I'd be very interested in seeeing the passages that the beliefs are pulled from also.

    Thanks for whatever info you can provide. Other then the watch tower website, I'm really not sure where to start looking for more information.


  • peacefulpete

    I'm not sure any policy as such will be found that answers your query. The family will if "faithful" JWs view the JW woman's actions as a "disloyalty" to the Organization and Jehovah (in that order). It has been in writing that such acts of "disloyalty" may be forgiven but not forgotten by the congregation when making choices of association or handing out priviledges. Perhaps someone with the WT cd can find that reference from about 12-15 years ago. They will probably make their disapproval of the marriage very evident. And may choose to "mark" her as a "bad associate". This means avoidance of any social contact beyond that at the Kingdom Hall. They may alternatively seek to overwhelm her and her new man with affection to "restore" her to the fold and possibly convert the new husband desiring approval of the inlaws. Much depends upon her attitude tward what she did. They want to see her express contrition and regret over marrying "out of the Truth" but since she is not free to divorce him until he leaves for another woman she is encouraged to work on getting him to become a JW..

  • unique1

    If the JW is baptized he/she will more than likely be pubically reproved or disfellowshipped for marrying an unbeliever because the apostle Paul said you shouldn't marry an unbeliever. If he/she is publically reproved, they can still be talked to, but not socially active with other members of the congregation. If the JW is disfellowshipped, they can not be spoken to even by family members, unless they live in the same house. If the JW is not baptized, then they will be marked in the congregation as a bad associate and the same social rules for a publically reproved person apply.

    This would cause great concern among the JW family. They know the consequences and will more than likely fiercely oppose the wedding. No one wants to not be able to speak to their child and no one wants to see their children hurt by being cut off socially from those in the congregation. The JW family will probably threaten not to attend the wedding and all sorts of other things, just to stop the wedding. You must realize though, that even though family members thinking is twisted, but they are doing what they think is BEST for their child. JW's also believe that if you aren't in good standing with Jehovah you will die at Armageddon, which is just around the corner. This too would be a cause for the families concern. Since the bible says you shouldn't marry an unbeliever, then doing so would cause a bad standing with Jehovah, and the family would be terrified their child/brother/sister would die at Armageddon.

    I personally think if you both believe similar things, then you aren't marrying an unbeliever. If you both believe in Christ then you are both believers. You must realize though, JW's think they are the ONLY TRUE RELIGION and ALL non-JW's even Christians are unbelievers.

    Hope this clarifies a few things for you. BEST WISHES!!! And if you ever need support or your fiance needs support going through this difficult time WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!!!!

  • unique1

    I didn't notice they were already married, I thought it said getting married. My bad.

  • TresHappy

    Getting married outside the Witnesses? I wouldn't recommend it - my personal experience.

    In 1990 I met a guy at work. He pursued me, I have to say I wasn't really interested in the beginning. Mutual horniness, I suppose.

    Big mistake #1 - dating someone that works with you. I can't recommend that either. We dated several months and the "R" word came into our relationship. He was a "devout" Catholic, I say that loosely because he hardly believed any of the tenets of the Catholic faith, but went to church every Sunday because "it's in me, like my name." I made it my personal pursuit to "change him"

    Big mistake #2 - trying to change him. All my friends said if he converted religions, the elders would accept him and stop bothering me. All it did was put a huge wedge between us and eventually the elders made me break up with him.

    Big mistake #3 - trying to get back together with him. We ended up in a huge fight (law enforcement called) and that was it. I never saw him again.

  • Euphemism
    If the JW is baptized he/she will more than likely be pubically reproved or disfellowshipped for marrying an unbeliever because the apostle Paul said you shouldn't marry an unbeliever

    I'm sorry, but that is incorrect. While some witnesses do believe that that would be the proper procedure, that is not organization policy.

    First of all, 2k, the scripture passage on which they base their belief is:

    1 Cor 7:39b she is free to be married to whom she wants, only in [the] Lord.

    Since JWs believe that they are the only true group of true Christians, then marrying anyone else--even another Christian--is not "in the Lord."

    Once your friend and his wife are married, however, no official congregational action can be taken. The marriage bond is sacred, and your friend's wife is supposed to stay with him no matter what. (1 Cor 7:10-13)

    However, if someone acts against the precepts of the sect--e.g. by marrying a non-Witness--then many Witnesses will conclude that the person is "bad association" and "a vessel for dishonorable use." (1 Cor 15:33; 2 Tim 2:20,21) They might therefore limit their socialization with that person.

    Like I said, there are no official sanctions once the couple is married. So how the family treats her is, technically, their own decision.

    In practice, it's possible that there might be significant social pressure pushing them to shun her, or even disown her. Alternately, it's possible that there could be significant social pressure in the opposite direction. It really depends on the culture and personalities of whatever particular JW congregation they happen to be in.

  • unique1
    Once your friend and his wife are married, however, no official congregational action can be taken. The marriage bond is sacred, and your friend's wife is supposed to stay with him no matter what. (1 Cor 7:10-13)

    That isn't quite true, because a sister in our congregation married an unbeliver. 3 weeks later she was pubically reproved. I spoke to her later to let her know it was going to be ok, she was quite upset. I asked her if it was just because she married an unbeliever and she said yes. So SHE WAS PUBICALLY REPROVED FOR MARRYING AN UNBELIEVER. It was a rare case, but I think it was happening too much in our area and so the elders decided to make an example out of her.

  • Latin assassin from Manhattan
    Latin assassin from Manhattan

    I hate to say this, but your friend can count on being divorced within a year or two. Her friends and family will not have anything to do with him and they will not treat his wife with the same dignity as before. They will not be invited to social gatherings. In a short, they will live a life of isolation in and out of the Org. The reasons are:

    a) She will not have anything to do with his 'worldly' friends, traditions, habits.

    b) He is not going to be with her during field service, the meetings or any other JW activities (this is one of the reasons why JWs commit adultery - 'loneliness in the truth')

    Before long, he will realize that her priority is the WTS and not him or their relationship. I've seen several mixed JW marriages like this and they rarely last.

  • 2k

    Thanks for all the information. Some of it although negative is very interesting to read.

    As was speculated, they did refuse to go to the wedding. This lead to the couple eloping. They have also said that they won't attend a reception to meet the other family since it celebrates the mariage that they can't support.

    I got the impression that the bride was somewhat in denial of what could happen after they were married before the eloped. Looking in to the relationship from the outside though, I chose to keep my thoughts to myself rather then trying to barge in between them.

    At some level, I find parts of the very funny though. From expecting everyone to respect thier beliefs and traditions while flagerantly refusing to respect the other parties involved beliefts and traditions. To the whole part about you can't marry an unbeliever, but since you have, the mariage is ok now(which I knew about before, but didn't know the details surrounding it).

    Again, Thanks for the info.


  • peacefulpete

    Just to restate that marrying a non-witness is not a disfellowshipping offence and therefore noone is reproved for this. Groping and sex or marrying in a church on the other hand are. "Marking" a person for marrying a nonbeliever(nonwitness)is however commonly done as this is viewed as a disloyalty. The results are effectively the same, loss of emotional support and alienation.

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