Marrying a Nonbeliever Won't Work, Says Prominent Pastor's Wife
Tim and Kathy Keller
Christians should not marry nonbelievers. It just won't work, says Kathy Keller, wife of well-known pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
The Kellers have dealt often with relationships between Christians and non-Christians. But rather than lecture couples on all the biblical reasons why marriage would be unwise, Mrs. Keller said it would be easier to let those already married to unbelievers do the talking.
"If only I could pair those sadder and wiser women â€“ and men â€“ who have found themselves in unequal marriages (either by their own foolishness or due to one person finding Christ after the marriage had already occurred) with the blithely optimistic singles who are convinced that their passion and commitment will overcome all obstacles ... Only ten minutes of conversation â€“ one minute if the person is really succinct â€“would be necessary," Keller wrote recently on her blog....
In addition, how can we determine what fruit is good and what fruit is bad?
Jim Lincoln wrote: Aristotle, who made Christian judges? it is God to know the hearts of men. However, there is Commendation for Discernment & Deeds (at least read the summary for that sermon ) And we are to be the guard against, The Doctrine of Apostates. Matthew 7 16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.---NASB And Christ himself, gave us the above warning.
"Definitive sanctification, as defined by John Frame, is "a once-for-all event, simultaneous with effectual calling and regeneration, that transfers us from the sphere of sin to the sphere of Godâ€™s holiness, from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God." Definitive sanctification marks us out (or separates us) as Godâ€™s chosen people â€“ His treasured and covenantal possession (Acts 20:32; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11). So too, definitive sanctification redeems (or frees) us from the dominion (or slavery) of sin by uniting us to Christ, particularly in His death, resurrection and ascension. Sanctification, in this sense, refers to a decisive and radical break with the power and pleasures of sin.
Progressive sanctification, as defined by Wayne Grudem, is "a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives." According to John Frame, "We can think of sanctification as the outworking of the new life given in regeneration." It involves the gradual, incremental and (S)piritual work of both putting to death the remains of "indwelling sin" as well as putting on the likeness of Christ." (monergism)
Matthew 7 16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.---NASB
I thank you for your response, I figured you'd accidentally used a wrong word, but I also know we must use correct wording when it comes to the doctrine of soteriology, especially with so much heresy all around us. Blessings to you
Many Christians exercise fruits of the Spirit and live what appears to be a new life, who then return to their vomit. How do we know who's a phony and who is not? How do we know who will fall away in the future or not?
Dwayne wrote: Amen John I can't wait for that day! Phylly you are right sanctified means to be made holy according to the Greek word. Believe the same I just used the wrong word. My main point was that justification is a one time thing (conversion) and sanctification is a process. Justification cannot be a process.
Amen bro, a great day that will be!
I figured you'd used the wrong word, so I never mentioned it, but phylly was quite right to bring it up, because in theological speak it would have been an error, a very serious error. And a very papist one! Poor dabs, they believe in a gradual salvation, a variable justification, no guarantees. Whereas the Bible teaches a definite one-time justification, which we know about and experience, praise God!
Amen John I can't wait for that day! Phylly you are right sanctified means to be made holy according to the Greek word. Believe the same I just used the wrong word. My main point was that justification is a one time thing (conversion) and sanctification is a process. Justification cannot be a process.
correction Dwayne...you say "Sanctification= being made righteous therefore it is a process." Sanctification is being made holy, transformed more and more into Christ-likeness by the renewing of the mind upon the reading/studying of God's word, which is a life-long ongoing process, it is NOT being made righteous, as you state. That's what justification is- a legal term in where God declares the sinner in right standing.
sanctified- to purify, to purify internally by renewing of the soul
Dwayne wrote: Sanctification= being made righteous therefore it is a process. This is in a sense growing into a mature Christian. This comes after conversion tho and what happens at conversion is something called justification which means "to declare righteous" this is definitely not a process! It does not make sense!
Dawyne, that is how I see it also. Justification is a once-for-all event in a moment in time (for us), followed by a gradual process of sanctification where the Lord takes hold of us and painstakingly seeks to mould us into the character of his Son. Big job! Long time!
Thankfully, when the Lord returns, we shall be changed instantly, in the twinkling of an eye. Perfect at last.
Sanctification= being made righteous therefore it is a process. This is in a sense growing into a mature Christian. This comes after conversion tho and what happens at conversion is something called justification which means "to declare righteous" this is definitely not a process! It does not make sense!
To "GROW" "Perhaps in one case out of a thousand men are converted by the immediate agency of Godâ€”so indeed are all, in one sense. But usually, in 99 cases out of a hundred, God is pleased to use the instrumentality of His ministering servants of His Wordâ€”of Christian men or some other means to bring us to the Savior.
Most persons have been convinced by the pious conversation of sisters, by the holy example of mothers, by the minister, by the Sunday school teacher, or by the reading of tracts or Scripture. Let us not, therefore, believe that God will often work without instruments! Let us not sit down silently and say, â€śGod will do His own work.â€ť It is quite true He will. But then He does His work by using His children as instruments. He does not say to the Christian when he is converted, â€śSit down. I have nothing for you to do but I will do all Myself and have all the Glory.â€ť No. He says, â€śYou are a poor weak instrument. You can do nothing. But lo, I will strengthen you and I will make you thrash the mountains and beat them small, and make the hills as chaffâ€”and so shall I get more honor through your having done it than if I would, had My own strong arm flattened the mountains and broken them in pieces!â€ť (C.H.Spurgeon)
John in the UK makes some good points... My conversion was so dramatic my husband had a difficult time adjusting to the sudden change to his wife. I also was of the impression that other conversions were as dramatic as mine until I read that Billy Graham's wife never knew a time that she didn't know Christ. Some folks are very blessed to be Christians from early childhood. I was in my early 30's before coming to faith. I thought the term "grow" used in these comments was a description of gentle and gradual regeneration, as well as describing sanctification.
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Dwayne wrote: So if people "grow" into a christian when does the holy spirit enter them? Sorry it's kinda off topic from the article but I'm just curios!
Mornin Dwayne I reckon you're quite right to infer that the Spirit indwells a new believer at one point in time, thus making it impossible to slowly "grow" into a Christian. However.....
When I was converted and born again, it was so dramatic that I knew the very moment when the Spirit came and indwelt me. And for a couple of years I thought everyone must have that experience, or it was not real. And then I got to reading George Whitefield who also felt the same for a few years after his powerful conversion. But then the Lord taught him that conversion could be so gentle and natural with some folks that they would not be able to relate an exact moment when they became a Christian.
Obviously, there is a specific time, but not knowing that time is no barrier to genuinely being a Christian, as is evidenced by those who bear the marks of new birth yet could not tell you when that event occurred.
But "slowly" becoming a Christian, no that is impossible.
Dear marmied, I think the disagreement with Kathy Keller lies in the fact that Scripture trumps experience and Scripture is very clear that if one is married and becomes a Christian, then one is not to divorce their spouse, especially if the unbelieving spouse is willing to be married to a believer. And yes, one can "grow" into becoming a Christian. The Holy Spirit works in different ways with all of us. Some folks can pinpoint the moment of their conversion, while others "grow" into it.