Question:

I must question slightly your discourse about II Corinthians and marriage. I am pleased that you do not recommend anyone marry an unbeliever. And you are correct that many will ignore that advice. The part I question is that you read something into the scripture that isn't there and have overlooked your own quote of scripture.

Nowhere is it indicated in either letter that Paul is speaking of situations where there is inherent inequality, where one person has power over another. And to say that at that time in history anyone including the earlyChristians treated women as equals in anything other than salvation simply isn't supported buy history books or scripture. Even men weren't afforded that as slavery was condoned where both the master and slave were believers.

Also in the scripture quote you directed me to by link, it says; "for what does the believer have in common with the unbeliever." This clearly says don't become yoked with an unbeliever. The "unequal" isn't an implication that some sort of inequality exists beforehand; But instead, it refers to the end result. This isn't a good example but think of some common sayings to illustrate what I mean: "Look before youleap." "Look before" is the "Don't become", while"leap" is the "unevenly yoked." One part of the phrase is the before advice while the other part of the phrase is the result.

I may be wrong and would appreciate your thoughts. As I read scripture I've always been told "Scripture verifies Scripture". As such I believe a complete reading of the whole of both letters clearly indicates the church in Corinth at the time of the letters was very very young. Perhaps onlya few months or even weeks old. They were struggling with how to follow Jesus while having situations that already existed that might cause them distress. These included marriage, business partners, friends etc.

As such I do not believe Paul thought it necessary to explicitly tell them, "do NOT marry an unbeliever!" He assumed (and I know your going to say: Don't assume) that this was amply covered in the first letter and so progressed on to give guidance that would cover all possible situations otherwise there'd be 100 letters to Corinth as they thought up a new situation to ask about.

Again I respect you and am not saying your wrong. I may be wrong. All I'm asking is to ponder and pray about what I say and be open to the possibility that the word "unequal" is the result and not necessarily the pre-existing condition.


Answer:

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" (II Corinthians 6:14).

The "unequal" is in the command. It qualifies the type of yoking together that is under consideration. Therefore, does not need to be inherently present in the examples of what this command is necessary.

Can a Christian be tied to a non-Christian? There are numerous examples:

  • A Christian married to a non-Christian (I Corinthians 7:12-15; I Peter 3:1-2
  • A Christian working for a non-Christian (I Peter 2:18)
  • A Christian having non-Christians working for him (Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1)
  • A Christian in a nation ruled by a non-Christian (Romans 13:1-2)
Your conclusion about the age of the church in Corinth is off by quite a bit. Paul preached in Corinth for 18 months (Acts 18:9-11). Paul then preached in Ephesus for two years (Acts 19:8,10) and the first letter to Corinth was written then and the second letter was written about a year later. See the Background sections for both letters in The Corinthian Letters.