Saturday, August 23, 2008

Different Worlds

Verse: For you are a peculiar people
But Solomon’s wives turned away his heart.

“They’re just from different worlds.”That’s what we say when two people have different ways of looking at the world. People aren’t born with different world views. Small children come into the world with the same basic value standards: love and kindness.

But as we grow older, our parents, neighbors, media, schools, and churches teach us that status, power, money, skin color, religion, and education also matter. If our parents are atheists, they give us an atheistic worldview. If our parents are nominal churchgoers, then nominal Christianity will be enough for us. Unless we hear the proddings of the Holy Spirit, we are taught by those we know how to see the world and we accept that worldview.

We don’t really question our worldviews until life challenges us. An unexpected love, a loss of status, an enlightening conversation. When such events such, the atheist tries seeking God...and --fighting against all the ingrained objections– might reach something. The nominal believer – either studies his religion closer or decides (wrongly) that he already knows about his religion.

In Jane Austen’s novels, characters of differing personalities, character, class, often marry. For better or worse, the resulting marriages are either horribly bad, middling, or wonderfully glorious. But while Jane Austen deals primarily with class, money, education, and personality, she never shows what happens when people of different religions marry.

What if a Bible-believing Christian, marries someone from another religion (or an atheist)?

The Christian believes that God’s word is active and alive and that speaking God’s promises in faith affects the material world.
The Christian believes that just becomes something is supernatural doesn’t mean it’s good.
The Christian believes that God is personally lovingly interested in everything she does.
The Christian believes that we should conquer evil with good.

If she marries with someone who thinks all supernatural entities are good, or the supernatural doesn’t exist...
If she marries with someone who thinks God is an impersonal force, or someone who thinks asking God for help is childish...
If she marries someone who thinks sorrow is a result of some past life deed, or true happiness lies in submitting to evil and denying joy...
If a child falls sick and one of the spouses cannot – or refuses to– pray...
If a spouse leaves a job for moral reasons which the other doesn’t find moral at all....
This is when the Christian must either bear the grief of living with someone whose worldview is different. She either prays that her spouse sees the light, or she asks the Lord for strength. Or she slowly compromises her faith as Solomon did.

Moral: Look carefully before you leap.

Prayer: Lord, help my son to fall in love with the right person. Your word says in Genesis that it is not good for the human to be alone. Your word says in Proverbs that he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. But St Paul wrote that we cannot fully serve God if we are married and that we should only marry if we are overwhelmed with passion. Lord guide me. Let him see your leading, and help him marry the right girl.

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