Pastor Jim responds to the question about interdenominational dating.
» Should I date a Christian outside my own denomination?
I know of no scriptural reference that says you should not date someone outside of your own denomination. However, I do suggest that there are practical considerations that you should think about and let them guide you.
For example, there are some who consider speaking in tongues to be a sign that they are true Christians – or at least that it is necessary to truly be in sync with God. If you are of this belief and the person you are considering a relationship with does not believe this, then it could hinder the two of you enjoying a deep spiritual connection. This hindrance could lead to a big gap in your relationship – now or in the future.
Consider style of worship
Some people embrace different styles of worship. Christian education of children is an important subject to consider. There is a good deal of variety among denominations and these should be surfaced, discussed, and embraced or accept the difference and move on.
Small items while dating become ‘big’ after marriage
It is also true that things that are “small” while dating too often become “big” after marriage. An example could be that one of the parties has a huge debt before marriage. In “love”, they each believe that they can enter into marriage and tackle this problem. However, after marriage they each discover the dynamics of constantly having to pay for “the past” and not having the funds to develop their life together. This can be worked through – but it is a big drain on the relationship.
God has many children, not all alike
Now allow me to share something with a desire to broaden one’s perspective. I grew up in the Southern Baptist denomination – and was ordained as a Minister in this denomination. Since my divorce, I have been attending non-denominational Bible churches. During the single days after my divorce, I found myself so deeply lonely and crying out to God. One night during this crying I found myself speaking in tongues. If you had known me, you would have known that this was the LAST thing that I would have wanted in my prior Christian walk. Someone who speaks in tongues could have listened to me and said that I was not actually speaking in tongues. I do not know and it is really not important to me. What was important was what my spirit felt that God was teaching me in this experience.
The lesson was that God has many children and they are not all alike. His children worship Him in a variety of ways and He loves it. He was telling me that it was not up to me to decide who was and who was not worshiping – that is His and their business.
For me, the experience was very releasing. I am not one who practices speaking in tongues and I do not believe that it is necessary to my relationship with God. But I am more accepting of His children and the variety in which they serve Him. Christ is the essential element for me along with the Bible being His divine, inspired Word. Other things take on a distant secondary meaning.
Consider what beliefs are essential
I can only suggest that I would not let the “denomination” by itself hinder you. You should each discuss what beliefs are essential to you to discover if you are compatible in this area along with other areas. You will need to decide with God what is essential in your walk and embrace it accordingly.
May God guide you in your journey to a deeper and more refreshing walk with Him.