Dating in the international church of christ
I made a transcript of that portion of the sermon so I could repeat it to you today just so you can hear it again.
I know others who have married someone right out of the world, and they are now converted members of God's church.
Dating outside the church is fraught with obstacles and potential dangers, yoking a believer with an unbeliever and exponentially complicating the spiritual overcoming and growth process, exposing one to perdition or providing a grievous cross to bear.
It is impossible to have the best of both worlds (the world and God's way).
This is not the normal way it should be done, but it happens every once in a while.
If God is working, if God is calling that person, He finds a way to bring him into His church, but always the point is conversion.
I think people heard that and stopped at the first sentence—"I know others who have married someone right out of the world, and they are now converted members of God's church." When they heard that they stopped listening to my qualification of that.
My very next sentence was, "This is NOT the normal way it should be done, but it happens every once in a while." I can see how someone can misconstrue that, especially if they are not listening fully to the whole explanation.
In turn he would then treat them like a father would treat a son or a daughter, with the same kind of affection and respect and honor that would happen in a normal good family relationship. He launches into this exhortation—"not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers—with this idea: "Look, I've got something hard to say to you, but I'm being entirely open with you and I'm treating you with the love that you deserve, and I want you to treat me with the same respect and love by accepting my advice and my instruction." He showed his love for them by giving them the hard truth, and he wanted them to return or respond with the same love by accepting it and listening to what he said, just as our fathers would give us the advice we need whether we wanted it or not.
What I said was indeed misunderstood, because dating and marrying outside the church is a massive stumbling block and can only bring trouble in future years.
I want to go back and re-quote what I said during the Feast so you can understand the background of all this.
God is producing in us something that is very special and very precious.
He is producing children much like Himself, and anything that gets in the way of that is not good.
As in the physical plane, yoking together unlike creatures destroys harmony and productivity.