There are some Christians I know who are dating non-Christians. I know
that in 1 Cor 7:39 it says that if your spouse dies you can marry another
but only in the Lord, so I would logically think it would be the same if
your a single disciple, why would it only be if your spouse dies?
Obviously when you are dating someone it is for the purpose of a possible
mate. How do I come across to such persons 1)should I correct/rebuke such
a view or 2)the view is a matter of opinion and just state my conviction
from the scriptures and let the person to what he thinks the scriptures
don’t say?

Let us begin with 1 Corinthians 7:39. Clearly, this passage
is being addressed to issues related to marriage. If one is to apply this
to dating, it is important to bear in mind that this would be an
application of derived principle rather than doctrine. The issue of
dating is not even mentioned in the Bible, as, presumably, they did not
have dating in the New Testament times. Do not get me wrong. I believe
that there are some great principles in the Bible which we can apply to
the modern Western practice of male/female dating, but when we do so, we
should separate that which is totally opinion, from that which is fairly
straightforward application of biblical principle, to commands from God
in the Bible.

I believe what you are doing in applying 1 Cor 7:39 falls in
the middle category. The Bible does not command that followers of Jesus
cannot go on a date with a non-believer, but there are many scriptures
which describe principles which suggest that certain advice/guidelines on
dating are appropriate. The saying, “you marry who you date,” although
not in the Bible, is a good common-sense truth. I strongly support the
advice that you would like to give to your friends who are disciples of
Jesus, and who are considering dating someone who is not a Christian.

Having said that (and by the way, why you are asking this of
someone at a Christian evidences web site is beyond me, but I will keep
going anyway….) how you come across in giving advice is as important as
being “right.” First of all, you imply that dating someone is for the
purpose of finding a mate. I do not necessarily agree and you should be
careful in assuming that if someone spends time with a member of the
opposite sex, they are looking for a mate. Not that I disagree with the
advice, but you should be careful to not judge someone too easily.

Whether you should simply state your conviction on the matter,
give admonishment or rebuke would depend on the situation, and I am
obviously not privy to the situation. Without any knowledge, I would
generically suggest that you state your conviction, and do it with real
conviction, and leave the person to decide what they will do with that.
However, if you are really becoming convinced that your friend is moving
toward a dangerous situation in which his faith might be at stake–if you
see his or her heart hardening, and being pulled into the world, then
admonishment or even rebuke may be called for. Remember, we are talking
principle here, not commandment, but one principle is in Galatians 6:1,
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should
restore him gently.” The acting word her is gently. Again, I am assuming
that most likely, you are talking about a situation in which the most
appropriate thing is to share your conviction lovingly and leave it at

John Oakes

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