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Naomi Schaefer Riley, journalist and author of , ignited the contemporary interfaith marriage conversation in 2013 with the publication of her research of such partnerships.Schaefer Riley is herself a willing participant in the interfaith marriage movement (she’s Jewish; her husband is a former Jehovah’s Witness), but still outlines the perils of such unions.Therefore a more effective way of interpreting 2 Corinthians might be to consider the essence of what the author meant by “working” with In first century, an “unbeliever” would have been anyone exposed to but was not faithful to Christ’s teachings—someone not characterized by devotion, love, peace, mercy, and forgiveness.In the context of the early Church, it’s easy to understand why Paul might caution those first generations of “believers” against being “yoked” with someone for whom Christ was not relevant.
The concerns over the tenacity it takes to be yoked to a partner of a different faith are certainly valid.I assumed that everyone who lived both in and outside of my tiny tobacco town was as steeped in Baptist beliefs as I was.I didn’t awaken to the possibility that folks practiced anything besides baptism by immersion until attended a Moravian women’s college for my undergraduate studies, and Duke University for seminary.Perhaps Paul might have even considered me an “unbeliever,” as I claimed to be a baptized Christian, but my life did not inwardly and outwardly reflect the Gospel.
Since marrying Fred, I re-attuned my life to Christian spiritual practices: spending more time in contemplative prayer, practicing non-violence through a vegetarian diet, limiting my consumption, and increasing my service to others.
I was raised in rural North Carolina as a Southern Baptist who took the Bible literally.