Can a Pentecostal marry a jehovah witness and remain a Pentecostal

Hello everyone.

My name is George and i have been a silent observer of this forum. Now, my hope is to have you weight on this thorny issue for me.

I will be marrying a JW lady in 3 months and we already set arramgment in place. But my consciences is in the contrarary cuz of the religion differences. Does this really matter

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Hello,George @tolu. So this is a rather sensitive thing you’ve brought, and I really admire your courage in raising this in this space. I am sure there are many reading that are facing a similar situation and have similar questions, as well. I very much appreciate the privilege to converse with you about this and offer whatever help I can (and I am sure others will chime in :slight_smile: ).

It seems you are already feeling convicted about this–about the differences in religion that are present. To help me understand your understanding a bit better so that I might be able to offer something helpful, can you tell me what your understanding of Christianity is? What do you understand about the beliefs of Jehovah’s witnesses? Are you thinking they are simply another Christian denomination or something different altogether?

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These are great questions @psalm151ls
I would also be happy to weigh in after @tolu responds. Indeed an extremely important question you have raised.

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Thank you @psalm151ls. You are absolutely correct about my conviction and concerns as regard this sect. I attend a faith-based bible believing church where holiness within and without is been thought openly as a creteria to making heaven.

I tried making her worship where i worship but she wont bulge. She bluntly reject the idea of us wedding in my church and her kingdom hall will not join us either. I also talk her into joining me to church after the wedding. She rejected the idea saying only she already found truth in her organisation and wont be needing anything else. Thats where i started getting head spin. How possibly could this be, if indeed our faith is bible based(ofcourse they quote the bible with quality references).

I made a little bit of digging myself about this sect, could they be another false prophet of our time. No blood tranfussion, they dont believe in hell fire , no patriotism to national flag or voting . Watchtower organisation standard of morality (they believe stem from the bible )supercede any other reasonable faith imagined. I am really scared going into this marriage, my conscience is saying otherwise.

How do I approach this situation , i have few month away

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Greetings, @tolu! Wow, seems like this is really a tough spot you’re in. :flushed:

I don’t necessarily want to tell you what to do, but I would urge you to pray and think through the repercussions of both decisions, as they are both very serious choices to make.

May I ask another clarifying question? You said:

Does this mean that you are feeling scared about getting married, but your conscience is saying it’s ok for you to go ahead with the wedding? Or are you saying that your conscience is telling you it’s not a good idea to get married?

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Hi @tolu! I’ll try not to be overly simplistic because I’m not the one making this decision and it’s always much easier to give advice from the sidelines while being detached from the action.
You had mentioned that you tried making her worship or at least come to your church; now I’ve studied JW beliefs for a while and I’ve also got a relative married to one, so here are a few things you should know about them:

Any attempts to convince them otherwise will fail as if you even open yourself to the option, they consider you an apostate.
You can’t use the Bible to try and show why their beliefs are wrong because they have their New World translation “Bible.” It’s been heavily modified to suit what they believe, one such example being in the book of John. It goes something like

In the beginning, there was the word, the word was with God and the word was a God!

This verse makes it seem like there are numerous Gods. In countless other spots in the New World translation, you can tell they heavily modified it to suit their beliefs.
The Holy Spirit is seen as something of a force. (kinda like Star Wars?) They see Jesus as not divine, but a creation from God.
They also believe that only 144,000 people will go to heaven. Yes, from the billions that have existed throughout human history, only a large town’s worth of people go to heaven.
But according to them, heaven is on Earth? Complete with death, pain, and suffering apparently? These are a few important beliefs they have, but there are many more that I haven’t mentioned, they are equally as important so I implore you to study further
So these people may call themselves Christian, same way Mormon’s call themselves Christian, but by all means, neither of the two are. It’s not like a 7th-day Adventist where even though they believe we should keep the law, they also believe in Jesus as the messiah and believe he was God. 7th day adventists are Christian, with somewhat skewed beliefs.

With that in mind, the difference in beliefs definitely matters. As more important than this woman being your wife (which lasts a lifetime), her soul is on the line (which lasts for an eternity).

In 1 Cor 7:15, it tells about what to do if one of the couple comes to Christ but the other doesn’t follow and instead leaves

But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases, the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.

Being as young as I am, I have no experience being married, much less with an unbeliever, so I can know what to do judging off these verses. So based off this last one, you’re going to have trouble maintaining peace being with her. I know I would stay awake deep into the night and be in constant turmoil if I wasn’t 100% sure where my wife’s soul would go.
Strain will definitely be felt in important areas of your life like “if we have kids, what will we teach them about God?”

2 Cor 6:14 tells us not to be unevenly yoked with unbelievers, and I believe that this clearly tells us that we shouldn’t be married with those who don’t believe the same as us. Other people claim it isn’t talking about marriage, but I think you have to choose which of the two positions you believe about it.

A tough, and emotionally hard decision to make, that is certain. So above all else, I would implore you to pray for discernment and wisdom.

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Hey @tolu,

Your question reads whether or not you can remain a Pentecostal after marrying a Jehovah Witness, but I’m curious how have you evaluated your walk with Christ just as a Christian. I think the issue is less about denomination and more about Christ being your first love, center of your life, the same for your future spouse, and do you both rest on the truth of the same Bible and will make Christ center of your relationship. Remember, we will not be married forever as we will be in Christ (Mat. 22:30). I think others who have replied note your hesitation and are concerned that you two may not agree on what most Christians should agree upon.

I’ve been blessed with 16 years of marriage that have been a real struggle simply because we are different people. We were both in the same evangelical church, went to the same youth group, had the same Christian values and reliance on the Word. The hardest part was not yielding enough of our lives to Christ and the growth of our relationship together as a married couple was second and only successful as our relationship with Christ grew and matured.

I hope this helps in some way. I believe you are greatly in love with this person as you are willing to step into marriage, and that has value and weight. I’m also glad you’re taking the time to seek counsel (Proverbs 11:14), and pray that the Spirit continues to lead you to the right decision and further growth in your walk with Him. :slight_smile:

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Hi George
Admittedly I think you are in a tough decision to make.
In a word, I would say don’t do it.
A JW follower is really in essence “married” to the Watchtower system. They will not loosen their hold on her easily.
You … Well how do you define yourself?
Are you simply a Pentecostal or someone who has been bought by the blood of Christ who paid a high price for you? Do you really think Christ wants you to do this? The verses are clear on this … It is not like a rule that blocks you from happiness… it is just it is a question of loyalties and where they take us on the journey …
If so… The answer is clear … you both are not compatible without one or the other severely compromising your respective commitments.
It is difficult enough for two Christians to stay together… two that are not on the same path is far more so… if possible.
When the stresses of life or kids or whatever come along… you won’t be turning together to the same God… to put it bluntly. Seriously think this over before you commit or postpone this decision.
Speaking from some experience here btw.

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This is a fascinating subject for me. Thanks for asking for a response from the forum.

I have been married for nine years. Before I started dating with the intent to find a wife I asked myself the following question:

What are the most important attributes that I desired in a spouse?

Before I proposed marriage I considered the following question about my then girlfriend:

Why am I attracted to my girlfriend?

I had to make sure the attributes I desired and my attraction to my girlfriend were congruent.

This was important because you can fall in love with someone who is the wrong person for you…Emotions, while important, can lead to some bad decisions.

Have you asked yourself similar questions? Does your fiance have the most important attributes that you desire?

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Hi, Andrew. Thanks for your response. Speaking for myself, that isn’t my concern. My noted concern is due to the fact that Jehovah’s witnesses are not Christians, and my question had to do with wondering if they were being seen as such–as simply another denomination–which they are not, and that led to my question about the understanding of Christianity. This isn’t the same situation as a baptist marrying a pentecostal (two Christian denominations that hold to the true gospel and the true Jesus) marrying. This is something different.

First, respectfully, what two must agree and rest on is not merely the same Bible (whatever that bible may be) but the same gospel. Those are two–while related–very, very different things (the Jehovah’s Witnesses have a different bible). It is important to not simply ascribe to whatever is labeled as a bible without examining the truth claims that proceed from or are concluded from it. Remember? Ideas have consequences. Not all that is written is truth. Any reasoning given here has to agree with the Bible, and in the Bible, Paul (whose Bible was the Old Testament) and he does tell his young converts to simply agree on the Bible, but is very clear that what should be rested upon and agreed upon is the one true gospel message:

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9, NKJV).

2 Corinthians 11:1-4 is also a witness to this.

Here is some information that I think will be helpful: https://www.gotquestions.org/Jehovahs-Witnesses.html

@tolu, first I am so very sorry I took so long getting back, and I hope you can forgive me. I asked you questions and was not able to follow up right away. I know you have deep feelings for this person, and so I want to step gently here so as not to hurt what is probably an already concerned, vulnerable heart in this matter. My biggest concern is to give what help I can to help you navigate, which doesn’t involve giving you a hard and fast response, because I cannot give that to you. What I can give, which I think is important, is Scriptural counsel. First, our priority has to be Christ. The problem with saying that you and your beloved are simply two different people who don’t agree on Christian concepts is that I feel it suggests that someone who adheres to JW’s beliefs believes the gospel and simply disagrees on peripheral issues. In love, I have to state that is not the case. She has embraced another truth besides the gospel, and to help put that in perspective, we need to go back to Genesis. Adam listened to Eve when she embraced another truth other than that given by God (after they were already married, of course), and all of creation and humanity was cursed because he made his wife a priority over God. While I do not think that if you were to marry a Jehovah’s Witness that you would not be able to be Pentecostal, when it comes to such a marriage, I don’t think that is really the issue and from reading your response, your question seems to be the surface of some deeper issues for you (Please correct me if I’m understanding incorrectly). Like with Adam and Eve, Solomon married wives of other religions, and his interests were split between his wives and God, and he turned his back on God because of his wives’ different religions. He put his priority on his wife. It would be difficult not to in a bond that joins us to someone in every way! That being said…I think that these things from Scripture speak counsel to your situation, and I think that is all I can say in regard to your decision.

I do think it is important to say that if you were to decide that you feel this decision to enter into a marriage with this person is wrong at this time, that doesn’t mean the relationship has to end necessarily. If she is willing to accept a postponement of the marriage, should you feel that is necessary, my counsel (for what it’s worth) beyond Scripture would then be, ask her questions about the “truth” that she’s found in order to get a better grasp on how she herself understands it. Then ask yourself questions about how you understand Christianity–how well Christianity makes sense of our world, of our existence and compare it to how well hers does (to yourself, not necessarily to her at this point, as comparing right away might look to her like an attack). You went to the RZIM academy, so go back to the origins, meaning, morality, and destination. Start with those and see if you can come up with some open-ended questions for her in regard to how her beliefs explain those. If you need help with that, you can always come here and ask questions :). Even if you would decide to go ahead with the marriage, this is something I would recommend.

Again, I am so, so very sorry for taking so long to get back, and I hope this helps you. God bless you and keep you as you work to navigate this situation.

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Hey @psalm151ls,

Thanks for taking the time to clarify. To be sure, I don’t think we disagree, but I chose to be a little more discrete and generalized. When I speak of Christians, I mean all that apply, which is the point I’m trying to make: this is not a denominational issue (for more reason than one). When I speak of the Bible, I mean the only canonized Christian Bible, and “knowing” it in the biblical sense of obediently following the Lord’s commands (Jn. 14:21). I hope my desire for a Christlike walk and personal relationship with Jesus prioritized over earthly relationships was not lost, and apologize for anything that was not altogether clear.

Please feel free to direct message me if you have any further doubts on my position. Cheers! :slight_smile:

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Hi, Andrew! Apologies for any misunderstanding.

Absolutely not :slight_smile: The part about the relationships was directed specifically to the issue at hand, as I think the Scriptural communication on that sheds a lot of light here and gives some good counsel. Though Adam and Eve were not in exactly the same situation, which gave me pause to use it, it’s still an example of the temptation that accompanies being in marital union with someone who chooses to embrace another truth. And it hit me that it had to do with the relational priorities involved, which is something to think about here.

As far as the Bible and gospel, I simply wanted to expound upon both your response and my previous one, because having been ignorant of it several years ago, I know that not everyone knows that the Jehovah’s Witnesses do have a different Bible than ours and consider it to be “the” bible. My line of thought, because of my experience, is that it is important to bring up so that there is an understanding that in this situation there are going to be two different views as to which bible is actually “the” Bible, and so it’s then necessary to look at the gospel and how it is/isn’t presented in each.

Thanks, Andrew!

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@Everyone, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughtfulness, concerns, empathy and biblical knowledge as regard this issue. You are such a wonderful spiritual family. The family that draws with its call and true understanding. Your insights , advices, refrences and biblical counsel touched my heart, and my mind opens to another world and way of thinking.

You have help me gain deeper perspective and ability to accept and appreciate other thoughts and point of view better than mine.

I postpone the wedding until (if possible) we are able to settle our fundamental differences, because I know better. A broken relationship is better than a failed marriage

For your time, effort and contributions you save a spiritual life heading for disaster. To whch I say thank you and I love you. God bless you

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Blessings to you, @tolu! Thank you for the update, and know that prayers for wisdom as you navigate this next step are still coming your way. :pray:

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Thanks for allowing everyone to openly share and take to heart what they have said. From what you have wrote your love seems sincere or your struggle would not be so difficult. I was in a similar boat many years ago before I knew any thing about the bible that speaks about being unequally yoked. I was a Catholic in name only. Not a practicing one. I met my wife of 40 years who at the time unknown to me was a back slidden Pentacostal. I did not care about those things so for about 10 years after my wife came back to the Lord I refused. She was miserable i was hateful self absorbed and distant. I wanted out but The real Jesus showed up and revealed himself to me and our life changed. I tell people all the time we are the exception not the rule. My wife and multitudes of others prayed earnestly for me many years. I have shared this with you because I believe God will give you the right answer to your dilemma because it is as unique as mine was. God bless, look forward to praying with and for you and her encounter with the real Jesus. Please keep us posted

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Hello, Tulu. This is a tough question for you because you have made a commitment and your heart is telling you otherwise. Fortunately, this commitment is not permanent yet. I think there is a reason you are feeling a conscience conflict. 2Cor. 6:14 is a pretty clear warning about marriages with unbelievers. I think my first question to ask you is how much do you know about Jehovah’s Witnesses? I’ve copied a link that might help you know a little about their doctrine https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-jehovahs-witnesses/
2Cor. 6:14 compares combining two unequally yoked oxen to perform a task to unbelievers marrying. Marriage is teamwork. If two people are not pulling together in their beliefs, then their task cannot be successfully accomplished.
It also speaks about light and darkness not having fellowship. When two people marry, their bond is not only physical and emotional, it is also a spiritual bond, with Christ as the Head. Eph. 5:22-32 speaks of the relationship. If, therefore, a believer and unbeliever marry, all of these bondings are compromised.
You need to ask yourself whether this is the kind of marriage you want.
I was also raised Pentecostal and was about to marry a Baptist who was not practicing his faith. It was a big “whoa!!” for me. However, my fiance had been attending church with me, so I was even more conflicted. I had to go to God and ask for confirmation that who I was marrying was the right one. God gave me John 14:1-3. The following Sunday night at service, my husband raised his hand for the altar call. It turned out, he had been waiting for an altar call that was worded for his circumstance = a believer who had strayed and wants to come back. His hand shot straight up. God was looking at my wonderful husband’s heart and knew he was giving me the right man.
So, I encourage you to: listen to your conscience; learn as much about Jehovah’s Witnesses as you can; seek the Scriptures; seek God, Himself, for confirmation or not. Ask your fiance how much she accepts your beliefs. Finally, after you have done all this, answer in your heart and mind whether this is a marriage God can be part of.
If you decide not, pray that God will give you the courage to step back gracefully. Perhaps, your fiance will find The Truth for herself one day because of your obedience. Then that will be a different story.
While I am giving you strong “suggestions” that you might be making a mistake, you have to come to some kind of conclusion on your own. I hope this has been helpful.

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