In response to Abhijeet, pastor, NMBF Church, dated April 16, 2011, I put down in writing what he missed as I was also in that very same sermon. During my student life, sometimes I wondered why some students understand a topic in a way very different from what the teacher/professor has clearly explained! But that makes the distinction between a sincere and a less-attentive student.
The speaker clearly said that marriage is not between two people but it includes a third person (i.e. God). When the 3rd person is not included, it becomes the reason for what we see today: unhappy married life or divorce. The speaker gave guidelines to be followed before marriage called the 3 B’s, viz, Background, Brain and Belief. What Abhijeet wrote is a sub-topic of the 1st B, so I’ll clarify on background only. The speaker spoke about the necessity of similar background for a happy married life. The speaker said that cross cultural marriages will not work in the North-Eastern context unless the marriage include God in the very first place (meaning marriage with a believer), which was stated incomplete by Abhijeet.
What Abhijeet missed is that the speaker spoke from a point; starting years after marriage (say 10yrs). At first, when two people meet and fall in love, they feel that’s the world. And many marriages are built on the magical 3 words- “I Love You”, said the speaker. But after years of marriage, the 3 magical words does not work on every account when personal differences arises. So, first place God then similarity of background followed by brain and belief. Background can be lifestyle, culture, tradition, language, etc., which is very important in resolving personal differences quickly eventually leading to a happy married life. The speaker strongly meant again and again that any marriage without God in it is a sorrow.
The speaker is a person who has lived many years abroad knowing deeply the lifestyle and culture of westerners/others and who is still continually travelling and interacting across the globe. Such person of innumerable experiences who have walked the globe well enough can only relate our context (north-east) with that of others and is the need of the hour for our present generation/community. Not someone who have just completed seminary, or a pastor residing in NE knowing about the world through television (TV), or a foreign missionary who hardly knows about our context, neither someone from Mumbai who hasn’t lived and hardly knows about north-east.
Abhijeet’s view is very generalized and earthly. He said, “No way do we have the right to override the boy and the girl choice. That is an abuse of parental as well as community authority and ungodly in every sense”. We all know what Ephesians 6:1-3 says, “To obey our parents in the Lord and honour them that it may be well with you and you may live long on earth”. So we need to have our parents consent even in our marriage which comes under the 1st B i.e., Background. That is what The Bible says and what the world says is the opposite. He further said, “God never decides for us. He always respects our free-will to choose”. But his argument is extracted from the Old Testament at a time when God decides what to do. Not from the New Testament when God has given us the freedom to choose.
With people becoming more and more educated, I don’t know why some people want to start an argument on every topic not bothering to understand the moral of the discussion. Is it a way to popularise oneself? or a way to show they know more than others? or to start their own theology? “Little knowledge is dangerous”. I am no theologian but when I can understand very well, I am shocked and amazed to hear such remarks from a theologian!!! My dear fellow Christian brothers and sisters, if our faith is not strong and we don’t understand The Bible thoroughly, we can be misled even by our own pastor or theologians. So pray without ceasing for the discerning spirit to give us the wisdom to understand between the truth and false teachings as we are indeed living in the end of times.
K. Angami, Dimapur.