Orthodoxy on dating
In the Orthodox Church it is not permitted for an Orthodox Christian to be married to an individual who has not been baptized, regardless of whether they are of the Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or other faith.While there is generally no exception to this rule, especially in the USA, you may wish to discuss your particular circumstance with your parish priest, who can offer specific guidance tailored to your individual situation.QUESTION: Thank you very much for your timely reply.I understand the rules, but in coming upon the year 2000 isn’t it a bit discriminatory for the Orthodox Church to be so selective to the point of being borderline prejudicial against those of other faith’s.Especially against the Jewish people from whom all Christianity is derived.ANSWER: The practice of the Church is not a matter of discrimination any more than the practice of the Jewish faith, which only permits practicing Jews to celebrate their bar mitzvah, or the practice of the Buddhist faith, which allows only practicing Buddhists to enter Buddhist monastic orders, are cases of discrimination.Bottom line: if you’re not an observant Jew, why would you want to be bar mitzvahed; if you do not practice Buddhism, why would you want to be a Buddhist monk?
In other words, marriage in Jesus Christ presumes that one accepts Him and believes in Him.
Why would an individual who does not accept Christ want to seal his or her marriage in Christ?
A non-baptized individual who truly desires to partake of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony in the Orthodox Church should do so out of a desire to seal all he or she does in Jesus Christ.
It is inconceivable that one would pledge their love to another person in the name and presence of a God he or she does not believe in.
QUESTION: If the Orthodox Church forces its members to marry outside the church, will it recognize the marriage?This question is most intriguing because the Orthodox Church recognizes civil divorces.ANSWER: The Orthodox Church never forces its members to marry outside the Church.It is the decision of the person who is planning to enter a marriage which cannot be sacramentalized in Church to marry outside the Church.