Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
A husband and a wife attending separate churches is a situation that is more common than one might think. It's also common for the children of such a couple to be divided between the two churches, ...
I will admit that the Ideal situation would be for both to attend the same church. However, the "unbiblical" label is not correct. My wife and I are NOT unequally yoked. She was born Roman Catholic, but at the time of our marriage, she was not a practicing one. We attended my Southern Baptist church for many years, but she felt the call to return to her "roots" and began worshiping at the Catholic Church. Since our marriage of 32 years was started in a civil ceremony, we were Remarried with a Catholic ceremony. No I did not become Catholic, I am a licensed Southern Baptist Minister, and she is a devout active Catholic. We attend special functions at each other's church, pray together, discuss how service was on Sundays, I am good friends with her priest, but we attend different Churches. I love her enough to let her be happy in her worship, and she knows I could never be Catholic. We might be an exception, but we make it work.
Unless the couple lives apart in terms of work related distance I find no biblical basis for attending two separate churches. Perhaps someone may argue that this view is the ideal rather than the practice because there is no explicit scripture command requiring a couple to attend one church. I have strong reservations where one spouse chooses to attend a separate church that has a false view of Christ and His atoning works and where its doctrines and traditions are inconsistent with the teaching of scripture. Mariage is a platform for spiritual and social unity and we should be agreed on certain doctrinal principles of the Christian Faith based on scripture. If these fundamentals are not the basis of our spiritual worldview then the marriage relationship is not Christocentrical and this will affect our fellowship and eventually impair the raising of our kids in the Lord. I recommend that where couples are in conflict over their faith they seek guidance and conciliation from spiritual leaders based on the Bible. Ideally the wife should follow the husband to his church unless there are issues touching on the nature of his religious denomination that should be addressed.
My husband and I have been attending separate churches for several years. When we were married and seeking to return to Christ, we joined a "full gospel", charismatic church where tongues were spoken and words of prophecy were a common occurrence during worship service. At one point, I felt deep within my heart that a lot of what was going on was done "in the flesh" and were not words given by the Holy Spirit. At that point, I had to leave and began attending a conservative Christian church. My husband followed, and were were members there together for around 13 years. Then, he felt led to go back to a full gospel church, where the gifts of the Spirit were manifested; I, on the other hand, tried but could not bring myself to join that movement again. Since I felt I wasn't submitting to my husband as the Word tells us to do, I was not at peace until I read in Colossians that wives are to submit to their husbands, "as is fitting in the Lord." I interpret this to mean that I am to submit to my husband, as long as it doesn't interfere with my beliefs, and I feel very strongly about these particular doctrines. So, though he'd rather I go with him, he has accepted the fact that I simply cannot.
My wife and I are also attending separate churches. When we got married 27 years ago, my wife was coming from mainland China and had only just become a Christian. The church I was a member of was English speaking and did not have a Chinese congregation. Thanks to the help of one of the leaders, we found a newly planted Biblically-based Chinese Church because I wanted my Hannah to be built up in the Word. At first I continued with my old church in the mornings as the Chinese Church met in the afternoons. The service was in Mandarin. I accompanied my wife even though I didn't known Mandarin. Eventually I left my old church when the Chinese church started an English congregation. We carried on there for 10 years. After that we went to another area to live where my wife found another Chinese speaking Church. Much later on we returned to the area that we started in. However my wife didn't want to leave her church because she was heavily involved in Ministry and they didn't have an English congregation. So I found a Bible based church which I settled in. Both of us are serving in different churches. Our children who are grown are attending a different church, whose culture is more akin to their age. The arrangements work, as far as I am concerned works pretty well, and we get to network with each other's churches. So it is out of language and culture necessity that we go to different churches. Both churches are Biblically sound. If you label the doctrine, it's new Calvinism, Evangelical and low charismatics. There is absolutely nothing wrong with couples attending different churches. After all it is only a couple of hours a week of sound doctrine.
In the 1st century church there was only one denomination and it was called the Way. Therefore we have no reference in the word of God about this subject. It is only been since man began to use his own understanding of the word of God that doctrine has broken the church into different denominations. As long as both go to a church that has the truth of God's word, the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ as being the only way to be saved to eternal life, and believing in the Holy Spirit of God, it should be left to the couple. Though I will say that when we are married we become as one. I see no reason why they would want to.
Whilst the ideal situation is that both husband and wife attend the same church a question arises as to what do you do if one spouse doesn’t want to be in that church anymore? Do you hold him/ her by force? Would God accept the worship where a person is basically held at ransom? I doubt God would accept such worship because true worship is born out of love and conviction. What creates friction is that some Christian Churches consider themselves to be the right ones and others being false. This is unfortunate and misleading, all churches as long as they read and follow the bible ought to be given the respect they deserve. We need to be tolerant of each other. Whilst we are discussing this question it is interesting to note that there will usually be harmony in the family if one spouse doesn’t go to church at all. Trouble only starts when the nonchurch going spouse decides to go to church - but just not the one the Christian spouse belongs to. It seems to me that it’s mischief sown by the evil one. Instead of joining heaven in a celebration Luke 15:10, there is anger and consternation. To me there can only be one source of such unhappiness when a lost soul is found.
With respect to all parties, I am perplexed at the idea that one can think they are not unequally yoked when one respective view calls the other anathema and the other refers to the first as being cultish. What some are describing is the very definition of "unequally yoked". When there is clear and angry divergence of theology and doctrine as in the dispute between RC and Protestantism it is an unequal yoke. These things can not be reconciled by closing ones eyes to the truth. In some instances people try to be gracious and loving and understanding of their partner which is commendable. Yet in the process they may be embracing false doctrine and that cancels out any brownie point and puts you both on dangerous ground and your children. I would not ever say it is better to divorce. I do think it is more important to seek and study the truth together. Matt. 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. By grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the Gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Eph. 2: 8, 9). RC's repeatedly re-sacrifice Jesus as though the one time was insufficient to cover the sins of all of humanity. That is completely unbiblical. For those who struggle between Pentecostal and conservative Protestantism may I suggest the couple choose one or the other to regularly attend, and then divert to a midweek service or event to supplement your worship at the other? Neither practice should threaten the fundamentals of the faith. If I may say so, it is difficult for one who wishes to worship in spirit and in truth, when required to conform to Pentecostal influence if they do not experience the gift of speaking in tongues and if where it is practiced it does not follow biblical rules of interpretation. I do not personally rule out "tongues" for they are scriptural. Some feel they were confined to the apostolic age and a known human language (cessationists). Others say they continue to the present day. I don't personally have that gift and because it is the least of the gifts, I don't worry about it. To me it is gibberish. But whoever is right, I have learned one thing and that is to not limit God.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.