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It is destructive because it causes us to be greedy, discontent, and willing to do whatever it takes to have what we desire, mostly relating to stealing. Coveting is the beginning of a vicious cycle that leads to more serious sins. Thoughts lead to actions, and by having self-control a fruit of the Holy-Spirit and controlling our thoughts, we can better control our actions. Religion has already revealed itself to me. A god like that is awful. I wish I had back all the years I spent believing in that nonsense.
God could have done it another way had he chosen to. We see the world with a jaded view, God sees the whole picture, he has a holistic view of our world. He can do anything, but there are some things that he just chooses not to do. Here is another fantastic article that explains why God allows evil to occur: You still have the choice to obey your parents and not eat the cookie, but they gave you the ability the disobey.
But because the temptation is there, you can choose to obey, and it will mean much more. God always gives an answer, sometimes yes, sometimes no, sometimes wait. I may have started out an impressionable child, but I am growing into a strong woman of faith. Because if you spoon-feed them their whole lives without making them find the truth of their own volition, they will question their faith and then feel lied to when they are unable to properly interpret scripture.
They make sweeping statements, leading to rebelling against the faith they were raised in. Are you saying that only weak, desperate people want religion? I can pray to my cat and get the same result. Please keep in mind that there is another real person with thoughts, feelings and emotions on the other side of the screen. Snarky, derogatory, slighting, and mean spirited sarcastic comments can be hurtful.
Signing off for now,. I agree with Becca. She did nothing to deserve these words from you. I am praying for you. Becca, just that you have been found in Him is commendable. Sometimes the conversation just has to end. Let Him do the heart changing. Will praying to your cat save someone with terminal cancer? No, but God has and God sometimes will do that. Your cat is powerless but our God is sovereign and more powerful than anyone or anything. Adam and Eve chose against that by sinning.
We too can choose whether to be lost in the cycle of sin OR to be made holy by a God who loves us. Freedom can only be found in a good God. But there is most definitely an appeal to do what we want.
When believers marry atheists - BBC News
I am so sorry you have seen the church — something God intended to be different — as something horrible. Christians mess up, too, but we are being changed. I was a God-hater, too, until God revealed His lovingkindness to me in Christ Jesus paying the penalty for my sin so I might be set free from being a slave to my own selfish passions and might become His beloved, adopted daughter.
This is a bit off topic, but would you be bold enough to ask God to reveal Himself to you if He really is real? Hi, everyone else pretty much covered what I would say but I wanted to thank you for your comment! More Christians need to explain to the kids on why it is so important that their mate be equally yoked with them. I like how the article is very expressive over the idea. But there are things contradicting I believe. Christ himself was the one who made friends and brought followers by first accepting as who they are.
Also as a person who read the bible in order, from what I concluded where God asks — many times — not to be with people who are not believers during the time people are not confident of their beliefs. We all remember in most common example, in exodus after all their prayers answered by their God against Egyptians, they still worshipped to a golden statue. I think the actual standing point is, how confident you are in your beliefs. Are you challenging this precious person to understand you more? I am converted to Christianity unlike many of you who born into family of christians.
I was born into Islam, gave up, stood as Theist several years, during my questions and seeing changes Christ made in my family, I decided to understand. I started reading the bible then, was hard i must say. There are many things to judge with mind free of religions. In a crude explanation, I found the opinion of Atheism very Shallow here. If we keep classify people as Atheist and stay away from them, how can we follow actual example of Christ. Atheism is denial of God, due to not seeing his presence.
Not giving a chance to understand it. People are not like in movies. Villains and heroes do not exist. Also what is love? Can it be shaped? Can it be directed? Love is something makes us human. There is no limits of it. But Marriage is sexual relationship and construction of family as described in bible. There were no white dressed, flower background, priest acceptance wedding. When you have the responsibility of a family, then you start to shape your life according to your beliefs.
Also at this point, life of christ will be noticed as the most secure way of keeping your family together. Atheism is the absence of God. But God brings peace. Human created things have limits. I wanted him to trust Christ, of course, I tried to persuade him, I talked to him a lot about God, and I even gave him a Bible.
A part of me wanted to be with him, so he had to become a Christian; the other part of me was really concerned about his eternal destiny. He was there just to give them what they needed, when they needed it, he was there to serve; but he was not expecting to hear their wisdom, or to receive something from them.
I, wanted to be accepted and loved by this guy, I wanted to listen to him, to understand him, though I wanted to help him I was in a vulnerable position. And the flesh is weak. The Lord convinced me that I had to flee. And run to the arms of Jesus. Make Him your shelter, swim in His precious Word, and pray the Psalm You cannot do it yourself; I always think that when a girl is in love there is no human power able to change her feelings, so you need supernatural power, ask Him to guide you, strengthen you, to give you love for Him, to make you thirsty of His Word.
And if I do date, I want it to be God-honoring. Or will it be the opposite? Also, is having a dating relationship in high school wise at all? I hope it helps and makes sense…. I call them so-called but not really Christians. Once you get to know them, you can clearly tell that their faith is real. The Bible is very clear on the role men have compared to women. Men are the spiritual leaders in the relationship.
Women are submissive to their leadership. It could slow you down from pursuing God even more. The only one that can change the heart of a person is God Ezekiel Willing entering into these kinds of relationships will bring about more pain than you know. Especially, if you are considering marriage with an unbeliever. Jesus never promises sunshine and lollipops when we enter into a relationship with him, but the reward will be sweeter than anything we can imagine.
I pray that the young women of today who know Jesus Christ will seek out godly wisdom from someone in their church when they are facing the struggles that come their way. You gave her sound advice I wish I heard a long time ago! How do I know? Because I been there. To this young lady, I say sister wait for God to bring you the One He has for you. Once you divorce him, you should remain as you are. There are many single Godly men waiting for someone like you if you trust Him simply and foremost!
I married an unbeliever just six or so months after getting saved. The Holy Spirit I could feel was telling me not to go that path, but I did not listen and he was right. He showed me that it would pull me down spiritually and that I was not strong enough. I definitely did not see how far I drifted away from God and started loving the world. Years after we got married I started to Pursue God after not for a while.
So much conflict in the family and lots of mockery. I never in my wildest dreams thought that my heart would turn from God, but it did. And so now we are divorced and everything that I attained from that marriage is completely gone except for my precious daughters. Yeah I would run from that situation as quick as you can. Pray the Lord would graciously give you more passion to follow him with your whole heart….
I heard a pastor recently talk about God turning our mess into our message. Thanks for this encouraging message. Yes I do struggle with that very thing allot, and he is using me already to warn my sisters. I am so thankful he is so good to do the things we are so incapable of doing. Blessings to you and your ministry! I love reading your blogs. She must have doubts, because she emailed you. I was stupidly seeing an unbeliever many years ago, and what put me in a non-thinking frame of mind was his persistence in pursuing me and always flattering me.
I knew what his intentions were, and I foolishly went along with it for awhile. The bucket of ice water came big time—you could say I had an epiphany—and I dropped the guy friend. It was really awkward because he lived near my apartment. God in His mercy, had another plan for me. I repented of seeing this guy and I told my best friend of the relationship. The guy moved out of state and I met an incredible godly man the following year. We have been married for over ten years.
G-E-T a life and flee! I think I also needed this. My efforts have evidently been very futile. Oh, Tumi, I am so, so glad to hear that. Praying for you now! Feel free to let me know how it goes. People should be free to love who they feelost happy with. Even though we had different views, she cared for me deeply. I have to disagree with this whole article. When my ex boyfriend and i started dating I was die-hard pagan and he is a very strong Christian man.
I lost my faith as a teenager during an extremely difficult battle with depression and swore that I would never be Christian again. During my relationship with my boyfriend I was very honest with my beliefs, just as he was with his. He never pushed me to change my beliefs, but he did show me how God worked in his life daily and spoke about God like they were best friends. He was very patient and waited for me to suggest that we go to church. This man took my hand and led me back to God just by his actions, without preaching or pushing.
I am still growing in my walk with God, and have regular stumbles, but, if a Christian man had ran from me when he found out I was pagan, I would still be pagan. God puts us in peoples lives for a reason. This young lady should speak with God and listen to what He has to say. It may be her job to help this man find God, it may not. That if for her to discuss with God.
An Atheist and a Christian: A Love Story
I think God will lead in different circumstances. This may be a case of temptation or it could be God putting her in the right place at the right time to bring someone else to him. We have no way of knowing. Thanks for sharing your story. His grace is never limited. I am in a somewhat similar position, a guy I met through work has been intensely pursuing me since we met. I kept refusing because he is not a christian but finally I gave in and we have been dating for a few months. However I told him we could never be serious because he is not a christian so he said he is willing to try going to church.
I just wondered if this is worth it because he pursues me so intently but I wonder, Would God allow an unsaved man to be so interested in me?! I have a close friend whose boyfriend pursued her intently and started going to church with her. For your sake, I want to plead with you to call it off with him. I loved this article! I think people have mixed feelings about this article and might even misunderstand it. I totally get where you are coming from. My youth group began playing ultimate Frisbee as a way to get the youth and other unsaved teens and young adults to interact.
We would talk about God and invite the lost to come to church. He began showing an interest in me. In my head, I thought that I could change him. He continued with his old ways. I was left broken and he never got saved. I think the point of this article is to help young women not get hurt from relationships that are unequally yoked. God wants to save us from the heartache. Be patient and pray! Temptations and loneliness can be strong but stay close to God. I want my saved husband to go with me and be by my side.
You will shed tears and God will wipe them and comfort you. Being honest— you need to get away from this guy. Most likely he is saying this to see if he can get any further with you physically. You might think he has the best of intentions and cares about you, but please do not believe it. Reading this made my stomach churn.
We both used to have a physical and emotional relationship until recently she decided to stop and put God first. I completely respected that and am even loving her more than ever. I want to be her biggest supporter as I know I cannot lead on the spiritual side of things. We are tight though in a weird sort of way. He can read me like a book and trusts me beyond belief. I have loved this man for seven years.
He has never returned with the same kind of love. He loves me like a sister, but I would marry him if he would ever give his heart and soul to Jesus. But I Love him!! I have this weird peace. I honestly feel like I am supposed to wait for him to find Christ. I refuse to be close to him right now but I just feel like I am supposed to wait. What if I never get married cause I am waiting for a man who has never even acknowledged that I exist, like that anyway…???? If I may be blunt here, please know these words come from my heart.
You say that he has never indicated an interest in you beyond sisterly friendship. So please continue to pray for his salvation. The important thing for you to be doing right now is personally growing in your relationship with God. As you focus on Scripture, prayer and service to others, you can be assured He will use every situation in your life to prepare you for what only He knows is ahead for you.
You can trust Him with your heart and your future, my friend! Praying for you this morning, friend! I will think on it. My heart was not to insult you at all, my friend, but to point you to Christ and to encourage you to search your heart to make sure that Christ is the center and not this guy. Please know that my comments come from my concern for you. I asked for an opinion. I should have simply accepted it. Please pray for me. Yesterday we were walking home from work and he suggested we drop by a Catholic church in the neighborhood. We did and I prayed a bit while he looked around.
I came to Jesus when I was adult y. Please help me and pray for me. Oleksandra… This is going to be very difficult. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6: The biblical teaching is to not be unequally yoked. This teaches that two people that are committed to center their lives in Christ which Christians desire to do have the freedom to date and allow the Holy Spirit to guide them in their relationship. Trust the Lord not only with the moving out of this relationship but with what He has for you in the future.
For the Lord honors those who honor Him. Let me encourage you to spend time on your relationship with God. Get into the Word of God, Oleksandra. The joy and peace it gives to know God more intimately surpasses the pull of an unhealthy relationship. Look for relationships in a Christian group that bring refreshment to your life. Is there a Bible Study for young adults you could join? Is there a strong evangelical church in your area with a young adult group? I know this is not an easy thing to do. Be assured we have prayed for you. I am praying God will give you the courage and strength to want to do the right thing, and to do the right thing.
I pray God will help you, confirm your faith in Him, and confront the young man you are dating with the Gospel, drawing him into a relationship with Christ. I know you desire that so much, and we do too. Thank you for giving us opportunity to speak into your life and for the privilege to pray for you. God bless you, for your desire to do what God would have you do. You have made a decision to be in love with this person.
Question is, do you want to love him or save him? Question your own motives. There is nothing wrong with people being in a relationship with an atheist or anything else. I have been an atheist all my life and have been married to a christian woman for 15 years now. Our kids go to church with her and I even like to go to my kids programs at their church.
For all you out there with this question on your minds there is nothing wrong with it, if you do not agree then do what you feel is right but I hope you know we are all the same at the end of the day. The reason why I gave up religion was because I wanted to dedicate my life to being a good, moral, ethical person —without anything attenuating that.
An atheist hates the very idea of there being a God. This is fractally wrong on so many levels and a profoundly ignorant mischaracterization of Atheists. Christians on the other hand in the majority of cases who hold a tremendous emotion stake in their beliefs. The notion that their beliefs are false would be too upsetting for them to contemplate. They simply could not bear their carefully structured world view to be exposed as delusion or fraud.
Not surprisingly only a few lowered their hands. This interesting thought experiment plus day to day observation of human nature signals to me that it is religious believers who maintain their beliefs from emotional motives. I have been a believer since I was about 10 years old. I committed myself to Christ and decided to follow Him at all costs.
I guess I didnt realise at what cost I will be required to pay. As every woman desires, I desired to fall in love, and marriage with a good Christian man. But I went to a girls boarding school and never met any boys. I left school at Then at university in the United Kingdom, I met lots of guys but they were not Christians, and I was single throughout. After graduating, I did further studies, but never met a Christian guy…you know the idealist Christian guy that blogs like these speak about. I am now 33 and the only guys I have ever dated have been through work, and I have never met a Christian man at work.
They have always been atheist. Because I have always had this fear and guilt of dating a non Christian, I have never been able to fully commit to a non-believing guy. Articles like this highlight the choice Christian women have to make when they follow Christianity. I attend Church and in fact attended a mega Church in London for 7 years, but I never met any single Christian men there. All the Church ministry activities I did were full of women. Men in general just dont seem to want to serve in Church here in the UK.
I attend a medium church now with lots of young single Christians, but there are maybe beautiful Christian girls to 10 Christian, God-loving, Bible-believing guys. Its great for happily married Christian couples in their twenties and early thirties shouting dont marry him etc etc, but I am 33 and I have lost hope. Do you have any idea how hard it is? So basically what you are saying to me is that I should remain single? My young life is gone, I am still a virgin and I am still waiting for this amazing Chrisitian marriage-material man.
Can you see how sad my life is? There are christian women for every 10 christian guys…can you see that you are telling me to remain an umarried virgin for the rest of my life? Is it fair to say that maybe if the world was full of Christians, then yes a Christian woman should obviously seek out a believer.
The majortiy of people are non-christians or non-practising, or agnostic. So in a world like this, what a Christian women supposed to do? Remain single and virgin the rest of their lives? Has anyone thought about a solution to this? You are 33 and have spend 15 years of your adult life a virgin without a mate.
Hi Joe, thanks for your kind response. Her faith is in no way diminished for marrying me nor do I stand in her way in her faith journey. I do however accompany her to church one in a while. Despite our faith differences the love and the marital bond is there every bit as if we believed the same. I hear your pain, Melina! The waiting can be very, very hard. But let me exhort you to not lower your standards. Our highest purpose in life is not to be a wife and mother. The highest purpose we can ever hope to achieve is to serve God faithfully where He has us regardless of our circumstances.
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. There is indeed a loneliness that far surpasses what you may be experiencing now. Not being one in spirit with your mate is devastatingly lonely.
The only One who can fill the void you feel in your life is Jesus Christ. Run to Him, Melina! Pour out your heart, your dreams and your desires to Him and then surrender them all to Him choosing to entrust your heart and your future to Him. Then I challenge you to look around you. Where can you serve Him with all your heart as you wait for Him to reveal the plan He has for you? Will you pour your life into the lives of others? In doing this you will begin to live your life with an eternal focus rather than a focus on the here and now.
Stay in the Word, my friend. It will keep you anchored to the heart of God! Thank you for your kind response. I am trying to pour myslef into helping others but its so hard with this burden in my heart. I wish I understood what you mean about Jesus filling the void in my heart. I really wish I did, because I am already a Christian, and have been for over 20 years. But thank you for your response I am hoping that Jesus will have mercy on me soon. I think this issue is between me and Him.
But I wanted to put this question out there because the Church seems to avoid the anguish and pain than people experience on a daily basis. I wish these complex topics were highlighted more often. Yes, Melina, I do think this may be an issue between you and God. It may be an issue of trust and of surrender.
We know that God has the ability to bring you a godly spouse, Melina. He loves you far more than you can imagine. He always has your best at the center of His love for you. While choosing to follow your own heart and choose outside of His will may seem the only way for you, it will bring far more grief and pain than you are experiencing now.
Having the support of an older godly woman in your life would be a blessing to you. Would you pray about who to speak to about your situation and the pain you carry? She could encourage you, pray for you, keep you pointed to Christ. Perhaps you can join together with some other women and do a Bible study so that your emotions are kept in line with Scripture. As I was praying today, these broadcasts from Revive Our Hearts came to my mind. Would you take time to listen and pray through this? How to Control Runaway Emotions: Some girls meet blossoming oak trees of men, deeply rooted in strong and unbreakable faith.
To some of us, thought, we are given the seeds that we must plant. When Kate heard the reasons, she knew exactly the proper explanations to respond with, but this time she kept her mouth shut. His parents kept their cool. She was a sinner just like everyone else. However, what was an innocuous statement for them was incredibly offensive to Kate, who did not feel sinful at all. This conversation lasted for more than five arduous hours. It was this type of interaction that had pushed her even further away from Christianity during college. Several months later, his parents demanded that either Kate convert to Christianity or Erik put a stop to the relationship.
They wanted the best for her, and to their way of thinking, the best involved God. Her mother told Kate not to change for Erik. But her parents knew they taught Kate how to think, not what to think, so they were not worried. But how does a relationship like this last? But it turns out they both share core values and a passion to find the truth, whatever it may be. They also have strong communication and conflict-resolution skills. They both strive to understand each other instead of trying to change the other.
Not when it comes to faith. If the subject of God comes up, Kate has learned how to speak about her beliefs without making inappropriate comments. They both also share values and morals, though the reasons for those beliefs come from different places. He sees the Bible as the best guide book for life, not a book filled with literal truths.
As he says, he is a follower of Jesus, not the Bible. Kate says that Erik helped her become a different kind of atheist: She removed the Darwin Fish emblem from her car out of respect to others and stopped telling or laughing at jokes that ripped on Christians. Erik no longer sees atheists as a threat to his religion. Instead, he sees them as people who have well-thought-out beliefs. Kate was an exception to that unwritten rule. Speaking of churches, they even go to them together.
They spend time going to places of worship and discussing them afterward. Each visit provides them with an opportunity to discuss faith and non-faith in a positive way. It was a dramatic change from another church they visited which was more contemporary and catered to young adults. Erik had enjoyed this church at one time, attending it for nearly two years and playing a large role in the planning and operation of various ministries.
When he had visited this church more frequently, he thought it to be accessible for everyone, not just other Christians. Eventually, it became too conservative for his tastes and the ethos of the church became combative against non-Christians. But when he visited with Kate, he still hoped she would see it for the good it contained. Kate was not impressed.
It was then that I began to see things through her eyes. Both of them even went to a Unitarian Universalist church. This time, they both had a positive experience. When discussing the beauty of nature, Erik could see it through a Christian filter nature was beautiful thanks to God. Kate could understand nature purely through the elegance of natural selection. They were curious and interested. They had a good discussion with Erik and constantly asked his opinion on certain parts of the movie. Of course, some of the skeptics were… well… skeptical of his motives.
However, after speaking with him, they found out he was a Christian who had given serious thought to why he held his beliefs. He could think for himself instead of merely parroting what he had been told in a church, and they respected him for that. Kate and Erik joke about how forcing atheists and Christians to date would bring about more peace, tolerance, and understanding. Even without the close relationship, the idea that people with such different worldviews can get along so well is an important message in itself.
One question I had for them was how they would raise children if that time ever came. While neither has a definite answer, they both feel like giving the child a broad range of religious experiences is the best way to go.
Erik wants to provide the child with answers from multiple sources — what mommy believes, what daddy believes, and what others believe. Kate would prefer a more secular approach, but also understands the value of seeing the wider range of beliefs. Questions are also encouraged. Jesus was a liberal. Hemant, thanks for posting this! February will mark out two years together for us. Of course we both still regularly read this blog and still each have our copies of your book that brought us closer together and inspired us to go on our own church hopping excursion.
We look forward to another year of making atheists and Christians drop their jaws as we introduce ourselves as a weird interfaith couple. Well, all I can say is good luck. I am an atheist, and I dated a christian for about nine months, and it was the biggest mistake of my life. He would frequently make comments about how wrong I was, and try to get me to become a Christian.
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I always tried to be accepting of his beliefs, I never argued with him, and I even offered to go to church with him. I really want to go back to my pre or behavior of ignoring religion and religious people.
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The discussions and experiences are overwhelmingly painful and depressing. Congratulations Kate and Erik, and I hope your relationship continues to grow and strengthen! I hope more people will be willing to question their own beliefs, as well as their beliefs about others who believe differently. The larger part is that those things do not have anything to do with Atheism at all.
I hope everything works out as well for you as it is for me and my wife, who is Christian. Joe M and Susan — thank you for your good wishes!! I can only hope that our relationship develops as yours has, Joe. Aj — I was going to post a snarky comment in response but what the hell, Happy New Years. It seems that far too often, when we are entrenched in these battles of ideology, we lose sight of what really matters.
I dated a Lutheran girl for over two years, while I was still Mormon, and the religion was eventually the cause of our downfall. In the end, we were not able to see past all the differences to see the love we shared. AJ is apparently completely blind to the beauty of the story. If there truly is an all-knowing and benevolent father figure somewhere out there, I cannot help but think that he would be in strong favor of love and acceptance, especially in the face of such turmoil caused by well-meaning but destructive people.
The Christ I was taught about as a boy spent most of his time with the worst of the sinners, and through his example and love, inspired them. His overwhelming love was enough. If the common Christian god does exist, he works through love, and time. Judge ye not, or you are no better than the Pharisees. It seems like they would be a good couple to appera on the talk show circuit. Best of luck to both Kate and Eric. It seems to have worked really well. I hope things work out for you.
I would like to hear how Erik is handling his relationship with his parents lately. The only detail I read was that at one time he stopped talking to them. Does he have to directly defy them? Does he conceal his relationship from them? Are his age or economic dependency factors in how much pressure they can bring to bear on him?
This part of the story sounds like it has at least as much potential for pain for him as what Kate has gone through. Please listen to the gentle words of Michael. For you to start your first comment with a sarcastic crack suggests there may be a good reason that she has not come to you to talk about this. Kate is your sister. Soon enough she may be the only family you have left. Treat her with respect, love and empathy regardless of her views. I am a new poster on this site and this is a difficult topic. I will try and make my comments as sensitive as possible.
How does Erik reconcile the fact that the Christian Bible specifically says that Christians should not join themselves with unbelievers Second Corinthians 6: A Christian is defined as someone who follows the teachings of Christ. The Bible is generally considered the authority on the teachings of Christ. I ask because it addresses what I see as the fundamental problem between atheist and Christian relationships.
How does the Christian party reconcile their belief without becoming hypocritical? Please understand that I do not mean to be unkind. I simply have a very difficult time imagining how this scenario could be successful. Discussion might help me out here. Changing my mind would certainly broaden my miniscule dating pool. Hemant, thank you for this wonderful story. When I want people to see the essence of what you are trying to do, I will refer them to this post.
While the story as a whole was a nice example of people overcoming prejudices, this part disturbed me. Kate and Erik, you are both very lucky to have found each other, as I am sure you already know…. Kate, best of luck and a world of happiness to you and Erik. My Christian husband and I have been together for 15 years now, married for 12, and have two children together.
It can be done, and done happily! I agree with Richard; I am curious what the current relationship is between Erik and his parents. I am not sure I understand why this is a terrible question. There would be times it would be rude to ask, I suppose, but if someone expresses to me that they think certain Biblical events are literal retellings of actual events, I would ask if they truely believed that.
Come on, now, how could anyone believe that the some of the stuff in there is real? There are educated Christians, yes, and many of them know plenty about their religion, but I have never heard a sane, rational person think that the Bible is a literal retelling of only literal, true events. I have never heard a sane, rational person think that the Bible is a literal retelling of only literal, true events.
Furthermore, the person who thinks that is an educated, intelligent woman and a good friend, whose common sense and good judgement I value in every area outside that of religion. No matter how much what they believe stuns you, shocks you, disgusts you, or pisses you off, count to 10, and give them the benefit of the doubt that there is a reason they believe what they do. Think about your own beliefs; why are you an atheist? How sound is your own philosophical foundation? Even though atheism inherently makes sense, imagine if you were brought up differently.
Even if you were brought up in a Christian household, maybe your understanding of Christianity is just plain wrong. How does this promote harmony? All that matters is that the respect is present and mutual, and that views are changed not for a person, but for the merit of the views. It is your responsibility to learn all you can about religion; you might even find a branch of Christianity more acceptable to you than the one they currently follow ie- convert your Evangelical to Catholicism.
I do believe it is possible for an atheist to legitimately become a Christian, as it is for a Christian to legitimately become an atheist. No one loves a nut job. Some Mormons fit this exception as well. You be the judge, date at your discretion, and at your own risk. But if you do, think about what you really want in the long term.
As atheists, we would largely be ashamed to raise religious kids. Do you look forward to marrying a sane! Or will you regret it? Will you miss the Christian when he or she leaves your life? Are they truly one of a kind? But the truest sort of love imaginable. If this is the case, well, weigh that against their religion. We seem to weigh, today, truth more than happiness. This is one of the most defining characteristics of atheists today: Which matters to you? Are they necessarily contradicting? We are often materialists, often determinists.
We are freethinkers, and often arrived at atheism by following the natural course of our own minds, despite the religious ideas floating around us. You must question them. But it is up to you to at least get the most out of the experience; challenge their ideas, but also, challenge your own. No matter how much what they believe stuns you, shocks you, disgusts you, or pisses you off, count to 10, take a breath, and give them the benefit of the doubt that there is a reason they believe what they do. We seem to weigh, frequently, truth more than happiness.
Of truth and happiness, which matters to you? Are they necessarily conflicting? Which can you realistically attain? We atheists are often materialists, often determinists. Just very quickly, Richard, I promise you that my brother and I are very close. He has a constant wit that makes us all groan and roll our eyes. But I appreciate your words! Kate and Erik, good luck with your relationship. Religiously mixed relationships can work.
I have been married to a Christian for about 13 years now and we have two kids 10 and 5. They were satisfied that I sufficiently respected religious and conservative principles even though I was a liberal atheist. We have kind of learned not to argue about religion or politics.
I have found it very interesting and participate in some ministries and meet for a weekly Christian small group. I view it as simply a fascinating mind-set. He probably missed the formative years of religious indoctrination. He basically dropped his Santa Clause and what-ever god belief he might have picked up about a year ago. Our younger child is more susceptible for the religious indoctrination and we will have to wait and see how he turns out. Probably all a child needs, though, is one parent to be non-religious to enable the child to be able to have an open mind. I say go for it.
A mixed relationship can be a very interesting enjoyable experience where both people learn from each other… You will be living what the world at large needs to do. Find creative ways to make it work. I promise you that my brother and I are very close. Kate, thank goodness you cleared that up.
We lived together before we got married, which was another hurdle that was difficult for my parents to digest, but I think that inevetably, it was the fear of the unknown. We have been married for a year now and it has been a very rewarding and challenging experience, one I have learned immensely from. Your story was an encouragement. These two really seemed like a couple of jerks to start with.
Are we supposed to celebrate that they merely learned to become decent human beings and not insult other beliefs? My closest friends in college were devout Christians. Of course, I choose not to associate with those type of assholes as in your post, regardless of what they believe. How about all the people that accept others from the start? Most folks have to go through a growing up process to get to such a state. Maybe they believe marrying an atheist is a sin that will make their son go to hell. Given unjustified beliefs, people can believe terrible things with good intentions.
I suppose you miss out on a lot of great people if you limit the dating pool to those who share your belief system. It demonstrates how pervasive religion is. I would hesitate to tell an atheist to leave a relationship like this, because the truth is the chance of finding someone compatible who happens to be an atheist is probably low. Lucky me, I did it. But love is always great, if it works, so more power to you both.
If so, how does that figure into your relationship? Do you believe in an afterlife? After reading this post, I decided to do a little experiment and asked my husband if he would still love me if I suddenly became an atheist. Would you still love him if his views changed? I wonder where this took place. Both parties did change, just not the way you might expect.
Loving you and being comfortable living with you may be separate things for some people. Well, after a long day on the frigid ski slopes, I will attempt to answer the two basic questions it seems people have for me. I know they really like Kate, but struggle with how to express what they believe the Bible says about evangelizing. I try to make the best of every situation that comes up with my family, but ultimately I will decide what is best for me based on my own criteria and not theirs.
Hemant, thanks for the the work you put in to listening to our story and writing this article. The bit about being a more spiritual atheist is comical. I personally think this whole thing is made up. Someone who wants everyone to get along put this little story together. Talk about desperate, The reality is if they were reasonable they would stop believing in Sky-God tm.
And we can vote! Oh the horror of freedom and liberty!!! Thanks for answering him with lightness and grace, it expresses well, I think, why you get along so well with your gal. Sorry your parents are kind of jerks about this. Actually, sorry society is kind of jerkish about this stuff. You seem to have the right makeup to get past that… good for you!
Erik-I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I was just wondering what your thoughts are on 2 Corinthians 6: This was like reading my life story. I am an atheist and my girlfriend is christian. The way the parents acted was very simaler to my situation. Glad to see that others are on the same path. AnneMarie — When I first read that passage, I burst into tears. As in, a public university. Which made it all the more shameful for the banner to be hung. It actually got approval!!! A high school project inspired him to explore various faiths.
He even did the entire month of Ramadan. He really liked the Quakers and still attends meetings in Boston. Linda — the question you asked your husband is an interesting one. And if they do…well, what happens then?! Would the other person still love the one who changed? Bart — do I believe in an afterlife? Jeff — thanks for the encouragement! I am a Christian and I am very happy for you guys!
I dated a guy when I was in highschool that was a very serious atheist and it was hard and we did not make it to marriage sadly even though we were engaged. I want to commend the two of you because it takes so much dedication and backing from both sides and I remember people treating me differently when they learned that my fiance was an atheist and how people just acted like it was horrible. How many people would ostracize the guy that I loved because he was not their ideal and I still love him very much and always will. May you both be richly blessed!
Thanks for reminding me of the love of my life! Would anyone know of any website links of some kind that might have similar stories athiest and christian relationships — I, and at a guess a good few other people out there would love to know about it — if anything like that exists on the web…..? Well…This story was extremely inspiring.
I wish I would have read this entry a long time ago. My name is Anthony and I am an atheist however my girlfriend Amanda is christian. I would like to leave a slight story of my own but it will be shorter then the one that was written. If anyone cares to read please feel free to ask me any question or offer any opinions and send to my email. I was raised in a fairly non-religious home. My mother and father do believe in the existence of god, and have always said thing that have referred to the existence of heaven or god.
As I got older the answer to those questions became more and more complex and vague. I became very interested in things like science, biology and the reason for life. The quest of proof had lead me down a path of atheism. The only comfort that I had on the subject was my best friend Mike. He never bashed Christianity or any other religion or belief for that matter. So I became very comfortable and confident in what I believed. Around 15 years old I was faced with my first challenge. I was presented with the gift of being my nieces god father by my older sister.
For days it racked my brain on how that would work being atheist. I even went to the little practice run that you do before the actual baptism. Many things crossed my mind. Was I lying to myself accepting this gift under the eyes of god with no faith? Was I lying to my sister? The night before the baptism I sat in my room crying fearing what I should do. I gathered all the courage I could and gathered my family in the kitchen.
After that, the family was very accepting, understanding and even curious about it. I found myself telling people that I was atheist right away so they could go ahead and decide whether or not they were going to talk to me. July 19th of I met Amanda. I had actually met her in a chat room. I showed her that I was interested and she expressed the same. The moment that I realized she was interested, I blurted out that I was atheist. She continued her interest in me. Soon after, we began dating each other. We have had our hours of religion conversations almost trying to contradict every thing each other has said.
But I can say it always came down to one thing in the end… I love her and she loves me. Well today religion came into conversation, and we started discussing how it would work if we decided to get married. That is how I came across this wonderful story. Something that we can both relate to, but will still not stray too far from either of our beliefs. So please, any Ideas please feel free to contact me. I already forgive you. I loved this…I have been married to my Atheist for almost years.
We have two children and we love each other fiercly. Well done Kate and Erik. I hope after the posting of this…since it was so long ago…that the two of you are still doing well. My daughter is a Christian non denominational as am I. She is 16 and her and her atheist boyfriend are pretty serious about their future together.
I have accepted this boy, never with judgment.. I do not preach to him and never will unless he sincerely asks. Belonging to Christ is a personal decision. My daughter is very firm in her Christian faith. I actually do not force church on my kids and I expose my kids to various religions. In this situation, I accept and love her boyfriend…whereas his dad found out I was a Christian via my myspace page…within days, the boy was forbidden from coming into my home, citing that I was a bad Mother because of my Christian beliefs and I should be boarded off to a mental institution for believing in God.
What is really interesting is that, I allowed my daughter to go to his home for a year times a week , knowing that she was entering a strongly atheist home. So, just wanted to point out that religious bigotry should not be blamed on fundamental Christianity exclusively. Hi Marcia, Yes, you are right. Bitter, bigoted people come in all brands, just as open-hearted, fair-minded people come in all brands. Life is tough enough for young couples without having to deal with Capulet-Montague hatreds tearing them apart.
Even more well matched people tend to grow in different directions when starting so early. Whether together or parted, I hope they retain their open and accepting natures. I have some questions to those Christians out there dating or in wedlock with atheists or have other religious beliefs entering the picture. I am a Christian myself, my boyfriend is a Gnostic. We love each other very much, but I have some serious fears about continuing in our relationship. However, I fear that I myself might get a problem eventually if I start connecting more to my Christian friends and family than I do to him.
Does this make sense? A big thank for opening such a warm and friendly site, it is so nice to know there are friendly Atheists too! Afraid the judgmental experiences go both way, had so many hurtful insults comments through the years. Yes, it can be lonely because I trust my feelings. I have had to re-learn much of my approach and expectations in relationships. However I excpect that even in relationships where both parties believe the same things…this is probably normal. I had to get over my fear of his rejection. Those moments are personal and I have and am continuing to learn to be okay with them just being mine.
I could see a happy future…even if it was hard work…. Thank you so much for your reply. I think you hit the nail when you mention the fear of rejection. I struggle to see how he could possibly wish to discuss and talk deeply and exploratively about these things with me, even though he says he does. I just fear that we will come to a point where there will be a very clear cleft between us.