Religion and I have a strange relationship.
I believe in God and consider myself a Christian. My church attendance is sporadic based on the state of mind I’m in at the moment. And I pray far less than I should as a believer.
I have a lot of unanswered questions. Furthermore, there are facts about Christianity and the Bible that make me question the religion as I would question anything else. It is fact the Bible contradicts itself, was written by man, translated multiple times, is rooted in sexism, is a newer religion in comparison to others and it has been used to justify horrendous atrocities on the planet.
With that said, it is hard for me to imagine my life devoid of God. Oftentimes I feel guilty for questioning the validity of the Bible and God. It’s a constant battle between my psyche that tends to question everything and my belief in a higher being.
In thinking about religion I think about relationships with people who have different beliefs.
This year I had my first experience with a close friend who claimed he loved me, but would not date me because of his Islamic faith. As a Muslim from Kuwait who was a virgin, it was his belief that he should only date someone he is going to marry. Since I was an American Christian we had no chance because his family would disown him. See “What He Taught me About Liberation” for the full story.
Now I find myself wondering if I would be able to date a man who is of a different religion, agnostic, a freethinker or who believes in God but is not necessarily religious.
As I’ve already stated I have my misgivings about the Bible and I don’t interpret everything in it literally. A pet peeve of mine are people who blindly follow religious teachings or apply the Bible to certain areas of their lives and not others. However, as someone who grew up in a Christian household it is not easy to disregard those teachings. Christians have been repeatedly told:
14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:14 (New International Version)
Over the years black pastors have referenced this passage in their sermons about finding a spouse. Many people have interpreted the scripture to mean many things, but the general idea is the same.
I have found recently the men who I share the same interests with, converse with on an array of topics and who stimulate my mind are not Christians. I’m ok with that.
But what happens when it gets to a point where men with different beliefs are the guys you are most compatible with? According to the Bible I am not to have anything to do with them. Yet I don’t necessarily agree.
Just like I don’t agree non-believers are going to hell. I actually find this to be quite foolish. It’s unrealistic to think Hindus or Buddhists, for example, who grew up knowing absolutely nothing about Christianity due to their geographical location are all going to hell. But I do believe there are consequences for Christians who choose to disobey God’s Word.
In a perfect world the solution would be to just find a good ol’ Christian boy and keep it moving. Or date whomever I want and deal with the consequences later. It’s not that simple.
Sometimes you build a friendship with someone and their beliefs aren’t important because they don’t affect you. Moreover, initially no one is really thinking about anything long-term. But once feelings are caught and the friendship evolves into a relationship one must make some decisions.
For Christians, does it come down to having to make a choice between doing what the Bible says (even though you question it) or else deal with the wrath of God? Or do you figure out what you can and can’t deal with and do what makes you happy? Can two people co-exist in a relationship together that don’t have the same belief system?
I tend to believe it will eventually cause a strain in the relationship, especially with two polar opposites like a believer and an atheist. But the verdict is still out on what I think about two people who both believe in God, but have different philosophies. I’m also not sure if I think an agnostic and a Christian would work either.
What do you the people say?