February Fakes: Why I’d date an atheist over a “Christian” pt. 4 Charlie

I expected this behavior from non-believers, I didn’t expect it from those that put the Christian label on their lives.

You flat out lied. Your life was a lie. How could I trust you? I gave you so many chances to come clean. I believed you. I chose to believe you. I wanted to believe you. The lies finally caught up with you and you couldn’t get out. That was when I had to walk away. I wish I could have sooner.

We had so many good discussions. Your personality drew me in. No one could make me laugh like you could. You grew up in a Christian home. Those are the ones that scare me most, I think. How do you know if someone is really saved or has just learned to act the part so well? Is it just part of his culture now and the only thing he knows? I don’t know. But I know it’s what kept me holding on for so long. I appreciated being able to talk to you in ways I couldn’t anyone else. You knew the church lingo, but did you know God? I wish I could describe it but some of the words that came out of your mouth, some of the stories you’d tell me didn’t sit well with me. Okay, actually they flat out hurt me. They took away my innocence. Did Christians really talk like this? Was it okay to joke like this? I was so naïve. But I really should have known better.

I think what bothered me most with you is that I felt you tried to hurt others too. Not physically but spiritually. Slowly defiling others to things of the world. Slowly desensitizing them to evil. You masked it so well though. You were sneaky. And you were good. I found a reason to justify every uncomfortable thing you did. But I finally couldn’t take it anymore.

I’ve experienced a lot that has bothered me and it’s easy to start questioning whether I’m just too picky. But it’s okay if there have been things that have bothered you too. I knew this series would be controversial and I knew some people wouldn’t like it. I want to be very clear here- I didn’t write these things to hurt anyone but I think it’s extremely scary (not to mention sad) when we stop addressing things that need to be said in fear of hurting someone’s feelings. I think deep down we all know the best friends we have are the ones that are honest with us the most. And that’s my goal with this blog- to be honest with you guys. To let you know it’s okay to question others. Because for so long I questioned myself instead. And I think we need to acknowledge that if we have the Holy Spirit, part of the benefits of having Him is recognizing Him in others. It’s not judging; it’s being aware. And when you don’t see Him in the one you’re dating, you already have your sign. So many times I held on with hope, when I should have just walked away.

Lastly, I want to clarify something. I would never date an atheist. I know in my Spirit I could never do it and it would never work. And that’s why the title of this past series was so powerful to me and struck some nerves in others. As much as I’d never see myself with an atheist, I could never be with any of the guys mentioned this past month. Because they’re not just living in sin- they are living in sin while claiming to be holy. How do you convince someone they are missing something they already think they have?

Read the entire series here: Intro Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

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February Fakes: Why I’d date an atheist over a “Christian” pt. 3 Gary

February Fakes

I think I’ve realized there are two types of people: people that try to convince everyone (including themselves) that they are a certain type of person and then there are those people who just live. They don’t have time to be fake, they don’t have time to cookie cut a canned response. And they don’t want to. They feel. They live. Can we all just be? Apparently not.

Oh Gary, if only you knew how excited I was when you reached out to me with a desire to get to know me. I had hope, lots of hope for you and I. We had similar lives, similar morals, similar values. On top of all that we both had drive, passion, determination, and incorporated God into all aspects of our lives. I had so much respect for you- for who I thought you were. It was very rare for me to meet someone like you. Either I meet someone not so passionate about God but passionate about life or I meet someone passionate about God but without much ambition. You almost seemed too good to be true… oh wait.

Our earlier conversations were great but they were moving rather quickly- then you pulled back so I pulled back. I think we were both scared and rightfully so. You said you had been hurt before and so had I- we both didn’t want that to happen again. Things progressively got worse though.

I wish I could remember some of the things you said to me after that but I don’t think that’s as important as how you made me feel. The quote from Maya Angelou became so real in these moments- “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It wasn’t what you said that bothered me- it was what you didn’t say that spoke volumes. It was like I couldn’t have a real conversation with you. I guess I didn’t want to see it at first but all of your responses were so fake. There was no depth to you. Your standard responses made me want to vomit. My desire for care was met with coldness. And I’m not talking about the coldness I’ve received before when getting the “cold shoulder.” I’m talking about a coldness you have no control over. I can’t really fault you for this because I know people can’t make themselves love. Sure, you can do nice things but you can’t actually love. Love is something you have no control over either.

This was a sad realization. It was like the person you said you were- the person you said you wanted to be and the person you actually were didn’t match up. You said you wanted a certain type of girl but you chased after another. I guess this could be the equivalent when women say they want a nice guy and then go out with the jerk. I don’t know. You know those people that say they will pray for you but don’t offer any help? Yea, that’s Gary.

You are the reason people shy away from Christianity. People expect Christians to be different but you’re not. You add on the prayer hands emoji, thank God for your accomplishments but that’s about it. We never really ended things- I think we both just knew. I wasn’t what you were looking for and you weren’t what I was looking for. But I think you’ve found what you’ve desired from the beginning. Someone famous, someone pretty, someone a little more “experienced”. That’s it. I thought you had desired more but I was wrong. I sincerely hope your praise Jesus hands become something more than an emoji on your phone someday.

Read previous posts in this series here: IntroPart 1Part 2

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February Fakes: Why I’d date an atheist over a “Christian” pt. 2 Tom

 

February Fakes

You were the first guy I met I thought was too good for me. I didn’t know you’d end up being the worst guy I ever dated. We had met through mutual friends and it was fun flirting with you. I wasn’t attracted to you but I had just gotten out of a bad situation with a good-looking jerk and I told myself looks didn’t matter. When I saw how high your morals and values seemed to be, I told myself that was all I really wanted. Besides, I thought attraction could come with time. It didn’t. I wish that was the worst of it.

I remember when you called me up asking to do something together that weekend. I said yes and it would be our first time to hang out alone. I don’t like the word “date” but I guess that’s what this was. Why can’t there be a word for when you hangout with someone with no expectation? Because apparently there was expectation. You started calling me your girlfriend after our first date!!! This should have been a red flag but I chalked it up to lack of experience on your part. I always thought there was an element of sweetness in innocence, but yours was an innocence built on what you felt entitled to one day. Do you know those people that do so much good and then when people start to praise them for it they try to act like it wasn’t a big deal while eating it all up? Yea, that was Tom.

Things were okay at first. It was nice to have someone I felt I could trust, someone I believed to have a relationship with God. It wasn’t until we started to spend more time together and more time discussing the Bible that things got weird. I started putting pieces together and I was in so deep that I started to question whether or not my beliefs were right. It pains me to write that. You had studied the Bible more than I had so I was extremely confused. It wasn’t until later I realized you may have known the Bible better than me but you certainly didn’t know God more than I did.

For the most part, we agreed on scripture but certain things had me questioning other things. All of your family, all of your friends belonged to the same type of church. When I stated I went to a Baptist church, I got looks as if I was the devil. I was willing to look past that- after all you knew my beliefs from the beginning. And we did differ a little on certain scriptures. To me they weren’t major things even though they still bothered me. You agreed they weren’t major things, as well. You said we would work through them and that brought a sense of comfort to me at the time. I felt you valued my beliefs and loved me nonetheless; we would work through them- together. However, I didn’t know when you said we could work through our differences that meant I would have to change my beliefs to fit yours. That realization made for a rather rude awakening and a very painful day.

I didn’t realize how upset I was over this whole relationship until I started talking to my close friends and family about it- asking them if I was doing anything wrong. That’s how deep I had gotten. All of your friends and family tried to tell me how great you are. So part of me wanted to believe it. However, I had never felt so belittled, so less of a human than when I was with you. Of course there were good times. You did so many good things, it was hard for me to come to terms with the fact you weren’t a good person. Good works don’t make good people. Motives, love, the heart- that’s what matters.

I started to realize everything was calculated. Once I started opening my eyes, I started to see things more clearly. You would sacrifice, but you didn’t love. The scripture from Hosea became more real at this point- “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” -Hosea 6:6 When trying to work through this with you, I felt like I was talking to a stonewall. I couldn’t do this anymore. Everything I thought we had was built on hollow ground. I always feel there is hope for an atheist- maybe one day they will experience God’s love. But there is no hope with you. For you claim to have had that experience already while living a life that is devoid of any ounce of His love.

–> Part One & Intro <–

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February Fakes: Why I’d date an atheist over a “Christian” Part 1: Jake

February FakesOne reason: because you’re not. You’re not a real Christian and I don’t appreciate you making me feel bad for questing your faith. Things you said, choices you made- something just didn’t feel right. But you were good. A smooth talker. And I fell hard and fast.

It seems fitting to start with you. My Facebook Timehop just reminded me of the time you texted me ONE THOUSAND times while I was on a flight just to have them all appear the second I turned my phone back on. It didn’t seem creepy, possessive like at the time, rather funny and comforting to know I was always on your mind. You’d text me all the time. I thought it was because you really valued me but you were just making me dependent on you. But you were the one with the dependency problem. You always had to have someone. So if I wasn’t “good enough” I knew you’d find someone else fast to give your undivided attention to. This made me so insecure.

You charmed me from the get go. You went to Bible college. Not only did you agree with a lot of my thoughts, you added to them. Your testimony. Your testimony intrigued me. You had a past, a really bad past. But I never judged you for it. It wasn’t until who you used to be started to feel like who you were now.

We studied the Bible together. Now this was scary. We’d memorize scriptures together. You encouraged and helped me to spend more time with God. I was the one that confused my love for God with my love for you.

There was so much hurt from the beginning of our relationship that I knew you weren’t right for me. But you knew just what to say, just what to do to keep me from being open to anyone else. I was your saving grace. I brought out the best in you. All the other girls you attempted to date were second to me and that fed my ego so much. You’d date them until they fell hard for you and then you’d disappear. I knew because you did that to me. Not physically but emotionally. You had wrecked me. You wanted to leave me before I left you. It was a shame that your self worth came from how many girls you could get to fall for you. Your occasional “she reminds me of you” and the songs you’d send me that made you think of me. They were your way of keeping me on a short leash.

I struggled so much. My heart knew you weren’t right for me. I questioned your motives, I questioned your faith. I really did. But my heart also loved the way you’d make me feel. Even if it was all a lie. You were the best manipulator, the best con artist I had ever met. I wanted to believe you really loved God but I knew. Everyone on the outside would say you loved God but I still knew. I was the only one that challenged you; I suppose that is what made you love and hate me at the same time.

Fast forward through many ups and downs. Times when I said I needed a break to think. Times when you needed a break because I had pushed the wrong buttons. You’d always come back. Because you knew I really cared. They always come back.

Christianity was just a phase for you. It took me a long time to come to terms with this. It’s where you felt you belonged and had a family for a little while. It was more about what you could get from God rather than understanding how much God loved you and what you wanted to do for Him. You never had a relationship with God. The second the opportunity arose, you got back with your old friends and became the same person you once told me you were. I think that’s the true test of just how strong our faith is. Are you a Christian based on culture or based on your personal relationship with Christ? When you have that personal relationship it doesn’t slip away so easily. It’s stronger than any family bond you’ve ever experienced. It was bittersweet to watch this transition. To know I wasn’t crazy when I was the only one challenging your faith. The Holy Spirit is a wonderful gift that we tend to suppress for the sake of “not being judgmental.” It’s nice to see the real you now. For once I get to see the real you. And as sad as it makes me to see you living a life so contrary to who you once said you were, I’m glad you aren’t claiming to be something you never were anyway.

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Read the intro to February Fakes here