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

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

February Fakes

Well this might be one of my most controversial series to date but I think what I’m going to share needs to be said. And I sincerely hope you listen to my heart behind the words I write instead of pulling them apart. Each post on Sunday, in February, will be inspired by a different man I’ve dated. Each, very unique and different individuals. However, all four claimed to be Christians and God was/is an active part of their life. You’ll find Christian noted as their religion on their Facebook profile and you’ll see them in church on Sunday morning. But these four guys had me questioning why I’d rather marry any of my atheist friends over them. The word Christian is in quotes because I’m now convinced these men aren’t Christian at all. It’s not me being judgmental. There’s a reason people are turned off to Christianity and this is part of the problem. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they’ve been hurt by Christians. And I’m not talking about little, petty things that you get over. I’m talking about things that shouldn’t be happening within the body of Christ. I’m talking about things that need to be addressed and not swept under the “we all sin” label. Don’t ever let someone or something put a bad taste for Christianity in your mouth. Look to Christ only. If you encounter any of these types of men, don’t give up on Christian guys- just know you haven’t found a real one yet. While my perspective is from a woman’s standpoint, you can definitely apply this to women who claim to be Christians, as well.

Goals

There are a few goals I have in mind for this series. I want to stress to everyone that claims to be a Christian to really iron out what that means. So often we grow up in a Christian home, go to church every week, and go about our lives. But God desires to be included in every aspect of your life- not just on Sunday mornings. My goal is for you to strengthen your relationship with Christ.

My fear is a lot of people may have had similar experiences to mine. And I must say, if my faith wasn’t as strong as it is and this was what I had to go by to determine whether or not I believed in Christ, I would have walked away years ago. My goal is for you not to walk away. To know that not everyone who says they are a Christian really is. And you don’t have to feel guilty, ashamed, dumb, or naïve because of your own experiences. If you meet people like this, know they are not a Christian and you don’t have to feel bad for “judging” them. That’s a big one. Again, never let another person affect your view of Christ.

These posts are not meant to bash anyone; I’m actually still friends with everyone I’m about to write about. But I want you to see and understand how real these emotions are. I want you to see how they’ve affected me and how they are probably affecting others.

I’ve thought long and hard about this series. There are many scriptures that have backed up my reasoning for these posts. Throughout the month of February I would encourage all of us to really meditate and dwell on what these scriptures mean. And be sure to either check back or subscribe to my blog to get the posts! Next one is February 7th!

*Scriptures and my thoughts for reference

“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”- 1 John 3:9

This scripture used to confuse me, especially each time I sinned. There is a huge difference in being a sinner who sins and being saved and sinning. One is out of character for you and one is your character. Once you get saved and once you watch other people’s lives long enough, you are able to tell the difference.

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” -Gal. 5:16- 24

Just because someone says they are saved, doesn’t mean they are. Are they walking according to the Spirit or are they walking according to the flesh?

22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’” -Luke 13:22-27

The door to heaven is narrow. So many people claim to be Christians but so few really become saved according to the scripture. Watch what they do, not what they say.

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23: 25-28 [Read all of Matthew 23]

All of Matthew 23 is so good! It shows that Jesus knows and sees what you are seeing. You aren’t crazy! It shouldn’t surprise us that we have modern day Pharisees today. And it’s okay to talk about it.

“15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” – Rev 3:15-16

This is probably one of my favorite verses and the one that explains why I get so passionate about this. Ask any of my non-Christian friends how I treat them or what I think of them. I have so much respect for them because what you see is what you get. Such honest, real discussions with a mutual level of respect. However, I can’t have that close or deep of relationship with lukewarm people- people that go back and forth, say one thing and live another. There is no trust there. So while I am friends with these people, the relationships never become deep.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” –John 13:35

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” –1 Corinthians 13

Love. You will see a lot of this absent from the guys I’ve dated. And no matter what all else is said and done, this is the one thing that matters. Real, Christ-like, love.

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