A Dating a christian as an atheist love story to kick off the year. I have talked to the couple and they gave me permission to tell their story. Kate is a dyed-in-the-wool atheist. She was raised in a non-religious home, but had relatives who were Christians. She recalls her aunt once yelling at her mother over Christmas dinner because Kate had not been baptized.
Kate began calling herself an atheist when she was old enough to explore the issues on her own. Still, Kate was very outspoken about her non-belief in God. She had a Darwin Fish symbol on the back of her car.
She admits she sometimes sought out Christians for the sole purpose of starting an argument — and she would make jokes about Christianity. Not often, but it happened. When Kate moved into her dorm room her freshman year, she was greeted with cut-outs of Christian sayings that were placed on the wall. As hard as they tried to get along, it was difficult.
A separate group put up a banner in the central part of campus on April 1. Kate managed to endure the Christian environment through the social support network she had back home, but Dating a christian as an atheist support was several hundred miles away.
Her experience with Christians finally changed during her junior year of college. She met a guy named Erik in one of her Spanish classes and they became friends.
Though, as with many college acquaintances, once the class ended they lost touch. Facebook profiles give people a chance to write a short description about themselves — they can also list their religion affiliation. Kate and Erik quickly shifted their eyes to see what the other had written in the biography field.
It was a shock for both of them. They decided to go out, but neither brought up what they had seen on Facebook. However, a couple outings later, they realized just how different their views were. Erik was a devout Christian who led a Bible study group.
Yet, as Kate and Erik got to know each other, they found that they shared interests and beliefs on just about everything outside the realm of religion.
They were becoming good friends and a tight bond was forming. Not long after, they began dating, which was as surprising to them as it was for everyone who knew them. And their relationship helped them realize how badly they were treating people who held different viewpoints.
Kate says she learned how to speak appropriately around Christians. As she began to know more about Erik, however, she discovered there were educated Christians in the world. Erik changed as well. Before meeting Kate, he had held the view that all atheists were the product of Dating a christian as an atheist bad childhood experience with religion or the result of abuse in the church.
Essentially, he believed atheists were atheists because they hated God or Christianity. Through Kate, he learned that it was possible to be an atheist based on reasoned, logical arguments. It was a well-thought-out system of non- belief. At the time, his parents thought his attraction to a girl who is an atheist was just a phase. When they found out he was serious about this relationship, they attempted to stop him, telling him that if he married an atheist he would be disobeying God.
They just wanted what they thought was best for him. They were also scared. Their dream of having Christian grandchildren was slipping away. Even worse, they were afraid they would lose their son and not see him in Heaven.
He understood where his parents were coming from: It never crossed his mind that other viewpoints could have merit.
In church, they were taught that these types of theological conversations stopped with the proper Christian answer. But during the meeting, the mother brought out the Bible and began reading a verse about how God was in control of the situation.
Kate nodded politely, but inside she was irritated. 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 Dating a christian as an atheist 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 Dating a christian as an atheist 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.
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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 Dating a christian as an atheist 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.