Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My God, your god?

This past weekend, I linked up with a friend to get a bite to eat. Before grabbing lunch, we went to check out his boy's new home. As he's catching up with boy's wife, she giving him the latest scoop on her younger sister (if I remember correctly she's around 21, 22). She doesn't approve of her sister's boyfriend because 1) she thinks he may be gay (this is a totally whole 'nother topic, so I will wait to have this discussion), but 2) she has an issue with her sister converting to her boyfriend's religion. Boyfriend is a Black Hebrew Israelite. I actually had to go home and get the info about this because I've heard of it but wasn't clued in on their beliefs and traditions.

So to be clear, I don't think that the sister has any issues with the religion in itself. I think the issue was her sister converting on the basis of "following" this guy. She informed us that they aren't allowed to do anything from sun up Friday until sun down Saturday. Her sister is in culinary arts school, and some of the best days to earn hours and money is working on the weekends. Her sister has gone without having enough money to pay for rent since she's not able to work on Friday and Saturday nights. Instantly I made my WTH? face. Messing with my money will get you cut off quickly, but young love is a mutha. I'm not sure what she and her sister were brought up, but I definitely know this isn't going down with me.

I'm sure there are lots of relationships where one person converted to the other's religion (all of my Sex & the City fans know one of the characters, Charlotte, converted to Judaism in order to marry Harry). There are also couples who coexist while being Christian or Muslim, or Buddhist or Jew.

There's a scripture in 2 Corinthians 6:14 (King James Version) that I definitely adhere to when it comes to dating:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

A few years ago, I had just started seeing this one brotha and we were hitting it off and he informed me that he didn't believe in God. He didn't think that God was simply a spirit and that a grasshopper or butterfly could be god. Being a believer and Christian, I had to ask him how and why, and soon came to find out that his non-belief came from physical abuse (if he didn't go to church or say his prayers he was beaten) and he later felt that if there was a God, why would He allow me to go through such pain?

As I tried to explain to him that everyone has hardships that makes them question "why me?" it doesn't mean that you stop believing and trusting in God. He did not feel the same way, and I had to let him go as a potential (we're still friends). I was raised in a Christian household, where yes, I was made to go to church every Sunday, we gathered as a family on Wednesdays for Bible study, where I had to recite a scripture and explain the scripture and despite our obedience, my family went through turmoil, and tough times. Yet, I still know what God has done for others, continues to do for me and WILL do for me. I got faith! (My pastor explained it as having a liberating knowledge of God). Since I have not only a belief but also a relationship with God, I cannot date a non-believer, and doubt that I will ever be persuaded to worship someone else's god. It just won't work.

So good people, do you have standards when it comes to religion? Do they have to believe in "something" or must they believe in God? If you did or do date someone of another religion, did it work or what problems did you incur? Also, do you think you could convert to someone else's religion or would you try to share your testimony into making someone into a believer so that you could feel comfortable with continuing to date them?


suga said...

Wow. Great blog discussion topic.

I dated a guy who is a Christian (like me) but of a different denomination. I never had a problem with that, but this person questioned the existence of God a WHOLE lot. And the basis for his argument was: How could there be a God when "insert name of group of people who suffered tremendously" went through "insert tragedy/disaster/horrible event"? He also felt that there had to be a multiple of ways to get to heaven because that wouldn't be fair to, say, the people in China, or something like that.

Needless to say, we debated about this subject ALOT, and he even told me that he'd spoken to numerous ministers, but none of them were able to sway him. It got really uncomfortable for me because I felt that dating him was the equivalent of dating a non believer. I mean, just because you go to church on Sunday, doesn't mean you have faith, right? Thats how I felt about him, so "we" didn't work out (but there were a myriad of other reasons we didnt work out, as well)

My current has been around off and on for 3 years. When we initially met, he eventually told me that he was raised Jehovah's Witness, but he was "excommunicated" due to something he did when he was 19. We met when he was 26, and he never really talked about going back to his religion. He was always very well versed in the Bible and every time we spoke after I got out of church, he'd love to hear about the sermon or bible study.

Recently, he decided that he would eventually get back involved with his religion, which raised many questions since he is not supposed to be "involved" with people who arent JWitnesses. I honestly feel that if we both believe that God sent his son to die for our sins, then we're cool. Denominations only separate us because certain traditions appeal to certain people, so I dont let that faze me. But his religion teaches that I'm going to hell and there will be issues if we stay together once he enters back into his "church". So of course, he would appreciate it if I converted. I have no desire to and he knows that. I dont know what we're going to do when he finally makes that decision. *shrug*

Sorry for blogging within your blog.

kizkel said...


This is a very insightful blog and topic of discussion! Thanks P!

I believe that similar to you if you are not a believer as myself you must believe in God! You do not have to have a denomination so to speak but you must believe in God! God is the center of my life and it is in him that I live, move and have my being, therefore what will I have in common with someone that do not share the same passion and vigor that I have for God?? Nothing! Now, there are times when we get with men, that do not love God or believe in organized religion, but are willing to "explore" the organized faith because they are curious about the love you have for the church. I think as long as the person is willing to reach outside of their comfort zone then I will give them a chance. Ultimately though, I will not date someone of a different faith because it will be pointless, we will both try to convert one another, which will be a waste of time and a lot of frustration. In these cases I remain friends with the men that are non believers, muslims, jews, jehova witness', etc. The conversations are definitely interesting and I learn a lot in spite of my unwillingness to convert to another faith.


PyT said...

Oh wow! I appreciate both of you ladies' comments.

@kizkel: We're eye to eye.

@ Suga: I'm not sure how the whole excommunication works? But is your "current" still considered a Jehovah's Witness and is he allowed to continue to practice the faith? Is he open to exploring Christianity?

T said...

Great topic! You have to be some form of Christian to get down with me. When I was younger I used to rebel against the unequally yoked thing because I would reason I wasn't going to marry the dude, so what's the big deal.

Now, any guy could be Mr. Right, so I scrutinize much more. I believe that religion is related to the afterlife, which basically means I think Christians are going to heaven. (I'm not saying they're the only ones going to heaven, but they're the only ones I'm pretty sure on).

So for me dating someone who's not a Christian and not knowing when they die if I'll get to see them again is TOO much.

It's also extremely practical to date someone of your religion because when you get into the biggest of arguments (how to raise the kids, who's responsible for what, how to funeralize family members, etc, etc) you can find teachings from your religion. If my religion says the man is the head of the household and your religion says otherwise, we're clearly going to have some strife in our household that's unresolvable.

Marriage, dating and being with the opposite sex is hard enough. I try not to muddle it further by dating outside of my religion.

darkmuse said...

it doesn't matter which god is better, or more kind than other. important to believe, and all