I came across your website a few weeks ago and I can say that many of your posts are thought-provoking and have proven valuable to me. [Thanks!] The reason I’m sending you this (after gathering enough strength for doing so) is that I find myself in a difficult situation regarding a relationship, and I think you could help me on this. [I hope I can! But it’s after midnight, and I’ve spent basically two days holed up here in this pretty crappy hotel room in Palm Springs, CA., where I believe the average yearly temperature is OH MY GOD I’M DYING. So . . . you know.]
Well, there is this girl from college that is a great friend of mine and a true companion. And in the second half of last year I realized that I was really fond of her and my appreciation for her only grew. [Ahh. How lovely!]
So. For four years I’ve been part of the leadership of a local Christian ministry focused on evangelizing to teenagers (prior to this I attended it regularly as a teenager). [I have a feeling I’m going to really hate where this goes next.] One of the group’s requirements is that its leaders can’t by any means be in a relationship with a non-Christian [annnnnnd there it is]; otherwise it would lead to the leader’s being kicked out of the ministry. [Ah, yes. I believe it was during his Sermon on the Mount that Jesus said to his followers, “And remember, thine singletons: If ye cannot findest thou a Christian to marry, keepest looking until you find one, or get the hell out, traitor!” I could be wrong on that exact wording, though. I’ll have to check.]
This is something that wasn’t a concern of mine years ago and I thought (as I’ve been taught ever since I joined this group and got in touch with Christianity) [just a quick note: your group is in touch with Christianity like Hitler was in touch with the Torah] that it was a standard, non-negotiable tenet of Christianity. [It’s not. It’s a standard, non-negotiable tenet amongst literally no one but Christians who wouldn’t know the Holy Spirit from a gas attack.] I was comfortable with the idea of having a relationship solely with Christians, and I wanted it to be so. [Of course you did. That’s what you were taught. We’re all victims of what we were taught.]
However, when I learned that I really liked this non-Christian friend of mine, when I understood I genuinely did want to be with her, I was afraid. I was afraid because this would mean my being kicked out of the group where I learned all about Christ and where I have great friends. So I decided to try to forget everything that I felt for my non-Christian friend.
But I found that I could not forget about her.
All of this has meant a profound shake in my belief that Christians can only be in relationships with Christians. I feel like the building I carefully built is all of the sudden falling down. [Good. That particular building needs to fall down, so that you can build a better one in its place. A nicer one—a warmer one, with a prettier view, and a lot more rooms.]
While looking for further information on this whole issue I found your website and I thought you would have good insights about it all. [I don’t know if you saw this one, but if not please read Christians in Love with Non-Christians, and their Christian “Friends” Who Object.]
My question, after all, is this: Is it safe to get myself closer to this friend, even if it means being kicked out of the ministry? [God, yes. That it would get you kicked out of your ministry would be a good enough reason to date your love. Your ministry group is deeply, profoundly, toxically flawed. Believe it now, or … have it proven to you later. I’m voting for believe it now.]
Would God approve such a move of mine? [I don’t know; for all I know the girl you’re in love with is a vampire. I know one thing for sure, though, which is that God would not disapprove of your pursuing a relationship with this girl solely on the basis of her not being a Christian. That I can guarantee. Love is love. God is love. God loves God. You’re good.]
And, finally, how can I deal with eventual derogatory commentaries about a decision of this nature? [You ignore the crap out of them. Anyone who would make a derogatory comment about you being in a relationship with someone you love is not a person to whom you should listen anyway. Pigs always find something to grunt and snuffle over.]
Thanks so much and forgive my bad English, I’m a foreigner. [Your English is awesome! It’s so much better than my whatever-your-first-language-is that I’m pretty sure I’m the foreigner here. You rock for knowing (at least) two languages. I barely know one.]
Really looking forward to your answer. [Thanks! Best to you, brother. Way to let your heart, instead of your fears–much less the fears of others–lead you. That’s always the best way. To follow love is to follow God.]
About the “illustration” above. I drew it. Because there comes a time in every man’s life when he says, “Hey, look! A pen!” And yes, if you insist, I’ll sell you the original.