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Dating advice and the problem of evil

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  • Dating advice and the problem of evil

    This is my 1st thread on Tweb, so HI
    I know this section is supposed to be for prayer request, but I couldn't think of another place to put it. I seek some advice.

    I know that I'm setting myself up to get chewed out by some of you (or many of you,) but I still wanted to know any additional thoughts you may have.

    The situation is the following:
    For one year now, I, as a Christian teen, have been dating a girl that, although a very close friend, is an atheist. I am praying that God may bring the relationship to the best conclusion as he sees fit. I hope something along the lines of: the break-up won't be so rough, she'll be strong enough to handle it, or that she eventually turns to Christ, etc.

    I've tried to evangelize to her, but I'm coming short. I'm prepared to deal with intellectual barriers to faith (to some degree,) but since I'm not that good at understanding how others feel, I'm not sure how to deal with emotional barriers to the faith, which are the main objections from her (she's had a difficult upbringing, a not so great father-figure in her eyes, suffering in her family, etc.) She seems open to the issues, but I realize that these will be very hard for her to see past.

    At this point in the relationship, I don't think I will lead her to Christ myself, but I do think I can plant a seed of the gospel, or provide an apologetic that will help receptiveness to the gospel in the future.

    Your advice, thoughts, and prayers for guidance in this are appreciated.
    Thank you, and God bless you :)

  • #2
    Perissos forum is good for advice.

    For now, 2 Corinthians 6:14 implies if you aren't already married to an unbeliever, don't do it. 1 Corinthians 7:12 implies that if you are, don't divorce but try to be an example. To me if you want to tough it out and see a real future, and aren't swayed by her unbelief, try to be an example. If you can at least get her involved in fun church activities, try that.

    But if you feel like you're banging your head against the wall and it really bothers you, you may want to move on. For me personally, preaching to an unbelieving partner never really worked and was an exercise in frustration. You aren't married so your options are pretty much open. That's my 2 cents.


    • #3

      The problem with the problem of evil is that it's never satisfied with a lesser experience. If God lined up all the evil things that could happen from the least to the greatest and then created a world where the most evil thing couldn't happen, then someone could still complain about it up until God created a word where the worst suffering possible was stubbing your toe. However, I think it goes farther than that because if there was a world where you could only experience joy and great joy, why would a loving God allow anyone to have the lesser experience? So it boils down to a choice between creating us in some sort of stasis field where we could have no change in experience and would be deprived of being able to do good, or creating us as moral agents who could have the will and the incredible opportunity to choose to overcome evil with good.

      It's an intellectual argument and not one I would use to help someone who is going through emotional pain, who needs to be comforted instead, but intellectually speaking, the problem of evil isn't actually a problem.

      If she's into reading books, then I suggest Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. Make sure to read it yourself first so that you can discuss it with her.

      "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser


      • #4
        If you're gonna break up I recommend becoming such a repulsive sissy that she'll want to break up with you instead. I think breaking up with her over religion will just turn her off Christianity more than it would have otherwise.
        "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

        There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.


        • #5
          I'm not sure I often agree with Darth, but he has a point.

          That said, we're not responsible for others actions and opinions. Hate to say it, but you shouldn't have let it gone this far.

          Oh who am I kidding: you state you're a teenager. Upon the basis of having been one, you're not ready yet to considering anything similar to commitment. Date for as long as you want, as I presume you've still got college ahead of you. Leave the relationship as it is, perhaps as the years go by she will come around. Or leave you, or something will give.

          You're only dating. Nothing more. If she claims she wants more commitment, dig your heels in, state you've got stuff to do before you can settle down (college, job, career, etc). Who knows, maybe that will impress her.
          No Silicon Heaven? Preposterous! Where would all the calculators go?


          • #6
            Thanks guys. I actually feel a little better about the situation.


            • #7
              She actually LOVES books, and I read it a few years ago, so I just need to go over it again. This could actually be a good idea. Thanks.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post
                If you're gonna break up I recommend becoming such a repulsive sissy that she'll want to break up with you instead. I think breaking up with her over religion will just turn her off Christianity more than it would have otherwise.
                Yeah, I figured as much.


                • #9
                  Point her to Ravi Zacharias. He's really good with dealing with emotional issues.


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