Is it possible to reconcile my religious beliefs?

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ToadOfSteel
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05 Mar 2012, 10:47 pm

I'm a fairly devout believer in Christianity. However, I also tend to have a more liberal worldview than most christians. I don't believe in the literal interpretation of young-earth creationism, have liberal views on abortion, family values, etc.

Here's the problem I run into: Many women in the general population run for the hills upon seeing my faith background. I don't seek to convert anyone, I just want to (although it's probably for the better since I want to raise a family and conflicting belief systems like that can cause problems down the line)

Conversely, I tend to alienate fellow believers because I'm not a traditionalist. I've been known to utter profanities from time to time. Not often, but enough to offend some peoples' sensibilities. If that doesn't turn them away, they see my love of video games and want to "cure" me of it.

I'm not TimTex, I don't seek a partner that fulfills a laundry list of wide-ranging and contradictory criteria. I likewise don't seek to share every aspect of my life with someone. We all need time apart anyway. I only seek someone that I can share at least one aspect of my life with, while not getting repulsed by whatever else I have going on in my life. But there's always something about me, one way or another, that repulses women. It is a 100% certainty. How am I supposed to get into a long-term relationship, and possibly start a family, if no one can accept that I am a complex person with a rather eclectic range of personality and not seek to change something about me (or just drop off entirely)? I don't seek to change women, and there is a lot I can accept as-is. Am I too weird to love?



Declension
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05 Mar 2012, 11:21 pm

I dunno, maybe you exhibit your Christianity in such a way that people get the impression that it's more important to you than they could ever be? It would be like if you went on a date with someone and they kept talking about their ex or something.

I would also question the idea that you are a "liberal Christian", or at least question whether it is relevant. You have to understand that from the perspective of a naturalist, the idea that a person has supernaturally risen from the dead is not any less strange than a belief in a young Earth.



Tim_Tex
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05 Mar 2012, 11:34 pm

Same boat as me, ToS.

With all due respect, however, the question "Do you like the Simpsons and South Park" really means "Do you want to come to my place and fornicate?" Except you are less likely to be slapped in the face if you ask the former. As far the criteria goes, once you find out the meaning or story behind them, you kinda understand what I am saying (and I am always more than happy to explain those meanings).


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ToadOfSteel
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05 Mar 2012, 11:56 pm

As far as I can tell i am incompatible with the entire world... that's the only explanation as to why EVERYONE rejects me. Tim even you have has people accept you...



Stargazer43
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06 Mar 2012, 12:09 am

I personally don't think that your religious beliefs have a huge impact ...I would say I have a similar belief system but I have never felt as though I alienate anyone or as though it is an issue at all really. As long as you respect the beliefs of others and don't try to force your own upon them, they should, and the vast majority of the time will, respect yours as well. It sounds as though that might be part of the issue, people may feel as though you are trying to force your own beliefs upon them which can be off-putting.

I did notice however something that might be causing you some issues. I saw that you use the word "repulse" in your post..to me that shows that you don't have a very high opinion of yourself and that likely translates to your interactions with others. Even if its at the subconscious level, if you view yourself as repulsive in any way, whether or not you actually are, others will likely pick up on it...you have to respect yourself before others will respect you. There was a saying one of my friends used to have that went something like this: "The most attractive person in a room is always the one who thinks of himself/herself as the most attractive". Of course I'm not suggesting that simply changing your mindset will magically solve all of your issues because it probably won't...but it can certainly help a great deal!



hyperlexian
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06 Mar 2012, 12:20 am

ok, so... here's my take on it. i think that online dating has pushed people to put criteria in front of chemistry. so people are trawling the dating sites with checkboxes instead of getting to know other people in meaningful ways. i think online dating makes it extremely difficult (although possible) to get past the idea that people need to fulfill certain criteria in order to be compatible mates.

i was an atheist and i married a christian. we weren't together forever, but we together 20 years, and we are still best friends even now. when we met we also listened to different music, we had different political ideas, we watched different tv programs, we read different books, we had different hobbies, we had different socioeconomic backgrounds, we had different educational levels, we had different plans for the future, one of us was NT and one was aspie, one of us sexually experienced and the other was not at all, etc. but there was a spark and the rest fell into place over time. we came to respect and admire each other's ideas and we met in the middle somewhere.

what i am getting at, is that people are more than just a list of criteria. the fact of someone being a christian or not, or watching some certain tv program or not, or being aspie or not... well, all of those things don't say anything at all about a person's underlying character or the interests that they will hold in 5 years. as long as both individuals are capable of respecting each other's choices, you will influence each other and can find a balance.

the same goes for physical appearance. ToS, you did not address that here, but speaking to other readers... people don't look the same over a lifetime, so it is a mistake to choose a mate primarily based on looks. even people who exclude overweight partners should be aware that there is a reasonably even chance that their thin prospect is going to become fat with time (and so might they, as well).

ultimately, i think people should try to date others based on the connection they feel, not based on preset criteria. and yes, it is possible to feel a connection with someone online.

Tim_Tex wrote:
With all due respect, however, the question "Do you like the Simpsons and South Park" really means "Do you want to come to my place and fornicate?" Except you are less likely to be slapped in the face if you ask the former. As far the criteria goes, once you find out the meaning or story behind them, you kinda understand what I am saying (and I am always more than happy to explain those meanings).

i don't understand where you get that idea from (bolded). are you saying that people assume that YOU want to fornicate when you ask them if they watch those shows, or are you saying that people who watch the shows want to fornicate more? neither one of those is true - the shows are not even slightly related to having sex.


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VIDEODROME
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06 Mar 2012, 12:20 am

Maybe join a progressive Episcopal Church?



hyperlexian
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06 Mar 2012, 12:22 am

ToadOfSteel wrote:
As far as I can tell i am incompatible with the entire world... that's the only explanation as to why EVERYONE rejects me. Tim even you have has people accept you...

do you see that by having criteria that excludes anybody at all.... you are rejecting them? i'm NOT saying that you should approach people that you find unattractive at all, but i think it would be good for you to understand that you are rejecting people too.


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ToadOfSteel
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06 Mar 2012, 12:33 am

hyperlexian wrote:
ToadOfSteel wrote:
As far as I can tell i am incompatible with the entire world... that's the only explanation as to why EVERYONE rejects me. Tim even you have has people accept you...

do you see that by having criteria that excludes anybody at all.... you are rejecting them? i'm NOT saying that you should approach people that you find unattractive at all, but i think it would be good for you to understand that you are rejecting people too.


And how is it healthy to get into a relationship where one person tries to change the other? I'm perfectly fine with someone with a different belief system, just not someone that's going to make me abandon a significant part of what makes me me... that's what the root of desperation is, isn't it?



hyperlexian
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06 Mar 2012, 12:40 am

ToadOfSteel wrote:
hyperlexian wrote:
ToadOfSteel wrote:
As far as I can tell i am incompatible with the entire world... that's the only explanation as to why EVERYONE rejects me. Tim even you have has people accept you...

do you see that by having criteria that excludes anybody at all.... you are rejecting them? i'm NOT saying that you should approach people that you find unattractive at all, but i think it would be good for you to understand that you are rejecting people too.


And how is it healthy to get into a relationship where one person tries to change the other? I'm perfectly fine with someone with a different belief system, just not someone that's going to make me abandon a significant part of what makes me me... that's what the root of desperation is, isn't it?

i'm not suggesting anyone should try to change anyone else. i am saying that if you respect each other's views and support each other, then changes may organically happen.

what is the worst that would happen if you date a non-christian?


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Fnord
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06 Mar 2012, 12:43 am

My wife knows exactly how I feel about religion in general and Christianity in particular. She's a devout Christian Theist, and I'm just a Theist. Yet we've been married for about 20 years, and still carry on like a young married couple.

Let love happen. Religion is irrelevant.



hyperlexian
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06 Mar 2012, 12:47 am

Fnord wrote:
My wife knows exactly how I feel about religion in general and Christianity in particular. She's a devout Christian Theist, and I'm just a Theist. Yet we've been married for about 20 years, and still carry on like a young married couple.

Let love happen. Religion is irrelevant.

WE AGREE!! !! !


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ToadOfSteel
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06 Mar 2012, 12:48 am

hyperlexian wrote:
ToadOfSteel wrote:
hyperlexian wrote:
ToadOfSteel wrote:
As far as I can tell i am incompatible with the entire world... that's the only explanation as to why EVERYONE rejects me. Tim even you have has people accept you...

do you see that by having criteria that excludes anybody at all.... you are rejecting them? i'm NOT saying that you should approach people that you find unattractive at all, but i think it would be good for you to understand that you are rejecting people too.


And how is it healthy to get into a relationship where one person tries to change the other? I'm perfectly fine with someone with a different belief system, just not someone that's going to make me abandon a significant part of what makes me me... that's what the root of desperation is, isn't it?

i'm not suggesting anyone should try to change anyone else. i am saying that if you respect each other's views and support each other, then changes may organically happen.

what is the worst that would happen if you date a non-christian?


An agnostic? nothing bad at all. A militant athiest? I'm worried I'd lose my identity to her...



ToadOfSteel
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06 Mar 2012, 12:57 am

Fnord wrote:
My wife knows exactly how I feel about religion in general and Christianity in particular. She's a devout Christian Theist, and I'm just a Theist. Yet we've been married for about 20 years, and still carry on like a young married couple.

Let love happen. Religion is irrelevant.


How can I just "let it happen"? If I don't care, it won't ever happen... maybe it worked for you, but i'm not you, i'm unlovable...



Declension
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06 Mar 2012, 1:07 am

ToadOfSteel wrote:
A militant athiest? I'm worried I'd lose my identity to her...


I think that your problem is that you don't have a healthy relationship between beliefs and identity. Your beliefs are not your identity. Beliefs are subject to revision.

What you're saying is that you don't want to be around someone who disagrees with you, in case they convince you that your beliefs are not true. That's a bad sign. You should always be trying to find out whether your beliefs are true. And you don't find that out by only being around people who agree with you.

Don't say, "As a Christian, I believe that the Christian claims are true." That's putting identity politics ahead of truth. Instead, you should say, "Since I believe that the Christian claims are true, I am a Christian." When you put it like that, what do you have to lose if someone convinces you that a Christian claim is false? It doesn't change who you are.