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Wrong!

True Life and falsehood

I'm trying to think of what wasn't discouraging about MTV's True Life, "I'm in an Interfaith Relationship," and I'm coming up with nothing. I'm sure there are people who've given honest, diligent consideration to differing faiths and their impacts on their relationships. Regrettably, they weren't represented by the two couples on the show.

Bottom line: I don't get how people can "observe" a faith that's shaped by their relationship (and thus, by implication, a God who's smaller than their relationship) rather than vice versa. At that point, why not just get a hobby or something?

Comments

Your mistake was expecting real faith to be depicted on MTV.
That would, no doubt, be a mistake.

I guess it also makes it clear that we're really, really messed up down here. Jesus' resounding question, "Do you want to be well?," is so often answered with, "No, thanks. We can pretty much figure it out on our own."


"When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Yes, but this gave me a fresh context for that ancient question.
Indeed... real faith, faith that you'll sacrifice yourself and your things for in non-trivial ways, is quite rare. You and I and the other orthodox, functioning believers we know are in a tiny percentile of the population; and that's quite aside from how well we do at pursuing holiness. No wonder He said that the gate is strait, the road narrow, and drew that analogy with the camel and the needle.
I watched an episode of that the other day. I didn't know what it was, but it really was... odd. I came away with the same thoughts you did.
Whether cause, effect, or unrelated, neither of those relationships seemed particularly healthy in any regard. It was like a prequel to a Jerry Springer episode.
I've seen that episode. I'm struggling with how to respond to this entry. I know that you are right and that I'm clearly too weak to live by this, given most of who I've dated seriously in the last few years has not shared my faith. I don't blame God for that, or anyone else - it's my own choice, and I've always felt the gap, and sometimes have regretted it. Sometimes not.

I read posts like this one and it confirms that lately, I'm a failure at faith. I don't have much hope in ever finding and dating anyone who is a christian and reasonably sane, and I deeply understand the loneliness that drives others - even my own community of female friends who have been faithful for so long - to date people who aren't christian. Given how long you have been single, I think you understand that, though I would acknowledge your devotion to God is much stronger than my own and that you weren't willing to compromise. Knowing that makes me uncomfortable with the married or soon to be married friends on my journal. But it is what it is.

I do remember watching this, and reacting in some of the ways that you do. I also remember being so aware of what a profoundly lonely world we live in, and the hope that God can use any relationship to bring us to Himself.
The episode leaves much to be desired. Even at my most cynical, I am certain there are people who have approached an interfaith relationship with far greater intentionality and integrity than the two presented on the episode. And I'm also unconvinced that every principle that applies to marriage applies in equal measure to dating (or else a great many choices in my life would have been different), so I'm not on board with the "no, never" camp on interfaith dating.

(Both young couples were in the "how will we raise our kids" stage, which is way, way, way, way beyond dating in God's design.)

Still, it seems like there would always be compromise, and if something gets priority over God, then I think it's being worshipped instead of Him. It seems like loneliness can be a huge driver in that switch—God's not showing up like I want Him to, and this person is, so I respond to that, put the person first, and try to fit God in the leftover space (or discard Him). Sometimes it's not even about the specific person—I just want to be saved from loneliness. Most of us would readily admit we need a Savior; we just want to dictate from what, when, and how we are saved. Those terms often make us willing to amend the "who" of our salvation.

I know I can't really love Amy by putting her first. If I do that, I put her between me and a jealous God who loves me. Not only would I be unfit to become her husband, I would also place her in terrible danger. God is gracious, but that's still, at its core, unloving, selfish idolatry.

Being a failure is the first part of faith (on our end). I'd never trust the "faith" of anyone who hasn't faced that, and (other than Christ), the Bible really doesn't present us with other stories.
It seems like loneliness can be a huge driver in that switch—God's not showing up like I want Him to, and this person is, so I respond to that, put the person first, and try to fit God in the leftover space (or discard Him).

Yep, that is exactly what has happened, certainly in my life. I'm glad you posted this, it's important.
The "Jew-stian" conclusion of the one couple was rather, err, interesting. Of all the faiths in the world, they probably have the two most compatible. So why didn't we see that compatibility?

Because there is only one way. (Jesus claimed this for himself, so it's not just words that Christians make up as some say!)

I wish they hadn't portrayed the girl as such a ditz. I am curious about visiting their church, though -- it's not too far away from me.

Another wise nugget.
Good observations.
Thanks for provoking thought.
Haven't seen the show, only read your link. Even from a non-Christian point of view though, how could you NOT consider how your children will be raised when you know your faiths are going to diverge ... in important ways? Seems to me the couple should've sat down and asked these questions before the important step of marriage.

And yes, I agree. Doesn't seem like much of a faith if it can be remolded to accomodate. Doesn't seem to be based on a constant God anyway.

Very odd.