Stuff Christian Culture Likes

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#208 Missionary dating

posted by Stephanie Drury

hope-interfaith-leaves-everyone-wedding-ecard-someecards.pngWhen someone in Christian culture meets a delicious non-Christian they will usually assume a missionary position with them.

missionary1.JPGMissionary dating is when you date a non-Christian for the express purpose of proselytizing so as to instigate their conversion. Youth group leaders heartily disapprove of missionary dating. It is the subject of many a youth pastor sermon.

missi.jpgThey say there is nothing inherently wrong with dating a non-Christian but that it is unwise (the line between being unwise and outright sinning appearing blurry and rather mobile, it is often moved about with authority but not always with biblical backing. This helps color in those gray areas). The pastor will sometimes say that scripture indicates that the Christian’s faith actually sanctifies the non-believer in the relationship, but is quick to add that this does not mean dating a non-believer is a good idea. The pastor will also cite the verse “bad company corrupts good morals” and use the term “slippery slope.”

mision.JPGIn missionary dating the missionary figure takes the unsaved-savage figure to their hip (Christian culture’s version of hip, anyway) church and hopes to win them with its display of community and cultural relevance. But people can sometimes smell an ulterior motive, and this sixth sense has foiled many a lustily prayed-for conversion.



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Ninjanun

posted January 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm


My first high school boyfriend did this to me, actually. He took me to his “hip” Wednesday night youth group; unfortunately it was on the night they decided to show a film about Not Having Sex and Waiting Until You Are Married, etc. So the whole two hours was spent sitting in a dark room in a coed group, being told repeatedly to not even THINK about having sex.
I did convert to Christianity soon after, but it was due to him giving me a book to read later that year. And I didn’t let anyone know at first that I had had a “born again” Paradigm-shift, so he broke up with me with the excuse that he was a Christian and I was not, and I was “dragging him down” what with all the Making Out and me getting him interested in secular bands like The Cure. Good times. :)



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Still Breathing

posted January 28, 2011 at 7:20 am


“date a non-Christian for the express purpose of proselytizing” would be a no in my book but “proselytizing a non-Christian because you are dating” is a totally different thing; my former minister calls it hormonal evangelism! That said it appears to work the other way in most cases that I have seen and the Christian gradually drifts away from the church.



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Steve

posted January 28, 2011 at 8:35 am


This just goes to show, once again, how very sick Christian culture is. How glad I am I left it!



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AdmNaismith

posted January 28, 2011 at 11:13 am


It’s all just so much Bottle Cap Collecting for some people, isn’t it?



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Sarah

posted January 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm


It’s a great way to get notches in your Bible belt.



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Steve

posted January 28, 2011 at 3:05 pm


“Assume a missionary position with them.” LOL! And I bet that happens more often than we think! ;-)



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Lynn

posted January 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm


I had completely forgotten this term existed. But it’s all coming back to me now. In Bible college, the issue was whether missionary dating was ok or not, and the general consensus was no because it’s too risky. However, some people thought it was fine because, hey, you’re bringing more people to salvation that way.
But I got the impression that “missionary dating” was just an excuse Christians told themselves when they wanted to date someone who wasn’t a believer. I never heard of anyone actually going out and trying to date non-believers in order to convert them.



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Abby Normal

posted January 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm


My two bits:
1) My mom always told me not to make the person you’re dating into a “project”. (Actually, she said something to the effect that one must assume that all of the annoying habits that your potential mate has now won’t go away after marriage, and will be about 10x worse when he retires. So make sure they’re something you can live with.)
Same thing with religion–hooking up with someone for the sole purpose of “changing” them is a recipe for disaster.
2) I have a little personal experience with this since my husband was a non-Christian when we were dating, and, yeah, for a brief moment I’ll admit that I had hopes of “converting” him. I came to realize, however, that trying to force some kind of conversion was a lousy basis for marriage, and that, deep down, it was really mostly external forces that were making me feel that way–fear of my parents’ disapproval, desire to please “the church”, etc.
What happened is that marrying him did force me to re-examine what I truly believed–I was unwilling to give up Christianity in general, but I found that aspects of evangelicalism that made him uncomfortable had been making me uncomfortable all along as well, I had just been forcing myself into that mold of what a “good Christian” was supposed to do.



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Mon

posted January 28, 2011 at 6:42 pm


I was sucked into the Christian Culture Cult for a little bit in my late teens. I dated this really great guy but my CC friends used that exact term, “too risky” when they found out he was agnostic. I wasn’t sold, but being young and impressionable I took heed to their advice, tried to convert him, then broke up with him citing our religious differences. They congratulated me for standing up for God. It took my fair share of jerks after him to realize the CC’s dating advice was a sham. I got bitter towards them, he was bitter towards me. Talk about kicking yourself in the butt; that “secular” guy was one of the best. Man, screw Christian Culture’s dating methods. Sheesh.



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Jeremy

posted January 29, 2011 at 4:16 pm


I never experienced this personally, but I watched a friend do it. She met this guy in high school who was her intellectual equal, shared her interests, shared her morals, and was really into her. It was sweet. Yet, he wasn’t Christian. As he was mostly into math and science, I just don’t think it occurred to him. After six months of her hounding him he converted, got baptised, and she promptly dumped him. There may have been more behind it, but it seemed like a pretty nasty thing to do.
For my part, I kind of get the thing about not dating outside your religion. If you’re looking for a life-time commitment you’re probably going to want someone with morals, belief, and ethics that are compatible with yours.



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Matthew Drake

posted January 29, 2011 at 6:39 pm


Hah! The sad part is that most missionary daters are so sincere. I know I was until my world fell apart. Now I’m asking all the “Frequently Unasked Questions”…
http://www.fuquestions.com



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Christina

posted January 30, 2011 at 7:09 pm


That picture with the letter from the girl that likes the Jehovah’s Witness reminds me of the things I HATE about CC. Just today my friend and I were dicussing how much we hate it when people try to tell other people what God wants for them or is going to do (you’ll go to hell) this came up because a bus driver told a girl on the bus she wouldn’t go to heaven because she is in the methadone clinic….



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Nathan

posted February 1, 2011 at 6:29 am


Tell me you’ve seen this.



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stephanie drury

posted February 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm


Well, now I have. I just posted it on the blog’s Facebook page. This deserves notoriety.



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Lynn

posted February 1, 2011 at 6:16 pm


If you look at that site’s Questions/Answers page and it’s Twitter, it becomes clear that it’s satirical (thank goodness!). http://twitter.com/#!/datetosave



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Lon

posted February 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm


flirt to convert – love it.



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ally

posted February 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm


i just have to say as a Christian when i was younger i would not have dated outside my religion, but then i took a world religions class, and found that other religions have a lot of the same morals as Christians do, they really really do. my mom always dated Jewish guys but i never thought that should count. it wasn’t until i met the man of my dreams a beautiful South Asian English man who was Hindu that i changed my mind about that full on. we love the same things, we have the same morals (both of us are feminists and believe in equal rights for all women and people who are gay) and after i learned about his religion i found out that he does believe in Jesus, a lot of Hindu’s actually do, they do believe he is reincarnation of God, but the only difference is he’s not the only one! when you open you mind you open your heart and i’m very much glad we both did, i love him so much, though its pissed off my parents and family, not his, how funny is that?



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Jeremiah Warren

posted March 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm


This is especially true if the non-Christian being dated/recruited has an eccentric/hip look, long hair, earings, and is a life long non-believer. That guy always has a shot a a good christian girl.
The guy who has no shot looks boring, dresses boring, and went through a years long ordeal of eroding faith. Normal looking former believers have ZERO chance of being missionary dated.



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christen

posted July 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm


So, what if the person you’re seeing has a genuine interest in becoming a Christian? We’ve only gone on one date so far, but weeks before that he started coming to our small group, coming to church, and asking questions. His main problem with converting right now, is that he has made mistakes in his life and is having trouble getting over them. We are having dinner Friday, and he wants to talk about some of his past, and he’s even agreed to read the story of the prodigal son so we can discuss it then, as well. I don’t feel this is the same as dating someone who isn’t interested, but I don’t know what, if any, lines should be drawn. We are just casually dating, but I feel he is already getting pretty attached, as am I. Does anyone have any advice??



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Amanda Cline

posted January 31, 2012 at 4:08 pm


I can see myself becoming addicted to this blog… :P



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Rebekah

posted January 25, 2013 at 7:14 am


Reminds me of this – http://www.datetosave.com/



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