Tag Archive: Dating

Do You Want a Date, Hon?

naiveAfter my freshman year of classes at Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan, I returned home to my mother’s palatial palace — also known as a trailer — on U.S. Hwy. 6, five miles southwest of Bryan, Ohio. I had come home to work, hoping to earn enough money to pay for my next year of college. I accepted a first shift machine operator position at Holabird Manufacturing, a manufacturer of cheap furniture — cheap as in trailer show furniture. Holabird would close its doors and file for bankruptcy in 1983. I also worked a second shift job at Bard Manufacturing, a maker of HVAC units. I was attending First Baptist Church in Bryan at the time. One of the church’s deacons was a manager for Bard. He graciously arranged for Bard to hire me for the summer.

I was twenty years old in the summer of 1977, strong, fit, and full of energy. Had I not been, I would never have been able to work eighty hours a week: 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Holabird and 4:00 PM to midnight at Bard. I didn’t catch up on sleep on the weekends either. Oh no, weekends were for running around with friends, going to one of the local lakes, or trekking to Newark to visit Polly for the day. That’s right, for the day. Polly’s mom did not like me and treated me like a rash she hoped would go away. I would get up early on Saturday, drive three hours to Newark, spend as much time as I could with Polly, and turn around and drive three hours back to Bryan. (Under no circumstances would Polly’s mom let me spend the night.) On more than one occasion, I was so exhausted that I pulled off along the road and slept for several hours. The things we’ll do for love, right?

I followed the aforementioned schedule for twelve weeks. Come late August, it was time for me to return to Midwestern to begin my sophomore year. I packed my belongings into my car and headed in the general direction of Pontiac, Michigan. As I neared Toledo, I decided to take U.S. Route 23 to Pontiac. Ninety minutes into my drive, I exited the highway into a rest stop. I needed to stretch my legs and use the restroom. As I walked towards the restroom, a 30-ish large-breasted woman wearing revealing clothing came up to me and said, Do you want a date, Hon? Confused, I replied, excuse me? The woman repeated, Do you want a date? I smiled and said to her, no thanks, I already have a girlfriend. And with that, I continued walking to the restroom. As I walked back to my car, I saw the woman walking with a man towards a parked delivery van.

almost twelve kenneth taylor

I was quite naïve when it came to matters of sex. My sex education consisted of reading an Evangelical book titled Almost Twelve and six years of locker room sex ed. I knew the fundamentals, but as far a broader understanding of human sexuality and its darker, seamier side, I knew nothing. And as ignorant as I was, my fiancée was even worse. One warm day in the spring of 1977, Polly was in the college parking lot, sitting in her car — a 1972 AMC Hornet. Purchased new in 1972 by Polly’s father after the family car broke down in California, by 1976 the car was already worn out, a piece of junk. This car is a story unto itself, one that I will tell another day. For now, picture sweet, naïve Polly sitting in her car, AM radio blaring, singing along with Starland Vocal Band’s hit Afternoon Delight. I came up to the car window and asked what she was listening to. She replied, Afternoon Delight. I said, you know that song is about having sex! Polly replied, IT IS NOT! The song is about having fun in the afternoon. Slightly less naïve Bruce took the time to educate sheltered Polly about exactly what it was they were having fun doing in the afternoon. This lesson would pay dividends after we married and we experienced a bit of afternoon delight ourselves.

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After I returned to college, I told my roommate about what the woman had asked me at the rest stop. She asked me if I wanted to have a date! Why I didn’t even know her. Why would she want me to go on a date? I already have a girlfriend. My room-mate laughed and said, she was a prostitute and was asking you if you wanted to have sex with her. Really? I relied. Yes, really. I would receive many more such lessons over the next year. These are stories left for another day.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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Hey Girlfriend: Is it a Sin to Kiss Your Boyfriend?

no kissing

No Kissing Graphic from the Pure Dating YouTube Channel

According to Baptist Scott Croft, a married man who has a readily available sex partner, any romantic physical contact between unmarried people is a sin. In a 2007 article titled, Biblical Dating: Principles for Drawing Boundaries, Croft states:

“I believe the Bible teaches that all sexual activity outside of marriage is sin, and all romantically oriented physical activity is sexual activity. In my view, this includes premarital kissing.”

Croft believes that any romantic bodily contact between unmarried people is a sin. Hand holding? Kissing? Snuggling? Putting your arm around your boyfriend or girlfriend? Sin! Sin! Sin! Let me give you a real life illustration of how this kind of thinking works. Bethany Baird, an attractive 27-year-old Christian woman had this say when she answered the question, Should Christian Girls Kiss Before Marriage:

I’m just going to be honest from the get-go.

I’m twenty-five years old, I’ve been in two serious relationships, and I’ve never kissed a guy. It’s not because I think kissing is gross, or that I’ve never wanted to kiss. The fact is, I’m saving my very first kiss for my future husband on the day of our wedding.
Kissing is totally the norm.

In a day and age where kissing is the norm for elementary schoolers and losing your virginity in, or by high school is expected, it seems absurd and ridiculous that anyone would possibly save their first kiss for marriage.

I’m totally aware of the fact that many of you reading this might have already given your first kiss away and possibly your virginity. If so, check the note at the bottom of this post before you continue reading.

I want to take you through five points that will help you better understand why I’m saving my first kiss for marriage, and why I think you should too. Even if you’ve kissed in the past, I want to challenge you to stop kissing and start waiting from this point forward.

….

Baird gives five reasons for why young women should NEVER kiss before their wedding day:

  • Your Kiss is a gift. As the years have gone by I’ve to come to view my kiss as a gift. I view it as something very special, something I can treasure, something that I can save and share with my future husband alone…Instead of viewing your kiss as something meaningless and cheap, I want to challenge you to view it as a very expensive treasure box. It’s your job to keep your treasure safe until the person with the right key comes to unlock it.
  • Viewing guys as brothers in Christ. It’s our job as Christian girls to live out a Biblical mindset. Even if you are a dating a guy, according to Scripture he is your brother in Christ until the wedding day. It’s not until the wedding day that he switches to the husband. Only then do we see the sexual dimension come in to play. No sooner and in no other type of relationship.
  • Relationships with a purpose. We as Christian girls need to look to the Bible as our example and guidebook. The entire point of “getting to know” a guy or girl shouldn’t be for the goal of fun and pleasure, it should be for the purpose of discovering whether you two should marry.
  • What does the Bible say? The most important question you can ask yourself about romantic relationships is this, “What does the Bible say?” I realize the Bible doesn’t say “thou shalt not kiss,” but it does give us some incredible principles and some pretty clear direction on where we should be headed.
  • The Pure Bride. Did you realize that as a Christian your future marriage represents the Gospel? Just check out Ephesians 5. The chapter is filled with illustrations that compare an earthly bride and groom to Christ and the Church. A huge goal in each of those relationships is absolute purity, holiness and blamelessness. Instead of trying to scrape by until your wedding day, shoot to arrive as completely pure and undefiled as possible. Don’t ask, “How much can I get away with?” Instead ask, “How pure and undefiled can I be?”

Based on the Bible verses Baird quotes in the aforementioned post, she believes that kissing=sexual immorality. That’s right, kiss your boyfriend and you are committing sexual immorality. I will assume Baird thinks that kissing is fornication. So then, following Baird’s illogical logic to its theological conclusion, no young Christian woman who regularly necks with her boyfriend will go to heaven when she dies. I can hear Baird screaming from here, NO! NO NO! That’s NOT what I said. Yes, but it is what the Bible says. 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 states:

 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21 states:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

And while we are playing the Bible Sex Manual game, let me press this issue even further and say that having thoughts about kissing someone will land a person in hell. If kissing is immoral (fornication), then thinking about it is too. The Bible is clear on this matter. Matthew 5:28 states:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Surely Baird would agree with me that a longing desire to kiss is no different from “looking on a woman to lust.” Surely, if Christian young women entertain the thought of being kissed and give off the I’ll let you kiss me vibe, they are committing, in thought and deed, fornication. If this is so, then these lustful, vile hussies shall NOT inherit the kingdom of God.

I feel sorry for Evangelical teenagers and young adults who have bought into the fundamentalist lie about pleasure and sexual gratification. There is a vast chasm between kissing a young man and starring in a Girls Gone Wild video. A look or a kiss does not lead to sexual intercourse unless a person wants it to. Evangelical parents emotionally cripple their children when they teach them that sexual desire and gratification must be avoided until marriage. Even masturbation, a sure-fire way of releasing sexual tension, is frowned upon, and is, in some dark corners of the Evangelical world, considered a horrible sin.

If I were given the opportunity to give sexually-aware Evangelicals a bit of advice I would tell them this:

Pleasure is not a sin. Having sexual feelings and desiring to act upon those feelings is not a sin. Being physically intimate with someone is not a sin. Forget all that you have been taught in church about sex and sin. Instead, educate yourself about human sexuality, especially birth control. You are in control of your body and sexuality. You decide when, where, how, and if you will have sex or do any of the things that lead up to sex. You do not have to do anything sexually you are not comfortable doing. Do not give in to peer pressure, nor allow anyone to pressure you into do anything sexually you don’t want to do.

Above all, remember, you are the master of your sexuality. Choose wisely.

Let me conclude this post with a no-kissing video by Nino Guarisco, pastor of H2O Campus Church (Assembly of God) at the University of Michigan. Guarisco is married, has 4 children, and freely admits that he was once a fornicator. In but a few minutes, Guarisco piles a mountain of guilt on teenagers and young adults who have already done the dirty (kissing) or are contemplating doing so.  By far, this is the worst video I have ever seen on this subject.

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Woman Wants Man Who Loves Jesus More Than He Does Women

jesus loving man

Dating Profile Sent to Me by an Atheist Friend of Mine

Snark, Snark, Snark Ahead!

I’m confused. Why does this heterosexual woman want to date gay men? If a man, any man, loves Jesus, who is a man, more than he does a woman, doesn’t that make him gay? And since there is no such thing as a gay Christian, this woman might as well give up now. Cuz, if she is looking for a man who desires, wants, needs Jesus more than a woman…

I’m sure there are a few  I love Jesus more than I will ever love you girl  men out there, but do you really want to marry a Jesus-loving man and start life as number 2 on his love list? Cuz, number 2 on his love list will turn into number 2 pretty quick.

Any man who says that he loves a man whom he has never seen more than a real, live, anatomically blessed, sexy woman is either lying so he can score or he is delusional. Again, not sure that this guy would be marriage material.  Any woman wanting and getting a man who will love Jesus more than he loves her is going to be sorely disappointed.

Honey, let’s have hot missionary sex tonight, the Christian newlywed wife says. Her Jesus loving husband responds, how dare you ask me to have sex with you. I am saving myself for Jesus!

Evidently, this woman has not read 1 Corinthians 7. Paul says a lot of crazy shit about marriage in 1 Corinthian 7, but since it is in the holy, unadulterated, inerrant, inspired word of God, let’s allow God to speak:

…He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: but he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

This woman needs to understand that if a man really does love Jesus more than he love women, then he should never ever marry. According to the aforementioned passage of Scripture, when a man marries a woman, his first priority is to the things of the world and how he may please his wife. It’s right there in the Good Book. So, this means that his wife comes before Jesus. God said it, I didn’t.

Hey Girlfriend, Jesus Has Passionate Eyes

Here’s the latest from Paula Hendricks, a writer for the Lies Young Women Believe

Come on girlfriend (please say girlfriend with your best Valley Girl impersonation) , time to abandon all those dreamy-eyed guys you have a crush on and hook up with Jesus. Don’t want to? Fine, then Jesus is going to burn you up with his eyes and send you to hell.

Should a Christian Date an Atheist?

unequally yoked

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Recently, a girl emailed Paula Hendricks, a writer for the Lies Young Women Believe website, and asked her whether it was OK to date, love, and marry an atheist. Hendricks, a Christian fundamentalist, replied:

Dear “I’m falling in love with an atheist,”

I am so glad you wrote. Please don’t read this letter with a harsh, condemning tone, but with an urgent, pleading one. I am deeply concerned for you. If this letter feels like I’m dumping a bucket of cold water on your head, it’s because I want you to wake up!

Let’s start with who a Christian is.

An atheist and a Christian just aren’t compatible.

A Christian is a person who is now one with Christ. A Christian has been rescued by Jesus out of the darkness of sin and has been brought into His marvelous light—transformed from the inside out. A Christian has the spirit of Christ living inside of them! A Christian is someone whose entire identity has been refashioned around Christ. Christ is their life. Christ is the reason they are now accepted and beloved by God the Father.

An atheist, on the other hand, denies that God even exists. An atheist hates the very idea of there being a God.

An atheist and a Christian just aren’t compatible…

…You will have to choose between God and this man. You can’t have both. James warns “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

Let me be clear about this, though. If you choose God over this man, God will not love you any more than He already does. It won’t earn you extra points with God. If you truly trust in Christ Jesus as both your Savior and your Lord, you are already His 100% dearly loved child.

Does that mean that you have the freedom to date this man? No way! Besides, why would you want to, when Christ has revealed Himself to you as the greatest treasure there is—both in this life and for the life to come?

I get it that you have strong feelings toward this man. I’ve been where you are. And if you’re anything like me, my guess is that what you’re feeling isn’t true love, but something closer to romantic desire . . . and even maybe lust…

These atheists, they must be scary people. I suspect they hang out at dance halls, lurking in the shadows, hoping to find a virgin Evangelical girl they can entice with thoughts of love and draw them away to the dark side. As every Christian knows, atheists are child molesters, sexual perverts, Satan worshipers, and eat babies on Friday. According to Hendricks, atheists hate “the very idea of there being a God.”  In one sentence, like most Evangelicals, Hendricks reveals that she doesn’t really know any atheists. All she has to go on is the bigoted stereotype she was taught in church. If she actually knew any atheists, she would know that atheists don’t hate the thought of the existence of God. How can they since they don’t believe there is a God? What many atheists do hate is what Christianity DOES in the name of its God.

Pity the poor girl who sent Hendricks the email. She’s fallen in love with her dance partner, and according to Hendricks she shouldn’t act on this love because God says such love is a sin. Besides, what she may really be “feeling” is lust. Ah yes, the ever-present lust that lurks in the heart of Evangelicals. You’d think with God living inside of you that there would be no room for lust, but it seems that Evangelicals lust just like us unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines.

One atheist commenter challenged Hendricks’ statement about atheists. Here’s Hendricks’ response:

Hey, Caitriona, You’re welcome here. While my statement may have been a bit broad and might not perfectly characterize all self-professed atheists, Romans 1 tells us that we’re ALL God-haters (whether we claim to be atheists or not), and we suppress the truth about Him in our unrighteousness.

I was a God-hater, too, until God revealed His lovingkindness to me in Christ Jesus paying the penalty for my sin so I might be set free from being a slave to my own selfish passions and might become His beloved, adopted daughter.

This is a bit off topic, but would you be bold enough to ask God to reveal Himself to you if He really is real? And . . . would you be open to picking up a Bible and reading the book of Romans, or John?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing,

And then someone named Becca chimed in:

Hey Caitriona, thanks for your input, I appreciate you taking time to comment:) I don’t want to get into any arguments by any means, but I would like to just give you some food for thought: if there isn’t a God, then that would mean that there really is no purpose for anyone’s life, right? I mean, if we’re all just here by accident, what does it matter? when you take God out of the equation, there is no longer value in anyone’s life, or in the world. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to kill anyone I don’t like? because the government says so? But if we’re all just an accident, with no real purpose, it’s “just” another person with no eternal value. How CAN anyone have true value without God?

On the flip side, we know for a fact that every human being (unborn or not), has value. Everyone has value because they were created in the image of a Holy God, and he loves us SO much! More than you could ever imagine! God cares about us so much that he even collects every tear we’ve ever cried and He keeps them!…

Typical Evangelical drivel, but here’s the thing, I actually agree with Hendricks. Generally, it is ill-advised for anyone to marry someone who does not share their religious, ethical, and moral values. More than one marriage has been brought to ruin by clashing worldviews. Better to seek out a life partner that hasn’t been taught that you are a hater of God, the enemy of God, a tool of Satan. Atheists and Evangelicals alike think they can win over their boyfriend or girlfriend. Rarely, does it work out.

The Evangelical church emphasizes the need for every person to have a personal salvation experience. Countless young men have made what I call, excuse the bluntness, a pussy-driven salvation decision. They want the girl and they can’t have her, so they start going to church, make a profession of faith, and viola the girl agrees to date him. Later they marry, and then the girl finds out that the boy she married feigned faith so he could date her. More than a few of these marriages end in divorce.

Atheists and non-Christians have a completely different way of looking at the world. Evangelicalism is a world filled with Bible verses, commands, and thou shalt not’s. It is a world that will surely frustrate the non-Evangelical. It’s a world where obedience to authority is demanded at every corner and freedom of thought is often discouraged and condemned. It is a place fun loving, free people go to die (and yes, I am painting with a Bruce’s Wide Ass Brush®).

Over the years, I have corresponded with a number of atheists who are in a mixed marriage. While most of them have found a way to make peace with their Evangelical spouse, their emails speak to the great pain and disconnect that comes from such a relationship. The believing spouse wants his or her unbelieving husband or wife to go to church and at least “act” like a Christian. More than a few of the people who have corresponded with me go to church every Sunday to please their spouses. Some of them are secret atheists. Their spouse doesn’t know they no longer believe. They go to church, sing the songs, and listen to sermons they think are bullshit. Why do they do this? Love. They love their believing spouse and children and they want there to be peace on the home front. All would agree that it would have been better for them if they had married a person who shared the same worldview, but they are willing to do all they can to make the marriage work.

Sadly, some of  those I have corresponded with are now divorced. The reasons are many, but religion played a part in every divorce. The prophet Amos was right when he posed the rhetorical question, Can two walk together except they be agreed?

Do you have a story to tell or some marriage advice to give? Please share it in the comment section.

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