Some background: I’ve been seeing SuaveCaveman (sorry babe, if you read this. I couldn’t resist:)) for nearly a year, seriously/exclusively for most of it. I’ve been in enough bad relationships to recognize this as a very, very good one. We like a lot of the same things: dancing, reading science fiction, hiking, and making fun of the stupid people on reality TV.
His mother adores me.
My mother says that I haven’t seemed happier or “more like myself” in a very long time. And it’s true.
We disagree often, but never fight. I really see this going somewhere.
But (of course there’s a but) I’m a Christian. And he’s an Athiest. Capital-A, hardline Athiest. I think he’d like to believe in something, but he just can’t get past his own engineering over-analytical logic to do so. I’ve never pushed him on it at all (really), but we talk about it all the time.
For various reasons, I’ve been looking for a new church for about 9 months. Okay, so I wasn’t looking very hard at first. It’s hard to get out of bed on a Sunday morning when your partner is sleeping in.
The last few months, though, he’s decided it is important to him to support me in this, so he volunteered to go to the different new churches with me so I didn’t have to go alone. Now I’ve found a good church, a very small Southern Baptist, but the pastor seems genuine and I fell in love with the congregation immediately.
But he wants to keep coming with me. He says that he likes the community and the people. He likes listening to the sermon, and he wants to continue to “support” me in my faith. But I still don’t really think he’s going to convert any time soon, and I wouldn’t let him do it just for my sake.
Part of me is ecstatic that he wants to share this with me. But the other part feels like we’re lying to the congregation. As church-goers know, you can participate in most church social activities without ever needing to talk about your faith at all. It seems to be a pretty conservative congregation, so I know that if he “came out” he’d be pushed to make a decision by well-meaning members, and that would put him off religion even more.
Christian Dopers, or anyone else with a relevant experience, do you think it is fair to hide his lack of belief from my new church family? How would you feel if an Athiest wanted to attend your services and talk to you about your faith but refused to be converted?