Why Your Prayers Don’t Work

Pray

After our responses to the Ask A Mixed Faith Couple were posted, someone commented on Facebook that they prayed for Jason and me to become a one-faith couple again. They said that God answers prayers and would answer this one as well. This isn't the only time I've seen that expressed. I get emails along these lines pretty regularly. People who tell me with their words that they are praying for my husband to come back to God. I appreciate your concern, but I want to be honest with you. At three and half years in, I don't see your prayers doing any good.  I know it's not great to admit that. I'm supposed to exercise faith. I'm supposed to remember that "the prayer of a righteous man avails much." I'm supposed to believe that whatever we ask in God's name will be given to … [Read more...]

Ask A Mixed Faith Couple (Response)

Thank you all for your excellent questions last week. We hope that our answers help give you a little bit of insight into our relationship. As always, I encourage you to remember that these are the experiences of one couple and our answers are in no way intended to be prescriptive. But I do hope that they offer some comfort to those who are in mixed faith relationships to know that you can have a successful, loving marriage even in the midst of some of the uncertainty. We only answered a handful of the many questions that we received. If you had a question that you didn't feel that we addressed in our responses, or you have a question about one of our responses, I'll be trying to answer over at Rachel's today in the comments. And if there's something that you'd like to see me address on … [Read more...]

Ask a Mixed Faith Couple

atheist husband

I have been a big fan of Rachel Held Evans's "Ask A..." series since its inception. I always enjoy reading through the questions and I have been consistently impressed by the answers given. So I'm really excited and a little bit nervous to be participating in the series with my atheist husband Jason (Because that's his primary job, right? Being an atheist?)! Excited because it's always an honor to talk about our marriage, nervous because there have been some pretty stellar entries in that series and it's kind of intimidating. Today you can head over to Rachel's blog and ask us the pressing questions that you've always wanted to know about being married to someone who doesn't share your belief system. The way this works is that you can ask questions and vote for your favorite questions … [Read more...]

The Christian Guide to Atheists: Atheists are Uninformed

The Christian Guide to Atheists

  Myth: Atheists are uninformed about Christianity The quickest way to annoy me when discussing my husband's deconversion is start making suggestions about what books he should read to bring him back to the faith. It's usually the standard fare. C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity (not awful) or Lee Strobel's The Case For Christ (not great).  Sometimes they'll suggest a trip out to the Creation Museum (absolutely terrible). There are a few reasons this tactic bothers me. First, it shows me that the person making the suggestion has spent absolutely no time getting to know my husband. He was a Bible college student and is a voracious reader so to assume that he's unfamiliar with these works says to me that they have no interest in my husband as a person, but only as a soul to be … [Read more...]

There May Be Something to Christianity by Ed Cyzewski

Soap Box

Every once in a while I get to meet someone who has an even more difficult name to pronounce than mine. Ed is one of those people. He's also someone who has influenced my writing in a more profound way than most other writers I've met. He has offered me help and encouragement and I admire him more than I can say. I'm so grateful for his contribution here. If you’d like to contribute, check out the details here. +++++++++ In college, I served as a discipleship coordinator for my floor. A “D.C.” was basically a small group leader with minor pastoral responsibilities. Naturally, this was an unpaid position. We were doing this for heavenly riches folks. With a new car at my disposal, I took to driving the freshman all over the place. Driving Range? Sure! Late night taco run? … [Read more...]

Sibling Rivalry by Joy Bennett

sibling rivalry

  Welcome to the first installment of the Mixed Up Faith series. I'm so honored that the first post is from Joy Bennett. She is an amazing woman in so many ways and I consider myself very lucky to call her my friend. I love this post as the first one because it shows us just how broad the label "interfaith" can be and how we can choose to navigate those relationships well. If you'd like to contribute, check out the details here.  +++++++++++ At first glance, you wouldn’t think that ours is an interfaith relationship. We are all Christian after all. But as we have struggled to navigate unexpected tension, unintended word wounds, and the ways all of us have changed in our beliefs and practices, the concept of “interfaith” helps me understand the dynamic. (Please know that in … [Read more...]

The Christian Guide to Atheists: Never Really a Christian

The Christian Guide to Atheists

  Myth: Deconverted atheists were never really Christians There are a couple of schools of thought with regard to how salvation "works." One that is particularly well-known is that of "once saved, always saved," based on passages like Hebrews 6:4-6, John 10:27-29, and Romans 8:38-39. The basic idea is that if someone is saved through belief in the tenets of the Christian faith, they can never be unsaved. This theology exists most commonly within Reformed thought (the "P" in TULIP - Perseverance of the Saints), but when someone deconverts from Christianity to atheism, it seems to become far more wide-spread. Sometimes this is said because people want to believe that their once-saved friends and relatives are still saved and presumably going to heaven. But more often it's … [Read more...]

New Series: Mixed Up Faith

Mixed Up Faith

As I've written about my interfaith marriage, it's been beautiful to me to see how many people live and work and exist with people who have a different faith. I don't in any way want to minimize some of the difficulties that can arise in mixed faith relationships, but I do love seeing how people walk out those relationships in spite of their differences. I'd like to invite you to share your stories of your mixed faith relationships. But I want to open it up to all kinds of relationships, not just marriages. How do you navigate a friendship with someone who doesn't share your faith? How do you live in a marriage where one of you is Catholic and the other is Protestant? How do you get along with your parents when one of you is theologically conservative and the other is more … [Read more...]

The Labels We Didn’t Choose

It's my turn over at A Deeper Family today. Today's is a post I wish I didn't have to write. When I was asked to start writing (at A Deeper Family), I was mostly excited. This is an amazing community and to be a part of it was something that I was looking forward to so much. But a tiny part of me was wary. Because I knew that one reason I was asked to be here was my story. Except that it doesn’t always feel like MY story, but the story that happened to me when my husband deconverted.  The “interfaith marriage” story. The “atheist’s wife” story. I don’t like that very much. I would love it if you would stop by A Deeper Family and read the rest. To those clicking over here, be sure to check out my new series, The Christian Guide to Atheists. … [Read more...]

The Christian Guide to Atheists: Satan Worshipers

The Christian Guide to Atheists

Myth: Atheists are Satan worshipers  As people of the Christian faith, worship is part of what we do. A fair portion of our faith is dedicated to determining if we're spending enough time worshiping God or if God is the true object of our worship. No matter the particular tradition, worship is inherent in it. So when we meet an atheist, the tendency is to want to figure out who or what it is that they worship. The idea that worship could be missing from their daily experience seems to be unsettling to a number of Christians. And since the opposite of God is Satan, many will say that atheists worship Satan. So much so that this was the number one comment that I got back from atheists when I asked about common misconceptions that Christians have concerning atheism. I suppose if you … [Read more...]