Devout religious man, scheming manipulator or total nutjob?

This was posted by a friend on Facebook as a series of Facebook Messenger screenshots, the recipient of the "well-meaning" Christian's message was my friend's now (as a result) ex-girlfriend.
Is this twenty-something guy interested in what "He" wants for the girl, or what he secretly wants for himself?
Incidentally he apparently found Porn (and plenty of it) before he found God; from "glory holes" to "Glory Be" I suppose.

My dearest Sarah*

I sincerely meant what I said in the wedding speech that I think of you as my sister. I have done for a long time. You are a very special person and very dear to Nicola and myself. But I simply must get this off my chest and I hope you will take the time to read it and consider and pray about what I am about to say. It's not easy for me to do this. I would rather bury my head in the sand than tell you what I'm about to tell you. But I cannot ignore what the Bible says about correcting and rebuking our brothers and sisters (2 Tim 4:2-3). I cannot ignore Jesus' own words when He tells us to go after those who are disobeying Him and to do so in love and to do so carefully (Matt 18). Frankly, I have wanted to speak to you for a while now. I would rather have spoken to you personally, but I just don't see you as much as I would like. So this will have to do. At least I can think carefully about what to say and write what I mean carefully. That's the advantage of a FB message.

I have noticed that for over a year you've been interested in chaps who don't follow your Lord Jesus Christ. Curtis was the first, I believe. Then another (was it Simon?), whose mum was a Christian. And now Andrew. I've no doubt these are all nice guys. I've no doubt Andrew is a good man. But we have to face the fact that he is not a follower of Jesus Christ. And also, you really have no assurance that he ever will become a Christian. Paul writes in 1st Corinthians 7 to wives who have unbelieving husbands: 'How do you now whether you will save your husband?' We just don't know these things. Andrew may never become a Christian. So you cannot just think that dating him is ok, because through it he might get saved. That's unwise to think that. It's grasping onto an uncertain hope that he might one day be saved. It may never, ever happen and your life will be miserable if he doesn't become one. Many women have experienced the tragedy of marrying non-Christian men and watching them year after year, decade after decade reject their Lord and Saviour.

I know why women marry non-Christian men. It's because there aren't enough godly men around for them to marry. And so it becomes a huge temptation for Christian women to date and then marry non-Christian men. But that's exactly what it is, temptation. It's not anything good. It's not godly to date a non-Christian or marry one. It's a bad example to set for other believers, especially other young women your own age. You're on the worship team at Guildford and eyes are on you and your life. You don't realise it, but people are watching you and your example. And Paul tells Timothy, a man in the lime-light, to 'watch your life and your understanding of truth with all carefulness'. You are in the lime-light, and you need to watch your life! Your example speaks volumes. Because you are dating a non-believer, other young women will undoubtedly want to follow your example, or use your example as an excuse to do the same. And they might get very hurt. That's not showing love for your sisters in Christ. And I fear you're excusing your own actions in dating a non-Christian simply because other girls have done the same! Their bad example has caused you to do the same. You think it's ok but it's not.

You may be wondering: 'Where does it say in the Bible that it's wrong to date a non-Christian?' Well, I have a few things for you to consider to answer that question. Firstly, I want you to consider your calling in life. Is it not to follow Jesus? Is it not to obey God, to 'love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength'? So He comes first, yes? But is He first in this aspect of your life? Or are you dating Andrew to please yourself? Also, consider what God has made you. He has made you a transmitter of His gospel! God has given you the task of saving sinners, not satisfying them! But you are satisfying Andrew by dating him and kissing him. You aren't doing much to save him from Hell and everlasting destruction. I think, really, it seems your main focus is on him to be yours, not for him to be Christ's. That's bad. That means you're not doing what God wants you to do. You're focusing more on what you and Andrew want and not what God wants.

Secondly, Amos 3:2 says: 'How can two walk together unless they are in agreement?' That passage establishes an important principle: two people cannot have a relationship of any serious kind unless they are in agreement. You are a Christian. The most basic emphasis of your heart and life should be that you love and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Andrew does not have that same emphasis or love. How, then, can you ever expect to have a happy life with him or a happy relationship with him? At some point, one of you or both of you is going to get very badly hurt. And don't forget that Andrew has been hurt before by dating a Christian girl. And I don't think it's very kind or thoughtful of you to have allowed him to fall into the same situation again of dating a Christian when you knew about this. He doesn't know any better. But you do, I'm sure of it. I know you know deep down that what you are doing is wrong. But you're too smitten with him and too focused on what you want that you won't acknowledge God's will here.

Another reason why it's wrong for you to be doing this is that Paul tells believers in Corinth: 'Do not be joined together with unbelievers! For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? ... What does a believer have in common with and unbeliever?' (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). Exactly! What do you have in common with Andrew? You might say, 'A lot! He likes what I like! He makes me laugh!' But deep down, what do you have in common? When it comes down to it, he does not want your God. Paul doesn't mean to say that we shouldn't befriend unbelievers. But Paul does mean that we shouldn't fool around with them and do the things they do and live as they live. And that includes dating them and marrying them. Dating and marrying unbelievers joins us with them in a way that Paul says is wrong.

Another Scriptural principle is the whole matter of God's people marrying those who are not God's people. In the Old Testament, there is little that upsets God so much as when His own dear people marry those who are not followers of Himself. It basically shows a dissatisfaction with God and with His people. God and His people are not enough to satisfy, so you have to marry outside the group. The Bible is clear as day that believers should not marry unbelievers. Ezra 9 and 10 shows this, and for a simple one verse proof, 1 Corinthians 7:39 proves it: 'A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.' He must belong to the Lord. Also, Sarah, notice the incredible importance of a marriage commitment in God's eyes. 'A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives.' You had better think very, very carefully before marrying a non-believer, because you will be bound to him for life if this happens, which is not what God wants for you. Marriage is so important. It unites two people together for life. It's permanent! Be very careful about who you marry - that's the point! As Adam waited for Eve, his perfect companion, I pray you would wait for the perfect companion God has for you! I'm surprised you haven't taken properly to heart the great troubles that have come to your mum, Sharon, who is married to your dear Dad, an unbeliever. It has caused her great sorrow. It's just one example of what happens when Christians marry non-Christians, though of course in your mum's case, she's innocent because she wasn't a Christian when she married Geoff. But she's still had to bear the consequences! How much worse must it be for a young Christian woman who willingly goes against God's word and marries a non-believer?

You may be thinking, 'But I'm not thinking of marrying Andrew. So why, David, are you talking to me about marriage?' Because, Sarah, my dear sister - dating is the first step to marriage! And I challenge you that if you aren't thinking of the possibility of marrying Andrew, why are you dating him at all? He is 30, yes? He is thinking of settling down, is he not? Surely marriage is on his mind. But I've just told you that this cannot happen if you want to obey God and please God and show your love for God. You should not marry him. It will bring war to your life. You cannot marry someone in Satan's army and expect to have peace - it just cannot happen! But if you are not thinking of marrying him, then why are you dating him at all? Why are you messing him about? He's been messed about before - why do that to him again? Isn't this selfishness? You aren't thinking about what's best for him in this. You might think you are, but you aren't.

I've tried to tell you before that being in a relationship is not the best thing in the world! Christ is! God is! Walking with God and doing His will is the greatest thing in the universe! 'Those who do the will of God live forever!' (1 John 2:17). The will of God and walking with Him is what life is all about - not about being with someone. I will share something with you now. Before I got engaged to Nicola, I prayed very sincerely to the Lord: 'Lord, if you really do not want me to marry Nicola, for whatever reason, then please show me clearly and cause me to call the whole thing off.' I don't think Nicola knows about that, but I prayed it and I really meant it. I didn't pray it because I didn't adore her or love her. I prayed it because God's will was more important to me than anything else - what He wants! Do you share that same attitude? I don't think you are thinking about what's best for God. I've been trying to show you that God is displeased with what you're occupying your life with at the moment. And I've prayed that God will discipline you for it, because He's your Father and He's a good Father and He loves you. He hasn't passed by this, or failed to take note of it. So be sure that He will deal with it. I hope you'll learn the lesson quickly. I pray you won't do this again, for your own sake and the sake of others and the sake of your Father's honour. I pray you will learn permanently that it is wrong to mess about with unbelievers in this way. Again, you are called to save them, not satisfy them! It's best for you to break off the relationship with Andrew. It's best for Andrew, it's best for your Christian brothers and sisters and it's best for your walk with God to call the whole thing off. If you really wanted God and His will, you will do this. You must seek God on this issue and really ask Him: 'If you want me to break this off, then show me clearly. And help me to do what is right and best, because I love You and I want to do what You want me to do. You saved my soul; I owe You my life.' I know it's not going to be easy to do this, my lovely sister. But if you want to obey God, that's the cost. Besides, may I lovingly remind you that you got yourself into this situation? And if you don't marry Andrew, one day you're going to have to break up with him anyway - because he's not going to break up with you. It is your choice to make and it's better you make it sooner rather than later, for his sake and yours.

I was troubled about you beforehand with Curtis because I could see your interest in him. But I hoped you wouldn't unite yourself to an unbeliever - that's what dating is in our society. People will see you as a couple now. People won't see you as a Christian, but as Andrew's girlfriend. He even has on his FB page a picture of you two kissing. It doesn't honour Christ, my dear sister! You're worth more than that! It dishonours the Lord who died to save you from silly things like this. Where is your heart at the moment? With Christ? Or with Andrew? It breaks your own sister's heart to see you doing this and it will hurt her even more if you continue. It causes me personally great concern to see you falling away from your Lord Jesus Christ, when He should be the supreme focus in your life. You sung so beautifully at our wedding about Jesus. But now your example is singing a different song.

Please hear what I've said. Please don't twist what I've said in your own heart. I know I can say things imperfectly, but I've written this out of the deepest concern I have for you and for your relationship with God. Why would you choose second best? Why will you not wait for the Christ-like, godly man God has kept for you? And if God never brings someone along, why won't you be satisfied with His decision? He is your Lord and Master, not you. He calls the shots. Why waste yourself and your life and the Christian you could be just for personal pleasure and selfish satisfaction? It's just not worth it.

You have all my love and concern and prayers. I love you dearly, as I hope you can see. Pass by my frankness and blunt honesty for the sake of my love for you.

For more information on this topic, look here now:

David xxx xxx

*Names and locations have been changed to protect the not-as-innocent-as-they-claim-to-be.

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