I am 21 years old and was raised Catholic. I still attend church on a periodic basis but now am in a bit of a religious crisis. This has caused me to turn more toward the Bible for guidance.
Until a few weeks ago, I was dating a wonderful young man who is 20 years old. He was raised Jewish (Conservative) yet has not practiced since high school. While he always felt the pressure to marry a Jewish woman, nonetheless we dated for 1 1/2 years. He first became my best friend and only later my boyfriend. We decided to “take a break” from our relationship primarily for religious reasons. He has told me that he still feels the pressure, almost from within himself (and less so from his Jewish parents), to marry inside his faith. He wants to “become more Jewish”: he feels the pull to remain in the tradition in which he was raised. We are remaining friends and still want to leave options open.
I respect his views on this topic. However, I still love him and cannot see why religion should get in the way. The more I read and learn about Judaism, the more I agree with it… and that it can work well with Christianity. Christians hold the Old Testament to be important. Cannot one follow the Old Testament laws as well as accept (at least some of) the New Testament?
The more I question him about this, the more I see that he has been told, as if through the Jewish religion, that Judaism and Christianity cannot work together.
I am very open to learning more about his religion. I often ask him about Judaism and am curious about attending synagogue with him on occasion, if he will return to practicing Judaism. Yet he seems almost closed to learning about Christianity. While he never has read the New Testament, he has been told by the organized religion of Judaism that Christ is not the Messiah. He has seen Christians who misrepresent the New Testament and thus skew his view to what true Christianity is about. He assumes without knowing the facts.
He has been reluctant to give the New Testament a chance, but he is making progress. In fact, he enjoys analyzing passages of the Old Testament with me. I am hoping we can have a Bible study and introduce him to the New Testament.
As much as people say that interfaith dating and marriage is impossible, I see it more as a rough road. I do not want to give up on this young man. I see much good and purity in him that I can’t just give up. We work well together as friends, had a chaste relationship, and compliment each other; we make each other better people.
Any advise? Can one be Jewish and Christian at the same time? How should I approach this?