Alright gents. Disclaimer time.
DISCLAIMER: IF YOU TAKE THIS AS GOSPEL TRUTH(TM) AND JACK UP YOUR LIFE DON'T COME CRYING TO ME OR THE MODS. THIS IS MERELY THEORY TO BE DISCUSSED AND DEBATED. DON'T BE AN IDIOT AND USE DISCERNMENT.
The following is meant to be debated. If you disagree, bring it up and yell at me in the comments. Iron sharpens iron (ISI. Can that be a thing?) and the community is made better when we can openly discuss controversial ideas.
If you've been in the church for more than a hot second you've seen a brother or sister start dating (or "dating") an obviously secular peer. Smitten with their good looks and abundant charm, the brother or sister attempts to excuse their behavior and downplay their emotional (or perhaps physical) attachment.
"Dating? Him? Oh no, we're just really close friends. I mean, maybe some day, but he's not a Christian after all. But wouldn't it be great if he becomes one?"
Oh yeah, she's cute, we've been talking a lot about Jesus. I think she's really open to the gospel man, really.
Not a Christian? How can you say that! Sure, they don't always go to church or read scripture regularly, but they were raised right and totally love Jesus.
You get the point.
We see this begin to happen and often scoff, but can't help but shake the notion that the temptation makes sense. The average congregation is made up of fairly average looking people who don't try much when it comes to appearances. After all, why would the women go out of their way to doll up to impress the stick figure soy boys or the overweight keyboard jockeys? Sure, they will likely marry one of them and throw duty sex periodically to fulfill their wifely duty, but why go the extra mile?
Then consider the guys. They look around on a Sunday morning and see the following:
Already married women Little house on the prairie re-enactment girl "If-she-was-any-more-covered-she'd-be-wearing-a-burka lady" Fat and loved "just the way she is" Super hot gir- crap she's married to one of the guys in the band Older, single, desperate. The pastor probably tried to set you up already.
The point should be clear. There is a real motivation beyond just "desires of the flesh" that is making young christian singles look outside the church. We ought not minimize that.
So, OZ, can Christians date outside the church or not?
Yes. Christian men can, but you probably shouldn't.
Yes. I think that Christian men can date non-Christians but that it is a terrible idea for most of them because they lack sufficient frame.
I'll put it this way. Women long to adopt the rock solid frame of a strong man. Even non-Christians, unless they are truly vile SJW porkbeasts. If a Christian man is resolute in worldview, uncompromising in his ethical conduct, and intent on disciplining those around him, he will repulse women who cannot see themselves being with such a backwards hate filled bigot. Why would a secular woman put up with such a man if she wasn't drawn toward something more?
Think about what women put up with to be with a man of high value. Abuse. Cheating. Total lack of reliability. Etc. In the end it is because they have adopted his frame and operate within it. Not only do they put up with such stupid behavior, they actually make excuses for the man and defend him! Why is it so hard to conceive of secular woman being attracted to and then adopting the frame of a Christian man?
At risk of reductio ad absurdum consider what is happening in Europe. Secular European feminists are converting to Islam to get plowed by devotees to Allah. Why?
Islam is the antithesis of everything Europeans allegedly stand for. So why are European women giving lip service to secular feminism and then giving "lip service" to immigrants? Because they cannot help but adopt a dominant frame.
Consider this. In America most women we encounter "grew up in a Christian home" and then stopped practicing. Why? Because dad, the pastor, and their male peers (prospective mates) had lousy frame. I imagine many women in such a position would welcome with open arms (and legs) a strong male Christian frame.
Now let me be clear. Men cannot replace the Holy Spirit. Conversion is an unmerited gift of grace. I'm not suggesting that a guy reading this should go and try to "convert himself a wife!" because it doesn't work that way.
So how does it work?
Imagine this. A Christian man, who is faithful, fit, and financially secure, sees a bikini clad hottie at the local swimming hole. He has no idea if she is a Christian or not but approaches anyway. He games her and throughout the fun conversation she gives IOI. He gets her number. Later, they arrange a date. Boundaries are upheld but a good time is had. He invites her to church and she starts going. He wisely assumes she is attending because she wants to get his sausage and doesn't move forward. He denies exclusivity and does not offer any emotional or major time commitment. Time passes. She claims to have become a Christian. He remains skeptical. Over a length of time, many discussions, and keen observations he is eventually convinced that her faith is the genuine article. He dates her more seriously now and screens hard. He eventually determines that she is wife material and proposes. They get married. Kids are had and God's kingdom advances.
Does that sound like a fairy tale? Well, with some illustrative variation, that is a paraphrased story of how I met and eventually married my wife.