Christian use of language never fails to amaze me.
I came across a term new to me, “pre-believer,” which refers to a person — usually one’s spouse — who is not a Christian (though not necessarily an atheist). The obvious implication is that every non-Christian is a pre-believer, for when each of us dies or when God ends the whole shebang everyone will then be forced to realize that God is God and Jesus is Lord.
And atheists and skeptics are accused of smug certainty in their beliefs?
Do you think these same Christians would appreciate being called “pre-atheists”? Do you think they would gladly accept being called this by their spouses?
I think not.
I understand some people may receive comfort by calling their spouses “pre-believers.” They reassure themselves that people they love will join them in heaven and feel the divine light — and not fry in the flames of hell!
But were my spouse to call me — to others or to my face — a “pre-believer,” I would resent it greatly. I believe what I do, and for what seem like strong reasons. Calling me a “pre-believer” tells me not only that you disagree with my beliefs but also that you have have some fundamentally negative feelings about me.
I wonder whether the marriages tend to work out when non-Christian spouses become Christian. Does the new scenario of both spouses believing suddenly make the entire marriage better?
In any case, I give my Christian wife all the credit in the world for not calling me something so offensive as a “pre-believer.”