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Not Looking Forward To This Meeting...


Guest lamont
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I revealed to my evangelical christian parents that I am no longer a christian a couple months ago. I briefly explained my case and then gave them some space to cope with the shockingn news. They love me and still accept me, but now they are tortured by the pain of believing their first born is going to burn in hell for all eternity.

 

Well the week that I told them, they told me that they wanted me and my wife to meet with their new pastor. We had no desire to, but they insisted that we at least give them the time of day. What happened was they went to their pastor in desparation and explained that I had deconverted. Suddenly this pastor showed interest in me and my wife and told them he wanted to meet us. Well first they wanted to meet with us alone. I said no, we meet on common ground at my parents.

 

So tonight we are going to meet with them, only for the purpose of getting this behind us. I am really not looking forward to it, and I'm not sure what he is going to talk to me about. I'm really not in the mood to deal with xian black & white, circular logic. I'm pretty much going there with my mouth shut... let this stranger speak and then go home. If my parents request a follow-up, I'll just say no. I hate this. Has anyone gone through something like that?

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I revealed to my evangelical christian parents that I am no longer a christian a couple months ago. I briefly explained my case and then gave them some space to cope with the shockingn news. They love me and still accept me, but now they are tortured by the pain of believing their first born is going to burn in hell for all eternity.

 

Well the week that I told them, they told me that they wanted me and my wife to meet with their new pastor. We had no desire to, but they insisted that we at least give them the time of day. What happened was they went to their pastor in desparation and explained that I had deconverted. Suddenly this pastor showed interest in me and my wife and told them he wanted to meet us. Well first they wanted to meet with us alone. I said no, we meet on common ground at my parents.

 

So tonight we are going to meet with them, only for the purpose of getting this behind us. I am really not looking forward to it, and I'm not sure what he is going to talk to me about. I'm really not in the mood to deal with xian black & white, circular logic. I'm pretty much going there with my mouth shut... let this stranger speak and then go home. If my parents request a follow-up, I'll just say no. I hate this. Has anyone gone through something like that?

 

OMG, that is not good. I can understand your parents' point of view, but even so they haven't really got the right to do that. My parents are liberals and don't believe in hell, so I was ok. Let us know how things go.

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Bring some bleach to the meeting. Upon meeting this pastor, tell him you are looking foward to hearing his thoughts on xtianity, but you need to know if he is, for sure, a true xtian. Then quote Mark 16:17, where jesus says that true believers will be able to drink any poison and not die. See what he does/says. If he refuses to drink the bleach, you do not need to talk to him, according to his own "truth". If he tries to reason it away, he has just told you the bible is not the literal truth. If he drinks it, he will be in the hospital and you won't be able to talk to him anyway.

 

Anyway it goes, you win! :HaHa:

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You just have to establish yourself early and stick to your guns. Don't let them gang up on you either. Tell them you're not worried about burning in hell because it does not exist. Then add a bit of humor; hell would be a heaven full of christians, or that hell sounds much more interesting than "bowing and singing the praises of god" for all eternity.

 

Just let them know that you have kept all the morals and values that your parents taught you except for the god part. Assure them that you are not going to go around throwing old ladies under busses or robing banks.

 

Good luck.

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I would advise you not to. This is nothing but an ambush...

 

Me personally, I will never tell my mother that I'm an athiest. That would kill her...So I pretend to be into Jesus n stuff just to appease her...

 

Back to my point...I think you should have just met with the pastor because your parents will interject their thoughts and try every trick in the book to discredit you...

 

I think you should bring poisonous snakes to the meeting...Then tell them to pray for God's divine protection. If they handle them without being injured then they may have a point...If they get poisoned then...

 

Well, Fundies will find an excuse to love god anyway...Ixnay on that.

 

Good luck.

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Back to my point...I think you should have just met with the pastor because your parents will interject their thoughts and try every trick in the book to discredit you...

 

So be it. They can try. I'm not going in there to fight. They can say whatever they like. I'll answer whatever questions they have, but not traps. One common one I keep getting is this: "You can't look at your baby daughter and tell me there is no god." Sure I can, but isn't sh ebeautiful anyway? I'm just going to get it over with so that they can't accuse me of not hearing their pastor out.

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Let us know how it goes, lamont.

 

Personally, I would not do it, but hey, I'm not everybody else. I just found all of these conversations with my old believin' friends too painful.

 

Christians get REALLY upset over apostacy - things were said that really I've never gotten over.

 

Good luck and take care. I'm glad your wife is supporting you. You'll need it, dude.

 

;)

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Lamont,

 

You've got courage and guts! It can be quite empowering to know you are able to meet them at their level.

 

On the other hand, you can well expect that they will refuse to meet you at your level.

 

I don't know exactly where you're head is but I bet I can guess so I'll propose a few stances that you can repeat like a mantra. They are somewhat strong but they are clear and they place the responsibliity clearly on them.

 

"Until Christians abandon the absurdity of creationism, I cannot imagine any worthwhile exchange of ideas. There is no point."

 

"When I convey an intellegent proposition to christians, the reply is either circular logic, attack on people rather than their ideas or an attack on a misrepresentation of my veiws. This shows no respect for my point of view and I don't see the point of discussion."

 

"The bible is radically unpredictable and displays terrifying moral ambivalence. Lot, the only good man in Sodom has incest with his daughters and the bible blames the victim. This is abhorrant. Joshua is a ethnic cleanser. Abraham's willingness to kill his son is abhorrant and repulsive. I cannot see us having a productive conversation if you believe these acts were in any way holy or pleasing to god. There is no point."

 

However... I do like your idea of simply keeping your mouth shut. It may well be your best option.

 

Good luck.

 

Mongo

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Guest Durthorin

Ambush. Personally, I would have met with the pastor alone. He's a stranger and you can deal with him as a stranger. With your parents there, your not really on neatral ground.. your parents are on his side, but you now have the added problem of dealing with family issues as well as a theological debate. Not good.

 

One way is to simply, listen. If asked a question, "I thought of that.. but go on. What do you think?" Let him preach, let him talk.. nod.. and invite him to clarify, go into detail.. etc. An once he's run down, "Its been a pleasure talking to you.. have a nice evening."

 

Brighid Bless, Dur

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Also...

 

I was once invited to dinner as the only unbeliever. I opened the conversation with, "You know, ha ha, you'll find this funny, ha ha, when I got your invitation, I wondered for a slight moment whether you'd try and stage an intervention, ha ha."

 

It worked like a charm and we had a plesant conversation.

 

My point is... I prefer to take the offensive and let people know that they're not dealing with a wose or a dolt.

 

You may chose to craft a statement about emotional manipulation and scaring people into hell.

 

Remember... they don't respect you and think that you've gone stupid when in fact you've done the opposite.

 

How about...

 

"Listen, I was invited here by mom and dad because they said you had something to say to me. That is fine and I'll be happy to listen for a few minutes however I have to warn you... I do not respect the way people manipulate the emotions of others in the name of god. I won't stand for it. I will get up and walk out.

 

When I talk about manipulation I am refering to attempting to use my parents to make me feel guilty for hurting them. I don't want to hurt them, I love them dearly but no one of any amount of integrity serves god because not doing so would bring tears to someone else.

 

I am also refering to threats that my wife and I will go to hell. Anyone who serves god out of fear of hell has inherant virtue.

 

Neither will I tolerate you attacking my character or intellegence.

 

If you cannot speak to me with absolute respect, I'll leave now."

 

Just suggestions and ideas guy. The more the merrier I say!

 

Mongo

 

Ambush. Personally, I would have met with the pastor alone. He's a stranger and you can deal with him as a stranger. With your parents there, your not really on neatral ground.. your parents are on his side, but you now have the added problem of dealing with family issues as well as a theological debate. Not good.

 

One way is to simply, listen. If asked a question, "I thought of that.. but go on. What do you think?" Let him preach, let him talk.. nod.. and invite him to clarify, go into detail.. etc. An once he's run down, "Its been a pleasure talking to you.. have a nice evening."

 

Brighid Bless, Dur

 

Durthorin

 

I love it. Great strategy for giving a non-answer. Genius!

 

Mongo

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Guest Durthorin

 

Ambush. Personally, I would have met with the pastor alone. He's a stranger and you can deal with him as a stranger. With your parents there, your not really on neatral ground.. your parents are on his side, but you now have the added problem of dealing with family issues as well as a theological debate. Not good.

 

One way is to simply, listen. If asked a question, "I thought of that.. but go on. What do you think?" Let him preach, let him talk.. nod.. and invite him to clarify, go into detail.. etc. An once he's run down, "Its been a pleasure talking to you.. have a nice evening."

 

Brighid Bless, Dur

 

Durthorin

 

I love it. Great strategy for giving a non-answer. Genius!

 

Mongo

 

Practice, as a pagan I found out long ago while they dislike athesits.. they think were just evil.

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Excellent ideas! I'll keep my eyes open and try and gauge where their coming from. I don't think I'll start off taking the offensive. I don't want to give them the impression I'm there to battle. I really want to get out of there as quick as possible. Thats my main reason for going in not saying anything. But those suggestions are excellent opportunities to close it and go home.

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Excellent ideas! I'll keep my eyes open and try and gauge where their coming from. I don't think I'll start off taking the offensive. I don't want to give them the impression I'm there to battle. I really want to get out of there as quick as possible. Thats my main reason for going in not saying anything. But those suggestions are excellent opportunities to close it and go home.

 

The only thing I'd add is this: try to be the most benevolent, understanding, respectful one in the group. Kindness, compassion & understanding are a lot harder to tear down that rage & reciprocity.

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Excellent ideas! I'll keep my eyes open and try and gauge where their coming from. I don't think I'll start off taking the offensive. I don't want to give them the impression I'm there to battle. I really want to get out of there as quick as possible. Thats my main reason for going in not saying anything. But those suggestions are excellent opportunities to close it and go home.

 

The only thing I'd add is this: try to be the most benevolent, understanding, respectful one in the group. Kindness, compassion & understanding are a lot harder to tear down that rage & reciprocity.

 

Agree completely!

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Also, remember that no single argument will work on a believer. Keeping silent is a good way for some people to handle situations like this. Don't argue but show them what an Atheist is. By showing them who and what Atheists are, you might actually make a convert of someone over time. It may take awhile, but it works..... sometimes.

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"You can't look at your baby daughter and tell me there is no god."

They should pose this same question to a parent who looks at their baby daughter lying in a casket having lost her to a car accident or disease or something else. I am guessing the response will be quite different.

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Lamont,

Hats off to you for dealing with this "meeting." Me, I would have turned it down politely, but I respect and understand why you are doing it.

 

I like the idea of letting the pastor go on and on until he loses steam and then you just politely bowing out at that point.

 

Whatever happens, hold yourself with dignity and peace. Smile, nod, do what you gotta do....and then RUN ! :HaHa:

 

(while you're running, shout "FEET DON'T FAIL ME NOW!") :grin:

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Well, I met with my parents and their pastor last night. I kept my mouth shut and listened to his "testimony" which contained all sorts of "miraculous" stuff. I let him speak long. Everybody seemed to be feelin positive that I was soaking it all in. They all had smiles. The pastor did a real number. He reiterated several times that he used to teach math and science and studied archeology for credentials. They all seemed shocked when I asked for proof in the end. They seemed to think that his word was sufficient proof. I asked why, if Jesus is god, he never prooved himself in such a way that is verifiable even today, hoping to trap him. Well, he never answered the question. He went on long tangents away from the question. I kept asking the same question after every long tangent. He kept telling eprsonal stories of miracles he saw and heard of. I told him he's missing the element in my question which talks about proof that is verifiable today. This question was never answered. I asked him if he believes the verse that if you have the faith of a mustard seed you can tell a mountain to move. He said he did. I asked him if he has the faith of a mustard seed. He said yes. I asked him to demonstrate that verse for me on a much smaller object. My parents house. My father got angry and accused me of the highest blasphemy and started reading bible verses to thin air, like the exorcist.

 

Well, the pastor left once my dad and I started fighting. Then I left. What a waste of a night. Anyhow, at least that is behind me now.

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I probably would've said the same things. :grin:

 

Almost every Christian that I've argued with have shyed away from those same questions. Instead, they resorted to talk of "miracles" and people in the middle of nowhere blurting out "Jesus" and then something "good" happening to them. People have also tried to argue about how demons are exorcised in the name of Jesus along with other "biblical" things. In the end, it's funny how they lose their cool over something that contains nothing.

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I asked him if he believes the verse that if you have the faith of a mustard seed you can tell a mountain to move. He said he did. I asked him if he has the faith of a mustard seed. He said yes. I asked him to demonstrate that verse for me on a much smaller object. My parents house.

 

:lmao:

That was a good one.

 

Anyhow, glad to hear it's over with. Sounds like you kept your cool really well. Sometimes, no matter what you do, there's an argument at the end. A lot of christians CAN'T stay calm when they are asked to prove something they can't prove and then they inevitably get angry like you saw.

Hope you and your dad come to the point where you are able to just agree to disagree.

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Well, I met with my parents and their pastor last night. I kept my mouth shut and listened to his "testimony" which contained all sorts of "miraculous" stuff....

 

...My father got angry and accused me of the highest blasphemy and started reading bible verses to thin air, like the exorcist.

 

Well, the pastor left once my dad and I started fighting. Then I left. What a waste of a night....

 

Hey lamont,

 

I know seeing your dad go off is painful, but you'll see that in the long run, it's better that you know what sort of person you do NOT want to be like. I'm sure he has many redeeming qualities, but being a raving fanatic is not one of them.

 

I've filed these sorts of exchanges w/ my family and old friends away in my "To Use When True Believers Act Like Total and Complete Idiots" and stick their freakin' hypocrisy and zealotry in their faces. :grin:

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Well, the pastor left once my dad and I started fighting. Then I left. What a waste of a night. Anyhow, at least that is behind me now.

 

Funny how the Pastor, who's supposed to be the bastion of harmony & bringing families and communities together, runs away the second things get heated.

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I wouldn't be suprised if the pastor tried to visit you or your family again after he dreams up some more BS and propaganda. I think the reason why he left was because he was plum out of ammo. You did a good job in tearing down his lies and misinformation with good questions and you showed just how weak their Christian faith really is. :grin:

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