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Mikefight

New Ex-christian

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I was raised in a Baptist church from birth. My family changed churches every few years due to different reason, preacher left, got offended, divorced, or just did not like the people. My mom was even a Sunday school teacher for a while. I got saved when I was twelve. I remember my mother crying in the pew, she was so happy. My sisters soon followed. I am sure they wanted to make mom just as happy. On the way home from church, on the day I got saved, I told my mom I did not feel any different and asked how I could be sure I was saved. She said “You have to faith.”

 

After a few months I asked my step father some questions about the bible and after numerous answers that did not satisfy me he said I needed to have faith. That faith was a good thing and showed God I loved him and that we can not understand God. I was 12, so I took him at his word and vowed to never question God again and prayed for God to forgive me for questioning him.

 

After high school I joined the Navy and I went to church on Base. I dated a girl who was not a Christian and eventually broke up with her because of it. No other reason. She was wonderful. But I thought it was what God wanted. I dated lots of girls growing up and I always asked them if there were Christians and made that a priority.

 

Soon after I got out of the Navy I met my wife. She was a good Episcopal girl and invited me to her church. I went even though I did not know anything about Episcopal. It was a really boring service and they recited a lot of memorized lines. I felt out of place. They offered a new comers class. I took the class and learned all the new stuff. I eventually became a chalice bearer. That means I passed the cup of wine. I was also an usher. My wife and I got married and had two kids. Our kids were in church every Sunday. I helped out in service and my wife worked in the Nursery.

 

Four years go by and the church has an issue with the pastor and people start to leave. The congregation dropped to less than half. Then the Gay bishop issue made another half leave. So we were down to 25% of the original congregation. Most of the staff got laid off. Everything in the church changed to volunteer. I helped on weekends with yard work and fixing things for the church.

 

After a couple years of that my wife and I felt God was telling us to change to a new church. We saw a billboard for a new church and decided to give it a try. It was a non-denominational church and did not have any ceremonies. It only had 100 members. We were quickly welcomed in and I started playing guitar in the band.

 

It was the most fun I had in church. I was doing something I loved. The people were great and the fellowship was wonderful.

 

Now my whole life I was a skeptic about everything but religion. I thought it was a sin to question religion. I would always check my sources on every subject and any rumor I heard. One day I realized that it was silly to not apply that same reasoning to my religion. So I started reading about the history of the church and the other books of the bible that were left out. I read about evolution, and anything by Richard Dawkins.

 

After a couple of month of studying I went to my preacher and asked him to explain a few things. He said the same thing my parents told me when I was twelve. "You need to have faith." This time I was not convinced.

 

I soon realized that I did not believe anymore. I continued reading and I found the video of Richard Dawkins on “The God Delusion” and “The Virus of Faith.” I decided to show these to my wife. I hoped it would help here understand why I had changed. We watched the video together, half way through she made a comment about how wrong Richard Dawkins was and that we needed to pray for him. At one point she turned to me and flat out asked me. “Are to an atheist now?” I was amazed at how she had picked up on it. I told her I no longer believed the Bible and was an atheist. She cried.

 

It has only been a month since I told my wife. She is worried I am going to cheat on her now, or divorce her. I was worried she was going to kick me out. My kids are 5 and 7 and they are asking why daddy does not go to church. I refer them to their mother. She tells them I am just going through a hard time believing and eventually I will come around.

 

I try to explain to her that I am not going through anything. This change is not an emotional response. I just looked at the facts and the evidence and my mind was changed. I am not sure what the future holds for me now. She says I am not the same person and the people at church talk to her all the time. I love my wife and want her to understand.

 

Christmas was rough. Her father came to visit. He has been an atheist for years and we had a lot to talk about since we have a lot more in common. I told him that we need to talk about it when my wife is not around as to not offend her. I am trying to be sensitive to her. She decided to come into our conversation and she seemed to enjoy learning.

 

On Christmas day we started another discussion and she could hear us. She started crying. She said she just could not take it on Christmas day.

 

I don’t bring it up unless she asked about it now. Life is much harder now as an atheist, and I miss playing guitar in the band. Guess I need to find another band now.

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Welcome to the forums Mikefight. Thanks for sharing your testimony.

Guess I need to find another band now.

I think that is well put. It's time to find a new band.

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Guess I need to find another band now.

 

I agree with Legion Regalis. That is well put.

 

Life is much harder now as an atheist

 

I take this as one more piece of evidence that the xians are all wrong when they say we just quit their religion so we can live as we want to.

 

One of my sisters said, "If it's so hard why do you do it?" The implication was clear. She believed I had a choice in the matter. Like you, the choices open to me were to continue lying about my beliefs or to leave. I've gotten to the point where I will no longer lie. Like you, I am standing up for my beliefs. That they refuse to see it as such is not our fault. Eventually you will find your way. It may be a painful way. It may get worse before it gets better. But at least you have the comfort of knowing you did what was right. You also have this group to support you. As we often say to new-comers, you are among friends. Welcome!

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Welcome Mikefight

 

I've recently joined the ranks of Ex-C myself. I find it disturbing that your wife thought you would now decide to cheat and/or leave her. I've always had a problem with folks equating morals with religion, but I do understand why they believe it so.

 

Good luck to you, and again Welcome.

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Welcome! You'll find lots of support here. It sounds like your wife is trying to be somewhat calm about the whole thing... so that's good. It's understandable she'd be upset on Christmas (my mother-in-law really went haywire last Christmas, but I understand why). Keep this in mind around Easter. ;)

 

Since you guys originally came from an Episcopal church, maybe your wife will eventually be more open and understanding than she is now. Episcopalians have a long tradition of being open-minded and willing to dialogue.

 

Things will get better.. hang in there. In the meantime, feel free to rant and vent to us. We've all been there or are there.:D

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I admire your courage for telling your family. When I was little, my mom, sibling, and I would go to church and my dad would stay at home. I used to think that something was wrong with him because he did not believe. As you confirmed in your testimony, one of the first steps to leaving a religion is applying the same reasoning and critical thinking to religion as we are accustomed to doing for everything else in life (or should be accustomed to doing, for some people). Now I see my dad as being the one who was right all this time. This could very well be what your family may do in the future, but it is hard to say. I am not really sure what triggers a person to apply critical thinking and reason to religion. I guess when you are used to being ruled under authority figures (such as God or Jesus), questioning is like being rebellious in a way. I have a few loose ideas about the triggering of critical thinking towards religion, but nothing that could be reasonably applied. I guess the best thing to do in the mean time is to show that you, as an atheist, do care about morals, being faithful, celebrating marriage, etc. Maybe even more than a theist would. That may be the first step in shattering the belief about atheists not being moral and perhaps have a ripple effect so that other beliefs will be questioned. I never held the belief as a Christian that atheists were inherently bad or that they could not be moral, so I am not sure.

 

Anyway, best of luck.

 

By the way, I too enjoy the wisdom of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. It is great to be able to learn how to argue with theists from them because they are very good at it. I also have learned from this web site and from http://www.rationalresponders.com/

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In the meantime, feel free to rant and vent to us. We've all been there or are there.:D

This is so true. I would be very frustrated if I could not use my reasoning skills, so it is great to be able to have a community here that I can exercise that reason with.

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Hi,

I'm glad I read your post, because it sounds quite a bit like my experience except it's my husband who is still faithful in the church. I was raised Baptist and still am in a (very conservative) Baptist church. My boys, 7 and 8, also wondered at first why Mommy didn't go as much to church and my husband very quickly understood that my questioning of the Bible had broader implications, like maybe not believing in God at all. That's not so in my case, but I don't know where I stand at this point. He also was concerned that I would want to find a guy who believes like I do. (I've hardly even looked twice at another man since we got married) I don't think it has anything to do with our marriage, and it's actually made us stronger. What burns me up is to hear talk from the pulpit that implies our marriage is doomed to failure and our kids to ruination if a spouse goes "against the Bible" and "backslides". It's like they want to keep bringing up cases where that has happened, but it's the stinkin' bad attitude of people insisting that it's doomed that will turn a believing spouse against the "straying" one, in my opinion, if it happens at all. Maybe they want to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm a better mom and wife since I've stopped obsessing about hell and guilt and so on. So, just hang in there and be who you have always been and wife should see that you haven't really changed who you are.

 

Sparkyone

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Welcome, Mikefight :wave:

 

It sucks that your wife is so ready to assume the worst, much like your family is doing. It's a sad fallout of the 2000 years of Xian brainwashing that says that only in Xianity does one find morality or goodness. Especially with the smear campaigns they launch against people of other beliefs, it's understandable that your family thinks the way they do, though it doesn't make it less wrong.

 

Funny, how Xians insist that Xianity is the only source of morality, but when push comes to shove, Xians practice all the hate, bigotry, prejudice, and ignorance they claim to rail against.

 

Well, you'll find this board a good place to learn and grow. In the early days of my escape from Xianity, I found that out myself :)

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Welcome Mikefight.

 

You are not the first to be in this situation, and you won't be the last. There are guys on this board who have been through it/are going through it.

 

Do a search on the forum topics and you'll find some good advice on ways to approach the problem.

 

Keep showing her that your love for her (and the children) hasn't changed and that your love for her is independant of any religious beliefs and always was.

 

regards

 

Stew

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Welcome Mikefight.

 

I can understand that this is a difficult time for you. I'm truly sorry that your wife has made an assumption that since you are no longer Christian, you are no longer moral.

 

Any major change for one spouse can be seen as a threat to the relationship by the other. I have had firsthand experience of this. (Although not with matters of religion; my wife knew I was not a Christian long before we were married.)

 

I believe that if you still share the same values, even though those values are no longer rooted in Christianity, things will improve with time.

 

I hope your situation improves and this turbulent period passes quickly.

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Hey MikeFight,

 

Thanks for your post. You do need a new band. I used to play choruses at church on guitar a LONG time ago. I dumped the cult forever 8 months ago. I was Evangelical for 17 years, but really the last 10 were "struggles" from a belief standpoint. I certainly knew most of the Bible was rubbish, but was in denial. Now I just see that the whole Bible in it's entirety is rubbish.

 

My wife is still fundy and she cries sometimes. I will NOT go to church anymore. My two older kids (9 and 10) and fundy Christian which bothers me. My littlest is 6 and is autistic. Here is an example of why CHristianity sucks. My 9 year old daughter the other day asked me "How do we know if my autistic son is a Christian?" (I have spare the kids for now with my deconversion- they think I just stay home with my autistic son because church is to much for me. He is really my excuse) She was truly worried this "God" was gonna send him to Hell because he "Doesn't know how to believe in Jesus" I told her God would be mean if He sent him to Hell, period. She just kind of looked puzzled.

 

The worst thing for me about all this shit, is my kids. They are indoctrinated. At least I was 21 years old when I made the free will choice to basically become a fucking clueless cult member. My family was not religious, my friends weren't. I had never been brainwashed before that point. My kids are getting fucking pummeled from as old as they could walk (Private Fundy school, church shit all the time, nothing but Daystar on the TV.0

 

Welcome!

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Welcome, Mikeflight.

 

One thing you can be sure of, you are not alone.

 

When I first let my wife in on the fact that I was leaving the faith, she freaked. When I started this website, she moaned. She was sure I would lose all sense of morality and become the most hedionistic and heinous of sinners.

 

I didn't, and now, a few years later, she is an atheist.

 

I never pushed her, or insisted that she accept my position. All I asked from her was the freedom for me to explore my own research.

 

We've been together 22 years now, and will probably be together for life.

 

And, our kids are also atheists. And I never pushed them either. If they had questions about what I thought, I talked with them. Otherwise, I didn't say a word.

 

Hang in there.

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Welcome Mikefight!

 

I hope you continue to hang out with us here, as there are many

here who have been through what you are going through. It's a

shame that your wife automatically assumes the worst in you; if

you were to snoop around a little, you'd find the xtians among the

worst when it comes to cheating on their spouses. Their religion

allows them to cheat, then pray for forgiveness and act as if

nothing happened. More b.s. from a religion that is full of it.

 

Anyway, it's always good to meet another escapee from the

christian death cult on this board. Make yourself at home!

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I didn't read through all of the responses, so I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but maybe you could invite your wife to join in here. Let her know other xtians read and post here. Then she can see what others like you have to say, see how serious you are and not going through a phase, and even offer her own opinions. Maybe she will begin to see things differently herself, or maybe not. But at least it may give you both some peace of mind.

 

As for your kids, I urge you to tell them the truth. That it isn't a phase. Answer their questions. They have the right to make their own choices about church now, before they are older and most likely set in their beliefs, even if they aren't what they would have chosen if they thought there was any other way.

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Welcome Mikefight

 

I've recently joined the ranks of Ex-C myself. I find it disturbing that your wife thought you would now decide to cheat and/or leave her. I've always had a problem with folks equating morals with religion, but I do understand why they believe it so.

 

Good luck to you, and again Welcome.

 

I agree with you all that leaving Christianity is not so you can be immoral--infact it's just the opposite--it's about being true to yourself and I personally have found piece in the truth of who I am rather then constantly beating myself up for my feelings and for not being a perfect christian!!!

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A big Thank You to each of you. It feels good to have someone to talk to. :woohoo:

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Welcome Mike...

 

"Shit happens", and when it does, the buckets of it tend to monopolize our lives as we wash it off.

 

Try not to let the religionists toss too many buckets of sectarian.crap your way. You'll learn to dodge the tossing and eventually not be a target for the "good.book.folks".

 

More than the asbestos undies you need to post on most 'Net boards, the real world will ensure your need to have a stiff backbone and a sharp mind. ExC will help ensure that you've got a good mind full of usable information that is viable and accurate.

 

I won't "wish you well" and "hope y'all have a good life". What I will tell you is that life is tough, and not having the religious crutch will ensure that many situations will now require that you are the final arbiter of choices good and bad.

 

Your life and direction aren't gonna be clouded with promises of heavenly rewards for, ahemmm, "goodly god directed actions".

Whatever bullshit happens is gonna happen. Cards dealt by whatever agency, force, thingamabob, kharma, bigfuckin'deal, etc, ah-HA!, need to be played, it is the only game you've got.

 

Slipping off the ropes, pointing your prow in directions unknown, far from the seen shore, headed to a place you want to go, on your time, your pace is now what is happening.

Enjoy the rest of your journey. This life is all we have in our hands *now*. What we do with our lives is no longer in the hands of the black robes and three piece suited whores.

 

Welcome to your steps to Freedom.

 

kevinFuckin'L

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After high school I joined the Navy and I went to church on Base.

I joined the NAVY after high school as well. I obviously don't attend church there, though. What did you do in the Navy? I am a nuclear MM.

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After high school I joined the Navy and I went to church on Base.

I joined the NAVY after high school as well. I obviously don't attend church there, though. What did you do in the Navy? I am a nuclear MM.

 

I was a Nuclear ET. This was 12 years ago.

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After high school I joined the Navy and I went to church on Base.

I joined the NAVY after high school as well. I obviously don't attend church there, though. What did you do in the Navy? I am a nuclear MM.

 

I was a Nuclear ET. This was 12 years ago.

Nice......I know a few of them. I try to stay away from most of them though, you know.....D&D, Magic, WarHammer, etc.....

 

I wanted to be either an ET or an MM..........then I found out about the Sea Bees, but it was too late; I was already a nuke.

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