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Cynical Realist
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Hmmm. Where to start. First off I'm glad I found this site because I've felt like no one understands where I'm coming from.

My name is Eric, I'm 39, live outside of the DC area and was a "Christian" for about 30 years. I did a lot of studying of reformed theology and apologetics and always felt more "into it" intellectually but never really connected to the whole experience emotionally. I say intellecutally because Christianity made perfect sense to me from my studies. I'm sure there are many people here who rationalized the hard questions or never really dealt with the hard questions. Over the past two years probably I just wasn't feeling it. I stopped reading my Bible and stopped reading theology books. I felt like God was slipping away from me and then I started thinking is God slipping away because I've stopped studying and so things are starting to make sense to me because I'm not filling my head with the Christian propaganda and my thinking is becoming more clear, OR, is the sin in my life and lack of studying and "renewing my mind" choking the spirit. So for the past six months or so I started doing research and really looking for answers and the more I studied the more Christianity made less and less sesne. I've been able to call myself an "Agnostic" for a few months now and I have to say I feel free.

My problem is that I have a wife and four kids. My wife is still a Christian and my kids are being raised as Christians. This is the hard part. My wife is very upset because this isn't what she signed up. She married a Christian and now I'm not.

Just the tip of the iceberg.

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself and give a little background. I'm looking forward to learning and meeting people.

 

Eric

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Welcome on board Eric! Enjoy your stay. Best wishes.

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Ouch!

 

That's a very hard situation there Eric(Like you needed me to know.)

 

The only thing I could tell you is to be honest. *shrugs* Lying will only add salt to the wound IMO.

 

Merlin

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Welcom, Eric!

 

I don't know what you're going through, because a) I was never a Christian in the first place, and B)I'm not married!

 

But there are lots of people on here who've gone through the same stuff, so don't worry.

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Well CR,

 

First of all a hearty Welcome!! to Dave's House and ExC.

 

You'll find a widely spread group of humans who at many differing points have found that religion and *god* was not the question the answer was looking for...

 

Dig in, participate, read, and find that Freethinkers are as happy, adjusted and ready to live life fully as any counterpart in the sectarian worlds..

 

n

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Hmmm.  Where to start.  First off I'm glad I found this site because I've felt like no one understands where I'm coming from. 

My name is Eric, I'm 39, live outside of the DC area and was a "Christian" for about 30 years.

I've been able to call myself an "Agnostic" for a few months now and I have to say I feel free. 

My problem is that I have a wife and four kids.  My wife is still a Christian and my kids are being raised as Christians.  This is the hard part.  My wife is very upset because this isn't what she signed up.  She married a Christian and now I'm not. 

Just the tip of the iceberg. 

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself and give a little background.  I'm looking forward to learning and meeting people. 

 

Eric

 

Sorry I can't exactly relate to the prolem with your wife, but I welcome you, as I am also new here myself. I too thought this place was like a home when I discovered it. I love it here.

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Welcome!

That has to be a tough situation (to state the obvious yet again). Well, you know what they say, "love conquers all."

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Welcome, Eric.

The cognitive part of your deconversion I can relate to quite well. The family part I can't, but there are a lot of folks here who can. You might try the Backlash and Reactions forum or the Religious Family Members forum. I'd suggest stating specifics in either of those. Right now, we're working on getting this new version of the site going, so there are not many posts there, but there sure have been on our other sites and the membership is still the same, so don't let the sparseness of the forums mislead you. If you say something in either of those, I'm sure the people will come out of the woodwork to offer help and experience.

 

Thanks for introducing yourself and welcome!

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Welcome to you, CR!

 

I am in much the same situation with my wife and 2 children. Though my wife married me as a fairly apathetic, agnostic christian. I still "believed" in god and wore the label. I did, however, become a fundy pentecostal for 5 years and that's what she wants me to be.

 

Good luck, and I look forward to hearing more from you.

 

Libertus

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Thanks everybody for the nice welcome and comments.

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Hi there. Welcome to the forum.

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When dealing with the marital issues, I think an area to focus on is that you can still be a good person, and that you are the same person. One of the most subtle lies the church likes to imply is that anyone who isn't a christian is a bad person. Almost as if non christians have no right to morality, and are COMPELLED to be vile and vulgar. This of course is absurd.

 

God didn't give you love for your kids any more than president bush did. That kind of thinking goes a long way. For me, that was one of the greatest reliefs I had when I left christianity was realizing that I didn't have to become an alcoholic or hire hookers and kill babies. I mean it sounds silly but there's a strong mentality that stems from the 'without him we can do nothing' concept.

 

It's all bullshit. You're exactly who you choose to be, regardless of religion. And that's true for professing christians. Morality has always been both subjective and entirely up to the person. So don't let that issue mess with your marriage.

 

I don't know if this is helpful but I just got a vibe and I ran with it.

 

Welcome!

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Thanks. I totally understand what you're saying. I think my wife's concern is not that I'm going to become some hedonist but rather the thing that we had in common (to her the most important aspect of our marriage) was our faith in God. That plus the children. What to do about them. I'm really up in the air about what to do about the kids. I never lied to them about Santa and I'm not thrilled with lying to them about "god". I think the thing is I don't even know what I believe, I just know that I don't believe in christianity. I understand my wife's position because had it been the other way around I would be the one freaking out about my wife "going to hell" and the effect it would have on the kids.

 

Anyway, thanks for thoughts.

 

Eric

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I felt like God was slipping away from me and then I started thinking is God slipping away because I've stopped studying and so things are starting to make sense to me because I'm not filling my head with the Christian propaganda and my thinking is becoming more clear [...]

I feel for you Eric and I recognize some of my own life in your story. I found myself in serious study for about five years and the more I studied, Christianity just came apart at the seams. As you said, the more we study, the less sense can be made of the doctrinal madness. My husband and I were in ministry and our marriage was held together by Christianity and that alone so when my faith toppled into smoldering piles of ashes and ruin, the marriage simply collapsed. It had no other foundation.

 

Life does go on... even after decades in the clutches of the faith and while you have before you some difficult rows to hoe, I'm glad to hear that you are feeling free from the religious chains that bound.

 

Things have a way of working out, eventually. Who we become in the process of struggle can be the best thing that ever happens to us. We are here for you, Eric, and welcome you with open arms. You will survive.

 

Given the choice between my own integrity and the religion, I chose integrity too.

 

Reach

 

OpenAllNight.gif

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Welcome, Cynical Realist. Like many others in this thread, and like yourself, I studied my way out of the faith as an act of devotion. In fact, I was actually WRITING a theology book when my faith crumbled to dust.

 

Nothing quite captures the sense of shock when you turn around and find that you honsetly can't believe anymore. I trusted that God was there and pursued him with everything in me, only to find at the end of the journey that there was no one that actually sits on the throne that I had erected in my heart. It would be a sense of betrayal if there was any God that actually hid himself. But, in truth, the only one who deceived me was me - I had good reason to doubt from a very young age and chose to ignore it, seeing the doubt as a temptation and holding fast to my commitment to believe. So, I'm the only one who betrayed myself, and realizing that made the whole thing easier.

 

Welcome to the family, CR. You are among kindred spirits who have trod similar paths. Grab a cigar, have a drink, pull up a chair, and join the party.

 

-Lokmer

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CR,

 

I went down a similar path. I studied apologetics and some theology for a while and I found it almost impossible to connect with the faith emotionally. Then, the more I studied Christian apologetics, the more it seemed to fall apart. I saw the recent-creationist arguments fall apart and so I went into ancient-creationism. I saw McDowell's arguments fall apart and so I went into Lee Strobel works and that of James Patrick Holding. I wanted desperately for a sign that God was still there and that he still loved me. In fact, nothing short of an actual theophany would do it and it never came. Even after I initially deconverted, I was tortured with second thoughts and it wasn't until I finally read a book defending inerrancy and, subsequently, an essay by Robert M Price called "By This Time He Stinketh" that I realized that there was no turning back and that I was a Skeptic for all eternity.

 

So, welcome to our family here. Feel free to share anything that's on your mind. As for your wife and kids- I had to go through something similar with my family. It took a couple of months for me to tell my parents. Now my family knows and I am better off for finally coming clean and telling them. Luckily, they're not the "once-saved-always-saved" crowd. But telling them was the hardest part of all. I avoid people from my former Church; I haven't spoken to them in years and I prefer it be that way.

 

Matthew

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