Jump to content

Still Living In The Closet


Guest cerebral
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest cerebral

Hi, everyone!

 

I officially went all-the-way in my apostacy last August, almost a year ago. (After about 2 years of intense doubt.) I'm pretty much a Deist, although sometimes I think that will eventually go, too.

 

My life is still framed heavily around Christianity. I doubt it is practical for me to change that very much. I worry about the harm it could do to my kids if they knew I am not a Christian anymore. (They are 10, 8 and 2.) My husband knows I consider myself a Deist. He is not thrilled, but he has liberal theology anyway, so it's not a deal-breaker point or anything. (Thankful about that.)

 

Pretty much every friend I have is mildly-to-fanatically Christian. Just about the time I think I might tell a friend over dinner, or on a visit with them, some big red flag comes up that illustrates to me how important their faith is to them. Then I wonder if there really is any necessity whatsoever in spelling out just how far I've gone from Christian doctrine. Is this dishonest? Or just practical?

 

I also belong to a Christian homeschooling group, where my kids have most of their friends (and so do I). If it became common knowledge that I had gone apostate, I fear that my children would suffer rejection. Probably not outright, but I know there are kids whose parents would no longer foster friendship with my kids if they knew. Some of these friends believe me to be rather liberal in my views because of conversations we've had before, when I still was a Christian. (I.E., I hoped for a loophole in the idea that all non-Christians were going to hell and I so much as said so.) But to go apostate? Sometimes I think an apostate Christian is more hated and feared than a mere atheist.

 

Sometimes I think it's only a matter of time before another conversation like this comes up. If I'm asked directly, I could not say the Bible is true, or that we're all sinners, or we'll all be in heaven one day, or anything else like that. I can't even say, "Yes, I'll pray for (whatever)." So far, there's only been one, "Oh, please pray for X..." to which I just responded that I certainly hoped that everything would work out all right. (This prayer request was issued to a group of us at once, so it wasn't the person asking me directly to pray.)

 

Is there a need to inform people, really? (I mean, unless it comes down to one of these direct questions.) After all, I don't know the details of many people's belief systems and no real harm comes from someone assuming I'm a Christian in the same fashion they are. Thankfully, in the homeschool group, "Christian" is pretty loosely defined, but really I wouldn't even meet basics any more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, everyone!

 

I officially went all-the-way in my apostacy last August, almost a year ago. (After about 2 years of intense doubt.) I'm pretty much a Deist, although sometimes I think that will eventually go, too.

 

My life is still framed heavily around Christianity. I doubt it is practical for me to change that very much. I worry about the harm it could do to my kids if they knew I am not a Christian anymore. (They are 10, 8 and 2.) My husband knows I consider myself a Deist. He is not thrilled, but he has liberal theology anyway, so it's not a deal-breaker point or anything. (Thankful about that.)

 

Pretty much every friend I have is mildly-to-fanatically Christian. Just about the time I think I might tell a friend over dinner, or on a visit with them, some big red flag comes up that illustrates to me how important their faith is to them. Then I wonder if there really is any necessity whatsoever in spelling out just how far I've gone from Christian doctrine. Is this dishonest? Or just practical?

 

I also belong to a Christian homeschooling group, where my kids have most of their friends (and so do I). If it became common knowledge that I had gone apostate, I fear that my children would suffer rejection. Probably not outright, but I know there are kids whose parents would no longer foster friendship with my kids if they knew. Some of these friends believe me to be rather liberal in my views because of conversations we've had before, when I still was a Christian. (I.E., I hoped for a loophole in the idea that all non-Christians were going to hell and I so much as said so.) But to go apostate? Sometimes I think an apostate Christian is more hated and feared than a mere atheist.

 

Sometimes I think it's only a matter of time before another conversation like this comes up. If I'm asked directly, I could not say the Bible is true, or that we're all sinners, or we'll all be in heaven one day, or anything else like that. I can't even say, "Yes, I'll pray for (whatever)." So far, there's only been one, "Oh, please pray for X..." to which I just responded that I certainly hoped that everything would work out all right. (This prayer request was issued to a group of us at once, so it wasn't the person asking me directly to pray.)

 

Is there a need to inform people, really? (I mean, unless it comes down to one of these direct questions.) After all, I don't know the details of many people's belief systems and no real harm comes from someone assuming I'm a Christian in the same fashion they are. Thankfully, in the homeschool group, "Christian" is pretty loosely defined, but really I wouldn't even meet basics any more.

 

I know how you feel. Though I don't talk to my old christian friends now as often as I did two years ago (when I deconverted), I'm still pretty much in the closet. I started going to an african church with my husband almost a year ago because it made him feel more at home. They did my family a huge financial favor recently and because of that I definitely can't bring myself to up and leave. So I'm basically stuck at a hardcore african penecostal church (Africans are SOOOO hardcore when it comes to religion). I have to "prep" myself mentally before I go to service each morning so that I'm in the correct mindset. For some reason the usher always seats me toward the front, which is of course where all the truly devout people sit, so that just adds to the pressure. The people there are friendly and all but all this pretending makes me so...disgusted with myself. Augh. But being a christian is all I've ever known and it's hard to move past that after believing it all my life (I'm 21). As for my christian friends from college, like I said, we don't talk much anymore, but I haven't told them about my deconversion. I'm scared that it would freak them out too bad. The most I do is to not mention God as often as I used to and hope that they pick up on it. I have a daughter, but she's still a baby so thankfully I don't have to deal with telling her. I'm just glad I have a chance to raise her with an open mind. My husband still doesn't want to believe that I've deconverted. He said he'd pray for me. I know he still loves me. Maybe he's willing to look past it.

Anyho, I can relate to you. I guess I'm in no position to give you advice, but just know that you're not alone in the closet!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live life as just an ordinary person. I do not go around drawing attention to myself, "LOOK EVERYBODY, I AM AN APOSTATE!" But I never actively do anything to lead a person to the impression that I have a religious faith that I don't possess. They won't see any clues, ever, that I am xian. Sometimes they assume I am, especially if they only look superficially, because of my mild mannered behavior. But it doesn't take much probing to start to see just how secular I am.

 

I personally think children are more harmed believing in an imaginary, personal god, who instills fear, watches their every move, and will banish them to an eternity of hell for not towing his line exactly, then from seeing their parent step out of the fold in a predominately xian world. In your case, as a practical matter, you have your husband, who is xian, but the fact that his theology is liberal indeed helps.

 

I don't think it's necessary to engage these people in conversations about your personal beliefs, but I would tend to gravitate away from the religious fanatics in the homeschooling network. I vaguely remember a thread on this board where some people said there were more secular homeschoolers, options, and resources than there used to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest cerebral
personally think children are more harmed believing in an imaginary, personal god, who instills fear, watches their every move, and will banish them to an eternity of hell for not towing his line exactly

 

Well, fortunately, I never drilled in the doctrine. Even when I was a Christian, I found lots of doctrine appalling and so I didn't preach to my kids that if they weren't saved, they would burn in hell and we're all filthy, rotten sinners from birth.

 

I am joining another homeschooling group that is not faith-based, but I'm not going to burn down the bridges where all my children's friends are currently. I guess I'm hoping to wean them to new friendships and then, if the old ones do fail later over their mother's faith, it won't be all the friends they have.

 

Anyho, I can relate to you. I guess I'm in no position to give you advice, but just know that you're not alone in the closet!

 

Here, have a cuppa java!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Cerebral, thank you for starting this thread. Having recently deconverted myself, I am also living in the closet. My dilemma is in telling my wife. We met in church where I was a small group bible study leader and active in other areas. We have been married a little over two months and my deconversion occurred only four weeks ago. For the time being I will maintain the status quo - church on Sunday - but have already withdrawn from everything except that.

 

As for others in my circle, I most likely will never tell my parents. They are in their 80's and I live over 800 miles from them so it shouldn't be an issue. My children, from my first marriage, will likely be easier to tell. After their mom and I divorced over 11 years ago, I decided to 'give church one more chance'. However, I very seldom took them because I already had the thought that I didn't want their lives screwed up by Christianity like mine had been. (How's that for illogical thinking?)

 

Anyway.... it will be interesting to see how things go for you and I will post from time to time as my situation changes.

 

Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.