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I'm Finally "out" As An Unbeliever, Although I Don't Feel Too Good About It. :-(


TheMathGuy
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Well, I've finally "come out" of the unbeliever's closet. I know to a lot of nonbelievers who have never been Christian before it might not seem like such a big deal, but of course those of you who have formerly been fundamentalist Christians yourselves will know it is a big deal. According to the beliefs of most of my close friends and family members, I am now spiritually dead, and my eternal soul is destined to spend forever being tormented in Hell upon my death. Simply by not believing Christianity is true I will be "abandoning God" in most of their eyes. Trampling underfoot the very savior who sacrificed everything for my sake. I wish they could understand that I would not willfully "spit in the face" of Jesus or for that matter anyone who would make such an enormous sacrifice for my own sake. I would be tremendously grateful to any person who would do that for me. It's just simply that I don't believe it actually happened. It took me a long time to realize there is a difference between disbelief and willful betrayal, and I'm afraid that all my friends and family are likely going to see here is betrayal. :'( I wish it were not so, but it's what I expect.

 

It's ironically the very same religious upbringing that has instilled in me such a sense of honesty that I cannot in good conscience continue to hide this information from them. I cannot continue to "chime in" with them when I'm visiting and we have discussions about the moral depravity of the world, or what latest miracle Jesus did for them or for me, or the state of my prayer life, or if any of us have any new messages from God to share with the rest of the group (God talks to my dad; tells him things; gives him prophecies to relay to others in my family and church. My dad speaks in tongues; prays healing on people; manifests the Holy Spirit in other physical ways, etc... I know it probably seems like my family is crazy but my whole home church is like this! I'm not kidding!). And for me to simply remain silent would also make them highly suspicious, I think. What will I say when they ask how my relationship with the Lord is going? Or if one of them has a "message from God" to relay to me? I can't really just say nothing at all.

 

So I've decided to be honest. I've made a video that should get their attention:

 

I've got no idea how they might react to it. I'm hoping they will find it extremely difficult to tell me I'm going to Hell. I am their own son after all! We'll just have to wait and see...

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Welcome! :wave:

 

Xians are taught to put religion before people - before themselves and before their loved ones. To the fervent nutjobs, if you aren't Xian, you're no longer family. Such inhuman brainwashing.

 

Good luck with the video! Hopefully, you'll get through to someone, but don't get your hopes up. Still, I wish you success :)

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Good luck with your being honest with others about your beliefs, or lackthereof. Funny thing is I've been atheist for almost as long as I can remember. Probably considered myself agnostic from the time I quit believing in Santa Claus until my later high-school days when I came to the conslusion that I was essentially atheist. To this day I've never actually told any family members that I'm atheist, though I have little doubt they know I despise organized religion and am probably atheist. Since my parents and most immediate family members are only slightly religious, none that I know of going to church, it's just not a problem anyone cares to question me about. I can only imagine how hard it can be for those with religious families.

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That vid is going to be a bitter pill for some to swallow. I thought it was thoughtful and honest. Hopefully it will cause your family to at least think and not just give the typical kneejerk response. My own family avoids broaching the question with me and I think they avoid thinking about the issue in general just because if faced with the realities of my unbelief and the dogma they have accepted, the conclussions would be too painful for them to consider. I suppose this burying things under the carpet is better than ongoing conflict and painful acceptance that I am going to hell. Good luck, I wish you the best.

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Those who have never been xians may not grasp your situation, but for those of us who have come from exactly where you did it is a sad reality.

 

I think the very quality some of us apostates learn from our religion, honesty, turns out to be the undoing of our religious beliefs for many of us. We've taken the message to heart, and eventually applied intellectual honesty to our religion, holding our supposedly perfect god to be what xianity claims: and finding the honesty we have learned and applied to be eclipsed by rationalizations and compartmentalism by most of our xian cohorts.

 

Sorry I haven't watched your video yet, I'm in the same room right now where people are sleeping--I'll try to see it later.

 

Welcome.

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What will I say when they ask how my relationship with the Lord is going?

Do you realize how nosy that is? I can't stand questions like that! It's almost like asking, "so how's your sex life?" If, that is, if it were me then I'd tell them it's none of their business.

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Welcome MathGuy. The answer to both of your questions in the video is no as far as I am concerned. I just can't make myself believe in a God who gave us the ability to search and question and then gets angry when we use these abilities to examine his "Word" more closely. You sound like you belonged to a very interesting denomination. Were you Pentecostal by any chance? I belonged to a more main-line Protestant denomination so I don't know much about the whole speaking in tongues and laying of hands bit, but it does sound like your familiy is pretty intense. I would anticipate a bad reaction from them, but as Legion Regalis pointed out it's your relationship (or lack thereof) with God and not anyone else's. This is your life to live and you have to live it according to your own beliefs. I'm sure that you will get a lot of support through this forum, and I am interested in seeing what the responses to your video on YouTube will be. Let us know if you get any fundie whackos :HaHa:

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I came from an extreme fundamentalist background. The things you describe were the tip of the iceberg for me, and may well be the tip of the iceberg for you as well. Personally, I discovered my lack of belief at a much younger age (having seen your video) and could not be honest about it -- for my own physical safety and mental health.

 

I first tried to come out over six years ago (long story but let's say I went back to pretending). I have been almost completely out for over four years now. I say "almost" because most people close to me know about it but I keep it private professionally, as it could effect my job. Starting from six years ago... it was very very rough from the start. It got better when I hid it again but then when I stopped trying, about 4 years ago, there was a period where it was very hard. That probably lasted 6 months to a year. Now... it rarely comes up and when it does I just blow it off. I tend to be very blunt when someone tries to sneak in a conversion in anyway... and it keeps them from it most of the time.

 

Good luck... there might be a period of struggles but it should get better. Some members of your family may never talk to you again (my cousin -- like a brother to me growing up -- didn't talk to me for three years)... some will go through a phase and will "tolerate" you again after a time. I don't know and don't have answers... just keep your head up.

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...I've got no idea how they might react to it. I'm hoping they will find it extremely difficult to tell me I'm going to Hell. I am their own son after all! We'll just have to wait and see...

 

Howdy MathGuy,

 

Welcome. I loved the video - very thoughtful and you present well.

 

Hard to predict the future, since so much of christian behavior is dictated by rigid conformity to a "godly" response (whatever that means, since it changes depending on what part of the bible they decide to quote). If they follow some scripture, they'll disassociate from you. Others will show more genuine human warmth, the "luv" response. I hope you receive more warmth and understanding than I did, but bluntly, I think they'll flip out.

 

I totally understand your need to be honest with them - it's painful, but it allows for a more clean break with people who simply are too engulfed in the cult possibly to care about you as a person. I'm sure you want to know who is your real family and friends.

 

Take care. I really hope it goes better than my "coming out."

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I watched your video just now. I like the way you end it. You leave it hanging with two very important questions. You don't offer suggestions and you don't let them off the hook. It will be interesting to see how it comes off. Have they seen it yet?

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Well, I've sent them an email which includes the link to the video, and my mom's only response was to say that she has no response whatsoever to give in regards to the subject of my email. I take that to mean: she doesn't want to talk about it.

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That is sad. I don't know which is worse--cold indifference or scalding attacks. Neither leave you feeling loved and validated for who you are.

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