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Serious Family Issues


BabyZeus
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Ok, this is my first time posting on this board. I've been lurking for a while but I feel like I need to vent right now, and any advice would be appreciated. Let me start by saying I am a fully de-converted Christian, and have been fully deconverted for two years now. It has been a long and painful process, but I am finally very comfortable with my beliefs and every changing view point.

 

I'm a P.K. and grew up spending most of my time in a charismatic church in South Carolina. My childhood bares a strikingly close resemblance to "Jesus Camp". I was brainwashed from the get-go, my parents being about as fundamentalist as you can get. I got the whole works, and didn't have a shot in hell (no pun intended) of believing anything other than what I was told all my life. They went so far as to home-school me so I wouldn't be warped by the public education system. Fast forward to high-school, I pretty much give up the pentecostal lifestyle, and start going to the baptist church which my christian school was a part of.

 

In college, I started drinking and smoking weed, listening to cool music. I met really good friends who weren't christians, and first the first time in my life found out non christians were way more fun to be around than christian people.

 

Through a process of research and hard thinking, I slowly began to deconvert over the next two years. I stopped going to church, and spent hours and hours reading about the origins of the bible, mythology, and philosophy.

 

Let me back up. I have been an only child for the majority of my life. My senior year of high school my family decided to adopt my biological second cousin because his mom (my first cousin) had major alcohol and drug problems and could not take care of him. He was one year old at the time. I think it was a great idea and I have no doubt that he will have a better childhood than he would have had if we had not have adopted him. However, a few years later I have completely changed and no longer feel the same way I once did about our family's lifestyle.

 

He is five years old now, and it breaks my heart that he will be subjected to the same amount of brainwashing and hijacking that I went through. My dad is a children's minister, and he will believe everything they tell him without question. I've tried to talk with my parents about how looking back I wish I would have been able to decide for myself what I want to believe. They don't understand.

 

Most people in my circle in South Carolina do not ever escape this religion. They are either completely a part of it and remain fundamentalist, or struggle with guilt their entire lives because they think they are living in sin. Hardly anyone breaks free like me with no shame, and comes to full realization that christianity is a lie.

 

I know that he will be loved and cared for and have an overall healthy childhood, my parents are nice people.

 

My question is, is there anything I could do or should be doing? Or do I have to allow my brother to endure that until he is college age and can figure it out on his own. Is there anything I can say to my parents to help them understand? If I didn't have my 5 year old brothers best interest at heart, this would be a non-isssue. I would likely never discuss religion with my parents, and let it go. But now I have someone else to think about. I love my brother with all my heart and makes me both angry and depressed when I look and see the exact childhood I wen through. Sure ignorance is bliss, but looking back It isn't right for children to have to go through what I went through. Can you offer some advice?

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Be his friend, say what you can when you can and take him cool places.

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Just try to be a good influence. If you try to usurp your parents it will only go down bad and remove any influence you could have once had. Just be there for him and in time as he asks questions he will know your side of the equation and begin to work through the issues himself. It'll probably take a long time but in the end it is probably the best hand to play.

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Hi, BabyZeus, and welcome to ExC.

 

I agree completely with your description of Christianity in South Carolina. It's wall-to-wall fundy land here and, it is so true that so few people truly break free from the mind-trap.

 

I have to agree with what the others have said about what you can do for your little brother. You really can't usurp your parents' parental authority as I doubt they would stand for it and it could cause you problems with your relationship with your brother. But you can be there for him and in the long run that will make a difference in his life. Just model life without Jesus for him so he can see for himself that there is life outside of Christianity.

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Hi, BabyZeus, and welcome to ExC.

 

I agree completely with your description of Christianity in South Carolina. It's wall-to-wall fundy land here and, it is so true that so few people truly break free from the mind-trap.

 

I have to agree with what the others have said about what you can do for your little brother. You really can't usurp your parents' parental authority as I doubt they would stand for it and it could cause you problems with your relationship with your brother. But you can be there for him and in the long run that will make a difference in his life. Just model life without Jesus for him so he can see for himself that there is life outside of Christianity.

 

Yea, one thing I need to work on is being extra conscious of how I act, making sure I am always "christ-like" without christ so to speak. If he finds out I'm not a christian but can't identify one thing worse off than my parents I think that will be a good start. I'm going to try to not bring up religion anymore at home and just be myself. When the questions come from him at a later age (probably not much later) I will be honest. It sucks because I'm at school an hour away and I very rarely get to see him.

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BabyZeus,

 

Dare to love your brother as he surely loves you, unconditionally, for no-thing, love for the sake of love, no strings. An open heart communicates truth in ways that are not evident and to which we may not be privy. Things do not work themselves out in ways in which we think they ought, but thing do work themselves out way they must.

 

just as Darklady suggest "Be his friend, say what you can when you can and take him cool places." An open heart burns white hot for not-thing in return. Only a "burning" heart looking for some-thing will suffer burn-out.

 

You made it to where you are, so will he make it to where he needs to be. Just love him and contribute where you can. Who knows maybe you'll be privy to how your truth help to set him free in ways unfathomable.

 

Life is really good--when we drop our story line and "pay" attention,

 

saner

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Older brothers have a huge influence over their younger brothers just by taking an interest in their lives. So just do that. As long as you don't play into the stereotypical roles xians create for non-believers then he should be able to see through anything he is told.

 

mwc

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I'll say what I said in your other thread: you're the "older brother," you expose him to different modes of thought.

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His situation in the family isn't like yours while you were growing up -- you didn't have a big brother like you! :Medal:

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