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Noggy
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Hello,

 

You all may not know me at all, but I know you a little. I've been frequenting this site for the past 4 or 5 months while I went through the painful process of going from a baptized pentecostal to my current state as a confused agnostic atheist. In that time I've read arguments from both sides, and as you can tell from my presence here, I've sided with ya'll, at least for now. I haven't been one for forums, but I need some advice.

 

I, of course, was in a semi-leadership position at the ASSemblies of God church I attended, and had to send in a resignation email when I decided that I could no longer fulfill the duties that I had. After a bit of email argueing back and forth, my pastor and I decided to agree to disagree while he was praying for me. Today I got an email, and I don't know how to respond.

 

A bit of information to help you help me:

 

I am 20 years old, in college and engaged. I went to this church for a little over a year and took a place on the worship team and as the official church money counter and usher leader. I went through a period of doubting and then deconversion from which I resigned from the church. The pastor is copastored by a semi-elderly man (60ish) and his son (28ish). He is a very kind, loving man. I don't want to ignore him, but I have no idea what to say. Thank you so much for your help :)

 

Hi Adam & Caroline, You have been on my heart lately, and I thought I would touch base with you. I don’t want to in any way minimize the questions you are currently experiencing, because we all have times when we see things in the Word that can cause us to think over what we believe. I believe that is part of the plan, in that God wants us to dig deep in His Word to find our answers. It is also plain in the Word that God wants us to want Him above all else, because when we had a face to face relationship with Him in the garden, man (not God) chose to break that relationship by distrusting and disobeying God. There is no one answer that I can give you for the questions you are raising, but as you said to me at one point, your faith was rooted in the premise of a loving God. I too have that premise as the foundation for my faith, and I am confidant that His love for you remains unchanged regardless of what you are feeling towards Him at this time. Just know that we all love you both and miss you. I will be praying that God will do whatever He needs to do to reveal Himself to you in a way that answers your questions. I hope you will stop by when you have a few moments and keep us posted on what is happening with you both. As I said, we love you both and would look forward to the opportunity to take you out to lunch or coffee when you have the time. God bless you both! - Pastor Dave

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Riogho, I understand your not wanting to be unkind to someone who has your interests at heart but is misguided. And it's not necessary to be unkind to him. He is probably genuinely worried about you and wishes there was a way to assuage your doubts. Unfortunately, if you have really gone through the critical thinking process of realizing that the Bible is full of crap, there will be no way to explain it to your former pastor in a satisfactory manner.

 

I think chosendarkness has the right idea. Thank him for his kind thoughts, and leave it at that. Do not encourage him in any way, and do not go to coffee or lunch with him as that will merely give him the idea that there is hope for drawing you back into the fold.

 

You don't even have to address that part. Just thank him for caring, tell him you're doing fine, and sign off.

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The letter is a polite vanilla last ditch attempt to make it seem you're at fault, it is the wayz of teh darkkk side. :twitch:

 

Notwithstanding the advice already given, unless you want to maintain strong friendship ties with him, they are always going to bring up the aspect of your loss of faith. These church friendships dissolve, no matter how strong they seem to be. You have lost the commonality that made it possible to be friends.

 

I assure you, they will move on w/o a second thought and so should you too.

 

Healing wounds should not be scratched and that is all a prolonged relationship will do.

 

I would not even answer the email.

 

There was someone here IIRC that was in a similar situation and it ended up with him being disciplined/discredited by the pastor in front of the whole church. When someone dedicated ditches the faith, they cannot swallow it as it trashes all their preconceived ideas of having once tasted the glory....blah blah

 

You will become the person they will warn other folk about to avoid at all costs. You are where you are as you have fallen foul to the deception of teh debbul. Logic exits the stage with their all powerful HS being able to hold you to the delusion.

 

For them, you having studied and reasoned this thing out for yourself is of no consequence.

 

When I first joined here, I was apprehensive and really found this site offensive. Now it is cool as we have this place which is our safe place and where we are allowed to tell them to go fuck themselves if they piss on our parade.

 

This is a good place of transition and you will make new friends here. In RL you will too I imagine.

 

Welcome to the real world ~ Morpheus

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Guest Xtech

Just don't reply.

 

Immediately go about replacing these people with others who you share interests with and who you find simpatico.

 

Best of luck to you, and hang in there.

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I don’t want to in any way minimize the questions you are currently experiencing, because we all have times when we see things in the Word that can cause us to think over what we believe. I believe that is part of the plan, in that God wants us to dig deep in His Word to find our answers. It is also plain in the Word that God wants us to want Him above all else, because when we had a face to face relationship with Him in the garden, man (not God) chose to break that relationship by distrusting and disobeying God. There is no one answer that I can give you for the questions you are raising, but as you said to me at one point, your faith was rooted in the premise of a loving God. I too have that premise as the foundation for my faith, and I am confidant that His love for you remains unchanged regardless of what you are feeling towards Him at this time. Just know that we all love you both and miss you. I will be praying that God will do whatever He needs to do to reveal Himself to you in a way that answers your questions. I hope you will stop by when you have a few moments and keep us posted on what is happening with you both. As I said, we love you both and would look forward to the opportunity to take you out to lunch or coffee when you have the time. God bless you both! - Pastor Dave

 

hi Riogho, Welcome! So glad to have you here!

 

I read the last part of this letter. Sounds exactly like the same responses I got for years! Bless their hearts. They just really believe. (like I did for years)

 

He sounds like he is letting you 'bow out gracefully'. That's nice. I also would just say thank you for understanding my 'Doubting Thomas Syndrome'.

 

I even went as far as asking my pastor (in my last letter, to continue to pray for me for my faith to grow!!)........Never happened.

 

Looking forward to hearing more from you! :grin:

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Hey Adam! Welcome to the boards! I'm always excited to see a fellow Ex-AoG on the boards. I was in the Assemblies of God from birth through age 19. I even spent a few semesters at Southwestern A/G University. I'd be thrilled to hear from you any time you want to vent. It's nice to know someone else has made it out of the mind-fuck that is the Pentecostal faith. Congratulations! Life gets better and better the longer you are out.

 

Your ex-pastor sounds like a very nice man who is reacting the most loving way he can. That's something to be thankful for. While I don't recommend having coffee with him just now, a short reply of "I appreciate your loving concern and will always hold fond memories of your leadership in my heart." or something like it will suffice.

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Pastor Dave sounds like a nice guy. Thank him for his concern and wish him well also. Continued contact is up to you, but in my opinion it is a prescription for unresolvable conflict. I don't recommend it.

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Alright guys. Thanks. I'll respond with a bit of pleasentries and thats it. I'll write it up and get back to you with his response.

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I'm with everyone on this.

Be polite. He seems like a nice guy.

 

However, you've decided that is not what you want in life. In the long term you can still maintain contact if you like.

In the short term I strongly advise against it.

You've only just started the path to true enlightenment and setting your mind free.

Till that takes hold you would be placing yourself in a position where you may not be able to handle just yet.

 

Stay around here for a while, get to know your feet and mind once its free and that will take time.

 

Once you're trained up and a full fledged soldier of the free mind, you can go de-convert him and his whole flock with logic, reason and powerful evidence...which they will not believe all the while living life using the things modern society has provided by those very things.

Deny the technology they will. Thrice before their DVD blows. :D

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This triggers me in so many ways... I happen to know a "Pastor Dave" from the Ass of God who has as son that is probably around 28 right now... except this guy is in NO WAY a good person.

 

Anyway, I'd personally just ignore this and move on. And the most I would ever do is respond as recommended above (if you feel compelled to respond at all).

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Just tell the guy that you, like Adam, are breaking up with "god." But that really cost Adam very little personally and who cares about his descendants, right? At least you're not bashing in your brother's head because the sacrifice didn't go well. Now go bang your (soon to be) wife and replace that kid like he didn't even matter.

 

mwc

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Sent this:

 

We're doing well. The summer weather is nice, and no classes is always good even though we are working a lot. Thank you for the well wishes and concern, but we are doing quite fine. We hope the same for you!

 

Adam & Caroline

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