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Feeling Uncertain And Uncomfortable At "home"


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So here's my dilemma -

 

Exactly 12 days ago I came out to my religious father about no longer being a Christian. He was deeply disturbed by it, mostly because I had told him my doubts started a long time ago and I was officially not a Christian more than 2 years ago. One of the first things he said was to not judge Christianity by Christians. I assured him that I wasn't. He spoke so passionately that my mother got defensive for me, telling him he needed to calm down. The last thing he said was, "will you read a book?"

 

I'm trying for us to come to an understanding as peacefully as possible so I agreed to read the book. The problem? ... It's a book that a friend gave me 5 years ago. I read it then, when I was first having my doubts, and it only made my doubts stronger. Some of you may be familiar with this book. It's Lee Strobel's "Case for Faith". Strobel is allegedly an ex-Atheist who became convinced of the holiness of Christ and God through a 2-year long "journalist investigation" where he interviewed scientists and philosophers.

 

My problem is that the book was published around 20 years after he became a Christian and none of his interviews are even sourced in the book. The wording is very "feely", concentrating more on emotions than anything. There are no scientific explanations or facts. I had to put the book down after reading 10 pages and skimming half the chapters. I haven't told my dad yet, but I'm sure he'll just freak out and/or hand me another book (possibly by the same author).

 

His entire manner about the situation has given me the impression that he's terrified I'm going to hell and that he has to convince me of just how real God is and Jesus was. He hasn't said anything to me about it since that first day that we spoke about it, but honestly....I feel on-edge and actually a bit scared of our next talk. My main fear is just ruining my relationship with my father. I know that I can counter almost anything he says and properly defend my doubts. I'm at home even less than I was before. I've been spending many nights at my boyfriend's house, but I know I won't be able to do that hardly at all once classes start again in the fall.

 

 

I'm sure many of you have been through a similar situation. I'm very glad that I only have one parent intent on shoving their religion back down my throat, but -- do you have any tips on dealing with this? :(

 

Thanks for reading.

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My fundy father gave me several books over time. I skimmed the first few and deflected serious discussion. The last two (attempts to disprove evolution) I read, made notes, and composed my (verbal) rebuttals. He stopped with the books after that.

 

They just never seem to imagine any other outcome than we read the book and immediately fall to our knees. A thoughtful, logical rebuttal apparently threw my dad enough to make him stop his rude behavior. He could finally see how firmly Satan had me in his grip :freak3:

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I'm afraid that may be the only possible outcome in my situation. He doesn't seem to find it possible to just respect the way I think. He simply MUST convince me that I'm wrong and make me think the way that he does. <_<

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He simply MUST convince me that I'm wrong and make me think the way that he does.

Yep, in my experience that's pretty much how it works with a number of them. Good luck with yours.

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I'm afraid that may be the only possible outcome in my situation. He doesn't seem to find it possible to just respect the way I think. He simply MUST convince me that I'm wrong and make me think the way that he does. <_<

Then tell him straight up that he has a choice to make. He can either have you around as a daughter or he can push you away as an evangelist but he can't have it both ways. Which is most important to him?

 

mwc

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Lee Strobel converted to Christianity in 1981. He conducted all of his interviews in The Case for Christ (his first "The Case for..." book) in 1998, with the possible exception of the first interview (with Dr. Craig Blomberg). That's 17 years between his conversion and his interviews. Also, to quote his bio at leestrobel.com, "He joined the staff of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL, in 1987, and later became a teaching pastor there." The Case for Faith was written in 2000, after The Case for Christ. He was not an atheist when he did the research about Christianity, and the softball questions he asks and the answers he easily accepts show that he was not all that interested in doing research, but to preach to the choir, to shore up the faith of other Christians. I, too, read it as a Christian and found it sorely lacking even back then.

 

As far as your dad, it depends on his personality and relationship with you, I guess. After I finally came out to my mother, I did look into some stuff she wanted me to read, and even went to talk to my old pastor. I told my mom that I would become a believer again if I could be convinced it was true, but I know that that will never happen as Christianity is so obviously false. She does put in her little plugs for Christianity from time to time in our conversations, and I tend not to respond as it would be pointless.

 

Respectfully,

Franciscan Monkey

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