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Finally Woke Up- Long Extimony

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The process that I went through from Christianity, to Weak Atheism took about 6 months. This was after 30 years of being a devout Christian. I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 5, and again several times later. I rededicated my life to Christ at least twice, once before heading to Bible College, and once at a Promise Keepers event. It is important to me, that others know I was a Christian. I was not “faking it”, and I did sincerely believe and accept Jesus as my savior.

 

The start of my doubts can be traced back to 2007, when I was confronted, for the first time, with the fact that the bible was not without error.

 

When I was working as a trainer for a bank, I had a banker thank me for the job I did, and give me a book. That book was “Misquoting Jesus” by Bart Erhman. I started to read it, and literally put it down in fear. I was not ready to accept all the contradictions and errors the bible was filled with. I looked for anything else that would disagree with Erhman, and found Josh McDowell’s book New Evidence that demands a verdict. I read that whole book, and accepting his conclusions without looking into his sources, I felt relief. I know see how I was willing to accept any “answer” not matter if it was true or factual, so long as it agreed with my faith stance.

 

Early in 2012 I found my own issue in the bible. In Hebrews, the writer quotes an Old Testament verse to support his argument that Christ was a little lower than the angels when he was on the earth. The problem is, the Old Testament does not say angels. It says God. This is no problem as far as my doctrine is concerned, but I was troubled by the fact the writer of Hebrews would change the word of God for the sake of making a point. Everyone I asked about this tried to explain that it did not matter doctrinally, but I did not care about that. I cared that Hebrews deliberately changed inspired word, and looked for any other instances that were similar. I found quite a few spots where NT authors misquoted, or totally made up quotes from the OT, that were inaccurate, untrue, or out of context, in order to make their point. This deeply troubled me. Sometimes the misquote would be a simple mistake, but if it was inspired by God should this have happened? The answers given to me were weak, supposing things not in the text, in order to justify or explain the trouble. None of it could be verified, either with the bible or even using extra biblical sources. The trouble with this is you can make up any “answer” you want, with no evidence, and make it “solve” a contradiction. Ex. When so and so said it was written in Jeremiah, and it is in Zachariah, the answer given was “in those days they called all the prophets Jeremiah” There is no evidence for this at all, and it is only postulated to resolve this misquotation.

 

I picked up the book by Erhman, and read through it all for the first time. I was amazed by all the things he showed, and troubled by the fact that all the answers McDowell and others were proposing were so weak. I re-read Evidence, and this time looked up his sources to see if he accurately quoted them. He did not. He took things out of context, and changed wording to make things appear more like solid fact instead of supposition. I then found a few rebuttals of his work and saw I was not the only one that noticed this happening. I looked up the sources on Erhman, and saw he was very accurate, and when he made a supposition he was clear it was a supposition. He was definitely predisposed to not believing the bible was historically accurate, but his reasons were far more substantiated.

 

This started me on a whirlwind of looking up other contradictions/issues, and answers from the Christian community for those issues, and reading other books from both Christian apologists, and non-believers.

 

I read tons of articles, watched many debates, looked up sources to check facts, and slowly began to accept that what I was taught about the bible may not have been true.

 

I do not think my parents, Sunday school teachers and others were deceiving me on purpose. They were indoctrinated into this the same way I was. When you are young, you believe whatever your parents tell you, and usually you will retain these beliefs for your whole life, unless something traumatic happens, or your beliefs are proven wrong in some way. In other words, they were simply putting their trust in those that taught them, as I did, and the same way all those that had come before them had.

 

Once I began to doubt the inerrancy of the bible, and saw that historically it is inaccurate as well, I was in a full blown crisis of faith. If I could not believe what the bible said was true, why did I believe in Jesus? I looked briefly at a few interpretations from “liberal” Christians, and saw how they stretched and wiggled the bible to mean something different that what it has always been thought to mean, in order to have it not contradict itself, or recent scientific evidence. This, to me, is even worse than what I had done by ignoring the problems in it with blind faith.

 

I decided at this point to read both sides again, look at the bible myself objectively and determine what I believed. Reading the bible without the presupposition that it is all truth, and the perfect word of God was an eye opener. I immediately saw all sorts of contradictions, terrible immoral actions by God, insane things God demanded, hopelessly primitive thoughts about the world, universe, and women, and so many other issues I was embarrassed I had never seen it before. As I found more issues, I saw how I would have justified them in the past, and how my reasoning would have been illogical, irrational, and borderline immoral. I can see that I did it, and how it helped me reinforce my beliefs, and how that made me feel better. I can also see how crazy that type of thinking appears to anyone that does not believe already.

 

I used to dismiss the other major religions of the world based on the fact that their scriptures were self refuting, contained primitive and immoral commands, and were basically “crazy” at face value. Now I see that if I am honest, Christianity is no different.

 

I watched many videos on YouTube from Atheists, Creationists, and debates about the existence of God. More and more I found myself agreeing with Atheists, and when I checked the sources and references, I kept finding they had accurate information, and the opposing theists did not. In my mind, I knew I had become an Agnostic at best, Atheist possibly, and did not know what to do. I simply did not, and could not believe in the bible as God’s word, or in the stories of Jesus, as God’s son. There is no evidence outside of the bible itself that agree with it, and the bible contradicts itself in so many places it is not reliable.

 

Finally I started reading blogs and testimonies of other Ex-Christians, and how many of them found the same things I did, and stopped believing. I was not the only one. I knew after all this that I had become a “weak” Atheist. I do not believe in any God, or gods, or anything supernatural, but I do not say there definitely is no god, because you cannot prove a negative statement. I may not be able to prove Santa Clause does not exist either, but since there is absolutely no evidence that he does, I live life accordingly.

 

I decided to tell my wife after 3 months of being an atheist, while still attending church, leading Sunday school classes, singing up front during worship times, trying to lead a men’s small group. I felt like such a hypocrite, but I did not know what to do. Every time I tried to talk about this issue with my wife, she became very uncomfortable, and would not engage with me. I could not continue to live a lie, and even though I knew how devastating it would be to all my friends and family, (literally everyone I knew), I had to be honest about where I was.

 

My original plan was to just tell my wife, and try to deal with it between us slowly. Maybe stop being so involved in church, and then starting to go to another church, and I would just stop going. Hindsight is 20/20 and I see now this left her in an awful place of no support and feeling alone. She pleaded with me to at least tell our parents, and I agreed.

 

Once we met with our parents, it quickly became clear that everyone in our lives would know by the end of the day. This was much faster than I had anticipated or wanted, and I was forced to send an e-mail to all our close friends and relatives in order to beat the “grapevine”. I was unprepared t do this and it was a clumsy email and took everyone by total surprise.

 

Now that the band-aid is ripped off, I get multiple questions around how this happened, or what made me lose my faith.

Right now the biggest thing I deal with is my wife's increased fervor for God, and how to deal with our three kids. My wife constantly reminds me that I made a commitment to raise our kids as Christians and I am the one that is changing, not her. I told her I would not interfere with that, but I would not participate in it anymore. She did not like that but has been learning to deal with it. I also feel almost compelled to do something to give my kids a chance of seeing through the lies of faith, so they will not be deluded like I was. If I do this, it will have to be subtle and non-confrontational. Right now I am looking for secular childrens books that will teach critical thinking, but not be overtly anti-religion.

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Welcome to ExC, BDPApostate.

 

Your post could serve as a how to manual for someone who wishes to search for the truth about Christianity. Well done!!

 

You said, "It is important to me, that others know I was a Christian. I was not “faking it”, and I did sincerely believe and accept Jesus as my savior." I think that the great lengths you went to to make your decision about Christianity is solid and irrefutable proof that you were, in fact, a Christian in every sense of the word. And, of course, that fact made it all the more difficult for you, and everyone else who went through what you did, to leave the religion behind. That includes me, by the way.

 

I hope things work out in your marriage and with your children.

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Hi BDP and welcome to the EX-C site. I can relate very much to a lot of your post...saved at 5 years old, sincere believer for more than 30 years, leading small groups, etc. Seeing the contradictions in the bible also played a role in my deconversion, but more than that I was simply willing to ask questions like "Does any of this exist outside of my own mind?".

 

I was lucky enough to deconvert with my wife. There are many husbands on this site who are married to fundy wives. You will find a lot of support here in that area.

 

I'm glad you are here. Stick around and make some friends smile.png

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^^^^I'm one of those guys still with a fundy. Well meaning and non-threatening fundy, but, well, you know. It aint easy, but if they're a keeper, you can make it work.

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I used to dismiss the other major religions of the world based on the fact that their scriptures were self refuting, contained primitive and immoral commands, and were basically “crazy” at face value. Now I see that if I am honest, Christianity is no different.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now that the band-aid is ripped off, I get multiple questions around how this happened, or what made me lose my faith.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Right now the biggest thing I deal with is my wife's increased fervor for God, and how to deal with our three kids.

Welcome to Ex-C, BDPA! I can relate a lot to your story--I was a committed Jesus Freak for my entire life, led worship and small groups, and so on. I too used to diss other religions for the same reasons you did. But when one starts examining the evidence and the many problems with the Biblical "record", not to mention examining our own faith with the same rigor as other faiths, the house of cards comes undone. It's a pretty brutal process.

 

My husband is going through his own process--maybe he's a "sad agnostic", while I am a happy atheist--but I know it's especially tough for wives whose husbands deconvert. For most Christian women, I believe, their primary concern in marriage is having a "godly husband" and a "Christian family". So when this fizzles/changes, the earth literally shifts beneath their feet. I hope your wife can see that you're the same person. My parents and parents-in-law don't know yet about the extent of my difficulties with the Christian faith, but I guess it'll become increasingly clear. I am becoming a better person as a demonstration that when one loses faith, they don't go to pot.

 

Anyhow, stick around! Great to meet you!

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I just read your entire post (I skimmed through it earlier). Just wanted to let you know Im in pretty much the exact same situation you're in, as are half a dozen ( at least) others of us who are active on here. Let me know if you have any ??s, I'd be glad to try and answer them or help in any way I can.

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Thanks for the encouraging words all!

My wife and I love each other dearly, and we both think it will be much better for our kids if we can works things out. The hardest part for me is trying to keep silent around family and friends with my unbelief, because it is still too hurtful for them to hear the reasons. ( And I suspect it challenges their faith too much). In the mean time, new pictures of jesus get put on the wall, new bible verses get "left" out on the counter, and even a mention of any type of science related information is taken as me forcing my atheism on my family.

I hope this will lesson as time heals the hurt my family/friends feel, and eventually I may even be able to get them to look at some of the information I did, with an open mind.

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I just read your entire post (I skimmed through it earlier). Just wanted to let you know Im in pretty much the exact same situation you're in, as are half a dozen ( at least) others of us who are active on here. Let me know if you have any ??s, I'd be glad to try and answer them or help in any way I can.

 

Thanks alot. yellow.gif

I noticed some posts about coming out to spouses and I agree that there seems to be a nice size group of people in similar situations.

This forum is a good way for me to vent about things I can't with my wife right now.

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If Ehrman rocked your boat then Earl Doherty, Richard Carrier, and Robert Price will rock your world. My story and ultimate de-conversion is not unlike yours. The writers I referenced will likely convince you that God and Jesus are myths and the bible is simply a collection of myths, legends, and parables. Price can convincingly demonstrate that the New Testament is more than likely a midrash rewrite of the Old Testament.

 

I highly recommend Earl Doherty’s book The Jesus Puzzle. My big hurdle was Paul and his epistles. Doherty places Paul’s writing in a completely different context that makes more sense than anything I’d ever read. I am also unequally yoked. Since we've been married for 47 years we've basically agree not to disucss my new status. I still go to church with her and pretend to be interested and that, at least so far, appears to be sufficient enough to preserve the peace and tranquility of our home.

 

Since I was the one that changed I feel some responsibility to meet her more than half way in finding an acceptable solution to our dilemma. I guess I'm forunate that Christians, and the Christian environment, simply don't bother me. I can easily tolerate going to Church once a week. If I can sit through a chick flick and a irrelevant business meeting I can surely sit through a boring church service for an hour once a week. I think I at least owe her that much, but that's just me.

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If Ehrman rocked your boat then Earl Doherty, Richard Carrier, and Robert Price will rock your world. My story and ultimate de-conversion is not unlike yours. The writers I referenced will likely convince you that God and Jesus are myths and the bible is simply a collection of myths, legends, and parables. Price can convincingly demonstrate that the New Testament is more than likely a midrash rewrite of the Old Testament.

 

I highly recommend Earl Doherty’s book The Jesus Puzzle. My big hurdle was Paul and his epistles. Doherty places Paul’s writing in a completely different context that makes more sense than anything I’d ever read. I am also unequally yoked. Since we've been married for 47 years we've basically agree not to disucss my new status. I still go to church with her and pretend to be interested and that, at least so far, appears to be sufficient enough to preserve the peace and tranquility of our home.

 

Since I was the one that changed I feel some responsibility to meet her more than half way in finding an acceptable solution to our dilemma. I guess I'm forunate that Christians, and the Christian environment, simply don't bother me. I can easily tolerate going to Church once a week. If I can sit through a chick flick and a irrelevant business meeting I can surely sit through a boring church service for an hour once a week. I think I at least owe her that much, but that's just me.

 

 

^^^^^THIS

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Oi vey!!!

 

I'm glad my wife's a former Christian as well. I sort of skipped over having to deal with a believer / non-believer relationship. Best of luck to you my friend and I hope all works out accordingly.

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The process that I went through from Christianity, to Weak Atheism took about 6 months. This was after 30 years of being a devout Christian. I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 5, and again several times later. I rededicated my life to Christ at least twice, once before heading to Bible College, and once at a Promise Keepers event. It is important to me, that others know I was a Christian. I was not “faking it”, and I did sincerely believe and accept Jesus as my savior.

 

The start of my doubts can be traced back to 2007, when I was confronted, for the first time, with the fact that the bible was not without error.

 

When I was working as a trainer for a bank, I had a banker thank me for the job I did, and give me a book. That book was “Misquoting Jesus” by Bart Erhman. I started to read it, and literally put it down in fear. I was not ready to accept all the contradictions and errors the bible was filled with. I looked for anything else that would disagree with Erhman, and found Josh McDowell’s book New Evidence that demands a verdict. I read that whole book, and accepting his conclusions without looking into his sources, I felt relief. I know see how I was willing to accept any “answer” not matter if it was true or factual, so long as it agreed with my faith stance.

 

Early in 2012 I found my own issue in the bible. In Hebrews, the writer quotes an Old Testament verse to support his argument that Christ was a little lower than the angels when he was on the earth. The problem is, the Old Testament does not say angels. It says God. This is no problem as far as my doctrine is concerned, but I was troubled by the fact the writer of Hebrews would change the word of God for the sake of making a point. Everyone I asked about this tried to explain that it did not matter doctrinally, but I did not care about that. I cared that Hebrews deliberately changed inspired word, and looked for any other instances that were similar. I found quite a few spots where NT authors misquoted, or totally made up quotes from the OT, that were inaccurate, untrue, or out of context, in order to make their point. This deeply troubled me. Sometimes the misquote would be a simple mistake, but if it was inspired by God should this have happened? The answers given to me were weak, supposing things not in the text, in order to justify or explain the trouble. None of it could be verified, either with the bible or even using extra biblical sources. The trouble with this is you can make up any “answer” you want, with no evidence, and make it “solve” a contradiction. Ex. When so and so said it was written in Jeremiah, and it is in Zachariah, the answer given was “in those days they called all the prophets Jeremiah” There is no evidence for this at all, and it is only postulated to resolve this misquotation.

 

I picked up the book by Erhman, and read through it all for the first time. I was amazed by all the things he showed, and troubled by the fact that all the answers McDowell and others were proposing were so weak. I re-read Evidence, and this time looked up his sources to see if he accurately quoted them. He did not. He took things out of context, and changed wording to make things appear more like solid fact instead of supposition. I then found a few rebuttals of his work and saw I was not the only one that noticed this happening. I looked up the sources on Erhman, and saw he was very accurate, and when he made a supposition he was clear it was a supposition. He was definitely predisposed to not believing the bible was historically accurate, but his reasons were far more substantiated.

 

This started me on a whirlwind of looking up other contradictions/issues, and answers from the Christian community for those issues, and reading other books from both Christian apologists, and non-believers.

 

I read tons of articles, watched many debates, looked up sources to check facts, and slowly began to accept that what I was taught about the bible may not have been true.

 

I do not think my parents, Sunday school teachers and others were deceiving me on purpose. They were indoctrinated into this the same way I was. When you are young, you believe whatever your parents tell you, and usually you will retain these beliefs for your whole life, unless something traumatic happens, or your beliefs are proven wrong in some way. In other words, they were simply putting their trust in those that taught them, as I did, and the same way all those that had come before them had.

 

Once I began to doubt the inerrancy of the bible, and saw that historically it is inaccurate as well, I was in a full blown crisis of faith. If I could not believe what the bible said was true, why did I believe in Jesus? I looked briefly at a few interpretations from “liberal” Christians, and saw how they stretched and wiggled the bible to mean something different that what it has always been thought to mean, in order to have it not contradict itself, or recent scientific evidence. This, to me, is even worse than what I had done by ignoring the problems in it with blind faith.

 

I decided at this point to read both sides again, look at the bible myself objectively and determine what I believed. Reading the bible without the presupposition that it is all truth, and the perfect word of God was an eye opener. I immediately saw all sorts of contradictions, terrible immoral actions by God, insane things God demanded, hopelessly primitive thoughts about the world, universe, and women, and so many other issues I was embarrassed I had never seen it before. As I found more issues, I saw how I would have justified them in the past, and how my reasoning would have been illogical, irrational, and borderline immoral. I can see that I did it, and how it helped me reinforce my beliefs, and how that made me feel better. I can also see how crazy that type of thinking appears to anyone that does not believe already.

 

I used to dismiss the other major religions of the world based on the fact that their scriptures were self refuting, contained primitive and immoral commands, and were basically “crazy” at face value. Now I see that if I am honest, Christianity is no different.

 

I watched many videos on YouTube from Atheists, Creationists, and debates about the existence of God. More and more I found myself agreeing with Atheists, and when I checked the sources and references, I kept finding they had accurate information, and the opposing theists did not. In my mind, I knew I had become an Agnostic at best, Atheist possibly, and did not know what to do. I simply did not, and could not believe in the bible as God’s word, or in the stories of Jesus, as God’s son. There is no evidence outside of the bible itself that agree with it, and the bible contradicts itself in so many places it is not reliable.

 

Finally I started reading blogs and testimonies of other Ex-Christians, and how many of them found the same things I did, and stopped believing. I was not the only one. I knew after all this that I had become a “weak” Atheist. I do not believe in any God, or gods, or anything supernatural, but I do not say there definitely is no god, because you cannot prove a negative statement. I may not be able to prove Santa Clause does not exist either, but since there is absolutely no evidence that he does, I live life accordingly.

 

I decided to tell my wife after 3 months of being an atheist, while still attending church, leading Sunday school classes, singing up front during worship times, trying to lead a men’s small group. I felt like such a hypocrite, but I did not know what to do. Every time I tried to talk about this issue with my wife, she became very uncomfortable, and would not engage with me. I could not continue to live a lie, and even though I knew how devastating it would be to all my friends and family, (literally everyone I knew), I had to be honest about where I was.

 

My original plan was to just tell my wife, and try to deal with it between us slowly. Maybe stop being so involved in church, and then starting to go to another church, and I would just stop going. Hindsight is 20/20 and I see now this left her in an awful place of no support and feeling alone. She pleaded with me to at least tell our parents, and I agreed.

 

Once we met with our parents, it quickly became clear that everyone in our lives would know by the end of the day. This was much faster than I had anticipated or wanted, and I was forced to send an e-mail to all our close friends and relatives in order to beat the “grapevine”. I was unprepared t do this and it was a clumsy email and took everyone by total surprise.

 

Now that the band-aid is ripped off, I get multiple questions around how this happened, or what made me lose my faith.

Right now the biggest thing I deal with is my wife's increased fervor for God, and how to deal with our three kids. My wife constantly reminds me that I made a commitment to raise our kids as Christians and I am the one that is changing, not her. I told her I would not interfere with that, but I would not participate in it anymore. She did not like that but has been learning to deal with it. I also feel almost compelled to do something to give my kids a chance of seeing through the lies of faith, so they will not be deluded like I was. If I do this, it will have to be subtle and non-confrontational. Right now I am looking for secular childrens books that will teach critical thinking, but not be overtly anti-religion.

 

Welcome :-)

 

You have indeed given your children a chance of seeing through the lies of faith by leaving the faith yourself. Your wife may teach them Christianity but they will be aware of how you feel about it as well. Because of you they will learn to question everything and when they bring biblical inconsistencies to you then you can ask them to think of several reasons why that is so? You don't have to say 'the bible is bullshit' but just that you don't believe in the bible like your mother does. It's ok to think differently and it is certainly ok to think for yourself.

 

Does your wife fear your agnostic/atheistic teaching could somehow be more powerful than the almighty Jesus? :-) Hmmm.

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BDPApostate,

 

I'm Mick. I enjoyed reading your deconversion story very much. I was a born again christian, for 17 years, married to very strict evangelical wife, three kids who were 10, 9, and 7 at the time. I deconverted at that time for very similar reasons to you. And I was a Deacon, adult Bible Studay teacher, discipler, the whole nine yards. It all fell apart for me, but I am still married 7 years later, my wife is still very religious but we have come to a point where we mostly respect and truly love each other. (maybe I got lucky on this because I hear alot of different outcomes than mine. We live in the liberal Northeast where religion is very weak in society, and I think that really helped me at maintaining my family.

 

The best part for me is that my kids chose reason over Born Again Christianity. NONE of them are "believers". Without a brainwashed dad, at least in the Northeast, I think the kids have no chance at staying brainwashed.

 

I'm quite happy today.

 

Welcome. Mick

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Hi, BDPApostate. Your deconversion story is similar to mine, in that the Bible literally fell apart and then a person is left to try to figure out what to do next. It is rough but definitely gets better. Welcome to Ex-C.

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Hello, BDPApostate. I'm yet another one of those that deconverted, but is still married to a fundy/evangelical Christian spouse. As others have noted, you have plenty of support here. Welcome to Ex-C!

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From another former Promise Keeper, welcome! (But I still keep my promises as husband and father!).

 

I continue to be amazed by the similar stories posted. I had the same coming out experience as you did. With Facebook and all, my wife had everyone praying for me, people wanting to meet and "help" me, within days. It got nuts. I soon learned I had to send the signal that I was NOT doing that.

 

Like your wife, mine has become more active. She is now at the church whenever the door opens. When I was a believer and the production director of our church she only went about 50 percent of the time and knocked me for my dedication! It may be worthwhile for those of us in the unequally yoked club to figure out why this happens.

 

I get those hints around the house also. The worst was not so hidden when she got my kindle and downloaded a lee Strobel book to it! It is now password protected!

 

My 3 kids are all grown. 2 are believers and my youngest age 21 is like me. Of course I get blamed for that. My son in seminary is my primary worry. 2012 has been an amazing crazy year.

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BDPApostate,

 

I'm Mick. I enjoyed reading your deconversion story very much. I was a born again christian, for 17 years, married to very strict evangelical wife, three kids who were 10, 9, and 7 at the time. I deconverted at that time for very similar reasons to you. And I was a Deacon, adult Bible Studay teacher, discipler, the whole nine yards. It all fell apart for me, but I am still married 7 years later, my wife is still very religious but we have come to a point where we mostly respect and truly love each other. (maybe I got lucky on this because I hear alot of different outcomes than mine. We live in the liberal Northeast where religion is very weak in society, and I think that really helped me at maintaining my family.

 

The best part for me is that my kids chose reason over Born Again Christianity. NONE of them are "believers". Without a brainwashed dad, at least in the Northeast, I think the kids have no chance at staying brainwashed.

 

I'm quite happy today.

 

Welcome. Mick

That is encouraging!

My wife blew up at me on Sunday morning because I was listening to Jane's addiction on Pandora....had'nt heard them in a long time and she flew off the handle.

Can't have that "evil" music in the house! That was not a good day...

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The funny thing is that before my deconversion, I was also more dedicated to "god" , than my wife was. She still listened to secular music, and swore, and I did not do "those" things at all. I still don't swear, but that is more out of habit than thinking its a sin.

Now I listen to a band from a long time ago, and she freaks out thinking that somehow this is introducing something "evil" into the house.

I corrected her and pointed out that she listens to more secular music than I do still, and the only reason she thinks this was evil, is because "the evil atheist" was doing it.

She had to think about that one for a bit. Then she says, "Your right. I am going to stop listening to secular music. "

That was not what I wanted..... and I told her so. I just wanted to point out the double standard and make her see fact that she is ascribing "bad" to me that is just not there.

Does this get better?

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Welcome! I definitely relate to your experience. I don't know about books for kids so much. I'm of the opinion that being open about why you don't believe is the best example for your kids. As the parent you have to determine how deep the conversation can be.

 

My comprimise with my wife is that my kids will go to church and a christian school, since we had agreed to that before I lost my faith, but I will be open about why I don't believe. Showing them science and reason with evidence are the best tools you can give them.

 

I wish you the best with your marriage. When I told my wife, she decided to divorce me. But, a few months ago relized that she would end up destroying our family over, what amounts to, a difference of opinion. We're still together and she reads my atheist blog.

I don't expect her to change, but we now respect each others beliefs (or lack thereof).

 

I'd encourage you to find others that know what your dealing with. Online fourms were a great help for me. You might also see if there's a recovering from religion group in your area, or connect with local skeptic groups through meetup.com

 

Your wife may be uncomfortable with you meeting with local groups, but I would argue that you need others that share your beliefs, just like she does. If you don't make a big deal about her and the kids going to church, then why shouldn't you be allowed to be with other skeptics?

 

Well, glad to have you here. Good luck with the road ahead.

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Welcome, BDPApostate. I read your post and I'm in a similar situation. Unequally yoked, young kids, etc. The main difference is that I have not yet come out to my immediate family (dad, sister, etc.), just my wife, who has told many of our friends and her family.

 

Anyway, I can tell you that there will be ups and downs, but both of you are going to go through a grief process. You will be mourning certain losses. She is mourning the loss of her hopes and dreams of having a spiritual leader in the house, someone to pray and read the bible with, etc. You are mourning the loss of your old belief system and likely having to deal with the choices you made as a direct result of that belief system. This could include your choice of spouse, your career, your moral decisions, etc. Don't run from the mourning; embrace it. This is a place you can share these things, but you might also look into finding local groups of ex-c's or freethinkers you can hang out with (meetup.com is a good resource).

 

If you don't mind, I'll just use your extimony as a chance to do some venting here myself. Recently my wife told me that she is willing to listen to me ask the questions that I have struggled with, but she is not willing to ask herself those questions. She might tell me what she thinks about any of my questions, but if I challenge that answer in any way she feels like I am interrogating her. On the one hand, I get the avoidance part because that's where I was for a long time. On the other hand, it makes me lose some respect for her because it seems to me that she is living in fear rather than courageously pursuing truth. It's profoundly disappointing to know that your spouse won't walk alongside you. I've even told her that I don't mind if she stays a Christian, I just think it's important for us to ask ourselves difficult questions and have some sort of basis for why we believe what we believe. This does not seem to matter. And yet, I don't want to leave her. A big part of that is our kids, but she is still a good person in many other ways. Still, I have found myself asking these last couple of days what will happen to us after the kids grow up? Will there be enough there to keep the relationship going? I honestly don't know right now, and that's a very scary place to be. We are going to counseling, so hopefully that will help.

 

Anyway, welcome again. Take advantage of this as a resource for you. I have found it to be quite valuable.

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Welcome, BDPApostate. I read your post and I'm in a similar situation. Unequally yoked, young kids, etc. The main difference is that I have not yet come out to my immediate family (dad, sister, etc.), just my wife, who has told many of our friends and her family.

 

Anyway, I can tell you that there will be ups and downs, but both of you are going to go through a grief process. You will be mourning certain losses. She is mourning the loss of her hopes and dreams of having a spiritual leader in the house, someone to pray and read the bible with, etc. You are mourning the loss of your old belief system and likely having to deal with the choices you made as a direct result of that belief system. This could include your choice of spouse, your career, your moral decisions, etc. Don't run from the mourning; embrace it. This is a place you can share these things, but you might also look into finding local groups of ex-c's or freethinkers you can hang out with (meetup.com is a good resource).

 

If you don't mind, I'll just use your extimony as a chance to do some venting here myself. Recently my wife told me that she is willing to listen to me ask the questions that I have struggled with, but she is not willing to ask herself those questions. She might tell me what she thinks about any of my questions, but if I challenge that answer in any way she feels like I am interrogating her. On the one hand, I get the avoidance part because that's where I was for a long time. On the other hand, it makes me lose some respect for her because it seems to me that she is living in fear rather than courageously pursuing truth. It's profoundly disappointing to know that your spouse won't walk alongside you. I've even told her that I don't mind if she stays a Christian, I just think it's important for us to ask ourselves difficult questions and have some sort of basis for why we believe what we believe. This does not seem to matter. And yet, I don't want to leave her. A big part of that is our kids, but she is still a good person in many other ways. Still, I have found myself asking these last couple of days what will happen to us after the kids grow up? Will there be enough there to keep the relationship going? I honestly don't know right now, and that's a very scary place to be. We are going to counseling, so hopefully that will help.

 

Anyway, welcome again. Take advantage of this as a resource for you. I have found it to be quite valuable.

I have been going to a local CFI meeting on Sunday's, and it has been nice. I wonder the same things you do about how much we really have in common, and other than wanting to make sure the kids have a stable home, Christianity was THE major thing that always held our marriage together. If we had really bad disagreements, we always fell back on "god" meant for us to be together, and we "had" to work it out.

Now I feel like she sees me as the bad guy, and the one who changed everything. I cant say I blame her for feeling this way, but I hope she can get past it. I am not sure how to have a good relationship with someone that no longer trusts my motives, and thinks I am possibly controlled by, or influenced by Satan.

Mostly I hope she will see me as the same person I have always been, just not with the same belief about things supernatural.

I did do the changing, but unless she does too, at least in how she "sees" me, I am not sure there is light at the end of this tunnel.

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Welcome to EX-c BDPApostate! yellow.gif

 

My friends have heard me say this a million times......I would not be even be 'half sane' if I hadn't of had Ex-c to turn to in ther last couple of years.!!

 

Stay with us and we'll help you along your journey...it's not the easiest one...but every step you take makes you free'er and free'er!!

 

You have lots of 'like-minded' people here. We are learning how to live in the big world of believers, together! Post all your concerns and we'll try to help! It's gonna be OK.

 

Sincerely, Margee

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Being unequally yoked is a big problem for both of you because of the way in which some churches may pressure people to be responsible for their spouses 'salvation', and also for their own sakes as they may be living with the fear of the one they love being burned eternally.

 

The bible speaks about sticking with your bride/groom if they are not a 'believer', and also remind her positively of all the qualities of love, which includes patience (long suffering) and empathic love. Perhaps just being loving will keep the flame flowing :)

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The funny thing is that before my deconversion, I was also more dedicated to "god" , than my wife was. She still listened to secular music, and swore, and I did not do "those" things at all. I still don't swear, but that is more out of habit than thinking its a sin.

Now I listen to a band from a long time ago, and she freaks out thinking that somehow this is introducing something "evil" into the house.

I corrected her and pointed out that she listens to more secular music than I do still, and the only reason she thinks this was evil, is because "the evil atheist" was doing it.

She had to think about that one for a bit. Then she says, "Your right. I am going to stop listening to secular music. "

That was not what I wanted..... and I told her so. I just wanted to point out the double standard and make her see fact that she is ascribing "bad" to me that is just not there.

Does this get better?

 

This is also very common. My wife is way more devout then she ever was, and believes more "extremely" in the "promises" of the Bible. (Like healing, miracles, supernatural) BUT for some reason we have reached a "happy place" with each other, and got to unshackle myself from the "mind trap". I listen to the Rolling Stones all the time now. She used to hate it when I did, but even that kind of mutual acceptance of each other came eventually. Even the fact that the kids don't believe or go to church is accepted by her, when once it was a big problem. (like 6 years ago)

 

It will be OK, no matter what. Just because, WE choose things to be OK. We all need a positive attitude and we need to remember that there are great amazing things about life and existence. And this is our one chance so let's do it!

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Thanks for sharing. I was a bit stunned that your deconversion was so quick, 6 months. Better to get it over with quickly right? My wife eventually followed me out of Christainity, but it was a rather long process of about 5 years. I didn't push her, or spend much time talking about why I was leaving the church. What basically happened is she started going to church less and less, we stopped praying together, our coversations became less focused on church stuff, etc., and her deconversion just came naturally.

 

Now we have much more to talk about, and it's wonderful to be seeing life from the same perspective.

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