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Meeting Up With Past Christian Friends


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It's been about 5 years now since I deconverted, although it was a long and somewhat gradual process.  My husband is still a believer altho  we live peacefully together for the most part. I doubt he's truly accepted that I have deconverted and likely holds on to the belief that I will 'come back to my senses' eventually. He stopped going to church about the same time I did altho I never encouraged him to. We havn't been in contact with many of the circle of christian friends and in many social situations with christians as we used to for a long time. Yesterday, however, we were invited to a wedding reception for a friends son getting married next month. I knew that this would be awkward as everyone there were fundamentalist believers - mostly from her church.  It wasn't as bad as it could have been but I found it 'eye- rolling' as i heard cliche after cliche about god's intervention etc. The language of the christian tribe, christianese... I was happy to finally get out of there. I didn't really argue or make too many comments - most people probably think we're still 'in', even if not going to a church (we'll pray for you)... it just didn't seem like the right setting to expose what I really thought - I hate being ganged up on and I just wanted to go to support our friends. There were some there that I never particularly connected with even when I was a believer. They just seem so patronizing and disingenuous when appearing as if they are really concerned and interested in your life. I think it has to do with the idea I was led to believe that we can love people (desiring their best) without necessarily feeling anything. That  it's our 'duty' to love and reach out to people as believers even if we really aren't interested in them. I feel freed from that now. Today I try to be more honest in my show of concern and interest in people altho, sometimes of course, there are times to make small talk with strangers but for the most part, I really try to learn from people I talk to and not just out of a sense of 'ministry' or trying to reach them for some 'god' purpose.

 

I just had to throw this out there as I continue to learn how to deal with my life now. I really want to become more bold and confident in what I know and believe now. I actually feel much more confident in my knowledge of life and world view then I ever did as a Christian - especially because it just makes sense!

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I personally look forward to meeting up with Christian friends I haven't seen in some time. Christians generally live in an unchallenged bubble. They surround themselves with other Christians for the most part. I look forward to sharing my thoughts about the faith if they ask although I tread gently. Just to say that "I've reconsidered the faith and moved on," and if they press for more, share it. If not. Enjoy time with a friend.

 

Maybe some or one of them have questions too? Maybe not? Either way. It's good just to reconnect with friends.

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 I actually feel much more confident in my knowledge of life and world view then I ever did as a Christian - especially because it just makes sense!

 

This same thought occurred to me the other day too.  I feel like for the first time in my life, I know exactly what I believe because there is no dichotomy between what I am supposed to believe and what I truly believe.

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I like your approach, Lifecycle, I really feel more emboldened than ever to be more forthcoming with my worldview now and your statement "I've reconsidered the faith and moved on," is perfect.  I remember watching a star trek episode where one of the main characters said "IYou are re-examining your core beliefs, something we should all do from time to time" and yet as a christian we are taught to run away from doubt and questioning because those thoughts are from satan.  Thanks for the encouragement ... I think I'll use your line next time I'm in that situation.

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I've had two invites to get together with old Christian friends since I renounced christianity in 2011, I did not attend. I would need to maintain emotional detachment and I don't think I could do that.

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I like your approach, Lifecycle, I really feel more emboldened than ever to be more forthcoming with my worldview now and your statement "I've reconsidered the faith and moved on," is perfect.  I remember watching a star trek episode where one of the main characters said "IYou are re-examining your core beliefs, something we should all do from time to time" and yet as a christian we are taught to run away from doubt and questioning because those thoughts are from satan.  Thanks for the encouragement ... I think I'll use your line next time I'm in that situation.

Haha, yup! Doubt is baaaaaad!!! Makes sense now though, doesn't it? Flee from the doubt because it can lead to enlightenment - or in other words, you leaving the faith. Can't have that! They have bills to pay!

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I'm still a pretty new deconvert, but here are a couple of my thoughts.

As a Christian I was not very bold. I mean not brash. I was fiery for a couple years in my early 20s, something I later became quite embarrassed about, even as a Christian. I put that off as a couple of influences in my life at that time.

But most of the time I was not 'bold' with nonChristians either. This may or may not be true for you. I think we get to thinking like Christians about all this: where being bold is supposed to be a virtue, and compromising to preserve relationships is a vice. That is Christian thinking, in my opinion. I'm proud of the fact I can navigate life multidimensionally and still try to preserve relationships. The problem with many fundamentalist Christians is they are, as you described, extremely one-dimensional.

One thing I've experienced since deconversion is the freedom to be multidimensional, appreciate things as they are, appreciate friends for being friends. You are absolutely right, in my opinion, about the idea of Christian love. We can't love people we don't know very well. But you're supposed to, out of loyalty to their tribe.

Going back to an event full of Christianese could be problematic. Very probably would be, in my case, and I read your post sitting here nodding my head yes.

RE: your hubby not going to church anymore? i don't know if this applies, but in my case, my Wife said She "never wanted to be one of those women," meaning the woman whose husband doesn't go to Church. Not only can the unbelieving spouse become a project, but so can the believing spouse, with everyone swooping in to create a victim complex and help a wounded, and share 'stowies s' about unbelieving spouses who cheat, steal, are falling-down drunks, good-for-nothings, derelict in their fatherly duty to kids, etc.

I don't know if the dynamics are different when there is an unbelieving wife. But the believing spouse then gets a whole ton of pressure to live such an exemplary life to cause spontaneous reform and adulation by the unbelieving spouse.

That may be why your husband doesn't go anymore. As I said, I don't know: I never saw a unbelieving spouse being female, so am unfamiliar with the dynamics if those are different. But that may be why it's happening.

Anyway, my utmost sympathies. That situation probably made you want to wash the cliches off when you got home.

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