theyownyou33

I guess I asked for it.

Recommended Posts

So, I hope I don't incur any judgement here. I'm so confused in my current family setting that I don't know what to do. As I mentioned in my introduction post I've severely fallen out of the faith, but my wife and kids (all under 10...except for the wife....shes 27 lol) are still in the faith.

 

Rachel (wife) has been looking for a new church since she had a bad experience at the small fundamental baptist church she was attending. She for some reason really wanted me to go to check out this newer, more modern charismatic church with her. I'm not sure why, because she says I'm obsessed with religion and will not shut up about it (truth).

 

So, we go to this place and its got coffee bars and computers that you use to check your kids in. They have multiple services a day and it's packed. Anyway, the pastor comes on talking about how our lives are like the sunrise to sunset and eventually we will all die and how nice it would be to have the sweet shepherd Jesus to shepherd us somewhere fancy. He then goes on to talk about King Herod and says "See, the Bible is telling you all this historically accurate stuff so you know you aren't believing in fairy tales". I made a note on my phone to my wife that said "historically accurate context doesn't validate religious beliefs or corroborate the other parts of the story". Then he later has the gall to say that Herod was a very, very insecure leader, because he killed all of those toddlers while trying to get Jesus. I made another note that said "Herod kills toddlers and is a disgusting abomination, but tots ok when God does it". I really couldn't believe that he went on that much about the toddler thing.

 

Anyway, she asked me how the service was and I very gently and calmly picked it a part and she got so defensive out of nowhere. She starts yelling at me about how we agreed to raise our kids a certain way and that I've had beliefs in the past that I've moved on from (conspiracies and the like). I keep trying to explain to her that it's actually great that I'm constantly changing and trying to find new information, but for some reason that's a fault to her. Like, if i'm not stuck in the same ridiculous place with faith my entire life that somehow my opinions aren't valid. I went onto tell her about all the new information I've come across and she didn't want to hear it. I lost it after about 20 minutes of being berated and told her if she was a real christian than she should meet me where I'm at and look at the information I have and help me through it. She said that she would, but I don't think she ever will. Then she goes onto say that shes worried about the kids going to hell over everything and that it's better to just believe.

 

I'm so frustrated with everything and everyone is always making me seem like a bad guy, because I won't be tortured with fear for absolutely no valid reason at all. It really took it out of me today. Anyway......maybe I should have cursed more? Not a very good rant, eh?

  • Like 2
  • Sad 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for your support
Buy Ex-C a cup of coffee!
Costs have significantly risen and we need your support! Click the coffee cup to give a one-time donation, or choose one of the recurrent patron options.
Note: All Contributing Patrons enjoy Ex-Christian.net advertisement free.
3 hours ago, theyownyou33 said:

So, I hope I don't incur any judgement here. I'm so confused in my current family setting that I don't know what to do. As I mentioned in my introduction post I've severely fallen out of the faith, but my wife and kids (all under 10...except for the wife....shes 27 lol) are still in the faith.

 

Rachel (wife) has been looking for a new church since she had a bad experience at the small fundamental baptist church she was attending. She for some reason really wanted me to go to check out this newer, more modern charismatic church with her. I'm not sure why, because she says I'm obsessed with religion and will not shut up about it (truth).

 

So, we go to this place and its got coffee bars and computers that you use to check your kids in. They have multiple services a day and it's packed. Anyway, the pastor comes on talking about how our lives are like the sunrise to sunset and eventually we will all die and how nice it would be to have the sweet shepherd Jesus to shepherd us somewhere fancy. He then goes on to talk about King Herod and says "See, the Bible is telling you all this historically accurate stuff so you know you aren't believing in fairy tales". I made a note on my phone to my wife that said "historically accurate context doesn't validate religious beliefs or corroborate the other parts of the story". Then he later has the gall to say that Herod was a very, very insecure leader, because he killed all of those toddlers while trying to get Jesus. I made another note that said "Herod kills toddlers and is a disgusting abomination, but tots ok when God does it". I really couldn't believe that he went on that much about the toddler thing.

 

Anyway, she asked me how the service was and I very gently and calmly picked it a part and she got so defensive out of nowhere. She starts yelling at me about how we agreed to raise our kids a certain way and that I've had beliefs in the past that I've moved on from (conspiracies and the like). I keep trying to explain to her that it's actually great that I'm constantly changing and trying to find new information, but for some reason that's a fault to her. Like, if i'm not stuck in the same ridiculous place with faith my entire life that somehow my opinions aren't valid. I went onto tell her about all the new information I've come across and she didn't want to hear it. I lost it after about 20 minutes of being berated and told her if she was a real christian than she should meet me where I'm at and look at the information I have and help me through it. She said that she would, but I don't think she ever will. Then she goes onto say that shes worried about the kids going to hell over everything and that it's better to just believe.

 

I'm so frustrated with everything and everyone is always making me seem like a bad guy, because I won't be tortured with fear for absolutely no valid reason at all. It really took it out of me today. Anyway......maybe I should have cursed more? Not a very good rant, eh?

Hang in there @theyownyou33. It’s a very rare bird that loses their religion overnight.  Maybe if you back off she will come around in due time...

If I recall correctly, the Calvinist mythology says if your kids are predestined, they’re predestined and if they ain’t they ain’t.  So there’s that.  Also the free will mythology has it that your kids’ own choices will keep them out of hell.  So you might advise your wife that “better to just believe” for you is inconsequential for your kids’ spiritual destiny.

 

Personally, I believe hell only exists here on earth, so we should concentrate on staying out of there while we’re still alive.  Don’t get sucked into a place where you are pressured to live contrary to your own beliefs or desires (my approximate definition of hell).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know why she first believed? I've found that going back to that will tell you why someone persists in believing deep down. For me, it was fear of demons after seeing an advert for the Exorcist movie. That plus I was superstitious and scared of several movie monsters. I was zealous for scripture for a few years prior to going to a church. When I finally started going to church, I also had friends for the first time and hugs from pretty girls. That was strong motivation on an emotional level, plus having people that were also zealous was encouraging. When other people also believe in your imaginary friend, it makes him seem much more real.

 

During my deconversion, I revisited why I had first believed and recalled the Exorcist and realized I had made a childish decision to follow a life-changing path of belief in things that I didn't understand and hadn't researched. That is the case for nearly all believers.

 

By the way, Herod likely didn't slaughter any toddlers in response to Jesus and Babylonian astrologers that came to Jerusalem. There is no evidence of such a slaughter, like there is no evidence of Jesus existing outside of these cult writings. The "prophecy" that is quoted from Jeremiah 31 is also out of context, and refers not to dead children but to kidnapped children. Rachel weeping for her children for they are no more becomes Rachel rejoicing because her children are returned to her. Just mentioning a person from history doesn't make the event described historical. It's like making a up story about Abraham Lincoln being a vampire hunter and saying it must be historical because Lincoln was real.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Believers (especially fundamentalists believers) tend to be blind, deaf, & in a mentally indoctrinated trance whenever their "beliefs" are being challenged. It's much like trying to have a discussion with a brick wall. 

 

I think it might be wise to just not talk about religion at all around her. Talking about religion around her will likely make her more & more defensive & that could lead to some serious marital issues. These unequally yoked situations are very difficult & potentially destructive.

 

I was able to convince my wife to leave Christian fundamentalism & try a more liberal version of Xianity (Methodist).It turned out that she is a very happy Methodist now & I discovered liberal Xians are tolerable, in that they aren't dogmatic about their beliefs. 

 

Life is is filled with situations that require compromise. Sometimes the lesser evil is the best option. Divorce is expensive, distructive,  & emotionally damaging. So that should not be an option, especially when children are involved.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@theyownyou33,

 

That could have been a play-by-play of the last conversation I had with Mrs. MOHO regarding religion. @Geezer is right. Any attempt to have a meaningful conversation on topics of theology, faith, xianity, religion with a fundamentalist is, for the most part, a complete and utter waist of time and effort. If the opposition is your spouse you will also be left emotionally drained and with some hard feelings for days or weeks.

 

My wife has been informed that I am an unbeliever but I think that is a concept she chooses to unbelieve in. @Geezer also stated that you have to just back off the attempts at logic, reason, and history lessons - unless, of course, they seem genuinely interested.

 

That last thing @Geezer mentioned is that divorce is costly - both financially and emotionally. I contemplate this on an almost daily basis and , for now at least, have come to the conclusion that attending services on Sunday (not every week) but not going into the sanctuary but patrolling the entrances and parking lots instead, is working. (Compromise) Mrs. MOHO keeps nudging and testing but I remain completely silent as I would have to be honest if I say anything and the Mrs. can be a very very tough battler and gets very negative with anyone who does not completely agree with her on everything.

 

But, she is NOT a fascist! ("Stop calling me names!")

 

If/when I find a path to enlightening the fundy crowd that is even remotely effective - I'l share.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would add this too. If the ultimate goal is to de-convert the spouse,  the non- believer might want to rethink that. Until a believer develops doubt on their own, the chances of de-converting them using logic, reason, & evidence just isn't likely. If anything they tend to dig in & defend their beliefs even more dogmatically.

 

When I was a believer I would never have listened to a non-believers argument. I developed doubts on my own then I became interested & willing to listen.

 

No matter how tactfully a non-believers challenges a believers faith it comes across to them that you're calling them stupid. And nobody reacts favorably if they think someone is calling them stupid. 

 

Until or or unless the believer comes to you with questions it's probably best to let sleeping dogs...well, ah, sleep. :D

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/3/2017 at 3:41 PM, theyownyou33 said:

So, I hope I don't incur any judgement here. I'm so confused in my current family setting that I don't know what to do. As I mentioned in my introduction post I've severely fallen out of the faith, but my wife and kids (all under 10...except for the wife....shes 27 lol) are still in the faith.

 

Rachel (wife) has been looking for a new church since she had a bad experience at the small fundamental baptist church she was attending. She for some reason really wanted me to go to check out this newer, more modern charismatic church with her. I'm not sure why, because she says I'm obsessed with religion and will not shut up about it (truth).

 

So, we go to this place and its got coffee bars and computers that you use to check your kids in. They have multiple services a day and it's packed. Anyway, the pastor comes on talking about how our lives are like the sunrise to sunset and eventually we will all die and how nice it would be to have the sweet shepherd Jesus to shepherd us somewhere fancy. He then goes on to talk about King Herod and says "See, the Bible is telling you all this historically accurate stuff so you know you aren't believing in fairy tales". I made a note on my phone to my wife that said "historically accurate context doesn't validate religious beliefs or corroborate the other parts of the story". Then he later has the gall to say that Herod was a very, very insecure leader, because he killed all of those toddlers while trying to get Jesus. I made another note that said "Herod kills toddlers and is a disgusting abomination, but tots ok when God does it". I really couldn't believe that he went on that much about the toddler thing.

 

Anyway, she asked me how the service was and I very gently and calmly picked it a part and she got so defensive out of nowhere. She starts yelling at me about how we agreed to raise our kids a certain way and that I've had beliefs in the past that I've moved on from (conspiracies and the like). I keep trying to explain to her that it's actually great that I'm constantly changing and trying to find new information, but for some reason that's a fault to her. Like, if i'm not stuck in the same ridiculous place with faith my entire life that somehow my opinions aren't valid. I went onto tell her about all the new information I've come across and she didn't want to hear it. I lost it after about 20 minutes of being berated and told her if she was a real christian than she should meet me where I'm at and look at the information I have and help me through it. She said that she would, but I don't think she ever will. Then she goes onto say that shes worried about the kids going to hell over everything and that it's better to just believe.

 

I'm so frustrated with everything and everyone is always making me seem like a bad guy, because I won't be tortured with fear for absolutely no valid reason at all. It really took it out of me today. Anyway......maybe I should have cursed more? Not a very good rant, eh?

 

I don't  think you can really fight the Jesus spell with logic and reason. Jesus is like that bad boy that your teenager is secretly dating. She has to find out on her own that he's a loser ...at which point you can present your logic, evidence, etc.

 

Try not being so hard on religion, for her sake. But don't be pro-Christianity either. Get out of the charismatic church and into a liberal church. The less froot loop fundamentalist, the better. Tell your wife that you have been thinking about what she said with regard to constantly changing ideas so you want to find a church more rooted in tradition. Talk up liberal church denominations while talking down the Pentecostal ones. You want to just go to church then leave. After all, it's Sunday and you need to get home and have fun with the kids!

 

When children ask you about some religious bullshit try to find a non-religious answer. Find a humanist/real life answer if you can. Let Mom be the voice of religion while you are the voice of common sense. Don't make fun of religion or talk evil of it. If a child memorized some bible verse, say "Good for you!" ... then start a conversation on any topic that will make them use their brain. Maybe avoid shooting down that bible verse. :) 

 

If the wife wants your opinion on some bible topic or some religious direction to take, if you disagree with it say, "I'm not sure. I'll pray about it. Then maybe the impression you 'got from Jesus' is the direction that you want to go anyway. Be subtle. Be the perfect fake Christian. lol. The perfect fake Christian that eventually, over time helps your family to fade away from the religion. Be patient. It may take years. :)

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel for you. I know how frustrating it can be in that situation. I've had to avoid religious conversations with my husband b/c there is no questioning his beliefs no matter how crazy they are. I had a similar situation where my husband wanted to try a more charismatic church and I agreed to go with him to see it. This is before i realized how much of a cult the fundamentalist churches are. It had the bar and computer as you mentioned. They wanted me to leave my kids checked in as numbers in this foreign place and I said no I wanted to go with them, as who in their right mind would drop their kids off without checking the people and place out first. I compared it to a daycare in which I would always check out in person prior to leaving my kids there. They would not compromise so I refused and took the kids with me into the hall(?). We were the ONLY ones in there with kids. I had a really eerie feeling about it. Anyway about 15 min. In, after some upbeat music which made my husband empty his wallet 😠, someone came to us and told me I could go with the kids to the children's program. Glad I did as I did not want anything to do with that congregation. Anyway I was able to use that situation to justify that is not where I want my children going. They were completely separate from the service and it was like a daycare. I complained that we are away from them all week b/c of work so I didn't want them in daycare on the weekend while we should be together for church. Anyway, I don't mean to take over your rant but maybe you can use some of these ideas/reasoning to get away from that church. As for your wife, good luck. If you find something that works let me know and I'll do the same!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2017-12-04 at 11:17 AM, Geezer said:

Divorce is expensive, distructive,  & emotionally damaging. 

 

Yes, it's INSANELY expensive. That's the boat I'm on. (And that story is elsewhere. Koolaid, anyone?)

 

To me, I think she sounds scared. She's scared you're going to change as a person (for the worse) into some awful monster with no morals. She's afraid for her and her children's stability--financially, emotionally, socially, etc.

 

Maybe you can find ways to demonstrate daily that you are a better husband and father now. That might put her at ease....

 

My 2 cents!

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Positivist said:

 

Yes, it's INSANELY expensive. That's the boat I'm on. (And that story is elsewhere. Koolaid, anyone?)

 

To me, I think she sounds scared. She's scared you're going to change as a person (for the worse) into some awful monster with no morals. She's afraid for her and her children's stability--financially, emotionally, socially, etc.

 

Maybe you can find ways to demonstrate daily that you are a better husband and father now. That might put her at ease....

 

My 2 cents!

 

@theyownyou33,

 

I echo what @Positivist said here.

 

Mrs. MOHO calmed down quite a bit after several weeks. When she realized that I'm not possessed as Pastor assfuck tells the flock happens to those who express doubt and disbelief, things began to get back to some semblance of "normal". And if she realized that the dickheads @ church are not reliable sources of information then, who knows where THAT could lead?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@MOHO Yea, I guess she's probably heard a lot about it in her time. I'm also sure that she's maybe thinking this is some sort of phase and that I'm going to switch back any minute. It's been pretty calm the last few days, but there has been a noticeable rift between us.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/4/2017 at 10:37 PM, Mothernature said:

I feel for you. I know how frustrating it can be in that situation. I've had to avoid religious conversations with my husband b/c there is no questioning his beliefs no matter how crazy they are. I had a similar situation where my husband wanted to try a more charismatic church and I agreed to go with him to see it. This is before i realized how much of a cult the fundamentalist churches are. It had the bar and computer as you mentioned. They wanted me to leave my kids checked in as numbers in this foreign place and I said no I wanted to go with them, as who in their right mind would drop their kids off without checking the people and place out first. I compared it to a daycare in which I would always check out in person prior to leaving my kids there. They would not compromise so I refused and took the kids with me into the hall(?). We were the ONLY ones in there with kids. I had a really eerie feeling about it. Anyway about 15 min. In, after some upbeat music which made my husband empty his wallet 😠, someone came to us and told me I could go with the kids to the children's program. Glad I did as I did not want anything to do with that congregation. Anyway I was able to use that situation to justify that is not where I want my children going. They were completely separate from the service and it was like a daycare. I complained that we are away from them all week b/c of work so I didn't want them in daycare on the weekend while we should be together for church. Anyway, I don't mean to take over your rant but maybe you can use some of these ideas/reasoning to get away from that church. As for your wife, good luck. If you find something that works let me know and I'll do the same!

I told my wife that we are too poor for God and that if he wants donations he will have to the financial harvest or whatever weird farming terminology they like to use. Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone who has responded. I have definitely been thinking about what every one has said and I'm sure this isn't the end of  it. I'm going to take everyones advice and play it cool from now on. Unless she brings something up on her own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@theyownyou33 It's hard living with a fundy, every discussion seems to turn into an argument. I have given up trying to change my husband's views, it's too emotionally exhausting. Even my gentle questioning he interprets as a personal attack. He says he no longer wishes to discuss religion or science.

 

He tells me I have been brainwashed by left-wing propaganda, and that they are trying to eradicate Christianity LOL. I admit I have been slightly evangelical about my newfound atheism (I have found the truth!)

 

We have been seeing a marriage counsellor to try to solve our parenting disagreements. I have weighed up my options and decided to stay in the marriage for now. At least until the kids are a little older. My husband is not the enemy.

 

I am now trying to view him with compassion. Through no fault of his own, his childhood indoctrination gave him a distorted view of the world. His fear of hell is what suppresses his critical thoughts, and prevents him from questioning his beliefs.

 

I think religion fills an unconscious psychological need. It can provide certainty in an uncertain world. Reality sucks sometimes. Anxiety sucks. Close your mind and you will have bliss...

 

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The basic problem, to my mind, is the fear of the believer.  Your wife is scared.  She is scared for the hereafter, because she has been indoctrinated that a particular mythology is automatically correct.  She is scared for the present, because unbelief in the family threatens the social circle in which she has invested.

So, her reactions will be defensive and extreme in proportion to her fear.

Whether she will ever face that fear and come out the other end, I do not know.  If you confront her, probably not.  If you leave her, maybe not.  If you play it canny, keeping a balance between debunking and supporting (sort of "I don't agree with you but I'm not going to do anything that will endanger your position"), maybe.

Quite where that balance lies, only you can judge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to Ex-C. Sorry you're going through this.

 

Anger at Christianity and zeal to de-convert people are pretty common for awhile after you leave; I was in that state for three or four years afterward. Still, I agree with the suggestions of backing off the crusading until your wife seems more receptive. If you haven't gotten anywhere so far by sparring with her, you probably won't by continuing to hammer your point. Besides, by forcefully putting down Jesus/Rachel's beliefs, you're setting yourself up as the bad guy. Try being compassionate and understanding without compromising your own beliefs, show her you're on her side. As well as just being kind, it may help break down her idea of non-Christians as angry and hostile toward Christians, if she buys into that, instead of reinforcing it. I can't guarantee that she will become more willing to listen, but it might be a start.

 

I'm so glad you realize you're not obligated to continue believing the same things your whole life. Only you are in charge of your mind, not Jesus, not your wife, not anybody or anything else. You'll probably end up compromising on how to raise the kids, but opposite to the Christian demand that its followers always maintain a childish trust in whatever they're told and lifelong devotion to Jesus, there's a great deal of freedom in the knowledge that you can change your opinions and priorities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Lilith said ^^

 

From the perspective of being kind: If a non-believer expresses kindness to their believing wife regarding the wife's church-mates, her church, her pastor ... while gently maintaining his boundary from those people ... in other words be nicer than the Christians are ... or how they pretend to be... then it will could erode away her trust in these churchies.

 

It will dawn on your wife that you are being nice just because you really are nice ... and not just because the bible, or church or whatever tells you that you should to get into heaven. Be nice to everyone. For no good reason. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now