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mich

When you decided not to go back to church....

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I know this should seem simple, but what do you say when you've been going for 30 years and all of a sudden you won't be going back? One concern is my children that, unfortunately, I indoctrinated very well. My 14 yo daughter always asks, "Mom, are you going to church?", and if I'm not for some reason, she asks why? I'm not sure what I'll say. I am hoping she will know the 'truth' one day. But initially, making that transition, seems like such a huge step. All i can think of to say is, "i'm just not".  This is such a MAJOR thing in our circle. I can't even imagine how it's gonna go down. It seems like it should be simple....I just 'don't go to church'. It should be as simple as that. But no, it's more like I'm trying to escape prison, and the 'church' people are the handcuffs and shackels......

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Hi Mich, I feel for you. I went to church for years after I stopped believing, just because I felt guilty about disappointing people. Eventually, the church (I was RC) took political stances I just could not support anymore. But I don't have children whom I raised Christian.

 

I'm sorry if you've said this in another post and I missed it - are there others in your house besides you and your daughter?

 

Can you tell her the truth at this point? I think by 14 she can distinguish your love for her from your religious opinions (or lack or change of). ?

 

Hugs, f

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After my mother died (2000), I stopped going to any service except the Sunday morning one. Grew my hair long, began espousing nontraditional beliefs now and then.

Sang along with the sopranos in my falsetto voice. People began moving away from me in the pew.  They rarely came up to talk with the scary man after the services, so my evil plot appeared to be working just fine. Kept this up until around 2013, then vacated the place altogether!

 

Seriously now -- I think that you should be honest with your children or anybody else who asks why you don't attend services anymore.

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It's easy to get involved in Church not so easy to walk away especially when there is still believing family members. Your situation may require some compromising. It might be best for you to attend but be uninvolved. You might also consider a deprogramming process with your kids. You might consider simply admitting you have developed questions & doubts & offer examples. Maybe get a couple of Bart Ehrman's books & set them out in plain sight. If you're asked about them simply admit that you have questions & you're looking for answers. Maybe even encourage your family members to read them. 

 

 

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We left church about 3-5 years prior to deconverting, due to a pastor who wanted way too much of our time. We had jobs we had to do to pay mortgages, but he wanted to fill pews with money converts to pay for the new building. We had been drawn to them previously because they DIDN'T have a building. They wanted me to be an elder, and didn't even ask about the very controversial preacher I promoted online at the time. That told me that they were far more interested in filling pews than in what made me tick. We left and didn't look back. We met with various people we knew outside of church, but that faded also, and then a year after I caught the preacher I promoted lying about his famous miracles, I found this website and deconverted officially.

 

We didn't have many church friends in the decade prior to leaving, so that made it easier. In our previous city, that would have been a lot harder, since all our friends were from the church.

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On 12/13/2017 at 5:26 AM, mich said:

I know this should seem simple, but what do you say when you've been going for 30 years and all of a sudden you won't be going back? One concern is my children that, unfortunately, I indoctrinated very well. My 14 yo daughter always asks, "Mom, are you going to church?", and if I'm not for some reason, she asks why? I'm not sure what I'll say. I am hoping she will know the 'truth' one day. But initially, making that transition, seems like such a huge step. All i can think of to say is, "i'm just not".  This is such a MAJOR thing in our circle. I can't even imagine how it's gonna go down. It seems like it should be simple....I just 'don't go to church'. It should be as simple as that. But no, it's more like I'm trying to escape prison, and the 'church' people are the handcuffs and shackels......

 

Maybe start off by saying you don't agree with doctrine X. Then slowly build to doctrine X and Y, then eventually X, Y and Z. You don't have to show anger regarding church, just that  you kindly don't really agree that much with what they teach so you would rather not go there anymore. You could take issue with a particular point of that particular denomination .... but never really get around to changing churches. :) 

 

Or you could tell your daughter that you are becoming fed up with organized religion. It's just sooooo mechanical and fake. You'd rather worship privately because worship is a private thing. A private relationship between you and Jesus. Maybe Jesus is even leading you in that direction (haha).

 

Why does your daughter want to go to church? For Jesus? Or for friends? Both?

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A couple announced at Mrs. MOHO's church last year that they would both be working out of the area for 6 months or so.

 

That was over a year ago.

We have not seen them. OK, my attendance is spotty but...

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I quit going long before deconversion

 

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On 12/13/2017 at 9:26 AM, mich said:

I know this should seem simple, but what do you say when you've been going for 30 years and all of a sudden you won't be going back? One concern is my children that, unfortunately, I indoctrinated very well. My 14 yo daughter always asks, "Mom, are you going to church?", and if I'm not for some reason, she asks why? I'm not sure what I'll say. I am hoping she will know the 'truth' one day. But initially, making that transition, seems like such a huge step. All i can think of to say is, "i'm just not".  This is such a MAJOR thing in our circle. I can't even imagine how it's gonna go down. It seems like it should be simple....I just 'don't go to church'. It should be as simple as that. But no, it's more like I'm trying to escape prison, and the 'church' people are the handcuffs and shackels......

Welcome to Ex-c Mich. You are not alone in this. Each and every one of us had to find a way out at the end. I did not want to hurt my friends at the church or on the 'outside'. It took me a few weeks. It was as if I was waiting for the exact right moment to make my exit and it finally came one day when the pastor announced to us that he had been praying to open a huge church here in our town that would seat 3,000.  It was a small church and I doubt that the congregation was not even 300!! I knew the call for money was coming and I said to myself that morning, ''I'm done''. So I walked out of that church and got sucked into another. This was to be a church of total grace. They really were sweet people.  But I found I couldn't take communion. I couldn't drink the blood or eat the flesh. I felt like I belonged to a real cult. I only made few friends here. So I told them that I wanted to spend some time alone with god and his word for awhile because there were some things I was trying to work out. They never fought me and I never went back. I only tell you part of my story because I think that something will tell you exactly the right time to make your moves. 

 

 

Big (hug) Glad you found us hun.  Keep us posted on how it's going. Best to you.

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Hi Mich, this can be a difficult issue, particularly if you're pestered about why you don't attend by all the 'well-meaning' folks at church. In my church, not attending brought your faith under suspicion, so it was difficult for me. But I would recommend just being honest with your children about your beliefs. For me it was a slow process, I just started attending less and less, and then made the decision to relocate because I knew how difficult it could be once my non-belief was public knowledge. It largely depends on the church I would say, they could be the type to just let you go and leave you alone. And it depends on you, I think you'll know when the time is right and you can say you've closed the church doors for good.

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I know how you feel @mich, I recently ceased going to church, while my kids and husband still attend. I felt like I was suffocating. I felt like an imposter.

I have explained to extended family and friends that "my religion was getting in the way of my relationship with god". So far everyone seems to respect this answer and haven't questioned me further.

I have been much more honest with my husband and kids. There has been lots of yelling lately, but at least I can breathe again.

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On 12/13/2017 at 7:38 AM, ficino said:

I'm sorry if you've said this in another post and I missed it - are there others in your house besides you and your daughter?

 

Can you tell her the truth at this point? I think by 14 she can distinguish your love for her from your religious opinions (or lack or change of). ?

yes, a husband, 3 sons, and a daughter. My husband and daughter are 'members of the church', 'have the holy ghost' , and another daughter married with kids of her own. She was well indoctrinated too. It won't be long before she 'knows the truth' but i'd rather go slowly, as this is SO major. Quitting church is 'giving up the holy ghost', eternally damned, etc. It will take some time for her to process, it did me. Our religion was a way of life, and now mom won't be part of it. I expect it to be devastating for my daughters. 2 of my sons already know. 

 

On 12/13/2017 at 9:29 AM, Tsathoggua9 said:

Sang along with the sopranos in my falsetto voice.

LOL...yes i will tell here the truth...one day...

 

On 12/13/2017 at 11:27 AM, Geezer said:

simply admit that you have questions & you're looking for answers.

I agree

 

On 12/14/2017 at 10:09 AM, midniterider said:

Why does your daughter want to go to church? For Jesus? Or for friends? Both?

both , yes, mostly friends, i think, but now she is IN. She claimed the holy ghost back in the spring, right after my 'mental' deconversion... I was still trying to process everything. 

 

On 12/14/2017 at 1:06 PM, MOHO said:

OK, my attendance is spotty but...

LOL, i won't be going back, so this weekend will start the people questioning...

 

On 12/14/2017 at 12:39 AM, Fuego said:

We didn't have many church friends in the decade prior to leaving, so that made it easier. In our previous city, that would have been a lot harder, since all our friends were from the church.

Our church friends are like family, and many literally ARE FAMILY. My fil is the preacher....

 

On 12/14/2017 at 3:25 PM, Jeff said:

I quit going long before deconversion

sounds like a better plan, good for you~

 

On 12/14/2017 at 4:58 PM, Margee said:

I only tell you part of my story because I think that something will tell you exactly the right time to make your moves. 

that time has come..dealing with the inevitable is the next step.

 

On 12/18/2017 at 5:21 AM, LostinParis said:

I felt like I was suffocating. I felt like an imposter.

can sooooo relate...

 

 

Thanks everyone for your replies. It is good to know I am not truly alone in this. Though I wouldn't wish it on anyone...

 

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Just wondering how this is going for you and if you have any advise now that you've started the process. I did not take communion today and my son asked me why. I said b/c the priest was coughing and I didn't want to get sick. I'm just not quite ready to tell my kids about these life altering changes yet. I want to leave church but I also want to know what they are being indoctrinated with which I cannot due if I'm not there. It's a dilemma.

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On 1/7/2018 at 9:12 PM, Mothernature said:

Just wondering how this is going for you and if you have any advise now that you've started the process. I did not take communion today and my son asked me why. I said b/c the priest was coughing and I didn't want to get sick. I'm just not quite ready to tell my kids about these life altering changes yet. I want to leave church but I also want to know what they are being indoctrinated with which I cannot due if I'm not there. It's a dilemma.

 

Just signing on after a long absence...

Umm, It's definitely not easy...I haven't gone since the middle of December. There were several weeks there at the beginning that wasn't noticable due to holidays, wintry weather, and an out of town funeral. But after that came the hard part. When my husband and children headed off to church and I stayed home. 2 of them frequently ask if I am going to church, and I just say, no, and am very vague. I've actually told one not to ask me anymore. I am not ready for them to know that I am never going back. I have specific reasons at this point in time for not doing that. I do want them to know the truth. This is a very challenging position to be in. I am very aware of how they are indoctrinated, so that's not an issue. I just try to teach them to THINK. That is where I failed. Not thinking for myself, but believing what others told me. I looked up the characteristics of a cult and was amazed to see that my 'ex' religion matches nearly all of them. So scary how it all works. How we can be so deceived. Perhaps i'm not much help for your situation. It's just not easy. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to make myself do. So, I'm not attending church, but no one has lost all 'hope' for me quite yet... 

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