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My Mother is a Liberal Christian


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I currently live with my aunt and mother. I've come a long way since my Christian faith dissolved, but one thing utterly baffles me: my mom's liberal christian faith.

 

It's bewildering.

 

My mom will preach at me using words from the Bible...and then seem clueless about Jesus being the one way to salvation.

 

She always claims there is more than one way to God, which is completely contradictory to Jesus' sayings.

 

When I was a Christian in college, I did it because I really believed Christ was the only way. It was Jesus or bust. 

 

My mom interprets me leaving my college campus group as leaving a cult. She believes that I was 'religiously' motivated and not 'spiritually' motivated.

 

The hell?

 

I don't argue her, but it's mind-boggling. My mom believes that we all our different journeys with how we see God and is vehemently against dogma. A lot of this comes from the 12-Step AA program in which she is one of the sponsors (leaders). 

 

It's not scriptural, but good luck convincing her that the AA Big Book isn't the actual Bible.

 

Again, I've never tried debating my mom on this stuff. She's too...*into* it. I don't think she has the ability to think about it rationally. Heck, she has a hard time accepting gays because it's against the culture she was raised in. 

 

It's all cultural to her. None of it seems born from a sincere desire to walk with Jesus the Christ. She will claim she is and I think she really believes it, but my mom doesn't fully *walk* with Jesus.

 

Does anyone relate to what I'm going through? 

 

It's a little hard being preached at by someone who doesn't seem to logically get what they're preaching about. 

 

It might sound better than living with a fundamentalist, but at least their logic would be based on what the Bible actually says, as extreme as they are.

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That's a bit different. I guess it is similar to when I used to talk with Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, and they have a very different take on Christianity. Then again, even standard denominations have quite different takes on whether God even *does* anything anymore. You might be best off just ignoring her.

 

When I last attended a Baptist church (some of us called ourselves Bapti-costals), they fired the pastor for believing that God said something to him about having all the churches in the area do a collective Easter service and then give all the money to the poor via already established outreaches in the community. The churches did exactly that and it was an amazing thing to watch at the time. But that church lost out on all the income from the Easter service, plus his claim of God speaking to him was a violation of their doctrine that God stopped speaking to anyone after the Bible canon was completed. I never could figure out why people would want a god that is essentially dead and replaced by a book, but that is their position. They won't even pray for God to heal the sick, because that would mean he still does things and that would mean the canon of the scriptures isn't done. About half the church left when this doctrine became clear. They quickly added more people though. But it showed how important some people consider doctrines and dogmas of their denominations.

 

I find that those who call themselves Christians fall into a very wide spectrum of belief, from "Jesus is my spirit guide" to "Only we are saved because we pronounce his name Jehoshuawaygrblefitznblerg"   I'd say the vast majority of believers have never read all of the New Testament, much less the whole Bible, and so their god consists of whatever they choose or make up.

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At least she's a liberal Christian - I think living with a fundie mom would be way worse. Liberal Christians cherry pick the Bible and lots of them have pretty unorthodox beliefs that they go on having because liberal churches don't enforce dogma (or maybe she doesn't go to church at all). I was raised a liberal Christian and I had my own private beliefs too, similar to your mom. There's a name for thinking there's more than one way to God, it's called perennial philosophy, and I was like that, too. Ironically it's easier to remain Christian if you don't take the Bible literally, and a lot of people don't. I went on happily for years until I started to doubt that God was actually there (this happened during a personal crisis) and started to look into it.

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It sucks that we don't get to pick our parents.  We are stuck with what the dice give us.  I agree with your plan to not argue.  It really is better that way.  Stay strong.  Focus on the good.

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Not all who identify as Christian care or even know what the Bible says. I have some cultural Christians in my family. They're in a little world of their own, but they don't try to save me or drag me to a church so we're cool as long as I refrain from questioning them.

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14 hours ago, skysoar15 said:

I currently live with my aunt and mother.

 

This could be the primary issue. :) My mom was pretty much an atheist and drove me crazy when I had to live with her for a short time after I had become an adult...not with atheism though, just with mom stuff.

 

I suppose you can either move out or just deal with it. I think more of my Pentecostal Christianity was cultural than biblical. It's hard to live a biblical life and not go to prison for homicide. All Christians ignore  whatever scripture they dont like so none of the self-proclaimed bible thumpers are really bible thumpers. The literalists are not really literalists. Weird shit in the bible is 'allegory' or 'metaphor'. Once you allow yourself to 'intrepret' the meaning of scripture, it now means whatever you like. Ironhorse, a bible-believing Christian doesn't believe the gifts of the spirit are a thing anymore, while my bible believing Pentecostal churchmates were slobbering  on the floor after being slain in the spirit! Hallelujah. :) Which literal bible believing Christian should one believe? haha

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  • 3 years later...

There are a lot of liberal Christians (like me) who don't believe in god. I was able to go through the process of realizing that I didn't believe in a personal god (because if god existed, they must be a horrible being to disregard prayers of the most needy among us), and from there to realize I didn't believe in god at all, and stay part of my church, where there are others like me, for sure. The Bible is the story of humans trying to figure out their world. They got it wrong a lot. But there is useful stuff there, too, and good stories that exemplify important principles. 

 

So, it's possible that the liberal Christian mom doesn't believe in God, either.

 

In terms of my liberal church, they do use some affirmations of faith in ceremonies like joining the church or baptism. I couldn't not participate in either of these today, because I can't say "yes" to those questions. I have raised the issue of the coercive nature of these affirmations. If we are on a journey together, we need rituals that also embrace the different places of fellow travelers without judgment. People should be able to affirm their interest in following Christ as a teacher without having to affirm belief in a god of any kind.

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Need life wisdom? Let Captain Obvious here fill you with his philosophy. People are actually excited about this clip. lol

 

 

 

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