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Jerry

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Welcome Jerry! It's great that you found us. 

 

Timing of telling friends and family is tricky, and obviously varies a great deal from situation to situation. If it's not the right time,  it's not the right time. Living a lie is hard,  but,  as you know, there are real risks involved with coming out. At least you're free on the inside.

 

I think you'll find lots of people here who can relate. Dive right in.

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Glad to have you with us, Jerry.

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Hi, Jerry!

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Welcome Jerry

 

Like Disillusioned said the situation you are in can be tricky and discomforting and there is no one correct answer.

 

If you want advice or stories of how others came out fire away - you might get some nuggets that helps you with your situation.

 

Regards

 

Ryan

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Hi Jerry. Glad to have you here at Ex-c. Thanks for sharing some of your story. It is hard when living with believers. Lots of members on this site can relate and can probably help you with that.

 

Looking forward to hearing more from you! 

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2 hours ago, disillusioned said:

 

I think you'll find lots of people here who can relate. Dive right in.

 

DITTO!  Some of us were even employed by the Church when we came to the conclusion.  But there is other employment.  Family is often the hardest to come out to.  Looking at the testimonial section may be a big help.

WELCOME! 

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Greetings Jerry.

 

Your situation is indeed a tough one, but as others have said, there are others with similar situations that likely can offer some insights.

 

Might I add that there are a great many people (and preachers!) within religions that are there purely for social or financial reasons though they really don't actually believe in religion. It may make things easier if you internally look at it as a social function and not a belief system, which actually if you think about it, is more akin to the truth.

 

Personally, I prefer trying to be honest about how I stand, but indeed it gets tricky when others have an opposing view, especially when it involves spouses, children, and family. From what you say, I think it wise to be as quiet as a church mouse and just let it play out naturally.

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Jerry your story is similar to mine - 60 years a Christian, much of it in ministry. The way that I cope may not suit you but I offer it.

 

I do not call myself an atheist ('though I am). I am a non-theist. In another place on this site I drew attention to a book that I found very helpful: David Boulton's 'Godless for God's Sake'; this is all about non-theism. Basically, I do not believe in god, I say that I am not aware of any gods that I have (e.g. money, women, song!). But I can accept that other people have their gods which are created within their own imaginations (that is not a put-down) and which they find helpful, challenging, whatever. I am happy to acknowledge their gods which are in their lives. Of course I wish they were not so, but that's life. For example, in this way I am able to play the organ sometimes for my old church. OK it gets hairy sometimes because I fundamentally disagree with what is being said or sung, but I believe I am helping 'community' amongst a group of people who want to be together.

Non-theism (or nontheism) satisfies me very well. I commend it.

All the best in your pilgrimage.

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Thank you all for your support and kind words. I appreciate a community, albeit an online one, where I can share my story, read about others journeys and realizations and not be afraid of its risks. I have seen so many testimonials, that are in many ways very similar to mine, at this site. I never realized what a costly burden religion, especially Christianity, was to a person. I knew Christianity's ability to diminish ones self worth was terrible. However, I kind of thought that only a few select people, including myself, felt that way. After finding this site, I now know different. As far as my marriage is concerned, I've often heard my wife ridicule atheists, and religious people who were connected to them. She has even made the statement that she would NEVER "be with" someone that didn't believe in god. Or rather, her god...the Christian god. Obviously, I love my wife, and our two children, regardless of either of our beliefs. I've kind of drawn the conclusion that, for the time being, I'll just wait it out. Some day, perhaps, the timing will be right to come clean on my freedom from religion. Again, thank you to everyone for your support and kind words. I appreciate it more than I can show you on a screen. 

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Hey, welcome Jerry. It's not always easy breaking away from the indoctrination brought about by the evil that is religion. Best of luck on your journey. :)

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Welcome, Jerry!

 

I'm right with you on a lot of this. My wife knows I don't believe. One of my sons is a preacher, and the other one is a non-believer. The non-believing son half-way went back in the closet, and he and his wife are going to a church that isn't the denomination we were all raised in for several generations. But his minister-brother is aware that he doesn't really believe and he's really upset with him. I was outed as an atheist and ended up doing the "walk of shame" (aka "going forward" aka "publicly repenting") to get back into the closet, in order not to risk my relationship with minister-son. So I go through the motions, but I no longer lead prayers and such in church. Maybe someday I won't have to worry about it, but for the time being I have to be content.

 

Anyway, glad to have you on board.

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Hi Jerry - and welcome to our community!  Congratulations on being willing to question things and to follow through to the logical conclusion.  Congratulation also on the things you've gained, despite having to stay in the closet.  But you can be yourself here with us - we get you - and so I'm glad you found us.  I hope to hear more from you!

 

TABA

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On 3/14/2019 at 4:50 PM, Jerry said:

I first began to question the very existance of a god several years ago. The whole god narative didn't match what I knew to be true from science classes, books, and common scientific theory. The more I learned about the world around me, its history and the history of mankind, through evolution, the more I realized the lies I had been told for almost forty years. I must admit however, it was difficult to give up on god. I was taught that we were nothing without him. I truly believed that without his "guiding hand" my life would spiral out of control. Regardless of my common sense, telling me that it was all a hoax, I was actually relunctant to step away. Then, one day I just stepped away, quit praying, stopped looking for his presence, basically just stopped believing. After two years of being free from religion, at least internally, I'm still fine..and a lot happier. I feel as if I can accomplish great things by myself, and feel free to relish in my achievements. Nothing is the work of an invisible man in the sky. However, it is the work of humanity. I'm glad that I escaped the hand of religion and the hatred it breeds. I am glad to be free from its sexist, abusive demeanor. I'm proud of being wise enough to decipher fact from fiction.

 

Welcome Jerry! 

 

You're among a lot of similar thinkers. But some of us remain mystical and spiritual or theistic, while dumping christianity as false. I'd say the majority of ex-C's are atheist. A smaller minority are deistic or theistic thinkers post christianity. I'm a mix of several things. But atheist is one of them. I don't think there's any god out there as some particular being. I just don't believe it. I went through something similar to you and just dropped god belief and that was my exit from christian belief. For others it can be a series of steps or stages. But that's what we're here to talk about and discuss. And it's nice to be able to talk to like minded people who have been on similar paths. 

 

Thanks for joining and posting. See you around. 

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Thirteen years a nontheist, getting more content all the time. Never going back: why would I return to guilt and uncertainty as well as anger at some of the stuff done in the name of god?

However, I'm still learning. I enjoy reading books by ex-Christians and atheists and find them challenging and helpful. On the other hand, I'm still trying to rid myself of unhealthy prejudice against fundamentalists....my experience of them remains a problem for me as well as for them!

Good to have you here Jerry alongside others of like mind.

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Hey @Jerry,

 

Welcome to Ex-C. Glad you found us.

I am unequally yoked as well and Mrs. MOHO and her son (adult - not living with us) are well aware of my lack of belief. When I came out there was tension but - sighting 20 years of marriage - we reeled it back in. I wouldn't mind it so much but her personality is one who needs to lord things over people. I reckon that has something to do with being the oldest of 3 sisters.

 

I empathise with your staying in the closet (I read that correctly?) as coming out is not for everyone or everyone's situation. That is a sad fact and a reflection of the harm that religions can do. I could not tolerate going to church, listening to the B.S., watching pastor asshat control and manipulate people, and I made the choice, twice, to come out, even if the result was losing my wife, her son, and his family. You see, I had no children of my own and, at 57 and a hopeless introvert, I just don't get out there and make friends, so they're all I have. But we're still married. Her son references my agnosticism, atheism, whatever, and does not seem to be harboring any resentment. 

 

All that said I would NEVER pressure or advise anyone to come out unless they have arrived where I did were being honest (sorry no dig there) , and their gag reflex at church, brought them to a place where they need to choose. I keep hoping that Mrs. MOHO will see the light some day but, at 67, I'm not holding my breath and I don't try to influence her  with the exception of sending her science tutorials. 

 

I have made this all about me but the reason is that I hope my situation is of value to you and that there are folks who understand what you are going through and that no one faults you or judges you. What the Hell would WE be if we did THAT! :Look:

 

Please stick around and read and share. It helps and it helps others. 

    - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)

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Hey there,

 

I appreciate your post, and all of the posts in this forum, particularly the introductions and the testimonials.  It's nice to know that there are others that have struggled to come to the same conclusion, and/or have struggled to accept the truth.

 

I think there is a profound liberation of the mind that occurs when you let go of false beliefs both intellectually and spiritually.  It's the elimination of pain.  That's what I associate Christianity with - waves and waves of pain.

 

Good job freeing yourself.  

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On 3/14/2019 at 3:50 PM, Jerry said:

I'm still fine..and a lot happier

 

That's my finding. Like you, I remain closeted (mostly, anyway). While I often despise church services, there's just a lot less worry in my life. There's no wondering why the god doesn't keep its promises, why it doesn't answer prayer. It's just life, and in that, I've found the actual "peace that passes understanding."

 

Edit: Oops! I didn't realize that I'd already commented on this post.  Anyway, comment stands.

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On 4/12/2019 at 6:18 PM, KNC said:

 I still call myself Christian because of the Jesus I've come to know, not a particular church or doctrine I've come to know. My "encounters" with Divinity, with God, with Jesus, have been seeded and rooted inside. Right now I'm just walking without an institutional church. 

 

Have you looked into Buddahism?  It's more like a philosophy than a religion.  The Jesus of the New Testament seemed to take on some of that flavor.

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Welcome Jerry!

I too am having difficulty letting my family know of my unbelief. Those I have told have freaked out which makes me even more reluctant to advertise it.

Hang in there and keep coming here.

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