A strange new world, the veil is lifting
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23-06-2016, 09:12 PM (This post was last modified: 23-06-2016 09:32 PM by DLJ.)
A strange new world, the veil is lifting
Hello all,
I am 43 old Texan who has been an evangelical christian for 28 years. I have always had struggles with some biblical moral issues and have studied apologetics for many years (the usual suspects Lee Strobel, Mcdowell, Hanaagraaf, James White, Michael Brown, etc) as well as Theology (Election, Arminianism, Eschatology a.k.a study of end times). I have always believed the bible was the "infallible" without error word of god.

Until a few months ago...... I have always struggled with some moral issues in bible such as "God asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, etc..." but always accepted the typical answers until several months ago.

My journey actually began when I started watching YOUTUBE debates vs Atheists. I stumbled upon some debates with Bart Ehrman, Robert Price, etc... and what I thought would strengthen my faith by watching debates actually caused it to be shaken. The biblical scholars such as Bart Ehrman caused me to read the bible in a different light but the most enlightening thing I took away from many videos I watched was to test my religion in the same light I had tested so many others.

It has been a very dark journey and quite frankly very depressing. I actually played guitar for the church on Sunday mornings, and for the youth group and also helped with youth group at church. I am married and have 1 child still at home (will graduate in 3 years) the rest of my kids have already moved out. I suddenly stopped playing guitar at church and also stopped my involvement with the youth group.

I continued going to church (and still do every Sunday begrudgingly) because I have raised my son to be christian and to not have my wife catch on to my complete abandonment of my faith. We finally had a talk a week or so ago and I admitted to her I "no longer believed the bible was the word of God". This was a very hard blow to her, and she automatically assumed I am pissing away all my morals and told me how devastated my son would be if he found out this is how I feel.

I no longer pray at home when we have dinner and my wife takes the lead on that now..... But I have not told my wife yet that I have taken the leap from not believing the bible to no longer believing in the God of the Bible or even God in general. I don't know how/when I will be able to take that next step.

I wonder if I should try to secretly continue to read, read, read and learn more and more about atheism and the validation of critical free thought and reasoning and try to ride this out till my son graduates. I am very concerned that my wife may divorce me once she knows of my atheistic leanings now.

I have been "binge listening" to TTA podcasts and they have been a great help and I already feel like a part of this community. I am reading "De-converted" right now and about 75% through and I relate so much to what Seth went through.

Probably tougher than telling my wife will be one day telling my children that I raised in christianity that I no longer believe. I just don't know how they will take it or how I can do it.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has had to deal with the same thing. I look forward to learning more and being a part of this community of thinkers.....
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23-06-2016, 09:25 PM
RE: A strange new world, the veil is lifting
(23-06-2016 09:12 PM)jbrann Wrote:  Hello all,
I am 43 old Texan who has been an evangelical christian for 28 years. I have always had struggles with some biblical moral issues and have studied apologetics for many years (the usual suspects Lee Strobel, Mcdowell, Hanaagraaf, James White, Michael Brown, etc) as well as Theology (Election, Arminianism, Eschatology a.k.a study of end times). I have always believed the bible was the "infallible" without error word of god. Until a few months ago...... I have always struggled with some moral issues in bible such as "God asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, etc..." but always accepted the typical answers until several months ago. My journey actually began when I started watching YOUTUBE debates vs Atheists. I stumbled upon some debates with Bart Ehrman, Robert Price, etc... and what I thought would strengthen my faith by watching debates actually caused it to be shaken. The biblical scholars such as Bart Ehrman caused me to read the bible in a different light but the most enlightening thing I took away from many videos I watched was to test my religion in the same light I had tested so many others. It has been a very dark journey and quite frankly very depressing. I actually played guitar for the church on Sunday mornings, and for the youth group and also helped with youth group at church. I am married and have 1 child still at home (will graduate in 3 years) the rest of my kids have already moved out. I suddenly stopped playing guitar at church and also stopped my involvement with the youth group. I continued going to church (and still do every Sunday begrudgingly) because I have raised my son to be christian and to not have my wife catch on to my complete abandonment of my faith. We finally had a talk a week or so ago and I admitted to her I "no longer believed the bible was the word of God". This was a very hard blow to her, and she automatically assumed I am pissing away all my morals and told me how devastated my son would be if he found out this is how I feel. I no longer pray at home when we have dinner and my wife takes the lead on that now..... But I have not told my wife yet that I have taken the leap from not believing the bible to no longer believing in the God of the Bible or even God in general. I don't know how/when I will be able to take that next step. I wonder if I should try to secretly continue to read, read, read and learn more and more about atheism and the validation of critical free thought and reasoning and try to ride this out till my son graduates. I am very concerned that my wife may divorce me once she knows of my atheistic leanings now. I have been "binge listening" to TTA podcasts and they have been a great help and I already feel like a part of this community. I am reading "De-converted" right now and about 75% through and I relate so much to what Seth went through. Probably tougher than telling my wife will be one day telling my children that I raised in christianity that I no longer believe. I just don't know how they will take it or how I can do it. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has had to deal with the same thing. I look forward to learning more and being a part of this community of thinkers.....

Welcome aboard, you should fit in well here. Thumbsup
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23-06-2016, 09:28 PM
RE: A strange new world, the veil is lifting
Welcome!

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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23-06-2016, 09:30 PM
RE: A strange new world, the veil is lifting
Welcome to TTA. You have to do what feels right for you, but I would caution a little patience.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-06-2016, 09:32 PM
RE: A strange new world, the veil is lifting
Welcome.

The deconversion process is similar to that of grief and loss

http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages...and-grief/

Many of us here have gone through it, don’t hesitate to speak out, we all have leaned on one another from time to time.

ps Posting tip: use paragraphs, makes it much easier to read.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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23-06-2016, 09:35 PM
RE: A strange new world, the veil is lifting
Welcome to the dark side.

The trick, regarding how and who to tell, is to demonstrate that you are the same person who has changed their mind on an issue ... an issue that does not define you as a person.

You're still you.

Wink

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23-06-2016, 09:42 PM
RE: A strange new world, the veil is lifting
(23-06-2016 09:32 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Welcome.

The deconversion process is similar to that of grief and loss

http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages...and-grief/

Many of us here have gone through it, don’t hesitate to speak out, we all have leaned on one another from time to time.

ps Posting tip: use paragraphs, makes it much easier to read.

Thanks for tip will do
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23-06-2016, 09:56 PM
RE: A strange new world, the veil is lifting
Howdy! Shy
Got several Texans 'round here, already, so welcome.

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23-06-2016, 10:03 PM
RE: A strange new world, the veil is lifting
(23-06-2016 09:12 PM)jbrann Wrote:  Probably tougher than telling my wife will be one day telling my children that I raised in christianity that I no longer believe. I just don't know how they will take it or how I can do it.

Interesting twist to the more common, "How do I tell my parents?"

I won't pretend know your kids or how successful you have been at indoctrination, but you might be surprised. One thing you have going for you is that if anything they might respect your decision more than if the roles were reversed. After all they no longer rely on you for much more than love. As long as you continue to provide that, your chances of surviving the outing with a relationship intact is that much greater.

Welcome to the forum. I too am a heathen in disguise around family, dreading the day it must be revealed. You're in good company.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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23-06-2016, 10:10 PM
RE: A strange new world, the veil is lifting
I have dealt with what you are experiencing, though it was not atheism so much as it was with my sexuality.

However, coming out, no matter the subject matter, is still a scary journey.

I suppose it was easier for me due to the fact that I was younger. As an older man, of course you have reservations and major concerns.

The one thing you must keep in mind is that if your family truly cares for you and loves you, they are not going to disown you due to the fact that you have become an atheist. After all, you have informed your wife and she is still with you.

No matter what, continuing to withhold your true self from your family in the long run is not beneficial for you. Considering the feelings of others can only extend so far, especially if sparing them means that you are suffering.

There seems to be this social trap we set up for ourselves whereby we must spare others to our own detriment. If others cannot understand or accept, that is on them.
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