Scared to stop believing
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25-10-2012, 01:16 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(25-10-2012 12:32 PM)onedream Wrote:  Wow....didn't expect so many great answers. Thank you so much. You're helping my confidence.

Someone asked "What are you scared of?"

Geez...all the normal stuff, I guess: Breaking my family's hearts, dying and finding out that I'm wrong, ruining my children's' lives, & losing my livelihood.

If I don't believe in Christianity (or eventually in God) then what business do I have in Christian Broadcasting? I don't know if I could respect myself knowing that I'm lying to 200 Thousand listeners everyday.

If I were in your shoes it would be hard for me to, but all we do what we have to.

With that said, baby toe out of it. You don't have to change things over night.

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25-10-2012, 03:34 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(25-10-2012 12:32 PM)onedream Wrote:  Wow....didn't expect so many great answers. Thank you so much. You're helping my confidence.

Someone asked "What are you scared of?"

Geez...all the normal stuff, I guess: Breaking my family's hearts, dying and finding out that I'm wrong, ruining my children's' lives, & losing my livelihood.

If I don't believe in Christianity (or eventually in God) then what business do I have in Christian Broadcasting? I don't know if I could respect myself knowing that I'm lying to 200 Thousand listeners everyday.

Since Christianity is the basis of your current livelihood, have you considered contacting The Clergy Project?

http://clergyproject.org/

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
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25-10-2012, 03:52 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(25-10-2012 12:32 PM)onedream Wrote:  Wow....didn't expect so many great answers. Thank you so much. You're helping my confidence.

Someone asked "What are you scared of?"

Geez...all the normal stuff, I guess: Breaking my family's hearts, dying and finding out that I'm wrong, ruining my children's' lives, & losing my livelihood.

If I don't believe in Christianity (or eventually in God) then what business do I have in Christian Broadcasting? I don't know if I could respect myself knowing that I'm lying to 200 Thousand listeners everyday.

It doesn't sound like you've actually stopped believing in God or even the basic concept of Christianity, just a literal interpretation of the Bible. So it's less a deconversion and more a crisis of faith. (Not necessarily the bad sort of crisis, but definitely a tumultuous happening.) I think it's really important to be clear on exactly what you've rejected, exactly what you've accepted, and exactly what you're questioning. Make a list and be methodical. The categories are a myriad of grays rather than black and white, and an easy trap would be to fall into "if I'm not A, I must be B, because those are the only two options" reasoning. I'm an ignostic, so this kind of breakdown is exactly what I spend a lot of my time doing, and you're welcome to bend my ear all you want.

I would suggest considering (very carefully considering) a limited disclosure to the people you most care about not deceiving. Speak in general terms (crisis of faith, or a questioning stage of life, rather than the blow by blow), and only under conditions of confidentiality, and be clear that it's something you're undertaking on your own and that you aren't asking for help. (Unless you choose to ask for help.) Secrecy and sudden, inexplicable shifts can drive family and friends apart, but if you're open about the fact that there IS something going on AS it's happening, it will be less of a shock and feel like less of a betrayal. (It's not a betrayal at all, but that's not the point.) This MIGHT be a way around the breaking-your-family's-heart fear, depending on your family. Again, this is not actually a suggestion, but something to consider very carefully, on a case-by-case basis.

I can't speak to your marriage or children, because I have neither.

As for dying and finding out you're wrong, that's ALWAYS been a possibility whatever your belief system. If you're worried about damaging your ego for guessing wrong, DON'T BE. If you're worried about punishment, I'd suggest reviewing the wide variety of rebuttals to Pascal's Wager.

As for your job and livelihood, start looking for other work now. Find a way to transition to a more secular career (or just secular station). You don't have to DO it immediately, and if it turns out you're still a Christian after this whole shebang you don't have do it at all, but have the offers lined up in case you do decide you have to leave, or in case you get outed before you're ready. Your best defense is preparation and pre-emption.

As for the questions of personal integrity, I suggest Googling The Clergy Project. It's not an exact fit for your circumstances -- it's for decided atheists, rather than those in a questioning stage -- but they can provide volumes of counsel on the subject of ethics and integrity.

Hope some of this helps.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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25-10-2012, 04:06 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(25-10-2012 12:32 PM)onedream Wrote:  If I don't believe in Christianity (or eventually in God) then what business do I have in Christian Broadcasting? I don't know if I could respect myself knowing that I'm lying to 200 Thousand listeners everyday.

Didn't you mention in your other thread that you're a friend of Seth's? He might have some very specific advice about Christian broadcasting and what alternatives you may have.

And I say, don't worry about those 200,000 listeners - they've spent their lives being lied to on a daily basis, what's one more?

Just kidding. I know that didn't help, but I couldn't resist the sarcasm. But there is a bit of truth to it. From what I've heard of ex-clergy who continued preaching from the pulpit long after they personally became atheists, they were afraid to make the change, afraid they were not qualified for other jobs, afraid of what friends and family and congregations would say to them (or behind their backs).

So they stayed and hid their atheism and pretended to believe and kept preaching, but they altered their approach a little. Instead of prattling about imaginary friends in the sky, they cherry picked the good morality from the bible and focused on good life lessons without emphasizing the biblical mythology. For example, you could talk about how Jesus wouldn't judge the adulteress and talked the townspeople into not judging her too (and stoning her to death). John 8:1 to 8:11. Focus on the moral of the story and not on Jesus as the son of God, and the story is still valuable. That kind of thing.

As someone already said, the Clergy Project might have great advice.

By the way, did you know that this particular parable was added several centuries after the Gospel of John was first written? Hah, put that on your radio show... Smile

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25-10-2012, 08:46 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(25-10-2012 03:34 PM)Cardinal Smurf Wrote:  
(25-10-2012 12:32 PM)onedream Wrote:  Wow....didn't expect so many great answers. Thank you so much. You're helping my confidence.

Someone asked "What are you scared of?"

Geez...all the normal stuff, I guess: Breaking my family's hearts, dying and finding out that I'm wrong, ruining my children's' lives, & losing my livelihood.

If I don't believe in Christianity (or eventually in God) then what business do I have in Christian Broadcasting? I don't know if I could respect myself knowing that I'm lying to 200 Thousand listeners everyday.

Since Christianity is the basis of your current livelihood, have you considered contacting The Clergy Project?

http://clergyproject.org/

Seth Recommended it to me. But my understanding is that it's for people who are already non-believers. I guess you could call me "A closet agnostic." But I'm on the fence.
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25-10-2012, 08:48 PM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2012 08:52 PM by Vosur.)
RE: Scared to stop believing
(25-10-2012 08:46 PM)onedream Wrote:  Seth Recommended it to me. But my understanding is that it's for people who are already non-believers. I guess you could call me "A closet agnostic." But I'm on the fence.
Are there any questions you want to have answered before making your decision? If so, ask away. Sleepy

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25-10-2012, 08:49 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(25-10-2012 03:52 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(25-10-2012 12:32 PM)onedream Wrote:  Wow....didn't expect so many great answers. Thank you so much. You're helping my confidence.

Someone asked "What are you scared of?"

Geez...all the normal stuff, I guess: Breaking my family's hearts, dying and finding out that I'm wrong, ruining my children's' lives, & losing my livelihood.

If I don't believe in Christianity (or eventually in God) then what business do I have in Christian Broadcasting? I don't know if I could respect myself knowing that I'm lying to 200 Thousand listeners everyday.

It doesn't sound like you've actually stopped believing in God or even the basic concept of Christianity, just a literal interpretation of the Bible. So it's less a deconversion and more a crisis of faith. (Not necessarily the bad sort of crisis, but definitely a tumultuous happening.) I think it's really important to be clear on exactly what you've rejected, exactly what you've accepted, and exactly what you're questioning. Make a list and be methodical. The categories are a myriad of grays rather than black and white, and an easy trap would be to fall into "if I'm not A, I must be B, because those are the only two options" reasoning. I'm an ignostic, so this kind of breakdown is exactly what I spend a lot of my time doing, and you're welcome to bend my ear all you want.

I would suggest considering (very carefully considering) a limited disclosure to the people you most care about not deceiving. Speak in general terms (crisis of faith, or a questioning stage of life, rather than the blow by blow), and only under conditions of confidentiality, and be clear that it's something you're undertaking on your own and that you aren't asking for help. (Unless you choose to ask for help.) Secrecy and sudden, inexplicable shifts can drive family and friends apart, but if you're open about the fact that there IS something going on AS it's happening, it will be less of a shock and feel like less of a betrayal. (It's not a betrayal at all, but that's not the point.) This MIGHT be a way around the breaking-your-family's-heart fear, depending on your family. Again, this is not actually a suggestion, but something to consider very carefully, on a case-by-case basis.

I can't speak to your marriage or children, because I have neither.

As for dying and finding out you're wrong, that's ALWAYS been a possibility whatever your belief system. If you're worried about damaging your ego for guessing wrong, DON'T BE. If you're worried about punishment, I'd suggest reviewing the wide variety of rebuttals to Pascal's Wager.

As for your job and livelihood, start looking for other work now. Find a way to transition to a more secular career (or just secular station). You don't have to DO it immediately, and if it turns out you're still a Christian after this whole shebang you don't have do it at all, but have the offers lined up in case you do decide you have to leave, or in case you get outed before you're ready. Your best defense is preparation and pre-emption.

As for the questions of personal integrity, I suggest Googling The Clergy Project. It's not an exact fit for your circumstances -- it's for decided atheists, rather than those in a questioning stage -- but they can provide volumes of counsel on the subject of ethics and integrity.

Hope some of this helps.

Great advice. Thanks so much for taking the time to help.
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25-10-2012, 08:51 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(25-10-2012 04:06 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(25-10-2012 12:32 PM)onedream Wrote:  If I don't believe in Christianity (or eventually in God) then what business do I have in Christian Broadcasting? I don't know if I could respect myself knowing that I'm lying to 200 Thousand listeners everyday.

Didn't you mention in your other thread that you're a friend of Seth's? He might have some very specific advice about Christian broadcasting and what alternatives you may have.

And I say, don't worry about those 200,000 listeners - they've spent their lives being lied to on a daily basis, what's one more?

Just kidding. I know that didn't help, but I couldn't resist the sarcasm. But there is a bit of truth to it. From what I've heard of ex-clergy who continued preaching from the pulpit long after they personally became atheists, they were afraid to make the change, afraid they were not qualified for other jobs, afraid of what friends and family and congregations would say to them (or behind their backs).

So they stayed and hid their atheism and pretended to believe and kept preaching, but they altered their approach a little. Instead of prattling about imaginary friends in the sky, they cherry picked the good morality from the bible and focused on good life lessons without emphasizing the biblical mythology. For example, you could talk about how Jesus wouldn't judge the adulteress and talked the townspeople into not judging her too (and stoning her to death). John 8:1 to 8:11. Focus on the moral of the story and not on Jesus as the son of God, and the story is still valuable. That kind of thing.

As someone already said, the Clergy Project might have great advice.

By the way, did you know that this particular parable was added several centuries after the Gospel of John was first written? Hah, put that on your radio show... Smile

I wasn't aware of the parable being added later. Wow.

The thing that really started to knock over the pins for me was reading (for the first time for myself) the contradictory creation accounts in the first two chapters of Genesis. And then I discovered the "Refuting the Bible" section here. HOLY COW. I had no idea.
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25-10-2012, 08:54 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(25-10-2012 08:48 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(25-10-2012 08:46 PM)onedream Wrote:  Seth Recommended it to me. But my understanding is that it's for people who are already non-believers. I guess you could call me "A closet agnostic." But I'm on the fence.
Are there any questions you want to have answered before making your decision? If so, ask away. Sleepy

Well...here's a question:

It's about evolution. Creationists claim there are no "transitional species."

You know...species that show a transition from one species to another; Macro Evolution.

What say y'all?
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25-10-2012, 08:58 PM
RE: Scared to stop believing
(25-10-2012 08:54 PM)onedream Wrote:  
(25-10-2012 08:48 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Are there any questions you want to have answered before making your decision? If so, ask away. Sleepy

Well...here's a question:

It's about evolution. Creationists claim there are no "transitional species."

You know...species that show a transition from one species to another; Macro Evolution.

What say y'all?
Talkorigins has debunked pretty much every Creationist claim ever made.

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