Today I started asking questions...
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12-07-2015, 03:37 PM
RE: Today I started asking questions...
God doesn't like questions Tongue
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12-07-2015, 03:53 PM
RE: Today I started asking questions...
TC,
I see "Grace Brethren Community" in your e-mail. What denomination is that?
Doc
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13-07-2015, 07:58 AM
RE: Today I started asking questions...
(12-07-2015 03:26 PM)julep Wrote:  If your church is a literalist one (6,000 year-old Earth, etc.), he may believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the actual authors of those books and reject out of hand any questions that rest on a historical or literary foundation.

What is your intention in opening the dialogue with him? Is it mostly to make your own views and feelings clear, or are you trying to undermine his beliefs, or are you trying to change the tone of the sermons you hear on Sunday? To me that's a point to consider because it will help steer your communications in the most useful direction.

I hope the outcome of your note isnt an awful lot of visits by people who are going to be praying for you, trying to shake the devil's hold on you, etc.

This made me laugh. (The visits by people praying for me etc.) My end goal is to open up discussion that things just aren't as clear cut as they make them out to be. From there we'll see...it may lead to me being able to step away but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. On one side, I enjoy going still just to hear what they will say so I can formulate responses such as the one I posted. If anything it helps sharpen me in my own biblical knowledge since I still enjoy the study even though it has led to a lack of belief. Smile

**Crickets** -- God
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13-07-2015, 08:05 AM
RE: Today I started asking questions...
(12-07-2015 03:53 PM)docskeptic Wrote:  TC,
I see "Grace Brethren Community" in your e-mail. What denomination is that?
Doc

Doc, here is a link to their main beliefs page:

http://www.fgbc.org/about

From a high view they are biblical fundamentalists, YECs, and pretty much anti-science if it disagrees with the bible. However, they mask this with applicable messages to one's daily life while leaving out the bad stuff, and modern technological driven, concert like weekend experiences which draws a lot of younger families. It's a strongly attended church with 5 campuses and about 5,000 each weekend.

**Crickets** -- God
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13-07-2015, 09:08 AM
RE: Today I started asking questions...
TC,
Thanks for the link. I read through the page. Your church is somewhat similar to the one I left, the Plymouth Brethren. Your story is somewhat similar to mine. I still attend church with my wife who remains a believer.

Let me ask you a question similar to that of Julep. What is your motive? You obviously love your wife and children enough to continue to attend church with them even after your deconversion. What do they think about your atheism? What will your "coming out" do to them in the church? Will they be exposed to shame or (worse) pity? Will their social circle shrink once you've been outed?

These are deep waters. Tread carefully, my friend.

Doc
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13-07-2015, 10:32 AM
RE: Today I started asking questions...
(13-07-2015 09:08 AM)docskeptic Wrote:  TC,
Thanks for the link. I read through the page. Your church is somewhat similar to the one I left, the Plymouth Brethren. Your story is somewhat similar to mine. I still attend church with my wife who remains a believer.

Let me ask you a question similar to that of Julep. What is your motive? You obviously love your wife and children enough to continue to attend church with them even after your deconversion. What do they think about your atheism? What will your "coming out" do to them in the church? Will they be exposed to shame or (worse) pity? Will their social circle shrink once you've been outed?

These are deep waters. Tread carefully, my friend.

Doc

I take your questions very seriously so thank you for the warning. I appreciate your input. I have turned thoughts over in my head for the past 24 months. In the short term my motive is to start asking questions so that I can slowly pull away from my duties within the church. I am currently still involved in the worship team and although this gives me a musical outlet, I'm sure eventually I'll be able to fulfill that roll elsewhere. My questions will in no doubt put me in a "bad light" and if need be, I can use my disagreements of how the church is teaching theology as a way to back away if they don't ask me to step down first.

I have told my wife that for the time being I will still attend church with her. Eventually I may pull out altogether but I'll have to see how I hold up. She does not belong to any social circles within the church. She is an extremely shallow (not meant to be a ad hominen attack) believer. She believes Jesus died for her sins and that she is going to heaven. That's it. Other than that she knows nothing. No theology, no doctrine. She is not involved with any life groups, etc. Even when I was in hard core she never wanted to be involved with them because she didn't like being singled out to share her opinion, mainly because she probably realized her knowledge in any subject was null. She's never had a desire to learn more. She's satisfied with her conclusion and where she is at. One would think that she would have less trouble with my deconversion because of those reasons but our entire relationship, from her side, was based on the fact that I was a christian, so this is very hard on her. The people she knows are the people on the worship teams because of me. We rarely (a few times a year) do anything with couples from church, outside of church. Our lives are too busy with kids and other activities to more involved.

**Crickets** -- God
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13-07-2015, 11:01 AM
RE: Today I started asking questions...
(13-07-2015 10:32 AM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  I can use my disagreements of how the church is teaching theology as a way to back away if they don't ask me to step down first.

OK. Good long term planning. Keep us posted on how it goes. If you ever need to vent or decompress, I'm available.

Doc
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13-07-2015, 11:30 AM
RE: Today I started asking questions...
Maybe, you could have added:

"P.S. I am not a closet catholic..."

Digressing a little bit. I remember in my small southern town that father Art knew the other pastors/ministers in town. Reinforcing this notion is that, one of the minister's wives gave me a ride back to college one time and I remember her saying she knew father Art. So it is interesting to me that in towns, ministers/pastors/priests/reverends know each other, but according to TC77 they bag on each others' faith in front of their congregations...
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13-07-2015, 11:34 AM
RE: Today I started asking questions...
(13-07-2015 11:30 AM)Iñigo Wrote:  Maybe, you could have added:

"P.S. I am not a closet catholic..."

Digressing a little bit. I remember in my small southern town that father Art knew the other pastors/ministers in town. Reinforcing this notion is that, one of the minister's wives gave me a ride back to college one time and I remember her saying she knew father Art. So it is interesting to me that in towns, ministers/pastors/priests/reverends know each other, but according to TC77 they bag on each others' faith in front of their congregations...

I'm quite certain our pastors know many people of other faiths. They treat the discussions very gently. They say "those religions have a lot of good aspects" but "ours is the true religion because of xyz..."

So yes, they are basically 'bagging' on them but in a way that causes the least amount of water troubling.

**Crickets** -- God
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13-07-2015, 12:03 PM
RE: Today I started asking questions...
(13-07-2015 10:32 AM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  
(13-07-2015 09:08 AM)docskeptic Wrote:  TC,
Thanks for the link. I read through the page. Your church is somewhat similar to the one I left, the Plymouth Brethren. Your story is somewhat similar to mine. I still attend church with my wife who remains a believer.

Let me ask you a question similar to that of Julep. What is your motive? You obviously love your wife and children enough to continue to attend church with them even after your deconversion. What do they think about your atheism? What will your "coming out" do to them in the church? Will they be exposed to shame or (worse) pity? Will their social circle shrink once you've been outed?

These are deep waters. Tread carefully, my friend.

Doc

I take your questions very seriously so thank you for the warning. I appreciate your input. I have turned thoughts over in my head for the past 24 months. In the short term my motive is to start asking questions so that I can slowly pull away from my duties within the church. I am currently still involved in the worship team and although this gives me a musical outlet, I'm sure eventually I'll be able to fulfill that roll elsewhere. My questions will in no doubt put me in a "bad light" and if need be, I can use my disagreements of how the church is teaching theology as a way to back away if they don't ask me to step down first.

I have told my wife that for the time being I will still attend church with her. Eventually I may pull out altogether but I'll have to see how I hold up. She does not belong to any social circles within the church. She is an extremely shallow (not meant to be a ad hominen attack) believer. She believes Jesus died for her sins and that she is going to heaven. That's it. Other than that she knows nothing. No theology, no doctrine. She is not involved with any life groups, etc. Even when I was in hard core she never wanted to be involved with them because she didn't like being singled out to share her opinion, mainly because she probably realized her knowledge in any subject was null. She's never had a desire to learn more. She's satisfied with her conclusion and where she is at. One would think that she would have less trouble with my deconversion because of those reasons but our entire relationship, from her side, was based on the fact that I was a christian, so this is very hard on her. The people she knows are the people on the worship teams because of me. We rarely (a few times a year) do anything with couples from church, outside of church. Our lives are too busy with kids and other activities to more involved.

Keeping the social connections light will definitely work in your favor, I can say from personal experience with my family and friends that are religious, that they got tired of church and would quit going only to get back into it later.

I found this quite common, attending church is really a pain in the ass, you might have success in highlighting how boring it is and how you'd rather be doing other things on Sunday.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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