if i was American i suspect it would have a bigger deal!
Hoo boy yeah! Here, most people would vote for almost anyone, including a member of the opposite party, before supporting an atheist.
if i was American i suspect it would have a bigger deal!
Exrev wrote:I've noticed you've mentioned a lot about god, but haven't said anything about your church.
Welcome to your return to this forum!Magenta wrote:This forum is incredible helpful - and I'm back to stay.
It's a difficult step. The sense of God testing your faith is a bitch to shake.Magenta wrote:Sooner or later I must leave the pretense behind...
And, hey, that's fine. In fact it's probably preferable to coming out of the closet half cocked. When you do come out of the closet Christians will either shun you or go the other extreme, which is to burden you with all their fears and concerns. It's the latter ones that actually care for you, so it's in a nasty spot to be in, because they've got [they believe] your best interests at heart - and yet it's these ones that you need to be most prepared for. Taking your time is, in my opinion, a good policy here.Magenta wrote:I’m still in the closet at the moment and assimilating stacks of information.
As distressing as this inevitably is, you're also setting an example. Which is to say that you might potentially be pleasantly surprised by having set a positive example. We can only hope...Magenta wrote:My biggest reason for continuing to be in the closet right now is my reluctance to disappoint my daughter – and I know that if I leave the JWs, she will be deeply disappointed.
Something that helped me through this was changing my thoughts to "what if denouncing the God of the Bible is the real test?" I mean, how better to demonstrate intelligence to an intelligent being?Magenta wrote:So I go through the motions, knowing that God can read my heart, and he knows that I have contempt for him – scary for me to put into words – but there it is.
Surely your son will be over the moon though, won't he (I'm assuming she's not allowed to talk to her brother because he left?)? And there's that damn faith at the helm again; resolved. The only solace that I can offer here is that you probably would have had just as much resolve once, yet now you don't. And she is your daughter...Magenta wrote:She is already very sad (but resolved to remaining loyal to Jehovah) about not being permitted to associate with her brother – I don’t want to add to her sadness.
Oh yes they do! JWs are of the opinion that you can't know the whole truth just by reading the Bible - which contradicts what's written in 2 Tim 3:16-17 of the Bible they carry. The implication of this is that you need Watchtower literature to know the 'complete' truth. There's deliberate deception right there!Magenta wrote:They have never claimed to be infallible (like the pope), and have sometimes been mistaken, but that doesn’t mean that they set out to deliberately deceive anyone.
Individual members, such as you once were, genuinely are concerned for others - this is not necessarily representative of what's going on back at mission control though.Magenta wrote:They are genuinely concerned for others...
They've been predicting the end for a bloody long time, Magenta (it all started back in 1844 - the year that became known as the Great Disappointment. This event gave birth to most prominently SDAs and eventually JWs).Magenta wrote:...and believe that they are fulfilling the prophecy at Matthew 24:14 which states that the good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth, and then the end will come.
Kiwi wrote:The further adventures of an emerging atheist
Okay so I'm joining the church music team again. I used to be a worship leader and musician there. After a four year hiatus I have offered myself back as a pianist. Had a coffee with our pastor about it and he's comfortable with the idea of an unbelieving lost soul such as myself contributing to the church worship scene.
My situation for the past year has been a mutual arrangement with my wife that I attend church every second week. In practice it means I'm there once a month or so. I'm finding this unsatisfactory now. If we didn't have kids I'd quite happily not attend at all. But I've come to realize that our family is part of the church community and I am part of my family so therefore I am part of the church community. Taking a long term view I can't expect to un-evangelize my wife and kids, so I have to consider how best to engage with the community we are part of. I don't want to spend the next five years trudging along and sitting gloomily through the service and leaving as fast as I can afterwards. It's not fair on my family and I'll drive myself nuts.
So I've decided it's about people, particularly my family. Plus I love playing the piano - and the piano at our church happens to be a rather tasty grand. If I'm going to be part of this community I might as well do something I enjoy - even if I have to accompany awful songs. The irony isn't lost on me that I'll be spending more time there, but that's okay. It's like when I had to do an assignment at school that I didn't want to do: I'd usually end up choosing a topic that took me MORE effort just because it was more interesting.
This is where I'd expect crazylegsmurphy to dive in and say "what the??"
Hope things are going well for you Magenta. Or if not well, then at least not UN-well!
Kiwi wrote:I know, I know. And there are worse lyrics to come. At least I won't have to sing them. The alternative is I'm standing in the pews listening, which is actually more awful - this way I get to have a legitimate distraction of playing some music. (Probably once a month on the roster.)
I'm not being bullied into submission, it's my own proactive choice. In a long standing marriage which has always had a very Christian foundation, I'm the one who opted out of belief in God. I have to respect that. I'm still working out how to negotiate this tight-rope journey.
Kiwi wrote: Had a coffee with our pastor about it and he's comfortable with the idea of an unbelieving lost soul such as myself contributing to the church worship scene.
marcuspnw wrote: I find your willingness to sacrifice your own desires for your family commendable as long as this is really your free choice.
Kiwi wrote:The issue of how I raise my children is a much larger, thornier one. My starting point is that I have no right to pull the plug on their religious upbringing just because I have personally reneged on the deal. I don't think I've earned that right yet. I certainly will need to be honest with them about what I believe (or don't) when the time comes.
My wife has been really good about not pressuring me into going to church. It's a journey for her too, having an atheist husband. In the meantime, as long as I'm going to church, I'm going to play a little music there because in a perverse kind of way I suspect it might help keep me sane!
Kiwi wrote:My wife has been really good about not pressuring me into going to church. It's a journey for her too, having an atheist husband. In the meantime, as long as I'm going to church, I'm going to play a little music there because in a perverse kind of way I suspect it might help keep me sane!
Kiwi wrote:Thanks guys, those are all helpful comments. Yes, oddly, a cross cultural marriage is kind of where I've ended up. Fortunately I know all about her 'culture' ... she needs to learn about mine. And I need the freedom to learn about my new culture too without too much confusion.
I like the anthropological angle. I certainly have been watching church services in a detached, observation mode for the last couple of years. I'm honestly not too concerned about getting wooed by the spirit as I play. The issue I expect to wrestle with more is: am I being hypocritical by playing in such a way that I help manipulate the congregation into a place of worshipfulness? I know I can do that. "Ooh, everyone's getting a bit swept away now, let's build it up and sweep them away even more as we approach the chorus."
Our pastor is certainly a decent guy. He asked me where I was on my 'journey' and which way I was facing. I said I was heading away from God but always looking back towards God just to make sure that He still wasn't there. He liked that.
I gave him total permission to pull me from the team if he thinks I'm becoming a piece of atheist poison there. I don't expect that to happen, but I'd respect him if he did.
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