Pretending to be a Christian

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SeanJacobs's picture
Pretending to be a Christian

Hello everyone.

This is going to be a long post.

I have been and “on-again/off-again” Christian for most of my life, mostly due to pressure from Christians in my life who keep pressuring me to believe. Starting at a very early age I have had a combination of personality traits which aren’t conducive to being a Christian; I am curious and pragmatic. When I was a child I loved hearing ghost stories, trying out ESP, playing with a Ouija board, and watching scary movies, and watching TV shows about UFOs, big foot, and other “unexplained” things (“In Search Of”, X Files, etc.). I also love shows about science (like Nova). I was the kid who doubted Santa pretty early. I was the kid who liked to be scared of monsters and ghosts but figured out early that none of that stuff really exists. When I was a teenager my friends and I would go into graveyards to take pictures to see if we could get one of a ghost…and guess what, we never did because they don’t exist. As I got older I did more and more research and found that all of this stuff is not real. My parents became born again Christians back when I was about 10 years old. There was plenty of pressure for me to believe, but it all felt like another Santa Clause story to me. Yet, I played along and tried very hard to believe. When I was 15 my parents opened a Christian bookstore, where I worked part time into my early 20’s. This created even more pressure, and I played along and tried to believe…..yet, working in that bookstore did more harm than good. It exposed me to many “Crazy Christians” and brought to my attention how differently people perceived god. By my mid 20’s I no longer believed, but kept it under wraps from my family. I got married (to a non-Christian who later became a Wiccan) and later got divorced (not related to religious choice, but due to her choice to have multiple affairs). Then I got back in touch with my ex-girl fiend from high school. We dated and got married. Her parents are die-hard born again Christians. She was a Christian, but not nearly as much as her parents. We got married and were happy. We didn’t attend church for the years we dated and the first couple of years of marriage. She knew I was a doubter, but again I tried to believe (at least some of what she believed) and avoided arguing. She has a daughter from a previous marriage and decided that she wanted her to attend church to learn about God. I figured, “what’s the harm” and started to attend to support her. Things were fine. I was buying into some of it. We attended a Baptist church. The music was good. The pastor is a very genuine guy and his sermons were good as far as I could apply the message to living a better life. Over the next few years my wife has become more and more involved with the church (volunteering, multiple bible studies, watching lots of YouTube videos, Christian TV and movies, etc.) I was hesitant to get involved. I was ok with attending church and saying grace at dinner time, but just didn’t want to be immersed in too much of it. Then one day the worst thing happened; about a year ago the pastor stood on the stage, held a bible over his head, and said “If you don’t believe that this book contains the irrefutable, 100% historically accurate, “God inspired” word of God…then you are not a Christian.” WOW! That hit me right between the eyes! I had never read the Bible. I was just going on what I heard about it. Then the story of Noah came into my mind and I thought, “I absolutely don’t believe that story is historical truth.” Then a few other storied came to mind which I didn’t believe either: Creation, Garden of Eden, Parting of the Red Sea, etc. Being incredibly curious and pragmatic I realized that I needed to read the Bible, and I was hoping beyond hope to find something which would make me believe. I even prayed each night before I started reading that God would show me something, anything that would lead me to believe. I started that night. Needless to say I was horrified at what I read (and as of now I am only a bit more than halfway through). It became glaringly obvious to me that very little (if any) of what I was reading was “historically accurate.” Not to mention that large amounts of it made me realize how evil the God of the old testament is depicted. This is a being I would NEVER worship. Then there is all the absolutely ridiculous stuff (a talking donkey!!!) and enormous list of stupid laws. This triggered me to start researching and taking notes. As of right now I have over 50 pages of notes on thing in the bible which make no sense or are just evil. Plus I have a long list of questions to which the only real answer is “there is no God.” Whatever little belief I had was quickly eroding away. I mentioned my doubts to my wife and she pulled in her parents. I asked them some of my questions and they gave me the same old justifications about the “old covenant” vs the “new covenant”, you “just need to accept and believe”, and “you need to really research and study the bible with people who understand it better”, etc. I tried to throw logic at the, but it didn’t help (and I really didn’t expect it would as you can’t use logic to argue with emotion). My wife began to get more and more worried about me. She also became extremely frustrated and angry with me any time I questioned anything in the bible. Finally I gave up and just started playing along again.

But, I have reached a point where I am undoubtedly an atheist. I love my wife and I am extremely worried that our marriage will be destroyed if I come clean and just admit that I don’t believe. There is no use in trying to bring her over to my side, as any time I question anything she just gets angry and frustrated.

Any feedback is welcome.

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MCDennis's picture
Good for you

Good for you

Alembé's picture
HI Sean,

HI Sean,

I empathize; I went through something similar a couple of years ago when I “de-converted.” I can only tell you what is working for me and perhaps you can use it for guidance.

I do not try to convince my wife that there is no god or that the bible is a bunch of reheated myths used to control and brainwash. We do not discuss religion. I just let it go and accept that she comes from a long family history of belief and that nothing I do will change that. Similarly, I do not discuss religion with her family or our friends. Now, she does not bring it up with me either.

Even though I know that I am an atheist, she believes (chooses to believe?) that I am currently going through a phase of being an agnostic and that I’ll come back to belief later on. I can live with that. Perhaps you can convince your wife that you are currently an agnostic for the sake of your marriage.

I know, the path of least resistance requires a lot of accommodation from an atheist in our current society.

Obviously, even though you no longer identify as a christian you can still be a loving husband, a great step-father and overall good person. Focus on the everyday stuff. Does she want you to go to church with her or re-model the kitchen to her satisfaction?

Now, you may choose to say, “Screw it, I want to be an open atheist and let the relationships fall where they may.”

Pitar's picture
Feedback - http://www

Feedback - http://www.bidstrup.com/bible.htm

I'm afraid the bible is not going to be accurate on any account it gives of anything. Perhaps your wife needs to read the link above. One of the fears theists have is of losing their religion and whatever promises of an eternal hereafter. Folks just don't want to die and cease to exist so the various religions makes promises of immortality that (stupid) people metabolize as a truth. That's how religion gets its hooks into people. Pure deceit.

My wife and I are diametrically opposed on all things supernatural. We're open about it. My sons - 18 and 23 - are both atheists of their own making without outside influence. She claims her prayers net the family all the good things that it enjoys and my atheism is to blame for all that befalls it. Feelings of affection aside, she's a nut case. My sons feel the same way about her because of her religious convictions and that's a sad thing.

It is what it is and attempting to resolve it is impossible. She will always believe as she does. I do not try to dissuade her because it is of no consequence to me what she believes. I just don't care. But, when I have a discussion with one or both sons on the matter of theism and its fallacies we must be careful not to be within earshot of her.

Some people cannot be made to see reason because theism is not grounded in it. So, they do not need stuff like reason, logic, historical truths or other inarguable evidence that their theism is based in the language and methods of con men. They don't even think in the simple terms I've illustrated in these last couple sentences. All they need to know is they trust their belief system and find strength in surrounding themselves with like people (who prefer to trade thinking and the logic within it for promises of immortality).

You're in a tough spot. It should not matter to you or her if the bonds of love are strong enough to embrace your opposing views. But, in her case, you've already expressed doubt. Good luck with whatever you do but if you do not want to hurt her do not attempt to convert her. It will not come to anything but pain.

http://mama.indstate.edu/users/nizrael/jesusrefutation.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arian_controversy

The Arian Controversy in the link immediately above is clear evidence that the early architects of christianity knew the jesus/god story was a sham, and the Nicene Creed meeting where a politician (emperor) declares to the bishops how to identify the jesus character for future reference, by his edict alone, cannot be misinterpreted as anything but a sham.

http://www.bidstrup.com/bible2.htm

The link above is an illustration of the internal conflicts of the bible. You must first understand that the bible is a collection of contributions by at least 150 different authors all using the pseudonyms found in that work. That is stated much better in the link at the top of this reply. And, none of them were around at the time the bible dates the jesus story. The first contributions were written about 50 years after that starting with Paul (nee Saul), who launched the story of jesus and the current benevolent god into the historical record from thin air, so no one actually had 1st-hand knowledge of the biblical events of the jesus period.

May I suggest you attempt to read the bible after reading and getting a thorough understanding of the essay at the top of this reply? It will bring much about the bible into a clearer understanding for you.

kathleenkirvin271's picture
Pretending to be a Christian

Pretending to be a Christian undermines the essence of faith and authenticity. Christianity isn't a cloak to wear for appearances; it's a profound belief system guiding one's actions and values. Embracing genuine faith fosters personal growth and community bonds. Instead of feigning allegiance, it's more rewarding to explore and deepen one's spiritual journey sincerely. For more insights on personal growth, visit https://disqus.com/by/mybkexperiencesurvey/about/.

miajackson1117's picture
There are many interesting

There are many interesting games but my favorites are love tester and games about love. These games are quite interesting and engaging, I often play them during breaks between classes.

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