I Didn‘t Reject It; It Just Wandered Off...

 ...but don‘t tell my parents, or the people in my church, who care for me and wouldn‘t want to see me lose what, for them, is the most important thing in life.

 

I live in another country now, so it‘s OK, but some day soon I will have to return and face the reality... it‘s a choice between

1. disappointing the people who matter most to me, and tearing my family apart in all likelihood (I don‘t mean to sound melodramatic,; my mother cries if I show any doubt at all, and might die of grief if I outright rejected her beliefs).

2. once again surrendering my freedoms and forcing myself to hold to the beliefs of others, as sincerely as I possibly can.

 

I guess it‘s a bit like ‘begging the question‘ in this forum... you‘ll feel I should go for it, and jettison everything because it feels great... and there‘s no reason morally why anyone SHOULD be coerced or blackmailed into a religion. Please understand, though... I just can‘t go through with it. It would destroy so much of my life, and hurt so many people.

...the double life... I mean, is it sustainable? Anyone else doing it right now?

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26-30
5 Responses Mar 15, 2009

I've never been a Christian, though I have had my church-going times for about 5 years, as long as my brother was in the seminary, on his way to becoming a priest. He made up his mind about what he was going to be when he was in the 4th grade. I told him when I was about 13 that I think religion is bullocks, and he accepted it. I told him that I only go to church because I enjoy hearing him and the other boys sing. A few months back I told him that I still haven't changed my mind and he laughed and said that he wouldn't expect anything else from me and that it doesn't matter to him if I believe or not, and that because I'm a good person I'll end up in heaven anyway. Maybe I'm lucky to have family that loves me enough to not want to impose his principles on me. What I think though is that if your family loves you, and I bet they do, they won't mind if you're christian or not. It's gonna be a bit hard to accept at first, but the longer you put it off the harder it will be for you to actually say it.

I am Chirstain. I belive in acceptens and love i don't think anyone whos a non beliver (forgive me if i am wrong god) will be sent to hell special not for enternaity i mean you only live 70-100s how can the mistakes you make during a so "short" period of time detetermin your fate forever? besides god is merciful. I only want to say "follow your own path.

Growing up means breaking away. Your parents broke away from theirs and will on some level accept and understand that reality. It was painful for your mom when you left her womb too.<br />
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Personally I went through the church wedding at my parents church. It was ok with my wife. Her mom was disappointed she didn't get married in her church, but got over it. The real split came when it was time to baptize the kids. We did not baptize them. Over the years they pumped some religion at my kids, but more from a cultural prospective – for the most part they've pretty much accepted it.<br />
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My sister doesn't invite us to her kid's religious things, but we still get invites to the secular things. We're invited to all my brother’s events.<br />
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I don't know if you plan kids, but if they do come along, you're not going to want to impose religion on them. You will have to pick between your mom and your kids – you'll pick your kids. It's just the way the world works.

Well, let's just state the obvious at the start...no one can or should force you adopt a given spiritual belief. Having said that, living a "double life" is more common than you think and highly underrated.<br />
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EVERYONE lives a double life. Everyone. If you didn't, you would be deemed a sociopath. For example, the economy is in the dumps and you work for an idiot in a dead end job. Do you declare your boss' incompetence during performance evaluations or face-to-face encounters in the name of integrity? No. You suck it up, smile, and keep your job so your kids can eat and the heat can remain on. Suppose you spouse's rear end is growing at a faster rate that the Federal deficit and she asks you, "Does this dress make me look fat?" You are an honest person. You know that lying is a sin (or think that it is, whatever, work with me here). You scan her absent hip-to-waist ratio, look her squarely in the eye and say, "No. It looks fine, honey..." Why? Because being a good husband outweighs trumped up views of integrity, truth, etc. in this scenario.<br />
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Telling your parents that you need the Bible like a fish needs a bicycle is not like saying you never liked Mom's meatloaf. It is different by several orders of magnitude. Hurt feelings over meatloaf will pass by the next family get together. But telling the people that invested their all to raise and nurture you that you willingly elect to cast your soul into the pits of Hell never goes over very well. Because of the whole eternal life concept - coupled with the elements of religion that dissuade questioning orthodoxy - this is the one affront that they will not let go. It crushes relationships, it breaks hearts.<br />
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Your parents are out of the country. How much time do you actually spend with them per year? A couple of weekends? A few weeks? Of that time, how often will you actually be attending church together? Once or twice a year? Like kissing the boss' butt, like placating the spouse with the fragile ego, you honor your parents wishes and get to the church on time. Whether you ruminate about the Eucharist or your tax returns is your business. The same thing goes for dinnertime prayer. Keep your eyes open when all heads are bowed, make funny faces, whatever. You are there for family time. You are maintaining family ties despite the fact that (like all families) things are less than perfect.<br />
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Now don't get me wrong. The usefulness of the double life has its limits. And there are times when personal integrity (and plain sanity) must outweigh the utility of little white lies. Dealing with family that live out of state - that's easy. Dealing with a spouse with differing spiritual views is a much more delicate situation. In fact, it is my situation. What do I do? I am straightforward on issues that have seeds of compromise, I back off on issues that I know would cause undue pain ("No, honey I have not lost my faith, I just have questions..."), and we agree to put a select few hot issues on the shelf until cooler heads prevail. And the devout in-laws? We go to church together on Easter and Christmas and we have no problems whatsoever. Taking one for the team does not mean that you have to believe in fairy dust - your belief system should have an internal locus of control. You gain no spiritual strength or insight by killing your parents' wistful perception.<br />
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The bottom line: don't hurt people that you love unless you truly have no other choice.

i know exactly how you feel.TRUST ME it's not about satisfying the most important people to you but satisfying yourself, and i also know that if these people really loved you they would understand how you feel and except you how you are no matter what. You don't get things unless you want it for the right reasons and wanting it for someone else is not the right reasons. I dnt know your situation but it does seem like your being forced into your religion and religion is about ones belief and then if you dnt believe it's not your religion, and i gotta tell you from experience recommiting yourself to a religion is harder than if you didn't believe at all.But all the best wishes for you i'll keep you in my prayers. God Bless!