How to tell my pastor parents that I don't really believe in God anymore?

WithLove (@inocentzgurl) 5 years, 7 months ago

My dad is the pastor and my mom is the co-pastor of an apostolic/pentecostal church. I’ve been raised in church all of my life. I sing on the praise team and was “forced” to be the youth leader. I’m 21 years old and I’ve always questioned some things in the bible but i really began questioning and having doubt last year. Then…i cant put my finger on an actual day but sometime this year i realized that i really dont believe at all. I still live with my parents so just not going to church is not an option. I would be fine in keeping this to myself and never having to tell them if they wouldn’t push me to be so active. They actually want me to start preaching! For whatever reason young people are drawn to me so other churches invite me to come speak to their youth. My parents are always so excited and don’t understand why I started declining invitations. It’s because I can’t stomach the fact that I’ll be teaching/preaching about something I don’t even believe in anymore. I know eventually it’s going to have to come out because I’ve been getting more invitations lately to speak or sing and each one I’ve been declining. It’s going to be so hard to tell them because they will think that I’m going to go to hell now, they will feel they failed as parents and pastors, and something tells me my dad is going to think it’s my boyfriend’s fault(because my bf isn’t super religious and has to work every sunday) which is def not the case. He has NOTHING to do with it, I promise. I want to tell them with facts about the holes in the bible but with love at the same time.

April 13, 2016 at 11:05 am
Zaddirak (22) (@Zaddirak) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

Hi there!

First off, I don’t identify with any religion.

I also grew up in a church, my father was a pastor/youth pastor for 10 years or so. I considered myself a Christian and believed in God whole-heartedly, up until around 12-13 years old. Now that I’m older, I value the morals behind the Bible and consider the spiritual side of things to be a possibility, but lack the faith to say I’m Christian or any other religion.

I don’t know you.. So I can only assume what kind of solutions to this problem might fit you. Now, I don’t like to assume, so I’d rather attempt to put myself in your shoes if you don’t mind!

If I were in your situation, I’d probably be considering two main options right now:

1. Coming clean to my parents. Telling them that I’ve strayed away from God and rather not preach to anyone on the subject because I no longer believe in the very things I’d be preaching of. I’d ask them to please respect my beliefs and let them know this would never affect my love for them.

2. Using my influential position to help the kids in the youth group. I’d focus my teachings on self-development and the morals behind the stories within the bible. I would make it clear that I’d like work specifically with the youth group and not preach during the regular services, unless of course I’m prepared to speak on topics with limited association to anything spiritual- to a room full of spiritual people. Haha

I’m not sure how you can relate to what I’ve said, if at all.. Or if those options even seems possible in your current situation.

But I hope you can get something out of all that!

Best of luck, my friend!

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Anonymous (1) (@) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

I was raised Catholic and my single Mother is radically religious. I’m very open with her about how I believe the stories in the bible are just stories but I express that they are like the allegories expressed throughout the history of humanity that have guided us to think civilly and morally. I express that I believe in a god but not as one with an identity. She’s hardcore identified with Catholic doctrine and seems to view the bible as truth.
We never argue about the shit. I listen to her religious babble and she listens to my bs. We get along. 
We believe two different things and we’re okay with that. Maybe this helped.

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Ellie (1,363)M (@tangledupinplaid21) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

Do you live with your parents? If so, maybe it’s best to wait until you move out to have “the talk” and just gradually phase that stuff out. You could pick up some new interests so that you have a reason for being less involved in the church. I really feel for you on this, that would be a crazy situation and would feel somewhat like living a double life.

I never told my parents about my lack of belief until I was older and had moved out and such, because I didn’t believe it would have brought anything good.

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Anjelica (101) (@Anjelica) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

My upbringing was similar to this, with the singing and all. I feel like if it was that extreme at this point in my life I would just start preaching my own stuff with the social power you have in that situation. But it took me years of crisis to have my own sense of truth.

A church lady actually helped me recently.  Eight months ago I was in a lot of physical pain and could barely walk because i channeled all of my anxiety about my own religious upbringing+ the general insanity  of society into my sciatic nerve. I decided to try to run it off because I had been held back by it for a year and a half at that point. In the moment it felt like I was giving myself an ultimatum that it had to be mind over matter. So trying to let go of the pain brought up a lot of shit and there was a Methodist Church 3/4 of a mile away. By the time I got there I was pretty inconsolable and decided to utilize the place of refuge that it is, even though I have such a phobia of them. Even though I felt the whole place haunted by evil, I realized I was powerful enough to make the space mean whatever i wanted it to mean.  This innocent lady sat with me for like two hours listening to me weeping and asked if she could pray for me. I told her not if she was going to pray to a male god. But she still sat with me and seemed to completely respect my perspective and the pain I was in at being at odds with all of it. I don’t think she had ever seen someone so upset before. You probably have someone in your community with a questioning mind and open heart too. 

But really our parents sold our souls to that stuff, and theirs were sold for them before they could even speak too. You don’t need their blessing. 

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kevtarriela (0) (@kevtarriela) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

Mom and dad are both catholic. I had a confession with them that I don’t believe in god and god is an illusion. Thought they were gonna hate me but I was surprissed that they did not. I was ready in that moment for any consequences. What am I trying to say that parental love is unconditional no matter what or how your beliefs are. Your situation is different than mine I guess that would be hard since your parents serves at church

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CtlAltDestroy (2) (@CtlAltDestroy) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

You had awesome parents with minds of their own. This person may not be so lucky. Like the girl who was murdered by her parents for working at McDonald’s. Or the one killed by her parents for kissing a boy. These are extreme examples, but we medicate these things in children in our culture. “My kid can’t sit at a desk for 8 hours with 30 other kids and one teacher! Must be the devil!”

thats the shit I went through. I started questioning things, so I must have turned from god to satan. 

Parents are people. All have problems. And some are insane. 

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Jake (0) (@400hurdles4life) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

Hello Friend, I just wanted to mention that God and religion are seperate. God doesn’t have a religion, so i can see why noticing the holes and lies in religion will make you believe there is no God. But i’m here to tell you that i believe in god and to religion i say fuck you. :) I reccommend a book called conversations with god by neil donald walsch. this book contains dialogue with god, and he tells you what to know about him/her.

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Zaddirak (22) (@Zaddirak) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

Hello Jake!

I’d say that God exists without religion within your perception, while God and religion co-exist within the perception of others.

Outside of that.. Some are/aren’t appreciative of what can be learned from religion, and/or choose to not believe at all.

If you do not agree that this is (for the most part) the case, I invite you to provide evidence that supports your reasoning for disagreement!

Either way, I look forward to your reply man! Hope all is well with you!

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CtlAltDestroy (2) (@CtlAltDestroy) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

Evidence? You’re asking for evidence, on this website of all places, for god to exist or not exist? Are you insane?

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Zaddirak (22) (@Zaddirak) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

Haha, that’s my point. There is no evidence supporting the existence or non-existence of anything. To claim that God exists or doesn’t exist, to ramble about how fucked up religion is and to state your beliefs are above all others.. In reply to a young lady just lookin’ for a little advice on how to be honest with her loved ones about her beliefs- It’s not cool man.

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CtlAltDestroy (2) (@CtlAltDestroy) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

I’ve never forced my beliefs on another, and I never will. I can say religion is fucked up because it is. Just as I can say atheists are faithless, because they are. But my beliefs? The only one I’m guilty of having is where I believe religion is malevolent and controlling. I’m not telling anyone what to believe, just telling them not to believe everything they’re told and to think for themselves…

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kevtarriela (0) (@kevtarriela) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

Well I dont believe in God and so religion. 

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CtlAltDestroy (2) (@CtlAltDestroy) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

First off, there is a God. No, he is not a patricentric deity who is corporeal. God is life and matter and consciousness and every single one of us. But you don’t need religion to have a relationship with God. Faith is not religion. Religion is just a set of doctrines and belief used as a vehicle to spread tradition (and it’s siblings: racism, elitism, etc…). Faith is just faith. 

      Secondly, I understand entirely where you come from. I went through the same crap. Honestly, it’s the oldest saddest story in history and the crime committed every time a generation procreates. And seeing the things done in religion’s name! It’s enough to make you misanthropic. And all these “faithful” are hypocrites and liars and can’t have heaven without a hell for all the sinners.

     It’s all designed to keep you in line. Don’t question it! Just believe it and grow old. And don’t worry about your life of toil and poverty, d

 

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CtlAltDestroy (2) (@CtlAltDestroy) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

Don’t worry about the rich and privileged. Because if you do everything we say and stay in line, you get to go to eternal paradise. But you have to die to get there!!!

    Well fuck you. 

     I went down the same path as you. I took the same train of thoughts. And I lost my faith. Or so I had thought. As it turns out, it was just my mind thinking for itself. Asking questions. What it was made to do.

    But living without faith… And it doesn’t have to be faith in Jesus or Allah or even a religion. But you need faith. In yourself. In humanity. In anything. Without it, that way lies madness. 

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CtlAltDestroy (2) (@CtlAltDestroy) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

The real problem is people turning to others to tell them what to think and do and believe. No one needs religion. Yet, you’ve lost all belief in a god because the only one you know of is a patricentric misogynistic lie. 

     People are scared. People are lost. So they turn to hope. But some men sell hope laced with poison. We call these men evangelists and preachers. 

      As far as what to do, you’re in for a rough road. You may have a falling out with your parents and not talk to them for a while, but maybe separating yourself from the lies being crammed down your throat might let you see faith (not religion) in another light. But I empathise with you. I really do. This is hard. 

     What helped open my eyes to the truth about the Judeo-Christian-Islamic belief systems is history, mostly. You study it and you discover all of it is filled with people believing someone else’s lies because of the fear of eternal torment. Which is bullshit. You tell me god is kind and forgiving and compassionate, but if I lose my way or (gasp!) don’t come to The Lord through the proscribed indoctrination, god will force me to torture and pain forever? Sounds like a real asshole to me. 

     They took stories with morals and made them truth,  and their truth is all lies. And no one stopped to question over 2,000 years.

another thing to help: the Gnostic gospels. The council of nicea totally screwed you and everyone when they were deemed heretical, but that’s because it contradicts the bible completely. In it, you’ll find the gospel of judas (mind-blowing), the gospel of Mary (equally so), and even something written from the persepective of a female deity. Particularly interesting, is viewing the Adam & Eve tree of life story as the tree being an entheogenic plant…where Eve awoke and saved Adam from the prison of his mind by giving him the fruit to eat, which opened his eyes to it.

    If you have any question or need someone to talk to, you can message me on here. Good luck. Is wait until you moved out to tell them, or they’re going to rain Jesus shit on you for months. And you can stop going to church, go to another without them, or pick up a hobby or sport that requires your Sunday mornings. Bam. 

Their the ones with the problem, not you. Congrats on waking up. Welcome!

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Anjelica (101) (@Anjelica) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

I appreciate this :) 

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CtlAltDestroy (2) (@CtlAltDestroy) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

Anytime. The only way to save ourselves is to help each other. 

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7Wolf (0) (@7Wolf) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

God works in mysterious ways is no joking matter- don’t worry you’ll get there…..all the good people do, all the ones strong in faith had to walk down their own path of doubt to become stronger. There is most certainly a God and we most certainly have a soul, though from one individual to the next we cannot determine our story or outcome in this world and in this time-where many events of the Bible are presently lining up. Maybe the crossroads you are approaching has less to do with a Maker/Creator and more to do with organized religion as such: Pentecostal. The reason why it is referred to as a personal relationship with Christ is because it is exactly that, once other humans get involved the spiritual connection is weakened. Go in your room alone and pray- you’ll feel better;-) Keep an open heart and mind and read Ephesians 6:12.

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Silverlady (0) (@Hyperdrivelady) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

Gosh, raised in a apostolic/Pentecostal church and never got slain in the spirit? How did you ever dodge that? I have been in Pentecostal churches. There is a whole lot of moving in the spirit that goes on. Maybe you seen it might have been more contrived than real. I can’t say that really lead your heart away from the Lord. You have a gift but I suppose in the ministry. If you’re still living under your parents roof and not self sufficient I would wait till you got on your own supporting yourself before I told them. It would be a horrible mistake unless otherwise. God be with you. 

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BitterOldMan (17) (@BitterOldMan) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

I think that my approach would be to sit down with them, and tell them how you feel. Scary as fuck, but “there ain’t no easy way out”. I would be assertive in my manner of telling them, not explaining or apologizing, just stating how you feel. Also I would not try to change their view, since they’re probably already aware of the holes but decided to ignore them. Best of luck, and be true to yourself :-)

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sayantan (0) (@sayantan) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

I guess making your parents understand is a very tough job. Which in fact isn’t at all. Religious believes are the foundation of your parents’ existence. Talk to them. Tell them that you don’t believe in many things in the bible, and you don’t want to go on preaching and you want to make a different sort of life which is obviously more reasonable to you than just meaninglessly preaching things you don’t believe in.

Be courageous and tell them. If they love you enough then I think children comes before religious believes. At least it should. They will understand, and be reasonable in the discussion to express your reasons properly so you can hit or at least illuminate some doubts in them too. Or can tell them that human brain basically consists of ideas. Like for a scientist or a mathematician it is logic and reason where for you it’s religious believes and moralities which gives ideas to find meaning in existence and form your believes to be familiar with an unknown physical world. If they understand its all right or else you have to some other way to do what you want or to be what you want to be.

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doomdiart (2) (@boomfoam) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

‘We are,our choices’  Your parents have made a choice, to have a faith, that brings them comfort and a means to understand the world.It is neither right or wrong,in the same way small children believe in Father Christmas,you don’t have to accept how a fat man gets down a chimney,just accept his gifts

You must respect their choices as belonging uniquely to them.Conversely they have taken you on a spiritual journey in the belief that it is your best interests.Now you are at a cross roads and must find your own path.

I would strongly advise against telling a person that there beliefs are wrong,they are perfect for them,that is why the adhere to them so strongly.

If I were you, I would go away for a few days,but prior to my departure leave a hand written letter telling them of your personal choice.Your mind is yours alone not a surrogate of your parents beliefs. A parents job it to prepare a child for the world not mold ‘their’ world into the child’s mind.

They will re-read this letter many times in your absence, I can assure you,turn off your phone.Let the message sink in and be understood by them over the few days. 

Bringing it up in conversation could lead to a confrontation and inevitably lead to you being preached at, ignored etc.

I wish you and your parents well and peace on your paths.

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DrumVic (0) (@DrumVic) 5 years, 7 months ago ago

I’ve actually have a first hand experience on this one (Although I’m not a son of a priest) Everybody in my family is a Roman Catholic they go to church, participate in almost every religious activities and they have a lot of faith in “God”… At first I did believe those things and do what they do.. Then in high school I didn’t believe in any religion anymore… College came and I didn’t believe in “God”.. I guess I as a realist I needed some proof that he does exist (Which I cant find anywhere)

So I decided to tell my parents about it… That I didnt believe in “God” anymore… And the truth is they got angry… My aunt even said I’m an advocate of the devil… But thats it, they just got angry at me and upset… They still loved me and so as time passed by they learned how to accept it.. I can even joked about it with them right now…

So in my opinion you just have to tell them the truth… I think they’ll still love you no matter what…

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Anonymous (0) (@) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

You know what i think, you will be surprised, your parents also don’t believe in God, they just live in a community with some rules, so any cult is like a tribe, to be integrated in a tribe you must have the same behaviour.  This tribal wierd things must have pushed you to a non-believer, God is beautiful, Bible is beautiful with a lot of layers of beauty. From my experience meeting “pentecostals” i can say they are very decieving… Don’t leave believing in God…or better to say…try to find God instead  of being a “smartass atheist”

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