The Coming Out Begins

I’ve mentioned that a conversation on membership at our new church will be had soon (https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/two-things-that-happened-last-sunday/). Well, its happened.

My wife mentioned that she’d spoken to the pastor about prospective membership and that he was due to come round and have a preliminary chat with us. Well I couldn’t hold it off any longer, there was only one thing I could do and that was indicate my concerns.

So we had a discussion about how I was having doubts in my faith. That my increased scientific understanding had led me to doubt significant biblical events to the point where I now questioned the reliability of the bible.

We talked around a few things and my wife mentioned that at least I hadn’t rejected it all completely and gone atheist on her. Ouch. I guess that was my cue to fess up completely, but I couldn’t do it. She did confirm that she had strongly suspected the situation for a while.

My justification for not going the full confession with her is that, the news is still new to her and that to go straight to the end point would be a bit much. I know its dishonest, but I think its better than full disclosure at the moment. My journey to atheism was not short and I think exposing it as a short journey might not be that helpful. So there is more to discuss.

Membership won’t happen for me

So upshot of the discussion is that my wife suggested that I don’t go for membership of the church, but that she still will.

There were other things she said too. She expressed a desire for us to continue to have conversations on religion. She also said she wanted us to continue to go to church as a family and it was important to her that I supported what she wants to do within the church, especially as I do know what it is like to be committed to the church as a Christian. This is all fine with me. I can’t expect support for my position if I can’t support hers.

The next day, the pastor came round to chat about membership and before he chatted to my wife, I went for a short walk with him to explain my position. He understood and took it on board, he thanked me for my honesty and explained that given that information there is no way he could accept me into membership. The conversation ended positively and we continue to build what I think is going to be a good friendship.

The pastor has lent me a book called, “Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose?” I think its clear from the title that the conclusion will be acceptance of evolution, likely to be guided with a divine hand. I have started reading it and the opening chapter makes it clear that its primarily aimed at Christians who wish to answer further questions on evolution. Maybe this isn’t the right sort of book for me, but I’m going to read it anyway and see where it goes.

Where next?

Given the open and honest conversations we’ve had, I am positive for the future for my wife and I. I had built up a lot of fear in myself on how I could tell her and what would happen. It turns out that fear was unfounded.

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15 thoughts on “The Coming Out Begins

  1. I’m happy for you that you could confess even as much as you did. This must be a weight off your shoulders as the desire would be to share your entire lives as partners. Even though you haven’t told her the entirety I’m certain she suspects what will come next. It sounds as though you are a close family and it’s hard to keep those sorts of things secret even if you don’t broadcast it. Your wife sounds lovely.

    • Hi D’Ma,

      Thanks very much. Yes it is a big weight off.

      I am very positive about what will happened next and its a relief to know that all the fear I had was pretty much in my head.

      And yes, my wife is not only lovely but wonderful too 🙂

  2. This is very intersting. I expected, as with most blogs on this subject a mocking and resentful view of Christians. You show that there are indeed some of us who are able to get along with Atheists.
    You know, I came to this, becuase I was unsure of what your story was in “Comming out”. I am interested in this situation becuase I faced something similar a few years back.
    I had been brough up by Atheists who attended church (perhaps Agnostics). At times the were universalist, at times Liberal Christian, at times Atheist, etc. But my father always said the problem with the world was Evangelical Christians. I became one of them, in secrete at first, as my parents had a great deal of hatred towards this kind of Christian. But ultimatly, I came out, and they still love me.
    Good to see there is still goodness!!!

    • Thanks for the comment tobeforgiven,

      I hope you won’t find any mocking of christians here. I have been on the receiving end of that before so I know how unhelpful it is.

      Welcome to my blog, it tells the story of my journey away from creationist Christianity in a personal way.

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  4. I hope the rest of your “coming out” journey runs a smoothly as the first part has.

    I’m happy if a family can be supportive of each other though they may have different view and beliefs. It turns out my own family is unable to do the same and the wedge between myself, my children and husband and my mom and siblings is getting wider.

    The anger I am feeling I wish on no one.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that TAW.

      I have followed your story and genuinely wish I had something wise and useful to say to you on the subject. My best wishes to you, in as unpatronising a way as I can possible be.

      • Thank you Limey. I’m not sure where we will go from here. I would love everyone to just respect each other, but it seems that I’m the only one willing to not only say that but do that. At least I was until this last round, now I just feel anger. An anger so deep at the moment that I’m unsure how I’ll ever really get over it. I suppose with time it will subside, however I’m not sure my relationship will ever be the same with my family again.

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  7. I know this is an old post hear… I was interested to read your story. I am no longer a christian, my wife is, and we have recently moved to a relatively progressive and accepting church. I would say my wife is post-evangelical. :^)

    We are coming up on the new membership part. Since it is a new church for us, I didn’t need to have a “coming out”, as I could just freely talk to the pastor about what I believe and don’t. It is a very accepting place; the pastor would have more in common with my agnostic, functionally atheist beliefs than he would with a conservative evangelical. But I couldn’t join as a member, I would not be able to affirm the creeds they do hold to. Which is fine, and I think, and hope, my wife will be able to join peacefully with me still remaining an attender rather than a member.

    It sounds like you and your wife have reached some similar understandings. Hope things are still going well with you.

    • Hello ATR, thanks for stopping by.

      It does sound that you and your wife are in a similar place to myself and mine. My wife is very understanding and tolerant of my position and all is still very well for us. It would devastate me to lose my wife, so I am very happy that this change in my life is not having a negative affect on my marriage.

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