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.

That Certainly is Convenient

My last post (https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/you-have-my-permission-to-be-controversial/) had me thinking about coincidences and happening of convenience. When my wife and I move to the town that we currently live in; it was due to my job. In the months building up to the move several things combined to give us the distinct impression that God was guiding us.

In no particular order;

–         The minister of the Baptist Church in town was a friend of the Curate at the Church of England Church we’d been attending previously.

–         A friend of my brothers was dating a girl who attended that same Baptist Church

–         A girl who grew up at that Baptist Church had married my cousin inZambia, which helped me to get back in touch with that part of my family. (something we wouldn’t actually find out until after the move)

–         A girl who I knew, who attended my Mother’s Baptist Church had married someone who grew up in this same Baptist Church we would end up attending.

–         Despite resistance from my wife to moving to this town, attempts to buy a house in neighbouring towns failed. Either we couldn’t find a house we liked or we were outbid on the properties we did like.

–         When my wife eventually consented to looking at houses in this town, we found a flat that was new to the market, viewed it and made an offer all in one afternoon. Our offer was accepted.

There are probably a few other moments that could be added to this list, but the years have not been as kind to my memory as I would like them to be. The point is, that we interpreted all these things as evidence of God’s hand in the move and that it was most certainly His will.

We’re still in the early stages of our next big move, but the coincidences have already started.

–         Our house is being bought by a retiring Minister. It’s a cash purchase from his church organisation. This means there is no chain of people before him, to complicate the moving process

–         The house we are buying is a new build, not something we expected but the value compared to older houses is good and we won’t need to spend money redecorating. Also, buying a new house means no onward chain to complicate the move.

–         After an original concern over when the new house would be completed it turns out its going to be ready in August, which just so happens to be the month our purchasing minister retires and will need our house.

–         The father of one of the ladies at our current church used to be the minister at the Baptist Church in the town we are moving to.

–         When we visited the church a couple of weeks back, we found it a relaxed and less formal church than our own. There did appear to be a need for a worship group and it just so happens that my wife is gifted musically and on the occasions that she leads worship at our current church, she is always appreciated.

Of course we’ve discussed that there have been some rather fortunate moments in our plans to move. Neither of us has brought up the God at work assumption though. Certainly in years gone by I would have already been interpreting this as God’s will, but not now. Coincidences happen all the time.

Now I prefer to express it in the words of the great Tyrone from The Backyardigans; “That certainly is convenient”.