A pastor no more

sent in by former pastor

left the church and Christianity two years ago.

I had been a Christian since the age of eight when, out of fear of hell, I prayed to Jesus to forgive me.

My family had only intermittent contact with the church over the next 12 years, but at the age of 20 I had what I believed was a real conversion experience (more so than my fearful prayer as a child) and began an 18 year ’adventure’ in Christianity and the church.

I believed I was called to minister, so much of this time was taken up with bible college, one-to-one studies and tutoring, mentor ships and so on, and then with my own teaching, serving on church boards, serving as a deacon, and culminating with becoming a pastor.

All through this time, I saw the best and worst that exists in the church. I received great help and support when I needed them; I knew many deeply loving people who moved me with their depth of character; I saw people pulled out of bad situations (addictions, abusive relationships, etc.). I also witnesses raging hypocrisy; I saw the worst in class system and racial bigotry; I knew people for whom Christianity was a convenient blind for hatred, fear and ignorance; I saw intellect denigrated and received many deep, personal hurts.

Also during this period, my knowledge of the bible, history, language, and comparative religions was growing, and with that, the small, nagging doubts about the absolute truth of the bible and Christianity (which, to be honest, were always there) also grew. I had never whole heartedly bought into thing like creationism, the concept of an eternal hell, the ’evil’ of homosexuality and so forth, and this tendency was increasing. I even got into some slight trouble when I was teaching a class on Genesis for suggesting such things as possible allegorical or mythical interpretations of the creation accounts; that Ph.D.s in geology and biology might have some idea what they’re talking about; or that there is similarity between Genesis accounts and other culture’s stories. (Ironically, my Genesis class doubled in attendance from start to finish).

Although there were some parts of the bible that troubled and disturbed me, such as wholesale mass murders, the generally capricious and bloodthirsty OT god, or the wife stealing, murdering bastard David being put forward as a spiritual ’hero’, I simply filed them away in the ’for further study someday’ part of my brain and ignored them.

But it all came to a head for me in 2003. I had been studying a variety of neopagan, heathen, and atheist books and websites for some classes that I was teaching, and although many of them were superficial and largely useless, there were several that were articulate, intelligently written, and perceptive; especially in their criticism of the bible and Christianity.

I opened up that mental ’for further study someday’ file and began to take a long, difficult, honest look at what was there. The process took some time, but by its end I knew that I no longer believed in the bible or Christianity.

Christmas was approaching, and I knew I could not preach through the season things that I no longer believed. I resigned from my church, and returned my credentials to the denomination. It gave rise to much consternation with both my church and denomination officials that I was not just leaving one church for another (which happens all the time), but that I was leaving the ministry entirely.

That was two years ago. It’s been a painful process and adjustment. I’ve lost my professional position; the financial security it took me years to achieve; many relationships and the support system that had seen me through many hardships. My marriage is on troubled ground because my wife remains a committed Christian, and I don’t know what the outcome of this will be.

I’m past the rage and bitter tears now, thought they flare up from time to time. I’m still working through the mourning process, and I’m still picking up the pieces left from my old life.

I have lost a great deal, but I hold on to what I’ve found. I have a strong sense of peace from being able to face the truth. I have a freedom that I haven’t known before in my life. I even have a modicum of self-respect and, in spite of the bumps ahead, I think the future looks bright.

Illinois
USA
Joined: 8
Left: 38
Was: Christian pastor
Now: None. I'm just me.
Converted: Originally out of fear
De-converted: I learned too much

61 comments:

John W. Loftus said...

I too am a former minister, but I am now an atheist, just like Dan Barker.

It's a tough thing to leave, isn't it?

I wrote a book about it that might help, and Dan Barker is editing another one with testimonies of former ministers in it.

email me at apacaptainjohn@juno.com

Wilson said...

Will you stick with your wife if she remains a "committed Christian"

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that great testimony. Obviously you are a very intelligent person, and able to see things as they are.

Your post was very sincere, and I hope that people who read it will not fall into the negative and hostile banter I have seen here before coming from the "true" believers.

You are very brave. Good luck in all you do.

Onanite

Jim Lee said...

Great to see it's all behind you and you have come to accept Christianity for what it is, one giant fraud. It's a pity your wife has still remained a gullible committed Christian. This arrangement will more than likely wreck your marriage. I was rather fortunate though, my wife decided to research with me, hoping to prove me wrong. At the time she was devastated when she discovered Her beloved Jesus was a myth. We both were actually, as we wanted so much for Christianity to be true. We are over all of that as it was some time ago now. Leaving the dogma of Christianity was one of the greatest decisions we have ever made. Best wishes for the future and I do hope you wife can see the light of truth one day

Wilson said...

But the question I had, Lee, was if he would stick with his with if she remained a committed Christian...say she loves him but does not share his views, what then?

Does she have to agree to stay married...that is what Barker seemed to imply and what you all have been implying.

I hope I am wrong...if I am, just say so...that you would stick with your wives even if they were committed Christians

sightedone said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. I feel the pressure with family and church members, but I have never been a pastor. I am sorry that you and your wife aren't together on all this right now. I suppose it could "wreck" your marriage as jim lee said, but personally I see lots of positive possibilities as well. If you love this woman and want to be with her, this conflict can actually bring you much closer in the end. I have seen that happen several times in my marriage.

Aren't you grateful for this site and the new community of support? I sure have been. I haven't posted much, don't have a lot of time, but I have read a lot and it has made a huge difference for me. The only downside has been the arguments that develop in the wake of people sharing their hearts when the christians come along with so much b.s.

You have taken a huge step and life on this side really can be amazing. Congratulations.

BoyGod666 said...

Wilson, you seem to be implying that if his wife remains a Christian he should leave her. Is that correct? If so, I don't agree.

My wife and I are both atheists so I don't have the same experience exactly, but I have a brother and sister whom I love dearly. My brother was a committed Christian who was deep into faith. He knew I was an atheist and both of us kept a strong relationship despite our huge differences in what we knew to be true.

He had several life changing events that turned his path around. One was that his pastor "came out" of the atheist closet privately to him. The other was that a very close friend told him that he was a secular humanist. After much study and an open mind, he realized that the things he felt in his heart no longer made sense to him as a Christian and he finally realized that his beliefs were much closer to being a secular humanist.

It is possible that his wife will turn around if his love and caring for her is strong enough. Christianity is a hateful religion filled with eternal torture, intolerance, and doublespeak. Maybe she will change or discard her beliefs in the name of love. We can only hope...

ex-pentecostal preacher said...

Former Pastor

Welcome aboard, you are in good company here.

Very good post, many of us have come to the same conclusions that you have and the freedom we now have is wonderful.

I have a testimony here also it is ex-pentecostal preacher. Might be of interest to you.

Welcome again, the regular posters here like Jim Lee and many others are very good.

Best always, enjoy your freedom.
ex-pentecostal preacher
Fred

MadBuni said...

First, let me say welcome to you former pastor. It takes a lot of courage and soul searching for most of us to leave religion, especially if surrounded by christians among family and friends, but I would think it is much harder for ministers.

I certainly admire you and each of the ex ministers/pastors/priests who have posted here for making that decision.

As to the issue of "mixed" marriages, I think it depends on each individual couple's circumstance and how much love and understanding they have for each other as to whether they can stay together. I hope that your wife can accept you for your decision, and you can make things work, although it sounds as if it is not going good right now. I am sure it's hard, and both of you are having to go through a struggle with the changes in your lives at this point.

Whatever the outcome, I wish you luck, and know you will be much happier with your life from now on no matter what.

cholebear said...

I hope you will find your way to a fulfilling life. I can relate to sense of loss, like everyone here. yet, the joy of no Hell and no perfection is so much more relaxing. I think the hardest part is leaving all the people behind because it is what you all had in common. you will find others who will become even better friends because they won't always be trying to make you be like jesus - just yourself.

Anyway, I don't know why he can't stay married. For many years I was the Born Again freak and my husband was only a believer - it was quite strenuous yet we remained. When I left religion - it took him a while to leave his beliefs - and I wonder if he really has - but our marriage is still one of the best.

Best to you in the New Year.

Jamie said...

Hello, my name is Jamie, im a Christian here not really with a debate, i completely understand that you can feel the way you do, but id just like to say, i was once a professed atheist, but i seen, and i know God exists now, im 20 years old almost 21, found out God existed over 2 years ago, paranormal experience started it all, ateast three eye witnesses besides myself, and hundreds things atleast have happened to me in the past 2 years to just keep kicking me with the proof due to my faith, faith is a must to see a miracle, ill share my story with you if your interested, get me at jamiehoban@shaw.ca

i know God exists so much that if he doesnt exist then neither do i

if not, well much love and happy new year

i hope the best for your marriage

Jamie

LadySidhe said...

I'm glad for you that you decided to think for yourself, which very few people have the courage to do, and I wish you luck that you'll find what works for you.

LadySidhe said...

Oh, and as to the wrecking of the marriage--I know a man who himself is a committed christian, and his wife is an equally committed wiccan...they knew what the other was when they married, and they seem to be very happy together.

Carmen said...

To all the former pastors/ministers who are listed in this blog:

I'm sorry you've decided to leave God because He IS real. Just because you never really believed in Him doesn't verify His supposed non-existence. Since you were able to leave Him, you were never saved in the first place, and I beg you to reconsider your present stance. You're obviously hungry for validation, but being validated by people who don't understand God or the Bible isn't the way to go. I've been involved in several conversations in ExChristians, and I can promise you, NONE of them have a good grasp of God and the Bible - and being "validated" by these people is like running for cover in a lion's den. And Satan is laughing his butt off.....

I whole-heartedly invite you to e-mail me for any further discussion in this matter: carmen@therefinersfire.org

May God bless you and give you the desire to return to Him.

Barry said...

Here we go again folks, it's Carmen, she believes in ghosts, Saints, miracles, blessings, signs from god, visions. Angels, spirits, souls, Jesus, prophets, etc. Get over it little girl!!!!!

No one has left god, and no one has ever known a god, except you Carmen, of course.

You're just repeating something that you've already heard from someone else.

Carmen go back to the mental ward where you come from and start cutting out little paper dolls, you'll be safe there, I promise.

Carmen, you're a perfect expose of a delusional fruitcake nutjob, how did you get out of your cell? Did Jesus let you out....hmmmmmm?

Go away Carmen and live with your little fairytale imaginative mental heroes, who come to your rescue at your very command.

cdmon said...

Well looky here, Cartman's back again for another round of taunting. Still with no more proof than a bunch of copy and paste non-sense on her silly website.

Cartman said: "I'm sorry you've decided to leave God because He IS real."

You still haven't shown one single shred of evidence in your favor. Just a butt load of biased rhetoric and apologetics.

Cartman said: "Just because you never really believed in Him doesn't verify His supposed non-existence."

How absolutely condescending that statement is. How do you come to the conclusion that any of us never really believed in HIM? That would beg the question, who died and heired the throne of judgement to you? You have absolutely NO idea what any of us believed in. Nor do you know the condition of anyone's hearts here, including your own. Well time to wake up and smell the coffee sunshine. Your emperical evidence is just as invisible as your god.

Cartman said: "Since you were able to leave Him, you were never saved in the first place, and I beg you to reconsider your present stance."

Cartman you are one of the most bigoted bigots I have ever posted to. The more I see you post the more you convince me of your outright bigotry.

Oh and yes, the more you post, the more you convince me that I made the right decision to leave xianity in the first place... It is people like you who help give xianity a bad name. Not that it doesn't do a good job of it on it's own.

Oops, I almost forgot, you are an MJ... Same diff, if it walks like a duck and quacks, you are still a fundie.

Cartman said: "You're obviously hungry for validation, but being validated by people who don't understand God or the Bible isn't the way to go. I've been involved in several conversations in ExChristians, and I can promise you, NONE of them have a good grasp of God and the Bible - and being "validated" by these people is like running for cover in a lion's den. And Satan is laughing his butt off....."

Get real, no one here needs your validation or your delusions. And the more you post the more we are further convinced that it is you who don't have a grasp on god or the bible or reality for that matter.

You are judgmental, arrogant and you need a satan to blame your short comings on. And if there really were a god or a satan they would be shaking their heads and laughing their asses off at your stupidity... which I might add becomes more apparent everytime you post here.

We know exactly what your agenda is, to try to save us, and I've told you before not to waste your time and ours.

Your comments that we were never saved to begin with are offensive and stink highly of deluded egotism. With that being said, how do you expect to save anyone here with that attitude? And NO you can't even save yourself.

So please do yourself and everyone else here a favor... Get a clue and peddle your wares elsewhere!! Find some ignorant sheep to corral, we've heard it all before, and it's getting mighty thick.

Nobody is interested in your silly copy and pasted website. You really have nothing tangible to offer us except to be the butt of our jokes.

Cheers

god_NOT said...

Wasn't the actual Cartman in it for the 10 million dollars? Too much South Park for me...

Carmen, go with you! You are NOT saving a frickin person in here! Get over it! You WON'T win!

Go be with those that actually do want to share your belief system... I think there is someone named Margaret from Trading Spouses that is in need of a friend like you.

Go now little bird...fly fly...

god_NOT said...

I would like to add this to Carmen, if we don't believe in it, then what do you care?? Did you get sent an invitation to "save" any of the posting people in here? I doubt it. You took it upon yourself to try to shove this garbage into our unwilling lives.

Leave...just leave... put your energies and intentions into something that will give you reward. You will NOT find salvation or souls that wish to be saved here!

Fly fly...

god_NOT said...

>>>LadySidhe said... Oh, and as to the wrecking of the marriage--I know a man who himself is a committed christian, and his wife is an equally committed wiccan...they knew what the other was when they married, and they seem to be very happy together. <<<

Wow! As a pagan, I know that is a hard task to accomplish. I hope they make it.

BrainG. said...

Hi My name is Brian, and I do love the Lord God and Jesus with all my heart and mind. I'm a youth pastor at my local church. At the present time I feel somewhat trapped, like as if four walls surround me. I talk to God and Jesus on a regular basis, I would also like to recommend a website; (theresfinersfire.com)which has helped me tremendously. I was married to this wonderful person, until one day I heard a voice, yep you guessed it, it's was from my good friend Jesus Christ, he told me that all women were sent directly from the devil and women were directly the cause of the fall of man in the garden of Eden, and that it was a blasphemous sin to be associated with women in any way, but I do miss Dee Dee, even though she carried an evil spirit in her heart. Jesus said, that I must rebuke that ole Satan and detroy him, otherwise I would be in danger of the Holy Throne Seat Judgement. Although I now am percieved as a menace to society, I know now for sure that I will be with Jesus for all eternity. Just when you think that your world is about to come to an end, Jesus will come to your rescue. Just say his Holy name, Jesus and he'll be there in an instant ready to forgive your soul of it's filthy unrighteous sins, and you are just a prayer away from the Kingdom of God. Amen Carmen? Heymen sister Carmen. I now walk in the spirit of the Lord, with Carmen and all the other self-professing Holy Christians. Ahshallallabagoomba Praise his holy name, I'm drowning in the Holy Spirit of the Lord.

cdmon said...

Oh yeah...

Cartmen said: "Since you were able to leave Him, you were never saved in the first place, and I beg you to reconsider your present stance."

WTF kind of logic is that? If we were never really saved in the first place... How is it that you begging us to reconsider our present stance going to make us any more or less saved than our first time?

See just how convoluted your reasoning is?

Matt 7:1, "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

Cheers

cdmon said...

RE: Brian... That has to be a joke... right?

Passerby said...

Here's Carmen's orginal post:
http://exchristian.net/letters/2005/11/you-wont-be-able-to-say-gosh-i-didnt.html


Carmen: "I don’t intend to spend my life in this chatroom"

Carmen: "...I don't intend to argue anymore in this viper pit."

It appears Carmen can't stay away from the "viper pit." lol



May Jealous bless you, Carmen.

Dave8 said...

Hey Carmen, I cleared my mind, and in an introspective manner, thought about the first thing that popped up in my mind, when I thought about you, and guess what...

"IF I COULD TALK TO THE ANIMALS
Dr. Doolittle : The Musical"

I somehow pictured you talking to a donkey, a snake, and a few other animals, it must be a sign...

Passerby said...

Hey Dave8,
You know, Carmen thinks we're snakes, with the insinuation of calling this place the viper pit...and we replied to her comments...soooo, I think we're just reinforcing her imagination that snakes can write too...along with verbal communication skills :-)

Dave8 said...

Hey Passerby, I agree, she not only believes we can talk and communicate, she has already fallen back on her strength - imagination. With such a great imagination, she has been able to create us in her own mind, based on what type snake she feels we should be - vipers. Same process she uses to create all of those other images in her mind :-)

madamehel said...

BrianG's post is either a joke or it is Carmen trying to make it seem that someone actually looks at her website AND believes the shit on it.

god_NOT said...

>>>Braing said: it's was from my good friend Jesus Christ, he told me that all women were sent directly from the devil and women were directly the cause of the fall of man in the garden of Eden, and that it was a blasphemous sin to be associated with women in any way, but I do miss Dee Dee, even though she carried an evil spirit in her heart <<<

What is this person trying to tell us? They killed their wife?
Sounds like a murderer to me. As for women being "evil" you need to give more substantial evidence than a "voice in your head" whom you claim is Jesus... It seems that you are suffering from some mental issues which can be treated with medication and A LOT of therapy.

As for there actually being a god or whatever, I will state it again and again until there is something definitive presented "SHOW ME THE PROOF!"
I want a personal appearance of the supposed Jesus, God, or whatever "divine" entity. I would put it on Pay Per View. I want them to tell me directly they died for me! I don't want to hear it from someone who heard it from someone who heard it from someone...I don't buy any of the crap that I need to take the "Lawd" into my heart... go on! The only thing that I need in my heart is the blood and oxygen needed to run the frickin organ.

Sorry for ranting...and I will return to the subject of women being evil... why does this person state this? Because most likely he screwed up in the relationship and was left to conjure up something in his head about how it was "all her" and not himself. It takes a man to admit his faults. It takes a coward to put it on everyone else.

A raspberry to you Braing!

Pfffffft!!!!!

cdmon said...

god_not,

The Braing. post is an obvious hoax perped by one of the local comedians here.

In a way, it is hilarious, and sad at the same time. Because the irony of it goes to show the mentality of some real life fundies.

Oh yeah,and "Ahshallallabagoomba" briefly translated means, his mother makes nik nik with goats.

Cheers

Ben said...

Ok I'll admit the BrianG thing was a joke, but was in hopes that Carmen would read it and get an AH-Ha from it, I know I was really asking for a divine miracle here....lol, but I really doubt that she reads anything except what only she/herself writes. Although I thought it was funny in a way, it shows the sick inner thoughts of a common christian fundy criminal, and yes sadly Brian did kill his wife Dee Dee, and is incarderated at this time, for how long, it will never be long enough, BrianG is one sick bastard.

I hope some of you got the jest of what I was trying to convey, if you enjoyed it, stay tuned there will be more insane rantings of a christian fundy lunatic from their spiritual perspective.

Ben said...

Correction, (incarcerated), well you know, I have only three fingers, from shark attack years ago.

cdmon said...

Ben,

It hilarious yet sad, because there ARE actually people out there like that.

Thanx for coming forward with that... But @#$% it!! I so wanted to ream that person.

The major clue was when you used the term "self professed." No fundie would use that term.

Oh, and the tongue translation was intended for the character you created... LOL

Good job though, you had me going for a minute.

Cheers

cdmon said...

Ps... At first I didn't catch the corralation, but yeah, it was based on that youth pastor who killed his wife. I remember that thread from about a month or so ago.

Once again, good one!!

Cheers

god_NOT said...

Yikes... didn't read into it!

I am looking pretty bad now...

Liam said...

Hi, guys this is my 1st time on the site and I must say I enjoy it. I am not a Christian and never will be. I always say 'Thank God I'm Not A Christian' But I do believe in God (Or should I say 'A' God) I'l try to explain to you what I mean, I believe the universe was created by the Big Bang etc, But I believe that the bang had to have started somewhere! My girlfriend is a Christian, but in her defence she has woken up to the fact that the world is not perfect and that the Devil is not responsible for everything. We do get into arugments from time to time, but I like the fact that we have that difference.
One thing I hate about Christians is the belief that they are 'Saved' That really gets to me. Who on this earth can say that they have a right to go to heaven. No one!! And as for preaching to other about the joys of christ, wise up!!! I am perfectly happy in my life without ever having the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Man I love this site. Finally people that think along the same lines as myself.
I dont think that your wife will leave you, why? Cause I don't believe that she married you cause you were a Christian,but because of who you are.
In terms of religion, I respect religion and faith, it gives comfort to sooo many people, but when these people judge me for my lifestyle or anyones elses for that matter, thats when I get pissed off. Good Luck. Carmen btw really pissed me off. (If only I could type faster!!!!

cdmon said...

god_not,

Don't feel bad. It had me going too. Kinda makes me feel silly I didn't catch the corralation to the earlier thread either.

Liam,

Welcome, hope to see more posts from you. We seem to be getting more Theists who disagree with xianity. There are many Athiests, Agnostics and Pagans here too that share that common ground.

Cheers

freedy said...

Carman, your ass--sumtion that we ex-ministers were never saved is correct,for there is no such thing.The "born again" experiance can be easily explained as a natural everyday occurance .We ex-believers have been again out of the christian myth of salvation.My "conversion" was VERY DRAMATIC,I ate and drank the bible and went to every seminar.I carried my bible everywhere and witnessed to every soul around me.Became ordained in 1983 ,then traveled with an evangelist all around the world. I prophesied at church,laid hands on the sick,if anyone was "saved" I WAS!!!!!!!I'm sorry but you are dead wrong!You are threatened by our deconversion so you accuse us of being ministerial posers. Yet it's our love of the truth, not blind faith that woke us up out of the lie, that is christanity.
peace,..freedy

ssb said...

Ok, I've read alot of stuff here, and It's all a bit too much to take in and understand. But there's a couple of questions that if you could answer I'd be really appreciative. Do ex-christians deny the existance of God or just deny who he is? and do ex-christians believe in an after life?

Oh yeah I'm not sure what I am, I lived my life for God for almost two decades, but now I'm so confused... just working out who I am.

But Liam, I don't think your girlfriend should have to be defended for being a Christian, surely everyone is entitled to their own beliefs without criticism and mockery? Isn't that why people get so pissed off with some Christians?

Anyways If you could answer my questions It would clear some confusion in my mind.

Thanks.

Liam said...

Cdmon thanks for welcoming me! What is it about christians that make the 'Believe' that they are better than everyone else? Granted there are other religions that do the same but I have yet to meet any face to face, I only mention christian because I have experience with them.
People who believe in god do so by their own accord, fair enough, I cannot make people believe what I want them to. Is the fact that I know that I cannot force my beliefs on others what makes me detest christians for forcing their beliefs? Possibly.
I am sick of being called a satanist, devil worshiper simply cause I dont believe in the bible and believe it was compiled to constrict weak mined people into laws and boundries that could only be overcome by giving youe local priest, pastor etc a percentage of you wage.
May I also just add that I think that the most Judgmental people on the planet are those who are religious. Yes I do know that we all are judgemental to a certain extent, but religious fanatics take it to the extreame.

Anonymous said...

would this site not even be classified as a religious fanatical site? after all its so anti-Christian that could it not be called the religion of ex-christianity?

south2003 said...

Anonymous asked: "would this site not even be classified as a religious fanatical site? after all its so anti-Christian that could it not be called the religion of ex-christianity?"

Ans: Nope! I suggest you look up the word "Religion"

So, would it bother you if we were ex-muslims? I guess not but it sure feels like bamboo shoots under some fundies' finger nails, knowing that we poo poo on their religion.

cdmon said...

Liam said: "What is it about christians that make the 'Believe' that they are better than everyone else?"

It is an elitist attitude that they share while they think that they have god and are the only one's who are going to heaven, therefore they are better than anyone else. There is a word that sums ot all up.... Bigotry!!

Liam said: "I am sick of being called a satanist, devil worshiper simply cause I dont believe in the bible and believe it was compiled to constrict weak mined people into laws and boundries that could only be overcome by giving youe local priest, pastor etc a percentage of you wage."

I certainly agree. I am a pagan, and I get that same bs all the time. Being a pagan I am constantly being called a satan worshipper. I find that offensive because we don't even believe in a satan. Satan is a xian invention, and it is used for three reasons.

1. To scare their flock into submission.
2. To pin on other people who do not share their beliefs.
3. A scapegoat to blame their own shortcomings on.

Small wonder some of us become a little cynical towards xianity. Their bigotry becomes irritating after a while.

Cheers

Carmen said...

To Freedy,

NO, you were NOT "saved"! Anyone who is TRULY saved could NEVER turn their back on Yeshua/Jesus! Never....

You simply epitomize what the Bible tells us about "even the elect" being deceived in the end times and falling away from the Truth. Since you're a "former minister", I guess the shoe fits, Freedy!

Too bad, so sad....

benji said...

Carmen said:
NO, you were NOT "saved"! Anyone who is TRULY saved could NEVER turn their back on Yeshua/Jesus! Never....

You're right--Freedy wasn't saved. But neither are you, Carmen. There never was a reason to be saved. The source for your self-esteem issues is a mythical story written by a caveman in the desert. You base your assumption that we're all damned on a story you read in a book. It's like saying we're all going to be eaten by dragons because you've read Beowulf.

You come here to convince us that a relatively uninteresting god who sprang from the minds of a tribe in the Middle East a couple thousand years ago somehow has had all of humanity pegged as falling short of his standards all along, regardless of the facts that, prior to the advent of Christianity, hardly anybody had heard of him, because other cultures were taken up with their own deities; the stories associated with the Hebrew god contradicted the equally incredible histories for existing myths and superstitions, such as the Greek; and nearly the entire fable of Jesus can be laid over the top of extant savior-god stories like onion paper over a charcoal drawing. I could go on, as many on this site well know. The entirety of your religion, Carmen, is explained organically. It's all right there if you're even remotely interested in using your mind.

Even YOU are explainable using natural terms. There is no need to appeal to a god to see what is going on. I look at you and say, there's another delusional wacko trying emphatically and desperately to reinforce her own beliefs by bringing the rest of us down to her level--the level of putting faith in demons and magic. Lest you forget, a good lot of us, oddly enough, used to be just like you, some worse than others. So saying that we were "never truly saved," or whatnot, when most of us have outgrown the need for it, is just throwing feathers into the wind. A new tactic is truly in order.


You simply epitomize what the Bible tells us about "even the elect" being deceived in the end times and falling away from the Truth. Since you're a "former minister", I guess the shoe fits, Freedy!

Too bad, so sad...

Case in point.

cdmon said...

Geez, Cartman, I thought you said you weren't going to spend your life or waste your time arguing in this "viper's pit," as you so delicately put it, but you keep coming back. Like a bad penny.

What is it about this "viper's pit" that keeps you coming back? Perhaps it is because we are the those who have true freedom, and deep down inside you realize that and you are jealous. That is why you continue to be drawn here. Of course you are too arrogant to admit it, aren't you.

The power of ex-xian.net compels you!!! You cannot control it! All these "dark sided" people on here attract you, don't they? You have been drawn in and now the "devil" (tm.) has complete control over you!!
Muahahahahahaha!!!

Get real Cartman!! You are just a hit and run poster. If you had anything to say that was worthwhile, that we hadn't heard before we wouldn't taunt you so.

You obviously think that you have everything figured out, but your problem lies in the fact that you think that you have a god given right to judge who was saved and who wasn't. You are the one who obviously has no clue.

You still never revealed to us who was it that died and made you heir to this alleged white throne you are passing judgement from?

Of course we do not believe in being "saved" as you put it. It is your grandious delusions of knowing exactly who is saved and who is not that I am addressing.

What? Did the nazz whisper it in your ear? If so you might want to get psychological help. In fact you might just want to do that anyway.

Me thinks you and that Margaret from trading places are a perfect match. Perhaps she might believe your drivel. Sorry we do not.

Cheers

Dave8 said...

Carmen posted: 1/06/2006 9:58 PM: "Anyone who is TRULY saved could NEVER turn their back on Yeshua/Jesus! Never...."

Apparently, you missed Judas Iscariot in the bible.

I guess Adam and Eve were never truly saved either, although they were supposed to be made perfect, and in god's image. Of course, they didn't have to be "saved", they were gods themselves, and didn't need salvation.

Peter denied Jesus three times, I guess one of the favored apostles just wasn't "saved". However, he was good enough to become the cornerstone for the Roman Church.

Barry said...

Does anyone know how you turn your back on God or Jesus? I mean since God and Jesus is omniscient which way do you turn? N-E-S-W? Up-down?

Can someone please explain this to me I want to invite Jesus into my heart, but I do not know which way to turn. Also I may need surgery to incise my Heart to let ole JC in.
Can you help me C-A-R-M-E-N!!!!!!? I never was a CHRISTIAN, but I know that you definitely are. CARMEN come back and do God's holy will, cast out these demons and unclean spirits. I need your prayers Carmen. Please pray for me, as I beg for your humble forgiveness, Carmen you Angel of light.

Carmen said...

No, I'm not a "hit and run" poster - I just don't spend ALL my life in this viper pit. All responses to my last post show that you guys truly do not have a clue, yet for some reason you feel compelled to let the world know you're ungodly heathens. And proud of it.....

Adam and Eve were gods? Honey, if you think that, you truly were NEVER Christian, and you have no clue. You guys post gobble-de-gook. Even the "former ministers" haven't got a clue. I challenged one of them to respond to my questions, and he couldn't do it. He responded all around the questions, but never answered them....

No, the only reason I'm in here every once in awhile is because I want to give you all something to think about.

Of course, you never THINK, you just respond by spewing forth nonsensical remarks and doing what you do best: spewing vitriol all over ANYBODY who doesn't agree with you. You people never even bother to think WHY you come across as evil and childish; you just jump on the bandwagon of kicking others. And then, when some of us don't take it and respond in kind, you get REALLY angry and start foaming at the mouth and making fun of people. Very childish, but typical "human, carnal" responses.

You all are catering to Satan, and don't even realize it. You think you're "being real". Well, there's a spiritual battle going on behind the scenes that you aren't even aware of, yet you're playing right into it.

That includes YOU, "former pastors".

Well, I'm off to synagogue to worship MY God. You all can stay right here and foam away at the mouth.....

Godschmod said...

Ironically enough in my situation, I was a practicing Christian while my husband remained what I considered "lost". Only months after he got saved, my walk with Jesus ceased and I was and still am "lost". I think the veil of christianity being removed, so to speak, is a gift and only happens when an individual stops fearing the unanswered. I know you can understand your wife's convictions, but you must feel divided. I ended up leaving my husband (for more reasons than our spiritual distance) and everything around me to seek my own truth. It's an individual path for us all and I'm sure you'll choose what feels true in your heart. Good luck to you.

cdmon said...

Cartman said:
"No, I'm not a "hit and run" poster - I just don't spend ALL my life in this viper pit."

Well you keep coming back like a dog to its vomit. YOU ARE COMPELLED by the power of this site!!! You just can't control yourself.

Cartman said: "You people never even bother to think WHY you come across as evil and childish"

Cartman, you are the minority on this site. You come across as pompous and arrogant. You are a bigot because you think you are superior to everyone else here. When in all truth you don't have a clue. You are the one who doesn't see what an ass you are making of yourself.

You've still avoided the question, Who died and deeded the judgement seat to you? You are the self proclaimed authority on who is saved and who isn't. And it is you who don't have a clue just how offensive your statements are.

cartman said: "All responses to my last post show that you guys truly do not have a clue, yet for some reason you feel compelled to let the world know you're ungodly heathens. And proud of it....."

Cartman it is you that doesn't have a clue. I suppose you still believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny too. Why don't you grow up and realize your fantasy world for what it is.
And as for your remark of us being heathen, Smile when you say that. You're damned straight!!

Cartman said: "Well, there's a spiritual battle going on behind the scenes that you aren't even aware of, yet you're playing right into it."

Oh really, and I suppose you SEE this imaginary battle going on too. You know what? The only battle that is going on is that you are trying to save us from your imaginary god and his counterpart. And we are calling your so called battle a silly thing.

The reality is that we used to believe just like you. And just like you we thought it was real. When we studied deeper we saw it for what it really is. That is the only difference.

Cartman said: "Well, I'm off to synagogue to worship MY God."

You go right ahead, don't let us stop you. In fact, keep on going.

Cheers

Barry said...

Carmen one day you'll came back here and totally agree with us. But as for now, you're LOST in your MIND, did I say Lost? Yes you're completely lost in your head letting your brain make you think you are worshipping a God. We can see it, but you are living in a lie generated by what you've heard or been told. It really takes a while to see one's own INSANITY, in fact the last place a person wants to look is inside one's own self. Carmen you're living in a delusional fantasy world. You said that you were off to worship YOUR GOD, yes your God, the one that you created in your own mind.

Carmen do you really think a God gives a rats ass if you go to worship it? Why do you go to a building built by men? Because you are mimicking something you've seen others do also.

Carmen we really do Love you here, but we just want you to get a grip on your thinking, we are not against you or your silly make believe God.

Carmen you're mimicking and roll playing charactors from the Bible, that all you are doing, who are you trying to fool, us? Your make believe God? No you're fooling yourself, Carmen. You're a very stubborn person Carmen, very stubborn, you want it your way, but it does not work, the truth cannot be represented by a lie such as the bible.

Dave8 said...

Carmen: "Adam and Eve were gods? Honey, if you think that, you truly were NEVER Christian, and you have no clue. You guys post gobble-de-gook."

Adam and Eve were made, hypothetically in your gods' image, but slightly lower on the god chain. They were hypothetically on the same level as Jesus per christian account.

Adam and Eve, were by tradition supposed to be tried, via "free will", and if they were successful in staying "faithful" to the commandment of their god, then they could become the highest order god(s), in absolute perfection and communion with god.

At the very beginning of Adam and Eve's existence, however, they didn't need to be "saved", they were demi-gods like Jesus... one step away from being gods on the highest level. And, Adam and Eve weren't christians :-) Perhaps, someone should make bumper stickers for that little remark.

I digress, bottom line Carmen, is that Adam and Eve, just like Jesus were trying to gain some 'higher' rung on the god scale. Jesus was also tried on many occasions, and broke many exodus laws which were commandments, just as valid as the original commandment to Adam and Eve, not to eat the apple. Hence, the reason for all the bickering on Jesus' level of godhood. Depending on where someone slaps Jesus on the god scale, typically determines whether they are trinitarian, non-trinitarian, Jewish, Roman Catholic, Ebionite, Muslim, and the varying sects of Christianity.

In France, its not uncommon to symbolically see this symbolism. Where Jesus is at the bottom of a hill, represented by a small cross, and as one walks up the hill, they find a statue of Mary, and on the top of the hill, they find the large cross representing God.

The Mormon religion, resides on this very topic. They believe that there are varying levels of godhood a person can reach, and it is in line with the original tradition of christianity. The religion goes as far as to say, that there is the ultimate center of heaven, called the celestial kingdom where God resides, and then there are rings that surround the celestian kingdom which represent lower godstates, second being terrestrial kingdom, and lastly telestial. People, on this earth have the "opportunity" to elevate their godly status based on works and faith. Oh, and there is no hell, there is only outer-darkness, representing a place where the presence of the kingdoms of heaven can not be experienced.

So, in essence, even You Carmen, put Adam and Eve, Jesus, etc., on a god scale in your own mind. You may not think you have, but... you have by your belief system. You're an MJ, and of course, you have to reconcile the differences between Orthodox Jews and the Roman Church. The Jews, didn't put Jesus on a god scale, actually he was no better than Adam or Eve, as he broke commandment after commandment of the laws of Exodus. The Roman Church, elevates his status, via Tertullian by creating the trinity, and making Jesus the equal in purpose with God and the Holy Ghost, but separate in entity - hence trinitarianism.

So, closes the chapter on Adam and Eve, as they were, considered "gods" on the god scale, just below the Almighty Creator "God". And, they were theoretically given the opportunity to gain Absolute Godhood, equal to the Creator God by passing the test of free will - by religious tradition.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_sin

To this day, this is the driving force for many religions. The test of "faith", and how a person lives their life with free will, and makes the "right" choices in an effort to raise their "god state". Some religions create "hell", and preach that people are born in the pit of sin, "required" to earn their way out, and elevate themselves to a point of... oh, lets say "sainthood"... or Pope... and thus higher on the god scale.

Other rules, like... ages of accountability, etc., then come into play, all in an effort to create guidelines where people have a "goal" in life, and thus "purpose". The problem is that the people giving the guidelines aren't higher order gods, themselves, and thus, have no authority to give "absolute", meaning "perfect", guidance. Is is salvation by grace, faith, works, etc. or by some other means or combinations. The formula on where entities fall on the god scale, and the rules for elevation to the highest order "god".

Oh, and don't say that there is only one Heaven with God, and that isn't a scale. Because it is, its a scale with two options, a dichotomous scale; a) heaven with everyone equal, and b) hell with everyone equal. I won't even gravitate to how this seems ridiculous, because that means if charles manson becomes "saved" by some religions magic formula for salvation, then he would be standing next to god, and even you Carmen.

I've attended many different churches and religions in my life, and worked under a well known Jew, whom I shall not name. They all have a "thought", on our "purpose" in life. And, based on that "purpose", we are given rules and guidance on how to fulfill our purpose. For instance, Carmen, your shabbat today, supports the guidlines required to meet the "ultimate" purpose in your life, as given to you by people in your life. Purpose, in theory, is both transitive and commutitive, but I will not get into that deep discussion. Just know, you received your purpose in life, from some other person, or from elements in your environment. Eventually, some people are able to extract their thoughts away from attachment to their environment and are capable of deriving a deeper understanding of life.

Barry said...

Carmen one day you'll came back here and totally agree with us. But as for now, you're LOST in your MIND, did I say Lost? Yes you're completely lost in your head letting your brain make you think you are worshipping a God. We can see it, but you are living in a lie generated by what you've heard or been told. It really takes a while to see one's own INSANITY, in fact the last place a person wants to look is inside one's own self. Carmen you're living in a delusional fantasy world. You said that you were off to worship YOUR GOD, yes your God, the one that you created in your own mind.

Carmen do you really think a God gives a rats ass if you go to worship it? Why do you go to a building built by men? Because you are mimicking something you've seen others do also.

Carmen we really do Love you here, but we just want you to get a grip on your thinking, we are not against you or your silly make believe God.

Carmen you're mimicking and roll playing characters from the Bible, that all you are doing, who are you trying to fool, us? Your make believe God? No you're fooling yourself, Carmen. You're a very stubborn person Carmen, very stubborn, you want it your way, but it does not work, the truth cannot be represented by a lie such as the bible.

god_NOT said...

>>>Carmen said:"You all are catering to Satan, and don't even realize it. You think you're "being real". <<<


Oh dear! Catering to Satan... when did the party invitations go out? What food will be there? Is it formal or casual? Family can attend? Or is it 21 and over?


>>>Carmen said:"Well, there's a spiritual battle going on behind the scenes that you aren't even aware of, yet you're playing right into it."<<<

Hmmm..."behind the scenes"...are you suggesting that this is just a play or movie? Is this a direct release to the theaters or direct to video?


Ok enough comedy. Carmen, the word "Satan" is just a made up term used to herd the scared sheep to the church to repent.

If you believe that he/it is real, I want YOU personally to prove it. I want to see it because I sure as "hell" (lol) will not be scared by some made up person/thing.

Everything that has happened on this earth has been a direct result of what mankind has done to it or scientifically proven events that have taken place. It isn't about god. It isn't about the divine.

You dear, are putting WAY too much energy into trying to make "us think."

Do you know what will happen in the conclusion of your postings?

I do.

We will still not believe in what you believe.

We will not be turned back from the "dark side of the force" or "saved."

We will still think that your comments and efforts are a joke and waste of time.

And lastly, if you can actually prove beyond a reasonable doubt that god and satan exist(which you have not done and probably never will be able to), I will take up a new job as a cruise director or a "caterer" in your hell, because that is where the party will be and they will need help organizing it.

You are not scaring anyone.

Hiss hiss! I like being a "viper."

Jim Arvo said...

Carmen, you're so awesome! It's always such a pleasure to hear from you. I admire how you always maintain the high ground, never stooping to the childish name-calling that we heathens resort to. And your arguments are so well-thought-out and well-grounded; I mean, you know Hebrew, you're read the Talmud, and you're obviously well versed in science and history to boot. That must be why your theology is so spot on. Or, maybe the Holy Ghost has something to do with it, as your abilities clearly transcend those of a mere mortal.

Isn't it odd how not a single one of us here has a clue about anything except for you? I wonder how that happened. I mean, I'd hate to add up all the years we've spent collectively in colleges, graduate schools, seminaries, professional schools, etc., considering that all we have to show for it is this "gobble-de-gook", as you so eloquently put it. It's really sad isn't it?

You know, another way in which you put us all to shame is by your penetrating questions and lucid answers. You always understand exactly what it is that we're asking (even better than we do ourselves!), and never ever attack a straw man; and then you provide answers that are absolutely irrefutable, as evidenced by the fact that our refutations are beneath you and not even deserving of a response. I guess that comes from knowing Hebrew. And here I sit, knowing barely a word of Hebrew, completely clueless--despite a fairly considerable effort too, I might add.

You point out that we never stop to think about why we appear so evil and childish. Well, I'm willing to take a brave step and ponder that for a moment, as uncomfortable as it might be. My guess is that we seem evil because we think god is make-believe; we even say really nasty and childish things like "the god of Abraham is a myth". I'll admit that sometimes I completely lose control and ask to see some evidence of god. Can you imagine? Pure evil, I know. Just look what happens when you let Satan take control. While I'm confessing all this to you, I might as well tell you that I've gone so far as to compare the son of god with Mithra and Krishna. I know, I know... they are nothing more than a false gods, so the comparison fails right there. But it's just so darn tempting. That must be Satan's influence again.

Now, I know you're a busy lady (or maybe I should say "scholar") and don't have time to answer a bunch of ignorant questions from evil and childish heathens like us... but I can't help wishing that you could enlighten us just a little more. Maybe by answering more than one question in ten, if that wouldn't be too much of an imposition. After all, we are trying to learn (despite outward appearances to the contrary), and you clearly have all the answers at your fingertips. And... you know Hebrew.

I'm still wondering how you came to possess the absolute truth (as you obviously do). I'll admit that it's kind of frustrating for someone like me. I mean, I've wasted most of my life reading, studying, pondering, and searching, and yet I'm nowhere near having all the answers. Not even in the ballpark. In fact, the more I learn and search, the more things I realize I don't know. How did you manage to overcome that? How did you manage to unearth the one true religion amid all the false ones, not to mention all the incorrect interpretations of the ONE true one? I stand in awe.

Humbly, from the viper pit.

HonestBill said...

Hi everyone, I just found this website and I have a Big question to ask, could any of you tell me how do you worship a God? I really need to know, My souls future depends on your honest answers. Do you pray to this god? do you sing to this god? do you burn insense to this god? do you sacrifice (blood-let) a lamb, cow, mule, pig, deer, shunk? Can someone please tell me how to worship a god? What is the proper way, and where is this god located, that I may find this god to worship him/it/she?

Please I beg for an answer, I do not want to got to hell, just because I do not know how to worship a god.

CARMEN !!!!!!! Please help Me!!!!!

How do I/we worship your God????

What is the secret on how to worship a god? Help me.....Help me...Please Please...Help me !!!!

My soul is yearning and awaiting in the balance for an answer, please I'm dying soon and I need the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me somebody....CARMEN !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Well, I'm off to synagogue to worship MY God. You all can stay right here and foam away at the mouth....."

posted: 1/07/2006 10:52 AM EST

Carmen, what a hypocrite! You don't obey biblegod, why should we? What the hell are you doing running electricity on the Sabbath? Why are you typing online? That is working....but I guess it's okay to sin as long as you're a believer.

Chris said...

Former Pastor,

I hope you might still be monitoring this post. I am not and have never been a pastor, but I may as well have been. I've understood Christian theology much better than almost anyone I know, and can easily give examples of how to live the Christian life (not what I think the Christian life is, but what the NT authors actually taught and supposedly lived themselves).

After about a year's absence from going to church and Bible reading, I recently opened up my Bible not to read through the Book of John. I was shocked at how much nonsense I read that day. I had absolutely no desire to believe that Christianity was false, but after reading that and many things since then that opened my eyes, I can't rationalize my beliefs through the Bible. It just doesn't work. Either the God "of the Bible" exists, and had allowed a false, misleading, and/or misinterpreted Bible to come into my hands, or the God "of the Bible" doesn't exist. I can't believe in something just because a bunch of dead men said it was so, and a bunch of people living today say that all the leg-work of proving their claims has already been done and I should just have faith. I can't do it. There is just too much nonsense in the Bible to believe it in its entirety.

If I could I would start living my life without Christianity. I have a big problem though. My wife believes in it, and there is absolutely no way she will deny any part of her beliefs. Seriously, no way. Period. She would sooner kill herself than question her beliefs. I kind of understand that thinking myself because I went through a couple months of planning my own suicide and almost going through it. With her, however, it's much more difficult. I cannot reason with her and show her that things may be different than what she has always believed. It will literally crush her not to believe it all.

I told my wife a few weeks into my loss of faith that I was questioning things, and we had a few really tough weeks after that. We both became (and both still are) very depressed. The only reason that we're maintaining now is that I've found some Christian teachings that I respect and will always hold as truth, because they are "good" teachings. I've also found a church that is led by a "good" pastoral staff that truly cares about their congregation. I really respect them, even though I can't believe everything they teach. This respect for the teachings and the church appears to my wife to be a regained faith in Christianity as a whole. She doesn't understand and probably never will understand how I truly see things. I'd like to think that I could be wrong, but I know her too well to risk trying to bring her out of her beliefs. She will lose all hope in life.

I hope to find a way to make at least one of us happy, either my wife or myself. I think I know what I need to do in order for us both to live healthy lives, but I cannot see how it's going to work out. I think we need to get divorced, and break off all communication with each other. Then she can go on with her life and I can go on with mine. I know this will be extremely tough on both of us though.

Can you tell me how your relationship with your wife has been affected since writing this post? Also, do you have any advice for me?

.:webmaster:. said...

Chris,

It's a long time since former pastor posted, and I no longer have his email address.

Would you allow me to post your testimony and plea to the front page? You might get more response that way.

If so, contact me by clicking here.

大黃傻貓GARFIELD said...

Dear Chris,

Your message struck a chord in me. I am now flirting with Liberal Theology / Catholicism / Theism (without Christianity) / Agnosticism / Atheism etc.

Like yourself, I managed to teach myself a lot about Theology that I may even rifle the knowledge of my own pastor.
I also have doubts about the literal reading of the first 2 chapters of Genesis (7-day Creationism) and the condemnation of homosexuality.

I feel for you because many ex-Christians will miss some of the "goodies" with the Christians -- there are those who are genuinely loving, caring and sincerely that you have a friendship with -- and that is what I am struggling right now.

I do not want to make the decision to quit Christianity because I will hurt a lot of Christian friends I truly love -- and to make things worst, some judgemental Fundamentalist will throw mud at me which will hurt my friends even more.

For you, I hope your wife can gradually come to terms with that, at least being a Christian but accept you, just like you will accept her as she is now.

Best
Virginia

AtheistToothFairy said...

Chris wrote:
My wife believes in it, and there is absolutely no way she will deny any part of her beliefs. Seriously, no way. Period. She would sooner kill herself than question her beliefs........I cannot reason with her and show her that things may be different than what she has always believed. It will literally crush her not to believe it all..........She doesn't understand and probably never will understand how I truly see things. I'd like to think that I could be wrong, but I know her too well to risk trying to bring her out of her beliefs. She will lose all hope in life
---
Chris,
Your words ring very true in my own situation as well.
Seems we have a few of us here who have xtian spouses to contend with.

Unlike yourself however, I don't see for myself a possible middle-ground between my Atheism and her belief in a xtian creator god being. How do you compromise on a thing like a god. It's not like one can believe in just 'half a god'.

The biggest question you raise is the one that decides how much effort (if any) that we put into reasoning with our xtian spouses about their belief in a mythical being.

All the reasoning I've used so far doesn't seem to have shaken her faith, even when I win a debate on some religious issue. The xtian mind has an interesting way of just locking away any facts that might upset the balance of their god-equation. Such problematic facts seem to be easily filtered into a 'Do-Not-Open-Ever Box'.

This sure reminds me of some parents I knew while growing up, who, when told their child did some bad thing, would stubbornly deny that their own flesh&blood could ever do anything wrong etc.. These parents just couldn't accept that their child would ever do anything outside the parents viewpoint of them.
Xtians have a viewpoint of their god and the filters come on when anything comes along that would raise a question with that view, thus self-maintaining the view they WISH to be true.

God for many xtians is not only a nice belief, but more the comfort crutch they turn to in order to cope with general life. Take away that comfort crutch, and many will surely fall on their faces. While you and I know there is no god up there helping these xtians get through their problems of life, xtians don't realize this fact and their emotions will look for any weak evidence to make them feel their god is helping them cope.
It doesn't matter that 9 out of 10 prayers never get a positive answer. If only one answer seems to have come from god, that is enough to reassure them of his existence and assistance in life.

While I agree with you that it's best to leave your wife with her god-crutch so she can believe she has some supernatural help in her life to count upon, I sure wouldn't agree on my end to joining some xtian church as a means for compromise.
Not only would I feel quite hypocritical in doing so, but just being in ANY church these days makes me feel like I left this planet and am surrounded by beings of well---another kind.
It would be the same type of feeling one might have, if one went to some conference that was composed of all people who held a belief that aliens from outer space were taking them on joy-rides through the galaxy, each night while they were sleeping.
No matter how much you would try to fit in with such a crowd, you never could.

Some xtians here might also say (as they have) that your wife is "unequally yoked" now.
To such xtians, you and I are the devil to our xtian spouses.
Funny though how these same xtians won't have a problem with the xtian husband, when he is abusing his 'doubting' wife.

Oh if xtians could only see themselves from outside their tiny god bubbles !!!


ATF

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