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Jinder Roles

Feeling Stuck/Doubt/Leaving Church

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Jinder Roles

A thread for FJers who feel or have ever felt ‘stuck’ in their practices/faith. And also for those who have left or changed their faith. I’d appreciate  to hear your experiences and thoughts. 

My current personal experience: 

So I recently moved to the DC area with my family and naturally, my parents are looking for a church home while we are here. 

We went to one today that aligns with with what they believe. It’s an Independent Baptist Church. They use Focus on The Family (which I have issues with), the pastor there while genuine in his faith seems to be a mentee of Jerry Falwell (who I have issues with) and is active on the board at Liberty University. The sermon today was about knowing if you’re really saved (basically a major guilt trip for me)  This church is in some ways quite similar to our home church in the Caribbean.

I’m personally tired of church in general even though I went pretty regularly through college (and still do) out of  fear and a sense of obligation. In reality, church brings me no comfort or peace. I don’t think it ever has.  It frequently triggers depression and deeply unsettles me (evangelicals are honestly great at making you not trust yourself, guilting you and gaslighting).

 I have major issues with some core beliefs of the evangelical church (not to mention how they treat certainty groups of people). I don’t feel safe nor do I trust believers to share how I feel or be myself. Basically church a thing I’m made to endure without being outed as a heathen or someone to fix/save. 

Of course, none of this I can express to my parents. They frequently claim that I can tell them anything and they don’t want to influence my decisions on how I live my life, but I truly doubt they mean it. They are great parents and we’ve always been close but I don’t trust them. Telling them would firstly break their hearts and would also make me a target to ‘fix’. 

 So I’m currently saving face until I can manage to get over my paralyzing anxiety,  be financially independent, move out and create some distance. Hopefully I can do so without too many triggers. 

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Ais

I don't know what to say, I don't have any of the answers and I know you didn't ask for them. I just wanted to acknowledge how you're feeling and let you know that this a safe space for you to do your thinking out loud - but you know that already.

"You can tell me anything" has to be the most common lie ever told, especially in families. The thing is people believe themselves when they say it. Your parents, like my family and many others really do think that we can tell them anything and they will be fine. They don't realise that their instinct to help, guide or fix it means they are anything but fine with it.

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Bethella

I haven't left our church but I have cut back on my attendance in order to avoid a couple of people. I just started sleeping in on Sundays. If I wasn't up and dressed by the time everyone else left for church, they got the message that I wasn't going. I'm not sure if it would work in your case but it might be worth a try.

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VelociRapture

I don’t have advice either unfortunately. I was raised Catholic, but I never really believed a lot of what we were told and I haven’t considered myself a Catholic since shortly after Confirmation (which they tell you is a choice, but I felt like it wasn’t.) It shocked my mom when she found out we weren’t baptizing our daughter, but I made it pretty clear it wasn’t up for discussion and she hasn’t mentioned it since. I figure that I’ll go to Church when necessary (funerals and weddings), but otherwise I don’t owe anything to the Church. 

(I haven’t refused communion before, but I don’t plan to take it now that my daughter is here. That could lead to some awkwardness, but I’ll deal with that when I have to.)

All I can say is that I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I think you should try to think things over and do what you feel is best for your unique situation. Hopefully another poster can offer actual advice or suggest an organization that could help you sort through your feelings or something. 

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bucherwurm

I came searching for this exact thing. I am feeling very cynical towards religion right now. I didn't grow up in a church, but I was always interested in it. I became pretty into it when I started college and went to church on the Sundays I wasn't working. Husband and I waited until marriage to move in and such. I was in to skirts only for a while, covering shoulders, etc. 

My brother is suddenly into becoming Catholic since his and his wife's baby got baptized this year. They told a story about the day they were at a "life chain". I had to restrain myself from not rolling my eyes too hard. 

I guess I don't know what "my problem" is. I think I just need to talk about it and I figured here was a good place.

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