Hi BigV, and welcome to the forum.
Thanks for the welcome. I've actually registered a while back but have been more active reading than posting :-)
I come from a religious family, very fundamentalist Christian, and I married in church to a wonderful woman who I still love. My wife is devastated that I'm not a believer anymore and she still wants me to pray and go to church. We have two kids and for the sake of keeping the family together I've decided to continue with my church membership and church attendance.
Sorry, I know this is not the topic, but I think this is more interesting and more important. I have a few questions about it.
No probs. I don't mind the questions.
Are you saying she's holding the marriage and children hostage in return for your compliance?
I'm actually not sure how I feel about the situation. On the one hand, we are both from a very religious backgrounds. And when we were married, I was very active in the church, preaching often (though never ordained), active in the Bible study, etc... Then I started having doubts, agonizing over the uncertainty and the fact that we just can't know for sure whether our faith is as true as the Bible tells us.
My wife understands, in my opinion, where I'm coming from, but I think that my doubts are having an opposite effect on her. She feels more assured of her convictions.
Also, my dad is a pastor, and father in law is one of the deacons. My stopping cold in the church attendance could be a bad ripple effect for more people than I want affected.
And, lastly, I'm not sure if church harms children in any way. Certainly I had issues with assurance of salvation, etc.. that could not be addressed with my parents, but my son (12 yo) does not have any struggles in his faith and I told him that I don't find Christianity to be convincing.
Are you comfortable with that?
It's not an ideal situation, but I don't want my kids to be hurt. What is the alternative?
Ken Daniels, a former missionary and an author of the book "Why I believed", has a similar dillema. I have decided that, like all Christians, I can pick and chose the Bible verses that I find applicable. For example, Jesus says that we should love our neighbor. That's not a bad commandment to follow.
Now, other things that Jesus (like forsaking all to follow him) could be ignored (and most Christians ignore them anyways).
Do you think that sets a good example for the kids?
Hm.. I hope they learn to compromise.
Have you and the wife worked out what the kids are going to be taught?
The kids will be going to sunday school on sunday, and they are attending a public school. I don't think my kid is seriously considering to be a missionary or a pastor.
Is she insisting they will be fundies?
No, we are not pushing either way.
Are you continuing to financially support the church?