Hi everyone! New guy here.
First off I must apologize for any misspellings or faulty grammar as I am not fluent in english.
I stumbled upon godisimaginary.com the other day and it reaffirmed basically everything I've been going around thinking for the past 5 years.
Now, I was born and raised a Christian. My father worked (to some degree still works) as a preacher/pastor and my mother also has a very strong faith. I've spent ALOT of time in various churches during my youth. I guess as far back I can remember and I never did 'feel at home' there. Somewhere deep inside me there was something that told me this just doesn't make any sense. But since I was raised that way it didn't feel natural to question it. Actually I didn't want to question it at the time. I only attended 'hardcore' Christian schools.
I just went along. As the years went on I really did my best 'to find God' or rather this "feeling" the people were talking about. They said that "you will know you have met God once you feel it". To be honest I really wanted this feeling and I did what most people do when they don't feel like they're in the right place but want to be, I lied to myself and to people around me. I pretended. Looking back at this now I know I was just fooling myself, but I don't think I had much of a choice at the time.
By the time I was 12 my family moved to a new country and I entered a 'unchristian' school for the first time and it didn't take me long to drift away from God. That actually felt more natural than anything before!
By this time I was allowed to make my own decision and decided not to go to church anymore. By now my father was the pastor of a church so you must understand how strange it must have been for me and my parents when I didn't want come to along. But they also believed in me forming my own opinion and accepted my own decisions and for that I respect them deeply.
Up until I was around 18 years old when people asked me if I believed in God I always answered something along the lines of "I don't know...maybe?". For the past few years I have been doing alot of thinking and now I'm calling myself an Atheist, as I don't believe in any God whatsoever. I now consider religion nonsense. BUT religion apparently are as real to believers as science is for me.
That peculiar thing has puzzled me for a long long time. How can the mind portray God as real even though he isn't?
I want to live my own life, not bound to a book. I believe I can be a good and probably a better person without religion. I don't want to live a life in fear of going to hell. That would be a waste of time when you instead can enjoy life to the fullest. It will only last so long.
Now to the dilemma. I don't know how to react when seeing or hearing my parents (and sometime my childhood friends who still believe) pray or speaking of Jesus. One part of me wants to tell them how I feel and one part of me wants to keep quiet. I love my parents very much and I seriously don't know how they would react If I told them the conclusions I've made about the world and life. It would probably break their hearts since they are so deeply religious (and have been for countless of years) and I would never want that. I honestly don't think anything would make them give up their faith, they are happy with it. They have accepted it. Maybe I should accept their faith wholeheartedly too?
I just don't know. I clearly remember my fathers expression when I told him I had gotten a perfect score on an Evolution course in college, but he never said anything. I just got the feeling what he wanted to say, you know.
I'm on my way to a degree in Earth Science which basically says alot about my choice in life.
I just don't know how to approach this one. I want to stay close to my parents. I feel like that's never going to happen if I tell them this. But keeping quiet as I have always done around them when it comes to this topic, I really don't like the idea of that either. To some degree they deserve to hear my opinion, right?
Sorry for the long post but I REALLY needed to get this off my chest and I would love to hear what everyone thinks. Good or bad.
Thank you for your time.