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A tough weekend....a little drained. Me vs non believing family


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  • 1 Post By Dhartanya
  • 2 Post By mamaginger
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  #1  
October 2nd, 2012, 06:59 PM
jeweluv's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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My parents came over this weekend to help do some housework. Somehow we all got on the topic of FAITH and everyone started (My mom, Dad, and husband) the whole "the New Testament is now proven, it is a self fulfilling prohesy book," "there is proof of evolution" "How could a just GOD do some of the things he did in the bible/how could he allow such terrible things to happen here?" "there is so much proof that the world is much older than 10,000 years." etc...etc....etc.

To which I argued with great emotion. I explained and showed evidence that evolution is not proven and even evidence to support Creationism/ and the flood. They seemed to think it was ridiculous that I believed Dinosoars and people lived during the same time. My husband and father are both medical/intellectuals and all this was silly to them. I also explained how many of the prophesises in the Old Testament could not have been orchestrated by JESUS, bc just some things you can't control.

I explained the whole original sin and the "bad things happen here bc of our world, not GOD."

I was stumped on JOB. My dad was recently the only one who brought this up to me. He was raised Catholic and is now an athiest however, my dad happens to be a very quiet man and him and I, surprisngly, have continued the convo. I gave him some articles to read and he recently gave me this book which is summarized here. :God Is Not Great - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I'm kind of afriad to read it bc I don't want it to shake my faith while I am still trying to build it up.

It's so hard when your entire family is there basically looking at you like you have 5 heads, and I am just desperate to give them the answers that I think will change their minds, plant the seed, or open their eyes/ears.

To me, miracles such as the virgin birth are not something that is unrealistic because it is GOD based and GOD is reality to me. Hearing and reading that CHRIST was born of a virgin is not a hard pill to swallow when you believe these things are possible with GOD. For dh, this is all fantasy.

Just had to vent.

...lastly, in specific, my dad is the one who knows his bible the most. He has a hard time with how harsh GOD was in the Old Testament. He speaks of JOB, who lost his family , who I know was from Satan, but GOD allowed, and yet he still thinks this was overkill on GOD's part. I explained that he used it as a testimony to show that faith in him cannot be conditional and that we are sinful and deserving.......death is a consequence we brought on ourselves and GOD is like our parents enforcing the conserquence. My dad said what was done to JOB, was much more severe than a "spanking" so to speak. I'm not really sure what to say to this because I partially feel the same. (I know that's bad)

I know also that in the passover they were supposed to kill a lamb and strike the blood over the doorway and if they didn't, they would kill their firstborn. My dad, again thinks this is CRAZY. He thinks it's cruel. I understand the picture of the "first born, perfect, sacrifice" depicting CHRIST, but it is hard to argue with him on this. Any thoughts?

The book prefaced here again, God Is Not Great - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, is a bir confusing so if anyone has a minute to check out the summary and help me with counter arguemnts/understanding that would be so helpful. I feel like my dad is actually listening to me and I need to help him. Maybe he can be saved =)
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  #2  
October 2nd, 2012, 07:07 PM
Dhartanya's Avatar Paleo Mommy-to-be
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Stop being so desperate to change their minds. Your Causing yourself too much stress.
To them, it may seem like your shoving your beliefs down their throats.
Be open to debate. But tell them that you don't expect to change their minds, and would like them to offer your the same respect.
It's not your job to change their minds. They are on their jounrnies, you are on your journey.
They may be separate, but thats ok. Allow them to be happy in their beliefs. And just be content and worry about your own.
Be happy they have found something they believe in something as strongly as you believe in something.
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Last edited by Dhartanya; October 2nd, 2012 at 07:09 PM.
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  #3  
October 2nd, 2012, 07:33 PM
mamaginger's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Ive argued a lot with atheists and people who believe differently. Its very frustrating because neither of you is going into the discussion with the idea of changing your views. You both just want to prove a point. You have to decide when someone is genuinely seeking answers or help from you and when they just want to prove their point. Jesus didn't always answer every question. When he was before the leaders who questioned him, he stood there silently and didn't answer because he knew his answer wasn't going to change anything. He also didn't always answer the Pharisees questions because he knew they just had ulterior motives to try to "catch him" breaking the law or his own word. He would question them in return. Maybe you could try questioning them.

God wasn't punishing Job. If you read the entire account, Satan asks permission to harm him because he thinks the only reason Job is so faithful is because he is so blessed and protected by God. God allowed Satan to harm him to prove Job's unconditional love and devotion to him. It's an amazing story. Yes, Job questioned God and God questioned him right back..."Where were YOU Job...when I formed the earth?" We get all haughty like we're going to buck up on God but if we stood before him now and he asked us "Where were you??" All we could do is bow down and realize how insignificant we are. It's hard to swallow these kinds of stories but what about all the GOOD stories? They forget those. They pick and choose the parts they dislike the most to convince themselves that there is no real "loving God" who would do this. To me, these types of stories make the Bible even MORE true. If it were all just happy, warm, fuzzy stories everyone liked to hear and understood completely.....THAT is a fairy tale. This is no fairy tale. This is reality. Reality hurts and is ugly sometimes. Sin is painful and has consequences. Nobody likes that. Nobody likes rules and punishment. We want to kick ands scream like 2 year olds to have it our way all the time. No rules, all pampering, no punishment, no discipline. God is real. Sin is real. The History of the Bible isn't all rosy. THe biblical heroes weren't always good. They all did stupid stuff. They all failed in some way. THIS IS REALITY.

You can't make them understand. They aren't open right now. There's no explanation you could give them that would satisfy them. You can think of questions for them and you can remind them of the good things God has done and the miracles Jesus performed. Remind them of the woman caught in the act of adultery. Did Jesus have her stoned? No. He showed love and mercy. Remind them of the story I told you about Peter earlier. Remind them how he forgave the criminal on the cross. Remind them of how he begged God to forgive the very people who spit on him, cursed him, beat him and killed him.
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For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together...Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16

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  #4  
October 3rd, 2012, 08:31 AM
mamaginger's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I just had a chance to read the "god is not great" synopsis. I would probably agree with a lot of what he says about "religions.". Religion is man-made. God is God and his word is his word. Just because men have taken it and corrupted it or reinterpreted it for their own purposes doesn't mean that something is wrong with God or the Bible. I think I mentioned this in another thread but Jesus himself had the MOST problems with the religious people. They were the ones who were corrupt. They were the ones to whom he said "you are of your father the devil.". He was harsh toward THEM but merciful toward the sinners. I hate to give him any credit but the devil has done a great job of twisting and distorting God and His word to make it look like it is something evil. He's used religion to LOOK like it represents who God is when really it just turns people away and confuses them. I know the book of Revelation is overwhelming and confusing because of the apocalyptic language and metaphors but there is a part that discusses "Mystery Babylon" and that actually represents a religious system. It's not one specific religion. If you do an online search they will have you convinced it's the Catholic church but Mystery Babylon represents ANY and ALL false religions or doctrines taught in religion today. Yes, some of those are even those claiming to be "chrisitian" religions. Over and over in the new testament, Paul begs the new believers to be of one mind and one accord and to agree with one another. But they just couldn't do it...and we still cant. We disagree on some element of the Bible and we invent our own new denomination of christianity. Is that Gods fault? Is his word flawed? Or are WE flawed? Are we prideful and want things to be our way so we interpret them to favor what we already think? I'm personally gonna have to go with humanity being flawed.
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~ Ginger



For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together...Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16

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  #5  
October 3rd, 2012, 01:05 PM
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First of all Erica, I just want to say that I understand why you are struggling so much with this. It's your family. You care very deeply for these people so of course arguments like this will get very emotional.

I've personally never been a great debater and I'm very uncomfortable with conflict so I just tend not to engage in these kinds of discussions unless the other person is asking me a sincere question out of curiosity or genuine interest in my opinions and feelings on the subject. Most of the time though, this isn't the case. Like Ginger said, most of the time, neither one of you are open to changing your own mind, you just both want to prove your own point. No one can "win" in that kind of argument.

I guess my point is that it's not likely your family will turn to Jesus because of an intellectual discussion with you or anyone else. The Holy Spirit has to work in their heart. I'm not saying you shouldn't try to educate yourself and continue to gain biblical knowledge. But you should be doing this to deepen your own faith, not to convince someone else that Jesus is real.

As for that book... I've never read it and have no desire to. I have seen several interviews that Christopher Hitchens has done and honestly, he comes across to me as someone who is very angry and defensive. This makes it very hard for me to take anything he says too seriously. As someone who spent several years being very angry at God, I know how that feeling can consume you and make you doubt even the most basic of truths. I always wonder when I hear him speak, what kind of pain or suffering "religion" has caused him. What happened in his life to make him so angry? I find it very telling that as far as I can see, all of the points he makes in his book are about "organized religion" not about Jesus himself, and as you know, there is a HUGE difference. Just my opinion...
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  #6  
October 3rd, 2012, 07:20 PM
jeweluv's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thank you ladies as always!

Okay so I understand the story of JOB a lot more now and it really isn't so bad. It's funny bc I actually said to my dad in another convo that lets just say some of the things GOD has done was severe, for arguement sake, does that make it untrue? Humanity is not perfect. We are sin so in some ways even if we try to make sense of GODs actions we may never be able to as he says " your thoughts are not my thoughts.". I'm hesitant to read that book as well as i am still so early in my faith journey.

I know I should not try to convince my family but it is so hard bc they are my life, my heart, my soul and to think that death could be the end for them devastates me beyond words! I love them and maybe me trying to find all the answers isn't the answer it's hard to be still. It's hard to sit with. Furthermore when I married my dh I was not saved. I now am and some of my values have evolved. Since my dh is not on board, this makes certain things like raising my children to have faith or certain values, much more difficult. I love my husband and feel that bc he is a doctor and has seen some terrible things, and thus has a hard time seeing GOD.

MaMa Anna. I fear conflict too! It makes me sooo anxious and uncomfortable. I don't mind these kind of convos with my family bc I am secure enough to argue with them but anyone else in this world, sends me running.

You are right in that I am preaching at them. This is not good or helpful and I realize that but for what it's worth they all kind of came to me with it, leaving me to defend myself. I really have been working on just praying and letting the lord lead but his was thrown right at my face. I always think in the back of my mind that if I just learn enough and as much as I can I can at least argue their points and plant a seed. Again it's just hard when it involves the people in life you hold nearest and dearest. If it was just about them choosing a career of choice that's was different or lifestyle it wouldn't pain of bother me. I really accept everyone. It comes down to the fact that I want to see them in heaven and while we are here, to feel a bit more unified with my family.
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  #7  
October 3rd, 2012, 07:42 PM
mamaginger's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I know those who aren't christians don't see the big deal with disagreeing with family members about beliefs. They see it the same as politics. What they don't seem to understand is that OUR FAITH is in God's word and we believe what it says. It tells us in graphic detail about a place called Hell and that those who reject God and his Son will go there for eternity. By default, we believe this to actually be true. Therefore, if our loved ones don't believe it then we believe they will go to this awful place. We don't want that because we love them. This is why we have discussions, arguments, debates or try to "convince" them what we believe is true. It's not because we want to be right or to win the argument. It's because we believe their very eternal existence depends on it. So to say "just be happy they believe in something as strongly as you believe" is saying to just let them die and go to Hell. None of us wants that for anyone. Whether you believe Hell is real or not....it is real.
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For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together...Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16

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  #8  
October 3rd, 2012, 08:04 PM
Dhartanya's Avatar Paleo Mommy-to-be
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaginger View Post
I know those who aren't christians don't see the big deal with disagreeing with family members about beliefs. They see it the same as politics. What they don't seem to understand is that OUR FAITH is in God's word and we believe what it says. It tells us in graphic detail about a place called Hell and that those who reject God and his Son will go there for eternity. By default, we believe this to actually be true. Therefore, if our loved ones don't believe it then we believe they will go to this awful place. We don't want that because we love them. This is why we have discussions, arguments, debates or try to "convince" them what we believe is true. It's not because we want to be right or to win the argument. It's because we believe their very eternal existence depends on it. So to say "just be happy they believe in something as strongly as you believe" is saying to just let them die and go to Hell. None of us wants that for anyone. Whether you believe Hell is real or not....it is real.
Real or not, you cannot force someone to change.
The other side sees its "shoving your opinion down my float".
There are ways to discuss, debate and voice your opinions and feelings without coming across as a someone who doesn't respect others opinions.

I can see the OP is struggling daily with family and husbands different choices.
At some point she will have to come to terms that they believe something different.
She can be there for them, an guide when the timing is right. But sometimes a whisper is heard more then a yell.

I do believe in hell and wouldnt want any of my loved ones going there, but I also wpuldnt want to push them away by constantly trying to change their views and opinions and feelings.

My advice is simply to step back and start whispering and leave the yelling behind (I'm talking figuratively here). OP may have more luck that way.
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  #9  
October 3rd, 2012, 08:44 PM
mamaginger's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhartanya View Post
Real or not, you cannot force someone to change.
The other side sees its "shoving your opinion down my float".
There are ways to discuss, debate and voice your opinions and feelings without coming across as a someone who doesn't respect others opinions.

I can see the OP is struggling daily with family and husbands different choices.
At some point she will have to come to terms that they believe something different.
She can be there for them, an guide when the timing is right. But sometimes a whisper is heard more then a yell.

I do believe in hell and wouldnt want any of my loved ones going there, but I also wpuldnt want to push them away by constantly trying to change their views and opinions and feelings.

My advice is simply to step back and start whispering and leave the yelling behind (I'm talking figuratively here). OP may have more luck that way.
Oh i agree you can't force anyone and shouldn't try to force anyone to believe. Even God won't force belief in him. He has given us free will to choose him or reject him. I also agree that a whisper or gentle loving way is much more likely to draw someone to know more and not turn them off. However, we absolutely can NOT be "happy" about their unbelief and only worry about our own beliefs. God has placed family members, friends and even strangers in our sphere of influence for a reason. We may not always handle it the exact right way but he certainly has not called us to just stick to ourselves and not worry about them. It would be the same as knowing a bridge is out on the road ahead and your loved one is speeding toward it. YOU know the bridge is out but they are stubbornly plowing ahead. Wouldn't you do everything in your power to convince them to stop and turn around so they wouldn't be harmed or die?
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~ Ginger



For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together...Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16

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