When I quit the seminary and left the church I tried to slip as quietly out the back door as I could. At this point my theology professors from college, many of my college and seminary friends, and most of my extended family know I'm an atheist. I officially resigned my membership with the SDA church almost two years ago. Now I'm an atheist blogger and I've talked about the SDA church on the Chariots of Iron podcast a few times.
I'm as out of an atheist as I can be, both with those inside the SDA church and everybody else.
I don't even know if I still belong to the church.. I think I do, because I've never formally resigned.
When I was about 8, my family moved (literally and figuratively) away from the church. We never started attending another SDA church, so I don't really know much about it. As a teenager, I started developing Bipolar Disorder, and my memories are super fuzzy. I was actually hoping that someone could explain some of my early memories I have regarding the church, like, why do I remember my mom's baptism as such a traumatic experience? Is there something that the priest says that would make a small child think their mother was never coming back?
I don't know how many family/people from the old church know anything about my (non)religious standing. I tend not to talk to them, so I tend not to care.
yes I've heard this too Lauren, a lot! This is likely it, Ariel!
Since we have a few overlapping friends, I can tell you that most people I'm still in contact with from WWC either don't care that I'm an atheist or are themselves atheists. Adding you to the list, I know of at least 10 people that were there when we were who are either atheists or pretty close to it. There is absolutely no reason to worry about how your college buddies would react. I would imagine that other SDAs in Portland wouldn't be much different either.
I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. That is very compassionate of you to let your mom hold on to the delusion of your salvation while she grieves the loss of your dad. The day will come when she'll bring it up or talk to you about something that will force you to set her straight. Be ready for it and maintain control of the conversation when it does. I have a few blog posts about that at http://www.dwnomad.com
Honesty is always the right approach and you're not under any obligation to volunteer that kind of information.
I wish I'd had advice like yours when I came out. Mine was tearful and angry and terrible and resulted in family breakup, basically. I wished I'd practised more discretion like Andree, and well I sort of did with mum but that was more laziness and being sick of her not noticing that I was an atheist even though I already told her twice ... denial?
It was the fall of 2009 when I finally gave up my faith entirely. Over the course of several years I came to disbelieve most of the specifically Adventist beliefs, and from there I more closely questioned the existence of God.
I'm out to my coworkers and one of my siblings, but I'm still not fully out to my wife of five years or the rest of my family. My wife knows that l place more weight on science than I do on 'revealed truth', and that I see no evidence for god, but I've continued to lie to her and tell her that I'm an agnostic theist. I first told her that I was an agnostic theist about 3 years ago, and at the time it was true, but I haven't had the discussion with her about my complete lack of belief since that time.
What makes this hard for me is that we have two little children together and my wife feels very strongly that she wants them to attend church regularly and to go to SDA schools. That terrifies me!
It's getting to the point where I don't feel I can or should keep this from her much longer. :}