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PaulB

How to talk to family

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Hi all,

          I am after some advice on how to talk to my sister about my views on Christianity. As a bit of a background story it was actually an incident with her that changed my perspective on Christianity and its core beliefs. We had a falling out about homosexuality I am a firm believer that it is not a choice and she is on the other end of the spectrum but not a hater just well a sin is a sin sort of thing anyway one day I challenged her on it using some scripture that is clearly i.e women talking in church (which she does) to show her how outdated this view is and it ended with an agreement not to talk about it.

Now I have moved away from the traditional point of view and see Christianity and see it as not some exclusive club but just another path to the Devine however she still thinks that I hold to at least the most basic beliefs which I guess comforts her to think that I will still be "saved" so to speak but it is now getting to a point of having to tell her and the rest of my family for that matter what I believe.

The main resistance that I will encounter is John to not even slightly quote but am sure you will get the gist " no one comes to the father except through me". I know that if I try and point out the range inconsistencys in the gospels she will just get really defensive .I must admit that my sister is an itelligent reasonable person but when it comes to her faith that all goes out the window.

I am sure there are plenty of other people on this forum with a similar experience and I would love to know how you dealt with it and possibly any hints on how to go about it.

 

Thanks Paul

 

          

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Hi Paul,

You have at least four questions there, so I will pick one.

Quote

John 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Compare and contrast with this verse:

Quote

Matthew 7: 21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

How might these two verses relate to each other?

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Paul,

I come from a similar experience to you in that I grew up in a fundamental Christian household but moved away from those beliefs in my late teens/early twenties.  To this day (nearly 30 years on) my parents are still strong fundy's and my sister is a fundy missionary saving souls in Mexico.  In all this time I have not been able to have a genuine conversation once with any of them concerning biblical interpretation, biblical scholarship, or even just a fair comparison of Christianity to other religions.  They 'know' the 'truth' (as though there is one single simple truth) and that is the end of the matter.  The bible says so!  They just shut down and use other bible verses to counter their beliefs, even when such verses are contradictory to others.

My family aren't unintelligent people either - so whether it's just plain ol' indoctrination or whether they are scared to consider any alternatives, I don't know.  But I do know it is next to useless trying to 'convince them' of why I think their beliefs are wrong or misplaced.  Personally I don't think we generally have much of a choice over what we believe - we just either believe something or we don't.  Sometimes we believe something until new information comes along which we process and then maybe change our beliefs, but I don't see us doing that deliberately.  Rather the process just takes care of itself and we start believing something different.

So my advice for you if you're interested would be don't worry about trying to convince them otherwise or seek their approval for why you don't believe what they do, just accept that they have their beliefs (as unfounded as they may seem to you) and that you have yours.  It's not easy and I imagine a part of you wants them to acknowledge that you are justified in your reasons, but you're probably unlikely to ever get that 'justification' if your situation is anything like mine.  At best you can explain why you don't agree with their beliefs and leave it at that.

That's my two bob's worth anyway.  Probably not much help!

Cheers

Paul

 

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PaulB,

My experience and advice is similar to PaulS   If they really want to know your views on Christianity, they will ask. Until they really question their own beliefs they will in my experience not be interested unless it is an opportunity for them to set you straight on the narrow path they follow.. :rolleyes:  Unfortunately i have found that as long as a person accepts the Bible literally as the inerrant  Word of God , there is little room for a meaningful discussion.  Believing such to me locks one into circular logic and until one can get past that roadblock, energy is better spent just loving them as they are.

Joseph

 

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