How to deal with an atheist parent as a Christian?


#1

I'm getting pretty tired of this and I would appreciate some advice from people on CAF.

Anyway, I've been a Christian (Baptist church) for some 4 years now. I actually was baptised and became a church-attending Christian in university, when living away from home. This didn't seem to be too much of an issue with my family, including my atheist mom..

But as time went on, it only got worse. After a year and a half or so in church, I joined the worship team as a bassist and pianist and this only seemed to make things worse. When we met, she (my mom) actively criticized my religious beliefs openly and got INCREDIBLY annoyed if I had to leave for band practices or attend church. She refused point blank to attend church events I invited her to (mostly because I wanted her to see that I was still ME) and generally made it very difficult for me.

This has gotten worse and worse as time has gone on and now I'm finding it near impossible to even mention God, yet alone talk about Him. She expects me to stop going to church to do things with her (like shopping or something which can easily wait). She detests the small wooden cross I keep in my bedroom.

I'm really unsure what to do. Should I simply keep quiet or stand up and actually say something?


#2

[quote="Kouyate42, post:1, topic:238577"]
I'm really unsure what to do. Should I simply keep quiet or stand up and actually say something?

[/quote]

Next time she starts up, tell her that if she cannot talk about your beliefs in a respectful manner, then the subject is off limits. (Same way it would be if you couldn't discuss her lack of beliefs respectfully. THAT subject would be off limits too.)


#3

Jesus said tha tHis message would divide familys. Praying for you.


#4

Let all things be done in love.:)


#5

As much as you love your mom, I don't think that you should allow her to dictate to you how you are living your spiritual life. You are in college and pretty much independent soon and will be leaving the nest in the near future. This is a spiritual calling that you must not ignore. Sure, families can be divided over religious beliefs and it is tough and even painful. Do pray for her conversion (you may want to google some novenas -- my fav is the Novena to the Miraculous Medal, but I'm not sure if you have to wear one to say it....I do wear it everyday and it is quite efficacious!). I am curious as to why you are baptized as Christian and yet she is an atheist? Did she approve then of your baptism? Be gentle and polite with her when she insists on you coming with her to shop. You may want to say something like, "Mom, I'd really love to to come with you, but this is also important to me and I also enjoy playing the piano/ bass at church."
Most importantly -- pray for her conversion and trust in God's plan for you. He may be using you to call your mom home too.

As for me, I am an EM at our church (give out communion) yet my very own mother (whose legacy to me was the teaching of the faith!!!!) has left the CC.:shrug:


#6

As one who is mostly atheist I can tell you it is hard to respect a person with a religious belief. To you its probably like respecting an adult who believes in little people,. Now a days the thought is rightfully laughed at, but a woman I respect, my great grand mother, believed in them as much as you believe in Jesus. However the respect I have for her came with age and as I slowly came to comprehend the magnitude of her actions during her life. So to be respected by us you have to work harder, you are not a good person because of your religion, you must be a good person despite your religion. Also your mom is probably trying to be patient with you and your new fad, so be kind and return those patients to her. Its not easy for both parties.


#7

Thank you all for the replies.

[quote="rick43235, post:2, topic:238577"]
Next time she starts up, tell her that if she cannot talk about your beliefs in a respectful manner, then the subject is off limits. (Same way it would be if you couldn't discuss her lack of beliefs respectfully. THAT subject would be off limits too.)

[/quote]

It's not just direct discussion of religion or issues to do with religion which is the problem. It's also certain things that are said/done which also cause issues.

Prime example- my mom is fond of blaspheming God, saying Oh my G-- a LOT. I'll tell her not to say that (without even mentioning religious beliefs) and then there's an argument.

[quote="cuqui, post:5, topic:238577"]
As much as you love your mom, I don't think that you should allow her to dictate to you how you are living your spiritual life. You are in college and pretty much independent soon and will be leaving the nest in the near future. This is a spiritual calling that you must not ignore. Sure, families can be divided over religious beliefs and it is tough and even painful. Do pray for her conversion (you may want to google some novenas -- my fav is the Novena to the Miraculous Medal, but I'm not sure if you have to wear one to say it....I do wear it everyday and it is quite efficacious!). I am curious as to why you are baptized as Christian and yet she is an atheist? Did she approve then of your baptism? Be gentle and polite with her when she insists on you coming with her to shop. You may want to say something like, "Mom, I'd really love to to come with you, but this is also important to me and I also enjoy playing the piano/ bass at church."
Most importantly -- pray for her conversion and trust in God's plan for you. He may be using you to call your mom home too.

As for me, I am an EM at our church (give out communion) yet my very own mother (whose legacy to me was the teaching of the faith!!!!) has left the CC.:shrug:

[/quote]

I should possibly point I've graduated and gone back home.

I was actually partially raised by my Methodist/Anglican grandparents, whom I thank for my religious education and introduction to Christianity. It was for this reason I'm a Christian of any sort.I made the decision in university to begin attending church myself, with no-one telling me I had to go. Now my church is Baptist and so it was offered that I go through adult immersion baptism (my church has no infant baptisms). She didn't actually actively disapprove of it but I knew she didn't like it, although my grandparents DID attend my ceremony.

And yes, prayer is always a good thing and this whole thing is on my mind during each and every prayer.

[quote="Ursus_luteolus, post:6, topic:238577"]
As one who is mostly atheist I can tell you i
t is hard to respect a person with a religious belief. To you its probably like respecting an adult who believes in little people,. Now a days the thought is rightfully laughed at, but a woman I respect, my great grand mother, believed in them as much as you believe in Jesus. However the respect I have for her came with age and as I slowly came to comprehend the magnitude of her actions during her life. So to be respected by us you have to work harder, you are not a good person because of your religion, you must be a good person despite your religion. Also your mom is probably trying to be patient with you and your new fad, so be kind and return those patients to her. Its not easy for both parties.

[/quote]

I could bear it IF she was actually able to tell me why she rejects God, and didn't show such hypocrisy as ridiculing my beliefs whilst herself believing in stuff like horoscopes and the paranormal. I find the whole attitude two-faced and hypocritical to put it mildly.

I'm not asking for a thesis on the lines of Richard Dawkins' God Delusion, I'm asking for some basic reasoning as to why she thinks what she does and then maybe I could actualy address some of those issues properly and correct some misconceptions. Indeed, she thought I'd joined some weird cult when I joined the Christian Union, rather than understanding that it was something I truly wanted to do.

In the 4 years I've been a Christian, she has not ONCE even tried to remotely understand my beliefs. She doesnt' have to agree with them, as she doesn't agree with many of my opinions, I just want her to understand what I believe and why I think it to be so.


#8

#9

Leave her alone about religion and simply pray for her. Let her know you love her with your actions. For example, you said she gets upset if you go to church instead of doing something with her. Anticipate her desire to be with you and offer to do something with her that will not conflict with church, even before she asks you. Right now, your religion is a threat to her because it takes you away from her and because you two are always arguing about it. If you drop the subject, you will take away some of the power that your faith has to make her upset. If she uses God’s name in vain, you make an act of love to God to make up for it, but don’t correct her. It’s not your place to correct a parent.

Over time, if you work at removing the causes of conflict, your mother may come to respect you as a person of faith. With enough prayer, she may even be converted. Show her the worth of faith in God by your own example. Be a person she can admire.


closed #10

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