Church dilemma

Thread starter #1
My wife is a devout Christian and wants to join the church she’s been attending. I’m a non believer and since married couples usually join the church together, that’s the dilemma. I have written here before about how I was once active in church and even served as a deacon. Life events and countless hours of of reading and soul searching moved me away from religion. My current activity in church consists of playing on Sunday mornings with a small ensemble. I have no desire to sit through Sunday preaching or attend Sunday School. I have nothing against church, I just don’t want to participate.

I‘m supposed to meet with the pastor next week to discuss joining the church. I don’t want to pretend and lie that I want to join the church, I pretended for many years and I’m past that. I don’t want to cause my wife any embarrassment or make it difficult for her to join the church. There’s nothing she’d like more that for me to join the church, accept Jesus and be saved. I’m comfortable as a non believer.

I plan to discuss this with my wife before my meeting with the pastor but these discussions in the past have usually resulted in an argument.
 
Thread starter #6
T
If you’re a nonbeliever then you’re a nonbeliever. What’s the dilemma? Just say that.
Thats my plan, and I agree it shouldn’t affect her.
 

WaltL1

Senior Member
Sticky situation.
If she believes, seems like she would understand that if you attend, God/Jesus would know you were there for all the wrong reasons. Hopefully after she gets done being mad with you she will give that some deep thought.
I think its good that you support her in her belief and maybe you could attend certain church functions with her other than sitting in the pew on Sundays.
 
I would suggest that you consider, after discussing this with your wife, gently tell ing the pastor that you would join only with the honest understanding that your presence is due to you loving support of your wife and not because of any belief or desire to believe. If the pastor is comfortable with that qualification, why not join? You don't have to sit through all the sermons or put up with people pushing you. Be there when you need to be in support of your beloved. Be fishing, or hunting, or wherever else you want to be when you need to be elsewhere.
 
Thread starter #9
Sticky situation.
If she believes, seems like she would understand that if you attend, God/Jesus would know you were there for all the wrong reasons. Hopefully after she gets done being mad with you she will give that some deep thought.
I think its good that you support her in her belief and maybe you could attend certain church functions with her other than sitting in the pew on Sundays.
I absolutely support her and have told her many times. She just wants so badly for me to get on board with church that she can’t understand my position. And she worries for what will happen to me when I die. I really don’t give it much thought.
 

CaptKeith

Senior Member
Another option is to not join the church. It is actually respecting the beliefs of the church, and not being a “false” member. Many people join churches without their spouses. Explain that you will totally support her, and I think it would be understood.
 
Another option is to not join the church. It is actually respecting the beliefs of the church, and not being a “false” member. Many people join churches without their spouses. Explain that you will totally support her, and I think it would be understood.
I would agree with this more than joining a Church as a non believer. Seems weird to me for a non-believer to join a Church just to support a believing spouse or family.
 
I may be wrong in what I’m saying, but being a member of a church isn’t important to me. My wife and I were members of X church. We became unhappy with x,y,z. Took a short break, started attending another church. Never really felt led to join. Eventually, stopped going altogether, for about a year. Began a search for churches, and found one not 3 miles from the house. Unsure of the length of time, but near 15 years now, we’ve attended this church, and never officially joined. Bear with me here. In all these years, around the 3 year mark, we had decided we were gonna make the walk at invitation time to join. We all dressed nice, and for some unexplained reason, I can’t remember what happened, but there was no invitation at the end of THAT service. I remember vividly my wife and I staring at each other in disbelief. We talked about the experience the rest of the day. To this day, we are faithful attenders, accept of course when life gives you detours, but we don’t sit on the couch, instead of going to church. Our pastor is well aware we are not members and treats us as if we royalty. He preaches from the word of God, and is steadfast against our current culture. I say all that to say this. I’m not digging at your wife, but being a “member” of a church means nothing to me. How you became a non believer, is more than I’m qualified to discuss. I don’t understand, but God gave us free will, and you’ve chosen your path. Me personally, I could not stand in front of a church and declare my salvation if I didn’t believe. Just my opinion. Let your wife join as she pleases. I couldn’t do it if I was a non believer.
 

660griz

Senior Member
Unsure of the length of time, but near 15 years now, we’ve attended this church, and never officially joined.
Shows how long it has been for me. Never knew you had to join. As a kid, guess I didn't know. We just showed up and put money in the plate. Well, my parents did. I went across the street to the store and ate candy on the back pew. :)

To the OP:
No use being somebody other than yourself for anyone. Never works out in the end.
 
Thread starter #14
There isn’t a requirement to join, I guess it’s just a feel good thing to do.
 

Madman

Senior Member
Don’t join, just attend. Why “join” an group you don’t agree with?

Attend with your wife and enjoy the occasional fellowship of others.

What does “membership” provide, the ability to vote on issues, be in the men’s group?

Just go be with your wife, look and listen for the “good” that hopefully emanates from the group. See what transpires, who knows, ask God, if he exists to reveal himself to you.

Life is short, enjoy it.
 
Shouldn’t be an issue-My mom is an extremely faithful & devout Catholic and is very involved in the church.
My Father is too a non-believer-of any structured religion. Mom has no issues from the church and Dad attends functions & activities, and even supports when needed with no recourse.
If it IS a problem, then I believe the pastor and congregation need to reevaluate their mission & purpose!
When I asked him what he believes in one night under the stars waiting to track a deer for a hunting buddy, he looked up at the stars and said-Son, my beliefs and followings mirror more of the native people than any others(paraphrasing!)
I term him to be more agnostic than anything else. He doesn’t think there definitively IS NOT a God, but doesn’t not think there’s just one to follow & worship, if that makes sense.
He strongly believes that an ALL Knowing & Loving God would not submit his people to the pain & suffering that continues to happen across the world.
 
I think that honesty is the best policy, here's why: If your wife is going to accept or ultimately reject your lack of belief, then there's no better time to know than the present. The pastor, assuming he's not an *** will welcome you as part of the community and the hope that he'll get to work on you. Or, maybe he'll be afraid that your doubt/non-belief will cause others become vocal (they're there, and often feel alone). Once I stopped worrying about what others thought about the fact that I don't believe, I found out who my real friends were.
 
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