The Panic, the Excitment, and then Back to the Panic.

anxiety1 Last night at 3am, I awoke in a dead panic.  Couldn’t sleep, too worried but the financial future of my family.

How the hell am I going to send my kids to college?

Will I be able to avoid poverty in my old age?

How do I stay in this house I JUST BOUGHT a year ago?

When I finally leave ministry, can I tell my wife and friends I’m an atheist?

Eventually I went back to sleep. Well, at least for a couple of hours.  Then I went to Church this morning.  IT WAS AMAZING!  It was soo much fun, I really nailed the sermon.  Music was…well, at least no one complained about it (perhaps proof that miracles do happen?).  And I thought to myself:

You know, maybe you could do this for a job.  If you worked for some corporation, you may not believe in what they stand for, but you would show up to work everyday to feed your kids.  Why not Church?  You’re obviously good at it.  Well you don’t have 2,000 people on Sunday morning, but good enough to make a living.  Why not keep your job?  Be a humanist in the pulpit!

Yeah, no.  What happens when the old people die?  They’re the ones funding the church.  You’d be stuck with a great church with people under 60, and no one tithing to pay the bills.

You dear reader probably already know that COMMITED Christians on average (mean) give about 2.5%.  Pretty sure the median is around 1.7%.

When the church runs out of money, I no longer have “treasures in heaven” to bank on.  My kids can’t eat free fairy tales.  Truth is I was already looking for a job even before I became an atheist.  It’s clear the clergy as a profession is a contracting field.  I know way too many out of work pastors in their 50’s. I don’t want to be them.  Even when I believed, I didn’t want to end up like them.

So back to the panic.

Oh how I wish God was real.

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2 thoughts on “The Panic, the Excitment, and then Back to the Panic.

  1. Looks like you are at a crossroad in your life, being an atheist and still pastoring must tear you apart because it’s sort of like living a double life? wouldn’t you say that? What about writing down an exit strategy and then put it into action. People do change careers even with family’s and responsibilities, you just need to know which field you want to go into and start making the changes necessary. It might look daunting at first but you can take down that mountain bit by bit. Plus working where you don’t want to be, eats at you slowly so maybe its time to bite the bullet and plan your exit.

    I stopped attending church around 2013, but finally concluded never to return last year. I went through a religious detox…the best detox I’ve experienced and the changes have been amazing. I use my free will know to make decisions am no longer passive, something the church never taught me as I was told “to wait and trust in God for a sign” ugh! I still believe in God though, I dropped religion like a bad habit.

    You mention you had a great time at church, that’s interesting because it speaks to the fact that religion is addictive. I read from one blog that “A church addiction can be compared to “good sex” with someone you know does not really love you or is not genuine. Simply put, you get hooked to the thrill and the feeling.”

    http://pamsheppardpublishing.com/2015/03/12/zombies-addicted-to-religion/

    Like

  2. I was a believer when I was newly married with two young kids. I quit my job, moved my family to a new city and went to university to study. My belief that God would protect and provide made me bullet proof. Lead to some very hard times, as I’m sure you can imagine. Looking back on it now as an atheist I cannot believe how stupid and selfish I was.

    Cheers
    Shane

    Liked by 1 person

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