Editor’s Note: The Atheist Ex-Pastor is B-a-a-a-c-k! Where has he been? Writing and promoting his new book, Life Beyond Belief: A Preachers Deconversion. He’s now “out” as Bob Ripley, long-time pastor of a large mainline church in Canada. He’ll tell us about his après book experience in a future post. Right now, he’s responding to a mother with a question she would not have if she had only not questioned her faith.
Dear Atheist ex-Pastor,
About three years ago I started doubting my faith. At this point I am no longer a Christian. I don’t dismiss a higher being but I believe that if one exists, we are not a priority. My older children understand and have similar feelings. However last week my five year old asked why I don’t attend. I explained that I no longer believe what the church teaches us. She asked if it was still okay to love Jesus and I said yes. Am I doing the right thing letting her attend even though I feel as though she is being lied to? I would love your insight. Thank you for your time,
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These kinds of decisions as parents are particularly challenging as we try to be honest and authentic but at the same time sensitive to the needs of each individual child. In this case, you have older children who have similar feelings as yourself but it is not easy to explain to a five year old that the friend they have grown to love does not exist.
All the best,
Editor’s Question to Readers: What advice would you have given Jen?
Bio: Bob Ripley, aka “Dave the Atheist ex-pastor” is a syndicated religion columnist, broadcaster, former preacher and author of Christian devotional material. His new book, which came out in October, 2014 is titled Life Beyond Belief: A Preacher’s Deconversion.