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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.

I'm not exactly sure where to begin with us. I was born and raised Jewish. I had university training in electrical engineering and computer science, as well as a minor in liberal arts. I have a pretty detailed understanding for higher math and physics as well.

I had married twice. The first time, I was 27, and as an interfaith marriage to a liberal Christian lady who was training for ministry.

She helped me understand a lot about the theory of Christianity, which I desired to convert to because the Judaism in which I had been raised by my parents was completely devoid of the passion for living and whose sole emphasis was a life of living for my people rather than for myself.

The marriage ended because she became mentally ill and wanted me to suicide with her, so my complete conversion was never actually accomplished.

I married again at 40. For the longest time I drifted in an indeterminate state between Methodism and Judaism, and it took a year as close friends and another 10 as husband and wife to finally learn how to trust in God through her examples.

Ironically enough, she holds a master's degree in education to my master's degree in computer science.

My now wife and I had always learned to agree to disagree while our marriage was still interfaith, but I decided the best path toward Christ was through picking up through Methodism where I left off, rather than adopting the fundamentalist Baptist church where she goes to worships.

My wife makes it fairly plain to me that the Methodist attitude of interpreting the Bible as a living document is wrong to the point of being un-Godly.

She also has told me that the Bible says the earth was only created in six human actual 24 hour days, not millions of years as would be indicated by physical evidence and the laws of physics. I told her the way I could reconcile six days with millions of years was to believe that it was 6 of God's days from His inertial frame of reference, rather than the at-rest inertial frame of reference of Man's existence.

I believe that God shaped living things through divinely-shaped natural selection where God makes the choices as to what lives or what dies, not the randomly shaped evolution her pastor denounces, a balance I have been able to achieve.

I believe that Maxwell's equations and the Standard Model of Particle Physics are as important as Holy Writ to understand the world. She doesn't believe any of that as being necessary, only distracting.

I am Christian, but I am a more liberal and allegorical one than my wife is. I who prefers reading Christian authors such as C.S. Lewis rather than looking to just the King James as she prefers to do. Her pastor even thinks that my liberalism is simply the wrong way to face the world and God. I therefore avoid him unless I absolutely have to.

I find it disturbing that we now that I have "moved into her tent", we now have a disagreement which we must remain silent about rather than causing an argument to erupt, with we never had problems before since she and I were of different faiths entirely.

She never pressure me to convert. I wanted to. I had lived in a family where both my parents were extremely mentally ill and abused me badly. I have lost 6 people of the 9 who were part of my original family, 2 of them to suicide. Above and beyond that, as I said, my ex had been abusive and suicidal too. I have had simply too much loss.

All that my wife did to teach me to trust God, was simply to teach me how to trust her... and then I saw the connection. I then went back to the Methodist church, sought out a pastor, and she advise me to pray to Christ for healing. From that point, and I begged my wife for help, I was able to confess in her presence to God that I was a sinner and I wanted to be saved.

We love each other dearly, otherwise, and we have a happy marriage full of laughter and love, so long as the exact details of our belief are never mentioned to each other, just the bare bones principles like the Nicene Creed and the Laws of Love in Matthew.

We also have an 8 year old daughter who I allowed to be baptised in my wife's church, because I had an intuition that my daughter would be able to acheive from birth something that I might never be able to reach for myself.

Any ideas for making this better?

Thanks,

Aulë
 

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Have you looked at the issues of translation of the King James and the early Old Testament? The word that is translated into ‘day’ in English actually means ‘period of time’. Colloquially in the days of Jesus it also it was used to mean either ‘period of time’ or ‘day’.

I suggest that you love your wife and child. You continue to educate yourself starting with the early teachings and texts. Study the issues of translations and such. Find a religious mentor/teacher and peers who you can learn from and grow with.

Your wife does not seem open to the questioning and learning that is essential. You probably just have to accept this about her.
 

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Elegirl said pretty much what I was going to say. I have a technical background like you, and the Methodist denomination is one that I mesh with fairly well. I definitely do not agree with some of the more rigid denominations. I also like to look into translation issues in deciphering why some people have different interpretations. As I have gotten older, I've tended to become more lenient in my biblical interpretations.

As far as dealing with your wife, it sounds like you may be doing the best that can be done. Be tolerant and forgiving, and maybe that will rub off on her.
 

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I'm slightly confused here, not about how you expressed yourself, but about her attitude. Shouldn't she be happy that you have accepted the saving grace of Jesus, now feel joy for the Lord, and become a Christian?

God is timeless and eternal, He has always existed, and always will. He existed in the past while knowing the future, so how He perceives time is likely beyond all human understanding, and trying to rationalize it in a way we understand is likely poor at best. If we cannot, in truth, properly pronounce His name, how could we attempt to understand things before human time?

I myself agree that you can believe in both creationism and natural selection. Since the Earth was created, the Earth has changed. The earth was once warm enough that Adam and Eve could comfortably be naked, yet not unbearably hot, how many people live somewhere that is still true?

There's a difference between believing that fish turned into birds and monkeys into Man, and recognizing the fact presented in the Bible itself that the world is not as it once was, as punishment for sin, the ground fights our efforts, thorns grow where once was fertility, and the lion and lamb no longer exist side by side in peace.

Your wife's faith seems centered in a fellowship where only the pastor/church/sect's interpretation of scripture matters, and there's no need for discussion, or it's labeled as dissent or as sinful. She doesn't need apologetics or allegory like C.S. Lewis to help make her faith more real, as those things don't matter.

I suppose it depends on what you ultimately want to accomplish. What is it that you are hoping to change? What outcome are you looking for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@StarStarFish: The only thing I was asking was not for change, but simply for ideas on how to cope better with the bed I have made and now have to lie in.

When I told my wife when we first met that I was Methodist with a Jewish background and later found out why my first wife and I divorced, the topic of comparative religions never did come up during the premarital counseling, and I believe she most likely assumed I was saved rather than asking deeper questions and rejecting me out of hand for taking a baptism but not for the sake of belief, but for emotional support for my ex becoming a hospital chaplain. For that reason it never did take before it became too late for that marriage to continue.

It's only just in the last couple years that it had been a source of friction to us, because she would take my daughter to her church and I would stay home to do housework. She's pretty much the driving force in the marriage (husband) and I'm pretty much the stabilizing force within it (wife), so it does not seem unusual that I am the spouse who stays and fixes lunch for the rest of the family when they return.

Because I stayed home, I never had to confront any of this, because I had been burnt out of church based on my ex's senseless behavior.

It's now, when my wife and I actually started discussing the details of the Bible rather than the broadest intent, that the arguments began.

So for the sake of peace I backed off. I have a few regrets now being married to my wife because she cannot share a life of the mind like I have, but then given the life I had led before I met her, a mostly tortured, empty, and lonely one, any other choice would have been much worse. Compared to my ex, my current wife for all my problems with her is a walk in the park.

My wife and I did agree to compromise, in that I could attend any other church I wanted so long as I went to her church once a week. This is okay, because I go to her church on Thursdays for the sake of solidarity with my family, and I go to Methodists every other Sunday for the spiritual and emotional equivalent of intensive care. At her church I stay silent while they read and pray together, sometimes sing, but she and I share our Bible when comes the readings. But at my church I feel I can relax, I can sing, I feel joy, and even some tears leak out from time to time.

I didn't turn to Jesus because I wanted to be saved from hell in the afterlife. I turned to Him because I wanted to be saved from the hell I was already living on earth. It wasn't salvation I was looking for more than actually safety and healing, but in the end I wound up getting both from Him.

He will be the Parent I had always needed and had looked for, and I understand and accept His promise that he will never, never, ever abuse me like my parents on earth have. That's the link I feel very consciously when I am with the Methodists, and pretty much subconsciously everywhere else.

I think the others have told me that I pretty much just have to stay tactful and wait for my moments. I am not driven like other men to have thier way... I am used to waiting years if necessary for the right opportunity to appear and then utilize it.

Thank you,

Aulë
 
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