"As a Mom, I can't ignore your personal beliefs at this time. I will be careful not to send you too much 'preachy stuff' but I also will send an occasional statement that I feel is significant. Your sister has reminded me that as hurt as Dad and I are, it is ultimately your decision, and we can't change what you say you believe. However, as Mom, I will remind you that you are in my thoughts and prayers daily (please don't thank me for this...to me it seems sacrilegious on your part if you have no belief in my God). [Note: I had thanked her for praying for me earlier, since I took it as a sign that she cared deeply about me.] I pray that my God will continue to use your Biblical studies to enlighten you. I pray that God will use WHATEVER tools He needs to use to allow you and Jamie to see God again...even if that means extreme pain, suffering, hardships, to you, your wife, or even dad or I. Up to now, you haven't had to experience too much suffering. Are you willing for that to happen, if that is what it takes for you to remember God? As great as our love is for you, it is small in comparison to God's love. That's the sermonette for the day. Many times I can express myself easier in writing than in talking. And, not every e-mail and conversation will be a sermon, but I needed to let you know how we are handling things today.
I have been reading about David in both 2nd Samuel and in the Psalms and how he was 'a man committed to following God'...and how he frequently made poor choices. However, God never gave up on him. I know God will pursue you because He has a plan for the both of you, and you have been a man after God's heart."I had hoped to wait for a "views" milestone to open up comments, but this just seems too messed up not to allow people to comment.
I mean, at the end of the first paragraph here, she basically says: "I kind of hope God makes you suffer something horrible so you can remember how much he loves you. So come back to the church...or else." Yeah, that makes sense. So, would my wife getting cancer be a "sign" from God? Or would she have to die first? Even if that happened, how could I be sure it wasn't just a sign that this world was a place where shitty things like that happened all the time? Even to Christians!
Since leaving Christianity, I've seen more clearly what this kind of rhetoric is: an attempt, through shame or fear or threats, to make people conform. Never mind that this cuts against the Bible's central message of a god who would literally die for others rather than let them turn away. Somehow, I don't think, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do," (Luke 23:35) matches well with "I hope you (or your loved ones) suffer so you'll be forced to run back to God."