My dad is a religious extremist and keeps trying to “save” me

posted 8 years ago in Christian
Post # 3
3788 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

My FMIL is that way, but thankfully, she only lectures him. He has gotten the point where he just changes the conversation or leaves. Not very helpful, I guess. It is an awful situation to be in. Sorry I can’t be more helpful but ***hugs***

Post # 4
2186 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

disclaimer – i am a baptist minister’s daughter, and a christian….


personally i cant STAND people who are bible thumpers. i have seen people like that cause people to turn away from God. which is NEVER good.

I actually had a roommate in college who was like your dad. mind you i have been going to church since i was a fetus, and can quote the bible verbatim, and pray every day, but i am not in the business of converting people. i believe in living my life positively and letting my life be the testimony.

personally i think that people who have to shove it down other people’s throats are really trying to convince themselves not others.

what works for me when i come across people like that is to just be honest and calm and not let them bait me. usually it comes out along the lines of this:

“I know my God. And He and I are the only people who know our relationship. And any TRUE Christian would respect that, and allow me to serve my Lord in my own way. Jesus wants us to judge not, and be an example for others so its not necessary to beat people over the head with what you believe. It should show in your actions NOT just your words. Shoving your thoughts down my throat means nothing to me. God told us that even Satan knows the bible.”

honest and … subtle. LOL

Post # 5
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

well said spaganya! Put it on a crad and read it each time to your dad

Post # 6
1854 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I’m sorry you’re going through this. I have family members that act like this as well, and it makes me uncomfortable not because I don’t agree but because I’m very private and to me, spirituality and your relationship with God is something very personal..
You dad is probably convinced he’s doing his duty.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any good advice for you, as it seems like you have tried dealing with this in a mature way, but your dad will not respect your feelings on this… I’d keep the convos short..

Post # 7
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

wow…just plain wow. i’m sorry you have to deal with that. i think spaganya has the right words for you. as long as your ok with your faith, it shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

Post # 8
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

It sounds like you’ve talked to him before (and I know you don’t hestitate to communicate or confront, which is one of your great traits!), but have you ever told him point blank that his preaching has an adverse affect on you? Like, “Dad, I know you care about me, and about what I believe, but when you yell about it like you do, it doesn’t do anything but make me want to not listen. It’s not that I hate God – it’s that I feel belittled when you talk the way you do.”

Otherwise, a good solid, “You and I agree on this: when God wants someone to hear Him, He can make Himself heard. I trust that if God has something to tell me, He will tell me in a way that I can understand – and your yelling is not accomplishing that.” might help too. :/ Kind of concede part of it, if that makes sense, and then let him know that you and God is between you and God.

Post # 9
1392 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010 - Heron Hill Winery

ejs4yb I could have written this post myself!!  I know how frustrating this can be for you…my father is much in the same way.  Every and any conversation revolves around his beliefs and it’s quite frustrating  He is contstantly talking to me about “one day when you talk to god and open your heart you will understand and you can join me in his glory and love…”  I really do understand how difficult it is to be so torn.

I love my father, but I don’t understand him or his belief system.  It’s especially frustrating when things go wrong.  I.e. my older brother is bi polar…dad thinks it’s the devils work and that demons are possessing him and that if my brother were right with god he wouldn’t have this issue. 

It’s very tough to have a father with such extreme views because I am always being preached to and feel guilt for not living up to his standards.  I want to understand, but I just can’t and may never. 

It’s so hard to write down all my thoughts because they are so many, but if you would like to talk more PM me and perhaps we can arrange a phone convo (it is so hard to find people that can relate to this)  I just had my evening sermon from my father as well and am in a similar boat.

Post # 10
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I feel for you, I really do. My family brought me up going to church and my grandmother was extremely Christian. I decided when I was 13 to take the route of Wicca, I honestly was terriefied to come out of the broom closet to my gma. I ended up telling her and it was hard at first. She was very “concerned” but I sat her down one day and talked to her.

I explained my beliefs and why I felt the way I did. I told her that I had to chose the path that was my destiny and no ones elses.  The path to any faith is freedom of choice. Once she heard how passionate I talked about it and that I believed in something, she understood and never pushed anymore.

Post # 12
5262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

*Hugs* – I know your dad doesn’t realize it, but that must make it really hard for you to have an honest conversation. Luckily I don’t have immediate family that does that, but my extended family and my fiance’s family have a tendency to. (They still think we’re Christian, picture breaking to your dad that you were an atheist… that’s how it would go for us.) I usually just tell them that beliefs are a very personal thing, and that they are something I hold dear to my heart, but that they are mine to have and know about. In your dad’s case, I would remind him of a few key Bible verses that resonate with you – perhaps ones concerning not judging others, only God knowing what’s in your heart, etc. Remind him that it is YOUR journey to take, and that you have to be your own person. 

That might not make much of an impact at first, but stick to your guns. As much as it’s easier to nod and tune him out, if you keep it up he should at least start to see that you’re serious. You’re clearly a smart woman, and quite capable of coming to your own spiritual conclusions. Good luck!

Post # 14
2186 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

honestly your dad doesnt sound like hes all that well read when it comes to the gospel – anyone would know that the answer to “do you believe in evolution” to a Christian is “yes i believe evolution – and that its all part of God’s plan.” lol easiest way of shutting people up when they question you on things like that. God is not in conflict with science.

He sounds like hes regurgitating what hes heard evangelists or other people tell him. try challenging HIM on things – you seemed versed on scientific things – ask HIM a few questions. see how he feels in the hot seat.

or you could be the bigger person and just walk away or hang up once he starts talking about it. he will stop sooner or later.

Post # 15
1154 posts
Bumble bee

The “I don’t want to talk about it” approach is clearly not working (though it should of course).  I would try a more confrontational approach – I realize that probably isn’t in your nature but it may be the only way to get breathing room from your dad.  I’m an atheist but I have serious respect for people who feel that their relationship with God is a private and special thing and again I realize it will go against your nature to talk about it but I would try something like this.

I love God and he calls me to be loving.  When I feel the love he gives and the anger you give I just don’t understand what God you are talking to.  Tell me Dad how can you reconcile the sweet feeling praying to God gives me with the terrible revulsion hearing you preach gives me?  Do you not believe in a loving God Dad?  You will be a much happier person if you personalized your relationship with God instead of brining in everyone you know into it – Dad!  return to the intimacy of your realtionship with God!

I will not answer these questions Dad because you are not my God and you are not my priest and you have no right.

Alright, maybe something a little softer than that.  But some people only understand attack and submission – they do not understand avoidance except as a sign of weakness.  If he sees you have as strong of a stand as he does and can attack him too… you won’t avoid the conversations on the topic – probably nothing you can do to do that – but you’ll change the tone.  And lets be honest – you need no facts or books of knowledge to hold your own in such a debate – just the willingess to imply your opponenet is not going to Heaven.

And I would privately talk to your Mom and tell her that if your Dad doesn’t rein it in… she will not see you as often, you will spend less and less time calling them and visiting.


Post # 16
7770 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

ejs- I grew up with a mother that told me, when my parents divorced out of nowhere and we literally woke up in a new city overnight with a new stepdad, that if I felt sad I didn’t have God in my heart.  I think my mother actually believes she IS God.  She used “God” as a way to control us, saying that if we had pain during sex, for instance, it was because we weren’t under God’s umbrella.  The thing is, it is impossible for anyone to please another person when that person thinks they know best about God.  And that is what you would be doing if you did/ agreed with exactly what he was saying- you’d be pleasing HIM.  He may just have great intentions, but regardless, the way he is interacting with you isn’t conducive to helping you in matters with God, or in matters of your personal relationship with him.  So, what to do?  There may be no pleasing him, but you can work toward setting up boudaries.  (This is assuming he is reasonable- this doesn’t work for me with my mother.)  It sounds like he needs to be sat down and talked to.  Tell him how much it matters to you that you have some space about the subject.  If someone is deciding what is right with God and what is not, it really is impossible to please them, because they are inevitably putting their own spin on something that is both personal and mysterious.  Bottom line- he doesn’t decide what is right with God and what isn’t. 

I realize that you have tried to talk to him, and it hasn’t worked out.  Is it possible to set up some “rules” about the subject?  (ie You are willing to listen on Sundays, but not during the week- something like that to sort of wean him from his obsession?) 

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