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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Tapanga Paige Offline
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Change - July 20th 2012, 04:54 AM

I'm 17 I've been raised in an athiest home and I'll admit I'm not really a very religious person. Recently I've been looking into volunteering through a church with a friend of mine and my parents are lets just say not very excited. I'm not really finding God but my mind has never been a closed place and i firmly believe in doing everything i can when the opportunity presents itself. I like helping out and it also looks great on college applications! I just feel like I'm being judged by my family for choosing to broaden my horizins through a religious venue. Does anyone know how I can evade their judgment or convince them that I'm looking to help others more so than find religion?

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Re: Change - July 20th 2012, 08:18 AM

I would clear up the misunderstanding first. Tell your parents what you plan to do in your life, your objectives and ambitions. Also you could so some other volunteer work that aren't necessarily through religious means. Hope this helped! And good luck with your goal!

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Re: Change - July 20th 2012, 10:10 AM

You just need to explain that you're only doing volunteering work. It's really no different doing the work at a church than at a charity. You're still helping people right? Who knows, you might even have a few informative conversations about religion.

Best of luck convincing your parents

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Re: Change - July 20th 2012, 02:59 PM

quite frankly, if you are 17 you should be able to make that choice for yourself, even if you DID decide to become a Christian. As for not, I would point out the secular benefits like college applications.


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Re: Change - July 20th 2012, 06:35 PM

By going to a church, then whatever you do, whether it be worship or helping out others, will revolve around Christianity, even if you aren't practicing the religion. There's no easy way to convince your folks that this isn't the case because it begs the question, if you want to help people, why not do it through other means? If you cant answer this question in a way that satisfies them, then you're going to have to suck up their negative judgments and deal with it. Since they don't care for you dabbling in Christianity and don't want you taking it home with you, then make a compromise: you won't discuss or practice anything Christianity or church-related (in their house or possibly outside) and in turn, they will let you freely go and try to reduce (or eliminate) their negative views.

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Re: Change - July 20th 2012, 10:10 PM

It is possible to volunteer in a church and it not be a Christian thing that you are volunteering for - so you may be able to show them that actually you aren't, or the volunteering you may do might not revolve around Christianity but be more about supporting others, if that makes sense, so you could try and explain that to them. As mentioned, there are other routes into volunteering as well so if it does become too much of an issue then you can look at them. But I agree with Ani - if you sit them down and explain that you are doing it for experience for your future and explain what you want to do etc and you aren't 'searching for God', they should accept that. If you know that you aren't going to look for God - then is it really a big deal what they think?

Hope it works out!

[Edit: I hope that makes sense!]

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to be able to appreciate the positives.
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Re: Change - July 21st 2012, 02:43 PM

In general throughout my life I've looked at things in a very wordly way, if things are hard what can you do here and now to help yourself kind of without turning to some diety no one is sure even exists. So I don't really agree with all the teachings of Christianity but I have alway been a fan of some of the general rules like "do unto your neighbor" and help where help is needed. Things have definatly changed in my little world recently and though it started as a volunteering opportunity(which it still is) I've found myself kind of diving deeper into everything that religion offers or claims to offer at least. I'm just apprehensive about looking for something bigger because I feel that I'm being judged or looked down upon for questioning the way I was raised.

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Re: Change - July 25th 2012, 07:54 AM

I had the same issue..sort of..I actually wanted to join a certain church but when it comes down to it you are trying to do anything wrong you are doing good, you are helping people and you feel good and happy there is nothing wrong with that, there is no reason your parents should stop you from doing something that only good can come from. they need to understand that, they will but it may not be in this life.do what you want if it's truly a good thing.
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