>religious family, hates everything anti bible
>tell them around 8 I want to be a missionary when I grow up
>about to graduate
>am now a talented musician and a friend and I are going to start a band
>parents ask me which christian college I want to go to
>I've completely forgotten
>trys to tell my dad that I want to play music
>he goes wild
>I play it off as a joke
So, how do I tell my parents I don't want to save lives so I can try to play music for a living?
Why not just study music at a Christan college?
No reason you can't fine tune your abilities and your academic understanding of your passion in a context that will make your parents happy. After that you'll be in a better position to play music professionally anyway.
Make your own money and move the fuck out and bum around bars and clubs playing those blues until you get booed by frenchies who don't actually like good music and then David Bowie offers to have you play in his videos and you hit it big making blues albums and playing with Albert King and Eric Clapton and you eventually die tragically in a helicopter accident, Stevie.
Maybe I'm just a heartless cunt, but I give zero fucks about disappointing my parents unless I'm doing something objectively bad/disappointing.
I'm sorry OP, I can't really relate. All I can say is 'don't give a fuck and do what you want within reason.'
It might also be the fact that you want to start a band and do that. I've been down that road, and it's a lot harder than you'd think, even if you have talent or are genuinely entertaining. There are people who can play guitar or bass or drums like absolute motherfuckers who never get anywhere. Not trying to dissuade you if it's really your dream, but there's a hell of a lot to consider. And you'll likely be dirt poor while you're doing it.