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Question
Posted by: not-anonymous-and-hating-it | 2009-07-29

church do-gooders causing me to think unholy thoughts...

Hi CS

First off, don' t get me wrong, my faith is of immense importance to me...BUT...in this tiny tiny speck of a town in which I live, I don' t go to church because I don' t want everyone to know me and everything about me. I have gone, but found it was mostly the super-rich part of the town going there, and I found them very superficial and materialistic indeed.
So I choose not to get involved  not that I' m in any way rude or anything.
Well, it seems as if I am one of the elder' s project or something, he keeps bugging me to go to their meetings at least and to church on sundays etc etc etc and the more I tell him thanks but no thanks (I don' t give him a reason, I refuse to, I think it' s unnecessary) the more he KEEPS on and on and on ad nauseaum....how do I tell him to just leave me ALONE without really getting rude?

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Our expert says:
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I think there's often a significant difference between faith and church-going. As Thalia says, your not giving him any reason ( and I agree with you it is absolutely none of his business ) probably enables him to believe that there is hope and purpose in his harrassing you, as he can read into your silence whatever he pleases. I quite like Thalia's suggestion to indicate to him that you react badly to the feeling of pressure, and want to feel free to come when you feel ready for it. Really, as usual, also makes excellent sense.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Gracie | 2009-07-29

Just tell him NO - you will join the church when you are good and ready to do so! We were in a church that decided (without our consent or even discussing it with us) to have weekly " cell meetings"  at our house! I flipped out totally when I found a note in my postbox telling me that 10 people were coming to my house every Wednesday night for a meeting! I decided there and then to leave the church as I did not like their attitudes when I told them I did not want to do it! You dont have to go to church to be a christian! I have joined a local Methodist church and I love it - there is no prying or pressure from anyone - if we don' t want to do something, we simply say NO!

Reply to Gracie
Posted by: Really | 2009-07-29

I personally don' t think you owe anyone or anybody any explaination. What you choose to do with your religious beliefs or spiritual well being is nobody' s business but yours. For as long as you do not ridicule the church or their beliefs then they should not be in your business either.

Being in a small town is quiet trick though and as much as we think we can do fine on our own, there will be times when we need our neighbours and maybe that' s why this situation seems overwhelming. But all this said, I think that if these ' people'  really are God' s prophets and believers then they should be able to accept you without conditions!

Religion is a very personal thing and one' s beliefs and values regarding beliefs should be respected.

You don' t have to go to church or their church and you don' t have to inform anyone why you don' t go to church. Have a relationship with Your God, the ONLY TRUE GOD and he will Love and Bless you back!

All the best.

Reply to Really
Posted by: Thalia | 2009-07-29

You need to give him a reason. You are giving no reason and while I agree that you shd not necessarily need to, this is what would help you. Its like being asked out by someone and you just tell them no, you don' t wnat to date them. A lot of ppl will not back down from a simple no. When you say ' no, i don' t find you attractive' , nearly everyone will shrink back from that one. Just a ' no'  seems to imply you are playing cat n mouse.

On yr particular issue I think you need write the elder an email or something and explain, not rudely, that you will come when you are ready. If you are feeling forced and under undue pressure, say so.

Why not go to another church esp as u r in fact a believer? Then simply tell the elder you are worshipping elsewhere. You are under no obligation to attend the particular church in yr corner of town. If it is not a massive inconvenience, go elsewhere. Faith, at the end of the day still needs some company from time to time. I go to three different churches as I too felt the approach was too intrusive at any one church.


all the best

Reply to Thalia

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