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Old 05-11-2007, 11:54 PM   #1
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Fear of recruiting christians

Ok, my mum who is also an atheist has a friend, who is quite christian. Now as i've said in the past, I don't mind if people are religious, I just don't want to talk about it with them, or have it shoved in my face (wearng the cross and thanking God doesn't constitute shoving it in my face for the nitpickers)

Now this woman, has been trying to get my mum to go to some of her christian meetings and mum has respectfully declined, as well, she isn't a believer, nor does she want to be one. Now my mum is in her middle 50's, lives alone (well did, until we moved back in) and lives a crazy stressful and rather lonely life. This woman has been getting increasingly forceful with her comments about mum's life and I feel preying on my mums insecurities (being alone) by making it seem like only welcoming jesus into her life will make her feel better.

Yesterday she left 3 msgs in the space of two hours on the answering machine telling mum she had something "really" important to tell her, and when mum got back she said she had popped in an the woman was there with a few of her friends and they tried to get mum to admit she needed jesus and go to church with them!! Mum was laughing, but I AM NOT. My mother is a strong woman, but i am scared that these people will prey on her weaknesses, and when i go overseas i won't be here to protect her from them. You may think its a harsh thing to say, but nothing good can come from this. I feel sick at their sly advances, trying to "recruit" my mum, and feel its totally against what they preach, about understanding and evertything. Why would you want to bully someone into your religion? What good would that do them to be coerced and made to feel shit about themselves in order to believe.

I understand if you want to spread "his" word, but i feel like these people are going about it all the wrong way, and I really want to say something to them, but don't want to get down and have some dirty slanging match, which im sure it will turn into, as im really REALLY pissed at this.

Why do some people do this? I don't understand the concept behind it at all.
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:46 AM   #2
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What exactly are you worried will happen with your mother? It kind of sounds from your description as if she's already made up her mind to adopt a bemused attitude towards their pushiness. I think it probably wouldn't help her much for you to try to get involved at this point, other than perhaps to let her know that you're concerned about what you see as their bullying of her, and see what her response is. Granted, a lot of people feel the way you do, that they would rather just cut off the relationship altogether at that point, but then there are those who prefer to wave it off with a good-natured smile instead, and I think that's fine if that works for them. I doubt their intentions are sadistic or malicious, more on the order of dogged persistence than bullying really.

I'm not really qualified to speak to the 'concept' behind it, but my guess is they see your mother as someone who needs help and appears troubled in some way, and for them that translates into a duty to 'minister' to her. Often people of that sort of religious background feel very strongly about the transformative or rehabilitative potential of faith, so when they see someone who they feel is in need of help, that's what comes first to mind for them as 'the solution'. Not entirely unlike the way some people can't stop promoting some particular lifestyle regimen every chance they get, only on a grander scale, so to speak. I can understand that there's often a kind of arrogance involved, 'My solution is a guaranteed universal cure-all and if it doesn't work for you then that's some failing in you' etc., but again, I think it's probably best to let your mother come to terms with the situation in her own way.
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:27 AM   #3
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Re: Fear of recruiting christians

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
Ok, my mum who is also an atheist has a friend, who is quite christian. Now as i've said in the past, I don't mind if people are religious, I just don't want to talk about it with them, or have it shoved in my face (wearng the cross and thanking God doesn't constitute shoving it in my face for the nitpickers)

Now this woman, has been trying to get my mum to go to some of her christian meetings and mum has respectfully declined, as well, she isn't a believer, nor does she want to be one. Now my mum is in her middle 50's, lives alone (well did, until we moved back in) and lives a crazy stressful and rather lonely life. This woman has been getting increasingly forceful with her comments about mum's life and I feel preying on my mums insecurities (being alone) by making it seem like only welcoming jesus into her life will make her feel better.

Yesterday she left 3 msgs in the space of two hours on the answering machine telling mum she had something "really" important to tell her, and when mum got back she said she had popped in an the woman was there with a few of her friends and they tried to get mum to admit she needed jesus and go to church with them!! Mum was laughing, but I AM NOT. My mother is a strong woman, but i am scared that these people will prey on her weaknesses, and when i go overseas i won't be here to protect her from them. You may think its a harsh thing to say, but nothing good can come from this. I feel sick at their sly advances, trying to "recruit" my mum, and feel its totally against what they preach, about understanding and evertything. Why would you want to bully someone into your religion? What good would that do them to be coerced and made to feel shit about themselves in order to believe.

I understand if you want to spread "his" word, but i feel like these people are going about it all the wrong way, and I really want to say something to them, but don't want to get down and have some dirty slanging match, which im sure it will turn into, as im really REALLY pissed at this.

Why do some people do this? I don't understand the concept behind it at all.
You know, once your computer attacked by virus, the anti-virus software company will be happy, because they see it as an opportunity to sell their products to you.

I perfectly understand the situation you described in the post, these jesus seller just never would let you be quiet for one second, once they see the chance.

I often got a feeling that these jesus-selling people actually pray for the world to be worse, others' lives to be miserable, so that they could make you one of their kind.

I don't against people with their religion, but I was extremely annoyed by some of the religious people's pursuing behaviour. Had two aweful experience before, when I firstly came to Australia. Both are in the train station.

One guy pursued me to go to a sunday meeting, aftered me to the train, and I was in a playful mood. So I tried to appear very interested, he promised the sun, the moon, the stars, then start to give me all the handouts. I carefully hold these handouts, and asked him:"are you a true christian?" He said yes.

So I picked up the handout, slaped his left face, not hard, of course, because I was only making a point, and I asked him to turn his right face to me.

No need to mention this guy run out of the train at the next station, like there are fire burning under his seat.

Few monthes later, I got a women did the same thing to me, I hold her both hands in my hand, and said:"Poor baby, you know only if you could find Mohammed, your pain will end..."

That was after the London bombing, I think the time helped the trick also.

In fact, it's pretty interesting to see these things to happen, and I think the main difference between atheists and christians are, as to me, atheists would be happy and satisfied with the love right in front of their eyes, they need nothing more than a happy life, and they knew that's the one and only thing they should trasure. Christians, on the other hand, always felt lost and kind of empty in their heart, because they always need someone, who is in their imagination to comfort them.

Not sure if it's related to the childhood experience. Some people for some reason, will forever need the super-man (a kind thing) to protect the weak all through their lives.

Don't worry too much about your mum, I think she'll be okay. Just tell her you love her, and you two together can make anything happen. You haven't got the word impossible write in your dictionary, yet. And a girl in a faraway place, through the internet, wish her all the best.
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Old 05-12-2007, 07:56 AM   #4
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"You know, once your computer attacked by virus, the anti-virus software company will be happy, because they see it as an opportunity to sell their products to you."



There is such things as freeware, and I also don't quite understand the comparison.
So you'd rather have your computer full of viruses and trojans than support companies that actually try to help people saving their data from this crap?
I think that doesn't really fit to what happens here, people trying to convert another person.

I don't think you should get involved by contacting the "friend" without talking to your mother about it before hand.
She is in her mid-50's, so I think she preferes to speak for herself.
As she is laughing about it all it seems she is pretty confident.

But I agree with you, people that do such things, tricking her to come and then kind of ambushing her in order to finally believe is a really poor showing of how low they've fallen.
I'm fine with people saying their belief helps them, but it's not ok at all to try to force people to believe as well.
I also hate all kinds of missionary.
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Old 05-12-2007, 08:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
"You know, once your computer attacked by virus, the anti-virus software company will be happy, because they see it as an opportunity to sell their products to you."



There is such things as freeware, and I also don't quite understand the comparison.
So you'd rather have your computer full of viruses and trojans than support companies that actually try to help people saving their data from this crap?
I think that doesn't really fit to what happens here, people trying to convert another person.


I don't know why I got misunderstood all the time...

You won't buy everything that sales man thought you MUST have, will you?

Of course it's not about virus, it's about the attitude of these company. Because they are seeking the opportunities to sell you things, and yes, they live on your agony. The link between anti-virus company and christian belief is that if there was no virus in this world, the anti-virus software is useless. Same logic, if everyone is feeling happy and satisfied from the bottom of the heart, religion will have no market. No matter if it is a payed software, or a "free ware".

End of rant. I hope that can help with clearing something, a bit off topic though....
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Old 05-12-2007, 08:30 AM   #6
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For whatever it's worth, Amy, I've been a Christian all my life, and consider it central to what I'm about, and I don't understand that behavior either.

"Preech the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary" ~St. Francis
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Old 05-12-2007, 10:30 AM   #7
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MAT 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

I'm not preaching to you. I looked up this verse to answer your original question as to why your mom's friends do what they do. Except, some people tend to go a bit too far.

Sherry Darling, that quote is perfect.
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Old 05-12-2007, 10:51 AM   #8
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Preach back Russell, Dawkins and Hitchens.
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Old 05-12-2007, 11:08 AM   #9
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What they're doing sounds like silliness at best, annoying perseverance at worst, but compared to some of the fanatics' tactics, they've got a LONG way to go before they've reached the level of bullying and coercion. If your mom still values her friendship with this woman, she should continue to politely decline their offers. If it's getting in the way of their friendship, she should cut ties and move on. I really don't think these people are maliciously preying on anybody. The truth is it's hard for people to admit they are depressed, sad, lonely, whatever and it's hard for us to know how to approach friends we know are depressed, sad, lonely, whatever so some people like your mom's friend will use their religion as some kind of shield or excuse to do what they should be doing all along - being a true friend and reaching out.
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Old 05-12-2007, 11:47 AM   #10
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I remember being approached by this campus Christian group. They were polite enough so I listened to the two girls for maybe 5 minutes and took their pamphlet. Then they invited me to some sort of weekly dinner they sponsor to bring others "into the fold of Christ's love" or some such. I declined and told them I wasn't interested. They persisted and I told them I really wasn't the religious type. And they looked at me incredulously, and asked "But, don't you want to be saved?"
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:00 PM   #11
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Re: Fear of recruiting christians

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy

Why would you want to bully someone into your religion? What good would that do them to be coerced and made to feel shit about themselves in order to believe.

I understand if you want to spread "his" word, but i feel like these people are going about it all the wrong way, and I really want to say something to them, but don't want to get down and have some dirty slanging match, which im sure it will turn into, as im really REALLY pissed at this.
As a Christian, this has always irked me, too. You can't force someone into believing something or having a relationship with Christ. The whole point of the relationship is that it's something the person chooses to have. I understand these people's desire for someone to have a relationship with Christ, but I agree that they've gone about it the wrong way. For something to be shared, that something has to be seen, typically. Even if you share love for someone, it has to be seen in some form or another for it to be effective. I think the same goes for sharing one's faith. They have to see the benefits of it in your life, first and foremost. Then, he if the opportunity arises to discuss it, that's great. To treat it as though it's something you're going door to door selling tends to cheapen it many times, I think. Plus, it's usually just annoying to the person anyway, which isn't effective.

I'm sorry you and your mom are dealing with this. However, I'd say keep in mind they probably (I hope) at least have good intentions for your mom. She just needs to be honest with them about how she feels. As odd as it sounds, I'll pray for the situation. Keep us posted.
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:54 PM   #12
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I will be polite and listen to their initial pitch. But if they persist after I decline, I start getting irritated. I once told a Jehovah's witness person "You can leave that pamphlet with me if you want to and it's going straight to the garbage or you can give to someone who is interested". They took it out of my hand.

My father who is an alcoholic and with whom I have no relationship went to work in Texas last year. He is a Buddhist but he met some other Chinese workers in his office who helped with moving and getting around in his new city. They were Christians, (don't know denomination) and anyway, they ended up getting my father to go to Bible studies during the week and church. I think they are evangelicals and my father needing assistance and feeling obligated, he went along. Now I hope it helped him stop drinking and become a better person, but if he starts giving me shit about going to church, it will be a new reason for our estrangement.

Despite me being an atheist, I do see the value in religious belief for some people and during certain moments in their lives. But personally, I don't believe in a god who watches and listens to my every moment simutaneously along with the other 6 billion people on Earth but it's ok with me if others do. Just don't bug me to join but I do encourage discussion.
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Old 05-12-2007, 11:44 PM   #13
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Thank you everyone for your answers - as always insightful and helpful. For the record, my mum certainly knows about my distaste for the whole situations, and while I feel she is far removed from their advances, im worried they might try to wear her down, over time, when im not her to prop her back up. I have immeasurable love and trust in my mum and know she'll stay strong, but im just angry and frustrated at the tactics, and scared they might escalate when they know i'm no longer here.

thanks again for all the replies
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Old 05-12-2007, 11:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
I remember being approached by this campus Christian group. They were polite enough so I listened to the two girls for maybe 5 minutes and took their pamphlet. Then they invited me to some sort of weekly dinner they sponsor to bring others "into the fold of Christ's love" or some such. I declined and told them I wasn't interested. They persisted and I told them I really wasn't the religious type. And they looked at me incredulously, and asked "But, don't you want to be saved?"
One person I knew on-line, who is a christian, and he told me:"If you don't (join us, being a christian), you'll be burned in the hell".

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Old 05-13-2007, 12:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by butter7


One person I knew on-line, who is a christian, and he told me:"If you don't (join us, being a christian), you'll be burned in the hell".

My response to that is "Better to rule in hell then serve in heaven" That really pisses 'em off or makes 'em pray harder for me.
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