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    Thread: My friend is a fanatic born again Christian...

    1. #1
      Member Lucid Night Flight's Avatar
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      My friend is a fanatic born again Christian...

      So, I have this friend who decided to become "born again." To make a long story short, she decided to "turn her life over to Christ," as she puts it when she was laying in the hospital for like her 80th time (not an exxaguration, sadly) because of her annorexia. She dropped to 87 pounds, at a 5'7 height, and due to the severe damages she induced on her body, the doctors have given up on her. She told me that later a "missionary woman" came to the hospital, and after learning about my friend's situation, began praying for her. This woman asked my friend if she wanted to live... she said yes, naturally. Then the woman started telling her that she should "turn her life over to Christ." My friend was reluctant, being born Jewish, and although not being religious, she felt like she was betraying her Jewish background. Though she was aware that she could easily die soon, so she figured she had nothing to lose at that point, and her and this woman prayed for a while, while my friend accepted this new faith.

      Eventually my friend recovered, and although me and her parents think that it was due to her medication and proper food intake taking effect, she swears that it was all due to "Jesus." It's been about three years since that incident, and my friend has drastically changed. She broke off her engagement with a wonderful guy because "he wasn't saved." She threw out all her jewelry, clothes, and other posessions worth a lot of money because she thought they were "demonically posessed." She started dressing like a sunday school teacher, and cut out all the people from her life who did not want to "convert," and the few "sinners" who she decided to keep as friends (me being one of them) was in hopes that she could "preach the gospel to us in order for our souls not to end up in hell." Sigh. I'm not bashing Christianity in any way - I just think she's taking this thing to a whole new level.

      She went to some Christian college thousands of miles away from home even though this same college had a campus not far away from where she lives. She said it was because the students there were "ungodly." When she arrived at that college, she was very excited to tell me that although initially she had to share her dorm room with another student, after they got to know each other, that girl told her she decided to move to another room. Then, another semester she had a new roommate who also "surprisingly" decided to change rooms. When I asked her what she thought about this situation, she said "Jesus is awesome, by his will I will have a room all to myself." Basically, she does not see it for what it is - which is that even students in a Christian school find her fanatical worship to be too much, and move out after getting to know her.

      It's starting to seem like she's in a cult or something, because she is not at all the person she used to be. She doesn't even watch TV or listen to the radio unless the program is strictly Christian. I love her as a friend, but it's hard to continue my friendship with her, when she is not the friend I once had. I can't have a regular conversation with her anymore, because the only topic she talks about - is Jesus. Whenever I call her, she always asks me if I've attended a church yet. I want to tell her I'm perfectly compfortable with the faith I've inherited from birth and do not want to convert to anything, but I know that by telling her that, I will become like one of her other friends who she casted aside when she figured out that she can't get them to agree with her faith. A part of me thinks I should just tell her this, and if she wants to end our friendship, then I guess it wasn't much of a friendship to begin with, and besides - she's not the person I became friends with initially.

      The thing is, I'm reluctant to tell her how I feel about her new found faith, not only because I think she's taking it too far, but also because I know she will start praying for me non stop to become "saved." I know she does these things not meaning any harm, but the last time she's done that, I've had the longest bad streak in my life. It was so bad in fact, that I went to see a psychic my aunt has been going to for years, in order to find out why so many bad things started happening to me at once. I did not tell the psychic about what's been going on in my life when I went to see her - she straight out told me that someone is hexing me. She told me that it was my friend. She was accurate enough to tell me her name. I was surprised to hear that, because I know my friend being as religious as she is would never hex me... so then I figured, since she prays for people she wants saved non stop all day long, I think the energy she's sending out is so powerful that it affects people as any curse would.

      I really don't know what to do about this. I think the reason why my friend is so involved with religion now is because she no longer has annorexia preoccupying her life (thankfully). So, psychologically she probably feels like she has to direct that obsession and preoccupation she once had with her body image towards something else - in this case religion. I don't want to lie to her and tell her that I'm going to church and praying daily just to feel accepted by her. I also don't want to tell her the truth because that will bring up the whole thing with her gathering all her bible study friends to pray for me to be saved (it's happened before). Being her friend for about 7 yrs, I know her well enough to say that she's a weak person, and that this religion thing is the only thing that keeps her going. She's starved herself before and has tried to commit suicide when she felt hopeless, so I know that by telling her that I think she's being rediculous with this whole worship thng will break her spirit, and I definately don't want to be the one to revert her to the times where she wanted to end her life. As long as this illusion she's surrounding herself with helps her, I guess it's better than being annorexic and suicidal. I'm trying to remain friends with her throughout all of this, but I don't want to pretend that I will go along with her radical worship and follow in her footsteps.

      Is there any way to resolve this?
      Take the highway to the end of the night
      Take a journey to the bright midnight
      Realms of bliss, realms of light
      Some are born to sweet delight
      Some are born to sweet delight
      Some are born to the endless night.

    2. #2
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      Wow that really is a tough question. Kinda caught between the "if you tell her what you think and she stops talking to you she can't have been that much of a friend in the first place" and "you should try and stick by her and try to pull her out of it."

      Some of that stuff sounds really scary though, that kind of utter obsession can get a little out of hand sometimes, like a complete brain-wash where all sense goes out of the window.

      Um my only advice would be to come out and tell her the truth, tell her that you think she's becoming completley irrational, that she's directing her anorexia problem into this obsession with Jesus and that she's going too far. Tell her it has cost her a lot of friends and you respect her religion but you think she's going overboard. Just more or less tell her the truth, tell her you want the old her back that you used to know and that since she started being a born-again etc she's just alienated people.

      If she doesnt' speak to you or hates you for it, keep trying to talk sense into her, that's about the only thing you can do. It's just a question of how long you think you can keep this up before you should give up and walk away. sometimes when people get really freaky like that after a big change in their life practically nothing will make them see sense. By the sounds of it she's got some real mental issues, and maybe if she wasn't so obsessive over Jesus she'd just be obsessive over something else.

    3. #3
      Member Crono1000's Avatar
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      I don't know where to start really. I'm a Christian, and this is the one thing I feel most strongly about in my existance. My faith cannot be budged by anything except by my own experiences that I feel are a product of God's will. However, I'm definitly not a "fanatic." I believe that God speaks to everyone differently. Therefore, while I attend church, I don't really believe in it's teachings. That is to say I go to love God and praise God and be surrounded by people that love God and to hear a usually loving and peaceful message from the preacher. But there are some really, in my opinion, aweful Christians out there that give the rest of us a bad name and make us look crazy. For instance, watch The 700 Club for 5 minutes and you'll get a good idea of what I'm talking about. These people use God as a mascot for a relentless program. They act as if they feel that they can use the wrath of God for their own will. This program is not for the purpose of sharing the love of God, but to put the fear of God into their audience (so that they send money?). My question is, when you preach like this, what happened to the loving and forgiving God that we have been taught exists? We're both worshipping the same God, using the same name and stories. But my version of God loves everyone, their version is judgemental and condemning. I think God can go by many names and with different stories, they think that they are right and the only ones going to Heaven. I'm not saying that they're wrong, but that God has spoken to them differently than He has myself. The thing is, extremist Christians get the TV programs, they're more entertaining to watch.

      It sounds like your friend doesn't realize that because someone simply claims to be a Christian doesn't mean that they're right. Just because they have a TV program or a church following them or they work for a Christian University doesn't mean they're right. She has to listen to God herself, interpret the Bible herself, and live accordingly. God loves everyone, and you don't have to go the extreme to please him. He doesn't want her to push everyone she loves away, but to be a model for society how God has blessed her and how great it is to follow her. I have friends that aren't Christians, but I let them know when and how God has impacted my life so that maybe they may someday come to the same realization that I have. It's a passive method, but I don't want to beat the love of God into someone. They should come to love him and answer his call sincerely. The best thing I can do for them is to pray and to be a role model, not make them choose between me and God or not be my friend anymore. God wants us to be happy, to live a normal life, to participate in society, and to spread love. You can't do that casting friends away and alienating yourself from society. He even wants us to have fun and to enjoy life, even if that means watching a movie with some friends doesn't involving constant worshipping.

      Again though, I believe that God speaks to everyone the way that He wants them to, and maybe at the moment he wants her to be extreme about it. I can only give my opinion from the perspective of which God has spoken to me. Maybe this is to help her come to terms with her past mistakes and something needs to fill that "void." However, I don't think it would be healthy for her to do this for too long. She needs to participate in society and live a normal life. She can do this while being a Christian.

    4. #4
      Happy Dreamer Lucius's Avatar
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      I'm almost afraid to say anyting at all, because this is such a difficult situation.. I don't know either of you so I don't want to say that might just hurt you. But, you posted here for a reason: you want advice. So I'm just going try my best at putting down what I think and if you think I'm being senseless myself please just, forget what I said =P As I am sure there are more than one 'right' way to go about this.

      I am not telling you what to do because I don't know either of you, I'm just saying what I would do if I was in this situation.

      I would sit down with her, get comfortable together. Invite her over for a night of 'spiritual dialogue'. Spiritual is my keyword here because I think a lot of people that are getting dogmatic and zealously religous need to transform this religion into a healthy sense of spirituality.

      I wouldn't tell her anything right away, about what I think about her behavior and faith. Instead, I'd tell her about my own spirituality first. I'd tell her that I found jezus too, but in a different way. I'd tell her that I believe in universal love, compassion and acceptance. I'd tell her that in my heart I feel that jezus, god or whomever you believe wouldn't judge for what you believe. Because Jezus, as she already knows, is so enlightened that such things don't matter to him. His love, and gods love, are UNCONDITIONAL. Confront her with this, try to get to her by passively approaching her, by telling of your own beliefs. And hope she will understand.. now this is assume she wont instantly freak and say you are wrong.

      Then ask her about this directly. Doesnt that make sense to her as well? That god and jezus are so filled with light and love, that they will love everybody equally and unconditionally? And maybe she should try the same.. I would try to calmly confront her with these ideas. Try to tell her and help to moderate her religion. She can still believe very strongly in jezus and god, but at the same time live in harmony with everybody else. If she doesnt listen I would get more direct..
      Jezus came to earth to bring peace, love and union. Wouldnt you say? Not hatred, dispise and rejection. Jezus came to us to bring a message of compassion, not a message of judgement.

      If couldn't get to her AT ALL I'm lost. I would at least expect her to respect my believe and understand at least a little..

      But that is really what I would do, try help her balance things out a little. She doesn't have to give up anything for her personally.. but maybe she would at least stop judging others and getting so very dogmatic about it.

      You might think this won't work, she's way too extreme.. but she's your friend. If she really is your friend, she will listen to you. And listen to you regardless if you come up with a story like mine because I know you might not share my spirituality So I'm sorry if I weirded you out even more XD

      As for the hexing part.. if you really care for her, try praying. Not necessary to God or jezus.. but to anything you feel comfortable with. Or even directly to her. If you send out this loving energy to her I don't think any 'hexes' created through her negative thoughts will effect you. But, I don't know. What do I know.

      Of course there might be some replies that completely contradict my own.. but like I said there is not one right way to go about this. Just listen to your heart, do you really value her as a friend that much? Then do whatever you can and feel you should. If not? Give it one last try and then let her go. You can't allow yourself to suffer because you are trying to constantly help her, but she just isn't open for it. If you are going under yourself, you're not going be able to help her. Either way, I think you're going to have to sit down with her and have a good talk.

      I hope everything will work out for both you and her, and I hope I made a little sense XD. Take care and good luck.

      ~Lucius
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    5. #5
      Member Crono1000's Avatar
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      Lucious: good post

      btw, I highly doubt that your friend could "hex" you through prayer. Any Christian prayer, cuz I don't know where your beliefs lie in superstition or New Age methods, which I know nothing about. If God is going to give you a streak of bad luck, it's through his own means not someone else's desires.

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      Generic lucid dreamer Seeker's Avatar
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      Thank you all for keeping this nice and friendly. As long as this continues to be a thread about helping a friend, I will allow it to stay here. The moment it turns into a theologoical debate, I will be forced to move it to the religion forum.
      you must be the change you wish to see in the world...
      -gandhi

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      Member Amethyst Star's Avatar
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      It's these kinds of people that I would like to talk face to face with to see what may be the root of this fanatasism. It may not be merely the fact that she was cured from anorexia, but now something else.

      I am also a Christian and I'm happy for her faith. However, I'm also perturbed that she has chosen to alienate herself from others. If you get yourself stuck in a "holy huddle" then how can you have a relationship with people you are trying to talk to? The only reason that I would disassociate myself with someone is if they were such a bad influence that they were causing me to go against what I believe. It doesn't sound like you are trying to pressure her into doing anything wrong, so there should be no reason for her to break off your friendship.

      On the topic of prayer, Christians are told to bless, not curse, and I don't believe that prayer can cause another person too be cursed/hexed/etc. I believe, however, that one can pray for another to be brought to a point where they may be ready to believe in God.

      While I admire her fervor, I don't feel that she is very mature. If she talks to you again and starts another "conversion speech," just be honest with her. Tell her that you respect what she believes (if you do), but that she's turned into a preacher. If God wants you to be converted, it will be in His time, not her's. Keep your friendship, but be honest, even if it's brutally honest.

      -Amé

      "If there was one thing the lucid dreaming ninja writer could not stand, it was used car salesmen."

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      If I were you, I would wait until you guys were alone together. I would then describe to her my feeling honestly, and respectfully. Maybe you could start out saying something such as "X, first, I would like you to know that I hope to always be friends with you, and that you are someone in my life I don't want to live without. One thing, though, has been bothering me...." and then explain the situation. If you explain to her sincerely, she will probably understand. This is a very delicate subject for her, I am sure. Let her know that you are so glad she is happy but are uncomfortable with some of the things she says and does with the reasons why.

      If for some reason she takes this as an insult, just tell her that she is always welcome to your friendship if she so chooses to come back. The chances are that once she sees that she is alienating everyone from her, she will likely tone herself down a bit. Keep this in mind, a true chistian would never be angry with you for having different views and would always be willing to forgive.
      Shine on, you crazy diamond!

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      Member Genjyo's Avatar
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      Hi Lucid Night,

      I'm so glad you're looking out for your friend. Is she currently over her anorexia or does she have any other illness?

      I agree with the other users that her prayers wouldn't have caused you harm.

      Peace
      Do you seriously think that blood is the only thing in this world that is colored red?

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    10. #10
      Member Lucid Night Flight's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Genjyo
      Hi Lucid Night,

      I'm so glad you're looking out for your friend. Is she currently over her anorexia or does she have any other illness?

      I agree with the other users that her prayers wouldn't have caused you harm.

      Peace
      Hey. Yes, thankfully her annorexia is gone and she's even come to terms with gaining weight. She told me that she believes that her weight gain was God's way of preventing her from dressing in the tight, revealing clothes she once used to wear. As far as I know, she doesn't have any other physical illness, but I do think that she has some passive/aggressive issues psychologically because of how overboard she goes in order to fulfill all the worship duties she feels that she needs to do. I really think that the reason why she's always on the go is because she still has a lot of issues she hasn't dealt with emotionally, (like breaking off an engagement with a guy she loved because he wasn't saved). I think it's her way of not aknowledging the consequenses of her actions, since she feels that as long as the Bible approves, that's the only determining force she will use. Maybe she feels more secure with having someone else think for her (bible scriptures) instead of thinking for herself and relying on her own judgment.

      I guess you're right in terms of her not being able to hex me by praying for me. Maybe the reason why I had a bad streak in my life when she was praying for me was because the way I was living my life was not exactly "godly" at the time. Who knows, maybe those bad times were there in order for something worse not to occur. The reason why this was on my mind for the longest time was, like I said, was because I visited a trusted psychic who my aunt has been consulting for over a decade, and she did mention my friend's name and said she's cursing me. After a while I even brought this up to my friend, and her response was that since "according to the gospel, psychics and knowing the future is a sin and demonic, with the messages coming to them being from an evil force, while she was 'blessing me with her prayers' in the eyes of 'the devil' it would be interpreted as a curse."

      This whole situation reminds me of a quote I once read somewhere "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."
      Take the highway to the end of the night
      Take a journey to the bright midnight
      Realms of bliss, realms of light
      Some are born to sweet delight
      Some are born to sweet delight
      Some are born to the endless night.

    11. #11
      Member Amethyst Star's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Lucid Night Flight
      \"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.\"
      That's very true, and it's why I stand firm in my beliefs. You may be right in that she may have some passive-agression issues, but I think that she's still got a lot to learn when it comes to talking to others concerning her beliefs. One of the main problems that I see with many Christians, usually those speaking in public, is their lack of tact. If I was a non-Christian I wouldn't want the Bible shoved down my throat. However, she may be devouring it and is surprised as to why others don't as well.

      She can't convert the world all on her own. Each person must be treated uniquely and if they say "No" then it is not our job to bombard them with what they don't want to listen to.

      -Amé

      "If there was one thing the lucid dreaming ninja writer could not stand, it was used car salesmen."

    12. #12
      Party Pooper Tsen's Avatar
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      At first I was reluctant to post, mostly for reasons similar to what Ame said.

      I'm an atheist. Completely and totally. No hexes, spirituality, none of that. But I understand that you guys likely don't want that shoved down your throats, at least not while this is outside of the Religion forum.

      I've been in the opposite position far too often. You have no idea how many converts religion could get out of atheists if they'd just talk to them on the atheist's terms. Namely, try using a logical approach rather than saying, "OBVIOUSLY, God exists. So why don't you come to church?" After all, if you're trying diplomacy, you don't walk in the room wearing body armor and carrying an automatic 12-gauge. Bad impresions from the start, and it breeds aggression from the other party.

      If you really want to talk to her, you're going to have to do it on her terms. Like Lucius said, play on her beliefs. Turn the other cheek and whatnot. Don't walk in and say up front that you don't like what she's become. Try and reason with her. "I thought God blessed the Gentiles, despite their unbelief?" "Doesn't God love everybody?" That sort of thing, to begin with. Keep the questioning feel to it, as well. Don't say it like a statement, or it will seem offensive rather than passive. Then, as you slowly move her towards your side, begin to talk to her about leaving what she's become. It may not work, but it's worth a try. You might not even get that far before she becomes unreasonable.

      Though regardless of what you do, keep a soft tone throughout . Using a quieter than normal voice really helps calm people down. I've avoided a lot of fights by just keeping a cool, steady, but quiet tone while talking to them.
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    13. #13
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      Originally posted by Tsen
      ...After all, if you're trying diplomacy, you don't walk in the room wearing body armor and carrying an automatic 12-gauge...
      Should diplomacy fail, however, I'd recommend a Franchi SPAS-12 or perhaps a USAS-12.

    14. #14
      Party Pooper Tsen's Avatar
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      Personally, I like the SPAS-12 more. But for door breaching, a lighter shotgun is always nice. Even a 24-guage assault shotgun. So light...Like a very violent point-and-click interface.
      [23:17:23] <+Kaniaz> "You think I want to look like Leo Volont? Don't you dare"

    15. #15
      Member Lucid Night Flight's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Amethyst Star
      While I admire her fervor, I don't feel that she is very mature. If she talks to you again and starts another \"conversion speech,\" just be honest with her. Tell her that you respect what she believes (if you do), but that she's turned into a preacher. If God wants you to be converted, it will be in His time, not her's. Keep your friendship, but be honest, even if it's brutally honest.

      -Amé
      You're right - there's no point in me lying to her because that won't get anything resolved between us. Also, I do respect her beliefs...a few months ago I even thought about "converting..." I went to church with her a few times so that she would feel supported, but when I noticed that she started trying to get me more and more involved, that's when I started backing down. She was telling me that I should become baptized and give a testimony at her church. At that point I really felt uncomfortable and I tried telling her that I don't think I need to go to church and get baptized in order to establish a relationship with god. She responded by saying that I need 'a strong support group which only church and bible study can give.' I have no problem with her believing in what she does, but preaching to me and everyone around her as if she's a licensed minister is way overboard. I tried telling her that no one wants to being preached to on the train or in a supermarket (I mean no one takes those people seriously). It's one thing to do good by God, and another to interpret all text in the Bible literally and follow it in detail. I just hope her faith won't stand in the way of her passing up more good people in her life just because they don't share her faith.
      Take the highway to the end of the night
      Take a journey to the bright midnight
      Realms of bliss, realms of light
      Some are born to sweet delight
      Some are born to sweet delight
      Some are born to the endless night.

    16. #16
      Dreamah in ReHaB AirRick101's Avatar
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      It seems like she might be alienating people more than she is converting them. Chances are she was healed by the meds and hospital alone, considering that this was just a routine recovery out of 80. But the mental association she made of recovery with religious beliefs (even as serious as relating to death and afterlife), the emotional effects of those combined are so strong, it's no surprise she is so inspired by Christianity. It's probably that missionary woman's fault, although she didn't know what effect she was impeding upon your friend. It's ironic that the student has surpassed the master in terms of motivation by probably several hundred percent.

      I can tell you one thing from the few experiences that I've had of friends going from atheist/agnostic/other religion to Christianity, that it's obviously uneasy to even think of convincing them that their beliefs are wrong. They are not rooted in physical proof, and since they are already deeply ingrained in their mind and soul, you can't really do anything about it, except wait it out, if anything happens. The best you can do is set an example for her, I say. And try not to be condescending, those kind of people have a lot of emotional and mental reliance on God, including issues of vengeance and compensation. (I won't say too much about this since I don't know her)

      But good luck.
      naturals are what we call people who did all the right things accidentally

    17. #17
      Member Lucid Night Flight's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Tsen


      If you really want to talk to her, you're going to have to do it on her terms. Like Lucius said, play on her beliefs. Turn the other cheek and whatnot. Don't walk in and say up front that you don't like what she's become. Try and reason with her. \"I thought God blessed the Gentiles, despite their unbelief?\" \"Doesn't God love everybody?\"
      I tried talking on her terms, but she just could not see my side of the story - she began throwing out gospels at me. I told her that I think if a person lives a moral life, doesn't kill anyone, that sort of thing, that I don't see why they should be 'condemned to hell for all eternity.' She retaliated by saying that while Jesus is righteous and loving, if I consciously turn down 'a relationship with him' that means that I'm automatically 'on Satan's side.' I tried to give her an example of why that's a bit rediculous. I told her how my grand parents lived all of their lives being Jewish, they were both good people, never did anything to be 'punished by God' so to speak. I asked her "so, they were not brought up to believe in Jesus, and never did - does that mean they went to hell?" I said it jokingly, but she didn't take it that way and firmly responded - "I'm sorry, but yes." At that point I was just ready to give up on her because if she doesn't see things rationally, then who am I to try and smack some sense into her?

      I also tried to bring her the example of another friend of mine, whom she also knows. I told her that she came out to me that she likes girls, and she's been living together with her girlfriend now for several months. I told her that they're happy together and that I don't see anything wrong with that, especially since they love each other. She became very angry and said "the bible says being with the person of the same sex is not natural, and a sin." She said that the reason why she likes girls is because 'she's posessed by demons.' Sigh. I told her that I won't confront my friend about her sexual preference because that's her choice, and also because I don't see anything wrong with being bi, lesbian, or gay. As much as she tells me that she's trying to 'get me to see the truth before it's too late' I think I should be as persistant as she is on my own terms. I guess I will tell her that what happens to me after I die is for me to worry about and that I think she's not being fair by trying to impose her views on me, because as much as I disagree with her, I don't try to impose my views on her, I only try to explain to her why I'm fine with my religion, or lack of it, and I'm not looking to convert any time soon.
      Take the highway to the end of the night
      Take a journey to the bright midnight
      Realms of bliss, realms of light
      Some are born to sweet delight
      Some are born to sweet delight
      Some are born to the endless night.

    18. #18
      Member Lucid Night Flight's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Mark75

      Should diplomacy fail, however, I'd recommend a Franchi SPAS-12 or perhaps a USAS-12.
      Take the highway to the end of the night
      Take a journey to the bright midnight
      Realms of bliss, realms of light
      Some are born to sweet delight
      Some are born to sweet delight
      Some are born to the endless night.

    19. #19
      Rocket Man
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      You aren't going to make any headway with her using a pluralistic argument that God won't send a good person to Hell for being a Hindu, Jew, Muslim, etc. Her philosophy-in-a-can has built-in defenses to that. Your argument has to come from within a Christian context, but fortunately, you have a lot to work with. Like practically any religion, some people make Christianity look crazy, others make it look like the most sensible thing in the world. Tap into the "sensible" Christian potential. DO NOT mistake "sensible" for "watered down." If you pee on her leg and tell her it's raining, she won't buy it.

      Here's an example:
      WRONG: Telling her that it's silly to think a good person would go to Hell for not beleiving in God. She's already reconciled that. Strange as it sounds, that belief is what's fueling her evangelism. She doesn't want all those good people to go to Hell, and that's why she's trying to make them all Christians.

      RIGHT: Tell her it's blasphemous for her to think she knows who is going to Hell and who isn't, and that it's blasphemous for her to think her preacher knows, too. God's ways are a mystery to us, and to think that they can be boiled down into a neat little formula like that is wrong headed. Notice that this argument comes from INSIDE Christianity. She's already closed her mind off to anything that comes from outside.

      Be subtle. Don't say "Here's a nugget for ya! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!" as a prelude to your argument. Not that you would, btu remember this is about helping your friend, not being "right." You can't fight "right" with "right." Instead, have a pocket Bible of your own, and find scripture of your own to help your cause, and when you strike up a conversation, start with a neutral introduction that will NOT put her on the defensive. AS SOON AS SHE STARTS TO BE DEFENSIVE, you've lost her. Try this: "You know, I'v been thinking about some things, and you're just the person to discuss them with.

      Look to alternative denominations. I'm going to assume she is an evangelical/fundamentalist of some kind. Every denomination has a cheat sheet of things that are "wrong" about every other denomination. What do the Methodists have to say that could help you? The Catholics? The Lutherans? The Quakers? Jehova's Witnesses? (Don't laugh at that one. Witnesses are some of the smartest, most open-minded people in the Christian pool, and for you, they are a VALUABLE resource.)

      Don't let her use distraction issues. You shouldn't really make it apparent that you're bringin a page from other denominations. If she knows that's what you're doing, she'll just break out her own "cheat sheet" and shoot imaginary holes in your argument. The fundamentalists are very good at that, trust me. Keep your eyes and ears open for anything she says that sounds relevant to the issue, but isn't. If she says "This is what Pastor Ted from Colorado says, and he has the most popular church in the country," (that's true. Pastor Ted is a dangerous man, in my humble opinion, and he has a mega-church in Colorado Springs. He is a national celebrity, and it's not at all impossible that she's heard of him.) then you say "popularity has nothing to do with this issue. In Germany in the thirties, the Nazi's were popular, that didn't make them right." Of course, there are infinite possible distraction issues she could bring up, so be ready.

      Dont let her know she's in an argument. I've already touched on this one, but it bears reiterating. As soon as she knows her views are under attack, she will defend them like a momma bear defending her cubs. If you think you're losing her, say "Hey, calm down! I'm not arguing with you, I'm just trying to get a better grip on this whole thing through discussion!"

      Play Jesus/Socrates. Jesus loved to use the Socratic method of asking questions that undermine the opponent's viewpoint by making THEM say what's wrong with it.

      This stuff is all about communicating effectively. You'll realize you can employ the principles behind this for any discussion, even one that isn't about religion.

      Remember, you aren't necessarily trying to make her abandon Christianity, you're just trying to make her abandon insanity.

      Talk like her, but sensibly. When she says things like "God is doing this because of so-and-so," or "This is happenning because God wants such-and-such." you should say "That's dangerous to think that way! The Bible says you shouldn't presume to know God's reasons."

      You can point out the fact that no one knows who will be going to Heaven or Hell using this passage from Mathew Chapter 7:
      15“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.16“You will Or recognize know them by their fruits. Lit They do not gather Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?17“So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.18“A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.19“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20“So then, you will Or recognize know them by their fruits.21“Not everyone who says to Me, &#96;Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.22“Many will say to Me on that day, &#96;Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many Or works of power miracles?'23“And then I will declare to them, &#96;I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'

      [/b]
      Note that many of the people condemned claim to have been Christians, and even performed miracles. Also, it says a Bad Tree cannot produce Good Fruit. You cloud tie that into your example about your Jewish Grandparents.

      Also, asker her how could it be that Jews were the chosen people of God, and have even been returned to Israel, but are all going to Hell? That line of reasoning might go into political directions that I don't entirely agree with, but the important thing here is helping your friend.

    20. #20
      Member InTheMoment's Avatar
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      I feel compelled to commend RC on a very well stated, informative and all around excellent post.
      Hide the kids...Uncle ITM is back!
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    21. #21
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      It sounds like your friend needs to see a psychiatrist. Unfortunately, it also sounds like she's too defensive to accept m(any) outside beliefs. If you could find a preacher who isn't extremist, and have him/her talk to her, it may help. I'm guessing this because she may not accept what a fellow christian of her rank says.

      But I agree with RCLefty. Use her weapons against her. That's all I can say. I've never dealt with exremists like that before, so I can't help out much. Good luck, though.
      "I'm not lucky to be alive! I'm lucky to be not dead!"

      Lucid dreams: 3!

    22. #22
      Member RyanParis's Avatar
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      Nice.

      I'm a Christian, too. My entire family is.

    23. #23
      Member InTheMoment's Avatar
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      Originally posted by RyanParis
      Nice.

      I'm a Christian, too. My entire family is.
      Even more evidence that we need govt. funded, Christ-psychosis treatment facilities.
      Hide the kids...Uncle ITM is back!
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    24. #24
      Rocket Man
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      I'm Catholic, myself, and a liberal activist. When I worked for the Citizen's Action Coalition, I did a lot of door-to-door political work, and I can't tell you how many times I've been in someone's living room having a frank political discussion with them. One thing I've found is that people are generally eager to separate themselves from anything they feel is anathema to their faith, and I have a LOT of practice helping people to see issues in ways they hadn't considered before. I've had a few "full conversion" experiences, where I have talked to a person, and seen them make a complete 360 in their political views, and justify them with a new understanding of the exact same moral imperitives that were held dear to them before.

      There are some things in lifeabout which someone can only make up their own mind, even if you talk 'til your blue in the face. You can't change what someone sees, but sometimes you can help them to change how they look at it.

    25. #25
      Dreamah in ReHaB AirRick101's Avatar
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      great points, rc, especially about arguing within the Christian parameters. Otherwise, she would indeed close off her ears to anything further. I guess, basically, try not to use lines or approaches that a normal non-Christian would use, but to base your rebuttals on some other Christian concept that they can already accept, usually meaning our lack of knowledge compared to God's infinite knowledge so.
      naturals are what we call people who did all the right things accidentally

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