I have a friend who loves Jesus.
When we were in Middle School, she actually chose, of her own volition, to leave our public school and attend a private Christian school. While I never set foot inside those hallowed halls, I am willing to bet that it was similar to that high school in the movie "Saved."
This girl has been my friend for many years, since elementary school. I love her, I do, but in the name of all that is sacred, I really wish she would stop trying to shove Jesus down my throat.
I have a sensitive gag reflex.
I grew up in what I like to call the Bible Belt of Pennsylvania. The majority of my friends subscribe to some breed of Christianity, which is, of course, a personal choice and one that I would not impede. I may have tried, when I was younger and first discovering my own sense of the world, to entreat them to look at things from a logical (i.e., my) perspective, but I have since learned to respect their individual spiritual rights. To each her own, etc.
I wish she would do the same for me. For all of us.
Her best friend fell in love with a woman, and hid it from her for years because she was afraid of her reaction--and rightly so. When she finally told her, rather than being happy that her friend had found love, she flipped out because it was a "sin." Their friendship has since recovered, in a sort, but you'd have to be blind not to see the tension when she and the girlfriend are in the same room.
A few years ago I was going through a rough patch and I emailed my Girls--she among them--to vent about how life was shitting on my and I sincerely wished it would stop.
Her response was something along the lines of "I know you probably don't want to hear this, but there is Someone out there who will always love you, and He will always listen when you are ready to talk."
She was correct. I did not want to hear that. So why, in my time of need, rather than comfort me, did she feel this inexplicable need to say something which she knew would only piss me off? What is it about Christianity that its most ardent followers feel driven to impose their religion on everyone within ear shot?
I've never had a Jewish person knock on my door and ask if I'd like to read the Torah. Muslims don't try to flag me down in the subway and hand out leaflets. This need to convert the populace seems to me to be a strictly Christian passtime.
Perhaps you are wondering what spawned this little tirade.
A few minutes ago I received an email from this friend. It was prefaced with:
"I know some of you do and some of you don't share my beliefs, but for no matter what, this is a powerful skit!"
Right, sure it is.
As I scrolled through the email, the previous fowarders had added messages such as:
"I absolutely had to pass this on. It was preformed at our Easter service, it was so powerful and touched me deeply. Such a vivid visual of God's never ending love for us, no matter where we are, or what we may be going through. Praise and glory to God for His sweet presence and constant love for us.
This link is for the same skit preformed at another church. The awesome part of the skit is when the congregation erupts in cheers over the Lord's victory."
At this point I was fully aware that whatever followed was not something I cared to see. However, curiosity, as they say, killed the cat.
Apparently that also applies to frogs.
This is what followed.
I made it about 5 seconds in before I stopped and closed the window.
The bottom line, for me, is summed up in her initial message: "I know some of you do and some of you don't share my beliefs..."
That is correct. I do not share your beliefs. And while I wholeheartedly support your right to have those beliefs, I do not support your attempts to foist them upon me.
So please, my friend, in the name of all non-Christian-but-still-perfectly-good people out there... STOP trying to convert me. It will never work. And each attempt you make to do so only drives a deeper wedge between us.
The greatest thing you could do, as a Christian, and as my friend is stop trying to change me, and simply love me.
Isn't that what Christianity is really about?