I want to stop friend from trying to get me to go to her church

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
I want to stop friend from trying to get me to go to her church
10
Thu, 09-19-2013 - 3:40pm

I have a nice friend from dance class who is very religious.  That is fine & I respect her beliefs although I am definitely not as religious as she is.  I was raised Catholic and basically still believe but I don't go to church.  I never expressed interest in going to any other church.  She is Baptist and keeps inviting me to go to her church.  I have said no a few times and hoped she would just get the hint.  I have said "I'm not big on church" casually cause i don't want to make a big issue of it.  I have the impression that her church is very conservative and if I did decide to find a non-Catholic church I would be looking for a church that is very liberal.  I don't want to cause a rift cause I enjoy her company but I might just have to come out & say "I have no interest in going to your church."  We were emailing about something else and she asked me again! and I said "well I might just have to convert you to be a Catholic."  She said "How would you do that?" and I said "the same way you are trying to get me to convert to be Baptist."  Hopefully that will do it.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

We had a little conversation about it on the phone.  She kind of laughed at my email.  She said she wasn't trying to convert me "because only God can do that."  She just wanted me to see what her church is like.  Hopefully she won't keep bringing it up.  I know this happened because we went w/ another friend of ours to a Gospel music concert at a black church in the city--it was all people from the Caribbean.  But it wasn't a church service even though the people were Christian--it was a concert and our other friend knew a guy who was playing music there so that's why she wanted to go.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2003

It sounds like you handled it well, but she probably won't stop asking. However, there is no reason it should end your friendship.

I was raised Catholic and by the time I was a teenager, I loathed being dragged to church every Sunday. It was non-negotiable in the house. When I was old enough to work, I made sure that I got a job that included a Sunday morning shift just so that I could get out of it. Now in my 30's, if I visit my out-of-state parents for a few days, they STILL try to get me to attend service- which I have not done voluntarily in over a decade.

An old co-worker used to hound me to attend her church as well. She was nice and we hung out a few times but she kept pressing. After a few "no thank yous" I finally just stopped responding and ignored her questions. She asked why and I said that I don't like repeating myself over and over. Ever since then, she stopped asking but I felt I needed to be borderline rude to get my decline through to her. However, we still hung out after that and remained friends.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2002

Hi Music,

Interesting topic here......seems like lots of people were raised Catholic on the board.  I too was raised as a practicing Catholic......but I just feel that the ideals are somewhat outdated and couldn't see myself continuing to practice.

When my parents got divorced, my dad got involved with a Baptist church.  For a long time he went around saying "Jesus this" and "Jesus that".......I did go with him several times to the church (Father's Day, etc.) but did not convert.  Eventually my dad settled down a bit.......he still goes to church, but you don't hear all the euphemisms, etc.  And......at the time whenever I met a guy he would ask me if (prospective guy) was a "man of God"........it got a bit much.

Anyhow, my dad had a bad accident a couple of years ago and I called this pastor, who called my dad while he was in the hospital.  I think the baptist religion is much more emcompassing than what we conservative Catholics are used to.....in her mind, your friend obviously thinks she is being generous by inviting you to her church.......

Sounds like you are well able to handle it (as always) but I would keep that in mind......that (in my experience) the religion is much more open in their ways of expressing their beliefs and inviting others to worship, etc......

Good luck......keep us updated. :)

Mel

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Good perspective.  I believe I've actually told her that I'm not interested, yet she keeps asking.  I don't want to be harsh about it.  Hopefully after the email exchange, that will be it.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

musiclover12 wrote:
<p> don't want to ruin the friendship over this because we have fun together, but it's just annoying because I respect and even admire the fact that she has a strong faith--but you can't force your beliefs on someone.  I do share the Christian beliefs but I'm just not that big on going to church--and if I was, I'd just go to my own church.  It's one thing to say "if you'd ever like to come to church with me, you'd be welcome" but don't keep asking after I've said no a few times--you know, get the hint.  It's like if a guy you're kind of friendly with keeps asking you on a date--if you say you're busy a few times, doesn't he get it?  You don't want to come right out &amp; say "I have no interest in dating you" and making him feel bad.</p>

Here is another perspective:  When we beat around the bush, and don't give an honest answer of "I am not interested.  If I go back to church, I will go to my own." Then really we are being dishonest.  You don't have to lie to be dishonest. 

Don't want to go on a date, then say so.  Kindly, of course.  When we just keep saying "I am busy" we are actually being dishonest. 

Just some food for thought....

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

 don't want to ruin the friendship over this because we have fun together, but it's just annoying because I respect and even admire the fact that she has a strong faith--but you can't force your beliefs on someone.  I do share the Christian beliefs but I'm just not that big on going to church--and if I was, I'd just go to my own church.  It's one thing to say "if you'd ever like to come to church with me, you'd be welcome" but don't keep asking after I've said no a few times--you know, get the hint.  It's like if a guy you're kind of friendly with keeps asking you on a date--if you say you're busy a few times, doesn't he get it?  You don't want to come right out & say "I have no interest in dating you" and making him feel bad.

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006

That's a good comeback. 

I find it incredibly rude, overbearing and invasive when someone repreatedly tries to get me to go to church or convert to their religion, when you have declined repeatedly. I don't understand this mindset. And I think it's so funny you turned the tables on this woman. It's sort of like trying to convert a homosexual. How would a heterosexual feel if a homosexual kept trying to get them to turn gay?

I have a friend who lives in another state who claims to be very Christian and that Jesus saved her and that she would not be where she is today without him. In fact, she lives a rather wretched life in my opinion, so I feel she's not really a good advertisement for Jesus. But--I respect her faith and I would never dream of trying to convince her to believe otherwise. She knows I am not religious, but if I ever tell her I'm feeling down or I'm troubled about something, she pounces and tells me I need to start praying to Jesus. I have told her many times, nicely but in no uncertain terms, that I want her to stop. It doesn't stop her. The last time she did it, I just went silent on the phone. We ended up not speaking for about 6 months. She finally called me again, but I've decided to never again reveal any troubles I might be having to her. I've had to add that to the list of never giving her advice, even when she asks. Usually, she will outline some ridiculous way she wants to go into debt to do something, and then asks what I think, wanting me to agree. I won't give advice (she won't take it anyway). I know that she is this way with everyone--she has told me about other conflicts she gets into with people and how she cuts people off because they don't believe as she does. It's sad, really.

All you can do is keep turning her down. Hopefully she will eventually get the idea.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2008

ugggh.  I was raised Catholic as well, Irish Catholic to be specific, possibly the worst kind. I have seen so many horrible things done in the name of religion, that I am very much anti-organized religion at this point, though I am very much a believer.  I am probably more of a Deist at this point.  Although I must say, Pope Francis is giving me revived  hope for the Catholic Church.  I do not like people who wear thier faith on their sleeves, or who profess to know the mind of God.  No one does.  I keep these kinds of people at arms' length.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2013

I like your response and would try to stick with that attitude if I wanted to keep her as a friend.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

You crack me up.  I hope that does the trick. 

It is no secret here on iVillage that I am in recovery, and people ask how long I have to go to meetings for.   I told my dear devote Catholic friend (I was also raised Catholic) that, asking me that was like asking how long she was going to go to church every Sunday.  Innocent

Its funny, as we have a wonderful, friendly couple that invites us to things at their Baptist church.  We did go to amazing Easter play of the Passion.  And I did go to a Girls Night Out that was quite enjoyable.  I got another call and I did call her back and stated that "it is funny that you called, because I was going to invite you to my (direct selling company) quarterly event that is on the same night!"  I could tell that it through her off a bit.  I did ask permission to invite her again.  My event may not be church, but it is Christain based and something I love to do. 

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

Serenity