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Seraph
October 4th, 2017, 12:50 PM
Just a few weeks ago I made a new friend (yay!) and we get along really well, we have many things in common, etc. However, soon I learned that she is an evangelist and a devout Christian -- this is where the problem arises, because I'm a Hindu-Buddhist and have been raised in a multi-religious community where I was taught to be tolerant of all religions. She, on the other hand, was raised in a Christian community and so she has... well, you know...

She's 13 and I'm 17, so often times I tell her that she's young and she'll understand when she gets older, but she wishes to show me that 'Jesus is the only way' which I don't believe in (no offense to my Christian friends here). As a pantheist and a New Age believer, I believe that the way to heaven is through right living and right work, but she has different beliefs and wishes for me to abandon my beliefs.

I don't take her words too seriously but more than once she has ranted that 'the people who she tries to evangelize have often ignored her and treated her as if it were no big deal', seriously that means I cannot tell her that it's no big deal, I wish to keep friendship with her but her evangelical and mean nature makes it difficult as she really wants me to embrace Christianity. Any suggestions on what I can do?

nebula
October 4th, 2017, 01:32 PM
There are genuinely some people like that, it's just their personality. This girl my age at school is Christian (or Christadelphian, as she calls it) and she makes everyone aware of it. Her true personality in a phrase is "my way or the highway", to a T. Her opinion is seen as the most important your friend might be the same. One easy solution would just be to agree to disagree on everything, teach her that not everyone is going to have the same opinion and it's very naive to think like that. Either that or just keep controversial topics way out of conversation. Good luck.

ska8er
October 4th, 2017, 08:10 PM
Since u say u get along really well other
than the religious differences- bring it up
to her that u do not wish to discuss these
views if they come up. Its the same with
people that have different political beliefs.
If she thinks of u as a good friend she will
honor ur request but if not as in many of
the cases of people who r set in their ways
the friendship just might not go anywhere.
U cant change some people and it is not
worth trying.

NewLeafsFan
October 5th, 2017, 12:43 AM
I have some Evangelical family members so I know exactly what you're going through. Personally, I think that Evangelical Christians take religion to an unhealthy place. I disagree with you about how she will 'understand someday.' This is not a phase of growing up, it is religious beliefs that her parents have instilled in her since she was born. I feel bad for her because she has been raised by very close minds and she is well on her way to becoming one. I am a practising Christian but I have similar beliefs on the afterlife as you.

Seraph
October 6th, 2017, 04:47 PM
Thank you all for your responses.

As we proceed the talk, she tries to forcibly bring the topic of Christianity up. I told her that she will not have any friends if she keeps such mean beliefs but then she said that she wouldn't have any friends then. She's asking me to 'embrace the light' and cling to her lord, which I'm not going to do. Another thing is that when I tell her about my religion the same way she does (by giving her an in-depth explaination to all my beliefs), she says 'the devil has planted these beliefs' and things like 'I'll pray for you' and such.

Judging the way she talks, I believe religion is a big part of her life... and I respect that. Everyone is welcome to follow any religion of their choosing, but it's not good to shove it down others' throats. To talk of religions other than Christianity to her is like being racist or sexist. I don't think I can in any way make her believe that Hinduism is as good as Christianity, so I'm gonna quit trying and instead distract her whenever she goes to talk about that.

jamie_n5
October 8th, 2017, 06:10 PM
I am a Christian too and have strong faith. I think you should just stand firm for your beliefs and the way you were raised. I believe in God's grace and that will cover all religions I think except obviously Satanism. She needs to grow up a bit as you pointed out and accept people for who and what they are. If she chooses Evangelism as an occupation later in life then her job will be to try convert people but again for now at 13 she needs to start realizing that there has always been a multitude of religions.

Chaosphere
October 27th, 2017, 11:50 PM
Just a few weeks ago I made a new friend (yay!) and we get along really well, we have many things in common, etc. However, soon I learned that she is an evangelist and a devout Christian -- this is where the problem arises, because I'm a Hindu-Buddhist and have been raised in a multi-religious community where I was taught to be tolerant of all religions. She, on the other hand, was raised in a Christian community and so she has... well, you know...

She's 13 and I'm 17, so often times I tell her that she's young and she'll understand when she gets older, but she wishes to show me that 'Jesus is the only way' which I don't believe in (no offense to my Christian friends here). As a pantheist and a New Age believer, I believe that the way to heaven is through right living and right work, but she has different beliefs and wishes for me to abandon my beliefs.

I don't take her words too seriously but more than once she has ranted that 'the people who she tries to evangelize have often ignored her and treated her as if it were no big deal', seriously that means I cannot tell her that it's no big deal, I wish to keep friendship with her but her evangelical and mean nature makes it difficult as she really wants me to embrace Christianity. Any suggestions on what I can do?
I would tell her, "look, I'm not ready for that way of thinking, it just pushes me away more when you try to convince me you're the only one who can be right." props to you for putting up with it.
Honestly I'm biased but stuff like this pisses me off. People need to shut up when they start crossing boundaries. I'm sorry, but you won't save anyone by pushing them away.

dancedreamergirl
November 6th, 2017, 04:41 PM
I'm sorry :( Most likely, she has adopted her views from her parents, and she is doing what she believes to be right because that is what she has grown up being taught is right. I wouldn't blame her for it or get upset over it; however, I can understand how that could be hurtful.

I think what I would do is tell her that you respect her beliefs, but that you don't like how she's trying to convert you, and ask, "Can we agree to be friends even though we have different beliefs?" You don't have to agree with her, and she doesn't have to agree with you, in order to be friends. I believe that people can have different viewpoints and still be friends.

That being said, she is probably being brought up to believe she has to convert people--that is what her religion teaches, and she is probably not going to leave it for you, considering that it's likely her family that's making her go to church. i would definitely tell her how you feel and ask if you can be friends despite your different beliefs, and I hope it works out. If not, I'm sorry....but please note that she is probably only doing what she thinks is right because that's what she's been taught. I highly doubt she wants to offend you. Christians are unfortunately usually very clique-y, and she probably hasn't been brought up to believe that associating with people of other religions is ok.

I hope it works out for you...and I'm sorry if it doesn't. When she is older she might think for herself more, but for now, she's probably just going by what she's been taught, which isn't a bad thing--it's actually honorable to obey one's parents, but unfortunately not every has good ones. Or maybe she doesn't understand her religion? Either way, she's 13; I'd give her some slack. Everybody does imperfect things at 13; everybody makes mistakes. I doubt she means to offend you; she's just doing what she feels is right. You may be right about her understanding more when she's older, but it won't help her at all now to say so; it will probably just get on her nerves.

I hope it works out, and if it doesn't? Move on and make more friends. There's plenty of people out there. (It doesn't mean that you won't connect again in the future, either.) She has a right to her beliefs, so I wouldn't bash them--just tell her how you feel and see how she reacts. If she wants to be friends despite your differing beliefs, great; if not, you can move on and make new friends. You're teenagers; it's ok.

Either way, I hope it works out! Good luck! :)