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Let It Be?


PaulS
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Okay, so I probably know what many of you will say before I even ask this question, but I just wanted to share the experience (which I am sure is a common one for many of you - either currently or in the past) and see what comes of it.

 

My good fundy friend told me a couple of years ago that Jesus' 2nd coming was definitely due within the next 30 years. Recently he mentioned that nobody knew when Jesus was going to come, so I questioned (via email) his previous statement concerning approximate arrival. In response I received no personal words but rather a 20 page expose from some recent conference he attended validating the Book of Micah as a fortelling of Jesus' return. A brief look indicates that this paper interprets a number of versus as pointing directly to 'signs of the times' when Jesus will return, but I haven't yet read the entire paper (I would have liked to have uploaded the PDF but it's 200kb).

 

However, when I was next on the phone to this friend I mentioned that I would read his paper and draft any comments in an email. Not suprisingly, he said he wasn't interested in my arguments or what I might think of the paper - the paper (and by extension the Book of Micah and then the whole Bible) already outlined the 'truth' and basically that was that.

 

I struggle with leaving things at that, although I recognise that there isn't really much choice. I guess I just have to 'let it be' and not worry about convincing people of what I think (I suspect that is more about me than about caring they know what I consider correct!).

 

Have others here experienced/do experience this and how have you made peace/dealt with it?

 

Cheers

Paul

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Interesting Paul. I think you know your friend better than me so I won't comment on that. I had a person from my church who kind of invited himself into my home and decided that I was a person he was going to be friends with. Once I expressed my rather liberal views, he was speechless. He could not begin to comprehend where I was coming from, he was so certain of the literal intepretation of the Bible. He left my home a short time after that and now barely acknowledges me at church. I guess I should be relieved that he doesn't want to visit me in my house any more. I can tolerate his views because they are what give him comfort and that works for him. He cannot tolerate my views because they make him very uncomfortable. I'm not sure what this means but I'm ok with it. If he ever wants to discuss it with me I'll be more than happy but at this stage, he's keeping me at arms length. Whatever. Thats cool ;)

 

Paul

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For me, I guess whether I "let it be" or not depends on how much harm I think could either be done by someone holding to a different view. Does their view or holding their view bring harm to others?

 

For instance, back when "88 Reasons Why Christ Will Return in '88" was going around, a lot of my Christian coworkers were jumping on that wagon and warning people to be "rapture-ready." Other than the mild annoyance, this was something that I "let it be." The date came. It passed. No one went up that I know of.

 

On the other hand, my wife's aunt and uncle were big into the Y2K fear that swept the country in late 1999. Being futurists, they were convinced that the Y2K bug was going to put the events of the book of Revelation into motion. They sold or gave away most of their posessions, sold their house, and moved in with their daughter and son-in-law to await Jesus' return. When that didn't happen, they found themselves homeless and a burden to their grown children. They had donated much to church organizations in hopes them some "false believers" would be left after the rapture to help people through the tribulation. In cases like this, is it best to just "let it be?"

 

So though I can't deny that subjective judgment is used, I tend to weigh how much is at risk when people hold to what, imo, are faulty views. If holding the view brings no harm to anyone, why make a big deal of it? But if views seem to have the potential to damage ourselves or our world, I doubt I could just "let it be." For me, I see times in the scriptures when indeed Jesus "let it be", but there were other times when he certainly called for repentance and change. Wisdom is knowing the difference.

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Have others here experienced/do experience this and how have you made peace/dealt with it?

 

I have a close member of my family who is going through a similar stage. Nothing I say or do will sway him from his positions on faith and spirituality.

 

I normally allow him to ramble on and on. Meanwhile, I keep the wine flowing. After about the third or fourth glass, we are laughing and joking.

 

I think that most people travel through stages in life, and one of those stages sometimes is dogmatism. Religious people become dogmatic in their faith. Others become dogmatic about their favorite sports team, or some other obsession.

 

My suggestion is to let it be, and pray this person evolves.

 

NORM

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Paul,

 

These kinds of people can frustrating to be around, and I applaud your ability to be cool in such a situation. I have some fundy family members (fundy missionaries, which sometimes seems even worse) and while they are good people and I love them dearly, sometimes I feel like tearing my hair out. Is there anything you can say to change their mind? Probably not - just like nothing they say is likely to change yours.

 

I prefer to beandip - as in, "Interesting idea. Hey, have you tried the beandip?" After almost 30 years of having "visits" (attempts to convert disguised as social get-togethers) I have learned to just let it wash, like water off a duck's back. I'm not saying this is what you should do, but it's something I've experienced that might be helpful. People who get fired up like that are looking for an argument - why give them one?

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If you can 'see' whats going on before emotion takes over i recommend Norm's approach above. Its seems to me if one is aware of what is happening, it is best to choose peace over drama. But if one is so inclined to choose drama, you might as well enjoy the drama, and perhaps then both of you, as Norm said above, should pray that the other evolves . :) Perhaps we will discover that the one we have the most power to change is ourself and in doing so perhaps the other will change also if they are ready and so moved by our behavior.

 

Joseph

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