Comments: Escaping the Grip of Eternal Salvation

I'm with you 100%! Fortunately, no one prays for me.

Posted by Denny at April 15, 2007 10:16 PM

For what its worth - when I pray for people's salvation, it's not because I don't think they're good enough. It's because I want them to be with me in heaven, because I will miss them! It's definitely not about being good - I'm as sinful as the next person, maybe more. So maybe she's judging you, or maybe she is fond of you. Who can tell? Just thought another perspective might make it easier to take. (I do tend not to tell people I'm praying for their salvation, because I know it does bug people.)

Posted by Calamity Jane at April 16, 2007 01:44 AM

I am glad you wrote this. I have issues verbalizing this because I can't quite get my brain wrapped around the whole idea to put it into words. But I feel the very same way. Thanks!

Posted by Sissy at April 16, 2007 05:56 AM

Oh, and I did have another thought. This woman, Ringo's friend's mom? If she feels that she must mention this every time she sees you, sometimes multiple times in one visit, does she think that the more she "bugs" you about it, that you will suddenly get tired of her pressure and give in? Like the comment "you'll be next" on the Holy Communion.

If that is the case, why would she want to "save", "convert" or whatever word you want to slide in there, someone that is so easily swayed by someone elses words and pressure and not by the idea or meaning of said religion?

Posted by Sissy at April 16, 2007 06:00 AM

Sissy- Who knows. The crazy thing is... she doesn't even know how I believe. She knows nothing. I hold my cards very very close. But she has judged me... because I do not sit in that pew every Sunday, I need saving. Lovely. Really. I think she's a pin head. And to think I can be swayed or converted into anything makes me laugh. Anyone who knows me knows... I'm not talked into anything... ever.

Posted by Bou at April 16, 2007 06:24 AM

I never did like it when people "force" their beliefs on you.
In college, my best friend (a devout Catholic... and you know they don't get any tougher than that!) had a set of roommates who started out the year asking her if she was "saved". She told them she was a baptised, confirmed Christian.
But that wasn't good enough. They were sure she needed to be "saved".
They spent the whole year tearing down her self-esteem and ripping on her faith.
She ended up very confused.
I think she eventually went through their motions because she was just so brainwashed.
And that's not faith.
That's being broken.

I think people who force their beliefs on others are going about it OH so wrong.
Even the little nipping and winking and hinting.
Like a gnat.
Gonna get shooed away, not welcomed in.

Posted by Roses at April 16, 2007 07:25 AM

Hey Bou, you might want to mention to her that God is not confined to a church building. Maybe, just maybe, you commune with God (humor her) outside the church and find the hypocrisy of "christians" passing judgment on you within the building to be oppressive and not conducive to you being able to commune with God.

That being said... I'll pray for you, too! **ducks and runs out of the room** (riiight... because I'm nothing if not religious!)

Posted by wRitErsbLock at April 16, 2007 07:31 AM

Feeling the need to pray for you is one thing; constantly throwing it in your face is something entirely different. That makes it all about HER, not you, and I would tell her how offensive it is and how it's having the exact opposite effect.

I've shopped a lot of different religions in my life, sticking with some for many years at a time. The one thing each have in common is the moral superiority of its members. I have no idea why each little splinter cell of Christianity is SO sure its doctrine is the absolute correct version... The evangelizing and hypocrisy is maddening, and the very reason why I kept away from churches for years...

Ultimately, it's not about other people for me, or what they choose to believe; we humans are fallible, frail creatures filled with hubris... It's about my relationship with God, period. If that makes me a bad christian, then that's one more sin among millions, isn't it? ;)

If it were me, I'd be tempted to say something outrageous to the woman the next time she tries that on you... something to the effect of: "Yes, I have my entire coven praying for you, as well."
Of course, you can't do that because of the boys, but isn't it delicious to fantasize about? :D

Posted by pam at April 16, 2007 07:35 AM

Don't get me started.

Posted by Angus of Jura at April 16, 2007 08:18 AM

Just tell her on your death bed you can repent and still get into heaven no matter what you have done during your lifetime ...

Convicts do it all the time!

Posted by Quality Weenie at April 16, 2007 08:26 AM

a reaction to the person who commented that "devote catholic, it doesn't get tougher than that." I would express that the tendency to beleive ones own religion is the only path to salvation is not just a catholic thing, and in fact many of the strongest most inteligent catholics I know are strongly against that idea. I am catholic, and I would say strongly so, but I do not claim to know Gods mind, thats not possible. and if I can't truely understand how he works, because no one can, how could I possibly be in a position to judge your beleif or ultimate fate?
also, as a catholic, I have had multiple people of other christian religions trying to convert me, one good friend in particular who honestly beleives that as Catholic rather than her branch of christianity, I am damned.
I beleive there are people out their like that, I have experianced them. but don't isolate it to one faith.

Posted by S at April 16, 2007 09:04 AM

My mother is Catholic, my father is not. All of us children were baptised and raised in the Catholic faith. When I was 8 or 9, a teacher in catechism class made that statment that 'only Catholics will go to heaven'. Of course I stuck my hand up and said 'my dad's not Catholic'. Her response: Then he can't go to heaven. I clearly remember thinking this was not the religion for me. Found out later this teacher was an ex-nun.

But living in Texas since the 80s, and as judgmental as this sounds, I have found most born again Christians to be extremely intolerant of any beliefs other than their own. And very open about their intolerance and attempts to convert others. And they don't seem to see the hypocricy of thinking they should send missionaries to other countries to convert the poor benighted heathens to Christianity but would slam the door in the face of any non-Christian who appeared on their doorstep to try to convert them.

Most organized religions make me crazy!

Okay, getting off my soapbox now. It gets crowded up there.

Kathryn

Posted by TxAFbrat at April 16, 2007 11:02 AM

And another thing......I have a co-worker who prays for me. If I thought she was praying for my well-being or for good things to happen in my life, that would be fine. But I know darn good and well she is only praying that I will 'see the light' in the manner that she feels is acceptable. How egotistical and insulting! One day, office politics be damned, I am going to have to tell her to stop wasting her time.

Kathryn

Posted by TxAFbrat at April 16, 2007 11:11 AM

Some of my distant relatives used to bombard me with mass cards. It was during the height of a difficult family time, and I knew that they were angry with me. It annoyed me since it felt like an abuse what should be a loving gesture. And that woman telling you that she (& others) are praying for you, does not appear to be a genuine loving gesture either. That would make me mad too, because for me, God = Love. Not guilt or manipulation...

Posted by Marie at April 16, 2007 02:20 PM

There's just something wrong with praying that someone finds salvation. There doesn't seem to be any form of the prayer that doesn't boil down to "God, please change her mind about being a heathen".

Which is just silly, because - as I understand it - God will only offer and invite, he will not compel.

Maybe your friends should spend more time praying for the strength to follow the path that God has laid out for THEM.

Posted by Harvey at April 16, 2007 02:31 PM

Oh good grief. Faith is such an intensly personal thing I do not know why people feel the need to pidgeon-hole others. Bah - what an insult and turn off...

Posted by Richmond at April 16, 2007 04:02 PM

I once prayed for a sandwich. Ham and swiss on rye. Dijon mustard. Pickle spear on the side. I said, "Dear God, please send this sandwich to a better place. And if you so choose, send the pickle along with it."

That sandwich is now a bartender at Crazy Girls, and the pickle spear is a barback. Hallelujah.

Posted by Toluca Nole at April 16, 2007 04:49 PM

... I was brought up Church of God... (which is like Baptists on steroids)... but I had my first Marine Corps roomates teach me a "Hail Mary" and a Ponca indian war dance.... I figure that if the shit really hits the fan, I can try them all and hope one works.....

Posted by Eric at April 16, 2007 07:19 PM

"the" mother of [your] eldest’s best friend"?

Tell her, the next time you see her, that I'm prayinmg for her...

*heh*

Posted by David at April 16, 2007 07:47 PM

That someone prays for you is a compliment, in their eyes. They mean you well and want to help you, according to their beliefs.

But to constantly badger you about when are you going to convert to their way of thinking is harassment. Like folks who constantly preach against smoking or drinking or losing weight. I've never met ANYONE who "found" God by being pestered into it, have you?

Next time she starts up, simply say "Thanks, I've heard the speech. If I were at all interested in church, I'm sure you'd be the first to see me there. Next subject......"

Posted by George at April 16, 2007 08:50 PM

Have you considered inviting her to your next sacrificial, drinking the blood of a goat service?

Posted by wRitErsbLock at April 17, 2007 07:19 AM

I had a woman "friend" in philly who always told me this. She was a devout catholic. After getting fed up one day and tireing of saying a polite thank you - I told her I was a satanist (my standard - don't bug me line) and that she should continue because with each prayer, I got the urge to sex-up the "debil"! She was horrified, I was amused, she never spoke to me again. Byegones. . .

Posted by oddybobo at April 17, 2007 09:02 AM

I think Pensacola is the capital of homelessness and street corner preaching... I don't know which is worse the homeless guy who begs for booze money, or the corner preacher beating on your window demanding that you feed the children..

(Demanding "is" the appropriate term)

one thing that kills me is when the "born again" say they "found" Christ, heck I never knew he was lost, shouldn't it be that they "were found", controlling morons....

and for what it is worth, I am a mut Christian, I have regularly attended a Baptist Church, Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, Catholic Church, and currently attend a Presbyterian Church, Hypocrites abound in all three.

I simply go where I feel comfortable, heck if he wanted it any other way, he could change me himself.

PT

Posted by P'Cola Titan at April 17, 2007 11:39 AM

One of my favorite bumper stickers: "Have you found Jesus? If nobody claims him in 30 days, he's yours!"

Posted by Graumagus at April 17, 2007 12:02 PM

Bou, take the prayers and run with them. If she's praying for your "eternal soul," your "salvation," who is to say that it won't lead you down a road of your own choosing? "Salvation" is what you make it, no matter where you find Peace.

Think of the prayers offered for you like currency - or better yet, a debit account. Once they're "deposited" into your account, feel free to spend them where you want!

I'm sorry the prayers are so frustrating to you. I guess I'm guilty of the same thing. I saw a misunderstanding and explained the Catholic position elsewhere and got a prompt "FUCK YOU!!" in return. I smiled impishly and told them I'd pray a whole rosary for them. I guess in my case it was the Catholic equivalent of the southern "Well bless your heart!" (i.e., "same to you, pal!" Okay, okay - I'll be in confession for that as soon as I'm able!)

I think what you're reacting to is the judgment of the person, more so than the prayers. The Receiver of those prayers knows your heart and just what to do with them!

So thank them graciously for the prayers, (being a Southern Girl, you can certainly get away with, "well bless your heart, thank you!") and smile to yourself knowingly, that God has HIS plan for you, and any boost can only help you on your path. Then maybe say a little prayer for her in return! :)

And for the record: while I'm an avid defender of the Catholic faith, I too "sit-out" a good many Masses because I'm working on my own issues with God. I know where I should be, but if being there means I will just start fuming and it widens the chasm any more, there's no point to the exercise.

So Bou, I'll pray for you too - but to lift you up, not to nail you down! :o)

Pax Dómini Sit Semper Vobiscum.

Posted by Bitterroot at April 17, 2007 02:17 PM

I work in an office filled with some very religious people that are always "praying for me" because I need saving. I keep telling them that God and I have an agreement. He leaves me alone and I'll be good. Well as good as I can be.

Posted by Contagion at April 17, 2007 04:55 PM

Since this is the mother of your son's friend - it's a more touchy situation. After all, your boys hang out together. That doesn't mean you have to spend time with her though.

However, as a reply the next time she tells you this.

"How you pray and what you pray for is your business, I don't want to discuss it. Please don't mention it again."

It probably won't stop her, but at least you will have given her a polite warning.

Also, don't look at everyone with suspicion! It's like when my kids were small and they wanted a toy or something, the mantra "Everyone has one!" was the wail to the mean old mom.

My inevitable reply was... "Who is everyone?" Followed by kicking of feet in the dirt and maybe one name conjured up.

If there is anyone else "praying for your conversion" it's likely though things like prayer cards that people buy. (you know - having a mass said for a person or a group of Cloistered nuns who pray for people when requested) Not a bunch of people you know and like. Trust me, if she had some names to give you... she would have spouted them as evidence that "these other people" are worried about your eternal soul too.

Posted by Teresa at April 18, 2007 11:16 AM

Ouch. This seems to have not hit just you but a lot of people.

If this woman were walking by and you were drowning and there was a life preserver nearby, you would want her to throw it to you. Maybe even come out and get you.

To her, that is what she is doing by praying for you. She sees you, the mother of her son's best friend, someone very special, as being in danger of losing your life. So she is praying for you.

People don't usually pray for people they don't care about.

She shouldn't be hitting you with this every time she sees you. Or even at all. She should just be praying. If she's right, God's after you much more than she is.

Having once been one of those "I'm saved and you're not" people, I grew up in a church that taught it, I ask you to forgive her ignorance. She may learn better soon.

Posted by Suzi at April 19, 2007 08:30 AM