Religious Fervor

12 Jul

Letterbalm BibleDear LetterBalm: My friend has become very religious. Ordinarily, this would not be a problem for me, but since she joined her church she’s been proselytizing to all her friends, quoting the Bible constantly. She rails against everything from alcohol, promiscuity and Hollywood to hell and damnation for abortion and gays. I know it would be easier just to end our friendship, but we grew up together, and she’s my oldest and dearest friend. The last straw came when she got in my daughter’s face because she’s marrying a Jewish boy we all love. (She says he won’t go to heaven in the Rapture because he hasn’t accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.) I really need help here.

–Tired of the Holier-Than-Thou

Oh, sweet Jesus, save us. Ms. L.B. may open herself to severe criticism, but she believes that your friend’s brand of religion isn’t what God had in mind. It’s admirable that she has found her faith, and we all should respect that. But her redemption stops when she becomes disrespectful and judgmental toward others. She’s in full fervor, so it’s likely you won’t be able to entirely mute her mighty voice. But see if this little private talk works:

Helena, I will speak plainly because I think the Lord wants us to speak directly from our hearts to our loved ones. You may feel – rightly or wrongly – that everyone is a sinner and the only way to God is through Jesus. But I cannot believe that He would want you to be showing the lack of charity that you are exhibiting to everyone. You judge people, you accuse, you get in peoples’ faces and you treat them with disrespect. Jesus associated with prostitutes, thieves and common people. He understood humility, forgiveness, kindness and understanding. It hurts me deeply to say all this because you are my oldest and dearest friend. I’m happy you have found your path to Jesus. But if you keep up your behavior, you will wind up alone and self-righteous. God would never want you to be like that, and neither would those who love you.


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