My best friend for nearly six years has only recently become a Born-Again Christian (within the last two years), and is adamant about being godly. Don't get me wrong, she is an awesome person and I don't intend to speak ill of her. Yet I cringe at how excited she is to see me reading the Bible 'for real' this time.
She's far ahead into it, but she recently told me about two particular parts of the Bible that bothered her. One was the story of Jephtah (don't know if that's right) and how he had to sacrifice his daughter in exchange for winning a battle. The other was something in Numbers that had to do with the treatment of women. She said she'd gotten angry and had to but the book down before going back to it again.
Yet even when she got back she tried to make sense of it, and she says that she understands why. She didn't tell me the underlying meaning, but it made me happy. Why? Because unlike most Christians she's actually reading the Bible and taking it in rather than just agreeing with everything. Granted, she's still a strong believer, and I doubt anything will make her change her mind. Yet I'm able to have more respect for her because she actually does care.
What I told her is that I respect her and her right to believe, but the beliefs themselves is something I cannot respect. When she told me about Jephtah I got angry too. Same as when I read about the woman being forced to marry her rapist, or ordering the deaths of other tribes by God himself. Of course, I've learned to draw the line at times, but there are times when I need to say my peace too.
Does anyone else have anything they'd like to add about the good of having religious friends?
... All the people I know all ways try to convert me. I have a friend who's lesbian and devout, then she tells me that being gay is a sin, it hurts me to see her put herself through that. And sadly she doesn't know the bible as well as I do.
I don't know, as I say it hurts me to see her put herself through that and it offends me when she wants me to share the guilt. I would like to see a "good" side to this but it seems more destructive given the nature of most xtians.
I'm glad you found one that's willing to go through the proper steps, to me its just a matter of time before she realizes how amoral that whole sham is and moves away from it. just keep her questioning things.
I'm pretty skeptical of her changing her view, she's already told me nothing would make her change her mind....
It is frustrating to see good friends torture themselves. She's always talking about how sinful she is and I want to throw up just thinking about it. But I don't want her guilt on me either.
It sounds like your friend needs someone like you as much as you need her, and that is a good thing,i think. You get right to the heart of the problem when you say "nothing would make her change her mind". That is the most frustrating thing about religious people in general-their adherence to a belief system that no amount of evidence or logic can seem to break through (if you look up the definition of delusion, you will find that same explanation there). But in spite of that, they (bible believers) are at least concerned with doing good and being good people, even if it is misguided at times (see anything do do with gays). I prefer friends like that as opposed to someone who may be a non-believer, but is also self-centered and ego-centric. So keep whittling away at her- you may change her mind yet.
Its a shame they believe so hard that the guilty cage they sit in is there form of "freedom". ah well, best of luck to you and your buddy, one day the voice of reason might call:)
I have very few friends, and one of the closest is Catholic. She is not only my friend, she is my coworker, and we interact continuously throughout the day. She has a heart of gold. She is always happy, at least on the outside, whereas I have a dark side. She is the most positive person I know. Some of this may be cultural - my friend is Filipina, and she tells me that most people from her background are usually happy, but I think it's just because she is who she is. She goes to mass every sunday. She's politically conservative and does not believe in abortion. She is very accepting and welcoming of LGBT people. She and I are both avid cooks and gardeners. I bring flowers to her frequently, because she loves them. Regardless of views that we disagree with, and take a "don't ask/don't tell" approach to, I love her as much as I do any family member.
The OT is a product of iron age ignorance superstition. Obviously its writers thought women to be a category of property and not genuine humans (despite the fact that they create genuine humans). There's really nothing positive to say about it except that we as a species have moved on since then. The problem with that view, of course, is that it only works if the Bible is not the eternal word of god.