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Gorfram8 years ago
"I really care about this person and I'm afraid that if I dont talk to them about it now something bad will happen...
...It's not just a religous matter but also a morally straight matter. I feel as if she thinks that life doesnt matter she will treat it as such."

So you're not worried about her belief or non-belief per se, but that non-belief may lead your friend to a bunch of wrong decisions and perhaps bad life situtuations?

I'm similar to your friend in that I also don't "want to believe in God." (Do I, in fact, believe in God, whether I want to or not? ...Well ...I dunno, really ...I think I'm an agnostic, but I'm not sure.) But I do very strongly believe that life matters, and I have a very strong set of moral/ethical values that I do my best to live by.

It seems to me that the heart of your concern is not so much what she believes as how she behaves, and that you will have better luck specific things you're afraid she might want to do. Is she depressed and saying that life (and love, rules, ideals, parents, school, etc.) doesn't matter? Or is she contemplating something like suicide or abortion?

If it is suicide, then she's in such deep pain and terrible trouble that mere talk of God would be hopelessly useless, sort of like putting a band-aid on a sucking chest wound. She needs serious help and she needs it now. She needs you to tell her how sad and lonely and sick and guilty and miserable you would feel if she did away with herself; and she needs you to tell her that if she commits suicide you will personally descend into hell to find her and kick her keister all the way back to the land of the living. Then she needs you to tell her family and friends, anyone close to her to that they would mean it, to tell her both those things themselves. If there is some underlying problem that is driving her to suicidal thinking, she will need some serious help with that, too.

But if it's abortion, then we're back to questions of belief: you can tell her what you think is right, but not what you think she should think. If you want to be a very good and true friend, you can listen to her without judgement when she needs to talk, and you can continue to be her friend and stand by her regardless of what she decides to do.

If it's not abortion, but something else that isn't "morally straight," I guess the same advice applies.

Good luck, and remember that being friends is almost always more important than being in agreement.

Matt21497 (author)  Gorfram8 years ago
It is ever so slightly a religous matter though. Its hard to explain how it is. In fact this forum topic just made me feel stupid beyond belieg but it is I can gurantee you that. This information is very useful not just for me and my situations but for everyone and there different situations.
Thanks for picking mine as "Best Answer." :) (And not to worry: there are countless numbers of times that I've wound up feeling stupid beyond belieg. :) Not knowing exactly what the matter was, I jumped to the really big things: as I see it, the only truly permanent things, the only things you can never undo once they've been done, are ending life and beginning it. You can't un-kill yourself, and giving birth is something you can't take back. (I guess that's the basis of why I believe so strongly that life matters very much: death is the only thing I know of that is truly permanent; and the inception of life, whether it's as momentous as a new baby or as tiny as a sprouted seed, is the only thing I can't imagine ever being explained or understood.) Everything else a person might do can be eventually be undone, learned to live with, or overcome - but often not very easily. Just because the matter at hand with your friend is not one of the super-big issues doesn't mean it's not important. Taking drugs? Sex outside of marriage? Even something as small-seeming as getting her ears pierced? ...Those are all important matters/issues/decisions, and have effects and risks of effects that can really screw a person's life up for a very long time: My BF kicked heroin 25 years ago, and he tells me not a day goes by that he doesn't crave the sweet soft sensory bliss of getting high - and reject the nerve-screaming-painful sickness of coming down. I can tell you that extra-marital sex places you at risk for AIDS, other STD's, and pregnancy - and I can personally promise you that it will break your heart sooner or later, maybe not with every partner you chose but pretty damned near. And my mother, while she loves me absolutely and unconditionally, is never going to completely forgive me for having mutilated my earlobes that way. So don't let my talk about the super-big things make you think that whatever it is is too small a thing to worry about. If you'd like to say more about what's going on, feel free either to further comment here, or PM me if you like.
Matt21497 (author)  Gorfram8 years ago
Yeah its nothing nearly as big as those things but yes that is great advice.
Matt21497 (author)  Gorfram8 years ago
WEll her beleif non beleif part is one of the reasons for this but yes it isnt just that.
animan18 years ago
try and explain that hes waching you only to protect you and that he wants the best for you
...then they say why is the same "god" watching people die all the time
???
Gorfram animan18 years ago
What Steve might have meant is the old question about how a loving & all-powerful God can co-exist with a world full of death and murder and rape and pain and genocide and holocausts and people who litter in the public street.

If God existed and were any sort of a decent kind of deity, He'd certainly want to put a stop to all that, right? And if God existed and were all-powerful, then He certainly could put a stop to it, right?

But the evidence is pretty clear that He hasn't put any sort of a stop to all the horrible nasty stuff that humans dream up to do to each other. That leads one to think that either:
1) God is not a decent and loving kind of deity, and doesn't mind all this rotten crap going on; or -
2) God is not all-powerful, but is sort some of much more limited deity; or -
3) God does not exist.

(Just for myself, me, personally - I find Option 1 utterly unpalatable; and Option 2 either pointless or extremely confusing or both; which has led my adopting Option 3 as my current working hypothesis. Like I said, I think I'm an agnostic, but I'm not really sure.)
007towelie8 years ago
DONT try to convert them thats a horrible thing to do would you like it if they preached to you that there isnt a god? just ignore it talk about other things nothing bad will happen trust me im a doctor
GnomeMaster8 years ago
just one simple answer, take your friend to church
No. Don't.

It's that sort of heavy-handed, imposing, one-size-(e.g., your size)-fits-all religiousity that gives otherwise-decent Christians a bad name. Too much of that and you won't be able to take someone like me to church unless you drag them in there by brute force.
lemonie8 years ago
My friend read a biography of (Tom Baker) who had been brought up Catholic, and he always went to the toilet in the dark because of the "being watched all of the time by an intelligent creator of any sort".
One way to push this is to switch from the external to internal. If you go at God is in all of us, it's your conscience etc. you can work on what they already know and say that is it (you didn't realise that did you?)

L
Matt21497 (author)  lemonie8 years ago
Those last to lines did not register. They confused me to make it simple. Can you please try to explain them differently? ~Matt~
Mmm - point out that they already know God in some way they just don't realise it. So you can say e.g. - you know what's right & wrong, that's God telling you like the rest of us. Watched all the time sounds threatening / sinister (you understand that) - being there all the time is a better way of introducing these ideas?

L
Matt21497 (author)  lemonie8 years ago
Yes that does make sense.
You'll not "convert" them easily, but a soft approach that gets them thinking about stuff can help a person (whether they see it in exactly the same way as you or not). L
seandogue8 years ago
>>Please help me I don't know what to say?

Don't say anything. If your friend "comes around" it will be on his or her own terms. You cannot and must not try to force a person into a religious belief. It's just as bad as the friend who, when you say "thank god!", shoots off and immediately insults you. By trying to convert someone who has said they're not into it, you're guilty of the same kind of rudeness...it's called intolerance...
Matt21497 (author)  seandogue8 years ago
Read the update that is not what I am getting at.
Okay, fair enough. The original outline seemed much more religious in its aim. Truth is, it still does but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for a moment. I understand the (basic) dilemma of helping a friend who's sliding away, perhaps down a path you feel is destructive, but that's very tough situation. In my age group we've dealt with some pretty tricky issues, be it drugs or sex at 12-13 or criminal behavior, depression, etc. Things were, shall I say, messy, in my neck of the woods when I was younger. Very, very messy... However...I do not believe that you are going to reach her by using a religious tactic. If she is agnostic or atheistic or from a faith that has contrary views on certain subject, that will inevitably alienate her even more, so in fact, I would strongly urge you to cease with the religiocity with haste, or you'll make things even worse. And in the long run, her decisions are hers. They aren't yours to make. You can only choose for yourself. For instance, if were bandying around about abortion,well, that simply isn't your decision. If it's about whether she will or won't be having sex, that is not your decision, it's hers. If she's breaking the law, committing violent acts, taking hard rugs (heroin, cocaine, Meth), well the call is yours. You can take the social hit and "narc ", if you feel the need...that's your call, but in the end it's her decision as to whether she will engage in those activities. I can't advise you either way on topics like that...It's simply not my place, and frankly I do not have intimacy with your life and hers to make proper judgment. What I can say is that if she does not share your religious views, if you keep trying to reach her by spouting "the word of the lord", y'ain't gonna get anywhere but hate. And I say this not as either an agnostic or atheist, but as an independent believer, a non affiliate with any church, temple, synagogue, or other religious institution, and for good reason, though I'll "be nice" and not spell out my differences with the institutions (I attended most of the major Protestant denominationals, Roman Catholic, Mormon, and Synagogue at my own discretion as a youth, and the one fundamental thing I learned they had in common was and innate bigotry against other religions) I think you need to spell the situation out in detail to a youth counselor WITHOUT IDENTIFYING YOUR FRIEND, and get their advise. Honestly, this isn't the place for revealing intimate details about anyone's life, whether hers or yours. Not your pastor, not your priest, not your nun, not your minister, not your rabbi, not your church. She is not religious and as such is not under their thumbrella. If you Honestly, really, truly in actuality are her friend, you'll respect that distinction.
Matt21497 (author)  seandogue8 years ago
Well It is still also a religous matter in a way it is hard to explain but I got the advice I needed so thanks.
kelseymh8 years ago
Tolerance, compassion and respect are important Christian virtues. If you want to keep your friend a friend, respect their choice and don't try to change them.
I vote yours the best answer. (not that my opinion matters or anything...lol)
Agreed.

Like it or not, agnosticism and atheism are valid religious beliefs. You have no more chance of talking him out of his understanding of the universe than he has of talking you out of yours. If you try to do so he's likely to react as you would react should he try to convince you that *your* beliefs are wrong.

(I'm a strong agnostic theist myself. I don't know, I don't think anyone else knows, I can't imagine any argument or evidence that would convince me, and I can't accept the concept that a deity small enough that our religious beliefs matter to him/her/it. "Be kind to each other; the rest is commentary.")

Typo -- "concept that" should have been "concept of". Sorry.
animan18 years ago
tlk 2 ur paster and if your church does small groups/bible steady invite him. (its good to know that there r other cristians on ibles :-0)
"You" can't convert your friend. Your friend can only convert themself. Let your works be your witness, and your friend will come to their own conclusions. But don't feel uncomfortable talking about your faith in front of your friend. I would assume they know you are a Christian right? Just don't go in with any expectations, and if they are your friend all will be well.
RelaxedSoup8 years ago
Speaking as a person who has the same persuasion as your friend, I'd appreciate not being converted. For the most part I'm a pretty "live and let live" kind of guy, hopefully your friend is the same. I'd advise that, if your friend doesn't mind you being Christian, you shouldn't mind what they believe. Obviously if you're friends, he/she must not mind that much. It's important for a person to draw their own conclusions on what they believe, if your friend is truly interested in your beliefs, then I'm sure they'll come and talk to you. I hope this helps.