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Goodbye Jesus

My Mother, The Church In Which I Grew Up, And Excommunication


xequar

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Hello all

 

I had an interesting conversation with my mother yesterday... My mom's iPod died the other day, so she's been calling me for the tech support. Yesterday, she mentioned that she had even gone to church (Sunday morning), and yet the iPod was still dead. I jokingly commented something about her going to church just to get the iPod to work, to which she replied that, no, she has to go to church now. (for a bit of background, my dad works midnights now, and normally my parents only go to church about once per month)

 

Apparently, the pastor and some of the elders began informing members of the congregation that if they didn't attend at least two services per month, they would be excommunicated. My mom's not a bible-beater at all, and tends to keep her faith to herself, but I do know the idea of being godless makes her uncomfortable, as she told me so when I told her I deconverted. She apparently told the pastor about my dad working midnights and whatnot, to no avail.

 

My response was basically that they were doing nothing but laying on a guilt trip, to let them excommunicate her, and that if she wants to go to church that badly, there are a lot of other ones out there. She said something like, "Well, that might work for you, but I can't do that."

 

So I guess I'm looking for a bit of advice here, if there is any to be had. That, and this also just further cements in my mind how shitty Xianity really is. I mean, excommunication if you don't show up enough? I'll be honest, in spite of my deconversion, I don't have specifically bad memories of my home church, and I am genuinely surprised that they've stooped to this low.

 

So, any thoughts?

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What kind of church is this?

 

I was thinking that you could get the pastor of another church to call on her, but they wouldn't get to excited about bringing a lukewarm member in.

 

I bet if your mom tithed that they wouldn't care at her church if she never came.

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That is really shitty, it's an either 'all or nothing' attitude. It's like if you can't come to church and be part of the 'team' for 'x' amount of hours then we don't want you on the team, we don't even want you in the 'team' building. Why would your mom want to be part of a church like that anyway. They obviously don't give a hoot about her, so if she wants to attend a service of some kind. What about an on-line church service? Because I have a feeling whatever real life church she attends, she is not going to be accepted into the fold completely unless she shows some kind of consistency in her attendance, unless it is a huge mega-church, then no one even notices who is there or not.

 

My husband and I have stopped attending church for a couple of months now, and recently we saw some of the church members at a wedding we went to, and at the reception a couple of people were really stand offish with us, whereas before they were full of friendly hellos brother and sister. It reminds me of 'Meet the Parents' movie, we are no longer inside the 'Circle of Trust'

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Hello all

 

I had an interesting conversation with my mother yesterday... My mom's iPod died the other day, so she's been calling me for the tech support. Yesterday, she mentioned that she had even gone to church (Sunday morning), and yet the iPod was still dead. I jokingly commented something about her going to church just to get the iPod to work, to which she replied that, no, she has to go to church now. (for a bit of background, my dad works midnights now, and normally my parents only go to church about once per month)

 

Apparently, the pastor and some of the elders began informing members of the congregation that if they didn't attend at least two services per month, they would be excommunicated. My mom's not a bible-beater at all, and tends to keep her faith to herself, but I do know the idea of being godless makes her uncomfortable, as she told me so when I told her I deconverted. She apparently told the pastor about my dad working midnights and whatnot, to no avail.

 

My response was basically that they were doing nothing but laying on a guilt trip, to let them excommunicate her, and that if she wants to go to church that badly, there are a lot of other ones out there. She said something like, "Well, that might work for you, but I can't do that."

 

So I guess I'm looking for a bit of advice here, if there is any to be had. That, and this also just further cements in my mind how shitty Xianity really is. I mean, excommunication if you don't show up enough? I'll be honest, in spite of my deconversion, I don't have specifically bad memories of my home church, and I am genuinely surprised that they've stooped to this low.

 

So, any thoughts?

 

I think that all you can say is, "that sucks - I'm sorry they're doing that because I know how important it is to you".

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What kind of church is this?

 

I was thinking that you could get the pastor of another church to call on her, but they wouldn't get to excited about bringing a lukewarm member in.

 

I bet if your mom tithed that they wouldn't care at her church if she never came.

The church is in a small farm town in rural Michigan, a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (the conservative Evangelical types of Lutherans). And yeah, you might be right about the tithing thing, since I know they used to give out numbered envelopes for offering so that they could track the contributions.

 

I think EricPK might be right on this one, though. Knowing my mother and all of the background factors that would/will play into any decision making, I'm pretty certain that she'll wind up going to church more often to make nice. It's odd, because she has referred to religion as a cult, but she's also the type that believes you have to dress up to go to church and I'm 99% certain she'd never give up religion and all the trappings.

 

I guess I'll just hope some conversation opportunities present themselves, and that I can offer something that will be of use. I don't care if she believes in god, but a pastor and old busybodies have no business bullying her into showing up to worshipping that god.

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Some churches are that way. They lay on the guilt trip to keep the monetary support from going out the door. if you don't support the church they will excommunicate you.

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