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She Sinned In The Name Of God


R. S. Martin
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It's downright perverse--yet she's sure I'll eventually see the light. Makes me so MAD!

 

I'm really glad for all the self-education I've been doing this past year. At least I know where I stand and what I believe. And I've had experience dealing with Christians online so I recognized her tricks and manipulation.

 

She and her sister (both share genes and childhood memories with me but little else) are getting involved with what appears to me like evangelical teachings. So they're moving away from Old Order Mennonite teachings and they're not sure if the church will tolerate their attendance at the weekly Prayer Meetings or not.

 

I told her this is what the modern Mennonites and Old Orders split over back in about 1870. Sounds like they're committed to go through with it if that is what it comes to. The church she referenced is strongly Calvinist--The Calvinist Chapel in an overwhelmingly Mennonite area.

 

This is putting me in such a crazy position. I can see what is happening but she won't listen to anything I say. They could believe the things they want to believe without jeopardizing their membership if only they would quit attending these prayer meetings. At the Prayer Meetings they are told that most denominations are bad because they put people into bondage with their rules and regulations.

  1. People who put down everyone else in order to make themselves look good tend not to be so nice when you really get to know them; she explained this away with such a pious voice.
  2. I provided concrete evidence that many Old Order Mennonites do not feel "in bondage" to the OOM rules beyond what people normally feel "in bondage" to the rules of whatever society they are in; she agreeably accepted this but stood her ground.

It seems these new teachings are giving her new evangelizing tools for her atheist sister. Old Order Mennonites have no tools other than excommunication to deal with atheists because atheists don't exist in their world. Plus, her experience of being marginalized by the old church helps her identify with my experiences of leaving. So we do have something in common. She really built on this.

 

So it felt like maybe we could make up in some areas. But then she slipped in an allegory. "Our brother will always be Dad's son. He may turn his back on Dad and walk away and reject his inheritance. But he can never not be Dad's son."

 

I'm feeling like "YIKES!!!! Am I in church or back at the supper table sitting under Dad's lectures?"

 

In retrospect I realize that this is NOT Old Order Mennonite teachings--it is ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED teachings. It is not Mennonite teachings of any sort. At the time I had such a strong emotional reaction I just switched into William Lane Craig forum mode and blurted out: You still have to prove the existence of God and the Holy Spirit.

 

She told me with a voice full of confidence that they exist and that they will convict me some day.

 

I asked, "Do you realize how arrogant you sound?"

 

"Yes."

 

I could not believe my ears. In the Old Order Mennonite world, pride or arrogance is the very worst sin possible. I was sure she had not correctly understood me so I rephrased the question, "Do you realize that that is a very prideful thing to say?"

 

"I do."

 

This woman had just spent 45 minutes emphasizing with a pious voice the humility of the goals and endeavors of the prayer group she and sister are meeting with. And now this. The perversity of it all, combined with lifelong teachings both of us had shared...

 

"I can't have anything to do with such arrogant people," I said, and hung up.

 

I dunno, I almost feel like I have to protect the rest of my siblings from this evil doctrine. But come to think of it, my youngest siblings saw it coming. My youngest sister had been living with them and she moved out. My youngest brother opened his home to her. So the "little ones" (who actually are in their late thirties and quite capable of looking after themselves) are taken care of....this is all so crazy but family studies say crises open up old family dynamics. I suppose this is what I am experiencing.

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That sounds pretty bad, but I guess on the plus side this incident may show that they aren't as rigid in there old beliefs and may be open to new ones, although more harmful radical ones (but openness is never a bad thing, remember that). Maybe one day this will be able to lead you and your sister into being able to have a decent conversation about belief and whatnot.

 

But that being said, do not fall into the trap of feeling that you have to "save" or "protect" anyone. At some point you have got to swim away from the sinking ship.

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But that being said, do not fall into the trap of feeling that you have to "save" or "protect" anyone. At some point you have got to swim away from the sinking ship.

 

You do have a point there. Thanks.

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*Hugs* Ruby

 

Sometimes, it is better to not converse with people we know will make us upset.

 

Also, if she is willing to change her mind about Old Order teachings, is it possible she may change her mind about these Evangelical teachings someday?

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But that being said, do not fall into the trap of feeling that you have to "save" or "protect" anyone. At some point you have got to swim away from the sinking ship.

 

You do have a point there. Thanks.

 

 

*hugs* I know from firsthand experience that you can get so caught up in trying to save and protect the people you love that it damages your own sanity and healing. Continue to love them, but don't feel obligated to save them from something that they don't want saving from.

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