Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Don't tell people what to do!

I met a lady today and tried to invite her to a Priceless event. She replied that she goes to church. I asked her what it means to her. She proceeded to tell me off rather forcefully, saying that religion was a private matter, and that I should never tell anyone else about it because that was to force it on them. It was horribly wrong to do more than inform someone of church and let them be. I suggested with a smile that if I didn't tell anyone of the priceless treasure I'd found Jesus to be, it would be horribly selfish of me.

The lady disagreed - apparently, it is selfish not to let people continue with what they each privately believe. Going to church is the important thing, after all. (I'll tell that to my doctor friends - you each have your private convictions about a person's diagnosis and cure, but don't selfishly tell anyone! Keep them to yourself. The important thing is that they're attending a surgery.)

Now this lady told me in no uncertain terms, with increasing volume and repetition, that I must go to Taize. I absolutely must experience Taize. It seemed that at Taize I would be enlightened of my bullish insistence of sharing with others the joy of knowing God in Christ. I said I knew something of Taize worship experience, and found that whatever the style and experience, the Bible says that Jesus is all we need - He is our wisdom, our goodness from God, our increasing goodness lived out... She interrupted loudly: You must go to Taize. There they tell you not to go around doing this: not to go around telling people what to do!

There are moments when irony turns on a light and sadly, you see the blindness.


RobHu said...

Brilliant post, thank you for sharing that.

Rhology said...

Ah yes, recently I was in discussion with an old friend. I have changed, but she hasn't. She proceeded to judge me for being too judgmental, but could not see it. It was amazing. Such people make me simultaneously frustrated and glad that I lack God's ability to read the hearts of men.

gethin said...

Ye, sad isn't it.
Reminds me of arguments I used to have with my sister when we were tiny.
"Don't tell me what to do!"
"No, YOU don't tell ME what to do!"
"No, YOU don't tell ME what to do!"

Most of the time it just ended in laughter as we watched the argument crumble.