Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Naff things that Christians say

Things I've heard Christians say to others (naffities: this is likely to be a long series)

To someone who is ill (this is the richest picking field for naffities):

"we must have coffee, I'll try to squeeze you in..." [I must do and be seen by you to do my duty to you. This is about me, not you!] Better: "When would you be free and I'll check my diary"

"don't worry, God's in control..." [God as puppetteer theology. God will work all things together for good Roms 8:28, but that's not the conversation a sick person wants] Better: "I'm sorry to hear of your illness. How are you feeling?"

"it's just the fall playing out in our lives..." [this is not the time for creation theology] Better: "That sounds really tough. How do you feel?" If you've been told, don't compare pains, just thank them for their confidence and ask what you can do?

To someone bereaved:

"at least he/she is in a better place now..." [The point of bereavement is that you have lost a friend or loved one. This can have a calamitous effect on one's life. This is not the time for eschatology] Better: I'm sorry to hear of your loss. If you want to chat, I can drop around in about a week or so. Then just listen, do not offer advice if unasked, do not compare pain, do not play the deceased's faults...normal people don't and neither should you.

To a newbie in your group (astonishingly I heard this from an experienced youth leader...cringe-worthy):

"Hi everyone, this is Digby...he's joining us this weekend because he's a bit lonely..." [WHAT??? Never judge or demean a person in such a humiliating manner. Everyone has the dignity of being in the family of God]. Better: "Hi everyone, this is Digby, I'm really glad he was able to come along this weekend." But, even better, don't introduce to a group before a couple of one to one introductions if possible.

A minister to a parishioner whose girl friend would not relinquish her RC-ness. "Do you want us to have a talk to her...?" The hide of them to think that she'd participate, and that they could intervene in such a personal matter!!

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