snubbed by the christian scrooge

>> December 22, 2008

Have you ever been snubbed or shot down when trying to do something nice for someone? This weekend, I decided to invite someone from church, with whom I probably wouldn't naturally hang out, over for Christmas dinner.

After asking, "Do you have plans for Christmas dinner?" I promptly got a mini-sermon about the pagan origins of the holiday and how un-biblical it is to celebrate it.

O.... K. "Well, I was just going to invite you over for Christmas dinner, but that's okay. Maybe another time."

So much for getting out of my comfort zone... Back in the zone.

Anything like this ever happen to you?


Kymberley,  December 22, 2008 at 9:01 PM  

My experience it similar, however much more personal... Most of you know that at church we are basically single parents while our husbands are up the front doing their thing. My 4y/o son is rather rambuncious (?spelling) and I always have members, and sadly our senior pastor, tell me how I should stay home with my kids until they can learn how to sit properly in church! I think the thing that hurts the most is that while a select few help out with the kids, the majority of people see me struggling, and instead of saying, "can I take the baby for you while you deal with your son" they just cast judgement and tell me how I shouldn't be at church if the kids can't behave. If they are saying that to the youth pastor's wife, what are they saying to regular members or visitors... the thought makes me cringe!

dpm December 22, 2008 at 9:16 PM  

No way! Incidentally, that is my current soap box right now at my we treat people with kids and accommodate mothers with babies. But that's for another post at another time.

Yes, it's cringe-worthy to see how these people treat you, not to mention, visitors!

Sarah,  December 22, 2008 at 9:29 PM  

I think a lot of people forget how hard it was when their kids were little!

When we've had stuff like this happening, my husband has encouraged the other pastors to join him in making regular announcements about how:

"We want to be a welcoming environment for young families, so please bear with all our beautiful children who are learning how to sit through church. So don't mind if some of our amazing mothers have to take the babies out now and then.

"And if you have an empty lap, why don't you offer to sit with one of these tired young mothers and give them a hand!"

When the pastors make that kind of announcement a regular habitual part of the welcome, it can really make a difference in the church's attitude.

Blogger007 December 26, 2008 at 7:48 AM  

At first i thought this blog said, 'snubbed by the Christmas scrooge' because that's what it talked about. I would like to hear any thoughts or responses to this though. About 8 years ago, my sister & her family decided 'not' to celebrate Christmas. It was a pagean holiday, and we Christians had gotten off base by adopting all the world's practices and traditions which totally took our eyes off Christ, and we didn't know when he was really born anyway.

Needless to say, it made for many uncomfortable Christmases. At first i thought it was a ploy not to buy Christmas presents as they are tight with money and sometimes generosity. No longer could we play Christmas music on that day. The family picutes no longer red and green, but at first white and blue as they 'for a short time' adopted hannukah (sp?), then orange and blue as they are Florida Gators.

No longer could we have Christmas ham (pork was eliminated), and any mention of anything Christmas or Merry Christmas greetings made conversations and the day uncomfortable. No more 'white elephant' gift exchanges as they were left out for not wanting to participate (but have continued to awkwardly take Christmas gifts that were given).

I then married a pastor, and one particular Christmas after a very busy, stressful Christmas season (we were in a large church with lots of Christmas services that had just come off a weekend of several services and two Christmas productions that month), i had settled into my parents home on Christmas morning, greatly anticipating the Christmas lasagna and to enjoy a small family gathering. My husband, being the worship pastor, and not totally familiar with the 'non-Christmas' thing, put on some soft Christmas music that we were all singing to, and turned on some soft Christmas lights. When my sister's family arrived, everything was abruptly halted when they walked in the door and immediatly turned off the music.

I remember feeling depressed that day as my heart was filled with Joy that i had experienced for 40something other Christmases, and it was like someone had just pulled the plug.

Since then, i try not to spend Christmas with my family as there is no celebration on Christmas day. One year i asked my mom to go ahead and have the ham and Christmas celebration, and simply make the next day a family celebration with everyone which we did. Otherwise, we try to spend Christmas with my husband's family.

My sister and her family dearly love the Lord, but i must say it is uncomfortable to be around them. My husband is worship pastor in a contemporary church, but they would never attend (our 'methods' of reaching the lost are appaling to them although 200 people have come to know Christ personally in the last 6 months, and much good is being done for the kingdom) - but it is nothing to be divisive about, so we just can't talk about church or religion or anything Christian or spiritual with them.

Anyone else in this boat? We love our family, but it feels strange to be in a close Christian family and not be able to share or discuss without hostility. We can only love, and i guess that is enough.

dpm December 26, 2008 at 8:08 PM  

Blogger007, thanks for sharing your story. It's definitely a tough situation. I don't want to be extra hard on your sister and her beliefs, but I think it's a red flag when our unique beliefs (attributed to following Christ more closely) don't make us more Christ-like, more loving, more embracing of other people. I don't think our Christian beliefs should ever draw us away from other believers... it makes no sense. It's unfortunate that it's had such a negative impact on what should and could be such a joyous holiday to enjoy with family and friends. Continue to love them and show them what joy and freedom Christ brings to your life.

Blogger007 December 27, 2008 at 11:03 AM  

DPM... thank you for this kind note. I was thinking of asking the site to remove my blog because after writing it, i felt like i really vented, and i don't want to talk negatively about my family. I could have just asked... does anyone else deal with this? It's obviously an emotional thing for me. It would be nice as Christians to be able to encourage, and we do to an extent, we just know we can't discuss personal beliefs. Thank you for your encouragement!

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