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TheIntern55's avatar

Should I confront this guy (Please see details)?

Asked by TheIntern55 (4260points) August 10th, 2012

I was teaching Vacation Bible School all week at my church. One of the other counslers I worked with, we’ll call him Jeff, was talking to me today before camp started. We were managing check-in and were getting ready before parents started coming in. We were talking about something, I don’t remember what, and he mentioned that he thought that people should realize that marriage was between a man and a woman and anything else is sin. I am a Christian, but I also support gays and believe they have the right to marry whomever they want, a feeling shared by the majority of people in my church, including my pastor. He kinda offended me, yet he went on saying that being gay was a sin and anybody who supported it, supported sin and Christians who like gays are, in his mind, sinners and hypocrites. By saying this, he was basically calling me ,and the leaders of my church, hypocrites and sinners.
This whole conversation offended me and I don’t know whether I should say something to him next time we meet. What do you think.
Please don’t turn this into a political argument. I just want to know whether I should say something to him and what I should say.

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22 Answers

Mama_Cakes's avatar

My girlfriend’s cousin ( I am a lesbian) is Pentecostal (and one of the butchiess people that I have ever met). She believes that we’re all (gays and lesbians) going to hell for our behavior. I’m not gonna change the way she thinks, so why bother. I’d let it go.

gailcalled's avatar

You cannot, of course, change his views, but you are entitled to tell him firmly that you disagree with his premise and want him to stop preaching to you.

gailcalled's avatar

You end by saying, “Please, let’s talk about something else.” He’ll get the point. Be pleasant and calm but clear.

Fly's avatar

I would not try to change his mind, as this will most likely be futile. However, I think it is perfectly appropriate for you to explain that you do not share his sentiments and that you would rather not discuss it with him in the future. If he is unaware that most of the church members including church leadership and the pastor do not share these views, perhaps you should share this with him; he might find that your church is not for him.

Jeruba's avatar

Please bear in mind that offending you is not the real issue here. I know you didn’t say that, exactly, but that seems to carry a lot of weight in your story. You’re responsible for your reaction. That’s the part that belongs to you.

I think that if you want to state your own position, you should, especially if you don’t want him to assume by your silence that you agree with him. Keeping anger out of it is essential.

Remember that he is not the final judge. In the end it’s not what he thinks of you that matters.

Coloma's avatar

Just simply say ” Well, I respectfully disagree and would prefer to not have this discussion, thank you. ” Simple, to the point, firm, DONE! Walk away.

marinelife's avatar

I would not confront him. I would just show him by example that he is wrong.

josie's avatar

Why bother.
Anyway, do you figure that because he offended you it is useful to offend him in turn?
That is just a cat chasing it’s tail. It isn’t healthy or a good use of time.
Just don’t get into conversations with him anymore.
Seems pretty simple if you ask me.

gambitking's avatar

I think it’s okay that a church leader at a Bible School would express views that coincide with what the Bible says (homosexuality is sin). It’s the same as if he had said “lying is a sin, I believe people should tell the truth.” It just gets crazy these days because the gay rights movement is so controversial. I’m a Christian, I have no disdain for homosexuals, but doctrinally speaking, it’s still a sin, and so it only matters that the church is teaching the precepts of scripture properly.

You are free to tell him your views, of course, just make sure that, as church leaders, there’s no other basis for your stances than the Bible. (It is VBS, after all)

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Actually, I want to change my answer. Say what @Coloma said and then be done with it.

With my girlfriend’s cousin, she is well aware that her cousin and two of her uncles are gay, yet she throws up posts on FB such as “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”, and that being gay is a sin. I got to see her a bit over the summer and she was great with me. We get along just fine.

Anyhow, what I am saying is that those are her beliefs and there is absolutely nothing that I can do to change that. I have to be cordial because she’s family.

syz's avatar

If your pastor and your church do not agree with his beliefs, perhaps he’s not the appropriate person to be teaching at vacation Bible school.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You will not change him.
Whatever you do, don’t date him.

Judi's avatar

If you decide to confront him, here’s some ammunition for you. Clobbering Biblical Gay Bashing
It IS possible to change someone’s mind. Mine was changed by a lot of people, but folks like @Mama_Cakes and @tinyfairy along with some patient but firm progressive Christians helped me to see things from a different perspective and I changed my mind.

bkcunningham's avatar

It seems a little odd that someone who is familiar with the beliefs of this church, a counselor no less, wouldn’t know the church’s stance on homosexuality. What is this person doing attending the church if their views are counter to what the church teaches and upholds? It certainly seems strange to me.

wundayatta's avatar

What you say or don’t say depends on your goals. Do you want to inform him that he offended you, then you need to say something. Do you want to educate him? Then you need to say something. Do you want to try to change his mind? Then you need to say something.

Do you want him to stop offending you? You need to say something. Do you want to stop working with him? Then you need to say something, although not necessarily to him. You need to ask to not be paired with him again.

The simplest goal is to try to shut down the conversation from occurring again. You might not say anything, in hopes it doesn’t come up. However, if you it does come up, you would say something like, “Your views are highly offensive to me and I don’t want to discuss this with you.” If he persists, you might say, “if you persist in forcing me to hear this, I will consider it harassment, and I will lodge a complaint.”

That’s the simplest and most direct response. However, if you want to fight with him, then you have engage in dialog. That is a whole ‘nother thing, and I am not going to describe that conversation. It’s too long. It happens here occasionally. I must warn you that you almost never change anyone’s mind. Most people engage in these conversations for sport, not because they want to actually succeed in educating anyone. If you don’t enjoy getting in someone’s face and bashing them for their views, then do the first, and stop any further conversation.

But first, say nothing and see what happens. It may never happen again. Or, like I said before, ask not to be assigned to work with this person again, telling your superiors that he creates a hostile environment that is extremely unpleasant to work in.

tinyfaery's avatar

Just tell him he’s in the wrong place, then. Let him know that your church, and you, believes all people are loved by your god. Maybe he’ll go elsewhere. Win-win for you.

TheIntern55's avatar

Thanks for all the responses guys. It seems pretty unanimous to leave him alone and change the subject. Thanks so much!
@Jeruba Thanks. Looking back now, I can see that I did put emphasis on the “offending” part, even though the outward reaction I gave him was much different.
@josie True, that would be like adding coal to the fire…or whatever that saying is….... I’ll be polite if I do mention it.
@Mama_Cakes Actually, his boss is gay, and he was saying how nice his boss was and listing all these great things about him. He then told me, “His only problem is that he’s gay”, so I can see he doesn’t think they’re terrible people, he’s just against their sexuality. And he has to be nice to his boss.
@syz and @bkcunningham He doesn’t attend the church, just the youth group meetings. He was helping out because we were short on older counslers. On Sundays, he goes to a different church and I don’t know what their beliefs are on this.
@LuckyGuy LOL, no. He has a girlfriend. She’s like the sweetest person on Earth. They win cutest couple of the year award every year in our youth group lol.

Nullo's avatar

Your friend is doctrinally quite sound.

Pandora's avatar

I would tell him that he is entitled to believe as he sees fit but that you solely leave the judging part up to God. Then remind him of this:
Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Before casting his stones, he should make sure 100 percent that he is clear of sin himself. This is something many forget.
Then ask him the following. Has he ever slept with anyone other than his spouse.
Has he used contraceptives or any type. Lust
Has he ever looked with desire at another woman than his wife or if single at another mans wife. Lust
Does he have sex only to reproduce? Lust
Does he hate his neighbors or anyone who is like him? Envy
Has he ever lied or bared false witness against anyone?
Has he ever cheated someone? Greed
Does he think himself better than most people? Vanity
Has he ever gotten back at someone who hurt him? Wrath
Has he ever thought himself the best christian he knows or better than most? Pride
Has he let others do his work because he was to lazy to do it? Sloth
Does he hoard money or food? Greed
No man is without sin. So he should check his own before moving on to others short comings.

Nullo's avatar

@Pandora I’m not really sure that your list applies in this situation; we’re talking about laws and customs and tradition, not confronting a fellow Christian in his sin.

Judi's avatar

@Nullo , Depends on the doctrine. Obviously not the doctrine of THIS church.

Pandora's avatar

@Nullo , True he is following Christian Doctrine but the bible does say in Mat. 7.1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. He was judging fellow followers and his leadership. But my point is that he should be reminded that it is not his place to Judge.
As Christians we follow the teachings of Christ is all his teaching, which is turn the other cheek, and love your fellow brothers and sisters, and that we are all born sinners. It’s Gods right to judge, not us.
i would just remind him of that.

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