Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I think my neighbor is trying to convert me

Let me preface this by saying that I really like my neighbors. I feel so lucky to live next door to them and that they are so friendly. They have 4 children, the youngest of whom is 4.5 -- right in between Lucas and Amanda. The kids are forever playing together and run between our two houses all the time. I love that... that's the kind of neighbor I've always wanted.

A couple of months ago, my neighbor asked if Amanda would be in a little talent show with her daughter at her church -- she is Mormon. She said her daughter was a bit nervous and would like it if Amanda could do the show with her. We agreed and it was very cute. There was no sales pitch, or anything like that. Then, last Saturday, she stopped by to say that her daughter was going to have a small part in something for her Sunday school and she would like us to be there. I thought, what the heck. My husband warned me that it would be a real service, but I said, no, she just said it was a little show or something. Well, Phil was right. It was a full service with communion and everything. Then the preaching about making sure Prop 8 passes here in California started and I clenched my fists. They were starting to preach about the wrongness of being gay. Anyway, our neighbor's child was very cute and everyone was friendly. I thought that was that.

Today the daughter was playing at our house and when my neighbor came to pick her up, she mentioned that she'd like to have us back at church with her and have the kids go to Sunday school with her daughter. She wants to take me to a few classes. I am Catholic and she knows this. I attend mass probably every other Sunday -- I skipped last Sunday to go to the Mormon service. I thought God would think this is OK -- I personally think if I'm hookin' up with other Christians and thanking God for all I have, he'll give me props.

Now the dilemma. I wouldn't mind going with her to her Church occasionally, I really would not, but I don't want to mislead her. I'm not going to ever convert -- and I'm especially not going to become a Mormon.
I'm a Catholic. I've tried other churches, but they aren't my peeps. It's too ingrained. I don't always agree with some of the teachings of the Pope -- eg. birth control and homosexuality -- but I believe in Christ and I want to live more like him.
What do I do? I don't want to dis my neighbor, but I don't want to lead her on, thinking I might someday convert.

The think about Mormonism -- and I don't intend to offend anyone out there -- is that, as I've read, they believe that you aren't truly baptized in Christ's church unless you are baptized by a Mormon priest. That doesn't make any sense to me. Joseph Smith came along, what in the 1800's. What happened to all those folks baptized for 1800+ years? They say Peter came to Joseph Smith, but Peter was the founder of the Catholic Church, so why would he defect like that?
I don't know.... I like the oldness of my religion. It is comfortable to me, like my favorite pair of jeans. It fits. I like that, at least in my local church, they don't tell me how to vote. I like my politics with my politics and my religion with my religion. I don't believe that Jesus is going to condemn anyone who has tried to lead a good life just because they weren't fortunate to have been baptized by a certain kind of priest. I don't believe you can be Christ-like when you are busy condemning other people. You need to first make sure you are living your own life in a good way and then try to lead people to that way. But don't throw stones at them or condemn them. Only God can do that.

That's all I have to say.
Do you have any advice on how to gingerly let my neighbor know that I won't be converting anytime soon?

1 comment:

Molly said...

I would ask her to go to church with you sometime and her kids go to a Catholic Sunday school. Say that you don't mind going sometimes but you are raising your children in a Catholic church and want to spend your Sundays there.