Why I Don’t Want to be Witnessed To

Image credit: shyjumathew.com

Image credit: shyjumathew.com

Yesterday, I received an email from a guy who’d been recently following my author Facebook page. I was online so I checked it out. I’ve been receiving quite a few nice emails, thanking me for my blog, so I thought that’s what it would be. After all, I’ve been explicitly clear on here that I don’t want to be witnessed to and even went so far as to say I’d bill people via PayPal if they kept at it (that’s a joke, but I should do it).

Anyway, he starts off nicely saying this:

I stumbled across your site because I was doing some research on MC, not to mention several people had contacted me about their past experiences within this program, that’s when I found you. So I’ve read your bio, the mess you came out of and now I see the end result. Please don’t misunderstand or mistake my contacting you as a gesture to judge you or “pray” for you (which I still will of course), but I just wanted to say that I “get it”. I get the whole anger you’ve got when it comes to religion. I “get it” when it comes to “church hurt” because I’ve been where you were at. I grew up in church, but my hurt led me to Hollywood, Larry Flynt and Rob Zombie and a budding career as an indie filmmaker and a working screen writer.

My point is, I get you. However, let me equally say that I found my way BACK to Christ and the second half has been better than the first. My work now is in China as a preacher and missionary (returning this spring to live IN Chengdu). All I will say is, one day I believe that same path will once again present itself to you and one day I’m hoping that you’ll once again find Christ, and realize that Christ is not what religion presents him to be, but what he really is – reality. (emphasis my own)

Christopher

What struck me is what strikes me everytime I see these emails (and trust me, I rarely go a week without seeing a more judgmental version of this). The people who send me these emails are so judgemental and they’re so set in their ways–wanting to convince me that I’m wrong or bad because I’m unsaved. They don’t even realize they’re straight out of a Colbert Report skit (which MAKES FUN OF THEM).

Many of you have shared with me over the years that you get these responses, too, only they come from your Christian friends and family after you bring to light abuse or rape or pedophilia that’s going on in a church you attended.

Wait, did I hear you correctly? YOU did the right thing and reported a CRIME (or bad leadership) and THEY judge you/tell you that you’re wrong?  Now they won’t be your friend?

Wow, talk about Christlike (insert sarcasm indicator here)!

Basically what you’ve shared with me is that some of the same Christian friends who used to call you family are total pricks. Man, when we start seeing the light, we see it brightly, don’t we?

I had the same experience.

Unfortunately, keeping this blog up means I’m having the same experience day after day. Mostly because these assholes don’t read and can’t follow instructions. I tell them to email hellolisakerr AT gmail DOT com for letters like this and I clearly indicate that my other email address thelisakerr AT gmail DOT com is for professional use only. That’s so I can herd all these emails into one spot and never read them. I hate sorting through these to find legitimate emails from fans or business offers. Reading these emails cause me unnecessary stress and I’m over it; unfortunately, I haven’t found a working solution for keeping these emails at bay while being able to read the good emails. I often ignore all email because I don’t want to stress out over reading someone’s judgement call. It’s sad, but true.

The more I blog, the more people want to challenge my lack of faith. Lately I’ve had a lot of angry men challenge me–some even say they love debating ‘smart atheists.’ As if there are any dumb atheists. Geez!

I kid. But seriously.

The point is, I don’t want to be witnessed to. No one wants to be witnessed to. I’d go so far as to say it’s an invasion of my personal privacy and it feels utterly intrusive. Witnessing should be banished from the church simply because it makes you a shitty, pushy salesman. And no one likes high-pressure sales tactics. Except the salesman.

So, Christopher, if you’re still reading, take a break from preaching to me. In fact, take a break preaching to those in China, too. Let them be. The world will not end if you stop preaching to them. They won’t go to Hell. They might actually live just as happy, and maybe even happier without all that fundamentalist guilt, without it.

To read my responses to Christopher, scroll down.

Christopher,
Your email was almost really nice but you pretty much failed there at the end. Here’s my take away: You want me to get saved and think my life would be better as such. Why do you want to impose your beliefs on me so much? When I was a minister I was never that pushy (well, until I was in MC and we tried saving people as a sport.) A missionary is by definition a pushy son of a bitch, intent on wrecking cultures and community for their own self serving needs; assuming that other cultures are heathen because they don’t believe the same as the missionary.

I imagine you have all Christian friends who don’t need saving so you need to find something to do and someone to save. I’m not it. I don’t even befriend people who approach me in that manner because it shows me they lack a deep understanding of humanity and society. Not to mention a lack of understanding of who I am. Reading a few blog posts about me shows you a side of me–a shade of my anger a few years ago. That’s not me. Fast forward past 2010.

I don’t think you “get me” actually because you think I should be like you and my outcome will be the same as yours. What if it’s not? What if I believe that there’s no possible way there’s a God for the very simple fact that I would never believe in a male God? But it doesn’t really matter what I believe–beliefs are private and you should respect that. Butting into what I believe or don’t believe is insulting on so many levels. It’s literally none of your goddamn business.

Worse of all, by trying to push your beliefs on me, maybe you’re missing out on a cool friendship because I’ll tell you right now, I’m actually pretty cool. I change the world, too, but by telling the world how fake certain ministries are. And guess what? I’m influencing others to bring critical thinking into the pew and question unintelligent people or beliefs that might not make sense. Occasionally, people read what I write and it helps them in some way. They see that I can get through this without God and they consider that as an option.

One day you’ll find yourself alone and feeling like God doesn’t exist. Maybe a shit storm will hit you and I hope that you will find reality. That even when life is darkest you’ll realize that you don’t need a belief in a higher power–you can be stronger without one. I hope when life is hard you find the strength that you need to get through those times with what you need–reality.

Lisa

He couldn’t leave well enough alone, so he wrote this back:

And yet God will always be there – to remind you of that one constant truth, that Christ never changes and that we will all stand before him, saved and unsaved and then reality will sink in. Again, I’m not trying to convert you back, like I said, I stumbled across your site and it required some response, (call it the preacher in me) either way, the cross has never been removed and God is gracious to offer a second chance. And you’re right, you might never repent, you might never come back to the cross, I’ll grant you that, but then whose to say this late night email was not “inspired” as a reminder God’s ever present resolve to come back to the cross? As I said, not looking to antagonize you at all, wasn’t even a consideration, it’s just that when I see you, I see what I was in some respects and while it’s true each person has a different path in life, the one who created that path still reminds us all that there is an eternity to face and what will you do then if you’re wrong? Thanks for the reply.

7 Comments on Why I Don’t Want to be Witnessed To

  1. Jackie C.
    August 15, 2013 at 4:58 pm (8 months ago)

    This is not a witness, merely one Christian ranting about another, though I don’t meet his definition of Christian anyway since I have different beliefs. “What will you do then if you are wrong?” The only God I can possibly believe in is so beyond our comprehension that a little matter like not believing will not stand in her way (no gender to the God I know but it’s sometimes convenient with our language), if there even is an eternity. Christians like this irritate me so much. What about the people who never hear of God? They’ll be flushed down to eternal hell? I hate a lack of logic. You can’t profess a loving God then say God is picky, like there’s rules or something.

    And I agree with you. It’s completely rude to believe I have all the answers. There have been some wonderful missionaries though who have only sought to share their lives helping others live here and now – feeding and healing and visiting the sick. Living out the story of “as you did unto the least of these,” without talking about God at all. Those missions though for the homeless that make you listen to a sermon if you eat? They’re ridiculous and have more to do with ego than God. And don’t even let me start on churches that brag about how many souls were saved at last night’s service.

    And to Christopher, disrepecting her request not to witness to her is like going into her home for a spaghetti dinner and then explaining how much better it would be if she used your grandma’s recipe.

  2. John Valdez
    August 15, 2013 at 8:15 pm (8 months ago)

    The fact that you took the time to respond with politeness and reason is commendable.

    Sounds like a pushy used-car salesman. Rude.

    • Lisa
      August 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm (8 months ago)

      He does, doesn’t he?

  3. Becky
    August 16, 2013 at 12:34 am (8 months ago)

    Sorry you gotta put up with reading all the same crap we all have memorized anyway. Gross.

    • Lisa
      August 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm (8 months ago)

      Good point. We DO have it all memorized, which makes it even more annoying.

  4. Bill Boyles
    August 16, 2013 at 1:20 am (8 months ago)

    “What if you’re wrong about God?” as a reason to believe is the absolute worst argument Christians can try to make for why one should believe in their religion. I’m not even a Christian any longer and yet it still makes me cringe. If one truly believes the Bible and what it says, then one is forced to acknowledge that according to the basic tenets of Christianity, those practicing out of cynicism or as a way to spiritually “hedge their bets” with the Cosmos are most certainly DOING IT WRONG, and the whole effort would be meaningless. That pragmatist would waste their whole life chafing under the strict morality of Christianity and would end up burning in Hell anyway at the end. That would be total bummer. Epic fail. And speaking of epic fails, making that argument is another example of one. The whole idea of “witnessing” comes across as arrogant, rude, and as condescension in the utmost degree. It is an attitude and process that starts with the assumption/premise that you are somehow morally lacking and your life is somehow suffering for it or not enjoying your life to its full potential. The witnesser then proceeds to make the incredibly arrogant assumption that they somehow are the right person to rectify this. Despite the fact that they can and should expect that almost anyone they speak to has “heard the good news” before, they somehow apparently have a sincere belief that THIS TIME IT’S DIFFERENT. They are the special chosen ones, THEY somehow have the right words or have somehow found a new way to say them that will be convincing in a way it wasn’t all those other times, THEY have somehow been called and empowered by God to “save” you, or THEY somehow have the ability to make you understand how awesome Christianity is (because they also assume that if you’ve been “witnessed to” and have not yet converted, the only logical explanation is that you are just too stupid to understand what an awesome deal you are being offered.)
    I really have no issue with most Christians. As long as they leave me alone and live their lives truly the way they claim to, I am content to let them be. Assholes like this guy, however, are completely missing the point of the entire religion and are the ones who everyone can’t stand, but somehow God seems to have messed up and forgotten to “annoit” them with the holy knowledge that they are acting like total DOUCHEBAGS.
    anyways, /endrant. sorry. :D

    • Lisa
      August 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm (8 months ago)

      GREAT rant! I loved every word of it!