Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bossy Church People

Please allow me a rant.

Picture a member of our congregation whom we suspect has some cognitive difficulties, and who is quite needy, stocking up at our share-the-harvest garden produce table in the fellowship hall. Picture another, more affluent, member striding up to her and scolding, "Don't you think you have enough?"

This is just one example -- and I could probably fill a small book with others -- of the sort of rude, bossy Lucy Van Pelt behavior that just drives me crazy in church. And not just in my present congregation, but pretty much every one I've ever been a part of. I'm not sure what it is about being in a church setting that seems to bring out the worst in people, but it certainly seems to.

Shouldn't a morning at church be different than a morning at work?


Verdugo said...

While we're venting about socially inappropriate members of the flock, may I add my own?

I'm serving in the children's program this weekend, when a sweet little girl draws a picture of the earth with the words "Stop global warming" written on it. She asks me to post it above the A/C controls (which were set to a bone-chilling 67 F), then she added a cheeky arrow pointing to the A/C. I happily complied, even though I feared what might be coming...

And yes, indeed, a whole parade of adults coming up to this sweet, sincere little girl to tell her, "love your picture... but you know there's no such thing as global warming" followed by "and there's nothing you can do about it." The final blow was the adult who insisted she repeat after her "it's all political manipulation for wealth redistribution".

One sweet little girl's idealism smashed to smithereens in, oh, about 10 min. time. Just shoot me now.

Mata H said...

Sigh..there is no less need for grace at either just shows up more when we stain our dressy clothes.

MikeC said...

Understand. We had a discussion today in our adult education about how to deal with an individual who has a tendency of taking shots but who reacts badly when someone criticizes his views. There was more to it than that, but I'll leave it there.

ProclaimingSoftly (PSanafter-thought) said...

Akkkk, shades of my mother with the "don't you think you....?" This is an indirect way of talking, possible passive aggressive, without taking responsibility for one's own words and feelings. Double Akkkk. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that people who talk like this have problems communicating with their own children and spouse. And it can be an indicator of insecurity, as well.

Yet there are times I've wished to say something similar to some people. Like in, "didn't your mother teach you to take only your share?"

Ringelstruempfe said...

What really scares me is that people believe they are doing good that way! They are just protecting the harvest for those in need (or those they and no one else perceive to be in need). They are just teaching that little girl the "reality" of life.

Oh may God protect us from those well meaning people, who trying to be meaningful all too often become just plain mean!