Friday, October 19, 2007

invitations have started

I've had a couple invitations to attend church with my relatives this summer, but now the invitations to church activities have started. A Relief Society craft night here, a Halloween party there. Luckily, I've had other plans during these particular activities, and so was able to decline politely and easily.

But what's the matter with going to church activities? Would I go? Would I not go? And why? (I'm asking myself these questions, though I'd love to hear your points of view.) First off, I don't want to go because it's the church. Yes, I still think the church is a sick institution and I don't want to support it even with my casual attendance at a church activity. If it were something important, like a funeral or a wedding reception (of course not the wedding itself; I'm not invited ever again, now am I?), I would be okay with attending it in a church building. Second, the activities aren't fun or interesting or stimulating to me, and I don't have any good friends there to catch up with.

Third, I can't help be think that I'm being invited not because they'd think I enjoy it or because they want my company, but because they think it'll help me, even if only a little bit, come back to the church. As in, "See what nice and friendly people we are? See what fun activities we have? The church can't be a bad place if we are such good people!" As in, "Maybe she'll feel the Spirit again." As in, "Something is fundamentally wrong with your life, and I'm going to do every little thing I can to fix it."

Maybe they don't think that. Maybe I should be a little more forgiving. Maybe attending a function now and then would help sooth the relationship, help them be a little more comfortable with my current position. But remembering back to when I was a devout Mormon, how I used to think, I would have seen any "inactive" coming to any function as a step in the right direction--back to the church. Not as a "fine, I'll do it for the sake of the relationship," not as a "I thought the activity would be fun," but as a return to the fold. So why would I lead my relatives on like that now?


Sister Mary Lisa said...

I'd avoid the function as well. There's very little doubt that is exactly how they'd perceive your attendance (a chance to feel the spirit and perhaps return to the fold where you belong).

from the ashes said...

Oh, good, so I'm not crazy?

Mai said...

I agree, it would be leading them on, whether you intended to or not. Unintentionally deceptive. And hurtful to you, as well.

Rebecca said...

Not crazy - I'm sure they'd see it like that. Or at least I'm pretty sure. That being said, if the ward throws awesome parties/activities and you thought it might be fun, or if you had people it would be nice to see and talk with I'd say just go and have a good time. If there's nothing in it for you - AVOID. Those things can be TRULY heinous, and I hated going even when I was believing and active.