I’ve recently been invited to a church (not a Catholic church) by a close friend of mine. He’s been doing this for quite a while, and I’ve been able to avoid these invitations. But this time he’s really persistent. I don’t know how to decline my friend’s invitation. He’s a really close friend, and he mentioned that he will be really hurt if I don’t come to his church to listen to the pastor’s sermon. He said God reached out to him and wanted me to come. What or how should I tell him that I don’t want to go without hurting his feelings?
By telling you that he’ll be “really hurt” if you don’t come to his church and by claiming that God wants you to go to this church, your friend is engaging in emotional manipulation. Tell him, “I am not able to attend your church. Please respect my feelings on this.” If he is truly your friend, he will accept your right to decline an invitation you are not able to accept. If he claims to be “really hurt,” you might say, “And I am really hurt that you won’t respect my feelings on this.”