Needs Advice


#1

Hi, I need some advice. My best girlfriend and I have been friends for about 12 years. She is an evangelical Christian but has not gone to church since her dh left her yrs ago. She says that her and her new boyfriend want to start going back to church but they like the Evangelical church. The last time we went out for coffee she asked me if I had heard the song on Christian radio called “One” I said, " No I have not heard it." So the next day I looked up the lyrics for this song and I felt offended by them so I e-mailed her and told her why I didn’t like the song. I tried to explain about my faith to her since I know that she doesn’t understand my faith. Well, she e-mailed me back with a Thank you, Katie and that was it. I know her, and I think she didn’t say anything more because she disagrees with me. I know I am so sensitive but I just feel upset about this. Wish I hadn’t e-mailed her at all. Should I just let it go or talk in person to her about it? Am I wrong that part of these lyrics are offensive to our faith? I did tell her in the e-mail that Catholics do all want to be one and are striving for this.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Holding onto our beliefs
Like a child holds to its father
It’s like we’re trying so hard to breathe
With our heads underneath the water

Keep trying to find the balance
Of our love and our convictions
’Cause we know that life in You
Moves far beyond religion

We know, we know, we know, we know
That nothing else even matters but love

Whoa, we keep trying to find a way
Whoa, to come together
Whoa, Lord, take these fears away
Whoa

And make us one, one, one, whoa
Lord, make us one, one, one, Lord, make us one

We are the face of Christ
In a world of shadows
Is it God’s love we’re fighting for
Or our denomination’s ego?

We got to let go of pride
Embrace the idea of difference
Make unity our calling
And move within forgiveness

We know, we know, we know, we know
That nothing else even matters but love

Whoa, we keep trying to find a way
Whoa, to come together
Whoa, Lord, take these fears away
Whoa

And make us one, one, one, whoa
Lord, make us one, one, one, Lord, make us one
Visit xtralyrics.com (I don’t know what this link is here for)

Imagine what could be, imagine what could change
If love was all that really mattered
Would the light of Christ finally shine through
Me and you?

Holding onto our beliefs
Like a child holds to its father
It’s like we’re trying so hard to breathe
With our heads underneath the water

Whoa, we keep trying to find a way
Whoa, to come together
Whoa, Lord, take these fears away
Whoa, oh yeah

And make us one, one, one, whoa
Lord, make us one, one, one, Lord, make us one, oh
Make us one, one, one, whoa
Lord, make us one, one, one, Lord, make us one, oh

Make us one, one, one, whoa
Make us one, one, one, Lord, make us one, oh
Make us one, one, one, whoa
Make us one, one, one, Lord, make us one


#2

Can you verbalize what exactly in the lyrics offends you?

I find it a little fluffy, but not offensive. I really do wish that all Christians could be one. That’s what the song is all about–wishing that we could be one in Christ and speculating on what needs to happen.

I think that perhaps you’re missing some of the “evangelicalese” in the lyrics. That’s a “language” spoken by evangelicals. They know what they mean, but Catholics would probably not get it. Don’t get upset about it–Catholics speak “Catholicese”. It took several weeks after we started attending Mass for my husband and I to figure out that “intentions” = “prayer requests.” We had no idea what they were talking about.

I’ll give you an example of evangelicalese. Evangelicals loathe the word “religion.” To evangelicals, “religion” means a “man-made system” and therefore, it is not of Christ. You do not hear evangelicals say “I’m religious.” That would be like saying, “I have the power, on my own, without Jesus, to make it to heaven.”

Therefore it makes sense in the song for the lyrics to say, “l;ife in you moves far beyond religion.” This isn’t a dig against Catholicism, it’s a denouncement of man-made systems. Catholics would agree with this, as Catholics do not believe in man-made churches or salvation. We believe our salvation comes from Jesus Christ through His Church, right?


#3

Well, now you've learned something. Next time, just say something less critical but still true, like, "I see things a little differently, but I'm glad you found a song that expresses how you feel."


#4

Don't e-mail her back.You didn't say anything wrong by stating your opinion.Do you find it offensive if you tell a friend you like chop suey aand she says she doesn't?Of course since she is your best friend and you value you r relationship if you don't hear from her when you should hear from her you might e-mail her and tell her it was nothing personal.


#5

[quote="Cat, post:2, topic:234655"]
Can you verbalize what exactly in the lyrics offends you?

I find it a little fluffy, but not offensive. I really do wish that all Christians could be one. That's what the song is all about--wishing that we could be one in Christ and speculating on what needs to happen.

I think that perhaps you're missing some of the "evangelicalese" in the lyrics. That's a "language" spoken by evangelicals. They know what they mean, but Catholics would probably not get it. Don't get upset about it--Catholics speak "Catholicese". It took several weeks after we started attending Mass for my husband and I to figure out that "intentions" = "prayer requests." We had no idea what they were talking about.

I'll give you an example of evangelicalese. Evangelicals loathe the word "religion." To evangelicals, "religion" means a "man-made system" and therefore, it is not of Christ. You do not hear evangelicals say "I'm religious." That would be like saying, "I have the power, on my own, without Jesus, to make it to heaven."

Therefore it makes sense in the song for the lyrics to say, "l;ife in you moves far beyond religion." This isn't a dig against Catholicism, it's a denouncement of man-made systems. Catholics would agree with this, as Catholics do not believe in man-made churches or salvation. We believe our salvation comes from Jesus Christ through His Church, right?

[/quote]

Hi Cat, thank you for the advice. I was offended by these lines.

Holding onto our beliefs
Like a child holds to its father
It's like we're trying so hard to breathe
With our heads underneath the water

'Cause we know that life in You
Moves far beyond religion

Is it God's love we're fighting for

Or our denomination's ego?

We got to let go of pride
Embrace the idea of difference

I did not reply to my friend with any criticism I just tried to explain my faith.

I felt like this song was criticizing religions in general, saying that those who practice a religion are full of pride, don't embrace the ideal of difference, and that holding onto our beliefs is suffocating.


#6

[quote="baltobetsy, post:3, topic:234655"]
Well, now you've learned something. Next time, just say something less critical but still true, like, "I see things a little differently, but I'm glad you found a song that expresses how you feel."

[/quote]

Thank you for this advice baltobetsy! I like what you said to say to her. I just felt too that I needed to explain my faith to her in a non-critical way.


#7

[quote="valentino, post:4, topic:234655"]
Don't e-mail her back.You didn't say anything wrong by stating your opinion.Do you find it offensive if you tell a friend you like chop suey aand she says she doesn't?Of course since she is your best friend and you value you r relationship if you don't hear from her when you should hear from her you might e-mail her and tell her it was nothing personal.

[/quote]

Thank you valentino, Your post made me feel better.


#8

I've done the same thing with friends and relatives who sent me something objectionable - written them back and told them why I found it so. And it's never been received well. Perhaps people don't like getting "dissenting" views from their friends over email.

Also, many Protestant Christians (myself, even, at one time) take their love of their Christian music very personally. Could be she's very emotionally moved by the song. If you had objected to lyrics in my favorite worship song, I would have felt you had objected to ME. Is that the right way to look at it? Of course not. But emotions are irrational.

Maybe just give her a hug next time you see her and tell her you hope you didn't hurt her feelings, but you thought you ought to speak up. And see where it goes from there. :)


#9

[quote="surfinpure, post:8, topic:234655"]
I've done the same thing with friends and relatives who sent me something objectionable - written them back and told them why I found it so. And it's never been received well. Perhaps people don't like getting "dissenting" views from their friends over email.

Also, many Protestant Christians (myself, even, at one time) take their love of their Christian music very personally. Could be she's very emotionally moved by the song. If you had objected to lyrics in my favorite worship song, I would have felt you had objected to ME. Is that the right way to look at it? Of course not. But emotions are irrational.

Maybe just give her a hug next time you see her and tell her you hope you didn't hurt her feelings, but you thought you ought to speak up. And see where it goes from there. :)

[/quote]

Well, When we differ about faith with someone we are close to it can hurt. I don't think I will do this again. In the past I have shared some of the things about Catholicism to her. She and I listen to the same Christian music station and usually when she loves a song she says, "Oh, you just have to hear this song it is so awesome! The song is always something that we both love, for example,"You light, light, light up the sky and I, I, I can't deny that You are with me" But it was different when we were at coffee. She said real seriously have you heard the song called "One" on Christian radio. So I took it that she really wanted to share the lyrics with me for a reason.

I did say in the e-mail that I hoped I had not offended her by sharing more of my faith. I will give her a hug next time I see her. Thanks for the advice.


#10

I have a long time friend that does this stuff to me too although I think she has finally eased up.
She used to e-mail me with Catholic jokes or send me booklets on being saved or on salvation, all the usual stuff. I just hit delete or after reading the booklets, I file them in the trash can where they belong. Of course she always adds "I'd like your imput once you have read this" and I never respond to that. She always asks me, "Did you receive my e-mail or booklet?" I always say yes, and go on talking about whatever other than the booklet.

She gets the message loud and clear without me having to actually meet her head on which I never mind doing but she is a bit of a special case and I don't think emotionally she would be able to hear my views on her cult. LOL!

I just let it go and she feels like she has done her duty as a member of her cult to try to educate the poor dumb Catholic. ;)

Whatever, let it go, life is too short. I personally think the songs lyrics are so, so. Eh, to each their own.


#11

[quote="onmyknees, post:5, topic:234655"]
Hi Cat, thank you for the advice. I was offended by these lines.

Holding onto our beliefs
Like a child holds to its father
It's like we're trying so hard to breathe
With our heads underneath the water

'Cause we know that life in You
Moves far beyond religion

Is it God's love we're fighting for

Or our denomination's ego?

We got to let go of pride
Embrace the idea of difference

I did not reply to my friend with any criticism I just tried to explain my faith.

I felt like this song was criticizing religions in general, saying that those who practice a religion are full of pride, don't embrace the ideal of difference, and that holding onto our beliefs is suffocating.

[/quote]

I honestly think the disconnect is that you and she have a different understanding of the word "religion." To her, as an evangelical, a "religion" is not ever acceptable; she believes that a "religion" is a man-made system and therefore anti-God.

But to you as a Catholic, "religion" simply means an organization in which to practice a faith. To Catholics, there is no evil connotation at all to the word.

If you email her, just tell her that the two of you see things differently, and ask if you can discuss these differences without criticizing each other or getting offended, and without any ulterior motives of converting the other. You both will learn lots.

I have to admit that I get irritated when people, including my husband, make me listen to songs, especially Christian contemporary songs, and say, "Isn't that great?" More often than not, I don't think it's great at all. What touches one person often leaves another person utterly unaffected or even cold.

So perhaps it would be good to remind your friend (and yourself) that everyone is different when it comes to music. She might get totally emotional and inspired by a song that you find fluffy or off-putting, while you might get teary-eyed over a song that makes her giggle. Music is like that. That's one reason why great songs become great--lots of people like them!


#12

I see nothing wrong with the lyrics although they are a little narrow.. but there are also narrow songs in the catholic church .. songs that deal only with one aspect of Christianty.

I have many Evangelical friends and I discovered early on that they use some words differently than we do. And believe me, we too as Catholics have words that nobody else understand.

My advice to you is to always expect good intentions from friends and family. Your friend was most probably not out to attack anything about your faith
And better to ask: "What do you mean by that and this word?", instead of assuming.

Stay humble.. then you can learn alot about Evangelical culture and faith and she can in turn learn a lot from you. It will benefit you both but it takes a sincere trust and mutual admiration for your exchanges to be fruitful.

Its great that your friend starts to go to church again.
:)


#13

[quote="horselvr, post:10, topic:234655"]
I have a long time friend that does this stuff to me too although I think she has finally eased up.
She used to e-mail me with Catholic jokes or send me booklets on being saved or on salvation, all the usual stuff. I just hit delete or after reading the booklets, I file them in the trash can where they belong. Of course she always adds "I'd like your imput once you have read this" and I never respond to that. She always asks me, "Did you receive my e-mail or booklet?" I always say yes, and go on talking about whatever other than the booklet.

She gets the message loud and clear without me having to actually meet her head on which I never mind doing but she is a bit of a special case and I don't think emotionally she would be able to hear my views on her cult. LOL!

I just let it go and she feels like she has done her duty as a member of her cult to try to educate the poor dumb Catholic. ;)

Whatever, let it go, life is too short. I personally think the songs lyrics are so, so. Eh, to each their own.

[/quote]

Thank you for sharing your similar experience with me horselvr. Actually. my mother who no longer believes in all the Church teachings will send me newspaper articles and whatnot that are written by very liberal Catholics. I just throw them away too.

Yes, I am just going to let this go.


#14

Cat, thank you for the great advice. I think I was being too sensitive. You are right not everyone likes the same songs.


#15

[quote="GraceDK, post:12, topic:234655"]
I see nothing wrong with the lyrics although they are a little narrow.. but there are also narrow songs in the catholic church .. songs that deal only with one aspect of Christianty.

I have many Evangelical friends and I discovered early on that they use some words differently than we do. And believe me, we too as Catholics have words that nobody else understand.

**My advice to you is to always expect good intentions from friends and family. Your friend was most probably not out to attack anything about your faith
And better to ask: "What do you mean by that and this word?", instead of assuming.

Stay humble.. then you can learn alot about Evangelical culture and faith and she can in turn learn a lot from you. It will benefit you both but it takes a sincere trust and mutual admiration for your exchanges to be fruitful.

Its great that your friend starts to go to church again.
:)**

GraceDK, I agree that I need to expect good intentions from friends and family. But I have such a hard time believing that this is their intention when you know someone so well and what they believe I have gone to many different churches in my 27yrs. away from the Church and I have other evangelical friends too so I do know what they believe.

I AM just going to let this go! It is not worth it to loose such a good friend. I did like your advice about just asking what she meant by this or that in the song but I am not going to there. Thank you for your advice. I will try to be more humble.:)

[/quote]


#16

[quote="onmyknees, post:15, topic:234655"]
GraceDK, I agree that I need to expect good intentions from friends and family. But I have such a hard time believing that this is their intention when you know someone so well and what they believe I have gone to many different churches in my 27yrs. away from the Church and I have other evangelical friends too so I do know what they believe.

I AM just going to let this go! It is not worth it to loose such a good friend. I did like your advice about just asking what she meant by this or that in the song but I am not going to there. Thank you for your advice. I will try to be more humble.:)

[/quote]

Who is the artist? I don't know that song, but I'd like to hear it.


#17

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:16, topic:234655"]
Who is the artist? I don't know that song, but I'd like to hear it.

[/quote]

Chris Sligh is the artist. The song is on contemporary Christian radio. Ours here is called Spirit 105.3. I wrote the lyrics out on my first post. I have not heard it yet on the radio.


#18

The song is by former American Idol contestant Chris Sligh (according to Wikipedia), and I found it kind of banal and repetitious myself. "Light Up the Sky" is by The Afters, the video has had regular rotation on JCTV (available through many cable and satellite TV outfits). They just finished touring with Jars of Clay and Mercy Me on The Rock & Roll Worship Circus. I like The Afters song. There are a few concert clips of Sligh's "One" on YouTube, and the official video as well as fan video of The Afters doing "Light Up the Sky". The Alters have a similar style to Jars and Mercy Me, which are favorite bands of mine. I have been a major Jars of Clay fan since they started, my username is both reference to them and the bible verse that inspired their name.

Everybody has different tastes in music, we don't have to like everything. I find a lot of Christian Music to be rather formulaic and insipid, but that's just me. It seems your friend simply wanted to share a song that is meaningful to her. Perhaps the thing to say is "Thank you for sharing, I'm glad the song means something to you." You could redirect things by stating that you really like "Light Up the Sky", since you both share a love for The Afters song. And share what you like about the song. Or about any song that you both happen to like.


#19

[quote="ClayPots47, post:18, topic:234655"]
The song is by former American Idol contestant Chris Sligh (according to Wikipedia), and I found it kind of banal and repetitious myself. "Light Up the Sky" is by The Afters, the video has had regular rotation on JCTV (available through many cable and satellite TV outfits). They just finished touring with Jars of Clay and Mercy Me on The Rock & Roll Worship Circus. I like The Afters song. There are a few concert clips of Sligh's "One" on YouTube, and the official video as well as fan video of The Afters doing "Light Up the Sky". The Alters have a similar style to Jars and Mercy Me, which are favorite bands of mine. I have been a major Jars of Clay fan since they started, my username is both reference to them and the bible verse that inspired their name.

Everybody has different tastes in music, we don't have to like everything. I find a lot of Christian Music to be rather formulaic and insipid, but that's just me. It seems your friend simply wanted to share a song that is meaningful to her. Perhaps the thing to say is "Thank you for sharing, I'm glad the song means something to you." You could redirect things by stating that you really like "Light Up the Sky", since you both share a love for The Afters song. And share what you like about the song. Or about any song that you both happen to like.

[/quote]

Hey Claypots.. why don't you feel like one? A Catholic, I mean.


#20

[quote="onmyknees, post:17, topic:234655"]
Chris Sligh is the artist. The song is on contemporary Christian radio. Ours here is called Spirit 105.3. I wrote the lyrics out on my first post. I have not heard it yet on the radio.

[/quote]

Thanks! I usually like his songs but this one doesn't do anything for me. I guess it reached your friend, but not my cup of tea. I like "Empty Me" from his catalogue, it's got more energy to it And the message is more immediate to me.

:shrug:


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