I have a dear friend who is Christian. I’m Agnostic. I understand how much his faith means to him and gives him comfort, etc., and I respect that, which I’ve told him.
I’ve made it clear that I am an Agnostic and spiritual but . Is not Christian. Unfortunately, it seems that he’s on a mission to convert me. I’ve told him many times that I respect how much his faith means to him, but that I don’t share it.
I think it’s time to tell him I don’t want to discuss it any further and to please stop trying to “help me find my God,” etc.
But, I worry it’s going to be a friendship ender. Since he’s convinced that his God is real and that I’d be happy if only I “knew Him,” etc., I worry that he won’t give me the same respect I’ve given him regarding his religion, with an equal respect of my lack of one.
There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of acceptance of non-believers. What can I do to save this relationship?
Dear Agnostic Friend,
“I love you and this relationship means a lot to me. It’s important for you to know that I feel uncomfortable when you do X, Y and Z because it feels like you’re trying to convert me to your religion instead of respecting where I am in my spiritual journey. Is that your intent?”
Then listen to his response…He’ll likely say because he cares about you he’s sharing what’s precious to him – and I think that’s great – what you want to communicate is not necessarily “don’t share with me” but rather, understand that our opinions are different and I want to feel respected even though we’re different.
I know nothing about this man but if he’s a good guy that you’ve been friends with for a long time, I’m confident that he’ll hear you out and make moves to adjust to your needs.
Stay kind, give him a chance to talk, and reinforce how important this relationship is to you, this conversation will go just fine.