• If you're Christian but don't believe in heaven and/or hell: why not?

    At a church event yesterday, I was surprised to see that a lot of my fellow congregants don't believe in hell. Some don't even believe in an afterlife, or they're not sure. I certainly believe in heaven and hell: * The Bible specifically mentions both heaven and hell. * My grandfather was clinically dead for a bit and experienced the... show more
    At a church event yesterday, I was surprised to see that a lot of my fellow congregants don't believe in hell. Some don't even believe in an afterlife, or they're not sure. I certainly believe in heaven and hell: * The Bible specifically mentions both heaven and hell. * My grandfather was clinically dead for a bit and experienced the afterlife, and he described it. There are plenty of people who've had near-death experiences, and their experiences seem consistent. So, if you're a Christian and don't believe in hell- and/or heaven and an afterlife generally- why not? I'm legitimately curious.
    20 answers · Religion & Spirituality · 1 week ago
  • Would you go to this wedding, and would this excuse be OK?

    My cousin, who I haven't seen in 6 years, is getting married. He comes to my town every now and then and doesn't contact me, but somehow I got a wedding invitation, a 3 hour flight away, requiring a hotel room, and no date (I'm single). Would you go? I've told my parents that I'll house-sit for them so that they can go;... show more
    My cousin, who I haven't seen in 6 years, is getting married. He comes to my town every now and then and doesn't contact me, but somehow I got a wedding invitation, a 3 hour flight away, requiring a hotel room, and no date (I'm single). Would you go? I've told my parents that I'll house-sit for them so that they can go; they're also a 3-hour flight away, but a weekend in their nice big house...WITH THEIR DOG, who I'm crazy about, sounds totally relaxing. They agreed. My mother is telling people, "John can't make it to the wedding because he had agreed to dog-sit for us so that we could go." Isn't that offensive? Shouldn't she just say, "he has a conflict and couldn't make it?" Thanks.
    23 answers · Weddings · 2 weeks ago
  • Republicans, when Trump is defeated in 2020, can we remove his enablers from the GOP and get our party back?

    I was a lifelong Republican activist until Donald Trump received the 2016 nomination. Since then, my party--the party of honesty, care for taxpayers, rational policies and care for all people as individuals- has become something that I don't recognize. Now, loving Russia, being fine with a wannabe dictator (Trump), raising taxes (as long... show more
    I was a lifelong Republican activist until Donald Trump received the 2016 nomination. Since then, my party--the party of honesty, care for taxpayers, rational policies and care for all people as individuals- has become something that I don't recognize. Now, loving Russia, being fine with a wannabe dictator (Trump), raising taxes (as long as the payer is someone else), and promoting pure tribalism in politics is what the Trump GOP stands for. There's almost no way that Trump will be re-elected, with his low approval ratings. When Trump is gone, will Trump's enablers be removed from office, too? Will we traditional Republicans be able to get our party back?
    44 answers · Politics · 3 weeks ago
  • Mother constantly talks about loathesome sister-in-law: lack of forgiveness?

    My mother CONSTANTLY talks about my father's sister, who is really a nasty woman and did some pretty bad things to my mother (and father). However, none of us have seen the sister in 18 years! My mother talks about how the sister was never required to work, how the sister was described as "mean" by other relatives, how the sister... show more
    My mother CONSTANTLY talks about my father's sister, who is really a nasty woman and did some pretty bad things to my mother (and father). However, none of us have seen the sister in 18 years! My mother talks about how the sister was never required to work, how the sister was described as "mean" by other relatives, how the sister didn't do very well in college, etc. My thoughts: 1. Who cares? 2. My mother and I are both Christians. We are required to forgive, if we want to be forgiven (I sure do want to be). (My mother also talks nonstop about how much she hates Donald Trump.) So I see a trend: my mother has bitterness against some people and won't let it go. OK to perhaps send my mother an article about forgiveness or something? I understand why my mother hates the sister (and Donald Trump), but come on--the nonstop talking about them gets old! Thanks.
    8 answers · Family · 3 weeks ago
  • Answering your phone in a restaurant, and texting while in church: rude?

    If you're at a restaurant and are finishing up dinner, or in the middle of a meal, is it rude to answer your phone? Further, if you're in the middle of a church service, is it rude to keep your phone on and check emails and text? I have a close family member who does both. I find both really distracting, but I need to learn to deal with... show more
    If you're at a restaurant and are finishing up dinner, or in the middle of a meal, is it rude to answer your phone? Further, if you're in the middle of a church service, is it rude to keep your phone on and check emails and text? I have a close family member who does both. I find both really distracting, but I need to learn to deal with it, I'd guess. Thanks.
    1 answer · Etiquette · 3 weeks ago
  • Colleague who constantly calls instead of emails: OK to tell him to email?

    I have a few co-workers who are right down the hall from me and will only call me: they won't stop by and they usually won't email. I HATE the phone with a passion; it's an unnecessary interruption, it's a pain to check voicemail and it's a time-waster, and I have trying to hold the handset and type. OK to tell these people... show more
    I have a few co-workers who are right down the hall from me and will only call me: they won't stop by and they usually won't email. I HATE the phone with a passion; it's an unnecessary interruption, it's a pain to check voicemail and it's a time-waster, and I have trying to hold the handset and type. OK to tell these people to please email or just come by in person? They are not senior to me. Their phone calls are almost always for things that could be done by email. Thanks.
    18 answers · Other - Careers & Employment · 3 weeks ago
  • Brother and family coming to town (for tourism): OK to let them tell me how much they want me around?

    I live in a large touristy city. My brother and his wife and kids are coming to town next month, staying in a hotel. He let me know they're coming: late one Thursday through Sunday morning. Not sure how popular I am with them (they dislike our mother, who I am similar to). I also have work plus a church commitment (they are atheists) during... show more
    I live in a large touristy city. My brother and his wife and kids are coming to town next month, staying in a hotel. He let me know they're coming: late one Thursday through Sunday morning. Not sure how popular I am with them (they dislike our mother, who I am similar to). I also have work plus a church commitment (they are atheists) during part of their visit. They asked me to babysit for 2 hours on Friday night so that my brother and his wife can go see a show. Other than that, they didn't specify getting together, although last time my sister in law was in town with children, she reached out and we got together a few times. So: let THEM tell me when they want to get together--do I just say, "let me know when you want to get together"? I'm sure that they don't want me shadowing them the whole time they're here. I'd like to see them but don't want to impose. Thanks.
    5 answers · Family · 4 weeks ago
  • Evangelical Trump supporters, when the Bible says not to associate with Christians who are immoral, how can you still support Trump?

    1 Corinthians 5:11 says: But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. Donald Trump says that he's Christian. How can you evangelicals still associate with, and... show more
    1 Corinthians 5:11 says: But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. Donald Trump says that he's Christian. How can you evangelicals still associate with, and support, a self-proclaimed Christian who sleeps with an adult film star just after his wife had a baby? FYI, I have voted for a Republican for every single election and for every single office except three times, since 1992.
    13 answers · Religion & Spirituality · 4 weeks ago
  • Rude to step over church pew to leave if people in your row are standing there talking after the service?

    After today’s church service ended, I had to leave. A group of people towards the end of the row just stood there, talking. I didn’t want to interrupt them, so I just stepped over the pew and left via the empty row behind me. The group of people immediately apologized. They did nothing wrong, and I told them that it was OK and that they were... show more
    After today’s church service ended, I had to leave. A group of people towards the end of the row just stood there, talking. I didn’t want to interrupt them, so I just stepped over the pew and left via the empty row behind me. The group of people immediately apologized. They did nothing wrong, and I told them that it was OK and that they were fine. Was I rude, though? Thanks.
    2 answers · Religion & Spirituality · 1 month ago
  • Do you like church, except for the people?

    I really enjoy worship services, classes and community service events at church. I figure that I want to know what the Bible says and what it means for us today, and I want to volunteer. I despise small groups, don't care for coffee hour and don't like anything involving group discussions: crazy people or extraverts dominate the... show more
    I really enjoy worship services, classes and community service events at church. I figure that I want to know what the Bible says and what it means for us today, and I want to volunteer. I despise small groups, don't care for coffee hour and don't like anything involving group discussions: crazy people or extraverts dominate the conversation and take the discussion off track. All of those things are inefficient uses of time, since the amount of learning or working is low, and the amount of yammering is high. Are you the same way: do you like church, except for the people, or events that involve a lot of "community"?
    8 answers · Religion & Spirituality · 2 months ago
  • If your friend is a racist, automatically end the friendship?

    I have a co-worker from my last job, 10 years ago, that I still keep up with. I always liked her (I am a he, but we're far apart in age, and so there's nothing romantic.) We have similar views about things. She lives 600 miles away and so I see her once a year, but keep up over email. Unfortunately her new boyfriend is clearly a racist:... show more
    I have a co-worker from my last job, 10 years ago, that I still keep up with. I always liked her (I am a he, but we're far apart in age, and so there's nothing romantic.) We have similar views about things. She lives 600 miles away and so I see her once a year, but keep up over email. Unfortunately her new boyfriend is clearly a racist: we went to lunch and he repeatedly used the N-word. Unfortunately I think that she is perhaps racially intolerant: she didn't bat an eyelid when he said the N-word, and she said, I call black people 'Canadians' so people won't know what I'm talking about." She's also forwarded a few racially intolerant emails. This kind of behavior is NOT OK. Do I: A. Cut them both off? B. Mention to her how uncomfortable I was with her boyfriend's language, so she'd get the message that racism isn't OK? C. Something else? I'm thinking B? Thanks.
    6 answers · Friends · 2 months ago
  • Christians, I don't see that the Bible tells us to love ourselves. Am I wrong?

    I have heard a few things during recent church services that indicate that the Bible requires us to love ourselves. I read the verses that are cited for that and don't see that they say that we are to love ourselves. What am I missing? For example, of course we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Most people may love themselves and so... show more
    I have heard a few things during recent church services that indicate that the Bible requires us to love ourselves. I read the verses that are cited for that and don't see that they say that we are to love ourselves. What am I missing? For example, of course we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Most people may love themselves and so they then are to love others the same way. But that doesn't say "love yourself"; it just says to love others the same way.
    21 answers · Religion & Spirituality · 2 months ago
  • Why is it not allowed in the US to acknowledge that the US is NOT the greatest country in history?

    In the US, we constantly hear that the US is the greatest nation in human history. However, it's not. Why is acknowledging that the US is not the greatest not permitted? Wealthy? Plenty of countries have higher incomes. Safe? No. Come on. Classless? No. The US has a poor population stuck at the bottom to a greater extent than other... show more
    In the US, we constantly hear that the US is the greatest nation in human history. However, it's not. Why is acknowledging that the US is not the greatest not permitted? Wealthy? Plenty of countries have higher incomes. Safe? No. Come on. Classless? No. The US has a poor population stuck at the bottom to a greater extent than other countries, which have more social mobility and improving incomes for the poor. #1 in education? No. The US population i no longer the world's most educated. Etc., etc., etc. The US is perhaps more livable than most other countries, but it's far from perfect, and if we are forced to believe that the US is the greatest country, without flaw, then we'll never fix the problems that we have.
    10 answers · Politics · 2 months ago
  • Why are Hispanics entitled to have their names pronounced as they are in Spanish, and have accent marks, but other people aren't?

    In the last 15 years or so, Hispanics have increasingly been entitled to have accent marks (as in Spanish) added to their names, and their names pronounced as in Spanish. I'm "ethnic", and my name is from a non-English-speaking country. Why the double standard? Why am I not entitled to have my name pronounced as in its original... show more
    In the last 15 years or so, Hispanics have increasingly been entitled to have accent marks (as in Spanish) added to their names, and their names pronounced as in Spanish. I'm "ethnic", and my name is from a non-English-speaking country. Why the double standard? Why am I not entitled to have my name pronounced as in its original language, with accent marks, but Hispanics are?
    2 answers · Languages · 2 months ago
  • Friend just had a baby (maybe married) with lady I went out with twice: awkward?

    Should this be awkward for any of us? One lady at my church clearly wanted to go out, so we went to lunch twice. Then she was busy the next two times I asked, and so I moved on. Then she acted weird: emailing me once to ask if I would meet one of her friends, and showing up once at a non-church event that I mentioned I'd be attending, and... show more
    Should this be awkward for any of us? One lady at my church clearly wanted to go out, so we went to lunch twice. Then she was busy the next two times I asked, and so I moved on. Then she acted weird: emailing me once to ask if I would meet one of her friends, and showing up once at a non-church event that I mentioned I'd be attending, and acting all surprised to see me (right!). Now she bought an apartment with another one of my non-church friends and had a baby with him (not sure if they're married), and they both now show up at my church. I run into them every few Sundays. I had actually forgotten her name, and when I saw her last time, I just said "Good to see you" and shook her hand, and she said, "Hi" and mentioned my name. I like my friend- he's cool- but I found her strange. Should this be awkward for any of us? If anyone would be feeling awkward, who should? I'm glad she connected with my friend, as he's a good guy. Thanks.
    6 answers · Singles & Dating · 2 months ago
  • Christians, would you prioritize a church officer's retreat over your relatives' annual visit, or your relatives over the church event?

    I have been a regular at my church for about 20 years, and I've been asked to serve as a trustee. This is the 5th time I've been a church officer, both at my current church and others. We have an installation ceremony during a worship service, and the day before is an all-day officers' retreat. It's just one of several events... show more
    I have been a regular at my church for about 20 years, and I've been asked to serve as a trustee. This is the 5th time I've been a church officer, both at my current church and others. We have an installation ceremony during a worship service, and the day before is an all-day officers' retreat. It's just one of several events before we start our terms; we have another 4-hour training session and some classes, too. Turns out that weekend is when my brother, sister in law and their children are coming to my city. They aren't staying with me, but I see them twice a year, and so I'd prefer to spend time with them. If I tell the church that I have a pre-existing obligation, then I know I'll be told by some people, "you clearly have higher priorities". If I tell my relatives that I have a church commitment, they'll say, "you clearly have higher priorities than us." My relatives are atheists and say that "church is a cult". Mine isn't; it's a mainstream church in the center of town; a church that has been there for over 100 years and is pretty liberal. So, is it reasonable to: (1) Attend the officers' retreat for a few hours on Saturday, likely when my relatives are back at their hotel, but attend only when they wouldn't have something planned together with me? (2) Attend the worship service (which I wouldn't miss) and invite my relatives, but not expect them to come? Or would you just skip the officers' retreat? Thanks.
    5 answers · Religion & Spirituality · 2 months ago
  • How come Democrats didn't mind that Communist Russia wanted to destroy us, but now they're upset about its interference in elections?

    I cannot stand Trump and am appalled that his Republican enablers don't mind Russia's interference in our elections. However, aren't Democrats complete hypocrites? I remember the Cold War. Russia was Communist and wanted to destroy us. Democrats back then said, "oh, it's nothing to worry about." But now that Russia... show more
    I cannot stand Trump and am appalled that his Republican enablers don't mind Russia's interference in our elections. However, aren't Democrats complete hypocrites? I remember the Cold War. Russia was Communist and wanted to destroy us. Democrats back then said, "oh, it's nothing to worry about." But now that Russia helps a Republican, they're up in arms. What gives?
    9 answers · Politics · 2 months ago
  • OK to list church activities on your biography webpage on your company's website, if you live in a secular area?

    I'm very active in my church, and have been a deacon for 3 terms, a trustee for part of a term and am now starting my second term as a trustee. I work in a professional services firm (think accounting, law, PR, etc.). Each member of the firm has a biography page on the firm's website, with our picture, educational background, relevant job... show more
    I'm very active in my church, and have been a deacon for 3 terms, a trustee for part of a term and am now starting my second term as a trustee. I work in a professional services firm (think accounting, law, PR, etc.). Each member of the firm has a biography page on the firm's website, with our picture, educational background, relevant job experience and "community involvement". I have always only listed community involvement things that are directly relevant to my job, but is it OK to list "Trustee, Church ABCDEFG"? I'm less concerned about a negative reaction from prospective clients than I am about someone thinking that I go to church for career purposes. I definitely don't. I live in a very secular city, and we regular churchgoers are very rare. Thanks.
    7 answers · Religion & Spirituality · 2 months ago
  • Best comeback to, "You should wear a coat; it's cold!"?

    At the gym EVERY SINGLE MORNING, another regular scolds me as I'm walking out: "You should wear a coat! It's cold!" I walk just one short block home (as I live in a downtown area). It's not enough time in the cold to make it worthwhile to wear a coat and have to store it in the locker room, and he knows that. Maybe he's... show more
    At the gym EVERY SINGLE MORNING, another regular scolds me as I'm walking out: "You should wear a coat! It's cold!" I walk just one short block home (as I live in a downtown area). It's not enough time in the cold to make it worthwhile to wear a coat and have to store it in the locker room, and he knows that. Maybe he's being friendly, but he's not friendly; he's not a nice person. So, other than "shut up!", what's the best comeback to "You should wear a coat; it's cold!", every single day? Thanks.
    1 answer · Etiquette · 2 months ago