I have a friend who is SDA, a particularly strict one at that. I feel like she’s always trying to push me into religious discussions about the end-times, prophecy, and/or whether Beyonce & Jay-Z are a part of the Illuminati – of which I know NOTHING. To be honest, I’m not really interested in it. These seem important to her and other than that she’s a great friend. How can I tell her to back off? Should I?
Beyonce and Jay-Z huh? Well if that’s true, the illuminati are way for fashionable than I would have thought. That’s an example of making jokes so lame that they never bring it up again, which is my go to coping mechanism for such situations. That’s not for everyone, so let’s take a look at some less juvenile options.
Everybody has something that they love talking about that isn’t particularly interesting to their friends. I could talk for hours about European history, Simpsons trivia, or Green Arrow, but I would be talking to myself after everyone I know ran for the hills.
There is the added element that talking about the end times is kind of an exercise in futility. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus says of the passing away of the world “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” There is some mysterious trinity stuff going on there, but I’m pretty sure it is safe to say that if Jesus doesn’t know when the end is coming, your friend and an internet forum aren’t going to figure it out.
“I’m not really interested in that” is a perfectly acceptable thing to say, though there is not guarantee as to how your friend will react to that. Nobody really wants to hear “that is really dumb and boring” about their pet subject, but you can be a little more subtle. After she says something about end times you could try to steer in a different direction by saying something like “I’ve never thought much about that. The passage that’s really been blowing my mind lately is X.”
If the friendship is working for you otherwise, this might just be a quirk you put up with and try to work at little by little. Maybe it is a bit of a phase that she will move past, maybe real life will replace this uber-theoretical stuff. Pray both for patience and for the wisdom to know when to try to roll with it and when to be frankly honest with her.
-Matt from The Bridge