Religion and friendship

Dear globalcounselor:

I am a 17 year old African Canadian girl. My best friend for the past four years is a 17 year old Nigerian-Canadian girl. We did everything together, we attend the same school, played basketball together, watched movies at each others homes on the weekend, went shopping and joked around a lot. About four months ago, my girlfriend accepted the Lord as her Saviour. She became a born again Christian and since then she has been a pain in the neck. She is not fun to be with anymore. Every word that comes out of her mouth is about God. Instead of going to the movies, she wants me to go to Church with her. She has missed basketball practices because of church activities. I am fed up. I miss our old friendship a lot and I feel lonely because she was my best friend.  But I find that I do not want to answer her phone calls anymore because every second word is about God. I am a Christian too but not so anal about it. How can I save our friendship without getting into a big showdown about her holier-than-thou righteousness.

Holier

Dear Holier:

Give your friend some time to get over the honeymoon phase of her acceptance of Christ. She feels she has found something good and wants to share it with you. Because you are friends she wants you to be on the same side.  If she is super serious about her Christianity, the nature of your friendship may change permanently because people tend to gravitate towards those who are most like themselves i.e. those who share similar beliefs. Being a member of  the born again Christian community  can also be taxing on its members. It has a way of keeping its members fully occupied with programs and activities to which you may not be privy to. 

In the meantime, you have to have a heart to heart talk with your friend to let her know that you are not interested in turning your conversations into a religious sermon and that if the friendship is to continue she would have to stop trying to change you into a born again Christian.  You need to extend your circle of friends so that you are not so dependent on this one friend.

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