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How Do I Get Out of My Office Bible Study?

How Do I Get Out of My Office Bible Study?

538, the statistics and polling blog has a new advice column. The first one is on office Bible studies.

I Think I Lost My Faith. How Do I Get Out Of My Office Bible Study?

Lately I started going to a Bible study at work to try and reconnect with the faith (I’ve grown up Christian, but it was never a big part of my life). The experience has been both positive and negative, as the study group is extremely friendly (and helpful) but also homophobic and wildly misinformed. It’s getting to the point where the discussions always leave me frustrated because of how passionately some members believe things that are clearly wrong or immoral. Through many conversations and arguments, I’ve actually come to the conclusion that I don’t really believe in the faith anymore (certainly not the bigoted and anti-science aspects).

Now I don’t know what to do. I don’t think I should keep going to the Bible study, but I can’t just stop showing up forever without getting asked about it. (I see several of these people every day.) Should I tell them the truth (that I don’t believe anymore and think many of their opinions are morally wrong)? Or, should I just make something up about scheduling conflicts to avoid potential fallout of de-converting? — John in Georgia

Read their answers here and see what others have said. What is your advice?

 

 

Image: By Shimer Collegehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/shimercollege/8247904864/in/set-72157628212214457/, CC BY 2.0, Link wikimedia commons

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leslie marshall

My 'go to' explanation for basically anything is:

"I'm unable to attend." Smile. (resist the urge to apologize!) Don't add any explanation.

If you say, "Sorry, I can't.", "Sorry, I don't have time.", or "I don't want to."...people always read into it. But, if you say you are 'unable' to do something, they actually believe you. In fact, they become sympathetic rather than judgmental.

[I hope you find a bible study that you like, or you could start your own. ]

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Philip Snyder

I was part of a Bible Study at work - and even taught it for a while (we all took turns either teaching it or finding a teacher for it). I was considered the group's "liberal" because I believed that the oral tradition was older than the written Gospels and that Tradition should hold significant weight when it comes to interpreting Holy Scripture.

I would start out by asking *why* the member of the group believe the way they do. Never assume that their beliefs are grounded in fear or hatred as that assumption starts with the idea that your beliefs are superior to their beliefs because your's are obviously not grounded in fear or hatred. When you've listened to them and respected their understanding, then it may be time to share your own beliefs and why you believe them.

In a bible study, it is important to let the Scriptures teach you rather than you teaching the Scriptures.

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Linda McMillan

These four words should have been a clue: Bible Study At Work. But, you don't have to go, and you shouldn't have to explain yourself either. It it's an issue, it's time to dust off the resume.

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Mary Mendenhall

If a comment bothers you, and it's related to the study, ask "Do the Scriptures as a whole support that?"
If opinions trump Love, you may just simply leave. If anyone asks why, say you have an important date with Jesus.

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Philip Snyder

Also if opinions trump scripture, then simply leave. If what you believe is at variance with the witness of Holy Scripture and with the teaching of the unbroken Church, then what you believe may be wrong - even if you believe that your beliefs are grounded in "love."

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Jay Croft

The employee simply has to say, "I've decided not to attend, for the present." No further information need be given.

By the way, many Episcopal churches offer Bible study (I prefer to call them "Bible discussion") groups in the evenings or at other convenient times. These groups are not of the type described in the question.

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