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Old 12-19-2018, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jude24 View Post
Wow, I am seriously looking for a place for us to retire and if the worst thing is that there are a lot of churches and religious people, this is sounding pretty good. I should probably be in the Western NC forum, because I am determined to end up in the Blue Ridge Mountains somewhere, but this thread fascinated me. I have lived in 3 different states and in places small enough to have only one stoplight, and in the Los Angeles area. I have traveled in about 30 of the states and I hear similar likes and dislikes just about everywhere. No place reached out and grabbed me like my first time in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In GA, TN, VA, and NC there is an amazing amount of beauty, and I have enjoyed the hospitality of the people. I try to be a good neighbor, and it seems to me like the majority of people are that way. I have been invited to churches, synagogues and Sikh and Hare Krishna events. None of those invitations ever offended me. I am wondering a little after reading this if there is real hostility toward Christians there.
No but it is considered to be a personal subject that even friends don't pry their noses into, much less total strangers.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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There's not a whole lot of hostility toward Christians, but there is a lot of evangelical Christianity in the South. One of the tenets of evangelical Christianity is you are supposed to go out and proselytize and convert people. People who don't want to be converted get tired of being approached and proselytized upon, so if you come from a region of the country where there aren't as many evangelicals you may find that level of proselytizing new.
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:35 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
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Originally Posted by architect77 View Post
No but it is considered to be a personal subject that even friends don't pry their noses into, much less total strangers.
It's also important to remember that along with spiritual enrichment, one of the church's functions in much of rural NC has been a community focal point where people in the community come together to support each other and socialize. That's much less likely to be the case in the larger metros (i.e. Charlotte, Raleigh) where places of worship are more stratified and specialized based on a particular religion and even sub-niche and doctrine of a particular region and I think people are less likely to identify with worshiping somewhere just because it's part of their neighborhood.

With that in mind, within those rural communities, there's a different cultural relationship with the church. I don't think that the intent of country people inviting a newcomer to church is to pry into and judge someone's spiritual life although it's always possible it is for some people. If they're inviting someone to their church, the intent is very likely to be that they're wanting the new person to be welcomed into their community, of which the church is a large part. For someone not used to that, it can easily be misinterpreted.

Last edited by Jowel; 12-20-2018 at 03:47 PM..
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:37 AM
 
Location: Garbage, NC
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Originally Posted by poppydog View Post
There's not a whole lot of hostility toward Christians, but there is a lot of evangelical Christianity in the South. One of the tenets of evangelical Christianity is you are supposed to go out and proselytize and convert people. People who don't want to be converted get tired of being approached and proselytized upon, so if you come from a region of the country where there aren't as many evangelicals you may find that level of proselytizing new.
Hmmm. I was born and raised in North Carolina, and although there are a lot of things that I don't like about this state, I don't know that the average person would find the proselytizing to be anything more than what they've experienced in other places.

In pretty much any state in the US, the main proselytizing that you'll find comes from Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons, both of which have higher concentrations in other states than in North Carolina. (although they do exist and do come around from time to time).

More than proselytizing, I find more of an assumption that you're a Christian when you're communicating with North Carolinians. I don't see or hear too much "Let me tell you about the Lord." But if you tell people around here that you don't believe in God, then you more or less get a jaw-dropped stare of confusion, a stutter... Now, they may think poorly about you or gossip about you at home (particularly in the more rural areas...you might just be a "Satan-worshipper"), but overt proselytizing isn't something I have routinely experienced. (Although YMMV)

Then again, I don't necessarily see invitations of "You're welcome to join us at our church on Sunday..." or "I bet your boys would love our Sunday School program!" (which are somewhat common) as proselytizing, unless the "invitations" escalate after a "No thank you" is given. In an area where the vast majority of people who you meet are Christian, it's not unreasonable to "assume" that the next person is, too. In my opinion (others may disagree), that's being welcoming, not proselytizing.
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Old 12-21-2018, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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Inviting you to church is definitely proselytizing. I don't get it much in Chapel Hill, but other places and times I have lived in NC I definitely was prayed for and blessed and invited to church more than I ever was when I lived in LA (which was exactly zero times).
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Garbage, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppydog View Post
Inviting you to church is definitely proselytizing. I don't get it much in Chapel Hill, but other places and times I have lived in NC I definitely was prayed for and blessed and invited to church more than I ever was when I lived in LA (which was exactly zero times).
I don't think it's usually intended to be, though.
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Old 12-22-2018, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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I dunno, I think they wouldn't invite you if they didn't hope you might want to join the church.
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Old 12-22-2018, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Garbage, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppydog View Post
I dunno, I think they wouldn't invite you if they didn't hope you might want to join the church.
Proselytizing involves trying to sell someone on your religion. I think in North Carolina, most people just assume that you're already Christian. So they think you're already sold on the religion part...they're just trying to welcome you to their specific church.

I mean, I'm atheist, so I get where you're coming from. I don't really enjoy religious conversations or invitations myself. I just don't normally think people mean harm by it.
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Old 12-22-2018, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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I think the intent is to sell you on their church. I grew up going to church and even though we were not evangelical there was some talk of "witnessing" to the community and the intent to bring others into the fold.
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Old 12-23-2018, 07:22 AM
 
3,461 posts, read 3,155,204 times
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Originally Posted by poppydog View Post
I think the intent is to sell you on their church. I grew up going to church and even though we were not evangelical there was some talk of "witnessing" to the community and the intent to bring others into the fold.
I have lived in NC most of my life (Charlotte, Durham, and Greensboro). DC and other places as well. Maybe some of y'all look like sinners or something but other than the occasional Jehovah's witness knocking on the door (which I can count on my hand)….zilcho, nothing about religion at work, mall, etc. Which indeed has happened in DC (Jehovah's knocking on door). Maybe it's because I'm an engineer and most of us exist in the abstract by default.


Even if someone were to pray for me, so be it....if that's the worst thing that happens to me that day I would consider that a good day. Who knows, maybe there is a God and that simple prayer helped. In most big city, you get solicited for much more crap on every corner than a simple (extremely infrequent if ever) invitation to church or a prayer.
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