I'm taking a totally OT pollplease answer

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by PepperGirl52, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. PepperGirl52

    PepperGirl52 New Member

    This is probably going to be the weirdest poll you've ever taken but it's true! Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent, and not so innocent.

    I really need to know and try to understand what the majority of people here think about this situation. I don't think it will change my mind-I can't back down on my standards, but I guess I'm hoping for some validation.

    OK, here goes. I have had a very close friend-we're talking 20+ years, until 2 years ago. She and her husband are missionaries (won't name the organization), Protestant, though. Have been since before they knew me. I knew she liked to drink alcohol when we were friends, and I was ok with the occasional wine/beer, etc. But it started going beyond that-WAY beyond that a few years ago.

    It was getting to the point that she was carrying it with her when she visited people, and she would go into their bathrooms, and put it in her coffee, etc. When she'd be at my house, she'd be drinking by 10:am, you get the point. She'd call around 2:pm, and she'd be snookered. OK, that's just part of it. They rely on God-fearing, decent people for their monetary support. These people send them X amount of money each month so they can 'spread the gospel'.

    The 2nd part of this is, once, in a drunken-stupor, she confided in me that she and hubby are also members of a nudist colony. And I mean ACTIVE members. They regularly visit the colonies on their way back and forth to missionary seminars, etc, and while on vacations. Of course, no one but me knows about this.

    I finally told her that I just couldn't allow her lifestyle to be a part of my relationship with her anymore. I have friends who have been supporting them for years! Good friends who are DECENT people! And, I actually did tell one of my closer friends what was going on, and they dropped their support immediately.

    That was 2 years ago. Just recently, she started emailing me again, and we tried to strike up our relationship again. It was hard-I do miss her and the good times we had-she was a very kind and caring friend. But, the bottom line is, I CANNOT tolerate what they do for a living, and add that to what they do that they can't tell to anyone, because it is not something that their supporters would agree on. Do you get where I'm coming from? So, anyway, our relationship ended again, because 1) she hasn't changed, and 2) I can't accept this.

    What do you guys think. Do you think it's ok for them to do whatever they want in the privacy of their own lives, while other people support them? I mean, Jim Baker and Jim Swaggart lost their entire ministries for similar activities, did they not? What do you all feel about this? I really appreciate feedback here! THANKS!!
  2. boltchik

    boltchik New Member

    Hi! The thing that I might be concerned with is her actually ability to do the ministry work when she is not sober enough to make good decisions for said work. Personally, I would not give my money to someone I felt did not have control over their own lives. I do not know anything about nudist colonies, so I can't say much on the subject. The one thing that does come to mind though is "coveting your neighbor, (or rather your neighbor's wife or husband). It seems that it would be much easier to break your vows of marriage when you are running around with a bunch of nude people.

    I don't know her, so I don't know how she actually feels about the work she is doing, how her relationship with God is, or if she is just in it for the money. Have you ever asked to help her with her drinking problem? Or does she refuse help? If the friendship is this stressful for you, sometimes it is good to move on. But that is just my personal experience. If you feel she may be taking money from people and it is not going to the right place, can you talk confidentially with your minister about this? I hope you are able to come to a conclusion and find some peace on the subject. Kim :)
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  3. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    I like boltchick's response when she stated,
    "If you feel she may be taking money from people and it is not going to the right place, can you talk confidentially with your minister about this?"

    I'm not quite sure what you should do.

    You stated, "I CANNOT tolerate what they do for a living".

    I got confused here.

    I was trying to figure out whether you cannot tolerate bing a missionary---OR---you can't tolerate what hypocrits they are when they pretend to be Godly.

    I'm assuming that you meant the latter.

    GEESH! I really am struggling with this on.

    I think I'd ask her outright whether she is still drinking and going to nudist camps. Tell her that you are so uncomfortable with this that you cannot rekindle the relationship.

    This may be a good "wake-up" call for her. If she gets upset, well-----it doesn't change the facts of the situation.

    I guess the thing that bothers me the most is whether they are using the donated $ for these vacations in a nudist colony and the liquor. THAT seems to bother me the most.

    I'd ask your minister. There are sooooooooo many ramifications to this. I think you need a pastor's/rabi's/ someone's professional advice.

    I can see why you are struggling with this one. Life isn't easy.
  4. PepperGirl52

    PepperGirl52 New Member

    Yes, I have offered to help her with the alcoholism. I even offered to use my own money and go to the place they live (out of the country), and be near her while she goes through rehab, but she, like so many other abusers, insists that she does NOT have a problem. Both her parents, and brother and sister are abusers of something. Both parents were alcoholics who beat and sexually abused all 3 of their children. Brother has been married 8+ times, and sister is 100+ pounds overweight.

    Yes, they use the funds of those who support them to buy the booze and go to the colonies. That is the only money they have-they have no other jobs!

    When I said I'm so sick of what they do, I meant leading a double life.

    I hope that helps to answer some of the questions you had.
    Thank you so much for your intake!! I appreciate it.
    I DID talk to my pastor, but he is in no way affiliated with this organization, and has no power of what they do, and therefore, can't do anything about it. He was stunned and appalled, just as I am.

    I am equally as sickened by the alcoholism as I am about the nudity. I agree that any man who would allow his wife to be naked in the midst of other men, is just sick. Not to mention that he, himself is reaping a benefit that most healthy, uncontrolled men would certainly enjoy!! It's a win-win situation for him, and just the thought of him makes me want to puke!

    Thanks again-any more input would be appreciated!!! I need as much ideas out there as possible.
  5. boltchik

    boltchik New Member

    Thanks for coming back and answering more questions. Well, I am troubled that they are completely supported by church contributors and are using this money to support an alcohol habit and a lifestyle probably not becoming of a missionary. They chose to put themselves in this position and upon doing so knew that they would be examples for other church members. It is unfair that these members are willingly giving money to an organization where they feel they are helping with God's work.

    It is none of my business what people do in their personal lives. But I would feel it was my business if my hard, earned money was going to help support something other than what I thought it was originally for.

    I would feel an obligation to my close friends to tell them about the situation. If they knew that you knew and did not say something, you could lose even more friends. This is just my humble opinion. How close are you to these other people whom you feel are being cheated?
    I do not like to judge people whatsoever, I feel that is not up to me. But I also feel that some of your other friends are being cheated out of their hard-earned money.
    Those are my thoughts, sorry you are in such a rough spot. Let us know how it goes. Kim :)
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  6. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    I like boltchick's comment when she stated, "It is none of my business what people do in their personal lives. But I would feel it was my business if my hard, earned money was going to help support something other than what I thought it was originally for."

    I go on for paragraphs, and boltchick sums it up in 2 sentences!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I'm a bit surprised that your minister didn't offer you any advice how to handle this. He doesn't have to belong to the same organization to have an opinion what you should do.
  7. boltchik

    boltchik New Member

    Your comments are very kind. Kim :)
  8. PepperGirl52

    PepperGirl52 New Member

    When I talked to him, it was after the fact. I had already laid the law down to my friend and told her I couldn't be in a relationship with someone whom I felt was cheating other people out of their money-pretending to be one thing and living a life that's completely different. It's basically hypocricy and living a double life.

    There really wasn't anything that I expected my Pastor to do or say. He backed me 100%, and offered to support me-he doesn't even know these people!

    As far as the people who support them-I only know of ONE couple, and they are good friends of mine. As I said before, I laid it out on the table with them, and they immediately stopped supporting them. They felt the exact way I did-there are missionaries on the field who are working hard, risking their lives, to do God's work. They are also living upright lives, not hanging out in bars in the evenings, when no one is around, and going to nudist camps on their vacations where God knows what is going on. I don't want to be prejudiced either, but I do know, that scriptually, nudity, outside of a marriage relationship has always been noted as shameful. It just amazes me how people-all of us in some way or another-can justify some of the things we do. Thanks again!
  9. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    They are living a lie. They are hypocrits. They are probably causing people who are considering a conversion to not do it. Would you follow someone who was such a phony????

    You know that they have to be drunk in front of the people they are supposed to be helping. Can you imagine what these native people must think of this religion stuff?

    Bad seeds come in every segment of society. It doesn't matter whether one is rich or poor, one's ethnicity, one's political beliefs, etc. Look at Jim and Tammy Fae Baker. Look at Enron. There are so many examples ----

    This is making me sad.
  10. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I have not had the time to read all of the responses that you have already received (because it's after 2:00 a.m. and I need to go to bed) .... but I'll put in my two cents worth anyway!

    I agree with you. I could not condone what this couple is doing -- the alcoholism and the nudists colonies! Whoa!! It does not seem like they are good representatives of the church to missionary in other countries!!

    Especially since they are using their support money to buy the alcohol and stop by the nudists camps!

    I don't have any Bible verses to quote to you about WHY I would be against their activities -- I just am. And ... I would also inform any friends that I had who supported them on a monthly basis.

    It doesn't seem as they are really very interested in what they are doing -- and the woman DOES have a problem with alcohol!

  11. kriket

    kriket New Member


    I think your gut feeling/intuition is trying to tell you something, that these people are scammers. I don't really know of another word to describe them. I would be questionig if they even really go anywhere and do missionary work????? or is it all a front. Do you know for sure? And if they are going on missionary trips, what in the world are they teaching these people?? I think you should inform to all that you know that is funding these people what is going on behind closed doors with their money that they think they are sending them and what it is probably being used for. I without a doubt would get as far away from them as I could. You did the right thing in confronting her and letting her know your thoughts and why you would not stand behind/beside her/them??? If you know this, then there is no telling what you don't know. They can do what they choose to do, but when they break the law, by leading people into thinking that their money is going towards something that it is not- then it would become their business. All of this will eventually come out in the wash anyway, and I don't think you would want to be associated with them in any way.

    I do believe that there is a whole lot more of this kind of stuff going on more than people think, especially when money is involved. Remember all the posts about toxic people???

    Ok, I'm finished. This is my opinion!!!!! RUN RUN RUN!!!

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  12. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    Hey, don't ask me. I'm an atheist! :)
    Really, it does seem pretty much like you have done what you could. This type of person gives religion a bad reputation and takes away from the good that religion can do. You seem "moral" and trying to be decent. Stay away and save yourself.

    Maybe she will evenually come around and seek confidential help from a professional therapist, but all seems too much to put on yourself. Maybe keep some crisis line numbers around for when she calls again.

    Hmmm, still, maybe there is an obligation to protecting religion that overides "friendship". And allowing the scamming to continue may leave one feeling part of it. I wish I had a satisfying answer.
    Maybe, with the choices, ask yourself how you would feel in five years.

    Hmmm, They probably don't pay income taxes, isn't there a reward for ratting on people? Maybe you can tell a friend who doesn't have your ethical qualms and isn't as torn, and might do the "dirty work" of turning them in.

    Hey, why not convince them that they have to cut you in on the money or you"ll turn them in. (Sick humor, sorry.)

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  13. caffey

    caffey New Member

    My opinion for what it is worth.
    When you are supporting someone no matter who they are you are entitled to know where the money is going. I am being supported monthly and the person involved knows what my expenses are each month. I would be ticked too if I found out that my money was being used for other purposes.( which it has but that is another story).

    I scanned through the other posts.
    Leadership needs to be involved in this. It is better to have it exposed on a small private setting than CNN. The only thing is to check your heart that there is no bitterness or resentment. Because God somewhere somehow sometime will pull it down.

    I am not so sure that completely severing the relationship is the right idea. You need space to process this and work through forgiveness but there is a time coming when her house of cards will fall and she will need a friend. By being her friend doesn't mean that you approve of her behaviour you have already stated your stand. We are to love everyone but it doesn't mean acceptance of the behaviour. We are told in the Bible to be ministers of reconciliation. Well that is my 2 cents worth. Not an easy place to be in.
  14. lilaclover30

    lilaclover30 New Member

    You are in a difficult situation! For me personally, alcohol takes money - is it money given for missions? if so it is wrong. Of course, ever since i was little and my man neighbor spent every8 nickel on booze and left his many children penniless, I huave been dead sent against a drunk!!!

    We have had 2 nudist camps in our area since i was a child. It was always a joke around here ---why does anyone want to run around naked with men, women and childrebn present, etc. I could never condone nakedness in anyone when they are to be God's servants!

    So much for me. Don't care for either issue.
  15. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    Aren't they affiliated with a church? Or are they independents?

    It seems that someone needs to be over them. The more they live this life style the more harm they can do to others. I do not mean just the finances. Drinking can lead to all sorts of behaviors. To continue this is to increase the wrongs they are doing.

    I am sure some struggle to donate to them on a regular basis.

  16. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    First, I agree with several others who said the woman needs help with her addiction. Intervening there would be the right thing to do. Contacting her supporting church would be an act of charity and the church's response should be an act of grace. The church can get her the help she needs and the prayers that she needs even more.

    As far as the nudist colony, I have no problem with that. Many nudist do not tell people they are nudists because it is very misunderstood. I've not been (just not that proud of this body!), but from friends who are nudists (one has a bumper sticker that says "I don't do tan lines") they say that there is nothing sexual about it. (I do agree, however, that there could well be some there who are not there just to avoid tan lines! I wouldn't take my children, but most nudists do.)

    If I was a nudist I would not be forthcoming with that information either. They may also have wild crazy activities in the bedroom and no one needs to know about that either. (Gosh, I hope she doesn't tell you about that stuff, too!!)

    But if you are not comfortable with the nudist colony part of her life, I would just tell her. She doesn't need to keep you informed about it and you can tell her you don't want to hear about it. If she continues to "confide" this type of information to you then tell her the friendship is over. (I have a tendancy to be brutally honest. Not always a good trait, but it lets people know exactly where I stand and I don't allow anyone to make me feel uncomfortable.)

    I still feel the bigger problem is the drinking. She is out of control and will probably not ask for the help she so badly needs. That is where I would put my energy if you want to continue the relationship.

    Just my 1.5 cents worth (can't afford 2 cents worth until after payday!!).