Are these church ladies…

Or their diametric opposite?

“People are now leaving who came to the Church for something else, and not for the sake of salvation. And of course, sooner or later they are disappointed. If they don’t come to the Church for Christ, temptations begin immediately.

“Some don’t even make it in the door — they come and some granny leaps at them, and they walk away. These grannies are a crude filter in the church. They are often scorned and criticized, but they filter out those who came to Church not for Christ but for something else.” — Says Bishop Pitirim of Dushanbe and Tadjikistan, in The Folly of Comfortable Christianity, seen here.


5 Replies to “Are these church ladies…”

  1. Ah, the might of the elderly Slavic woman. They were the meanest in the bazaars when I lived in Tajikistan. I wouldn’t want to cross them if they thought I was in the wrong place, or somewhere for the wrong reasons.

    1. I’m not sure what exactly those leaping grannies are doing. Demanding that the newcomer explain his presence? Quizzing him about who he’s related to, where he works, his understanding of theology?

      1. From the context, I’d guess they’re acting like you’re supposed to go to Church to be Christian, rather than as a social club, or a way to get help, or social posturing, or… well, to have the peace of Christ, hold the Christ.

        I would guess they make people feel guilty. This can generally be achieved by basic socializing if you…well, aren’t an enabler.

        The anti-Buddy Christ.

        1. Well, I hope so. Certainly that’s something that needs to be said, and shown. I was afraid they might be saying, “People of your ethnicity don’t belong here.”

        2. In my experience, precisely this. They enforce decorum and proper attitude through withering glares and a well-paced knuckle to the ribs if need be. They shame you into proper behavior and most people in the region (regardless of actual ethnic extraction) avoid the wrath of the grannies whenever possible.

          On the other hand, the ones I met would definitely try to help you out when you needed it. My examples all come from going to the bazaar and getting directed to better deals on produce, or getting directions.

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