From Dear Abby

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    This question was published on Sat 23 Jan 10.

    DEAR ABBY: Last Sunday, I attended a church service, and the woman and her adult daughter seated behind me would not shut their mouths. All I could hear was the two of them catching up on the week's gossip. The 5-year-old granddaughter also talked the whole time.

    I scooted as far over in the pew as possible to avoid hearing the conversation.
    I go to church for peace, quiet and reflection, and it's frustrating to hear constant chatter. I'm glad they come to church, but I wish their idea of "fellowship" extended beyond visiting with each other.
    Would it be rude to turn around and ask these people to be quiet? -- PRAYING FOR SILENCE, MOUNT VERNON, OHIO DEAR PRAYING: No. How else will they know they're creating a distraction? This happens in other venues besides church, and by that I'm referring to movie theaters and theaters where actors are performing. It's not only rude and thoughtless, but can be infuriating.
    ****************************

    Do you agree with Abby?
    Other comments
     
  2. Steven2006

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    If it was my church I would know if they were visitors or not. If they were visitors I wouldn't do anything. If they were members, I might just give a glance while they were chatting, with that most people usually get the hint that they were being a little loud. I don't think I would say anything unless it was two unsupervised children. Happily this doesn't usually ever happen at my church.
     
  3. annsni

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    Whether they were new or not, I'd turn around and quietly ask them to please either speak in the lobby or else after the service. ANYONE who feels that a time when someone else is speaking is appropriate to talk is being rude. I'd speak to them in a gentle manner but even a visitor needs to know that it is not appropriate to talk when in church.
     
  4. Steven2006

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    While yes it is rude, I am not so sure that it would be that important for me to teach a visitor manners at that point. I would rather deal with the one time inconvenience then take the chance on embarrassing them on their first visit. IMHO, the fact that I know nothing about these people, their lives or their upbringing would factor in. I would first like the opportunity to greet them afterwards, introduce myself and get to know them a little.
     
  5. Tom Bryant

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    It might be rude to call them down from the pulpit. But it certainly is not rude for someone seated close by them to ask them to carry on their conversation elsewhere.

    The Word of God is being preached. It ought to be able to be heard above a conversation that can be held elsewhere. Cartainly the preacher might make himself heard over rude people, but there are others who might be hearing God's message for the first time. They deserve to hear from God, not catching up on a person's private life.
     
  6. Thinkingstuff

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    If it were my church and I saw that the visiting woman gave me a dirty look, I would have spoken louder, thown popcorn at them, and stuck chewing gum in their hair. Then when the service was over I'd diliberately push past them to get in front.
     
  7. Marcia

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    I am bothered from time to time by people who speak during the offering time. They are whispering, but sometimes a whisper is more irritating than just a low voice. This bothers me a lot especially if they are right in front of me and annoys me deeply, but so far, I have not said anything.

    Btw, this is not just a brief remark or two, but a conversation going on back and forth during the whole time of the offering, or close to it. I have often wanted to get up and move elsewhere, but that would be distracting and sometimes there is no empty place nearby to move to.
     
  8. paul wassona

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    maybe that pastor didn't have it in him to call the people out? Many a time I've been where the preacher would call people down, maybe not singling them out, but to make them know who he was speaking about.

    I've called some out in a general way, I have also called them out by name when they kept distracting others..
     
  9. Mexdeaf

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    Yes.

    But we should follow the Biblical admonition in Matthew 18:15-17 instead of relying upon the preacher or Dear Abby to handle our problems.
     
    #9 Mexdeaf, Feb 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2010
  10. Tom Butler

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    Where better than a place of worship than to teach someone how to behave in a place of worship?

    In a larger sense, it makes no difference whether it's in a worship service, a movie, a stage play or a public meeting, such behavior is rude.

    Why should we be wusses for fear we'll run them off? A gentle correction is in order. No glares, no frowns are necessary. A "shh" with a smile, along with a finger to the lips is an appropriate way to deal with the problem.
     
  11. Peggy

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    Some people deserve to be embarassed.
     
  12. Robert Snow

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    Not knowing why these people were here and not knowing if God would speak to their heart, I would have gotten up to go to the restroom and returned to a different seat.

    As far as the pastor calling someone out, I don't think it would be wise to single anyone like this out publically. The pastor could say something in general to perhaps get the audience to listen. Or, if they were members, the pastor or someone could say something to them after the service.
     
  13. Marcia

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    Not sure if you are addressing me, but the people I heard were loud enough for me to know it was not a spiritual or heartfelt conversation. They were chuckling and seemed to be exchanging regular conversation and little jokes. This is what I usually encounter.

    Getting up to use the Ladies Room and then returning to a different seat might be an option. Of course, in the winter, I have to get up with all my stuff, which is quite cumbersome.
     
  14. Mexdeaf

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    Wise words.
     
  15. Jon-Marc

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    Our pastor says at the beginning of every service for everyone to turn off any electronic gadgets they have. Also, if anyone talks while he's preaching, he will politely tell them to be quiet or just snap his fingers at them. I would first say something to the pastor about the talking being irritating and distracting. If he doesn't do anything, then say something to them myself.
     
  16. just-want-peace

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    An excellent strategy (but not all cases fit) is for the speaker to just stop speaking. After probably 30 seconds, or less, the offending parties will suddenly realize that they are the only ones generating sounds, and the sudden embarrassment of the speaker and those close around just staring at them will work wonders.

    I've seen this work very effectively.
     
  17. Robert Snow

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    No, I wasn't addressing you personally; of course I didn't know all the details like you. Knowing what you just said, I might have said something to them at the moment, if I knew they were not visitors. I know it can be frustrating when someone is being a nuisance, especially in church.
     
    #17 Robert Snow, Feb 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2010
  18. Heiress

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    i think the best way is to always be kind hearted about it though, ofcourse. Snapping fingers is funny though. our pastor will always talk to them after church.
     
  19. Jon-Marc

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    I cannot understand why some women spend the entire time of the service chatting. That is totally rude and inconsiderate. We had a deacon at one church who fell asleep when the pastor started preaching and woke at the last Amen. Another man at that church set his watch alarm to go off at 12 noon, and every Sunday at 12 noon we heard that alarm.

    At one church they had a visiting missionary and his family from Africa. The missionary brought the message while his daughter was VERY disruptive. The mother did nothing to make the girl behave, and I thought that was very inconsiderate of her. If the mother couldn't (or wouldn't) make the child behave, the father should have stopped preaching and attended to her.

    I NEVER allowed my daughters to misbehave and get away with it. I wasn't abusive or beat them and rarely used physical force, but they knew they would get a spanking. If they tried using crying to get what they wanted, all I had to do was ask, "Do you want me to give you something to cry about?" That always shut them up.
     
  20. annsni

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    Even my young children can sit quietly in church on their own. I've had a number of people come to me when they've been on their own until it's time for them to leave (we have 4 songs or so, the pastoral prayer then the children are released) and told me that they are so pleased to see them sit relatively quietly (they're not perfect, after all) and tell me that they have never seen them misbehave during the service. There are a few times they have to sit by themselves because the rest of us are busy with jobs. Tomorrow is an example: they'll come to both services and they'll sit with their 19 year old sister during the first service because dad is leading worship and my 17 is singing with him. I'm going to be in the sound booth doing the media. In the second service, the 19 year old is teaching Sunday School so they will be by themselves. They sit in the second row from the front too - not exactly hidden in the back. How old are they? 7 and 9.
     

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