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Advice needed. What should I do? (Have borrowed mums' MN log-in)

(23 Posts)
piranhamorgana Sun 25-Sep-11 10:10:47

I am pm's daughter and I am 15.Mum has had loads of excellent advice and support here and I wondered if it would be ok for me to ask for some? Hope this is ok.My mum knows and agrees btw.

We have just moved from the country to a town near a big city.It is really exciting and there is loads to do.My new school is great and I have already made some lovely friends.
I have always loved singing and mum has posted my youtube links here before.Where we used to live,I sang in the Eisteddfod and was well thought of.
Here,my new friends already see me as a good singer.
We used to go to church ,but stopped when they wouldn't Christen my baby sister because mum isn't married and has five of us.( My sisters' dad was VERY BAD and that is how mum found MN).

I have been going to a youth club with my new friends and yesterday the leader rang me to ask me to sing lead in their gospel choir.They are rehearsing for a very big concert in the city and some famous singers are also singing.They all want me to do a big solo and it would be a great opportunity for me.

Here's the problem.We looked up the church and found they are a different denomination to us.( We are Cof E,they are Elim Baptists)
Mum asked me to check out their values ,so I asked my friend what her church thought about homosexuality.

She said it is against God and is a sin.

I do not agree,and asked her what about my great-uncle,who is gay and married,and my good friend from my old school who has come out recently.She said they would go to hell unless they renounce their sins but would be forgiven if they gave up their life of sin.

This is as shocking as racism to me (I am mixed race,so is my next sister).My friend doesn't understand.I am worried about asking the Church leaders because I would not know how to handle it if they said the same thing.

My mum and sister think I should not get involved with the church now.I agree,but what about the singing - I really want to do it,and it is such a great opportunity.

Mum says to think about it very carefully and she will support my decision,but I know she thinks I will be letting our values down if I sing with them.She said "ask mumsnet". So I have.

OpenMouthInsertFoot Sun 25-Sep-11 10:17:05

I think there will always be opportunities. The question is - is an opportunity worth it at any cost?

Is it worth taking an opportunity when doing so aligns you with people who hold views that offend you - when you will enevitably look to the outside world like you also hold them!

There are some times when the price is too high and you have to let an opportunity go by. Only you can decide whether this is one of those times.

Basically, it comes down to what matters more to you.

swallowedAfly Sun 25-Sep-11 10:17:20

first thought is that you would not be a member of their church or worshipping with them or sharing their beliefs you'd just be singing. i think it would be a shame to miss a really good opportunity to do something you love and i think you sound strong and sorted enough to not be influenced by their bigoted views and if confronted by them you could say you disagreed and why so that you weren't a hypocrite.

would singing with them involve going to church? where do they practice and are they expecting you to be religiously involved or just sing?

LittleHousebytheRiver Sun 25-Sep-11 10:17:50

Hello piranasdaughter (that should be an icelandic name!)

Your mum is amazing and I am sure you are too. It's good you are settling in the new place.

Could you separate out the singing from the church worship? Just go along to singing events that have no religious content but avoid ones that include worship or teaching and explain to the leaders that you are from a different church and don't share their beliefs? That would seem a reasonable compromise and you may meet singers who are from a secular choir you could join later and that would solve the problem.

Yourefired Sun 25-Sep-11 10:18:10

Your obviously a fantastic singer. Are there any other organisations around, that you feel more comfortable with, that you could represent? This offer will not be the only option.

swallowedAfly Sun 25-Sep-11 10:19:22

very poor show on church's behalf not doing the christening btw and judging your mother. not very christian really is it?

also bear in mind that your friends view of homosexuality may not be the official view or the view held by everyone. i bet some people in your old church believed that about homosexuality too. very many christians do sadly sad

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

piranhamorgana Sun 25-Sep-11 10:24:50

Thank you for replying so quickly.

I really like the idea that I could go to the choir but keep away from the church side of it.
My friend has tx'd me to say I could just sing but not go to church,so that makes me think they want me for my singing and not to persuade me to believe what they believe.

I could never change my views on this and I AM SURE they can't influence me on this ,or anything.I would also have to speak out if anyone said anything directly to me about stuff that I didn't like.

I do feel a bit bad about sort of supporting their ideas indirectly,though.

AnnaBegins Sun 25-Sep-11 10:26:08


I have some experience of this because, at uni, I went to a church where I loved the music and the worship but didn't agree with the values (they also thought homosexuality was a sin, women shouldn't speak in church etc). I found it really hard to be there even though the music was so good, and had to leave and find a new church.

I think this does sound like a great opportunity, but is it the only one? Does your school have a good choir, is there a local youth choir, for example county choir? Is there another church with a good choir nearby? A girls cathedral choir anywhere?

If it is just for this concert, you may well be fine, as the focus will be the concert not leading their worship I imagine? If it would be to regularly lead worship, I think you might find it quite hard to have to at least keep quiet about your views.

By the way, you sound really mature and so thoughtful, thanks so much for posting.

piranhamorgana Sun 25-Sep-11 10:29:04

It was "our" church who judged my mum,too.So I realise that there are dodgy ideas in any group of people.That's why we all stopped going to church.And no one stood up to the vicar there,even though they told us they didnt agree with him.

swallowedAfly Sun 25-Sep-11 10:35:13

yes you are perceptively right piranha's dd - dodgy ideas in any group of people.

the reality is that you have to be able to move through this world true to your own beliefs but without being able to avoid other beliefs no matter how yuk. it's about integrity really and confidence in yourself and what you believe and courage to speak up when necessary smile

swallowedAfly Sun 25-Sep-11 10:36:19

i think you have all that btw so well done you and well done your mum. people judge on the wrong things don't they? how dare they judge your mum when she is so obviously doing a good job of raising her children over some piece of paper? people are foolish and often blind.

KatyMac Sun 25-Sep-11 10:38:03

It's really hard isn't it

If they don't overtly discuss their views it's easy to 'forget' them; but the choir will be segregated, no-one gay will sing in it.

Would they still want you to sing if you were homosexual?

RabbitPie Sun 25-Sep-11 10:41:13

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

DigOfTheStump Sun 25-Sep-11 10:42:32

I think if you could do it just for the singing, try that. If you feel uncomfortable once you are there, about the level of religon or their influence, you can always leave. However, you may fit right in and find that religious differences don't feature much.

I was brought up Catholic and once told my dad that I viewed church like a golf club - you don't have to agree with all the silly club rules, but can still enjoy playing on the course. Hope that makes sense.

meditrina Sun 25-Sep-11 10:43:47

It would be better to find out this denomination's "values" from one of its elders, not a (teenage?) congregant.

Also, is the youth club itself church affiliated? it sounds as if it is - if it has its own gospel choir. Dissociating yourself from this particular church could have wider ramifications than the choir.

And you have found out that someone you had previously considered a friend holds views you cannot tolerate. I think this means that the friendship is doomed (even if the rest is resolved - she may have misrepresented her church and you may find you can after all participate with a clear conscience - but she won't have misrepresented herself).

Splitting up with friends is never easy, and will be doubly difficult for you as you have only just moved. But from the strength and clarity of expression in your OP, it seems inevitable that (whatever the upshot of the church/club/choir) this friendship is doomed because of those views.

piranhamorgana Sun 25-Sep-11 10:50:11

Thank you all so much.This has really helped me and I think I will sing with them if they agree that I am not part of the church. I AM sure of my values.

HERE is a shameless bit of self publicity. Sorry Mum!

piranhamorgana Sun 25-Sep-11 10:54:12

Ooh,I posted before seeing the last two posts....

eaglewings Sun 25-Sep-11 10:57:36

Firstly I'd like to apologise for the c of e vicar who put his views before your families needs. He had no right to make that decision and I hope you find a church that will love you as you are and see that your mum had to make the right choice for her wider family. If you lived in our village now the vicar here would welcome you all with open arms.

As for the question of homosexual relationship and hell, personally I believe they are issues that are given too much air time within Christian circles when Jesus gave us the example of inclusion, love care for those in need and proper use of our money time and resources.

How are we going to help those who have focused on minute portions of the Bible see the bigger picture unless we come along side them and share a different view and experience?

I had to join a church that did not accept women in authority and 2 years later they had listened to those who disagreed and changed their stance. It was a painful time but I'm glad I stuck with it

You are at an age when you have many calls on your time and emotional energy. You may decide it is something you want to fight against but that the time is not right now.

You could just join the choir and ignore it or be a positive role model of some one who does not judge

Or you could try and find a more open church that has a choir

Congratulations on having a mind that enquires and thinks through rather than taking the first answer

FairPhyllis Sun 25-Sep-11 19:52:12

I know you didn't ask for advice on this, but I couldn't help being appalled by the vicar refusing to baptise your sister. If he is C of E, I am fairly certain that he is not allowed to refuse baptism to anyone in his parish. Clergy are allowed to delay baptism in some cases if appropriate, and they can refuse to perform marriages, but I'm 99% sure that they cannot refuse baptism outright - and in this case your mum is a practising Christian, so I don't understand on what grounds he could refuse.

I know you probably don't want to have a big fight over it with him now, but someone in the church should have stood up to him or gone to the bishop over it. I'm absolutely horrified. If there's another C of E church locally, I'm sure they would be happy to baptise your sister.

Bogeyface Sun 25-Sep-11 20:09:37

I cant add anything to the other posts, but I wanted to say that you have a beautiful voice and I wouldnt worry about missing one opportunity as I am sure that there will be many more for you smile

tinkgirl Sun 25-Sep-11 20:36:16

If it was me then I would go to one and see for myself. If someone was judging me then I would want them to meet me in person before making a decision. Explain that you are not certain about this and I'm sure they'll understand. good luck

piranhamorgana Sun 25-Sep-11 20:43:35

pm here - thank you so much for all the wonderful advice you have given dd. She still wants to sing in the choir,but avoid the church itself. However,she is going to think about it a bit more first and didn't go to rehearsal today.

I would rather she didn't,but feel that she needs to make her own decision. She is considering all the advice and views here. I think that is invaluable and a real privilege.Mn is fab.

I agree about the vicar in our previous parish and we were advised by others at the time to speak to the bishop,but it was one battle too many at the time.
Another reason to re-locate,among many.And we are here now,although we will be surrounded by boxes and a bit irritable with one another for a while yet!

I have been given the name of a woman vicar who lives nearby and hope to contact her soon and arrange a Christening for babydd soon.

I am going to ask her to bless the house too.

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