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  #1  
Old 23rd July 2011, 09:20 AM
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Kiss Should I invite my sister to my baptism?

I am very conflicted. I am recently born-again and found a church where I'm going to be baptised and join that church. I'm very excited!

However, I've been working through some issues since coming to the Lord regarding my past sins as well as my relationships. I have issues with my sister going back to childhood.

She is a source of resentment for me that I have been trying to pray through. I'm trying to forgive her for what she's done to me in the past, but its really hard since its years and years of build up. Plus, the only way I can avoid being dragged into her drama is to avoid her.

My initial thought is to not invite my sister to my baptism at all, but perhaps it could be very healing for me if I could?? I don't know what to do? I want to be the bigger person and invite her, let go of my resentments and forgive, but I am so fearful that she will ruin my day in the process? She has a habit of stealing my thunder, making herself the center of attention and putting me down in front of others. Do I really want to risk dealing with that on such an important day? Am I strong enough??

I really need some Christian advice.
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  #2  
Old 23rd July 2011, 10:25 AM
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So for one of your first steps in the faith after baptism you want to represent your new transformed life in Christ by offending your sister? I hope that didn't come across as a rude question, I understand your concern and I am not saying it isn't something to think about, I'm just trying to put a little spin on it to get you to consider it from another angle. Truth is, your sister might not even want to come. A lot of people have no interest in anything religious like that they are looking for a reason to avoid it. You might want to have a conversation where you invite her but also where you are clear you don't expect her to come because of the religious thing. That might let her off the hook without feeling offended, but having her actually come might be good too.

Being a witness to your family when you first become a Christian is probably one of the most difficult things you will ever do... because they are only going to think about the old you and see hypocrasy. They don't know the new you yet and it takes a long time for them to really see the difference and to know it is legit. So you don't want to be too gung ho, and if there is every a place to show humility that is sure it, if they even get a wiff of a "holier then thou" additude you are setting yourself back years.

Pray about it, being a Christian means we need to constantly push ourselves to grow in ways contrary to the world, I think this is one of your first tests. Don't expect that you might reap a lot from it now though. I think the biggest reasons to invite her are 1. not to burn a bridge with your sister for down the road because one day you will probably want a bridge there 2. so you can grow yourself and 3. most importantly, it honors God
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  #3  
Old 23rd July 2011, 10:45 AM
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I remember I invited my parents to my daughter's baptism. They were Catholic and I was Pentecostal. I also invited my sister and some sunday school friends that were about my parent's age.

Well my parents talked to each other which I felt was rude, they didn't acknowledge my friends that came. they were like oh she'll be baptized in the Catholic church( my daughter never was).

then to cap it off, they and my sister got in an argument, so the whole event did not end peacefully. I felt like I'd invited them and of course you hope for the best. I just prayed that God worked in their hearts somehow. They could see how important my church was to ME even if the went elsewhere which was ok.
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  #4  
Old 23rd July 2011, 10:46 AM
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Oh one more thing: my other sister chose not to come.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 11:13 AM
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The other thing is that my sister won't really be offended if she's not invited. Its not the type of thing she would ever expect to be invited to in the first place. As a matter of fact when she's invited to events that are to celebrate something in someone else's life, she becomes jelous and resentful and typically doesn't attend. She might interpret my invite as rubbing it in her face or being holier-than-thou.

My own mother isn't coming because she's wrapped up in my sister's life right now, so I really don't have anyone attending at this point besides my husband. I thought about inviting my brother and possibly extending the same invitation to my sister because the experience might influence her in a positive way and could bring about the start of a healing process.

I just attended my sister's graduation a few weeks ago to show my support of her. I thought the day went well, only to find out a week later that my sister had many nasty things to say about me. Made me regret going to the graduation at all! Since then I declined a shopping trip with my sister because I didn't have time for shopping that week. My sister interpreted my turning her down as "blowing her off" and now she knows where she "stands with me". Apparently I'm not allowed to say no to her? I was just too busy!

I'm still conflicted. I'm dealing with a person who is actually mentally ill and has a completely different, and rather twisted sense of logic and reason, so its really difficult. If it was just normal family conflict, it would be easier to figure out. My sister is 55 years old BTW, and her problems coping with life seem to get worse with age.
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  #6  
Old 23rd July 2011, 11:38 AM
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I think you should invite her the whole point of baptism is to show the public your family and friends that you are leaving your old life and are following God. You are making a public declaration to follow Christ and be like Christ. This honesty is what opens you up to accountability by other Christians they will be able to hold you accountable for your sins now and be there for you if you fall. Your sister may not be Christian but this is something that could show her what she could be maybe through this she will look up to you from now on this could be a talking point for you to eventually lead her to the lord. Just talk to her before hand tell her how important this is for you and that you really want her to be respectful of this day.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 02:40 PM
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Invite your sister, old friends, neighbors etc.
They may not come but at least they can't say they were left out
of an important event in your life.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 03:43 PM
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You're certainly under no obligation to invite anyone, or make it a family celebration. Consider: in oppressive nations, publicizing you baptism, even among family, can get your head cut off.

It all depends on how tight you family is and whether they would be interested in the baptism. Inviting some but not others could cause friction as well.

Under the right circumstances, the baptism could be a good witnessing tool. But in most cases I think the lifestyle witness is more effective with family - though they're not necessarily mutually exclusive.

You're now free in Christ (see Galatians 5.1), so no matter what you decide enjoy your new freedom. Ask the Lord for wisdom (Jas 1), and don't allow guilt to drive your decisions.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 05:16 PM
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Thanks Paul1149, I don't think anyone in my family will be particularly offended if they are not invited. It really isn't a big deal to anyone but me. My own mother isn't coming and this is something I thought she would be thrilled to attend, but I was surprised by her lack of enthusiasm.

My brother and his wife would be individuals that would like to be included, but otherwise I don't think too many would be interested and/or offended by a lack of invitation. Its on a Saturday night too and I can't imagine too many will be able to attend even if they wanted too.

I thought about just putting the information out there but not in a formal invitation kind of way and whoever wants to attend may do so, but I don't want anyone to feel obligated like it is indeed a big celebration when in fact, its not.
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  #10  
Old 23rd July 2011, 05:27 PM
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Another thing, I was upset that my mother won't be attending, but I've decided to seek out the lesson in this situation. I'm thinking that perhaps its time to finally cut the apron strings? Maybe its time to put some distance between myself and my family and look to my church family for support as well as "cleave to my husband" like I'm supposed too? My family was close at one time, but not in a healthy way. Our closeness has even interferred in my marriage, causing some friction at times. Maybe its time for me to finally grow up?
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