My sister's religion: out of nowhere | INFJ Forum

My sister's religion: out of nowhere

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by basic, Aug 14, 2010.

Share This Page

More threads by basic
  1. basic

    Donor

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Threads:
    44
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    572
    MBTI:
    ROFL
    Enneagram:
    5w6 sp/so/sx
    A few years ago my sister (who is 12 years older than I am) started to explore christianity, which seemed to have came out of the blue. We did not grow up in a christian home, and were not even really exposed to much of it (school, friends, community) since we grew up in a mostly jewish area. We were exposed to buddhism since my mom studied it for many years, quasi-practiced it, and was involved in some buddhist organizations and still is to this day. Referring back to my thread about external and internal religion, it seems that even though my sister did not grow up with internal religion, she become religious after surrounding herself with external religion.



    I believe it was a korean ex boyfriend she had who first introduced her to christianity (many koreans are christian if you didn't know that already). She broke up with this boyfriend because he ended up being a jerk, but the religion stayed with her. I should say that around this time she was studying to become a lawyer and perhaps she was in law school already by now. Between then (6, 7 years ago)and recent years, her christianity went from nothing to full on christian, and what I consider "more religious" than the average christian person. She is very involved in church events, goes to church often (although is more lax about it these days) and has become friends with several "church friends." I saw her go through a phase where she took things too literally and at face value, but then a phase where her religion matured. In her maturing I think it has become internal, but I feel like it's still very much on the external side. I sometimes question (like I did in my post about external vs internal) whether she could still be religious if she did not have the bible, did not have a church to go to, church friends, pastors, etc. She seems to very much need the external reference for her own judgements.

    Some other interesting things to throw into the mix…She is now a layer at the Bronx DA's office (crime in the bronx is very high). After her promotion she has been dealing with life and death situations every day. She has to look at evidence that consists of photos of crime scenes. She has people come crying to her saying that someone will kill them. She has a lot of stuff to deal with. I should, perhaps, also mention that she is an ESTJ.

    What baffles me is how she can emerge herself so completely into christianity at the age of 26 (at the time) without any previous exposure to christianity. Is is internal religious foundation there? Also on the occasion she speaks about religion I have come to notice that it seems to be acting as a form of of her Ni. She needs to always have an external reference to compare what her own feelings are. I know this has to do with her personality type being ESTJ, but this way of viewing the world is just so foreign to me. Especially because almost all my other family members are introverts. Although she does seem to have reached a point where her internal religion has been realized, I still feel like she DEPENDS on the external as the foundation. Because of this, I have the feeling that in many years her religion will fade away. I could be wrong, but it's just a feeling.

    external vs internal religion: http://forums.infjs.com/showthread.php?t=12058

    EDIT: In addition, I would by lying if I said that I supported her religious views, and that I felt as if religion has helped her and the people in her life. I have no problem with people being religious, but this difference in opinion has only drawn us apart on some things, and made some areas of discussion touchy. I don't mean to sound demeaning, but when she speaks about religion (and she does mostly in a external way) she may as well be talking about santa clause to me. On the other hand I'm sure when I'm explaining some of my thoughts on things to her, (my Ni) it may seem like I'm simply strapping wings to my arms, and jumping off a cliff with my eyes closed and hoping for the best. I understand the difference in thinking, but when it's your sister, who you're very close, in a family of introverts, it just seems strange!
     
    #1 basic, Aug 14, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  2. Siamese cat

    Siamese cat Madame Cat strikes again

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Threads:
    33
    Messages:
    2,042
    Likes Received:
    504
    Trophy Points:
    672
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    5w4
    From your post in this OP and in the other you linked it seems that you value less those who need external stimuli when it comes to religion. Maybe I'm wrong.

    I think that she needed something so hard, that there really was something that was missing internally if she was able to accept religion that she wasn't exposed to previously. She probably found something that resonated with her strong enough to even disregard parts of that religion that didn't resonate with her.

    I don't think that her religions involvement came out of nowhere for her at least, at all. True I don't know her, but from the people I've seen around myself with similar stories it's never out of nowhere.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    Are there help groups for cults in your area?
     
  4. Faye

    Faye ^_^
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Threads:
    312
    Messages:
    7,295
    Featured Threads:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4,784
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Gridania
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    4w5
    For ESXJs, and some other types, the external takes significant precedence over the internal, to use your terminology. In some cases, this basically means that the person can't fully think for themselves.

    It is somewhat of an inversion of how an INFJ would approach religion. An INFJ would approach religion from and abstract and highly critical angle, and they would focus more on the religion itself. ESTJ, and a lot of people, don't typically care much about exploring the merits of the religion for itself. They are more likely to get scooped into a religion through association and be less critical of the religion itself.

    Just because your sister doesn't appear to have an internal (well Ni) motivation for joining the religion does not mean she wont stick with it. If she is ESTJ, then the other aspects of the religion should be just as motivating for her to stick with it.
     
  5. OP
    basic

    Donor

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Threads:
    44
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    572
    MBTI:
    ROFL
    Enneagram:
    5w6 sp/so/sx
    It's not a matter of value. Understanding her personality type has only given me perspective and understanding into her thinking. It's just the factor of imbalance. I feel like she is overly external and has little internal religion (Ni, basically).

    This is EXACTLY what it seems like. She seems to struggle with the origin of her own internal conflicts and tries to find a source that is external. Just as an example, she was telling me about an internal conflict she had and said that she was unclear as to whether it was the lord speaking to her or not. I, as a person with dominant Ni, find this kind of conflict simple to answer, and and which answers comes from within. My sister seemed to struggle with this conflict, and hold off on a conclusion. I knew that any advice I gave her would not jive with her personality type. I would just get the blank stare with "uh huh."

    Yes, as an INFJ I just needed to understand how my sister thinks even if it is completely illogical from my point of view. I feel like my sister needed religion as a means to aid her Ti and Ni.

    After exploring her personality type I came to this conclusion also. Again, I don't have a problem with her being religious, although it does create some obvious disagreements which I will have to step around like large puddles on a rainy day.
     
  6. Faye

    Faye ^_^
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Threads:
    312
    Messages:
    7,295
    Featured Threads:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4,784
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Gridania
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    4w5
    It is in the 3 rules of interacting with friends and family:

    1. Do not talk about politics.

    2. Do not talk about religion.

    3. DO NOT TALK ABOUT RELIGION !!!!!!!!!!

    With my friends, even a mention of the Virgin Mary can cause big problems.
     
  7. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
    Donor

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Threads:
    76
    Messages:
    1,339
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    177
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    IEI
    Enneagram:
    6w5 sp/sx
    Well now, this is confusing. Isn't it the case that we get all our information externally? Sure, if you have a problem, you might have something stored up there to solve it, but then again if it was already there the internal conflict wouldn't be a problem in the first place right?

    Huh, maybe it's just an Ni thing. That advice wouldn't work for me at all.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. Faye

    Faye ^_^
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Threads:
    312
    Messages:
    7,295
    Featured Threads:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4,784
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Gridania
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    4w5
    Where information comes from (which presupposes an even more difficult question- what information is) is a difficult question, but it isn't really necessary to know for this. All we need to know is what the individual chooses to emphasize.
     
  9. OP
    basic

    Donor

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Threads:
    44
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    572
    MBTI:
    ROFL
    Enneagram:
    5w6 sp/so/sx
    My brain is hurting from the last two posts. What I mean is a direct reaction to the external/physical. A conflict of ideas (values) vs. a conflict of whether something is or is not. Also how it's solved: Fi or Te.
     
  10. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
    Donor

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Threads:
    76
    Messages:
    1,339
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    177
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    IEI
    Enneagram:
    6w5 sp/sx
    Hmm, so to try to remove the needless complexity I had previously, would you say that the problem she has is one of internal values and that she is trying to solve this by looking outside of herself? (i.e. getting guidance to figure out what she values)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. Faye

    Faye ^_^
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Threads:
    312
    Messages:
    7,295
    Featured Threads:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4,784
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Gridania
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    4w5
    Also- she could have pulled a Cat Stevens.
     
    Siamese cat likes this.
  12. OP
    basic

    Donor

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Threads:
    44
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    572
    MBTI:
    ROFL
    Enneagram:
    5w6 sp/so/sx
    Yes. I think what bothers me is that by doing so she is making herself very vulnerable.

    I am reluctant to speak about or even think about this, but about two months ago while having a discussion with my sister about homosexuality (since I was writing a paper for a human sexuality class) she said that she thought homosexuality, on some level, is wrong. Initially her logic for this was that marriage between a man and a women is sacred and blah blah blah bible bible bible. If I remember correctly, her main logic was the heterosexuality is "correct" because of procreation so therefore homosexuality must not be. After trying my best to beat a more solid answer out of her, she couldn't really pinpoint a reason why, but eventually said "just something seems off, you know?" To that, I answered "Yes, I know." We live in a society where it is not as common to be gay as it is to be straight. I am gay (and she knows that) and when I see a gay couple holding hands on the street I think it appears "off" too, although only because society has made it so that it's not a common sight. I live in New York City and yet I find it "off" simply because it is uncommon even here.

    In the end I directly questioned her "but should something that just seems to be 'off' being considered 'wrong?'" She never really answered this question. I think at this point I decided that I was no longer indifferent about her religious views. This idea of homosexuality being "wrong" is corrupting and hurtful no matter how one puts it, and where she picked it up from I have no idea. I just hope for her own sake it wasn't her external religion. I should also say that my sister has no problem with my being gay. She does not treat me any differently, but it's also something we don't talk about. And honestly it's something that (for me) puts a lot of distance between us. Going back to the idea of vulnerability, her picking up this idea seems very strange to me. She's a very smart person and is not very easily swayed to believe stupid things. (Sorry, but not matter what I have to call the "homosexuality is wrong" idea stupid.)To me, her only vulnerability is her near complete trust into her external religion, and this situation is a testament to that.

    Sorry for my walls of text
     
Loading...

Share This Page