A video was recently posted in the comments of this blog (thanks Gundek). I thought it was pretty funny and recognized the characters from another video I posted about the Trinity. I decided to explore the YouTube channel to discover what else the author had to say about Mormonism. These are just a sampling of what I found:
I wondered where he gained all the energy to say so much about Mormonism. I discovered the answer at the end of this video
And to be sure, he takes some swipes at Evangelicals as well
I ran across a two-part series Blurred Lines: The Basement and Evangelical History(Part II)) by Charity Carney about the troubled and acclaimed youth preacher Matt Pitt. Pitt is one of those people that hold your attention. From my Mormon perspective Matt Pitt is a fascinating phenomenon that gives some insight into the some of the dynamics of Evangelical Christianity.
Pitt found God and Christ in his basement in the cathartic moment when his father told him he had to leave home if he continued to do drugs. The transforming feeling led him to start the religious-entertainment ministry. Cultivating a dance club atmosphere, the Basement appeals to those who affiliate with popular hip-hop culture. Here is a taste of his ministry:
Over the past several years I think I have finally gotten a pretty good handle on the Evangelical view of salvation. As a Mormon I had thought about it, and I believe I understood it, but I only from the skeptical angle. I didn’t take the theology seriously. As I endeavored to do that over the years, I can see it’s beauty. I think more Mormons would do well to take it more seriously. I don’t think there is anything to fear in doing so.
What interests me is why they won’t. The main reason is that Evangelicals are often as close-minded, clueless, and defensive as Mormons, and quite often, openly aggressive. There is smugness on both sides, which generally produces contempt in both sides as well. They both revel in the strengths of their religions without understanding what their smug adversaries with the bizarre beliefs have to offer.
If you haven’t read the Didache, it’s a fascinating read. Named after the Greek word for “teaching” this short work purports to contain the teaching of the twelve apostles of Christ. Written as early as the first century, it was considered by some prominent early Christians as part of the New Testament. The Didache is intriguing because it was not written to tell a story, or to explain theology, but as a manual for what Mormons would call “living the Gospel.”
The Didache is ostensibly the direction of the Twelve Apostles concerning how to practice Christianity. It lays out how to live, how not to live, how to baptize, how to prepare the sacrament, how to pray and fast, how to deal with traveling preacher, how to appoint local leaders, and how to prepare for the Second Coming. One reason the book struck me as “Mormon” is that Jesus is not mentioned by name at all. The “way of life” is straightforward– love of God, the golden rule, and shunning immorality. It’s approach to religion is unsophisticated and straightforward, not unlike most LDS conference talks.
The book is also Mormonesque in the way it directs believers to appoint church leaders from their own congregations. Professional, traveling preachers are to be accepted, but tested. Those that hang around too long, or leach off the membership, were to be rejected. It also smacks of the Mormon worthiness narrative. The congregations were told to confess and repent of their sins before Sunday worship so that their sacrifice to God could be pure. They were also directed to resolve all disputes with others.
It makes me wonder how Christianity would differ today if this guidance was considered the infallible word of God. Would Evangelical-style money-preachers be rejected more readily? How would the church look if these practical principles were enforceable as scripture? These are some of the fascinating questions these just-barely-uncanonical works leave me asking.
This blog owes a lot to Del Parsons and a very awkward painting of Jesus (if you’re curious about the title of this post you have to check out that link). So in effort to honor that legacy we must point out the glory of perhaps the most awkward painting of Jesus of all time.
Everything about this painting is awesome. I’m not sure what my favorite part is but let me point a few of them out in no particular order
The hole Jesus is apparently standing in
The baby orangutan
The inconsistent light sources
Adam’s dislocated hips and birthing posture
Is that the sun or the moon?
A miniature giraffe AND a dwarf tiger symbolizing male virility
There seem to be a few hints to me in the painting that the artist might have some Mormon influences but wasn’t for sure (Eve in particular). My suspicions were a bit confirmed by this painting of Mitt Romney welcoming a new child’s birth. But the artist’s resume seems to indicate that he has many Evangelical connections. Sorry Mormon friends, the brilliance of this painting appears to belong entirely to the Evangelical subculture.
A link to an article on Feminist Mormon Housewives popped up on my Facebook feed this morning. Though not the point of the article, the author briefly said something about the Atonement that stood out to me.
Second, know that it is NOT within your ability to save anyone. You can’t even save yourself. No matter how many good deeds you do, or how many times you attend the temple, you will fall short of perfect. We all do. All of us. We are all in need of the Atonement and God’s mercy and grace to save us. Even if someone only needs “a little” of the Atonement, it still covers us all equally.
I’m curious about the phrase “Even if someone only needs ‘a little’ of the Atonement”. Is this a common view of the Atonement within Mormonism that someone might only need “a little” of it?
The common Evangelical view is that “only” the Atonement can save us. There is no such thing as “a little” of the Atonement. If this view is of the Atonement is representative of Mormonism I think we may have yet another example of a common word that both Mormons and Evangelicals use with radically different definitions.