A Point of Clarification

Just to clarify to everyone, I do not believe that everything in Mormonism is twisted and vile. I do not believe it is a destructive cult. I do not believe that the positive experiences Mormons report are a façade for oppression and abuse. I do not believe Mormons lack virtue. My premise is not “that nothing good can come from Mormonism”. If I write something negative about Mormonism, please grant me some charity. My criticisms should not convey the sentiment that I believe Mormonism is the most certain path to heartbreak, abuse and allegiance to Satan.

Also, in a previous post I said that the LDS missionary program is “a breeding ground for spiritual and emotional abuse.” I unfortunately did not choose my words carefully. I did not mean to convey that all LDS missionaries encounter spiritual and emotional abuse by their Mission Presidents. What I meant to express was that the conditions for spiritual and emotional abuse are present and available for anyone who wishes to exploit them. I’m aware that my clarification makes my feelings toward the LDS missionary program only slightly less offensive to Mormons.

Thanks for your continued interaction and exploration of our respective worldviews.

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76 thoughts on “A Point of Clarification

  1. I guess the real post to see would be a post wherein you delineate all the good you think is inherent within Mormonism. Not good that you say “doesn’t actually exist within Mormonism but was brought from the outside by x party,” but actual good from within Mormonism.

    If the only thing you’ve got are loaded statements like, “Well, Mormons believe in something and I think that is good (underlying assertion: “because I believe people who believe in *something* are theoretically more open to believing in other things [that I happen to find doctrinally sound]”)” then that would say a lot.

    I mean, if your worldview requires such a belief, it’s OK. You can admit it. We are big boys and girls. On the other hand, if your worldview doesn’t require such a belief, then I’d be interested in such a post.

  2. Andrew, here and in other places I’ve praised the Mormon use of lay ministry, the emphasis and passion for serving missions and the strong emphasis on families. The Book of Mormon has a great many passages which I find praise worthy and affirming. The dedication to shared cultural values is something Mormons and Evangelicals should delight in. The preparation for disaster has served not only Mormons but their larger communities as well. My “topic list” is not dominated by these themes because it would make for a rather dull conversation. I probably fail in not mentioning them enough.

    In a previous post I stated: “There are often things they like about Mormonism, but they are typically things they have adopted into Mormonism not necessarily things unique to Mormonism. They’ve made Mormonism into their own image.”

    The “they” in this quote is referring to atheistic or agnostic-Mormons who still call themselves Mormons (despite their lack of belief). When I suggested they bring outside things into Mormonism to find things they like, I was not saying that there are no likable things in Mormonism. I was saying these particular people are not in love with anything they found to be native and exclusive to Mormonism. If you’d like to persist in claiming that what I was really trying to say was that Mormonism is filth and there’s nothing likable about it; have at it.

  3. The thing that I contended in that thread (and am still contending) is that when you talk about “they/m”, you are comparing “them” against some standard of Mormonism, determining that “they” don’t have a say in that standard of Mormonism, and therefore concluding that the things “they” enjoy are things outside of Mormonism.

    When obviously, “they” would disagree with you. “They” *obviously* believe there is something else to being Mormon, and they fit this — so that is why they call themselves Mormons in the first place, and that is why when they mention things they appreciate, they say these are things within *Mormonism* that they appreciate. But you reject this.

    It’s good that you do find other noteworthy things after all, though. I just was a bit concerned, because in the one topic, the only thing you seemed to bring up was, “shared belief.” But of course, not shared *content* of belief.

  4. Tim said:

    What I meant to express was that the conditions for spiritual and emotional abuse are present and available for anyone who wishes to exploit them. I’m aware that my clarification makes my feelings toward the LDS missionary program only slightly less offensive to Mormons.

    I don’t find that statement offensive at all. The same is true of many organizations, especially those with a hierarchical power structure of some sort. And clearly we’re talking about a population — young adults, many of them away from home for the first time yet dependent on authorities for their needs — that is vulnerable.

    While I’m not personally aware of spiritual/emotional abuse involving the mission organization, I have read credible reports of such incidents occurring. I am personally aware of incidents involving spiritual and emotional abuse within evangelicalism, including ones involving sexual misconduct, and myself experienced some milder forms of spiritual abuse. In fact, I would argue that the structure of some (by no means all) evangelical churches — where there’s there’s no real denominational power structure and a charismatic pastor who basically controls his church board — is especially ripe for abuse and a cultlike approach to spirituality.

  5. a charismatic pastor who basically controls his church board — is especially ripe for abuse and a cultlike approach to spirituality.

    here! here!

  6. I’ve read many events where parents have abused their children. Should we suddenly determine that families are an evil in the world today, simply because not all of them work well?

    I’m not really convinced by your “apology”. Actually, it seems more of an explanation of why you disdain at least certain components of Mormonism.

    And as for recalling some of your previous statements, why? You couldn’t review them prior to posting?

    I don’t see anything actually clarified.

  7. I’ve read many events where parents have abused their children. Should we suddenly determine that families are an evil in the world today, simply because not all of them work well?

    That’s not what he’s saying at all. He’s not saying “abusive situations happen on missions, therefore missions are bad.” He is saying “missions have all of the characteristics of the kind of environment that gives rise to abusive situations, and there is plenty of evidence that abusive situations do happen, therefore missions are problematic.”

    It’s the difference between saying “plants frow here” and “this is particularly good and fertile soil for plants.” It’s a world of difference. It’s one thing to recognize that a social ill happens; it’s quite another to actually create an environment where social ills are more likely to happen than otherwise.

    Actually, it seems more of an explanation of why you disdain at least certain components of Mormonism.

    Yes, and why he does not disdain others, and why, in extremely specific terms, he thinks some components of Mormonism are actually quite good.

    You make it sound like you would be satisfied with nothing less than glowing praise of Mormonism. That’s unrealistic, and it’s not healthy. You know what really is a characteristic of organizational abuse? Not allowing any kind of criticism.

    And as for recalling some of your previous statements, why? You couldn’t review them prior to posting?

    Oh please, like you’ve never said anything that upon consideration, you probably should not have said. Get off of your high horse.

  8. Tim, I appreciate your clarification. I know I am not the only one to do so, but I know I have recently asked for you to clarify your stance on Mormonism.

    I still think it would be worthwhile for you to write an entire post dedicated to the things you find admirable about Mormonism. Heck, I am sure you could do an entire series on them. It’d be even cooler if we could see a list of these things that are unique to Mormonism (beyond the paragraph that you gave). But it is your blog, so feel free to post what you wish and as you wish. 🙂

  9. Agreed, for the record. That would be a pretty good indicator that you were actually interested in interfaith dialogue beyond just a friendly forum for voicing your criticisms.

  10. Eric ~ In fact, I would argue that the structure of some (by no means all) evangelical churches — where there’s there’s no real denominational power structure and a charismatic pastor who basically controls his church board — is especially ripe for abuse and a cultlike approach to spirituality.

    Agree 100%. I can even think of some famous examples, but I’m gonna restrain myself and not say them.

    Kullervo ~ “plants frow here”

    Plants fro here?

    You know what really is a characteristic of organizational abuse? Not allowing any kind of criticism.

    Amen.

  11. Insofar as it leads people away from trusting solely in Christ, and has then rely on themselves to finish the job…Mormonism is destructive and dangerous.

    St. Paul reminds the Galatians that they can “sever themselves from Christ” by revertying back to the law.

    “O you foolish Galatians…” could easily read, “O you foolish Mormons”.

  12. Many love to “yawn” at what the Bible says.

    That is one of the Mormon’s main problems.

    Go back to sleep.

    “You can sever yourself from Christ.” (St. Paul says)

    Borrrring…

  13. TOA, over two years ago Craig Blomberg left a comment here that said:

    I researched and wrote an article published 5 years ago in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society that surveyed all the harsh rhetoric found anywhere in the New Testament and observed that it was uniformly used to address corrupt, overly legalistic or sinful “insiders” to the church, whereas Jesus and the apostles bent over backwards to woo “outsiders” graciously, even while calling them to repentance. It’s sad to see how often we have exactly inverted that approach!

    So for you as a Lutheran to come on here and call Mormons foolish using a passage containing harsh rhetoric that Paul directed at corrupt insiders? Sounds like you’re the one yawning at what the Bible teaches.

    You know when Jesus warns the chief priests and elders of the people that “The tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you”? (Matthew 21:31) If that message were given to the evangelical Protestant world today, I’ve often felt that it would read, “The Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.” Certainly comes to mind every time you open your mouth on this blog to condemn Mormons.

  14. Jack,

    I condemned no one. I judge no one, not even myself.

    But I certainly have a right to critique their theology.

    It IS foolish. St. Paul could have let the Galatians mosy on down their path to destruction also, without saying a word.

    he was trying to wake them up to the path of faith, which is what Christ is after.

    How loving is it to just let people work on their own righteousness, while they could be severing themselves from Christ???

  15. St. Paul could get away with calling the Galatians “fools” for the same reason that I can get away with calling my little sister a “bitch.” We’re family. You can get away with being harsh with your family.

    The Mormons are not your family. They are not going to see your designation of them as “foolish” as loving no matter how you try to dress it up. They’re just going to think you’re a jerk and stop listening to you.

  16. They don’t listen to me anyway.

    I didn’t call them fools, I was merely saying that the heresy they have latched onto is what St. Paul referred to , as foolish.

    There does come a point when we have to speak the truth to people, even if it hurts their feelings. For their own sakes.

  17. well, as theoldadam alienates people by speaking truth to power, I guess maybe some others will realize that that is counterintuitive to the so-called Great Commission.

  18. Anytime you proclain Christ alone, you will alienate people.

    Christ told us that we would be hated for His sake.

    People can’t stand to have their little religious projects interrupted by the truth of the gospel.

  19. On the other hand, Christ seemed to work in such a way that reached out to people who seemed (from all popular measures) to be despicable.

    You don’t seem to get this. Instead, you still have the letter of the law that you proudly use. The buzzwords that you feel justify you in your alienating, cause-defeating conduct.

    What is your goal? To bring people to what you believe to be the real Jesus OR to piss them off and make sure that they will see your cause as a wasteland?

  20. Your comments on this thread just turned three shades of brown, toa.

    Sorry if I sound irked, but I am sick of evangelical Protestants who act like jerks towards Mormons, then when someone calls them on it, throw their hands up in the air and helplessly insist that they’re just speaking the truth in love, the Mormons won’t listen to them anyways so there’s no point in trying to improve their approach, the truth is supposed to be offensive, blah blah blah.

    The problem is not that the Mormons won’t listen to you regardless and the problem is not that the truth is inherently offensive. The problem is you and how you are presenting your message. The Gospels are full of examples where Jesus and his disciples tailored their message to gently reach out to outsiders (see the woman at the well, for example). You can do better.

  21. You seem to forget the things that Christ said to these folks so wrapped up in the law and their own righteousness.

    “Brood of vipers” “Whitewashed tombs” “Hypocrites”

    Maybe Jesus didn’t get it either.

  22. You’re right.

    I don’t.

    We proclaim Christ and Him alone…and let the chips fall where they may.

    Others will not…and that I don’t get.

    Thanks. So long for now. Off to work.

  23. Sure, that’s the way you want it.

    Just remember what Jesus told the disciples to do when they went into a village and the message of Jesus was rejected.

  24. What’s funny to me is that you are a Lutheran, which means practically speaking, your church is just as much of a “religious system” as any other high-Church liturgical Christian denomination, including the Roman Catholic church. The only perceivable difference is that you have special rhetoric that you use to deny the importance of the trappings that in pracical terms are central to your religion. But that’s all it is: rhetoric. Your religion looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck. The fact that you put a sign around its neck that says “THIS IS NOT A DUCK” and never stop talking about how its not a duck is frankly unimpressive.

  25. Lutheranism (not all Lutherans) is about the least “religious” of all the denominations or non-denom inations that I have studied.

    That is because we rely on what Christ has done for us, and not what we do (what we do, is religious).

  26. I agree that the message of grace can be presented to our Mormon friends in a more compassionate and loving way,jack. But it goes both ways. I can not tell you , as a former Mormon, how many times I have been personally attacked, ridiculed and called names simply because I speak out about my expierences with Mormonism. Sigh…..it goes both ways , friend.

    I think bottom line the fruit will be evident in the lives of the individual. If a person truly claims to be born again, there will be fruit. No doubt about it. So often, I find this lacking in forums like this one and other. There is a lack of compassion and legitimate understanding from both sides.

    Honestly, it’s kind of sad and that is why I have stepped away a bit from interfaith blogs… honestly speaking I wonder how much good it’s doing for either side and actually how much damage it may be creating.

    Just some thoughts,

    gloria

  27. People can expect comment on their personal lives when they try to hold up their own personal lives as some sort of argument for a controversial position.

    If you don’t want personal attacks, don’t personalize it in the first place.

    You can’t throw out a personal anecdote, declare it to be positive proof as to why Mormonism is deficient, and then act hurt when people pick it apart. Since you invited it in the first place.

  28. theoldadam,

    There are Evangelicals here on this blog who have taught me more about Protestantism, informed my view of Jesus, and altered my view of my own religion far more than you can ever hope to (assuming you hold constant to your present stance).

    I don’t respond well to aggressive people. But that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to have honest conversations across denominational lines, view the negatives in my own religion, and sincerely look to Evangelicals for an example of worship. I am willing. And it has happened with numerous Evangelicals and others.

    But not for a one-dimensional internet character who appears to be merely posturing to earn heavenly brownie points, and who’s sole concern seems to be only to tell me off quickly and rid himself of any further responsibility for “them screwed up Mormons.”

    So you’ve told me off. Thanks a ton. You done?

  29. gloria ~ I agree that it can go both ways. I try to call out the more dogmatic and rude Mormons when I see them doing it. See here for example.

    When it comes to Mormons in general though, I really feel like they’ve already had plenty of harsh, unkind treatment from evangelicals and can benefit from the softer hand of a gentler approach. I know that I can err toward being too gentle with them sometimes, but that’s the niche that I fill.

  30. FWIW, I’ve actually taken to discussing my disagreements with other evangelical Protestants concerning their approaches to Mormonism in private whenever I can. I’m trying to avoid setting myself up as the hero who scores points with Mormons by slamming my fellow evangelicals when they’re out of line, and I think that they’ll be more likely to actually reconsider their behavior if I approach them privately.

    toa and I haven’t ever spoken in private, so I decided to just say it here.

  31. Seth,

    I haven’t told you, or anybody else, “off”.

    I have quoted St. Paul from the Bible.

    It’s the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts. It hurts me, too, when I hear it presented to me in my sin when my pastor proclaims it to me on Sunday morning. But that’s the job.

    The Word of truth (law and gospel) will do it’s job. That’s why Jesus (or St. Paul) didn’t mince words and worry about whose feelings thhey were hurting. It’s not about feelings. It’s about truth. Something is at stake here. It’s about salvation.

    So quit feeling like a victim because I told you how St. Paul described how the dire situation is to the Galatians, and instead…maybe learn something from it.

    Now… I’m done.

  32. TOA, your practice of quoting Paul and ignoring the context of his statement is akin to me cheerfully telling folks that James told us to be miserable. True, the words are there, but there is an important context that needs to be acknowledged.

    Besides, Paul taught those things, yes, but what of the teachings of Christ? Where are the Beatitudes in your message? I see quite a bit of cherry-picking in your use of the Scriptures.

  33. Simply quoting scripture without context and boldly asserting that it applies to a group of people without giving any reasons for it, explanation or justification is not “truth.”

    It’s just providing random data.

    Which is all you’ve done here toa.

  34. Context?

    Paul was talikng abiout people who add something to the work of Christ.

    A little bit of me, and a little bit of God.

    That is the Galatian letter.

    This is not rocket science.

    But it is a lot more important.

  35. And you really think that one sentence of bare assertion is enough to prove your point?

    What is this? Witnessing for lazy people?

  36. Lazy?

    Prove?

    The Word doesn’t need proving. The Word always accomolishes what it sets out to do.

    We throw it out there (Christ is enough), and people either reject it or accept it.

    This isn’t my project…it’s His!

  37. Tell you what….

    How about the next time you witness to someone you simply chuck a Bible at their forehead and call it good?

    After all, it’s all just “so obvious” right?

    If you want, you can strike a dramatic pose and say something heroic like “my work here is finished.”

    By the way, Acts 1:18

    Don’t ask me to explain why I’m citing that verse. After all, the Bible speaks for itself right?

  38. Seth,

    Honestly seth, I think it’s poor, very poor to attack a person in these kind of dialogues. How in heaven’s name does it help? I think kids and spouses should be off limits too. What I see happening is ‘character assisination’.. especially for ex-mormons who speak out. It’s ugly and it makes the LDS church look poorly , in all honesty. I really don’t think it helps further your cause.

    I have met more rude mormons online than I did in 19 yrs of my expierences with the LDS church. Thankfully, I know better and know that most LDS people are not nearly as rude and impolite as some of the mormon bloggers I meet online.

    Gloria

  39. p.s.

    I think it would be helpful for all of us to focus arguments on the context of the topic, and not on the “person” presenting the argument. It is so ugly when people are ridiculed for example for grammar or spelling errors…. come on folks, lets give each other some room to breath. How low can a peson go when they start attacking a person’s spelling ability? Geesh.

    Thankfully I believe God is so much more merciful than most bloggers on forums like these. 🙂

  40. Jack,

    Believe, you would think differently if you were a former Mormon blogging about your expierences about mormonism. 🙂 Former mormons are meat to be devoured on the net by mormon bloggers.

    gloria

  41. No Andrew. You’re one of the few who’s been able to build some good bridges with the current Mormon community.

    However, I can’t help but wonder if the harsh treatment you’ve received at BCC, for example, isn’t at least in part due to your status as an apostate. The fact that Jettboy is allowed to comment there but you’re banned sure seems bass ackwards to me.

  42. I could be wrong, but I think that’s more because I’m a windbag, and BCC can only have one official windbag (whose name must rhyme we Jeeve Devans.)

    Then again, as we learn with every niblets, BCC is pretty selective about who can be members of their nacle clique

  43. I know about half a dozen nice ex-Mormons over at Main Street Plaza, and I generally along fine with them.

    But they don’t usually use their personal lives as “Exhibit A” in “why Mormonism sucks” either.

    And if they do, they don’t act all shocked when people challenge their experiences.

  44. Hi, it’s your resident lowlife who gets annoyed with spelling errors like “looser” when someone means “loser” (take note, kids). So I’m not apologizing for pointing out bad spelling, especially when the word in question was in the TITLE of the post, and when the poor speller in question is insulting other commentators for being dense.

    I am also happy to laugh at these people.

    Frankly, if someone is going to throw out provocative arguments and wants to be taken seriously, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that one proofread their comment. Most of us have learned to function in the real world, and I’m pretty sure poor spelling is frowned upon there, too.

  45. Jack & all,

    Fortunately I realize that most LDS in real life are a whole hell of a lot nicer than online Mormon bloggers. Thank goodness, because I can only imagine what the LDS bloggers do for their cause. 😦

  46. Gloria, I think the general rudeness of the LDS bloggers is clearly yet another proof that the church is true. If the LDS church wasn’t from God, the wicked blogging community would have doomed it long ago. If people still join the church after seeing the rude attacks, it must be God bringing them on board. .

  47. Umm…

    No Jared.

    That makes no sense whatsoever.

    By the same token you could say that Ed Decker is proof that anti-Mormonism is true. Or that Sara Palin is proof that the GOP is true.

  48. Whitney,
    I don’t think you’re a lowlife for expecting good spelling. Only being a lawyer. (J/k.)

    Andrew-
    I didn’t realize you were banned from BCC. Maybe if you pretended to still be Mormon in some sense, and called yourself, fundamentalist, New Order, revised brethren of the holy deaconess, or some other sliver, they’d still let you comment. I have always enjoyed hearing your perspective and haven’t felt attacked. So, I guess I’m saying, I appreciate even atheist-Mormon dialogues with you.

    Gloria,
    Right or wrong, people make judgments of trust based off of spelling and grammar. A helpful suggestion, if you use Firefox instead of internet explorer you get an automatic spell check. Also right or wrong, people make judgments based off of life experiences and families. Another suggestion, if you base your happiness on whether others find you or your family acceptable, you lose control of determining when YOU will be happy.

  49. psychochemiker, the official story is that they don’t ban people for beliefs, but rather for how “fun” they are. In other words, from our latest discussion, the general gist was, if you’re banned, it’s because you’re an obnoxious troll who ruins the atmosphere.

    I know my comments get really long often. If people think that “ruins the atmosphere,” then that’s what they will think.

  50. Pingback: What is Interfaith Dialogue? « Irresistible (Dis)Grace

  51. “Lazy?

    Prove?

    The Word doesn’t need proving. The Word always accomolishes what it sets out to do.

    We throw it out there (Christ is enough), and people either reject it or accept it.

    This isn’t my project…it’s His!”

    Nah, it’s your project, dude… those aren’t words from Christ’s “project”… He was the Light, and the Word, and Love, remember? Breaking bread with the people, drinking wine with the prostitutes… can’t imagine He would have been so welcome with that crowd had He been “throwing” things out there. Love and forgiveness, dude, that was Jesus’s style.

    Now Paul is not my favorite character, but even he wasn’t up for this misuse of the concept of “evangelism.” Remember the fruits of the Spirit?

    Love (yahoo! there it is again, even from painfully-human-sometimes-with-his-foot-in-his-mouth Paul!), joy, peace (even in debates), patience (essential for any evangelism; opposite of “Mormons won’t listen to me anyway”), kindness (man, could he have seen in the future, to these boards???), goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (yeah, see there? Not “throwing”) and self-control… aha. Self-control. Wonder how every single one of the fire-and-brimstoners missed that one…

    Self-control. Yep, even with this stuff, even with “the Truth.” Cuz Jesus was the Truth, right? And he wasn’t “throwing” at the people he was with.

    Now, he did heave-ho some things pretty hard at the rigid, inflexible, justice-obsessed, rule-based, UNloving religious leaders of the time… but that wasn’t “evangelizing” to the “lost.” Which is what you’re trying so hard to do here, right? Evangelize? “Speak the Truth in love?”

    Cool. Feel it. Speak it. But if you want to do it not like the Pharisees, but the way Jesus did, don’t start speaking until you’ve got the Love nailed down real solid. Remember? Leaving the heavenly life of luxury, making Himself human, crawling along the dirty human floor, walking with and serving and hurting for all of them, living and dying a life He in his Worthiness never ever deserved to endure… THAT kind of love.

    THEN, He spoke “truth.”

    Meant more, didn’t it?

  52. Dude,

    The Lord used Paul to write most of the New Testament.

    If he’s not one on your favorites, that says a lot about where your head and heart are.

    That’s not my problem…it’s yours.

    Love (the love that the Bible speaks of) is not some generic, mushy, ooze, that flows to make everyone feel better.

    It is the sacrifice of the self for the other. It is Christ and His love for us.

  53. “The Lord used Paul to write most of the New Testament.

    If he’s not one on your favorites, that says a lot about where your head and heart are.”

    Nah… it says one thing, and maybe not even that many. See, there’s no WAY for you to tell where my head and heart are from one statement, and to do so would be quite… judgmental. We aren’t into that as per previous posts, remember?

    “That’s not my problem…it’s yours.”

    Whoa, back up. If I were a target of your evangelism right now, I would likely take that as a snarky, un-Christlike or even un-Paullike comment. Certainly not of the Spirit. Are there any fruits in there? Love, joy, peace, etc.? Am I missing one?

    Don’t feel too bad, we all do it… so easy to get lost in our own points and counterpoints, and good ol’ American need to “win” that we forget the big list of IMPORTANT things we should be doing.

    “Love (the love that the Bible speaks of) is not some generic, mushy, ooze, that flows to make everyone feel better.”

    Wow, yes, definitely not generic, dude! In fact, the original Hebrew or Greek Bible speaks of a BUNCH of different kinds of love, doesn’t it? Man, that’s how far we’ve come away from God… took the early folks three, four, maybe a half dozen different words to describe the different varieties of “love” God gave us (not to mention the hundred or so names for God! We use… “God.” Maybe a couple more. Sad.)

    “It is the sacrifice of the self for the other.”

    Yes! Yes! So what is it we sacrifice when we traditionally “evangelize”, when we thrust The Four Spiritual Laws tracts or dogma or rhetoric in people’s faces and walk away, with “it’s not my problem, it’s theirs,” or “it’s their job to accept or reject”, etc.? Heck, there’s no sacrifice, we feel great! WE know the truth. WE did our spiritual deed for the day. WE don’t have a problem.

    “It is Christ and His love for us.”

    Yep, that’s how we’re supposed to be. Christ-like. With people, caring about them, loving them, living among them, accepting them, listening to them… back to the beginning of my last post, right?

    A LOT more time. And effort. And self-control. And the humility to admit we might not have ALL the answers. Way, WAY more sacrifice. Lots, LOTS more love…. the mushy ooze is just a nice bonus.

  54. Dude,

    Huh?

    Snarkey?

    Because you don’t think much of St. Paul.

    I wish I were as kind and loving a Christian as you, then I would not be “snarkey”.

    But then you are full of…love…and I’m not.

  55. No way… I’ve been to your website… you are full of love, for God and others. Seriously dude! Your faith is the dearest thing in the world to you, and you want more than anything to live it, and be pleasing to the Lord.

    Am I right? I read the posts on your website, I know I am! Love AND concern for others, that they know the same joy in the Lord you know. Absolutely NO snarkiness from me intended, btw. (now or before, actually)

    But hey, in all honesty, I hear a different tone on your comments to people here… much as it is possible to hear tones via cyberspace. It’s not the same tone as your website. It doesn’t communicate the heartfelt love and concern for others that pervades the website, you know? Why is that?

    And no snarkiness intended again, dude, we are ALL in this together, trying to wrap our oh-so-limited human heads and hearts around the ways and wonders of an Omnipotent Spiritual Being… better to combine our efforts than stumble along with only our own gifts and weaknesses, right? Maybe you’re here to help me. Maybe I’m here to help you. Maybe neither! We’re all here for a reason, and we’re getting there, we’ll get there.

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