Counting the Cost of Discipleship (notes from my underground)

I was looking through my journal and saw some thoughts I wrote down three years ago, I wrote these before sinking into a very dim atheism, this entry was part of my last effort to hang on to the Christianity I had when I was LDS. I think I was grasping at whether it made sense at all to consider ourselves Christian disciples.  Now I realize that it does not make sense to even to attempt Christian discipleship without more than a mere belief that you believe in Christ – a state of grace is necessary. I open them up for discussion to reveal something about how many faithful Mormons see the task of discipleship:

My Journal, September 1, 2012:  Pascal mentions that things are different for Christians now because primitive Christians had to devote themselves to the kingdom of heaven, to forsake all safety and security, in essence, to throw their lives away.  Becoming a Christian was about throwing your life away. It would destroy your career prospects, make you an enemy of the state, risk all of your life and property. It meant a hell of a lot.  What this tells me is that Christianity is simply not for everybody.  We simply cannot expect people to be Christians like this. It’s a very difficult task. But its always marvelous when we do see people approach life with this sort of abandon. Continue reading

Evangelicals Also in Political Spotlight

Guest post by Eric

Tim’s post a few months ago “Can an Evangelical Vote for a Mormon?” was a well-thought-out piece in which he concluded that, yes, an evangelical could back the right Mormon presidential candidate despite differing theologies. Of course, his article was written in response to the candidacy of Mitt Romney. I agree with Tim in saying that I have no qualms about backing candidates of different religions; I most often vote decide how to vote based on a candidate’s values and character, and I certainly don’t believe that my fellow Latter-day Saints or even Christians in general have a lock on the qualities I’m looking for.

While Romney, of course, has received plenty of attention for his Mormon faith, it’s been interesting to see in the past few weeks that some of the same arguments (or prejudices, take your pick) that have been used against Romney for being LDS have been used against at least two other candidates who are evangelicals.

The question asked of Michele Bachmann at the debate Thursday — Would you submit to your husband if you’re elected president? — isn’t all that much different than some of the questions that have been asked about Romney and his relationship with the LDS church. (I’m not sure how believable her egalitarian answer was, but that’s a whole other issue.)

And the left-wing media in recent weeks have had a flurry of stories (here’s one) about Rick Perry’s ties [1] to the New Apostolic Reformation — a movement on the fringes of evangelicalism [2] that not only recognizes its own apostles and prophets (although different than in the LDS sense) but that, at least according to the left-wingers, doesn’t take the usually-hands-off approach to politics that the LDS church does. And Perry certainly hasn’t been reticent about sharing his faith in the public square.

I actually believe that if Perry (or, less likely, Bachmann) were to get the GOP nomination, his religion would be more of an issue in the 2012 campaign than would Romney’s. Am I right? Or am I deceiving myself in thinking that evangelicals can seem just as strange to the general population as Mormons can?


[1] I do not mean to suggest that Perry is a part of this movement or agrees with it theologically, and I see no indication that his church affiliates with it. But some of his most vocal supporters, including some of the co-organizers of a recent mega-prayer rally that Perry spearheaded, are part of the movement.

[2] Some of the movement’s leaders are enough “out there” on the fringes that they have been accused by a few “discernment ministries” (here’s an example) of denying Christian doctrine even though they use the words of Christianity. Sound familiar?