Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Cult, Countercult, or Countercult Cult? My Head Is Spinning....

The Christian Apologetics Index reports that CRI's Countercult Leader Hank Hanegraaff Supports a Cult of Christianity. The article leaves my poor head spinning as countercultists accuse fellow countercultists of supporting Christian cults.

Can't we all just agree that we are all cultists and done with it? That's fine if we stick to the basic definition of cult: a religious organization or movement.

44 comments:

WebWombat said...

Is that a wonky link or Firefox 2 that won't let me click on it?

David Frey - MormonConverts.com said...

I used to listen to Hank Hanegraaff on the way home from work several years ago.

His explanations were always a mix of conflicting statements. But he said them in such a suave, and assuring voice, that I can see how and why many people believe him.

Thanks for your wit, humor, and defense of the gospel Jeff.

Mormanity said...

The link should work better now.

YooperApostate said...

No, thank you, these two traditional definitions work just fine for me and your little Masonic polytheistic death cult fits wells within their parameters.

Cults are groups that often exploit members psychologically and/or financially, typically by making members comply with leadership's demands through certain types of psychological manipulation, popularly called mind control, and through the inculcation of deep-seated anxious dependency on the group and its leaders.

"A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g. isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgement, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of [consequences of] leaving it, etc) designed to advance the goals of the group's leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community."

2awc2thp-w said...

Dear yooperapostate,

I'm not accustomed to this kind of hostile polemics, but let me take a stab at it...

"...your little Masonic polytheistic death cult fits well..." Whoa! I'm sensing a little hostility here! I could go point by point, (not "Masonic," not "polytheistic," etc.) but just one question: what do you mean by "death cult"? Are you suggesting LDS have poison-laced KoolAid in their future? That's just weird. If you want to be taken seriously, watch General Conference a time or two, and be a little more rational so you at least *appear* to know what you're talking about.


"...exploit..." Meaning what? That the "group" (the church) gains something unethically? A loaded word without meaning unless you have more context. Your suggestion of mind control could include Christianity if viewed objectively (and hence the confusion referred to in this post). If you're going to make the church a villain, show me the evil. (You know, "By their fruits shall ye know them.") And I don't mean the usual conspiracy nonsense, show me something genuinely evil in the motives of the church today, and I'll give your argument some space.

"...mind control..." Yes, and this has been dealt with in many places, LDS converts are NOT isolated, nor are they advised to avoid former friends for family, quite the contrary. They are advised to maintain contact--and love!--unless that contact is deleterious to their spiritual health. For example, if you've given up alcohol or drugs to join the church, and all your old friends drank a lot or smoked crack, your bishop might suggest that hanging around with them is a bad idea. (Note the word "suggest.") But except for such circumstances, more often than not, LDS converts are the ones being shunned, not the shunners (you know: love the shunner, not the shun!).

It probably felt good to use all those loaded words and quotations, but to the principally LDS audience of this blog, it's just "sounding brass or tinkling cymbal." Until you get real (and get respectful) that's all you'll be to this crowd.

Respectfully (or trying to be),

2awc2thp-w

YooperApostate said...

I watched General Conference plenty of times during my twenty years as a Mormon. I'm an endowed returned missionary who has done more research on my former faith than the vast majority of participants in this little Festival of Fun sponsored by Bishop Jeff.

Why would I possibly want to be taken serious by wannabe Mormon apologists defending the indefensible? Why, that would simply require my turning to my own vomit again. Been there, done that; got the t-shirt and the divorce.

Peace. Out.

larryco_ said...

There is no reason for one's head to spin (although such a sight does attreact a crowd) over what is a cult and what is a legitimate religion. The definition is clear-cut: A serious religion is whatever I believe, a cult is whatever anyone else believes.

Walker said...

I assume Yooperapostate has left us now. Sigh. So much for the Festival of Fun.

But in case he hasn't, he does need to know that he is presumptuous indeed in thinking that he has outresearched the yokel Mormons. I could probably come up with just as much "evidence" as he to prove the Church false. Yet I remain a relatively orthodox member. Brainwashed? Perhaps, but no more so than the humanity. If you're going to be brainwashed, better to wash it with disinfectant than with battery fluid.

YooperApostate said...

Nope, still here.

I've lurked here for over two years, so I am well familiar with the intellectual caliber and resources of my adveraries. I am not interested in discussing tapirs, Masonry or clandestine hebephilic polygamy since I know that debating a Mormon is akin to wrestling a pig.

Besides, the decision to break with a false religion is never predicated on the accumulation of assorted facts. If it were, true apologists would have abandoned the sinking ship of Mormonism years ago. It takes an intellectual courage and a moral integrity to connect the dots and turn off the cognitive dissonance.

I know that the emperor has no clothes; I just have the guts to admit it.

shawn said...

2awc2thp-w... thanks for your post! :)

If from your post... "By their fruits shall ye know them" holds true, yooperapostate is a vomiting, ex-death cult, pig wrestling, tee-shirt wearing, divorcee, who also has the superior "intellectual courage and a moral integrity" required to judge the (assembly low) intellectual caliber and resources of Mormon adversaries.

Good luck with that!

:)

Joking aside yooperapostate... I hope you can forgive the Church and whatever members may have offended/hurt you so deeply in the past. Harboring such spite is unhealthy. Best of luck in your efforts to move on, though. Have you found any other cults (or non-cultist real-religion) that work for you? Just curious.

Peace in Christ.

Shawn

Walker said...

Adversaries, eh? Wow, amusing banter is one thing. I get the feeling that you believe you Luke Skywalker (or Ronald Reagan, depending on your political proclivities) destroying the evil empire.

As far as breaking with a false religion goes, my academic training has taught that the best antidote for falsehood is truth (provided such a thing exists). In any case, I agree with Shawn. As with all historical scholarship (which the questions you bring up deal with), there is going to be disagreement. Of course, you read the evidence in your way (which, of course, is the only true way, right? ;)

But I GUARANTEE you that you cannot shock many of us with any of your revelations. And while this may be my lack of morals speaking, I still believe that I'm trying to be a moral person. You might come up with some other fellow who said they're moral ("Stalin thought he was moral" etc. etc.), but you'll just have to take my word for it.

"It takes an intellectual courage and a moral integrity to connect the dots and turn off the cognitive dissonance."

Hey, if you have found that the best way to lift others is through this ideology, I too encourage to do all the good you can. Meanwhile, I would suggest that you do less "lurking" and more truth-searching--the kind that actually makes you a better person.

Oops--I suggested Christian morality. There goes my claim to being an intellectual. Darn.

MyzBee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
adamite said...

Whew! I pray that I never get this bitter towards this Church or any other church. As a Mormon in western Oklahoma and in the middle of baptist country I don't get the influence and the fellowshipping of Mormons as I would in Utah and other states. I have to maintain my own faith and beliefs and if I want to be part of a "cult" that promotes family values and good honest living then that is my business. I don't have much respect for anyone that attacks someone's faith, race, or character. Yooberapostate, if you hate the Mormon's so much why stay around a Mormon blog? Just trying to pick a fight because you are bored? You will not gain any respect for your negative attitude. And this goes towards anyone else that tries to be argumentative here.
Jeff, your are doing a great job here. Enjoying reading your posts.

Teancum said...

It takes an intellectual courage and a moral integrity to connect the dots and turn off the cognitive dissonance.

It also takes intellectual courage, moral integrity, and a good dose of humility to allow others to live the way they choose. So move on with your "courage" and leave us Mormons to rot in hell.

Maybe you have you failed to truly turn off the cognitive dissonance? Is it that persistant still small voice that keeps calling you back? May you have success in learning how to turn its volume down. I wish you luck with that.

I am proud to belong to the Mormon cult. I will be the first one to drink the purple kool-aid!

YooperApostate said...

Where to start?

First, my current beliefs, or lack thereof, are not germane to the discussion. Whether I was a Lutheran, a Wiccan or a Taoist would not change the essential facts of what I know about Mormonism. Besides, I'm not going to get sucked into an ad hominem exchange.

I was not offended by any one in any Mormon ward or branch. (The idea of people ditching Mormonism due to a perceived slight is a common myth pepetuated by the Mormon Church and its leaders but is rarely the case.) I am offended, however, by Joseph Smith's deceit, polyandry, and narcissism, by Brigham Young's racism and violence, by Ezra Taft Benson's theocratic fascism and by Gordon B. Hinckley's disingenuousness. I am also offended by countless policies, doctrines and pseudo-doctrines that have ruined the lives of thousands.

Yes, the antidote to falsehood is truth, something that is a rare commodity in Mormon circles. Once exposed to it, many members understand that the Mormon Church is not what it claims to be and flee the first chance they get. Many more understand that a public declaration of their unbelief will result in divorce and total abandonment of their families (see prior definition of "cult") so they continue to attend every Sunday and suffer in silence. Others, like the people who frequent this blog, are exposed to all of the reasons that Mormonism CANNOT possibly be true and yet refuse to connect the dots and naintain the partition within their brains between faith and reason.

Family values and honest living? That's nice PR spin but they have little to do with the Mormon Church I left behind.

Loving parents forced to sit outside the temple while a newly married couple make oaths to an institution, not to each other, do not bespeak family values. Parents who would rather bury their children than see them engage in normal adolescent sexuality do not bespeak values.

For those who "don't have much respect for anyone that attacks someone's faith," then may I suggest that the Mormon Church is a poor place for you. Any one who has ever read Bruce R. McConkie or seen that lovely video by Spencer W. Kimball on "converting the world" knows how little regard the Mormon Church has for the beliefs of the other six billion people on the planet.

Honest living? Please, I've lived in Utah and served a mission. Don't even pretend that you have the moral high ground on this one!

Like the vast majority of people who have connected the dots, I will never return to the Mormon Church. The still small voice that you hear in your head is not the disembodied member of the Godhead. It is you. The voice that tells you that Mormonism is the true path to exaltation is you. You are certainly free to listen to that voice.

Pride in being a Mormon is not substantially different than pride in being left-handed or pride in having low cholesterol, so be proud! Hail the Mormons! Hail Moroni! Hail Joseph Smith! (Sounds just a little bit familiar, doesn't it?)

Casual Mormon said...

What really worries me is how badly the LDS church is FAILING as a brain-washing cult! I was inactive for half my life! And I went inactive when I was younger and more naive--that should have been the PERFECT oppurtunity to brainwash me and make me think leaving the church would be detrimental to my social life!

And look at YooperApostate. Why the heck didn't they brainwash him? He left with no problems!

Oh wait--now I understand. YooperApostate got out because he's so darn smart! He connected the dots! We stupid Mormons have no idea how to connect dots. Heck, we don't even know what cognative dissonance is! We don't understand big words-- YooperApostate is the only person who is smart enough to actually READ about the church and discover how terrible the church really is.

Good for him! He sees that the emperor has no clothes(fantastic analogy, by the way!) and he is the first and only one to ever be able to do that! I wish I were smart enough to identify the church as a death cult!

But less sarcastically:

"A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion "

Excessive devotion? You mean like lurking at a website for TWO WHOLE YEARS just to finally "come out" and tell everybody that their religion is phony and evil?

Unethical manipulative techniques? Like lying about the church, and using scary, inaccurate terms like "masonic death-cult"? Hmmm. Interesting.

Casual Mormon said...

"Hail the Mormons! Hail Moroni! Hail Joseph Smith! (Sounds just a little bit familiar, doesn't it?) "

Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh! You're RIGHT! It DOES sound familiar? You used the word "hail"....that's just like HITLER!!! What a stunning revalation! Mormons are NAZIS!!!

Color me converted! I ain't worshipping Christ with a bunch'a nazis. I'm outta here. So long, mormons!

YooperApostate said...

Fortunately for you, Casual Mormon, leaving the cult has little to do with intelligence, so there's still hope for you.

Walker said...

Pardon the burdening of the blog. You know me.

A better question than "where to start" is "where to end"? The full ramifications of your post is that there is no core truth, indeed, that life itself has no core. Considerest thineself to be a prophet? If so, a depresssing prophet indeed, one does not seem to helping anyone come to closer to anything worthwhile besides bitterness and hate. Sorry--if I were your investigator right now, I would go elsewhere for spiritual enlightenment (let's just pretend that such a thing exists--after all, people have thought it existed for the past two millenia--why not now? :)

If you think you are being rational and open-minded, you're only fooling yourself. All of the accusations you make are painfully hackneyed. Really. They resemble bitterness, not analysis. Indeed, I can point to a number of scholars who, like yourself, do not accept Mormonism as truth (Jan Shipps and Nathan Hatch being the prime examples).

Nevertheless, they use none of the vitriol that we see here. Are you saying that they too, indeed that anyone who dares give Mormonism any credit whatsoever, haven't "connected the dots," but that you, our lone beacon in a wilderness of falsehood and deception, have provided the light? If you claim

"Honest living? Please, I've lived in Utah and served a mission. Don't even pretend that you have the moral high ground on this one!"

I won't. Because I too have lived in Utah and served a mission. In fact, on my mission, I received one of the greatest wrongs of my life, consisting of false accusations, false diagnosis, and unpleasant companions. I had a mission president tongue-lash me for 45 minutes on exaggerated premises (though to his knowledge, they were legitimate). I could give you more. If you want negativity, I've got it.

And if I wanted to leave the Church today, this minute, I could do so easily, with family members still loving me. I could go to a different university, where I could quickly find a different set of friends who shared my beliefs. I would save 10% on my income. The immediate benefits would be real indeed.

"Parents who would rather bury their children than see them engage in normal adolescent sexuality do not bespeak values."

Nonsense, plain and simple (not to mention a loaded statement--the classic "Have you stopped beating your wife" scenario--assuming adolescent sexuality is normal). If I were suicidal based on my sexual activities as a student, I would be a HIGHLY disturbed teenager indeed. I guarantee you that any counselor--non-MOrmon or otherwise--would find that worthy immediate counseling and would do everything in their power to eliminate the false dichotomy in my mind.

And finally,
"Family values and honest living? That's nice PR spin but they have little to do with the Mormon Church I left behind. "

You must have belonged to a different Mormon church than I did (I'm right here in the thick of "happy valley"--if anyone knows about "cultural Mormonism," I do). Nice PR move for the secularists though.

Bishop Rick said...

Teancum,

I hope your kidding about the purple koolaid.

adamite,

yooperapostate mentioned in one of his posts (though indirectly) why he may be so bitter (this is only assumed) being his comment on members that come to the conclusion that the LDS church is false, and what they have to face being divorce and family shunning. I have several friends in this predicament. That statement is absolutely true in the majority of cases.

Stop and think for a minute how you would treat your spouse if they were to apostasize. This is probably not truly possible unless actually faced with this, but think about it.

This example alone is enough to explain hatred towards the LDS church, and make people in this situation think of the LDS church as a destructive Cult.

Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand this.

YooperApostate said...

Walker:

I assume you don't have children. I also assume that you don't have any one close to you who has been raped. So just try to imagine how vicious these words are to those of us who do. You call it nonsense; millions call it doctrine.

"The victim must do all in his or her power to stop the abuse. Most often, the victim is innocent because of being disabled by fear or the power or authority of the offender. At some point in time, however, the Lord may prompt a victim to recognize a degree of responsibility for abuse. Your priesthood leader will help assess your responsibility so that, if needed, it can be addressed. Otherwise the seeds of guilt will remain and sprout into bitter fruit. Yet no matter what degree of responsibility, from absolutely none to increasing consent, the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ can provide a complete cure."
- Apostle Richard G. Scott "Healing the Tragic Scars of Abuse," General Conference, Ensign, May 1992

“Victims of rape or sexual abuse frequently experience serious trauma and unnecessary feelings of guilt. Church officers should handle such cases with sensitivity and concern, reassuring such victims that they, as victims of the evil acts of others, are not guilty of sin, helping them to overcome feelings of guilt and to regain their self-esteem and their confidence in personal relationships."

“Of course, a mature person who willingly consents to sexual relations must share responsibility for the act, even though the other participant was the aggressor. Persons who consciously invite sexual advances also have a share of responsibility for the behavior that follows. But persons who are truly forced into sexual relations are victims and are not guilty of any sexual sin."
- First Presidency Letter to General Authorities, Regional Representatives, and other priesthood leadership, 7 Feb. 1985

The Prophet David O. McKay is quoted in President Kimball's book as follows:
" . . . Your virtue is worth more than your life. Please young folk, preserve your virtue even if you lose your lives. Do not tamper with sin . . . do not permit yourselves to be led into temptation. Conduct yourselves seemly and with due regard, particularly you youg boys, to the sanctity of womanhood. Do not pollute it."

The Prophet Heber J. Grant is also quoted in President Kimball's book:
"...There is no true Latter-day Saint who would not rather bury a son or daughter than to have him or her lose his or her chastity -- realizing that chastity is of more value than anything else in all the world."

Later in the book, Kimball again addresses the matter of Chastity with the elsewhere mentioned paragraph:
"Also far-reaching is the effect of loss of chastity. Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained. Even in forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is absolutely no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one's virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle."

Bishop Rick said...

Doctrine stating that it is better to die defending chastity, rather than to live having not defended it, is false doctrine.

There is no difference between this nonsense and purple koolaid.

Casual Mormon said...

I'll agree that the Grant quote sounds like it's taking things a little too far...I for one would rather have my child make a mistake than die. Was this comment prophesy, personal opinion, or hyperbole? I don't know.

The other quotes, I really don't see anything wrong with. Am I missing something? Or are you reading too much into them? I'll pick one quote out at random:

“Victims of rape or sexual abuse frequently experience serious trauma and unnecessary feelings of guilt. Church officers should handle such cases with sensitivity and concern, reassuring such victims that they, as victims of the evil acts of others, are not guilty of sin, helping them to overcome feelings of guilt and to regain their self-esteem and their confidence in personal relationships."

“Of course, a mature person who willingly consents to sexual relations must share responsibility for the act, even though the other participant was the aggressor. Persons who consciously invite sexual advances also have a share of responsibility for the behavior that follows. But persons who are truly forced into sexual relations are victims and are not guilty of any sexual sin."

Sounds inoffensive enough for me. If you're raped, it's not your sin--it's the raper's.

If you have sex with somebody out of wedlock, but then realize it was a mistake later, it's still a sin. Yeah, maybe the other person initiated it, and yeah, maybe they were the ones who convinced you it was a good idea at the time, despite your initial protests--but you still willingly did it. It's still a sin. You still need to repent.

...or am I misreading it?

Walker said...

"I also assume that you don't have any one close to you who has been raped."

Please clarify: are you calling rape "normal sexual relations"? The question you bring up now is VERY, VERY different from what you pointed out earlier.

You are also wrong in assuming that I don't have close family members who have dealt with the horrors of spousal abuse (in fact, he killed their first born). You assume that because I support the church's opinion that I must be naive, unacquainted with the world. That is also incorrect. I have seen enough people who have experienced the horrors of life. Yet they have found healing in precisely the same way I have heretofore described.

The quotes you cite speak of something quite different than what you are opposed to. The power to create life is certainly as valuable as life itself.

If you believe that life itself is worth more than everything, anything, then I would never want you to date my daughter. If a man threatened to kill you if you defended her chastity and you didn't, trust me--your lot would not be pleasant. You assume that any sexual relations must be at worst unpleasant.

YooperApostate said...

Walker:

I appreciate your sense of chivalry, but you miss the point of the doctrine.

It's not the husband or boyfriend who must fight to the point of death to defend the woman's chastity; it is the woman herself.
Any thing less is the sin next to murder. That was taught from the Mormon pulpit for decades, even if it receives the soft pedal from by today's leaders.

This dangerous obsession with a woman's sexuality is common in cults and finds its fullest expression in Islam with all of its attendant horrors.

shawn said...

Yooperapostate…

I believe if some is forced into a sexual encounter, they have little choice to do much of anything… otherwise it would not occur.

The Church values chastity and believes there are values worth fighting for… OK. I don’t see that as a reason for such spite and bile.

I know of no parent who would or is capable of choosing between the death of their child or the rape of their child. You make me sick if you think Church leaders or LDS parents are making this distinction. Should we teach our children to avoid suggestive clothing and dangerous situations? YES. Do victims sometimes feel responsible even though it no fault of their own? Yes, and we should reach out to them with as much love and care as possible. Are many victims scarred for life? Yes. Are there values worth dying for? Yes-ish.

Would you not die for your son or daughter they were being raped? The statements you quote have to do partially with chasity, and partially with already sexual active people. If you knew your neighbor was being raped and continually abused by her husband, wouldn’t you try and encourage her to get the heck out of that situation? Or at least call the police?

I would guess not based on your twisted logic.

Having known good friends who have been sexually assaulted, unless you yourself have been raped, I would suggest you keep your foul mouth shut.


ON A SIDE note, I’m tired of this leftist *%&!@#!!!!! espousing “normal adolescent sexuality” and the repression thereof as evil. The WHO estimates 500 million people will have contracted AIDS by the year 2050. That’s half a billion people. According to the US CDC, at least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives, which can lead to infertility and cervical cancer. No HPV tests are available for men. Another contributor to cervical cancer is UU (Ureaplasma urealyticum) From wikipedia, “It is found in about 70% of sexually active humans. It can also cause disease, including non-specific urethritis (NSU), infertility, chorioamnioitis, stillbirth, premature birth, and, in the perinatal period, pneumonia or meningitis.”

In terms of burying your children, your screwed up doctrine will bury far more than any statement on morality by a Church leader. There is no more a false doctrine than one that negates the value of chastity. Period.

Grrr… Sorry for the rant,

Shawn

"Hello World! It's the voting season! Choice A... live a chaste life and seek a wholesome spouse to share your life with. Choice B... let's all get it on. Explore your sexuality (just ignore the small price of 25 million lives that will need to be extracted via the AIDs pandemic between the years 1981 and 2006).”

“What? We choose Choice B?!? GREAT! Let the party begin! Remember, anyone espousing chastity is stupid and must therefore be evil”

YooperApostate said...

Shawn,

You speak like a good Christian. Keep up the Lord's work. Make sure you think of me at your daughter's funeral after her RM boyfriend tries to get lucky.

PS I assure you that, unless you are a rape counselor, I have far more experience with the trauma of sexual assault than you can fathom.

Bishop Rick said...

Yooper,

The comment about shawn's daughter is going too far.

You wouldn't want anyone saying that about your daughter.

John said...

YooperApostate,

If I may ask, what is your purpose in posting here?

Walker said...

I normally try to stave off the rhetoric, giving everyone a chance to voice their opinion (even if I think it's bunk), yet Yooperapostate is not doing a very good job of demonstrating good intent.

"It's not the husband or boyfriend who must fight to the point of death to defend the woman's chastity; it is the woman herself."

My question is: do you value YOUR life more than her virtue? If you don't, thank goodness you don't know my real name so that you will never be near me nor my family.

Jeff, I think it would be well to censor this thread--it's reached a dangerous point where the tragic is being made light of.

Pops said...

I'm guessing that YooperApostate's current attitude is an outgrowth of the divorce -- it's an unfortunate but not uncommon pattern.

You need to let the bitterness go. Find something you can love and be for, rather than finding things to be against. Replace negatives with positives. Pick up the pieces and move forward. If this blog bothers you, you really shouldn't be here picking fights that have no value.

Mountain bikers usually learn this lesson the hard way: when you focus on the rock you're trying to miss, you will always hit it. You have to focus on the path you wish to take, not the path you wish to avoid. Can't stand the LDS church? Then don't focus on it. Focus on where you would like to go.

Teancum said...

Amen. Pops, thanks for pointing out the obvious.

If you have made up your mind that Mormonism isn't true to any degree than why lurk around Mormon blogs? Especially when your tone is so argumentative. I believe in interfaith dialogue but discussions like this do not benefit anyone.

The original topic of this blog was labeling other faiths as cults. By definition every religious organization could be considered a cult. When Jesus Christ was on the earth and for a few hundred years after His death His Church was considered a unorthodox cult.

"Cult" is simply a word. And a very overused word. Labeling something "cult" in hopes to give an organization a negative image does nothing to disprove the vailidity of the organization.

Teancum said...

bishop rick,
I am VERY SERIOUS about the purple kool-aid.

Bishop Rick said...

Teancum,

That's pretty scary brother.
I'm not drinking purple koolaid for anyone! A true prophet or savior wouldn't require it.

Walker said...

I'm with Rick on this one, at least on how scary it is to be SO serious about purple koolaid. I mean, you can speculate all you want on the "what if the prophet required..." a given activity. However, it does no one any good. How about we live what we have been instructed FIRST?

John said...

Dangit everyone, with all this talk you gave me the craving. I actually went out and bought some koolaid. Don't worry, it was green. I'd forgotten how much I like this stuff . . .

Casual Mormon said...

Haha...I have to admit, I'm getting pretty thirsty here, myself. Is Hi-C acceptable? It's been years since I've had Ecto Cooler...

As for Yooper's purpose for being here, it's pretty obvious that his only purpose is to argue and stir up negative feelings. I mean, he called us his "adversaries" even before any real arguing had begun!

Can you imagine just walking into a room full of strangers and calling them your adversaries? I can't think of anything that could be more melodramatic and negative.

I'm not even sure if I can believe his "lurking for two years" claim. Are we really to believe that he's been sitting here for two whole years, biding his time, trying to come up with the perfect arguments with which to enrage his "adversaries"...and then he just spits out the same tired, inaccurate arguments that every troll before him has come up with? Anybody who lurks for two years has gotta be smarter than that. This guy fell completely flat.

Yooper, I am disappointed that you've spent your time attacking a religion you disagree with. I don't consider you my adversary, though. In real life, you're probably a perfectly reasonable human being. If the church has wronged you, I'm sorry. If you feel shunned because you left the church--again, I am sorry. It's important to always teach with love--unfortunately, not every church member remembers that.

Since the discussion was brought up, I've tried to imagine how I would react if suddenly my wife turned against the church. Would I shun her? I honestly don't know. I suppose it all depends on how she acts after she leaves. One of the many many reasons I married her is because she is a kind, wonderful, moral person. If she turns away from the gospel of Jesus Christ, is she still going to act Christ-like? Will she still be kind to everybody she meets? Will she still be moral? Or will she throw it all out the window? Will she become a slave to substances like tobacco and alcohol?

If she remains largely the same, but just doesn't believe in the theological side of the church, then I can deal. I'd be disappointed over the fact that I'd have to go to church alone, but I could deal.

YooperApostate said...

Time and the truth are on my side, you Flat Earthers.

Arrivederci, baby!

PS Walker, you've got a lot of growing up to do.

Teancum said...

Bishop Rick,
I'm sorry. I mistakenly assumed you would catch on to my sarcasm.

I do want to make it clear that I do pledge my obedience and allegiance to the teachings of the Prophet of the Church as he is directed from the Lord and I'm not ashamed of it in the least.

That said, I guess a true Savior or Prophet wouldn't command you to take your only child and sacrifice him either.

What would we say of of a man today that told others the Lord revealed that he should sacrifice his only son? Sounds "cultish" to me.

Ryan said...

Many more understand that a public declaration of their unbelief will result in divorce and total abandonment [by**] their families so they continue to attend every Sunday and suffer in silence.

At the risk of starting another round of tirades, let's just get some things straight about what causes divorces:

1. Any marriage will erode quickly when a person combines bitterness, spite, derision of personal beliefs, and attacks on intelligence.

2. Any major life change can be hard on a marriage, even good ones like job change, big move, or new baby.

3. Differences in religious preference are hard on a marriage. I would imagine doubly so for an unexpected change to that state.

Note that NONE OF THESE has anything to do with the teachings of the Church. The Church does not teach or imply that a person should abandon loved ones who wander! The exact opposite is true. Not to say people are perfect, but at least the ideal is clearly stated.

**Note: "of" suggests that the "sufferer" would be the one to do the abandoning, which is probably not the intent of the post. That said, "of" is quite accurate based on my limited experience.

Shawn said...

YooperApostate...

Time may be on your side as doctrines that support service, self-sacrifice, and loving structured families are being attacked on all sides all across the globe. Just look at Europe's aging crisis or the disproportionate number of females to male in parts of India and China (due to female infanticide).

Regarding truth, I don't believe you are anywhere near it. I provided “truth” with metrics to which you responded with spite, stating that if I don't encourage my daughter to disavow Church chastity guidelines and follow "normal adolescent sexuality”, she risks being murdered by lusty return missionaries. ??? Utterly incomprehensible. Many, many people die from not living a chaste life (just like they die from smoking or alcohol) compared to those that are harmed trying to live or defend the Church opinions you quoted. Do you also stand against other restrictive Church doctrines such as the Word of Wisdom? Alcohol laced sexual assaults are a massive problem, especially on college campuses (see this). Would you say kids should drink MORE so that maybe they’ll pass out before attacking someone? Jeff has said it before… way to go BYU for keeping the campus dry!

BTW, thanks for telling me I speak like a good Christian! Is that a step up from a brain washed Mormon cultist or is Christianity in general just lumped in as one big cult?



With that being said (and moving on), although people are not dying from trying to live the law of Chastity, I think it’s safe to say many trying to live chaste lives are tormented by the sexual culture we live in… the tide of available pornography and Hollywood’s cultural propositions (trying to sell everything laced with sex and violence), makes it hard for people to avoid the prescribed dive into “normal adolescent sexuality”. It seems the world is caught between two extremes moving farther and farther apart; one promoting promiscuity inclusive of barrier-crashing experimentation and loss of sexual identity and the other end pushing extremist manure like this nut (click here) who calls uncovered women "meat" that invite rape.

The Church says; avoid pornography, skip “R” rated movies, and value your body as a temple. I stand behind the Church doctrine surrounding chastity. The thrust of which involves encouraging members to just never be in situations were “stuff” can happen. That’s why missionaries, visiting teachers, and home teachers are required to be in pairs. It seems to work very well. Hopefully, the highest leaders of our Church will never have to issue an apology (like the one last week from Rev. Ted Haggard) for buying meth and soliciting male prostitutes.

So the question goes; is there more that can be done that can to help young men and women deal (or married couples for that matter) with the onslaught and promotion of promiscuity? There seems to be so much pressure with the consequences of submission being STDs, unwanted pregnancies, divorce, and reduced self-worth.

Thanks,
Shawn

P.S. Casual Mormon, Pops, and Bishop Rick… Thanks for your input!

Shawn said...

dang... first link did not work. was refering to;

http://www.athealth.com/Practitioner/ceduc/alc_assault.html

-Shawn

Ian said...

Everyone knows that LDS leadership would NEVER advocate drinking purple Kool-Aid.

It would be green Jello with carrots on top...

Bookslinger said...

I like my green jellow with pear halves inside it, with the hollowed out part facing up, and a maraschino cherry in the hollowed out part of the pear-half.

Carrots in jello are out as far as I'm concerned. That's mixing vegetables with fruit, a no-no.