Texan

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About Texan

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday March 27

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    Male
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    Houston
  • Religion
    Southern Baptist

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  1. No, that's quite incorrect, and quite frankly I find it appalling that anyone could dismiss whole classes of people as failures or creeps, some of whom are honorable, lonely people who simply want human companionship. Certainly the world of online dating is filled with strange and unsavory characters, but confusing the attributes of the part with the attributes of the whole is a terrible error in logic. I belong to a huge church and know hundreds of people. Of all the people my age (late middle age) who have married or remarried in the last few years, I'd say half met their spouses online at Christian dating sites. There's gold in them thar hills if you pan for it diligently. May I suggest that you change your bio to, "Online dating is for people who can't get dates in the real world, or can't conceal how much of a creep they are in the real world"? If you're going to dismiss people with such a brutally wide brush, at least be honest about it.
  2. Texan

    When did temple marriage begin?

    As a long-time periodic (but very cordial and I hope respectful) investigator of the Church, I've often wondered the very same thing. The Book of Mormon has always been presented to me as containing the fulness of the Gospel, but from my reading it seems to omit things that form the very centerpiece of today's Church. This is not a belligerent question or an attack. I'm genuinely interested in the question that @GaleG asked, and to be honest I have heard significantly different answers over the years. For a while I took the view that the Book of Mormon radiated general teachings that have been instantiated or particularized in today's Church, perhaps even in a form that Book of Mormon people would not recognize, and that today's ordinances are simply specific implementations of more general principles that the Book of Mormon enshrined. But I've moved away from that view and am now thinking that the Book of Mormon omits many topics that were surely commonplace in ancient times, sacred or not, and that while those omissions can lead to speculation, they don't prove much. Besides, I was always taught that Heavenly Father became God by obedience to everlasting Gospel ordinances, which makes me suspect those ordinances are pretty rigid things.
  3. I am unaware of any major Christian denomination that "claims they know the truth because they have it figured out right." This is a terrible mischaracterization. Every Christian church I'm familiar with has based itself on truth that God has revealed through the Scriptures, through the prophets, and most importantly through Jesus Christ. To claim otherwise shows a profound misunderstanding of how other Christian churches view themselves.
  4. So if I have a long history of declaring all tattoos evil and morally wrong, but I wear a short-sleeved shirt that openly reveals the tattoos I got yesterday, then I'm not a hypocrite because I'm not pretending anything? Some definitions of "hypocrisy" merely require the hypocrite to act in a way that contradicts the principles that the hypocrite claims to follow. There is no requirement that these acts be done in secret, or that the hypocrite pretend he doesn't do them. In fact, when Jesus describes the Pharisees as hypocrites, he explicitly says, "Everything they do is done for people to see" (Matthew 23:5). There has to be a contradiction in there. The lie is optional.
  5. Texan

    Unpopular Opinion: Stuff taught at school

    These multiple discoveries and simultaneous inventions happen sometimes. The classic example is Darwin and Wallace, of course, but a few years ago I had to do some reading on the discovery of Neptune. The existence of Neptune was visually confirmed by telescope after its position had been predicted by mathematics, which I find astounding. But two people (a Brit and a Frenchman) were working out the math at the same time, and there was some dispute over who should get the credit. The French guy won, and then I guess a hundred years after the discovery one of the Brit's letters was found in South America and it became clear that he had come late to the party after all. Or something along those lines. The story is a lot juicier then the Leibnitz/Newton thing. Check out the "Discovery of Neptune" article in Wikipedia. It's not a nail-biter, but it kept me awake one night.
  6. True, but I'm not claiming that merely refusing an invitation can be hypocritical. I'm claiming that the combination of the invitation with an implied moral imperative can be seen as hypocritical if the moral imperative isn't applied equally to everyone. Suppose I invite a friend to visit my church. When he resists, I badger him to visit because everyone should be constantly questioning their long-held beliefs, testing their boundaries, moving outside their comfort zones, and opening themselves to the possibility that other faith systems might be as good or better than their own. So he comes and visits, and then he invites me to visit his church on the very same grounds that I used with him. But I decline because I don't think I should be doing any of those things. Does that satisfy my definition of hypocrisy? Yes, it does. At a minimum, it drops me somewhere on the continuum between hypocrisy and inconsistency. And I read MormonGator's comments as saying that anything that even gives this appearance should be avoided. I certainly agree with that. This is rather like the experience I described in my previous post. But I think we've entered the tomato-tomahto zone. And I certainly am not claiming that the Church is hypocritical... I view this as a fun debate over the meanings of words. In high school we all had to write an essay on the exact meaning of one word, and I chose "hypocrisy." I got a C.
  7. Hmmmm. When I first crossed paths with the Church, it was presented to me as something I really needed, and it came wrapped in a warning to resist complacency (about my current denomination) and to find the courage to explore alternate paths to God's true church. Later, when I swiveled the argument around 180 degrees, my Latter-day Saint friends dismissed the entire idea of their visiting my church as nonsense. I throught their intransigence was at least mildy hypocritical, although I think I described it as a "double standard" that exposed their unwillingness to practice what they preached. "No," they replied. "The moral imperative we gave you was not to explore random things, but to explore the path to God's true church. We've already found the true church [in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] and we have a testimony of its truth. So we're done. The standard we recommended for you was the very same standard for us. No hypocrisy. We just got there one step ahead of you." I don't know how fiercely this line of reasoning is still used inside the Church, but to an outside observer it felt like a sophistry. I don't disagree with Vort on much, but I agree with MormonGator on this one. That and $1 will get you a Snickers bar at your nearest convenience store.
  8. Wasn't that a scene from The Singles Ward? If not, it should have been. Very clever, bravo.
  9. I once knew a man who called his wife a "Johnny-come-lately" because he had met her after he'd owned his dog for several years. The man died later under mysterious circumstances. I do not know whether the wife had a hand in that. I'm sure your wife appreciates your honesty, but I can't help but ask whether your skull now has a dent in the shape of a frying pan?
  10. Texan

    Hey!

    Yes, howdy. So many wonderful things revolve around the Texas-Wyoming axis of excellence.
  11. Just to show you what a simpleton I am, for years I thought Ganesh and ganache were the same thing: some sort of Hindu chocolate god.
  12. My experience may be atypical, and times may have changed, but I dated a member of the Church of Jesus Christ in the late 1980s for a long time. I was not a member, and that threw sand in the gears of our marriage plans. Finally she asked me to go to her bishop for counseling to sort things out, and I suggested that I visit her ward now and then, and she come to my church (a Baptist church just down the road). This bishop was a very nice man, but his answer was a horrified, full-blown, technicolor "no," accompanied by a fist thump that jiggled all the books on his desk. But my girlfriend would have received the exact same answer from my Baptist pastor had the situation been reversed. I'm not criticizing anyone, just observing past events.
  13. Texan

    Welcome to these United States...

    But wait, there's more. Mr. Sensory Overload returned to the microphone later for another screamfest. Start playing at 1:32:30. The link won't embed here for reason, so here it is raw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNTWBhJnrBU
  14. Texan

    Mass Shootings

    These graphs are interesting, but today's Wall Street Journal had similar graphs with rather different data. Their graphs showed 2018 as the worst year for mass public shootings (10), with an average of around 5 per year from 2006 to 2019, and 6 so far in 2019. Of course, there are different ways to define "mass shootings," but the WSJ defined them as "killings that involve guns, with four or more people killed, not including the assailant." I'd agree that most churches have few armed people, but there are exceptions. My own church (a Texas megachurch) has armed policemen at every service, and some of the deacons carry guns under their coats. I know, because I'm friends with some of them. I am also an employee of this church, and during the new-employee orientation I was told that I was free to carry firearms to work but that I should inform church security so they know who's packing. I used to live in El Paso and would eat lunch at a restaurant across the street from that Walmart. Not a place I would ever suspect of being a target for mass killers.
  15. Texan

    Church History - a Paradigm Shift

    A very noble thought. But I wonder if our great-grandchildren will remember our generation at all. A few years ago I visited Salt Lake City and stopped off at the Family History Library, where a very nice man spent 90 minutes with me helping me dig up my roots. He confessed that some people came in and didn't even know their grandparents' full names, which I found astonishing. I'm afraid the generation of 2019 will be known only namelessly as a society of fools who thought we could generate prosperity by borrowing trillions of dollars and paying the interest to rich people and foreign countries.